Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone a happy, safe, wonderful and blessed New Year and sending each and every one of you all of the best for 2010. Thank you for spending 2009 with me. What are all of your plans for New Year's Eve? In just two hours, TLS and I will be going to a restaurant here in Ankara for a lovely dinner that we have been very much looking forward to followed by champagne and a view of the fireworks from our hotel.

In Russian culture, Christmas does not really exist as a holiday. For us, New Year is the day when you put up a tree and Santa comes and leaves you presents under it. My mother still puts up a tree every year (we put it up one or two days after Christmas to distinguish that it is not, in fact, a Christmas tree) and I told TLS that next year we will be having our own tree. This is how they celebrate New Year in Turkey as well and it has brought a big smile to my face seeing all of the trees and Santa hats around everywhere. :) It is also a Russian superstition that you are supposed to be wearing one new item of clothing on New Year for good luck. I greatly enjoyed this growing up because it meant that no matter what, my mother had to take me shopping in December. This year I got a lovely navy and white wrap dress along with a pair of new Hanky Pankies. All you ladies who made impulse purchases this week with your Christmas/Hannukah money, here's a way of justifying those. :)
See you on the other side of the calendar. :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


*That means hello in Turkish!

Hello hello. Just wanted to do a quick post to say hi to everyone. :) After two flights and a 5 hour layover in Germany, I am finally in Turkey with TLS! Today was my first day in Turkey. TLS had to go to work and I was on my own for the day in Ankara. We went to breakfast together after which I took a nap (totally healthy and doctor recommended), went to go work out, and walked around to explore the area around our hotel a bit.

I went to this local coffee shop chain that was completely new to me called Starbucks. Unlike its American counterparts, the Turkish Starbucks still have the seasonal holiday drinks out. In Turkey, one of their holiday drinks is a Dark Cherry Mocha which I just had to try. It was amazing and I wish that the American Starbucks would get on the bandwagon.

Our hotel is in a major shopping area so I did quite a bit of window shopping today. I am thinking that I may have to pick up a pair of Mavi jeans while I'm here. I got lunch and went back to the hotel to take a shower and relax. TLS got me a massage for 4. After which, he came home, we relaxed, went to the club lounge for wine and then out to dinner for sushi. Afterwards, we tried Salep. It is a traditional Turkish drink made from ground Orchids. It is served warm with cinnamon sprinkled on top. It was delicious and very sweet.

All in all, today was the perfect relaxing first day. Tomorrow, TLS is off work and we will be sightseeing around Ankara before New Year's Eve dinner. I promise to post pictures as soon as I can. I have gotten requests for postcards from a few readers and have offered to send cards to anyone who is interested. If you would like a card, please email me your address to whaleflipflops {@} gmail {.} com. Even if you have sent it to me in the past, please just resend the info as it is a lot easier on me. I hope everyone had a lovely day.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Au Revoir New York

The day has finally come. I am leaving for Turkey tonight! I will have a 5 hour layover in Frankfurt and then it's off to Ankara! I am hoping that the layover will act as a buffer in case of flight delays. Please keep your fingers crossed that I have a smooth flight without any delays or problems as are so common to me when I fly. I will be blogging from Turkey and hope to provide you with some awesome pictures!

x's and o's,

Friday, December 11, 2009

hello world

I have come out of my coccoon to say hello to blogland and let you all know that I am still here. I am in the process of catching up on everyone's blogs and unfortunately I don't have time to comment on every single one, so if I don't comment on yours, please don't take it to mean that I didn't read it.

I have survived my first week of unemployment and it hasn't been easy. I have been working ever since I was 15 so to suddenly find myself without a job at age 26 was a bit of a slap in the face. I want to thank all of my readers for your thoughtful emails, notes, and cupcakes. They have helped me stay positive all this week.

In an attempt to put a positive spin on things, I have been determined to use my unemployment as a chance to lose weight and get healthier. When I was working, I would come home from work at 7pm on a good day, and some days not until much later than that. This meant that I didn't have a chance to grocery shop and I was usually too tired to cook when I got home and would just order sushi or Chinese food so all that I would ever really keep were non-perishables. I went to Trader Joe's with my best friend GNB and stocked up on fruits and vegetables and have been eating healthy all week. I also started walking a lot more just because. Yesterday, I walked four miles! It may be psychosymptomatic, but I swear that I feel better!

