Shopaholic in Alabama

Friday, December 31, 2010

Top News Stories of 2010...



Happy New Years Eve, Shopaholics! Unfortunately I am still sick, but trying to get through it! Here's hoping I start 2011 with a clean bill of health and no sinus infection.

As we get ready to welcome 2011, today I would like to reflect on some of the top news stories of 2010. Keep in mind - this is just my list - despite a few awful things that happened, there was some good. I enjoyed putting the list together, because it reminded me of several things that were very positive and happy! 

*Alabama Won The BCS National Championship. Our first one since 1992, which seemed like an eternity ago.
*More Than 230,000 people were killed in the Haiti earthquake. Over 300,000 people were injured.
*Apple unveiled the iPad. Sadly, I don't have one yet.
*New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl. Their first ever. This lifted the spirits of the city more than anyone could imagine. My "second home" had a reason to celebrate. 
*Sandra Bullock's world was rocked by her cheating husband, Jesse James. They have yet to reconcile. I want her as one of my BFF's. Love her.
*For better or for worse, new health care legislation was signed into law.
*BP Oil well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. 11 workers were killed, and our lives were turned upside down. The effects are still being felt on our environment, economy and lifestyles.
*There was an attempted bombing in Times Square. Thankfully, it was unsuccessful.
*LOST and 24 both ended. TV will never be the same.
*Lindsay Lohan was arrested, went back to jail, checked into rehab, assaulted someone else. Still boozing and such it would seem. Will she ever learn? Where is the girl I loved in "The Parent Trap"?
*Bed bugs were the talk of the town. Retail stores were closed as a result. Is it safe to sleep anywhere but home?
*Official combat operations were ended in Iraq.
*Hurricane Earl was a scare, but barely touched the US east coast.
*Brett Favre......I'm not even sure where to start. We saw more of his "alleged" private parts than we wanted, heard more of his voice mails than we wanted, and were disappointed in his conduct. The NFL apparently agreed, he was fined $50K. Now he needs to really retire, go back to Mississippi and disappear.
*Chilean miners were rescued. Their stories are amazing. 70 days...could you make it? I'm not sure I would have.
*Prince William and Kate were engaged. Somewhere, Diana is smiling.
*America continued to either love or hate the Palin clan. Including Bristol, who was on DWTS.
*Elizabeth Edwards passed away, after a long and hard fought battle with cancer. Her strength and grace in the face of public adversity and humiliation gave us all an example to live by.

There are so many other news stories that deserve a mention, but I had to stop somewhere! :-)

Around here - there is no dispute that the BP Oil Spill was the news story of the year. We are still feeling the effects of the spill - from an emotional, economic and environmental standpoint.

What would you nominate as the #1 News Story of 2010? Let me hear from you!

p.s. If you're out having fun tonight, stay safe. Don't drink and drive - or have a designated driver. DH and I don't go out on NYE, because we don't trust the other people on the road. We will be snuggled in our beds, watching the ball drop from Times Square on a Samsung. I highly recommend it. :-)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another Fabulous Deal - Blayney Dress by Lilly Pulitzer



Happy Thursday, Shopaholics! Are you enjoying these last few days of 2010? Unfortunately I am sick with a sinus infection, which has seriously interfered with me getting out and shopping all the after Christmas sales. (At least in person). No need to be alarmed though, I'm pleased to report that sale shopping online and via telephone are still ongoing. :-)

Yesterday I heard from so many of you that were thrilled to find the Mallory shirtdress on a great sale. Congrats! Today I have another sale tip to share! Don't worry - I will not be tempting you deals like this every day in the new year. It's just....lately the sales have been too wonderful not to share!

Some of you might remember, I'm a big fan of the Lilly Pulitzer Blayney dress. Have been since it came out - I think it was Fall 2008. Anyway, the Blayneys in the Fall 2010 collection are once again to die for! This year they added a ruffled neckline. Let me tell you - if you are like me and self conscious about your weight but ok with your chest - you will love this dress. It draws the eye (and therefore any attention) UP. In my case, that's a good thing. Don't want anyone noticing my rear or stomach. :-) 

Blayney was produced in the Cameo White "Big Bells" print. This is pictured in the photo at the top of today's post! 

