Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Book Review: The Wedding Machine by Beth Webb Hart

Those of you that read my blog on the regular (thank you!) know that I’m in the throes of wedding planning. So, naturally I was drawn to this book when I saw the title, “The Wedding Machine”. My first thought was that it was an odd title for a book, but as I said, these days I’m drawn to anything wedding.

This book was such a departure from my norm fave genre, mystery. This book was all about girl power and lasting friendships, which honestly, these days can be hard to come by. And I love that the story is set in the Southern community of Jasper, SC so I can relate to the setting. I can just see and smell the grand old trees and the pluff mud from my past visits to SC.

The Wedding Machine follows four friends (Ray, Hilda, Kitty B., and Sis) from the time that they became friends as teens to when they are grown and have kids of their own. Dont’cha just love the name Kitty B.? That’s about as Southern as they come, lol.

Here is a description of the book from the back cover:
“Welcome to Jasper, South Carolina. A place where Southern hospitality thrives. Where social occasions are done right. And where, for generations, the four most upstanding ladies of this community ensure that the daughters of Jasper are married in the proper manner.
Friends from school days, “the gals” have long pooled their silver, china, and know-how to pull off beautiful events. They’re a force of nature, a well-oiled machine. But the wedding machine’s gears start to stick during the summer their own daughters line up to tie the knot. In the lowcountry heat and humidity, tempers flare, old secrets leak out…and both love and gardenias bloom in unlikely places.
The Wedding Machine is a celebration of life-long friendship – the kind that endures death and divorce, accidents and alligators, hot flashes and hurricanes. Even the drama of small-town Southern weddings done exactly right.”

Now, back to me. :) I give this book two thumbs up! It was an easy read and would be great by the pool or on the beach. This book will make you laugh out loud, possibly bring a tear to a dry eye, and will make you wanna call up your girlfriends just to hang out. Enjoy!

You can even go here, to read a couple'a pages for yourself.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Even the Royal Wedding Put a Bird on it!

All the talk for past few months has been this little thing called um, oh, let me see, The Royal Wedding. So of course I was flipping through an image gallery from the wedding when I came upon this:

Look at that hat ya'll! She put a bird on it!

So, The Royal Wedding, there seems to be two camps; either you are obsessed or you could care less. Which camp are you in?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fruit Stripes!

I want to take a minute to thank Kristi over at Southern as Biscuits for featuring my earrings in a collection on her blog. Go here to read the post. Apparently she and I are neighbors (not literally, lol) and she is spotlighting local talent via her blog.

I just love how she references Fruit Stripes gum in her post, comparing the items in the collection she made to it. I used to absolutely love Fruit Stripes when I was a kid. Every time we went to the grocery store I would make my mom buy me a pack. I would then cram one of each flavor in my mouth and together they would make the yukkiest tasting gum, lol.

Apparently someone is saying that an ingredient in the gum causes cancer? Bummer. Read here for yourself (scroll down to Reviews) and decide if this is valid or just someone rambling.

What are your fond memories of Fruit Stripes?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

You know how you see something and just laugh out loud...and you think about it later and it's still just as funny...and you're sitting there laughing to yourself and those around you just think that you're laughing at the voices in your head again? Can you relate? Well, for some reason I think that this picture is absolutely hysterical!  Happy Easter!

Please pardon the french in this post. :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Something New

I just love fabric covered buttons. I made these little cuties some time ago but I'm just now getting around to listing them in the shop. It's a gift set with eight fabric covered push pins and a bookmark/paperclip. And look chinamommy, it's got a bird on it! If you don't know what I'm talking about, go here. :)

I thought that this set is really cute for a teacher.
Maybe the perfect gift for that student teacher graduating this May, hmm?  ;)

What do you think?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Giveaway from Sally Ann

Who doesn't love a giveaway? Sally Ann is giving away a handmade reusable snack bag to a lucky winner. Such a great giveaway on Earth Day, dont'cha think? Hurry on over to her blog and put your name in the hat here!

Pic courtesy of Sally Ann!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cirque Du Soleil's Alegria

This past weekend Mr. LeeLu and I had a date night. We got ourselves all gussied up for dinner and a show. Well, I guess that’s backwards, technically we did a show and then dinner. We went to see Cirque Du Soleil’s Alegria, no-not Allegra silly, at the Greensboro Coliseum. Then we had a fabulous dinner at the local Lone Star. We like this Lone Star because no matter the day or time, we never have to wait.

While the show was fantastic, our neighbors were not. See, I’m the kinda gal that if I pay to see a movie or a show, I’m there for the show, not to hear someone near me talking all night. Yep, I’m just funny like that, call me crazy. So, we get there early and of course our row is already packed. We were shoulder to shoulder. We were in seats 3 & 4; the entire row was full except for seats 1 & 2. The show started and I thought we were gonna luck out, that seats 1 & 2 weren’t gonna show! I decided I’d wait a bit before moving over to claim this new territory.