Another positive thing that has come out of my unemployment is that now I have the opportunity to travel more. I wanted to visit TLS in Turkey for New Year's Eve, but since I could only take a few days off work, the price of a ticket was sky high, and I could not afford it. Now that I am able to stay for a full week, it decreased the cost of a ticket greatly, and as my Hannukah gift from my mom and TLS, I got a plane ticke to Turkey! I will be there from December 28- January 6 and I am so excited! I love travelling and it is my goal to have to get a new passport prematurely because all of the squares for customs stamps in it have been used up. This brings me two stamps closer to my goal. Baby steps...

I have had a lot of time to think this week and since I am a chronic listmaker, I have compiled a list of how losing your job is a lot like being dumped. In no particular order:
1) After both, you spend a lot of time eating chocolate and watching bad tv.
2) Both may use the phrase "it's not you, it's me" when letting you go.
3) After a while, you tell yourself that you weren't really happy anyway and this is for the best.
4) Your friends try to convince you that this is your opportunity to find a better looking one with better benefits.
5) You spend time cyber-stalking to see if they have replaced you.

Until next time, I love you all. Have a terrific weekend and Happy Hannukah to all of my Jewish readers. Thank you for allowing me to share a small part of my life with you, I am truly grateful to have each and every one of you in my life.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thank You and a Request

I want to thank all of my readers for your kind words of support and prayers yesterday. I am truly touched at all of the emails and comments I received, and consider myself fortunate to have "met" all of you. I was let go along with about 20 other people as part of a massive restructuring, so I know that it was nothing personal or having to do with my job, but it still hurts.

Maybe it's because The Sound of Music was my favorite movie when I was little, but I have always been a fan of the saying "when the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window." I feel like that right now. Several of you have messaged me asking if I need any help right now. As you may have picked up on my frequent posting, I love to write. For a while now, I have wanted to get into freelance writing. I have written a few articles on the side, and it's something that I want to do while I look for a job. If any of you hear of any freelance opportunities through your professional or personal circles, can you please keep me in mind and let me know?

Thank you once again to all of you for all of your support.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

prayers needed

I was just informed that I am being let go. My termination is effective December 31st, but even if I don't come in to work, I will still be getting paid through the 31st. I am stunned and shocked right now as I was told that I was safe here. All I want to do is go home and cry. Please keep me in your prayers that I can find a job quickly and a health plan.

Also, I will be away from my blog for a bit. If you need to reach me, email is the best way to go.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tacky Tuesday

I will spare you all the details of my family's Thanksgiving celebration because it went roughly as described in my previous post. Instead I will take the time to point out one of the tackiest things that I witnessed.

My cousin and I are at that age when our friends start getting married and pairing off, so she has been invited to a lot of weddings in the past few months and had a stack of wedding invitations on her table. Before dinner, we were hanging out in her room and I was looking at all of them. The top invitation made me cry a little on the inside. It came from a couple who clearly were paying for the wedding themselves and did not have a big budget to work with. The invitation was a piece of 8.5x1" white printer paper with all of the wedding info typed out on it and a clip art black and white picture of wedding bells at the top. The invitation was folded in three and mailed in a regular plain white envelope. There was no RSVP card and you had to email the bride to RSVP.

I understand that times are tough and people are cutting corners to save on wedding expenses, but in my opinion, this is going too far. I value stationery and paper goods and save all of the cards, letters, etc. that I get. I have saved the invitations to every wedding and Bar and Bat Mitzvah that I have been invited to. If I got an invitation like that for a wedding, I would not save it. Personally, if a couple really cannot afford their wedding stationery, I would much rather get a Paperless Post or even a *gasp* Evite than something that was made on Microsoft Word.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Amazing Giveaway!

Lisa over at Fantabulously Frugal is holding an amazing giveaway! The prize is worth over $600 and includes:

*$50 Gift Certificate to
*Warm Vanilla Sugar Triple Moisture Body Cream from Bath & Body Works
*Lint-On-The-Go-Sheets from GO-GIRL
*Gucci Buckle Sunglasses
*Voluspa Yuzu Rose Bubble Bath Candle
*Pencil case from Etsy seller Made by Hank stuffed with little goodies
*Paper Source note cards
*Gold leather Kate Spade passport case
*Gold Amrita Singh twisted hoop earrings

Enter it here and be sure to tell her that MRM sent you. :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Tomorrow night, as you all sit down to dinner with your families and get to answer questions from your family about when will you finally get married, why aren't you married yet, what's wrong with you that you don't have a boyfriend- are you a lesbian, when will your mother get to finally have grandchildren because she isn't getting any younger, should you really be eating that second piece of pie, are you sure that's the most flattering haircut for your face, and while your cousins are running around screaming and knocking things down and getting in your way, take a look around the table and realize that while they may have a funny way of showing it, these are the people who love you and will be with you and until the end, no matter what.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Always, always, always have that second piece of pie.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lilly Warehouse Sale goodies

I had a fantastic time at the sale hanging out with Preppy Coastee and walked away with some wonderful finds at great prices. Here are pictures of them all. As a side note, I took them last night when I was feeling really sick and did not bother to make my bed, so please excuse the mess.

