30 for 30

my sister turned 30 this year. when she turned 21, i took her to get her nails done and i bought us matching outfits and accessories. i wasn’t too fond of fake nails, but i kept the tradition of dressing alike for her birthday for a few years. here are some pictures of my sister and i dressing alike, some on her birthday and some not:

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aside from dressing alike, i have taken my sister out to dinner or have arranged for birthday dinners for her. we had fondue one year, just the two of us. i took her to her favorite restaurant another year, the old warsaw. a big group of us took her to dinner at a japanese buffet restaurant, tokyo one. dinners are always the main part of birthdays, but i wanted my sister’s 30th birthday to be very different than the others. for my 30th birthday last year, i had an awesome dinner with friends, followed by an after-party at a bar. i pretty much celebrated my 30th birthday all week. well, my sister doesn’t do that. she doesn’t go out much, she doesn’t go to bars, and she surely does not go to clubs. she’s on her last leg of school and currently student teaches third grade. she gets up at some ungodly hour of the morning, goes to school, comes home, prepares for her next day, and is in bed by 9. her birthday was on a monday and i wanted to do something on her actual birthday instead of on the weekend prior, so i took all that information and came up with giving her 30 gifts for her 30th birthday. before i came up with the idea, she would always say she needed “teacher’s clothes” and i would hear stories about the rules that teachers had and stories about her students. after i came up with the idea, i took the stories and incorporated them into the gifts that i would get her.

i started my 30 for 30 project by listing all the things i wanted to get my sister. aside from the teacher theme i was going for, i also had down a list of things that i knew she wanted or thought she would enjoy. she’s very much into the paris theme at the moment, so that helped with some gifts. i called my dad the day i came up with the idea, and he made some great gift suggestions.  i told some of my friends, too, and they came up with some neat ideas. of course 30 gifts would cost a ton of money, but i tried to play it smart-to shop sales, shop clearance, use coupons, etc. i had about a month to shop, so i did every chance that i got. working in a mall helped because i was able to swing by a store on a break or look around for ideas. she had been wanting good eyeshadows in neutral shades so i got her the latest mini naked palette that came out by urban decay. i love my naked 2 palette, it’s amazing and i use it all the time. she had been obsessing over a bobbi brown lipstick of mine, threatening to steal it, so i brought it out while shopping and found her a few lipsticks in a similar shade. i got her some gift cards so she could buy whatever she wanted from certain stores. i studied her closet to see what she had been recently purchasing to figure out what to buy as far as teacher’s clothes go. some major department stores were running ridiculous sales on top of their clearance so i would spend what seemed like forever going through every piece of clothing. i found amazing dresses and tops and belts and accessories at ridiculous prices. the prices were so low that i was putting multiple gifts in one box. my 30 for 30 was probably 80 for 30 or something, if we counted every item. haha. some gifts were gag gifts. bath and body works had an anti-bacterial soap sale and i got her a bunch of full-sized soaps “because her students have germs.” she student teaches third grade. i also hand made her a “survival kit for naughty students” which consisted of a yardstick, a roll of duct tape, a bar of soap, and a dunce cap. as far as the paris theme goes, i got her an eiffel tower necklace, sets of notecards with her name personalized on them, and the very last gift she opened was an amazing memory board that my friend/co-worker handmade for her. my friend, amber, makes memory boards and sells them on etsy and she couldn’t have made it any more perfect. i was SO excited when i got to see it in person and i was SO sure that it was going to be my sister’s favorite gift out of all of them, so i made it #30, the grand finale. if any of you want custom-made memory boards, you really should check out my friend on etsy. she is very talented. i’m having her make one for my new black/gray/pink bedroom and my co-workers have thrown their orders in as well. if you want to look at her work, click here.

also, my sister was not a big card person. how funny, since i’m the complete opposite. so…i thought it would be funny to attach a card to all her gifts. hahahaha.

if any of you think of doing this for a birthday, for any age, it’s really fun and it doesn’t have to cost much if you shopped like i did. sign up for email alerts or rewards memberships from stores and use coupons. shop sales and clearance racks. hand make things. but allow yourself enough time to get everything together-and wrapped. i am a professional gift wrapper, so of course everything had to look perfect-and it wasn’t as hard, because i think wrapping them all was the most time-consuming part.

aside from the 30 for 30 gifts, we took my sister out to 2 nice dinners within her birthday week. it was fun and delicious.

here is a captioned photo gallery of my 30 for 30 project. enjoy!

xoxo

 

one of the first gifts i wrapped...with a card.

one of the first gifts i wrapped…with a card.

