{local love} clean baby, CLEAN!!

I could just end this post now with …… I AM IN LOVE WITH CLEAN BEE BABY!!

But you probably want to know why….let’s start at the beginning.

Gross.

Gross to the gazillionth degree!

I really wasn’t kidding when I mentioned how excited I was to see Xpecting’s newsletter a few weeks ago about Clean Bee Baby’s visit to clean the heck out of carseats and strollers.

Truthfully, I was counting down the SECONDS to my appointment.  Not to mention that we had the kids in the car for 20 hours of driving over the holidays…just the basic life of kids in the car had taken it’s toll.  To know there is a company out there that makes regular stops to local baby establishments (Xpecting, Bugaboo, Granola Babies, Milkilicious, Bel-Bambini, Giggle to name a few…) and who will clean your carseats to the most finite degree, without braking the bank is most certainly a favorite in my book. (Psssst ~ little secret, each new customer gets a free upgrade worth $20 from a basic to a standard cleaning on their first item!!)

The pictures really don’t do justice to how YUCK these seats were.

Maybe seeing the mats under the carseats helps make things a little clearer…

The stroller was in need of massive help too. It lives by our front door and makes daily visits to the park, more than often with a variety of snacks which inevitably end up all over the seat (and almost always end up with ants munching the leftover crumbs the following morning….yuck).

But to pull up to Xpecting and see this very happy Clean Bee Baby van and the super sweet girls that arrived in it, was a site for tired eyes!

See?!?  Super sweet girls! And I am not kidding when I say they pay meticulous attention to EVERY part of your stroller & carseat!

Down to the plyers that remove the gunk and yuck that’s collected in the velcro.

My car seats were like brand new!!!  I DID NOT RECOGNIZE THEM! I’ve been enjoying the crazy clean for a week now and they look just as good, and smell just as clean.  Heaven is waiting in my car for me each day.  LOVE!

Spotless! SPOTLESS!!

The clean surpassed anything I could have dreamed or imagined!

Seriously, can you believe this seat? And check out the cup holder??  The car wash doesn’t even get the grownup cup holders that clean!!

And don’t get me started on the stroller…it has a whole new lease on life now!

PRISTINE!

And then for the deal sealer, with a Standard package or higher, Clean Bee Baby will help you with installing all your carseats again.  Frankly, even if you are the Yoda of car seat installation, having it all double checked and a fresh pair of eyes never hurt anyone. They actually asked if I could leave my car manual so they could check where Piper’s seat was anchored…seriously, thank you!

I don’t even think my husband is this thorough when he’s helping me install the girls seats!

Can we just look at that clean cup holder and seat one more time???

I also highly recommend you sign up for their email newsletter to hear about specials and upcoming events in the Southern California area. Whether you become a regular (and you just might with the addiction to the clean!), or end up like me who manages to get her car washed maybe once every 6 months….do yourself a favor and have the car seats done at the same time. You (and your kids) will be so thankful you did!

{Nothing to disclose. I took advantage of the new customer deal and am a new super happy customer! Had to share the favorite!!}

{local love} got a dirty carseat or stroller??

So I’ve never tried this service before, BUT, it’s come highly recommended to me from 2 different sources that I really trust.

One of those sources is Xpecting Maternity (where CleanBeeBaby will be this month).  I’ve written about this awesome Maternity and Post Maternity store before because the owner Stephani is AMAZING! She knows what moms and moms-to-be need.  Stephani helped me get through 3 years of pregnancies before she was ever pregnant, that takes a very special person. The clothing she recommended to me was beyond perfect!  I’ll write more on Xpecting Maternity later, but for now I wanted to give you all a heads up on a newsletter I received from her store (because YES, she is always arranging fun things for both moms-to-be and moms at her store).

When I saw the email above that CleanBeeBaby would be at Xpecting Maternity on Friday, January 27th, I emailed immediately for an appointment.  Their services look incredible, the cleaning process pretty much sold me, and the prices (listed in services) were very reasonable. AND wouldn’t you know it, the owner and founder, Jennifer Beall is another special person that doesn’t have kids yet, but KNOWS what we need!

