Saturday, December 26, 2009

From My Email Inbox...

...a heads up on end of year savings!

Victoria's Secret

Discounts up to 65% on swim (extra 20% off lowest marked prices with coupon code "SAVESWIM")

Isabella Oliver

15-50% off - see all of the sale categories here

The Body Shop

Up to 50% off... end of year clearance starts today

New York & Company

Up to 70% off with additional 15% off coupon (sign up for emails to get printed coupon or enter code "1181" online)

Cambria Cove

Gifts up to 50% off. Since the retailer is a little - ok, a lot - high on the prices anyway, they are finally coming around to reasonable.


$15.00 of purchase of $30.00 or $30.00 of $75.00 (someone please explain to me why you'd discount LESS for people who spend MORE)... use code "4583".
Get a print coupon by signing of for their emails. Bonus, free shipping for orders of $75.00+. Guess that's your extra discount. Doesn't help you in store though :-(

{All images from the retailers' websites.}

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Any twitter fans out there? (I don't have to ask if there are any shopping fans out there.) Then you'll likely enjoy this: Target Daily Deals, which you can follow on twitter so you don't have to go to the site every day, unless you want to actually check out each item!

Here's the link to the Target page -

The tagline is "One Day Only. Always Free Shipping." - lots of things to love about free shipping!

The offerings are not always (or probably even a majority) of clothing, accessories, or shoes, but a little savings on other household items never hurt anyone, either.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Argument for Fur-Free

Eva Mendes Explains Why She Went Fur-Free

Ok, I am warning you UP FRONT. If you are faint of heart, do not watch the following video. I know that I can't take it, so I had to turn my head. I still listened to Eva's (pictured at right) words though and it makes total sense.

This is from a site I've recommended several times - EcoStiletto -

PS - I wish the photo at right from had her smiling, because she's super cute, but I do love that dress ;-)

I Didn't Realize I Was No-Fur, But I Am!

I've never considered myself a "against fur" (I have never purchased any fur, so I've never really thought about it) person until I noticed the ramped up marketing efforts FOR fur this year - at least in my local area.

It struck me the most when I was actually invited to an event sponsored by a local fur retailer. Not that I was downing the local retailer, but the host was actually a local niche publication which is all about women's empowerment, forward thinking, all that good stuff. So for me, as a marketer, I saw it as a HUGE disconnect. These are the women that I typically think of to have strong opinions - possibly including an anti-fur stance.

My 2010 Resolution

The only 2009 New Year's Resolution I stuck to was to not buy any beauty and bath products that weren't explicitly marked as "against animal testing". Lucky for me, there are a lot of great companies out there (mark., The Body Shop, included) that support the same ideals, so it's made my shopping pretty effortless to find those brands and be loyal to them.

So I'm thinking for 2010, my resolution that I'm going to keep is going to be an no-fur and no-leather purchase commitment. I imagine shoes will be a bit troublesome, so if you've got recommendations for me... send 'em on!

Thanks to Rachel (and Eva) for reminding us that while it's not always "pretty", there's a reason people are changing their ways! You wouldn't skin your sweet puppy or kitten would you? I sure wouldn't!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cary Academy Holiday Shoppe Recap

Last weekend, I had the chance to head out to Cary Academy's Holiday Shoppe - their annual fundraiser shopping event. There were TONS of vendors, but I managed to try and pick up a business card or web address for my favorites.

Here is a quick recap, in no particular order... including my random commentary.

White Pear Shop

These candles, soaps, etc. smelled SO good. And when I say "SO good", I mean I had buyers remorse when I got home for NOT buying every candle they had!

The Minky Momma

You know how sometimes at events and vendor shows, the vendors/salespeople can jump all over you in too aggressive of a fashion?

Not this girl! She was super nice and didn't make me want to rush off ;-)

My dear E. Riley is on her way to being a new mommy - she can totally expect a gift from The Minky Momma!

Fancy Paints

Ceramics. They even do parties! They got me with the puppy treat jars - "All good dogs run with the pack...Go Pack!"