First up is this navy shift dress that I scored at the sample rack for $30! It is amazingly comfortable and looks great with a hot pink turtleneck underneath, and is one of the options for Thanksgiving dinner.

This next dress was a total steal. I got it off the sample rack for only $10! It does not even have a size label on it and has a few problems (the zipper sticks out a bit at the bottom) but it is overall a great dress at a price that I couldn't say no to! Again, this dress is amazingly comfortable.

I already own the Sabine shirtdress in one print, and was determined to get more! It is a wonderful versatile piece. I ended up going for it in this beige and white pinstripe pattern. This particular pattern was cut specifically for the warehouse sale so I was lucky to get one! Sadly, the picture does not do this one justice at all, and it looks wonderful on.

As many of my friends know, I am a huge fan of wrap dresses. I think that they are wonderfully flattering and versatile and own several Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses and one Lilly dress. I tried on the Burke wrap dress at the sale and knew I had to have it. At $89, it was by far my most expensive purchase, still a steal by Lilly standards, but it was well worth it.

This next top I picked up because I love the colors and the print and it will be a fun going out top, or can be worn under a jacket.

A close-up of the print:

One of my other wardrobe staples that I always tend to gravitate towards are long-sleeved v neck sweaters and tops. I have quite a few of them. This was another one to add to my growing pile.

This next sweater was one that I had originally wanted to get when it first came out, but by the time I made my way to a store, it was sold out, so when I saw it in my size at the sample rack for $50 (it's cashmere!), I felt like someone up there wanted me to shop. I'm wearing this elephant today.

Sadly, there weren't too many polo shirts at this sale, but I did manage to grab two for only $10 each!

Lastly, they had some cute accessories right by the cash registers. I am not sure if these were made specifically for the sale or not as I don't recall seeing them before, but at just $5 each, I snagged a purse mirror and a card case. The card case is perfect for going out when you don't want to fit a whole wallet in your purse as it can hold an id, a credit card, and a Metrocard. I was actually in the market for a purse mirror, so when I saw it, I once again took it as a blessing from the retail gods.

Stationery Swap Partners

Thank you to everyone who signed up for the stationery swap. Below are the partners. Happy swapping!

1) me- Morgan
2) KMH (kristinmhuben at gmail dot com)- the Preppy Princess (thepreppyprincess at mac dot com)
3) Kate (NauticalbyNature at gmail dot com)- Caroline (Slingy7187 at yahoo dot com)
4) Sara Lang (saralang at gmail dot com)- KMB (kimbayma at gmail dot com)
5) Lis (LisLoves at yahoo dot com)- Carina (info at crowandcanary dot com)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Secret Santa

Thank you to everyone who's commented and emailed me about doing the secret Santa. I have decided to go for it and organize our Secret Santa. To keep all the Secret Santas/Hannukah Harrys a surprise, I will disallow comments on this post. To participate, please email me at whaleflipflops {@} gmail {.} com with your name, blog identity, address, and holiday of choice by Friday. I will assign all of the partners and will email you back your partner's name, blog identity, and address. Please spend at least $30 on your partner. You can have as much fun with this as you want and feel free to send your partner more than one item or in more than one package. Please post your items so that they can arrive by no later than December 23rd. I realize that it may be a bit too early to send out presents in time for the first night of Hannukah (good thing there's 8 of them!), so if you get a Jewish blogger, consider sending her a card for the occassion. (I am a firm believer in sending cards.)

Blogger Secret Santa

I've been thinking that it would be fun for us to do our own blogger Secret Santa and have tweeted with a few bloggers about this. I would love to do this, but have no idea how it would work. If you would be interested in doing this, or have any idea about how this would work, please leave me a comment on here. Also, you still have time to sign up for my stationery swap. Due to the high number of spam comments that I have been getting, I have had to disable Anonymous comments on my blog. If you would like to participate in either or just have something to share, please drop me a line at whaleflipflops {@} gmail {.} com. :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

all I want for Hannukah is

Hannukah is coming up so my mother asked me what I want. Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that my mother getting me presents is always an ordeal. She always tries to guess what I want, and always fails miserably. This year, I am giving her a wish list and hoping that she actually picks something from the list. Fingers crossed. (Since I will be at the Lilly warehouse sale tomorrow, this is also serving as a premature favorite things post for tomorrow.)

