Friday, April 30, 2010

Shoe Straps

I'm sort of in blogger limbo right now.  It's possible that my camera has been located by the cab company (grand sigh of relief), but I won't celebrate until it is safely in my possession once again.  And who knows how long that could take. 

Until then, I have to work with what I have.  It's not much, but there are a few posts in the pipeline that will hold us over for a little while.  I wore this outfit a few weeks ago and really loved it.  First, because it's pink and brown.  It's the color combination that gets me in a girly, shabby-chic kind of mood and makes me think of my wedding.

I also have a new appreciation for these shoes.  They're the ones I was referring to when I said I love the Madden Girl brand.  They were a whim of a purchase at DSW a long time ago and are rarely featured...which is sad.  They have a nice, chunky heel and are quite comfortable.  Ankle straps aren't typical for me.  I prefer to have that elongating leg line down to my toes - the kind of visual effect that is most likely viewed sans-straps.  But I do believe I'm venturing back over to the strappy side, even if it isn't the most flattering.  Straps can be fun too.  "Give straps a chance!" the voices in my head cry out to me as I save yet another shoe to my endless cart.

Oxford:  Target
Sweater:  Thrifted via Valu Thrift
Skirt:  Old Navy Kids, thrifted via ARC's Value Village
Shoes:  Madden Girl, DSW
Purse:  Ecko Red, Ross Atlanta

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Yesterday was my last day in San Antonio.  Steve and his associate Peter intentionally packed all of their equipment in advance so we could spend what time we had left seeing some sights.  First, just let me say, I love San Antonio.  It's so beautiful and the River Walk is really something special. 

We visited the Alamo.  We took a river cruise.  We had a very lovely TexMex lunch.  We walked around and took pictures.  Then we convened back at the hotel where we caught a cab to the airport.  I specifically remember Steve asking me where to put the camera.  I took it and placed it in my purse strategically so that I could easily retrieve my camera and phone when going through airport security. 

Though I was traveling alone (Steve was on a different airline), I breezed through check-in and there were hardly any people in the security line.  That was good.  I grabbed a bin, took off my boots, put my backpack on the conveyer belt, and reached for my camera and phone which I knew were in my purse.  I pulled out my phone, but couldn't feel my camera.  Hmm.  I was carrying a very small purse, so that was odd.  I stopped briefly and looked through my backpack.  I looked again in my purse.  No camera.  WHERE IS MY CAMERA?

I'm not one to outwardly panic, but I sure wanted to.  There are important, irreplaceable pictures in my camera!  I got through security without issue and stopped again to go through my things.  No camera.  I called Steve right away but couldn't reach him.  I was sure he gave it to me, but hoped that perhaps he noticed it in the cab or...oh I don't know...something.

So here I am.  Blogging.  No camera.  I swear it simply vanished.  I put a couple of calls into the airport lost & found and the cab company, but I'm really not feeling optimistic.  Thankfully, many important photos had already been downloaded to Steve's computer.  But the ones from our day in San Antonio...gone.  Pray for a miracle return.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

To Tutu or Not to Tutu...

...that really isn't the question.  I just thought it was a clever post name...considering the topic.

Finally I was able to borrow a laptop and get online.  I won't be able to show you all of the happenings from Friday night (yet), but at the very least can give you a glimpse.  So, without further tutu:

Not going to's not easy to style a tutu (for me anyway).  I'm just not all that daring or clever with my clothes.  If it isn't work-wear, I'm typically at a loss.  Since I had no time to go home after work on Friday, I shoved a few possible options into a bag hoping that something would come together when getting ready at Elaina's house.  I tried on a couple of different tops before settling on this one.

The purple slip I had picked out was too long for the skirt.  I ended up safety pinning it up underneath.  Next time, I think I'll skip the slip altogether and instead wear spanx-type shorts to keep it modest.

If I'd had a little lot more time to put the look together including hair, makeup, jewelry, ect., the outcome would've been more glammed-up.  But even limited as I was, I felt like I pulled it off.  The tutu was a blast to wear, people definitely noticed.  When anyone would comment, I'd point to Elaina and proudly proclaim "She MADE it!"

I have so much more to say about the tutu and the fashion show, but it'll have to wait just a wee bit longer.   Until then... 