 

hiding gifts results in only one thing: putting them in the trunk.

hiding gifts results in only one thing: putting them in the trunk.

 

hiding fully wrapped gifts in a closet.

hiding fully wrapped gifts in a closet.

 

while she was at school, i took the day off from work to set up.

while she was at school, i took the day off from work to set up.

 

i had my sister blindfolded when i brought her in the house. this is her shocked face.

i had my sister blindfolded when i brought her in the house. this is her shocked face.

 

gift #1: bread pudding, one of her favorite desserts.

gift #1: bread pudding, one of her favorite desserts.

 

teacher's kit for naughty students. the dunce cap.

teacher’s kit for naughty students. the dunce cap.

 

this was a gift that wasn't on my list but was perfect for the teacher's kit. like a boss!

this was a gift that wasn’t on my list but was perfect for the teacher’s kit. like a boss!

 

dad's idea. chicken soup for the teacher's soul. we grew up reading chicken soup books. it was perfect.

dad’s idea. chicken soup for the teacher’s soul. we grew up reading chicken soup books. it was perfect.

 

she knew what this gift was. i made her try on a NIQUEA.D necklace from papyrus and she fell in love with it and wanted it so bad. so i got it for her.

she knew what this gift was. i made her try on a NIQUEA.D necklace from papyrus and she fell in love with it and wanted it so bad. so i got it for her.

 

putting her necklace on.

putting her necklace on.

 

oooooohhhh.....

oooooohhhh…..

 

gift #30!!!!! the memory board that my friend hand made for my sister!

gift #30!!!!! the memory board that my friend hand made for my sister!

 

 

we used my niece as a prop. she's a great actress.

we used my niece as a prop. she’s a great actress.

 

one of my sister's 2 birthday dinners.

one of my sister’s 2 birthday dinners.

 

 

 

 

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work bling.

i have been feeling a bit under the weather the past few days. for christmas, i got sick. boo! so here i am, at 1 a.m., sippin’ on some orange juice, listening to the tunes of feist on my itunes, suckin’ on a cough drop, blogging in bed…

i have been working at my company’s northpark location for over a month now. it’s been over a month of playing dress up and wearing the NIQUEA.D jewelry line that the store (the only store in the state of texas) showcases. i’ll admit that sometimes when i get ready to go to work, i base my outfit on what possible jewelry i will be wanting to wear. and i’ve been wearing a ton of dresses. it’s been fun. 

the otazu trunk show has been featured at the store for over a month now, and it has been my guilty pleasure. i love clear jewels (swarovski crystals), so you will see me wearing a lot of them. i should wear more colored pieces so i can show them off on the next blog. but for now, enjoy….

these first 4 are by (rodrigo) otazu. i love them all. i want them all. the second necklace was bought by a client that asked her husband if she could buy it before she made the purchase. she collects accessories. i was so sad that it left my store. i told her (linda is her name) to wear it the next time she came to visit. i loved that necklace…and how the crystals just dripped everywhere. ugh…so amazing, these necklaces…linda ended up buying the same bracelet that i had on at the time (that i own-pics further down) and a few other crystal bracelets that i need to take pictures of because i love them. we have the exact same taste. that makes me happy. 

these earrings are from our holiday collection. aren’t they AMAZING!?!? the shades of blue are just gorgeous! 

