Bring On 2009!


As the year draws to a close, we are thinking about ways to make the next year better. This year has been stressful for just about everyone, ourselves included. And so, in the spirit of resolutions, we've set a goal to live a happier, healthier 2009. We found some simple things we can all do every day to make that happen.

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.

3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to __________ today.'

4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants, and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, and almonds

6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

7. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

9. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

11. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

12. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

13. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

14. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'

17. Forgive everyone for everything.

18. What other people think of you is none of your business.

19. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

20. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

21. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

22. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.

23. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

And a BIG THANK YOU to everyone for reading our little blog. Here's to more posts in 2009!

Post-Christmas Shopping

The days after Christmas were spent eating copious amounts of leftover candy and seeing what deals were out there.

Far and away I bought the most stuff at Kohls. They took huge markdowns on all their clearance. We do not really like Kohls, aside from their Vera Wang items, which are usually pretty great. Two items I got for my growing pregnant belly were the Pleated Dolman Top and Pleated Taffeta Top.

Barnes & Noble had a lot of their books marked way way down. I picked up a few children's books. We are members of their loyalty program so we saved an additional 10% on everything.
These fun patent boots were on sale at Payless for only $10. They didn't have my size in store, so I had the clerk look them up and find the right pair at another location. When you do this, they give you a $3.00 off coupon to buy the shoes at the other store. So these only cost me $7. Woohoo.
At Target we scoped out the Christmas Decor that was all 50% off. Natalie focused on black ornaments for her black and gold tree and I picked up a couple of small vintage-inspired ornaments for my tree next year.



We found that most of the Christmas decor was really picked over, so we decided that buying on the day after Thanksgiving was better than waiting until after Christmas.

JC Penney also had a huge sale along with an extra $15 off coupon when you spent $50 or more. Natalie picked up 8 turtlenecks for less than $50. She hates turtlenecks but sweaters are itchy, so... We also found some cute ballet flat shoes for $2!

All in all, it was pretty good shopping and we probably spent too much money. But hey, we can address that problem in '09 right?

Cutie Baby Shoes at Payless

While looking for pumps for my LBD post, I came across a pleasant surprise - these darling shoes from Lela Rose for Payless. I have not seen these in the stores, but maybe I'm just not looking in the right place. They are available online and it's BOGO!


Infant Teeny Toes Lela Rose Collection Florence Ballet available at Payless.com- $22.00


Infant Teeny Toes Lela Rose Collection Francis Bootie available at Payless.com - $14.99


Teeny Toes Lela Rose Collection Pelican Flower Bootie available at Payless.com - $12.99

Christmas Décor

This year, I just did not have the energy to decorate my tree. I blame it on pregnancy. Or maybe I got tired helping Mom set up her 7 trees. Yes 7. Her house is a Christmas wonderland. So rather than pull out the ornaments, I opted for borrowing this flocked tree from my Mom (it was just an extra.) It looks so pretty on it's own.

Next year, however, I have big plans. After discovering Eddie Ross' blog on Oh Happy Day, (I was already familiar with him as he was a contestant on Top Design 2) I was completely inspired by his collection of vintage ornaments.

I've already started my own collection for next year with these not-really-vintage, but vintage inspired ornaments from Sundance.

They are so cute that I even bought a second box to possibly use on gifts.

Holiday Party Footwear (for that little black dress)

Today on Good Morning America they featured "little black dresses" for the holidays. I think I have done the LBD to death on this blog. So I am focusing on the shoes. Each dress they featured wasn't paired with your typical black pump, but each had on a different color shoe.

It's all about the accessories with a black dress. A punch of color on your feet with black tights or fishnets is all you need. You can get that punch for a deal too! Here are some fun options from Payless:





Kassie Pointed Toe T-Strap at Payless.com - $26.99


Jem Platform Peep Toe at Payless.com - $16.99

alice + olivia Morton Mary Jane Wedge at Payless.com - $21.99



Lance Flex Point Patent Pump in Merlot from Payless.com - $19.99

Vintage Inspired

I love these pieces from Mod Cloth.










Anthropologie for Less

This weekend I picked up this Pintuck Drape Front Cardigan from Ann Taylor Loft. It was marked down to $39.99 plus an additional 40% off.

It looks exactly like the Andesite Cardi from Anthropologie that I've been coveting. And for a lot less!

Viva Las Vegas

This is what two days of shopping the deals in Vegas gets you...a giant mess of packages and bags. But, oh what fun it was.

Introducing the Bibbie!

Anyone with a baby or child, or who know someone with a baby or child needs to know about Bibbies.

