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Must-Have Easy Holiday Gift Ideas

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Around holiday time, it can be really tricky when you’re shopping for friends and family. There are so many options out there and staying under budget can be a challenge. My problem is always going into a store to shop items for my loved ones and coming out of the store with bags on bags for myself!! It’s a TRAP I tell ya! Anyway, I partnered up with TheOutfit.com and JCPenney to show you guys how to get chic and timeless gifts for friends and family without breaking the bank. Here’s the first quick and easy idea:

Get High Tech 

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Headphones are the quintessential gift for pretty much anyone on your list. Who doesn’t like music? These are perfect for anyone who commutes, travels often or simply wants to shut out noise from the outside world. Get ahead of the game and go wireless. They will love you forever (or until invisible headphones are invented).

Check out the full list of my quick & easy holiday gift suggestions by clicking over to TheOutfit.com

This post is sponsored by JCPenney in partnership with TheOutfit. All opinions expressed here are my own and not those of the company.

 

LBS Chic Designer Feature: Justina White

Justina White

From an executive role with one of America’s leading healthcare providers to handling passion projects, Justina White made the switch to transforming client’s “sterile spaces into chic contemporary” rather seamlessly. White is an East Bay Area designer that started her firm, J.G.W. DÉCOR, in 2011 after deciding to leave the corporate sphere and try her hand in interior design. White is proof that word of mouth is a major key in growing a small business, and her stunningly chic designs make her an interior designer to watch.

Read more about the talented Justina White below.

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On the Market: Mane Hair Society

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While successful blow dry bars are appearing all over the country it can often seem like women with textured hair are an afterthought of this booming business trend. Time restraints and poor training techniques can be a major hassle for someone whose hair requires more than a paddle brush and a plucky attitude.

Fortunately for us celebrated hair stylist Tippi Shorter has teamed up with entrepreneurs Ashley Harrington and Gordon Williams to launch Mane Hair Society, a one stop shop for fast and affordable hair styles that are curly girl friendly.

Recently I had the opportunity to speak with the Mane Hair Society founders at their inaugural pop up shop find out more about them and their brilliant new business below.

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Dash on A Dime: How to Plan Your Winter Getaway

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One down and one more to go! New Year’s Eve is right on the heels of Christmas and soon we’ll be welcoming a new year. The clock ‘til 2016 is dwindling down. With each New Year, we reevaluate where we are in our lives, revisit our goals for the upcoming year and plans for the future we’ve already set in motion.

Related: WHAT TO PACK FOR THAILAND

What’s with all the work and no downtime? There are after Christmas sales, vacations to plan and a whole summer to prepare for (it’ll be here sooner than you think). But after all the spending for the holidays I bet your financial security is a priority as well. Don’t fret. You can get money back for splurging on winter getaway deals when you use Splender. Book your next vacation, baecation, or even staycation with the new, online cash back shopping site now through Dec. 31 and get the largest extra cash return of the holiday season.

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Essence Presents the 2015 ESSENCE Street Style Award Honorees

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Essence has chosen to honor four chic individuals for their Second Annual Street Style awards. Sponsored by Chevy, Sheamoisture, and Home Depot and taking place immediately after the Essence Street Style Block Party these awards are intended to honor those are putting a fresh face on fashion.

Labeled this year’s  “Style Disruptor” Jason Rembert has taken his bold perspective to the red carpets styling Rita Ora, Solange, Asap Rocky, Erykah Badu, Taraji P. Henson and more. At just twenty-seven years old he’s landed a spot on The Hollywood Reporter’s 25 Top Stylists list. Despite his success he’s determined never to disrupt the learning process advising new stylists to check their ego and “be a lifelong intern!”. We can’t wait to see what else this talent has in store.

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Read more about this year’s honorees below.

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4 Stylish Plus-Size Outfits for Saint Patrick’s Day

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You don’t have to be born with the luck of the Irish to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. Whether you’re celebrating this spring tradition by hitting up the streets of Hoboken or taking a stroll at a family-friendly street fair we’ve got fresh and stylish plus-size outfit options for you.

Bar Crawl

Now you know us Jersey girls love nothing better than a night at Teak on the Hudson but wherever you’re (responsibly!)  crawling this week casual is key. There is nothing worse than the girl who shows up to a chill night looking like she just left her own Quinceanera. Play it cool in an inexpensive graphic tee shirt and a pair of old-school converse.  Keep the look chic with Russian Red lips and a pair of dark denim. Top it all off with a chambray shirt or relaxed blazer to keep the chill away.

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Confessions of a Shopaholic: Plus-Size Activewear

Plus Size Active Wear Collage with text If you’re anything like me this three degree weather is definitely not helping you reach your February fitness goals. Because lets be honest it’s hard to stay motivated when you have to move a mountain of snow off of your car. Luckily retailers like H&M and Nordstrom are presenting flawlessly fitted plus-size activewear options that are so cute you’ll want to climb out from under the covers just to show them off.

This sweat resistant, multi-colored, tank top from H&M is not only practical and stylish it’s a steal at just $12.95. The print invokes the celestial theme seen at Marc Jacobs for a much more affordable price. Vibrant color is just the things to cheer wake you up on a chilly day. Layer this tank underneath a fleece or down jacket for any outdoor fitness activities.

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3 Ways to Rock It: Blanket Scarves

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Blanket scarves are the infinity scarves of this cold-weather season. They are a must have accessory in this soon to be eight degree weather.  Bloggers Kela Walker, Courtney Fowler and Rachel Parcell have found unique ways to rock this item reflecting each of their personal styles.

