the "IT" list: November 30, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

  • Laura Wears dresses up her cozy fair aisle sweater with a blazer for a chic, winter-ready look! Pop over to check out her cute stocking cap, too! (find Laura Wears on Twitter!)
  • Peach Gingham pairs polka dots with a fur vest - what an amazing combination! The perfect casual back-to-work outfit! (find Peach Gingham on Twitter!)
  • A Devine Life is mad for plaid this season and pairs it with heels and pearls - a beautiful classic look! (find a Devine Life on Twitter!)
  • Rach.E. Cakes is jumping on the animal trend in an outfit that is cute and comfortable enough for a long day of traveling at the airport! Pop over to see what furry friend she is sporting! (find Rach.E.Cakes on Twitter!)
  • Behind The Dressing Room Door gives us the scoop on a mini sale going on at Anthropologie! Definitely a good time to stock up on dresses and sweaters! (find Behind the Dressing Room Door on Twitter!)
  • Living After Midnite found a gem of a bag at a recent sample sale and she hasn't put it down since! Head over to see her fabulous new bag! (find Living After Midnite on Twitter!)
  • Fancy Francy shows us how to incorporate tights and leggings into our winter wardrobe! Pop over for some style tips and to check out these two looks! (find Fancy Francy on Twitter!)
  • Second Best is rocking her favorite winter staple that we all have - even men! Head over to see what it is and where she found it! (find Second Best on Twitter!)
  • Ishi is all puffed up in her favorite winter coat and it extremely warm, but still chic! Go check it out - such a great price point, too!
  • Fleurani shows us that black and blue really do go together! A sophisticated look with a fun, unexpected twist!
  • Rachels Look Book proves that neon isn't going anywhere soon with this festive but comfy look! Her sweater is to die for - a must see! (find Rachel's Look Book on Twitter!)
  • See Mo Go is finally pulling out her favorite Christmas dress now that Thanksgiving is over - perfect for the holidays! So cute! (find See Mo Go on Twitter!)
  • My Thrifty Chic is rocking some fun printed palazzo pants she found while thrifting - such a great find at an even better price! (find My Thrifty Chic on Twitter!)
  • Second Street East is dreaming of spring even though winter is just beginning. Head over to check out the fresh and bright dining room she loving this week! (find Second Street East on Twitter!)
  • Sweetie Pie Style recreates an outfit that would be perfect for a holiday party with friends in gorgeous winter whites! She also gives some great tips for dressing in monochromatic tones!! (find Sweetie Pie Style on Twitter!)
the IT list is brought to you weekly by Jill of Good Life and edited by Michelle of Second Street East.
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DIY Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I have a great holiday DIY for you! This is perfect for kids and adults alike! My family has a tradition of putting up a kid's craft table for the holidays and I was trying to come up with new crafts for this year. I thought it would be fun to make hand prints for my niece, nephew and my siblings. I started researching home recipes to avoid paying $20 for a kit at the craft store. I found this recipe that is so simple and I'm pretty sure I've made a topographical map out of the same materials at one point.

I also wanted to do a test run before I tried it with a live human baby. I thought my dogs would make the perfect Guinea pigs, and now I have some adorable Christmas ornaments!

To begin, I found these round plastic lids. They're about 2.5 inches in diameter, but you can use cookie cutters too (they're probably easier anyways). After I finished these I thought about using my Christmas tree cookie cutter instead of these circle lids, but maybe next time.

I then laid a layer of plastic wrap over the lids so I could easily get the dough out.

The recipe for the dough is as follows:
1 cup salt
1 cup flour
3/4 cup of water

Slowly mix in the water, and make sure your dough isn't too sticky. If your dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour. Knead the dough until smooth, I skipped that step. Do as I say, not as I do.

I then took a spoonful of dough and pressed it evenly into my lid mold. Don't make your ornaments too thick because they will become very heavy.

I then wrangled up each of my pups and pressed their back paw into each mold.
I also used a straw to make a hole so I could hang them after they dry.

