Thursday, November 26, 2015

Comfy, Cozy

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm working but Max and I were able to have Thanksgiving lunch at Stonewood Grill, which has become our little tradition. Working in television definitely makes life crazy and sometimes stressful, but I'm grateful for my job and SO many other things. I truly do feel blessed, as cliche as that is. 

This was not planned as a Thanksgiving post, which is why it has absolutely nothing to do with the holiday. But I guess if you think about it, if you're hanging out around the house this weekend, you do want to be comfy and cozy. I am personally all about comfort - plush robes, soft slippers and snuggly blankets.  And while I didn't set out to make this a gift guide, I think all of these items would make lovely, luxurious holiday presents.  

1. Barefoot Dreams Cozychic Robe in Pearl -- I would live in a robe if I could, but alas, I'm not Hugh Hefner. Although it is the first thing I put on when I get home from work, and it's the best moment of every day. I've been eyeing this robe for a long time ever since it appeared in Oprah's Favorite Things and on "Kourtney and Khloe Take the Hamptons." Do not judge; I watch bad TV and I'm not ashamed. The company is family-owned and based in Malibu, where people obviously know luxury. Although I haven't sprung for this robe (yet), I did go check it out in person at Dillard's and it is just as soft as it looks. I'm also lusting after their leopard print Cozychic Barefoot in the Wild Throw. <---Seen on "Keeping up with the Kardashians," Okay, I'll stop with the bad reality TV references.

2. Tahari Faux Fur Throw -- I frequently stop in TJ Maxx and Marshall's just to browse their current selection, and they are going blanket crazy right now. Each throw was softer than the next. I didn't even buy one because I couldn't figure out which one was the softest; I'll have to go back and do a more in-depth assessment ;).  I think this Tahari one on the TJ Maxx website is nice, but the selection and prices were much better in-store than online, so I would suggest stopping by to find your favorite. 

3. Merona Chenille Open Cardigan -- I picked this up at Target in a cream color, which I think is called Sour Cream on the website. I bought it to wear in the freezing cold newsroom because it's so soft that it feels like you're wearing a blanket. I also ended up wearing it at a cold and wet Aggie game and it was quite warm. It's now on sale and you might even get a better deal for Black Friday.

4. Isotoner Signature Plush Velour Bootie Slipper - Don't laugh; these things aren't exactly stylish but they are so comfy. Even when it's 90 degrees in Florida, I often wear these around the house. But they're even more appropriate for people who live in places that actually experience winter temperatures. (on sale on

5. Beyond Yoga Salt and Pepper Long Leggings -- Yoga leggings just may be the most comfortable attire on earth and these just may be the comfortable yoga leggings on earth. I've blogged about these before but it bears repeating: This material is ridiculously soft. All of their stuff is nice, but the spacedye material is just beyond (pun sort of intended). Use code EXCLUSIVE through Sunday for 30 percent off regular-priced merchandise and 15 percent off sale. And these are on sale in some sizes and colors, including the above seaglass color that I own and love! 

6. Yankee Candle Simply Home: Pumpkin Chai -- I really wanted to share a candle I recently got at Target because it makes me feel all warm and toasty. Isn't it weird how scents can do that? But I can't find it anywhere online, so in case you're able to find it in-store, it's The Collection by Chesapeake Bay Candle in Tobacco Cedar. This one is great too because it's a very warm pumpkin scent, not overly sweet or cinnamon-y. There are so many pumpkin-scented candles out there that it's hard to choose, but I really think this is one of the best.

Have a comfy and cozy Thanksgiving weekend! I hope to snag some great Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals that I can share with you!


Thursday, November 12, 2015

How to Score at Sephora

For whatever reason, October is insane every year, so I was glad to see it go. Sarasota is full of events year-round, but the month of October is extra busy. Some of the snowbirds are just starting to arrive for season and the weather is usually getting a little cooler (although, not this year), so organizations really ramp up fundraising efforts. And that means my iPhone calendar has a bunch of those little dots on each day. BUT I always have a little extra time for new beauty products, always.

