Gifting for girls in Philadelphia is so fun. For the woman who loves exploring her city, it’s hard to go wrong with a constant overflow of delightful places to go and things to do. But, in case you do need a little inspiration, I’ve got you covered. This year’s gift guide is filled with cute and quirky items for your BFF, sister, co-worker, or me. 🙂 Let’s take a peek . . .
Black Friday shopping can be amazing, if you plan correctly. As most of my life revolves around shopping, I have no problem getting up early on Friday morning to hit all the sales, but I must go with a purpose. I have admittedly never done the post-Thanksgiving shopping binge in Philadelphia, but since I’ll be back in town this weekend, I will certainly be hitting up some of the Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday sales. I’ve gathered a few of my favorite deals to help you plan and achieve shopping bliss.
Even though I have resisted putting on my *NSYNC Home For Christmas Pandora station so far this year, there’s no avoiding it – the holidays are pretty much here. My shopping has not been that productive thus far, so I was really excited to put together a little bit of inspiration in the form of my annual Philadelphia gift guides. This year I expanded my recommendations to 10 whole ideas to gift your boyfriend, brother, friend, cool boss, cooler dad, etc. for the holidays this year. Most of the items can be shopped online or picked up around town, so let’s get shopping!
I would say that, with the exception of some trips up and down Walnut Street and scouring area thrift stores, I do the vast majority of my shopping online. There is something so revolutionary about being able to limit and entire’s store selection to my size in one click. To “surprise” myself with “a gift” in the mail. To race against the 20% off coupon code expiration time to find another coupon code that you can stack on top for the best possible deal. It’s the best kind of high.
When I get asked where I get a lot of my more unique pieces, I realize a lot of my friends and family have not heard of many of these e-commerce only shops that make my world go round. In order to become more widely recognized names, these e-commerce shops ought to consider the benefits of WooCommerce SEO strategies to get their sites higher up the rankings on Google search results which would translate into increased traffic. What also needs to be taken into consideration is how they are selling their products, and what is the best way for them to do it. These sites can go here to see how this can be done. To share the wealth, I thought long and hard in order to limit my absolute must-visit websites to these five gems. Behind the cut, I’ll tell you why I love each of them (sales & shipping hacks, mostly), and give you three pieces I’m loving, plus, of course, one that I already own and love.
There is something really special to me about shopping at a make-up counter. Growing up going to Macy’s with my mom and sister (what seemed like at least once a month), I remember loving when we parked by the beauty department (instead of the men’s department, obviously). Walking through all of those beautiful colors, scents, and perfectly made-up women was enough to set the foundation of a very dangerous addiction in my life: a love of all things products.
I still find myself popping in Macy’s (1300 Market Street) whenever I get the opportunity. Not only is the building one of my favorites in the city, but their beauty selection is a breath of fresh air away from the bustle of the city. Earlier this month, I was graciously invited by Clarins to attend their #ClarinsGlow event, held right at their Center City counter.
We were led through a presentation of each of the colorful & inventive products from the Clarins Spring 2014 collection by celebrity make-up artist Jean Fayard. The goal of the line is, very appropriately after the winter we’ve had, to bring radiance back in the skin.
Some of my favorite products were the Golden Glow Booster ($30) for adding subtle color to your face, the Multi-Blush Cream Blush ($30) which Jean described to us as the “perfect taxi cab make-up” due to all of its uses, and the Sun Care Oil Spray ($35) for protecting your body and hair from chlorine and salt water.
I was really impressed with the quality of the products and their beautiful packaging. Because my skin is a little volatile, I have been adding in each product to my routine slowly, and I haven’t had a chance to try everything yet. Some of my friends from the event (like B of Just B Beautiful and Ashley of The Bronzed Bee) have been raving about the Double Serum ($85), and I really think I am going to like the Radiance Boosting Complexion Base ($37) to even my skintone.
Even though I like to think I live large, I obviously can’t buy everything I want right now. So I keep a list on my phone of every beauty product I’m seriously interested in. Then, when a site or store is running a sale, or I have a coupon, or can get a sample, instead of buying something spur of the moment that I haven’t looked into, I consult my list. This method has resulted in me picking up some really great products I have already researched and love immediately after buying. If any of these items spark your curiosity but turn out to be a little out of your price range, do a little research, and add them to your list. You won’t be disappointed! xx
Disclosure: I was gifted several products from the Clarins line in my gift bag from the event. All opinions are my own. (I just really love make-up . . .)
Growing up, I was never a big shoe person. I would rather take a pretty dress over a pair of heels any day. Shoes were just never my favorite – My feet get hot. I’m not good with heels. Flats rubbed on the backs of my ankles. My complaints were never-ending.
My lacking shoe game never really affected my life until recently. Working in a casual corporate office, you see all types of footwear. Don’t get me wrong, some of the footwear is amazing, and I only wish that I had some of my own. One person even said that the best decision she ever made was deciding to shop for Pikolinos, as not only does she love the style of them, but apparently they’re also super comfy, and this is what I want in shoes. It’s times like that when I really wish that I was more interested in shoes growing up because I’m just clueless now. And when I wanted to really impress for a big meeting, rotating through my two pairs of Aerosoles sandals (one nude, one black) was just not cutting it.
This year, I have been hit with the spring & summer shoe and sandal “bug.” I’m ready to take Philadelphia by storm and actually be able to pair my cute summer clothing investments with shoes that are not flip flops or Sperrys. In the past few weeks, I had been searching for online stores to purchase some pairs. So, my fashionista’ friends suggested me to check out Filly Flair (online boutique) and its likes for buying new shoes at discounted rates.