I skipped a step, whoops.. In order to get them out of my lid mold, I simply flipped them over onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Then, I pulled the plastic wrap off and flipped them right side up again.

Place your ornaments in the oven at 100-200 degrees Fahrenheit, for 2-3 hours. The goal is not to bake them, but to slowly dry them out. You can leave them out to dry on their own, but it could take a few days.

Once the ornament are completely dry, I grabbed a couple bottles of my acrylic paint to make them more festive. Beasley's turned out really well, while Booker looks like he's a raccoon. (Guess it's time to trim his nails)

When the paint dried, I hung them on our little Christmas tree! Now my fur babies are represented on our family tree :)

 Meet my kids....
Beasley is the larger Chihuahua, or at least he used to be a Chihuahua. He is 5 years old and 20 lbs!
Booker is the baby, he was the runt of the litter and he is almost 2. No, they are not related, I somehow managed to find two matching dogs. They are both rescues, but we've had them since they were born basically. They don't know how tough life could have been :D

They are completely and utterly spoiled! They each have their own unique personality and I swear they can communicate with me. Random fact, Booker loves bananas and Beasley loves broccoli.

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Floral Palazzo Pants

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I know what you're thinking, "geeze, this girl and her floral." I'm sorry it just calls to me lately! I swear every time I go shopping I buy either stripes, polka dots, cheetah or floral prints. It's becoming an issue. But... how could I now buy these amazing floral palazzo pants?!? I know I missed the trend boat a bit on these (they were much more popular in the Spring), but when you shop at thrift stores, sometimes you have to wait for the trend train to hit.

Total Outfit Cost:
Estimated Retail: $110.74

{palazzo pants}
brand: Forever 21
purchase price: $5.99
purchased from: The Goodwill
estimated retail: $22.80

brand: Gap
purchase price: $4.99
purchased from: The Goodwill
estimated retail: $44.94

{arm party}
brand: Charlotte Russe (except my MK watch)
purchase price: $12.00
purchased from: Charlotte Russe
estimated retail: $16.00

brand: Merona
purchase price: $5.99
purchased from: The Goodwill
estimated retail: $15.00

brand: unknown
purchase price: c/o South Bay Galleria
purchased from: Windsor
estimated retail: $12.00

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pleated poppy 

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My Thrifty Chic: Theme Song

So, it has been brought to my attention that this is my theme song. take a listen...

The Perfect Christmas Gift for Every Woman

Monday, November 26, 2012

 With the popularity of Scentsy these days, there is a good chance you may have already heard about the product I am going to share with you. However, I just discovered it’s magical powers myself. I am talking about these flame-less candle wax warmers. I have used the oil burners with the tea light candles for years, but these flame-less wax warmers are new to me. The direct retailer, Scentsy really put these on the map, but recently some other big name retailers have started carrying them.  My mom first introduced these warmers to me, because she found them at Walmart. Then a girlfriend told me that Costco sells them too!! Don’t get me wrong, Scentsy has a great selection of warmers with really fragrant aromas, but they’re a bit pricey (which is why I had not used any until now). Walmart sells the large warmers for $15, the wall plug-ins for $10 and a 6-pack of wax for $2! Those are all much cheaper than the original Scentsy brand. Costco, offers the best deal of all though, it’s a box set with one large warmer and four difference wax scents for only $20!! I actually already bought multiple box sets at Costco for Christmas presents!

I think these flame-less burners will make a great Christmas/Holiday gift for any lady in your life! I have over 7 different scents that I bought and I love switching the smell depending on my mood. It’s so much nicer than buying 7 different Yankee candles at $20 a pop. These candle wax warmers run on globe bulbs found at any retailer, but all the warmers come with one too. The wax will burn for hours, and there is no risk of anyone toppling a flaming candle! There are a few precautions I have to warn you about… some of the warmers get really hot, and they will burn your fingers. So, don’t try to move them while on, and keep out of reach of children. I’ve heard the Scentsy ones don’t get as hot, but I cannot confirm that. Also, know that some of the waxes can be really strong when melted, I’ve found the “spice” scents are the heaviest. To alleviate too strong of scents, I only put half a cube in each warmer. If your home is large (mine is not), a whole cube won’t overpower you.