Shirt:  Old Navy
Tutu:  Styles by Elaina
Shoes:  Madden Girl via DSW

Monday, April 26, 2010

Technical Difficulties

Greetings from San Antonio, TX!  How y'all doin'?  Though I'm tempted to write an entire post in southern drawl, I will spare you.

I've got lots to update you on, but computer access has been limited and my iphone is proving less useful than I anticipated.  Does anybody know where I can get tips for Smart Phone blogging?  I could really use some help.  Currently, I'm quite frustrated.

With any luck I'll be able to show you my tutu ensemble and give a little review of Friday's Fashion Cabaret later today.  Fingers crossed.  Until then...yee-haw!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sneak Peek: Tutu Debut

Like, whoa.  I'm busy.  In a good way.  I like being busy, but I don't like feeling as if I can't keep up.  I'm a woman, I can multi-task (repeat words 10x...breath).  Steve and I will have our regular Thursday night crowd over at our place to watch Lost (eh) and Survivor (yeh!).  Must.  Clean.  House.  It would be wise if I could also pack for San Antonio (leaving Saturday morning) and establish an outfit for this fashion show that I'll be attending tomorrow.  One thing I know for sure:  the tutu will debut.  Ohho yes it will.

And check out the fantabulous (making up words here) heels that I scored at DSW for less than $30.  Check.  Them.  Out.  Hidden platform sole and all.  There are a few directions I could go with the tutu:  rocker, shabby chic, fairy-ish....  I'm excited to see how it all comes together.

P.S.  I just found out fantabulous really IS a WORD!  It means excellent or extremely good.  Learned somethin' new today!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One Fine Saturday, Part 2

Stop #3:  Textile Garage Sale
Wow.  That about sums up the Textile Garage Sale.  The parking lot reserved for the event was packed, so we sneakily parked up the road a little ways in an empty lot.  This area of Minneapolis is so pretty.  My pretty friends fit right in...(left to right:  Nadine, Elaina, Lori).

We arrived at the textile center and there was a long line of people waiting outside.  I was a little worried that once our turn came that everything would be severely picked over and we might not get a chance at the good stuff.  Thankfully, that is not what happened.

We each paid a $1 to get in, and $1 for all the fabric we could fit into a paper bag.  Craziness.  Not the place for anyone who suffers with Claustrophobia.  To us though, it was well worth it.  We walked away with some serious loot.  Fabric and trim that would've cost hundreds of dollars, we pillaged for next to nothing.

There was so much stuff, we had to help each other carry it all out in big boxes.

It was a lot of work, but incredibly rewarding and fun.  We deserved a treat. 

Stop #4:  Nina's Coffee Cafe'
If I were to describe the perfect coffee shop to you, I would be describing Nina's.  It's the nicest, homiest little place where it seems the entire Crocus Hill neighborhood gathers for refreshment.  This was our last stop of the day.

Soup, anyone?

It was one fine Saturday.  One of the finest.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

One Fine Saturday, Part 1

Stop #1:  Finnish Bistro
Girls can't shop on empty stomachs.  Before officially starting our day, Elaina and I took our friends Lori and Nadine to one of our favorite places for good eatin'.  The Finnish Bistro shares a space with my favorite coffee shop (Dunn Bros.) AND they serve up some of the tastiest breakfast & lunch in the area.  Yum.

Take a look at these plates.  Elaina and I split a meal, as did Lori and Nadine.  The portions are HUGE.

Stop #2:  I Like You
Full and caffeinated, we made our way to I Like You for the Trunk Show.  We fell in love with the place the moment we entered (it may have had a lot to do with the sweet, grass-like carpet on the floor - love).  This boutique is so incredibly charming and oozes inspiration for even the remotest of crafty person like myself.  I wish I could've bought one of everything.

The back room/work space had been opened up for local artists - including Bill from Third Willow - to display their merchandise.  They also featured a really great musical guest, ironically also named I Like You.  They were excellent. 

The rest of the shop...isn't it so sweet?

What did I wear on this special day out with the girls? 
(You were wondering, weren't you?)
Tunic:  Bitten by SJP, thrifted
Belt:  H&M
Jeans:  Lux, thrifted
Clutch:  courtesy of Third Willow
Shoes:  Jones New York, DSW

The day didn't end here, oh no it didn't.  Part 2 coming soon...

