PJ Love

I love pajamas. I buy far too many of them - but I only buy one particular type. COTTON - not flannel, silk, knit or any other fabric. And it must be a set. I don't buy bottoms and match a tank or t-shirt. I like sets. Believe it or not - this is hard to find these days. Victoria's Secret does not seem to carry them in their stores anymore. Only in the catalog. Target's Nick and Nora brand is great. But, they have their dry spells when they have flannel only.

Target's Nick and Nora line is frequently on clearance for around $6.99 a pair! They are only $24.99 regular price.

So I always keep my eyes peeled for my favorite PJ's. Imagine my surprise when I recently went to Susie's Deals and found a bounty of cotton PJ sets for only $5.99. At first I only bought a couple of pairs. I felt I needed to wash them to see if they disintegrated, shrunk, faded or any number of surprises. Wow, I was impressed! They washed up perfectly and they fit really well. They are cut generously and are quite long. This is no cheapo fit! I went back and have since bought them in every print (they have paisley, plaids, and stripes)- I will not bore you with how many.

I know they are not super sexy - but these are sleepin' jammies.

Premieum Outlet Shopping

I can't say it enough - go outlet shopping when you can. Wherever you live in this great country, you are never that far from an outlet mall (no distance is too far for the Cheaping Girls!)

When I lived in the boonies of Wyoming, I would get up early and drive 4 hours to the city for a day of shopping and then back after the stores closed.

This past weekend while in Las Vegas, I went to the outlets before branching out to the regular mall. This is something I always do because nothing makes me more angry than spending too much on an item. Here is my wrap-up:

- I had my eye on this pencil skirt from White House Black Market. It fits so well on me and I'm not in the greatest shape of my life... if you know what I mean.

It's called the Elysee Corset Skirt - 78.00

I really don't like to pay full price for anything if I can help it. So I went to the White House Black Market outlet store and found it's twin (probably last seasons version) for only $14.99!! Now this kind of bargain does not happen everyday, but if you are vigilant you can find deals like this.

- July is a great month for summer clothing deals too, as most stores are clearing out and making way for fall. At the Children's Place all the clearance summer clothes were half off the last marked price - that meant everything was $6.50 and under. Tops for $2.50! Swimsuits for $5.00! I bought bigger sizes for my two granddaughters to wear next summer.

- The BeBe outlet had their clearance 65% off of the last marked price. $69.00 shirts for $16.00. Even if I don't enjoy it after a few wears, there is a lot less guilt when I don't spend a lot.

- The Coach outlet had all of their marked down purses for 50% off the last marked price. The line was so "Disneyland" (winding around and around) the first time I went in, so I left. I came back in the late evening and scooped up two beautiful bags for summer and winter.

I got this "Zoe" bag. I'm sure it's from last season, but hey Halle Berry had it. Only $250 at the outlet sale.

I must say the drawback that I had shopping this past weekend was the "hard sell." Every store I went into asked me to open an account/get a store credit card to get an extra percentage off.
I also was asked many times for my e-mail address. While I didn't join any programs, I did give my email. It's a great way to get coupons and I can always cancel if I want.

Fabulous Wedding Dress

Check out this fabulous wedding dress. These beautiful photos are by Leilani Bascom who grew up across the street from me. Also, I love the retro hairdo of the bride.

Twizzler Alert

I am a Twizzler fan and especially like the odd flavors they occasionally release. Well today I happened to pick up their new Twizzlers Sweet & Sour Filled Twists.

Oh how I wish they would have never crossed my lips. They remind me of Twerps (another Twizzler product) which are very hard to find (usually online only). Thankfully that's too much trouble for me.

But now these new twists are readily available at my neighborhood market. While it is low fat snack, it still has lots of calories and sugar.

The Candy Addict writes:

"Cherry Kick: These were sticky, but not in the sense that the candy is sticky, but rather it just likes to stick to other pieces of the candy. The strip is a little more bloated than your average Twizzler, but that appears to be a result of the gel center inserted within the hollow cavity.

The texture is rubbery like all Twizzlers, but these are soft compared to the hard rubber variety of the classic flavors. My first bite revealed a floral punch flavor, almost Hawaiian in nature. Like the wrapper advertised, the inside definitely provided a great snap of flavor with the tanginess of the gel.

Cherry is the most dominate flavor in the piece, but I detected notes of pineapple and some other citrus and berry flavors. The texture of eating one of these is odd. At times they’re grainy, then soft, and finally liquid-y. It was kind of like eating gum.

