You’re Invited!

i have become known as something of a “saver,” “coupon queen,” “knower of all discounts” among our group of friends and families.  they bring up a product / category of product / interest and i’m all, “hey, i totally saw that on xyz website you’ve never heard of, you should totally check it out!”  in essence, i’m a personal shopper without actually doing the shopping for y’all.

so i was thinking – why not share some of my go-tos with all of you guys?  not to mention, i can just name drop this post as a one-stop shop for people that need links or whatever.  if i have labeled them as a “FLASH SITE!” that means that their sales are time-restricted, from four hours up to several days, but stock is limited so time is of the essence if you see a fav brand.  here are my go-to (almost daily, sadly) websites:


Zulily
FLASH SITE! initially known as a kids’-only supply shop, now they have added sections for “moms” (i am not one but i am pretty sure i can still order clothes and shoes if i am just a female) and “home.”  generally very accessible price ranges and a great place to get gifts for little ones as well!

ideeli
FLASH SITE! this is a total one-stop shop for everything – kids, men, women, home, vacations.  they have a vast price range, from $10 flip flops up to Chanel and Hermes.


RueLaLa
FLASH SITE! another one-stop shop place, they have all the categories covered, and again, a generally wide price range.  sometimes it seems a little pricier than, say, ideeli, but it all depends on what the flash sales of the day actually are. a great feature of RueLaLa is if you make one purchase and pay their $9.95 shipping fee, shipping is FREE for the following thirty days – keep this in mind for the christmas shopping season!

HauteLook
FLASH SITE! all categories are covered here, as are most price ranges. they have a great “deal of the day” section with one item that has been vastly reduced. i got my husband a $600 Invicta watch there for only $60, so it is definitely a great spot to keep an eye on for gifts!

Gilt
FLASH SITE! one of the originals, Gilt tends to peddle slightly to greatly higher-end stock. it is a great place to go for your splurge purchase to save a little.  that is not to say, though, that everything is pricey – they have made a better effort lately to accommodate all incomes.  they also have a Food & Wine section, as well as Jetsetter (travel) and City (for those of you in larger cities, more of a local-type Groupon deal) sections. and i totally got my wedding dress through Gilt, for a beautiful $150!

JossandMain
FLASH SITE!  largely home goods-oriented, JossandMain has a great selection of gifts, decor, furniture, bedding, and all those great things everyone needs for their home.  they offer a pretty wide set of price points.


OneKingsLane
FLASH SITE!  again, this guy is mostly home goods.  they tend to offer a little bit on the ritzier side, but i have made a purchase or two through them.  today only, they are offering 30% off your purchase!

theFoundary
FLASH SITE! this is another mostly home goods-driven site.  they have occasional offerings of jewelry, tech goods, or kids’ stuff, but their bread and butter is home decor and furniture.  i have found their prices to be the most accessible of the home goods sites i check.

Save-On-Crafts
i used this site for wedding supplies.  let’s just say i spent between $450 and $500 on this site, if that is any indication!  cheapest craft supplies, home decor, DIY supplies out there.  and believe me, i price compared until my fingers and eyes bled.

MyHabit
FLASH SITE!  MyHabit offers mostly high-end merch marked down a bit – for instance, right now you can find Chanel, Elizabeth & James, Thakoon, Christian Siriano, Derek Lam, Peter Som, and See by Chloe up for sale on here. i tend to keep this site in mind if i have been or want to save up for a real splurge item and want to still get a little bit of a markdown.


BelleandClive
FLASH SITE!  BelleandClive is pretty similar to MyHabit in its offerings.  so far i haven’t found much that is in my price range on here, but they do seem to offer a wider range of price points than MyHabit. since i first started checking this site out, though, it seems that they have given more attention to offering some stuff that we peons can afford!

Fab
FLASH SITE!  are you a hipster, or want to be? fab is probably the site for you.  they offer quirky, independent, small-stock options from up and coming artists, designers, or brands.  this is the spot for a funny gift, a worldly treasure, something handmade/hand-pressed/hand-drawn.  it is a great gift site, for its unique offerings and wide range of price points!


BaubleBar
mmmm BaubleBarrrrrr.  the chicest, most on-trend jewels and baubles offered up at real-people prices.  i haven’t made a purchase yet because there are too many things i want!!


CoachFactory
lemme know if you need an invitation by email to this guy.  Coach bags marked down drastically, as well as all of their accessories, tech gear, man stuff, shoes, jewelry, and more, for those of us that don’t live in the same zip code as a live storefront.

