Saturday, November 30, 2013

Smart Holiday Shopping

We are on the cusp of the busiest shopping season. Retailers are gearing up to tempt you with sales, flashy new arrivals, & the general good cheer & loose wallet mentality that surrounds the holidays. 

While we all want to score the best presents for our friends & family (& maybe a thing or two for ourselves)... just like with the eggnog, it is best to go in with a plan. 

Here are my 9 tips from the holidays, with a 10th one borrowed from Mr. Clinton Kelly himself.
1. Spend on classic items that you will have forever. Save on trendier pieces.

2. Leave an item in your shopping cart for 24 hours. If you are still obsessing over it the next day, then maybe it is worth it!

3. Check out the return policy - after the cloud of flash sale shine wears off, you might want to return your impulse buy

4. Make sure you can think of 3 things in your closet to go with what you are about to purchase.

5. Ask yourself: Can I live without this? Do I have something similar already in my closet? Will this be versatile?
6. Sign up for your favorite online retailers' emails. You will find out about the best deals first.

7. Social media can be your best friend, search for the e-tailers' accounts for the inside scoop & sale codes that other shoppers have shared. (make a Twitter list so you can see the sales easily)

8. Keep a record of purchases. Whether you prefer Excel spreadsheets, a private Pinterest Board or an Evernote note. The cold hard truth of your expenditures will be good for you.

9. Take advantage of brand perks, reward points. 
10. "When something catches your eye, try it on without looking at the price tag. If you like it and it works with at least 5 things in your wardrobe, make up a price that it's worth to you - say, $150. Then flip the tag over. If it's that or less, buy it. But if it's over, say "No, thanks, I'm outta here" - Clinton Kelly, author of "Freakin' Fabulous on a Budget"

How do you stay on budget during the holiday rush?

Friday, November 29, 2013

on to the next & a giveaway

Thanksgiving is over… onto the next holiday!
Seriously kidding, but doesn't it seem that the holidays come around earlier & earlier each year?
Well, Christmas… bring it on!
I have my Christmas list made up (with all the Black Friday deals scoured here) & plotting holiday attire now too. 
{ What I Wore: necklaceYuni Kelley // J.Crew sweater // Lands End Canvas sequin skirt (similar, only $18.99) // "tacky sweater" tee ℅ Skip 'N Whistle // ShoeDazzle Pumps (similar) }
1 part totally cheeky tacky sweater + a heavy handed helping of sparkle.
Because my sponsors LOVE you guys, they are hooking everyone up with some sweet discounts & one lucky duck will take home a giveaway prize too!

Enjoy 20% off from Skip N' Whistle to pick up your own tacky sweater tee, now until December 25 (code SANTA).

Not only does Yuni Kelley has a 20% coupon code for you guys that never expires! (code HERENOW), but the shop owner is hosting a giveaway for a shop credit too!
Happy Black Friday!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Black Friday steals & deals

If you are looking for an all encompassing Black Friday deal list - here you go my friend. Alphabetically organized for my OCD your pleasure.
If you spy any other sweet deals on the web this weekend, let us all know in the comments!

**Now Updated to include Cyber Monday posts too

{1} Aldo Shoes: 25% off everything (code CYBERDEAL13) + 30% off already reduced items
{2} Ann Taylor: 50% off EVERYTHING (code SHOP50)
{3} Ann Taylor LOFT: 50% off EVERYTHING (code CYBER50)
{4} Anthropologie: 20% off sale items free shipping
{5} Banana Republic: 40% off everything (code CYBER)
{6} BaubleBar: 20% off (CYBER20)
{7} Benefit Cosmetics: lots of free samples with every order (code TINTEDLOVES)
{8} BirchBox: free shipping, shop great gift picks here. Earn extra points towards future purchases for Cyber Monday.
{9} Bobbi Brown: free shipping + 5 samples of your choice with each order
{10} C. Wonder: 30% off (code GIFTS30)
{11} Charlotte Russe: $15 off orders $75+ 
{12} Chicnova: entire site $10 of every $60, $20 off $100, $50 off $200.
{13} Coach: great holiday gift picks here.
{14} DaisyGem35% off everything (code CPO35)
{15} Dorothy Perkins: 25% off EVERYTHING (code HOLIDAY25)
{16} DSW: serious deals! Bonus gift cards, super sale on lots of shoes & boots.
{17} DVF: up to 30% off select items. 
{18} Dwell Studio: free shipping
{19} Express: 50% off every. single. item. (until noon only!)
{20} Fab: 30% off site wide
{21} Free People: 5 select styles under $50
{23} Gap: 40% off everything (code CYBER)
{24} Gigi New York: free gift with purchase, free shipping.
{25} Hanky Panky: free shipping
{26} Hobo bags: free shipping
{27} Ily Couture: up to 75% off!
{29} Jack Spade: 75% off surplus sale
{30} J.Crew Factory: 50% off EVERYTHING (code GOSHOP)
{31} J.Crew: 30% off everything (code MONDAY)
{32} Kate Spade: up to 75% off!
{33} Kendra Scott: 20% off (code BFCM2013)
{34} L.L. Bean: 10% off (code THANKS10)
{35} Loren Hope: free shipping
{36} Lulu's: 40% off sale items (code CYBER40)

{37} Macy's: extra 15% & free shipping (time to stock up on wedding presents!)