Another Blayney, Turquoise "Let's Get Ginky".

And Bright Navy, "It's A Lilly".


Last but not least, it also came in Multi "Curves", but I can't find a photo of the actual dress anywhere! Here is a picture of the print.



Blayney retails for $268, but is on sale at the Lilly Pulitzer Corporate stores for $79! I could not believe this price - it's a steal! I have to confess - I ordered it in the "Big Bells" print yesterday. Since I already own the Turquoise "Let's Get Ginky" - you can be assured, I will be scheming for the other prints shortly! 

Are you interested in purchasing Blayney? If so, my friends at Lilly Pulitzer Southlake can help. They have a full size run of "Let's Get Ginky" and "It's A Lilly" - and could certainly try to locate any others.

Lilly Pulitzer Southlake 817-390-3947

Amy and staff are awesome to work with! Shipping is only $7 with your sale priced item, but if you add at least one full priced item to your order - shipping is free! You have to love that! 

Other LP corporate stores that may have Blayney in stock include:

Lilly Pulitzer Legacy Village 216-291-8670
Lilly Pulitzer Winter Park 407-539-2324
Lilly Pulitzer Greenwich 203-661-3136

Good luck and remember, the chase is part of the thrill of a good deal! Let me know what you find!

Have a great Thursday, I need to find the strength to clean house; when all I really want to do is take a nap! Being sick stinks!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mallory Shirtdress by Lilly Pulitzer - the dress you NEED but don't know about!



Hello my friends! I don't know about you - but I can't believe it's already Wednesday. Every year between Christmas and New Years Day, I can't even keep up with the date! So far, this year is no exception. Don't laugh, I'm sure many of you are the same way - especially if you're on vacation from work! :-)

Today I wanted to tell you about the Mallory Shirtdress from Lilly Pulitzer. This dress was part of the Fall 2010 collection, and wasn't even on my radar. Sure, it was on a few of the Via Shop websites; but went largely unnoticed by moi. My fascination with the Elsa top Lilly produces has already been well documented here on the blog. Guess what? The Mallory shirtdress is basically an Elsa top with a belt and made into a dress! What's not to love?

Surely you realize by now that everyone around me likes to shop just like I do, yes? Soooo you won't be surprised to learn that my sister found this dress on a huge sale? When she called and told me about the price, I immediately ordered one. It arrived the day before Christmas and I wore it on Monday. Yesterday I ordered a second one!

The dress runs true to size, in my opinion. However if you are "this close" to wearing a lower size, you might be able to go down one size. Mallory comes in two prints, Stemina and With Bells On. Stemina is pictured at the top of today's post. Here is a picture of the "With Bells On" pattern. I couldn't find a photo of the dress in the Bells print online to "borrow" and mine is in the washer...



So here is the DEAL! These prices are only applicable at Lilly Pulitzer corporate stores, but don't worry - I have all the info you need! 

Mallory Shirtdress in Stemina $44
Mallory Shirtdress in With Bells On $49

Do not adjust your glasses, you are not seeing things. Ladies, this is super cheap and so versatile. You need it. 100% Cotton, fully lined, machine washable. It looks great paired with boots and tights, or over jeans for a completely different style.

Lilly stores that can help feed your need:

King of Prussia 610-265-7607
Sarasota 941-388-3091
Palm Beach Gardens 561-799-9400
Legacy Village (Ohio) 216-291-8670

If you don't live near one of these locations, no worries. Neither do I! Just give them a ring and do a phone order. If the store doesn't have the size or print you're looking for, they can find it.  Shipping charge for sale items is only $7, but if you add a full priced item to your order - shipping is free! Nice, huh?

Personally, I can't wait until the man in the big brown truck delivers my Mallory in Stemina. Hopefully on Friday! :-)

Have a Wonderful Wednesday and let me know if you take advantage of this deal!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Removing The Decorations?

Happy Monday, Shopaholics! If you celebrate Christmas, I hope your holiday was filled with every blessing imaginable.

We all decorate for the holidays, right? Some of us more than others of course...


Yesterday I noticed on Facebook that several of my friends were already taking down their holiday decorations. Old southern "legend" says that if your Christmas decorations are still up on New Years Day, it's bad luck.

