Showing newest 19 of 29 posts from December 2010. Show older posts
Showing newest 19 of 29 posts from December 2010. Show older posts

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ringin' in 2011

Here is a schedule of all the family-friendly activities going on during First Night.  The celebrations will be going on throughout the day/evening at various locations downtown.

FREE Chick Fil A

If I have not told yall yet I have a serious love for Chick Fil A.  The older I get the more I am repulsed by eating fast food.  I hate the way the places usually smell, the people working there are not always very friendly, and the food itself is usually fast and cheap but gross.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Checking in before 2010 ends!

Hope everyone had a great holiday filled with family, friends, kids tearing open presents, lots of food, snow!, and much more.  We sure did and I am still recovering from it all.  Our house has been full and I decided to enjoy every minute of it and not stress about a single thing!  It made for some great memories but unfortunately means that when I decided to face reality again (today) I am staring down a mountain of laundry, a sink full of dishes, and sleep deprivation.  All well worth it but not good on the blog front.  But, I am ready to get back in gear because I have some exciting things to tell you about to kick off the New Year!  I hope you all took advantage of your holidays just as much and I can't wait to hear from you all as well! I will be back to posting regularly January 3rd....wish me luck as I un-decorate and prepare for 2011!

ps...What are your New Years resolutions?  Leave a quick comment here or on Facebook and let me know!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Eating for a Cause

Want to do some good this holiday season but not sure where to volunteer?  If you are capable of eating delicious food and drinking a cocktail, you meet all the requirements for this charitable deed.  The King's Kitchen is part of the Noble family of restaurants (Nobles and Roosters Wood Fire Grill) and is an outreach of Restoration Word Ministries.  Jim Noble, local owner, and his wife began this restaurant as a way to give back to the community and the world.  They donate 100% of the profits, everyday, to feeding the poor in Charlotte, the region, and the world.  They also offer employment to local Charlotteans that are working toward a new beginning.

Chef Noble brings the same exceptional quality to the food here as he does in his other restaurants.  Kings Kitchen uses fresh, local ingredients to make traditional southern food with a twist.  I am heading there for dinner with a group of friends so we can celebrate the holidays and give back at the same time.  This is truly a place where "the more the merrier" applies.  Grab a bunch of friends or just make it a date night, either way you can feel good about having dinner, drinks, and dessert!  The more you eat and drink, the more you help someone in need.  Check out their website for directions and menus!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

UPDATE**  The food at King's Kitchen is AWESOME!  I had the fried chicken and also tasted the fried green beans, black eyed peas, mashed potatoes and gravy, deviled eggs, pimento cheese and O-M-G the biscuits!!  I can't even pick a favorite it was all so good!  Just FYI some of the guys thought the portions were small but I was able to split my dish and had plenty!  The place was decorated really shabby chic and the service was great.  Definitely check it out!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hot Mamas

This one is just for the baby mommas.  Hopefully all of you are heading to some kind of adults-only party over the next couple of weeks.  Be it a holiday party at a friend's or a night out for New Years you need to pamper yourself a little bit.  Change out of your stained T-shirt and yoga pants, forget about a ponytail, and remind your husband how hot you really are!  Heck, remind yourself!  Most days I feel good if I have just dried my hair and brushed my teeth so every once in awhile I need to get out and remember that I am more than just a mom.  There is no better treat than having someone else do your hair.  Imagine this:  You relax with a glass of wine while a professional massages your scalp, washes, dries, and styles your hair.  Then you walk out beautified shaking your hair back and forth like a shampoo commercial!  That little fantasy can be yours at Plush Salon.

