Monday, November 26, 2012

Travelogue: Home Sweet Hotel

After a week and a half of the comforts of my apartment and stuffing my face full of home-cooked Chinese food, I'm on the road again in New Hampshire.  Frankly speaking, going from 70-degree afternoons in Atlanta to freezing cold nights in Portsmouth isn't desirable.  Nor is living out of a suitcase really, but it's a bit lovely to see in my 4-hotel tour of the township of Portsmouth what places do to make you feel at home.  Hence, if you ever find yourself in a hotel in the Northeast for an long period of time and love free tchotchkes, the Sheraton Harborside Portsmouth isn't a bad place to go.

Imagine my surprise to find a lovely, mystery box in my room.  Perfectly enough, I opened the box right before my usual "I'm tired and I don't want to go outside" jaunt to find free food in the club lounge.  Inside was a treasure trove of random Northeasterner-related snacks.  Yes, I'm on a diet, but then again, I'm not one to complain about free food.

In any case, happy holidays!  May your hearts be merry and your bellies be filled with delicious food!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Deals & Steals 11/21 - 11/28 Black Friday Edition

Alright there, insanity.  I see you coming.  I've been putting off this post for a while, trying to judge how to efficiently present these too you.  Point blank, it's too much.  It's so much.  Not to mention, every website is posting a sale, every new email comes with something missing from the websites, so on and so forth.  It's like a job in and of itself.  At this point, you're probably thinking, "Enough bibble-babble, Vivian, just take me to the sales."  Well then, without further ado, here are links to tens and even hundreds of sales in the form of guides released by Racked, Refinery, the Cut and more.  Why?  Because I looked for them, so you wouldn't have to.

Enjoy and happy Turkey day, ya'll!

I'll be posting up my picks of the litter later tonight.  Happy browsing!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Travel 101: 5 Drugstore Staples to Live by

The holidays are fast approaching this week, and as such hundreds, thousands, and millions of people will be packing into their cars, buses, trains and planes to make it home for the holidays.  More likely than not, you probably will need to stop by your local drug store or grocery store for a supply or two.  Here's a list of some things that never leave my suitcase when I'm on the road:

I'm a huge fan of these as a form of make up remover.  Not only do they eliminate the need for liquid make up removers and cotton pads, but they're small, portable, and effective.  One towelette can clean up your entire face, and remove even the most water proof of eye make up.  These should complement your daily skin care routine, and not rid of it.  As such, use it before you use your face wash as an added level of facial clean.  I'm a big fan of the night cleansing variety which smells a little like lavender.

Yes, I spelled "moisturizer" wrong in the graphic... but I'm also too lazy to open up Photoshop again and fix it.  What I'm NOT too lazy to do is moisturize.  Every beauty magazine or dermatologist will tell you that the secret to great skin is a good moisturizer with SPF.  I have sensitive combination oily/dry skin so finding a good one is a bit of a task.  Fortunately, my dermatologist recommended pretty much everything from Olay's skincare line, and this has been the first and only thing that's worked on me.  Put it on when you wake up in the morning and before you go to sleep at night, and you'll have great, tight skin to last you through the day.

A good pair of tweezers can come with a myriad of different uses for them.  You can use it to open plastic wrap on something you've bought, opening it up a stuck battery compartment, and heck... as a beauty tool.  For me, the sharper and more precise the tweezer, the better.  Revlon makes  a great sharp tip tweezer that's helped me get rid of the tiniest of hairs, and comes with a plastic cap to make sure the tip stays sharp.

Historically, I'm a notorious gum chewer, but ever since a stick of gum fell into one of my purses and damaged the interior, I've tried my best to keep away from it.  Fortunately for me, these have been my latest go-to when it comes to fresh breath.  It's about 2.5 inches by 1.5 inches, and you can put it everywhere.  I've got a pack in my car, a pack in my purse, and a pack in my work bag.  Did I also mention, that they're curiously strong?

This is probably the hardest to find of the items, given that Duane Reade is a NY/NJ limited drug store. Fortunately, Duane Reade is starting a trend with their make up counter the "Look" boutique, so who knows where this can go?  (I think CVS has started their own beauty club?).  In any case, I'm a cheap skate when it comes to everything besides the actual make up.  As such, you probably won't see any make up tools over $25 in my bag.  I've seen some terrible brushes (i.e. anything from Target and CVS), but my hands down favorite has got to be Duane Reade's.  Their selection of brushes are affordable, and they don't shed.  The coverage on them is amazing as well.  It's an item constantly on my list to restock whenever I'm in New York... as such, if you ever get a chance, go grab yourself one or two or three!

What do you think?  What are some of your drugstore staples?  Holler at your girl down below!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

New Additions: Bracelets from INPINK

A couple weeks ago, I won a $30 gift certificate from fellow blogger, Bedknobs & Baubles, from INPINK jewelry.  Naturally being a lover of free things and deals, I obliged.  INPINK is an up and coming online jewelry retailer, host to a wide variety of fashionable basic and costume pieces for great prices.  Variety is the key word here.  Seriously, the range of styles is as wide as the Equator... forgive me, that simile embarrasses me too...  

Bracelets courtesy of INPINK.

