Save Christmas Update

Thank you all so much for helping save Christmas for my friend, the single mother of two kids who [very] recently lost her job. I told her that I needed to see her on Friday, either for lunch or after I got off work. I told her I had to give her something important.

We met at the local Chick-fil-A and I bought us both lunch. Then we sat down in a booth and I handed her a big red envelope. Some people had sent checks made out to me, which I turned into cash (large bills so it would all fit in the envelope) and some people sent checks made out to her, which I placed into the envelope along with a gift card, a regular card and other stuff that I had received for her. I also added $20 for gas money.

I had totaled u everything the night before: $560, $25 gift card, 2 boxes of presents for the kids, 1 box of note cards & 1 book of stamps!

But since I had to stop at the ATM that morning I decided to round up the amount to an even $600 and then I got another $100 donation that afternoon.

My friend tried to act mad that I was trying to make her cry in public. She looked through everything in the envelope. I told her that this was from over 20 people, some who knew her and some who didn’t and from all over the country. I told her we all just wanted to give her support and hope and that this was for her and her kids, so they could have a nice Christmas and get what they needed.

She said that she appreciated this more than she could say and more than we could understand. She was very overwhelmed and I don’t think she expected that at all. She texted later that night to say thanks again.

After lunch, I took her out to my car and gave her the boxes for the kids. When I got home that night, I had a check for $200 for my friend sent from my extremely kind and generous aunt. A day later I received another $40 in the mail for her. I texted my friend back and said we would have to have lunch again soon, because I had just received more donations for her!

Thank you all so much for pitching in! Everyone should feel proud of the difference you have made in helping this lady. She really appreciates it. I’m sure you all earned some good karma this December. She has had some job interviews already, so please keep your fingers crossed that she gets a job offer soon!

Save Christmas

My friend, who is a single mom with 2 kids, just lost her job, mere weeks before Christmas. There is never a good time to be unemployed, but she has had an extra hard year and was not expecting this new setback. I’m going to respect their privacy and not disclose all the details, but trust me, this situation sucks.

I thought about it all day, just sick to my stomach about the state of the world. Then I posted on Facebook and Twitter asking if anyone would be willing to donate to help her provide Christmas (among other needs) for her kids. The kids are a pre-teen and young teen, so they won’t feel that Santa let them down if they don’t get presents. But they are extremely good kids who deserve a nice Christmas, and their mom is a sweet, caring lady who works her butt off to provide for them. She needs to be able to give them a Christmas.

In less than 24 hours, I have gotten just under $300 pledged to help her and her family. I have awesome friends who jumped right in and sent money, promised money, and also gift cards and other items.

I am so excited. Every time I get an email or message, I text my mom the new total.

I am humbled by everyone’s willingness to help and their trust in me (especially my internet friends My Milk Glass Heart, Let’s Die Friends, David C. Garcia, Brandon J. Carr and a special thanks to Paul Frank Industries).

I am sure that my friend will be extremely happy and touched to know how many care about her and her family. I’m guessing here, but I’m sure they could use help with regular bills and expenses, too.

I know there are a lot of demands on everyone this time of year, but it would mean a lot to me and to her to know people care. If you want to donate money, gift cards, or other items please leave a comment (make sure you use a valid email address) or you can send donations via Paypal to my account at carlyrmgmailcom

Harry and David Pears: Best Ever


Harry and David Pears

Harry and David pears are super expensive and if you’ve never had them you might just roll your eyes. But once I ate one I was a believer. They are amazing.

I found them online for 3 different prices (WTF?) but this one is the best deal, and it comes with free shipping.

Normally $30, on sale for $20. Use the code FREEFSD when you check out to get the free shipping. A good alternative to sweets, awesome for people out of town. Buy one for yourself, too.

Holiday Tunes

It’s the time of year when I switch from iTunes and Spotify back to Pandora for the Christmas stations. But I’m finding that I have strong reactions to the songs – about half positive and half negative.

One album I’d recommend is Amimee Mann’s “One More Drifter in the Snow.”

What music are you rocking out to this December?

Thanksgiving & Black Friday

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

This year my parents are out of town visiting our extended family in Ohio/Kentucky. Every year my dad’s brother rents out the bowling alley and tons of people bring food and hang out. It’s great because there are all sorts of age ranges and bowling is pretty family friendly.

I got a couple Thanksgiving invitations from friends, but it looks like I’m going to be hanging out at home in bed with this lingering cold and cough. I picked up a turkey breast and some butternut squash soup from a local restaurant, so I will have some yummy stuff to eat and no work or clean up!

Is anyone going shopping for Black Friday? I have to work that day, but I know some stores open early and we have a big shopping area right near my office in case I want to run out at lunch. I’m sorta over Black Friday though, because I feel that the deals aren’t that good and the craziness is too exhausting. If you have time to camp out for 24 hours to save a couple bucks… well couldn’t you just work and make way more money for the time?

However, I am excited for the day after Christmas, which has been a great shopping day for me in recent years. For example, Banana Republic has run a 50% off all sale items and I’ve been able to get a bunch of stuff super cheap. (Like $5-$10 tops.) Of course, my closet/house is packed with too much stuff, so I don’t really need to go buying things.