Plus as a new customer you get a free upgrade on one service. I have 3 carseats that have just traveled to the mountains and back, and a double stroller that needs some cleaning love.  When I checked out the CleanBeeBaby site I was more than impressed.

So stay tuned, I’ll let you know how it goes, but until them, I highly recommend you go out on a limb and book an appt!

I plan on taking before and after photos, and sharing with you all what my personal thoughts are on the service, BUT I also decided I didn’t want to deprive any So Cal locals of the service.

** Update 1.16.12: Just saw that there is a Plum District deal today as well $20 for $40 of service, for new customers. **

{OC Love} Holiday Mini Photo Sessions {& Giveaway!}

So who has booked their family photo for their holiday cards this year…let me see a show of hands…

I’m waiting….

Still waiting….

You know the photo you take to remember how young you still are?  And how cute your kids are??

Hmmm….lack of hands. You would think everyone has tons on their plate or something….school, kids activities, jobs, running around like headless chickens, catching up on DVR shows

I kid, I kid. But seriously, you haven’t booked this yet??! {Kidding on this too…I just booked ours last week.}

Lucky for all of us, Sandy Heit, (who is my most favorite family photographer and who has been taking all of our family photos since Addie was 2 weeks old). Has just opened up a few more Mini Holiday Photo Sessions!!! Yippee!

Sandy has chosen a few locations to offer additional sessions. 

These are her 3 favorite locations (and yes, ours is going to be at one of them too….we’re branching outside of our house this year.)

San Juan Capistrano – Tuesday, November 1st – 3:45, 4:15, 4:45, 5:15

Laguna Beach – Monday, October 17th – 4:30, 5:00. 5:30

Noguchi Garden – Sunday, October 23rd – 4:00, 4:30, 5:00, 5:30

Why I love “Mini Sessions“:

1. They last about 20 minutes, which in the grand scheme is realtively painless and is MUCH easier to fit into your family’s schedule. (And faster for your little punks to get the treat you promised them for being good…I mean, if you were a bribing kinda parent that is…)

2. They cost less cashola than a full session, which is nice when you’re having a tight budget year. It’s $275 + tax for Sandy to show you 10-15 images in an online gallery and/or studio appointment. Which includes $150 credit towards your images!

3. Did you read that part? INCLUDES a $150 credit for ordering images which can be used either for prints OR digital files!! (That’s like having free money to spend! Though my father-in-law and husband are both reading this and saying…noooo it’s still costing you money.  Then I say, but “I’m saving money”. Then they say, “But you’re still spending money”.  And I say, “Yes, but LESS money”.) It’s kind of all in how you justify it in your brain, don’t you think??

4. Again, did you catch that part about “OR digital files?” This year Sandy is offering packages to purchase the digital files. 1, 3 or all the digital images from your mini session. Love this!!!

5. Another great idea for a mini session? Use it as an early Holiday gift for a grandparent with the kids….seriously, how much would this gift be loved!!!

My favorite tips Sandy gives for choosing what to wear:

1. Choose items for the entire family as if you were creating one outfit. If your choices were all on one person, would the result be pleasing? (Look past the fact you could be wearing 25 articles of clothing….)

2. Choose one pattern item and then select the rest of the family’s clothes from within that pattern. (Kind of the same approach to decorating ~ use a piece of art, or area rug and coordinate pillows, furniture, etc…)

3. Pick your outfit first. The one YOU feel great in, then coordinate everyone else to you. (Oh my! Mom first??  I think I like that idea!)

GIVEAWAY!!!

You guessed it, Sandy is giving away 1 HOLIDAY MINI SESSION! (This is a $275 value which includes the session, and photo credit.)

RULES: Leave a comment below letting us know your location preference from above. (1 entry)

OPTIONAL: Additional entry: “Like” Sandy Heit Photography on Facebook and let her know My Favorite Everything sent you, then come back and let me know you did.  (1 entry).

Giveaway closes 9:00pm PST Sunday, October 2nd, 2011.

And here is one more treat, book your session and mentionMy Favorite Everything” and Sandy will give you a complimentary 5 x 7 print from your session!