When do you think it's acceptable to take down the decorations? I usually try to have everything down on NYD, I have to admit - I get sick of looking at it before then. I'd love to hear what you think!

Have a great day - and stay warm!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!



Merry Christmas to you all - from me and the DH. Enjoy your day with family and friends. Hope your blessings are many!


Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday Wardrobe

Happy Christmas Eve, Shopaholics!

Does your family dress "up" or "down" for the holidays? My mother and sister are the exception; but traditionally everyone else pretty much dresses "down" in our family. I keep wearing dresses to everything - hoping to inspire change! 

Here's what I think I'm wearing tonight and tomorrow.

Lilly Pulitzer, Jonah Dress, White Ginky - making the rounds on Christmas Eve

Lilly Pulitzer, Blayney Dress, Turquoise Ginky - making the rounds on Christmas Day

There is a method to my madness - if I stick to the plan, I only have to travel with one pair of boots! :-)

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas Eve! Thanks for reading my blog the past year. I feel so blessed to have found all of you!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

EASY Pralines for your Holiday Gathering!

Wow Shopaholics! Two Days Until Santa arrives! :-)

Many of you will remember that I shared this recipe with you back in January 2010. At the time, I heard from several readers who made the pralines and loved them!

Earlier today, I went to Publix and picked up all the ingredients to make these tonight. Seriously - it could NOT be any easier! Your family, friends and guests will be impressed. They'll think you worked soooo hard. No worries - it can be our little secret!

Enjoy - you probably have the items on hand to whip these up tonight! Let me know how it turns out! :-)


EASY PRALINES

Ingredients:

1 Cup Firmly packed Brown Sugar
1 Egg White, Beaten
1 1/2 Cups Chopped Pecans, Lightly Toasted

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Stir together brown sugar and beaten egg white, then fold in chopped pecans.
Drop by heaping tablespoons onto a heavy-duty aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
Turn off oven, place baking sheet in oven. Let pralines stand 8 hours in oven, or overnight.

Yield: About 20 pralines, note that recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gone To Get Legal...

Happy Wednesday, Shopaholics. Pardon moi while I interrupt the party season for a very important announcement.

Thank you, Lowe's. If it weren't for the snarky little man processing my return, I STILL wouldn't know that my drivers license has expired! And, to add insult to injury, it's been expired for *ahem* almost ninety days. Yes, I said ninety days.

I had no idea I was driving around with an expired drivers license. Turns out, the state of Alabama can't afford to send you a postcard (once every FOUR years) to remind you it's time to renew. What?!?! Seriously!?!? The taxes we pay??? Don't even get me started...

So, even though I haven't finished my holiday shopping - I'm on my way to the DMV. I need to get legal again. Must drive verryyyyy sloooowwww, don't want a ticket in my stocking this year!

Have a Wonderful Wednesday - after I'm legal again, I'll be out shopping with all the other procrastinators. :-)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Party Time!

Happy Tuesday, Shopaholics! Are you "shopped out" yet? Ready for Santa? Still not ready here...

The past few days have been spent enjoying time with family and friends at various holiday gatherings. On Saturday we had our immediate family over for a low key holiday dinner.

Last night I went to a "Girls Only" holiday party at my BFF Ashleigh's house. We had a great time - wine, food, Dirty Santa and one of our favorite holiday movies "The Holiday".

I loved Ashleigh's tree and really wanted to take the pink Sock Monkey ornament home with me...instead, she sent me home with a new Christopher Radko ornament for my collection. :-)

For blog reader "Amie" - Ashleigh and I wish you "Happy Holidays"! And to answer your question, we've been BFF's for --- hmmm --- about sixteen years now! 

Have a Terrific Tuesday, and while running around trying to get it all done - take a moment to breathe and enjoy the season!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Managing Holiday Commitments & Family Time...

Happy Monday, my friends! Hope you had a great weekend. Are you ready for Santa? Not so much here, lots of work left to do!

How do YOU manage holiday commitments and family time? Do you feel like you just run, run run all around town (or you have to travel and THEN run all over the place - that's what we do)?

