Tea Time: Tea Collection’s Black Friday Sale

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There are a few stores that I religiously shop each Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and Tea Collection is one of them! It just wouldn’t be Christmas if there wasn’t a beautifully wrapped Tea Collection dress under the tree for Miss L!

The Black Friday sale starts today (11/21) and goes through Saturday (11/25) with items priced at $10/$12/$15!

Want to see what Miss L got?

Three awesome new dresses to add to her collection, and for only $55.60 shipped! (3 x $15 dresses, $7 shipping, $3.60 tax)

I’m happy once again this year, and hope she will be too!

Here are the special rules about the sale: Tea Collection’s Black Friday Event prices are only valid on select styles featured in each category’s Black Friday shop. There will be no adjustments on previous purchases. The promotion is limited to stock on hand.


uncommon goods are the best gifts

If there’s one store I return to each and every time I’m looking for a gift, it’s Uncommon Goods. And each time I look through the site, I not only end up with the perfect gift idea, but a laundry list of things I want for myself for my next birthday!

Seriously, it’s the one reliable treasure trove on the Internet that never ever lets you down! And what’s even better is that they’re an amazingly wonderful company as well. They pay great wages to their workers (their lowest seasonal employee starts at 150% of minimum wage!), they support artisans and hand-made goods, AND they actively support non-profit organizations as well: RAINN,
American Forests, International Rescue Committee, and Reach Out & Read! See… told you they were awesome.

But what about those uncommon gifts? Here are a few of my favorites this year:

Uncommon Gifts for Family

A Year of Gratitude: 52 Thank You cards for you to send throughout the year and tips on how to live a more gracious life!

Yard Dice: You’ve just changed how you play Yahtzee FOREVER!!!

Flamingo Away Sculpture: I’m not sure what it says about me and my friends, but I know so many people that would adore this in their yard!

Top Rated Uncommon Gifts

Major Scale Musical Wine Glasses: We already own 999 wine glasses, so Mr. M said we couldn’t have these. So that means we’ll buy them for a wine-glass deficient friend and then visit them to play wine music!

Cheese & Crackers Serving Board: A literal AMPERSAND telling you how to do happy hour the right way!

Elwood the Rainbow Unicorn Mug: How stinking adorable is this mug? It’s happy. It’s a unicorn. It’s a mug. Fill it with marshmallows and gift pure joy!

Deep Sea Sand Art:  I will never, ever stop loving these things. Ever. EVER!

Wine Pairing Towel Set: Tea towels can be bland, overly themed, or absolutely useful. These are the latter, and seem to be something that everyone can use!

Authentic Stadium Seat Cufflinks: Sports fans can be picky people. But this gift would make any fan smile! I mean, it’s portable office sports bragging memorabilia! It doesn’t get better than that!

Uncommon Stocking Stuffers

Stocking Stuffers for people with insufferable habits:

Game of Phones: If they’re on their phone all the time, buy them this party game that REQUIRES a phone to play!

Hair Tie Bracelet: For the person always sporting an old elastic hair tie on their wrist, no matter if they’re wearing formal attire.

Wine Pearls: When certain people need their wine chilled, but refuse to chill it properly, and instead just add ice cubes and pretend it doesn’t mess things up.

Stocking Stuffers for the foodies:

Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit: You know the person who needs this. The one who is always making comments about the buffalo sauce just not having quite enough kick.

Kale and Herb Razor: I own this. It looks insanely silly, but it’s amazing. Especially for rosemary!

Avocado Hugger: For the person who loves avocado toast, but only uses half an avocado at a time.

Just plain great stocking stuffers:

Record Coasters: Most coasters are sort of lame. These are the ultimate in cool.

Super Magnetic Putty: This putty will eat a magnet. It’s the coolest Christmas morning party trick ever!

Ooma Bowl: This solves all of the first-world problems I encounter taking my chips and salsa to the couch on Sundays.

Am I right? Uncommon Goods really is just the best with unique gifts and presents… and once again, my wish list is running over!


matching holiday pajama time – 2017

It’s time again for matching holiday pajama season!!!