I am pretty sure that I have posted this before, but I am dying for this pink leather jewelry box from Red Envelope ($179.99).

David Yurman Petite Albion Parasolite Ring from Saks ($590)

Some makeup brushes from Bobbi Brown. (Most of my brushes all need replacing.) The set pictured is the Basic Brush Collection for $175.

A pink Dell Inspiron mini 10v netbook (from $299).

A roll of 100 stamps. I go through stamps way too quickly.

There were a few other things that I remember wanting, but being the genius that I am, I of course did not write them down. Go me. If anything, I will end up creating a postscript to my wishlist.

What do you all want for Christmas/Hannukah/New Year/Kwanzaa/winter solstice/insert name of generic winter holiday here?

ETA: I finally remembered the other item on my wishlist- these pink flower earrings from KEP Designs, $55.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

holiday card faux pas

This serves as a PSA on behalf of holiday card-receiving Jews everywhere.

Every year I have at least one friend who buys a big box of Christmas cards. Not "Happy Holiday" cards but ones that specifically say "Merry Christmas" on there. Instead of sending me a Hannukah or a generic "Happy Holidays" card, I receive a Merry Christmas card with the words "Merry Christmas" crossed out and "Happy Hannukah" written over them in pen.

Please, please, please for the love of all things that are holy, do not do this. It is so tacky and just shows that you couldn't take out the time to buy just one extra card for a friend. This year I have vowed that if anyone sends me a Merry Christmas card for Hannukah, I will return the favor by sending them a Happy Hannukah card for Christmas. (What? You mean you don't light a Menorah for Christmas?)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy Founders' Day Alpha Sigma Alpha

Happy 108th birthday to our wonderful sorority! Thank you to Virginia, Juliette, Calva, Louise, and Mary!

To fill my days with satisfying activity
To find dominant beauty in art, literature, nature, and friendships
To know the peace and serenity of a divine faith
To love life and joyously live each day to its ultimate good
This is my creed in Alpha Sigma Alpha.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Stationery Swap

As many of you know, I absolutely love beautiful stationery and cards and sending cards and notes to my friends. I send out several per week and keep all of the cards that I receive displayed in my apartment. (In a box in my mother's house, I have all of the letters and cards that I got going back to summer camp!) I read in a magazine that December is National Send a Letter to a Friend Month which got me really excited and put a big smile on my face!

I have decided to organize a stationery swap in honor of this great national holiday (well it should be one). Sign ups will run until Monday, the 23rd at midnight, and I will post the partners on Tuesday. If you participate, you must spend at least $25-30 on your partner and send her a minimum of two things plus a handwritten card or note. Please leave a comment on this entry to participate and tell all of your friends about it! If you would like to participate but can't afford to spend the minimum, please email me and I will see if I can pair you up with someone.

Happy writing!

trip recap finally

This trip was much more relaxed and not as fast-paced as my last one. I only ended up taking one picture from this trip (of the outside of Harrods all lit up with green lights) and we spent a lot more time just relaxing and playing Wii. (I am now up to level 30 on Cradle of Rome.) We spent a day on one of the bases and spent a few days in London. We went to go see Avenue Q one of the nights. I already saw it back when it was on Broadway a while ago and I wanted TLS to go see it because I knew he'd enjoy it. It is absolutely hysterical and very much not your traditional musical. If you have the chance to go see it, I highly recommend it. While we were in London, I kept on seeing posters everywhere for Love Never Dies which nearly broke my heart. When I first heard about this monstrosity, I had really hoped that Andrew Lloyd Weber would change his mind and stop the project midway. The idea that Phantom of the Opera could ever take place in Coney Island is downright upsetting. But I digress. TLS was not able to get leave for one of the days that I was there and had to go to work. I spent the day just sleeping in, playing Wii (level 30 of Cradle of Rome in less than a day), and cooking. I made sloppy joes for dinner with a homemade pumpkin pie for dessert. Being there actually gave me a better understanding of what life in Europe will be like. There are a lot of small things that you don't even think about. In England and the rest of the EU, the smallest bill is roughly $8, so naturally, people always have a lot of coins on them. TLS told me that I would have to get a coin purse, and I didn't really pay it much attention until I had to go to the store to buy some last-minute ingredients for dinner. All of the pound coins that we had would not fit into my wallet, so I had to put them in a ziploc bag. I was sure that the cashier was going to ask me if I robbed a 5 year old girl for the contents of her piggy bank, but she didn't bat an eye. Also, it was a bit weird for me being up for hours and it already being lunch time and reading everyone's tweets saying how they were only just getting up. Now I know how TLS feels every time we talk. Also, I am a huge Taylor Swift fan and just had to watch her host SNL. (I still have the monologue song stuck in my head. Who's with me?) Of course, we had to wait until Sunday to watch it, and since Hulu is not available outside of the United States, we had to download it, which took nearly the whole day. I miss England and TLS terribly and wish that I could go back before February.

