Posts in November, 2011

Hunter Original Rain Boots

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Have you ordered yourself a new pair of rain boots this year? I am in the market for a new pair of boots and thought I would simply order a pair of Hunter original rain boots. I thought it was going to be a a quick and simple transaction, but now I can’t decide what color to get….

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I was all set on basic black and then I found this gorgeous purple….and navy is nice too….or I could go wild with the yellow….too many choices…I guess I need to sleep on it and try again tomorrow.

Best Black Friday Deals

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Are you ready to kick your holiday shopping into high gear? Are you eager to nab some of the best deals online this weekend? I’ve scoured the best Black Friday promotions available from Sweet Peas & Stilettos’ partners so you can take advantage of the best deals out there – from free shipping to great discounts. Happy Shopping!







DisneyStore.com Special OffersFree Shipping when you spend $75 or more at Disney Store with Promo Code: SHIPTODAY. Shop Now!

Saks Fifth Avenue – saks.com Post Thanksgiving Sale: Take up to 50% off select styles. Prices go up on November 28th. Offer valid 11/26–11/27

Save Up to 30% Off Kids Sleepwear at Hanna Andersson!

eBags – Luggage Sale- Save up to 70% + Free Shipping on Carry-Ons, Luggage Sets & More!





Free Shipping









Stila Online Exclusive- Up to 40% off


Little Passports





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And if you are looking for an incredible selection of modern holiday cards and discounts and promotions galore – check out this page of Christmas cards and holiday party invitations. This invitation from Tiny Prints is one of my favorites!

Paper Culture Giveaway

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

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Are you having a hard time selecting your favorite Holiday card? Look no further. Paper Culture is hosting a $25 giveaway for Sweet Peas & Stilettos readers. To enter to win the $25 gift certificate, simply hop on over the the Sweet Peas & Stilettos Facebook page and leave us a little note about the contest. The contest closes at 11pm PST on Sunday, November 28th. The winner will be announced on Monday the 29th.

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At Paper Culture you will find a wide selection of holiday cards and invitations as well as stationery and cool bamboo photo art. In addition they have really raised the bar when it comes to eco-friendly stationery. Paper Culture’s cards and envelopes are made from  100% post-consumer recycled materials and they will even plant a tree in your honor with each and every order. How cool is that!

Enter the contest now and win your $25 gift certificate!


Thanksgiving Books for Kids

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

A Turkey-Free Thanksgiving by Susan Fry

My husband and I are vegetarian.  So while we’re planning on a nice lasagna for Thanksgiving Day, everyone else we know is obsessed by turkeys.  Organic or free-range?  Brined or soaked?  And the discussions about whether to flip or not to flip, to tinfoil or not to tinfoil, well, they could go on until New Years.

So I can’t help but be surprised by how many kids’ books let the turkeys get away.  There’s a whole subgenre in which the diners have second thoughts, the turkeys outwit their pursuers, or having a turkey for dinner takes on a whole new, and much happier, meaning.  Perhaps these books are trying to convert meat-loving grandparents and reassure fans of Charlottes’s Web.  Or perhaps they’re just wishful thinking.  But whatever the reason, the books celebrate the fact that the holiday is about something more important than what’s for dinner.

Sometimes It’s Turkey, Sometimes It’s Feathers, by Lorna Balian.  This gentle book follows an old woman and her cat as they discover a turkey egg.  “We’ll hatch it and feed it and let it grow plump.  What a fine Thanksgiving dinner we will have.  Imagine!” Mrs. Gumm exclaims.  Children will be amazed at how much food it takes to help a baby bird grow into a full turkey — Mrs. Gumm will have to forgo strawberries, raspberry jam, and grape jelly.  When the day comes, she sharpens her hatchet and prepares a dinner full of goodies, then seats the turkey at the table next to the cat.  “I have so much to be thankful for,” said Mrs.Gumm.  “A Thanksgiving feast, and two good friends to share it with.  Imagine!”