Target has brought LOTS of matching holiday pajama options this year: Mickey Mouse, the Grinch, Rugby Stripes, Hannukah, Star Wars, plaid, etc! (Priced $12.00-$39.99)

And if you happen to have an American Girl/Our Generation/18″ doll in your family (like ours)… then I’d definitely recommend running to Target quickly to find the matching plaid or elf set for your doll(s)!


Hanna Andersson is back once again with awesome options as well: all sorts of stripes, elves, Star Wars, gnomes, deer, Yeti’s and even the full Nutcracker ensemble!

If you’re into the more casual “matching but not really matching” affair and just want some snuggly flannel pants, then Old Navy is your spot!


You can get Christmas Cactus pants for him and for her! Or you can just go with plain ‘ol plaid/check as well (his & hers).


Macy’s is in the game this year as well, with classic sets of red plaid matching family pajamas and holiday stripe pajamas that come in regular & plus sizes for adults, as well as toddler & kids!


Or… you could opt for matching Kigurumi character sleepsuits… like the unicorn pajamas my brother got me last year! They come in kid and adult sizes, and you find all kinds of characters (Pikachu, Stitch, Cheshire Cat, Winnie the Pooh, Corgis, Unicorns, etc.) for less than $10 each on eBay or aliExpress (if you have 2-3 weeks to wait for shipping from China) or you can pay a little bit more and get them via Amazon.

So go forth and outfit your family, not matter how small or big, in matching holiday pajamas this winter!

corgi, lifestyle, trendy

London’s first corgicon

It’s true! On October 21, 2017, Miss London the Corgi attended her first ever Northern California CorgiCon!

And it truly was a sight to see! There were hundreds of corgis ready to play and thousands of people ready to play with them on below the Cliff House on Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

There was lots of room on the beach for free play.

Miss London the Corgi's first group photo at CorgiCon in San Francisco

There was a group photo and Miss L and Miss London got front row seats!

And there were other organized activities for everyone to watch and enjoy: an agility course, a costume contest, and finally the Corgi Derby!

Miss London was quite hesitant at first. We weren’t sure if it was the sand or perhaps the giant CorgiCon crowd, but her little corgi paws spent the first half hour tiptoeing gently across the beach. But with each human corgi fan that stopped to bend down and say, “Hi” to her, her spirit eased a bit. Soon, she was the one doing the introductions and just licking people’s hands and bumping up against their legs.

“Hey, you! I’m super cute! LOVE ME??? LOVE ME!!!”

Miss London the Corgi relaxing with strangers

If she wasn’t on a leash, anyone on that beach could have taken this pup home with them for just a few minutes of adoration. She was just blinded by all of the love.

Miss London the Corgi meeting her corgi friend

But what about all of the other corgis? You know, the hundreds of other dogs chilling at the beach? Yeah… I don’t think she really noticed them at all. Well… that is until the CorgiCon corgi races!

There were about 6 people deep all around the fenced off activity area, so Miss L and London missed seeing the agility and costume contests. Being a head taller than most normal people, I got to sneak some peeks. But when it came time for the running of the corgis, we ended up with a 2nd row seat for the action… and London was into that!

The first heat ran by us… and Miss London started barking up a storm! I’m not sure if she was excited? Scared? Jealous? Either way, she reacted exactly the same during the 2nd heat. Then, as they were gathering corgis to the start of the 3rd and final heat, they annouced that there were 5 open spots for the final heat. The corgi lovers we were sitting with all cheered and said, “London! Go! It’s your chance!” as they had interpreted her barks as jealousy/excitement. Miss L jumped up and down and we yelled to try and get a spot… and sure enough they invited us to the start line!

Everything seemed to be going smoothly for the race. I was at the start line with Miss London, and Miss L was at the finish line waiting to call her puppy to her. They counted down and I released London and off she went.

But then… a collision occurred!

The puppy next her crossed at the same time and suddenly London run over by her corgi cousin, and completely confused! 

Instead of running straight, she veered off to the left and into the arms of her adoring crowd. Seriously. She jumped right into the arms of random people and just sat their smiling and happy.

Miss London the Corgi tired after her first CorgiCon in San Francisco

By 2:00pm, the end of CorgiCon, this puppy was pooped. So we left the beach for some dog-friendly brunch down the road, and then finished up the day frolicking over at the Presidio.

