I Found My New Love, Personalized Flip Flops From Havaianas!

I Found My New Love, Personalized Flip Flops From Havaianas!

Anyone that knows me knows that I live in flip-flops.  Its part of my mom-iform.  Tank top, yoga pants and flip-flops.  This is what I live in all year round.  Which is why I love the spring and summer months because living in the Northwest I kinda look like a lunatic wearing tank tops and flip-flops even in the soggy fall and winter months.  Summer is my time to shine and I celebrate by purchasing tons of pairs of flip-flops to kick off the season.  I was recently introduced to Havaianas and after checking out their online store I am gonna stock up!

Being the flip-flop loving mom that I am I was surprised to find out that Havaianas have been around since 1962!  In 1970 Havaianas were made famous for the fact that they don't lose their shape, they don't smell and the straps won't come loose.  I have to say that the straps coming loose is my number one pet peeve about flip-flops.  Its horrible when your favorite pair becomes unwearable because one of them refuses to stay on your foot as you walk.  As I perused the Havaianas site I got more and more excited with what I found.  I decided, I HAVE to own a pair, if not several, as soon as possible!

Havaianas offers several styles of Women's Sandals, Men's Sandals, Kids/Baby and even Limited Edition.  But my very favorite style options available are the Make Your Own and the Bridal flip-flops.  I love them!!!  I swear, I saw each of these and literally fell head over heels in love.  Let me show you how cool the Make Your Own flip-flops are:

First, you choose the gender and size, then the sandal color, then the strap color and if you like you can add some bling!  I thought these were so cool because if you know me than you know I also love personalized gifts.  These would make such a great gift for any flip-flop lover.  How cool would it be to have your initials on your flip-flops?  While you are completing each customization step you can also select from different angles to view your creation from to make sure that it looks exactly the way that you want it.  Above you can see that I went with a Pretty Pink Momma themed flip-flop - which would be so fun to wear to BlogHer 2011!

I love the bling option, which by the way Havaianas refers to the bling as pins, which is why I also fell in love with the Bridal collection.  Besides the fact that I love a little everyday sparkle I connected with this product because during my wedding ceremony I wore my heels and suffered through my vows.  As soon as I said "I do" and was out of sight from the guests I ripped off my fancy shoes and slipped into my fancy flip-flops.  I could not have made it through my reception without them.  Even though they were technically my wedding flip-flops I wore them whenever I could because I loved how much they sparkled.  So when I was checking out the bridal section I instantly adored and drooled over these beauties:

If you are not sold on these you have to go to Havaianas site and see them yourself.  When you mouse over them you can see the bling up close and I think that the tiny charm hanging off the side is perfect.  My only issue with these flip-flops is the price.  I couldn't ever justify to my husband spending $148 on a pair of flip-flops.  He just wouldn't understand or appreciate them.  Which is probably why they are in the Bridal collection because we all know that a bride gets whatever she wants.  Period.  Us old married ladies have to justify it to our husbands.  But these are so awesome that I may just have to sneak this one by him... Shh, don't tell!

So if you are like me and totally obsessed with flip-flops you simply have to get your hands on a pair of Havaianas.  I'm going to order a few pairs for myself and figure out who on my gift list loves flip-flops just as much as I do.  Seeing as this isn't a review, all though I wish it was, I can't speak for the feel but I will definitely be sure to write an update as soon as I get my first pair.  I can't wait!

*All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.  The links in this post are sponsored. Please refer to my disclosure policy or email me if you have any questions.*
How Often Do You Upgrade Your Entertainment Center?

How Often Do You Upgrade Your Entertainment Center?

