Monday, December 31, 2012

Swanky Sweepin' Volume 63


Pizza for a year  One winner a day, ends 2/3


2012 or 2013 Fiat  Ends 3/31/13

Trip to NYC to see Newsies the Musical  Ends 1/3

Kitchenaid stand mixer  3 winners, Pinterest contest, ends 1/3

$10,000 Ends 1/3

Chrysler 300  Ends 1/29

$100 RetailMeNot gift card  50 winners, I hope Anderson personally delivers all of them. Ends 1/7
Bali vacation  Ends 1/7

photo: Anderson Cooper enjoying pizza.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gifts for Teachers

Hay gurl, long time no blog. I'm back and better than ever with a new baby, a few extra pounds, and tons to say! I've got to work my way back into my blogging mindset. This first post back is going to be short and to the point because frankly, the only interaction I've had for the last few months has been with a 2 yr old and a newborn...

So of all things to post, why a teacher post? Well, I've found that my circle of "Mommy Friends" is growing faster than my waistline during the holidays. It seems that recently, many of them have been asking "What should I get my kid's teacher for Christmas?" and the traditional response seems to be candy and a gift card...BOR-ING! If you have the time and the drive, I have found a few great ideas through other blogs and of course, good 'ol Pinterest.

1. Gift card.

If you're going to do a gift card, do it the right way. Get as many people as you can involved in it, perhaps a gift from the whole class, and make a "Gift Card Tree"! Everybody buys a different gift card in whatever denomination and attach it in a fun artsy fartsy way to a (real or fake) tree, wreath, or stand! Check out these pics below for some inspiration!

2.  Gifts that Give back

What do you get for the teacher that has everything? Buying Bracelets=Educated Kids.
"Utilizing remnants of Zulugrass, Maasai artisans are designing one-of-a-kind bracelets to symbolize the bright futures of educated children. The Leakey Collection will donate 100% of their profits from the sales of these bracelets to pay for teachers' salaries in rural Kenya. Each 26" bracelet is wound 4 times and packaged on a specially designed color story card. Purchasing 5 bracelets pays for a teacher's salary for 1 day."
Available via Leakey Collection 

3.  Themed Gift Baskets:

For the teacher who loves movies:  Grab a couple fun DVDs, add some microwavable popcorn, and don' forget the candy! If they are an awesome teacher, add a gift certificate to the movies!

For the teacher who deserves to be pampered:  You can make your own "spa package" for a mani/pedi including nail polish, nail tools, pumice stone and lotion. You can also make a skin "spa package" and include a store bought or home made body scrub, lotion, face mask, bath bubbles and loofah!  To go the extra mile, add a gift certificates for a massage, manicure and/or pedicure!

For the teacher who loves to read: Pick up the latest best-seller, a magazine subscription and add a book light or even a homemade bookmark! Feeling extra generous, again, add a gift card to your local bookstore and voila!

If you have any other ides, please leave a comment here or share on our Facebook page! Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cheap Thrills: Last, Last Minute Christmas Gifts

You've waited too long, haven't you? You thought you'd have enough time, so you put off your Christmas shopping and spent all this time posting photos of your pets on Instagram and watching hours of Style Network.  Never fear, your last minute Whoreder Fairy is here in this ~Special Non-Friday Edition~ of Cheap Thrills! There are still plenty of options for holiday gifts, and most don't even require you to leave your house or the confines of your jammies.

Birchbox - The end-all be-all of beauty sample sites, Birchbox will deliver Christmas cheer to your boo's mailbox on your behalf! You can choose a 3, 6, or 12 month gift or if they're already subscribed, a gift card for them to spend shopping on the site. And it's not just for ladies anymore, folks, Birchbox Men gift subscriptions are also available. The gift can be sent immediately, and you look like a holiday hero without ever having to face a crowded parking lot or checkout line.

Netflix - Another guilty pleasure that can be gifted without any heavy lifting. There are 5 levels of gift subscriptions available, starting at $7.99 for one month all the way to $95 for one year. Just think how happy your loved ones will be, and they'll think of you every time they stream an episode of Gossip Girl. If Netflix isn't their thing, Hulu Plus also has the same packages available for gifting.

Restaurant [dot] com - There are two procrastinator gift ideas here: ecards, which can be sent via email immediately in denominations from $15 to $500. They also have the Dinner of the Month club, which delivers a monthly gift certificate for 3, 6, or 12 months (each at $10 per month). Stuff their stockings and faces at the same time!

Magazine Subscriptions - There are too many to list here, but pretty much any interest you can think of has a magazine associated with it. Buy your pals a subscription and they'll enjoy your gift all year long. Some mags, like Martha Stewart Living, have a feature that lets you print the gift subscription so you'll have something to hand over when exchanging gifts. There's a magazine out there for pretty much everyone: Mad Magazine, Cheese Lovers, Boozers, and Mini Horse Enthusiasts.

Photo Websites - Everyone is buzzing about Instagram's new terms of service, so for those ready to jump ship a gift to a different photo sharing/upload site might be a nice idea. Flickr still rules my world, you can buy a 1 or 2 year gift subscription for your favorite shutterbug.  Shutterfly has instant gift cards available from $10 to $100 and SmugMug offers 1, 2, or 3 year subscriptions starting at $35.

[Blank] of the Month - These gifts might be a little pricier, but if you're looking to make a bigger bang you can go with a monthly food/drink/luxury type of gift. There are hundreds of these monthly clubs to pick from, there's wine, meat, nuts, and fruit... and everything else. If you're feeling frisky, there's even a panty of the month club available.

Donations - If you want a gift that will do some good, you can donate to any of a vast number of charities. It's not for everyone, but if your gift recipient is into the idea it can be ridiculously easy to give. The hardest part might be deciding which charity or organization, there are SO MANY! ASPCA, The Red Cross, and  UNICEF are just the tippy-top of a long, long list. You can also look at local schools, shelters, churches to help out groups in your immediate area.

If you're reading this as you get ready to head out the door to a party and are thinking, "VANESSA, your ideas are amazing and your hair looks super pretty today, but I need something awesome I can grab on my way to this ugly sweater party!" My darlings, don't worry your pretty heads... I've got you covered. Stop by your local Mexican bakery and get a dozen tamales, or a big variety of Mexican bread. Not in a Latino state of mind? Not to worry, explore the goodies other cultures in your area have to offer. For some people these treats will be a taste from their childhood, and for others an exciting new foodie adventure. More original than a bottle of booze or a big box of candy, and the leftovers will be delicious. These treats will be a hit, and will make you look like the thoughtful and generous piece of work you are, even though you waited until the last possible second to make a decision, like always.

Merry Christmas, niƱos!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Swanky Sweepin' Volume 62


See's candy  Over 1,000 prizes, ends 12/25

A tablet  Winner a day and 465 winners of $15 gift cards, ends 12/31

Tassimo brewer  Winner a day, ends 12/24

Meat sticks and cheese  144 winners and a grand prize of $2,500. Ends 12/24


$50 Walmart gift card  75 winners, ends 12/14

Beauty stuffs  All end 12/31

photo: "I Love Lucy" Episode 39