Friday, November 28, 2014

GiGi New York: Buy a Gift for Someone Else, Get a FREE Gift for Yourself!

Do you remember this post about my obsession with GiGi New York? Well, they have a pretty fabulous "Black Friday" deal going on through Sunday, November 30. {Why do they call it a "Black Friday" sale if extends past Friday?!!?}




Give a GiGi New York clutch or handbag to someone you love...get a fabulous FREE gift for yourself!

GiGi New York Black Friday Deal: This week receive free U.S. shipping on all orders over $100 PLUS free gift with purchase! The free gift is based on how much you spend....here are the details:

I can't imagine anyone on the planet who wouldn't love a GiGi New York clutch or handbag...so why not buy this gift NOW while you can get a little something for yourself FOR FREE?

Which Black Friday sales are your favorite?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Birthday, Nais!

Today is this sweet lil' guy's FIRST BIRTHDAY...


Jolies Images, Kansas
Photo Credit: Jolies Images
Jolies Images, Kansas

I love this little midget more than words can express! He has this aunt wrapped around his little-bitty finger, and I can't wait to celebrate at his birthday party this weekend...so expect {lots} more pictures next week!

To mark this very special day, 12 pics to represent the last 12 months...

November 2013: meeting Nais for the first time

December 2013: Nais with Great-Grandma Lois

January 2014

February 2014: Nais' Dedication

March 2014: Napping with Daddy

April 2014: Easter Weekend

May 2014: Nais & Lily

June 2014: Nais visits Dallas

July 2014: Cowboy Nais ready for the rodeo

August 2014: Nais with Uncle Ryan

September 2014: Nais with his daddy and great-granddad

October 2014: the cutest lion on the planet

November 2014: 364 days old!

Happy 1st Birthday, Nais!

Aunt LeeLee loves you so much!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Leslie Loves...{1.22}

Product Recommendations

If you're anything like me, it's hard to think about Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving. I always have big hopes of starting early and avoiding the stress of last-minute shopping, but that has never actually transpired. In fact, when I did attempt to do some early Christmas shopping this year {August}, I ended up losing the gift I purchased. We've searched the house high and low...pretty sure it got thrown away with a bunch of boxes. Epic fail. Anyway...I know it's still pre-Thanksgiving, but I had a bit of a panic attack when I realized it's only 30 days until Christmas! Sooooo...I am attempting to at least mentally prepare myself for what lies ahead by sharing a few of my loves that would fit perfectly in a {big} stocking!



Product Recommendations
  1. BeautyBlender Makeup Sponge Applicator: The egg-shape of this sponge allows for seamless blending with no lines or streaks {plus the narrow end works really well below and around your eyes}. You wet the sponge before use, which prevents it from absorbing {wasting} your foundation.
  2. Emi-Jay No Crease Hair Ties: Because hair creases are ugly.
  3. Bombshell Luggage Tag: "So...how does a bombshell like me get through security?"
  4. Minimergency Kit {monogrammed version here}: This little kit fits perfectly in your purse and contains everything you could possibly need...
  5. Gold Lip Coffee Mug: This mug is the only thing on this list that I don't already own/haven't previously tried, but it is so cute I might actually consider drinking coffee. No, probably not...but it's still cute.
  6. Drybar Up, Up & Away Set: Includes travel-size shampoo, conditioner and dry shampoo {with a fabulous scent}, plus a brush, in a TSA-approved bag
  7. Tide PenI guess this is the one thing that doesn't come in the Minimergency Kit that every girl needs for her purse. These things are magic when it comes to removing stains.
  8. Make Up Eraser: I was hesitant to believe that this incredibly soft, pretty pink cloth could remove all of my makeup {including waterproof mascara} by just adding water...but it works! Gently wiping this wet cloth over your entire face seriously removes every trace of makeup. And it's reusable...just throw it in the washing machine and it comes out looking brand new.
  9. Custom Return Address Stamp: Ain't nobody got time to write out their address.
  10. Jamberry Nails: Everyone loves pretty nails. Available for little girls too! Watch for Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales!
  11. Wine WipesBecause no one looks good with purple teeth.
  12. Bubble Bath: The best way to end a day. Period.Dot.Done.

What do you want in your stocking?


Linking up Cheers Y'all,  A. Liz Adventures, Miss Dixie and Southern Style for "My Favorite Things."  Thanks for hosting, ladies!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Five Life Lessons From My Dad

Yesterday was my dad's 60th birthday.  I've learned so much from this man over the years. I'm incredibly grateful for all the advice he's given me and the role he's played in making me the person I am today. Sticking with the "Five on Friday" theme, I'm sharing with you five life lessons I learned from this great man.


One:  "Good Enough" doesn't cut it.

You'll never get ahead by just getting by. You've got to go above and beyond what is expected of you to get noticed. My dad has never done anything halfway. He always says, "If you're gonna do it, do it right!" 

Two: Revel in your success for a moment...and then do more!  

Don't stop trying to better yourself just because you've accomplished one goal. Dream big. Set the next goal and keep learning and improving. My dad has always been proud of my accomplishments, but he's also always pushed me to achieve even more. 

Three: Pay your dues.

Nobody starts at the top. You've got to work to get there. Hard work will pay off in the long run.

Four: Make yourself indispensable.

Whatever you're doing, do it well...better than anyone else. Make sure you're adding value. Put yourself in a position so that you can't be easily replaced. 

Five: Think for yourself.

"Use your head as more than a hat rack!" I heard that phrase over and over as I was growing up. Most of the time it was probably because I'd done something without thinking...but my dad was always encouraging me to think outside the box and never just go along with the crowd. 



