Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Review of New Online Shopping Sites

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the new group of online shopping sites that are popping up... you know the ones that offer a limited number of designer brand items at a discount until they are sold out. See the original post here. Well, back then I had placed an order with one of the sites, and now that my order has arrived I thought I would share my experiences with you.

Around the end of February I ordered some clothing for myself from Hautelook. It is designer name clothing, but a brand that I had never worn before. I ordered two tops, one dress and one pair of jeans. In terms of speed of service, the order did take longer than I expected to actually ship. I expect it to take a while to get here once it has been shipping since it is coming from the US to Canada, but it was over a week and a half before I was sent a shipping confirmation notice. I guess they must have a lot of orders to fill, so maybe I should cut them some slack.

However, the day after I received my shipping notice, I received another email stating that my order was not being shipped complete. In fact, one of the tops I ordered had been "short-shipped" by the supplier and I would not be receiving it at all... ever. This is not technically Hautelook's fault since the brand promised them a certain quantity and couldn't deliver. However, it is disappointing nonetheless. Hautelook refunded my money (probably not the same amount I had paid since the exchange rate had likely changed since then) and gave me a $20 credit towards my next order. At least they tried to make up for it.

On another negative side (totally not Hautelook's fault again), none of the clothes fit very well. I don't often buy clothes online unless it is a brand that I already have in my closet so I know my exact size, so perhaps I should stick to that!

In short, my advice is to to stick to what you know when using these fancy new online shopping sites... if you know you like the fit of William Rast jeans and know your size, then go for it! You'll save some money for sure... just don't get your hopes up too high in case there is a short-ship issue! And, be aware that you won't be getting them in time for that party this weekend if you live in Canada...

Monday, March 29, 2010

I Got My iPhone

I picked up my new iPhone today... Happy Birthday to Me! Any other iPhone or iTouch users out there please let me know which apps are must haves for moms, wives and females in general. I can compile a list of the fave apps and post it on my blog for everyone afterwards! Comment below or send an email to me at!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's my party and I'll rest if I want to...

Today is my birthday! So, since today is supposed to be about me... I choose to do as little as possible. I have a meeting this morning for an event, but that will only take a couple of hours, then the rest of the day can be spent being lazy and not feeling guilty about it. I will not be making dinner and I will not be doing any dishes. I will not clean anything. I think that it should be our gift to ourselves every year to be selfish for one day on our birthday! We deserve it!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mother First

I have been feeling yucky all day, and therefore really struggling to take care of Toddler B. Poor little man wants me to play hockey and stuff, but I can barely get off the couch long enough to make him a sandwich. As a mom you do what you can to take care of your kids because they come first, right? But, while he naps I think I need to put myself first and maybe have a snooze too...

Friday, March 19, 2010

I need to pluck my eyebrows!

I have been torn this week about my decision to work part-time as a contract event planner for a local event company. I am more stressed out than usual, and I have less time for my family and taking care of myself and my home. Even my eyebrows have been neglected to the point that I looked in the mirror yesterday and nearly started to cry at the site of all the "stray" hairs.

But, I enjoy event planning, and when I took the job I felt like this experience would really help me on my path to becoming a qualified and respected events professional. How do you ever know what the right decision is? I am one of those people who asks "what if..." a million times a day. I analyze every possible outcome and event after I make a decision I obsess about whether it was the right one.

I guess at least I only have a 6-month contract to fullfil and then I can decide what the best future for me {and my family} will be. I am so impressed by all the other moms out there who seem to have it all together and balance everything.

*** On a lighter note, a shout out to my little brother who had his quarter century birthday on Wednesday! He commented that I had never blogged about him, so now he can't say that anymore! ;) Love you "Uncle Reggie" from B! ***

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Simple Little Indulgences

Are there obscure little things in your life, that for whatever reason make you feel like a million bucks? Raindrops on roses perhaps? Or whiskers on kittens?

I am simply referring to the little somethings that bring a smile to your face, or remind you of something or time you enjoyed in the past. These may have a small price tag {like $5 or so} or be totally free.

Here are a few of mine:
1. A handful of chocolate mini eggs in the middle of the day.
2. Fresh squeezed orange juice. {Hubby and I picked some up at Sunterra Market a few weeks ago and it made us feel so spoiled, and reminded us of our vacation in Cuba where we were served fresh squeezed orange juice every morning for breakfast}
3. When my house cleaner folds the toilet paper into a little triangle just like a hotel housekeeper.
4. An out of the blue kiss or 'i love you' from my son.
5. A real letter in the mail.

What makes the top of your list?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Short & Sweet

Lately I haven't been able to find enough time to spend really playing with Toddler B between all the other schtuff that is going on, so this is it for today's Mother Monday post. Short and sweet so I can spend time with my short sweetie! Hope you all have a great day!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fabulous Female Friday: Penny People Designs

It dawned on me the other day that I have yet to blog about one of my favourite companies ever... Penny People Designs. A wonderfully talented and sweet girl by the name of Lindsay Stephensen is the owner and mastermind behind this darling company that makes custom stationery products.

My favourite products are her penny people cards with characters that you personalize {hair colour and style, clothes} to make look like you {or the person that the cards are for}. They also make fab photo cards, birth announcements and mommy calling cards, amongst other cool products.

However, when I popped on over to the Penny People site this morning I noticed that a bunch of my favourite items aren't there anymore. So, I did a little investigating, and it appears that my favourite divapreneur is becoming a mompreneur! Yes, Lindsay is expecting, and in preparation for baby's arrival she has scaled back the business. But, she promises that when she returns she will be armed with a bunch of brand new products in addition to old faves.

In the meantime, you can still order a few birth announcements and her sweet alphabet or number art prints!