Seriously, don’t wait. These sessions will be lucky to make it to Sunday.  They go soooo fast! Contact Sandy 949.515.3905 or sandy@sandyheit.com

Good Luck ~ and Happy Holidays!
(Can I say that before Halloween?!??)

{oc love} wink lash studio!

I love, love, love Wink Lash Studio!!!!  Call me crazy, but I decided to give the whole eyelash extension thing a try…and guess what, I LOVE it!!!

This summer my eyes looked like they belonged to a normal, regular sleeping, makeup wearing adult (which they didn’t, but they did)…go figure.

Even my Hubs noticed them faster than he has EVER noticed a new haircut or new outfit…

I never had to wear mascara which was GREAT for daily swimming with the Little Punks.

I never had to worry about smudges or under-eye darkness from wearing mascara.

But best of all, when I woke up in the morning, I looked HUMAN! As in no matter how many times I had been up with the Littles during the night, no matter if I had been too tired to remove my makeup the night before, no matter what…My eyes looked good, which transalted to mommy looking a whole lot better than normal in the morning!

So if you live in the Orange County area and are thinking about trying extensions NOW is the time.  The awesome ladies at Wink Lash Studio are doing a Grand Opening promotion, a full set of lashes is $120 (regulalry $160, a discount is certainly a favorite thing, and this is a GREAT deal! It’s good until October 31st.)  They last 2 – 3 weeks, and then you go for a quick fill (about $60).  Mine lasted about 2-1/2 weeks each time.  Here’s some great “Before & Afters” as well as some fun photos of the studio.

Other Favorite Things??

The studio is SUPER clean, has great parking, you get to take a little snooze while they put your lashes on (honestly, I slept every time I went) for 45 minutes to an hour (LOVE THAT!!!)

These cute girls know what they are doing…and what a perfect time to try it out before the fall & holiday party season takes over our lives.

I had mine removed before my month away (since they couldn’t be filled while I was in Canada).  I plan to go back just as soon as there is a little more ca$hola in the budget for mama! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!

Photo Credit: Wink Lash Studio

{Disclosure: No secrets to share, I am just a very happy customer letting you know about something I love! Hope you all take advantage of this awesome deal. Be sure to say hello to Sam!}

my favorite secret

Zee Studio Home Page

So you waited for it, and here it is, the COOOOOLEST giveaway!

When I decided that I wanted to do this blog after so much friend encouragement,
I knew that I could not do it halfway.
And that it was an all or nothing kind of thing.
But here enters the first of many problems:

I have very high standards…

I barley understand Facebook, let alone WordPress, HTML code or Twitter…

I tried to make up my own site but just stumbled all over the place

I kept looking around at other sites and could not figure out HOW they made them look so good.
I knew what I wanted, sort of, well not really.

I just knew what I wanted people to get out of My Favorite Everything.
But I didn’t have a CLUE how to make that happen.

After beating my head on my desk and realizing that it may take me a year to get this up and going, another fun friend of mine launched a very cool blog about a fictional pregnant girl, My Hormones Made Me Do It.  Not only was her writing style entertaining, but her blog design had a wonderful and chic look about it.  I immediately made the phone call to find out who had designed it….and the rest is history.

Meet Susie of Zee Studio.

Zee Studio Susie

Susie is my savior and the amazing web designer behind this site. At this point she is almost the Godmother of our third child!

I have never met Susie in person, but have daily emails with her as I get in and out of so many behind the scene messes. I can assure you, this blog WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED without her.

Zee Studio has a very important talent. They can filter through everything you are saying to figure out EXACTLY what you are really asking for.

And here is the important part:

Then they make it happen in flying colors. On time, on budget, with amazing results

Besides the amazing design talent, Zee Studio does something else that I found extremely valuable, they understand time management, deadlines and communication.

Your email will be answered the same day it is received.

When Zee Studio says you will have a comp, or something delivered on a certain day,

YOU WILL.

Zee Studio is ABSOLUTELY a FAVORITE, I stand behind them 500%.

But I’m not the only one, check out the additional love. Oh to be loved as much by so many!

Susie has now designed this website, the business cards, post cards and I asked her to do our family holiday card (this is NOT something I typically allow out of my hands!) along with darling postage stamps to go with them.  Her design ability is endless!