BathandBodyWorks
ok so i know this is kind of a standard mall go-to, but let me explain.  join their email list.  follow their sales and try to shuffle your coupons.  i NEVER buy anything full price here, unless i’m getting something free on the side.  for instance, just this week i went and got the 2 for $20 3-wick candles (one for me, one for my gift closet is my mentality), and scored a free full-size hand lotion and a travel-size matching body wash with coupons (both of which ALSO went in my gift closet).  so basically, one candle and three free gift items for what i would have paid for just the one full-price candle.  also keep an eye on them because they like to change their branding – when they do, the “old” branding gets marked down to simply ridiculous amounts (think $1 for a full-size lotion).  in my mind, one of the BEST places to score stocking stuffers and other small gifts!


BedBathandBeyond
anyone who knows this store knows their coupon policy – i.e. they NEVER expire. i have a wad of mail-delivered and email-delivered coupons in my bag from them at all times. i tend to go for their WoodWick line of candles/diffusers, as well as the Tervis tumblers and other gifty items. it’s always good to have those 20%-ers on hand though!

WorldMarket
also a great sale holder.  sadly, they left the Memphis market a couple of years ago, so if i want to go to a “real” store it’s to Nashville i go.  if you sign up for their email list and their World Market Explorer program, you can get tons of advance notice on huuuuge markdown sales, especially furniture that is relatively decent quality (i’d say a step up or two from ikea).

Romwe
i am pretty sure this is a Chinese-based company, so your deliveries can take a while from them (free shipping though!).  they have cute, trend-based stuff at pretty solid prices, and offer discounts for signing up for their email program.

Asos
another long-distancer, this site is based in England, so your deliveries are not exactly quick – but hey, you don’t pay for shipping through them, so who cares?  super cute, trend-based, at great prices.  i got an oversized yellow clutch through them and get stopped all the time for compliments. a boutique employee in Austin even thought it was Celine (haaaaa cha right!)!


ModCloth
a bit hipster-ish/retro-ish, ModCloth has trendy clothing that is really great quality.  half of my bridesmaids (those in the yellow dresses) got their dresses from here for a measly $40!


Poshlocket
they don’t have the widest offering out there, but i wear their Jana Twisted Knot Studs so often i should get paid to be a walking advertisement. they have great basics at solid quality, and each piece is something you could wear againandagainandagain (like i do).

 &


Drugstore.com & Beauty.com
ok another one you should join the email lists on and keep an eye out for their markdowns.  i swear to god, i got an email from them once that was 40% off EVERYTHING on drugstore.com.  this is stuff you already buy at the tarjay or kroger, people!  i put together a huge order of detergent, toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, etc etc and spent way, way less than what i would have in the store.  scored free shipping, too!  and same on beauty.com – if you keep an eye out for their sales, this is stuff you would be needing/ordering anyway, but rather than go in to Macy’s and spend twice as much, place an order and boom, on to your doorstep it appears!  love these sites.

Ulta
Ulta is a fantastic place to join their rewards program.  you routinely get $3.50 to $10 off of your purchases, plus they run all these lovely buy 2 get 3 type sales, AND with every online order you get 3 free samples.  i have fully stocked my manicure shelf with their buy 2 get 1 free OPI & essie sales, and it can be a great place to stock up your gift closet or your guest bathroom!

SoleSociety
beautiful shoes. what more do you want? oh, and at great prices. enjoy.


ShopStyle
ShopStyle has both a store as well as a Polyvore-type feature so you can create looks for yourself from purchase-able items (that other folks can see, so show them what you’re made of!).  they run pretty good sales on higher-end merch, so check them out!


Beso
Beso is my price comparison site. enter a specific item you are looking for (i.e. “robe” or “House of Harlow Chelsea Sunglasses”) and it runs a multi-site, internet-wide search. then simply find what you are looking for at the lowest price, and you hath saved!


Woot
while not the most user-friendly setup, woot can be a great place to score most especially techy stuff.  so if you’re looking for phone/iPad accessories, a new tv, speakers, whatever, click on their “Community-Sourced Deals” link and search away. somehow the people that run and contribute to this site find INSANE deals on stuff.  a great place to look if your child absolutely must have the brand new Nintendo DS/Wii/XBox/PlayStation/Atari whatever this christmas.


RETAILMENOT.COM
i am typing in bold here, people. this site cannot be underestimated.  are you making a purchase from ANY RETAIL WEBSITE ON THE PLANET? open a new tab, pull up RetailMeNot, and run a search for coupon or promo codes for that store.  you’re welcome.  i have used this site to get free shipping, discounts, free items, and more.  ALWAYS USE THIS SITE.