As soon as you walk in Plush you feel like you are in one of your girlfriend's houses.  The atmosphere is girlie and relaxed thanks to the chandeliers and cool decor.  Not to mention the super friendly staff.  You can make an appointment for a wash and style, cut, color, whatever your little heart desires.  I have personally seen Tatum (owner/stylist) many times and I can't rave about her enough.  I first met her when she did my hair for a wedding.  We all know how those situations can go and it usually ain't pretty but I loved my hair so much that day that I immediately made follow up appointments.  She has since cut, colored, and styled my hair and every time I love the experience almost as much as I love my hair.  The rest of the staff is just as great too!  Plush is conveniently located in Myers Park and they still have appointments available!  Oh and by the way if my description has made them sound out of your price range, think again!  Call today for prices and your little piece of heaven...let them know Momsie sent you!

Now, that we have your hair taken care of we need to make sure the rest of you matches.  You can't be out with movie star hair and housewife attire.  Although there are some great stores around Charlotte with dresses, I am a fan of the website Rent The Runway.  If you haven't discovered this site, you are about to experience Christmas early!  RTR carries dresses and accessories from every well-known designer you can think of and they rent them out for 90% off the retail prices.  You go through the site, choose the perfect dress, and then have it shipped to you for either 4 or 8 days.  You can search through dresses by your event date, dress size, color preference, etc. and the dress can be delivered as soon as the next day.  Then after you wear it you ship it back (for free).  Simple as pie!!  You can find a huge variety of dresses for a rental fee of only $50!  I checked today and there are still hundreds of dresses available as soon as this Thursday.  If its a super special ocassion that you are shopping for than you may want to invest in a dress that you can own forever but if you are looking for something fun and that retails for waaaay more than you would ever really spend this place is for you!

**After you are done getting pretty at Plush head down a block to Reid's Fine Foods at their new location on Selwyn Ave.  They are planning a major renovation of the current space so they can re-open in the Spring with many more offerings but right now they are open for business, focusing on gourmet gift baskets.  Stop in and pick up a customized or pre-made basket for the host of your party!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

FREE (or really cheap) THINGS TO DO THIS WEEK pt. 4

School is out for Winter Break (I can almost hear your screams from here!)  so it is crucial to find some things to do with your kids.  Here is a run down of some free activities for the whole family.  And I apologize for a short list this week!  I have been traveling and trying to stay sane while riding in the car 4 hours each way with two small children.  If I come up with more things I will certainly pass them along!  

Family Staycation at the JCC
Dec 24th, 12:00 - 2:00
*Must RSVP by Dec 22nd to
Bring the whole family and enjoy games, music, food, and fun.  There is a charge of $5 for your passport to this lovely staycation.

There are lots of activities going on at Imaginon over the break.

Dec 22nd:
11:00 Make an ornament
2:00  Cocoa can make this sweet treat for family and friends (ages 12-18)
3:00 Holiday storytime

Dec 23rd:
All day-  Make and take holiday crafts (ages 12-18)
10:30- Storytime (ages 0-3)
1:00 Movie madness- Family friendly movie
3:00 Holiday storytime

Catch a performance this week of one of these performances:

Scrooge (for ages 7+)
Dec 22nd 11:00 and 3:00 showtimes
Dec 23rd 3:00 and 7:30

The Littlest Angel (for ages 3+)
Dec 22nd 11:00
Dec 23rd 11:00 and 1:00

Dec 23 10:00 - 11:15
Children ages 2-7 can come make crafts with the elves and hang out with Santa.
$5 per child
RSVP:  or 704.432.4806

Ballantyne Resort
Through Dec 26th
Bring the kiddies to see a village of gingerbread houses.  Admission is free for everyone but if you want to vote for your favorite house, $1 is the minimum donation.  You may want to cough up more than a buck though since all proceeds go to the Levine Children's Hospital.

Barnes and Noble (Arboretum location)
Dec 21 9:30 Storytime: Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas

Dec 23rd 9:30  Storytime: Golden Christmas Tree

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gift idea from Studio KMO: DEADLINE TODAY!