What are your plans?

Julep Maven

The following is an email response I received from Julep about their nail polish subscription program, Julep Maven.

Hi Carly,

I apologize that you have not had a more than stellar experience with our Julep Maven program. I hope to explain a few changes that we have made, and maybe this can better your future thoughts regarding your subscription.

I apologize that your first order was not received at the rate that you would have wished. Please understand that much of our order processes are automated and so any error we had made in the past was not intentional and we were not aware of. We have finally cemented a system that has so far seemed to ensure that no further glitches can occur that will prevent a Maven’s order from being delayed. Along with a new processing system, we have changed delivery carriers. Our previous provider FedEx, was not delivering packages in a timely manner to our Mavens and it we were just as frustrated that this was the service we were providing. We are now working with USPS, who has delivered our November Maven boxes at impressive speed! Not only do they provide prompt delivery dates, they send out a tracking email 2 minutes after the package has been scanned at the facility. Our Mavens have said nothing but great things about this change and we hope that you will keep that in mind for the future.

We very much appreciated your feedback regarding the shelf pull and selections as we value the opinions of our Mavens. In fact, we have concluded that the shelf pull for the next month will be presented in a different manner, such as the way you have suggested. Also, keep in mind that if there is no selection that you are excited about, you are more than welcome to “Skip a Month.” We would hate for you to make a payment for a package that you are not more than excited about.

Please keep checking back with our company as we are rapidly growing and making improvements to better serve our customers and fans, feel free to reach out with any further questions or concerns.

Shine On!
Jennifer Hwang

Julep Maven Team
Julep Nail Parlor Company
P.O. Box 19523 | Seattle, WA | 98109


Have you seen the shots from the Orla Kiely NYC store? It’s set up like a little house. So adorable! I’m excited to see all the mugs and paper products in stock, because that’s probably all I’ll be able to afford! (All images from their Facebook page)

NYC November!

I finally bought tickets for mom and I to take the train to NYC for a day in November. Prices kept changing (exactly like booking a flight, except with no competition) and trains I wanted kept selling out, so we are leaving out of DC at 5:25 am (I know, I want to die just thinking about it). We should be in NYC by 8:45 and then our train home leaves at 6 pm. We could have left a few hours later, but I was concerned about driving home from DC so late. The train trip takes about 3 and a half hours and I am really hoping to sleep on the way up.

Top stop is the brand new Orla Kiely store. I just remembered how expensive designer stuff is, but it will be fun to try on a $500 dress, and I’m hoping to pick up a new purse and maybe some housewares.

I also got the recommendation to visit Uniqlo, Zara and Top Shop. I’d also like to stop in the huge H&M (5th and 52nd) but it’s always packed and I’m not sure what my tolerance will be for that nonsense.

I’m not sure what else we will have time for. I normally stop in the Met when I’m in town because it is donation-based admission and is huge and awesome. I also need to figure some good options for breakfast and lunch.


Back in September I actually won a fabulous prize from My Milk Glass Heart’s 3 Year Blog Anniversary contest. I was entry #1 and the random number generator actually picked that number. I never win anything!

The package arrived the first week of my terrible mystery illness, so I didn’t get a chance to use most of the stuff for a while.

My favorite item is the Ulta makeup bag (full of makeup!). It’s the red bag, which is a neutral color palate. I am really liking the eye liner, mascara, and the eye shadows. I have been getting a lot of use out of this makeup kit!

Ulta Makeup Bag

The next best thing is this beautiful handmade alpaca scarf, which perfectly matches a pink tweed coat I own. It’s not cold enough yet, but I look forward to wearing this.
Scarf by Danielle Todd of I am Suburban

Probably the weirdest item (that I turned out loving a ton) was a Japanese wash cloth. It’s like a shower poof that isn’t gathered up into a poof shape. This makes it easy to wash your back, or wrap it around your arms/legs and scrub all sides in one go. The material makes a great lather with just a little liquid soap. You can buy your own here on Amazon.

Thanks My Milk Glass Heart (aka Lara)!

My new bunny

Successfully made it to the fair yesterday. It was pretty huge and we didn’t get there until 3:30, so we still need to go back hopefully Thursday or Friday night.

Mom borrowed a wheelchair and pushed me around all day because I wouldn’t have had the stamina to walk around on my own. [Still sick, feeling maybe 10% better. Still no diagnosis.]

We didn’t see the livestock up for ribbons, but we did make it to the petting zoo where they also had animals for sale. I ended up impulse-buying a baby bunny.

Domino the Bunny

Domino the Bunny

I bought a cage and a few days’ worth of food from the people selling the bunnies, but had to go to the Tractor Supply Center this morning to get him a water bottle and some more hay.

I’ve decided to name him Domino. He’s supposedly about 2 months old and will about double in size until he weighs approximately 4 pounds. He is a mini rex, which is a breed known for short, velvety fur. He is so soft.

I’m trying to get him used to people. He will cuddle sometimes, but also likes to bite me on the hand and forearm. Bunnies like to chew everything, but I hope he outgrows the biting because the sucker can hurt.

They can be litter box trained, which I want to try to do, but apparently it can take weeks.