The bibbie is a fashionable and functional alternative to a typical bib. It’s a bib that really covers and protects your kids clothes. It was first designed and used by our most wonderful hairdresser’s Mom in 1952. She came up with it in order to safeguard her daughter's frilly Sunday dresses.

We love its vintage style, updated with modern and fun fabrics. These are adorable on babies, toddlers and even small kids.Bibbies are useful, functional and designed to wear during mealtime, snack time, craft time, playtime or anytime. AND, right now they are having a fabulous sale for the holidays - 20% off. This would be a great gift for Christmas or baby showers or anytime. And since I’m expecting a little girl this Spring, I’ll definitely be picking one up for myself!

More E-Card Love

From Knock Knock

Christmas with Elvis

Growing up, Elvis was a big part of our music scene. My mom was a HUGE fan and even scored front row tickets to his concert in Seattle where he touched her hand. We're not sure how long before she washed it again...

Last night at Sam's Club, I found this little gem and just couldn't resist picking it up. It is Elvis' most cherished holiday classics reinterpreted by today's biggest female stars with Elvis Presley!


The album features 'Blue Christmas' with Martina McBride, 'I'll Be Home for Christmas' with Carrie Underwood, 'Here Comes Santa Claus' with LeAnn Rimes, 'Santa Clause Is Back In Town' with Wynonna Judd 'Silent Night' with Sara Evans, 'White Christmas' with Amy Grant plus Gretchen Wilson, Karen Fairchild & Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town, Anne Murray, Olivia Newton-John and three Bonus Tracks.

Available at Amazon for only $10.99!

Someecards

Daily Candy has teamed up with Someecards.com to create "delightfully snarky" e-greetings for this holiday season.
This one is my favorite.

Dry Skin Remedy


You're all familiar with my dry skin woes. But what you might not know is that my hands are not only super dry, but they look like an old lady's hands. Really. And they've looked like an old lady's hands since I was in kindergarten. Kids on the school bus used to make fun of me. One time a dermatologist pulled his magnifying glasses down and said 'WOW, you're hands are WWWWEEEIIIIRRRDDD'. Every time I go in for a manicure I get asked what I do for a living (the nail techs are generally shocked to find out that I don't work in construction) and am scolded for not using hand lotion (oh, if they only knew).

I have kind of a complex about my hands. I've stopped wearing rings. I don't paint my fingernails. I resist holding hands with boys or girls or even children for that matter.

ANYWAY, the combination of uber-dry skin, uber-wrinkly hands and uber-dry-slash-freezing-cold weather leads to a problem: cracks in my skin. Eww. Gross. I know. But they hurt and they just get worse and worse and worse unless you can remedy them as soon as they form.
A long time ago my Dad suggested the following trick: Super Glue the cracks together. Stay with me now. I know that the warning label on Super Glue specifically says 'bonds skin in seconds' and that when you use Super Glue you're generally focused on NOT gluing your skin together. But trust me, this is a MIRACLE for cracks in your skin. When you see a crack forming under your nail, just pop out the super glue and fill it in. The super glue is water resistant and will generally last for a couple of days - long enough for the crack to start to heal properly. And, the crack stops hurting immediately, which is a bonus. (I obviously wouldn't recommend doing this on a crack that is bleeding or inflamed or infected. Use your best instincts here).
Look for ORIGINAL SUPER GLUE. It works the best. And I like the size pictured above because it's easy to carry around in your purse and the container is a good design that won't dry out or spill as you haul it around all winter. And the best part is that you can find the two pack in this size at the Dollar Store!

Britney Spears Is Coming to Utah, Ya'all

On April 14th, she will perform in Salt Lake City.


Is anyone interested in seeing this train wreck? I went to her last concert several years ago with a friend and it was awful.

How to Tie a Bow

Ever wondered how to tie a fancy bow? I have. I will find this most helpful this holiday season.

The Container Store has a helpful tutorial on how to tie a florist's bow.

Christmas Treats

These would be the perfect little cupcake topper.

Tis the Season for Giving

This year for Christmas, my husband and I are trying something new. We are starting a tradition that I hope we can carry through all of our future Christmas’ together.

After being inspired by this post over at Stephmodo, I realized how much I tend to focus the “things” I want for Christmas, rather than the spirit of the season and the real meaning of Christmas. So, in order to spend less and give more thoughtful gifts, we are now only going to give four to each other:

Something You WANT

Something You NEED

Something To WEAR

Something To READ


Each gift will have the appropriate tag attached. I plan to make the tags in festive Christmas colors.

This idea has me really excited for the season and I hope that since it’s clearly laid out, my husband can get his shopping done before December 24th this year.

Here is what is currently on my wish list -

Want - Jennifer Behr Victorian crystal and silk satin headwrap



Need - Canon Digital Rebel XTi



Wear - Victoria's Secret Flannel Girlfriend Pajamas - (Currently on sale for $29.50!)

