Saturday, December 18, 2010

Last Chance to Shop for Christmas!!

If you still need a last minute gift, never fear!! You can still get that pretty piece (or two!) and have it in time for Christmas. Shop Here! by December 22nd and you can still get your special presents in time for the holiday. We have lots of pretties on sale, including special girls pieces and shipping is just $5.95.

We also have a preview of the new 2011 Spring line out so be sure to check out my e-boutique and the video we have on my Facebook page for the exciting new pieces - there's a special $75 bonus for anyone who hosts a party between now and January 31! For more information please email me at and let's chat!

Happy shopping!

As Always,
Carrie Neal

Monday, November 29, 2010

Are you done shopping yet??

Of course not!! Those of you who actually READ this little blog will get 10% off and free shipping when you shop Stella & Dot - today only, November 30th - so shop away and message me when you are ready to check out! Email me at

Check out my Facebook page and the special album with pictures of all the sale items for extra savings, or go to my e-boutique to see all of the pretties: Shop Here!

A few pictures . . .
The GORGEOUS Maltese cuff, now $49

The Cortez Cuff - over half off, at $59 - so beautiful!!

Signature charms on sale for $10-18 in silver and gold

There are so many pieces for every taste and budget! Take a peek at my e-boutique, or call or email me for more info. Happy Shopping!

As Always,
Carrie Neal

Cyber Monday Sale with Stella & Dot!!

Here’s a gorgeous Cyber Monday offer! Today only, spend $99 with Stella & Dot and receive a complimentary ring of your choice (take your pick from 1 of 6 gorgeous styles!) See graphic below for details. Get this offer at my personal website AND now that your shopping engines are revved, check out our big sale! Markdowns have been taken on this season’s favorites – now up to 50% off! Quantities are limited. Shop the “Sale” category on my site for these great deals.

Shop here CN's Stella & Dot E-Boutique!! and you can also see the details on this fabulous offer below:

                                 "Super Cyber Monday Sale!!"

You'll also find lots of other special pieces on sale, including our Little Girls items like this adorable bracelet:

                            Lola Stretch Bracelet, now just $7!!

Come shop with us and get your holiday pretties and shopping done today! Check out the "Sales" section for all of the deals. Message me with any questions at

Happy Shopping and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

As Always,
Carrie Neal

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Red Wine, Mistakes, Mythology

Yeah, I'm quoting Jack Johnson. Sometimes, he just gets it right. And he can also be quite the philosopher. So as another year draws to a close, and it's that time to reflect and muse over those things done right and wrong in the past 11-ish months, I am sitting up late thinking of, well, what can best be summed up by the title to one of his songs . . .

This post can probably most aptly be written as a series of questions - for myself but perhaps for others, as well - so I will pose them in the third person:

Where are you? In your life, personally and professionally? Do you like that "place"? If not, what are you doing about it? What do you hope to do differently (in any way or area), in 2011? And does it freak you out that we're about to be in 2011?? (For the record, it does me! This could be because I am a child of the 70s and 80s, a teen of the 90s - heading into my year of turning 35 which I think is awesome but it just sounds . . . strange) What mistakes (red wine-induced, or otherwise) are you grateful for, or do you regret? How do you feel wiser thanks to 2010? Was it a good year, or are you dying for it to be over - or somewhere in the muddling in-between, or did it vacillate wildly from one extreme to the other?

Looking back at this time last year . . . how do you feel? Do you have an overarching sentiment about where you are now compared to then, or something you'd tell your then-self about what this year would bring, or what you hope your future-self will be feeling this time next year?

Please indulge and forgive all the pre Auld Lang Syne-esque musings . . . I get a bit more introspective than is even usual for me this time of year, and have a bunch to reflect on now in particular. My hope for you is that you have a happy holiday season, and that 2011 brings much joy and peace, prosperity and fun to you and yours.

As Always,
Carrie Neal

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Shop Black Friday with Stella & Dot!!

Black Friday is upon us!! And you can get your holiday shopping started - or finished!! - with fabulous finds from Stella & Dot. Visit My Virtual Black Friday Weekend Special Page to learn about the extra savings you can get this Friday (starting at 7am) through Sunday (till midnight!).