Here is their store:
Here is the info about their parties:

Zass Design

There is nothing on these gals' site yet, but they have a VERY cool concept. Basically, they are graphic designs who take print collateral (magazines, etc.) and make it into jewelry! Like, REALLY CUTE earrings, and more. I'll update if I see more online from them soon!

Sweet Tea Shirts

Notice the absence of a second "T" in the web address! Funny Southern sayings... on cute tees. That pretty much describes it.

T&J Wood Art

A really unique way to display your wine bottles AND wine glasses... can hold the glasses upside down (no dust on the inside) or right-side up.

Lithic Designs

Of course, I would've preferred to show you one of their Wolfpack offerings, but they didn't have a good picture on their website to showcase that. These are prints done on pieces of stone!

VERY cool. Would look great in offices, living rooms, cabinets, etc.

Ella Vickers

One of the coolest vendors all day, by far. Based out of Wilmington, NC, this vendor takes old sails and turns them into bags, etc. So it's eco-friendly, nautical, and beachy - all in one!

The bags are a bit on the expensive side, but if they're cut by hand and sew on a machine (or by hand), I'm sure each bag takes quite some time to make. And I'm even more confident that they aren't produced in overseas sweatshops. I'm ok with paying a premium for that.

Bone Appétit Bakery

I've been following these folks on twitter for a while, so it was cool to see them out at a local event. (I'm sure they do lots of events, but this was the first retail event I have noticed them at.)

How did they know that my family spoils our four-legged babies at Christmas, too?? ;-) Must be something about us "dog people".

In addition to a lot of great independents, they had what I think was a Reader's Digest mini-book store. They prices... were fantastic. They started around 30-40% off retail and even had discounts on their own prices. I bought a $16.00 book for just over $4.00. And yes, it was brand new.

Whew, this post took me FOREVER to draft/link/format/write... but I hope you find something to love!

Monday, November 30, 2009

{Double Post} Taking Local Love to a New Level

So this whole "concept" is something that Mandy and I have been talking up for a looooong time. And I am really pumped to finally be getting it out there. It's not anywhere close to being as content-rich as it will be soon, but it's at least a start.

Right now, the biggest features are the email newsletter (bringing local style and retail directly to your inbox - but no, not like Express/Banana Republic/etc. style... I refuse to harass you all daily), Top Picks, and the feature appearances from local readers, too!

If you have a few minutes, please stop by and check it out. Today our Black Friday content is still up, so you can check out what we liked for November... but tomorrow and over the next few days, December will be making its way in.

And if you're a local shopper, or just appreciate good style, please consider joining the email list, too :-)

And YES, I really DO want YOU to send me your tips, pictures, etc. I think this is going to be a lot of fun. A lot of work, of course - but most importantly... a lot of fun.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cute Boutique Alert: Calm & Sense

The store's tagline is "reach relaxation"... which is SURE to be a breeze once you've picked up some goodies here.

Delicious teas, bath salts/bombs/fizzers, shower steamers, beeswax candles, and more!
Here's her story:

People have been asking me how I came to open a store focusing on stress relief, relaxation, and a healthier life. As a refugee of over 25 years of corporate life, I was ready to start a new chapter—something about reaching an age milestone and being laid off all within 12 months does tend to empower oneself! Because of my experience working in large corporations, as well as raising two boys and being involved in my community, I also knew something about how stress impacts the body and the soul. So I decided to manage my own destiny and open a store that helps others cope with life’s stresses. In fact, the title I chose for my business cards is not Store Owner, but Chief Relaxation Officer.
The extra cool part? The owner, Susan, makes a sincere effort to source all of her goods in fair trade manners and from as many women-owned businesses as possible. I like that retail karma :-)

Essential details below!

Calm and Sense
Glenwood Village Shopping Center
2603 Glenwood Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27608 (map)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

You Stay Classy, Under Armour!

This came in my email inbox today. Well done, UA!

Join Us and Help True Heroes

When you buy any Under Armour gear through this email, 10% of the proceeds will go directly to the Wounded Warrior Project, which honors and empowers the men and women who have given so much to protect this country.

Gear up with Under Armour today. Represent your team. Support our heroes.
Shop the Collection >>>
Hmm... wonder who would appreciate some UA gifts?