In all honesty, I've been wandering around the site for a while, trying to find the right time to buy.  For a constant traveler, I'm not much of an online shopper.  I found two items that struck my eye (the Gold Tone Hammer Stretch cuff and the Purple Pave Beads Drawstring bracelet).  When I came home on Thursday, it was like Christmas day at the Viv-Kath household.  The final package was surprisingly impressive.  I mean, firstly, who packages a regular online order like this?  That's real beads and wrapping for free, folks.  Not to mention, came a plethora of scrunchy confetti in the box.  Would it be wrong if I called it a party in a box?

As per my love of all things friendship bracelet related, I fell in love with the purple drawstring bracelet.  The gold plated cuff proved to be a great early Christmas present for Kathryn, as her eyes twinkled as I handed it over for her... so much for a full Christmas tree this holiday season at our apartment.  In any case, it's the start to a happy weekend at home.

What do you think readers?  Sparkly enough?  Worth a look-see?  Find anything you like?  Share with me!  I'm at home and need some more pretty things to look at!  As always, holler at your girl down below.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Deals & Steals 11/6 - 11/13: Election Edition

Did you vote today?  I did not... because I voted last week!  Not to be imparting any sentiment or what not, but you should vote!  If you didn't and couldn't, you can still register for next year, for fear of the severe public shaming I will give you if you have the opportunity and do not!  I don't care if you're red, blue or green, it's a civic duty!  Uphold that thing!

Banana Reupblic Chain Link Scarf $41 without discount; Tory Burch Logo iPhone Case $34; Native Union  Pop Phone $70; Rugby by Ralph Lauren Dark Wash Jeggings $65.

(ignore me, I have drank and ate to my heart's content tonight)

On to the sales!  Since election day is almost over, there's a bunch you can probably try to find before midnight tonight.  Here are just a taste.  As well, the world of sample sales and such are alive and well, since Racked has posted their list of November sample sales.  Peruse and enjoy, chickadees.

(did I mention I've been drinking a bit... listening to a whole lot of Lana del Rey and Taylor Swift?)

Online & In Store
  • Anthropologie - 30% off select items in furniture and clothing.
  • Ann Taylor - 30% off everything.
  • Banana Republic - 30% off purchases of $125 or more with the code BRELECT30, ends 11/6 midnight.
  • Bloomingdales - Designer Sale, 25-40% off select merchandise, ends 11/11.
  • J. Crew - 25% off merchandise in store and online, ends 11/8.
  • Last Call by Neiman Marcus - Up to 50% off on online merchandise, ends 11/7.
  • Madewell - 25% off sale styles with code YIPPEE, ends 11/6
  • Neiman Marcus - First Call Sale in store & online, up to 50% off, ends 11/13.
  • Nordstrom - Half Yearly Sale, 40% off select merchandise, ends 11/11.
  • Old Navy - 25% off any purchase with code ONTAKE25, ends 11/7.
  • Rugby by Ralph Lauren - Insider Sale, 40% off fall styles in store and online, ends 11/7
  • The Outnet - 80-85% off designer labels with registration, ends 11/13.

What do you think lovelies?  Worth the trouble?  What's on your Election Night playlist?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lookbook: Last Rites of Autumn

Firstly, it is COLD right now in New Hampshire.  Seriously, I'm so wishing I was back in Atlanta like I was last week, because 70 degree weather beats 30 degree weather any day.  As such, usually I am incredibly lazy and self conscious about actually posting up pictures that could constitute as a "fashionable."  Then again, because nothing says you've been stuck at home all last week like forcing your roommate to take pictures of you prancing around HomeGoods, I was otherwise bored and obliged.  Thanks Kathryn!

Banana Republic black leather bag (old - similar); Madewell painted pleated mini; Banana Republic Knit Boyfriend Sweater (old); J. Crew Factory sleeveless popover blouse; J. Crew Factory statement necklace (old - similar); Tory Burch Caroline Ballet Flat (similar)

Alright, there's reason for the sheer ridiculousness of taking photos inside a HomeGoods, other than my sheer love for the store.  While Atlanta was a picture of the last remnants of Indian summer with its warm temperatures and cloudless skies, the one point I decided to venture outside of my apartment marked the only time the weather decided to rain.  There were two plus sides to being back home this week.  For one thing, I've finally been able to fully unpack since moving to my new apartment.  As such, I've been able to rediscover all these old things in the back of my closet, like this amazing leather bag from Banana Republic.  Two, I get to actually "live" in Atlanta, a feat that hasn't been accomplished since July.

I paired some old pieces like this cardigan from Banana Republic with my newly acquired flats from Tory Burch (which I swear cost an arm and a leg) with a mini skirt from Madewell.  Topping it off, I added my two go-to work pieces from J. Crew Factory.  Unfortunately, shilling too much money on clothes meant I could only go with the bare necessities on our HomeGoods trip.  Alas, at least we'll always have these pictures to show for it.  Ridiculous.

What do you think readers?  Ever do a impromptu photo shoot at a discount home goods store?   No?  I really recommend it if you want to get some laughs ever.  What?  Oh, well, what do you think of the outfit?  Holler at your girl if you want to judge, admire or express your mutual love for home decor or the suburbs.