this bracelet and necklace is also from our holiday collection made by sorrelli. the bracelet makes me feel fierce with the gunmetal and crystals. i love how it looks like a blingy cuff. the necklace is from sorrelli’s french blush line and i obviously love it because i love pink and black! i want the entire french blush line. it’s super pretty! 

this next set of pictures is called our fashion glam collection. when i become a bazillionaire, i will shop otazu…but because i’m not, i shop fashion glam. =) one great thing about our NIQUEA.D line is that there is something for everyone. the first piece of NIQUEA.D that i bought was the pair of earrings in my previous blog, new ear bling. the second piece i bought was the wrap bracelet in the last 2 photos. i love chains and grommets and studs, so i fell in love with the bracelet when i first saw it. HAD. TO. HAVE. IT. i laid it out so you can see how long it is. i actually can wear it as a choker around my neck! i will do that one day-out of work. i don’t have a dress that it would look nice with as a choker. that is the bracelet that linda bought because she loved it on me. =)

these last 2 pictures are of me and my girls at work, wearing some serious NIQUEA.D bling. we love jewelry, and we know you do, too. =)

xoxo! 

november at a glance

november 2: we have fun at work. this here is samantha sporting one of our 2011 holiday ornaments…

NOVEMBER 8: these are the fashion glam earrings i want from NIQUEA.D PAPYRUS NORTHPARK.

NOVEMBER 9: this is what boys do in pool halls in between games. they arm wrestle to prove…um…who’s stronger?

NOVEMBER 12: i helped decorate and attended a quinceanera. 

NOVEMBER 16: i did a radio interview with 103.7 LITE FM for a segment called “READY, SET…CHRISTMAS!” which was released on november 27. it was a fun radio interview, but the funny thing is that the interview got released on paige’s “NOT SO PERFECT PARENT” website, and it was completely shortened and…..not really anything i had said. haha. but CLICK HERE to read the 8-10 minute interview that turned into a 1 question, 1 answer article.  here are some pictures from the interview. what happened was that i brought a wrapped display and one of the deejays was suppose to copy it as we were doing the interview. it was hilarious. the last picture is just of a display i did for our northpark location.

NOVEMBER 17: over 5 years later, i am still in love with my nephew. i came home one night to capture this. 

NOVEMBER 18: my buddy, tony, and i went to the JEAN PAUL GAULTIER exhibit at the dallas museum of art. of course, we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the exhibit, as it was exclusive to dallas and there was security ALL OVER THE PLACE, but that’s what the entry way was for.

NOVEMBER 19: my lovely friend, mishi, invited me to a party and i got to dress up! this was such an amazing weekend!

NOVEMBER 20: chromeo was in town (*tear*) but after work, 2 of my girlfriends and i went to visit a friend of ours that got out of surgery the week before. his mom made lemon bars, pecan pie, and starbucks coffee for us……so yummy!!!!!! we all just lounged around the living room, watching tv, and gossiping. fun times!

NOVEMBER 24: thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the year. we spent this holiday at my brother’s girlfriend’s house. my nephew was obsessed with the trampoline, so he was on it all day. we opted for lunch instead of dinner, so we got to take naps in the evening. the weather was nice. it was fun. =) 

NOVEMBER 27: select papyrus stores came out with a signature wrap for the holidays. the toppers were handmade by yours truly. i spent the next few days wrapping displays for our 4 dallas locations and training them on how to do each topper.  these are 4 of the 6 wrapped displays: 

NOVEMBER 30: some co workers and i got together for dinner at chuy’s in dallas to wind down from our hectic past few weeks. these are some of the amazing people that fulfill your custom printing/gift wrapping/jewelry/gifting needs in the dallas (northpark, dallas galleria, southlake, and the shops of willowbend) market: 

i apologize for not blogging lately in the past few weeks. as you can tell, the holiday season has kept me quite busy. i have been at our northpark location for the past 3 weeks, so it has been quite an adventure in that store. i still haven’t completed half of my christmas shopping, so i really need to get on that. other than that, i hope y’all had a wonderful thanksgiving and will have a fabulous christmas!

xoxo

new ear bling

one of my girlfriends, jessica, went to LA for the adobe MAX conference a few weeks ago.

she is one of the most thoughtful people i know.

