Tag Archives: etsy

My Favorite Online Stores

Did you know you can buy local and support small businesses while still enjoying the convenience of buying online? Sometimes you have to go with a huge store, but not always!

GlassGirlJen on Etsy – gorgeous pieces. We’re not talking “etched glass” here. She deeply engraves into a wide variety of glassware. This is still one my favorites for wedding gifts, but great for a first Christmas, first Christmas in your own apartment, etc.

Clever hand-crocheted items. I met this woman and her daughter at a local craft fair. She doesn’t work from patterns, she just creates it. And all of her work is beautiful and baby-proof! Message her ASAP to let her know what you want. Her prices are very reasonable!

Amazon – I do have a caveat, however. Amazon lets OTHER companies sell through them now. Unless you have bought from that particular company before don’t chance it for a holiday gift. I ordered a cute Tshirt in an XL. I’m not a fan of the skin-tight T. This one is so small enough for a ten-year-old. So now I’m searching Pinterest for a way to up-size the shirt.  I do ADORE Amazon Prime though, since I do MUCH more last-minute shopping these days. ALSO, it’s one of the best places to find the best new indie-published books you won’t find in bookstore! SO many great authors are going the indie route. Lisa Tapp, Joan Kayse, and Ian Eviston to name just a few!

Target – I love Target because I can order online and select “ship to store” for free. This means that even if everything is already IN my store someone will gather it up for me. I pay online and just pick it up at the service desk. No impulse shopping, no forgetting I went in with a list and a price limit. Which is good, since THIS just happened:

Primary – This is my new addiction. Right now they only make basic clothes in solid colors (MANY colors!) with no labels (school-friendly) for kids. I want an adult line. I wouldn’t wear anything else most days. And it’s very high-quality with reasonable prices. They even have two weights for many of their pieces, so I can buy a hoodies for kiddos in Texas AND Kentucky. Sew on a few jingle bells for Christmas, add make temporary Contac paper or Duck Tape cut-outs for holidays, and one red T shirt can be cleverly current all year!

ThinkGeek – Is there anyone in your family who loves Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Fallout, Game of Thrones, or other things not everyone else is quite as passionate about? I owned a communicator pin and Vulcan ears when the folks at ThinkGeek were in diapers, so I could spend hours browsing this store. This may well end up as a gift this year for one of my Fallout fans.
SteveSpanglerScience – This is a great gift site for adults and kids. Once I bought several items from this shop and left them in the Reading Room – kind of the home base for our docs, where they’d hang their coats, pick up their patient lists, and do computer work. They were a hit! My dad LOVES all these things. He’s an Engineer, and uses a couple of the toys to analyze his new students or faculty while he’s chatting with them.

Newegg.com – I don’t go here without being given a link. It’s computer parts. As in, you take your CPU apart and put things in. My sons tell me they have GREAT deals. If you have a computer nerd on your list send them the link to browse. They’ll be excited!

Nerium – Awesome stuff. My husband uses the same cheap shampoo to wash his hair, face, and body. I swear. I only very recently got him started on a leave-in conditioner, which he LOVES. After thirty-one years I’m finally getting him to take a couple of baby steps towards taking care of himself. He takes EHT (brain booster) daily because his mother died of Alzheimer’s. He uses the Youth Factor powder because I told him he could drink a bottle of this fruit-flavored stuff a day or he could eat a variety of fruits and veggies every day. He chose the powder. I ADORE leafy green veggies, and my memory loss is all pain and medication induced.

So I use the stuff that makes me look good 🙂 Night Cream and Firm are the products that someone would have to pry from my cold, dead hands. This time of year we always have discounted Gift Packs for as long as they last. If I had to guess I’d say 75% of sales are people stocking up on their favorites for cheap and 25% actual gifts. Have you ever bought something intending to gift it. . . then kept it for yourself? *waving hand wildly*

So shop, shop away! But since my sweet, wonderful grandmother went full-out crazy every Christmas (which led to a woman she hired to do her shopping maxing out her credit cards her last Christmas at home and then just saying everything was stolen from the trunk) I’m a calm shopper. I plan ahead, I shop evenly for my children, and Michael and I have never shopped for each other. Not since the year we got engaged.

Some people do three gifts, for the three wise men. My personal favorite (and the one Michael is holding me to even though this is our first year with a granddaughter) is Something they Want, Something they Need, Something to Wear, and Something to Read. Yes, of course both Michael and Mom have asked me exactly HOW I know what Emma wants. Well, I’ve known it since before she was born. They’d just better take pictures in Austin to PROVE it!


I took creative license on this one, but it works.I hope everyone had a geat Thanksgiving!

The Child Formerly Known as Jack

As some of you know, when school started back in August my ten-year-old decided to change his name. His legal name is John, but since before he was born we’ve called him Jack. He decided to start going by John. I was a little upset at first, but friends assured me that it was in all probability just a passing phase. By his birthday in November we’d endured parent-teacher conferences where I called him one name and the teacher called him another and angst-filled moments at the bakery deciding what name to put on his birthday cake. Spring came, and he was still John at school and Jack at home.

Then I found this wonderful pendant on Etsy that I wanted for Mother’s Day. It has the tree of life in the center and the names of everyone in the family stamped around the edge. Beautiful! But you see the problem, right? So I called a family meeting. “Family meeting” at our house usually translates into “Mom’s pissed about something and we have to sit here quietly and appear to be paying attention while she rants and raves. After she calms down we will all promise to do better and then go our merry way.” So it was a bit of a shock to the guys that I actually wanted us to have a calm, serious discussion. First I asked Jack if he really and truly wanted everyone, family included, to call him John from now on. He asserted that he did. Then I said that I thought that since he felt so strongly about this that we should all make an effort to heed his wishes. Michael said, “He’s Jack, he’s always been Jack, and that’s what I’m going to call him.” Aaron muttered, “I just won’t call him anything.”

We’ve all been trying (some harder than others) to remember to call the youngest member of the family John. I’m about 50/50, Michael’s about 90/10 and always says “John” sarcastically when he says it, and Aaron’s doing pretty well calling him nothing. Just “Hey!” when he’s talking to him and “he” when he’s talking about him. Sam doesn’t care if we change out names to Sleepy, Grumpy, Happy, and Dopey as long as she gets treats and belly rubs on a regular basis. Today my Mother’s Day present arrived (yes, I select and order my own Mother’s Day present – it works for us).
Isn’t it beautiful? Here’s a link to Daisy Metal Creations if you’ve just got to get yourself one. But make sure and have a family meeting beforehand just in case anyone’s planning on changing their name.

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