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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Gifts under $20 (2)


Nosy Bitches Non-Denominational Gift Giver

When I posted my Gift Giving Guide a week or so ago, I did it because I am involved in The First Twitter Friends Nosy Bitches Non-Denominational Gift Giver exchange. Here’s the inside joke:

There are many of us bloggers who also haunt Twitter. Now for those of you who don’t get Twitter, don’t use Twitter, don’t understand the need for Twitter – I get you. If I didn’t write a blog, it would be rather useless to me too. However, it’s a great way to market yourself if you’ve got a business or a product (I have both) and it keeps you in touch with other people in your same industry. And it’s fun.

For instance, yesterday Jenna Park of  Whimsy & Spice Brooklyn Confectioners (I mentioned her marshmallows in my Gift Guide and her blog is Sweet Fine Day) tweeted this golden nugget of love:


Go ahead. I’ll wait.


I immediately shared it on my personal Facebook page and apparently one of my old college friends was in dire need of an emergency Hall & Oats fix and didn’t even know it.

So now you see the incredible value of Twitter, right? It’s about as important as Facebook.1

So back to the Nosy Bitches. Inevitably, several NB’s will be in some back and forth tirade or conversation on Twitter. Someone else will jump on in the middle and will be all “WAIT! What’s going on?” and more often than not, politely interrupt and join the fun. Hence, Nosy Bitches.

Nosy Bitch Bunny from Bunnies ‘n Beagles collected all our info and set up a very easy exchange of names. I got my girl Kayce from Foodie Was Here (formerly a blogging bride at Shiny Pretty Bits) who was one of my very first sales from TruLu Couture! She’s got impeccable taste and I was SO worried about getting her something in the indicated price range that would fit her style.


16K matte gold plated double hoop earrings with lovely yellow jade beads from Etsy Shop Luna Shine Shine.

I thought these were just lovely. The seller was a sweetie-pie too. Kayce got them and said she liked them, so hooray! I know I would wear them, so I hope she can too!

Now, I got two packages over the course of this last week that didn’t say who they were from! I thought one was from my Nosy Bitch, but after a few inquiries (via Twitter, natch), I found out they were NOT my Nosy Bitch gift and that it would be on it’s way….soon.

I got it yesterday. I was going to wait to open it on Christmas (I LOVE WAITING TO OPEN CHRISTMAS GIFTS!) but couldn’t stand it. I’m so glad I didn’t wait.

My Nosy Bitch, one Ms. KA of  The Discerning Dilettante, is one creative chick. First, she sent me a copy of the super-cool non-profit art magazine she works for ESOPUS. No advertising and totally cool shit inside. I’m taking it with me on holiday so other family members can have a look-see (Flo, you should TOTALLY subscribe to this magazine). She also sent me a gift from my own Gift Guide: a bottle of hooch. Awesome, right? Then, then the Nosy Bitch went all super-sleuth and checked out my Pinterest Boards, specifically my Ballet board.

Now I love ballet. I love it from afar, mostly. I was never the ballerina type. Always too tall, too awkward, not thin enough, not nearly enough grace…never enough of all the things one might need to be a ballerina. I took an adult ballet class back in Chicago. It was fun but confirmed the fact that I am both a giant and still missing the ballerina gene.  In college, as part of my Costume Construction Technology degree, I had to work back stage at the operas and ballets. I had to make a classical pancake tutu (SHOOT ME NOW). I had to do the costumes and stage hair and make-up for the ballerinas and had to hear oh my god I ate an entire cup of yogurt today on a regular basis. It was more than annoying.

Once I had them out of earshot, dressed and on stage, I’d park myself in a corner backstage and watch. They would twirl on their toes and leap through the air, muscles clenching and releasing, neck tendons standing out with the effort. Whether they were playing the part of the Sugar Plum Fairy or a member of the corps de ballet they all looked so beautiful and effortless, but I know differently. They’d come off stage, heaving for breath, sweating like pigs, bent over at the waist with hands on hips looking like I did when I finished my first marathon, sans tutu, of course. The dedication to the dance is one to be revered and respected.

Soooooo, when I opened my Nosy Bitch gift  card, Ill admit I got a little choked up. She wrote:

As a young dancer I covered my closet in ballet clippings (wasn’t allowed to damage the bedroom walls) and though it’s long overdue to be dismantled, I didn’t want to just throw it all away. So voila, Untitled Ballet Collage #1.

