Friday, December 19, 2014

Have a great weekend

Good afternoon, friends, and happy Friday! Eeeek, it's less than one week until Christmas! What are you doing this weekend? We're getting together with some family friends tomorrow to try the new Texas Roadhouse that just opened -- have you ever been there? Anything you'd recommend? Then on Sunday, we're having my father's side of the family over to celebrate the holidays. Here's to holiday merriment! I hope you all have a great weekend, and here are my favorite finds from the wonderful Web...

The Prince George cuteness is almost too much.

Which Lip Smacker are you?

I'm a sucker for holiday movie quotes!

Two powerful forces: Bill Nye and emoji...

Don't these lemon thyme bars look delicious?

I can sure relate to this.

Last-minute DIY holiday gifts.

Millennials define what happiness means to them.

How-To: Get a little more "me" time.

The changing face of women's careers.

This delicious round-up of wedding cakes is making me hungry!

Why Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" has become such a holiday staple.

Such a touching letter from one woman to her ex-husband's new wife.

Cosmo's Feelings section is giving me just that today!

Haha, it's the Twelve Beards of Christmas.

How awesome is this collage art by Beth Hoeckel? (via Design Crush)

I'm putting this ring on my Christmas wishlist.

Thank you, Drew Barrymore!

Warning: These jelly gummies GIFs can't be unseen.

Apparently, the divorce surge is over.

**Don't forget to enter the Grace365 Print Giveaway -- you've got until next Wednesday!!

And as always, feel free to connect with me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and now YouTube! See you there, friends! xoxo

[Gingerbread photo from Hint of Vanilla]

Thirty-seven years ago

Thirty-seven years ago today, these two crazy kids got engaged, and both their lives were never the same again. Everything I know about love, I learned from them. What to say. The importance of simple gestures. And of course, how to strategically change the thermostat without the other noticing. Thanks, Ms. Bear and Father. For everything.

P.S. My parents' engagement story and wedding photos.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide #8: For The Kid At Heart

A personalized memory game in honor of the epic battles you two had as kids, $24.99.

A science set of temporary tattoos because they're like a walking encyclopedia, $15.

Sweet candy ($25) or a candy dispenser ($17.98) because they're the sweetest person you know.
An inflatable globe because they'd always wanted one as a child and because, umm, it's a GIANT globe, $7.95.
Hey Girl journal for the ultimate fangirl moment, $9.95.
A PEZ dispenser because you can never go wrong with this cute treat, $
Mad libs to tickle their funny bone, $12.99 for a set of 5.
This chalkboard piggy bank since they always have a bunch of change in their pockets, $7.99.
...or a personalized coin purse because, well, see above, $20.

P.S. The complete 2014 Holiday Gift Guide! :)

My Diaries (The Remix): Reading #60

Etsy Love: Ocean-inspired necklaces

I've been daydreaming of white sandy beaches ever since I spotted Jodi's wave necklaces in her Etsy shop this morning. How amazing is the intricate details on each one? Considering it's freezing here in the Midwest, I'd loooove to be sitting in a beach chair, staring out at the ocean and sipping an ice-cold root beer. Quick, who wants to join me? xoxo

P.S. This nautical wheel necklace is awesome too! :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide #7: For The (Proud!) Cat Lady

How To Make Your Cat An Internet Celebrity because Grumpy Cat has NOTHING on your furry friend, $8.19.
A fun iPhone case because it's the next best thing to actually making "meow" their ringtone, $34.
This wall calendar to make her smile every morning for 365 days, $7.07.
A sleep mask for sweet dreams, $24.
The appropriate bag to show the world her sheer feline fanaticism, $19.99.
A mug for her special club, $14.
Irving, the cheeky cat, to watch over her office while she's away, $35.
This delicate cat ring to add the perfect touch to holiday outfits, $24. 

A pair of cozy cotton socks ($10.90) and a classic cat sweater ($29.80) for weekends spent lounging around the house -- just like her cat.
...and a funny tee because, well, it's true, $17.

How I Feel (In 5 Photos) Wednesday.

"In the chilly hours and minutes of uncertainty, I want to be...In the warm hold of your loving mind..." --Donovan

[Photos via empty forest]

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tuesday Giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Renee from Grace365, her Etsy shop of inspiring prints. The Michigan-based artist creates everything from lyrical prints to quotation prints and even offers custom prints. In several areas of my home, instead of hanging one photo or piece of art, I've created gallery walls or even just small clusters. I like to mix and match personal photos with quirky or inspiring artwork. How neat is that?