You can go here to find out more about the Wounded Warriors Project.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Winter Dress Coat

I am almost always in a North Face Denali jacket (local retail is my first choice, of course), but they're just too casual for all occasions, outfits, or mood ... plus, they're not really long either.

But alas, they are a NCSU college girl staple - see the following slideshow for proof a la Hillsborough Hike 2007 with the Black North Face Mafia better known as my Pi Phi sisters & Co.

So for all of the other occasions, I have a black pea coat that I've worn for a few years. I've recently come to realize though, that even though it's made by a "petites" brand, it really swallows me up. The shoulders are too big, there is no slim through the waste, and to me... that just doesn't scream "well put together look".

So I'm on the hunt!

I usually start with just a basic "look" search. No budget, nothing. Just a look.

Banana Republic

BR lucked out with a very well-timed email!

Banana Republic Wool-Blend Pea Coat

The Wool-Blend Pea Coat in Heater Grey retails for $180.00

Banana Republic Duffle Coat

The Modern Toggle Coat in Charcoal Heather Grey retails for $198.00

I then move to budget and finding something that fits my most important demands at a price point that I can afford with an often "Champagne Taste on a Miller High Life Budget" (as Renee calls it - because after all... Miller High Life is the Champagne of Beers!)


That's when those geniuses at Target sent me a weekly flyer that had some nice in-store only sales going on.

Target Mossimmo Pea Coat

Mossimo Pea Coat in several colors (purple, red, black, brown, and green) retails for $30.00 (on sale)

Now THAT looks like a good deal! At that price, I could even get a few colors (including red of course for NCSU football games). They also look to be a slimmer fit. Of course, since these are in-store only sales, I'd have to hope my local store(s) had my color and sizes, but at least I could try the jacket on before buying.

Old Navy

The BF and I then happened to walk into Old Navy last weekend looking for a white sweater for his Halloween costume (Fred from the Scooby Doo/Mystery Inc. gang).

They have a great selection, with lots of price points, but I suspect the large selection online is only carried in varying stores... I really don't remember seeing THAT many jackets there. I did try on the Tab Waist Jacket in red (I think it was the tab waist jacket).

Old Navy Tab Waist Jacket

Old Navy Tab Waist Jacket in red retails for $98.50

Old Navy Funnel-Neck Coats

Old Navy Funnel-Neck coats come in pink and black and retail for $89.50

I swear I also tried on something in a winter white at Old Navy, but can't remember which jacket it was.

Hmmm... decisions, decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Around Town: Wardrobe Repurposing

How do you take wardrobe pieces that don't work individually (either for fit or season) and extend their presence in your closet? Mix and match!

The white with blue polka dots cap-sleeve button-down I have on the bottom layer of this of this outfit is super cute, but too short (as a short girl with a long torso, this is a common problem for me) - so I usually have to wear it with a long tank under it.

The cream/khaki colored tube top layer usually only gets to be worn during the summer (it's reversible with super cute stripes, just FYI).

Put them together... perfect for fall's cooler temps!

PS - Click on the image to enlarge.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bevello Follow-Up: Denim Love at First Sight

I moseyed on over to Bevello the last time I was in Beleza, and I was totally just going to look... I swear!

But of course, I walked out with these. It's a sickness, and I should be in therapy. But seriously, a good pair of jeans cannot be ignored. Especially a pair with such beautiful embellishments on the pockets!

the Rock Revival Stephanie boot-cut

Nevermind the "Stephanie" name, they should call these jeans, "Gloriousness in Denim"!

I should have gotten the size smaller like the super helpful and friendly sales girl recommended (shame on me), but since they've got some stretch, I thought it was best to go up to the 26 (or was it the 25?). Anywho, they're a *tad* loose, but they still look HOT.

Can't wait for my next Bevello shopping trip!

PS: Big "Thanks!" to my always awesome Mom for shortening the hem on them for me. Being 5' 2'', jeans always are about 6'' too long for me. THANKS MOM!!!!! NOW they're really perfect!

