-- Things I Don't Like About The Holidays -- Analyze This Holiday Link Party --

Cirlce of Lights
Indianapolis Downtown
I love the holidays!  There is something about Christmas lights and Christmas Trees that just make everything so magical and cozy and enchanting... I'd keep white lights up all year round if I could. 

But there are also things that quite frankly suck about the holidays!  And Ally and Molly asked us about it today!  So... here we go again...

{1} Parking...
While we prepare ourselves in advance for it, parking always sucks.  Anytime after Thanksgiving, be ready to park in the middle of nowhere and sprint to the door to attempt to avoid the wind and rain/sleet/snow mix (if you live in Indiana).  Are there malls with Valet? 

{2}  Parking again...
But this time because of the others searching for parking spots.  This really takes you to a crappy place.  You are waiting for a spot and waiting and they finally pull out and someone swings into YOUR spot from the other side.  Sometimes a bird comes out to play...sometimes not, but still it sucks.  They take the Merry out of Merry Christmas.  If you have a story to tell post a comment! :)

{3}  Splitting time between families...
Yes, both of our parents live in the same city.  Convenient and yet oh so inconvenient.  When do you get to the point where you stop trying to please everyone and just relax over the holidays?  We aren't quite there yet.  I think we are going to be there soon, but until then we do Christmas Eve at my in-laws, Christmas Morning (6am) at my parents, usually breakfast at my in-laws, lunch at my husbands aunt's house, dinner at my parents house, and dinner/sleep at the in-laws.  Does this get better?!?  I'd love suggestions!

{4}  Trying to get the best gift...
I know, I know... it is the thought that counts.  But I'm also a very thoughtful gift giver usually.  I want it to make sense, be unusual, and something they'll love.  Now, I rarely hit the mark on all 3, but I usually get at least one.  I've been scouring the Internet trying to find something for everyone without breaking the bank. 

{5}  That places are open! 
OK... I'm the first one to admit that almost every year I end up forgetting something and falling back on Walmart of Walgreen's to pull through these rough times, but I feel so horrible for those who have to work and be away from their families.  What happened to a time when nothing was open?  Do you remember that?  It was like living in a Ghost Town on Christmas or Thanksgiving.  Now, just about everywhere is open...we are even opening stores at midnight on Thanksgiving.  Really?  Is that necessary?  I think it would be nice to go back to a simpler time.  What do you think? 

Those are the things I don't like about the holidays.  Make sure to hop on over to Molly and Ally's 12 Days of Christmas Link Party to check out what others don't like about the holidays! 

And don't forget to enter yesterday's giveaway for the Lola Stretch Bracelet for Little Girls from Stella & Dot!  All you have to do is post a comment! Giveaways can make great gifts!  :)


-- Little Girls Lola Bracelet Giveaway --

***This Giveaway is Now Closed***

***The Winner is Daphadoodlebug who said:  
I love the Metropolitan mixed chain necklace. this is such an eye catcher. I love to match pieces like this with simple tops.

This week I'll be giving away a Little Girls Bracelet from the Stella and Dot Little Girls line.

It's the Lola Stretch Bracelet.

Here's how it will work...Leave a comment on what your favorite Stella and Dot piece is and how you'd wear it around the holidays! This will give you one entry into the giveaway.

For more entries:
Link to this giveaway on Facebook
Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter with a link
Don't forget to leave a comment telling where you mentioned it!
If you make a purchase at the e-boutique.
(Because you might want this to go with it!)
Just make sure you let me know who you are :)

Giveaway closes on December 3rd, 2010 8PM est.
US and Canada Only.
Winner will be chosen by Random.org

-- Cyber Monday --

Cyber Monday Deals from a couple of my FAVORITE PLACES!!!

Starting with Stella and Dot:
Today Only (November 29th) - FREE RING WITH $99 PURCHASE: an ONLINE EXCLUSIVE ($39 - $44 value)  Click HERE to start your order!!!

Offering Free Ground Shipping with no minimum purchase required!

Holiday Cards from Vista Print:
50% off TODAY and Free Shipping for orders over $50!  Love this one!

And this one is for my mom, QVC:
Offering Free Shipping and Handling on over 5,000 items -- TODAY ONLY

Check out all your favorite stores here and find great deals!  I'll add more as I find them! :)


Stella & Dot Discount Code -- 11.25 & 11.26 ONLY

Stella & Dot Thanksgiving Special -- November 25 – 26

Customers get special 25% discount on the highest priced item in their order.

Simply use promo code USFAM10 during checkout and the discount will be automatically applied!

