The Beauty of a Card

I love the interwebs. I love being able to instant message friends, keep in touch through email and check other people’s blogs to see what they’re up to. But, there is something special about receiving a beautiful card in the mail. Let’s face it, an email doesn’t hold quite the same meaning as taking the time to hand write a card and who doesn’t get a thrill seeing an actual card amongst all of the bills and credit card offers? Admit it, when you see a card you toss the rest of the mail aside and open that one first too. Yeah, I knew it.

I’ve always sent thank you cards, but I made a goal this year to send every single person in our family a birthday card. It hasn’t been easy, with a husband who has seven siblings, plus spouses and 24 nieces and nephews (plus a few spouses too). Look I may have forgotten a few people, OK? I’m sorry.

Due to the volume of cards I send and my tendency to forget until the last minute, I like to keep a stock of cards on hand. I discovered PaPaYa cards at a local Salt Lake retailer and they are absolutely lovely. The creators are a mother and daughter team who wanted to “bring inspiration & beauty” into their business. They not only sell beautiful cards, but journals, calendars, wrapping paper and more. If you too have seven siblings and 24 nieces and nephews or just want something fresh for your stock, check out these beauties.

Fab Fab Fab Skinny Jeans for $12.50!!

In general, I don't cheap out on jeans. The way I see it, you get your money's worth from a great pair of jeans and anything that makes my bubble butt look smaller is worth every penny. My favorite brands of jeans are Joe's (The Muse and The Honey) and Paper Denim and Cloth. [Side note: keep your eyes peeled at Anthropologie, Off Saks, and Neiman Marcus last call for great sales on designer brands]. For a great analysis of the world of designer jeans, check out my friend Lindsay's blog, she recently spent 9 hours shopping for jeans and tried on over 100 pairs!

Anyway, due to my aforementioned bubble butt, I have never really had luck with skinny jeans, although I LOVE the way that they look on other people. I've also never really had luck with any kind of trouser (denim or otherwise) at Forever 21. Welly, welly, well I was in Forever 21 the other day and spotted these skinny jeans for $12.50 and thought, what the heck? $12.50? Let's give them a whirl shall we?

The outcome? They definitely gap at the waist a little bit (this can be fixed with a quick alteration and is totally forgivable given the price point) but other than that, I REALLY like them!! The leg is great - not too tight, not too loose, the fabric is a nice dark color with good stretch, and the taper at the bottom is perfect. I couldn't wait to wear them so I just pulled a long T-shirt over the gap in the waist and voila!

BOGO On Cemetery Plots?!

We Cheaping girls LOVE BOGO. So, you'll understand how this sign at our local cemetery caught our collective eyes. On one hand, if you're in the market for your final resting place, this is a good deal. On the other hand, is this something that you really want to cheap out on? On the other hand, we kinda thought it was in poor taste to run this promotion over Memorial weekend. On the other hand, we are in marketing and understand that Memorial weekend is when you will get the most 'eyeballs'. Yep, it's a pickle all right...

Music To Your Ears

The songs on this album are delightful. We hope the movie is as good.

Pastry Domes

Lately I have been on a quest to buy pastry domes. Specifically, I wanted the small ones that hold a cupcake or muffin. I decided to give friends a gourmet cupcake in a dome for their birthday. Also, it’s a fun idea for family member’s birthday to set a special spot at the table with a muffin in a dome for breakfast.

I have paid too much for some of my finds (depressing for a Cheaping Girl). But finally I found a deal at Tuesday Morning for $6.99! You have to check often but they seem to get them on a regular basis. I like a shopping challenge and so I keep my eyes peeled for more domes at all times.

Buy online at:
Art & Artifact

These are hard to find even online, but check out these auctions on E-Bay:

Isn't It Lovely?

This sweet lace tunic is now $30 off the original price.

Miracle Grains

We have been using Avon’s Clearskin Invigorating Cleansing Scrub ever since we hit that stage in our adolescent lives where caring for your skin becomes important. The scrub is the perfect texture – not too weak and not too rough. It leaves your skin feeling cool and tingly and, as gals with dry sensitive skin, this stuff never irritates. A few months ago we were told Avon was discontinuing it, so we bought 35 tubes. That's right 35. Seems extreme but when clear skin is on the line you have to take action. The scrub seems to be back for now and it's on sale. It isn’t expensive to begin with, but when you can save 18%, why not?

A Trip to Big Lots

I recently stopped by my local Big Lots to see what was happening. Many of you won’t remember but “back in the day” Big Lots used to be Pic ‘n’ Save. I loved that store too. Financial troubles caused the chain to close many markets. In 2002, Big Lots bought the remaining Pic ‘n’ Save stores and converted them to the Big Lots brand.

As the nation's largest broadline closeout retailer, Big Lots has the power to negotiate the best deals in the business. They sell a broad range of brand-name products, including consumables, seasonal items, furniture, housewares, toys, electronics, home décor, tools and gifts - all at 20-70% below other retailers. It’s a broad range all right, I once found (and bought) an electric S’more maker for $10. My greatest deal was a Waverly valance for $3.

ANYWAY, Big Lots is one of the places I check out randomly for closeouts. At Christmas time it’s great for cheap (but kitchy fun) decorations. In the springtime it’s great for kitchy fun yard stuff. In between its just fun for all kinds of things you did not think you needed. Like today I bought six mini martini glasses for $6. Now I don’t even drink mini martini’s but I thought how cute they would be for a scoop of sorbet or Pots de Crème. But I digress. I’m here to talk about my springtime visit.