Monday, April 19, 2010


Upon my visit to the darling Burning Sage Galleries a couple months ago, I came upon a sweet assortment of colorful knitted coasters.  I wasn't entirely certain what they were at first, but they were so cute, tied together with a ribbon, priced at a mere $3, made with great skill and love by my 11 year old friend Greyley, that I just had to buy them.  Fairly certain that I wouldn't use them as coasters, I asked the maker if she wouldn't mind if I crafted them into a flower.  She kindly consented.

I finally got around to a few small DIY projects last weekend, and this was one of them.  My initial plan was to simply stagger them on top of one another and put a button in the center.  But it didn't take on the appearance I wanted, so I continued to play with options.  I found that if I pinched the center of each one and hand stitched it in place, they would have a (sort of) ruffle effect.  I picked out a large, black, fabric button for the middle of my half-hazard flower and thought it was actually pretty darn cute.

I wore this to church the next morning and pointed it out to Greyley.  She giggled.  Good enough for me.
Dress:  Target
Belt & Flower:  self-constructed from various sources
Leggings:  Target(?)
Shoes:  Kohl's

Weekend Update TOMORROW!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Not a Dickey

It's Friiiiiidaaaaay!!!!  I'm REALLY excited about this weekend.  Particularly because of a couple events I'll be attending tomorrow.  Yeh!

This is what I wore last Wednesday.  This picture must've been taken in the morning because I look sleeeeepy.  One of these weeks, I'll try to get outfit posts current and in chronological order, but until then, you get old outfits.

I can't express the importance of sleeveless blouses in my wardrobe.  Remember the Dickey?  It wouldn't surprise me one bit if K-Mart and/or Wal-Mart still carried these in certain areas of the country.  They're part disturbing, part brilliant.  My sleeveless blouses serve the same purpose, but are much safer in my opinion.  Like, if I were to remove my dress, I would still be wearing a shirt.  Not the case with a Dickey.  Am I in the habit publicly of removing important articles of clothing?  No.  But better safe than sorry.  I'm forever wishing sleeved blouses were sleeveless because they layer up so much better that way...and I'm rarely layer-less.

This black dress might've been a choir, graduation, or judge robe in its former life.  Maybe some clever person thought to shorten it to pass as a dress.  If so, it worked.  You know how I feel about all-black on me, so color was necessary: fuchsia tights!  It is springtime after all. And it just so happened that my jacket matched perfectly.

I've had these hounds-tooth shoes for a couple of years.  I had tried them on numerous times with various outfits, but a different pair of heels would always win out.  So this may be their first official wear.  I even had to brush the dust off of the bows!  Sad!  They're actually pretty comfortable too!

Sleeveless Oxford:  ???
Dress:  Vintage, thrifted via Rewind
Necklace:  Urban Outfitters
Belt:  H&M
Tights:  Target
Shoes:  Kohls
Jacket:  Herberger's

I hope you get lots of happy sunshine this weekend and are able to enjoy it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Green Dress Winner!

The Giveaway Mug.

Mix mix mix.  Mix 'em up.

Pick one, only one.

And the winnner is...

Congratulations Nic of Domestic Sophisticate
Expect an email from me soon!


This adorable State Fair Frock could be yours (or mine). 
Comment here to win it from Grosgrain.

I will be posting the winner of the Green Dress Giveaway later today!  Yippee!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Boots of Spring

I'm SO behind on outfit posts.  I must've worn this last week...maybe Thursday?  And I even have some outfits worn before that awaiting their turn on the blog. 

It's been decided that I need spring-friendly boots in light colors.  White would be cool, but how long would that last?  A day, if that.  Light gray or tan would be good.  My Madden Girl cognac-colored boots get a TON of wear year round and could use a friend (or two) for the warmer months.  My dark, heavy footwear will be going into storage shortly. 

Speaking of Madden Girl, I'd just like to say (in case I haven't said it before) that it's been a great brand for me.  Some of the styles can look a bit juvenile, but most are right up my alley.  I own 3-4 pairs (all heels) and they are so comfortable.  I was reminded today when I grabbed a pair I haven't worn in a while, slipped them on sans-tights, walked around a bit and thought "I forgot how comfortable these are."  They are also very reasonably priced, being the low-end of Steve Madden's shoe empire.  Way to come down to my level, S.M., much appricated.

