Pretty Blue Rose

life musings and inspiration

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My (unreasonable and unlikely) Christmas List

Holiday season is in full gear. Within the last few days, I’ve been to Home Goods, Target, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and on and on. Now you know the stats are pretty high that most people buy more for themselves than they do for others when they are holiday shopping (the sales are good though).

But I’ve really tried to resist the shopping for me temptation this year, and even things I did originally buy for myself, I’m going to give away.

But I need to get it out! I need to put my (unreasonable) wishlist somewhere, so I guess here’s as good a place as any:

The Clarisonic (QVC has done a great job of selling it…). Everyone seems to love it, so heck why not try it?

Kitchen Aid mixer. Although I’m short on space (for now) I think they are very pretty. I can see myself cooking in my beautiful kitchen with my beautiful appliances.

A tea set. I’ve been eying tea sets at Teavanna forever, but never made a purchase.

Blue Oval Blossom Yixing Tea Set

Note: this is not a subtle (or not so subtle way) of telling the hubby or my family what I want. I really don’t want these things, it’s nice to dream.

What is on your wish list?

Happy Shopping!

A. Genise


To scratch the Keurig itch?

Keurig B70 Coffee Maker, Single Serve Platinum - Electrics - Kitchen -...

Years ago, I told myself that I didn’t want a Keurig for two main reasons: 1. I didn’t want to pay that kind of money for a “gadget” and 2. maybe more importantly, don’t I have the counter space. (Ok and I didn’t believe you could get a good cup of anything by hot water “running” through a small cup of concentrated stuff). And that was that.

However, just this week a facebook friend posted a picture of herself making her first cup of coffee with her new Keurig and that was a few days after I saw the hosts/sales people on QVC (a home shopping network and yes a major guilty pleasure) laying it on thick about how much better, more enriched, my life would be if I owned one. For the first time I started to re-visit my anti-Keurig decision….

Let’s say I had this kitchen:

or even this one:

My counter space would be plentiful. (POW!) And if my kitchen looks like that, I darn sure should have the money. So rather than a question of can I buy a Keurig, it becomes should I?

Follow me, as I break this down.

I am a tea drinker, so I need hot water just like coffee drinkers. However, a large part of tea drinking is the process of waiting for the water to boil, which requires patience. Add in waiting for the tea leaves to steep– and sometimes we are up to 10 mins of waiting. (not counting allowing your tea to cool down so you don’t burn your mouth off!–although I’ll throw in an ice cube every now and then)

But there’s something empowering about choosing to wait, about bucking the system… In a world where everything needs to be quicker and more individualized (cakepops anyone?), the tea making process counters that “quicker, more efficient” mindset.

So as much as I hate standing in front of the stove, cold and almost lifeless, first thing in the morning as the water in my tea kettle slowly comes to a boil, or in the evening when I am dead tired but crave a warm cup of tea to melt away stress–there is something rewarding about waiting. (slightly sick? who knows…).

Now if I had a Keurig at work, that’d be different. I’m always in a rush at work and I sure as heck don’t relax there, so perhaps I’d cave. But at home, I want to savor the process. Even Ms. Efficient (me!) knows that there are times when the older and slower way is just better. Also, I know if I would use a Keurig, I’d love it, so I intentionally stay away.

So as much as I’d love to have a cup of tea that’s been pre-selected to be the perfect temperature, strength, and size waiting for me each morning, I still think I’ll pass.

This is not to say I won’t ever scratch the Keurig itch, but I’m certain it won’t be anytime soon.

Now time to put on my pot of water for tea. It’s time for bed 🙂


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Econ 101: Supply and Demand

Original date published September 3

In honor of my daughter heading back to school today, I’m feeling like heading back to school this week to discuss some of the basics of economics, physics and wood shop/painting. How am I going to make it work and have it be interesting? Stay tuned this week and learn a little something fun in the process!

I loved majoring in economics. Not saying it was easy, but it helps me frame the way the world operates. Events like shopping can always be enhanced with some econ 101.


Econ 101: Supply and Demand

The basic premise is that the supply, demand, and cost of goods are related. I’ll stick with demand, since, in my examples we are the “demanders” or customers.

When demand is high, generally the items demanded cost more (if supply is held constant). If demand is low or little, and supply is again held constant, things tend to cost less than they “should”. “Should” is really equilibrium (what the market dictates)–and since I’m trying to keep this reader friendly I’ll stop there. [Disclaimer: I did not look at any econ books for the explanation, I went off the top of my head from classes I took many many years ago… This is all in fun.]

Reinforcing the lesson with a real life example:

Demand and prices play out in my everyday with when I choose to shop. I generally (really only) shop for clothes and shoes out of season (when demand is low) because I get spectacular deals. Call it the mini-economist in me, but I just cannot pay full price for things knowing if I wait a few weeks or months, it will be 75%+off.

I think working at Old Navy in my high school days adds to my ability to wait for a deal. I would see prices drop so far below from where they started…I just can’t part with my money for anything at full price.

