Archive for May, 2011

Yosemite: Sierra Mountain Lodge B&B

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Last week the hubs and I met up with his parents to explore Yosemite National Park. It was a peaceful weekend filled with beautiful views, good conversation and great food. One of the highlights of our trip was our accommodation–little did we know when we booked our room we had stumbled upon a little haven.

The Sierra Mountain Lodge is a family-run bed & breakfast nestled in the small town of Ahwahnee, CA, which is about a 40-minute scenic drive from the southern park entrance. I’ve found that staying in a B&B can be very cost effective, and very charming–as long as you pick a good one!

Pulling into the driveway was like entering a secret mountain retreat; we were welcomed with the smell of fresh pine, and the buzzing of bees and rustling of leaves. Our suite accommodated all four of us, and was very cozy and very clean. I always love a linen closet filled with fresh white towels!

As you can see from the photos, we were not in a hurry to leave and could easily have stayed the whole day (that always seems to be a problem when we stay somewhere nice), but it was great going out for a drive, knowing we had a cozy room and hot chocolate awaiting our return!

The morning breakfast was delicious: hot pancakes, sausages, yogurt and fresh fruit. It was lovely to meet the owners and mingle with the other guests before heading out to a full day of adventure.

Basically, I just loved this place. The owners were great and really created an inviting, well kept environment. We felt right at home, and will definitely return for our next Yosemite trip… and of course, I’m now dreaming of running my own bed & breakfast….

PS. Did you know the National Park Service has free days? The next one is on June 21st. See more details HERE.

Happy Memorial Day

Monday, May 30th, 2011
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martha stewart
martha stewart

Today kicks off a summer of Patriotism, remembering our freedoms and respecting those who have fought and died for this cause.  I can’t wait for family barbecues, parades, and lots of good times.  God bless America…. and England too!

Happy Memorial Day Everyone!!!

Utah Downeast Tent Sale

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Heads up for all our Utah readers out there, Downeasts spring tent sale starts today and runs through June 4th at their Draper, Sandy & Layton locations. Their Orem, Ogden & Logan store sales starts June 8th till June 11th.

In the past we’ve been able to get some major deals, like this West Elm sectional usually retailing for $2,57.00 Em scored it for less than $300!

Some of the items are very damaged, some not as bad, but the best are those that aren’t even out of the box yet so make sure to look in those boxes because I’ve purchased brand new Pottery Barn bookshelves and trays for $5 each.

Have fun rummaging, and let us know if you find an amazing deal.

Gluten Free Chinese Food: Pei Wei

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Have you guys been to Pei Wei?  I love it very much because it is one of the only places I can eat Chinese food because of their fabulous gluten free menu.

My Favorite dish is the spicy shrimp salad.  It is packed with lush lettuce and cabbage, scallions, snap peas and much, much more.  The lime vinaigrette is to die for.

I simply love not having to worry while I am eating if I am accidentally eating gluten.  I love it even more when my gluten free food is scrumptious, affordable, and portions are large enough for left overs :)

They have a fantastic menu for the gluten tolerant and kids too, this BBQ korean dish looks delicious.

Is anyone else out there gluten free?  Where are your favorite spots?

PS. Right now you can sign up for their emails, and get a buy one get one free on their caramel chicken (NOT gluten free) see Hip to Save for more details.

Giveaway Winners

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Thanks to all of you who entered our very first giveaway, we hope to have many more exciting ones in the future.

drum roll please…

The winner of the coaster giveaway is…

The winners of the design dilemmas are…da da da daaah

Congratulations to all our winners, we’ll be in touch via email.

To everyone else thanks so much for entering and for all your lovely comments xxx

Clinique Bonus at Nordstrom

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Heads up ladies! Bonus time at Nordies just started yesterday, so you’ve got two weeks to snatch up this free $75 gift (including a Trina Turk make up tote) when you spend $25 or more.

If you’re looking for a great summer product we suggest Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief its fantastic after an afternoon by the pool.

For more Clinique purchasing tips see HERE and HERE.

Adorable and Affordable Toys

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Gender roles kinda bug me, but how am I supposed to resist?  These would be a perfect gift for any little girl:

mini tea set $9.99 -ikea

mini kitchen $138 -ikea

vegetable toy set $7.99 -ikea

a perfect little apron $24 -anthropologie

…and for the little man:

toolbelt and soft toys $7.99 -ikea

Organized Snacks

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

While browsing on Real Simple the other day, I noticed these snack suggestions for organizing your pantry. I love this idea of pre portioned snacks, and can only imagine how great it would be for kids at home or on the go.

