Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Good Cause and a Giveaway: Stella & Dot Foundation Bracelet

Among "My Favorite Things" for Fall 2012 are my pair of Stella & Dot's golden soiree stud earrings.
I absolutely love the fact that the earrings arrived in the cutest gift box with an inspiring message written on the box. My earrings also came with a thank you note from the company founder,female CEO Jessica Herrin. I knew then that this was no ordinary company. I love the story behind the founding of Stella & Dot as much as I love their products. According to their website, Jessica had a vision to create a new kind of company that would offer today's busy woman a career alternative. She felt the typical home based businesses were not delivering on this. Her vision called for an entirely new concept that could guarantee women flexibility, reward, style, profit and fun. With an irresistible product and exceedingly personal service, a proven formula for passionate earning and personal success was born. The company is now among "Inc." magazine's 500 Fastest-Growing Companies.

My Stella & Dot stylist is Rachel Cairney, who lives in Florida. She is a constant blessing in my life. I asked Rachel for some of her top picks for this fall and the coming holiday season. Rachel says, "One of the trends you will see this fall is mixed metals, and our charm collection exemplifies this trend so beautifully. The silver and bronze pieces are meant to be combined. I love the bronze because it is a softer hue than gold, and has a vintage feel to it. These charms are perfect for gift-giving:  for brides, new moms, grandmothers, pet lovers, the possibilities are endless. Each charm will come in a darling box with a note that describes the inspiration behind the individual charm." You can view their entire Fall 2012 Charm Collection here.

One of the aspects that I love about this company is their commitment to help empower women and children through economic and educational development through the outreach of the Stella & Dot Foundation with their motto "Generosity looks good on you." 100% of net proceeds from each of their Foundation products sold goes to one of their partner charities Accion, buildOn and Girl's Inc. as part of their motto that "Small actions make a big difference." The two bracelets pictured are among their pieces available in their Foundation collection and I love the detail in the design of these bracelets.

You can view all of their Foundation collection here.

In the company's true spirit of "Generosity looks good on you.", my Stella & Dot stylist Rachel Cairney is graciously providing one of my blog readers AND one of my Facebook fans with their own Foundation bracelet, each valued at $39. The winner of this blog giveaway will receive not only the bracelet in turquoise, but the gift of generosity as well, with all net proceeds from the bracelet's purchase going to the Foundation.

To enter, leave a comment below telling me your favorite way to make a difference. Entries will close tomorrow night, October 1, at 10:00 pm EST. Winner will be announced on the blog Tuesday, October 2 at noon EST. Good luck!

You can browse or shop Stella and Dot with Rachel by going to her website here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Recipe Corner: "Southern Fried Bride's Pleasing Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies" and a Giveaway Winner

Autumn is here! Can you believe it? Today I am decorating our house for fall. My first pumpkin recipe of the season is baking in the oven as I type this, with the scent of pumpkin goodness filling the house, soon to be joined by "Sentimental Cider" warming in my Scentsy burner. The Southern Fried Husband gives these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies his official seal of approval and I hope you will enjoy my recipe for this fun fall cookie.

"Southern Fried Bride's Pleasing Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies"

*makes 1 dozen

1/2 stick butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 large egg

1/2 teaspoon McCormick pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon McCormick pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon McCormick ground cloves

3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper. In large bowl, add butter and brown sugar. Beat together until creamy. Mix in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until well blended. In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and cloves. Mix well. Slowly add the dry mixture into the batter in three parts until all of dry mixture has been added. Gently stir in chocolate chips only long enough to blend in mixture. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove cookie sheet from oven and let cool for 2 minutes before removing with a spatula onto cooling surface. Enjoy!

Giveaway Winner: Congratulations to Heather at Pineapples and Pearls who won the Conair Impressions Cushion Brush!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fall into Fashion Review and a Giveaway: Conair You Reel Dryer and Impressions Cushion Brush

Fall is here and I love with the changing leaves of the season, welcoming autumn with exploring new fashions, fun seasonal colors and new products.

I grew up in a family that used Conair products and I have happily carried that tradition into our newlywed household. I was both honored and excited when I was given an opportunity to review one of the Conair company's newest hair dryers and hair brushes.

I was given the opportunity to try Conair's Impressions Cushion Brush.
This brush is designed to gently detangle wet or dry hair. I love that they come in such fun and stylish prints. I loved the ease and feel of using this brush both for detangling my wet hair and for brushing my dry hair. It is available nationwide at mass market and drug store retailers for an average retail price of $7.99.

I was given the opportunity to try Conair's You Reel 1875 watt tourmaline Ceramic 2-in-1 Styler.

This has so many features that were on my personal wish list for a "dream hair dryer". It is available nationwide at mass market and drug store retailers, as well as at for an average price of $34.99.

I have been using the You Reel for the past few weeks and I absolutely love having the 3 heat settings, 2 speed settings and a cool shot button for setting my hairstyle with blasts of cold air. A feature that immediately got my attention was not just the cord reel that easily gathers in the cord, but a folding handle that makes this full-size dryer so convenient for easy travel and home storage. I have never had the ease of storage space with a hair dryer in my bathroom storage that the You Reel allows me.

Thank to the Conair company, one of you will win a Conair Impressions Cushion Brush (valued at $7.99).

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. To enter, please leave a comment below and tell me your favorite thing about the fall season. Entries close tomorrow at 8:00 pm. EST. Winner will be announced tomorrow at 10 pm EST. Good luck!

Disclaimer: The Conair company provided me with a You Reel 2-in-1 Styler and an Impressions Cushion Brush for the purpose of my honest review, as well as an Impressions Cushion Brush for a giveaway prize. All opinions in this blog post are my own. I was not financially compensated in any way for this blog post.