Tag Archives: Christmas

Absolutely Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide 2018: THE ARIZONA EDITION!

I’m back to posting again, and what better way to usher in a holiday post with the return of the “Absolutely Last Minute Gift Guide”!  As mentioned in previously, we live in Chandler, which I recently found out is the fourth largest city in Arizona.  The picture above is of the Tumbleweed Christmas Tree located in Downtown Chandler, which is a five minute drive from our house.  Now that I’m officially outside of California, three of the four suggestions in my gift guide are from The Grand Canyon State!


Sibley’s West

Located in Historic Downtown Chandler, Sibley’s West is a wonderful and truly unique souvenir shop.  All of their items are only “From Arizona”, which is their mantra, sourcing artisans and companies based here.  If you can’t visit their shop in Chandler, they have gift certificates available on their website and many fantastic gift items to choose from on their online shop.

One of my favorite items I recently purchased as a gift is a Travel Tea Set and loose leaf tea from Tea Royalty.  Fortunately, I live right around the corner from Sibley’s, so I’m definitely going back and getting one for myself!


Quench Naturel

I was recently invited to an event at Singh Meadows in Tempe for the launch of Quench Naturel’s Sweet Moringa line.  They use only all natural ingredients for their products, and everything is available on their online store.  I will be providing a full review soon, but rest assured that all their products would make wonderful gifts!


QMULATIVE

I first heard about and met designer Quinlan of QMULATIVE at this year’s Phoenix Fashion Week (pictured above, being interviewed by my friend Tiffany of Glitz and Glam by Tiff).  He was the 2017 Lifestyle Designer of the year at PHXFW, and is known for his AZ Pocket Tees (I’ll have my own soon, and will be sure to post pictures).  His designs can either be purchased on his online shop, or in the Tucson area at shops like Why I Love Where I Live and Summit Hut.


Cave Tools

I have been working with Cave Tools for a few years now, having my husband Deon try out several of their wonderful products for cooking his delicious BBQ.  Any of their products would make excellent gifts for that BBQ Pit Master in your life, and if you can’t decide on anything in their gift section, they also have gift certificates available.

We recently tried their Stainless Steel Meat Injector, and look out for how we used it for a recent grill session in an upcoming post!

(All pictures by me, except for the AZ Pocket Tee pictures provided by Quinlan of QMULATIVE)

Happy Holidays 2017

Santa 2017

I hope this season finds you and your families happy, healthy and full of cheer!

In the grand tradition of my blog during the Christmas holiday, I’ve included Dominic’s annual Santa picture.  This year, Dominic went with Dad back to Las Vegas to visit the family while he’s on winter break.  I had to stay home because of my new job, but Grandma took him to Bass Pro Shops and got this great picture of Dominic hanging out with Santa rather than the standard one where he’s perched on Santa’s lap.

Merry Christmas everyone, and please enjoy my Christmas Mixtape on Spotify!

One More Day to Get Your Photo With Santa at Fashion Valley!

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Can you believe Christmas is already this weekend?  I received the last package today to complete our son’s Christmas present, in addition to finally sending out all of our holiday cards.  One last thing we also took care of this week was Dominic’s traditional photo with Santa at Fashion Valley’s Santa Photo Experience.  If you still need to take care of some last-minute shopping or get that photo with Santa, Fashion Valley will be open on Christmas Eve from 8am to 6pm.  Fashion Valley always look beautiful during the holiday season.  I’ve included some pictures of when Dominic and I attended their tree lighting ceremony last month.

Cheers and I wish you all a wonderful, healthy and safe holiday!

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Dominic gets a kick out of taking pictures with any cast of characters.  He was excited to learn that The Grinch knew about his favorite game, Fallout!

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There’s always wonderful free snacks available at Fashion Valley’s Tree Lighting event!

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Dominic thought long and hard about what he wanted to ask Santa for Christmas!

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Santa helped to countdown the lighting of the tree!

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After the tree was lit, everyone was invited for cookies and crafts!

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Wishing you a Happy Holidays!

Fashion Valley’s Tree Lighting Celebration Tomorrow 11/12/16!

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Tomorrow is Fashion Valley’s Tree Lighting Celebration!  It will be an evening packed full of events, leading up to the lighting of the Christmas Tree.  We had a great time last year, and I know it will be just as fabulous tomorrow.  I’ll be there with my family, and we hope to see you there, too.  Cheers!


