Thursday, August 29, 2013

Budgeting Bloggers: August 2013

It's my second round on Budgeting Bloggers!  In July, I achieved my goal of staying under $150, and this month I wondered if I could stay under $100 as a stretch goal.  As with last month, I deducted for sales I made on Poshmark.

  1. Urban Outfitters Cat-Eye Sunglasses ($10, similar) : I buy sunnies cheap because I have a tendency to lose and abuse them.  I bought this pair to replace a pair I lost, then found that lost pair on a business trip.  (I'd left them in Arkansas!)  This is the last pair for a long time.
  2. Target Side Tab Ponte Dress (originally $28, FREE as a gift): Someone returned this minty dress to the store, so my Mom snagged it for $5 and gifted it to me!  So soft and comfy, perfect for work travel.  Mom's a budget shopper to the max, always on the hunt for the most insane deals.
  3. Old Navy Denim Jacket (originally $35, $33 with code) : There was a back-to-school sale going on, so I used the opportunity to replace a closet staple.  The discount code covered a little more than the tax and shipping (Tennessee sales tax is BANANAS), so it was still a good bargain to me.  The A/C in my office is always pumping, so this is great over dresses and tees.
  4. Old Navy Everyday Khaki Shorts (originally $23, on sale for $9) : Another back to school sale deal!  I got these shorts in an olive color because they are similar to the ones I got last month and love.  A great neutral, and Tennessee stays warm enough to continue wearing them on weekends.
  5. H&M Jersey Blazer ($35):  I love jersey blazers.  They're less stiff and don't seem like I'm overdoing it in my casual workplace.  Pretty much like hoodies for the office.  There's a newly opened H&M locally, but it's a good ways from where I live and it's a madhouse.
  6. H&M Oversized Sweater (originally $20, online sale for $10):  Impulse buy.  Part of the half-off promo for their website launching in the U.S.  And truly, it's about time they crossed into e-commerce here.  I love this top and have already worn it!
  7. Popana Maxi Skirts ($38 for two):  I know...more maxi skirts.  But they were on super sale!  I found them via a paid Newsfeed post, and I usually never click on those, but THESE.  $17 each, then shipping.  Got them in Brick and Mustard.  Can you tell these past two months have been all about maxis?
  8. Mossimo Okal Sandals in Cognac (originally $20, on sale for $7): Extra 20% off day at Target, and these were on super clearance.  I wear pairs of sandals like these to pieces.  Good buy for me.
  9. Toms Desert Wedge Boot in Taupe Suede (originally $89, $84 with promo code):  You guys, I've waited for these boots a YEAR to come back in stock.  I got $5 off with a promo code, and I had to jump.  Budget killer, but I know I will wear them all fall and into winter.
  10. Merona Erin Braided Sandal (originally $15, on sale for $5):  Snatched these up on the 26th of the month because they were marked down so low!  Just couldn't resist the deal since I live in these shoes.  Last pair in the store.
$231 - $91 in Poshmark Sales = $140
Total Savings = $77

It was the Toms booties that put me over my stretch goal.  But I am terribly unapologetic about it.  I also took some time to go through my closet and find pieces to donate to Goodwill, emptying out plenty of hangers for my new stuff!

I wouldn't have been even close my goal if I hadn't sold via Poshmark, but it's a Catch-22; I totally took my Poshmark sales as a license to shop a bit more in the middle of the month.  I'm getting good traction there now that I'm a "Suggested User" due to my honesty and authenticity.  (i.e. I'm not a wholesaler, I disclose flaws in my stuff, and I don't post a bunch of crap!)

For next month, I *think* I have my purchases more planned out... my goal is to stick to my $150 budget (or less) for the 3rd time:

  • My Elizabeth & Clarke box is coming.  Will be blogging that for sure!
  • I need new Rainbow Sandals; mine are circa 2007 and getting kind of grungy.  Solid flip-flops.
  • I want machine-washable dress pants for fall, something I can wear instead of jeans in a casual office.  Maybe Limited/Express?