Still scrambling for a last minute gift?  Instead of a last minute dash to the mall, get comfy right there in front of your computer.  Here is a gift idea that can be ordered online, delivered in time, and it is something that your recipient surely does not own.  I was searching for something cool for my brother-in-law and came across these prints:

Each print is a hand-drawn (ink) grid map of some very famous cities.  Lucky for us the artist runs her studio from out of Charlotte so she has created one of these prints for the QC!  I chose the Manhattan one for this gift because my brother-in-law is living in NYC but he is well-traveled so I may add other cities to his collection down the road.  Since we already celebrated Christmas early with my husband's side I can go ahead and tell you that the gift was a hit and I am already thinking of other people that would love one.  It was just so nice to give something that was more personal.  There are plenty of cities to choose from so you are sure to find a city that has some meaning to someone on your list.

Karen M. O'Leary is the artist and she has numerous prints ready to be shipped today.  They come nicely wrapped so all you need to do is stick it in a gift bag and you're done.  The prices are very reasonable and there are a variety of sizes.  Check out Karen's store to see your options and let her know Momsie sent you!

DEC 20th is the Christmas order cut-off so make your purchase NOW!

Side note...
Amazon still has some great magazines for under $20.  Several for under $5!  These make great stocking stuffers and all it takes is a couple of clicks a gift is on its way to your special someone.  Right now you can find these for the men in your life (while you're ordering pick up US for yourself.  Its only $15 and we all need that mindless reading at the end of the day!):

Inc. (good for guys interested in business and money but not your typical stuffy biz magazine) =$5

Fast Company (same idea as above) = $5

National geographic Travel = $10

GQ = $12

Rolling Stone = $20

Friday, December 17, 2010

Check this out over the weekend!

Remember the great Charlotte artist I mentioned this week, Caroline Simas?  Check out her blog when you get a minute...great stuff!


My husband and I often talk about what we would do if we won the lottery.  One thing that always makes the list is "hire a personal massage therapist" to be at our beck and call.  Well, now we can get our wish without having to wait to win the Power Ball millions!  I came across two local Charlotte massage therapists through a friend and I am thrilled.  They are willing to come to your house and work around your schedule to deliver a relaxing massage.  Both offer some great services and since I know people have personal preferences about male vs. female I am happy to bring you both!

Jim Clair's Therapeutic Massage
 5200 Park Road
 Bldg 2, Suite 222
 Charlotte, North Carolina 28209

Jim specializes in Deep Tissue, Sports Massage, Structural Stretching, Swedish, and Hot Stones.  He is also certified to work with clients who have cancer.  Jim's philosophy focuses on more than just a relaxing massage (although that part is worth it in itself!) he also stresses the importance of finding the root of the problem and creates a plan to address it and prevent it from happening again.  As a former athlete, Jim understands the importance of massage to help heal injuries and is committed to creating personal relationships with every client to ensure that he is able to deliver the best services for your needs.  Jim has a studio you can visit or he can come to you!  Imagine not having to get in your car, not having to drive in the holiday madness, and not having to brave the cold.  You can sit tight in your own home and let Jim come to you!  I am thinking about scheduling a monthly massage for my husband for a Christmas gift.  I am pretty sure that will secure my title as "best wife ever!"  Call him or visit his site for more information.  Jim is getting in the giving spirit as well by offering a special discount.  Mention that you found him on Momsie and he will deduct his travel fee ($30) from your first massage!    

Donna Mathis
Mobile licensed therapist


Donna has worked with many high-profile clients including athletes, expectant moms, and orthopedic patients.  She focuses on reducing stress, relieving chronic pain, and improving overall physical condition.  Donna is strictly mobile, so she is able to come to you any day and any time.  Make sure to contact her today so that you can get on her schedule.  She will bring all supplies to you and will conduct a pre-evaluation to determine any specific requests you may have.  She has worked with many expectant and worn out mothers so get the kids down for a nap and let her work her magic right in your home!  She has just stream-lined her operations and did away with her travel fee.  For $65 you can enjoy an hour-long massage without ever leaving home!  Let Donna know that you found her on Momsie!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shopping for MOMS and DADS

The Myers park area has recently added some cool new places.   Even if you don't live in the area they are worth the drive.  Hey, and while you're there you may as well go ahead and eat at the newly opened Mellow Mushroom!  Just down the sidewalk from MM you will find two great spots to buy some unexpected gifts for the men in your life.  Sure these work for the ladies too but its the guys that are always hard to buy for!  

