moving neutral: free today and tomorrow!

February 8th, 2012 · 15 Comments

As many of you know, my first novel came out in November!  And since that first day I posted about it here, I’ve been almost breathless at how much support I’ve gotten.  For all of you who bought the book, left reviews, liked it on Facebook, or sent me an email in the last few months about it, you cannot imagine how excited and grateful I was every time.

So I decided to do something for you guys: for the next two days, Moving Neutral is free to anyone with a Kindle, iPad (with Kindle app) or a computer with the Kindle reader!  If you’ve already downloaded it, tell all your friends.  And if you haven’t, what better time to pick it up?

But what about those of you who already bought it?

Leave a comment below, and for each one of you who bought it when it was a whopping $3.99, I’ll donate the proceeds from your copy to your state’s public library!* Just tell me what library you pick (U.S. only), and if you want, let me know what you thought about the book!

* Yes, that means I’ll happily make 50 separate public library donations for each state.  But if you want to save me some mouse clicks, just choose Texas or New York!

Tags: book

shopping spree: TJ Maxx!

December 14th, 2011 · 5 Comments

I’m usually a last-minute holiday shopper, but with all the insanity of this holiday season, I was lucky enough to get a jump on my Christmas list at T.J. Maxx!  I had SO much fun going shopping for all the important people in my life, and finding some pretty fabulous pieces for them (and me) at incredible prices.  I told you guys I’d show you exactly what I got — so here are my finds! 

(For those of you in Houston, I went to the Richmond Ave T.J. Maxx, but I’ve heard amazing things about the River Oaks one as well — and for you New Yorkers, the one in Chelsea is amazing!)

My budget was $200 to shop for great gifts (and maybe a few things for myself…) and it was a total success.  The best thing about T.J. Maxx and Marshalls is that the inventory is different every time I go in — which is why I feel so lucky to have snapped these up when I found them!  I’ve made the mistake of waiting on an item thinking that it might go on clearance, and of course, when I check back a week or two later, they’re gone.  But with new items coming in all the time, there’s always something to look forward to! 

For the Fashionista:

Oh my gosh.  This was absolutely my favorite section of the whole store, and frankly, where I spent most of my time.  I died over this Theory leather jacket that was marked down from $750 to $299. 

The craziest thing is that SO many of the price comparisons on fashion items actually understate the original retail price of the item — I’m pretty sure that this LaRok mini retailed for much more than $120, especially because the jacket from the same collection started at $498

But most importantly, it was super cute and absurdly fun for the holidays — and who doesn’t need a sequined mini at this time of the year?  I certainly did (ok, yes, I started with buying myself a Christmas present, ugh)! 

For Your Guy:

I found some amazing stuff for Chad too!  Poor Chad always gets clothes around the holidays, which probably isn’t the most exciting gift for a guy — but I can never resist a change to restock his wardrobe.  He loves polo shirts, and I was really excited that T.J. Maxx had a selection of several cute colors for $34.99 in all of the standard sizes — actually, a much better selection than the Polo outlet we’d gone to in October, which had nothing in Chad’s size!

But in addition to clothing gifts, I found some really cute (and slightly more fun) gifts too!  For $99 (down from $150), they had desktop iPhone chargers and speakers!  These are perfect for an office, home office, or any apartment!  And speaking office equipment, what guy (or girl) couldn’t use a mini putting green?  $29.99, baby, and you just made someone’s day. 

For Friends:

One thing I’m always on the lookout for at this time of the year are good presents for hostesses!  I love that December is such a social month, and even though we’re newbies to Houston, Chad and I have been invited to several holiday parties per week lately! 

I love bringing something for the kitchen rather than just a bottle of wine, and I found these gorgeous bottles of truffle and avocado oil and completely fell in love!  Chocolates are always a great go-to, and I couldn’t believe these little hors d’oeuvre plates were only $6.99!  And best of all — it’s not Margarita mix, it’s Texarita mix!  Because everything’s better in Texas, of course. 🙂

For Kids:

We don’t have kids yet, but I’m grateful to our friends who do around the holidays!  Getting presents for babies and young kids is just plain FUN.  Unlike friends and family, kids are actually pretty easy to please — babies don’t really know any better, so just pick out the most adorable thing you can find!  And TJ Maxx has an amazing selection of toys for the older ones — I found the original Candyland for $12.99!  I kind of want to snap it up for our someday-kids. 🙂 And I know enough from my friends to know that Baby Einstein is Very Important and Not Cheap — so wouldn’t you rather snag it for $6 than for $9?  Finally, I die over these little stuffed bears on clearance for TWO DOLLARS.  Are you kidding me?  Calvin and Coco’s toys cost more than that! 

…And speaking of which — no shopping trip would be complete without picking up something for my little pooches.  Coco is going to be fully mortified when I stuff her into this “I Believe in Santa” shirt.  I can’t wait.  🙂

All in all…

$12.99 (Truffle Oil for foodie-est friends)

$3.99 (Texarita Mix for Chad’s brother)

$10.98 (Lindt Chocolates — two Boxes for Chad’s and my parents)

$6.99 (Hors D’Oeuvre plates as a hostess present)

$15.98 (Picture Frames for my sister)

$8.99+$4.99+$7.99+$3.99 (Dog outfits and toys for Calvin and Coco)

$5.99+$2.00+$4.99+$3.50 (Baby onesies and stuffed animals)

$34.99 (Polo shirt for Chad)

$59.99 (Sequined miniskirt for me… I couldn’t resist!)

And the grand total…. $187.36!
It would have been way less if I hadn’t fallen obsessively in love with that mini — but all in all, an amazingly successful trip!  (And SO much less crowded than the Galleria at this time of the year!)

Tags: book · sponsored · style

book party!

December 13th, 2011 · 10 Comments

Just wanted to share a few photos with you guys of my book party last week!

We had so much fun — and thank you so much to everyone who came out!  It was so great to have so many old and new friends there to celebrate!

I had a blast sipping wine, swooning over handbags, chatting with everyone and even doing a short reading of the beginning of Moving Neutral!  This book has been a part of my life for such a long time, and I’ve been so thrilled lately to have so many people read it!

I’ve also been lucky enough to get feedback and press from several other amazing bloggers — Colleen from Jimmy Choos on the Treadmill reviewed Moving Neutral here, and the always fabulous Monica (of the aptly-named Classy and Fabulous blog) wrote an adorable article about the party here.  And Megan of Mmm-Style wrote another awesome post about the party here!  Finally, Jamie of C’Est Si Bon wrote basically the sweetest post ever (thank you so much)!

Most of all, though, a HUGE thank you to everyone at Elaine Turner for putting this together!

If you haven’t already read Moving Neutral, it’s available on iBooks, on Barnes and Noble for the Nook, and on Amazon for the kindle.

And if you *have* already read it, please leave a review on Amazon or iBooks!  Good reviews are really important for new authors, and I would really appreciate your help!

Above: About to do the reading!

With Monica and Megan!  Did you notice that Monica is wearing the same fur vest I wore in this photo?  Great minds!


With Jamie from Elaine Turner!

With awesome reader Nataliya!

With my friend Jessica (and that’s my mother in law in the background)!

Moving Neutral!

Gorgeous Elaine Turner holiday handbags!

My cute hubby!  Who was the first one there.  🙂

With Heather of Elaine Turner!


With Monica again!

Tags: book · style