Saturday, January 23, 2010

Say Hello to My Little Friend...

...the Dirt Devil Swift Stick Vacuum. {Please know, I get no compensation or payment for doing this, but I must review this vac since it's been so handy!} I received this for Christmas this year and I am loving it for everyday little pickups. It's easy to use, lightweight, quick and not too noisy. The suction could be (a little) better; however, it picks up the crumbs my three year old tends to accumulate under/around/on her chair after meal times and that is what we wanted it for instead of lugging out the heavy-duty vacuum regularly. The on-board tool fit a bit looser than what was pictured on the box also. On the plus side, the vac was easy to assemble and very easy to clean. A lower button releases all your 'junk' into your garbage can and there are no filters to buy either (they do sell a replacement cartridge, but it's not one that you need to change out every few weeks like a regular vac bag/filter). The chamber and filter are very easy to clean once the dust builds up - regular cleaning does allow the vac to perform a bit better. So overall, I would have to say I give this little guy a B rating.

Mine was purchased for me at Bed, Bath and Beyond...remember, with their store coupons they run (20% off or $5 off a specific amount), you can save a little change. Be sure to read this VERY interesting post about the coupons - you won't be sorry! What's your favorite quick clean tool in your closet?

(Image courtesy Dirt Devil via Bed, Bath and Beyond)

Save the Date Wedding Trailer 10-10-10

Not sure if you've seen this yet or not, but the hubs brought this to my attention today and it has got to be THE BEST Save the Date Wedding Trailer creation I've seen in a long time! Check it out below - it's a fun video and for movie fans everywhere, you'll surely get a chuckle. What a great prelude to such a unique date in history and to have it be your wedding date too! Well done Jeff and Erin - best wishes to you for a happily ever after!!!

Compliments of the hubs via

An Angel Among Us

Do you ever meet certain people you just know are positive to the core, they warm your soul and leave you with such happiness nothing could get you down? I had the pleasure of exactly this and want to share with you my experience with this Angel among us. She did the unnecessary and gave from her heart. I thank her every single day I look at her gift to me. She has true inner beauty and true selflessness...a great follow up to my previous post about 29 Gifts.

I entered a giveaway (as I do many) on this fabulous blog awhile back (one of my favorites). Shortly after leaving my comment, I received an email from this Angel stating she read my comment and her heart felt for our situation. {If you're new to my blog, long story short - hubs corporate job got cut back in July and he's still looking, so we don't have much disposable income and are living the most frugal ever - it could be worse, but it could be better.} Anyway, she sent us her beautiful photo of Greece (as I had mentioned in my giveaway comment that visiting there was on my bucket list but unattainable in the near future due to the previously mentioned circumstances) and she wanted us to put it up in our house to remind us to stay motivated and positive every day. I was so shocked, I started crying. As we all know, 'blogland' brings its good and bad characters; however, I must say, this was the most generous gesture I had personally experienced.

Her photo is a reminder of that and I thank her a million times she stated in her email, "The purpose of art is to inspire and it did just that, I'm grateful that there are still people like you that keep their hearts open."

She is an Angel among us and I'm glad she decided to touch our lives that day. Thank you Mina. You lifted our spirits that day and continue to do so through the inspiration of your photograph of Greece. Please visit Mina's etsy site and experience her talent firsthand...and please support her if you can by giving a home to one of her fantastic pieces of art. Seriously, the Greece photo is just stunning in person. What's the nicest thing a stranger has done for you that was unforgettable? The world needs more of the good stuff out the change.

(Image courtesy of Depuis)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

29-Day Giving Challenge

Alright my friends - you all know I love to read and I just inhaled this book, 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life by Cami Walker. This book was excellent and a Christmas present from the hubs (thanks sweetie) - I read a little each night and finished it in under five days. I became inspired by the author, her life and her trials and triumphs along the way. She has reintroduced the idea of altruistic giving and the true act of selflessness. She helped me identify that I should try to mindfully give and focus more on the act itself.

Personally, I am a random act of kindness person; I prefer to give behind the scenes and catch someone by surprise much more than be recognized about doing it...neither is wrong, it's a personal preference...hey, at least you're giving of yourself. When I do come face to face with someone or interact after my act, I do try to say just 'pay it forward' after they have thanked me. What a wonderful place the world would be if everyone just practiced that selfless act of giving of themselves.

I'm headed over to Cami's site to see what other inspirational stories are out there and highly recommend you read her book - it's well worth your time. You can find it here on Amazon or any bookstore you may frequent. Visit some of the other sites found in my left sidebar under ::: NICE MATTERS ::: for ideas of how to give of yourself to others and tap into your own generosity. Peace and blessings to you all!

*A portion of the sales of her books is donated to MS research. Another great reason to purchase it - help eradicate this life altering disease.

(Image courtesy the

Sunday Morning Frosty Treat

This past Sunday morning, we were treated to a rare delight of Hoar Frost. There are different types of hoar frost, this one being specifically air hoar. Air hoar is a deposit of hoar frost on objects above the surface, such as tree branches, plant stems, wires and the sort. Hoar frost happens when fog forms and then temperatures drop below freezing. The water-saturated air cools as it touches solid objects resulting in delicate white ice crystals.

Our (almost) three year old quickly informed us that Jesus painted the trees. Upon entering the church parking lot, she yelled out a very sincere thank you stating, 'Thank you Jesus for paintin' the trees - they're BOOO-Tiful!' Now, that's enough to warm your heart, but not enough to warm the frost off these trees before I was able to snap some photos.

Wish I had more time, but we had Mass to attend. I'm hoping I have some free time when this happens next as I would love to spend the early hours just capturing the beauty. See more gorgeous frost images from around the world here. What's your favorite wintertime delight?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandma!!!

