Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cent-sible Substitutes


(J. CREW - Beach Cotton Chambray Luca Skirt in Pearl - $58)


(Kohl's - LC Lauren Conrad Poly/Spandex Ruffle Skirt in Birch - $44.00)

Cent-sible substitute savings = $12
(plus Kohl's runs what seems like weekly specials where you can get up to an additional 30% off to equal more cash in your pocket!)

PS Sidenote :: I just scored an Xhiliration ruffled skirt in BLACK from the Target clearance rack for $11.99 (marked down from $16.99) identical to the Lauren Conrad skirt - search your clearance racks my friends!

(Images courtesy of J. CREW and Kohls)

Monday, May 24, 2010

::: UPDATE :::

Our posts will be sporadic this week and will commence on a regular basis in early June after our move. We thank you for your patience with our transition!

We hope our US readers enjoy the long Memorial Day weekend - please take a moment to remember those who died while serving our country to preserve and protect our freedoms.
Thank a military service person - it takes only a minute.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cent-sible Substitutes

(Dwell Studio - Owls Sky Fitted Crib Sheet - $36.00)


(Target - Circo Green Tree Fitted Crib Sheet - $7.99)

Cent-sible substitute savings = $28.01

OR THIS (a little more feminine)?

(Pottery Barn Kids - Brooke Bedding - Fitted Crib Sheet - $16.00)

Cent-sible substitute savings = $20.00

(Images courtesy of Dwell Studio, Pottery Barn Kids and Target)

Friday, May 21, 2010

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Garden Party Necklace

Field Nap Necklace

Vernal Festoon Necklace

The last necklace will be blooming on my doorstep, but not until July (backordered). Hope it's worth the wait! Happy Weekend everyone!

(Images courtesy Anthropologie and Stella & Dot)

Write the Future

LOVE.this.commercial. Two thumbs up, Nike. Literally takes you on a journey of cause and effect. Wow. What do you think?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

We have a winner!

to all who left such fun comments and participated in the Skip Hop Zoo Pack Penguin backpack giveaway from CSN Stores. We had lots of votes of adoration for the dog (4 votes); however, this little penguin guy gets to go home with one lucky reader. Here are some of the other animals readers voted for: Panda (3), Monkey (2), (Sea) Turtle (2), Tiger (2), Lion, Seal, Giraffe, Seahorse, Penguin, Hedgehog, Llama, Bird, Elephant and Bunny (all with one vote each).

Congrats to Manda who posted this comment:

I will be emailing you shortly to request the rest of your information! Congrats!

I'm hoping to stop by each of your websites and blogs to say hello and learn more about you. Thanks again everyone and stay posted for more upcoming giveaways! Moving day is less than a week away, so they will commence once we are settled in June.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Incredible Minted Invitation Suite Giveaway!

June is right around the corner and that means summer weddings! Are you getting married soon? Do you know any brides- to-be? If so, please forward this fabulous information on to them. To celebrate the launch of Minted’s new wedding invitation line, they are giving away 100 complete wedding suites to one lucky bride! Brides can enter by simply leaving a comment at But hurry, the contest closes this Friday, May 21st at midnight.

Pictured below is what the winner will get - they are giving all of it away! While the bride-to-be waits for those exciting results of the giveaway, has two very special offers for shoppers. An awesome 15% OFF Wedding Stationery or 15% OFF Save the Dates at Be sure to enter code: LAUNCH15 at checkout.

::::: PS Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY here :::::
:: ends TOMORROW Wed 5/19 at 11:59 pm CST

(Images courtesy of

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Brand New Shopping Link

Exciting news - there's a new private shopping club for men and women who want designer items (apparel and accessories) at up to 70% off retail. It's called Beyond the Rack and is by invite only! Here's how it works: BTR obtains authentic designer merchandise and provides it exclusively to its members through limited-time events. Each event starts at a specific time and typically lasts only 48 hours. After each event ends, the merchandise is no longer available. Members are notified by email in advance of each upcoming event according to their preferences.

Visit my right hand column under :: shopaholic secrets for great online deals :: to score other fabulous things for discounted prices. Start with Beyond the Rack and work your way down the list - have fun and enjoy the benefits of membership of these great sites!