Check out the Zee Studio blog for recent projects.

OK – now onto the coolest giveaway…

[singlepic id=25 w=320 h=240 float=center]

To celebrate the holidays, Zee Studio is giving away a Mini WordPress Blog Package ($800 value) to one My Favorite Everything reader.
OMG This is so amazing!!! I can’t wait to see it!!!

With this package, you will get one custom blog design created just for you, with two rounds of revision on the initial concept.

The blog will be fully coded and installed on your own web server, and Zee Studio will provide instruction on how to use your new software.

Full details of this package can be found here.

(You have no idea how AMAZING this is! TRUST me, speaking from this end, if I had had the opportunity to enter this a few months ago, I would have 24 x 7!)

Info behind the giveway:

1. You must be serious about this project and have a concept or goal in mind. It is not possible to design a website otherwise. So please explain your concept (this can be as short as one sentence! It does not need to be long) either in a comment, or by emailing it to Susie at info@zee-studio.com if you’d like to keep it secret. Any information you submit via email will be kept confidential. If you skip this step, your other entries will not count. A winner will be randomly selected from the valid entries.

2. Giveaway can be for new blogs, or existing blogs in need of a redesign. It is also open to both individuals and businesses.

3. Winner can upgrade their package or add more features as desired and the difference will be due before the start date.

4. Your project will begin in mid-January and should take between 2 to 4 weeks to fully complete. (and she means it!)

5. Please note that the winner will be responsible for covering the costs of domain name registration and hosting. I have discount codes available for Dreamhost if you choose to use that company. The host must be compatible with WordPress (almost all will, but it’s best to double check with me if you are not sure).

Rules to enter:
Each must be left in a separate comment (sorry, it’s easier for the drawing!)

1. Sign up for the Zee Studio monthly newsletter that has exclusive discounts and latest news. You can sign up here and can unsubscribe any time. The newsletter is sent once per month. Entry only counts if subscription is verified by the recipient (1 entry).

2. Follow Zee Studio on twitter: http://twitter.com/zee_studio (1 entry)

3. Tweet this giveaway on twitter, must mention @zee_studio and @myfaveverything, please leave your Twitter name in your comment (1 entry)

4. Subscribe to daily emails on this site (at the end of this post) (1 entry)

5. Follow My Favorite Everything on Twitter or Facebook (1 entry)

6. Vote for My Favorite Everything on Top Mommy Blogs, even if you have before!  Just click here. Your click is your vote. (1 entry)

Feel free to email info@zee-studio.com or shanna@myfavoriteeverything.com with any questions.   Contest ends Wednesday, Decemeber 23rd at 9:00pm PST. GOOD LUCK!!!

** Valid entries will also receive a one-time use 5% off discount code, applicable toward their first project with Zee Studio. Codes will expire March 1, 2010. Only the entrants can use the codes (in other words, you can’t hand out the code to others–it is for your use only).

say cheese…great camera tips!

Sandy Heit Christmas 3

I am so fortunate to know a photographer like Sandy Heit!  Not only has she been amazing at capturing wonderful images of our children and family, but she is also a wealth of knowledge in helping me learn how to use this new beast of a camera that I’m swinging around these days! (To see more on Sandy, check out this earlier post).

Soap Box Moment for just a sec…

One of my most favorite characteristics in a professional is not being afraid to share their tips with you.  3 of the most important service people in my life –  photographer, brows/makeup, and hair pro (haaa, that kinda made me sound like I was getting ready for my Today Show appearance!!  I WISH, just a regular ‘ole mom over here!!)…

Anyway, EACH of these professionals is amazing and very generous about giving me tips or teaching me how to do things on my own…to me this creates customer loyalty as all 3 know that in watching the family budget, I (we all) NEED to do things on my (our) own. HOWEVER, knowing that these pros are so willing to help me (us), makes me WANT to make appointments with each of them for the times that it really counts!  So it’s a win-win all the way around.

Now onto the pro tips for today!

I’m assuming with the holidays approaching, cameras for gifts (or for yourself, FINALLY) are probably on lists somewhere and thought this might help….

