CSN Giveaway!

I'm so excited to announce another giveaway brought to you by CSN stores. I was contacted by them recently to do a repeat giveaway, and am excited to offer you a $35 gift certificate to any of their 200+ online stores once again. Whether you're searching for cookware, home accessories, or children's luggage, CSN has got you covered!

Here are some of the amazing products that they offer over at CSN:
Lots of fabulous Le Creuset products

Tons of great All-Clad cookware

and what I'm currently eyeing...

a new fire-pit for our back patio
 (my husband is dying for one)

Here's how to enter for your chance to win a $35 giftcard for any of CSN's 200+ stores:

-You must be a follower of Life as a California Wife, and then comment on this post to let me know you're a follower.

-I will use random.org to choose a winner on Tuesday, December 7th 

-You must enter by 5 p.m. Pacific time on December 7th to be eligible.

-Make sure to leave me your email address if you don't have a blog that links back to it, so that I can contact you if you win!

So, hop on over to the CSN main page to check out all of their great websites and products.

Note: I was not paid to write this post, nor did I receive any other gifts as compensation. I was approached by CSN to sponsor a giveaway for my readers and was happy to accept..

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Here are some outfits that I haven't posted from the past few weeks... it's finally cooling off, and we've had weather in the upper 60's and 70's.  The mornings are a little chilly, so I've been trying to dress is layers when possible.

Nothing too special, but I haven't posted in awhile, so I'm playing catch up!

 Black V-neck T-shirt, Banana Republic (circa 2008)
Ankle length chinos with black tuxedo stripe, J.Crew (Winter 2009)
Gold necklace, J.Crew (Fall 2009)
Tori Burch Revas

 Grey Skimmer Pants, J.Crew (Spring 2010)
Silk Leopard Ruffle Top, J.Crew (Winter 2009)
Light Grey V-Neck Cardigan, J.Crew (Fall 2008)
Silver Patent Ballet Flats, J.Crew (Winter 2009)

 Black Cotton Dress, Target (circa 2008)
Black Uggs (2009)
Headband, J.Crew (Spring 2010)

White Scoop Neck T-shirt, Halogen by Nordstrom (circa 2009)
Grey Sweater Dress, J.Crew (Winter 2009)
Medallion Necklace, J.Crew (Fall 2009)
Black Uggs (2009)

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Our Thanksgiving

We traveled back to Indiana over Thanksgiving, and had a fantastic time catching up with family and friends!

We got into Indiana SUPER late on Tuesday night, and took it easy until the rest of the family arrived on Wednesday night. 

Thursday morning we had Thanksgiving brunch at my grandpa's house, then in the afternoon there was a HUGE Thanksgiving dinner thrown by CAhusband's parents with 32 people!!!

A highlight of my Thanksgiving was the coloring contest that CAhusband's mom set up.  We all got to color a Thanksgiving placemat, and then they were judged in 3 categories by the judges: Best Traditional Turkey, Most Original, and Prettiest. 

As a 2nd grade teacher I was thrilled to have a chance to show off my coloring skills, and admitted to everyone I would be pretty disappointed if I didn't win 1 of the categories.  Once all 20+ participants completed their turkeys I was a little intimidated, there are some seriously skilled colorers in our fam. 

 The first one is mine, and the patriotic one is CAhusbands (go figure).

Thanks heavens I was able to pull in a win for the prettiest turkey! 

Friday we went to Indianapolis to see my BIL and SIL's new place, then we went to dinner at Brugge in Broadripple, where I was also able to meet up with some of my BFF's who were also in town.

It was so much fun to see so many of my friends, I hate that we're all so far apart.

Saturday we relaxed and watched football all day, and played games all night.

Sunday I got to have lunch with my BFF from HS at my favorite place, Pizza King, then CAhusband and I did a little shopping in Indianapolis before leaving town.  We got home around 1 a.m. this morning, and were SO happy to return to warm weather and our adorable girls!

I'm currently recouping from the 5 nights away by doing mass amounts of laundry, cleaning, and organizing.  I'm so glad I decided to take a "sick day" today, there's just no way I could have made it through the day on 4 hours of sleep!

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday with your families!

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The Great Gatsby

I just stumbled upon the best news! 

They're making The Great Gatsby into a movie... again! 

The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite books of all time (despite the fact that it was mandated read my junior year of high school), and although I've seen the original movie I'm pretty excited about that casting I've seen for the new version!