To my dismay, a couple minutes into the show I hear all this commotion behind me as our neighboring seat holders are making their grand entrance. Rats! These people were clearly intoxicated and had been partaking in the drank a little too much on this day. Not only did I hear ‘em coming, I could smell ‘em too. And you know how when some people get drunk they think that they are a comedian? Yep, that was this guy. And at first people would laugh, but this only fueled him on. I was thinking to myself, “Do not encourage!!!” We finally got some comic relief when this guy announced to all that he had to relieve himself. Good to know. When he gets back, I hear his girlfriend say that she was gonna be sick. Oh, the horror I felt since I’m sitting right beside of this girl! I was just praying that she would lean the other way.

Thank goodness the intermission finally came and we were able to move. In our new seats we practically had a whole section to ourselves. I highly recommend this show if it comes to a city near you, but make sure you stay away from the drunk people.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Say Yes to the Venue?

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately because Mr. LeeLu Creations and I haven’t been able to decide on a wedding venue on our limited budget. Of course I’ve been looking at Style Me Pretty (Insert school girl scream, I love this website!!!!), so I have tons of ideas in my head, many of which are not so budget friendly. I have this vision of my big day, and it’s been hard to find venues that match that vision. Also I feel like I’ve waited for so long, why can’t I have what I want? Yep, spoiled brat bridezilla rearing her ugly head already, but I am a first time bride at 30-something years old and I have been with Mr. LeeLu Creations for 12-ish years, so yes, I want what I want. :)

What exactly do I want? I’m thinking outdoorsy, fun, casual with a shabby chic vibe. That’s all I ask so why is that so hard to find? Of course my friends are full of suggestions: Go to Jamaica! While I love the beach, I don’t want to get married there, perhaps honeymoon there, but not get married. And for me, it’s just not a wedding without family and friends. Besides, mom wouldn’t appreciate that. She’s waited a long time to be able to see one of her girls walk down the aisle. Go to the courthouse! No, I don’t want to go to the justice of the peace. Go to Vegas! Vegas is out. Mr. LeeLu got married there his first go round. And we don’t have a home church and I’m just not feelin’ a random church that we don’t have any affiliation with...For anyone else, any one of these options are fine, but just not my vision.

I’ve heard that “you just know” when you’ve found your venue. Well, I had that funny feeling once before but Mr. LeeLu had to bring me back down out of the clouds more along the lines of our budget. So yep, I’ve been sulking ever since…until today! On my lunch break I went to see a place that just might be it, it’s an old house that has been renovated for use as an events center. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven past this huge yellow house and thought to myself how pretty it is. I just never thought about it for the wedding. I was picturing something a bit more out in the open, by itself, while this house is right off of Main Street in the center of town, but that’s okay. This is the first venue (since the first, first one, lol) that I’ve really been excited about after seeing it. And it’s actually more budget friendly than any of the others that I’ve visited. So, am I saying Yes to the Venue? Not yet, but I am saying maybe…

Pictures are found here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

My Adventure in Extreme Couponing

Have you heard about “extreme couponing”? I finally caught an episode of the show on TLC this past week. All I can say is “wow”! It really is a science. From what I’ve read, there seems to be such a negative reaction to these extreme couponers, but I think that it’s fan-tas-tic how they are able to research and match up the deals to get hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise for just dollars. I do think that instead of hoarding these goods for themselves, they should donate, donate, donate! Food banks and shelters are in dire need. I mean, really, what are you gonna do with 1000 tubes of toothpaste? These are the people we need to balance our governmental budgets, lol, but that’s a whole another topic and I’m not going there.
So, I did try my hand at extreme couponing yesterday. How do you think I did? Well, I went to my local Food Lion because they had some items on sale and I had coupons for them.

• First lesson learned: Food Lion does not double coupons, which really makes it hard when trying to get something for nothing.

• Second lesson learned: Stick to your list! I was tempted by Chocolate Chip Famous Amos Cookies for $3.99, OH’s cereal $2.49, and four Pepsi twelve packs for $11.00. I didn’t have coupons or store credits so I was already $17.48 out of pocket.

• Third lesson learned: Read the fine print. There was a promotion going on that offered a free carton of eggs when you buy 3 Pillsbury 8-count canned biscuits or cinnamon rolls for $5. I also had a coupon for .75 off of 3 cinnamon rolls, and a coupon for .55 off of 2 cartons of eggs. So, one of the cartons of eggs was supposed to be free, the other should have been $1.69-.55=$1.14. The cinnamon rolls should have been $4.25 ($5-.75=$4.25). Well, I picked up a 5-count of Grands cinnamon rolls, when I should’ve gotten an 8-count pack of regular cinnamon rolls so I missed out on the free eggs. I ended up paying $3.99 for the Grand cinnamon rolls and $1.69 for another carton of eggs. Again, read the fine print!

