Tag Archives: Shopping

2013 Christmas Gifts That Give Back

4 Dec

gift-giving

It’s that time of year again… Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas shopping is in full swing for many as they try to wrap up their holiday shopping. I definitely fall into that category and find myself thinking about my gift list too many times throughout the day while I should be working. If you’re like me, you want to find something special for each person on your list – something that you know they’ll love and appreciate. Over the past few years, I feel like I’ve realized the value of charity more, and of supporting a cause that you feel strongly towards. So this year I’m going to try to incorporate that as much as I can into my Christmas gift giving. And I’d like to encourage you to do the same!

So, how do you give a charitable gift? There’s always the traditional way of making a donation in someone’s name, which is an excellent way to directly support a cause. However, I like to have something wrapped up that my friends and family can open – the best part of gift giving for me is watching their delight while they open it!  I sought out items online that, when purchased, give back to a charitable organization but that are also sparkly enough to light up someone’s face when they receive them. Here are my suggestions for 2013 Christmas gifts that give back.

Sevenly

Sevenly.org has become one of my absolute favorite websites this year and I can’t say enough good things about this company. They are an organization that chooses a different charity each week, sells merchandise to support that cause for seven days, and donate $7 from each purchase to the charity. From child sex trafficking awareness, to ending teen suicide to supporting adoption in children with down syndrome, they support so many worthy causes, and help bring awareness to the growing needs of our world. Sevenly has some pretty awesome inventory, like the most amazing graphic tees, some fab prints, notebooks, jewelry, accessories and baby goods. You should be able to find something for anyone on your list from Sevenly – a cool tee for the guys, some beautiful jewelry or a print for the girls, and a onsie, tee or stuffed animal for the kids! Their current charity is  Operation Christmas Child, and remember to check back every week to see what they’re selling and who they’re supporting next!

(Bonus Facts: Your Sevenly package will arrive in the coolest designed packaging imaginable – they have some serious graphic designers over there. And each purchase comes with a nifty Sevenly sticker, asking the recipient to snap a picture of them in the product and tag themselves on one of Sevenly’s social media sites. How fun!)

Sevenly-tees

Sevenly cause tees

Sevenly-Prints-and-Jewelry

Sevenly charitable gifts including jewelry, bags, and prints.

Sevenly-charitable-gifts

Sevenly home decor, note pads, note cards.

Toms

Ok, let’s be honest – everyone loves a good pair of Toms! This is a real easy gift idea. Toms makes groovy shoes for women, men and children, and the best part is their motto: One For One. For every pair of Toms purchased, they donate a pair of shoes to a person in need. So you can walk around in comfort knowing that somewhere in the world there is another pair of shoes on someone’s feet who appreciates it more than you can imagine – all because of you. I recently received the leopard print pair as a gift (best gift ever!) and am currently crushing on the serpentine pattern.

But Toms is no longer just offering shoes; they’ve now added eyewear to their wheelhouse. And with every pair of Toms glasses purchased, you give sight to one person by way of prescription glasses, sight-saving surgeries, and medical treatments. There is also a Marketplace page, where you have access to tons of charitable gifts from organizations benefiting various causes. Jewelry, apparel, ear buds, this page has it all!

Toms-mens-shoes

Toms Men’s Classics

Toms-eyewear

Toms Women’s Eyewear

Toms-Marketplace

Toms Marketplace

West Elm

I was recently looking for a birthday gift for one of my dearest friends, and this particular girl (along with her wonderful hubby!) is very involved in St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital charity work. So, when I stumbled across the glass bird paperweight on West Elm’s site which benefits St. Jude, it was like serendipity! While on their site I found some other really nice charitable gifts. They have mugs with the designs on them that benefit various charities including ASPCA®Architecture For HumanityOceanaTeach For AmericaDoctors Without Borders, and It Gets Better. Seriously, something for everyone!

west-elm-st.-jude-gifts

West Elm charitable gifts benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

west-elm-charity-mugs

West Elm charity mugs benefiting multiple organizations

Some other great sites to check for charitable Christmas gift ideas are Project7, Sephora, Grounds For Change, and Build-A-Bear Workshop.