I don't know about you all, but my husband feels all manly when he is grilling a big slab of beef.  Why not treat your husband to some meat worth grilling at The New York Butcher Shoppe.  This family owned business is run by authentic New Yorkers who know their stuff.   They can help you decide between lamb, beef or chicken and will gladly educate you on different cuts of meat.  Aside from all of the marinated meat and stuffed chicken breasts, they have pre-made meals, frozen dinners and sides, and they also offer fresh Boars Head deli sandwiches on the spot.  Why not treat your husband to a gift certificate so he can go pick out a great steak and then feel all manly while grilling it!  It would truly be a great gift to anyone who enjoys cooking (or eating) a great meal! 

Looking for the perfect gift for the guy who is not a big beef eater?  Just head down the sidewalk to Clean Catch Fish Market.  This place is beautiful inside and the owner, Bill Ryan is super friendly and helpful.  Clean Catch also offers gift certificates so you can give someone the experience of treating themselves to a great and healthy meal!  The staff can guide the most inexperienced seafood chef to a great selection and they can even suggest wine pairings.  They carry a selection of wines in the market.

For the ladies who like to cook these are a couple of gifts that caught my eye.  Trader Joes is a great place to find inexpensive and healthy snacks.  Sometimes when I shop there I am not sure what to try so I love when friends tell me their TJ staples.  Thanks to their tips I have discovered the frozen steak burritos and marinated beef filet tenderloin.  I would love even more suggestions so I can add them to my dinner rotation so this cookbook would be a lifesaver.  They carry copies at Paper Skyscraper but I am sure you could find it at any local bookstore and if not has several editions.

I also love these canisters from Brass Exchange.  I have a running list of stores in my mind that I plan to visit when I either, A. get a nanny or B. find a way to sew my 4 year-old's hands into his pockets.  Brass Exchange can now be checked off this list.  *No I didn't pull out the needle and thread, I just asked my mom to babysit.  I am not sure how to classify this store because it had a little bit of everything from, ornaments, to picture frames, to large furniture, to fabric.  These canisters caught my eye because they are pretty and white and look a little antique-y.  They are only $10/small and $14/large.  Plus the crown motif goes great in any Queen City kitchen.
A cookbook dedicated to one of
Charlotte's best grocery stores!
Sold at Paper Skyscraper,  $18

Perfect for a "Queen City" cook!
canisters sold at The Brass Exchange
large $14, small $10

Both of these stores also had some great stocking stuffers for moms.   I love these coasters because of their bright colors.  Their bonus feature?  They are silicone so they double as teethers for my 1 year old.  There are few things that can be safely placed on my coffee table these days and these fit the bill.

The birds are kind of unusual but I love them.  They could hang over a kitchen sink or in front of a window.  At $5/each they are a great unexpected gift.  And the picture of them was taken inside the store so it gives you just a peek into the cool accessories they carry.

Paper Skyscraper, $13

I recently found another store that carries all kinds of treasures.  It is a little out of the way, located on    S. Tryon street and it is housed in an unassuming industrial style building but it is worth finding.         Post & Gray is the sister store to Interiors Marketplace (another one on my "no-kid store list") and has all kinds of things inside.  It is similar to Black Lion in that it hosts different vendors.  There is furniture, fabric, and accessories.  Some vendors are local and others are from all over.  The staff is very friendly and they are open Tues- Sat 10am -5pm.  I didn't snap any photos but there were a lot of potential gifts there: candles, artwork, throw pillows, and a small area of kids decor.