TREE LIGHTING SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FOR SATURDAY NOVEMBER 12, 2016

HOLIDAY GIFT BAG & PRIZE GIVEAWAY

Simon Welcome Booth next to Sports Fever.

3:00 PM – The first 200 revelers in line to make the nice list will receive Fashion Valley swag bags filled with retailer surprises.

3:00 – 7:00 PM – Register for a chance to win a $250 Simon Giftcard®

HOLIDAY FESTIVAL

3:00 – 7:00 PM – River Plaza, near the AMC Theaters

From the “Letters to Santa” station to the holiday photo booth, there’s lots to do and see at the Holiday Festival. Also, enjoy face painting, holiday crafts, and costumed characters, as we host a festive atmosphere just for kids!

3:30 PM & 4:30PM – Storytime with the Grinch

Come see the Grinch’s heart grow three sizes this Saturday at the Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration! The Grinch himself will stop by and read his story to tell us all just how he stole Christmas. Come experience all the fun.

MAIN STAGE ENTERTAINMENT

4:30 – 6:30 PM – Main Stage near Boudin Bakery

Festive show by the Salvation Army brass band as they perform popular holiday carols.

6:00 PM – Tree Lighting Countdown begins!

Get ready for Santa to flip the switch to light the new 40 foot interactive tree.

MACY’S COURT

After the Tree Lighting, enjoy refreshments provided by Better Buzz and cookies provided by STACKED. Also, make magical memories with your family and have photos taken with Santa at the Santa House in Macy’s Court.


For more information, please visit http://www.shopfashionvalleymall.com or call 619-688-9113.

 Follow Fashion Valley on these social media channels:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/fashionvalleyca

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/FashionValleyMall

Instagram: www.instagram.com/fashionvalleyca/

(Photo taken at last year’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, post here)

Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide 2015 Part 2!

ASN Gift Guide 2015 Main 2

As promised, here is part two to my “Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide”!  This list of gift ideas is designed to help you with the music lovers in your life in addition to more for your fashion loving friends and family.  The titles of each section will link directly to how you can purchase each gift idea.  Enjoy and happy shopping!



THE MUSIC LOVERS GIFT GUIDE


Spotify Subscription

Spotify Gift Guide 2015 2

I love Spotify.  I love it so much that I subscribe to Spotify Premium not only because I have access to a seemingly unlimited database of music, but also for the ability to eliminate ads and save music on Spotify so that I can listen to my playlists without the need to use wi-fi or phone data.

For a limited time only, you can give the gift of a three-month subscription of Spotify for only $.99!

(Photo capture courtesy of Spotify)


VNYL Subscription

Get VNYL

I’m a very avid vinyl record collector. I try to participate in some kind of monthly record meme because I love to share my collection, and I love to see what my online friends are spinning.  If you would like to get someone special some vinyl of their own, buy them a subscription to VNYL and they can have their team of curators choose three albums a month based on their profile!

$39 will buy a one month subscription of 3 records. But if you really love someone, you can buy them a whole year subscription at $420 for 36 records.  For those of you in the California area, they have a flagship store in Los Angeles!

(Photo capture courtesy of VNYL)


M. Lineham Art

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If you do not know Matthew Lineham is or his art, please let me introduce you!  I discovered Matthew Lineham’s incredible art on Instagram.  He has 16 “Saints” of New Wave, two of which I have purchased myself:  Simon Le Bon and Bryan Ferry.  Of the 16, I have seen six in concert, and I know he’s working on his Saint Dave Gahan one.  His pieces are truly a wonderful and unique gift for the 80’s alternative lover in your life and won’t break the bank at $15 each print.


Urbanears Headphones

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Because I’m a Premium Spotify subscriber, I received a code to receive half off a pair of wireless headphones from Urbanears.  They have Bluetooth capability, where I can use it to not only listen to music, but pick up a call and swipe to the next song on my Spotify list!

Their line includes ear buds and full headphones, ranging in price from $29 to $99.



THE FASHIONISTA GIFT GUIDE


Love Tatum Gift Card

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I first saw Love Tatum jewelry at a few local boutiques during blogger events.  But I really started to love the pieces after seeing them on my blogger friends like Laura Neuzeth and Vanessa Balli.  I bought my first pieces at Simply Local (two necklaces and a ring), and my most recent purchase is that gorgeous ring pictured above.  Created by Tatum Lenahan, you can give the gift of one of her amazing pieces by purchasing a gift card for your favorite fashionista!


