Saturday, November 29, 2008

You Like Wine?

Oh really?

Well then you are going to LOVE Swagger's facebook giveaway this week.

Mandy is offering up a set of four super trendy stemless wine glasses (an awesome gift for your klutzy friends who have broken their share of glassware) and best part about them... they're monogrammed! *Woooh!* (Big shout out to all my HIMYM fans who commented all over my previous "Wooh girl" post.)

Ok, back to the giveaway.
Here's where you can find the stemless glasses on Swagger's website if you just can't wait (or if you're ready to grab a few sets for holiday gifts), but here is the link to Swagger's facebook page where you can become a fan so you'll get an update every Friday when a new giveaway goes up and you can also comment on the photo to be entered to win!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Heck to the Yes!

Local > mall. DUH.

Top story on today:Some opt for local shops over mall mania

Cary, N.C. — Some consumers were choosing not to fight the crowds at the malls on Black Friday, shopping instead at unique, local specialty shops like Swagger Gifts in Cary. They say they get customer service and can support local business owners.

They provide a counterpoint to the big picture economists paint for this recession-bound holiday season. That story has anything but holiday cheer.
Double duh! Be sure to leave your Swagger love in the WRAL comments as a thank-you for highlighting local small businesses!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sale: Stuff Consignment

New Raleigh reports that:Stuff Consignment Boutique will be "having a big sale (up to 70% off of certain items) until Sunday and will be having their Third Anniversary Party on Friday, December 19th, from 7:30-10:30pm"!Could be a great opportunity to snag some nice furniture, mirrors, clothes, etc. - many of which might seem outdated but with a little DIY could make some awesome additions to any home or wardrobe.

YAY! Now that's another Downtown place I'd do some Black Friday shopping at, too.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

You Can't Believe Everything You Read

For everyone who has posted that silly chain letter about retail store and their (no-good) gift cards, here's the dirt from my local retail expert - read and repost, if you will:Retailers continue to address that e-mail...

I wrote a story that appeared in Saturday's News & Observer about an e-mail that has been circulating containing a long list of retailers that supposedly are going out of business and warning consumers not to buy gift cards from them this year.

There is no doubt that this year is the most challenging one that retailers have faced in a long time, and some of them will not make it. But as I said this weekend, some of the information in the e-mail is correct, some is old and some is flat-out wrong. It's a good reminder that we should not believe everything we read in an e-mail.
Read the full scoop here and follow-up with her weekend report on that email.

So Proud

So proud to call the NCSU College of Management one of my two NCSU alma mater homes :-)NC State Study Shows It Pays To Shop Around Online

Holiday shopping season has arrived, and tough financial times mean that more people will probably be shopping around for the best price. But a study co-authored by North Carolina State University's Dr. Jonathan D. Bohlmann shows that shoppers who compare prices at multiple online retailers will not only find the best value, but will also likely contribute to driving down prices for that product at other retailers.

Bohlmann, an associate professor of marketing at NC State, explains that there are basically two types of shoppers: "switchers" and "loyals." Switchers compare prices from multiple online retailers, while loyals are committed to a particular store and don't bother with comparison-shopping. Bohlmann explains that the higher the number of switchers relative to the number of loyals – or the so-called switcher/loyal ratio – the higher the pressure a retailer faces to discount products in order to remain competitive.
Read the full scoop here and as always, GO PACK!

(Had to throw that in there, this past Saturday we completed a full sweep of the state in defeating ECU, Duke, Wake Forest, and finally... the most hated of all - Carolina - this football season!)

Monday, November 24, 2008


Great Monday morning email from Mary Phillips Designs:

Buy six koozies, get a free set of drinking glasses!
Insert "woo girl" cheers here!

PS - Who else watches How I Met Your Mother? My boyfriend picked on me and my girlfriends all episode long during last week's Woo Girls episode.

Watch it - it's HILARIOUS!


This Vineyard Vines Wolfpack tote would be awesommmmmmmeeeee!Not $95.00 awesome, but awesome nonetheless.