In fact, this whole idea of pre packaging I’m kinda loving (Em is already a pro), not only would it be a major help in the portion control of not-so-good-for-you-foods, but also encourage the healthier options if they are already pre washed + chopped…this may have just changed my life, I’ll let  you know!

100th Post + 2 GIVEAWAYS!

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Wow, today we are celebrating our 100th post, holler!

We know of no better way to celebrate than a good olde giveaway…and because we’re uber excited we’ll make that TWO!

GIVEAWAY NO.1: Is a set of handmade coasters, made by twine & twig. These will available shortly in our up coming Boxwood Store, but now one of you can win preview set of your colour choice.

GIVEAWAY NO.2: Is introducing our new feature Design Dilemma, as Em + I both fancy ourselves as interior designers, we’re on a mission to help solve design dilemmas in your homes, as well as our own.

Two winners will win an personalized inspiration board, and instructions on how to solve your specific design questions in your home.

(Photographer: Pieter Estersohn via

To enter simply leave a comment, by Monday 23rd 12.00 MST, winners will be selected at random.

Good Luck!

Gold Foil Scratch Off Map

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

The map craze just got a little bedazzled with this gold foil, scratch off map.  Very cool, love it!

Find it HERE.

Interior Design: Keri Russell’s Home

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

I am in awe.  My jaw literally dropped when I saw this home featured in the June issue of Elle Decor.  This home is loaded with everything I love.  I go crazy for major contrast!  Also, it has the perfect balance of masculinity and femininity.  I’m always struggling with this one.  When I see a ruffle my heart leaps, and I have to try hard to keep things not too frilly.

This home has that perfect balance created with a feminine all white canvas, delicate glass and floral accents and masculine, chunky wood, industrial chairs and appliances to give an overall modern, minimalistic and extremely cozy feel.

Don’t you just love it!

Project: Laundry Room

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Recently a client contacted us to help with her laundry room.  Our client is a wonderful hostess who often has large parties coming to stay.  Lots of linens, entertaining and home maintenance supplies can easily overwhelm this small space.

Sarah and I used a few strategies to get this place looking neat and fabulous in no time.

Sarah and Emily’s Steps:

#1  Empty out closets and drawers and group similar items together into groups.

#2  Determine if the group is necessary for this space or if the group would be better stored somewhere else in the home.

#3  Corral groups into Tupperware bins or storage bags.

#4  Determine placement in room for groups based on size of group and how often the group is used.

#5  Arrange groups in cupboards and shelves and make sure they are easy to identify and access.

The last step is absolutely crucial.  If bins and containers are not easy to see or access it will be hard to keep things neat.

Because our client had so many linens we found the best way to organize them was by sheet sets.  We bundled sets together with twine and labeled them.  Next time our client has visitors it will hopefully be a lot easier to find that twin fitted sheet!

We also bundled her large comforters ‘sleeping bag style’ to optimize the space.

We believe that you can be organized no matter what budget.  This room cost under $20.  We corralled batteries and small supplies etc these $1 shoe boxes found at Big Lots.

We found storage bags on clearance at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  We used twine and tags that the client already owned.  We loved this project!  Thank you to our client for letting us participate, we hope you are enjoying it.  Please contact us if you are interested in our help in an organization project;

McDonalds Lemonade

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Nothing quite says summer like lemonade and this year I’ve already been loving Micky d’s Frozen Strawberry Lemonade; so refreshing, sweet + tangy!

Every Friday they’re giving out free mini servings between 11-1 all summer long. The regular size is priced at only $1.89, and there’s even a $1 off coupon HERE. Yet another reason to sing “ba da da da da, I’m lovin it” (yep, I’m a nerd!)

I’m in love, I’m in love…and I don’t care who knows it!

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Both Emi and myself have a new years goal of really really liking things before we purchase them. No longer is it enough for them just to be cute, or a good deal. We want the BEST deal, and we want to be in love.

I wasn’t expecting love to hit when Targets Calypso St. Barth Collection debuted on May 1st; as you know I have a fear of colour, and from commercials I didn’t really see anything I fancied, but then I spied this little beauty.I’ve had my eye on similar poufs before but with no place in mind to put it, I simply admired them from a distance. Usually the poufs run around $250 + so they were easy to resist….enter Target.

