Walking in a Wiener Wonderland
Listen. I had to! With the wiener wonderland. I really did. It was either that or "The Wiener of My Discontent," but then everyone would just think I was talking about Bo.
(Also, did I say I would publish this "tonight?" I did. And, know what time it is? Five twenty-six in the morning. I am still awake, working on this damn thing. Which means I did not lie, if you have sort of a liberal interpretation of "night," that being that you consider "night" to encompass "time when Leigh should be sleeping." But I forgot how long the gift guide takes, with the linking and the finding. And the fact that I always end up spending seven zillion more hours than is necessary, because I am a nerd. But that is neither here nor there.)
(And, I'm back, because I just finished. It is 9 a.m. So...not so much, with the last night. I TRIED! But now I have to go to work, and I should really...shower, or something.)
Anyway. Hi! It is late, you guys.
So, as we know, it was just Thanksgiving! And I really hope you had a happy one, if you are a Thanksgiving-celebrator. I love Thanksgiving, because food is good, and eating is happy. And of course, Thanksgiving is always entertaining with my family, thanks primarily to the fact that we have a number of traditions that must be followed, lest there be catastrophes. And because we do not really like catastrophes so much, we follow these traditions, and usually nobody dies or has to call poison control.
In our family, the first tradition is, "Do not let Dad near the turkey pan." This is because Dad has a tendency to helpful himself over to the sink with that pan, and will wash that pan, and then my mother will scream bloody fucking murder in a manner that causes all of her dead relatives to pop headfirst out of the ground in Mississippi, spinning in horror, because it turns out that another -- much more deeply-held --tradition in our family, is to make the gravy for Thanksgiving out of the turkey drippings.
I do not know how such a thing is actually accomplished, as I have a very limited knowledge of things involving "drippings." I tend to avoid anything called "drippings" as a matter of principle, and the only gravy that is ever served at my house is the kind that comes with the mashed potatoes side dish from Popeye's. And yet, despite my lack of knowledge in this area, I feel confident in reporting that "Dawn" is not a proper gravy ingredient. And therefore, Dad's well-intentioned helpfulness destroys the drippings, results in dry little mouths for turkey eaters, and we all get to whack him with a wooden spoon. Thwap! Woo, tradition!
Or, okay. I am lying. We do not actually whack Dad with a wooden spoon (although we do have to body-block him away from the pan, because every year, the poor man automatically heads for the empty. drippy container, and must be physically restrained). But we have other traditions, too, which include watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and then the Westminster Dog Show, and cheering very loudly for the dachshunds ("working group, my ass," says me, who would be the woman who has four of them, and not one has ever achieved any sort of gainful employment other than "pee on"). The dachshunds never win, though, which is a travesty of justice, because dachshunds are totally rocking little things. Throw them a bone, Westminster! Where would we be without the brave badger hound? I mean, I'd still have nice smelling furniture and sparkling floors, but besides that, where would we be? In a much drearier place, is my thought. A place where Febreeze is not such a successful product, I bet.
But, hey. I am apparently off track. And, traditions! Is what I was talking about. So, after we eat all of the food in the world (because my mother is also compelled to cook for an army of six hundred and nine people, even though we are a family of four, as maybe we are expecting all those dead relatives to pop in for canapés), and after we drink all of the alcohol ever made (because we are all just really trashy people), we all collapse into a heap somewhere in the vicinity of a television set, and watch the third traditional program of Thanksgiving day, and that is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. And we have watched this movie so many, many times, that we have memorized every line, and if you would like Ziz and me to act it out for you, while also interjecting random bits of trivia as we do so (the chandelier in the dining room disappears halfway through the middle of one scene! Spectres!), then that will be absolutely no problem. Just give us some wine. We will handle the rest.
But all of this discussion about Thanksgiving, and the things we do prior to passing the heck out from a combination of turkey drugging and alcohol, is really only the set up to what is really going on here. And that is my own realization, which happens every year on the day after Thanksgiving, that holy shit: I have to go shopping again. For other people. Didn't I fucking just do that last year? Selfish bastards!