About a week ago, I was running out of my undereye concealer, so I headed over to That's the impetus behind this blog; more on that in a minute. But first I have to rave about this concealer, because it's my favorite and I've been using it for years and years. I highly recommend it, especially because it does not crease. I repeat it does. not. crease. I use it in the Porcelaine 1 shade, which is lighter than my skin color so it does double duty as a highlighter.

After I popped this in my cart, I was clicking around on the website and trying to maximize my freebies. I realized I've gotten pretty good at working the Sephora system and wanted to share!

-Do most of your Sephora shopping online.
As fun (and time-sucking) as it is to browse in store, you really get more benefits by purchasing on I've noticed you usually only get free samples in store if you ask for them. But you always get to choose at least three samples online, plus there is always some other promotion going on. Also, the customer reviews are really helpful. Thank God for those people who review products, because I surely don't as often as I should.

Shopping in the store wins when you want to sample a specific product. A Sephora employee will give you a little plastic container of the product to take home, which is a fantastic way to find out if a certain foundation, concealer, etc. really works for you on a daily basis.

-"Heart" the products you buy often or are thinking about buying.
With thousands and thousands of products online, you can easily spend just as much time on the website as you can in the store. It's hard to keep up with all the products you've browsed, so if you even think you might like it, click the little heart and "Love It." This will keep a running list of all of the products you're considering, and you can view that list every time you log in to the website.

-Check out travel-sized products and sets.
I love me some travel-sized products! I wish every product came in a mini-sized version because A. you don't have to commit to a product you're not sure you're going to like, B. some products take a long time to use, even in small quantities, C. they're cheaper and D. you can carry them on a plane. When you click on a product on, there are often multiple sizes offered, often times a small one. Plus, there is a travel-size section where you can find sets, which allow you to try multiple small products at one time. A great value!

-Enroll in Flash Shipping
Like right now, seriously. When Sephora first started offering this a few months ago, I signed up lickety-split because I thought maybe they had made mistake. It's almost too good to be true. You pay a one-time $10 fee and get free two-day shipping all year on every purchase, no minimum order amount! After just a couple purchases, it pays for itself. Plus you can take advantage of the system a little by spacing out your purchases to get more free samples and weekly specials.

-Speaking of, check frequently for those free samples, weekly specials other promotions.
The first thing you should do is click on the Weekly Specials tab on the left side of the home page. These are the really good freebies! There are often a few weekly specials to choose from and usually they require a $25 purchase. And let's be honest, how often are you spending less than $25? Makeup ain't cheap! The really, really good freebies are when they're running a special promotion, like the awesome Party Favors one going on now - eight samples inside a clutch/makeup bag! Then, when it comes to the three free samples you get with every order, those change often. So if you don't like any of them, check back in a few hours or the next day.

The three free samples I selected with my order.

Plus, this Party Favors - Mistletoe Moments set.
This promotion is still going on and there are four sets to choose from!

-Sign up for Beauty Insider and once your accumulate points, wait for a reward item you really like.
This is a no-brainer since it's free. Once you reach 100 points ($100 dollars spent), you'll be able to redeem them in the reward boutique. Like the samples, these also change frequently. (There happen a couple pretty good choices right now.) If you're not loving what they're offering once you reach 100 points, just wait because there's a good chance you'll love something in the near future. There are larger items for 250 point and 500 point rewards, but those are often fragrances, which I do NOT need any more of. So if I accumulate a lot of points, I'll often redeem them for multiple 100 point reward items. Voila!

The only negative effects I can see from becoming a master in the art of Sephora-ing, is suffering from Sample Overload Anxiety...which is a condition that occurs when you get anxiety from not being able to use all of your beauty freebies quickly enough. Simple solution, as soon as I start to suffer from this, I get a collection together and give them to a friend at work. Drawer space is then freed up and I can shop guilt-free once again!