2017 Favorites

Well, 2017 was kind of a shit storm now wasn’t it? Its almost like when we all said it couldn’t get any worse than 2016, the universe took that as a challenge.  NOT. OK.  Regardless, there was still some good to come out of this past year I suppose.  I’m going to break down my favorite beauty  and fashion finds of the year, which were some of the only silver linings of the hellscape of this past year.

Perfect Hair Day In-Shower Styler by Living Proof

This stuff has been a GODSEND for me.  I found out about it through a friend, and decided to take the plunge and try it.  Since Sephora’s return policy is pretty great, I just took the plunge and bought the bottle. I have NOT turned back yet.  This product is meant for you to air dry your hair and give it more volume.  I like to shower at night and have my hair dry by morning.  By mid day, I used to have to throw it in a pony tail and hope for the best because it was nasty.  But after using the in shower styler my hair looks good ALL DAY LONG.  This has become a staple in my hair routine and I don’t see it going away anytime soon.

SUPERMUD Clearing Treatment by Glamglow

I finally caved and tried this cult favorite this year, and it is worth the hype. I have oily skin which becomes acne prone when I’m stressed (which is always) but using this either as a full mask or spot treatment usually does the trick.  Its a little pricey, but it lasts a good long time.  PRO TIP:I actually buy the mini one and it lasts me forever.  It makes my skin feel AMAZING and helps clear up even the nastiest break outs my 30 year old skin still has. Because out of all the organs in my body, my skin is apparently the last to know that we have left our teen years.

“Calm your tits” Cursive Cuff by The French Mermaid

I found this cheeky and ADORABLE cuff when I was perusing the Bryant Park Christmas Village.  I had a DAY at work and was like lets go treat yourself.  I stumbled upon The French Mermaid and fell in love with them.  I actually saw all their other cuffs first and commented that I loved them, and the owner showed me this one that she was wearing and I basically just handed her my credit card immediately.  This cuff is SO well made – its actually really thick and sturdy.  AND I found some of my tribe that day, and its just the best when people get you. Worth.  Every.  Penny.

Button Boat Neck Sweater by Jcrew

I saw this in store MONTHS ago and ordered it online two days later, because I had to have it. It is SO COZY and so cute – the button detailing is just everything. I can wear it to work or just hanging out. Its SOFT AF.  I love that the buttons allow you to make the look a little different each time. AND ITS ON SALE. Music to my ears.

Vinyasa Scarf by Lululemon

These things are so great that I have TWO.  So good for when you’re pretending you are going to work out but you’re just going outside to get a bagel.  The snaps allow you to wear it as a wrap as well, so its not only cute but versatile.  Like, they literally have a youtube tutorial to show you all the ways you can wear it.  Its ridiculous.  I own a lot of Lululemon and honestly, their stuff is always worth the money to me.  Its amazinggggg quality and lasts forever.

AND NOW WE CAN KISS 2017 GOODBYE. What was some good that came out of 2017 for you? Or are you glad to see it go? Comment and let me know!

REALLY last minute gifts

If you’re anything like me, doing things in a timely manner isn’t one of your strong suits. Have I been Christmas shopping since October? Yes.  Is there only 5 days until Christmas and I still haven’t finished my shopping? Also yes.  I am both a planner and procrastinator at the same time.  OR I am one of those people that loves to shop and will just keep buying things because I love m friends and family? I think I’m on to something with the loving to shop.

But i digress.  Are you struggling with last minute gift ideas? Have you already gone to the mall thinking “I’ll just figure it out” and buy things for yourself instead? Totally fine.  Here are five last minute gifts you can beeline to in your closest mall and GTFO before you stab someone. (Just me? OK ANYWAY)

Beauty Blender: Gold Mine from Sephora ($40)

Listen, I like to buy people things they wouldn’t normally buy for themselves.  Buying them things they need is boring. (exception to the rule: socks.) And let’s call a spade a space, these things are sponges.  They’re just sponges, but they work quite well (RHOD ANYONE?! if you get that reference, you get a special prize).  This comes with three different beauty blenders AND the cleaner for it.  All of this is easily $80 usually, so this is a steal.  And yes, while this is a sponge, its basically changing the makeup application game.  Maybe grab one for yourself, too.

