Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My So-Called Instagram Life (Christmas 13 Edition)

I can't believe it is practically 2014.  Where has the time gone?  I haven't been able to spend much time on this blog recently, but it hasn't been from a lack of desire.  Here is a recap of my holiday.  

We put our tree in a new location this year and got new, more colorful lights.  I really like the way it turned out.  

I participated in the Fat Mum Slim Secret Santa gift exchange this year.  I had a lot of fun putting together a package for my new Aussie friend.

I also really enjoyed receiving gifts from my Aussie secret Santa (thank you, Amara).  

My sweet husband surprised me with a Benefit advent calendar, which had a mini-product in it for each day leading up to Christmas.  It was really fun to discover what each square had in it each day.  I am now obsessed with the Coralista blush.    

We did a crab feed on Christmas Eve.  

My sweet sister-in-law gave me this sweet piece of art with a light up gnome in it.  
P.S.  I have decided that I am keeping him out all year, but he needs a name.  Any suggestions? 

Stocking stuffers for my 4-legged children.

Harriet loved her new sweater and Chewie stuffed animal

Petunia looked pretty in her new sweater dress.  Yes, I officially buy clothing for my dogs now.  

Some of my friends were lucky enough to get their gifts wrapped in this sweet wrapping paper I discovered at the dollar store.

We found Christmas Yoda for our front yard.

Two sweet girls chin-snuggling me in front of the tree made my day.

I buy a new Starbucks ornament every year, and this one I was able to decorate myself.

How cute are these lamb slippers from Bath & BodyWorks?

My husband slipped this cutie into my stocking.  He cracks me up.

I hope you all had a very happy holiday, whatever you celebrate.  I look forward 2014, and the promise of a fresh start that the new year always brings with it.  Happy new year to all!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dear Santa, Here Is My WIshlist (2013)

The Christmas wishlist is one of my favorite posts to put together every year.  It is fun to look through the things I have bookmarked and saved for another day.  This year my list is very jewelry-centered.  I am still having my love affair with Pandora and Stella & Dot.  I am also still really into rose gold.  I discovered the Pier One jewelry armoire earlier in 2013,  and had a feeling it would help me organize my growing collection.  Plus, it is a really pretty piece of furniture.

Have you put your wishlist together?  Do you like to give specific ideas, or would you rather people just to wing it?  What is the big item on your list this year?

P.S.  I love reading your wishlists too.  Let me know if you have one in the comments.

Christmas Wishlist 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dressing My Dogs In Sweaters

You can file this one under things that I told myself I would never do.  However, as the months started getting colder, the girls started snuggling harder.  Their little bellies felt cold, and I started wondering if they might, in fact, not like it so much.  

I was at the store the other day and I saw the cutest sweaters for 50% off.  At first, I was just shopping for Petunia.  I brought one home, and upon putting it on her, she strutted across the room (I am not exaggerating here).  The only problem was that Harriet seemed a bit jealous.  She had the kind of expression on her tiny face that only a neglectarino dog can guilt you with.  So I went back to the store and picked one up for her too.  

I said I would never dress my dogs in clothing, but I think they like it.  The proof is in the (sassy) pictures.  

Monday, December 2, 2013

My So-Called Instagram Life

Wait, how is it December already?  I feel like we just had Halloween.  Here a a few snapshots of my life lately.  November really flew by in a flash.

Dear Starbucks Barista,
When I told you my name was Erin, what exactly was it that you heard?  

I have the best guard dogs in the world.  I love how they work as a team.

Homemade Thanksgiving turtles 

Turtles in pretty packages for our Thanksgiving guests to take home.

Look what I found at Target!!  A Christmas gnome!!

Showing off the cool scarf I got in my PopSugar Must Have box for November.  I really love the fabric and pattern.

Have you checked out Oprah's favorite things for 2013 yet?   So many things that I don't really need, but have the sudden urge to buy.

Gratuitous pug shot.

If you live near Trader Joes (and you like Nutella) you must try these cookies.  You will thank me later (or you will be really mad at me for getting you addicted).

I picked up a few new scents from Bath and BodyWorks holiday collection in cranberry pear bellini, spiced apple toddy, and my new favorite, champagne toast.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Closet Purge: Trying It All On

Life happens fast.  Sometimes I get so busy rushing around that I let things go.  One day recently, I finally slowed down long enough to take a look around and realized the outside of my closet looked something like this.  I didn't have time to (and let's be honest, had a complete lack of desire to) deal with my shrinking clothing storage spaces, so I just started throwing everything into a tangled pile and complained (a lot) about not having a walk-in closet.    

My drawers were literally overflowing with clothing, my closet was busting at the seams, and I had NOTHING to wear.  Hidden in that pile is a full-length mirror that is so draped with clothing that I couldn't even use it anymore.  Looking for it in this picture is a little like playing Where's Waldo.  This kind of thing happens to the best of us, and let's face it, can only be ignored for so long.