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway. TLS was not expecting this many entries and I had to explain to him that yea, girls care about things like stuffed animals. As promised, he picked the giveaway winner, so congratulations to:
xoxo sarabeth!
Email me at whaleflipflops {@} gmail {.} com so I can get Rufus out to you in time for the holidays!

to help with your holiday shopping

Some more discount codes.

Bloomingdales Friends and Family Sale- 20% off through Sunday with code THANKS
Vineyard Vines Friends and Family Sale- 25% off your purchase through Monday with code GIFT
L.L. Bean- receive a $10 gift card with every purchase of $25 or more between now and 12/24/09.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Just wanted to post a quick hello to all of my readers to say that I am having a lovely time here in England. TLS is sitting here with me and says hi. Today, we spent the day in London. We did lunch and then spent the rest of the day at Harrods. Afterwards, we rewarded ourselves with chestnut macaroons from Laduree. I absolutely adore chestnuts and all things made with them and wish they were in season more. The macaroons were so delicious, that right away, we went inside and got a box of 8 more! If you get the chance to go to London or Paris soon, you absolutely have to go to Laduree for a chestnut macaroon. You will not be sorry!

While we were at Harrods, I stopped by the bear collection to pick up the prize for my giveaway. We ended up going with Rufus, the Christmas bear.

If you haven't entered my giveaway yet, be sure to. You have until Monday at midnight EST to enter. I am off now. I just wanted to do a quick post to say hi to all of you.

x's and o's,

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back

Finally the day has come, and today I am off to the UK for one last time as my last hurrah while TLS gets shipped off to Turkey. I have been waiting for this day for so long and am so glad it's finally here. In about 7 hours, I will be on a plane sipping some rather questionnable Chardonnay. (This relationship has done wonders for my skymiles account.)

While it's not Friday, I did want to leave you all with a favorite things list. This week's list is just random. It is of all the stuff I have become obsessed with lately.
1) Gods Behaving Badly
I read about this book when it first came out and have been dying to read it, one thing came up, then another, then a third, another book got added to my list, and so on, and it took me roughly 2-3 years to actually get around to buying and reading this book. I was so happy when I finally did. It is absolutely hilarious and is a great read. When I was younger, I used to be obsessed with Greek mythology and art, so this one was right up my alley. Several bloggers have been emailing me asking for book recommendations, and this one is at the top of my list.

2) Bath & Body Works Twilight Woods Candle
I love scented candles and almost always have one burning in my apartment. This is Bath & Body Works' newest scent and when I was in there stocking up on antibacterial gel, I took one whiff and liked it enough to buy one candle. Since then, I have gone back to buy 4 more candles. The scent is very light and not overpowering and is just perfect in my opinion.

3) Softlips Coconut Cream Lip Balm
I am a lip balm/gloss junkie and buy more stuff than any sane person possibly ever should. I am a huge fan of softlips, and was very excited when I won a duo pack of Cherry/Coconut Cream flavor Softlips in a recent giveaway. This is so soft and creamy and again, the coconut scent/taste is nice but not overpowering and reminds me of a wonderful SPF lotion.
4) Prada L'Eau Ambree Perfume
This is Prada's newest fragrance and I smelled it when I was at Saks for the Friends and Family sale. I have never been particularly good at describing fragrances, so I won't even bother (words like musky, woody, etc. just mean nothing to me) but it is an amazing scent and I absolutely love it. If you are in the market for a new scent, I highly recommend it. $76 for a 1.7oz bottle at Saks.

5) Lilly Pulitzer Stuck on You Sticky Note Set
I did a pink and green theme for JMK's bridal shower and I purchased about 20 of these from the Preppy Princess as shower favors. These are so cute and just bring a smile to your face. The little tabs are perfect for flagging down pages in catalogs or magazines, and just last night, I used them to mark over 20 items in the Crate & Barrel catalog. At just $11.50, they make a great gift extra or a stocking stuffer.