And while we're on the topic of awesome totes, I came across this cool how-to in the comments on Sue's Taking Stock blog:You can find instructions on the internet to make your own totes just like the ones they have. Very easy to do. Basically it is layering target bags between wax paper and ironing them to make a sturdier 'material'. then you sew this together to make your own. there are youtube videos also from a school that is doing it to raise awareness of recycling.While Target bags almost always remain under the bathroom sinks in this house because they make such killer mini-rashcan liners... I'd give them a shot at DIY recycled-shopping bags, too! (It sounds kind of fun, actually...)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Can Explain this "Recession"

Recession? No, not so much. Bad merchandising? There it is!

Ok, while this totally isn't 100% to blame for the retail slowdown, I would like to point out that I was tryyyyyying to spend some money today. "Trying" being the key word.

I wanted a warm-ish or at least some sort of long-sleeve dress that was more cocktail than formal for today's gala. Here's how shopping went:Marshall's
-nada in the dresses and petites
-hella nada in the 2's

Old Navy
(thought FOR SURE this would be a one-stop shop because they usually have a great selection of professional wear that can dressed up for fun)
Finally settled on the following (sort-of) 1/2 sleeve length dress just because it worked. I frickin' HATE shopping like that.

The reason I say sort-of in reference to this dress is because a: the one I picked out was actually black and b: it was gathered with a belt at the waist. MUCH cuter. (Oh - and I have good enough sense not to go anywhere in public when it's 40 degrees in open-toe sandals. JUST SAYING....) Tights and boots for this girl!

Plus, the dress I got is crazy thick (the deciding factor) and not "lightweight" as described online.

So there ya go, had any of my convenient Cary, NC retailers stocked some seasonally-appropriate staples, maybe we'd be seeing less of a 5.8% decrease in the retail sector.

At least this weekend's bad luck wasn't wide-spread... some of my bloggin' friends had quite a few blog-worthy shopping successes:Lisa S. straight up CLEANED UP with some great winter staples

Biscuits are Never Boring took "warehouse fun" to a new level and saved some huge cash on some great Lilly items!
On a positive note, the BF looked very snazzy for today's event. I hope to have pictures this week from the awesome photog who graciously took pictures in between bidding to share.

And a double positive note, the gala was a HUGE success and a lot of fun - for an AMAZING cause!

PS - Did you know that lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of women and men in the US, taking more lives than breast, prostate, and colon cancers combined? I didn't either. Pass it on. There is very little research and funding in this area which we know contributes to it's less than 15% survival rate within one year of diagnosis.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Is Anyone Else Really Excited?

It must just be the marketing kid in me, but I'm really excited to see what brand it is that will be revealed on November 24th.

What am I talking about? (Great question, the BF just asked the same thing.)

If you've watched any commercials lately (I usually don't - LOVE my DVR) you might have seen the fun campaign featuring Stacy London from What Not to Wear (she and Clinton are a hoot!)about a salon quality product, without the salon prices.

What's the brand? They're not telling... but Wal-Mart is giving away some samples. You can play Haircare Russian Roulette with me if you'd like here and sign up, too.

I detest Wally-World, but I love this campaign. So I'm participating... let's see who it is on November 24th!

Lisa S. Random Question of the Week

This is turning into a lot of fun. Race-attire was a good start.

Today - black tie affairs and the men who live for shorts and tees year-round. (Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum, huh?)
Lisa S.: Lisa S.'s random question of the week...

What do you do to convince a man, to attend a black tie, that doesn't wear suits, oh... Ever? It's his brothers 30th birthday, I told him he could wear a normal tie, not bow tie

Lisa J.: I have two "bribes" - a snazzy bow tie from Southern Proper, Vineyard Vines, or Bird Dog Bay; or open bar :-)

Lisa S.: Either that or his Dad and I will hood wrangle him
Ya do what ya gotta do!

If you opt for the tie over the hood wrangle, Vineyard Vines sent out an update from their facebook page (Thank you for knowing what you're doing!) yesterday for their friends and family discount... good through next Tuesday (now that's a fair amount of time!).Happy holiday-ing!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I have recently gotten back into tights in a big way. My favorite thing about them (and you'll see this in the comments on the blog post I'm about to share) is that they make it a lot easier to keep the full wardrobe in heavy rotation even during this chilly weather!