Ja-Vie Shoes

Ja-Vie Gift Guide 2015

Any2ndnow on Ja-Vie Instagram

I reviewed Ja-Vie shoes recently after discovering them on Instagram (original post here).  These have been my go-to shoes lately, not only because they’re comfortable and cute, but so practical for this wet weather we’ve been having lately.  Another great gift for your fashionable friends because they so very affordable at $68 a pair!

And a big thank you and shout out to Ja-Vie for the lovely feature on their Instagram!


Bittersweet by Maria Shireen

Bittersweet Gift Guide 2015

Bittersweet Press

I instantly fell in love with Bittersweet by Maria Shireen bracelets after seeing them on BuzzFeed and even more so when I was invited to their press preview (link to the original post here and on their press page).  If you want to give the gift of style and functionality, these bracelets are your answer for that girl on the go.  As a refresher, these sleek bracelets are designed to hold any hair-tie, lifting it from your wrist and allowing it to blend in naturally with any arm-candy you may be sporting.

Santa Is Waiting For YOU at Fashion Valley!

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This Saturday marked our third year taking pictures with Santa at Fashion Valley’s Santa Photo Experience.  This was by far the easiest year yet because we got his photos completed in the first week of December (rather than the third), and we did it by appointment straightaway, not having to brave the line at all!  I’m so glad we did because even with our appointment, we still were able to sneak in a bit early because we had the very first appointment at 10:35 am.  We finished with his photo within about 10 minutes, and were able to get in an early day of shopping, eating and enjoying the holiday sights at Fashion Valley.  I ended up choosing the “Photo Package Plus Accessory” plan, which really provided the best choice for the price (which included the multi-image CD).  To help save time when you visit the Santa Photo Experience, click the following link to make your reservation!

http://noerrsanta.com/simon/

Santa Fashion Valley 2015 Collage 1

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It’s amazing how much he grows each year!  I hope he can still sit on Santa’s lap next year!


Also new at Fashion Valley (and Carlsbad Premium Outlets) is Simon Magazine.  It’s available at both locations in limited quantities, but if you already subscribe to a Condé Nast publication, you will get a copy of your own.

The first issue looks amazing!

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“SIMON AND CONDÉ NAST LAUNCH LUXE LIFESTYLE PUBLICATION SIMON MAGAZINE AVAILABLE NOW AT FASHION VALLEY AND CARLSBAD PREMIUM OUTLETS

Luxury focused fashion, beauty, travel and culture glossy available this holiday season

Fashion Valley and Carlsbad Premium Outlets are pleased to offer shoppers Simon Magazine, a 98-page, high-end lifestyle publication designed to provide readers with the latest must-haves and must-dos, from fashion and beauty, to dining and travel. A limited supply is available to shoppers at Fashion Valley’s Guest Services, located on the lower level underneath AMC Theatres, near Banana Republic. Copies are also available at Carlsbad Premium Outlets’ Information Center, located behind Gap.

The premiere edition of Simon Magazine, produced in collaboration with Condé Nast, features diverse content including covetable gift ideas, an A to Z listing of cultural event happenings around the world, rising technology stars and the gadgets of the future that are here today. The magazine will reach select Simon locations just before the holiday season.”


 FTC Disclosure:  I received a gift card as a courtesy to enjoy the Simon® Santa Photo Experience, but not as compensation for this post.  Although I did receive a gift card, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

Celebrating the Holidays at Fashion Valley!

 

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Well, happy Black Friday everyone!  If you’re like me, you’re already out there, ready to take on the ultimate in holiday shopping after spending time with loved ones on Thanksgiving.  While out shopping, don’t forget to stop by Fashion Valley Mall because not only can you get in some major holiday shopping with over 200 stores, but you can also get that special photo for your little one at the Santa Photo Experience, and celebrate in style with seasonal events, like the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony we attended last week.  I’ve included some of the pictures I took at the Tree Lighting Ceremony, as well as some information on Santa’s schedule and other special holiday events taking place at Fashion Valley.  If you plan on getting pictures with Santa, be sure to schedule your visit ahead by visiting http://noerrsanta.com/simon/, like I did for Dominic.  Have a great weekend!

