What do you give a colleague or friend when you want to mark an occasion with just a little token? Not a full on gift, but a little somethin’? Candles are tried and true, but what about a 100% soy candle with a twist? Friend just got pregnant? Check out the “knocked up” candle from Scent of a Scandal (baby powder fragrance). I gave that to my friend, Lisa, when she was pregnant with #2.Â Know someone about to take a dream trip to the Amalfi Coast? Give her the BEE-OTCH (honey fragrance) candle and let her know how you really feel.
Wanna bring in something other than candy to the office for Halloween? Try the “Turning Tricks” (candy corn) candle.Â Guaranteed to bring a smile plus it smells good!
p.s. I’m just getting settled into the house so I may be updating some old posts this week. Follow me on Twitter for all the gory details on the move. On second thought, you might not want to. As a friend told me yesterday, he’d rather slam a stapler into his forehead than move. I so get that.
When Kristie emailed me as part of our new “Find it for Me ‘Rean” feature, I was excited, then scared. She is looking for stylish, affordable vegan shoes. The stylish part was relatively easy — I knew Natalie Portman had just launched a line of vegan shoes — but the affordable part was a nightmare. Natalie’s shoes are like, $180+ — and that’s on sale! But I’m a redhead and I don’t give up that easily.
Kristie specifically requested pumps for work, sandals for summer and shoes for her little boy. Zappos has a vegan category but I wasn’t seeing a lot of cute pumps. I also searched Amazon for vegan shoes and DSW Shoe Warehouse (where I get most of my shoes). In addition to searching “vegan,” I looked for “canvas” and other non-leather, non-suede materials. Of course, I searched Etsy, too! I was starting to panic a little because most of the vegan shoes were crunchy, granola, canvas sneakers or flats. Nothing wrong with that, but I wanted to find Kristie some CUTE shoes. The kind that you want to run out and get a pedicure for.
All right, Kristie, so how’d I do? I hope you find some shoes you love that fit your feet and your wallet! And because we picked your question, we are going to send you a $25 Amazon gift card to get you started.
Are you looking for something? A hard-to-find gift idea? Something for a new mom? A baby? Your best friend? Stumped for decorating ideas? Hey, this is a random blog so the more random the better! Send me an email at sherean at gmail dot com and put “Find it for me ‘Rean” in the subject line. If I can find it and use your question, I’ll send you a $25 Amazon gift card, too!
Scent of a Scandal has new fall scents out for their fabulous soy candles. Check out Suck It (blood orange) and Turning Tricks (candy corn), available through Halloween only.
I’m still trying to figure out what to do for my baby’s one year birthday celebration.He loves wheels and anything that spins. Maybe pinwheels? Do I have time to make these cute ones? Is that even considered a theme? Anybody have any ideas that don’t involve cars?
I need to exchange my Sigg water bottles.Have you heard the news? Turns out Sigg’s bottles had BPA in the liners (the newest bottles do not but older ones do). I was PISSED when I heard that. Not that I believe the amount was harmful (it wasn’t) but because the company lied about it. Dumb, dumb, dumb to break the public’s trust like that. I blogged about it over on my company blog if you want the background. In the meantime, check to see if you have one of the older Sigg bottles (the inside rim will be a gold color) and if you do, follow these instructions to exchange it. I am doubly bummed because I was a BIG fan (blogged about them as a great gift idea but won’t even link to the post for you cuz I take it all back!).
Iâ€™m so excited about our first contest! I first discovered Reneeâ€™s Etsy shops, CandyStick Lane and The JumpOff, last year before my son was even born. CandyStick Lane is her original designs boutique; The JumpOff features clothing made from recycled t-shirts. You can win your choice of an outfit from CandyStickLane or a custom made onesie, t-shirt or dress from The JumpOff. Iâ€™m going to tell you more about Renee in just a minute. First, here are details on how you can win.
1)Â Â Â Â Â Go check out her Etsy shops (CandyStick Lane and The JumpOff), then come back here and leave a comment telling us what your favorite thing is. If you win, youâ€™ll win that!