Best of luck Lindsay!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

iphone, itouch, ijustdon'tknow...

It's my birthday this month and hubby and I have been discussing my gift. I really want an iphone, but I am having trouble justifying and digesting the cost. Did you know that Canada is the most expensive country to own an iphone in? The plans that are offered to Canadians are expensive when you consider what you get {most countries charge a similar monthly fee, but it includes unlimited data and downloads and/or unlimited talk as opposed to the common 500MB or 1 GB data plans and set number of minutes Canadians can choose from}.

I have mulled over the option of getting a blackberry instead, but it's really not that much cheaper and I won't be able to download all the fun apps. I really want the fun recipe apps my friends rave about. And I have heard rumours of an education learning app that turns your phone into a "toy" to distract a fussy toddler, while locking all other phone functions so that junior can't dial out or delete all your contacts while playing with your phone.

I also considered getting an ipod touch and just keeping my current cell phone, but then I don't get the email notifications on the touch and I can only use the internet when I am in a wi-fi supported area.

And if I do choose to get an iphone I also have to pick a service company. The lesser of all the evils, I just don't know?! And considering the speed at which technology is moving {and knowing my luck}, as soon as I make a decision a new generation iphone will come out and/or the prices will drop. Oh woe is me! Anyone have any tips?

Monday, March 8, 2010

I wish it really was spring!

I am really enjoying this spring-like weather we are having in Calgary lately. But, it is so disappointing to know that winter isn't actually over and this warm sunshine is only temporary! I can't wait to be able to get outside with Toddler B and burn off some energy each day, because he sure has a lot of spunk lately!

Toddler B is starting to grasp play time by himself for a little while, which is a nice reprieve for me. And, he also seems to enjoy pretend play now. We like to pretend we are airplanes flying to all his favourite places {everywhere from grandma's house down the street to a beach in Mexico}. He also like to do crafty things sometimes, which I find relaxing.

What are some things that you do with your little ones to keep busy {and sane} when you are cooped up inside over the winter?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

And Saturday is the new Friday!

Friday afternoon we left to go away for the weekend before I had a chance to write my blog post. We are back in my husband's home town because yesterday was his friend's surprise 30th birthday party. I am trying to recall, but I think it is one of the few surprise parties I have attended with the only other ones being for my grandparents in the US. And amazingly enough the surprisee claims he was actually suprised. We all thought for sure he would have found out especially living in the Facebook world!

It was quite a fun little gathering, but even though we had grandma come and pick up Toddler B to take him home for bedtime, we ended up leaving extremely early ourselves {like we are talking home by 10:00pm here}. A large portion of the guests left before us as well {lots of us seem to have kids now}, and only a few hardcore guests headed out to the bar after the dinner party was over.

I still have a couple of years to go before the big 3-0. For me it probably won't be much different since I have never really been one to party anyways, but boy does it make you feel old when you look around a room a 9:30 and all you see is yawning faces. Or maybe, it was just that it was a Friday evening? I am always too exhausted to stay up on Fridays after surviving the week!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday is the new Wednesday

Oops! I forgot to do a post again yesterday... so today is the new yesterday!

I have recently become addicted to the newest crop of online shopping sites... the ones that sell designer brands at a discount. I have been invited to try a few of them by friends, and I placed my first order last week. I am always a bit of a skeptic, so I have tried not to order anything else until I receive my first order and can determine if it was in fact a good deal, and if I received good service.

The one I decided to try first was Hautelook. But, there are more out there including Beyond the Rack and Zulily.

It's a bit disappointing when you log on and find that the items you would most covet are already sold out. You definitely have to be quick on the draw {or click as the case may be}. Warning: Your hubby or significant other will not be too pleased that you call him every morning asking if you can place an order!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Some {More} of My Favourite Things...

As promised, here is the follow up post to last week's Mother Monday list of some of my top baby/toddler finds {and the fabulous online stores I like to shop at}. I apologize that it appears that some of my links aren't working properly lately. If you need the info on any product or store, send me an email {} and I'd be happy to oblige!

6. Toddler Buckled Belts by Kula Klips that I purchased from True Cuddles. My son has always been a little guy, and he needs a belt to hold up his pants because the ones that are long enough for him are usually too big in the waist. True Cuddles is one of my favourite online stores {also based out of Calgary} that offers one baby or toddler product each week at a really great discount. Sign up for their weekly email alert!

7. KidKusion Gummi Crib Rail Cover I ordered from Belly Laughs. Our little guy started chewing on his crib when he was teething and hubby and I struggled to find something that would save our $500+ dollar investment from our little termite. Enter the Gummi Crib Rail Cover. It has since fallen off {we had to move it once because we hadn't placed it correctly and the stick just never stuck right after that, so be sure you position it correctly the first time}, but it did the trick at the time! 8. Leap Frog Learning DVD Set ordered from Chapters or Amazon Canada. My son loves these DVDs and they are doing an excellent job of teaching him his alphabet! Chapters also has a great selection of toys and DVDs, so check them out next time you are ordering a book. Amazon doesn't carry toys, but their prices on books and DVD's are always competitive with Chapters.

9. Thought Spots by Thought Spots. Also a Canadian company. Thought Spots are little reminders and messages that inspire or tell someone you care. They cling to mirrors and other glass surfaces, but are easily removed. The New Mom Thought Pack makes a great baby shower gift!
10. Fisher Price Grow-to-Pro Basketball Net from My son loooves his basketball net. No, still doesn't ship to Canada {at least not most things and not for a reasonable shipping fee}. I have family in Montana, so I shipped an order from Amazon to my grandparent's house a few weeks before my parents were planning to be there for a visit. Amazon seriously has everything, so I wish they would make shopping with them from Canada more easy and cost effective!