Blog Posts by The Succulent Wife

  • Everyday Love

    By Jennifer Urezzio, Contributor - Spiritual Affairs

    "You must love yourself before anyone else can…"

    Love Thyself by Ohmann AlianneThe above statement is old and true. Why? Simply, if you don't show yourself love and compassion no matter what anyone says or does, it will feel as if there is never "enough."

    We hear a lot in today's culture about self-care. Well, self-love is the foundation of self-care. These two should not be confused (and often are) with selfishness or self-esteem.

    Recently, I interviewed Marci Shimoff, author of Love for No Reason. I loved what she said, "Self-love is loving yourself for no reason while self-esteem is loving yourself because of a certain thing (i.e., I love myself because I have amazing blue eyes)."

    One of the synonyms for selfishness is stingy! When I read that it was like a V8 moment. If one is selfish, they are stingy with their time, their energy, their love, etc., not only with others (believe it or not), but with themselves too!

    Everyday love

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  • Mood Lighting with CFL Lights?

    Much to my chagrin, we are now in that time of year when days are getting noticeably shorter (I almost feel the vitamin D leaving my body as I type…). The lights in the house will indubitably get turned on earlier in the morning and earlier in the evening. I never used to think about how much energy a light bulb consumed but now, in trying to conserve resources, I do think about it every time I turn on a light. It's a good time of year to let you know about a product that I just learned about: a dimmer that works well for dimmable CFL bulbs (and most other bulbs too). Like most people, I have been switching out my incandescent bulbs for CFL bulbs in the last few years. (As a side note, you probably already know that pretty soon, we'll have to do that on all our lamps since incandescent bulbs are due to be phased out of the marketplace starting January 2012. Eeesch, that's just around the corner!) You might have noticed how CFL bulbs really don't work well with dimmers that were

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  • Dedicated Post -

    mycoupons logoI consider myself a pretty savvy shopper. When I am heading to the store, I always first check online for coupons. For instance, when I need to buy dog food at a major pet store, I'll usually find a printable coupon that saves me at least $10.00 on each purchase. Plus, if I need staples like laundry soap or toilet paper, I always look to see what coupons I can print before I head to the store. With my computer in my kitchen, it just takes me a few minutes to search and print them out.

    I recently discovered, a printable coupon and coupon-code site that has been around since 1995. This just made my "couponing" life even easier. On, I can quickly find the coupons I am looking for (as for dog food) or I can enter my zip code to find local deals. I just signed up to get their daily deals which, along with the grocery stores weekly flyers, help me to really save a LOT. Not that I'm intending on becoming a participant on Extreme Couponing but, armed with this

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  • Trend - Minimalist Wardrobe

    The sad state of our economy and our increased willingness to be good to Mother Earth has motivated us to think in new ways about our wardrobes. It's a case of less is more. It's a little bit of a scary notion for some of us, to think that maybe only one pair of shoes and less than a dozen garment pieces and and handful of accessories would suffice, but the merits of a minimalist wardrobe need to be considered.

    uniform-project-logoA little over two years ago, we followed The Uniform Project where Sheena Matheiken chose to wear one single dress for an entire year. Certainly she was creative in doing so and made the idea of wearing a single garment a little less painful for the rest of us. She offered the design for sale on her website and it quickly sold out. Since then, other contributors have proposed their own versions of the modular LBD, all of which have sold out as they were released.

    There is definite interest in the pared down approach to fashion.

    Other designers around the world are playing with this idea too. The Ultra 10 Challenge, who's creators are based in Kuala Lumpur and China, has come up with a 10-piece-wardrobe-for-365-days concept. The collection includes some creative convertible and multifunctional pieces such as the 3-in-1 coat, which converts into both a shirt and a skirt and the 2-in-1 jacket which converts into a vest. Other included wardrobe staples are a white shirt/dress, stretch pants, cotton trousers, a skirt, a dress, a cropped top and a vest. The whole collection is made from organic cotton and recycled materials. Though it appears to no longer be available for sale online, I'm still finding that this concept provokes an inspiring way to think about reformulating my own wardrobe based on multitasking, interchangeable and classic pieces.

    Ultra 10 Challenge

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  • Save the Ta-Tas - Pink Hair Project

    Save the Tatas LogoI know that I've mentioned that my mother-in-law is a breast cancer survivor. I know how passionate she is about the fight to end cancer, because even as a very, very private person, she is vAudrey Save The Tatasery open about being a 6th year breast cancer survivor, she wears lots of pink and supports cancer research in a multitude of ways.

    So, when I found out about Save the ta-tas Pink Hair Project, it seemed like a fun way to do my part to show my support - literally.

    You can too! If you are on Facebook (and even if you are not), getting pink hair is a great way to SHOW that you support Breast Cancer Research by making a donation (from .99 cents to $100.00) to help fight cancer. It's not really pink hair, but just a photo effect, so you can fully commit to the cause without committing to the hair color.

