Holiday Gift Idea #2

We drink a lot of tea in our house (especially when the in-laws are here to visit). I like variety and the dark English Tetley or Typhoo brands can get a little generic. I like flavored teas and my favorite is jasmine. I saw these flowering tea buds and just couldn’t resist. Just the thing for someone who loves flavored teas on cold winter days.

Holiday Gift Idea #2 - 2007

Holiday Gift Idea #1

You probably know REI for rugged outdoor clothing and equipment but at the holidays they always come up with interesting gift ideas. Here are 2 of my favorite ideas:

Rukshuk Rock Game – $25. I liked this because it is a different take on a stacking game. I have some friends in mind who love these types of games for their children.

REI-Rukshuk Game

Camelbak 32oz Bottle – $12. I love this bottle! I own one (did I mention that blue is my favorite color?) and have never had it leak and believe me I have tried. There is also a smaller, more stylish version that holds 22oz and is $8.
REI-Camelback 32oz Bottle $12

Holiday Gift Ideas

I plan to spend the next month giving fun gift ideas just in time for the holidays. Typically, I try to have my shopping finished by December 5th. I just like to get everything sorted out, ordered and in the house. It helps that I do 90% of my shopping online.

If you shop online consider navigating to the online store via iGive.com. You can select an organization or school where a certain percentage of the amount spent is donated to your selected charity.

Paris Inspired

So, what do you think of this outfit? I picked up the coat and pants at Zara in Galleries Lafayette when we were in Paris. I now love that store, pity I can’t shop online but I did find a location in Georgetown. Now just need to get down there. I especially liked the style and jackets. This jacket, made of corduroy fits me great. I am larger in the bust that makes it difficult to wear some styles of suit jackets. Also I have my tricycle tire that doesn’t help when trying to find flattering tops. The pants are nice too as they sit below my waist slightly, which makes them especially comfortable but they are also flattering. In these pants I actually have a bum! I would have bought a lot more but they seemed sold out on some sizes. Funny thing is in every place we went on vacation, I saw 1 out of 4 people carrying Zara bags and must have passed at least 5 stores before Paris. AND Galleries Lafayette is like any department store, they have collections so if it wasn’t for the fact I wandered to this section I may have missed out entirely.

P.S. Picked the scarf up in Venice.

Zara Outfitted

Thank U Gifts

So, my project is finished. As a thank you to my team, I have decided to give one of them a gift basket. But not any gift basket. I have gotten each a gift set of natural and organic body & bath products. Additionally, I am adding non-toxic household cleaners and some other natural products. I hope they enjoy them. I wanted to give something unique, something I thought they might use and something that might help them on a path better living. I won’t have them finished until next week as I am still waiting for some items to arrive. I will update with a photo and a list of the items next week.

Shopping Links

I thought after my reminiscing the other day about the Christmas holiday I would take the opportunity to go to my favorite hobby. I love shopping mostly this consists of window shopping, via my Mac. I am known for being a Google Queen but I only buy things when they are on sale and after thorough research. I will even wait to receive a discount code to get free shipping or make the discount go further.

So, today I decided to post links to my favorite shopping sites. I managed to keep it to ten!

1. Amazon – Good for just about everything.
2. JcPenney – Good for household goods. I use to shop for clothes here until I discovered the next link. I still do get some nice things here though.
3. Land’s End – Love most of the clothes here, including the pants which I can get long. This is very important as I am nearly 6 ft.
4. DrugStore.com – Good for non-prescription items. I order a lot of natural and organic things here including my laundry detergent, body wash, and hair and dental products. I also like their gift sets by Alba and Burt’s Bees.
5. Sierra Trading Post – An interesting selection of clothes. I enjoy their Bargain Barn which always has great deals but especially their shoes.
6.Pier 1 – Diverse accessories to accent your home.
7. World Market – A fun store that has a lot of international flavors. I have some nice pieces of furniture from here. We also manage to pick up some nice wine and English sweets.
8. ShoeLine – A recent find that has nice shoes. A bit pricey but I have gotten 2 pairs here and they are terrific. I feel like I am walking on air.
9. DeepDiscountDVD – Great site for cheap DVDs.
10. J.Jill – Does very nice shirts and sweaters.

So, where are u from?

You know I recently read about (in 2 separate articles) a project that National Geographic is conducting. The project is called “Footsteps of my Ancestors.” The premise of the research study is to trace DNA to specific regional areas to help determine who your original ancestors were. Having a varied and mixed background this sounded so neat to me. I had visions of seeing my ancestors mapped out on the globe. Proudly looking on as I traced the generations before. My aspirations were dashed when I checked the price! $100! Come on, give a working girl a break, my purse only holds coins.

I am a frugal spender. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy buying stuff just like the next person. BUT I am an Actively Neurotic Analytical Lunatic. This means I like being in control of just about everything. I am a total planner. Spontaneity is not a part of my vocabulary. I will scour the net for the best deal, which includes me searching on 50+ websites searching for the best (insert any consumer product here) deal. I will even create spreadsheets to document where I found the deals (I know what you are thinking, just remember at least I know I’m Crazy).

Anyway, I don’t think of myself as cheap but I do take every purchase seriously. Spending $100 to participate in this test just seems excessive (picture whining and long face). I would love to find out how my genes ended up here but that goes on the “when we win the lotto” list.

I don’t know why this is annoying me. I suppose I just saw another home kit that allows you to have your mercury levels tested. That was only $25, that’s 1 dinner out, for 2! I bet your wondering though why this even caught my eye? Well I have been a vegetarian for about 15 years and about 5 years ago my doctor suggested I start eating fish again…so now I eat A LOT of fish. I spend a lot of effort trying to take care of myself…and as I move towards thoughts about having starting a family, I have been thinking more about the levels of mercury that could be swirling around in my blood.

So after pondering this for a bit, I think the best I can do for now is to send off for the mercury test. Who knows maybe I will decide that satisfaction of knowing more about my ancestors and how they have shaped who I am in even the smallest subtleties will mean more then the money I pay. I mean come on who am I kidding I can easily spend $100 in Whole Foods on tomatoes and nuts.