Sweet & Salty with Uncommon Goods

Sweet & Salty with Uncommon Goods

One of my favorite places to shop online has been Uncommon Goods. For years, I’ve gotten giddy-excited when a catalog showed up in my mailbox and have spent way too much time perusing their various gift guides on their website. I’ve teamed up with Uncommon Goods to share some fun gift ideas for upcoming occasions.

When they sent me the most amazing necklace set – The Sweet & Salty Necklace Set for Friends – I knew exactly who one of the necklaces was going to. (note: I was given the necklace, but opinions and thoughts are my own)

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They’re the most charming pieces by designer Elizabeth Suda, made from “Vietnam War–era plane parts and bombs, metal that was fairly traded and honed into delicate jewelry, clearing Laos farmland of war debris and serving as a sweet reminder of friendship in the process.”

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Yesterday, I met Karen and her family at The Varsity. I’d been pondering which of us would get “Sweet” and which would get “Salty” since we’re both a little bit, well, sweet AND salty! So without looking at them, I placed them on the table (where I had just devoured a cheese Dog, onion rings, a frosted orange, and a peach pie.) (what? it’s the holidays.) and on 3, we each touched the one we felt was supposed to be ours.

Luckily, we chose different ones!

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So now, officially, I’m “Sweet” and Karen is “Salty.” As it should be, I believe!

I can honestly say, as a jeweler’s daughter who has seen a lot of friendship jewelry come and go over the years, this is the most fun one yet!

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Uncommon Goods, on top of offering the most hilarious, perfect, and perfectly ridiculous gifts, is actually a company committed to Good. They believe that sustainability starts with integrity in everything they do, both inside the company and outside. Their work with artists and small manufacturers allows them to know their products are thoughtful and made in responsible manners. In fact, everything about their mission makes me want to work for them!

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Christmas may be over, but you know what? There are occasions coming up, y’all. And Uncommon Goods has something for every. single. one. of them. One stop shop and all that!

I popped over to a few of the gift guides they have set up and found some favorites.

Valentine’s Day is soon. I mean, let’s get real, they’ve had Valentine’s candy out in the grocery store for two weeks now. It’s time to think about what you’ll be getting that special someone.

I do have a special someone I’ll be buying for this year, so looking through the Valentine’s Day list, I found a few things that caught my eye.

The Travel Stub Diary

The Travel Stub Diary for remembering our fun little visits to museums, shows, and other fun places!

I popped over to the “Gifts For Boyfriends and Guys” guide and found some other fun things!

Eye Glasses Holder

Eye Glasses Holder – For the Four Eyes in your life who always loses his (or her) glasses.

Driftwood iPhone Charging Dock

Driftwood iPhone Charging Dock – Who doesn’t need a charging dock that is made of driftwood?

And then there’s my favorite collection ever… the Jewelry!

As a jeweler’s daughter, I’m a little funny about my jewelry. Everything I own, means something to me. That’s why I love Uncommon Goods and their selection so much. Everything has a story.

Here are some favorites (in case anyone is wondering what to get me).

Sterling Silver Wings Bangle  "She took the leap and built her wings on the way down"

Sterling Silver Wings Bangle
“She took the leap and built her wings on the way down”

I can’t wait to regroup and get my mind focused on the next occasions and shop myself silly!

What would YOU buy from Uncommon Goods for someone on your list (or yourself)?

Lounging at the Heat Lounge

Lounging at the Heat Lounge

I don’t pamper myself. Heck, I don’t even maintain myself well. I don’t pedicure or manicure or even regular get haircuts. I just… I just don’t. My husband jokes that I missed a few classes in “Girl School.”

When I was asked if I’d like to come enjoy services at a new blowdry lounge in Dunwoody, of course I jumped. My hair has gotten so long and if you know me, you know it’s thick, full of body, and just kinda does its own thing. It’s much easier to just throw it in a ponytail or top knot and go. In other words, I’ve gotten lazy. (No, you’re not lazy if you do those things, but I honestly have gotten that way.”

The idea of somebody just washing my hair and blowdrying it out smooth and silky, though, made me happy.

I wasn’t expecting the fabulousness of the place.

