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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

7 Ways to Do Black Friday

Thankfully, more and more retailers are starting to make big statements about not opening for early shopping on Thanksgiving night. Unfortunately many retailers aren't there yet and many people have to go to work after they eat Thanksgiving dinner. Black Friday still means long lines, early openings, and people generally acting kinda crazy and rude. I mean, how do we go from a day of gratitude to a day of "I'll punch someone to get a slightly discounted toy for my kid" so quickly?! Instead of feeding into that, I like to stay home and decorate for Christmas, though I already did that this year, and spend time with my loved ones.

A photo posted by POPPYSEEDER (@pppysdr) on

Here's some things to do this Friday instead:
  1. Instead of Black Friday shopping, take part in Buy Nothing Day. How do you participate? Simple: buy nothing on Black Friday. 
  2. If you do shop, shop at locally owned stores. It's a great and easy way to give back to your neighbors and your community. Etsy even has an option to find local events or locally-based stores. Which brings me to...
  3. Support a small online shop, like ones on Etsy, Society6, Redbubble, Storenvy, etc. There are so many amazing creators on those sites with great products to choose from.
  4. Donate to charity, even if it's just a couple dollars. This year, with certain upcoming events, I'm making it a point to donate to environmental, pro-immigrant, LGBTQ, and women's health organizations. 
  5. Donate to a GoFundMe or similar. I see GoFundMe pages floating around Twitter and Facebook all the time, usually for someone's crushing medical expenses or surgery for a pet. Even if you don't know the person who needs help, it would mean so much to them to receive a small donation from you. 
  6. Support your favorite creator. Many YouTubers, bloggers, etc. have Patreon accounts or some other way to just give them a little tip, whether it be one-time or recurring. You could also buy an album from a band you love, whether they're on iTunes or Bandcamp. If you really love what a certain person is making and you have the means to support them, consider throwing a dollar or two their way. If you can't donate, simply "like" their Facebook page or share their content. 
  7. Take some time to think. Sure, I love getting presents and I love covering my house in sparkly decorations but when it comes down to it, the holiday season needs to be about the warm fuzzy feelings above everything else. Humans produce insane amounts of garbage, spend ridiculous amounts of money, and generally go a little bonkers this time of year. Take some time for yourself to relax, reflect on what Christmas means to you or what you would like it to mean, and figure out ways to do Christmas better. 
How do you spend Black Friday? 
Monday, November 21, 2016

Decked the Halls

(Firefly lights, Bambi deer decorations. Trees, cross stitch decoration, and  Kringle Family Tree Farm sign found at Home Goods. Similar "Home Sweet Home" poster can be found here.)
Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday ever. If you ask my family and friends, they will tell you I'm a little crazy when it comes to Christmas. I would be quite happy if the world was in a perpetual Christmastime but since that's unlikely, I'm just going to continue to freak out when it is actually Christmastime.

For the past few years I've been putting up my (artificial) tree the day after Thanksgiving, or sometimes on Thanksgiving after dinner, but this year we put it up a week before Thanksgiving because why not? Who says it's too early? I like to enjoy my tree for as long as possible, which is one reason why I have an artificial tree. The other reason is because of my furchildren and their endless mission to kill any sort of plant that enters the threshold of our home. I truly miss the look and smell of real trees, but it would be a disaster if we had one.

Last year Spencer humored me and we got a pink artificial tree. I can't tell you how many snide remarks we got about it. "You live in Maine, why do you have a fake tree? A pink fake tree?" I ignored the comments as I sipped my hot cider and admired my adorable tree.

Rose quartz tea light holder and snow globe were both found at Home Goods. 

I love traditional red and green Christmas decorations, especially colonial-type ones since I grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia (as in Colonial Williamsburg) but lately I've been loving bright and pastel colors and lots of glitter, especially because my house is all beige and boring.
Also found at Home Goods, of course.
But a little beige is still okay.