PS #2: Bevello has launched a fantastic new website! Do yourself a favor and check it out A.S.A.P., I swear you'll double love it.

PS #3: In checking out the Rock Revival website, I'm a bit wigged out to see I'm wearing the same jeans as Tito Ortiz and Jenna Jameson (ugh), but whatever, I guess it could be worse. The BF, who is a MMA fan, thought it was HILARIOUS when I made this discovery last week. (Hopefully he'll forget the whole porn star reference and let that one die.)

{Image: Jeans -, website -}

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Under $20: (And) Soooo Pretty!

As you may or may not know (if you've read any of my blogs throughout the holidays last year), I'm not a fan of promoting the December holidays... ummm... now. Just let me have Halloween and then yo can go crazy.

Unfortunately, the rest of the marketing world doesn't listen all that well. I'm ok with this though, because it's just a preview... you can't even buy them yet. But boy will I be!

How cute?! Coming this fall to mark for $12 (shower gels and moisture milk sets) and $10 (bath balls set).

My sister can most likely expect some in her stocking this year ;-) Here's a link if you want to check out what's new and available right now. I will definitely update when the holiday goodies are available for sale!

If you can't wait, Swagger has some equally as cute (and super delicious looking) bath goodies available right now.

Say it with me now, "Nom! Nom! Nom!" (Although they do look good enough to eat, I don't suggest it.)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Vietri Outlet

If you've ever traveled I-40 West around Greensboro/High Point and then back (paging Lisa S.!), I'm sure you've seen the Vietri billboard and wanted to go.

After catching up on some Home Accents Today and Gifts and Decorative Accessories headlines today, I was reminded to Google Vietri!

Not only do they have an outlet, but they also have what looks to be a nice little "insider" (frequent buyer) club.

A quick tweet (which published to facebook yielded these kind of responses from my local friends):Any Vietri stories to share?

{Images: Vietri website and my facebook ;-)}

Sale at Fab'rik & Other Cameron Village Neighbors

One of my favorite local shops (that has lots of great style and affordable price points), is having a great sale to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Cameron Village!

(Note: The website says Atlanta, but I got it from their twitter, so hopefully they'll get their internet presence ducks in a row ASAP so it won't confuse anyone else like it did me.)

2039 Cameron St
Raleigh, NC 27605-1310
(919) 833-1210

Beleza - A Fair Trade Boutique 919-832-4775
• Sale Jewelry 60% off
• Spend $60, get a $10 Gift Certificate to use on a return visit through 10/31
• Spend $120, get a $25 Gift Certificate to use on a return visit through 10/31

Francesca’s 919-829-8250
• In store Coupon, 20% off a single regular price item!
• Sale Merchandise


I know, if you're a local reader, it's kind of absurd to mention coats already (it's still fairly consistently warm here), but if you're ready to clean out your closet... here's some great motivation from NC retailer, Great Outdoor Provision Company!

Save 20% on a jacket* when you donate a gently used one Oct 1-12, 2009.

*Excludes vests, pullovers and a few jacket styles - over 50 styles qualify for the discount!

Thanks for your support! In 2008 our customers brought in 2561 coats to be donated to local missions.

Full details online at

{Image: GOPC website}

Monday, September 28, 2009

Into Sneakers?

...then this is a cool event you won't want to miss!

Style Your Sole: Give Shoes to A Child In Need
Hosted by Bottega Salon and Alter EGO

Date: October 24, 2009
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: Noir Lounge, 425 Glenwood Ave - Raleigh, NC

Come together with local artists in our community to express yourself and help children in need by customizing your own blank, canvas TOMS. TOMS Shoes was founded on a simple premise: With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need.

One for One.

On October 24th you will have the opportunity to get involved! Bottega Hair Studio and Alter EGO are teaming up with Noir Bar and Lounge to host the triangle’s first Style Your Sole party!

Pre-purchase your very own pair of TOMS shoes for $49 by filling out the registration information at the link below. Come to Noir at 2:00pm and paint your canvas TOMS alongside an array of local artists; paints and supplies will be provided but feel free to bring your own. Local DJ’s will be outside spinning while you paint.

