Friday, July 27, 2012

G-d Save the Queen

When TLS moved from England to Germany, he brought his BBC satellite dish with him. After one unsuccessful attempt at setting it up right before I got here, it sat in our storage room for over two years never to be seen or heard from again. Until this afternoon, when he said "I wonder if I could set up my old BBC dish tonight so we can watch the Opening Ceremony live?" Wait. What? Shut the front door. This changes everything. 1) Yes please. 2) How the heck did I not know about this during the Royal Wedding???

After we got home, he spent about 30 minutes literally hanging out of our second story window (totally a smart idea when you are on Coumadin). It seemed like it was going to be a lost cause. And then I heard the sweet, sweet sound of British newscasters.

That's right. We now have BBC. In high def. Multiple channels. And with commercials! This is our first time seeing real commercials since we were back in the States for my cousin's wedding. We sat there mesmerized and channel-surfed just so that we could look for more commercials. Thank you, home insurance, BT Infinity fiberoptic broadband, andVanish Power Powder. We now get Food Network and a whole slew of other quality programming. (Gordon Ramsay, Ab Fab, etc.) As I write this, I am now on my couch watching The Bachelor UK. Please note how I have never even watched the American version of the Bachelor. Nor do I really care to. Yet, I can't tear myself from these hot tranny messes. Simply amazing. I am in awe.

I am now off to watch the Opening Ceremony. And maybe buy a treadmill on sale for the low price of 350£. Also, forgive my absence for the next week. I will be busy sitting on my couch, eating pistachios and catching up on the Olympics and Lord knows what else. Good thing we just bought a new couch.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sephora Love

If you knew me in my pre-Germany days, you knew that Sephora was one of my regular stops. I could "pop in" for just 5 minutes and walk out with spending over $200 easily. I received many a gift card there for birthdays and Hannukahs. When I moved to Germany, my beauty routine world came crashing down as I made the discovery that not only did Sephora not ship to APO addresses, but that cruelly, they also did not accept credit cards with APO addresses so I could not just place an order and have it shipped to a friend's house. For two years I lamented this fact. Germany does not have a Sephora, so whenever we traveled to a country that would, I would make it a point to stop in, then immediately lament how marked-up the prices there were. (I'm sorry but I refuse to pay 16€ for a bottle of OPI nail polish. On principle.) Lather, rinse, repeat. Fast forward to Fourth of July when Pametto Belle tweeted to let me know that Sephora now ships to APO addresses. Shut the front door. This changes everything. After posting many over-hyped facebook statuses and tweets about this (insert high-pitched sorority girl shriek here) I got to work. Have I mentioned that I had not been on the Sephora site in a few months? So I did not even know what they had. I was sad to see that they discontinued a few favorites. And equally intrigued by new products on the site.

After some recommendations from friends, I placed my order and stalked the delivery confirmation like a hawk. On Tuesday, I got a little ray of sunshine in my mailbox. My first Sephora package in over 2 years people. Thank you for making me feel a little closer to home folks.

Inside it:
*Bare Minerals foundation (I love this stuff and am running low on my foundation)
*Benefit Cosmetics Ultra Plush Lip Gloss in Dandelion (purchased on a recommendation from Chicago Prepster- immediately a new favorite in my makeup bag- thanks for the tip Carly!)
*Benefit Cosmetics Coral My World! set (I knew nothing about this and wanted to try the products- at $12, it seemed like a good way to try them out without investing too much money in things that I may not use a lot. I have yet to try them so no report for now.
*Beauty Insider Birthday Gift- I opted for the 2 mini lip balms from Fresh. I already use the lip balm and love it and am sad about just how not cheap it is, so it was awesome to get more, plus the minis are just so darn cute!)
*Bare Escentuals Finishing Touches Deluxe Sample Set (came with a mini Mineral Veil, mini mascara, and mini lip gloss)- again I already use Bare Minerals so it was great to get a mini size of the Mineral Veil to keep in my travel bag. The lip gloss is absolutely fantastic and a super flattering color (on me at least), so I will definitely be ordering a full size of it in the near future.
*Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel sample (I feel like I may have used this in the past, but honestly can't remember now)
*Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating treatment sample- have heard nothing but good things about this product and wanted to try it out for myself
*Perfekt Lash Perfection Gel sample- I have no clue about this. I love Perfekt's Skin Perfection Gel (seriously amazing) so I decided to pick this as my third sample to see if it would be any good. Again, have yet to actually try it.