Turkey Surprise, by Peggy Archer, illustrated by Thor Wickstrom.  Two pilgrim boys set off in the woods to bring back a turkey for Thanksgiving.  But the youngest brother is a little nervous about the plucking, stuffing, and cooking part of the dinner.  “Are you sure we want a turkey?” he asks his brother, as he sees a turkey trying to hide from them in a tree, a lake, and down a gopher hole.  “Is that all anyone has for Thanksgiving dinner?”  When his brother eventually admits that, no, there will also be corn, applesauce, and dessert, they cart a pumpkin home instead of the bird.

Run, Turkey, Run! by Diane Mayr, illustrated by Laura Rader.  It’s the day before Thanksgiving, “but Turkey won’t be giving thanks – not unless he manages to escape.”  Turkey tries to act like a pig, a duck, and a horse, but the farmer isn’t fooled.  Young children will enjoy the repetition and the sounds the farmer makes as he chases the turkey, which finally evades capture by masquerading as a tree.

Susan Fry is a writer and mother in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s written for Stanford Magazine, salon, the San Jose Mercury News, and many other publications.

You can check out the Sweet Peas & Stilettos’ children’s books page for quick access to all of Susan’s wonderful children’s book reviews.


Startup Nation Winner

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

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I won! Well I didn’t get first place but Sweet Peas & Stilettos was selected as one of the Top 100 home based businesses by Startup Nation. As we teach our children, it is great to be a winner even if it is not the blue ribbon. I think I will treat myself to a holiday clutch to celebrate. A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to vote. I really really appreciate it. Cheers!

Glitter Heels

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

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If you have been around Sweet Peas & Stilettos long enough, or taken a look at my shoe rack, you probably know about my love affair with all things Kate Spade. I also love things that sparkle. Put a lot of glitter on an incredible shoe and you have perfection in my book.

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I have wanted my very own pair of Kate Spade Charm heels for a long long time but could never decide between the silver, gold and multi-colored versions. My instincts said, “buy all three of course!” but my practical (and totally non-indulgent) self got the best of me and said to pick just one. So here they are. I was having a bad week when I bought them and I can’t tell you how quickly I perked up with them arrived at my front gate. I actually keep them on my desk so I can stare at them all day long. Needless to say, I know what shoes I will be wearing to each and every holiday party this year…

Gwen Stefani for Target

Monday, November 14th, 2011

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On the tippy top of my very short list of favorite celebrity moms sits Gwen Stefani. She is just so damn cool and always seems to stay so true to herself. Needless to say I was thrilled to hear about her new Harajuku Mini collection for Target. I knew it was going to be fabulous and I was not dissapointed.

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These two dresses are two of my favorite pieces from the collection. You can shop the ‘animal collective,’ ‘nerd rock’ or ‘girlie glam’ lines for girls as well as some very cute things for little boys.

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Check out Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Mini Collection Exclusive for Target – Launching 11/13! Limited Time! and pick out your favorite pieces.


Pumpkins

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

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Pumpkin is The New Turkey by Susan Fry

Thanksgiving used to revolve around the big turkey dinner, a symbol of family, community, and warmth during a cold autumn.  But these days, more adults are vegetarian, or squeamish.  It’s not surprising that the dead bird may have lost its appeal.

Pumpkins are the perfect substitute.  What could be warmer, jollier, or more huggable than the round orange pumpkin?  At least until Santa arrives in December.

So, if you’re looking for a warm fuzzy feeling this fall, gather around these books about pumpkins.

Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin, by Tad Hills.  This board book for very young children gives a warm example of friendship with beautiful fall colors.  Duck and Goose search everywhere for a pumpkin – in a log, a lake, and even up a tree.  Finally, when they realize they can look in a pumpkin patch, they find the perfect prize together.

Pumpkin Soup, by Helen Cooper.  The friendship of a cat, a squirrel, and a duck is shown through the pumpkin soup they make together.  When they fight, the soup tastes terrible; when they make up, the soup is once again yummy.  The illustrations, including a fantastical, acorn-shaped house, give the story a fairy-tale quality.

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever, by Steven Kroll, illustrated by Jeni Bassett.  Two little mice, unbeknownst to each other, take care of the same pumpkin. When they realize what’s been happening, they burst out laughing instead of fighting and share the now-enormous pumpkin.  The drawings cleverly show the pumpkin bringing together the whole community as well as two new friends.