When I was getting ready to start this blog, I knew that one feature I really enjoyed and appreciated on other sites was good photographs.  Now CLEARLY I’m not a pro with pictures, but I’m surprised how often I receive emails from people asking how I do something.

The truth?

I don’t have a clue!

I have this camera that is WAAAAYYY better than me!  I know that someday I will have time to really unleash it’s true potential, but for now, I’m just thankful it can perform basically on auto pilot….

Sandy Heit was amazing when I was getting started and made the following suggestions:

For camera bodies, she recommends either the Canon EOS Rebel T1i (Body Only)
which sells for about $700.

Amazon Canon Rebel

Or the Canon EOS 50D Camera (Body Only) which sells for about $1150.

Amazon Canon 50D

Quite a few places sell these cameras with kit lens with she believes are junk
(I’ve had quite a few friends that use these cameras tell me the same thing…)

Because I wanted to work on product shots, she recommended a Canon 50mm 1.8 Camera Lens
that sells for about $80.  Basically a good, sharp lens.

canon 50mm 1.8

However, because Sandy also knows I’m a bit of a photo freak (I love family pictures)
she also recommended another lens, the Tamron 28-75mm Camera Lens
which she believes is a great all around lens.

Tamron 28-75

And since I’m totally clueless with cameras (unless its my point and shoot, which I affectionately like to call “push here dummy”).  Sandy also recommended a good read: Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera.  When I passed this information onto my youngest sister who is most definitely the photographer in our family, she laughed as she has the Canon Rebel T1i and also the book, and loves them both! So that served as a second to the recommendations for me.

Amazon Understanding Exposure

And to answer your question, I use the Canon 50D and Tamron 28-75.

Now as far as Point and Shoot cameras are concerned, I personally love the Canon Elph.  I have used Panasonic, Sony and Canon P&S cameras and in the end ALWAYS come back to Canon Elphs.  That is not to say the others aren’t good, but for my novice ability and need for the easiest thing that will give me the best pictures, Canon Elphs have always been the best.

My current P&S is the Canon PowerShot SD850 Elph Camera.

Canon Elph 850

The P&S that Sandy Heit wants is the Panasonic Lumix LX3.

Amazon Panasonic

The P&S she currently uses is a Canon G9
(Canon PowerShot G10 is now available).

Amazon Canon G10I have given links to Amazon as I love shopping with them, love the super saver shipping, and often get the best prices.  Sandy also recommends B&H Photography out of NY.   You pay for shipping, but if you are not in NY, you don’t pay sales tax.

Also for great tips on taking photos and also using Photo Shop (which I have YET to learn), check out The Pioneer Woman. This woman is my hero!!

Here’s a few great gift thoughts from Sandy as well…

She offers Gift Certificates starting at $250, which covers her session fee.
Great deal, because now all that’s left is buying photos, etc.

Accordian books are always fun for parents and grandparents!

Accordian

I love to make photo notecards to use for personal stationary and thanks notes.
(These are 2 of my personal ones).

IMG_0919

And my all time FAVORITE companion product Sandy offers,
her Modern Photo Books

IMG_0941

IMG_0938

Now I was planning on sharing some tips from Sandy on organizing photos…
I but think we will be here until January 2010 if this post gets any longer.
So instead, I’m going to move on to Sandy Heit’s FABULOUS giveaway!!!

(I’ll post the organizing tips in a future post…)

1 luck winner will win a photo session with Sandy and 1 – 8 x 10 photo, a $325 value!

Here are the rules – if possible (this is new), please leave separate comments… a pain I know, but makes it easier when I’m making up the draw bucket for the girls!!

1. Visit Sandy Heit’s Blog and leave a comment there on a favorite photo. (1 entry)

2. Sign up on Sandy’s mailing list to receive future promotions(1 entry)

3. Add one of my buttons to your site or blogroll (1 entry).

4. Vote for us for the bizziollionth time at Top Mommy Blogs! (1 entry)

Don’t forget to leave your comments so we know what you did!!  And enter even if you live out of town, it just gives you more reason to come visit the OC!!

Best of luck! You have until Tuesday, December 15th to enter. Winner will be announced on Wednesday.

