day #10: lauren conrad, I heart your clothes

Earrings – White House Black Market
Dress – Lauren Conrad @Kohl’s
Sweater – Lauren Conrad @Kohl’s
Belt – J. Crew
Tights – GAP
Boots – STEVEN by Steve Madden

Today’s outfit is brought to you by the lovely and talented Lauren Conrad.  I have to admit, aside from the LC Lauren Conrad collection, I don’t often find much when I go to Kohl’s in search of new clothes.  But without fail, I always end up loving several items from each collection that she comes out with.  The pieces are good quality as well as inexpensive, and the patterns/designs are both beautiful and flattering.  You can view the new LC Lauren Conrad spring collection via this slideshow and several of the items are already available on the Kohl’s website.

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The Social-Buying Trend

Does saving up to 80-90% at restaurants, retailers, and services in your local area sound appealing?  The idea is simple.  Negotiate with a vendor to provide a steep discount on some item or service, providing that a minimum number of people take advantage of the offer.  If that minimum number is reached, everyone gets the deal.  If not, no one does.

It’s called ‘social-buying’ and it’s been gaining tons of press and popularity throughout the last year or two.  Buyers sign up for daily email, Facebook, or Twitter alerts for deals in their particular geographic region and set up a free online account.  If you’re new to an area, or just looking re-acquaint yourself with the city you’ve been living in for years, social-buying websites are a great resource.

I’ve recently jumped on the social-buying bandwagon and want to share a few sites with you that I receive daily deal alerts from via email:

(source: Groupon)

Groupon was launched in November 2008 and currently features deals in more than 300 regional markets and 35 countries.  Refer new members and you’ll get a $10 Groupon credit for each one after they make their first purchase.  (FYI..today’s deal across the US is for Bath & Body Works – pay $10 for $20 worth of product or pay $15 for $30 worth of product!)

(source:  Living Social)

Living Social began offering daily deals in 2010 (I think) and is now available in over 100 US cities as well as Canada, Australia, and many countries in Europe.  When you refer new members to Living Social, they will get 5 deal bucks to help them make their first purchase.  Once the purchase is made, you will also get 5 deal bucks added to your account.  Plus, when you purchase a deal you’ll receive a unique link to share with others.  If 3 people purchase the deal by clicking through your unique link, you’ll get your deal for free!

(source:  Seize the Deal)

Seize the Deal was launched in 2009 and offers daily discounts 50-90% off of the retail value.  It currently offers deals in 36 different cities across the US.  Refer new members and you’ll get a $10 Seize the Deal credit for each one after they make their first purchase.

Sale Alert: New York & Company

(source:  New York & Company)

Today only, ‘Like’ New York & Company on Facebook and receive an online promo code or in-store coupon for $50 off a $100 purchase.   Reading through the details it does look like there are several restrictions including clearance, redlines, City Deals, and  gift certificate/card purchases as well as during Store Closing, 50% Off and Buy One Get One Free store sales.  However, in my opinion if you’re not sure about something it never hurts to ask a store associate or plus the online code in at checkout and try anyway.

I’ve picked up a few clearance items at NY&Co. lately and I’ve noticed that the new spring arrivals are so colorful and girly (lots of ruffles!) so I think it’s definitely worth a look!

Review: Urban Decay ‘Naked’ Palette


Urban Decay ‘Naked’ Palette @Sephora
Purchase Price = $44 (not including tax)
Original Price = $44 (the price has since increased to $48)

I am definitely not a ‘product junkie’.  Having too much makeup is overwhelming for me and my daily routine doesn’t vary much – a bit of concealer, loose mineral finishing powder, neutral eyeshadow, mascara, and just a touch of lip butter/balm.  I don’t buy makeup often, aside from re-plenishing my essentials, but when I missed the boat on this pretty palette not once but twice, I knew I had to get my name on the email list so that I would be notified when it was back in stock.  When I got that email at the beginning of the month, I didn’t hesitate for even a second before placing my order.  Sure enough, it has sold out once again but you can be notified via email when more become available by signing up here.

It’s been a couple of weeks now since I received my order and I am so happy with this purchase.  The palette was actually much larger than I had anticipated and the eyeshadows are just gorgeous.  If you are looking for an eyeshadow palette featuring neutral shades, I highly recommend this one!  I’ve been having so much fun combining the different shades to create new looks daily.  A few of the shades have a matte finish, many have a shimmery/metallic finish, and a couple have more of a glittery finish (those ones can be a little messy if you’re not careful when applying).  Although I don’t use eyeliner often, I love that this set also comes with a double ended pencil featuring black and brown shades.  And, if you haven’t already tried Urban Decay’s ‘Eye Primer Potion’ you simply must.  My skin gets a little greasy as the day wears on and this is the only primer that prevents my eyeshadow from creasing.  I use it daily and already have a full sized version so I tossed the little travel sized tube that came with the palette into the small cosmetics case I carry in my purse.

What are some of your go-to makeup products?

January Shopping Update

Do you remember how I was a little concerned in this post because I had already spent $80+ only 4 days into the month of January?  Well, I’m proud to report that I am currently under budget for the month and have still enjoyed several purchases since my last update.