Too Many Pumpkins, by Linda White, illustrated by Megan Lloyd.  Rebecca Estelle hates pumpkins.  So when she accidentally has a bumper crop, she knows she has to get rid of them.  She makes “pumpkin tarts, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cakes.  Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pudding, pumpkin cookies . . .” and gives them away to everyone in town.  Once again, pumpkins bring a community together, and Rebecca Estelle even decides to plant more pumpkins for the next year.

Susan Fry is a writer and mother in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s written for Stanford Magazine, salon, the San Jose Mercury News, and many other publications.

You can check out the Sweet Peas & Stilettos’ children’s books page for quick access to all of Susan’s wonderful children’s book reviews.

This very cool photograph of all of the fabulous pumpkins is from Shiny Cooking. Check out the site for lots of vegetarian recipes and more.

$20 off and free shipping on all holiday card orders with code SNOW20SHIP

Presenting Tallulah

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

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Presenting . . . Tallulah by Tori Spelling

I had no idea how many celebrity moms had written children’s books until I started to do a little research. From Tori Spelling to Madonna, from Maria Shriver to Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice) these moms have lent their famous names and creativity to create fun books for kids. Take a peek and see if your favorite celebrity mom is an author too.

Monsters Under the Bed

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

Monsters Under the Bed by Susan Fry

My children have a love-hate relationship with monsters.  At night, they refuse to sleep until I check inside their closet and under their beds – and recheck, and check again – for the slightest shadow of a sharp claw or a scaly tail.  But during the day?  They make a beeline for the most gruesome, most disgusting, most monsterly Halloween decorations on the street.

The following books capture this push-pull relationship perfectly.   Like horror films for grownups, the books allow kids to enjoy their monsters in a safe place, between pages they can close and reopen when they want to.

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Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley.  Emberley’s “Big Green Monster” cleverly appears page by page:  cut-outs reveal two big yellow eyes, then a long, bluish, greenish nose, and so on, until the entire “Big Scary Green Face!” stares out from the middle of the book.  But while the monster might be scary, the book’s words empower kids to banish their fears:  “YOU DON’T SCARE ME!  SO GO AWAY, scraggly purple hair!”  Then, page by page, the monster disappears again, one feature at a time.  The generous use of adjectives can help younger children learn their colors.  The final page acknowledges the joy that even the most timid child can find in being frightened.  After a resounding “AND DON’T COME BACK,” tiny words whisper, “Until I say so!” Usually, this happens seconds later, when kids demand to read the book again.

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I Want My Light On!: A Little Princess Story by Tony Ross.  Ok, ok, this book is actually about a ghost.  But it’s my favorite of the subgenre of monster-under-the-bed books in which the monster proves to be more of a scaredy cat than the child.  Also, the child in I Want my Light on! is a girl, which, for some reason, is unusual in monster stories.  Little Princess is terrified of ghosts.  So everyone in the castle, from the king on down to the maid, assures her that they don’t exist. Little Princess, of course, doesn’t believe them.  And when she hides under the bed, she discovers that a ghost is hiding there, too.  The terrified ghost flees to his own mother, who tells him, “Don’t be silly . . . . there are no such things as little girls!”

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I Need My Monster, by Amanda Noll, illustrated by Howard McWilliam.  When Gabe, the monster under Ethan’s bed, goes fishing for a week, Ethan is forced to audition a series of replacement monsters.  “I needed a monster.  How was I supposed to get to sleep if my monster was gone?” Ethan demands.  But none of them are quite as good as Gabe.  Herbert doesn’t have Gabe’s claws, Ralph actually uses nail polish, and as for the third monster?  Well, she’s a GIRL!  But just when Ethan despairs, slime oozes out from under his bed.  Gabe is back early.  “Those fish scare too easily.  No challenge at all,” Gabe tells Ethan.  Ethan is thrilled.  “Everything was back to normal . . . . I’d be asleep in no time.”  The fully rendered pictures, often spread across two pages, have a cinematic scope that may delight older children but frighten younger ones.

Susan Fry is a writer and mother in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s written for Stanford Magazine, salon, the San Jose Mercury News, and many other publications.

You can check out the Sweet Peas & Stilettos’ children’s books page for quick access to all of Susan’s wonderful children’s book reviews.