The next two things I am going to mention will be on Momsie very soon each with a post dedicated strictly to them.  First is Blis, an uptown gift boutique that is awesome!  Owned by my friend Whitney and her mom Susan, it is stuffed full of gifts.  They carry something for every person on your gift list and it is nearly impossible to go there and not leave with something(s) for yourself.  Like I said there will be a post all about the store soon because there is just too much to mention today.  But, I did want to let you know that they are carrying a great line of products from Mayfair Lane called Happeez clips.  This little product could have  saved me many nervous breakdowns had I known about it.  They are clips that stick to anything.  Anything including stainless steel refrigerators.  YES, you heard me right there is such a thing.  You can actually hang your kid's finger painting or a grocery list right to the front of your fridge like we did in the olden days!

To top off that news, the clips have artwork on them made by local Charlotte artist Caroline Simas.  Caroline is quickly becoming my hero the more I learn about her.  She is designing products for a ton of well-known companies; everything from fabric to coasters.  She is super talented and there is just too much good stuff to say about her and her products in this little post.  But do go and grab some of her Happeez products from Blis.  Enjoy both and stay tuned for a lot more information on this store and this talented lady SOON!  Check out Caroline's blog in the meantime!

Don't forget to check out Momsie tomorrow for another great gift idea for moms, dads, and anyone who likes awesome things.  It is a service provided by some local experts that you will LOVE!

For the last minute shoppers:


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Monkey Joe's Grand Opening!!

Add this to your list of things to do this weekend:  Monkey Joe's Park Rd. location is opening this Friday, Dec 17th!  I have been literally stalking their building waiting for any sign of an opening since it is so close to us.  Driving to the Independence or Pineville locations was not very convenient so I was thrilled to see that we were getting one in our neck of the woods.  I guess they finally felt bad for that creepy lady doing drive-by's everyday because I received an email this morning from them letting me know the following about their pricing (cheaper than the other locations!!) and hours:

Mon-Thur are 9:00-7:00, Fri & Sat 9:00-8:00, and Sun 10:00-6:00

Mon-Fri for children ages 3-12 is $6.99, Sat & Sun cost is $8.99, children 2 and under are $3.99 and adults are always free!  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gifts for Teachers

Winter break begins this week or next for most Charlotte schools.  That means that our children's teachers are going to get a much-needed break.  Being a former teacher myself, I know how much teachers need this time to re-charge before heading into the second half of the school year.  Kids are buck wild the month of December so their teachers are counting down the days until break just as much as them!  Before they peel out of the parking lot we should all give them some gifts that will start their break off right!  I remember what was great to receive so here is a little list of ideas that you can find around Charlotte or still order in time!

**Local Spotlight**
If you haven't already figured this out, let me be the first to tell you that I love finding local people that make fun, creative, unique things.  I came across this next lady while looking for some personalized note cards.  I love finding things that I won't see a million other people with and thats exactly what DGInvites offers.  Darci is the owner and designer AND a stay-at-home mom who creates stationery, invitations, and any other custom project involving paper goods that you could think of.  Her work is colorful and tasteful with just enough spunk to make it stand out.  There are plenty of color, font, and design options to make your creation one-of-a-kind.

Although I am mentioning these cards specifically for a teacher gift they obviously would be great for a lot of people.  There are lots of cards that any female would love as well as really cute kid themed stationery.  And don't forget this shop for seasonal, birthday, and other special occasions...they do great invitations and announcements!  Here are some of my favorites and if one of them just happens to end up in my stocking, I will thank my husband for knowing exactly what to get me.  Hey, I have wrapped some presents to myself, from myself before so I am not kidding!!

*Orders can still be submitted for Christmas but please note that DGInvites will be closed for a little holiday break of their own starting Dec. 18th.  If you are local they will arrange pick ups.  If you do order for a teacher, keep in mind that turn around time will be about 5 days so get on it!

Now on to the rest of my list...