Framed ballet collage, hooch and Esopus.

I was so touched. The little framed collage is going up in my studio. For inspiration. How can one not be inspired from the closeted dance collage of a young woman?

So to the Discerning Dilettante? Thank you so much! I can’t think of a gift (from a stranger, at that) that hit all my soft spots (art, booze, more art) so succinctly! THANK YOU!

I just love Christmas, don’t you?

1If you don’t read sarcasm very well, it’s not all my fault. Tone, inflection and eye rolling  are difficult to convey via the typewritten word.


{Gift Shopping Guide: 10 Under $20} When You Care Just Enough to Spend as Little as Possible

Every morning I have to take meds for a herniated L5 I acquired by falling down a flight of stairs back in 1998. The medication makes me instantly queasy, so I always pour myself a little ramikin of dry cereal to nibble on while I drink my coffee and take my meds. Just now? I dunked my hand in the scalding coffee cup instead of the cereal. Let’s just say,  I am NOW fully awake, caffeine be damned.

Just thought I’d let you know how the morning is shaping up…..

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, which is holiday shopping. GAH. Hate. Particularly hate when we’re on continued financial lock-down for all things frivolous. Stupid economy. But amongst this stupid economy are actually some fun things, like Secret Santas. I LOVE me some Secret Santa. Always have. I love White Elephant gift exchanges too. Some people think they are a pain in the ass, but figuring out what someone might want on the cheap is always kind of fun.

This year, I was invited to particiapte in The First Twitter Friends Nosy Bitches Non-Denominational Gift Giver, the brain-child of Ms. Bunny over at Bunnies ‘n’ Beagles to include a group of bloggers who end up in Twitter convo’s on the regular.  I think there are 48 of us participating? There’s a $15 spending cap. I’m excited about my Nosy Bitch, but what to give? WHAT TO GIVE? I mean, I could just send over a $15 gift certificate to like Starbucks, but what fun is that? And my Nosy Bitch has style. Of this I am certain and I’m nervous about finding a gift that would meet the Nosy Bitch’s taste level.

I thought that perhaps some of the other 47 Nosy Bitches, as well as other folks who read this blog, might have their own version of Nosy Bitches they need to buy for on the cheap. So here’s some stuff I found for under 20 bones.


White Curly Mulberry Scarf, $20 found on Cargoh.com.


Fun stinky potty cover-ups (i.e. matches for your guest bathroom). $6.50 for a set of three at DippyLulu with several tongue-in-cheek styles to choose from.


Kidney wire drops feature faceted Czech fire-polished rondelle glass beads in retro pumpkin orange, aqua blue, ebony and brown swirls. $14 (shipping is A PENNY) found at ula&enaldie.


Gifts that Give: Thistle Farms, a non-profit orgainzation that is run by women who have survived abuse, violence and prostitution. All products are hand-made using all-natural ingredients. Shower Gel, $7.00 – comes in Lavender, Geranium Fields, Citrus Vanilla, Tea Tree Mint, Tuscan Earth and Unscented. I’ve personally used this product and am someone with VERY sensitive skin. I was happily surprised when this didn’t make my skin break out and itch. A lovely product that helps women. Go buy.


Caramel infused hand-made marshmallows from Whimsy & Spice Brooklyn Confectioners. $6 for a dozen. Super-yum!


These four matching fork end cheese markers have been hand stamped with Old, New, Goat, and Blue then hand hammered for a textured look. $19.95 from Sharon Gray Designs.


Copper with a Swarovski Crystal ring. For $17 found at Urban Corner.


The gift that packs a punch! From  NYC’s first legal distillery since Prohibition, Kings County Distillery. Their white dog whiskey utilizes corn from upstate and a splash of malted barley from Scotland. Moonshine at $19.99, the bourbon is slightly more. Can be purchased at Astor Wines & Spirits.


If you’d like to buy and give at the same time, you can purchase this glass bottle directly from Faucet Face for $15. For every bottle purchased, a portion of the proceeds goes to the manufacturing of Biosand water filters for the people of rural India. One bottle provides 100 liters of clean water to a family in need.


And for the blogger in all of us, The 2012 Daily Chuck Calendar from the original blogging goddess herself, Dooce. For those or you not familiar (though you definitely should be), Dooce  (real name Heather) likes to balance shit on Chuck’s head/nose and take pictures of him. If anything, he’s a good doggie. $19.99 and can be purchased here.