Recently I wrote a post about our family toy clean up.  The clean up primarily involved the toy storage that has been taking over our family entertainment system.  I have always wanted to update, or better yet upgrade, my entertainment center.  The one in our family room has been in my family for over 20 years!  I even remember when my parents brought it home from Levitz and I watched as my dad put it together.  Don't get me wrong, this type of entertainment center was very popular in the eighties, even the nineties perhaps.  You know the kind - solid oak with a cut out in the bottom half that is a perfect fit for your tube television.  Back then we preferred our televisions as close to the floor as possible - who knew that one day they would be hung on our walls as pretty as a picture?  Below is a picture of my well loved family entertainment center:

Even though it still looks like that classic eighties solid oak I have managed to make a few updates to it.  First off I removed those ugly tinted glass doors and let it be open.  Then I spent about $150 on matching wicker baskets of varying shapes and sizes to fill the gaps.  These baskets have come in quite handy for hiding toys, games and art supplies out of sight.  The biggest problem space is the spot for the tube tv on the bottom.  I have a pretty big basket there and it still has a huge gap.  This has been the biggest eye sore for me.

This solid oak has held up really great over the years so I really have no complaints when it comes to durability.  I think that is one of my biggest fears about buying a new entertainment center.  Most that I can afford right now are made of cheap pressboard and are trashed in only a couple of years.  I know that my trusty oak beauty has held up through the test of time and I would hate to part with it for one that falls apart so quickly.

Being a woman of style I have often dreamed of what I envision replacing my old entertainment center.  I have always been a fan of the corner entertainment center.  I really like how they look and that by minimizing itself in the corner it opens the rest of the room up.  Plus it tend to hide excess cords really well too.  The biggest problem with a corner unit in my opinion is that we couldn't hang our LCD TV on the wall directly behind, we would have to put it on its stand.  I really like how the TV looks on the wall so this is the deal breaker for me.  All though if  I could find a gorgeous corner TV stand with mount to place the TV on that would solve my problem.  However, its hard to find this combination and in a setup that I like.  Most are very small and I want a big one.

If I could pick any new entertainment center I would most likely go with a Walker Edison stand, like the one pictured above.  It's solid wood so it would be sturdy and built to last longer than cheap pressboard.  I love that it has storage options that are visible as well as hidden.  I can also use the top for other components and it would look great with my TV hanging on the wall above or on setting on the stand itself.  This Walker Edison stand in particular can hold a 52 inch TV, which one day we hope to get, so that aligns perfectly with what my husband envisions for the family room.  When he and I can agree on something that is always a bonus!

For now, I think my old oak entertainment center will do just fine.  Its a love/hate relationship that I have with it.  I love that its durable, hate that its ugly.  I love that my boys can do anything to it and I won't gasp in shock at their attempts to destroy it, hate that it's ugly.  Oh wait, I said that all ready.  I have to say though that its such a part of my personal family history, that no matter what, it will be a sad day when I actually have to post it for sale on Craigslist. *sniff*

So what about you?  How often do you upgrade your entertainment center?  Is it an eighties throw back like mine or a sleek and sophisticated one like my dream entertainment center? 



Shop to Make the World a Better Place with GiveBack.org

Shop to Make the World a Better Place with GiveBack.org

Shop to Make the World a Better Place with GiveBack.org
By Alison Ashton, GiveBack.org Outreach Team

You already love the convenience (and fun!) of shopping online. Did you know that almost every purchase you make can also support your favorite charities? All you have to do is launch your own charitable foundation at GiveBack.org.

Founded by Stephen Paletta, the winner of Oprah’s Big Give contest in 2008, GiveBack.org is a digital platform that makes it easy to set up a personal foundation and organize all your charitable donations in one place. Charities range from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the ASPCA and Share Our Strength to many small, local nonprofits.

Even better, you can rack up donations by shopping online with any of GiveBack.org’s 400 partner merchants. In less time than it takes to order mascara at Sephora.com or buy back-to-school clothes for the kids at Gap.com (yep, both are part of GiveBack’s merchant network), you can set up a foundation and populate it with your favorite charities. Up to 15% of every purchase goes toward your foundation.