These are the two different gift boxes sold at Costco

Here are just a few Scentsy has to offer

And, here are some of the warmers Walmart sells

I am really excited about this new discovery and I want to get a warmer for every room in my home now. I definitely suggest these to you and anyone you want to gift one too!

Here are the Links for Walmart and Scentsy. Unfortunately Costco doesn’t sell these online, but if you happen to go into the store, you should totally check these out!

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Relaxed Chic

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Monday everyone! I trust all my American friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving? I hope none of you got trampled in Black Friday sales either! I had a great holiday, but I did a little too much eating. I couldn't let my gluttony keep me from showing off my new sweater though! I recently partnered with Fresh Produce, an American-Based apparel company. Fresh Produce's merchandise takes me back to those small boutiques you find in beach front towns. They are big on bright colors and have a lot of sea-inspired graphics. Fresh Produce definitely caters to a leisurely woman.

I am not exactly leisurely, but I do love over-sized sweaters! As soon as I saw this draped, cowl neck sweater, it had to be mine. I also decided to go with a more subtle hue, one that would work better with my personality. I have worn this sweater a few times already; I love that I can dress it up, or down depending on my agenda. Please feel free to check out Fresh Produce's online store here!!

Sweater: Fresh Produce (get yours here)

Jewelry: Forever 21 & Charlotte Russe

Jeans: Gap

Shoes: Forever 21

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Sunday Around the Table: Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

My Mom and I have a Christmas tradition where we bake cookies and candy as gifts for people every year. Ever since I can remember, I was in the kitchen with her stirring fudge, making cookies and numerous other confections. The problem arises when you try to bake too early and then your cookies end up crunchy; I hate hard cookies. This Alton Brown recipe is awesome because these cookies actually stay chewy! I even left them out uncovered and they didn't dry out!

My apologies in advance, I will be posting a lot of dessert recipes over the next few weeks. December is the month I bake a large variety of sweets! Put your requests in now too, I have amazing recipes for peanut butter fudge, buckeye balls, peppermint bark, mint chocolate chip cookies.... there are so many things I love to bake!!
Here is what you'll need:

1 cup Butter (2 Sticks)
2 1/4 cup Bread Flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
2 tbls whole milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
12 oz. chocolate chip cookies (1 small bag)


Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat. Set aside to cool slightly.
Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda onto a paper plate. Pour the butter into your stand mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar and beat  medium speed for 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the whole egg, the egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract in a measuring cup. Reduce the mixer speed and slowly add the egg mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.
Using the paper plate as a slide, gradually integrate the dry ingredients, stopping a couple of times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once the flour is worked in, gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place racks in the top third and bottom third of the oven.
Scoop the dough into large spoonfuls onto parchment-lined half sheet pans, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake 2 sheets at a time for 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Remove from the oven, slide the parchment with the cookies onto a cooling rack and wait at least 5 minutes before devouring.

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Birchbox v.s. Glam Bag

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have heard me raving about my new sample suppliers. I wrote about my first Birchbox purchase a couple weeks ago, here. After I started posting pictures of my October Birchbox, one of my friends told me about ipsy (formerly known as "My Glam Bag"). Of course I had to check it out too. If you are still confused about what the heck I am talking about, allow me to explain....

Birchbox and ipsy are two companies who assemble a monthly assortment of beauty samples and then send them to you for $10/month. Before you begin receiving gift boxes/bags, you fill out a little survey and each box is tailored to your specific taste. I think it is super exciting, because you never know what you are going to get! Thus far, I have received 2 Birchboxes and 1 ipsy bag. I will drop one of the subscriptions after the new year, but I wanted to see which one I liked best! I have to say, I am really leaning towards ipsy at the moment. My first Glam Bag was awesome and outdid both Birchboxes I have gotten. I will keep you updated on which company I keep, and which one I toss.

