Ode to the Anthropologie Marketing Team

I love Anthropologie. Love love love it. It is probably my favorite store in the whole wide world...well, it and Barneys. So OK, I guess I have two favorite stores. Like Barneys, everything in Anthropologie is hand picked for its supreme loveliness. Everything from the window display to the personalized dressing rooms to the furniture used to display all of the lovely clothes and home goods.

Mom gave me an Anthropologie gift card for my birthday (for the record, it was spent on the most AMAZING over-the-knee Frye boots approximately 20 minutes after I received it). Even the gift cards are lovely.

The front says "A Little Birdy Told Me"

The To/From card is a little egg tucked into a nest. Natch!
The gift card itself is so fun. The text reads: "likes, wants, wishes, desires, fancies, longings, cravings, loves, musts, needs, hankerings, end-all be-alls, yens, hopes, crushes, passions, have to haves, can't live withouts, puppy loves, aspirations, yearnings, soft spots, itches, fascinations, hungers, thirsts, urges...ANTHROPOLOGIE".
Yes yes yes. All of those things describe my new Frye boots.
Last year I joined Anthropologie's ANTHRO program. There aren't a huge amount of benefits - sometimes there are special discounts and you never have to have your receipt for purchase returns or exchanges. But that's not really the point of the Anthro program. The point is to open your mailbox with excitement every day, hoping that one of their direct mail pieces is in there.
For my birthday, there was this:

The front says "So..." (it was actually buttoned up when I received it originally)

Inside was a card that read "Celebrate!" and a 5% discount coupon that could be used anytime during my birthday month. Yay!

So what is the point of all of this? Join the Anthro club, if only for the lovely lovely direct mail pieces. It's so rare to see this type of marketing. Yes, I am a marketing nerd, but I think it should be loved and cherished. HUGS!!

Suburban Heresy

Suburban Heresy

I am really bad when it comes to applying make-up. I mean really bad. Even on a good day, I tend to totally melt down around 3:00 PM and need a total re-apply. I've resorted to tattooed eyeliner and lately I have even given up on buying new makeup altogether. I'm in a rut and I'm not getting any younger. At this point I pretty much just buy whatever Janaan buys and hope for the best. But no amount of make-up can make me as pretty as her, so what is a girl to do?

My friend Tiffany sent me to Suburban Heresy. This blog is by a make-up artist and is chuck full of practical tips, product recommendations and even videos showing proper application techniques. This blog has given me hope. www.suburbanheresy.com

Go Green, Save Green With Back to MAC

This tip came in from Lady T:
"MAC will give you a free lipstick whenever you turn in 6 used/empty MAC product containers (lip gloss, powders, liquid foundations, etc.)." That's right! Just take your six containers to any MAC Counter or send them in via MAC Cosmetics online and voila! Free lipstick!
Does anyone know about other offers like this? LUSH sometimes runs similar programs (i.e. bring in 5 empty containers and get a free face mask) but the Back to MAC program is ongoing.

Cool Website: Plinky

My friend Bethany told me about Plinky. If you write a blog, are looking for some great conversation starters for an upcoming dinner party or a first date, or just want to be more clever with your Facebook status updates, Plinky is for you. Every day, Plinky provides a prompt - either a question for a challenge. Then, Plinky makes it easy for you to upload your response to your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
For example, today's question is: "What activity or behavior should be a crime? Explain why this activity shouldn't be tolerated, and a fitting punishment."
My answer: Not putting your shopping cart away in the proper shopping cart return area. Why? Because loose shopping carts take up valuable parking spaces and runaway shopping carts dent cars. Oh yeah, and seeing a shopping cart ditched just mere inches or feet from the shopping cart return area is the absolute epitome of human sloth and I find it uniquely depressing. This happens particularly often at Wal-Mart. Which almost keeps me from going to Wal-Mart at all. (Not really.) I think that a good punishment for this offense would be to have to clear out all of the shopping carts in the parking lot and put them away inside the store. That or maybe some sort of cart-vs-car-smash-up-derby-to-the-death.

New Swimwear

I like the retro inspired style of these swim suits. They are girlie and a bit more flattering than your average skimpy bikini.

Use Your AAA Discount at Unexpected Places

At a BBQ last weekend I was chatting with a regional manager for AAA towing services. He had some WICKED tow-truck-related-death stories. THE POINT IS, did you know you can use your AAA discount at the following places?

- 10% off of regularly priced merchandise at Payless Shoes Source
- 5% off of online orders at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
- 10% off online orders at Barnes & Noble
- 10% off of online orders at Target

And those are just a few of the online deals. Go to the AAA website and enter in your zip code or download the AAA iPhone Application and use your current location for local discounts. For example, in my zip code, a AAA membership would save me 10% on regular season Utah Jazz tickets and 15% off of dinner at The Metropolitan Restaurant.
A AAA Membership ranges from $54 - $109/year depending on the state you live in and the level of membership.