Carey Mulligan as Daisy

Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby

Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway

I wish I knew more about this soon to be made movie, but all I can say at this point is, I'm excited!

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It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like.....

I know it isn't even Thanksgiving yet, but what can I say, Christmas stuff is everywhere and I'm already beginning to get into the spirit.  Burberry has had a Christmas tree on their roof for a month, so I figure blogging about Christmas stuff 38 days before Christmas is no crime. 

 I want these collars for Piper and Reilly so badly!  Aren't they so adorable?

I've seen this wreath all over the interwebs lately, and finally tracked down the tutorial today!  I don't know where I can find felt balls like this, but I'm seriously considering getting crafty this weekend and taking a crack at this adorable wreath.

We are having a Christmas party, and I really feel like I need a Merry Christmas banner to hang above the food table for some extra decor (our walls are still a little bare).  I absolutely love this one I found on Etsy!

 I truly love all plates and platters by this designer and kind of want to collect them!  I think this snowman platter would be great for our Christmas party, don't you?

I admit this tree skirt is a little juvenile, but I love the polka dots and scalloped edge! 

What Christmas decor do you have your eye on this holiday season? 

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Praise the Lord, last week was fantastic and just what I needed!  The 3 half days of school, followed by a pretty painless workshop day, and Friday off were just what the doctor ordered to get this 2nd grade teacher out of a major funk!

Anyway, here are some outfits from last week...

Chocolate Brown Bow Front Top, J.Crew (Spring 2010)
Ivory Skimmer Pants, J.Crew (Spring 2010)

Ivory Lace Front Tank, J.Crew (Summer 2010)
Navy and White Striped Cotton Cardi, J.Crew (Summer 2010)
Khaki Pants, GAP (circa 2007)

Grey Sweater Dress w. collar buttons, unknown boutique (2008)
Black Leggings, Victoria's Secret (2008)

6.5 school days left before Thanksgiving break....

Have a great Monday!

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My Need List

 I call this a "need" list, because well, these aren't super frivolous things that I simply want, they are things that my wardrobe can actually utilize at this point in time. 

Could I find much less expensive options to suit these needs, sure!  Is that nearly as much fun?  Nope!

Thus I leave you with some things I want need:

Brown Flats

Piper ate my brown flats and I desperately need another pair. I have lots of outfits lying there waiting for brown flats to complete their ensemble!
AND, I know I shouldn't be surprised given that I worked at J.Crew for a year, but when did their $89 flats become $130+++ flats? 

Non-skinny Jeans
Kimmie Bootcut Jeans 7 For All Mankind, Saks $189.00

I have more skinny jeans than one could possibly need... ankle length, toothpicks, destressed, legging denim... but you know what, sometimes a girl just needs jeans that don't cut off circulation to her ankes.

All of my older, non-skinny jeans, seem super faded and show lots of wear, so I've got my eye on these adorable bootcuts.
Black Flat Boots
UGG Amberlee Riding Boot, Nordstrom $274.95

I have high-heeled black ankle boots and super comfy tall black uggs, but I could really use a pair of black riding boots!  I'm going to have to continue to search for a much less expensive pair given that the boot season here is usually about 6 weeks, but aren't these adorable?
Cosmetic Bag

I've been eyeing this cosmetic bag ever since I got my recent Cooking Light, and when Scout posted about her love for cosmetic bags this morning, I started stalking them.  Mine broke on a recent trip, so I've been toting my make-up around in a ziplock bag!  Definitely time to buy a make-up bag, and you know I'm a sucker for a cute pattern.
What are your current "needs?"
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My Fall/Winter Reading List

I just finished The Hunger Games, and although I originally hated the premise of the book, I couldn't get over all of the fantastic things I'd heard about it!  Although I was afraid it might be a little scary, I absolutely loved it.  The adventure of the book was so good that I was almost afraid to see what would happen next, but absolutely had to keep reading. 

*I'd like to note: although this book is geared towards teens, that didn't turn me away (hello, Harry Potter AND Twilight).  It made for a fast read (when I actually sat down to read it) and still had a very relatable storyline.

Now that I'm getting back into the reading thing again, I've layed out my next 5 books.  My goal is to finish them all by the end of Christmas Break, January 2nd.  I have no clue if it's possible since 3 of the 5 books are over 600 pages, but I read the final HP in 2-days, so I know I can do it as long as I don't get side-tracked!