There will also be an organic wine tasting and a spread of organic treats provided by Zely and Ritz. This is a family friendly event, so bring everyone! After the painting is finished we will all move inside to Noir’s after party for drinks more great music!

Alter Ego Salon
119 E Hargett St., Ste. 200 | Raleigh, NC 27601

Monday, September 21, 2009

Massive Sale Alert: The Body Shop Warehouse Sale

How many of you local readers knew that the global retailer The Body Shop actually has a large presence in North Raleigh (closer to Wake Forest, from what I hear)? Big thanks to Jess for forwarding me the following email!

(click to enlarge)

Even as a mark rep myself, I'm really glad to post this for a few reasons:
1 - Competition is always healthy. Keeps brands/retailers on their toes.
2 - Like mark., The Body Shop is strongly against animal testing. They also have a very impressive list of social, eco, and other amazing values. Read more here, here, and here!
3 - The local presence. The Body Shop keeps a lot of local people employed here in Raleigh.

Here's a Google Maps link, if you're interested in going!

Monday, September 14, 2009

{New Boutique on the Block}: GiGi's Boutique Coming to Cary

Remember my post a few weeks back about the great North Raleigh find, GiGi's Boutique?

I am SO excited to announce that they are opening up shop in Cary - MUCH closer to my neck of the woods... and just down the street from Swagger - in a few (give or take) weeks!

Here's the scoop from their eNews:We are excited to announce a second Gigi's Boutique will open, mid to late October 2009, at Crescent Commons in Cary. Crescent Commons is located at the corner of Tryon and Kildaire Farm Roads.

More information to follow as we get closer to the Grand Opening!

We are so thankful for your support and look forward to seeing you soon.
I'll be sure to post about any Grand Opening events, etc. As always, be sure to keep it local!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Wow. Can we say overkill?

(If you can't see what's ridiculous about the above image, be sure to click on it to enlarge it and take a look at the dates.)

PS - That is the exact reason I have a (email) version of my email. Because there is no reason I should have to go through that many emails, from various retailers, on a regular basis.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Just a Little Reminder...

"If we know the house always wins, why gamble?" - S&tC.

That's why I like my money... right where I can see it... HANGING IN MY CLOSET.

{Image: eBates blog - which is also awesome.}

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

WANT: Fall Staple - Monogrammed Pashmina

I'm thinking I'm going to need one of these monogrammed pashminas in black with red monogramming for any chilly Wolfpack tailgates and football games!

IE: Tomorrow. Dang. I didn't plan that one out very well.

Although... I'm not left out in the cold!

The entire E. Riley-Dorn wedding entourage received red pashminas as bridal party gifts just this past February - perfect for all of us State girls (see below)!

Big props go out to Mrs. (YES, MRS. - it still trips me out to write that) E. {Riley} Dorn for the great taste and outfitting the always classy look for tomorrow's big game vs. USC!

Rest assured, I can get by with my current selection of red or green pashminas, but one more never hurts! I hate having to pick one color to live with for good - a girl needs options! (That is yet another E. Riley Dorn principle, that every well-dressed woman should wardrobe by.)

And I do have some time until fall temperature actually set in for real. I can't imagine that the 90 degree days are actually legitimately over. I mean, I HAVE lived in NC my whole life... I know it doesn't actually work that way. (True Life: I'm also one of the many people that almost passed out at the NCSU vs. Clemson game two years ago when it went from a 60 degree tailgate to a 90 degree ballgame. I went home at half-time to shower and spend the rest of the day in the AC... something I never do.)

Long story short, monogrammed pashminas. At Swagger (in-store or online). $34.00.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

{New (to Me) Boutique on the Block}: GiGi's Boutique

{New (to Me) Boutique on the Block}: GiGi's Boutique

This is a blog post I have been meaning to write for months!

Almost a year ago, I got a great email in my inbox from a local reader:
"Hi there,

I enjoy reading your blog - you're such a great resource for what's going on around Raleigh. Have you been to Gigi's Boutique? I saw an ad in the independent but I haven't heard anything about it so thought I would ask you. It's in Stonehenge Market on Creedmoor Road and they offer "the latest fashions with prices under $100". Thought it might be worth checking out.