Sweater:  Target brand, thrifted
Dress (as shirt):  Free from work (win it here!)
Belt:  ???
Skirt:  H&M, thrifted
Boots:  JC Penny

Only 1 day left to enter the Green Dress Giveaway! 

And hey, since it's so much fun to win pretty things, head on over to A Fashion Fixation for a chance at a gorgeous piece from Odalisca Jewelry!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Weekend Love

Happy Tuesday!  I'm back in the groove.  The weekend was full to overflowing.  It's imperative that I keep myself busy when Steve is out of town, and busy I was!  I was high on life after picking up my rental car Wednesday night.  Steve took a road trip with 'the boys' to play in a Disc Golf tournament in Kentucky.  They went in our only vehicle, so Steve left me with the most fabulous Volkswagen Beetle.  Pastel blue.  Black leather interior.  Heated seats (not that I used them).  I owned a Beetle once upon a time and would never buy another one, but it sure was fun to drive for the weekend.

I was so excited about my cute, 'new' wheels that I drove straight to ARC's Value Village (I shop when I'm happy).  Why oh why can't everything I want have a 50% off tag?   My closet would explode if that were the case, that's why.  I left with just a few great items and didn't overspend.  Pat me on the back.

After having dinner at my parents and making yet another trip to ARC's (I know, it's a problem) on Friday night, some friends and I met up at O'Gara's in St. Paul to support our musician-friends who were playing there.  It's really not my scene at all (dark & loud), but it was pretty fun and I was glad we went.

Elaina slept over and we lazed around Saturday morning before taking our party of two to her place to work on MY TUTU!  I cannot WAIT to show you all.  It's purple.  And pink.  And awesome.  Every time Elaina makes one she learns new little tricks to make it better or easier.  That amount of tulle is surprisingly difficult to work with and I have no idea how she manages it all buy herself with such amazing result.  The tutu took most of the day, but we still managed to find time for other little projects that you'll see in upcoming posts.

Then there was Sunday.  I witnessed the marriage of two of the most amazing, faithful, unique, intelligent individuals on the planet.   Debbie and Shevek.  He was beautiful.  She was beautiful.  Debbie's couture dress (made by our incredibly talented friend Nadine) was fit for a renaissance princess.   

These two were made for each other.  Apparently I've become a complete sap at weddings in my 'old' age.  True love is so good (sigh).

The wedding venue was Raspberry Island on the Mississippi River.  Shevek is a Riverboat Captain on the Mississippi - how appropriate is that.  Debbie is a gemologist.  They provided darling little gemstones for each guest to take home.  So cool, right!?

The weather couldn't have been more perfect.   Bare legs and sleeveless dresses, oh yes.  A few of us went for a stroll around the island to take in the sunshine and enjoy the great view of the city.

Dress:  Vintage, thrifted via Valu Thrift
Purse:  Vintage, thrifted
Shoes:  Madden Girl via

Life is so good.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I'll Be There

Hey friends!  Here are a few soon-approaching dates you may want to be aware of.  There is a whole lot in the Minnesota fashion scene this month.  For a full itinerary, check out

You might just bump into me at the following locales (please say 'hi'!):

Saturday, April 17:  Trunk Sale
I Like You Trunk Show and Anniversary Party:  12-5pm
Trunk show featuring 8 local designers!
Come celebrate our 1-year anniversary with 8 of our favorite designers showcasing their spring wares. Saturday’s artists include Third Willow, Hero Jones Designs, and hula hoop demos among others. This is a free event at Northeast’s most “liked” store dedicated to local and independent artists. Check out our website for more information. Sponsored by i like you.

i like you
501 1st Ave NE
Mpls 55413

Also on the 17th....Textile Garage Sale
10th Annual Garage Sale!
The biggest textile garage sale ever is back again!Hundreds of square feet! Yarn, fabric, notions, sewing machines, looms, any and all supplies related to textile craft! Friday, April 16 is the preview sale — beat the crowds and enjoy live music and refreshments. Admission to the sale April 17 is only $1 per person, and from 3-4P, everything you can stuff into a paper shopping back is only a dollar! Hours of textile shopping fun!