Christmas Sweater Bath Bomb by Lush ($8)

Find me someone who doesn’t love a good bath bomb, and I’ll find you a liar and someone who needs a bath bomb.  This one is SUPER CUTE – I love anything that looks like a Christmas sweater.  Its got an interesting ginger/lemon smell that I repeatedly inhaled while in the store, not buying a thing.  Its just as cute in person and everyone can use some self care in the form of a bath.  Plus, perfect stocking stuffer!

Card Case in Calf Hair by Jcrew ($35)

I have a card case, and it is the most useful little thing. You can throw credit cards, a work ID, business cards, or gift cards in it.  I hope for your sake, its the latter.  This one is a cute animal print, but Jcrew has a bunch if the person you’re buying for isn’t as Jersey as I am. But on the real – this is cute AND useful AND not something most people buy for themselves.  Good purchase all around.

Champagne Bears by Sugarfina ($20)

Champagne Gummy Bears guys.  Made with DOM PERIGNON.  IDK about you, but I ball on a budget and can’t afford that stuff on the reg, so having it in a gummy bear is real fun. (if you CAN afford it on the reg, shoot me an email.  W’re about to be best friends.) These are DELICIOUS and Sugarfina is absolutely a special treat, because that stuff is expensive.  But also, worth it.  And a dangerous store.  Have fun escaping without a few taster packets for yourself.

Spiked Glass Water Bottle by bkr ($40)

This thing is SO CUTE! I have one and honestly a glass water bottle is pretty awesome.  Plus, plastic spikes, and its pink. So you can be cute and a little GTF away from me at the same time.  A good water bottle is a good investment, and something I find not a lot of people actually invest in.  The gift of hydration – the gift that keeps on giving.

Who do you STILL have to buy for?! What are you picking up for everyone these last few shopping days? Let me know in the comments! Because I need some ideas, too….

Winter Staples

Its been a minute but we are BACK and sharing some of my winter staples.  I hate the winter more than I hate the fall, but at least the clothes are cute so winter has that going for it. And Christmas, but those two things and that’s it.

Obviously I need some cute shit to keep me warm this winter while I pray NYC doesn’t become another polar vortex.

Note – this post does NOT contain affiliate links.

I got this ADORABLE wrap coat from Jcrew. Its SO COMFY and just adorable.  I opted for green, because my closet lacks color the green compliments my eyes real nice. I wanted something other than my down coats for when its not so cold, and this was a perfect compromise/hope for a not so frigid winter.

Wrap coat in boiled wool

If you’re not in the market for a coat, this Jcrew sweater is very similar and just as cute!

Open-front sweater-blazer

Even if the polar vortex doesn’t happen *fingers crossed* it still gets DAMN COLD in the city that never sleeps.  I added these gloves to my wardrobe because they are CUTE AF and pretty warm. They’re Kate Spade and preppy and speak to my soul, and when I flip off a tourist they can see the little bows on there.

Kate Spade New York Half Bow Gloves

Finally, I bought these booties a little while ago but have turned into my go to.  Despite the heel, they are still really comfortable.  I can walk in the all day around NYC while I angrily dodge tourists on my way to Starbucks without them hurting my feet – what a win. Also they’re from DSW so, I saved money that way. Right? Ok just go with it.

Malvelia Bootie

Black Friday prep time

THE HOLIDAY OF MY PEOPLE IS UPON US (my people are all you fellow shopaholics). Black. Effing. Friday. The day where we push and shove for good deals, the day after we stuffed our faces and give thanks for our family. I look forward to this day ALL YEAR LONG. But we aren’t prepping for the sales yet, no no. That time will come.  But first, young grasshoppers, you must be physically and emotionally ready for the madness that is to come.

First, 3 cardinal rules:

  • You do not shop on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is for the three F’s: food, family, and football.  You do not shop on Thanksgiving, and you do not support businesses who force those to work and be away from their family on a holiday.  The sales will be there Friday.  You will wait for them.  Note: this does not apply to online sales, so feel free to take a break from the family fighting and buy some things for yourself.