I am the girl you’ll see with lots of new summer clothes in late August and new winter clothes in February. Patience pays off 🙂


About a month ago, I (reluctantly) went to DSW. On the whole, I am not a fan of walking up isle after isle looking at hundreds(?!) of shoes. I only go when my good girlfriend (who loves DSW) is looking for something particular. Ironically, she usually leaves with nothing and I leave with a cute pair of super cheap shoes. That day it was a pair of black riding boots (on clearance!) similar to these:

I am happy to say I’ve finally ended my hunt for riding boots. I am looking forward to wearing them with leggings and leather or with or a casual dress.

Riding Boots-two looks.

My most recent trip to DSW I purchased camel colored knee high boots. I am ready to rock those as well!

At the local mall in say mid July I snagged a cute black sweater, navy blue and cream cardigans, a pair of grey skinny jeans, and an unforgiving (yet super cute) navy and white striped dress(similar to that above) all at Banana Republic, all on the super cheap!

Banana Republic Clearance Finds

Now I realize if you tend to be a popular size, waiting to purchase clothes could lead to missed opportunities. But the good news is that retailers are so far ahead of themselves these days, that “out of season” is still in season! All of the good deals above were acquired in late June! The end of summer for retailers, in still season for everyone else. I’m just salivating waiting for the fall/winter deals in February.

(shout out to the hubby who patiently entertained our daughter as I shopped at the mall)

stay educated and enjoy class!



Who doesn’t love candles? Although I must admit my use of candles has dramatically decreased now that I have a little person in the house.

Here are my go-to scents year round:

1. Annapolis has this great store called Candles off Main that carries A Scent of Scandal candles with naughty names. My fav is d-cup melons–it’s a fruity spring/summery scent.

2. Williams-Sonoma’s Fleur de Sel epitomizes all things nautical.

Williams-Sonoma Essential Oils Boxed Candle, Fleur de Sel | Williams-Sonoma

As a lover of beach homes and lake houses, and this scent takes me there every time. I even have the hand soap and lotion (and my hubby even likes it!!).

3. For Fall/Winter I like to go with vanilla and spicy scents.  Oh Snap! and Sugar Daddy from A Scent of Scandal are good bets.

4. In my younger days, I loved Bath and Body Works’ Sweet Pea.Sweet Pea® 14.5 oz. 3-Wick Candle - Slatkin & Co. - Bath & Body Works

So there you have it, some scents that make life smell a bit better. What would you add to the list?

Stay inspired and enjoy the (good smelling) journey.


The best day to shop

I’ve come to the conclusion that Tuesday’s must be slow for most businesses. My hair dresser takes $10 off every service on Tuesdays and my daughter’s hair dresser does the same. My local Message Envy gives free aroma therapy on the first Tuesday of the month and I saw a Wall Street Journal article that discusses purchasing airline tickets on Tuesdays for the best deals. So it looks like Tuesday’s are a really good day to shop–I thought I’d share to see if anyone noticed anything similar.  But, Shhh! We don’t want to let on that we figured it out!

Stay inspired and enjoy the (cheaper!) journey.


(Almost) Back to Reality

There is nothing like family. Spending the last two weeks with my parents was wonderful. Spending time with my mom and her childhood friends over the last few days was also amazing. A house full of laughter, good food, and love is priceless.  Everyone was (and still is) sad as they parted ways, but the memories we made were wonderful.

Still trying to hold on to the last moments of my summer vacation (and trying to recover from family withdrawal) I am looking for a place to vacation next summer.

During spring break in undergrad, I stayed at a fabulous vacation rental home in western Maryland called Deep Creek –and I’ve been trying to go back with my husband ever since.  Although the house was nowhere near as nice as the house below–this is my memory, so I can upgrade my experience:)


Chatting with my sister-in-law, I found out she (like me) thinks that renting a big house for a week or two is an economical way to enjoy family and the summer. Everyone brings food and takes turns cooking and there are (hopefully) good times all around. She said she wants to try the Outer Banks in North Carolina and I volunteered to research vacation rentals. (I figure planning for next year’s vacation is a nice way to spend the last day of my vacation before I head back to work.)

One of my favorite co-workers mentioned that she stayed with Brindley Beach rentals in the Outer Banks and had a great time. Looking at some of the rentals, I must say I am amazed at the price differential in the off-season rentals—it’s a difference of over $2K in some cases compared to the in-season rentals. (the beach isn’t so bad the week after Thanksgiving is it?!) I’ll need to research more places, but a summer vacation in the Outer Banks will be something to look forward to during the cold dark winter. If anyone has suggestions for places to stay please let me know (via comment of course!).


Photo: The Outer Banks was recently nominated for "Best Beaches" and "Best Active Destination" by 10best. Make sure you show your love for OBX and vote today:

Picture Courtesy of


Shortly, I’ll need to get back to reality and prepare myself for work. Although I am very grateful for employment, summer vacation is always hard to part with.


(trying to) stay inspired and enjoy life (as I head back to work)…