{38} Madewell: 25% off everything (FEAST25)
{39} Modcloth20% off site wide
{40} Nordstrom: everything on mega sale, free shipping & free returns!
{41} Old Navy: 30% off everything (code CYBER)
{42} PiperLime: 25% off site wide, extra 40% off final sale

{43} Rebecca Minkoff: up to 30% off & free shipping!

{44} Sephora: 12 free samples with your order (code FIXIT)

{45} SheInside: up to 80% off (mega huge sale!)
{46} ShoeDazzle: Cyber Monday BOGO event!

{47} ShoeMint: 50% off all regular priced items + 70% off sale items

{48} Stella & Dot: for every $50 you spend, get a $25 gift card
{49} Target: So. Many. Deals! I'm crushing hard on the Canon camera sale selection!

{50} Ted Baker: 30% off EVERYTHING & free shipping (code TED30)

{51} topshop: 30% select lines
{53} True&Co: up to 70% off all products

{54} Urban Outfitters: big deals, lots of gifts under $20 and $50!
{55} Victoria's Secret: free tote with purchase, free shipping.

Holiday Gift Guide 2013: 50 under $25

The turkey has been eaten. The nap has been taken. Time to get your shop on. 
Enjoy these 50+ perfectly giftable items, all under $25!
{1} crystal necklace // {2} stacking rings // {3} // {4} gold candle holder // {5} wine tote // {6} wishbone bottle opener // {7} Christmas Spirit decanter // {8} glitter bow belt // {9} fox wine accessories // {10} fortune cookie box // {11} metallic keychain // {12} faux fur wrap // {13} knot earrings // {14} pug tote // {15} owl mug // {16} expletive paper clips // {17} stag horn serving set // {18} lip tease mug
not pictured, but must check out: {19} giraffe trinket holder // 
{20} polka dot teaspoon set // {21} glitter collar set // {22} smooch brooch // {23} lip print napkins // {24} telephone receiver // {25} vintage pool ball wine stoppers // {26} fair isle slippers // {27} camp socks // {28} best of lip stain set // {29} faux leather tote // {30} universal charger // {31} pink pen set
{32} Kate Spade mug // {33} pop, clink, fizz notecards // {34} bobbi pin set // {35} Deborah Lippmann nail polish set // {36} ceramic jewelry dish // {37} Pantone color mug // {38} long striped gloves // {39} fabric cuff links // {40} color block clutch // {41} cat eye sunnies // {42} macaron box // {43} sand hourglass // {44} retro iPhone case
{45} fork cheese markers // {46} Great Gatsby notebook // {47} bananagrams // {48} iPhone case // {49} Julep nail polishes // {50} blue chain necklace // {51} cheers napkins
Find all of these picks and more on my holiday gift Pinterest board!

beers & cheers

I participated in this Influencer opportunity on behalf of Millennial Central for Budweiser. I received product samples to facilitate my review & a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Happy Thanksgiving! Sending my warmest wishes for a blessed holiday no matter where you are!

I don't know who came up with the idea of Friendsgiving, but I would like to kiss them on the mouth. I really don't need any excuses this time of year to come together & celebrate, but doing so with my besties gives me extra excitement & joy. 
I love me some beer, but I know that not all my girlfriends have developed a taste for it yet. I have always wanted to think of a fun way to get them into new styles of beer, & finally came up with the idea to host a blind taste-testing party. This year, Budweiser’s brewmasters from around the country have developed three new beer recipes for their limited-edition "Project 12" sampler pack. Named after the ZIP code where it was brewed, each Project 12 beer features the signature yeast used by the O.G. brew master, Adolphus Busch (my fiancĂ© is a yeast scientist, so I think that is the coolest thing!). Special flavors infuse each of the three varieties included in this limited run of beers & we set out to find our favorite.

Platter of cheese - CHECK 

Double blinded beer samples - CHECK
(totally scientific)

Personalized sampling glasses - CHECK

Of this year's Project 12 pack sample packs, there is the "94534" from Fairfield, CA brewed with the hoppy taste of the Northwest. The "23185" from Willimasburg, VA aged with bourbon & vanilla. And the "43229" from Columbus, OH brewed with chocolate & caramel malts and then finished on beechwood chips.