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Dog Babies

doggy update!  finnigan, pictured above, is (despite her listed offenses above) the light of our lives. she is a bubble of sunshine and energy, but best loves to be snuggled up on top of us.

  

oliver is suffering from a serious case of the tasty paws, and is thusly coned for a majority of his time.  he is still a lovey little man and provides us with endless entertainment and me with unbounded protection.

  

gibson, my sweet, sweet, sweet gibby bear.  he loves his mumma, his daddy, snuggles, toys, treats, and his brudder & sister, in that order.  he is our most submissive dogchild and will always give up his treat, toy, spot on the couch, and anything he has if either of the other dogs glances his way. he is a big softie and we love our firstborn with all of our everything.

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In My Shower

In My Shower
i *might* have a bit of a problem with mint-scented/flavored/whatevered stuff.
all of this stuff can be found in my shower or on my bedside table right now – the rundown would be:
– organix teatree mint shampoo AND conditioner
– B&BW stress relief eucalyptus spearmint body wash
– B&BW stress relief eucalyptus spearmint body lotion
– B&BW stress relief eucalyptus spearmint pillow mist
– Lush mint julips lip scrub
we also always have a eucalyptus spearmint candle on the candle warmer. i always chew trident mint gum. i have a big old weakness for mint lip glosses.
y’all, i need a mintervention.
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InstaMemphis

sharing some of my personal instagram (and picfx and simplyHDR) snaps of this city i apparently now call home – does anyone else still feel like an outsider where they are, even if they’ve been there for ohhhhh almost 4 years??

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dream a little dream

dream a little dream

 le sigh.  the bags i wish/hope/dream/pray for…

1. Celine Phantom Luggage Tote

2. Phillip Lim 3.1 31 Hour Tote

3. Hermes Birkin, natch

4. Mulberry Alexa

5. Louis Vuitton Alma

apparently i really like structure, classic colors, and clean-lined shapes.  maybe someday i will see these beauties lined up in my closet!  dream BIG!

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Top of the Pops

let me start this post by saying i am in no way playing favorites among friends, family, or acquaintances when i make these choices…just stating my humble opinions!  i wanted to share with you what ended up being some of our favorite wedding gifts, whether for the luxurious touches they brought to our life, the usefulness of the item, or just for the fun of it!

(oh, and these are in no particular order…)

this Wusthof Classic 4.5″ Hollow Ground Santoku knife has CHANGED MY LIFE, not to be too dramatic about it.  it makes cutting pretty much anything a total pleasure.  i feel all fancy and top-cheffy using it, love it!

our galvanized party tub.  already used two weekends in a row, i think this baby is going to get a workout this summer out on our dock.  no more going in and out of the house for fresh beers for Mr. Anderson and co.!

our Marimekko Pippurikera Sage Comforter & Sheets Set; helllloooo soft snuggly luxury.  once our bed was made with these lovelies, the dogs were officially relegated to sleeping in the office every night.  they get tucked in and actually like the routine of it, while pete and i get to reclaim our bed and sprawl in this softness.

our set of 12 Nosh Bowls is seriously one of the best things we could have gotten.  we have one to hold change by our front door; we have one to hold our espresso filter cups by our new machine; pete loves to be fancy and use them for mise en place while he prepares dinner (“i’m on top chef!”); they have so many uses it is literally limitless what you can do with them.

Hotel Collection Robe, Waffle Pique Bath Robe

Hotel Collection Waffle Pique Bath Robe in white – we got two of these babies and i will confess to living in mine pretty regularly.  i feel pretty swank laying around the house in this and my slippers.  i even slept in it the other day….allegedly.

  

via gift cards and money gifts, we picked up our Stok Quattro 4-Burner gas grill – pete will definitely tell you this one was in his top 5.  with interchangeable plates you can use it to grill, saute, bake a pizza, and steam veggies.  it is super sturdy, and has really done us right so far.

there were dozens of other gifts that have improved our lives in every imaginable way, but i would say that so far (a whole entire 53 days in) these are our most-used and frequently raved over gifts.  can’t recommend any of them enough if you have any wedding gift shopping to do!

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Leading the Way

love this picture of us with the boys on wedding day!