Check out more of August's Budgeting Bloggers here!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fitbit Flex

For the past couple of weeks, I have been wearing a Fitbit Flex, a wireless sleep and activity tracker.  Basically, it's a bracelet you wear pretty much 24/7 (even in the shower!) that tracks the steps you take and how restful your sleep is.  It syncs to your computer and smartphone and allows you to track your water and food intake, other physical activity, and weight.  I got it for $99 at Target.

from Fitbit website

The main reason I purchased the Fitbit?  I was curious how many steps per day I was taking, especially given my pretty sedentary office job.  As it turns out, not only was I not moving enough, but with a boyfriend on night shifts and a kitten going through a terrible toddler phase, I wasn't sleeping well enough either.

Fitbit has truly changed the way I spend my day.  It might be the most expensive guilt trip bracelet ever, but it makes me remember to move.  I started taking the stairs at work vs. the elevator (I work on the 4th floor!) and noticed that it really made a difference in my activity levels.  I even stopped having as bad an afternoon slump at the office.  I started walking at lunch instead of reading the news online.  I drink more water.  And when I remember to do it, I can track my calorie intake.  I only need to charge the Fitbit every five days or so, so it's been kind of a no-brainer for me.  (It even sends me a phone alert when it is getting low on battery!)

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I like the Fitbit for what it is... a pedometer on steroids.  I am also fascinated by my own sleep patterns, and I appreciate the silent alarm feature that makes the bracelet vibrate to wake me.  Much less disruptive than my phone alarm.  I enjoy celebrating when I hit 10,000 steps too.  (Fact: My most successful walking days include trips to the grocery store or mall.  See, shopping helps you stay fit!)

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I wish that Fitbit's food tracker was more like MyFitnessPal or Lose It...  I really think they ought to just buy one of those apps out and integrate the technology into the Fitbit app.  Heck, I wish there was a single app that could combine Fitbit, Lose It, MapMyRide/MapMyRun, and maybe even some workout music.  Bam.  I'd pay for that.  I also wish that like it competitor Jawbone Up it would vibrate if I was sedentary for an hour straight.

I haven't really lost weight, mostly because my diet sucks and I don't go to the YMCA anymore.  But I have realized that my poor sleep is impacting my motivation to stay active, so I'm doing things to mitigate that and hopefully get back on track.  For now, I'm pleased with my progress in being less sedentary for sure.  We'll see where the future takes me with Fitbit!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mere Bulles: Nashville Restaurant Week

Earlier this year, Duke and I accidentally ate at one of the Restaurant Week locations right smack dab in the middle of the event.  Thankfully, we had reservations and were able to enjoy a great meal at Suzy Wong's House of Yum.

When I heard Restaurant Week was back (Nashville Originals does it twice a year), and Duke only had one night off, I decided we should have a weeknight date at Mere Bulles.

It was our first time dining at the restaurant, which despite its French name serves gourmet comfort food.  I love that it is in an old historic plantation-style home, smack dab in the middle of Brentwood and surrounded by office parks.  It stands out and has a beautiful ambiance.  Duke said the building reminded him on Charleston.

We decided to stick the Restaurant Week dinner menu, which for $30.13 provided three courses!  We also indulged in a great bottle of wine, since the bottles were half price.  Can someone say #winning?  (Also, once again please excuse the poor-quality iPhone photos.  I was trying to snap photos quickly as Duke made fun of me.  LOLZ.)

We both decided to start with the Tomato Caprese salad, which I expected to be the typical sliced mozzarella and tomatoes.  Wrong.  This was a decadent half tomato with piped mozzarella, balsamic, and olive oil on top.  The toast point was a large, warm, garlicky piece of bread, which went perfectly with the salad.  I don't eat many veggies, and I ate half of the HUGE tomato.  Delicious.  (And yes, I know they are really a fruit but indulge me.)  We also had warm bread and butter served at the table.

For the main course, we both matched again, choosing the Porcini crusted 10 oz. Ribeye steak, balsamic reduction, herb roasted baby carrots, and parmesan new potatoes.  This steak was one of the best I've had in a long time.  I devoured it.  So tender, and so much flavor!  Duke ate his entire steak too.  The cabernet we had matched perfectly, very smooth and complementary.

For dessert, there were two options... so we each chose one to share.  Duke had the Petite crème brulee with mixed berries, which also had whipped cream.  I had the Chocolate pecan pie, salty caramel Bravo Gelato & caramel rum‐sauce.  Everything was delicious, but I think my favorite part of dessert was the salty caramel gelato.  We didn't leave any behind!