Heat Lounge is in Dunwoody, on Peachtree Dunwoody in the shops across from Home Depot. When you walk in, you’re immediately taken by the beauty of the space. The orange splashes, the Moroccan tile floor, the beautiful wooden bar (yes, BAR), and the comfy looking chairs. They spared no expense decorating and thinking through the design, which made me feel instantly in love.

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The blowout salon features products by Moroccan Oil and MICA products, which are 100% mineral makeup. They use them exclusively during their hair and makeup services and they’re available for purchase, as well.

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I was greeted by Brittany and asked first (and foremost) whether I’d like some wine, champagne, water, or something from their cappuccino bar. It was only 10:00 in the morning, so cappuccino would be the obvious choice, but it was a holiday weekend and, well…

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Brittany asked how I’d like for my hair to be. Honestly, I didn’t know. I told her just to do something pretty and simple. She went with the sweet and soft, I think. It would be blown out and given a little curl at the end.

She took me back for a wash and scalp massage. I could have stayed right there all day long if it’d been possible. But it would have certainly been hard to drink my wine laying back in the chair.

IMG_8301When Brittany was doing my hair, she made me face away from the mirror which was actually awkward at first. But once I had about half a glass of wine, it wasn’t so awkward and made me kind of excited to see the big reveal when she was done!

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Unlike a salon, where I normally feel like the stylist is rushing through the blowdry and styling process to get to their next client, she seemed to really take her time. I felt like I was truly being pampered instead of just shuffled in and out.

Finally she was done. And right in time… my glass of wine was empty! She turned me around and my hair was flat, smooth, silky with a little flip at the end! It was perfect!

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Because Heat Lounge is so new, they gave me a quick tour of the place.

Heat Lounge is able to accommodate small parties (bachelorette, wedding, girls night out, birthday, etc) in a private lounge room. It’s beautifully decorated and fully functional inside the closed doors. There is a chair for facials, blowouts, makeup, and even a sofa for your friends to lounge around and sip on their champagne.

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Out in the main room, there is a row of makeup stations. Everything is neatly organized yet inviting – unlike some places you go that seem “off limits.”

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For the new year, I decided I was going to treat myself right. This will include regular trips to the Heat Lounge for services, including facials and blowouts. I’m planning to cut my hair short, so this should help me maintain it without too much drama and desire to grow it out and throw it back in a ponytail!

To find and connect with Heat Lounge
to make an appointment or get more information:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Website
 
Disclosure: I was provided services at Heat Lounge in Dunwoody in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own. 

 

 

It Was Like My Childhood, Only WAY Cooler

It Was Like My Childhood, Only WAY Cooler

We’re car people. That’s no secret to anyone who has been to our house. Right now, we have four cars in our driveway – though none of them domestic.

So when I got an email about test driving a GM vehicle for a week, I kinda went, “meh.” But that was mostly because I haven’t driven a domestic vehicle since our 1997 Tahoe and my 1990 Cavalier. Both had AMAZING air conditioning systems which, hello, the US wins that category hands-down!

We knew we were headed to Disney and the timing would be perfect for test driving a car of our choice. Last Wednesday, a 2014 Chevrolet Impala was delivered to my house. When I saw it, my head spun off! This car is FANCY, y’all!

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I played around in it for a little while before packing up to head to Disney at the crazy hour of 3am. I could see my Volvo SUV in the garage frowning with sadness as I kept saying, “Wow! Whoa! OHMYGOSH there’s another USB port and cup holder!”

Once I picked Henry up, he immediately started begging to bring his computer with him. I kept telling him no, but apparently he’d done some back seat research and found out my argument that the battery won’t last long was null and void. Because there’s a real outlet back there!

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We had a fun time on the drive down finding out about its features: rear cameras, MyLink (compatible with iPhones), collision alerts, blind spot alerts, OnStar (we didn’t have to test this out, thank goodness). We were in awe at the gas mileage – only having to stop about 30 miles outside of Orlando after driving nearly 450 miles.

The Impala held the road and had a tight handle. Really, it was delightful!