It was easy for me to complain that my closet was too small or that I didn't have enough storage space for all of my stuff.  Even if I could store it all beautifully, would I wear any of this?  One day I decided that I needed to take control of what I could fix, and do a real closet clean out.  Not just the kind where I breeze through my closet and pull a few things for donation.  The kind where I am honest about everything I own and make a genuine effort to keep only what I will use.  This is how I did it in three easy steps.

1)  I dumped out every single drawer, one at a time, onto my bed.  Underwear that had been around since high school, gone.  Tank tops that I bought on sale for a magnificent discount at Old Navy a few years ago, but had never worn once, good-bye.  The cute t-shirt with a stain on it that I might want to use next time we have to paint a room in the house, not staying.  It was time to be honest about everything.  I made three piles:  what I was keeping, what I could donate (like that tank top), and what needed to go into the trash (underwear and stained clothing).  

2)  I have had my Ikea dresser for about ten years now.  I admit that I may be guilty of overstuffing it, and all of the drawers started caving in, which made them stop opening.  I had never intended to keep the dresser this long, but in the long list I have of things to buy, bedroom furniture wasn't at the top.  So I pulled out my hot glue gun and glued the drawers back together.  I am sharing this part with you because I know that I can't be the only person out there struggling with this problem.  So far this solution seems to be working.

3)  I tried on everything I owned that hadn't been worn in the past few weeks.  Everything in my drawers.  Everything hanging in my closet.  This included things that might be too big/too small/not the right season.  I stood in front of my mirror (and sometimes asked my husband his opinion) and took a hard look at each article of clothing.  It took me a few days to do this, and when it was over, I purged things I had been holding on to for reasons that no longer made sense (like because I owned it in high school and it still fit, even though I would never ever be caught dead wearing it).  I also added clothing back into rotation that I hadn't worn in a long time that I realized was totally adorable.  Winning!  

It felt good seeing empty hangers (tip: I use huggable hangers for pretty much everything, which not only gives me more space, clothing doesn't slip off of them.  ).  I liked rearranging my drawers, and most of all, being able to open and close them easily.  I could find things again, and actually see what I had.  I didn't buy anything, and purged a lot, but somehow I seemed to have so much more to choose from than I did before.  

I can't recommend the "trying everything on that you own" method highly enough for a real closet reality check.  Do you have any tips for doing closet purges?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The PopSugar Must Have Box

I really love monthly subscription services.  I especially love reading other people's reviews of the boxes they receive.  I discovered the blog My Subscription Addiction a few months ago, and have been a loyal reader ever since.  It is a blog that reviews most of the subscription services out there.  Complete heaven (and living vicariously through the author).  Seriously, I had no idea there were so many subscription services out there.

One of my most coveted subscriptions (that I learned about on said blog) was the PopSugar Must Have Box.  I had read a years worth of reviews, and each box seemed to get a little better.  There is a coupon for $5 off your first box (REFER5), so I decided to give it a shot.  I am so happy that I did.

This is the PopSugar Must Have Box.  

It was packed full of beauty, fashion, home and food items (and sometimes contains fitness as well).  

It also came with a card explaining a little bit more about each items, as well as the website where you can shop.

The Sea Salt Caramel Apple Chips were absolutely delicious.  A bag was two servings, and I liked them so much that I lost track and ate the entire thing.  I will be looking for these the next time I hit the grocery store.  

The strawberry & black currant cream preserves by Maison de Monaco is also very good.  Was really nice on toast with a side of eggs.

The Soap & Paper Factory Roland Pine Shea Butter Soap has a nice pine scent, however, I do not like bars of soap.  I will probably use this as part of a hostess gift.

The Absolute! nail polish pads seem to work just fine so far.  I like the Spring Fresh scent.

This is a wine tote from Lands ' End.  It looks very sturdy and well-made.  I don't know if I will ever use this, but it might be an interesting way to gift a bottle of wine .

This was my second favorite item in the box.  This Illume candle in Nice smells heavenly, like Tahitian vanilla, sugar, and coconut cream.  It also has a 35 hour burning time.  

Last, but certainly not least, is this beautiful scarf/wrap by Michael Stars.  It is warm and soft, and I have already worn it a few times.  

The scarf itself retails for $42.  

Overall, I adore the items that I discovered in this box.  I love that there are things I wouldn't have necessarily picked out myself, which I ended up loving. The value was around $100 by my calculations (and the box itself was $35, going up to $39.95 this month).  I am going to give it another shot in December and see if I am equally as impressed.   If you are interested, here is my referral link.  Also use code REFER5 to receive $5 off of your first box.

*This is not a sponsored post.  The opinions here are my own.  However, if you buy a subscription through my referral link, I may receive credit towards future boxes.

I'm Erin

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Hi, I'm Erin. I am living back on the east coast after 15 years out west. Currently readjusting to humidity and mosquitos. I love to take pictures and read fashion magazines.... and to talk about nothing in particular (ok, and my dogs).

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