Umbrella Party Picks - $2.50

Large Lauau Tray - $4.00

Hula Top - $200 - just kidding typo - $2.00

Metal Tiki Signs - $5.00

Dancing Hula Girls - $4.00 - you know you have been looking for these!

Umbrella Patio Lights - $8.00

Metal Flower Patio Lights - $8.00

Non Stick BBQ Skillet - $5.00

Grilling Basket - $5.00

Water Wand - $6.00

14" Hanging Basket with liner - $6.00

Garden Shoes - $4.00

Garden Gnomes - $6.00 - $8.00 - Leave one of these in your neighbors yard - what a nice surprise!

Gardening Tools - $1.00 each

Words To Live By

"Fashions fade, style is eternal." - Yves Saint Laurent

Baby News

For anyone having a baby, wouldn't these be a darling way to keep everyone who lives far away updated on what your new little bundle of joy is doing? Elum Designs have quarterly update cards that come in a set of ten and are letterpressed printed on quilted cover stock. Very chic and fun.

The Perfect Topper

I have been trying to buy more hats lately in order to cover up my ever increasing bad hair days (I am in desperate need of new products and growing out bangs is not fun) and I think one of these Terry Graziano hats would be a great addition. They remind me of a different time...

A bit pricey, but lovely.

Trendy Staples - Seriously

I didn't think it was possible to walk into a Staples and think, "Wow, this stuff is so cool! I must buy it now!" But, it happened on Saturday. We walked in just to get a poster made and walked out with bags full of the new trendy line M by Staples. It is a new collection of stylish office products. Think notebooks and cards, push pins and binder clips, and file folders – all in fun and fabulous designs.

Shine On

I am a bit obsessed with lip gloss. Alright, I am a lot obsessed. And the glossier and shinier, the better. I am currently carrying six different kinds of lip gloss in my handbag, because, well, a girl must be prepared, right? (Side note: I am on long business trip right now and my glosses are in a cute little pouch in my handbag. And yes, this pouch is specifically designated JUST for lip gloss. And no, it is not a clear plastic bag. And well, it gives me a secret thrill, getting through airport security with so many glosses in a bag that is not a clear plastic bag.). ANYWAY, I read about a lip gloss in the May 2008 Vogue and was so intrigued that I made a special trip to the cosmetics counter at Barneys in San Francisco last weekend.

The gloss is called Shine, and is part of the Lipstick Queen line of lip color by Poppy King. This gloss is a triple hit - UBER shiny, UBER thick, UBER fantastic color pigment. It lasts for hours. On the downside, it probably isn't the most kissable lip gloss. I bought three shades - Red Sinner, Wine Sinner, and Gold Saint (a lovely clear gloss with fine gold flecks). You can buy Shine online for $18 at or for $22 at Barneys.

Summer Shoes at Wal Mart

Our activities this past weekend included a stop to Wal Mart for hanging flower baskets (only $10 - a steal for something that'll die in a couple of months), and we couldn't resist seeing what else they had to offer. Surprisingly, Wal Mart had some cute shoes for summer.

Below is a small sampling, there were more in the store that aren't online.

Steve & Barry's Update

Yesterday I popped in and everything was $8.98 and the jewelry was 3 for $15!

Today I went back for more and everything is now $9.98. Somehow paying that extra dollar seemed like too much...

Bullseye! On A Whim

A recent trip to Target left us wanting to throw a party, go on a picnic, or both. They have débuted a limited edition brand called Whim by Cynthia Rowley that features her signature irreverent touch. The line consists of items such as outdoor games and dinnerware, picnic sets, tote bags, and lunch bags.

We picked up a few of these for packing our lunches for work, because why not make your lunch fabulous?

These are too fun. With outdoor games this colorful, we might actually play one sometime. Then again, they may just be for decoration.

Not all of her items are available online. In the store we found ice cube skewers for drinks, corn on the cob holders in hot pink and colorful table cloth weights. The greatest thing about this line? It is cheap.

It’s Gonna Get A Bit Geeky In Here

Do you ever have those mornings where even though you went to bed on time, you are exhausted? I am feeling that way today. My eyes are stinging, I can’t focus and all I want to do is crawl back into bed rather than work. It always reminds me of a Star Trek Next Generation Episode (yes, I loved that show and still do – OK?), where Riker begins to struggle with overwhelming exhaustion. He feels as though the moment after he closes his eyes, it’s morning and he hasn’t gotten any sleep. I feel that way a lot. Although in Riker’s case, it turns out aliens were abducting him at night, running tests and then giving him drugs so he couldn’t remember.

Think there’s any chance this is happening to me? Or could I at least use it as an excuse when my boss catches me napping?

My Favorite Bronzer

People are always telling me I look tan even when my face really hasn’t seen sun since the Nixon administration (ok, I’m not really that old, but you get my point). This is all due to the magic of NARS bronzer in Laguna.

It definitely gives a natural sun kissed glow and when paired with my favorite Nars blush, Orgasm, you’ll never look better. And get this, I am so influential that these two products are now sold together as a duo.

Or maybe I am one of millions that love these two products so the marketing people at NARS came up with it on their own.

NARS products build on themselves, so feel free to go crazy and reapply as many times as needed.