The service was fantastic as well.  And the ambiance really reminded me of dining at Savannah's historic restaurants, like the Olde Pink House.

What I like about Restaurant Week is the ability to try some of a city's unique restaurants with a reasonable prix-fixe, multi-course menu.  (I definitely took advantage in Savannah, too!)  I love to indulge in dining out, but sometimes the price point is too steep.  Restaurant Week allows the chance to sample someplace you might not have tried otherwise.  I loved Mere Bulles, and the great meal we had there definitely makes me want to come back!  Duke couldn't believe our bill when it arrived, because it was easily half of what we might have paid if we ordered all of those courses a la carte.

And the benefit for the restaurant?  Once you've got them hooked, they'll be back.

Mere Bulles on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 23, 2013

Orange is the New Black

I totally jumped on the bandwagon and watched the first season of Orange is the New Black on Netflix.  I've kind of been bingeing on TV lately, knowing that my grad school classes are starting way.too.soon.

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The show is about a young WASP from NYC who has to spend a year in women's prison for a crime she committed in her younger, wilder years.  Piper is plunged into a strange, new world, filled with women who have fascinating, and often heartbreaking, pasts.

I liked the season, and the finale's cliffhanger makes me super impatient for next year's new season.  Even Duke is hooked, watching all the episodes when he can.  It's the kind of series that would only work on a network like HBO.  Between this, House of Cards, and the new season of Arrested Development, Netflix has really redeemed itself in my eyes.  There was a time where I felt they were flailing, but their original content does not disappoint.

As for the characters, there are so many that I like!  Laura Prepon is fantastic as Alex's ex-girlfriend.  Kate Mulgrew, who I used to watch on Star Trek, plays Red, one of my favorite characters.  I also love transgender actress Laverne Cox's portrayal of Sophia.  There's tons of drama, lots of laughs, and a huge cast that leaves you wanting every backstory.  The show does a lot of storytelling via flashbacks, which gives you context for the way each of the women are presented.

The only characters I don't really like?  Piper and her fiance Larry.  I feel like everyone else is perfectly imperfect, yet these two are over-privileged whiners.  Maybe that's how they're supposed to be portrayed.  I expected to empathize most with Piper.  But in the end I found that I could feel for even the most crazy, larger than life characters more than I could Piper or Larry.  I just don't care for them at all.

Also, this may be one of the best quotes ever from the show.  You gotta watch it to understand.

image source

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

bareMinerals Get Started Kit

I'm not a makeup pro.  I'm lucky if I put it on.  But I use a mixture of products from Sephora and drugstores, and I have a decent five-minute face routine.  I've been a fan and user of Bare Minerals for almost a decade now.

I had used up the last of my foundation, so I headed to my local JCPenney Sephora boutique.  (I'm a VIB member at Sephora.)  Since I needed new brushes too, I headed for a Get Started Kit and was blown away by the improvements!  This is seriously the best makeup set ever.  Best they've ever put together, in my opinion, and it's only at Sephora.

image from Sephora

First off, I know it sounds crazy to get a starter kit when you're a longtime user, but the truth is you should replace your brushes every so often.  Secondly, you need to check the expiration dates on your makeup!  I go through periodic purges.  With this kit, I was able to get everything I needed totally refreshed.

Included in my amazing Medium Beige kit (only $68!):

  • Original SPF 15 Foundation 
  • Matte SPF 15 Foundation --- my fav!
  • SPF 20 Concealer 
  • Warmth All-Over Face Color 
  • Mini bareMinerals READY® SPF 15 Touch Up Veil in Translucent --- for your purse
  • Mini Prime Time™ Original Foundation Primer 
  • Full Flawless Face Brush --- best brush ever!
  • Angled Face Brush 
  • Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush
  • Deluxe travel bag with inside pouches

My once-chaotic bags of makeup mess are now neatly consolidated.  The bag is so user-friendly I leave it on my vanity and use it every day.  I also think the new brushes do a much better coverage job.  Perfect!

And can I talk about the case?  I've needed a new case for a while, but never found one that was the right fit.  OMG.  My entire routine fits within this kit.  The brushes have their own special place!  It's perfect for my travels, too.