Courtney Fowler of Color Me Courtney opted for pattern play  pairing the plaid in her fringed scarf with leopard booties. She kept her beauty look simple by sticking with her trademark red lips finishing the look off with a matching red coat and tortoise shell shaped leopard sunnies from Karen Walker. Not confident about mixing prints? See how Christina pulls off the look here .

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LBS Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Great Gifts on HSN.com

hsn-gift-guideIf you’re like me, the holidays can be full of excitement but also full of anxiety. You want to get just the perfect gift, but with all the options on the market, things can get overwhelming real quick. This is why I love having a handful of places that are one-stop holiday shops. Whether it’s a pop-up shop (like my #ShopLoveBrownSugar Holiday Event in December – woot!) or online destinations that have a myriad of gift options for everyone on our list, these places make our lives easier this time of year.

The HSN Gift Store is a great destination for just that. They have a really nice variety of gifts for everyone from mom to your new beau. In addition, they offer this program called FlexPay that allows you to buy all the gifts you need for the holidays and pay them off in interest free installments. Here are a few of my favorite gifts on HSN.com:

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Beats by Dre Headphones ($179.99) are the quintessential gift (and something on my personal wishlist). HSN has them in a range of colors and $20 off retail. iman-global-chic-cozy-comfort-glam-slipper-d-20141113165522983~381896_710

These Iman Global Chic Slippers ($19.99) are perfect for mom or mom-in-law or anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet. Slippers are one of the best universal gifts. Anyone can use them! And at only $20 you can buy a few pairs as stocking stuffers for your favorite girls.

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I love gifting items that are two-in-one so this Signature Club A ($79.99) skincare kit is a great option. It’s a skincare kit AND a tote bag in one. Win-win. elizabeth-taylor-white-diamonds-4-piece-gift-set-d-2014100818434689~338487

Fragrance is always a no-brainer for that special lady in your life. It doesn’t get more classic than Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds ($60.00). This 4-piece set has all your bases covered with fragrance in eau de toilette and eau de parfum, body wash, and body lotion.

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Deborah Lippman has some of the dopest nail colors. Nail lacquer is the gift that keeps on giving because literally every time they put it on they’ll think of you! This I’ve Gotta Be Me set from Deborah Lippman ($34.95) has some great everyday colors for year round.

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This is legit one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten. The Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film Camera ($79.95) is SO much fun. Perfect for snapping pics during the holidays and having an instant keepsake to hang on the fridge.

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This Benefit Holiday Survival Kit ($55.00) is a great starter kit for your fave makeup-challenged friend or even your teenage niece. The basics for getting a great face are undoubtedly concealer, mascara, eyeliner and a dab of cheek color!

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This is another one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten – the NutriBullet by Magic Bullet System ($99.95). I use this to make my own smoothies and use the Baby Bullet to make Cadence’s baby food. This thing will change your life. One of the best blenders on the market.

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HSN.com has a really great collection of Sports gifts if your boo/hubby/”friend-friend” is into sports. Like these Steiner Sports Signed Basketballs for example. You literally can gift him a collector’s item. Without spending hours trolling the Internet. WIN.

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Smashbox has a great collection of shadows. I’m the type of girl who LIVES for a neutral but shimmery eye so I’m really loving their Cherry Smoke Photo Op Eyeshadow Palette ($39.00). It has all the great neutrals, a few shimmering golds and the perfect charcoal for a smoky eye.

Want to enter for a chance to win a $100 HSN gift card? Simply check out the HSN Gift Store and let me know in the comments what you’d like to buy–for yourself, a loved one, or a friend! 

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 11/25/14 – 12/26/14.

Be sure to visit the HSN brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

 

LBS Chic: Graphic Sweatshirts and Where To Buy Them

graphic-sweatshirt

So I’ve pretty much become obsessed with wearing Graphic Sweatshirts on my casual days during the week. I’m not the only one. It seems to be a growing trend. I mean, why not? They’re cute. They’re comfortable. They make a statement. And you can easily dress them up or down.

I took this picture while I was shooting a feature for Spice TV which I’m super excited to eventually see when it releases. I had like 5 minutes to throw a cute outfit together so I opted for this sweatshirt, a pair of boyfriend jeans and heels. Easy, simple and chic.

Here are a few websites I’ve found that have amazing graphic sweatshirts to choose from:

 

ASOS

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This is a no-brainer. They literally have hundreds of them. A simple search for “sweatshirts” in their search tab should yield you some quick results. I actually just bought the “Full Time Fashion Blogger” one pictured above (thanks Jessica for putting me on). Don’t have time to comb through them all? See below for some of my personal faves:

 

CUSHTEES

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When I stumbled onto this shop on Instagram I immediately doubled over in laughter then proceeded to make myself a shopping cart. This site has a quirky mix of your favorite social media memes. Everything from “Girl bye!” to “Bye Felicia.” I mean I love them. So amaze.

Click here to shop CushTees

TOPSHOP

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The fast fashion retailer with all things chic also sells sweatshirts. I imagine they’re great quality since the price point is a bit higher. They have really cute ones. I particularly love this Bambi in the City one above. See below for some more of my faves:

 

FOREVER21

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Super cheap and gets the job done, Forever 21 has an extensive collection of affordable sweatshirts for both straight size and plus size fashionistas. In fact, that’s where I snagged this “Maniac” sweatshirt in the Forever 21 Plus section. Though this one is currently sold out, you can shop some of my faves below:

Photo by Paul Akinrinlola