…a little bit about jessica…

we have known each other for a total of about 8 or 9 years now. i could actually say that i have known her the longest out of all my girlfriends. she was more of an acquaintance when i first met her, and then became closer as a friend in the past 4-5 years. we got much closer as friends when we started shooting in our pool league. here is a picture of the first team we were both on together:

that was our winning team…*sigh*…i miss getting all those shiny trophies…

anyways, back to jessica…

here are a few random pictures of us:

i think the highlight of our friendship definitely has to be the fact that i got to be a part of her wedding this year.

she jokes around about how we are such good friends because we share the love of PINK! haha!

anyways…that’s my little friendship with jessica in a photo gallery of goodness.

when we shop, we see cute things and think of each other-and then we buy each other a bunch of things.

although it’s not pink, she bought me these pair of earrings, which i SUPERlove:

thank you, JEP! ❤

of course i wore them to work the day after she gifted them to me. and, of course, i have a necklace that happens to match it!

another pair of new earrings i got are NIQUEA.D, the new jewelry/accessories line at our northpark location.

i figured i’d wear them to work and chat up my customers about the new brand since they always compliment me on my earrings.

i love these:

i love my new ear bling.

xoxo

october 21-october 23

the past 7 days have worn me out.

last friday, i worked in the morning and found out that there was a dress being overnighted from LA for me to be modeling at the unveiled dallas bridal show. the dress was designed by rami kashou of project runway (season 4). kashou started working with papyrus last year when he was asked to design a paper dress for a fashion night out event. this is what he created, which you will see on our papyrus posters around the country:

 

here is a model wearing the dress that was unveiled last year at the century city mall papyrus location:

 

i knew this was not the dress that was being overnighted, for two reasons:

1. i can’t see how someone would ship a box THAT BIG and that quick.

2. the model looks 6 feet tall. there’s no way i’d be able to fit in that dress.

if you are curious to see more of rami kashou’s paper dresses, all you have to do is google “papyrus paper dress” or “rami kashou paper dress” and look at all the images. they’re fabulous.

 

anyways, back to my story from friday morning. my boss called and wondered what dress size i wore. he asked, “are you a size 4?” and at that time, i didn’t know why he was asking, but i was so tempted to joke around and yell, “ARE YOU CALLING ME FAT!?!?” i held back, though. that was when he told me about the rami kashou dress, and i immediately thought, “i better eat 7 meals a day for the new 2 days if i want to fit in that dress!” my boss said that i was going to be the only one wearing that dress, and we were going to MAKE. IT. FIT. he was informed that it was a size 4, so we discussed everything from the realistic options like having to wear padding or stuffing the dress to the ridiculous options like getting last minute boob implants. haha! then we just decided to wait until the dress got in so i could drive over and we could figure it out.

obviously, i needed shoes to match the dress…so i hopped over a few stores down to look at what cream/gold/bronze/copper shoes they had since my boss said it was in that color range. i narrowed it down to two pairs:

 

i chose the one on the left…and after i purchased them, my boss chose the one on the right. of course.

after my shoe purchase, the dress arrived at northpark, and i was on my merry way to take a look at it.

good thing we didn’t stress too much about the dress being too big, because the dress fit. the dress is not a size 4. the dress is a size 0. perfect, minus the fact that i couldn’t breath in it for the first 2 minutes. after a few breathing exercises, i had everything under control.

i had to try on the dress in front of the store because it was the only spot that had room for me to walk around in and have people around me, so we tried on some jewelry. our northpark location is the only location in dallas that sells our NIQUEA.D jewelry/accessories line. i got to try on some awesome blingy necklaces and earrings as customers gawked at the fact that i was wearing a paper dress. people were walking by the store, staring in and pointing at the dress. some came in to touch it. it was pretty funny because i had on an argyle sweater and black tights underneath, so it didn’t look as great. but it sure did knock everyone’s socks off as they walked by…

the fitting was successful and my jewelry was set aside for sunday, so that was awesome.

after work, i met up with some business partners and shoe ladies at blackfinn in addison. i decided to take the opportunity to break in my new heels. the ladies noticed my shoes and loved them. awesome. there were some pictures taken of our shoes, but i have yet to receive a copy of that. i mingled around for a little bit before i headed off to regal beagle to meet up with some friends. i didn’t stay long as i knew i had to wake up early the next morning.