Do you have any makeup must-haves?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Erin Condren Life Planner, Round 2

I love being organized.  And I tried, back in the Army, to really get into using my pricey Erin Condren Life Planner.  But it was too big to carry around sans purse (which was necessary for me in the Army) and I stopped using it.  Big waste.

But then this year, my friends were on Twitter/Facebook talking about how much better the planner was this year.  So I decided to get one to start using in time for my grad school courses.  What always attracted me to the planner was the Morning/Day/Night layout of each page.  I would have embraced this planner in college for sure.

My thoughts?  I'm glad I chose the 12-month vs. the 18-month, because it really lightens the load.  I wish the tabbed monthly calendars were still made of cardstock vs. just regular paper.  But I really appreciate the new bookmark/ruler addition.

I also ordered the band set to keep the planner together, though I think that at least one of these should come with the planner automatically.

This planner is big.  It's another thing to carry around.  And my hourly calendar is still mostly managed via Outlook/iCal on my mobile device.  But I like writing out my tasks in the planner.

I'm going to continue giving it a shot, to see if I really use it or not.  It sure is pretty, but I'm still trying to figure out if a paper planner still fits into my digital world.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Checking in with Bear

Oh, Bear.  What ever will I do with this little monster?

This face...

Duke and I were traveling separately and had to leave Bear on his own for the first time.  We had his foster mama come visit, but the one night he was alone/unsupervised he apparently got very bored.  I came home to find he had learned to climb on top of the fridge, tore into and ate TWO FULL PACKAGES OF TREATS, and had destroyed a couple of toys and a little bit of carpet.  Sigh.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

The next time I had to travel, we took him to his foster mama's house to stay, almost like a kitty day care.  He got to sniff some of the other kittens, and for a while we seriously thought about getting him a companion.  But in the end we realized he just needs attention and can't be left alone too long at such a young age.  He is so happy being the baby.

A new development is Bear started to paw at our faces to wake us up.  He usually waits until the morning, but he is very careful not to use claws.  It's kind of like a gentle pat when he does it, and it never fails to make me laugh.

I think my favorite thing is how he always meets us at the door, chirping!  I also love when he lets himself get super comfy and cuddly, rolling onto his back like a little furry baby.  He's our happy little man.  Can't believe he's over 7 months old now.

My favorite photo of the moment, on my lap!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Hive & Tavola

My work travels are slowing down, so I wanted to work in one last foodie post from my most recent trip to Northwest Arkansas!

NWA is a cool place.  If you don't believe me, just check out the hotel 21c or Crystal Bridges.  Also, word on the street is Drew Barrymore just bought a house there.  When in town, you can't just stay hidden in your hotel.  You have to get out and enjoy the cultural scene.

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The Hive is by far one of the coolest places in Bentonville.  Located inside 21c just off the downtown square, it's like having happy hour in an art installation.  It's modern, sleek, and hip.  The cocktails are some of the best I've ever had.  It reminded me of The Rail in terms of quality mixology, and I let my awesome bartenders know!

The Windsor

The refreshing drink I had was called the Windsor, and I will be forcing Duke to recreate it for me soon.  It was the perfect drink for a hot summer night:  Absolut Ruby Red, St. Germaine, fresh lemon juice, and grapefruit juice.  Divine.  My coworkers had some incredible bourbon concoctions that were delightfully strong but brilliant as well.

The Hive is also prime people-watching territory, especially those wandering through the 24-hour museum galleries.  More museums should have top-notch bars in them.

image source

For dinner, our group walked a couple of blocks down to Tavola for Italian fare.  I'd been there before on a solo dining trip, and both times I loved the food.  I indulged in the house sangria as we waited for our table.  They don't take reservations, but you can call ahead and receive priority seating upon arrival with your group.  The restaurant was totally packed when we were there, but NWA restaurants are usually crowded on weeknights with all of the business travelers in town.  Weekends are actually easier!


I had to stick to my guns and order Papparedelle Bolognese.  The pasta is fresh and the sauce is the bomb.  In fact, my coworker ate the extra sauce off my plate.  That. Good.  The menu itself is extensive, so there's truly something for everyone.  You can even get some French fare!

Papparedelle Bolognese

I definitely recommend it.  I am such a sucker for fresh pasta.  I wouldn't hesitate to come back.  Thank you, Northwest Arkansas, for your awesome hospitality!