We decorated for Christmas on a whim and broke out what boxes we could find. We're still missing a box of ornaments, which I'm a little bummed about since I attach so much sentiment to each one, but I'm sure we'll find it soon. We also discovered that the box our L.L. Bean needlepoint stockings were in was damaged during the move to this house, so the stockings are currently being dry cleaned and will soon be hanging from the mantle, nice and clean.

We replaced the usual coffee table books with Jan Brett's Christmas Treasury and the I Spy Christmas book. I've loved Jan Brett's books my whole life, especially the stories included in this collection. My mom gave me this book in 2000 and I still love the stories and beautiful illustrations as an adult. Same goes for the I Spy book-- though I have it mostly memorized and can find many of the items in the pictures immediately, I still love the (quick) search.

Kai, of course, is thrilled because under the tree is his favorite hiding spot.
Monday, November 14, 2016

Music Monday #30

Here's some jams I've been loving this past week. What have you been loving lately? Send me recommendations! 
Don't forget, you can follow me on Spotify and see all past Music Monday playlists here.
Sunday, November 13, 2016

Review: November Birchbox

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

First and foremost, can we appreciate this beautifully designed box? Yes? Okay, let's move on. I was very excited to receive this month's Birchbox, especially after the September and October boxes were a bit underwhelming. I spoiled the surprise and peeked at my items online before they arrived and sighed in relief because, finally, I was confident that I would love the products I was being sent. Scroll on to find out if I was right!

  1. Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain, $25- Each month Birchbox allows you to choose from 3 products, and I chose this product over an eyebrow pencil and a blush/highlighter duo. It adapts and changes colors to compliment your skin tone, which is pretty cool. The product itself was a peachy color, but when I put it on it turned more of a light rosy-bubblegum pink. While it's a cool idea, looks pretty, and smells great, I don't think this is a product I would purchase. The color was very sheer and I just wasn't as pleased with it as I thought I would be. I sort of regret not choosing the blush/highlighter duo. But if you like sheer, multi-purpose cosmetics, go for it!
  2. Marcelle New-Age LumiPOWER 3-in-1 Moisturizer, $26-  I used this moisturizer day and night till it was gone and didn't notice any differences in my skin. From my experience with it, it's not any better than a moisturizer you could find at the drugstore. It's not bad, just not special, certainly not special enough for me to drop $26 for a full size bottle. 
  3. R+Co ANALOG Cleansing Foam Conditioner, $29- I've been conditioner-only washing (or co-washing) for a while to help preserve my color. I've been using my Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask almost everyday to co-wash, even though it isn't technically a cleansing conditioner, and it's been getting the job done well but usually I have to shampoo my hair after 2 days. I used this product on day 4? 5? Who knows. It had been quite a while since my last shampoo. I got in the shower as a super-greaseball, and I was expecting my hair to still be really greasy when I got out.I didn't put any other products in my hair, just this one. Holy wow, my hair felt like it was freshly shampooed. So light, no grease, and a subtle, pleasant scent. This product does cost a bit more than I like to spend on a single hair product, but it might be worth it, especially if I'm going to keep my colorful hair around for a while. I love this stuff. 
  4. JUARA Candlenut Body Creme, $35- This stuff smells so good, clean and not overpowering, and is very moisturizing. However, the sample was so small that I can't say much else.
  5. Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel, $24- I was so excited to receive this! I feel like Benefit is synonymous with good lookin' brows. I've also used their Goof Proof Brow Pencil and loved it (but unfortunately it was also a free sample sent to me and the color was way too dark for me--I looked ridiculous). I was afraid the color Birchbox sent me would also be too dark, even though it is the lightest color available. My brows are naturally platinum blonde, almost white, so when I don't fill them in they're basically invisible. I first used product by itself on a no-makeup day and it wasn't too dark at all, it still looked natural. Then I tried it out on top of my eyebrow pencil to further define my brows and keep the hairs in place. I would definitely buy this. 