 

…the next morning came fairly quick. as in 5:45 a.m…

here are a few pictures of the next 12 hours…

 

i had more pictures, but they aren’t loading. ugh.

but yes, it was just a day of shoes, shoes, and SHOES. shoes in my car, too. i am a closeted shoe freak. no one can tell because i only wear black shoes to work and i wear a select few to shoot pool, but i have……a ton of shoes. i just want to own 1,000 pairs of heels and boots and i’ll be a happy camper.

 

after my day of shoes galore, i had to run home to get my things ready for the bridal show. i was going to be spending the night at my coworker’s place in euless, so i had to make sure that i didn’t forget anything.

the absolute worst part about the next 9 hours was finding black bobby pins. it took 3 hours around plano and euless to find black bobby pins. seriously!? i’m just glad we found them before the insane thunderstorm arrived!

as the internet was acting up due to the thunderstorm, it took us a while to figure out hair and makeup for the bridal show. my boss wanted “dramatic makeup.” he sent us a picture of how he wanted my hair, which was a casual updo that the beautiful jessica alba had done with her hair. she had her hair braided down the side and the rest thrown up into a messy bun (no, my picture is not uploading…ugh!).

we ended up “taking a nap” from 4 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. which was brutal.

the next 3 hours were spent on my hair and makeup. all i did was sit as bobby pins were stuck in my head and half a can of hair spray was applied to my hair. i later counted how many bobby pins were in my hair. to get a “casual updo” for my hair, it requires 89 bobby pins. we totally overestimated, as we bought about 200. the most bobby pins i have had in my hair was 180+ and that was about 10 years ago. when i was in my beauty pageant (2001 MISS NMI UNVERSE), my sponsor (who was a hairdresser) had turned my hair into a bouquet of flowers. imagine that! yeah, that required an entire bottle of conditioner to detangle. but it was beautiful.

here you go…the DALLAS UNVEILED BRIDAL SHOW:

 

if you look behind those stunning ladies in this last picture (ha!), you can see the first rami kashou dress on the posters. and if you look on our necks, we are sporting some serious NIQUEA.D jewelry from the northpark store. it was fun.

the day was fun. i completely forgot that i was only running on an hour and a half of sleep. papyrus happened to be the only custom printing/stationery vendor at the bridal show, which was awesome. we had brides submit their information to enter into a raffle for $250 off their wedding invitations. they were all about that!

there were flower vendors…photography vendors…bridal dress vendors…linen vendors…cake vendors…entertainment vendors…there was a mini donut vendor. of course i tasted a few samples! as well as the cake booth that was giving away samples of their 4 layered cake slices and the booth that was giving away sandwiches (jonathan: “who serves sandwiches at a wedding?” good point, but i’m not complaining).

i hope our picture makes it into D MAGAZINE. the photographer for the magazine took a few pictures of us, and well…it’s not like there’s always a girl wearing a paper dress at a bridal show, right? look out for their upcoming issue. i know i will.

i wish i took more pictures, but my camera just wasn’t working. i had to bring my ancient kodak digital camera that takes AA batteries. i bought a new pack of batteries, but for some reason my camera would not turn on. i was so bummed because my sony digital, which died in march, could have taken some AMAZING pictures of the bridal show…and of that ridiculous dress in the faux wedding scene hallway (which i did take 2 pics of from my camera phone and showed you above). but i hope you enjoy what i posted. i thought the peacock wedding cake was awesome. the peacock theme and teal/purple color scheme was pretty big this year with my clients.

after the bridal show had to come an end, i drove home and passed out for 14 hours.

wow.