Start Shopping here!

-- Happy Turkey Day --

I am thankful for my lovely husband, my family, my puppies, and all this wonderful food we are able to eat today!  :)

Happy Thanksgiving Blog Hogs!


-- Black Friday Tips --

Yes, it is upon us again and I was reading Abby over at Babbling Abby this morning and she's a part of this 12 days of Christmas link party with Analyze This so I thought, what the heck... I'm an old pro, right?!?  And I'll try to do them all!!! 

1.  Definitely know what you want/need.  This can be confusing.  If you are looking at the ads and see all kinds of items you want, but only have $300 to spend then you probably can't want it all.  Dwindle it down to the most important...and if you are like me, you won't get anything for yourself!  Make a practical list and stick to the list! Get ready here.  

The tree in it's first season.
2.  Don't be afraid to use your body parts to your advantage to what you wanted... I mean, needed.  Two years ago, my mom and I saw an artificial tree at home depot for $30.  Now, I had no idea that there would be a line at Home Depot at 5am, but good thing they opened at 5am and not 4am or we wouldn't have gotten it.  My mom yelled at me to go grab a cart while she sprawled her body over top of the box and laid on it so no one would grab the last one.  I wish I had time to take a picture.  Maybe we'll do a reenactment.  Which brings me to my next tip. 

3.  Know what time what stores open so you can plan accordingly.  If you only want...I mean need... one thing at a couple of stores, hop around.  I forget what we did last year, but we went to stores that opened at 4am, 4:30am, and 5am. 

The Target Lady
4.  Shop in Numbers.  This way, if it's cold...two can sit in the car while one waits in line.  Or one can drive home while her mom thinks she forgot her debit card so the waiting isn't for nothing.  <-- Yes, this happened last year. 

5.  Bundle up!  If you are hard core like us (not really, but it's fun to think so) you'll need the layers.  Once you get inside, throw them in the cart when you have a minute. 

6.  Remember what matters.  If you don't get what you wanted... I mean needed... then you can get it later or maybe you didn't need it that much anyways!  It's about the Joy of the Season! 

Happy Hunting Blog Hogs!


-- Thanksgiving Menu --

Last year I did My First Thanksgiving.  This year, we'll be back up in Good Ol' Fort Wayne.  So, once again we'll be attending two and I'll be cooking one at my mom's house!  It's very interesting how this stuff happens, right?!  And every one's is a bit different...

In the heart of Martha, I'll be using a Cheesecloth again on the turkey.  I thought this was DELICIOUS and it seemed to keep the turkey pretty moist!  I saw the recipe on a Martha Thanksgiving special last year and kept rewinding on the DVR to make sure I was doing it right.  This year, it's all me. 

My turkey from last year.

For our Appetizers we will again be doing the Marscapone Cheese Stuffed Dates wrapped in Prosciutto. These were a major hit last year and were requested again by my mom.  See the Giada recipe here.  I think I might also try something with polenta because we have a block of it and I don't know what else to do with it.  Still undecided on bit appetizer two.  Then we'll have a veggie tray. 

We are going to make a salad that will include a spring mix lettuce, almonds, cranberries, red onions, blue cheese, and some bacon crumbles with an italian-ish dressing.  Dressing is still a bit undecided as well.  Looking for a recipe...any suggestions?! 

Side Dishes are a lot like last year as well.  We are just doing steamed green beans with onions, broiled sweet potato chunks with olive oil, salt and pepper that my mom makes, homemade mashed potatoes, Roasted Acorn Squash, Dried Cherry and Italian Sausage Stuffing, and I think that's it.  I'm sure I'm forgetting something. 

Desserts will include Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake (from Sam's), Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Whoopies, and something else that is still somewhat undecided. 

I'm hoping all turns out well.  It's me and my mom cooking in her new kitchen.  I'm sure lots of pictures will come from that day!  :)  Oh...I almost forgot the most important things!!!  LOTS OF WINE AND BEER!  :)  Well, maybe not too much due to the definite oncoming of headaches from drinking, but I know I love me a little glass o' red!

Now off to figure out the table settings... What do you think of these ideas?!

Countdown to Thanksgiving: 3 days! 


-- Extending Sale Through Weekend --

I'm offering 10% off to anyone who makes a purchase at my e-boutique through this weekend!!! 

Simply email me, S&D Stylist Abby K, here. Be sure to include your phone number with it and I will call you with your total and to get your payment (CC only) information. If you place your order directly online you will not receive the 10% off because I have to take it off manually.  :)

Hope you find something you like!!!  Think Holiday Gifts!!!