Special offer: Get 10% off shopping online - call or email me to place your order - or when you make an appointment and we get together so you can see all the newest pieces I have, in person - IF you book a trunk show! I will come to you when and where it's convenient and you can have your own private jewelry party and pick out the perfect things to make the special people on your list happy!! If you are just into shopping, I'm doing a special no-shipping offer for this weekend show only. Call or email me to ask about it.

Happy Shopping and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

As Always,
Carrie Neal

Monday, November 15, 2010

If the Shoe(box) Fits . . . Be a Good Samaritan!

It's the Giving Season, y'all! That's right, I'm up on my soapbox, er, shoebox and I've got a message I think very worth sharing. Samaritan's Purse is a very cool charity that takes the message from the Gospel of Luke - the story of the Good Samaritan, you know the one: Jesus tells his followers to help those in need, whomever and wherever they are. You can learn all about them and about this special holiday effort here:
Samaritan's Purse: Pack a Shoebox!!

If you are interested, you can do what some friends of mine and I are doing - and what one very ambitious cousin of mine, my namesake Ella Neal, who along with her church is doing, a slew of shoe boxes - and pack up a box or two for a boy or girl who'll be thrilled to get it this season. Pick an age category (2-4, 5-9 or 10-14) and follow the printable instructions on the website as to what to pack and how to get it off to the right hands. Search by zip code to find a drop-off location during this "giving week" (November 15-22) or look for the address you can mail your box(es) to, and how to include the small donation ($7) to cover costs for Samaritan's Purse and participating churches and missions. It's not just because I love shoes, or because this is an economically feasible way for me to give this year, but something about this neat charity and their message really spoke to me. I think my 10-14 year old girl will be happy with what "Carrie Neal Land" came up with for her!!

It's a small thing, I know, but it was fun to do and feel part of something good and big. Speaking of, I found a great card that showed a "manger scene" of doggies with a very Big-like baby Jesus that was too cute to pass up - and included it as a note with my card, as the project guidelines suggest you do with your box. Maybe my girl will be inclined to write back and I'll have a pen pal, who knows? Whatever happens, and if you decide to participate, too . . . I hope you have a happy holiday season as it gets underway, goes along, and moves into the New Year. Best to you and yours!

As Always,
Carrie Neal

Saturday, November 6, 2010

It's a Fa La La La La Fabulous Ladies Night in Buckhead!!

Ladies, are you ready?! Next Wednesday, November 10th, it's going to be a fabulous night for the ladies at the East Andrews complex, with tons of awesome vendors for your shopping pleasure, food and drinks and so much fun. Sponsored by East Andrews, Souper Jenny and Van Gogh Blue Vodka, it's going to be the perfect thing to bring your best girls to and get your holiday shopping started (or finished, maybe?!). Yours truly will be there with a Stella & Dot table, of course . . . and I'll have a special give-away item to one lucky winner! You definitely want to be there to see if you are the one who gets one of the newest S&D Fall/Winter pieces!! Whoever will it be?

"Stella & Dot Holiday Style 2010"

For all details, visit my Facebook page or the main event Facebook page, Go To Fa La La La La Fabulous on Facebook. Fa La La La La Fabulous will be held Wednesday, November 10th from 6 to 10 pm, at the E. Andrews Complex, 56 E. Andrews Dr. (yes, it WILL be indoors, under the tented atrium!)

Can't wait to see you there - it will be fabulous!

"Fa La La La La Fabulous Ladies Night Out"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Have Fun Storming The Castle!"

This is an editorial from my first site,, (most beloved and now retired) and given all that's afoot these days in Carrie Neal Land I thought it quite appropriate to repost . . . happy reading!!