• Fourth lesson learned: Are "special promotions" really all they are cracked up to be? Sometimes what seems like a good deal may not necessarily be-especially if the “deal” is for items that your family doesn’t use. For example, Food Lion is running a special when you buy two Gorton’s Fish Fillet Family Size bags, you get for free: One Cool Whip, One Mrs. Smith Cobbler, one bag of Green Giant Veggies, and one Oreida (French fries) product. While I think this is an awesome deal, I haven’t eaten the Gorton’s fish products in quite a while just because they are fried and I try to stay away, but I’ll be sticking it out the next few months. The total for this deal was $11.98-.50 coupon for Gorton’s = $11.48. Oh yeah, and somehow I ended up with an extra cool whip in my buggy in addition to the free one so I paid $1.49 for an extra Cool Whip that I didn’t need.

• Fifth lesson learned: Make sure there is room to store your haul. I got 5 Lean Cuisines for $9.00 thanks to an in store promo. Lean Cuisines were already on sale 4 for $10, and if you bought 4 you got a 5th for free, making them $2/each. I then had a coupon for $1.00 off so that brought my haul on Lean Cuisines to $9. Awesome, but in addition to my frozen fish, steak fries, Lean Pockets ($1.67 x 2 =$3.34-$1.25 (coupon when I buy 2) = $2.09 for two), I had to find room in my freezer for all this frozen food. I did, barely!

• Sixth lesson learned: Have a system. I have a coupon organizer; however, my coupons were not organized. This made it really hard to find coupons and to match them up with sale items. I spent way too much time digging for coupons. Yes, I’m the girl that stands in the aisle right in the spot you need to get to sorting through 500 coupons for 20 minutes. Yes, that is me. Hopefully we don’t shop at the same store.

• Did I score anything?? Yes, I got what I think are good deals on the following:
All liquid detergent 32 loads-on sale for $2.99 - $1.00 coupon = $1.99
All liquid detergent OXI 32 loads-on sale for $2.99 - $1.50 coupon = $1.49
ARM & Hammer 32 loads liquid detergent-on sale for $2.99 - $1.00 coupon when you buy 2, so I got two for $5 or $2.50 each. Not bad. I am set for a few months in the laundry department. But still...I got nothing for free.

All these savings but my bill still managed to be $63.35! I FAILED miserably on my first extreme couponing adventure. Now that I've broken this down I'm still trying to figure out how I racked up $63 dollars! Most importantly you must be organized and have a plan. Secondly, don’t give into temptation! Famous Amos and Pepsi, darn you! Third, honestly, I’m not sure that extreme couponing is effective if you don’t shop somewhere that doubles or even triples coupons. But, I’m a newbie at this, so maybe…Next time I will shop at Lowes Foods, where they do double coupons. I’m not trying to leave the store with 50 deodorants for free, but, one would be nice.
Will keep ya posted!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Post on Posts! :)

I've been making these cute little post earrings for the shop. They are super fun and perfect for gals of all ages. And they make the cutest little Easter basket fillers because I add my touch of cuteness to the packaging! These are made with everything from buttons to vintage glass, and there's a little something for everyone. Stop by the shop and pick up yours today.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mood: Accomplished

I feel accomplished today. Which is good because yesterday, I was not feeling so. I did not go to Zumba last night, and then, I totally pigged out on chicken nachos while watching Dancing With the Stars. And that was after I had already eaten chicken tacos for dinner. I discovered that you can buy a huge bag of grilled fajita seasoned chicken strips at Sams for only $7.98. Those little bags of chicken strips at the regular grocery store are at least $3 bucks a pop.

Do you watch Dancing With the Stars? For years I thought that it was the stupidest show on earth, even though I hadn’t seen it, lol. I’m judgmental like that. :) But then one night I just got addicted. I sooo wish that I could dance like Cheryl Burke or Anna Trebunskaya (I’m totally sure I jacked up her name but don’t feel like googling it right now. My bad.) or any of those other dancer chicks. Who is your fave this season? I’m not sure if I have one…I do like Kirstie Allie and Maks. OMG! Did you see last night that they totally wiped out during the live show? I feel bad for her because today that's all people are talking about and in a not nice way. But wait, I'm talking about it here so......let me move on. Kirstie can actually dance. I know that I would not be able to do a jive or cha cha without passing out right there on live tv. And having to learn the dance and then routine in a matter of a few days? And does Ralph Macchio not look the same today as he did however many years ago in the Karate Kid??

I never did tell you why I feel accomplished today…did i? I packed up an order. Yeah, any time I get an order is cause for celebration since they are so few and far between.  Literally, I call my boyfriend, er, fiancĂ©e every time I get one. It’s like now we only need $5,098,578 for the wedding. I packed up a pif for shipment-finally! Only two more to get together. Also, I listed two more items in the shop. I have been so delinquent on listing items. You can see ‘em below. I really like them. For a while I’ve been fighting the asymmetrical look to necklaces but really like how these turned out. What do you think?

This necklace can be found here.

This necklace can be found here.