All right, now let me introduce you to Renee. She has, like, four jobs: 1) a single mother (which counts for two right there); 2) a “day” job in healthcare and 3) kids clothing designer for two- count them -TWO, boutiques. Her first boutique, CandyStick Lane, was started in 2006 and features clothing mainly for little girls (but I’m working on her to add more things for boys). Her other shop, The JumpOff, started a year later and features designs recycled from t-shirts. She also makes custom shirts, dresses, and onesies from your favorite t-shirt. Cute stuff!
I loved that whole recycle idea so I sentÂ her one of my husbandâ€™s softball team shirts to make into a onesie for my son. It turned out AWESOME and thatâ€™s what he wears to go watch his dad play. Heâ€™s the little team mascot! (I love it when people ask me if I made it. Ha! I took Home Ec in 8th grade and sewed my skirt to my jeans when I was trying to hem it on my lap. Noooo, I do not sew.)
I asked Renee about some of the most memorable custom outfits she’s ever made. “I think the most touching custom design was a woman whose brother died tragically and she had me make two of his favorite tees into onesies for her son. I also transformed a grandfather’s work shirts into jumpers for the granddaughters to pass down.”
How awesome is that? What special t-shirt have you been hanging onto that might be perfect to turn into something “new” for your little one?
Tomorrow, I’ll have snippets from my interview with Renee. In the meantime, be sure and check out herÂ shops (CandyStick Lane and The JumpOff) and leave us a comment telling us what youâ€™d like to win. You must have your entries in by Wednesday, September 9th, at midnight. Good luck!
SafeMama found and reviewed reusable produce bags. She cheerfully carts her reusable grocery totes to the store, but hates stuffing produce in the little plastic bags. Someone told her about these reusable produce bags, she tried ’em, loves them, and tells you why. I’m sold and am going to get some myself.
Baby Ewok Halloween Costume. I like to plan ahead and I think this is PERFECT! Check out their Yoda and other Star Wars baby costumes, too. This will be my puddin’ pop’s FIRST Halloween!
Building a Green Home. My hubby and I are thinking of building a green house so I’m researching like mad. Here’s one site I’ve been checking out. More to come as this becomes my new obsession. (I have room for one more obsession, right?)
Check out Ariana’s digital scrapbook of her baby’s first year. Too cute! She is inspiring me to get off my butt and make some albums.
Cara, my favorite eco-blogger, has 7 great ways to reuse cereal boxes. I love the postcard idea. And since my hubby is a BIG cereal eater, we have plenty of material to make the cards. Now if we could just find a stamp . . .
Speaking of eco-friendly, have you seen the Greenhaven Home? It’s an eco-design show home in the suburbs of Atlanta (East Cobb). We went last weekend and I snapped my little guy in a kid-sized chair in one of the fabulously decorated rooms. Great green building AND decorating ideas.
If you’re in Atlanta this weekend, after you tour the Greenhaven home, you should check out the big designer boutique warehouse sale. Kelly’s Closet will be there (the store where I purchased my wedding dress). They’re not just a wedding store, though; they carry lots of non-wedding, fun, fashionable ready-to-wear clothes. And at prices up to 90% off, what’s not to love?
The folks over at WeAreThatFamily are hosting a special themed edition of their “What Works for Me Wednesday” series. Today’s theme is Back-to-School tips, and while my munchkin is certainly advanced, he’s not quite ready for school yet. But that doesn’t mean I’m completely tip-less, or without an opinion on something I’m clearly unqualified to speak on.
I’m thinking back-to-school, packing lunches, cute lunch boxes, environmentally friendly water bottles (like Sigg which we’ve blogged about before), and heck, why not try those reusable sandwich bags. My husband takes his lunch to work frequently and I’ve been thinking of getting him some of these. I love that they’re reusable, non-toxic, and can be washed in the dishwasher! Lots of folks selling them online. Here are a few I’ve found.