1.  Magazine subscriptions- Treat your teachers to a year's worth of their favorite magazine. If you aren't sure what they like choose one of these trusty selections:
Real Simple
Martha Stewart Living
Southern Living

All of these can be ordered from right now for $20 or less (1 year subscription).  Buy a copy, wrap it, and add a nice note explaining that they will be receiving it for a year.  

2.  Classroom supplies- Sounds boring but it will be music to their wallets.  Most teachers end up spending a lot of their own money throughout the year on supplies so they will love gift cards to office supply stores, craft stores, or specific items from their classroom wish list.  

3.  Starbucks- If you spent all day with 20 rug rats you would need a lot of caffeine too!  Treat them to a gift card from Starbucks or Caribou.  Stop by Paper Skyscraper for one of these happy little mugs too and then they have something pretty to sip from and you have the perfect packaging for the gift card!


4.  Ballard BagsAlthough you would have to order these immediately to get them in time, they make a great gift.  I have received 2 over the years and I LOVE them.  They are super durable and make great beach/shopping/toiletries/carry-on/gym, etc bags.  They have a whole rainbow of colors and the personalization options are endless.  If you order today you can have it rush shipped by Tuesday.  The bags are $32 before monogramming and shipping.  If you weren't planning to spend that much, maybe a group of parents will want to go in together.  

6.  Gift cards- Although they are not personal they make great gifts.  I for one loved receiving gift cards to treat myself to dinner, pedicures, shopping, or anything else.  It always felt like a great "thank you" when parents just wanted me to have a little cash to my favorite spots! 


Get ready for another week/weekend of holiday activities!  Once again everything is free (or nearly free) to give your wallets a rest this expensive month!

Shops at Morrison (Corner of Sharon and Fairview)
Several events going on around these shops:
Dec 14th, 4:00 - 7:00pm Decorate gingerbread cookies and holiday treats
Dec 16th, 4:00 - 7:00pm A reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas by Mrs. Claus.  Plus craft time!
Dec 18th, 4:00 - 8:00pm If you haven't visited with Santa and his Mrs. now is your chance! 

Christmas at Billy Graham Library
Dec. 1-23rd: (open from 9:30am - 10:00pm)  CLOSED SUNDAYS
12:00 - 2:00 Bring the kids to pet the animals in the petting zoo.
5:00 - 10:00 Come see the animals hard at work in the live Nativity Scene or take a horse drawn carriage ride through the grounds and enjoy the lights.  There will be live music, shopping, and story time for the kids (ending at 9:30pm).

Zoes Kitchen (Blakeney)
Dec 15th, 5:00 - 7:30
I never need a reason to go to this place because I could eat their food everyday but if I did need a reason here are some great ones...
This Wednesday they are having a cake walk, family cake decorating, a coloring contest, and dinner with Santa.  As if that weren't enough they are offering 15% off EVERYTHING!  Eat dinner for cheap, entertain for the kids, and get some to-go containers for lunch later this week. Done.

Dish It Out (Myers Park)
Dec 16th, 5:00 - 9:00
Ladies Night!!  
If you still need a gift for Grandma or you just need a night to de-stress from holiday planning head over to Dish it Out for a strictly ladies-only night.  Grab some girlfriends and maybe a bottle of wine and come paint for $4 plus your pottery piece.  They have tiles, vases, bowls, Hanukkah and Christmas themed pieces, and endless possibilities!

The YMCA (Harris and Morrison branches)
**I listed two of the larger branches but I am sure other locations are offering similar activities.  To find out check the main page link and click on the specific branch you visit.

Dec 16th, 9:00am - 7:00pm - Harris branch
Various activities all day long!

Santa's Art Workshop
Dec 18th, 5:30 - 7:00pm - Morrison branch
ages 9-13
$20 (members), $35 (non members)

Register NOW for holiday camp - Harris branch  
Dec 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30, 7:30am - 6:00pm
Dec 31, 7:30am - 2:00

Registration deadlines/costs
Prior to Dec 21st: $45/child/day (members)
                             $50/child/day (non members)

After Dec 21st:  $55/child/day (members)
                          $60/child/day (non members)



Blakeney Shopping Center
Dec 17th and 18th, 4:00 - 8:00pm
Horse and carriage rides, hot chocolate, cookies, Santa.  Need I say more?  If I do how about the fact that there are over 50 stores and restaurants.