Citrus Punch: These had a sharp citrus zest to them, with lemon being the dominate flavor of the citrus. They too were tasty, but retained the odd texture that the first piece possessed.

I was pleasantly surprised. The flavors are most delightful without being overpowering on the sweet or sour side; they strike the perfect balance. They even complement each other well if you’re game to eat one of each flavor together. Normally, I advise people to stay away from new Twizzler products, but these are certainly something I think people should try."

Words to Live By

* But above all, watch, with glittering eyes
the whole world around you,
because the greatest secrets
are always hidden
in the most unlikely places *
-Roald Dahl

Baby PJ's

We spent this past weekend in Bear Lake, and while there I realized my 2 month old has officially outgrown all of her 3 month size footie pajamas. Since I was feeling sorry for her all weekend, I went on down to Target today to pick up a pile of 6 month old size.

I must say the new bright and fun Circo brand newborn girl PJ's were darling and only $5.99!

Be There, Or Be Square

Our favorite part of the Salt Lake Farmers Market has been all the talented artisans who are selling things like pillowcase dresses, letterpress spice jar labels, ruffled onesies, fabric headbands, gift tags, etc. So we are really really excited for the first annual Craft Lake City Festival, which will take place on Saturday August 8, 2009 from 2 p.m. - 10 p.m. at the The Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake City

"Inspired by national craft festivals like the Renegade Craft Fair, Craft Lake City will showcasing crafters for shoppers of all-ages. Craft Lake City is the first of its kind to hit the Wasatch front."

Unique Baby Gift

How fun is this airplane spoon? I'm sure our little babe will be eating her rice cereal with this. Thanks Kris!

Live Strong

We are smack dab in the middle of the Tour de France and I am in love with this new Nike commercial. It gave me the chills:

It reminds me of those genius early Michael Jordan Nike ads and makes me want to buy some Nike gear and get all sporty and stuff. In case you're wondering, yes, I do stop the TiVo to rewind commercials that look intriguing and yes, this was one of them.

Hot Endorsement for a Hot New Hair Product from a Hot Curly Haired Girl

Hello Lovelies! The Girl with the Perfectly Curly Hair has written a fabulous post for us on a new hair product that she discovered. My humongous B&B shampoo and conditioner are almost out and I am definitely going to give this a try!! --- xoxo, Natalie

Greetings fellow lovers of all things cheaping!

I recently came across some fabulous products that I knew my good friend Natalie would enjoy and so I thought I would share. I have discovered a new line of hair care that is for lack of a better adjective, amazing. It's called Oribe. Basically, the guy/person who helped create the Bumble and Bumble line decided to create a new and better line with all natural/paraban-free/good for your hair stuff. It hit the market within the last year and has already had several products featured in Vogue, InStyle, Star, Fitness, Lucky, etc.

So here's my real life testimonial aka why-you-should-check-this-stuff-out:

I get my hair cut in a salon in downtown SF and my hairstylist mentioned this new product line a few months ago. Being a creature of habit, and also being the then owner of a litre bottle of B&B , I didn't think much of her recommendation. But the last time I went in, I was in the market for a new conditioner and decided to be adventurous so I started to pursue the Oribe products.

Being a marketing geek, the sleek simple but luxurious packaging totally caught my eye and made me grab the bottle for a better look and feel. Popping the cap and breathing in the unique and yet oh-so rich and yummy scent took me from "maybe" to "oh yeah". The cute little junior stylist guy (who wears skinny jeans way better than me, darn him) recommended that I try the conditioner from the volume family and swore up and down that it would provide enough moisture for my curls and that I would only need 3 peas sized drops each use. I smiled and nodded thinking "yeah right" but decided to give it a whirl because hey that's the beauty of buying a salon product - if it doesn't work, you get to exchange.

Several days later when I tried it out, I had to eat my words because 3 peas-sized drops totally did the trick. I have bought all kinds of high-end salon hair products before, but the recommended undersized portion has never been enough -until now. I was amazed. (Sidenote- I have shoulder length hair so I'm sure someone with longer hair would need more.) My hair styled great and I could totally notice a difference, especially when it came to the quality of my 2nd day hair (come on, you don't really wash your hair every day now, do you?)

The Oribe line has several "families" of hair care products- Signature, Shine, Color, Volume. Each has a shampoo and conditioner and then they have additional styling products. Apparently, all the stylists at my salon are addicted to and loving the Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray. If this helps girls stay sleek and straight in foggy San Francisco, you know that's a quality product!