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The evening was hosted by Robert Santos of 10 News San Diego

Top photo:  The Instagram picture of Dominic in his reindeer antlers and light-up nose (given out free that night), ended up being reposted by Fashion Valley!

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Popular holiday carols were provided by the Salvation Army Brass Band

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Santa arriving at the Tree Lighting Ceremony!

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Let the holiday celebration begin!

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Dominic met actor Corbin Bernsen, who co-hosted the event.  Such a nice (and funny) guy!

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After the Tree Lighting Ceremony, everyone was treated to snacks and activities next to the Santa Photo Experience.  Dominic definitely took part by making a Penguin Ornament, and also crafted a Candy Cane Reindeer!

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Some of the holiday events and the schedule for the Santa Photo Experience, which runs now through December 24, 2015.

Merry Christmas 2014!

Santa Picture 2014

Merry Christmas to all!  I’m so glad Deon and I have been having Dominic take these Santa pictures each year because it helps us see just how much he has grown over the years.  The slide show below includes a picture I have note posted yet, which was his very first Christmas picture back in 2009.

Hope you all had a wonderful & blessed holiday with your loved ones.  Cheers!

From Dominic's Holiday Reading List: "My Twins' First Christmas"


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This is quite a fun year for Dominic because he’s really starting to enjoy books.  We read a book every night, and this is his newest addition to his reading list.  My Twins’ First Christmas is from the “My Friend Paris” book series by Jackie Singer.  In this holiday tale, Paris has new twin sisters, Liberty and Victoria, and she shares their adventures learning about the different ways people can celebrate Christmas.  Dominic said he really enjoyed this book and loved the colorful pictures.  His favorite parts of the book were when Paris and her family donated their extra cookies to charity and when their mommy read them a bedtime story because it’s like when we read him stories at bedtime.  Dominic said that although he loves it when I read books to him, he’s excited to learn to read about Paris and her Christmas adventures on his own next year!

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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide!

Fashion Valley Christmas Image with text

If you’re like me, you’ve waited until the absolute last-minute to get your gift list together for the Christmas Holiday.  I do it every year, and I don’t know if I’ll ever learn to be proactive and do it earlier.

So what I’ve done is found some really cool gift ideas that are a bit outside of the norm, and only one requires actual gift wrap.  Cheers and happy shopping!


 Caffeine Crawl 2015 Tickets

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The Caffeine Crawl takes place January 23-24 2015, and showcases 16 different coffee houses in San Diego.  Tickets range from $23-30 per route, but it looks like you get some goodies along with your tickets.  This is a great gift for the coffee lover in your life!

Tickets include an event packet with Crawl goodies and souvenirs, admittance to all stops on your selected route which includes a drink or chocolate sample provided and determined by each shop, and short, educational presentation.


 Afternoon Tea at Mary’s English Kitchen

Marys English Kitchen from YelpI had such a wonderful time during my own afternoon tea experience at Harrods (original post here), so I have been looking for another experience to match it.  When Katie from the blog La Jolla Mom mentioned Mary’s English Kitchen in La Jolla, I thought about getting that as a gift for me and my girlfriends as a great afternoon out.  If you want to do the same, you can call them at (858) 263-4614 to inquire about gift certificates or to make a reservation.

(Photo courtesy of Yelp!)


ClassPass Gift Cards

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Recently, I was able to take part in a month membership to ClassPass (post here), where one month’s membership gets you unlimited access to participating exercise studios in the San Diego area.  If you have someone in your life who would like to do the same, gift cards are available for one class, a one month membership or three-month membership.  Click on the link for details! ClassPass Gifting


 Duty Free City Gift Certificates

IMG_3506 (2) (1280x1280)After I won my Furla bag from Duty Free City and attended their grand opening (posts here and here), I truly feel it’s a wonderful place to spend a day with family or friends because it’s not just about the shopping, but the experience.  Gift certificates are available to give that experience to someone you love by calling (619) 621-2600.


The Sand Cloud Beach Towel

DSC04225 (2) (1280x1280)Finally, the only gift in my little gift guide that may need actual wrapping paper: The Sand Cloud beach towel.  When I first posted about this fantastic little beach blanket/towel (post here), it was merely a start-up.  Now they have a full-blown shop where you can purchase one for $32.50 and they come in six cool colors.  I have two of them myself: one in Ocean Blue and the Mint Green one pictured above.  Stay tuned…I may have a surprise in the new year for you regarding Sand Cloud!