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Wedding Crafts & Personal Touches

please forgive my brief sabbatical, i wanted to keep nana at the top of the page there for a while.

the irish blessing she read at our wedding was one of many personal touches i tried to incorporate into our day.  i wanted the wedding to say, even scream, “PETE & KATIE!”  i have been to too many weddings that scream,

“Hey, this is actually my parents’ party that just happens to be on our big day!” or

“I like the most generic and trite of decor because I had no idea what else to do!”

and i wanted ours to be a 180 from that bizniss.

so here’s some stuff i put my fingers on:

our cake topper.  a friend did the illustration, i ordered the laser cutout on acrylic, and i loved the result!  patsy got to be there on our special day, if only in spirit.

our wedding party.  hello, ridiculousness.  pete had 12 groomsmen, i had 11 attendants (10 bridesmaids, 1 bridesdude).  we could not have done this without any of them.  especially take absurd pictures.

signage.  my nephews carried this particular sign, which i freehanded using a word doc on my laptop and different fonts for inspiration.  i could just hear everyone “awwwwwwww”-ing when these two came down the aisle, and they were so dang proud to have this job!  i also did signs for our photo booth, candy table, and an Avett Brothers quotation that i thought perfectly fit the day:

Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name.”

including our bebes.  this was pre-finnigan, so these two got to get taken out of camp for a couple of hours to come be with us for our first look and some key pictures.  it wouldn’t have been a wedding day without our little boys!

ring pillow.  i hand-sewed this ring pillow that never actually carried any rings and was really just for show.  my nephew, luke, carried it down the aisle for us though!

my great-grandmother’s handkerchief.  my mom’s mom’s mom made this for my mom to carry down the aisle, and i got to carry it too – it has some yellow spots from age but you can’t beat this for “something old.”

our fire axe.  purely for show, this was our cake-cutting utensil.  it reads “ANDERSON” then the EMS/fire maltese cross, then “EST. 2012”.  i love that we will always have the thing we used to cut our cake hanging out on our wall.

centerpieces, table runners, and “chandeliers.”  as i went in to previously, i did the chandeliers by hand.  we used stitch witchery to make the table runners over an afternoon, and i ordered (and now own, anyone want one?) and arranged all of the centerpieces.  i wanted to alternate tall and low centerpieces, so the ones with willow are almost 4′ tall on the tables while the ones with yellow baby’s breath – who knew that existed? – are only about 1′ tall.

my backdrop, as previously discussed.  it looked so awesome in all of the pictures!  added the perfect touch i had hoped to achieve.

we also designed our own cakes, elected to serve moscato instead of champagne (i’m a sweet wine kinda girl), played some mega-important songs to our various friend groups like “rosanna” by toto and “like a prayer” by madonna, and reused all of the bridesmaid bouquets as centerpieces on our 2-person tables.  i’m actually pretty proud of how this turned out, and have to thank my photographers, Pablo Corona Photography, for these beautiful images (which p.s. are copyrighted by me and them!)!

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Helen James, 1925-2012

sorry for the radio silence, i’m not gone…just taking a breather.

when i alluded to an emotional week on one of my previous posts, i was dealing with a precarious situation with my grandmother.  two weeks ago, she had a massive stroke while eating lunch with her friends.

she held on for several days, but passed away last tuesday, march 27th, one year and one day after i lost my grandfather, her husband of nearly 60 years.

since then i have been in pennsylvania helping close out her home and attend her service and come back home, but it still all feels pretty surreal.  my Nana, Helen James, taught me so much.  with her i learned to bake, to garden, to sew.  i remember her telling me stories while i laid in bed about her childhood, my mom’s childhood, and my own babyhood, and i would touch her elbow while she talked and ask why her skin was so soft there.  her voice had a habit of switching octaves every so often, dropping deep and then coming back up with no real rhythm but was still kind of entrancing.

last month my 87-year-old Nana made the trip to my wedding.  when i walked into my bridal shower the day prior to the big event, she was one of the first people i greeted and she immediately teared up, as she had at my high school and then college graduations.  “this isn’t a time for crying, Nana!” i told her.  “this is a happy time!”

“i know, i know,” she said.  and we had a great shower, beautiful rehearsal dinner, and then ceremony together. she gave me her own copy of The Joy of Cooking, which i will always treasure.   i asked her to read an irish blessing to us at the wedding and she said she would love to, “because, i do read in church all the time and my voice still projects quite well, you know.”

she choked up for the beginning of the blessing but soldiered on, needing a pause to turn the page and regain her footing. after the ceremony concluded we took pictures together, some candid, some posed.  i will be forever grateful that she was able to come to my wedding not just for me but because i knew how big of a deal it was to her.  she planned out her outfits starting in december!  i will always miss her and am still shocked to not include her on my emails-to-grandparents with wedding pictures, but i am so lucky to have had her teach me so many skills that i will always have and hope to pass on to future generations of my own.

she was the child of missionaries, the college and then master’s graduate, the mother of adopted girls, the teacher, the volunteer, the traveler, the proud grandmother, the doting wife, the caregiver, and the wonderful sister.  we miss her so much already.

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