She's giving one reader her choice of downloadable print. The instant download will include two (RGB and CMYK) 8x10 inch, high-resolution JPEG files that can be printed online or at your preferred local print shop. Which one would you choose? I'm loving this one and this one. And of course, you can't go wrong with this one for the holidays!

For your chance to win, simply visit Grace365, FOLLOW on Facebook and leave a comment below, telling us which print you'd choose if you won. For additional entries, you can (please leave a separate comment for each entry)...

*Follow Grace365 on Twitter
*Follow Grace365 on Instagram
*Fan So About What I Said on Facebook
*Follow So About What I Said on Twitter
*Follow So About What I Said on Pinterest
*Follow So About What I Said on Instagram
*Follow So About What I Said via GFC (see right-hand sidebar...)

You can also Tweet about the giveaway -- just make sure to mention @melissablake + @grace365prints in your Tweet!

A winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday, December 23rd, so you've got a whole week to enter. Have fun, friends! xoxo

Holiday Gift Guide #6: For The Fashionista

This heartbeat tee because she's all heart, $49.50.
This petite rose gold heart necklace, so they'll always have your heart, $23.
A gold shamrock bracelet for good luck, $37.
An inspirational print in their quest to be the next Anna Wintour, $12.
Fifty Dresses That Changed The World to add to her collection, $13.17.
This pretty pouch wallet for all their treasures, $28.50.
Silver snail studs because they're delicate and understated, just like her, $50.

Fun lip balm ($11.40) to remind her of junior high and a bottle of Sally Hansen's Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear in Red Carpet (prices vary), her absolute favorite holiday shade.
A pair of shoe clips to add some pep to their step, $25.
...and a pair of warm slippers for when winter gets real, $39.50.

**Special Discount: Love From Cyprus is offering 15% off shoes, bags and accessories in both their Etsy shop and their online boutique. Just use code MELXOXO at checkout!

Wise Words From Readers: On favorite books...

Books are magical, aren't they? Maybe magical is even an understatement. I mean, think about it. From the time we learn to read, usually a Dr. Seuss tale about cats or green eggs, we let books take us on fantastical journeys to faraway places. Outer space. The wild west. The future. It seems we all have our favorite book, and are quite passionate about said favorite...

*The Harry Potter series. When I was a kid, my mother took me to the bookstore, determined to turn me into a reader. We came home with The Sorcerer’s Stone. She read the first two chapters to me and then I tackled the rest. It took me MONTHS to finish it, but I was completely enthralled by it. I remember reading chapter twelve, where Harry Potter sees his parents in the Mirror of Erised, and how it left my insides rustling. I bolted down the stairs to my mother, the smartest woman in the world, the woman who understood all things, could explain all things, and asking her what was wrong with me.

“I read this chapter,” I said, “and now my heart feels funny.”

My mother peered up at me from the couch. A smile softened her face. “Oh, it’s okay, sweetie. Books do that to you sometimes.”

So, I kept reading.

I didn't realize it then, but that was the first time I actually felt something for a character in a book. It was the first time writing left a physical impact. Later, when I read The Chamber of Secrets, I realized this entire world of magic, places and characters was made out of words, and I wanted to do the same thing. So, I did. I wrote a 300 page book by hand when I was eleven years old, and then I realized I was wired for this. I've been doing it ever since.

*The Little Prince -- Super explanations on the beautiful simplicity of life, joy, friendship and death. Loved it as a child; love it more as an adult.

*I like all murder mysteries!

*A Rose In Winter. Very well written.
I have two favorite books, though one is a play. I remember reading The Catcher In The Rye in junior high and falling in love with Holden, the James Dean-esque rebel who becomes disillusioned with phonies as he tries to find himself. I don't think anyone at that age could read the book and not identify with Holden -- even if it's only a little bit. Another one of my favorites is Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie. The story mirrored my family, almost eerily so, and I remember reading the play in one sitting and being just a wee bit spooked when I finished. It's weird when books have that sort of power, isn't it? Anyway, here's next week's question...

What's your favorite holiday family tradition? Why does it stand out in your mind?

Visit So About What I Said on Facebook and Twitter to share your smarts -- and don't forget to use hashtag #WiseWordsFromReaders. See you there, friends! :)

[Photos via We Heart It]
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