Now, I am not a masochist type person, despite my career choice and ensuing constant work at all hours. I actually like to not experience physical pain. I also try to avoid manhandling, being sneezed upon, and being generally jostled by the general public, which is sneezy and jostle-y and manhandle-y, and this is precisely why I would sooner shave myself baldheaded than attempt shopping at an Atlanta mall on the day after Thanksgiving. That just is not my thing. But online shopping, on the other hand...now, hello! Hello, sitting on my couch! Why, hi there, glass of wine, and small brown dogs! Please invade my personal space! I welcome you to my lap, so long as nobody complains that maybe I should change out of my pajamas already.
And so that is how I have been doing my shopping for the last several years. From the computer, like the big old lazy pants that I am, all unwashed and vaguely smelly and wearing a stained tee-shirt, but happy as can be.
And so, now I will get moving on my own Thanksgiving tradition, which is one that I apparently came up with by accident last year, but which was really pretty fun. For anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about, last year, I came up with a list of a bunch of cool gifts that cost less than ten bucks, but which seemed like they'd cost a lot more. I posted the list, and then some of the stores got involved and sent us discounts, and it was a big old ten dollar shopping orgy. And then we whacked everybody with a wooden spoon. Thwap!
So, I've done that again this year, and already, a lot of sellers have sent in coupons and discount codes, so all of that is below. There are some great deals, too, so I hope everybody finds something good.
Miss Doxie's Ten Dollar Or Less Gift Guide of 2006: It Took All Night, So It Better Not Suck!
We'll start out strong (and girly! Like deodorant!), with one of my very favorite online stores, goodmorning-morning. Right now, she has these really adorable ribbon pins for $10. And, I mean...those are really cute. I could not make that if my life depended on it, and if I had several hands. I would tie my arms together in the manner of a strait-jacketed person, and then y'all would all laugh, and really, that is not very Christmas-y of you.
Moving on to another favorite, the talented Nicole at Pink Loves Brown has her pretty bookplates for sale, but she's increased her selection, and now you have four mind-bogglingly pretty choices. Those bookplates started this whole shindig last year, because I loved them like a fuzzy kitten. A fuzzy, reasonably priced, personalized with your own name kitten. And good luck finding one of those little buggers, because you just can't. They don't exist in our world. But thanks to Nicole, bookplates do, for six-fifty, and everyone I gave them to last year (see: everyone) thought they were the bee's literary knees.
Also, Pink Loves Brown's pins and badges kick about seven kinds of ass, and she has also these awesome cards that she prints herself using a process known as "difficult," somewhere in the land of "far beyond the realm of my understanding." One of those cards would make an awesome stocking stuffer, but I am quirky about pretty little cards like that, and I might actually frame it and give it as a gift. Rectangular art! For less than five dollars! Y'all come be my friend this holiday season. I'm cheap!
Speaking of cheap, know what else is? Magnets! And very pretty, one-of-a-kind magnets seem like they would be really awesome secret Santa gifts. And you will be the hero of Secret Santa, and not the asshole that brought a dusty, dented can of mixed nuts. That nut guy is an asshole.
Turning to things that are not assholes, (just...go with it. I don't even know what I'm talking about at this point), Crafters for Critters continues to be awesome, and continues to donate all proceeds to doggies in need. The items over there are mostly one-of-a-kind, and have been donated by a bunch of different crafters. Which is great, because that means there's a wide variety of designers, and they update the selection really frequently. So check that out.
And, while we are on the subject of dogs (and actually, when am I not on that subject? I am a one-track girl. Maybe because there is currently a dog sleeping on my left hand, which is making it difficult to type. But I don't want to move him, because of teeth.) (Guess who I am talking about, you guys!), Lindsay Designs continues to have some of the most gorgeous pet stuff in the world. Most cat collars come in around ten dollars, and they're lovely. Indeed, if I had a cat, he would wear this collar in blue, for a brief time, before ultimately being baked into a pot pie by Bo (see: teeth, supra). There are also some great deals on her clearance page, with collars for dogs pretty close to ten dollars. And she does people, too (hee) -- for the ladies, she's got these pretty flower pins. I love this one the most, and it's even on sale, for only $5.20. And that's a really lovely little gift, right there. And, seafoam! Which is a word I don't get to say enough. Seafoam!
So, besides saying "seafoam" a lot, know what else I like? Headbands. And cute little pocket mirrors (scroll down and look at those cute corduroy ones for $5, or the silk brocade for $6.50), so I can look at myself wearing headbands. And then I can think, "I should maybe wash my hair instead of thinking that I am somehow hiding its dirtiness with this headband." And then I can have introspection, and it's a fun time.