Raindrop Mirror

At one point living in our current house I had a wall full of mismatched plates that all hung in an orderly fashion. It was eclectic and fun. Well... it was fun until they starting falling off at 2AM and I would jump out of bed wondering what the H was going on. After losing a few, I opted to take the remaining plates down and try for something new.

Luckily this beauty was available from DownEast Home for only $192. Price at Pottery Barn? $449. Gotta love a good deal.

The Unexpected Fashionista at The Office

I love love love what Angela wore on this season of The Office. Her Bible School Teacher meets Cheeky Accounting Wildcat is perfectly portrayed in her wardrobe. All of her outfits have a fun, cute, feminine detail - a ruffle, a bow, a lovely fabric. I can't wait for next season!!

Love the ruffle detail, cute cut on the sleeves.

I like the way this sweater buttons up at the top - preppy, but with a twist.

I love little shirts like this. Perfect under a cardigan or suit.
Love the bell sleeves and belt on this sweater/top ensemble.

Love the lace peeking over the top and the sleeves on this cardigan.

Living Traditions Festival

Today we went to the Living Traditions Festival in downtown Salt Lake.

This was our master plan for the day, and we stuck to it:

- Walk over from my place

- Stuff our faces full of delicious delicious food

- Stuff some more food in our faces

- Walk back to my place, collapse on couch for two hours

This festival celebrates the traditional cultures of the many people (native and immigrant) that have made Salt Lake their home. The festival includes arts and crafts and music and dance and, of course, food.

Our approach was to come to the event STARVING. We were checking out everyone's plate as we walked over to the food area and getting very excited. Then we walked up and down, checking out each booth before we made our decisions. While there were some tactical errors (I still wish I would have picked something different than my Lebanese chicken sandwich...), we discovered some YUMMY treats:

  • Churros from the Utah Basque Club. These were small and delicate Churros. Kind of like a Churro meets a French Fry. We ate 3 orders.

  • Otai from the Tongan Singers of Utah. This was a yummy beverage made with fresh watermelon juice, fresh pineapple juice, chunks of watermelon, pineapple and coconut and coconut milk. It was thirst quenching and refreshing and FRESH and was better sipped than through a straw, but it wasn't exactly chunky. Hard to describe, but delicious nonetheless.

  • Pupusas and Tamales from the Fraternidad Salvadorena. Pupusas are like little cornmeal pancakes stuffed full of cheese or cheese and beans. SO GOOD.

  • Chicken Kabobs with three kinds of sauces from the Pakistani American Association.

  • Fry bread with raspberry honey butter and cinnamon from the Indian walk in center.

  • Iced Coffee from the Italian American Civic League. We also sampled some yummy lemon Italian Cookies while we waited for our iced coffees. MMMMmmmmm.
Yes, there were just 4 of us. Unfortunately we didn't discover any cuisine that would put Janaan into labor. And despite our best efforts to try everything, our bellies got too full to check out the Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. Oh well, there is always next year!!

Found at Ross: Vertigo Paris

Mom and I both bought this eyelet tunic at Ross. It is a brand called Vertigo Paris. When I got home I noticed that I had several other Vertigo Paris pieces in my closet. All purchased at Ross. All marked down from over $300 to less than $30. I think I'm attracted to all of the lovely feminine details of these pieces. And I'm definitely attracted to the price. Yay Ross!!!

Please ignore the wrinkles. These have been squished behind my winter coats, just waiting for warm sunshine to appear!

I bought this one in black too.

New Slouch Boot Sandals

Yesterday at Ross new sandals for summer were in stock - including these Steve Madden Khodie sandals that normally retail for $89.99. Ross price only $15.99.

I am really not a fan of The Hills and I especially don't like Audrina, but she was photographed a couple days ago wearing the same pair in black.

I Heart Technology

8:43 PM - Catching up on Oprah on TiVo (Dr. Oz is getting his own show!)
8:44 PM - Song in a Bacardi ad catches my ear. Pause.
8:45 PM - Rewind and Shazam Bacardi ad
8:46 PM - Purchase song (Daylight by Matt and Kim from the Album Grand - check it out!)
8:54 PM - Post exciting new find on our blog.

Thanks TiVo
Thanks Shazam!
Thanks iPhone! 
Thanks iTunes

What would I do without you????

e.l.f's Beauty Secret of the Week

I recently discovered the "beauty secret of the week" on the e.l.f. website. Some of the hints are new to me and I'm a big collector of these type of tips. It's fun to go through them and see if you learn something new.

Smell Good Longer - To keep your perfume smelling good longer, mix a bit of it in with your moisturizer and apply!