“Have Fun Storming the Castle!” (or, Why You’ve Gotta Have Friends)

Who wouldn’t want to be Princess Buttercup? She of the flowing blonde locks, groomed horse at-the-ready, and devoted (not to mention, handsome) farm boy at her every beck and call. Sure, there were a few stumbling blocks on her road to happily-ever-after, but we can learn quite a few valuable lessons from “The Princess Bride.”
Here’s what Buttercup and her cast of characters can teach us about life, love and loyalty:

Pay your dues: “Westley had no money for marriage, so he packed his few belongings and left the farm to seek his fortune across the seas."
Leadership styles matter – and no one likes ultimatums or management-by-intimidation:

Vizzini: “Have I gone mad, or did the word ‘think’ just escape your lips? You were not hired for your brains, you hippopotamic landmass! Do you want to go back to where you were, unemployed – in Greenland?!”

Listen for people to tell you who they are, and believe them when they do:

Fezzik: “You be careful. People in masks cannot be trusted.”

Keep a sense of humor, and of hope: “There’s a big difference in mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive.”

Learn to assess your strengths and weaknesses accurately – and no matter how good you think you are, keep a sense of humility:

Vizzini: “I can’t compete with your strength, and you’re no match for my brains.”
Westley: “You’re that smart?”
Vizzini: “Let me put it to you this way. Ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons!”
Westley: “In that case, I challenge you to a battle of wits.”

Fight fair:

Inigo Montoya: “I promise I won’t kill you until you reach the top…Any way you’ll believe me?”
Westley: “Nothing comes to mind.”
Inigo Montoya: “I swear on the sword of my father, Domingo Montoya: you will reach the top alive.”
Westley: “Throw me the rope.”

Multitasking is a valuable skill, in your personal and professional life:

Prince Humperdinck: “You know how much I love to watch you work, but I’ve got my country’s 500th Anniversary to arrange, my wedding to plan, my wife to murder and Guilder to blame for it. I’m swamped!”

Recognize and respect worthy competitors, and use them to improve your own game:

Inigo Montoya: “I am going to duel him left-handed.”
Vizzini: “You know what a hurry we’re in!”
Inigo Montoya: “It is the only way I can be satisfied. If I use my right, tsk! Over too quickly.”

Decide which excuses are legitimate, and which you’ll accept, from yourself and from others:

Vizzini: “You were supposed to be this colossus! You were this great legendary thing…and yet he gains!”
Fezzik: “I’m carrying three people, and he’s only got himself.”
Vizzini: “I do not accept excuses. I have to find myself a new giant.”

Keep the faith – and there’s no greater test of it than love:

Westley: “Hear this now: I will always come for you.”
Buttercup: “But how can you be sure?”
Westley: “This is true love. Do you think this happens every day?”

Pick the leaders you follow and friends you keep carefully:

Fezzik: “I came upon a stable and saw four white horses. And I thought,
there are four of us – if we ever find the lady. Hello, Lady!”

Know the rules of engagement for any contest into which you enter: “You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is ‘never enter a land war in Asia.’ But only slightly less well-known is this: ‘never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line’!”

Take the risk:

Miracle Max: “Bye-bye, boys! Have fun storming the castle!”
Valerie (his wife): “Do you think it’ll work?”
Max: “It would take a miracle.”

I think the Princess would be quite pleased with what we’ve learned from her story.

P.S. Have patience and remember this: “Rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles!”

P.P.S. Watch out for ROUS’s – Rodents of Unusual Size, big or small, can lurk in the most surprising places.

© CarrieNealLand Press, 2006

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Uh-Oh . . .

So, really, all we I did was read up on the perils and all around bad-ness of processed foods far more than I did get us to successfully eat in a significantly more unprocessed, good-for-us way. I think I included a few more vegetables in our diet and I know I ate more fruit (I realized I'd been slack about that, for some reason), but we're just shy of half-way through October and I am throwing in the towel on any official commitment to this challenge.

Now, I'll still try to ramp up our ingestion of unprocessed eats, but I'm going to have to be honest and call this what it really is: a "research" exercise. Yes, sadly, things have just been too crazy and our shopping efforts too undisciplined (we got to bare bones then had the kids with us when we finally, absolutely had to go to the store) to be in any way effective at this challenge. So. Towel thrown.

But I will enjoy reading others' posts and following along in spirit. And hopefully I can bone up on my knowledge, get better prepared and perhaps find a week somewhere along the way (that's probably a better time frame for us, after all) that we can really apply ourselves to this kind of cleaner, healthier eating, and do it right. Or find a different kind of challenge to test our mettle, and see what results arise.