So, today was my Grandma's only living grandparent. How old is she you ask? Well, she's 98. Yup. And get this...she still lives alone, bakes every week and has a mind that is as sharp as a tack. Today we went to visit Grandma and spent some time with her - it was great! We brought her some flowers and a card and thoroughly enjoyed our time with her.

I feel very blessed that my daughter (her great-granddaughter) is able to know her and interact with her. Together, their ages are over 100 years - a century of experience between the two of them :) Can you imagine what someone 98 years old has lived through in a lifetime? My grandmother immigrated here at a young age and her mother passed away early leaving her to help raise the family.

Oh the stories we have heard - she is one tough cookie! Stories I plan to pass down to my daughter as we page through the photos in our albums. Tomorrow, be sure to spend some time with an elderly relative that you may not have seen in quite some time. I'm sure they will enjoy the visit and as they say, there's no time like the present.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Odd Resemblances That Make You Go Hmm...

So, I'm sitting in my office and I look up at the Pates Baroni picture hanging on the wall. I'm a big fan of Leonetto Cappiello and have a ton of his advertising posters in some shape or capacity through my home, but especially in my office. I get a strange feeling like I know the person with that plate of spaghetti...and then it dawns on me! I ask the hubs the question if he/she looks familiar? I then proceed to state how the character resembles Drew Barrymore, in my opinion. Don't believe me? Check out a poster image where you can see the face. There is just something about the face, especially the eyes and mouth. Check it out for yourself...we have consensus here. What do YOU think?

(Images courtesy the web)

Looking for a New Beat?

I just updated my mixpod playlist with some ear candy. I don't have it set to play automatically (but it does loop once you do hit play), because there's nothing worse than finding a blog and having music come out of nowhere when the page loads only to frantically scroll to see where the stop button is. (You know what I'm talkin' about...I was guilty of this until I read it is the #1 annoying no-no that bloggers do). This usually happens to me when I am surfing at 2am next to my daughter's bedroom. Sometimes I can't scroll fast enough to find that button or close the window!

So, if you are interested in listening to some new tunes, feel free to press play on the iPod player in my left hand column. They aren't 'new' tunes per se, but they will be new to you. Feel free to let me know what you think of this mix and enjoy!

(Image courtesy of

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Little Miss Sunshine Styleboard

Good morning sunshine! That is how my almost 3 year old wakes up every day...seriously, if I could only be the same. I'm totally NOT a morning person. Anyway, thought I would put together another styleboard for you all during the dreary month of January here in the Midwest...this is sure to brighten your day. It sure made me smile when I got the Anthropologie email with that happy yellow dress two days ago! Here's to spring!!!

a:: Anthropologie Ruffled Air Sweater - Gold - on sale $39.95
b:: Anthropologie Lace Maker Skirt - since yesterday this has sold out (I can see why - it's beautiful with the Battenburg Lace overlay)
c:: Stella & Dot Charlize Wood Necklace - $59.00 (they also have some really pretty bracelets and earrings)
d:: Old Navy Ruffled Hobo Purse - Tan - on sale $14.99 (uh, yeah...I couldn't believe ON had something this cute...AND it's half price - woot!)
e:: Restricted Ruffled Shoes - Yellow - on sale $29.90
f:: GUESS Aero Pump (Nordstrom Exclusive - LOVE THESE! and you KNOW I LOVE shoes...see this post) - Multi - $89.95 (but oh, so worth it)
g:: Michael Antonio Lea Pump - Brown - on sale $54.95
h:: All Seasons Shirtdress - Yellow - $98.00 (this was the dress in the email that was soooo sunny)

By the way, if you're looking to find a specific clothing or accessory item, this site is awesome! Just type in your item (ex: black riding boot, red ruffle blouse, brown suede purse...) and it comes up with a menagerie of items from all the stores you love in a variety of price points. It makes it really easy to "complete" that outfit with just the right item you have in mind without spending hours browsing the web. You can also browse through their gallery of styleboards for ideas - some are really awesome - and you can also sign up for style alerts by choosing your brands similar to Shop It To Me.

(Images courtesy of Anthropologie, Endless, Lori's Shoes, Nordstrom, Old Navy and Stella & Dot)

Friday, January 15, 2010

On a Lighter Note...Sweet Dreams...

...of spring...I'll be dreaming of these tonight. *sigh* Oh, I cannot wait for warmer weather to roll around. We've got quite a ways to go here in the good ole Midwest. Ugh.

(Images courtesy of Alloy, Boden and Zappos)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Help Haiti Now

I am exhausted and overwhelmed. What have I been doing? I decided to catch up on the news this afternoon. Sobs. Full.body.sobs for these people. They need our help. I feel such a demand and a need to help those in Haiti - looking at the pictures and hearing the reports - I am just sick. Every little bit helps. We are on such a tight budget with no employment, but I wrote down the Red Cross phone numbers to donate tonight. I MUST.

Things you can do if you are financially strapped like many others...PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. NEVER underestimate the POWER OF PRAYER. If you can give your time, either here or there - do it! Get the word out - blog, email, tweet about all the assistance options to help these people. You can help. Here are some options, but you can just google 'Help Haiti' or 'Haiti' and a million resources will pop up on your screen and you can choose.


Red Cross

Food for the Poor

Help Haiti Now


Doctors Without Borders

charity : water

Partners in Health (thanks Marianna)

Craft Hope

I'm off to think of other ways I can give of myself to help these people. I pray that God is with all of them.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Stumbled Upon...

...this today on Natalie Jost's blog (thank you Natalie!). The author behind this presentation is wise beyond her years. It takes under two minutes to watch and is very thought provoking. The young generation IS our future...I'll be planting that seed with my almost 3-year old daughter. It's never too young to start building that foundation of positive thinking, right?