If you have a crafty friend on your list, then these bead kits look like they'd be fun. And of course, all crafters are sort of required by law to own at least seven hundred tea towels, embroidered with the fantastic patters from Sublime Stitching, because that woman is a fucking genius. A set of four patterns is ten bucks, and those patterns, all tied up nicely with ribbon, would be a great gift for anyone who likes that sort of thing; add some embroidery floss (which is, like, eight cents or something) and some white tea towels (they're everywhere; I got a bunch at the grocery store, actually, but they also have them at craft stores), and that's a really fun gift. And it's super easy to do, too -- I've made about a jillion of these (oh, naturally), and they all look like they're supposed to. Which shocked the hell out of me.
For the less crafty ladies, there are a lot of good finds at this site . These felted brooches are fantastic, as are these cute little hair pins. And y'all probably remember my obsession over the flower ring, which is just the coolest thing to be made out of plastic since...something else awesome, and plastic. That was invented before. Like credit cards, for example.
And because mine will soon be getting palpitations, let us pause in our shopping for a minute. Let us have story break. We will travel back in time to when I was five, and was attending pre-school. On that particular day, my mother wasn't home (possibly she was...giving birth to my sister, now that I think about it. Or recovering from that. Something along those lines), and somehow, my father was left with the responsibility of dressing and caring for a very squirmy and whiny me, who did not like turtlenecks, and who did not like her brown boots, and who argued to the point of hysteria that mom always lets me wear her old pantyhose to preschool, Dad, every day, GOD.
Now, the point of this story is not that I was a lying toddler. It is also not that my father ultimately allowed me to enter a public building wearing two tee-shirts, a vest, and a pair of corduroy pants with my mother's pantyhose pulled up over them, topped off by the brown boots. Instead, the point is that, had my father been in the possession of these at the time, then maybe there would have been a lot less explaining to be done when mom picked me up at school the next time. That's pretty much what I'm driving at, there. Memories are precious!
So, now that we have celebrated (1) childhood, (2) paralyzing stupidity, and (3) monumentally poor taste, we can get back to shopping. I continue to think that the sale section of West Elm's online store is a veritable gold mine of good deals, and these vases are a good example of that. They range from four to six bucks, and they're in my two favorite colors. (Also, I think shipping is free right now, so move on that, y'all. That's a good damn deal right there.) I really like those, and someone should probably buy me a boatload of them, and I will replace all of the furniture in my house with vases. And then someone else can buy me flowers, and we can all learn a lesson about teamwork while I drink a cocktail.
Hopping dangerously from cocktails to children, if you happen to know any who are...smallish, I guess, one clever reader sent in a link to this site. Now, I have no comprehension of how this works, but apparently, it involves stuffed animals for under ten dollars, and they have codes, and those codes can be used on the website. And then there are games, which I presume are kid friendly and educational, and are not primer courses for building your own My Space account, where fourteen-olds the world over can give themselves such clever screen names as "sexxxy1992".
Oh, look; I'm old again. Keeps happening.
Anyway, so. Moving on, to one of my favorite gifts: candles. Everyone needs candles, both for getting-it-on purposes with the mood lighting, but also to hide smells. Such as the smell of four overripe wiener dogs who kind of need a bath right now, thanks to the mud pit that is my back yard, but...no. And so, this is why I am, right this very second, burning this candle from Becca Lights. I love this candle. I love all their candles, and I bought about ten of them last year for people, and every one of them smelled incredible, and I somehow ended up keeping two. I may have dumped friends for these candles.
Anyway, they're only ten bucks, and they make a really nice gift for someone; just tie a pretty ribbon around the tin, and voila! Their house will no longer smell like dirty wieners, and for this, they will thank you.
Moving on...okay, stationery and paper goods are always awesome presents, and I am always happy to get them, because I like writing and stuff. And I think these notecards pretty much sum up the majority of my thoughts, because the majority of my thoughts are bad words. Y'all know.
I am also crazy about these adorable enclosure cards, which you can get in sets of three for five dollars, and which would make a lovely stocking stuffer. And, the very nice Dai has given us a code for 15% off; type in 2055501206, and it's good through the end of December. And that is a very good deal for so much prettiness.
