2019 Christmas Card Exchange

Oh hey there! Don’t mind me while I take a few seconds and wipe the dust off of this old blog here. It hasn’t been used in awhile…

There, that’s a little better, isn’t it? Now, let’s start this blog resurrection off with something fun.

It’s time for my Christmas Card Exchange!

Yes, it might be the beginning of November, but Christmas music launched on the radio and we’ve got below freezing temperatures, so it just feels right, don’t you think?

Why a Christmas card exchange? With 98% of all our snail mail being bills, advertisements, and people trying to scam us, I wanted to bring a little bit of joy back to our mailboxes. You know that feeling you get when you see an envelope with a handwritten address on it? I want to fill as many mailboxes with that joy as possible. I did this exchange on a whim last year, and it was wildly successful, so I want to do it again.

I have all I need to get started and I can’t wait to start filling mailboxes with my beautiful cards with personalized notes for everyone. The Diva and the Divine community has grown so much this past year that I feel I know you all better than ever. I know names, I know stories, and it makes me feel so good to know we have such an incredible community.

So, here’s how it goes. Anyone who sends a holiday card my way gets one back. It’s that simple. You can be from anywhere in the world. I have international stamps at the ready! I only ask that you make sure there is a return address on your card somewhere so I know where to send my response. That’s it! It’s that easy!

And with that, consider the Christmas mailbox OPEN!!

I’ll Be There For You | 25th Anniversary of FRIENDS Merch

If you can even believe it, we’ve all been friends with Monica, Ross, Rachel, Joey, Pheobe, and Chandler for 25 years now. I’ll admit, I wasn’t into Friends when the show was originally airing, but to say I’m a fan now would be an understatement. I have watched the show on reruns time and time again, and since the complete series of Friends has been on Netflix I am in the middle of my 4th run-through of the entire show. Yes, fourth, and I have no shame about it either.

We’ve all spent years laughing at the antics of our 6 favorite sitcom friends, and now it’s officially time for all Friends fans to rejoice. With the 25th anniversary of our favorite show comes several retailers celebrating with special merchandise specifically for this momentous occasion. I plan on sharing some of my favorite choices from various shops with you over the next few weeks. Don’t be surprised if you do see a few of these items pop up in my new house. Today, we’re starting with a store that I love to browse and regularly want to spend a ton of money in: Box Lunch

Box Lunch is the perfect store for pop culture fans. With products ranging from Harry Potter and Stranger Things to Marvel, Toy Story, and your favorite Disney Princess, odds are if you’re a fan of something, you can find it in this store. While I was at Mall of America with my sister we wandered into Box Lunch because it’s a great place to browse, and when I walked in I came face to face with a giant center display filled with all sorts of themed goodies all centering around my precious favorite TV show, Friends. They had quite a few options, but I want to share a few of what I consider to be the highlights.

I am a sucker for cute zipper pouches, and this set of 3 Friends themed pouches need to be a part of my collection. They’re easy to clean, so makeup or liquid items aren’t an issue, and let’s be honest, they’re amazingly cute! These will definitely be a part of my new “Friends” collection that I didn’t know I’d be collecting.

The planner girl in me is giddy with excitement over this set of 3 notebooks (because you can never have too many blank notebooks) and this weekly planning pad. I mean, the detail of titling the weeks as “the one with…” before you see your schedule is just brilliant.

The apparel options are out of this world, but these were my two favorite choices. The socks set, while I’m guessing the quality isn’t as great as my athletic socks, is such a fun way to express your Friends obsession, all from the privacy of within your shoes if you so desire. There are many different t-shirt options, but this one stood out to me as unique, and I love when you can get a fun, feminine-looking pop culture T-shirt.

Is there anything more appropriate than a welcome mat for outside your front door that asks each guest “How you doin’?” before they step foot in your house? I don’t think so.

This “paper bag” lunch box is absolutely adorable. Don’t worry, it’s not actually a paper bag, but a reusable lunch box that can make your coworkers think you get takeout from Central Perk every single day.

If you want a few subtle details around your home, you could accent your living room with Friends quote coasters, or maybe hang a tea towel over your oven handle. These would make amazing conversation starters for your guests to casually notice as they spend time in your place.

Of course, no Friends collection would be complete without a good old Central Perk coffee mug.

This is just some of the Box Lunch Friends collection! So tell me, how many of these do you want in your home? I’m not going to lie, I’m tempted by more than a few. Have you seen any other Friends anniversary collection items out there? I know there’s a Pottery Barn collection (a post on that coming soon), but what else is out there?

XO Marshmallow Kickstarter

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With the weather cooling down I start to appreciate hot beverages even more than normal.  Along with my hot coffee, there’s tea, apple cider, and of course, hot cocoa. The perfect addition to hot cocoa is obviously fluffy, delicious marshmallows.  

Why am I telling you this in mid-September? I’m glad you asked!

I want to tell you about a Kickstarter that went live today by a local to me (Chicagoland) marshmallow company, XO Marshmallow.  I happen to know one of the two lovely ladies that runs XO Marshmallow (Lindzi from The Trendy Sparrow), so I jumped at the chance to get a sneak peek at their latest creation and give it a try.  Meet XO Marshmallow’s latest creation: the Monut!

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The monut is XO Marshmallow’s delicious recipe transformed into a doughnut shape.  Now, some of you may be asking “why do I want a marshmallow shaped like a doughnut?”  Well, it just so happens that the size of these monuts happen to fit perfectly inside a mug, which means you can take your hot cocoa and marshmallows to a whole new level.  

Since I didn’t have any hot cocoa laying around to have with my new treat, I decided to make some decaf coffee (my new thing if I want coffee in the afternoon. All in the effort to get better sleep.), although if you wanted an extra shot of sweetness in your morning cup, I say go for it. I made the coffee, added some chocolate salted caramel creamer (yum!) and put the cocoa dusted marshmallow monut on top.  After a few minutes, it started to melt and the result was an amazingly delicious cup of afternoon coffee. It also gave me a very Instagram-worthy photo. 🙂

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I ate the vanilla one on its own to get a true sense of what XO Marshmallows tasted like, and I was quite pleased.  They were soft and delicious; not overly sweet, but they had a great flavor. I was quite impressed and immediately wished I had more flavors to try. 

While this is their latest creation, XO Marshmellow has some awesome designer sounding flavors of their regular marshmallows too, such as salted caramel (which I really need to try), Kaluha coffee, matcha, honey lavender, and more.  

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Seriously, how amazing do all of those sound?  Boozy champagne is perfect for a girl’s night out (or in!), and there’s even a beer flavored one, which would make a really interesting and unique gift for any beer lover in your life  

XO Marshmallows are egg free, gluten free, dairy free (except salted caramel), and contain no high fructose! The ladies choose only the finest local ingredients to include in their marshmallow making, so it’s will truly be a gourmet experience.  What a treat!

As I mentioned, today they launched their Kickstarter to help fund not only their Monut but their desire to become bigger and better.  Lindzi and Kat are looking to get a bigger kitchen space as well as upgraded packaging, and equipment to help send XO Marshmallow to the next level, and you can help.  Head over to their Kickstarter campaign and consider backing their project.  They’ve got some great rewards for backing XO Marshmallow, which include Monuts and their original marshmallows in whatever flavor you want. I know that’s the route I’m going to go, as I’m now dying to try some other flavors and I can support these amazing lady bosses at the same time.  It’s a win-win all around.  

What flavor of XO Marshmallow would you be most interested in trying?

I was sent my monuts, but only after I expressed interest in helping these ladies get the word out.  There should be more spreading the love and the word, don’t you think?