Black Friday Tips, Deals, and Steals

For those of you who know me personally, you know that Black Friday is the one day of the ENTIRE year that I look forward to the most. Birthday? Christmas? 4 of July? All awesome, but stores don't open at 3am for frenzied fun! Of course, I'm already done Christmas shopping this year, scanning ads for the best prices possible and finding that some items on our list had better prices pre-November, but that's not going to stop me from getting up at 2:30 am, hitting Starbucks and the Target line by 3:15!

~ My biggest tip for this year is to download the Foursquare application on your phone and use it! Check in at EVERY store you enter for secret deals. Places like The Gap, Starbucks, Toys R Us, American Eagle, Sports Authority, and JC Penny will have specials up to 40% off for the tech savvy. For a national complete list of Foursquare BF deals, click here. Also, start following major retailers on Twitter and Facebook for exclusive "fan" deals.

~ Shop early. The Gap is having 50% off until 10am, Banana Republic is offering 40% off until noon, Old Navy has $5, $10, and $15 deals for the whole family starting at midnight. Other stores offering doorbuster deals: Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Kohl's, Target, and Lowe's. For a more extensive list, click here. Most online stores will host the same specials.

~ It's too late for most of us to scout stores, make maps, and take photos of items/prices/and aisle numbers {yup, I'm *that* kind of crazy}, but it's not too late to make a list. Grab the newspaper ads and start circling! Shop in teams and split up lists by department and help each other out. You can be done with holiday shopping by 7 am if you're organized enough! No time to stop for a newspaper? Make a list online and print at home.

~ One item on my wish list is a Kindle. Amazon will be selling a limited few {2nd gen} for $89 starting at 9am on Friday. It regularly retails for $140.

Don't forget when the Black Friday magic ends, Small Business Saturday begins followed by Cyber Monday. Of course, there's always the night before Christmas mad dash. However you shop, be safe and have many happy mall-idays!

Chris + Rachelle

Now this is love, folks.

Duff Forever

Someone at the Food Network acted on a sugar high crash and canceled Ace of Cakes!! I'm stunned. Of course I don't agree with Chef Duff's dislike for cupcakes {who doesn't like cupcakes?!}, but for 10 years I've been dazzled by his fondant covered creations. Although, Duff will live forever in Charm City {that bakery has a four year wait list people!}, the rest of us will have to watch for the DVD box sets.

In related news, EEEE! I just read that Duff Goldman's real name is Jeffrey Adam. I wonder if the same name equals same fondant talent. I'll have the BF test this theory out later; maybe we can be the next Food Network stars.

The ladies at The Frisky have put together a little pictorial of Duff's most impressive sweets. Enjoy!


Cue the Music...

Introducing new website, Wedzu! Like Etsy, it's all handcrafted, custom, affordable, and adorable, BUT it's all wedding, all the time. I only wish this was my brain child. Here are a few of my favorite finds...

Married Last Name Personalized Sign, $40 by Andrea

Custom invitations, $4.00 template by Merrymint Designs

Custom honeymoon luggage tags, $37.50 by C'est Superbe

Bermuda hair pin set, $60 by Vatne Designs
Petite rose gold white diamond band, $1,060 by ila&i

What do you think? Are you lovin' Wedzu?

We Adopted!

Kiwi was feeling outnumbered and blue
So we found her a friend of a different hue
She's happy again
Now that she has a friend
And we want you to help name her too!

Stepping away from all things bridal, wedding, or special event related...

We adopted a puppy last night! A sweet six month old Springer Spaniel/Black Lab mix who came to us from Yuma, but we picked her up in New River. How does that make sense? It doesn't, but the 3 hour round-trip car ride was worth every mile. We weren't even really looking for a pet, but the second I saw her, it was instant love and I had to bring her home. Why? She's the spitting image of the first {and best!} dog I ever had, Sammie Jo {1990-2005}.

Puppy: 1 {Bonus point in honor of Sam}, Human: 1
The object of the game is to keep an even score or let the puppy win.

Knowing she had never even seen a kennel before, I dreaded putting her to bed last night and walking away. Thankfully, she did a splendid job of sleeping. All night. Without a peep. Us too. Yay!

Puppy: 2, Human: 2

She figured out that her footing on tile flooring automatically results in acrobatics, so she has confined herself to a 6' x 8' carpet in my family room. Seeing this behavior, I think if I can manage to keep toys and shoes off of her select carpeted area, there's nothing for her to teethe on. Awesomesauce.

