Tidbit Tuesday 11.26.13

It’s here again.  That week just fleeeeew by. Now that the holidays are here, and we are in full swing holiday production at i declare! and at the Allen house, there is a LOT going on.

Now if I can just keep up!

First of all, I got a lot of emails and questions about the stainless steel cleaner I mentioned on the side last week.  You all want to know what it is, so let me share that first. (I really didn’t know you were all paying such good attention!)

Happy Cleaning.  I really do love this stuff!

Now for THIS week’s Tuesday Tidbit…my favorite can’t live without hair products.  I should share right now that I am a self diagnosed Product Junkie.  I love hair products, make up products, and cleaning products.  And so help me if I see an infomercial in any of these categories. I’m all in before the first commercial.  But really this makes me your friendly neighborhood real life Consumer Reports.  I have tried it all.  So here are some of my products I have tried and tested, and love!

Today there are two hair products.
One for “clean hair days” and one for “this hair is not getting washed today but we need to still look good people“.  (And I apologize right now for those men who are reading the blog.  I got nothin’ for ya.)

So first, Clean Hair Days.
When my hair is washed, it’s too clean. It can be limp and lifeless.  I have hair that needs a little dirt to really help it look alive. So I discovered this.  It is the cheaper cousin of an Aveda product, (and I actually like it better).

This stuff can give you Southern Belle Crazy Volume, or you can calm it down and give yourself just a little lift.  It’s a dry power you shake in at the roots and then rub it in.  If you have naturally flat hair, I just changed your life.

Now for Dirty Days.
I love that Dry Shampoo has been invented, but just like saran wrap and white bread, some are good and some are laaaame. I have tried 50% of the lame ones I am sure.  And then I found this. It’s awesome-sauce.

This might be available other places, but the only place I have found it is Target. (I know, who knew?!)  It is so fabulous that when I was out of my regular can, and my secret stash, and found that Target was out in the store AND online, I almost cried.  Or, maybe I actually did.  All I know is there were some bad hair days around here until a friend clued me into a store that had some in stock!  I am still in her debt.

So there you go.  I hope you have nothing but good hair days this holiday season!

Tidbit Tuesday

My sisters and I like to share “Hip Tips” with each other.  Sometimes they are super hip (because we like to think they are), but mostly they are just tips.  (Doesn’t “Hip Tip” sound so much more like you want to know what it is?) Like my last Hip Tip was this great stainless steel cleaner that I found for my fridge.  It cleans AND polishes.  So you see what we are working with here.

Anyway, I thought I would start sharing my OH so Hip Tips on Tuesdays. Stay tuned for some doozies.

Today I had to stay home all day.  No errands, no Target, no charm making, no charm shipping, no anything outside the house.  Sort of weird for me.  It was for a good reason… my craft room floor was getting installed.  (For those that may have missed it.  Let me share here the “before” picture.  You will immediately see the need for a remodel overhaul).

IMG_8909I suppose this isn’t a true before.  When we bought the house it had blue walls, wood colored trim around the windows, and a different carpet.  But we will call this before since it’s the scary picture with all the stuff piled in there.  More on this later.  Stay tuned for the big reveal next week.  (Ok…here are some progress photos.)

What would this world be like without Ikea?  I shudder…IMG_9781

To be honest…my favorite feature. I can only tell the code to those over the age of 16.  Much to my 8 yr old’s dismay.

IMG_9790Chalkboard paint!

So… since my hand was forced today and I had to stay home, I decided to cook!
(Here comes the Hip Tip!)
I finally delved into a cooking blog recommended by my mom, (those scare me and make me feel even more incompetent in the kitchen).  Good news it, I loved it!
This girl is funny, very down to earth, and her recipes seem fairly easy (now you’re talking my language!)
Her blog is Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and here is what I made tonight.

Oh.  My.  Yummy!!!  This girl nailed it! (me or her?  Let’s say both.)
I loved it, and informed my family they would be eating this weekly for the rest of their lives…or until they moved out.
Click on the picture above to get the recipe.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Mondays will become fun…

We decided to shake things up a bit around here.
We have the holiday bug and we are loving doing things new and different!  We are busy with lots of orders, expo and marathon season has started, we have tons of new product coming down the pike, and we are busy! busy! busy! So to share all that excitement, we decided to start TWO whole months of a giveaway a week!  How’s that for the spirit of giving? 🙂
We like to debut our new stuff with giveaways…so you can watch for some new stuff.  We have copper charms, silver charms, running charms, name charms, heart shaped charms, square shaped charms…. and the list goes on and on.  Some of the new product I haven’t even shared with our employees, so this really is top secret. haha.