April 16 6.30-8.30P Preview sale, $25
April 17 9A-3P Main sale (3-4P $1/bag!)
Textile Center
3000 University Ave SE
Mpls 55414

Friday, April 23:  Fashion Ball "Cabaret Catwalk"
Experience Paris fashion week in a Minnesota setting — the catwalk meets Moulin Rouge

This fashion ball and Ballet of the Dolls benefit is an evening full of high-end fashion, produced and styled by Grant Whittaker and Myron Johnson. Experience a full, avant garde cabaret with four luxury runway shows and a pop-up boutique, fashion supplied by Grethen House n etc, John Novachis, Specs Optical and Ann Lambrecht Jewelry. Think “fashion editorial meets the MN public”! Tickets ($30) are available at The Ritz box office, 612.436.1129, or online at

There is also a Saturday show!

And here are some non-fashion related dates:

Sunday, April 25 - Wednesday, April 28:  San Antonio, TX

Texas comrades!  I'll be chillin' in San Antonio for a few days later this month.  I'd love your advice.  What should I do?  Where should I go?  Most importantly:  Where should I shop?  Wanna meet me for lunch?  Drop me a note!

Wednesday, June 16:  Feed My Starving Children

I've put together a volunteer activity at Feed My Starving Children, mainly for my church youth group, but it's unlikely that all spots will be filled in which case others will be welcome to participate with us!

Interested?  The details are here.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Whine No More

I whine and complain and feel sorry for myself for months and months over how cold and dark the Minnesota winter is.  I question why I live here...why anyone lives here.  And then Spring shows its lovely face and I remember.  Ah yes, this is why people live here.  Yeah, the winters are horrible, cold, dark, and long.  But we have seasons.  We have variety.  And we don't take a great weather day for granted because there is no guarantee that tomorrow will provide another.

Soon it will be warm enough for Steve and I to take our lunch breaks outside in the park.  I'm looking forward to that.   Downtown St. Paul is gorgeous.  For now, we'll take brief walks to the Landmark Center (pictured) for lunch or to the James J. Hill Library for books (duh.).  No fun books lately though.  I'm studying for the MCAS (Microsoft Certified Application Specialist) Exams.  Nothing too hard, but I feel the need to brush up on my mad skills.  Isn't the library so great when you don't want to spend shoe money on books?  Heck yes it is.

Sweater:  Liz Claiborne, thrifted
Necklace:  Target (?)
Purse:  free gift with purchase, DSW
Skirt:  Rescued from Elaina's donation pile
Socks:  Mommy hand-me-downs
Boots:  JCPenny

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Green Dress Giveaway!

Long-time followers might recall when I agreed to be on a poster...on a a commercial...that got shelved.  And I was counting on that to be my claim to fame, dang it. 

The project was completed months ago and just as it was then cast into No Man's Land, so did several of the props including this green dress.  It's too late to return them and the Video Production crew certainly hasn't the need for more than a couple (maybe to use for green screen effects?  Look at me, I'm invisible!).  It would be a crime to let this dress sit in a box for years and years, never to fulfill it's purpose.

Here are the details:
The dress is Merona brand from  I don't think this particular dress was ever in least I never saw them there.  Tags are still on.  Retail price = $30.  Jersey fabric. Very slight A-line cut. Cute tie in front.  The lucky winner will have their choice of size Small, Medium, or Large.  I'll e-mail the winner with measurements.  Just for reference, I'm 5'4", 125lbs. and am wearing the small here and the medium here.  Pal Elaina is wearing it as a shirt here which is so cute!

Leave a comment and your email address for a chance to win! 
1 bonus entry given to Spoils of Wear Blogger followers. 
Winner will be announced Thursday, April 15.

Good luck!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

World-Ruling Pants

I love wearing skirts and dresses.  Within the last year or so I have much preferred them over pants.  I like being girly and dressing differently than most other corporate-casual Americans in their black pant & cardigan (BPC) combo.  If only they knew that office attire doesn't have to be boring and/or frumpy (sigh).