After all the sampling was over, we were split over the North Pacific Lager & the Vanilla Bourbon Cask.
The Project12 sampler packs are available nationwide through the end of the year… let me know when you find your zip code! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gift Guide 2013: gifts that keep on giving

So maybe the people you love most aren't just a drive away & you will need to pop their holiday goodies in the mail. Why not save yourself a trip to the post office & send them a fabulous gift from these subscription services. Seriously, the great products out there will change your mind about these things. Give just 1 box, or sign them up for gifts that will keep giving throughout the year.
{For new moms:}
Honest Company - give the gift of diapers, cleaning supplies & the peace of mind that everything for baby is all natural!
Kiwi Crate - each box includes supplies for 2-3 creative activities for kids.
Gift Lit - give the gift of reading (packs for all ages and interests)
Olive Box - New moms have lots of thank you letters to write, give them the gift of pretty stationary to get them started.

{For your girlfriends:}
Darby Smart - give the gift of creativity. Each box includes a fabulous project & all the supplies (I got this one!)
Birchbox - a favorite of everyone I've gifted it too! Who doesn't love playing with luxe beauty products?
Julep - a year of nail polish. Your girlfriends are going to flip!
For the Makers - each box includes the supplies for 4 fun DIY projects (without the headache of sourcing everything from that gorgeous idea you saw on Pinterest)

{For your man:}
Batch Nashville - these curated goodie boxes are sourced from local Nashville, artisanal, hand-crafted stuff that your man will love! Give the gift of Southern comfort.
Trunk Club - When this curated box of stylish duds arrives, your man won't mind getting dressed up for you.

{For your parents:}
Turntable Kitchen - your parents deserve a date night too! Send them this 3 month subscription of recipes & music (on classic vinyl) pairings.
Blissmo Box - choose toxin free beauty products, healthy snacks or both to help your parents with their resolutions in 2014.
Umba Box - monthly boxes of curated handmade goods. (proceeds help artists around the world earn a living wage too!)

Have you tried any of these services?
Which one are you going to gift this year?

horsing around

{ What I Wore: sweater borrowed from Fringe & Lace // Lands End Canvas skirt (this whole line is a hidden gem!) // Old Navy booties // Wallis cuff }

{Get the Look}
graphic sweater {$58} + sequin skirt {$28.99, seriously a score!} + black ankle booties {$89.95} + gold cuff {$18}
A comfy sweater that stylishly covers the post Turkey food baby & transitions to holiday party attire too… girl, you know I'm so there!
This horseshoe sweater was an exclusive at the last Fringe & Lace flash Facebook sale. Did you miss it? Sign up for the new social shopping platform & never miss a flash sale again! (maybe this cutie will pop back up at the next one!)

AND - it's the Midweek Mixup so head on over to the Fringe & Lace blog to see how this graphic sweater goes from party look to casual day look too!

Ok one last thing, be sure to enter to win this fabulous monogram tote giveaway from Gigi New York/Graphic Image {go here}.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gift Guide 2013: new babies

I'm at the point in my life where I can't imagine loving an organism more than my dogs, but I know that everyone isn't in denial quite like me, so today's gift guide includes gifts for your fur baby & real human babies too. Spoil the slobber maker in you life, treat their parents & maybe your own fur/human baby while you're at it.
Where are you in your life: fur baby? human baby?
{1} pooch parka // {2} anchor dog toy // {3} dog breed pillow // {4} doggie shampoo & conditioner // {5} dog bone jar // {6} Kate Spade Saturday dog carrier // {7} modern leash // {8} Chihuahua jewelry dish // {9} doggie breed notecards // {10} leopard dog leash
{1} modern diaper bag // {2} luxe robe // {3} sleep mask // {4} golden headphones* // {5} star PJs // {6} line-a-day diary // {7} baby Minnetonka moccasins // {8} little piggy rocker // {9} snowflake onesie // {10} The Dude sweater
* Local gals - get these headphones for less at the Green Hills Mall Dillard's!

polka to the dot

{ What I Wore: jacket ℅ PB&J Boutique // J.Crew hat // Old Navy Rockstar skinny jeans // Anthropologie sunglasses }
If you know me, you know I love the classics. But here's a little secret - classics with a touch of whimsy, that's the key to my heart. This polka dot trench coat is just that!

Be sure to bookmark PB&J Boutique because their Black Friday sale runs 11/28 - 12/2, & the entire site will be 30% off! (secret code "wishbone")

P.S. Gigi New York/Graphic Image is giving away a luxe monogram tote {here}

P.P.S. Save your holidays by entering to win amazing travel sized toiletries from Yes to Carrots {here}

Monday, November 25, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide 2013: co-worker

Oh your co-workers. Whether you love them, or not so much love them, either way HR makes sure you will never be able to tell them. But show them that you have been paying attention over the past year with a gift from the heart. Do they aspire to work out more? Drink less coffee? Take time out to relax? Cook more at home? Or do they just need a helping hand keeping their head on straight & remembering where they put there keys? These gifts have got you covered & more!
{1} tom tom runner watch // {2} jawbone // {3} hydrate in style with a bkr water bottle // {4} yoga mat // {5} hour glass // {6} mental notes // {7} lucky key fob // {8} wooden iPhone dock // {9} SodaStream // {10} Smitten Kitchen cookbook // {11} relaxing tea cups