There are even jewelry bags now too! 

Or tell your hubby!!! ;)

-- A Few Kellermeyer Favorites --

So 320 * Sycamore is having a link party and I am joining! 

Why?!?!  Because I love the Sound of Music and these are a few of my favorite things...

This History Of...
Books that feature the history of your name... available at Amazon.  Last year I got this for my in-laws and they loved it.  My father in law even picked out things that he didn't think were true!  :)  Great conversation starter! 

Tunic Tops! 
Who doesn't love something that covers your trunk!?!  I know I do.  And accessorize it with leggings, boots, jewelry, and a sassy headband.    This one is from Gap.
I love this look!

Jewelry Trees
Like this one from Red Envelope.  I have seen them lurking recently at TJ Maxx from The Home Store.  :)  They are such a cute decor item too!

From Z Gallerie.  I saw a make shift one on Bower Power and now am completely in love!!!  I will either do what Katie did for her nursery or buy the real deal.  For only $60 it's a steal! 

Making Whoopie!
Don't be dirty...I mean Whoopie Pies!  Love these!  I've had an infatuation with them since before the wedding.  I thought about using them there, but no such luck.  Money just ran out!  So...I finally bought the tray from Crate and Barrel and made some recently!  I recommend to anyone! EASY AND DELICIOUS!

Stella & Dot
Yes, I'm a stylist, but they really do have GREAT and Versatile items!  I mean, it's what I wore for my wedding!  That's how I found it... looking for STATEMENT pieces.  I love these necklaces and I think the little girls stuff is to die for!  Wish I had a little girl to dress up with these cute necklaces!

via Stella and Dot

And lastly... dum da da dum....
All the blogs I follow!  See the lower left to see who they are!  I love them all!  Thanks for inspiring me to do more with my creative spirit and allowing me to see into yours!   


-- A Royal Wedding --

Wow.  I heart Wills.  I've loved him since I was little.  I think it had something to do with my mother's obsession with The Royal Family.  She loved Diana.  She had a book, she watched the wedding, she watched her funeral. 

So now, the fascination with Royals has been passed down to me.  I happened to have today off so I was uber lucky to get to watch all this ROYAL ENGAGEMENT coverage! 

First of all... how beautiful is Kate?  She is unbelievably gorg!  Such a striking look!  And she just seems so sure of herself!  Love that! 

Secondly... what better way to make your mother a part of the day than to share her engagement ring with your love?!?  I think that was so special.  And the engagement ring is so unique and lovely.  Everything about this engagement just seems so perfect! 

So now the planning begins.  I thought today I'd remind us of some past Royal Wedding Dress choices. 

1.  Obviously Princess Diana.  Look at that dress!  A definitely show stopper!

2.  Queen Elizabeth II.  The current queen.  A lovely simple wedding dress. 

3.  Grace Kelly.  Who doesn't love Grace Kelly?  She looks absolutely gorgeous in this dress and it has  a timeless elegance about it. 

I don't think Kate's dress will look anything like these, but I'm sure it will be a show stopper in itself!  Any Royal Wedding Dresses you love?!


-- Holiday Wrapping --

How will you wrap your holiday gifts this season? 

Do you wrap in themes?  Colors?  Only Certain Shapes?  Stick on bows or make your own?  What kind of tags do you use? 


I usually have some sort of theme going.  I think last year was blue and silver.  Each package got a nice coordinating ribbon and a silver glittery ornament.  I think I must be an ornament freak.  I'd add them to any package.  When I have kids they'll probably get like 10 a year!  lol.  I think it's because we ALWAYS got one...EVERY year.  I am growing up to find that not everyone does that.  I just thought that's how it was, but apparently not. 

 I've gotten Mike and I an ornament every year we've been together...this will be our 6th Christmas together.  Christmas Eve was our first date.  A lunch date.  Probably didn't think it would last, but here we are.  That's a story for another time. 

So...back to the subject at hand...how will you wrap this year?!? 



-- One of My Favorites --

This morning while I load a few things onto Craigslist for sale... I'm watching one of my favorite movies!  Anyone else a Sabrina fan?  With Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond. 

Funny how I had it on this morning and Mike had never seen it.  I find that we have a lot of movies like that. 

He introduces me to movies like The Goonies, Money Pit, and Slapshot and I introduce him to movies like Sabrina, The American President and I think that's it.  We must have different movie mindsets or it's just the 7 years between us.  :)

Anyways, here are the items I'm listing on Craiglist today... if you see anything you like, let me know.  :)

Happy Weekend Blog Hogs!

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