A great office-friendly look can definitely be found somewhere in between BPC and a business suit.  Black is not the only color they make trousers in.  They're available in shades of gray, brown, tan, navy, white...AND they have different patterns too:  pinstripe, houndstooth, plaid...just to name a few.  So what's with all the black?

I know, I'm preachin' to the choir.

This is my go-to look when I want to ditch the girly-girliness for a busy-businessy look that isn't lame-sauce.  Everything is very classic yet still on-trend, which is vital for business-wear at my ripe 27 years of age.  I think I could rule the world in this outfit.  My own world, that is.

Shirt:  Express
Necklace:  Maudie Macbrides
Vest:  H&M
Trousers:  Gap
Shoes:  Chinese Laundry via DSW
Keychain:  Third Willow

Maybe seeing this outfit has sparked a little deja vu?  No, you're not crazy (as far as I know).  I posted a nearly identical look waaaaayyyy back here

The green dress giveaway will be up tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What I Should

This is what I should have chosen to wear yesterday morning as I was staring into my closet, half asleep, for an absurd amount of time.  This is the event that creates an awful sense of rush and panic sometime around 6:55 nearly every morning.    As much I like to buy and wear clothes, I much prefer my fluffy, pink bathrobe.  We love each other.  It's really had to part ways in the morning.

If I had made the correct wardrobe decision and worn this yesterday, it would've been the 3rd time in just over a week.  This.  Exact.  Outfit.  But hey, when it works, it works.  Surprisingly enough, there is absolutely no color goin' on here.  That's quite unusual for me.  Perhaps I don't mind because the variety of neutrals, textures and pattern work together so my typical pop of brightness isn't missed.  Instead, we have a pop of leopard.  Just as fun, I think.

So what did I end up wearing yesterday?  Nothin' special.  I don't bother taking pictures on the 'nothin' special' days, but perhaps I be fair.

Scarf:  $10 store on Carnival Cruise
Dress:  Target
Belt:  Target
Tights:  Kohls
Shoes:  Anne Klein via Herberger's

Monday, April 5, 2010

He is Not There...

He is Risen! 

The celebration of Jesus' resurrection can be so easily forgotten amidst Easter Bunnies, chocolate eggs, and new dress clothes, but we do our best to trudge through the commercialism and end up on the other side, so very grateful for what God has done for us.  Also thankful that the holiday will pass and all that chocolate will soon be on clearance...yum.

Easter really snuck up on me. It always does. With Choir practices and several parties to attend, there was no time to find new Easter clothes for Steve and me this year.  And ya know...I was totally ok with that.  The weather has been so nice here.  I typically wait as long as possible to get out my summer wardrobe because in Minnesota, you just never know when the last snow will be.  March is often our snowiest month, but this year, not a flake.   Fingers crossed that the wardrobe transition doesn't prove premature.

In the summer clothes that I had stored away for winter, I found this dress that had been purchased at Herberger's last fall for about 95% off.  It was the perfect little frock for Easter Sunday.  Steve apparently lost some weight over the winter (how?) and found that he once again fit into the suit he wore for our wedding nearly 4 years ago.  We didn't spend a dime on Easter anything this year.  I'm quite proud of us.

In other weekend news, I got a new phone.  An iphone, to be exact.  My old Motorola Razor started acting up Friday night and by Saturday, I had a fabulous new toy.  It was painful for me to spend the money on an electronic device (do you know how many pairs of shoes I could get for that!?), but it's already been well-worth the price to have the internet and all sorts of handy applications right at my fingertips.

I hope you all had as nice of a holiday weekend as I did.

Dress:  Liz Claiborne via Herbergers
Sweater:  Old Navy, thifted via Valu Thrift
Pearls:  Thirfted
Flower Pin:  ?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sneek Peak: Dress Giveaway!

Next week you'll have a chance to win this green dress in your size (S, M, L)!
I'm wearing mine today!

Cardigan:  Old Navy
Necklace:  Express
Belt:  Thrifted
Shoes:  Easy Spirit via
Purse:  Free gift with purchase at DSW

And the Winner IS...

Sometimes I like to do things the old fashion way...

Congratulations to Marianna of Absolutely Apple
for winning the flat iron from Misikko!  
Expect an email from me soon! 

Stay tuned for a sneak peek of next week's giveaway!