Read - Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home

READER TIP! Anthropologie Shoe Sale

Right now Anthropologie is having a 50% off boot sale. The very fun and cute Kate, informed me of the sale this morning. I'm kind of mad she did, because there goes all my self control.

I really want these two pairs:

Stella McCartney for Adidas

We are gaga over Stella McCartney's line for Adidas. It kinda makes us want to start exercising.

I spotted these shoes in the window of a shop while in Hawaii. I'm a sucker for this Mary Jane style of shoe and these shoes were just saying "Hey, I'm cute, styled by Stella McCartney, and I'm atheletic because I'm Adidas". I could not help myself. I looked. I tried. I bought.

The style is called Menari and they are simple and feminine, ideal for low-impact activities or just walking.
Available on adidas.com for $95.00

This cute fushia color is on sale at adidas.com for $71.00

McDonalds Taro Pies-YUM

Taro Pies are back! They made an appearance in 2005 and are now back on Oahu and the Big Island. I had no idea what they tasted like, but had heard that in Hawaii and Asia, the McDonalds have regional flavors of pies.

We spotted a McDonald's drive through and immediately bought a couple for everyone. They had a gentle sweet flavor - and I hate to say it but "kinda like poi", but in a good way! It's not very often that you get something exciting and exotic at McDonald's.


The next day we were in the Kona Walmart which had a McDonald's inside it. I ran right up and ordered 20. Their jaws dropped (they thought I was an insane tourist). They were sorry, but they only had 13. I took them all and did not look back. Hey they were cheap too - 2 for $1.49 and I have no idea when I'm going to get them again, so enjoyed them while we could.

It's A Yummy Life at The Chocolate Loft



I recently moved into a converted loft space in a building that used to be a chocolate factory. After two months of renovations (and believe me, the renovations were NOT extensive, apparently these things take much much more time than I had originally anticipated...but I digress...) the space was finally done. To celebrate, I decided to have professional photos taken.

I called the lovely Jodi at A Yummy Life Photography and now I have pictures of my house that really communicate not only what it looks like, but how it makes me FEEL when I walk in the door. To see more pictures of my place or to book a session, visit http://ayummylife.blogspot.com/.

This Thanksgiving, I am so grateful for the love and support of my friends and family and to have this beautiful roof over my head. Thanks to Jodi for the gorgeous pictures. Thanks to Janaan for her design vision and inspiration and advice and for always being 'the eye' (you totally should have charged me for this!). Thanks to Mom for countless hours of moving and unpacking and scrubbing price tags off of five billion dishes and running downtown to let contractors in and out and unknown numbers of days of dog-sitting. Thanks to Christina for all of her support and being the life of my party. A very very special thanks to Dad, who gave up so many days of his precious time moving my stuff, demolishing what was here before and hauling it to the dump, going to IKEA (I know how much you hate it), hauling unbelievable amounts of blerg and then BUILDING the blerg, and for all of those other dreaded 'Dad' duties. And thanks to Alek for my beautiful Venetian plaster walls, for turning my 'just ignore this column' white columns into rusted iron support beams that now make sense, and for all of those other dreaded 'man friend' duties.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

P.S. Jodi also snapped this picture of my blind-as-a-bat dog Lucy. Aww, bless.



How Many Malasadas is Too Many??

Apparently you can never have too many malasadas because the eight of us had no problem polishing off 36. Yes, 36. (If you want to get technical, that's 4.5 malasadas per person.)
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On our last day in Hawaii, rather than spending a few hours on the Big Island and then wasting a few more hours in the Honolulu airport waiting for our red-eye flight home, Mom had the brilliant idea to take the first flight from Kona to Honolulu and to spend the entire day enjoying Hawaiian delicacies, shopping and watching the sun set on Waikiki beach.
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Upon landing we made a beeline for Leonard's Bakery for Malasadas.
A malasada (or malassada) is a Portuguese confection. In 1878, Portuguese laborers from the Azores came to Hawaii to work in the plantations. These immigrants brought their traditional foods with them, including a fried dough pastry called the "malasada." Malasadas are made of egg-sized balls of yeast dough that are deep-fried in oil and coated with granulated sugar. Traditional malasadas contain neither holes nor fillings, but some varieties of malasadas are filled with flavored cream or other fillings.
The malasadas at Leonards are always hot and fresh and come in a variety of flavors. We picked up traditional, custard filled, chocolate filled, pumpkin filled and coconut filled. Let's just say, they were AH-Mazing. If you are in Honolulu do not pass go, do not collect $200, head straight to Leonards.

Leonard's Bakery

933 Kapahulu Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816

+1-808-737-5591