Have you ever used these products? Have any similar products to recommend? Want to sign up for Birchbox? 
Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Stocking Stuffers for the Indecisive Guy

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

This post was inspired by my husband. My wonderful, sweet, indecisive husband. Every time I ask Spencer what he'd like for Christmas, I get the same response: "I don't know, I don't really want anything." Picking out gifts for him is difficult enough, but since I insist on bringing my stocking stuffing A game every year, I really have to get creative. Hopefully this guide will help you out or at least spark an idea for the indecisive guy in your life.

I got this for Spencer last year and he thought it was hilarious. It's obviously a gag gift, yet it could also come in handy in some dire situation. 

2. Funko figures! Prices vary but the Burger Suit Gene shown above is $7. Since the boxes are a little bulky, you may need a bigger stocking or you can take it out of the box if your person wouldn't mind that.

3. Stance socks, available in tons of different designs, including sports teams and universities and are so comfy. The socks pictured are the Summer League Boston socks. Prices vary. 

4. Fishing flies or lures are small and inexpensive, great as stocking stuffers if your person is into fishing. Pictured are the Soft Hackle Nemes' 2 pack, $4.25, from L.L. Bean and the Berkley Havoc Juice Worm, $2.99, from Bass Pro Shops.

5. If your person likes patches, load 'em up! They're another small and inexpensive option, and you can definitely find the right one with a little searching. I love this Whatever Forever patch, $8, for the cute banner style and because it reminds me of this song

6. Clip-on fisheye and macro lenses for smartphones, $9.99, because everyone wants to up their Instagram game.

7. Shampoo bars because everyone loves having clean, nice smelling hair! Pictured is the New shampoo bar from Lush, $11.95, and the Jojoba & Peppermint shampoo bar from J.R. Liggett, $7.13.

8. Ties, in case you don't want to give boxer shorts that look like Santa pants. This parrot print tie is $14 and the tie with the triangle design is $6.50.

9. Sauces, salsas, salad dressings, or a single bottle of soda! An unexpected and delicious stocking stuffer. Pictured is Stonewall Kitchen's Roasted Peach Whiskey Sauce, $9, and Maine Root's Blueberry soda, prices vary by store.

10. Considering we live in the frigid north, Spencer loves beanies to protect his head from the harsh weather. Plus they're inexpensive and you can easily shove 'em in a stocking! The Carhartt beanie is $9.99 and the Vans beanie is $12.99.

Of course, don't forget to stuff the stocking with candy, hot chocolate mix, tea bags, and more! You can never go wrong with that stuff. 
Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Stocking Stuffers for the Sass Queen

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

Halloween has come and gone so now it is truly the most wonderful time of the year, Christmastime! One of my many favorite things about Christmas is the stocking tradition. Growing up mine always included lots of chocolate, an assortment of nuts (which I always gave to my sister), a toothbrush, an orange, and then lots of little items that varied a bit as I got older. As an adult, I struggled the first time I tried to gather some great stocking stuffers for friends. I couldn't give my friends nuts and a toothbrush, I don't think they would be charmed by that.

If you're like me and go a little crazy with stocking stuffers, it can really add up! So I've made a list of items that are $15 or less that would make great stocking stuffers for the "sass queen." I definitely still recommend including candy, hot chocolate mix, and tea bags! You can't go wrong with any of those.

1. Girl Power socks, $9.98 OR Duchess of Sassytown socks, $9.99, in case your sass queen isn't down with cursing.

2. Queen of the Shower Cap, $8.50.

3. False lashes. My favorites happen to be Ardell's Curvy lashes, $3.99. Don't forget the lash glue, $5.99.

4. e.l.f Cosmetics Baked Eyeshadow, $3.

5. NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick set of 3, $15

6. Tattly temporary knuckle tattoos, $5

7. Unicorn tissues & wipes duo, $5.50

8. Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe Herbs and Rosewater, $7

9. Ulta Salon Formula nail polish in Aubergine Queen, $1.97

10. Tony Moly I'm Real sheet mask, $3.75

What do you usually put in stockings? What's the best thing you've ever received in a stocking?