Don’t forget to enter the Juliska Giveaway!!  Only 3 days left!!
The more times you comment, the more chances you have!

the good, the bad, and the ugly…closet & packing tips!

Beth Hangers Closet

Who doesn’t need a little closet organizing and packing  help?  Pretty sure we all do…I have yet to meet this fabulous lady, but am very much looking forward to the opportunity as she has worked wonders on a number of friends wardrobes and closets.  I think after #3 arrives in March…

(HELLO, doctor told me today welcome to your 3RD TRIMESTER!
HOW did that happen so quickly!!!)

Anyway, back to the point, once #3 is here and I’m ready to burn the clothes from my past 3 years, I can’t wait to have Beth help me out.  Don’t we all need a good friend that can say “Your booty DOES NOT belong in those jeans anymore!” As well as “Your basics look good, you just need a cute pair of ballets and a bracelet to tie it all together!”.  I would WELCOME this help!  With our busy days it is not always easy for our girlfriends to carve out time to scrutinize our wardrobes with us….nor to be totally honest, (“I swear Shanna, I don’t even notice those 25 pounds your still fighting from #1 causing a muffin top, what muffin top???“) Uh-huh…

Let me introduce you to someone that is sure to become a favorite for us all…

BETH ZEHNDER of Smart Style

Beth Profile

Like most of us, Beth did not set out to start Smart Style, which launched in 2008, it kind of fell into her lap as her friends asked her to help them re-work their wardrobes and closets using her eye for what works and what doesn’t.

(Kind of reminds me of why I started this site…friends are wise.)

Sometimes we just need to listen to what is knocking at our door…and thankfully when we do, we end up with someone like Beth starting a company that reflects her true talent!  With her LA edge mixed with beach style she now organizes the closets and wardrobes of some of the most fabulous fashionistas of Orange County!

Here are her tips for what to pack for your upcoming Holiday Travel…

Smart Style is about making what’s in your closet new and fresh.

The first step, is editing your wardrobe by consigning those pieces you no longer wear or donating them to a local charity.

When it comes to organizing my own closet or a clients closet, I always start with the idea of reduce, reuse, and recycle. Now that you’ve edited your wardrobe, you will have more room to organize what you love to wear.

This is the fun part, re-using what works!

When you are getting ready for your vacation this holiday, reinvent your favorite pieces by mixing them in ways you may not have considered before.

Beth Contact

Here is my go-to packing list for a one-week vacation this holiday season:

  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 2 pairs of pants – 1 black pair & 1 pair of grey (hot color right now)
  • 3 tees – 2 neutral colors that can go with everything that you pack and one colored tee
  • 1 white blouse
  • 1 skirt – a pencil skirt is always great and goes with everything
  • 1 dress – A basic dress that can be dressed up with jewelry or with a scarf. Like this scarf from the Gap that I love right now.
  • 1 pair of ballet flats
  • 1 pair of knee high boots – great tucked into jeans, with your pencil skirt & with the dress
  • 1 jacket – a leather bomber jacket is fun and goes with everything or a military jacket is great for day or night
  • Jewelry– Have a few necklaces on hand. A strand of pearls and layered chains & faceted glass beads.  You can never go wrong with layering your different pieces.  Have fun with it!
  • Scarves – bring a couple.  They can dress up and change an outfit. A ruffled border scarf or a metallic one and a neutral one that can go with anything that you pack.
  • Bag – A metallic hobo is great because it goes with anything.
  • A pair of tights with texture would be a fun accent to any outfit.

OK, now that our suitcase is underway, I have got to show you this awesome little FAVORITE!  This is especially why Beth is on my FAVORITE list at the moment…

Beth Book Cover

Beth Book Int 1

Beth Book Int 2

So not only will Beth come over and help you figure out the good, the bad, and the ugly, she will also make up this awesome book for you to help you pick outfits for traveling or just inspire your brain with what you have in your closet!  I LOVE THIS!!  It’s like looking at a menu and picking what to have for dinner!

“I’ll have the jeans, white blouse, scarf and ballet’s please!”

Lord love a person to get my life in order!!  Great Gift idea!