In addition to candles and stationery, one of my favorite things to give or receive is always going to be good-smelling bath stuff. I mean, don't you think? Everyone likes things that smell nice, but most people don't just run out and buy themselves indulgent little bath salts and scrubs all the time. I mean, maybe you do, and then I am jealous, because the closest I've come is that a few weeks ago I bought a box of Mr. Bubble, and even that was done primarily in the interest of science. So I love getting that kind of thing, because it never occurs to me to buy it for myself.
So, I think something like this would be a particularly happy gift for someone who needs to be pampered. I particularly like the idea of the peppermint one, because festive!, but also, that's got to be all refreshing and sparkly. It makes me feel all tingly just thinking about it; peppermint scrub! Don't you feel energized? I rather do. And given the time right now, that is saying something. Job well done, peppermint scrub!
Let me also point out that when speaking of pampering, we should not exclude the menfolk, because holy shit, y'all. Look at this one! It's a gift and a compliment, all rolled into one! Just please do not give it to your father, because you will totally gross me out. Dukay, however, is getting six of these.
(Did I ever mention that Dukay has a size fourteen foot? Fourteen! He's like an urban yeti!)
(Not that I am implying that other...parts of him are a "big one." You know. I mean, I am, but I would never admit to such a thing, as I have principles and manners, and hi, Dukay's mom! Nice genes!)
But, anyway. So, while we're on the subject of menfolk and their parts, here's a gift that can go for the ladies or the gentlemen among us -- Threadless is doing another ten dollar tee shirt sale, and I am loving this one very much. And this shirt was obviously created just for me. Sycamore tree.
So, speaking of jewelry (which...sure), this site has some really incredible rings, and a bunch of them have been on sale. Plus, the code MISSDOXIE will give you 10% off your order, which is very cool, indeed. And maybe her stuff is not quite under ten dollars, but it is definitely close. Particularly if you add the ten percent off bit. Y'all please do not make me do any math at this hour, but...tennish. Definitely tennish!
Or, how about some pretty earrings from Erthe Fae? Almost all of her earrings are $10, which means that they qualify for the list of awesome. Well done, earrings! Also, they're all one of a kind, and her stock changes every week, so you can get something all special.
We have also received an email from the adorable Lilie at A Planet 4 Creation (she is just a sweetheart, y'all), who has put together an entire page of $20 and under gifts (most are actually under $10). Plus, y'all can get an additional 15% off (not on sale, BCA or club items) through Dec 18 if you use the gift code "Miss Doxie." You are rocking now!
Sharma Designs has a great selection of stocking stuffer earrings here, plus she'll give y'all ten percent off for entering "missdoxie" at checkout, AND it's free shipping until the fifteenth. It is like she is giving earrings away! Which is good, because I really like these ones. Maybe they want to come live at my house. Like, in the part of the house that contains my ears.
You can get yet another discount (but it occurs to me that I have no idea how much, now that I am in typing mode) by going to Dada Haus and using the code "Miss Doxie"; she's got some great little pieces, including these tiny origami earrings in a couple of different colors. And, know what word looks like it is spelled wrong? Origami. And yet, spellcheck says I am right. Wonders never cease over here, y'all.
Oh, and Dada Haus is the owner of a really, really fucking cute rescue pit bull. And I think people who rescue pit bulls should all be given complementary BMWs and foot rubs by the government. If I ever am finally named Empress, that will be one of the first rules I make, right after I am done drinking the blood of my enemies, or whatever the hell one has to do to be named Empress in this day and age. I bet lawyers are involved.
But at any rate, as long as I am busy making rules, now is also the time where I get to bend them just a little. This cute site doesn't have anything under ten dollars, but you can get some great pet portraits there. Plus, she sent me an email telling me that y'all can get free shipping with code freeship06 until January 10. And a pet portrait would be an awesome present for someone. Preferably someone who has pets.
And there's also this great site; lots of her pieces are on sale, and she's got a free shipping promotion going on, so you'll find some great deals there. Probably not under ten bucks, but excellent deals, all the same.
Continuing with my rule-breaking and life of crime, I adore everything on this site, but I have a special fondness for this necklace, which is only twenty dollars, but is very awesome. And I also love these earrings, which are twenty bucks, as well, and that ain't bad at all.