Basically, you don’t want to miss out. So be sure to hit that “subscribe” button above and get an email when we list a giveaway!

As Thanksgiving is this month, some of you may have seen that we have been posting on Facebook what we are thankful for.  There is so much to be thankful for, how can you post just one thing a day?  I hope that you are making your own list.  Maybe just in a journal, or on your phone.  It certainly doesn’t have to be on social media or any place public.  But I believe that an “attitude of gratitude” helps you to feel even more blessed.  It makes your life so much better, and the blessing keep flowing.
My greatest blessings hang on a necklace around my neck.
I have the mini initials “l, c, g, s”.  My favorite letters by far.
So when life is harried, I’m cleaning up another mess, running another errand, or doing another load of laundry and the stress starts to rise, sometimes my necklace will bump against my skin and it’s an immediate reminder to me that it’s a blessing to have messes TO CLEAN, to have laundry TO DO, to have their little errands TO RUN because they are here.

And I am blessed.


“And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying.”
An’ he said: “Some day, I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dying.”
Tim McGraw

Mr. Sub Three Hour and I have a family policy–we don’t miss funerals.  Life is demanding and we can’t be everywhere but we make an extra effort to attend funerals.
Today we said goodbye to our friend and neighbor who left this life way too soon. It was tough to watch Brad’s health slip with each passing week.  At the same time Brad’s body was giving out, his soul grew.  When you finished talking to Brad rather than “take care” or “see you later” you heard Brad say  “I love you”.   Brad communicated like each conversation was an opportunity to be real, to talk about what really mattered.
Our final visit with Brad gave us one last important memory to hold onto, to remember what really matters in life–relationships.Listen, I hope you’re in the greatest of health, but I also hope that you are taking time for what really matters in your life.Our best days are not spent surfing mindlessly from one website to another or watching another television show.How we spend our time is the most important decision we will make each and every day. What we do with each minute of every day determines our legacy, what our children will remember, and what we will leave behind.Live every day with purpose. Remember that your children (and others) spell love T-I-M-E.  Live every day according to your mission and your plan. Have a vision for what you want to accomplish, and live and act in harmony with it.

i declare! sprung from a desire to keep what is important to me next to me.  I wear my kids names on a necklace to remind me what matters most.  Some days I put on a running bracelet to remind myself I can do hard things.

Love deeper, speak sweeter, and give the forgiveness you’ve been denying. Don’t wait for cancer or some other challenge to make you treasure each day, each relationship, each conversation.

Live passionately, live honestly, and live the best life that you can.


New products and, well, they’re cute

Saturday, (and I mean all day) was spent photographing our new products.
We have so many cute new lines I am very excited about.
Stamped images, copper charms, and some new versions of the ones I love the best…sterling silver.
It is exhausting to get the lighting wrong after taking hundreds of pictures, and then redoing it while trying to get it right, all the while knowing I am no photographer!
These charms are so beautiful in real life, but they become beastly little mirrors that are so hard to get just right when behind a camera.
Here is a little look at what we have been working on.

I look forward to being able to share all the charms!
I also look forward to becoming a real photographer.

And in a more short term goal, I look forward to regaining my sanity, and getting the kink out of my “hunched over my camera for 3 days back”.

smell the flowers

maryjo keep calm

Keep Calm?  Did i read that right?  I better take a deep breath….

It’s November!

Fall is here!
Thanksgiving is around the corner…and I am thinking of all the things I am thankful for.
Are you making a list?
So many things that when I start to think about it, it overwhelms me.

My kids…my health…THEIR health…my awesome staff…the beautiful city I live in…the friends that run with me…the ones that just listen to me…sunshine on a cold morning…my ability to see it…the customers that love their i declare! and keep us in business…starbucks sinfully delicious hot chocolate…my babies eyes that disappear when he smiles at me…my 3 year old that dresses up in the craziest outfits and thinks nothing of it…plumeria trees that try to grow in Idaho when transplanted from Hawaii…i could go on and on.

To celebrate it all, we have created a classic, simple “grateful” necklace for you and I to wear all month long.  Give it to someone you are grateful for, wear one yourself and remember to stay grateful for the little things…because they are really the big things!

Happy being grateful!

sterling silver grateful necklace thanksgiving jewelry

order yours here for only $21 while supplies last!