Your online purchases will go even further if you start your foundation now and enter GiveBack.org’s "100 Days of Giving" contest. One member wins $1,000 for his or her foundation every day until July 16. The person with the most Impact Points by July 17 will win the $50,000 grand prize! GiveBack.org’s Impact Zone makes it easy to collect Impact Points:

     10 points for every charity you add to your foundation
     20 points for every day you shop from GiveBack’s 400 online partner merchants, such as Red Envelope, Target.com or World Market.
     25 points for each day you share GiveBack’s message with friends via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail
     50 points for each day you make a donation (for as little as $1!)
     100 points for telling us the story about your GiveBack charities (plus a chance to win an extra $500 for your foundation)

Visit GiveBack.org for more details, to launch your own foundation and start shopping and check out this video to find out more about how Giveback works!

*This guest post content was created and sponsored by Giveback.org*
Check Out This Great Father's Day Poem and Gift Idea - Simple and Heartfelt

Check Out This Great Father's Day Poem and Gift Idea - Simple and Heartfelt

One of my husband's most treasured Father's Day gifts was created by my son when he was in preschool.  It's simply a heartfelt poem accompanied with my son's footprint.  He received it two years in a row and loves each one equally because they represent two totally different years for our son.

This special gift is easy to recreate and will be sure to warm any Dad's heart.  There are so many ways to make this gift and personalize it.  The simplest would be to print the poem out on card stock or  any paper that you like as long as its big enough to leave room for a child's foot print either above, below or to the side of it.  You could also make this a group gift from all of your children and have room for each one of their footprints.

Then grab some non toxic finger paint and paint up your child's foot and then carefully place it on your printout.  Once its dry you can either give it as is or you can find a gorgeous frame that will protect it forever.

Walk a Little Slower Daddy

"Walk a Little slower, Daddy." said a little child so small.
I'm following in your footsteps and I don't want to fall.

Sometimes your steps are very fast, sometimes they're hard to see;
So walk a little slower Daddy, for you are leading me.

Someday when I'm all grown up, You're what I want to be.
Then I will have a little child who'll want to follow me.

And I would want to lead just right, and know that I was true;
So, walk a little slower, Daddy, for I must follow you!!

- Author Unknown

The perfect way to wrap it up is with homemade wrapping paper.  My six year old just delivered his gift in this paper that he made himself.  It's great when the wrapping paper becomes a keepsake itself.

Decorting Solutions That Help to Ease the Burden of Allergens

Decorting Solutions That Help to Ease the Burden of Allergens

I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour conducted by Clever Girls Collective on behalf of Claritin®;. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program.

I can always tell when the allergy season has arrived because my husband sneezes just about every two seconds.  He sneezes so much that I completely stop the polite "bless you"'s and start saying "shut up!" and "are you done yet?".  It's really annoying for me to listen to, or even worse, be caught in the crossfire.  It may not sound like it but I am totally unsympathetic to what he is going through.  I know it must be awful for him to have to sneeze so much and endure the itchy, watery eyes and phlegm build up each day until the season passes.  Which is why I try my best to find easy decorating solutions that will ease the burden that allergens create.

Allergy Friendly Decorating Solutions

  • In the bedroom layer your bed with thinner decorative blankets and throws as opposed to one heavy down comforter.  The down collects dander and dust mites and is harder to wash.  The light weight blankets can be washed often.
  • Whether on the bed or the living room sofas decorate with quality accent pillows that have a removable, washable cover.  It helps to change up and brighten designs as well as wash away built up dust and dander. 
  • Decorate your home with a few items that pop versus many items that tend to clutter.  The minimal design elements will cut down the clutter and there will be less items that will collect dust.
  • If you need to use an area rug go for smaller accent rugs that are low pile and that are washable or low maintenance.  This will cut down on dust mites and dander that hide in high pile rugs.
  • Choose architectural details over decorative fabrics or window treatments to add flair to windows and doors.  This creates clean lines and minimizes dust. 
  • When airing out the house choose to keep windows closed during peak pollen production in the mornings and open them in the afternoon instead.
  • Use air purifying house plants to add color and life to any room such as chinese evergreens,  a peace lily or spider plants.

For more tips on relieving allergies visit www.Facebook.com/Claritin. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.


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