The Schiele Museum
Dec 18th, 9:00am -12:00
Bring your kids to decorate ornaments using materials from nature.  Sprinkle glitter on a pine cone or pay $3 for a glass ornament to fill with materials of your choice.  All materials supplied.

And don't forget about life after December.  Registration is beginning (or has already begun) for many Winter programs.  The Harris YMCA and the Jewish Community Center are just two places that are offering all kinds of sports and classes starting with toddlers all the way up.   Most programs begin in January so registration is underway.

Members have already had their chance to sign up and now non-members can get in on the action.
JCC- non-member reg. Dec 13th
Harris- non-member reg. Dec 14th  

Hope you and your family enjoy some time together before this whole month is just a blur of a memory. Maybe we will even get some snow to make things feel even more festive!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


As adults we may not believe in Santa anymore but we all still love receiving a great gift.  Sure thats not what this season is all about but lets be real, gifts are awesome!  Shopping for the adults in our lives can be more stressful than buying for the kids.  After all adults aren't going to be side-tracked by bubble wrap or colorful packaging.  Adults are looking for something good.  This week I will bring you some gift ideas that are sure to please those special adults in your life, whether they are your spouse, your kids teacher, your own parents, or the lady that always carries your tray at Chick Fil A!

MADE BY EMILY  I for one feel much more capable in the kitchen if I am wearing an apron.  I don't know why but it seems to bring out my inner Martha Stewart.  Even more so when the apron is as cute as these:

I am so excited to bring these aprons to your attention because not only are they so retro-looking and absolutely adorable, they are made by a local Charlottean!  Emily started sewing years ago and is now making a business out of her cool designs.  She has a knack for picking quirky, fun fabrics and mixing them up in the perfect combination.  I want to run to my kitchen and bake something immediately when I look at these aprons!   I can think of plenty of women on my list that would love to have one of these, even if it just hangs in their kitchen for decoration.  She has tons more designs in half and full versions as well as matching oven mits.  And the icing on the cake?  Emily is offering a discount just for Momsie readers!   If you head over to her Etsy store and enter the code momsie15 at checkout you will receive 15% off your order from now until Dec 21st!  There are also no shipping costs!  One of the many perks of buying locally is quick delivery.  As long as you place your order by Dec. 21st it will arrive in time for Christmas!  Thank you Emily, we will all be better (and more stylish) cooks thanks to you!

And don't miss your chance at owning one of these aprons for FREE.  Head over to Emily's blog to enter her giveaway! 

Stayed tuned for more gift ideas from around Charlotte!  I will be back soon with some things specifically for teacher gifts and treats for your spouse!

Portable North Pole

If you haven't visited this site yet you should!  You fill in some general information and you receive a personal video message from Santa.  You can customize it for a toddler, child, or an adult.  Its really cute and just another way to remind kids (or adults that still believe?!)  that Santa knows exactly what they want for Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Winner of the Chick Fil A calendar...

Brooke Spangler!  Enjoy your year of coupons!


Win the 2011 Chick Fil A calendar!

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**Winner will be chosen at 6:00 pm today!**

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Lets face it, for kids December is all about the gifts!  That means that for us parents December is all about the hunt; where to find the coolest gifts that your kids will actually play with for more than 5 minutes.  I have two kids both with birthdays in December so finding gifts especially affordable ones is crucial!  (That and not getting pregnant again in the month of March!)