So that's my plug- you must try Oribe. Technically or dollars-wise speaking it's not cheap (my 6.8fl bottle of conditioner was $39). But it is SO quality, that if you were to amortize the cost over how long the bottle would last and then if you were able to quantify the amount of increased happiness it brings you over other products, well it definitely is worth it. All I know is every time I pop the bottle in the shower, or catch a sniff of my hair, the scent and feeling reminds me of being back at the salon- a wonderful place of luxury, pampering and no crying child....And a quick mental transport like that is priceless :)

Happy Hair!
the curlyhaired girl

When strawberries are a good deal...

...you make delicious cakes. This one is light and yummy. Just be sure to double the strawberries.

Oops I'm late on this trend: Round Sunglasses

Last week, whilst perusing my Lucky magazine, I saw these retro round sunglasses and decided I must have them. I have been in love with the pair Glenn Close (as Patty Hewes) wears in Damages, which are a one-of-a-kind pair made especially for the actress.

I started looking around for them on the internet and found that I'm a little late on this trend. The ones featured in the magazine were Liz Claiborne and only $30.

"We're pretty sure round shades will go down as the single most eponymous accessory from the Spring 09 season and who better to provide a recession-minded gal with her pair? Well, it really doesn't get more "2009" than Isaac Mizrahi for Liz Claiborne."

Too bad they are all sold out now. This past week, I have been hunting to find these little gems. It's been very frustrating because they are almost always on back order or sold out. I have a few options I'm looking into, but I better hurry.

Ralph Lauren still has some available for $375 - but I'm feeling kinda cheap and hate to spend over $200 on sunglasses. I can't be trusted to not lose them or sit on them.

Modern Vintage Round Sunglasses by Ralph Lauren.

The Annie Glasses in Black (tortoise are sold out).

Available on Nasty Cal for $40.

UO Sunglasses from Urban Outfitters for $24 - now this is price is more my style for a limited trend that I might make me look ridiculous anyway.

UO Skyline Glasses - $24

Fred Flare has the best deal

Round Emma Sunglasses - $11 but back-ordered until August - Blerg!

Charlie Sunglasses - $11 and available now.

Be aware this shape might not work for everyone - "When Proenza Schouler introduced round sunglasses in spring 2008, the designers were actually so far ahead of the trend that they were at a disadvantage. Circular frames are not face-friendly, and usually look best on women with strong jaw lines, so the line’s initial styles were difficult to sell. But newer versions, which are slightly larger and more angular, with the stems positioned higher on the frame, have been a success."

Smoke Pours from SF Manhole and...WHAT?!...Clears Ross Store!!!

I'm not even going to tell you how many times we have shopped at the 4th and Market Ross in San Francisco, despite the fact that it has the most disgusting public restroom I have ever used. I'll spare you the details. Totally worth it for the great deals though.

From SFGate.com

(07-06) 21:10 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- Employees and patrons were evacuated Monday from a clothing store on Market Street in downtown San Francisco after smoke poured from a manhole cover.

Joe Molica, a spokesman for Pacific Gas and Electric Co., said smoke was reported at about 10:45 a.m. coming from an underground vault at Fourth and Market streets. About the same time, the power went out at the Ross Dress For Less store at 799 Market.

Firefighters poured a carbon dioxide fire suppressant into the manhole to smother any potential fires, Molica said. It was unclear whether there was a fire.

As many as two dozen employees and customers were briefly evacuated from the Ross store, witnesses said. Nobody was injured, Molica said, and the cause of the problem was under investigation.

4th of July Roundup

Oakley Rodeo, water slides, hike to Lake Blanche, fireworks at The Country Club and neighborhood parades where this lovely little 5 year old tossed out candy. All in all, a very fun weekend.

Bad Girls Book Club Report: The Hunger Games

I don't know if we've mentioned it before, but we belong to the Bad Girls Book Club: where half the people don't show up, and the other half haven't read the book. (For the record, I am actually only TWO books behind for this year and I am still heartbroken that I missed the Pride & Prejudice & Zombies tea party, because I heard it was spectacular.)

THE POINT IS, we all love to read. Whenever we are making idle chit chat with people, whether it be at Bunko or a Botox party (what?!), we like to ask what people have read lately that they just can't put down. You know those books, the ones that you stay up until 3:00 AM to finish. For us, those include The Firm (John Grisham), Lightning (Dean Koontz) and all seven Harry Potter books (JK Rowling).