The Hive on Urbanspoon

Tavola Trattoria on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Signazon - printing business cards, invitations, and more

There are so many printing options out there online, and you can often find a great deal via e-mails, coupon codes, and more.  Recently, I was asked by Signazon to take a look at their offering and play with their online designer.  I order my business cards, stationery, and even greeting cards online, so I was willing to give it a shot!

After spending quite a bit of time browsing, I think Signazon is a great site for small businesses.  From window dressings, to car magnets, to marketing materials like banners, this is a command center for you to purchase large quantities (many items start at 100 as an order minimum) for big savings.

For an individual, I would recommend Signazon for business cards, graduation announcements, or even wedding invitations.  You can get 100 glossy, 2-sided custom wedding invitations for just $50!  I think this is a great deal, and the online designer makes it easy to upload a custom design and make everything truly your own.

What would I like to see from Signazon?  I would love the option to order just 50 of an item, even if it means an increase in price.  (Or maybe I just need more people to send stuff to?  LOL)  Also, while I appreciate the templates and designs provided, I recommend you have a customized design of your own to use on the website.  I think other sites have a lot more invested in graphic design templates, but those come at a premium price.

That said, I really do like the business card designs on Signazon!  And they are such a great price, with 100 rounded-corner (my fav) cards for only $30.  That's practically unheard of on other sites.

I highly recommend you head on over to Signazon and check it out!

I was compensated for this featured post, but my opinions and review are my own.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Kirkwood Ave. - Where to Eat in Bloomington

I recently spent a full week back in Btown, and I had a blast.  I was there for my grad school residence week, and it was awesome to introduce my classmates to some of the best of my hometown.

And of course, that meant FOOD.  We were able to dine downtown on Kirkwood pretty much every night, from a list of downtown locations.  Here's where I took my new friends on the street where I used to work...

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Nick's English Hut - Had to teach them to Sink the Biz!  We were here two nights in a row with the school, so they could see a traditional Indiana University themed bar.  Good beer and pizza.  I drank local Upland brews and talked about the days when Bobby Knight was coach.  (We toured Assembly Hall at one point in the week, and everyone was posing for photos on the court!)
Nick's English Hut on Urbanspoon

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Trojan Horse - Americanized Greek!  You can get kebobs and gyros, but you must order the flaming "Saganaki" cheese.  It's a greasy spoon, but a local favorite.  I know my sister really enjoys this one when she's home.
Trojan Horse Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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The Village Deli - This might be my favorite on Kirkwood.  I love that I can get breakfast all day long!  I had a breakfast burrito big as my head; I could only eat half of it.  The chili smelled amazing, and my classmates devoured the food.  We shared some seasoned fries that were great too.  Yum.
Village Deli on Urbanspoon

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Laughing Planet Cafe - You guys, I'll admit I never ate at Laughing Planet before this trip home.  I know!  I kept going to Chipotle for burritos.  When my friends wanted some less greasy food, I suggested this place, knowing that it's a pretty good locavore spot.  I was so happy we did.  I had a grilled chicken burrito, and everyone loved their meal.  It may have been one of the favorites on this list.  So fresh!  It also has eclectic and fun decor, very much a Bloomington place.  I'll be back for sure.  And to think... I've been shopping at next-door Cactus Flower forever.
Laughing Planet Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Hartzell's Ice Cream - I really wanted a little sweet treat, so a kid's cup at Hartzell's was spot on!  When I was growing up, if I wanted ice cream I went to Jiffy Treet or White Mountain.  (There was once a Ben & Jerry's, but the local cream drove it out of business!)  Now that my old standbys are gone (Chocolate Moose is still around, but not on Kirkwood!) Hartzell's is the place to go.  I love that they have some carbolite and frozen yogurt options too, as well as unique flavors.
Hartzell's Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

There are so many other places to eat in Bloomington... on the square, off the square, on 4th street.  But since we stuck to Kirkwood, I think we experienced a good mix.  I know that I enjoyed rediscovering my hometown a bit, given that I don't always eat out at restaurants when I'm home!

Have you ever been to Bloomington?  What's your favorite spot on Kirkwood?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Rail, Revisited

I love The Rail.  I end up there pretty much whenever I'm in Bloomington.  It has a great upscale and intimate feel, yet it's also the perfect place to unwind in jeans with the best cocktail in town.  I'd recommend it to my parents and my friends, a wide demographic that's hard to please.