Naturally, all of our running around occurs on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I can remember a time when we lived in the same county as everyone else - but would put 170 miles on our car CE/CD. Insane!

When is it just too much? When do you decide to stay home? Or better yet - when you do say "heck with it" and celebrate the holiday a week early - then go to NYC and wake up Christmas morning at the Plaza? Hopefully with a light dusting of snow outside...

One day, this is where Santa will have to deliver my gifts...


Friday, December 17, 2010

Jewelry By Margaret - Giveaway Winner!

Happy Friday evening!

Congratulations to blog reader "flip flops and pearls" - you are the winner of the $25 gift card to "Jewelry By Margaret" (original post HERE). Please contact me (lori.driver@hotmail.com) to put you in touch with Margaret!

Thanks to everyone who entered and for reading my blog!

Have a lovely weekend!

p.s. Don't forget - Jewelry by Margaret is offering a 10% discount to all Shopaholic In Alabama readers. Use code "shopaholic" during the checkout process on her Etsy website. Great idea for last minute gifts! :-)

Tis' The Season!

TGIF! What do you have planned for the weekend? We are having family over on Saturday for dinner. Of course we have to show off the results of our remodel! :-)

Finally, I managed to get some of my decorations up. Every year DH and I put up a 9' artificial tree with all Christopher Radko ornaments (we have quite the collection at over 150 pieces). In addition to the "Radko tree" we also have a "Lilly tree" and a football themed tree "Alabama/Dallas Cowboys tree". For a little extra decoration, we put a fiber optic tree in every bedroom.

In the interest of time and the hassle factor, this year we decided not to put up the Radko tree. As you can imagine, this made me quite sad. I look forward to decorating with my Radkos. Every ornament is special to me - I can remember where most of the ornaments came from and who gave them to me. Funny the things you recall....like this story...I remember being in Northern Virginia on business. Staying at my "normal" Hilton in Olde Town over a weekend which was unusual as I always flew home on Fridays. On Saturday, I went shopping (pick yourself up off the floor now, please!) with a co-worker. We found the cutest Christmas shop on St. Asaph. While I can't remember the name of that store to save my life, I do vividly recall that I purchased ten Christopher Radko ornaments on sale. This memory sticks out in my mind, as it occured on the same day that space shuttle Columbia crashed and debris was littered all over Texas. (Some landed in another co-workers yard, the FBI came and picked it up!). We finished that day of shopping with big margaritas and wonderful Mexican food at Austin Grill...anyway, I digress!

Decorating my Lilly tree helped ease the sting of no Radkos this year. Isn't it cute? I have a ton of ornaments that won't fit on this small tree, so now I'm on the hunt for a large (6' or so) pink tree. Maybe I'll be lucky and find one after the holidays on clearance. A girl can hope, right?

Do you decorate in themes? What are your favorites? Traditional or designer? This year our Radko tree was replaced by a small 6' tree that DH is now calling the "Charlie Brown" tree. All the ornaments are turquoise, silver and white - and even though I miss my Radkos, I have to admit - it's actually pretty!

Have a safe and fun weekend!

P.S. Please ignore those awful baseboards and old Berber carpet - obviously we haven't remodeled this part of the condo just yet! :-)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lori Loves Elsa - Tops, That Is...

My goodness, I can't believe it's already Thursday! I'm beginning to wonder if I will be ready for Santa's arrival...T-minus 9 days...yikes! And since I'm already so overwhelmed, and should be taking care of business, instead I'll be spending this afternoon in my stylist's chair. Phillip is going to DIE when he sees how much work my hair needs! Let's just say this - the remodel has not been kind to my roots, and I still have some paint in my hair. Oops.

Moving right along to fun stuff - have you tried the ELSA top from Lilly Pulitzer? If not - you.must.get.one. Lilly added these to the line last year (resort) and the top quickly became a favorite among the pink and green crowd. I seem to recall, even my buddy Alice over at Summer Is A Verb looking high and low for a particular print in Elsa. :-)

For the 2010 Resort line, the Elsa is back and it continues to be on my wish list, in every print/fabric combination - of course! I just ordered these two from Village Palm. Both colorways come in a rayon interlock cotton and look to be so comfortable! I can't wait until they arrive - thanks Santa!