The girls and I had a wonderful day yesterday perusing the mall and catching up on chit-chat over dinner at Chili’s.  (I had the avocado burger..I rarely crave hamburgers but this one was amazing!  Highly recommended!!)   I had a couple of gift cards/store credits burning a hole in my wallet and I put them to good use.  Here are my finds:

I’ve been loving the look of the infinity/cowl loop scarves lately and fell in love with this one that I found at New York & Company.  It’s lightweight and the color is beautiful.  I paid for this using part of a store credit I had received after returning a set of hair combs that I never ended up wearing on my wedding day.  The original price was $24.95 and I paid $8.63 using the credit.  I also recently purchased a camel colored poncho (no longer available online but see a photo here) using part of my store credit as well.  It was originally $34.95 and I paid $6.51 using the credit.  I’m actually wearing it today with a black long-sleeved Hanes shirt underneath (purchased at Wal-Mart for $6.53) and a pair of dark wash denim.  The outside temp right now is only 6 degrees but I’m feeling very cozy wearing the poncho!

Next, I stopped at Express where I found a couple of pairs of yoga-style fold-over pants.  They are a little long for my short legs but sooo comfy.  I’ll admit that I didn’t really need these but at $12.95 each (originally $29.99 per pair) I couldn’t pass them up.  The first thing I do when I get home from work at the end of the day is change into a pair of comfy lounge pants so I know I’ll get alot of use out of them.

One of our last stops of the day was Banana Republic where all of the sale items were an additional 50% off.  These gorgeous gray suede wedges were easily my best find of the day.  The original price was $120 on these puppies and I paid..wait for it..$19.43 using a gift card.  That’s more than an 80% discount off of the original price!  I was pretty impressed with myself and so was the hubby, even though he thinks I already have more than enough shoes to last a lifetime.  ; )

The only other item I bought yesterday was a Buffalo Bills NFL Apparel hat from Old Navy on mega-clearance for just $1.40 (originally $12.50).  I thought it was a strange thing to find at Old Navy but hubby is just a little obsessed with the Bills so I knew I had to get this for myself to show my support.  We try to get to at least 1 game each season and now I have a hat to wear for early season games as well as a winter hat to wear for cold weather games (gift from MIL last x-mas).

This sweater, from LOFT, was not one of yesterday’s finds but I did pick it up during my lunch break a couple of weeks ago.  The store was having a special $15 sweater promo for just that day and I fell in love with this purple color (the website had it listed as ‘desert mauve’).  It was originally $59 but I ended up paying $16.31 which I thought was a steal.  I’m obsessed with chunky sweaters!

Not including gift card/store credit purchases, my January spending is now at $165.80 of my $200 monthly budget and I don’t anticipate that I’m going to be doing any more shopping before the month ends.  Ok, that’s a lie..there’s one splurge purchase that I am considering (it’s almost tax refund time!) and if I go for it then I am resolving to participate in Kendi’s 30 for 30 remix challenge starting on Feb 1st and not shop for the entire month.  : )

Contest: Kendra Scott Jewelry

Carmella Stud Earrings in Gray Pebble
(source:  Kendra Scott Jewelry)

Have you ever heard of Kendra Scott Jewelry?  I first saw a few pieces featured in various issues of People StyleWatch that I’ve picked up or received in the mail during the last several months.  The jewelry is simply gorgeous!

Right now, enter to win your favorite piece of Kendra Scott jewelry by posting the link to it on the official Facebook page.  Earn bonus entries by leaving a comment on the KS blog and by ‘sharing’ KS Jewelry with your Facebook friends.  I’m not sure how long this contest will run for so be sure to pick out your favorite piece and post your link quickly!

Sale Alert: Weekend Promos

I think I’m going to make this a regular Friday thing since so many people tend to do their shopping on the weekends.  I’ve got a lovely Saturday evening at the mall planned with a couple of lovely girls who I haven’t been able to spend much time with lately and I’m really looking forward to it.  Here are a few of the sales I’ll be keeping an eye out for!

ALDOOnline only, through 1/24/11, take an additional 30% off all sale items, no coupon code necessary.  Discounted price will be reflected at checkout. Plus, receive free standard shipping on all orders over $75, no coupon code necessary.
Ann Taylor – Just for petites!  Now through 1/23/11, take 30% off of your entire full price petites purchase in-stores (click here for a printable coupon) and online using coupon code PETITE. Plus, for a limited time receive free standard shipping on purchases of $150 or more, no coupon code necessary.
GAP – Online only, through 1/22/11, take 30% off a purchase, using coupon code GAPSPRING.  Click here for a printable coupon for 40% off any in-store purchase, valid only on 1/22/11.
Juicy Couture – For a limited time, take an additional 30% off all sale items, online only.  No coupon code necessary.  Discounted price will be reflected at checkout.
LOFT – ‘Like’ LOFT on Facebook and receive a printable coupon for stores and an online only promo code (FBSAVE20) to receive $20 off any full price purchase of $75 or more, valid through 1/23/11.
Madewell
– Online only, through 1/27/11, take an additional 30% off all sale items, using coupon code LOVEIT. Plus, receive free standard shipping on purchases totaling $100 (after the 30% discount is factored in), no coupon code necessary.
Talbots – For a limited time, take an additional 50% off sale items in-stores and online, no coupon code necessary.  Prices reflect the discount.
Vince Camuto – Valid through 1/23/11, receive an additional 25% off sale items online only, using code CHEERS. All orders receive free standard shipping, no code necessary.