 These will be the fastest reads on the list, so I'm going to put them in between all of the long ones!

Although The Corrections took me a solid 2 months to read, I loved it and definitely want to read Freedom.
I don't know anyone who had read this yet though, if you have, what did you think?

 Again, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo probably took me a good 6 weeks to finish, but I loved it and can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy!

What do you think?  What are your must-reads this winter?

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Odds and Ends... AGAIN!

I've been an awful blogger lately, I just don't feel like I really have anything to say.  I'm leaving you with odds and ends posts until I get more creative... hopefully they're holding you all over. (Feel free of offer up ideas for a post, I'm desperate).

-No OOTW from last week, the heat had me resorting to summer clothes that I was so sick of I could scream, but I promise I'll return next week.  It only got to 75 degrees today and we had a chilly morning, so I was able to wear a sweater dress, leggings, and a jacket... this was by far the highlight of my week thus far. 

-I went shopping for 2 baby shower gifts at Target yesterday, and let me tell you, not speaking baby makes shopping the baby section very difficult!  The registry print-out didn't come with pictures, and it was extremely frustrating.  None of the names on the boxes matched the names on the registry EXACTLY, so I wasn't sure I was getting the right thing.   I had no clue the baby section would be so foreign to me, and I have no choice but to get used to it because I have at least 4 more baby showers before this spring, not to mention gifts once they're born... hopefully I'll get my bearings eventually. 

-I want to decorate our house, but can't get the motivation.  What if we only live here a year, is it worth it?  What if our next place is smaller and the couch we buy won't fit?  What room should I start on?  Maybe we should just stick it out with what we have 'til we own a house so we don't waste time and money making things right for this place because our next place could be COMPLETELY different?  Ahh, it's stressful.

-At school we agreed to have a teacher workshop tomorrow (on Veteran's Day) in place of on Friday, so we could all have a 3-day weekend.  I'm so excited for the long weekend, and plan on using the day to go to the eye doctor (I swear I'm going blind), and finally see Life as We Know It with some friends.  Counting the work day tomorrow I only have 7.5 work days before Thanksgiving break!  After that I only have 13.5 work days until Christmas Break! 

-I had a 20% coupon to Minted that I had to use by November 8th for our Christmas cards.  Despite my best efforts we still don't have a decent picture to put it the already purchased card, but thankfully they don't mind and will let me add the pictures later.  Taking a Christmas card worthy picture is now the mission of my upcoming weekend!  Speaking of Minted, their cards are so cute they make me want to ditch this teaching gig and go to school for graphic design... I could do that?  Maybe?

-I'm sure I've once again bored you all with mindless babble, so if you've made it this far God bless you!  I'm hoping to make my actual blogging return soon!

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-I just need to make it through the rest of this week... next week I have 3 half days, 1 work day, and 1 day off!  Although the half-days are for Parent Teacher conferences, I have such a small class I'll be out of there by 1 p.m. on 2 of the 3 days!  I can't wait! 

-CAhusband has been working 15 hour days for the last month, and although sometimes it's nice to have the house to myself for a few hours in the evening, I'm not going to lie, I want my husband back.  I'm hoping I'll be able to convince him not work work this weekend so we can get some more work done around the house and maybe catch a movie or something?  We will see...

-I am already making plans for my Christmas Break, can you tell I need a 2-week break from work?  I'm going to stock up on books, catch up on movies, make some major progress on this house, and hopefully get out of town for at least 36 hours with CAhusband.

-I could do a whole post on how much I love the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.... which I'm putting off because of how ridiculous it will likely be!  Does anyone else love this show as much as I do, I think it's the best season yet and CAhusband will even watch this one.

-I feel extremely guilty leaving my dogs each day for work.  I literally apologize to Piper each morning when I put her in her kennel, and explain I'll hurry home as quickly as I can.  I long for the day that she's old enough to be left out in the house without destroying things, because I think that would make me feel a little less guilty.  If I have this hard of a time leaving my dogs everyday, I don't even want to think about what it must feel like to leave a baby.

-I'm very happy to report that all of my favorite stores are carrying some very boring clothes (at least to me) right now.  Maybe it's the fact that it was 96 degrees today and the thought of buying fall clothes is unbearable, but I'm happy to report that my clothing wishlist is non-existent at this point.  Please note, I don't ever recall a time that this has happened. 

I think that's it for now....

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