The IndieNC blog did a great feature yesterday - Trend: Tights - with some great examples of my personal theory on tights (keep reading below). Many thanks to Mandy for sharing that blog with me!

I found a great two pack of Betsey Johnson tights on sale at Marshall's for approximately $9.00 (or something to that extent) a few weeks ago and have gotten so many compliments on the solid gray and black argyle choices. For those of you unfamiliar with Betsey Johnson's wild style, take a look, you'll quickly see that Marshall's provided me with a STEAL on those tights.

The reason I can totally do Betsey Johnson accessories is because I pair them with a solid color dress, top, coat, etc. You get the picture... not overwhelmingly "wild child", but enough to be fun.

I'll have to be sure to take pictures next time I wear them and follow up.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More Tough Love Love

Think folks at The Technician are reading my blog?

Maybe, maybe not. It shouldn't be hard for NCSU fashionistas to find out about Tough Love... I mean it is just across the street from campus!

From Monday's Technician:Local fashions a few steps away from campus
Tough Love sells jewelry, clothes from local designers

"But Tough Love isn’t an average clothing boutique. Ashley Reynolds, the owner of Tough Love, set up shop about a year ago in a quirky little building off Hillsborough Street, with bright walls and decorations accenting clothes that are, by her own admittance, "different."

Tough Love carries independent labels and local clothing and accessories. Reynolds said the store doesn’t carry mainstream brands.

“As far as trends, I’m not the anti -- but I try not to do what everyone else is doing,” Reynolds said."
Click through to read the whole scoop!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Please Keep Your Eyes Open!

I have been meaning to post about this for ages - at least since August when the "accident" occurred - but Sue's blog about favored items that people are ISO (in search of) reminded me to get down to business and start hunting for a replacement... hopefully a identical replacement.

Here's my (sad) story:I had this great 3.5' (maybe 4') tall vase that I was using as a base for a cocktail table in our kitchen and it unfortunately was knocked over and broken by some very excited (and big) dogs. It was originally purchased at Home Goods but even though I have a product number, they won't name the manufacturer because of "sourcing agreements" -- hrrmph.

Above is a picture of the top of the vase (a big chunk that was recovered for this exact purpose) for anyone wouldn't mind taking a look and keeping their eyes open at TJMaxx, Home Goods, etc., etc.!
Many thanks in advance as I'd love to replace this piece!

Some Good Posts from my Blogging Friends

You'll want to add these to your Google Reader:Sustainable Shopping, Yes Please! (with some great preppy pictures)

Shop Gap & Save (which already expired, WTF - apparently this is a growing BAD trend), but may make itself present again in the future. *Crosses fingers*

Enlightenment of a 20-Something: One of the things that has to be upgraded is your 9-5 wardtrobe.
Did I miss anything link worthy?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Local Shopping Round-Up - Black Friday Edition!

I for one, do not do Black Friday. Not in the retail sense, at least. I have been known to arrive at the bar extra early on Black Friday though!

Nonetheless, far be it for me to deprive anyone of the good deals to be had!From Sue Stock's Taking Stock blog:
"If you've ever wondered whether the deals at the Carolina Premium Outlets in Smithfield are worth the drive, here's a handy way to try and find out." (Includes info about the Midnight Madness Black Friday event!)

Ok, I may have to venture out to this Tough Love event to snag this dress on sale... and contribute to a great cause:
"This Black Friday Tough Love will be giving everyone 10% off and an extra 5% off if you bring in an item to donate to Interact. Interact is a women"s shelter who would especially like clothing and canned goods. Tough Love will be open from 7am-7pm, serving Mimosas (alcoholic beverage) till noon. So come by and shop, drink, donate!!!"
More coming as we approach the trailing half of the month!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Giveaway!

Once again, not mine... but it's still soooooo comment-worthy!

Get your commenting tails over to Swagger's facebook page and leave some love on Mandy's new laptop covers... you could win one of your own - monogrammed and all!