6) Fuzzy Bunny Slippers
Since I am very much a kid at heart, I have been wanting fuzzy bunny slippers, but they were something that I could just never justify buying for muself. I put these on my birthday wishlist but did not get them. Fortunately, TLS decided to surprise me and these showed up at my office on Monday! Say hello to my two new friends- Muffy and Fluffy.

The picture does not do them justice- they have poseable ears, whiskers, and little cotton tails at the heels! They are super soft and comfortable and feel like you're walking on a cloud. They make an amazing gift (and conversation starter) and are another great gift item. ($29.99 at Runaway Rabbit)

November giveaway

My love affair with stuffed animals started at an early age when I got my Teddy as a gift the day I was born. From the tender age of too young to comprehend things, he became my best friend. He has been with me through two surgeries, several hospitalizations, and too many breakups to count. He never talks back, is always there to listen and give a bear hug, and is the best friend a girl could possibly ask for. I believe that you are never too old to cuddle with your teddy bear.

Since Harrods is reknown for its teddy bear collection, I knew that there was no way that I could go in there and not come out with a bear. On my first trip to England in 2000, I walked out with this one,

and in September, Harrod the teddy bear was added to my collection.

The website doesn't have an exact picture of mine, but he is a beautiful caramel color instead of the white.

Since I would like to share the love, this month's giveaway will be a stuffed animal from Harrods' collection. After spending more time than I would like to admit on the site looking at all of the bears, I could not decide on which one to use for the giveaway, so it will be a surprise. Whichever one looks at me with its big brown bear eyes and says "MRM buy me" will be the one that goes home with me.

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment telling me if you have a favorite stuffed animal that has stood the test of time for one entry. Become a follower for a second entry. For a third entry, blog about this giveaway. For a fourth entry, follow me on twitter and post about this on twitter (@whaleflipflops). You can also get one entry for every person who enters that you referred. This giveaway will run until midnight EST on Monday, November 9th. TLS will draw the winner and I will post it on Tuesday or after I get back.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hannukah Card Fail

As many of my readers know, there are few things that I love more than sending and receiving nice hand-written cards and letters. I spend quite possibly more time and money at Papyrus and Kate's Paperie than I should and am always finding great cards to send to friends. The only area where this does not seem to apply is Hannukah cards. I have seen some gorgeous, funny, unique, nicely decorated, etc. cards for Christmas/the generic holiday season, yet I have yet to find a nice box of Hannukah cards. While there may not be anything wrong with them, they all just seem to be very generic and lacking that certain je ne sais quoi. For instance, I saw some lovely Christmas cards in Papyrus that had miniature cotton balls on them to look like giant snowflakes, yet no matter where I look, the Hannukah cards all look exactly the same- blue with a menorah on the front. These are the cards that I will be sending out this year:

Sadly, they do look much nicer and festive than they do in person.

Lots of times, I just stick with buying the generic holiday/winter cards, but there are certain people for whom I would like to send a Hannukah specific card. While I realize that Jews are in the world's minority, would it be so much to ask for a little creativity? Le sigh. Do I need to go into the Hannukah card making business?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Here's the mail it never fails it makes me wanna wag my tail, when it comes I want to wail out- MAIL!

I have been fortunate to win a few giveaways lately and have gotten some really great fun stuff from bloggers that I just had to share.

A while back, I won Seersucker Scrapper's Lilly push pin giveaway, and being the bad blogger that I am, I never got a chance to post a picture of it or thank her. They came out looking fantastic, and knowing the soft spot that I have in my heart for the Vineyard Vines whale, she was sweet enough to throw in a whale bumper sticker.

I won Loving Life's surprise giveaway and she did an all pink theme in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Everything was beautifully wrapped in gorgeous pink and white striped tissue paper, but of course, I was too excited to photograph it and immediately ripped open the packaging.

Inside was a hot pink mini market tote, a pink and white travel mug, a set of two Softlips in Coconut and Cherry flavors, and a high heel cake server. I love everything that she sent me and the cake server is something that I had actually wanted to register for, so this was perfect!

Headbands and Handbags was my partner from the beverage swap and here are pictures of the goodies that she sent me. (I was actually able to restrain myself long enough to take a picture of the wrapped gifts.)

The bottom picture is blurry, but inside was an adorable polka-dot thermos, a box of Chai tea, a bathtime teabag, and bag of hazelnut coffee that smells absolutely delicious!

I also won Preppy Straight Up's giveaway and received the following goodies in the mail.

(please excuse the messy bed- I have been sick for about two weeks now and have not been getting out of bed long enough to make it)
Sadly, my Lilly fish luggage tug has gone MIA so this will be its replacement, and I am so excited to try more British tea!