Puppy: 3, Human: 3
Let's keep this up, Puppy!

Also, being on a small carpeted area surrounded by furniture and NOT jumping on it, even when prompted, earns her another point.

Puppy: 4, Human: 3
I misjudged her, sorry Puppy!

Way to go, Puppy! That's another thing, we need a name for her. After exploring a bajillion name options, we've narrowed it down to a mere 15. I was reminded last night that we spent three days trying to name Sam and ended up drawing out of a hat. I suppose, this is the 2010 version of drawing out of a hat. We stayed away from names that had R's in them {my son, River, can't pronounce his R's very well. Oh the irony} and names of family members and their dogs {ie: Daysi}. Help us out and cast your vote or suggest your own in the comment section!

Help name our new puppy!

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Looks like our weekend will be filled with puppyliciousness. Happy new friend Friday!


Hug A Vet Today

Land of the free because of the brave.
Thank you to all who have served, are serving, and will serve our country and continue to protect, honor, and fight for our freedom.
Happy Veteran's Day!

To my brave friends who have selflessly fought for our freedom ~ Becky J, Lonnie J, Joel N, Joel M, John N, Kevin W, Pat V, Kacia V, Paul V, Gary T, Jim S, and for my grandfathers ~ James M {USAF} and Robert H {US Army} ~ a mountain of respect and lots of love, thank you!


A Mad Missi Makes

I've posted it a million times on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other social networking sites I belong to. It's NOVEMBER: Alzheimer's Awareness Month. Yay!

Alzheimer's Facts:
{courtesy of Alzheimer's Association}

~ Currently 5.3 Americans are affected. That's 1 in every 6 people in the United States. Practically a guarantee that every household will have an Alzheimer's patient under their care at some point.

~ African-Americans and Hispanics are 1.5 times more likely to develop the disease.

~ $172 billion dollars are spent each year in treating Alzheimer's patients.

~ Alzheimer's is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.

~ While other select causes of death decreased between 2000 - 2006, Alzheimer's deaths increased by 46.1%.

~ An estimated 10.9 million caregivers go unpaid and unrecognized each year.

I look forward to November every year. I look forward to the Thanksgiving Day parade and shopping at 3 am, but I especially look forward to dying my hair purple because nothing says Alzheimer's advocate quite like this:

Person {always at Starbucks too}: I love your purple!

Me: Thanks, I do it every November in support of my grandmother.

Person: {puzzled look}

Me: She's an Alzheimer's patient and every November is Alz Awareness Month; purple is their color.

Person: Really? I have a {grandparent/aunt/parent} with Alzheimer's....

Having purple hair automatically leads to attention, which 90% of the time leads to questions and a conversation. If I raise awareness just one time, I've made a difference.

This week, GAD has been busy planning and preparing an Alzheimer's fundraiser {this year's theme: Answers for Alzheimer's: Trivia Night} to be held this weekend, but I have a hard time planning without mad tears.

For years, we've slowly watched the lights get dim at Gram's "house" and eventually noticed she stopped answering the door all together, but nothing has been more heartbreaking than watching my mom deal with the "loss" of her mother without death. It must be so strange. Just being aware of all the possibilities - physical, financial, and emotional strain that takes toll - I'm grateful for my little brother. This is not just a patient or person affecting disease. It effects the whole family.

So while Grams, a Stage 7 Alzheimer's patient, played a huge role in how my family got involved with the Arizona Alzheimer's Association, it's that first fact that keeps my interest. 1 in 6 is a scary percentage of the population. Virtually, everyone knows someone who has been or is affected by Alzheimer's. EVERYONE. So why doesn't this disease get the media's attention more often? I've seen two PSA's for Alzheimer's on national television {one featured a very yummy Bradley Cooper}. That's it. TWO. I understand that there's no media-drawing drama involved with Alzheimer's; no sudden exits, no painful suffering, no surgeries, no 60-mile walks or band aid concerts and I'm not trying to take away or down play other incredibly significant battles that the medical world faces, I'm just trying to find an understanding why we don't raise awareness for Alzheimer's on a grander scale. With Alzheimer's, there's NO recovery, there are NO survivors, there is NO winning, and there's seemingly NO attention and that makes for a mad Missi.

Join me and Bradley Cooper. Remember for those who forget and MOVE to end Alzheimer's. For more information on Alzheimer's, visit To donate to the Phoenix Memory Walk, click here.