Next up . . .

As Always,

Carrie Neal

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Uh-oh, Here we go again! Another "Foodie" challenge . . .

I am so easily swayed! One of my Foodie friends rings a bell and *ding* there I am! And once again, yep, the bell tolls for me . . . this time, it's the call of "just-say-no-to-processed-foods" (not a cause I've really put too much thought into, I'll be honest with you) and I've decided to, well, put some think to it.

How much processed food do I really eat, or cook for The Boy and me, since I'm the one who does most of that work for us these days, given our schedules? "Hmm, self, good question," I thought just now as I read the post linked from to that took me to this whole challenge of eating non-processed foods for an entire month. I mean, I think I eat pretty healthfully, and cook that way for us - veggies, and good fats and all that, etc. - but I had to stop and think . . . I don't really spend that much time thinking deeply about the details of processed foods. Sure, I know the basics and all, and I know that getting enough colors and whole foods in my and our diet means red peppers and oranges, lean cuts of beef and green leafy vegetables not Chee-tos and Doritos or beef jerky and hot dogs (even if they have ketchup and onions as "veggie garnishes"). But . . . what might I be missing? And as our Chief Resident Dietician, what could I do better for my health and waist-line, and his?

Oh, the scent of a challenge (why do I suddenly have flashbacks to scenes from "Scent of A Woman"??) . . . Stay tuned, friends and readers, no doubtedly more snippets (of what, crankiness? victory? education?) from the ensuing days of this experiment will make their way into my posts. Let's see just how *processed* - or not - we are!

As Always,
Carrie Neal

Thursday, September 23, 2010



It has struck, my friends! I've got an idea and I am So Excited. No, scratch that. I'm Beyond. I'm totally kavelling beyond any heights Cher Horowitz ever reached! I've had that stroke of genius, an idea for a
book - let's call it a slice of life with a dash of creative license - and I've put pen to paper, er, computer . . . y'all stay tuned because with the support of The Boy and the help of a key partner in crime and penning, it's just going to be fabulous!

They say "Write what you know." Well, here goes. Game on.

As Always,
Carrie Neal

  . . .  The sweet smell of inspiration . . .

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Schmoga-Istas Forever"

*Warning and Disclaimer*: Schmoopy post of sorts to follow.

The Boy and I have noticed some kind of phenomenon surrounding us recently. I'm not sure - we, I suppose, I should say, are not sure - whether to call it a strange phenomenon, but it has certainly given us pause.

On enough occasions that we've literally been stopped in our tracks to just look at each other, at first just giving a mutually raised eyebrow of the "Did you just hear what I heard?" variety, then graduating to the seriousness of stopping mid-conversation to whisper to the other at the first chance "Are you hearing what I'm hearing? Did that person we don't really know just say that??"

Here's what I'm talking about. People everywhere we go say things to us. Things like, "Y'all are the most awesome couple we know." Or, "You guys inspire me. You make me feel like there's still a chance out there." Or, one of my favorites, and one that totally blew me away "You beat out my best friends in the world of fifteen years. I was in their wedding and have always thought they were the best thing going but then I met you guys. How long have you been together?" When we said three months, I swear I thought she was going to choke on her drink and spontaneously combust at the same time.

The thing is, the people who tell us these things are everyone from our own friends to random strangers. It's amazingly cool to hear and we have some theories as to why everyone from Bobby Donlan christened us "Atlanta's Fun Couple" to why our friend Tom says we make him want to write an ode to love (and I am pretty sure he was serious!). Mostly, we think it's because we're sweet to each other and it shows, and what we call being "Us" comes through. I don't think there's a science to love, but it is an art - it isn't hard but it takes work and we've both had it Not Good before, so we recognize that what we have now is So Good (though don't ask us about that other night this week when we both wanted to throw the other out of the car window, so don't get me wrong!). We're silly and do things like drink our beers out of plastic cups that say "Yoga Schmoga" on them, just because it makes us laugh; I'm also trying to become the better chef (a tall order because he has a super leg up in that department, but we like competition) and practice by cooking dinner almost every night and often lunch too, and he regularly scans the check-out counters for lip balms I've not tried and he brings me flowers often. We take care of each other.