    Simply go to Save the ta-tas, upload a picture of yourself, make a donation in the amount of your choice and, within 48 hours, they will send the picture back with you sporting pink hair.

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  • Volunteer Hours - Teens Turning Green

    Every parent to a high school student knows that a certain amount of volunteer hours is a requirement for graduation.

    Project Green Challenge logoHere's a great - and fun -way to get in some of those hours: Teens Turning Green has an initiative in October called the Project Green Challenge. This nationwide challenge is for students, a group of friends or an entire classroom to see how a school can transition from conventional to conscious living. The 30-day challenge will raise awareness about the choices we make and about the impact that these choices have on, not only our community, but on the world in general. Each day, for 30 days, a new challenge will be sent via email.

    The challenges will cover everything from food, fashion, tech, fitness and so Project Green Challenge Challengeson. A student's amount of free time to dedicate to the cause determines the level of involvement, ranging from green, greener or greenest, for each challenge. The greener the challenge, the larger the involvement and the greater the chance of winning some

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  • Find a Tutor - Save Some Tears

    Tutorspree LogoThe school year has barely begun and the stress is already palpable. You feel it too? Especially if you have a high-schooler and most especially if that kid is a junior; ACTs, SATs and trying to keep those grades up for college admissions. Oh, the stress indeed. And, we're not sure whether parents stress out more than the kids themselves, but we know that a good tutor could help overcome learning humps.

    And then, just the thought of finding the right tutor with the right credentials compounds the general level of anxiety. How much can you trust the advertising flyer posted on your grocery store's community grocery store? Is the guy listed on Craigslist legit? Why are all recommended tutors charging $75 an hour?

    Turns out that the internet and some enterprising young men are at the rescue. Indeed, Aaron Harris, Josh Abrams and Ryan Bednar founded Tutorspree when they saw the need in the marketplace for a better student-tutor matching system.

    More precisely, Tutorspree is

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  • Shoe Review: Desert Boots

    I have a new craving this fall. It's hitting me hard. I'll need to satisfy it soon…It's for a desert boot, with updated styling à la 2011.

    FYI, the Desert Boot is now 62 years young. This enduring style with the crepe sole has many fans. My sister and I were among some of the early fans. I remember us both sporting a pair of the "originals" (but we didn't need to call them that back then…) as little girls and feeling very cool in a tomboyish and powerful sort of way.

    And now is the time to revisit the timeless design. Here are some adaptations that I have found for (serious) consideration:

    Clarks Classic Desert Boot Clarks Desert Boot - An homage to the Original thing: "An international cult classic, the iconic lace-up boot by Clarks Originals® was inspired by the crepe-soled boots worn by British officers in World War II." These are available at for $99.99 but you'll be interested to know that the UK site also has a lace, a knit-adorned and a pink flannel versions of this original.
    Clarks Water Row Boot Clarks Water Row Boot - Definitely inspired by the Original Desert Boot, this Water Row boot may just prove to have as much classic endurance. And a dressier profile with a manageable heel. Like. Buy at for $124.99.
    Owen Boot by Bettye Muller
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    As originally written for Brick Meets Click, a community of retail experts that shares ideas and insights about the future of shopping.

    Here's one for the case studies' repertoire.

    The Setting:

    Missoni, the legendary Italian design house created a 400 piece downmarket collection for mass retailer Target.

    Target is no stranger to designer cool, having featured many designer collaborations in the past (Michael Graves, Isaac Mizrahi, Liberty of London, Jean-Paul Gauthier, Alexander McQueen…). The Target brand's established sense of design has allowed it to cross the barriers of social acceptability, where shopping at Target is cool, no matter your social or financial status.

    As you have most likely heard, the Missoni for Target collection launched bright and early on September 14 and was due to run until October 22. This collection, of course, had immediate appeal to fashionistas and stylistas everywhere who blogged and tweeted galore about it all. The advertising and social media

  • DotMine - Organization for Professionals, Families and Students

    dotmine planners logoI have so many friends who have the latest smartphone - with all its fancy apps and productivity tools - yet, they still prefer to carry the good old-fashioned paper agenda.

    I get it, actually. There is something very rewarding about jotting down do-not-forget's and to-do's on paper. And there is an immediate, tactile satisfaction too in scratching off that "done" item and circling three times that all important do-not-miss event. Yeah, I get it. I totally understand why someone would want to carry around that "extra weight" (like we all used to do not even five years ago!). Especially if it happens to enhance powers of organization and is stylish and pretty to boot! Like the dotmine day planners.

    At dotmine, our philosophy is simple: create fashionable, functional and affordable day planners to help individuals and families organize busy lives. We start with great art … fun, elegant and sometimes funky. Then, we arrange and design the contents of our planners to serve

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