On the drive down, Jason and I were discussing cars from our childhood. It hit me then that the first car I remember my parents having was a 1975 Impala with a Landau roof. It was red with a white roof and had a back seat that went on for miles and miles. This 2014 version had a back seat that went on for miles and miles, too. In fact, it boasts 39.8 inches of legroom. HOLY. COW. My 6’5″ boss could sit back there, I think!

The drive home felt long. Naps were had and it was discovered that the front seat lays flat. Nice touch! Combine that with the air conditioned seats and you’ve got a good thing.

Once we were home, Atlanta got a blast of icy air. The next morning on the drive to work, I had to use the heated seat option. AND the heated steering wheel option. Both were a nice treat. My tooshie was happy and my joints in my hands were even happier!

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We had to say goodbye to the car. But I’ve gotta say, if I were in the market for a car (that wasn’t paid off already and sitting in my driveway), this would definitely be on the short list. With a family of 3, a sedan like this, that is huge but looks and feels more compact, would be perfect. And the options it boasts definitely makes it attractive to the tech-needing me.

Specifications:

  • 3.6L direct-injection V-6 with 6 speed automatic transmission
  • 305 HP (@6800 RPM)
  • 264 lb-ft (@5300 RPM)
  • 19 mpg city, 29 mpg highway
  • 18.8 cubic feet of cargo room
  • MyLink, OnStar
  • Rear park assist
  • Collision mitigation braking
  • A million other things!!

I told my parents they needed to get one. It would be like a throwback to the olden days of 1975, only WAY cooler!

Disclaimer: I was chosen to be part of a GM test drive program and was loaned a car to drive for a week. All opinions are mine and I was not compensated in any way other than to not have to put wear and tear on my car during our trip to Disney. 

 

The One Where YOU Get Lucky

The One Where YOU Get Lucky

Once upon a time, there were three girls sitting in a hotel room in rural Georgia. They were minding their own business, putting together costumes for a party, when lo and behold! they declared that they would SURELY all win the Country Outfitter boot giveaways that were being drawn for the next evening.

They were Non-Con attendees, you see. And they were having the time of their little lives. They were high on bad coffee and excellent company, and were determined they were going to emerge victorious after The Pioneer Woman drew the winners of the boots that were being given away.

So the story goes, the girls listened to Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman (for those of you living under a proverbial rock) talk about boogers and shriveling cactus (cacti, cactuses?), and anxiously awaited the drawing. First one name was drawn. Then another. And then a last one.

ALL THREE OF THE GIRLS WON BOOTS. They were obviously lucky.

It was like a bad episode of Oprah. You get boots. YOU get boots! EVERYBODY GETS BOOTS!

There was laughing.

And there was squealing.

And then there was stalking until Ree took a picture with us.

There also may have been photobombing.

Now, you may think this story is BS, but I assure you it is not.

Anyhoo…

So I got home and ordered my boots with my $150 gift card to Country Outfitter. I knew exactly which ones I wanted. However, the gift card didn’t quite cover them *blushes* so I had to ante up some more dough. But by God, I’ve worked hard and earned them (or something).

My boots arrived. It was like Christmas morning, y’all.

I chose the Old Gringo Tyler Boot. They’re like butter. Seriously. They’re like an old friend already.

They were comfortable enough, but I knew they needed a little breaking in before I would be comfortable wearing them. I’m kinda claustrophobic about shoes and well, they fit a little snug, like a bug in a rug.

I utilized a few non-traditional methods of stretching them out a little.

Mainly using SEC Championship cups. They’re the perfect size to stretch out the tops of the boots. Spray a little water in the inside and shove those bad boys in… boom. Stretched out just enough to slip a pair of jeans in there.

This weekend, I’ll be rocking my new boots at the Auburn-Georgia game (pictures below). I’m hoping they’re my lucky boots and Auburn may pull out a win. Or at least show up to the game!

And *cough* Auburn lost. Whatever.

So here’s where YOU get lucky.

Country Outfitter has given me a $150 gift card to give away to one of you beautiful people.

How to Enter:

MANDATORY: You must CLICK HERE and enter your email address to enter. Country Outfitter will occasionally send you marketing messages. You are welcome to opt out at any time.