Burning Scalp - If your beautician is using bleach and it burns your scalp (or usually does), ask them to put one packet of the pink stuff (Sweet n Low) in the mixture. No more burning and it does not affect the coloring!

Cleaning Brushes - Use the vacuum, yes the vacuum to clean your brushes! Hold them tight (so you don't vacuum them up!) and close to the open end of the vacuum hose, then let it clean and fluff your brushes! Works great!

Visit eyeslipsface.com for more fun tips!

Run Happy!

I decided to kick off my thirty-ahem-throat-clearing-cough-rd year by running the Salt Lake City Half Marathon on April 18th. My friend Lisa and her Crazy Running Girls Club started running half marathons and mini-triathalons last year and it sounded like a lot of fun, plus they all look fabulous.

I am not a "runner". In fact, I kind of hate running. I think that a half marathon is about the furthest I ever care to run. But it's good for me on so many levels, so I suck it up and I run.

I was EXTREMELY under prepared for this half marathon when it came to training. The furthest I'd ever run up to that point was about 8 miles, and that was last summer. In the two weeks leading up to the half marathon I ran a few 5 mile jaunts and carbo loaded like CRAZY. (Oh yeah, I pretty much carbo load all the time, it's essential to athetic training, no?)

Lisa, Tiffany and I met for Sushi and race-packet pick up on the Friday before the race and what to my wondering eyes did appear but a whole bunch of little vendor booths, right there at the race packet pick up! (This was my first major race, and I definitely got the feeling that racing is big big business.) Since I felt totally NOT prepared on my training, I figured, I might as well have the right gear. Plus, this was an excuse to shop!!! As you can see from the picture above, I had way WAY too much stuff. Like, a ridiculous, hilarious amount of stuff. Like, I TOTALLY looked like the newbie on the block. Oh well.

Since I totally over-packed for this occasion, I thought I'd share my half marathon essentials:

1. Friends

Having a couple of friends to run with was SO SO SO fabulous. First of all, I had someone to be accountable to with my training (or lack thereof). I had people with experience that guided me through the race ins and outs (a lot of my essentials were suggested to me by Tiffany and Lisa). Most importantly, I was motivated to keep up with them during the actual race. We had the goal of finishing in 2.5 hours or less and we all came in at 2 hours and 21 minutes. Whoop Whoop! There is no way I would have made that time if I had been running on my own. And it was just FUN to do this with someone else. (Thank you Lisa and Tiffany!!!! XOXO)

2. Kleenex

I know, you think water would be next on my list, but no, Kleenex. My nose was running like crazy (it always does when I run) and I was glad to have a pack on hand after Tiffany told me about an unfortunate farmer-blow incident in a race she ran last year. On a side note, hard core runners are kind of gross. They have no problem spitting and blowing boogers all over the road and leaving tons of litter in their wake.

3. Water

I drink water like crazy while I'm running. I made a tactical error by buying this water bottle belt thingy. It drove me nuts, bouncing up and down and hiking up my shirt, etc. I think it will be useful for hiking but there was actually enough water on the course so I didn't need to carry all of this around for the race.

4. iPod Shuffle, iPod Nano, and iPhone

I live in fear of not having any music while I'm running. A lot of runners say "oh, I love to run because I can be alone with my thoughts". Oh really? Because when I run and I don't have any music playing all I hear in my head is "Why am I running? UUUUGGGGHHHHH. How much further? Why am I doing this anyway? I'm hungry..." After a tragedy last summer when my shuffle ran out of battery 3 miles into a 6 mile run, I bring an extra iPod back-up. In this case I brought my iPod shuffle, iPod nano AND my iPhone. Sidenote - you definitely want to have a mobile phone on you for something like this otherwise it would be impossible to find people afterwards.

5. Breathable Fabric

I have always been skeptical of the whole wicking/breathable fabric thing. (Obviously I'm not much of an athlete.) I decided that maybe one of the reasons I hate running so much is that I'm so effing hot all the time. For this race I suited up in Brooks "Run Happy" running gear because I thought it was SSSSOOO cute and I am SSSSOOOO happy. Perfect right? Run Happy. Love it!

I wanted to see if these fabrics were all they were cracked up to be. OMG. Wow. Yes, the outfit was worth every penny. I was not too hot, not too cold and definitely didn't feel sweaty. Lisa and Tiffany said that they mocked the running skirt, but used them last year to run the Ragnar Relay and ended up loving them. I loved the running skirt too. You feel like you're basically naked from the waist down but you don't have to be in those wicked ugly running shorts. Plus, I do not have the kind of bum that can rock a pair of those running shorts anyway. I threw in a pair of running socks at the last minute and I'm SO glad that I did. I had the normal two blisters that I get every time that I run, but other than that I was fine.