Elsa Top Interlock Printed, Hotty Pink Doubloons, $98

Elsa Top Interlock Printed, Turquoise Pirates Bootyniere, $98

Which one do you like best? I always love the blue prints by Lilly Pulitzer - but I have to admit; any pink and orange combination is also high on my "must have" list!

Now, I won't rest until I get the Elsa top (silk version) in Multi X Marks The Spot. However, silk is not practical for my everyday lifestyle and at $158, I'll wait on her to go on sale.

If you're wondering where I found all these lovely tops, glad you asked! I ordered from my friend Sarah at Village Palm. Village Palm is a Lilly Pulitzer Speciality (soon to be Via) store in Grosse Pointe, MI. Sarah and her staff are so helpful, patient and easy to work with over email/telephone. They just launched a new website (link HERE) with loads of current season merchandise, and a few great pieces of sale merchandise.


Sarah wanted to help us celebrate the one year anniversary of Shopaholic In Alabama and has generally offered a 10% discount on your web order, both full price AND sale merchandise. Here's how you get the discount:

1) Place your order via the website (link HERE).
2) After submitting your order, email the store (villagepalm@yahoo.com). Let them know you would like to take advantage of the 10% Shopaholic anniversary special.
3) They will email you back with an updated order total and then your order will be processed.

Don't delay though - you might "need" an Elsa from Santa - and this discount is only good Thursday and Friday, December 16 and 17.

Do you also love Elsa? What is your favorite top from the Lilly Pulitzer resort 2010 collection?

Have a great day!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy 1st Anniversary, Shopaholic In Alabama!

Happy Hump Day, everyone! I had a different post planned for today - then I remembered - December 15, 2009 was the date I started this little blog, Shopaholic In Alabama. So today; we celebrate!

It's hard to believe I have been blogging for one year. In the early days, I never imagined that anyone would even want to read what I wrote; much less allow me to continue blabbing for a year! I remember begging my family and close friends to "follow me" and they were like "what are you talking about?".  

All I can say is a big, huge, THANK YOU! I have met so many wonderful friends as a result of this blog and the blogging community. Many of which I expect to have for a lifetime. I look forward to my second year of blogging - let's see what kind of trouble we can get into together! :-)

Thank you so much for taking valuable time out of your day to check in on little ole me. During some of the darkest hours of the past 365 days, you guys have helped keep me going...through the BP Oil Spill, life changes, remodeling, celebrating my 40th birthday and many, many others. You'll never know what it means to me!

Have a fabulous day!

p.s. If you have been entertained, learned more about life on the Gulf Coast, gained a few favorite recipe, or found your favorite Lilly dress by reading Shopaholic In Alabama, I'd love to hear from you. Please don't be shy about commenting. Believe it or not, bloggers live for comments!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

At The Boat Parade



Happy Tuesday, Shopaholics! WOW has it ever been cold here.  I'm already longing for spring and just think - it's not even "officially" winter yet. Yikes!

On Saturday, we went to the boat parade here in town. My sister and her family, plus my parents, all came down for the event. We had a wonderful lunch at The Original Oyster House (if you make it to Gulf Shores, AL one day you must eat there); outlet shopping (a little damage at J. Crew and Tommy Bahama, I confess); then off to the boat parade we went.

I had plans to capture a ton of photographs in hopes of sharing them with you! However, we took the one above and then my camera battery died! Doesn't that just figure?!?!? Does this ever happen to you? I know I should always have spare batteries with me, and this time I didn't. Grrr....

Then again, DH and I have had no time for our normal "maintenance" routines - not to mention we haven't had mirrors in the bathrooms for weeks. Perhaps we actually broke the camera with our appearance? It's quite possible! Don't tell DH I shared the photo - he would die!  Earlier that day, he cut his chin while shaving in my makeup mirror. It only took about 30 minutes for the bleeding to stop. :-(

Have a Terrific Tuesday! Maybe the next time there is a boat parade, I will have actual photos of boats to share! Good news - our mirrors were delivered Monday afternoon. We should start looking better soon! :-)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Perfect Holiday Gifts Under $100

Happy Monday, Shopaholics! I'm betting that many of you had snow, ice and crazy weather over the weekend. Hope it wasn't too bad! Even here at the beach, we are experiencing mid 20's at night. Brrrr....But hey - doesn't the cold weather put you in the holiday spirit? :-)

Today I wanted to profile a few of my favorite holiday gifts under $100. Let's see if you like my selections...