I placed my order on July 19th, and it arrived on the 24th. I am already planning order #2. If you have any product recommendations that you feel I need to try, please let me have them. Also, if you are at an APO address, note that not all products can be shipped to us- they cannot send anything with alcohol in it overseas, which pretty much rules out all of the perfumes and nail products. I'm not sure what else is affected.

ETA: +2 points to Sephora for offering free shipping to APO addresses with a $50 order. It really irks me when companies that offer free shipping to the rest of the United States charge for APO shipping. (I'm looking at you Vera Bradley and Lucky Brand Jeans.)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Giveaway: Harding-Lane

Harding-Lane is a company that was started by a brother and sister team that specializes in needlepoint baseball caps. The company's focus is on being eco-friendly, and its founders donate profits from the sale of their hats to various the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fisherman's Association (CCCHFA) to help save and preserve the places that they loved.

As someone who has a drawer of baseball caps in her closet, I can appreciate the ability to have a cute, slightly nicer one than my standard beat-up Yankees one that I refuse to part with. Harding-Lane caps come in several colors, each with a different needlepoint icon on the front, and a piece of white sailcloth on the back for the strap.

Harding-Lane is offering on Preppy Girl Meets World reader the opportunity to win the needlepoint hat of his or her choice. Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And now for the fine print: This giveaway will end on July 20th at midnight EST. Please feel free to enter all of my giveaways, however, in the interest of sharing and spreading the love and joy, you can only win one birthday month giveaway. Should your name be drawn a second time, I will pick a different winner.

The One with the Nutcracker

Longtime readers of this blog may remember my post about nutcrackers from several years ago.

When I was a little girl, every year, my parents would take me to see the Nutcracker ballet. I was enthralled. I knew then and there that I wanted to be a ballerina and I wanted to play Clara and I wanted a nutcracker of my very own. For health reasons (not to mention my complete lack of coordination!) the first two never happened. Well one out of three isn't so bad, right? I had my sights set on getting the perfect nutcracker. Every. Single. Year. I would ask my mother for a nutcracker for Hannukah, and every.single.year. without fail, I spent a nutcracker-less 8 nights. She would always ask me afterwards "oh I didn't realize that you were serious about that?" Apparently it appearing on my wishlist consecutively for 10 years in a row just didn't give her the hint.

Finally, Palmetto Belle took matters into her own hands and got me a nutcracker when she was in Germany. He was amazing. I named him Friedrich. After one of the Von Trapp children. Yes. Seriously. However, my love of nutcrackers did not subside. I wanted more. Every shop or Christmas market we went to, I would always have to check out the nutcracker section to find the perfect one.

Then I got a job working at a Christmas shop. And I saw HIM.
Everything about him was perfect. His whiskers. His clothes. His sword. His furry little head. The fact that there is a pearl on top of his crown. The fact that he is standing on top of a wedge of cheese. Perfection. Not to mention the fact that there is the irony factor in having a Mouse King nutcracker (in the Nutcracker story, the Mouse King is the villain, and fights and is killed by the Nutcracker). I knew I had found the one. One small problem- he costs 110€. Even with my discount, that's enough where I can't come home and say "oh hi dear, I just spent $100 on a piece of wood with a furry robe" without my husband peeing himself. 

Every time I came in to work, I admired him. When we sold him, I got scared that I would never see him again. Thankfully, he came back in stock. I knew that one day, he would be mine. Then on Wednesday, I was at work, putting new merchandise out on the floor, and I got the job of working with the Nutcrackers. Oh. Darn.