SnackTaxi (formerly Happy-Sacks) – these folks were featured on the Queen of All Media (Oprah).
One of my friends wrote and scolded me:Â “Enough with the baby gifts already! I need a gift for a friend over 2′ tall.” All righty then, how about making them a customized Go Green set? Package up a reusable grocery tote or two with an aluminum water bottle. But not just any old tote and bottle, personalize them.
Start by hopping on over to Zazzle and browsing all the groovy products and unique designs. My friend, Kemba, has a beautiful shop there featuring international-flavored designs. Find a design you like, pick the bag style you want, and customize it by adding your gift recipient’s name or other text. You can change the font and color, move the design around, and really make it your own. Here I made a bag for Cara at repurposeful (great eco blogger) using Kemba’s Flourish design. Cost of the customized bag? A mere $10.55 for this style.
Then, check out Sigg’s custom water bottles ($27.99/ea). Sigg is the aluminum bottle you see the celebrities toting around. Much better for the environment than using plastic bottles. My hubby and I both have Siggs and love them. (We always think it’s so funny when we’re headed out the door and call out: “Did you remember your Sigg?”)
What I didn’t know when I bought ours was that I could have bought personalized versions with our names on it. They have about six customizable designs (and a whole lot more non-customizable ones). You can also create a custom skin for your bottle by uploading a favorite photo. I might do this to update my Sigg!
Pop the water bottle in the tote bag for instant “wrapping” and top it all off with a plantable card ($4.95 for the one shown below) from Botanical Paperworks. Yep, you heard me. You can plant these greeting cards in the ground and they will sprout flowers.
Now that’s a groovy green gift! Grown up enough for you, V?
Copyright 2009 Random Neural Firings. All Rights Reserved.
Random Neural Firings is a brain dump of sorts, with tidbits and pieces (some useful, some funny and some just because) of the content that make up my life.
When I worked in t.v., I used to joke that someday Iâ€™d own a production company called â€œRandom Neural Firings,â€ or â€œRNFâ€ for short. It seemed appropriate given how random the creative process can be sometimes, plus it suited my restless nature. My best friend has dubbed me a fountain of useless knowledge. My husband calls me Research Girl. And my son . . . well my son canâ€™t talk yet but Iâ€™m eager to learn what heâ€™ll call me.
So here I am, putting my RNFs out for the world to enjoy (or mock, if you prefer). This is stuff Iâ€™m interested in. The stuff people call me up and ask for help on. The random stuff I cram in my head just because it interests me at the time.
When I’m not wiping spit-up off my clothes, I run a marketing company, and spend time with my wonderful husband.Â We married late in life (I was 41), had a baby at 43 (my first!), and like all new parents, wonder if we’ll ever get a full night’s sleep again.Â I kissed a lot of frogs before I found my prince, but better late than never as the saying goes.
What Type of Blog Is This?
I work in marketing so I know the value of creating a niche. I set out to write a mommy blog but there are thousands and frankly, most of them are better than mine! I mean, who are we kidding? I’ve only been a mom for a few months. I thought about writing a gift blog because people are often contacting me for gift advice. But again, there are people who do that way better than I could. Who has time to shop with a newborn?
So what I decided to do instead was write a blog about whatever happens to catch my eye at the time. Most of the women I know are famous multi-taskers so I figure most of you know what it’s like to flip from fashion to decorating to figuring out what to do for the kids’ birthday parties. And juggle work, and a marriage and a household, all while never missing an episode of American Idol or So You Think You Can Dance (thanks to the magic of DVR technology).
Welcome to my mommy, er, gift, er decorating, er pop culture blog. It’s random. I hope you’ll comment and enjoy!
One other note: we are currently not accepting advertising and do not do sponsored posts. EVERYTHING I review is something I’ve tried personally, know someone who has tried, or have thought about trying. (Meaning, it’s on my list of things to buy!) If I ever do a sponsored review, you will know it, and I’ll tell you exactly what I think of it.