Do you have any suggestions for charitable gifts? Happy Holidays!

Bag Envy

1 Jun

While perusing through a local department store last weekend, I suddenly found myself in the handbag section gawking at all the amazing bags on the shelves. I quickly convinced myself that I absolutely need a new purse, since I haven’t had a new one in almost a year now. Plus, a lot of them were on sale so this helped in my convincing tremendously. However, the ones that I liked the most were not on sale, so after nearly stroking out at some of the price tags on the bags I left the store without a purchase, telling myself that I’ll shop around and find the perfect new purse at the perfect price somewhere else.

I’m looking for an everyday bag, which for me means giant big enough to hold all of the crap that I carry around everyday (because one never knows when they’ll need a mini flashlight, dental floss, or wet wipes, do they?). In my search efforts I have come across many bags that I am totally in love with, possibly borderline obsessed with in some cases. Most of them are way above my budget but a girl can dream, right? Here are some of the latest bags that I am currently in awe of.

Available here for $1,471

Balenciaga Lambskin Large “Giant Work Bag” available here for only $1,471

Kate Spade Cobble Hill Small Leslie, available here for $348.

Kate Spade Cobble Hill Small Leslie, available here for $348

Hobo Kinley, available here for $328.

Hobo Kinley, available here for $328

Fossil Explorer Tote, available here for $238

Fossil Explorer Tote, available here for $238

Frye Vintage Stud Tote, available here for $348

Frye Vintage Stud Tote, available here for $348

Rebecca Minkoff Cupid Satchel, available here for $495

Rebecca Minkoff Cupid Satchel, available here for $495

I would take any of these bags in a heartbeat!

Which one would you choose? 

Quick Chick Flick: “Confessions Of A Shopaholic”

21 May

I recently read Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella and really, really liked it. I had seen the movie years ago not knowing it was a series of books. But when my best friend suggested I add it to my to-read list on Goodreads, naturally I took her advice. After finishing the book obviously I wanted to watch the movie again to compare. This won’t be a “Book Vs. Movie” post since the two were SO different, but rather just a review of the movie (definitely read the book, though!).

Confessions of a Shopaholic Poster

Isla Fisher stars as Rebecca Bloomwood, a girl with a serious problem. And I mean serious. She has a shopping addiction so severe that she comes up with the most outrageous (and hilarious) stories in her head to justify her spending problem. She’ll do anything to make it to a designer sale, and her problem has gotten her over $9,000 in debt. Living with her rich best friend, Suze, (played by the adorably quirky Krysten Ritter) Becky finds herself out of work as a journalist and constantly dodging pesky debt collector Derek Smeath.

Rebecca Bloomwood at a designer sale

Rebecca Bloomwood at a designer sale

Rebecca Bloomwood: Shopaholic

Desperate for money, she creates a very elaborate if not completely false resume and goes for an interview at her dream job – a top fashion magazine – only to find that the position has been filled. However, she finds out there is an opening at another magazine within the publication family – a financial advice digest. Thinking she can work her way to an “in” with the fashion mag, she goes on the interview at the financial digest and meets handsome editor Luke Brandon, played by charmer Hugh Dancy.

Hugh Dancy as Luke Brandon

Hugh Dancy as Luke Brandon

Following a very entertaining interview, Becky lands the job after Luke reads an article she writes for the fashion magazine that accidentally ended up in his hands instead. Seeing journalistic potential in Becky, he takes her to press conference where she shines with her tough, relevant questions about corporate raises after customer fund cuts. She writes a piece on it and becomes an overnight sensation in the financial advice world. The public love her. But what they don’t know is that Becky Bloomwood is the last person anyone should be taking financial advice from. Several hilarious plot twists later – including Becky telling Luke the debt collector is her ex-boyfriend turned stalker; getting into a pickle by being forced to speak Finnish (which she said she was fluent in on her resume); and her misadventures at a Shopaholic’s Anonymous group – Becky and Luke find themselves attracted to each other after spending more time together.