My coworker handed me a nutcracker and asked me to tag him and put him on the shelf. I took one look at him and said "no I can't." While he is definitely not as tall or as regal, he was a lot more wallet- friendly. There was no way I could leave him in the store overnight to fend for himself. Say hello to my little friend.
how cute is he?

I didn't know what to name him- he is royalty after all and you can't exactly name a royal Jerry or Mickey, so I just called him Sir. He now rests comfortably on top of our wine table. (Yes, I realize that it is July and I have a nutcracker on display in my house. I don't care.)

Stay tuned for an update to this story in which Sir's two big brothers join the Family S home (have I mentioned that the store now has TWO big Mouse King Nutcrackers?) and when Masha builds a wooden vermin Christmas diorama right near her menorah. Totally normal.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Giveaway: Christina M. Boutique

Christina M. Boutique is a wonderful Etsy shop whose designer makes fun, classic, and contemporary pieces. The shop is filled with a lot of cute and reasonably-priced pieces: my favorites being
Emma Stud Earrings- $22
Zoey Bracelet- $22
Nicole Bracelet- $25
Shipping is free on all orders, which if you're anything like me, is a huge plus. (Lots of times, I prefer a retailer to have a code out for free shipping than a 10% off code or something like that.)

Christina M. Boutique is generously offering one Preppy Girl Meets World reader an Oval Link Bracelet in Gold

Enter using the Rafflecopter Widget below:

And now for the fine print: This giveaway will end on July 19th at midnight EST. Please feel free to enter all of my giveaways, however, in the interest of sharing and spreading the love and joy, you can only win one birthday month giveaway. Should your name be drawn a second time, I will pick a different winner.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

You Know You're in Germany When

*You look at your pay stub and there is a line item there for a "Reunification Tax"
*A half liter bottle of beer at the store costs as little as 0,27€ and a half liter of Coke Zero costs 0,90
*The restaurant you're in has doggie dishes but no high chairs.
*You can't walk 5 minutes without seeing Hello Kitty everywhere.
Yes, that is Hello Kitty toilet paper and tissues in my local supermarket.

*You can buy this at your local grocery store 

*When going 94 mph on the autobahn seems like a painfully slow way to get to your destination.

Monday, July 9, 2012

July Sponsor post

After the migraine from hell and then some connectivity issues that took Kabel Deutschland, all is finally back to normal and I am resuming my monthly sponsor posts. I have some returning sponsors along with some wonderful new ones, so be sure to read all about them and visit their shops. Some of them have generously offered Preppy Girl Meets World readers special discounts.

1) Kimmie Schiffel, Independent Scentsy Consultant The lovely Kimmie of Full Circle Adventures has joined the ranks to become a Scentsy consultant.

That is her furbaby Gabby pictured above. Kimmie loves candles but needed a more pet-friendly alternative to them when Gabby's poor little tail kept catching on fire. Since Scentsy warmer systems are flameless, they are safe for pets (and children!).

July is an exciting time for Scentsy fans and newbies! In addition to the scent of the month and warmer of the month being 10% off,
For July only, Scentsy brought back 20 of their popular and retired scents.
I am incredibly happy because my favorite scent bar none, Banana Nut Bread, is back this month and I am currently replenishing my small stockpile of it.

Due to Scentsy's regulations, Kimmie is not able to post her special here, but I am allowed to say that in the past, she has been awesomely generous to friends who have ordered from the Preppy Girl Meets World party.

2) Alter Designs
Alter Designs is an Etsy shop which is best known for Gretchen's adorable state charm necklaces. I have the New York State one and love it.
state necklace- available in silver or gold- $28
You can combine several different charms on a single chain to represent states where you've lived or went to school. You can also add an initial charm to one. A military friend recently ordered a necklace with the state she grew up in gold and all of the States that her husband has been stationed in in silver.

In addition to the State Charm necklaces, Alter Designs offers other fun designs like these wedding bouquet initial charms ($28)

and these Silver Initial Cursive Necklaces ($28)

Stay tuned for a fun giveaway from Alter Designs this month! :)

3) Kustom Kissers
Kustom Kissers is a fun company that specializes in lip balms with custom labels. I have several of their lip balms with Preppy Girl Meets World labels on them and they are fantastic! The taste is great and they feel wonderful on. Like me, Heather, the company's founder, is a lip balm fanatic and decided that all natural lip balm was best. She then came up with the idea of making it pretty and letting people customize it.