Happy Birthday, Dad!

I love you!


Today I'm linking up with "Oh, Hey Friday!" {hosted by The Farmer's Wife and September Farm} and "5 on Friday" {hosted by A.Liz Adventures, North Carolina Charm, The Good Life and Hello! Happiness}. Thanks, ladies, for hosting

 5 on Friday, Blog Link-up


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tour Through Blogland

Winding Road

Welcome to my stop on the "Tour Through Blogland!"  I've seen some of my favorite bloggers featured on the tour over the past few weeks and found several new blogs to follow through those posts! I was so excited when sweet Jessi from Jessi's Design invited me to be part the tour {check out her stop on the tour here}.


Martin Manifesto Blog

What am I working on right now?

Ummm…my next blog post? Actually, I’m not even working on that…yet! Unfortunately, I’m not one to pre-plan and schedule out my posts. I’ve made some notes for a couple of “Leslie Loves…” gift guides, so I’ll count that as my current project-in-progress. I’ve also been thinking about changing the layout/design of this little bloggety-blog. With that being said, I’m wide open to any suggestions/recommendations for blog designers!

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Is my blog even in a genre? It's kind of a big 'ole mix of things: a little bit of fashion, a little bit of beauty, a lot of my life. I guess it's different just by the fact that it's mine. My thoughts and my perspectives are what make it unique. I write from my heart about whatever is on my mind. No two blogs are the same...that's what is so great about blogland. 


Why do I write/create what I do?

I first started blogging {on January 1 because I need defined beginnings like that} because a couple of my friends encouraged me to share products I love. Thus, the "Leslie Loves..." series was born. There's nothing better than hearing from a reader who bought one of my recommended products and loves it as much as I do! I also wanted a way to document what's going on in our lives. This little blog has become a sort-of scrapbook I can always come back to for memories.

How does my writing & creative process work?

I pretty much just wing it, which explains why I don't post EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. I'd love to post every day, but some days I just don't have anything relevant to say {I think the proper word for that is writer's block}...and some days I just don't have time {Ryan would tell you it takes me FOR-EV-ER to complete a post}. I write about what's going on in my life, things I'm interested in, products I love...whatever comes to mind on any given day. I guess the short answer to this question would be that I haven't quite defined/formalized my blogging process...yet. Wait, let's be honest...that's never gonna happen!


Your next stops on the tour...

{just click the photo or the link below each box to visit these fabulous blogs}







Take a minute to check out these ladies' blogs...you'll be glad you did. Don't forget to say hello while you're there {I can't be the only one who LOVES getting new blog comments...right? Right?!!?}

And a BIG thank you to Jessi for featuring my little corner of blogland on her tour stop!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Napa Valley: Day 3

Ahhhh! Day 3 of our Napa trip: the day that someone else planned...and the day that I enjoyed the most. One of my close friends from college and her husband {Joselyn and Grant} live in San Jose, so they met us for our third day in wine country. They offered to plan this day, and I more-than-willingly handed over the reigns!



This recap may be a bit different than Day 1 and Day 2. It's funny how I have the most photos from this day...but the fewest relevant photos. I guess I should just be grateful that we didn't lose the {borrowed} camera. Given the quantity of wine we consumed, that is a miracle!

We started our morning with breakfast at Gott's Roadside Diner in downtown Napa. Our first winery stop was Grgich Hills Estate

Napa Valley Itenerary

Napa Valley Itenerary

Napa Valley Itenerary

Napa Valley Itenerary
KU Girls in California

Napa Valley Itenerary

Our second stop of the day was Provenance Vineyards

Napa Valley Itenerary

Napa Valley Itenerary


We went to V. Sattui picnic grounds for lunch. This place was a bit of a circus, but it had lots of food options and the weather was perfect...so the good outweighed the bad. After lunch we stopped at Trefethen Family Vineyards

Trefethen had significant damage from the earthquake...
While they're waiting on engineers to determine if this beautiful historic building can be saved, they've created a temporary tasting room in the fanciest tent I've ever seen {complete with chandeliers}. I think it was at this stop when the wine really started to take over, as you can see from the pictures that follow...

Apparently Linds and I thought we needed to be carried to the car on this dolly.
Obviously we didn't make it very far before I fell off.
Napa Valley Itenerary
Love this pic...Love these girls!

The final winery of the day was Domaine Carneros. Yay for more bubbly!


Napa Valley Itenerary

Napa Valley Itenerary

Joselyn & Grant Annen

Chris & Lindsay Shepard


Our tasting guide brought this BIG bottle of bubbly for a photo prop when he found out it was our anniversary.
first anniversary bubbly


Cheers to our final glass of bubbly. And it appears I'm really starting to lean at this point...

I'm not sure who took these, but we did get a few a pics of the beautiful scenery surrounding us at Domaine Chandon.




The final pic of the day actually turned out pretty good...

...but apparently it was quite a process to capture a good one!

We had dinner at Bistro Don Giovanni. Once again, I have no photos to show for it, but that's probably a good thing since I decided to have french fries and Fiji water for my entrĂ©e. Not kidding. I wish I was. Everyone else ordered like normal adults and seemed to really enjoy their food. And I highly recommend the french fries!

And that's a wrap...our anniversary trip to Napa fully recapped! If you're planning your first trip to Napa Valley and have questions, just let me know. I'll be more than happy to send you our schedule...and a google map of a bunch of wineries...and maybe even a spreadsheet! 

Thanks for the memories, Napa Valley!