Thanks and keep up the good work!


The BF and I ended up out that direction one day a few months ago. I had just finished up with a laser appointment and it was about lunch time. We decided to venture more into North Raleigh and try something different. I'm really glad we did!

We pulled into Stonehenge Market - a shopping center we had not been to since going to the Crowley's of Stonehenge Cinco de Mayo bash back in '07 with the rest of the Buckhead sales team - and had lunch at Buffalo's (see my Buffalo's review here).

You can imagine my excitement when we were walking around the shopping center and I saw this cute little boutique called "GiGi's"... obviously, I had to stop in!

I was being good on my budget during that trip, but boy was it tough to have such restraint! Their selection was fantastic - carrying brands and pieces I have not seen or overdone locally - and the store really was very well merchandised and had great <$100.00 price points! Do be sure to check out their website (you can do some shopping online!), their email list, and now... their blog. I was really excited to see this addition as it came very shortly after my conversation with the boutique owner about how I'd heard about her store from a reader of my blog! (I always like to share good retailing secrets with independent owners who are a joy to shop with.)

I think the thing I liked most about the boutique was not their realistic approach to fashion that doesn't break the bank (although it is quite awesome), but the fact that the store was so well merchandised. Nothing was overly trendy (ie: not going to be worn next year) and everything was super appropriate for multiple uses - casual, work, going out, etc. It really does a wardrobe budget wonders to buy pieces that are good fits for anytime wear!

I can't wait until my next laser appointment (in about 6 weeks) so I'll have a good excuse to make the cross-town trip again.

Gigi's Boutique

Address: 7428 Creedmoor Road
Raleigh, NC 27613

Phone: 919-846-0014

Be sure to check them out sometime. I'd love to hear from you if you do. I'd also love any other local recommendations any of you'd like to send my way!

{Image: GiGi's Boutique website}

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New eBoutique on the Block: Dixie Patches

I usually keep the "New Boutique on the Block" title for new local brick-and-mortar boutiques, but you really can't blame any entrepreneur(s) for going online instead of battling the extraordinary cost of commercial/retail rent!

DixiePatches has a sunny color scheme and website that's easy on the eyes and most of their photography is chock full of Southern charm. The logo is a little hard to decipher at first, but after first look you can pick out the outline of our fair Southern states. Even going two color would probably make it easier to read.

There are only a few merchandise options in each category (Southern Charms, Southern Belles, Southern Gentlemen, Dixie Dogs, and Fishin'/Huntin'/Tailgatin'), but one would guess there is a lot more to come in their future. I also don't know any guy who hunts in a button down and bow tie, but I really like where they're going with that. One should always "dress for success", right? ;-)

Overall, I think this site is a best bet for Southern Gentlemen: Friendly price points for hats and bow ties. I also see the camo cooler in the boyfriend's future.

Full disclaimer: I automatically love any company that sends a free koozie your way for signing up for their email list. Other than the fact that I love the premise of this whole site too, I'll still tried to this review as objective as possible. I'm crossing my fingers that the emails are no more often than once a month and might include a sale or coupon or two!

Big thanks to Hula Girl for posting about it today... what fabulous things to share: Southern favorites and tailgatin' goods!

Monday, August 3, 2009


One of my favorite local boutiques is closing up shop :-(

This will be Tough Love's last week in business, so stop in and wish them well in their future endeavors!

Also, Ashley is having a sale to clear out the store... so be sure to check out what they have and help make their move a little easier.

A few specials they're doing include:
Everyone that buys something gets a free Tough Love Support Local Tee, all clothing is half off, and already marked down items are an additional 50% OFF, denim $20, t-shirts $5, accessories $5-$12. See all the details on facebook.

Hopefully we'll see Ashley and her great, independent style in another new local venture, soon!

{Image: Tough love facebook page, via SarahDear}

Monday, July 27, 2009

Break My Heart

Dear Super Cute Pink Party Dress,

If you weren't $500, I'd be all over you.
You hear me? ALL OVER YOU!


Temperley London
Tiered mini dress

Original Price: $1,255
Now: $502
60% off