I happen to agree with that philosophy!

The ingredients are: Soybean Oil, Sunflower Oil, Palm Oil, Olive Oil, Avadcado Oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter, Vitamin E, SPF 15

Aside from the taste, the other thing I love about Kustom Kissers is the fact that there is no minimum size to order. So you literally could order just one lip balm for yourself if you wanted to or as a sample!

Some great ideas for custom lip balm include gifts for parents or grandparents (or pet parents)

wedding or bridal shower favors

or using them in lieu of traditional business cards at conferences. (Heather used her lip balm as her business card at BlissDom.)

For the sorority collegians out there- you can even make up custom sorority lip balms and use them as bid day gifts for your new members!

Currently, Heather is generously offering all Preppy Girl Meets World readers 20% off their purchase of custom lip balm with code PGMW20.

4) Lemon & Line 
Lemon and Line a is a fairly new company on the preppy accessories scene. It was started because founder David spent his whole life growing up around boats and wanted to see a line of bracelets that was truly authentic to boating. The company offers several bracelets that are all made from boat sail ropes/cords, not to mention adorable to boot! All of the bracelets that Lemon & Line sells are made in Newport, RI.

If you are a reader of Real Simple, you may recognize the brand, because three of the bracelets were featured in a collage in the April 2012 issue in a section on preppy style.
All three of the bracelets featured in the spread are $25 and are currently available online.

I have several Lemon & Line bracelets and wear them constantly. They are great for stacking with other bracelets (I usually wear mine with my pink Hermes Clic H bracelet or my Tiffany bead bracelet) or can be worn on their own for a more casual look.
Lemon & Line is working hard to always come out with new designs and collections (including custom ones for schools and yacht clubs!).  Be sure to like them on facebook for fun contests and previews of their newest collections.

For the month of July, Lemon & Line is offering all Preppy Girl Meets World readers 15% off with code PG15.

5) Diane W. Designs
Diane W. Designs is an Artfire (similar to Etsy) shop featuring classically preppy items, key fobs, bracelets, hair accessories, and some fun surprises too! (Such as Lilly Clothespins and Sushi Ponytail Holders!) Diane designs each item to be classical with the goal of adding something to your outfit that says "effortless, yet perfectly styled". Madras is an enduringly perfect material and is incorporated into many of my items; the nature of Madras makes each item a "one of a kind". Lilly Pulitzer fabric is also used in many of my products. And new items are added all the time
how cute would it be to use these for hanging cards off a grosgrain ribbon?
Currently, Diane W. Designs is sponsoring a giveaway for Preppy Girl Meets World readers. Be sure to check it out and show her some love.

6) Bellevue Collection

Bellevue Collection is a relatively brand new (established in March of this year) jewelry company. They operate via flash sales that are held on their facebook page every Monday and Wednesday night at 8pm. (For the summer, they are only holding sales on Monday nights so that the sweet owners can take advantage of some Newport summer fun.) Despite the fact that their sales are held at a painful 2:00am my time, I usually try to stay up for their sales because the items are usually too good to miss!

The way that Bellevue Collection sales work is that when the sale opens at 8:00pm, they will post pictures of items with a quantity and a price. If you are interested in buying an item, you post a comment on the picture with SOLD and your email address. If you are one of the first people to comment (depending on the quantity of the item offered), you win it and will receive an invoice via either Paypal or Google Checkout.

The things I love about Bellevue are 1) the super sweet owners (seriously some of the nicest women I have ever dealt with in my life!) and 2) the fact that Bellevue uses the same wholesaler as many of the other preppy jewelry companies out there, but is able to keep their prices at a lower price point. (Most items are usually in the $14-25 range.) Oh and shipping is free to boot!