I share all this with you, and write this post, because we have some real stressors in our life - but as The Boy said to me last night, our love life is good. The Schmoga-Istas are really good. And that, my friends, is a blessing, and it is apparently obvious to those around us and it is what bolsters us and will help us deal with the "everything elses" of the world that tap-tap-tap at our door. We'll handle it, I just know it, together.

As Always,
Carrie Neal

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"Happy Birthday to You" . . . And Me!

Attention, schmoopy post to follow!!

Yes, if you know me, you know that I've been a smitten little kitten for some months now, and I'm going to talk about The Boy in this post. 'Twas his birthday today (don't worry, I only say "was" because he's already turned in for the night!) and it was so fun to have somebody I love to celebrate. In case you didn't know, I love birthdays with great passion and celebrate them with abandon.

Today wasn't all that eventful, I suppose, unless you're like me and consider yourself lucky and blessed to have a wonderful person in your life whom you are excited to fete. And, even better, one who thinks it's top-notch and most important to celebrate his day with you. I am just that kind of lucky and blessed, it seems. It's been a long time coming, finding The Boy, so I'm grateful most of all.

He loved his present, which was actually a "mini" gift - these cute little spreaders with footballs as the handles and a cool bowl made for yummy dips; we love to cook and since his set of "chef" spreaders include one little guy missing an arm, they seemed like the perfect initial gift. His *real* present is one of the more brilliant ones I've come up with, maybe ever (and I'm a damn fine gift-giver, y'all) but, alas, wasn't ready for the big day itself. That just means the birthday fun gets extended, I told him . . .

I actually got a big present today, too - I give him the credit for this being a "good luck kind of day" - since I got a job! I've been looking for something else to do to - what's that expression? oh, that's right, "supplement my income"! - and start tomorrow, bringing service, coffee, eats and adult beverages to the masses at [Cute Neighborhood Spot]. Yay!

Oh, I love birthdays, whether mine or someone else's. Happy Birthday, indeed, to The Boy - and to me!

As Always,
Carrie Neal

Thursday, August 19, 2010

48 Days

That's it. Just 48 days. Basically, what, a month and a half? In the grand scheme of things, the big picture, or heck, even in the immediate term given how fast time flies (whether you're having fun or not!) . . . the blink of an eye.

According to Dan Miller, that's all it takes to get to the work you love, provided you're willing to be 1) introspective, 2) diligent and 3) proactive. That's my "translation" of the central message of this amazing book I just started reading and doing (how does one do a book, you ask? Read on, and get yourself a copy of this one if you are up for the reading-and-doing approach to right-tracking yourself . . .) - 48 Days to The Work You Love.

I'm on Day 3 and, three being my favorite number, decided that one perfect way to "announce" the work I'm doing with and on myself, and in the so-very-serious intention of finding that work I love (making your intentions public is something Miller strongly advises and encourages in the book), was to share it with everyone here. If you've read books like First, Break All the Rules or Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham, or are familiar with the StrengthsFinder concept and test by Tom Rath, you'll immediately get the gist of what Miller's saying in his book: to find your real work calling and to be your best self as a person and a working contributor to society, you have to be willing to look inward, assess some key things and figure out what makes you tick, sing, hum, etc., and do the work to implement those things in your life. Then, you'll be on the right track to fulfilling your work-life - and all of your life.

If you or someone you know could benefit from rolling up your sleeves and doing the work to get to the Work You Love  - like I can! - this is the book to get.

Off to do my start-to-the-day assignment for Day 3.

As Always,
Carrie Neal

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Magis Moment

It breaks my heart, the things that people do when they get divorced. Sparing unnecessary details about my own travails, I will share this . . . It's been five years since I lost my first "own" dog, my sweet Magis, and I just found out that cancer had ravaged her body and she had to be put down. I'm a wreck; yes, all these years after being called an "unfit dog parent" and ceding "custody," I still have missed that dog (who many of you probably had no idea ever existed, because I never mentioned her!) and am distraught at knowing what she must have suffered through.