And lastly, I wanted to thank one of my favorite twitter followers who surprised me wtih the sweetest Halloween card ever (it has a trick or treating duckie on the front- my heart melted when I saw it) and a Starbucks gift card. That brought the hugest smile to my face!

where my Yankees fans at?

It seems that no matter what team you root for, the one thing that all baseball fans have in common is their hatred of the Yankees. Who hasn't heard the saying "I only root for two teams- the insert team name here, and whoever's playing against the Yankees." I have seen the Phillies receive a lot of blog love this week, but have yet to see anything for the Yankees. So Yankees fans, out yourselves and show our boys some love!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

weekend recap

I am back and today I actually have time to read blogger, so I am catching up on my reader slowly and am catching up on all of your happenings.

After being sick all last week, I decided I needed some major girlfriend time. Preppy Coastee and I attended Shecky's Girls Night Out. If you've never heard of Shecky's Girls Night Out, it is a semi-annual event held in major major cities. There are tons of vendors, and more importantly, an open bar with beer and specialty drinks. (I could never say no to a pink drink.)It is always a fun time and if there is an event in your city, I highly recommend checking it out. Preppy Coastee and I had a wonderful time bonding over adult beverages, and I ended up walking away with this dress from VFish.

It's a retailer that I had not heard of prior to Shecky's, but I loved all of their dresses. I think it will look adorable with a black cami underneath it, some black patterned tights, and these Tory flats that I scooped up at the Saks sale.

Saturday, I spent most of the day veggig and relaxing, although I did crawl out of my bed long enough to go to Target where I was able to pick up life's necessities- a slinky for TLS and some argyle socks for me. Can't live without them.

Sunday, my best friend GNB and I met up for brunch at Max Brenner. Max Brenner is a bit of a tourist trap, but we love it any way. When more of the menu is chocolate rather than real food, how can you not? After lunch we went up to Saks and Sephora for some shopping and I did a very un-MRM thing- I went into Forever 21. It is a store that I have generally looked down upon to be perfectly honest, but after reading so many blogs that praised their accessory collection, I had to see for myself. I was still not impressed by any of their clothes, but the hair accessories are a whole other story. They have some great items at fabulous prices. I ended up taking this beauty home with me for only $7.80!

Hmmm, it can even work with my dress!

Since sometimes all it takes is a little thing to go right to bring a huge smile to your face- here are some little things that made me smile this weekend. I am a chronic list maker, so obviously it's in list form.
-finding THE perfect cards to send to TLS and KMH
-the street vendors are finally selling chestnuts again!
-$1 argyle socks at Target
-TLS telling me that he surprised me and got me the fuzzy bunny slippers I've been coveting for ages
-finding a Crate & Barrel gift card that I had forgotten about with $2 on it
-Once again proving my theory that you can never underestimate the power of an 11:11 wish, the Yankees won the ALCS and are going to the World Series! I will be carrying my Vineyard Vines Yankees tote all week in solidarity.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Do you Swag?

Have you heard about swagbucks? If you haven't, then you're missing out. Swagbucks is the web's digital dollar. It is a search engine that awards you points (or rather, Swagbucks) for searches. You can also earn swagbucks for trading in old cell phones and ipods. Swagbucks will also offer "Swagcodes" periodically that are good for 1-3 Swagbucks. The swagbucks that you earn can be redeemed for prizes. My personal favorite is the e-certificate for just 45 swagbucks! To date, TLS and I have earned over $40 in Amazon e-gift certificates thanks to Swagbucks! There are plenty of other cool prizes available as well, so if you are not a member yet, I suggest you check it out.

Search & Win

Finally back and favorite things

I am finally back to the world of blogging after a brief hiatus. In the true spirit of "if it's not one thing, it's the other," I got a virus last week. When my mother came home from Morocco, she was sick, and I managed to pick up what she had, so I have been out of work since Friday.

I am now commencing with this month's much-neglected Favorite Things to showcase some more products that go towards promoting breast cancer research.

First up is this adorable pink straightener from Chi. $149 at I have a different model of this baby and I have to say that it is amazing and there is truly nothing like it out there. If you straighten your hair religiously, you owe it to yourself to invest in one.

From Red Envelope, a beautiful pink leather jewelry box. It is now on sale for $199.99. I love the color and everything about this including the fact that one of the drawers pulls out to convert into a travel jewelry case. I have been wanting this baby for quite some time.

A great necessity in a fun color- adorable pink eyelash curler from Sephora, $16.

From Ralph Lauren, the Pink Pony Polo, $125.