::::: PS Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY here :::::
:: ends TOMORROW Wed 5/19 at 11:59 pm CST ::

(Image courtesy of Beyond the Rack)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cent-sible Substitutes


(Boston Proper - Tommy Hilfiger One Piece - was $105; on sale $95)


(Down East Basics - Sausalito Tank Halter $29.99 paired with Waikiki Bikini Bottom $22.99)

Cent-sible substitute savings = $42.02
(and you're bound to find some Down East Basics discount code somewhere to score even more cash in your pocket!)

::::: PS Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY here :::::
:: ends Wed 5/19 at 11:59 pm CST

(Images courtesy of Boston Proper and Down East Basics)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Serendipity Found :: JOYFOLIE

The web was a buzz around 9pm central time on Thursday night. Why, you ask? Jessica Haley's products from Joyfolie (formerly known as Mia Joie) were uploaded to her website and if you blinked, you missed out - they were gone faster than they arrived. I found Jessica's goodies via Etsy a few years back when shopping for unique things for my little girl. Here are some of my current favorites to show you exactly why I am such a fan of Jessica and her creations.

(Blithe Ruffled Jacket and McKenna Boots - really really really loving this little red cord jacket - it comes in brown too)

(Houndstooth Boots - the boots with that yellow coat make me grin)

(Joice Shoes - look at the detail in these!)

(Gabi Shoes - had to list these because of the awesome name)

Jessica's products are impeccable and she puts so much love into the handmade creation and design of each of her pieces. They do not disappoint! I'm sad that my itty-bitty is growing so fast and will no longer fit into the sizing Joyfolie offers. Currently, she offers the most adorable boots and shoes for children (c'mon, peep toes for babies?!? what's cuter than that!) up to size 8 and clothing up to size 3T. Jessica did mention that a women's line of clothing would debut sometime in August 2010. I'll be anxiously waiting to see those goods! Joyfolie also has gorgeous accessories such as pins, headbands, shoe accessories, barrettes and belts. Please take some time to explore the unique and beautiful items of JOYFOLIE and read more about Jessica and her inspirational and blossoming company.


I LOVE how Jessica shares this thought with us:
"Since its inception, Joyfolie has led me to believe that extraordinary things are possible if we are willing to trust in God’s plan for our lives and step forward in the pursuit of our dreams. I hope the story of Joyfolie inspires you as you pursue your own strengths and the aspirations of your private heart."

Be inspired. Follow your heart. Trust God.
Thanks Jessica!

::::: PS Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY here :::::
:: ends next Wed 5/19 at 11:59 pm CST

(Images courtesy of Joyfolie)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Start Packing GIVEAWAY!!!

I feel that all I've been doing the past few days is packing...ah yes, the upcoming move...light at the end of the tunnel, light at the end of the tunnel. Anyway, on to the product review and giveaway! You all saw the teaser of the adorable SKIP HOP Zoo Pack Penguin backpack last week, right? Well, he arrived (rather quickly - thank you CSN stores shipping department!) and we tested him out with a little sleepover to Nana and Papa's house. Boy, can this little guy really pack a lot! I've always loved mom loves sister loves hedgehogs. Those would make some really cute backpacks, right? We do have the owl zoo lunchie and yes, he's equally as cute...but I'd love to see a hedgehog created. Would get one for the sis in a heartbeat!

Zoo packs from SKIP HOP are little kid backpacks and lunchpacks where "fun meets function". Their product is PVC-free, Phthalate-free and BPA-free - which in layman's terms means no harmful chemical exposure for your itty-bitty. Yahoo! The interior is deep and roomy - it held quite a bit of the trip essentials. There is a designated gray nametag inside where you can write your child's name or iron/sew on one of their name labels - very nice! The side has an adjustable mesh bottle pocket that expanded very nicely to accommodate our (rather large) sippy cup. The padded, adjustable straps were easy to work and very comfy on my itty-bitty's complaints! Get this, there is a pouch on the front that is insulated just for snacks and has a mesh interior pocket for all your little stuff! How cool is that? This little guy measures 10 inches wide x 11.5 inches high x 4 inches deep - very manageable even for a three year old! And the fabric...a breeze to clean - wipes up very easily. A must for toting it everywhere with a toddler/preschooler.

The pack, however, is not suitable for children under 3 years of age due to small parts (zipper pull attachments are cute little fishies) and a long cord (side bottle pocket cord - it's enclosed, but could be pulled out if stretched very very hard) - just wanted to mention that to you who are entering.

One lucky reader will win this same backpack (a $19.98 retail value) shipped directly to you from CSN stores for FREE (I will provide them with the winner's email and they take care of the rest - easy peasy)! Their customer service is top-notch, shipping was uber fast and the variety of options they have to pick from their 200+ stores is outrageous!