Well, thanks to the Bad Girl's Book Club, we have found our next can't-put-it-down-stay-up-until-3:00 AM-to-finish-fantasize-about-a-mild-cold-as-an-excuse-to-stay-in-bed-all-day-must-read: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
Stephen King, one of my favorite EW critics, summarized it beautifully:

"As negative Utopias go, Suzanne Collins has created a dilly. The United States is gone. North America has become Panem, a TV-dominated dictatorship run from a city called the Capitol. The rest of Panem is divided into 12 Districts (the former 13th had the bad judgment to revolt and no longer exists). The yearly highlight in this nightmare world is the Hunger Games, a bloodthirsty reality TV show in which 24 teenagers chosen by lottery — two from each District — fight each other in a desolate environment called the ''arena.'' The winner gets a life of ease; the losers get death. The only ''unspoken rule'' is that you can't eat the dead contestants. Let's see the makers of the movie version try to get a PG-13 on this baby.

Our heroine is Katniss Everdeen (lame name, cool kid), a resident of District 12, which used to be Appalachia. She lives in a desperately poor mining community called the Seam, and when her little sister's name is chosen as one of the contestants in the upcoming Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers to take her place. A gutsy decision, given the fact that District 12 hasn't produced a Hunger Games winner in 30 years or so, making them the Chicago Cubs of the postapocalypse world. Complicating her already desperate situation is her growing affection for the other District 12 contestant, a clueless baker's son named Peeta Mellark. Further complicating her situation is her sorta-crush on her 18-year-old hunting partner, Gale. Gale isn't clueless; Gale is smoldering. Says so right on page 14.

The love triangle is fairly standard teen-read stuff; what 16-year-old girl wouldn't like to have two interesting guys to choose from? The rest of The Hunger Games, however, is a violent, jarring speed-rap of a novel that generates nearly constant suspense and may also generate a fair amount of controversy. I couldn't stop reading, and once I got over the main character's name (Gale calls her Catnip — ugh), I got to like her a lot. And although ''young adult novel'' is a dumbbell term I put right up there with ''jumbo shrimp'' and ''airline food'' in the oxymoron sweepstakes, how many novels so categorized feature one character stung to death by monster wasps and another more or less eaten alive by mutant werewolves? I say more or less because Katniss, a bow-and-arrow Annie Oakley, puts the poor kid out of his misery before the werewolves can get to the prime cuts.

Collins is an efficient no-nonsense prose stylist with a pleasantly dry sense of humor. Reading The Hunger Games is as addictive (and as violently simple) as playing one of those shoot-it-if-it-moves videogames in the lobby of the local eightplex; you know it's not real, but you keep plugging in quarters anyway. Balancing off the efficiency are displays of authorial laziness that kids will accept more readily than adults. When Katniss needs burn cream or medicine for Peeta, whom she more or less babysits during the second half of the book, the stuff floats down from the sky on silver parachutes. And although the bloody action in the arena is televised by multiple cameras, Collins never mentions Katniss seeing one. Also, readers of Battle Royale (by Koushun Takami), The Running Man, or The Long Walk (those latter two by some guy named Bachman) will quickly realize they have visited these TV badlands before.
But since this is the first novel of a projected trilogy, it seems to me that the essential question is whether or not readers will care enough to stick around and find out what comes next for Katniss. I know I will. But then, I also have a habit of playing Time Crisis until all my quarters are gone."

Oh We Love the Jewelry at Forever 21

I popped-in at Forever 21 this week and found so many fabulous jewelry pieces! Accessories add such a boost to plain outfits and Forever 21 makes it affordable to stretch your budget each season with all kinds of glam. You just can't beat their rock bottom prices on trendy necklaces, earrings, bracelets, belts and headbands.

P.S. I never get rid of accessories - it's the one thing I store for the ages. They always come back and provide loads of entertainment as the years go by.

Here is what I picked up:

Opaque Jewel Drop Necklace - $15.80 this one is a conversation piece - people really notice it and ask where I got it.

Laser Cut Medallion Earrings - $4.80. I bought these in two colors - they are amazingly light on your ear.

Bead Flower Necklace - $9.80 - I wear this layered with the dangle necklace below.

Floral Dangle Leaf Necklace - $7.80

Gum and Mints from My Childhood

Nat brought me a little surprise from a local grocery store - old fashioned gum that reminded me of my Grandpa Lee. He always had this on hand to give me and my siblings each time we saw him. It's nice that some things are still around so I can bore my kids and grand kids with anecdotes from the good ole' days......These seem to be available on a regular basis - try them out. They are unusual compared with the gum of today.

He also always had a ready supply of Sen-Sen - I still love it too! My favorite place to pick this up is at The Cinegrill in downtown Salt Lake. It's perfect after one of their delicious Hot Corned Beef Sandwiches with Cinegrill's Tossed Green Salad. Yum!