Becky and Luke Confessions of a Shopaholic

That is where things start to get interesting. Can Becky continue lying to Luke about her financial troubles and shopping addiction? Will her problem come between her and her best friend? The truth comes out in the end in a very shocking and embarrassing way for Becky, and she must finally confront her problem head on instead of running away from it. I won’t ruin the ending for you if you haven’t seen it, but I will say that everything works out in a way that none of the characters could have ever imagined.

Confessions of a Shopaholic is such a fun, absurdly amusing chick flick that I think anyone would enjoy. Be sure to check out the books, too! Sophie Kinsella created a character with Becky Bloomwood that girls everywhere will adore. She makes us laugh out loud, gasp at her ridiculousness, and find ourselves routing fiercely for her in the end, so proud to see her succeed that we may even shed a few tears (sniff). I’m currently reading Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, the second book in the series, and so far Becky still has a knack for getting herself into hilarious sticky situations.

What did you think of the movie and/or book? 

Forget It, Black Friday – Shopping From Home

24 Nov

Yesterday was Black Friday, and I was foolish enough to get out amongst the crazies (does that make me a crazy, too??) and hunt for those amazing deals that stores promised us. It’s kind of a family tradition, where no matter how much I don’t want to, I just have to go to at least one store the day after Thanksgiving. Victoria’s Secret, Express, Toys R Us, and Kohls were blowing up my inbox all week telling me to get my bottom to their store and take advantage of all the free stuff they’re going to give me. Well, I ended up getting out late yesterday afternoon – I refuse to be one of those people who stands in line until midnight and then ferociously make a mad dash for the electronics section – and hit up a couple of department and non-chain stores in search of a few unique gifts. While I didn’t make it to any of those mass merchandisers, I did take advantage of their sales early yesterday morning from the comfort of my couch. Which brings me to the topic of this post – the joy of online shopping.

Unless you live in an area where internet coverage is not offered or are in a coma in the hospital, there is absolutely no excuse for you not to shop via the internet this holiday season. I got all the offers and discounts that I was promised in store this Black Friday, plus free shipping, and didn’t even have to get out of my pajamas.  I didn’t wait in line anywhere, I didn’t have to deal with the attitudes of sales clerks who had been working since 11:00 the night before, giving everyone the stink eye, and I certainly didn’t have to drive around a parking lot for twenty minutes waiting for someone to leave so I could park. I shopped at my own pace, taking my time browsing the sites. Doesn’t this sound like a pleasant shopping experience?

Now, I understand that there are some Black Friday and holiday deals that are only offered in store. This is when you have to ask yourself, “Is this item really going to make or break Christmas for the recipient, and is it worth going through all of the shopping madness for?” If the answer is yes, then bless your heart. When you are forced to venture out to the stores for gifts, please follow my simple rules of Christmas Shopping Etiquette, some of which include shopping with a plan, leaving little ones at home, and getting well if you are sick before doing your shopping.

In summary, try to enjoy the Christmas season and don’t make it all about presents. It’s easy to get caught up in the commercialism of Christmas, especially with stores constantly in our faces with ads for the latest and greatest gadgets. Only buy (or better yet, make!) gifts that are from your heart to the recipient. And please, stay in and do your shopping from the comfort of your home whenever possible!

Happy Holidays! 

Ready to Roll? Shop Fashion Trucks This Fall

18 Sep

My hubby and I recently took a road trip and I saw it as the perfect opportunity to catch up on reading the stack of magazines that has been piling up in my house for the past few months. While turning the pages of the April issue of Lucky Magazine (that’s how far behind I was, y’all), I came across something I found so delightful that I just had to share it with you all! Fashion Trucks. You heard me. And you might be asking yourself what exactly a Fashion Truck is (I sure did). They’re kind of like the increasingly popular Food Trucks, but it’s an actual store.  On wheels. Amazing, right?

Le Fashion Truck was born in 2010 as the result of a collaboration between two groovy ladies who loved all things fashion and vintage. (Sounds like my kind of girls!) This particular truck was the one featured in Lucky and is based out of LA. It travels around town to different spots weekly (you can see a schedule on their website here) setting up shop truck and selling women’s clothing, accessories and shoes.

But LA isn’t the only place you can find this fantastic shopping experience. Fashion trucks are popping up in many large cities across the US like Portland, Boston and New York City.