Are you a fan of the sweet stuff? Check out this cookie bouquet from Corsos Cookies, $29.95+. 20% of the sale of each bouquet will be donated to the Vera Bradley Foundation. (Thanks to my friend TLD for telling me about this one.)

More coupon codes

A. Tierney Friends and Family Sale: Take 30% off your order with code FFF09 through 10/27/09.

Sephora Friends and Family Sale: Get 20% off your purchase (online only) with code FF2009. Expires 11/02/09.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Saks Fifth Avenue Friends & Family Sale

From Thursday, October 15th through Sunday, October 18th, enter code FRIENDS2 at checkout to receive 25% off your total purchase (20% off on jewelry, and 10% off on cosmetics and fragrances). If you are an Ebates member, you get an additional 5% cash back on your purchases.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

grey skies are going to clear up

TLS is getting stationed in Turkey for 2 months and is going to be there by himself for the entire holiday season. The time difference between the U.S. and Turkey is 7 hours which we're not exactly thrilled about. We had been talking about seeing each other again before he leaves but it did not seem to work out thanks to his limited amount of leave. Fortunately, I work for a company that gives me 4.5 weeks of paid vacation a year. We realized that I could leave after work, take a redeye flight, and it would be less time that TLS had to take. Our original plan was for me to fly out on a Wednesday night and stay for a long weekend, but then when we realized that a Wednesday-Wednesday flight would be cheaper, I said that I could stay until Wednesday and to minimize the time that TLS has to take, he can go to work and during the day I can just play Wii, blog, and cook dinner and use it as good practice for our life in Germany. TLS said that he would have to see if he could take leave so close to him leaving. This morning, I woke up to discover a plane ticket from the Evil Empire also known as Delta in my inbox. Between the two of us, we had enough e-credits to make the cost of the ticket cheaper than a flight within the United States! And the best part? Because I'm flying out of England on Veteran's Day and TLS doesn't have to go to work that day, that's only one day of leave that he has to take! I am so happy and excited right now. A trip is exactly what I needed after the week that I've had. November 4th cannot come quickly enough!

Monday, October 12, 2009

if it's not one thing, it is most certainly the other

Do you remember when I posted last week saying that I may be going MIA due to some unpleasantness at work? Well, Thursday while I was preparing for a meeting regarding said unpleasantness, I got a hysterical phone call from my Nana's home health aide. My Nana is 79 years old and she has Alzheimer's and Dementia. Wednesday night, she decided she wanted to make some tea and turned the stove on. Halfway through this, she forgot what she was doing, and did not actually light the stove. She went to bed with the gas from the stove running! Fortunately, a neighbor smelled the gas, called security who came upstairs to unlock her door and turn the gas off. This was something that we had been scared of would happen for a while. Clearly my Nana is not capable of living by herself and needs some serious help. My mother is out of the country, so I am stuck dealing with the situation. I took her to the ER on Thursday to see if they could admit her to the hospital to buy us some time while I can get her 24-hour help. Unfortunately, since there was nothing medically wrong with her they sent her home. My Nana has a home health aide, but her hours are limited during the week, and even more limited on weekends. I am working with her social worker to find a live in aide for her ASAP. Unfortunately, this is going to take at least a week to get someone, do a home visit to see if her house is conducive to having someone living with her, get the medical clearance, etc. Until the agency can place someone with her, I have moved in with her to keep an eye on things. This is not a wonderful arrangement for me. I love my Nana dearly and she is my only remaining grandparent, but more than half the time she does not know who I am. She has woken me up several times in the course of a night thinking that I am a random stranger who broke into her house and rob her. She also does not have cable or internet. I have been spending plenty of time at Barnes & Noble reading wedding magazines to occupy myself and have inadvertently managed to plan out TLS's and my whole wedding. (I do not want to know the cost of this wedding.) Fortunately, my Nana lives walking distance to two of my favorite places- Crumbs and Alice's Tea Cup. I am slightly embarassed to say how many cupcakes I have had within these past four days. Because I will not be going home until at least a week from today, if you have sent me anything and it goes unrecognized, please don't be alarmed. My massive meeting that I was dreading more than an anesthesia-less root canal got moved to Wednesday, and needless to say, I am so not looking forward to it.

TLS decided to partner with the Preppy Princess to send me a much-needed care package at work, and this was waiting for me when I got to work this morning:

Thank you so much to both TLS and the Preppy Princes!!!

If you can please continue to keep my family in your prayers that we are able to find my Nana the help that she needs soon and that I can go on living another week at her house without going completely insane I would greatly appreciate it.