Flora Earrings, in any color, $44 - from Caroline Grace Jewelry on Etsy (link HERE). No matter what color is your gift recipient's favorite, you are covered. For winter, I really love them in teal. Of course I love all of Caroline Grace's jewelry - and you can't go wrong with these! A perfect stocking stuffer! Added bonus: CGJ is offering a 15% discount on orders less than $100 to all Shopaholic readers and a 25% discount on orders over $100. Use code "Shopaholic15" for 15% under $100 and code "Shopaholic25" for 25% over $100 at Etsy checkout.

Fleece Pullover, in any color, $98.50 - from Coast Apparel (link HERE). These come in Buoy Red (my favorite), Navy and Weathered Sail. The half zip makes this piece very versatile and wow is it warm! I absolutely LOVE the Coast logo - it's a crab. So preppy and perfect for life on the coast - even if the coast is far from home but "in your heart" - you can dress the part with this brand. The fleece pullover is perfect for the cold weather most of us are experiencing. Trust me - any man in your life will LOVE and appreciate this fleece pullover. It's a perfect holiday gift!  Just don't be surprised if you want to "borrow" it from him! :-)


Glass Christmas Ornament by Lilly Pulitzer, available in three prints, $48 - from Under The Palm Tree (link HERE). The ornaments come in the following prints: Pink Great Escape, Green Leibold, and Sea Blue Pirates. My personal favorite is Great Escape (pictured below). As my long-time readers already know, UTPT is one of my favorite Lilly Pulitzer Via Shoppes. Right now they are also offering FREE Shipping so you might want to look around to see if you "need" anything else! :-)

The Cocktail Party set by Philosophy, $30 - available at Sephora (link HERE). This trio of body cleansers/shower gels smell just like the real thing - so don't take a sip! I'm a big fan of Philosophy products and use their "Hope in a jar" at least twice daily. The shower gels are a staple gift item - I give them all the time! Perfect for any occasion - and also available in holiday scents like Candy Cane, Peppermint Bark, etc.

Hopefully I have given you a few suggestions to help finish that last minute holiday shopping! This Shopaholic confesses - I'm not done yet either! My new goal is being 100% complete by the end of this week - wish me luck!

Do you like these ideas? Have a Marvelous Monday and stay warm! 


Friday, December 10, 2010

J. Bee Designs Giveaway Winner - and Holiday Stress!



TGIF, Shopaholics! I hope you've had a wonderful - and productive - week!

Today I wanted to thank everyone who entered the J. Bee Designs giveaway (original post HERE) - and announce our winner! "Colleen" - you are the lucky recepient of the $40 gift card! Please contact me (lori.driver@hotmail.com) so I can put you in touch with J. Bee Designs! Congratulations!

On another note, are you all stressed OUT for the holidays? I must admit - I am! Typically at this stage of the game, all my shopping is done and most of the gifts are wrapped. I usually have all the decorating done by the week after Thanksgiving...not so much this year. Yesterday I finally managed to get up our tree(s). Running just a weeeee bit late...still have lots of gifts that need to be purchased, and every.single.gift needs to be wrapped.

I blame it all on the never ending renovation. You know how it is - one project turns into another. Dialogue between me and DH, late last week:

Shopaholic: "I really don't like the way that dark paint looks against the white ceiling. What can we do about that?"

DH: "Well.......we could always install some moulding".

Shopaholic: "What would be involved?"

DH: "Another trip to Lowe's, two coats of paint on the moulding because you'll want it to match all the other trim, tools to cut the moulding and then more tools to nail it to the ceiling. It's going to cost us two more days."

Shopaholic: "Does that mean you have to use that loud nail gun thing again? It's realllllyyy loud....".

DH: "Yes, that's what it means. Do you want to do it or not"?

Shopaholic: "Sure.........at this point, what's another few days?"