Miss London the Corgi visiting Yoda in San Francisco

We said, “Hi!” to Yoda over at LucasFilm…

Miss London the Corgi hanging out at the Presidio

… and then got in some crazy good romps over on the large green lawn at The Main Post.

Then, it was back over the Golden Gate bridge to return home after a long corgi-filled day!

crazy, family, lifestyle, sporty

iFLY : You Fly Indoor Skydiving

Have you ever wanted to go skydiving, but you’re terrified of jumping out of a plane? Well, that’s me in a nutshell. I’d love to fall through the air, but just don’t want to deal with the heart pounding and stroke inducing process of getting out of a plane thousands of feet in the air. So, when I was gifted with an experience at iFLY Sacramento, I figured this was my shot to get all the thrills of skydiving without the immanent peril!

iFLY Voucher

Mr. M and Miss L had previously gone to iFLY on their own, and they took advantage of a wonderful offer they have for return flyers. They bought me a “Spread Your Wings” Return package for Mother’s Day that was good for 4 flights for 2 people that’s about 1/2-price of the original visit cost. That way I could go… and Miss L could go again with me!iFLY Sacramento Roseville

The iFLY Experience

We called and made a reservation for the 2nd class on Saturday morning, which was perfect because breakfast had settled down (I mean… no one wants to get sick in an air tube!) and it was the perfect time for lunch right after!)

Well, I won’t get too far ahead of myself here… because I was definitely a little nervous about the whole encounter.

Mr. M had told me it was a lot of fun.

Miss L was ready and rearing to go again.

And I just had no idea what to expect from the entire encounter!?!

Getting Ready to Fly

Check in was easy: tell them who we were, pay extra to upgrade to “fancy goggles” or not, then head into the waiting area. When our time approached we got suited up and I headed in for “training” – aka. watching an instruction video about the best things to do when encountering a GIANT FAN BLADE IN THE GROUND. Then, we marched into the tube and took a seat in the “waiting area” with direct access to previously mentioned GIANT FAN BLADE.

There was a boy in our group that was celebrating his birthday that day, so he had the honor of going in first. Except… well… that was pretty much the most horrific experience that poor kid had ever had in his life. I’m not sure what scared him, but he started flailing and fretting about 5 seconds into his flight and they got him out of the tube quickly… and then he ran to his parents sobbing and never came back.

The instructor went over to him to try to coax him back, but it was fruitless.

Flying at iFly

Then it was my turn! (Yay?)

I was feeling really ZEN about the whole experience right up until that point. I started worrying about what could have traumatized that kid. Was it when he looked down at the fan? Or the force of the wind? Or… OR….?!??!? Seriously why were we paying money to be tortured!!!

There was no time to deal with my complete runaway insane thoughts because the instructor was ushering me into the plastic tube of indoor skydiving fun RIGHT THEN.

I decided to push it all out of my mind, took a deep break and opted for ZEN.

I approached the door, closed my eyes for a brief second, took a deep breath, and then just sort of belly-flopped out into the fan.

And it worked. Zen TOTALLY worked.

The next 60 seconds was just fun and relaxing and easy. Nothing scary. Nothing traumatizing. Just flying and floating on the clouds.

In all honesty, the hardest part was the entry and exit to the tube… which Miss L said I did wrong each and every time. I’m not graceful on a normal day, so I’m not sure how I’m supposed to perfect my skydiving takeoff and landing without A LOT of practice.

When it was Miss L’s turn… she hopped in there like a pro. And she spun around to the top of the tube like she’s been doing this stuff since she was 4 years old. And, of course, she nailed the takeoff and landing.

We cycled through everyone in the group, and then we got the chance to fly again!

This time, we were all asked if we wanted to go up higher in the tube during our ride. It’s an “upcharge” cost, but you get blasted by even more wind and it becomes more of an amusement ride than a free fall float. At this point, I was so zen I said, “Sure!” (Mr. M later told me he was crazy impressed because he never thought I’d ASK, let alone pay extra to get thrown around in there!) Miss L took an extra high dive as well, and then our journey came to an end.

Well… that is until we bought yet another “Spread Your Wings” return package for another afternoon in the future!

iFly Sacramento: 118 Harding Blvd, Roseville, CA 95678.