Magis was one of the key parts of my early "grown up life" and, along with the first car I bought for myself (including all negotiations!), and my precious little condo in the Highlands, she was integral to what I'll call CN's Adult Life, the Early Years. I had to compartmentalize her, so to speak, when she was taken from me, and relinquish her to a bygone era of my life, but this news - coming unexpectedly and abruptly - has thrown me a gut-wrenching curveball.

Our pets are family; I'll be beyond the pale when something happens to Big one day. Coincidentally, today's "Dr. Phil" is about dog fighting and, by extension, animal abuse. If you have a dog you love, or you just think such insane cruelty is abhorrent like I do, watch the show. If you want to do more, contribute time or money to your local Humane Society - Magis was an Atlanta Humane Society adoptee and like other dogs in my family over the years, just a wonderful animal - and know that you are helping dogs like my sweet first child get to loving homes. Visit for info on the American Humane Society or to find locations near you.

With sadness, I share this Magis moment with you. My consolation is that even though it wasn't by me in her last days, I am sure this great dog was loved. If you have pets, hug them a little tighter today, just for Magis and me.

As Always,
Carrie Neal

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"On Censorship"

Censorship. Doesn't happen HERE, you say, in these United States! We have Freedom Of Speech! We can say what we want, when we want to, wherever we want to - virtual or real-time, online or off! C'mon, CN, what in the world are you doing bringing up such an antiquated concept? Puh-lease.

I'll tell you where censorship exists. On sites like Yelp. That's right, you read that correctly. My beloved Yelp is at times the verbal - or proverbial - word Gestapo. Go too far, say too much and you, too, could find yourself kicked off the island, just like my buddy Kit.

Sure, Kit could pen a madly outrageous and oftentimes offensive-to-some review or post on a talk thread. He was also madly entertaining, hilarious and (drumroll please) . . . almost always spot-on in his assessment of the subject matter at hand. Does his vulgarity outweigh his right to self-expression, to - here's that phrase again - freedom of speech? Apparently according to The Powers That Be at Yelp, it did, and his account was deleted.

I think that's a big ol' barrel of hooey.

"Real People. Real Reviews." As another buddy and fellow Yelper would say, "Hmm." I'm throwing out the censorship card on Kit's eviction and proclaiming something to be rotten in the state of Denmark, er, Yelp-land.

What do you think? Have you been subject to, or have you witnessed, recent clamp-downs on personal expression in forums that are meant for just that? If so, have any of them had the element of pay-for-play, where a business or ad-buyer, for example, might have some influence in such censure being applied?

Food for thought, indeed, methinks.

As Always,
Carrie Neal

P.S. If you want to check out the musings of one ex-communicated Yelper, visit Kit's blog at Fried Chicken Lips . . .

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Greetings and Salutations!

It has been nearly a year since I "launched" this new site and, shamwow, is there a lot to update and relate!

First, it is one of the best days of the year in "Carrie Neal Land," my birthday! In some ways, it is a difficult day but it has been made much sweeter by the onslaught of wishes and thoughts I've received in every form . . . modern technology is a blessing and to all of you who've called, texted, FB'ed, etc. I thank you from the very bottom of my heart!

Today would also be the start of year five of my very first website, I decided that project had run its course and have archived it, and am on to new and different things and pennings, including this site! Now, it is where you will find the adventures and developments in not just "Carrie Neal Land," but related to the other ventures and endeavors, literary and *real world*, that make up my world. Stay tuned for all manner of exciting stuff!

I am still proudly representing Stella & Dot as a Stylist, and if you haven't already, you need to check out all of our gorgeous pieces for the girls in your life, at my e-boutique . . .

I've also just gotten on board with a local "foodie" publication, Atlanta Cuisine (soon to be known as "Food & Beer Atlanta") and you will be able to find my musings there soon.

This update is to let you know that many fun things are in store, in Carrie Neal Land and for you, as friends, followers and "patrons." Look forward to talking to and with you all regularly from all of my new posts!

As Always,
Carrie Neal