I scoped out some places in Charlotte to see what kind of kiddie goodies they had and I found some great stuff!  My first stop was Paper Skyscraper, one of my favorite stores in our town.  I could spend hours there reading funny cards and I always love their purses and jewelry.  However, I have never thought about shopping for my kids there until this year.   Here are some of the things you will love in their store right now (there are tons more games, books, stuffed animals, and quirky clothing and accessories):

Boat shoe socks, $15
Kringle Kozies slipper socks, $10
  Two's Zoo slipper socks, $10
 * Sugar Booger Lunch Sacks, $16 (with and without straps)
*(We own one of these and they are so cute and durable.
 Such a nice change from the typical lunch boxes you see everywhere!)

You know I went to Home goods (see: Got em, Flaunt em post) and they delivered as usual.  I actually bought several of the things listed below:

For the future chefs, environmentalists, and adventurous eaters!  Let your kids whip up a make-believe meal.  Or get them prepped for your next dinner at PF Changs with the kid-friendly chopsticks:
enamel cookware set, $15
Sigg drink bottles, $8/ea.
Chopstick Buddies, $2.50
Sock Monkey tea set, $13 (made of metal)

Sometimes the packaging makes the toy even better.  There were some pretty puzzles that are sure to please the little girls and some cool retro toys that are as fun today as they were then:

Horse puzzle, $10
retro jack-in-the-boxes, $15

From the experts:
If you are shopping in the Ballantyne area make sure to swing by Brilliant Sky Toys.  It is a treasure chest of toys for all ages.  I spoke with one of the owners, Nancy and she filled me in on what's been flying off the shelves this year.  Here is just a partial list of her recommendations:

- Melissa and Doug toys, specifically the Sweet Treat Tower and the Slice and Scoop Sundae Set**
- Donkit Darts
- My Friendship Bracelet Maker
- Magic Jelly Fish
- Melissa and Doug Deluxe Easel
- Easy Rollers
- Crazy Forts
- Playmobile's Great Dragon Castle and the Furnished School Building
-Hook Em game
-Calico Critters coupe and camper
-Splash watches

**Be the first to know that this Friday (12/10) and Saturday (12/11) all Melissa and Doug toys will be 20% off!!

Other gift ideas:
I have also compiled a list of my own, with the help of nice readers that gave some input.  This list comes from experts, a.k.a parents whose kids have just celebrated a birthday recently.  These parents have barely cleaned up the smashed cake and wrapping paper so they know what is a hit right now!

- Sing a ma jigs - My son received three of these for his birthday and can't get enough.  The only time he is not playing with them is when his older brother or father has stolen them.  They are so cute and make the whole family laugh! 

- Pillow Pets - Maybe I am slow on this train but I hadn't paid any attention to this toy before this year.  My son has mentioned them, umm only like 100 times so I am assuming they are a hot item.  I found the best deal on them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  Use one of those never-expiring coupons for 20% off and they are 15 bucks!

- Corolle Dolls - Obviously I don't get the joy of shopping for a daughter but if and when I do it will be for dolls like this.  You can find several versions on sale right now here.

- Dynamo Torch Lego Man Flashlight -  This LED flashlight doesn't require batteries!  Little boys will love cranking his leg to keep the light running!  Pick one up at REI in Pineville.

- Yo Gabba Gabba Vans - Everyone's favorite (and weirdest) show on tv.  Your little tyke will love sporting these guys on their feet!  Yay Muno!  Grab a pair at Nordstroms Southpark.

Give them something to do:
Unwrapping gifts is awesome but how about giving your kids an activity to do that will entertain them well beyond the holidays.  Sign them up for an art class, music class, or gymnastics.  The Harris and Morrison YMCAs have great programs starting in January.

Or how about a frequent visitor pass to Discovery Place, The Nature Museum, or Monkey Joes?

Better yet, stuff their stockings with tickets to these shows!  You will have a great source of bribery for at least a month!

Thomas and Friends Live  coming Jan 22nd and 23rd

Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus  coming Jan 26-30th

Sesame Street Live  coming March 10-13th

Stay tuned for more shopping tips, this time for moms, dads, and other grown ups...

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