  • You will bring a partner(s)

Now, this can be anyone.  My partners are my sisters and my mom, and my cousin has recently joined us.  This works out well, because we can shop in teams, and always leave someone with my middle sister when she inevitably gets tired after an hour. And then I can leave them when I get frustrated with how DAMN SLOW they walk. This IS a sprint people, lets act like it.

  • You will have a game-plan

You NEED TO BE PREPARED. This is essential, and that also means scouting out stores and sales in advance.  If you are one of those people who “goes to watch the fights” or just goes with nothing in mind, this will be a failure.  There are too many people, and these people just had to deal with their in-laws, and they will fight you if you are in their way. Know what you are looking for. Know what you want to buy and who you are buying for.  Know that it is acceptable if they only person you are buying for is you.

Black Friday essentials:

  • Small bag, preferably a cross body

I know I know. Normally a tote would make sense. But hear me out. With a cross body, your bag is close to you at all times in the chaos. I️t also provides you with free hands so you can look through piles of clothes, stacks of toys, or passive aggressively navigate your way through the crowds. Plus, you can hold more shopping bags without having to also worry about what hand your bag is in. This black Rebecca Minkoff bag is my FAVORITE.  Its big enough to hold all my crap, but tiny enough not to get in everyone’s way when I am maneuvering around them because standing still seems like a good idea to them.

  • Fully loaded Starbucks card

This is with the assumption that you’re going to be battling some sort of hangover, whether it be alcohol, food, or family.  You’re going to need a lot of caffeine to get through this.  Venti, multiple shots, you know the drill.

  • A good reliable chapstick

aid chap stick, and not lip gloss.  HYDRATION PEOPLE. Hydration is the name of the game. You don't need some sticky gloss getting all over the sweater you want to buy that you had to pull out of that mountain of clothes on the table. My favorite, which I have talked about before, is the Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver. Yes I know, it looks like a gloss. But it is a really moisturizing lip color that also reacts with your natural lip color. Hydration AND cute, wins all around.

  • iPhone power pack

Ok ok I lied a little about this being a sprint – it is also a marathon.  If you do it right, this is gonna be a long day.  All our iPhone batteries suck, its part of the price we pay in exchange for our souls to Apple every single year. I use this Mophie.  It works pretty well, but you can also get one of those cheap ones for under $10.  They work just fine.

  • Lotion

Its winter. Its COLD AF out.  And your skin gets dry. This L’Occitaine stuff is THE BOMB. I’m a 90s baby, I say things like this, deal with it.  Its got a huge cult following that I wasn’t buying, until I got a sample of this baby. Its the real deal, and perfect for the winter months.

There you have it – all the shit you need to survive Black Friday, the holiest of shopping days.  What else gets you all through the biggest shopping day? Let me know!

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Women Entrepreneurs who EFFING GET IT

I’ve always been a feminist, before I even truly knew what the word meant. I️ can probably trace it back to my love for the Spice Girls and all things girl power, if we are being honest. (FYI- feminism really just means equality for women. Like. So men and women can be equal. Not that men are the devil. EQUALITY. Just so we are all on the same page. Moving on). I also love shopping, jewelry, the F bomb, sarcasm, and all things girly. So when I find a company that not only incorporates all of these things and speaks to my soul but is ALSO run by a BAMF female, I lose my shit. In a good way. And I’ve found a few of them lately that not only are female run from the ground up, but have quality products. I can attest to that because I’ve bought a few from each company. (Note – this is not a sponsored post BUT DOES CONTAIN ONE AFFILIATE LINK where I can earn points if you buy from Metal Marvels, but merely me giving credit to women who are awesome and have my credit card on file)

Metal Marvels A company run by a bad ass named Katie, Metal Marvels specializes in jewelry and accessories.  Sounds pretty standard, right? WRONG. Metal Marvels has a line called Expletives (R) which features adorable bangles with a lot of curse words on them. But it’s not just random swearing all the time, so many of them sport words of encouragement and empowerment. And a few of them just have the F word all over them, which of course I love.  I even bought a necklace of hers that says the same.  If cursing isn’t your thing (in which case, I am not sure how you made it this far in my blog, but thanks for not judging!) there are many others that do not have any cusses on them, but are just are wonderful.  So many of the bangles have female positive mantras on them, while others simply say things like “Dog mom AF”, so there’s something for everyone. I currently own 2 bangles and a necklace, and have another bangle en route to me as we speak.  Its safe to say I’m a fan.