The sales change each week, so it's fun to see what items they will have at each sale. Here are some pieces that they have had at previous sales.
I was lucky enough to get this one and it is seriously one of my favorite necklaces in my rotation.
I have these earrings in a coral color. I really want the turquoise ones also but they keep on eluding me!
I really can't say enough nice things about Bellevue Collection. Be sure to check out their sale tonight at 8:00pm to see what pretty jewelry they will have for us today.

Thank you to all of my sponsors for their support of Preppy Girl Meets World and wonderful offers for my readers. If you are interested in being a blog sponsor for a future month or would like to know more about it, please email me at whaleflipflops {@} gmail{.}com for more information.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Birthday Month Giveaway: Diane W Designs

Diane W. Designs is an Artfire (similar to Etsy) shop that creates wonderful and preppy items such as hair bows, key fobs, bracelets, hair elastics, and more using various fabrics- including Lilly Pulitzer and various madras fabrics. Last year, I purchased a few hair elastics from Diane W. Designs including this gem that somehow almost always ends up in my hair whenever we go out to sushi. (Usually around 1-2 times a month.)
If you live in North Carolina, you may already be familiar with Diane W Designs because her Anchor Knot Rope Bracelet is at Life's A Beach a Lilly Pulitzer store in Duck, NC.

Other wonderful items include these Madras Anchor Bracelets for $10. Perfect for stacking with other bracelets, or wearing on their own.
And these Madras Anchor Ponytail Cuffs for only $6.
Awesome if you're like me and no matter how your hair starts out at the beginning of the day, it always ends up in a ponytail by the end of it.

To celebrate with all of my readers, Diane W. Designs is offering one Preppy Girl Meets World reader her (or his, in case any guys read this) choice of Anchor Knot Rope Bracelet in any color (choice of pink, blue, or white) and any key fob from the shop
picture shown is just an example of the prize- should you win, you can pick any key fob from the shop

Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And now for the fine print: This giveaway will end on July 13th at midnight EST. Please feel free to enter all of my giveaways, however, in the interest of sharing and spreading the love and joy, you can only win one birthday month giveaway. Should your name be drawn a second time, I will pick a different winner.

Thank you to Diane W. Designs for sponsoring this giveaway.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Birthday Month Giveaway: Pink Pineapple

If you know me in real life at all, or have been reading Preppy Girl Meets World for a while, you know that I never celebrate my birthday more than once. For me, it's more like birthmonth. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I'm an only child. Or maybe it's because the majority of my birthdays growing up were spent in summer camp so I couldn't have many birthday parties growing up. Either way, birthdays with me are a big deal.

July is my birthmonth, and to celebrate with all of my loyal and fabulous readers, I have teamed up with some wonderful friends and companies for some great birthday month giveaways.

I now present to you the first of such giveaways.


The Pink Pineapple is a Newport, RI based shop that sells preppy jewelry and accessories at a great price point. Many of their items have been floating around the blogosphere and are perfect summer accessories. I am lusting over these Atlantic Triton earrings for $25.
This Cape Knot Dock belt is also perfect for the nautical look ($55).
Sticking again with the nautical theme, I know a DG whom this would make a great gift for
Anchors Away bracelet- $68

Pink Pineapple is generously offering one Preppy Girl Meets World reader a Rill Cove Treasure Starfish Cuff in gold.

I have one of these myself and it is so pretty and fun. It looks like the starfish is wrapped around your arm. It is a little bolder than the items I normally wear, but I have to admit that it looks great with a pretty dress or with jeans and a plain t shirt to give more oomph to your outfit. It is incredibly lightweight and doesn't feel heavy on you at all. If you have tiny wrists like me, it is adjustable, so have no fear. (I like to wear it a bit higher on my arm though in general.)

Please enter using the Rafflecoper widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway And now for the fine print: This giveaway will end on July 11th at midnight EST. Please feel free to enter all of my giveaways, however, in the interest of sharing and spreading the love and joy, you can only win one birthday month giveaway. Should your name be drawn a second time, I will pick a different winner.

Many thanks to the Pink Pineapple for sponsoring this giveaway!