For an ADDITIONAL entry please leave a comment below letting me know you entered. 

One lucky winner will be chosen by random.org on November 19.

contest closed 

Disclaimer and other blah blah blah: Must be a US Resident 18 years and older. CountryOutfitter, a retailer of Old Gringo boots is providing a $150 gift card for cowboy boots for me to give one of my readers. Note: I am not giving you MY boots, you will get a $150 gift card and can buy whatever boots you want with it!

Giveaway: Kidfresh Meals

Giveaway: Kidfresh Meals

I received an email the other day titled, “Looking for nutritious, convenient kids meals for Henry?” and of course I was like OHMYGOSHYES!

You see? My kid who wants to be a chef and own his own restaurant isn’t very adventurous in the food department.

He eats what we like to call hors d’oeuvres plates. The food should be separated so it doesn’t touch. It can’t be pasta because that makes him gag. He will eat raw vegetables but don’t dare give him cooked ones. He’ll eat his weight in bread and crackers if I would let him. But I try to keep that in check.

We eat out a bit, but not fast food. He very rarely gets McDonalds because YUCK!

So anyway, back to the story. I get this email and I’m all WOOHOO! Nutritious AND convenient? That’s cool! I should check it out. I first scanned the Kidfresh website and was sad because all I saw were pasta meals and it appeared they all needed to be microwaved. That’s a double whammy. He gags eating pasta and we haven’t had a microwave in two years. (I KNOW, right?) (No, you don’t need one to live.) (Seriously.)

Later I found out that Kidfresh offers a quesadilla option. AND it has instructions for cooking it on the stove or in the oven. In fact, it’s better on the stove. Who doesn’t like their quesadilla a little crunchy?

So I took my coupons for free Kidfresh meals* and headed to Publix to buy some quesadillas. I expected them to be with the other kid frozen meals, but they were with the organic and natural frozen food, which I thought was great.

We came home and cooked.

Stove top instructions (though I didn’t really need them).

There are two quesadillas in the package. I only made one for Henry. He was also having a salad and tomatoes.

Do you see the words ALL NATURAL? The Kidfresh products are 100% natural. There’s not a single drop of anything artificial. They’ve also incorporated the latest findings and nutrient-deficiency assessments from the USDA and CDC.

Look: SNEAKY! There is up to a half cup of veggies pureed and snuck into every meal! Each meal is around 300 calories and has moderate sodium and fat.

Other goodness? The containers are BPA-free and phthalate-free and completely recyclable (made of recycled materials, too).

I mean, can it sound any more delicious? They’re an earth-friendly, healthier option than other meals that cater to our kids. With close to 1 in 3 children being overweight or obese in the US today, less than 10% are eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Kidfresh is doing what they can to make affordable, convenient, all natural, healthy meals available to the masses.

And then the quesadilla was ready. Crispy, melty, full of cheese.

And it got a thumbs up from Mr. Picky himself! (It also got a thumbs up from his mom!)

They have six choices right now to choose from. Head over to their page and browse their choices. Then come back and let me know which one you would like to try if you win the giveaway!

They aren’t available in every store yet but are available in the stores below.

What is being given away?

Three (3) vouchers for one free Kidfresh meal. (so you’ll get three free Kidfresh meals)

Two (2) $1 off coupons for a Kidfresh meal. 

To enter the giveaway:

  • Leave a comment saying what you would love for your kiddo to enjoy eating and tell me which of the meals you think your child will love.
  • Follow Kidfresh on Twitter. (optional, leave a separate comment saying you follow them)
  • Like Kidfresh on Facebook. (optional, leave a separate comment saying you like them)
  • Like Jana’s Thinking Place on Facebook. (optional, leave a separate comment saying you like me. Also, WHY WEREN’T YOU ALREADY LIKING ME?)

I will choose a random winner on May 8 at 9pm Eastern. 

* Disclaimer: I was provided coupons for free and discounted product to use and review and to give away to a lucky reader. The opinions here ARE my own and cannot be bought for any amount of money or food. Ok, well, maybe for a million dollars or a lifetime supply of pizza, but nobody’s offering me that. 

 

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