Beth Contact 2

Don’t forget to enter the JULIKSA GIVEAWAY!!!

where is mommy’s brain…

Addie Glasses

Well, I have definitely been a little behind the game this week!
I kind of feel like Addie in this photo!

I WAS feeling pretty good about all the fun posts this week!  So many wonderful FAVORITES!
But then as I sat down to work on today’s post, it occurred to me that I never posted a menu, shopping list or December “to do” list last Friday!!!

HELLO – brain where have you gone and WHEN will you be back!!

‘Cuz I don’t have a clue where I left you…

Please forgive me – I’ll try to do better with future weeks – but I can’t make any promises it wont happen again…prego brain is REALLY starting to take over (Can’t believe #3 will be here in less than 3 months!!!!!  Hayden is almost walking and Addie is swinging from chandeliers…AAGHH!!).

However, I have managed to get the menu, shopping list and December “To Do” list posted this week! Woo-hoo!!

Few other housekeeping things:

Be sure to check out the 2 current giveaways:

An AWESOME HALSEA CLUTCH, one of my most favorite bags in their line of bags.
The Giveaway ends today, Friday December 4th at 9:00pm PST.
Don’t miss out on Sally’s great travel tips as well!

Halsea Clutch

And who can resist makeup??

MISHA at HOLIDAY SALON gave a great Sexy, Smoky Party Eyes tutorial this week.
I’m trying mine out this weekend.
Be sure to leave a comment to be entered to win the tools behind the tricks!
This Giveaway ends Sunday, December 6th at 9:00pm PST.

Holiday 32

Holiday 34

And if you’re tired of wrapping all those holiday gifts,
Mindy at Cotton Idea Studio can definitely help you out with that!
Love to MAGICALLY have it all finished!

Halsea Cotton Idea Window

Cotton Idea Gift 2

Last few things:

1. I’m going to try and do a few weekend posts through the rest of the month
as there are so many December FAVORITES to tell you all about,
so stay tuned and be sure to tell your friends to stop by!

2. Monday’s Giveaway is so FABULOUS, I wish I could enter myself!
Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the post.

3. Lastly, enjoy your weekend!
Decorate your tree
and squeeze your Littles or gran-Littles or friend’s Littles!
They are only little once.  You will miss this.

Addie and Hay Car

Cheers!

gift wrap magic!

Halsea Cotton Idea Window

I love Cotton Idea Studio.

This darling little store shares a shoppe space with Halsea on Balboa Peninsula.

Here’s an idea for a great FAVORITE lunch time activity….

1. Load your car up with your Holiday gifts that you really WANT to wrap,
but know that you are going to run out of time
(and besides they kinda should look REALLY good – your boss, your mother-in-law, your mother….).

2. Drive down to:
409 31st Street
Newport Beach CA 92660.

3. Park next door at Bear Flag Fish Company and order yourself the BEST fish taco you have EVER eaten in your life! (I don’t even like fish and I’m in love with this taco AND they are only $2 on Tuesdays!!).

Bear Flag

4. While you wait for your lunch, go grab those gifts, and head next door to
Cotton Idea Studio (talk about a 2-for-1!).

5. Did I mention they share a shoppe with Halsea?? (I think we are 3-for-1 now!)

6. Wave hello to Sally as you pass through Halsea, and pick up 1 more gift,
that fabulous tote bag, for your sister.
(Ohhh are we 4-for-1 now??!!)
(Don’t forget to check in and enter to win the Halsea Giveaway!!)

Halsea Sally

Halsea Tote

7. Head to the back of the shoppe to see Mindy at Cotton Idea Studio.  And OOOHHH what a treat you are in for!  Mindy is darling!  Such a sweet person with a wonderful design flare…I truly LOVE her work!  Be sure to take a minute to look through her letterpress samples and pick up a card, or 2 or 3…well worth it! I absolutely adore her gift tags! (Check them out in the Holiday Favorites Gallery)

Cotton Idea Mindy

8. Be in awe of the fabulous niche of a space that Mindy has created as you see one of the most beautiful letterpress collections ever – card, gift tags, custom work, you name it!