Not only do the words on these bangles (and mugs!) speak to my soul, but they are amazing quality.  They are adjustable but not the cheap kind where you tighten it once and then its ruined.  These are good quality that you can wear daily depending on whats written on them and how chill your HR department is.  She also ships SO QUICK which for an impatient brat like me, is a nice added bonus.  Plus, if you join her VIP mailing list, she sends out coupon codes so you can feel less guilty about your online shopping habit.  Metal Marvels keeps teasing some new products that are coming Black Friday, so def head over to her site and sign up ASAP.  ‘Tis the season….for shopping. Duh.

Evil QueenEvil Queen, run by Ida, makes candles with a LOT of sass. Obviously, that’s something I love and appreciate. The names of the candles are super witty (ex. Bitches who Brunch, Exhale the Bullshit, Calm Down, etc.).  But also – these smell AMAZING. Not overpowering, but also just so good.  I recently purchased two, Dog Mom (because duh) and Wisdom (because I am a huge nerd. Judge me for it, see how that one goes). The Wisdom candle is from her Harry Potter inspired line. Its a gorgeous candle, and the juniper and mint scent combo is perfection.

These candles are SUPER CUTE, and are also handmade.  Like, not mass produced.  It gives it a nice special touch, I think.  Especially since i am not that talented or patient to learn how to make candles.  And like, GOOD candles at that. They are also made from soy wax, making them vegan and non toxic. That’s PERFECT for all you bougie millennials out there. Environmentally friendly and cute – those are some wins all around. And look at the little inspirational cards with each candle! Ugh. You can never have enough candles, right? Because my room is about to be filled.

CZNDCZND is a company that is centered around strong women.  They partner with women entrepreneurs, celebs, and influencers to develop their products. And let me tell you, their products are bad. ass.  From notebooks to mugs to candles (made by Evil Queen!), they really have something for everyone.  They even have a Legally Blonde line, and of course I had to grab something from there.  I try to emulate Elle Woods on the regular so it was a must.  Not to mention a line in collaboration with Bethenny Frankel, who is a BOSS in every single right.  She’s also doing a shit ton for Puerto Rico right now, which is incredible.  Check it out.

Not only do they have cute and inspiring apparel and accessories, they just recently came out with a fitness line called “The Body Department” and you bet your ASS next payday I will be buying their “f*ck off” leggings.  If a company is really trying to get me to buy their products, this is the way to do it. Literally combine all of my favorite things into products that I will actually use.  You’ve done it, CZND.  My bank statement will start to know your name more often, That’s for sure.

And there you have it – three women centered companies that I am crushing on.  Know any other companies I should check out? Love these? Comment and let me know!

The Black Friday Pre-game: the sales before the storm

We will get to this, I promise you, but Black Friday is easily my favorite day of the year. But as we know, the Christmas Creep is REAL (and I am an integral part of that)  Your favorite stores are taking notice. The calendar JUST turned to November and my inbox is inundated with sale emails. And trust me, I am not complaining. Let’s discuss a few that are sure to make your bank balance a little lower, shall we?

Bloomingdales private sale

This one is pretty good – $25 off every $100 you spend. With of course, exceptions. But even with the exclusions, its a pretty good deal. And if you are a Bloomies Loyalist, you get a $25 gift card for every $100 you spend. So its ALMOST like they are paying you to shop. Almost. Plus, triple loyalist points.  And then you can use those giftcards to do some Christmas shopping for later.  See me justifying this for you? Good. Sale starts November 6th online, November 7th in stores.  Use code PRIVATE for the deal.  Get shopping lovies.