I also love everything on this site. This is the lady who makes the headbands that I often sport on my unwashed hair, and she is crazy talented. They're not on her site, but I bought a few of her aprons for gifts last year, and they were gorgeous. Over ten bucks, but very worth it. But the headbbands with the hair clips are really cool, and would make a great gift for people who have some hair.
And, to wrap it all up: if you're in the Atlanta area, you should definitely check out the Atlanta Craft Mafia's annual holiday show this coming SUNDAY. Because, know what they have there? Crafts. And I got a ton of gifts there last year (including those awesome aprons from Relic Boutique), and people loved everything. because it was all individual and nifty. And besides, know what else they have there? Cocktails! God bless the marriage of shopping and drinking. It is a match made in my own personal heaven.
Note: CRAP, y'all. I wrote this up as saying Saturday, but it is Sunday. SUNDAY will be crafts. Do not go on Saturday! I am an idiot!
Needless to say, I know where I will be for a lot of hours on Sunday. And, I also know why I plan on spending the later part of Sunday napping. Thank you, Craft Mafia!
So, there you go. Gift Guide 2006! I hope it gave you some ideas, and happy shopping, y'all!
(Incidentally, I am convinced I have forgotten a hundred people, and I've been combing through old emails trying to make sure I've covered everyone who sent a code, but...I mean, it's now 7:30 in the morning, and I've been awake since Saturday morning at this point (yes. And we are starting Tuesday!), so it is entirely possible that I have overlooked something critical. If you have something to include, please email me again. I am sorry that I suck!)
And now, I guess it's finally time for me to do my whole little coming-out thing, where I'm supposed to tell everyone my big, nerdy news. And it's making me all shy, all of a sudden. Which is interesting, given that I've already told y'all, without any reservation whatsoever, a bunch of stories about falling down in public places, throwing poop out of windows, etc., that my dumb self has done over the years. But somehow, this is just...I don't know! It's more personal, I guess. And I just hope you don't think it's the silliest thing you've ever seen.
So, I guess, just...here it is: this morning, I'll be launching my own little store. It's nothing fancy -- just a place where I can sell doxie cards, paintings, and other crafty stuff I've made. The majority of the products are dachshund related, and were based on my little doodles. And ten percent of all the proceeds are being donated to Dachshund Rescue of North America, because they do very good work.
Again, it's not fancy, but still -- I'm all proud of it. I did everything myself, y'all! I figured out CSS, designed the site, and installed the cart. I made all of the products, chose the printers for the notecards, and got a tax license like a real seller person. I've worked all night long at least twice a week for the past three months, but it's finally come together. And you know, I finally feel like I can say that I've done my best, and that I've given this my best shot. And maybe that makes no sense whatsoever, but...I don't know. I guess it's just that this is something I love to do, and if there's even a tiny, bitsy chance that I might be good enough at it to make that work, even just part of the time -- then I have to try, you know? I had to try my hardest, and I finally feel like that's what I've done.
Probably Hallmark will not call tomorrow, begging me for an exclusive deal for my Bad Wiener notecards. Probably Hallmark would take one look at my Bad Wiener notecards, note that Hallmark is more in the business of making touching movies about old people than selling cards that say "shit" on them, and then Hallmark -- the company itself, on its little company legs -- would run screaming from the room. But, still. A girl can dream!
So, anyway. That's it, and I guess that is enough explanation for one little link. If you'd like to see what I've gone and done (or where my youth, energy, time, and money have all gone), please take a look. The new site is www.shopdoxie.com, and I hope like the dickens that y'all like it.
And finally, just so you know, nothing is going to change over here; this will continue to be my normal spot for bitching, moaning, tripping, drinking, etc. And now that I am not spending all night long staring at code and waking Dukay to ask him pressing questions like, "Why come computers don't just talk English? WHY COME IS THAT?", I will hopefully have more time to do fun things, including writing more entries. Or at least doing things that are interesting enough to warrant an entry, as opposed to "Tonight I spent seven hours trying to find something that looks vaguely like this: } Turned to crack cocaine for comfort!" And I'm definitely not going to talk shop or be all boring, or you have my permission to come stomp me in the head. Or to whack me with a wooden spoon.
So, that is it. All my big news! I told you it was nerdy. And I was right!
If you have any additional suggestions for the gift guide, send me an email, or leave them in the comments. Good luck with your shopping, and as always, y'all have a great week!