Cotton Idea Shoppe

Cotton Idea Cards

Cotton Idea Pencils

9. Drop ALL of your gifts (including the tote you just bought) with Mindy to be
beautifully and magically
gift wrapped.
($12 small, $16 medium, $20 large)

Cotton Idea Gift 1Cotton Idea Gift 3Cotton Idea Gift 2

10. Realize that you just got your holiday photos back from Sandy Heit (more on Sandy here) and see that Cotton Idea and Sandy Heit work together on Holiday cards and OMG you just might have a 5-for-1 on your hands….

Sandy Heit Addie and Hayden

11. Skip empty handed next door and pick up your now ready yummy tacos!

12. Sit outside at the tables to enjoy your lunch, and answer emails on your phone before heading on to the rest of your busy, hectic day!

What could be a more FAVORITE afternoon than that!!!!

(Maybe it would be picking it ALL up the next day magically complete!)

FAVORITE thing??
Crossing multiple things off my list at one time! AMEN!

Cotton Idea also sells their gift wrap for $4/sheet and the ribbon for $1.50 yd if you are still feeling compelled to wrap everything yourself. And did I mention they sell darling gift tags, etc in their online shoppe. Just in case those readers not in Orange County are feeling a little envious at the moment….

Cotton Idea Wrap

And in case you missed it, here are a few of my favorite tips for gift wrapping yourself.

Happy Thursday!
(22 more shopping wrapping days left!!!!)

last minute halloween thoughts

A few last minute Halloween things to think about….

Holiday Halloween

FIRST – have you ever thought about doing something, but are totally “spooked” at what it might cost that you rule it out before you try?  I’m usually pleasantly surprised when I actually ASK what it might cost.   That being said – how about having someone else do you’re eye makeup and  fake lashes for Halloween? (Feel like a celebrity for minute without the billion dollar price tag). Holiday Salon in Costa Mesa charges $50 for eyes and lashes – not bad!  And it adds the perfect umph your costume needs!  You could even forget the costume and just wear the makeup and look good!  Come to think of it, I might do this myself (I’m not much of a costume girl – I’ve been pregnant now for 3 Halloweens – but the make-up is ALWAYS fun!) Call and make an appointment while space lasts and for further pricing!  (If you don’t live nearby, definitely check with your favorite salon or makeup counter).

SECOND: My Dad actually gave me this cookie recipe (both of my parents put Martha Stewart to shame – it’s crazy).   A couple weekends ago my middle sister and I took our younger sister away for the weekend before her wedding.  So my parents  took the opportunity to fly up north to stay with my nephews for the weekend (my husband is still trying to recover from this as this meant the poor guy ended up with no help with our kids…by gones!)  Anyhow, the part that you need to know is that when we all got home to my sister’s house on Sunday night, we walked into a dark room filled with about 8 small pumpkins glowing, carved to artistic PERFECTION and a tray of the most amazing Halloween cookies.  I sooooo wish we had gotten a picture of it all.  Dad said that he and my 2 1/2 year old nephew had a ton of fun making the cookies. If you held them up to the light, their eyes glowed from the butterscotch candy – I felt like I was 5 again!   Check out Epicurious for other fun Halloween baking ideas your kids will love!

LASTLY, since I tend to go crazy if I don’t hear “adult noise” throughout the day – call it my version of necessary white noise.  I keep the Food Epicurious Halloween CupcakesNetwork on TV.  It’s not playing very loudly but I find as I pass by the TV a million times a day putting laundry away, chasing kids, picking up toys – that I pick up a thing or two that can be helpful.  Last week I heard a fun cupcake recipe for Halloween on The Everyday Italian, Chocolate Orange Cupcakes with Limoncello Frosting...but as I went online to get the recipe, I also found Mini Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes from Epicurious.  So I’m giving you two cupcake recipes.  One is great because you can use a store bought mix and just add a few things to it; but the other doesn’t really call for anything too challenging and who can resist mini cupcakes???  Plus the pumpkin pie part sounds intriguing!  (I think to simplify my life I would omit the crystalized ginger, pumpkin pie spice and just use canned pumpkin pie mix).

Have a crazy and horrifying week!  (Wait, that sounds like every week…ok, just have a spooky Halloween week!

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