This round, I went back two nights in a row: once with a couple of new-to-town folks from my MBA program, the second with my old high school friend RM.  I was excited to try their early summer menu (they change seasonally, as a good locavore joint should) and I was not disappointed.  (Note: They may have changed over to Late Summer Menu by now!)

Please excuse the terrible iPhone photos.  They don't do it justice, but I was trying to be sneaky snapping pics before my friends noticed and called me out for being a silly blogger.



The food I sampled both nights was delicious.  It is a small plates menu, so you can share or keep a plate to yourself as a meal.  I really love their $3 Bites menu, where you can get some bar munchies that aren't from-frozen gut bombs.  I loved the hot bread with house-made compound butter, as well as the house chips with house aioli.  The plates were generous enough for an entire party.

I also stole bites from my friends' plates: Pasta (Semolina fettuccine, herb pesto, hydroponic tomatoes, white wine, aged Asiago), Wrap (Chilled sesame pork butt, fresh chard, quick pickles, cilantro, Shitake aioli), and Soul.  SOUL WAS MY JAM.  Buttermilk fried chicken, spent grain waffle, bourbon butter, maple.  I love chicken & waffles, but this was decadent.

For drinks, I tried both the So Fresh, So Clean (Fernet Branca, strawberry infused Cocchi Americano, Domaine de Canton, lemon, mint, Barritt's) and the Papa Doble (El Dorado 3yr white rum, fresh lime & grapefruit, maraschino liqueur).  YUM.  The cocktails at The Rail are not for those seeking a fruity bowl drink.  These are strong and serious, unlike what you can find anywhere else in town.  The mint in So Fresh, So Clean made me perk up; it was just so... FRESH!

So Fresh, So Clean

Colin Boilini is a magician behind the bar.  No wonder he's winning awards.  After sampling the seasonal cocktail menu, my friend RM was indecisive about what to have next.  Colin asked her flavor and spirit preferences, then whipped up an original, magical drink that was perfect for her.  He stirs, shakes, strains, and mixes, truly taking to heart the craft of creating a perfect cocktail.

The Rail also has a great patio for warmer weather, a feature I love down at its cash-only, casual sister Housebar down the hill.  And while I have seen reviewers knock the price (it's a college town), coming from Nashville I think it's spot-on.  This is a classy place for those seeking something special and different from the Bloomington college bar scene.  I've never been disappointed.

Don't believe me?  Check out this awesome article from last year about this Btown gem.

 The Rail on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 5, 2013

Montana Silversmiths - A Customer Service Story

Last Christmas, as part of a family gift exchange, I received a silver necklace from my Uncle's girlfriend's daughter in North Dakota.  When I wore it to work, I received a ton of compliments, so the shiny, dual-toned necklace quickly became a regular part of my outfits.  It matched almost everything.

Triple Ring Necklace, back in stock and way prettier in person!

Well, a few months after Christmas, the chain broke.  It wasn't just a standard silver chain, either.  I loved the rope chain and lamented the loss.  I even tried to string the pendants on another chain, but nothing looked right.

Finally, I decided to contact Montana Silversmiths, who sold the necklace.  I e-mailed them a photo of me wearing the necklace, asking if it would be possible to order a replacement chain.  I explained that I received it as a gift for Christmas and wondered what the cost would be.  (It's real silver, after all!)

I received a prompt reply back from their representative, asking for my mailing address.  As the necklace had been purchased within the last year, they wanted to go ahead and send me a replacement free of charge.  FREE. OF. CHARGE.  The picture of me wearing my necklace and my honest dialogue/inquiry were enough to help them provide me a replacement while it was under warranty.

I can't say enough about this amazing customer service experience, so I'm putting it here on the blog.  I would not hesitate to buy from this company in the future, and I am wearing my necklace as I type!

If you're a rider, there are TONS of horse/tack-inspired pieces, belt buckles, and more.  I'm kind of digging this rope cuff myself!

Twisted Rope Bracelet

I also think these earrings would be perfect for Sissy.

Storyteller Feather Earrings

THANK YOU MONTANA SILVERSMITHS for your outstanding customer service.  I love my necklace!
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