Welcome to my world, dear friends. When this is over, I'm going to need a Caribbean vacation to recover.

What is stressing you out this holiday season? Feel free to vent here!

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ebates - Where Have You Been All My Life???

Hello, Shopaholics! Is it really Wednesday already? Wow, I can't believe it - this week is flying by. Good news - we are finally beginning to see the light at the end of the remodel tunnel. More on that another day! :-)

Seriously you guys - I feel like a big dummy. Why didn't you all tell me about Ebates? Why didn't you insist (as in FORCE) me to join before now? All the online shopping that happens around these parts, I could have been earning $$$ all this time. Who knew??? Clearly - I didn't!

For those not familiar, Ebates is a website you join and then link to your favorite stores while shopping online. You can earn up to 25% CASH BACK. There are no membership fees - no strings attached. You register online with Ebates, and then every time you shop online (yes, all your favorite retailers are there) you link to their website through Ebates. That's it! Easy easy easy!

This week, I have already earned cash back of around $12. Now it doesn't sound like much, but I'm thinking this will add up over a period of time. If you're wondering how you actually receive the $$, Ebates has two options. You can either have them mail you a check for your earnings, or deposit the funds into your Paypal account. As I'm sure you've guessed by now, I selected the Paypal option - that way I can use the earnings $$ to shop even more! :-)

An example of the retailers - and their cashback %'s - being offered right now:

Sephora - 6% (ordered holiday presents)
Vistaprint - 5% (ordered my holiday cards)
Ebay - 3-7% depending on the category of goods you purchase (careful, doesn't work with sniping tools like GIXEN)
Target - 3% (more holiday presents)
Saks Fifth Avenue - 2.5% (maybe a little gift to self there...)

And soooo many others. Suffice to say, I feel like a dum-dum for not taking advantage of this program before now! Don't be like me - join now and start earning $$. You're shopping anyway - might as well make it work for you! :-)

p.s. My link to join is HERE. Imagine this - you receive credit for referrals - so be sure to refer your friends!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Shrimp Chowder Recipe - Easy & Quick!

Hello, Shopaholics! Happy Tuesday to you!

Today I'll be running around like a crazy woman, trying to get these bathrooms completed. After that I have to decorate the house for the holidays. I can't believe it - I have NEVER been this late getting the decorations up. I'm beginning to wonder if it's even worth the effort at this point. Typically I have the tree up by the weekend after Thanksgiving. Ugh. Always running behind...

Anyway, it's turned really cold here (don't laugh, friends up north - it's under 30 degrees and that is cold for us!). For tonight's dinner, I need something easy, quick and warm. Enter the famous Shrimp Chowder recipe from "Southern Living".

Mother gave me this recipe several years ago and it's always a hit. DH is famous for telling me "soup isn't a meal" but that does not apply with this recipe - it's very hearty. Try it - you'll love it and so will your family! It's on the menu here tonight. :-)

QUICK SHRIMP CHOWDER (from an old issue of "Southern Living" - not sure which one!)


INGREDIENTS:

2 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine
1 Medium Onion, chopped
2 cans Cream of Potato soup, undiluted (10.75 oz size)
3.5 cups milk
1/4 tsp. ground Red Pepper
1.5 lbs. medium-size fresh Shrimp, peeled and devined
1 Cup (4 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Garnish: chopped fresh parsley

PREPARATION:

Melt butter in a dutch oven over medium heat; add onion and saute 8 minutes or until tender. Stir in cream of potato soup, milk and pepper; bring to a boil. Add shrimp, reduce heat and simmer - stirring often for 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Stir in cheese until melted. Garnish with parsley if desired. Serve immediately.

Optional: Can be served with oyster crackers (see photo above). Personally, I like to serve this with hot and crusty French bread instead of crackers. If shrimp isn't your thing, this recipe can be prepared with 3 cups of chopped cooked chicken or 1.5 lbs. peeled crawfish tails instead.

For those who don't normally cook seafood at home, do not let this intimidate you. It's super easy and if you don't tell anyone how easy it was, they will never know and still be impressed! Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite hearty soup for these cold days? I'd love to hear about it - I'm always looking for something new to try.

Have a Terrific Tuesday!



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