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only in the contiguous states (my apologies to my international friends and readers - I am working on a giveaway that will include you soon). Please leave your name and email address in the comment field so I have some way to contact/notify you. Be sure you leave a separate comment for each entry item you complete.You can earn up to eleven (11) entries before the giveaway closes!

All you have to do to enter the giveaway is answer question #1 - easy peasy - that's it!

1. Tell me what is your favorite animal and why? (One entry.)

OPTIONAL additional entries can be made completing these steps - be sure to leave a separate comment for each one you complete:

2. Become a follower of my blog through Google Friend Connect in the left hand column - select the 'follow' button, then leave a comment that you follow. If you already follow my blog, let me know in your comment. (One entry.)

3. Subscribe to my blog feed under 'Subscribe to' and leave me a comment that you did so. (One entry.)

4. Follow me on Twitter @CatherineStern and leave me a comment that you did so. (One entry.)

5. Here's where you can earn up to seven (7) more entries - one per day per person! TWEET about this giveaway on Twitter once a day until giveaway close (5/19) and leave me a comment that you did so. Be sure to include the tag @CatherineStern in your tweet so I can track your entry. (One entry per day!)

Good luck and be sure to check out CSN stores for all your needs - there is something for everyone!

Contest ends at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, May 19th. Winner will be announced Thursday, May 20th and must claim prize within 72 hours or a new winner will be selected and announced. Winner is randomly chosen by and odds of winning are based on total number of entries submitted by giveaway end.

This giveaway has ended. Thank you to all who participated! The winner will be announced soon!!!

{ This product review is based solely on my personal opinion and experience with the item sample I received. I was not additionally compensated for this review. }

(Image courtesy of SKIP HOP via CSN Stores)

Mother's Day Recap

(June 2007 - Mom, Me, G at 2.5 months old, Gram Z.)

(Mother's Day 2010 - G at 3 years old and Gram Z. at 98 years old)

"All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my Mother." - Abraham Lincoln

Happy Belated Mother's Day to all the mothers out there! Mine was a wonderful day spent with family including my mom (of course), my sister and her family and my grandmother (98 years old!)...we're moving away very soon and it makes me sad that I won't be able to see them as frequently as I do now. However, we will only be two hours away (driving) so that is not bad at all considering that we could have ended up two days away (driving) with a different job offer. I am very blessed to have my daughter know her great-grandmother and also to be able to document our visits! I'm really wanting to get another photo of the four generations all together before we head out of many generations are currently alive in your family?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Planning for the Big Move (and another GIVEAWAY coming SOON!)

As you know, we are planning a big move back to the city from which we moved...Confused? Yes, so was I when we got the news. Ironic? Eerily. Easy? Well...I could think of many, many other things more painful, so you won't find me complaining. On the bright side, there are many fun things on the horizon like updating our daughter's room to a 'big girl room' and getting her ready for preschool come the fall. CSN stores recently approached me to do a review on one of their products and I happily agreed (insert cartwheel here). Have you heard of them? They have everything under the sun in one place from an awesome variety of toddler beds to some of the cutest options in children's wall art. Moving and making our daughter's new room 'perfecto!' will be a piece of cake with CSN stores, that's for sure!

And let's not forget preschool this fall - new experiences are always so exciting! I will be receiving this adorable Skip Hop Penguin Zoo backpack to review for our daughter and giving one away to a lucky reader! Come back here in the very near future to read about the giveaway and enter. In the meantime, check out the 200+ CSN stores - but make sure you have ample time to browse their'll need it. Seriously.

(Image courtesy of

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Celebrate a new day.

Enjoy the beauty in the unexpected.

Let your heart dance with joy.

Happy Cinco de Mayo to everyone!!!

(Images courtesy of Ay Mujer, bazaarLatino, and WatercolorbyMuren via

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A True Testimony

Moving and inspirational, Stephanie Nielson of the Nie Nie Dialogues shares with us a snippet her New Life after surviving a near fatal plane crash with her husband. Watching this clip, Stephanie made me realize that life's challenges and trials seem trivial when compared to the blessings that God the Father has given to us. Her testimony to her faith in Jesus Christ reminded me of what is truly important in our journey on this Earth back to God our Father. Please take a moment to watch. You can read Stephanie's blog by clicking here or on her button found in the lower left hand column under my Daily Reads.