6. Goo

You know, those packs of goo and goo like substances that are at the check stand at REI? The ones that make you think "Who the H would ever eat that"? Well, Lisa and Tiffany said that I would want some calories around mile 10. And I suppose you can't just whip out an apple on the course now can you? Lisa endorsed the Clif Shot Blok's. Tiffany likes the good ol' Goo. I picked up a couple of packs of Shot Bloks. They looked the most like gummy candy. They actually tasted really good and totally hit the spot.

Since the half marathon I've run a total of 5 miles. I think I need to have an 'event' on the books to keep me motivated and justify all of the money I've spent on this sport so this weekend I'll be running in the Salt Lake City Race for the Cure. And if anyone out there is looking for a running buddy, please let me know! It really is more fun when you're not alone.

Green Tea Obsession

"Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one."
- Ancient Chinese Proverb

I love love love anything "green tea". If it says it has green tea in it - I'm going to try it. I love the taste of green tea and more importantly, I love the health benefits. I have been working hard to get my husband to join my green tea bandwagon, but alas he still thinks it tastes like dishwater. How does he know what dishwater tastes like? I don't know. It might have something to do with profanity and his youth. We would have to contact his dear departed mother on that one.

The Miracle of Green Tea

Is any other food or drink reported to have as many health benefits as green tea? The Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea since ancient times, using it to treat everything from headaches to depression.

There is also research indicating that drinking green tea lowers total cholesterol levels, as well as improving the ratio of good (HDL) cholesterol to bad (LDL) cholesterol.

What makes green tea so special?

The secret of green tea lies in the fact it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a powerful anti-oxidant. Since it is such a powerful antioxidant, EGCG may help prevent both heart disease and cancer.

Other Benefits

New evidence is emerging that green tea can even help dieters. In November, 1999, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a study at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. Researchers found that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine or a placebo.

Green tea can even help prevent tooth decay! Just as its bacteria-destroying abilities can help prevent food poisoning, it can also kill the bacteria that causes dental plaque. Meanwhile, skin preparations containing green tea - from deodorants to creams - are starting to appear on the market.

Harmful Effects?

To date, the only negative side effect reported from drinking green tea is insomnia due to the fact that it contains natural caffeine. However, green tea contains less caffeine than coffee.

I like my green tea in many forms - try these delicious products - hey they are good for you(OK maybe not the Haagen Dazs - but who cares).

Lipton Green Tea to Go Packets - Put this in your bottled water and you will have all the extra energy you need to shop a few more hours. Energy without the extra calories too!

Red Mango Green Tea Yogurt - So yummy and refreshing. About 100 calories for a small. Plus it's certified gluten free. (I don't know exactly what that means, but it's supposed to be good for you).

Haagen-Dazs Green Tea Ice Cream (Janaan discovered this while on a trip to Tokyo, lucky for us it is now available in the good ole' USA all the time now!). Let's just not go there on the calories. Just enjoy it and forget about your hips.

Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino - A yummy blended drink - to cut the calories do not add sweetener and remember to say "no whip".

Starbucks Green Tea Latte - This one is great hot or over ice - again to cut calories cut out the sweetener and the whip cream.

Christian Louboutin for Under $200?

Is this website selling Louboutins for $149.99 for real? It seems a little bit fishy to us...

No, I'm not a breast feeding mother.

Last weekend we were shopping for baby essentials with Janaan. Wow. There is an entire world of products out there, in aisles that I have never even walked down before. We were looking at bottles and nipples and pacifiers. Yes, there is an entire aisle at most stores dedicated to just these things. Mom assured Janaan that she would be standing in that aisle, over and over again, saying 'let's give this one a try'. (For the record, Mom thinks that Nuk's are the best.) In this aisle you also find breast feeding aids. Janaan remarked that Angie Harmon uses Lansinoh Lanolin on her lips. This piqued my interest immediately. I am always looking for new lip balms and dry skin essentials. So I bought some.

I am hooked on this stuff. It is THICK and RICH and lasts FOREVER. It doesn't taste like anything, and is totally safe to ingest anyway since it's all natural. It is great on your lips but it also works on any other dry area you might want to address - hands, elbows, feet, etc. The only problem is that you're carrying around this big purple tube that says in GIANT BOLD ITALICIZED LETTERS "For Breastfeeding Mothers".

Personally, I think that the Lansinoh people are missing out on a real market opportunity. They should take a cue from the Aquaphor people, who have expanded their market greatly beyond the diaper rash category, and launch a version of this that is a little more non-breast-feeding-friendly. This would make the product more appealing to say, men, for example.

ANYWAY, a two-ounce tube was ~$9.00 at K-Mart and Babies-R-Us. I found it for around ~$7.00 at Tar-jay and bought a back-up for my travel kit.