However, today I have a review of both of them for you! Let's start with my November Birchbox. I have linked all the products, so just click any of the ones you want to hear more about.

: I have not been given any incentive to write this post. I purchased these on my own, and these are my own unfiltered thoughts ;)

I received the "Put a Pin in it" color, which is a metallic pink, there are a few other colors they offer as well. I have to say at $8/bottle I am not at all moved by this polish. If I won't spend the money on Essie, I won't spend it on Color Club's custom collection either.

What a long name for dry shampoo! I am a big time fan of dry shampoo, so I was really excited to try this. Bad news folks, the smell is so over powering, it made me choke. I really wanted to love this product but the scent is so potent. Not to mention, the powder was really hard to disperse throughout my hair and ended up all in one spot.

3. Stella Cadente Miss Me Eau de Parfum
I'm batting 0 for 1,000 here because this perfume smells like my grandma. At first you get sweet scents of baby powder, but then you're left with more of a rest home scent. Okay, maybe I am being a bit harsh, but it's not a scent I would ever wear or recommend to anyone under the age of 60. As I write this I keep smelling my hand willing it to smell better, and it doesn't. 

I really do try to eat healthy but all the "healthy" granola bars I have found taste like dirt. Sadly, I am not a fan of the SOYJOY brand either. Perhaps it suits other people's taste buds better, but mine say nay. 

5. ModelCo FIBRE LASHXTEND Lengthening Mascara The last and only sample in the box I liked was this mascara! I especially liked that it is full size and not a miniature sample size. The thing that is nice about this mascara is that it gives a really natural look. I would almost describe it  as "feather-like lashes." It isn't heavy or clumpy, it adds just the right amount of color and length. This is definitely a daytime mascara which will complement a more natural beauty routine.

1. Starlet: Intense Eyeliner
First off, I am more of a liquid eyeliner girl myself, but I was impressed with this pencil liner. ipsy gave me a full size one too, not a little squatty one! This eyeliner goes on really smooth and lasts all day, without smudging. I also have to say that it is very reasonably priced at $11; I pay $9 for my Covergirl eyeliner.

2. bareMinerals: Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss
I love the color of this lipgloss and it has a cooling effect too. My issue, it's sticky, like gloss should be, but I don't like lipgloss for that very reason. If you don't mind thick lipgloss, then this is a great product, but it's not something I will use.

3. Nailtini: Millionaire Nail Lacquer
Talk about sparkle! This nail polish takes glitter to a whole new level. It's a rose gold base color with gold and teal colored strip glitter. One coat will fully cover each nail. It's fun and I really enjoy it, but it's a b*tch to get off, be warned!

4. Benefit: They're Real Mascara
My single most favorite sample I have ever received is this mascara!!!! I love the unique brush and the color is so rich. This mascara separates all your lashes leaving them looking super long. The special brush allows you to coat each lash without clumping too! I will be purchasing more of this as soon as my sample runs dry.

5. theBalm: Meet Matt(e) Eye Shadow
Another new found love, matte eye shadow! Ever wonder how celebs get the most perfect smokey eye? Well this eye shadow will definitely help you to achieve a super sultry look! I am an oily gal so anything matte I love! Sometimes I feel like shimmery shadows only enhance how oily my skin becomes as the day wanes. This matte shadow allows me to look a little more put together just a tad longer. I will be adding it to my Christmas list!

ipsy sends a different cosmetic bag each month in addition to the samples!

Okay, so it would seem that I am pretty sold on the ipsy Glam Bag over the Birchbox according to my review... I definitely am leaning that way, but I don't want to give up on Birchbox just yet. I am having a lot of fun with both companies and I will continue using both for a few more months until I am 100% satisfied with one over the other.

Both of these would make amazing Christmas presents for yourself or any lady in your family. Each company offers monthly subscriptions or you can purchase a yearly one. You have total freedom to cancel at any time too! I just got my mom hooked on ipsy and she is receiving her own Glam Bag every month!

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