As usual the price for a similar product was way lower than I’d ever seen before, at only $59 they were flying off the shelves…there was no time to wait for them to go on sale, I had to get one and fast. After a few phone calls I managed to track one down in SLC, high on excitement I felt I’d won the lottery!

Now that I have it I love it everywhere I put it. The versatility makes changing round rooms so fun! Here are a few examples of other poufs, and the many rooms they add a little fun to. Don’t they remind you of gum drops?!

Images found at

Rite Aid Deal: Neutrogena Sunscreen

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Remember this post about Neutrogena sunscreen?  This week at Rite Aid there is an awesome deal on this sunscreen.

weekly circular excerpt

I spy my sunscreen!

Here’s how I got an amazing deal:

I signed up for up for the Wellness program in store to be able to receive +UP Rewards (store credit).  They gave me a little card that you can put on your keyring, which they scan before purchases.

I bought two 100+ spf sunscreens on sale for $9.99 (usually around $15) and also a small Lubriderm lotion at $1.99 to get over the $20 requirement of this deal.  I received a $10 +UP Rewards on the bottom of my receipt.

I then used my $10 +UP Rewards to buy items that I needed on my normal grocery store shopping list.

I bought milk, soap and paper towels and made sure that I didn’t spend more on these items than I would at the grocery store.

When I subtracted the $10 +UP Rewards of regular grocery store items from my total bill the sunscreen ended up to be under $5 each!!!  AMAZING!!!

This deal ends Saturday, so hurry!

The only downside to this deal is that +UP Rewards have an expiration date, usually about two weeks out.  I try to spend my rewards in the same visit so I don’t forget about them.  You can learn more about +UP Rewards here.

Holler Dollar: Boxwood Wreath

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Welcome to our new feature Holler Dollar! I’m constantly surprised what little beauties can be made with just a dollar, and even more surprised at the little treasures that can be found for the same amount. I’m excited to share these frugal finds, and to enforce the belief that you don’t need a lot of money to have pretty things.

To start us off here’s a wreath made out of  boxwood clippings I trimmed from my hedge; I bought a 18″ grapevine wreath from the dollar store and simply stuffed the clippings into the wreath. I’m not sure how long this fresh wreath will last, so I sprayed it with hairspray to try and lock in some of the moisture. The project took about 40 minutes, for that amount of time I’ll be happy to get a week out of it, and who knows maybe it’ll look pretty once it dries out.

PS. I just came across this World Market coupon to save $10 on $30 or more…click HERE to print. Making the chairs Em blogged about on Monday only $59…can I hear a whoot whoot?!

A Dualit…almost!

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Today I got home from work and found this little thing on my kitchen table:


That’s right, the Black and Decker 850 watt/extra wide slots/cool neon blue light feature, 2 -slice toaster.  We had toasted sandwiches for dinner to test the abilities.  I mean, let’s be honest, there’s not much to it.  Toast the bread.

Sure a Dualit would be nice, but I think this $3 upgrade will keep us going for a few years.

So Bradley, thanks for reading our blog, for buying us a new toaster, and mostly for helping me to keep it real :)

Interior Design: Dining Chair

Monday, May 9th, 2011

As you know, we have been loving World Market lately.  During my last trip I found this beautiful ‘french bistro side chair’ on sale for $69.

I have thought about this chair a lot since I left the shop without it.

I love it’s style, solid manufacturing, and price tag.

I love our little apartment, but am so excited to have a larger kitchen and dining room some day.  I am hoping to find a long rustic farmhouse table like this one from Restoration Hardware (but for at least half the price!)

Then I would add all different mismatched white chairs around it.  A bit like this:


I think this bistro chair would be perfect for this look.  What do you think?

Mother’s Day Free Printables

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Sarah found this cute door idea from twig and thistle…so cute.

This free printable from oh happy day is perfect for the classic Mother’s Day breakfast in bed.  For instructions and download visit here.

We hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!

Jeff Lewis + Casa Vega

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

We heart Jeff lewis. His reality show; Flipping Out on Bravo is one of our guilty pleasures.  Jeff and his team are hilarious, his projects are amazing, and his business is inspirational.

One of his projects was a redo of a classic Mexican restaurant in LA, Casa Vega.  Of course on our recent trip to Cali we had to go and check it out.  We were impressed with the makeover; and equally impressed with the delicious food.  We look forward to visiting again.

Check out the before and afters:

(Images courtesy of

Happy Cinco de Mayo!