Jonathan Adler – Entertaining essentials

Are you entertaining for the holidays? In-laws planning on overstaying their welcome? Throwing friendsgiving? Holiday party? Just really festive? Any one of these is fine – head over to Jonathan Adler.  No code needed, everything is already marked down on the site from now until November 8th.  Now if you will excuse me, there is a zebra stacking dish calling my name…

Gap – friends & family

Time to stock up on those winter staples!  Currently 40% off everything online, 50% off in stores.  So if you hate people, you still get a good deal. Might be worth subjecting yourself to human contact for the discount, though…

Kate Spade – extra 30% off sale

Now, this is a good one.  Kate Spade makes SUCHHH cute things, and they make great gifts for the holidays.  Whether those gifts are for a friend or for you is not my decision nor is it my business. The choice is yours.  Act fast though, this only lasts until November 5th.  Enter in DELICIOUS at check out.

Sephora VIB event

ITS THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR SEPHORA JUNKIES! Sephora has released the dates for their 20% off VIB sale.  If you’re a VIB Rouge, yours already started.  If you’re like me and are just a little bit poor and haven’t hit that level yet, the VIB sale starts November 10th and goes to November 15th.  So start window shopping and liking items.  Now is a good time to stock up or buy gifts.  For yourself.  Everything I will be buying from this sale will be for me, and I’m not sorry.

And this is just the warm up for the big day, girl scouts.  Get ready.  Get some early shopping done. Treat. Your. Self.

Did I miss any good ones?! Anything you’re dying to by? Let me know in the comments!

(note: this was not a sponsored post)

The Rebecca Minkoff Sample Sale Did Me Dirty

So I think it’s already no secret I have a shopping problem. It’s been something that’s been apparent for most of my life. I’m not even sure who first encouraged this habit of mine, it’s gone on so long. But here we are and I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon, so let’s just embrace it shall we?

This brings me to my favorite word: “SALE”. I’m a jersey girl and a bargain hunter at heart. I hate paying retail, ever. This tweet from mother monster speaks more to my soul than most things in this world, and sums me up nicely.

She. Gets. It.

Naturally, I’m drawn to sample sales. I don’t frequent them often, because I also hate people. These things are normally crowded and overwhelming. If you’re not ready to fight for the things you want, this is NOT the scene for you. And sometimes they’re not all they’re cracked up to be. I’ve gone to a few of The Rebecca Minkoff sample sales, and sometimes walked away empty handed (and sad. So sad) or with one thing.

This sale? Girllll you betta RUN. Its the first one in years I walked out with more than one thing, and am highly considering returning when prices get marked down even further.

Why this sale is good: ACTUAL SAMPLES. A lot of “sample sales” are just merchandise that they couldn’t sell at retail. While there is plenty of that here, but when I went there were PLENTY of actual sample bags that were deeply discounted. Like this one below I bought. A bag like this normally retails at around $300, and I got it for a price not even CLOSE.

What to expect:

  • A lot of MAC mini, backpacks, and satchels. The tables are FULL of them in a rainbow of colors. Just don’t expect a lot of neutrals. But if you’re looking for a fun or different color, this is the place.
  • Shoes! Some cute booties and flats, some embellished
  • Clothes – sweaters, some coats, a lot of tops, sweatshirt
  • A table of samples in the back. Various states of the bags, which will dictate price point. This is the hardest to predict, but can have the biggest reward
  • Accessories – jewelry, wallets, and card cases galore
  • Probably a line. It comes with the territory

What I think is worth it: go straight back to the sample table. It might be slim pickings depending on when you go, but they were restocking it Monday as they day went on, so you never know. The MAB and MAC bags are a staple and so versatile, so those are absolutely worth a look. The wallets are VERY CHEAP so def give that bin a look through.

Pro tip: Later in the week, the items tend to get marked down even further, making it worth a second trip. Watch 260 sample sale or my new fave sample sale savant (insta – @mostlyblack_) and rush back there.

And here are some gratuitous pictures of other things I bought at the sale, because of course I didn’t leave with just one thing.