The StyleLiner cruises through NYC and the Hamptons during the Summer and Palm Beach, FL during the Winter. Created by 29-year-old Joey Wolffer, it features women’s apparel and accessories, a lot of which were designed by Joey herself.

Wanderlust (how perfect is that name?) is based out of Portland, OR and was founded in 2010 by husband and wife team Vanessa and Dan Lurie. Their cute little trailer is packed full of  vintage goods and handmade accessories. Anyone want to take a trip to Portland with me??

The Fashion Truck was the brainchild of Emily Benson, a lover of fashion and retail, and has been in operation since 2011. The Fashion Truck can be found around Boston, MA and features apparel and accessories personally selected by Emily and all under $100.

I wish there was a fashion truck near me, I would love to try out this unique way of shopping! Maybe I need to plan a vacation around finding one…

What do you think about the idea of fashion trucks? Have you ever been to one or would you consider shopping at one?

Christmas In July

12 Jul

We’re halfway there, people! Only 165 days left until Christmas. You may be wondering how on Earth I could be thinking about Christmas right now, which is a perfectly good question. The truth is, at some point in the middle of the year (usually in July or some other sweltering summer month) I get sick of the 100 degree weather and long for cold, wintery nights, cozying up in flannel pajamas and sipping hot chocolate. Realistically I don’t have to wait for Christmas to do that – I could just crank down the AC and make my house freezing enough to feel like winter, but it’s much more than just the cooler weather that I long for. I love Christmas time and all the things that go along with it that put me in a joyful mood:  little twinkling lights and decorated Christmas trees, holiday music with sleigh bells, big comfy sweaters with snowflakes on them and all of those yummy treats that we seem to only indulge in during the holidays.

So, every year when this Christmas itch begins I start to do little things that bring on that “most wonderful time of the year” feeling. Here are some Christmas in July activities that are sure to help you escape from the summer reality into a Christmasy frame of mind.

Create A Christmas Playlist

Pack your iPod or make a homemade CD full of Christmas favorites like “White Christmas”, “The Christmas Song” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”. Whenever I listen to Christmas music it almost immediately puts me in a good mood. You can’t go wrong with a little Bing Crosby!

Watch A Holiday Classic

Dust off some of the Christmas movies in your DVD collection for movie night and curl up on the couch with a holiday classic like “It’s A Wonderful Life”, “Scrooged” or my personal favorite, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”.  They’ll bring you that old familiar holiday feeling months ahead of schedule.

Bake Some Christmas Cookies

You don’t have to wait until December to put on your apron and set up shop in the kitchen. There is always more cooking and baking in my family during the holidays than any other time of year, and what better way to treat yourself than to make some traditional holiday goodies in the middle of the summer? Dig up the family recipes and whip up some sugar cookies, cakes and pies.

Start Christmas Shopping Early

You may think it’s too early to start doing your Christmas shopping but the earlier you shop, the more you save. I’m not saying go out this weekend and buy gifts for everyone, but go ahead and start thinking about what you’d like to get people and begin making a list. And next time you’re out shopping and see something on your list that is on sale, go ahead and get it. You’ll have less shopping to do just before Christmas when the stores are packed with people and high prices. (If you do find yourself Christmas shopping with the crowds, however, follow these guidelines for Christmas Shopping Etiquette.)

Do you ever get the Christmas itch in the middle of summer, too?

Merry halfway to Christmas!

Memorial Day Fashion

26 May

With Memorial Day just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to wear to the annual BBQ! I will unfortunately be working this Memorial Day – sitting at my desk dreaming of running through a sprinkler in someone’s backyard, the faint scent of hots dogs coming from the grill, and some groovy summertime tunes blasting from a boom box nearby. Until my boss comes around and tells me to snap out of it. But don’t let me get you down! I hope you have a fun day in the sun planned. Here are some items I’ll be dreaming of wearing this Memorial Day.

And don’t forget a festive manicure so your fingers or toes show some U.S.A. love, too!

nailpro.com

gothampolish.blogspot.com

vineyardloveknots.com

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day, everyone!

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