I hope one of my friends wins this (if not me, DUH)!!
If you don't win, there's always online shopping and holiday wish lists favorites at!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

(Local) WANT: Tough Love's Merino Wool Dress

Really in love with this tunic/dress featured on Tough Love's blog from tough love boutique:Boutique-owner Ashley emailed me (in response to my blog post comment of "Oooh nice! How much is the tunic/dress? And does it become green at the bottom?") and gave me the scoop on it:The dress is actually all grey (it's Merino wool). The price is $110. A little pricy but really cute and lots of things could be worn with it.I'm just imagining what I could do with that dress, some cute tights, and a sweet pair of riding boots. Now, where shall I find $110 to move into the dress budget??

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Holiday Party Wardrobe Help - Little Black Dress

I can foresee this becoming a good on-going post. I'll start with Kristy's recommendation this morning:black is back

have you all seen the new "party look" line at the gap? i love it all especially the items with ruffles. so very festive -- especially for the upcoming holidays. i think adding a splash of cranberry, hot pink or even some shade of green would make these black items "pop" even more. guess who's so ready for the holidays?
I love her idea of playing it up with color. How about a bit of red, green, gold or silver?

Clockwise from top left
Forever21 - Filigree Hearts Necklace - $4.80
etsy - Goldeneye Hammered Rings Necklace - $47.00
Francesca's Collections - Unsung Melody Necklace - $22.40
etsy - (dyed) Freshwater Pearl and Oxidised Sterling Silver Necklace - $39.00
Complete with a new little black dress that can be worn all year round!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Scarf Weather

Continuing this trend of cold weather favorites... one of my sorority sisters, Whitney, has clued me into a local (sort of, by way of Asheville, NC) handmade artist: alena hennessey.

I'm SO in love with this scarf, especially the way it's shown being worn and with the plain white t, and double loving it's price!
flora on charcoal scarf

wrap yourself over and over with this super soft, versatile, and extra long scarf. measures 93" long x 16" wide. made of perfectly combed cotton jersey.
Any other fans? Be sure to check out the rest of Alena's site!

PS - Ooh, this tunic, too!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Winter Weather Accessories Report from Cary Magazine

What's not to love about a print magazine that's jumping right in to the social media and viral video world? (Especially when they're sharing such fabulous and easy to achieve style tips?!)

Check out this month's Shopping Fix from Cary Magazine and be sure to sign up for their email newsletter (don't worry - they don't bombard you 17 times a week like a bunch of retail friends have been lately).Fashion Flash: Winter Weather Wear
from Cary Magazine

Fashion Flash: Winter Weather Wear from S&A Cherokee on Vimeo..
PS - Internet bragging rights to the local readers who can figure out where it is that they recognize Heather Green's voice from!

PS #2 - Get the buying scoop and more info (plus comments) on this video and all the great finds at

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Local Plans this Thursday and Sunday?

The best shopping events of the year are finally here - the 2nd Annual Holiday Preview Night benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the 6th Annual Holiday Open House!

Be sure to RSVP to Swagger's events on facebook (just check out the snazzy Swagger Gifts - Monogrammed and Unique Gifts & Accessories facebook page at, invite your favorite shopping partners, and get ready for some holiday fun!Here's the links to the event pages on Swagger's site as well as facebook, to make sharing these good times with your gal pals SUPER easy!
2nd Annual Holiday Preview Night benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

6th Annual Holiday Open House

See you there!

PS - Dangit... there I go again with the holiday-esque post!

Monday, November 3, 2008

I'm a Sucker for Hoilday Decor

Opened my email today, saw these cuuuute holiday candle holders, cookie jars, etc. from Bath & Body Works:

And you KNOW they will be in-store next to the most amazing smelling holiday candles... EVER!

Speaking of holiday candles, G.R.I.T.S. shared a great coupon this weekend:"$10 off of a $25 purchase at Yankee Candle. That's a big jar for $15! You can't beat that!"Love the holidays and all the smells that go along with them.

PS - What iiiiiiis my problem? I'm jumping on board with all of this nonsense about starting the holidays the day after Halloween. I'll try and limit the Christmas blog posts until later in the month. :-)