Anyway, since I have now picked up quite a few pairs online (Mom & Dad, stop reading now please), I can’t wait to wear them somewhere outside my apartment.
Jack Rogers Navajo Sandal in Gold I have been lusting after these babies for years, and they are finally mine! I’m kind of in love.
Clarks Shira Danika High Heel Sandal in Black
JustFab Nori Sandal in Snake
Matisse Hayes Sandal in Silver & Tan
I am currently wearing these as I type (in my apartment). They are seriously gorgeous in person.
Payless Women’s Canvas Sneaker in Navy & Light PinkI got these to balance out the sandal additions, and because I’ve been wanting Keds forever, but these were $16.99.
I am a Whole Foods Market (929 South Street) addict. My addiction partially stems from the fact that I like to know where my food comes from & feel better about its production, but also because they really have very unique, specialty items. Each time I visit, I discover new things I absolutely love. And despite every human around me saying “wow, isn’t that store so expensive?,” I have found the prices are reasonable enough to propel my addiction further.
Here are five of my favorite gems I’ve found at Whole Foods lately.
5. Chia Pod® in Vanilla Bean
I’ll admit, I had no idea what this was when I picked it up. But I heard great things about Chia seeds (good for cholesterol, lots of fiber & Omega 3), so I gave the vanilla variety a try. The packaging is great (it has a spoon in the lid) for running out the door to work, and the flavor is amazing. The texture might throw you off at first, but trust me on this one.
Never did I ever think I would enjoy chomping on dried seaweed, but when looking for something crunchy to bring with my lunch, I gave SeaSnax a try. Each package has 16 calories and is made with seaweed, salt & olive oil. They are kind of . . . loud . . . to eat in the office, but they also keep you occupied for awhile.
3. Cypress Grove Chevre Midnight Moon
One of the best things about Whole Foods is the cheese counter. After a quick sampling over a year ago, I fell in love with this goat’s milk cheese. It is creamy and delicious, and I normally ask for a small piece (under $5) to pair with some wine & crackers.
I was never really a cereal person until I tried Puffins. The peanut butter flavor is my favorite, and they’re perfect for me because they take a long time to get soggy in soy milk. When I get distracted while getting ready for work, they’re still OK to eat when I come back to the bowl. (My life is a first world problem.)
1. Tofu Shirataki
These noodles became my BFF during my first low-carb kick. They literally have 3 grams of carbs and no cholesterol. They come in a refrigerated packet that you have to cut & drain and then WASH, thoroughly. They do not need to be cooked, but I have found they taste best if you put them in with the sauce & veggies overnight and let them sit to absorb the flavor. Let me be clear, these do not taste anywhere near as good as real, carb-containing pasta, but they are a great alternative.
What gems have you scored at Whole Foods lately?
We all know I’m not a fashion blogger. We also all know I thoroughly enjoy shopping. I often fall victim to quantity over quality, so when I do give myself the opportunity to splurge on something special for myself, it better be amazing.
I had been passing Bettie Page (1605 Walnut Street) with lustful eyes since it opened. I had popped in a few times and twirled among the gorgeous dresses, but could never bring myself to declare that I deserved to treat myself (dresses start at about $130) to a dress like this. It was not until my friends & I were planning our New Year’s Eve party that I stopped in to Bettie Page for real. To buy.
I had always been greeted by sweet associates during my visits before, and this time was no exception. I had stopped in near closing, but the employees, dressed like little vintage bombshells themselves, couldn’t have been sweeter. They helped me with sizing, similar styles, and checked on me frequently in the dressing room.
I tried on a few different styles, but the sizing was not right for me. One of the associates told me the brand designs for taller women, so to my petite Philly ladies, just be aware. When I first tried on my (winning) dress, I thought I resembled Sailor Moon. But after talking it over with the Bettie gals, I realized this was just a different look for me. I took the dress home, entire shopping process done and over in less than 25 minutes. What . . . I said I came to play, didn’t I?
After some minor buyer’s remorse (about the price tag, only) combined with some mirror shot selfies to my buds in the weeks leading up to the event, I decided to keep the dress, and I am so thrilled I did. I wore my dress to our New Year’s Eve party and got compliments all night. It was different & unique, but it made me feel sexy & happy, and to me, that is worth a few less pieces from Forever 21 and a few more dollars saved for dresses like these.
The gold color of this dress is not available online, but the Glitter Red ($158) is. Bettie Page sizing runs from a 0 – 18 and the associates are truly fantastic to work with. Hey hey, Valentine’s Day is coming up, ladies! And whether you have a date or not, I say treat yourself this year, you’re so worth it! xx
The ‘Philly girl’ is so much fun to shop for. She likes sports, she likes make-up. She likes gifts that can be used on any & all “experiences” around our city. I loved creating my Philly Girl Gift Guide last year & couldn’t wait to create this year’s version. I’ve scoured the internet for Philly’s coolest gifts of 2013. Check them out:
1. I truly love this Philly laser cut necklace*. Someone please get it for me for Christmas. Please.
3. Let’s see, nailpolish made in Philadelphia* & named after It’s Always Sunny? Sign me up.
4. Unique Philly art pieces make me smile. This cutout city scape can be customized & is adorable for your BFF’s Center City apartment.
5. South Moon Under always has has really cool gift options, but these American flag mittens are just so fab.
6. For your friends that love BYOB’s, make sure you pick up this Philly Streets wine tote*.
7. A gift that your girlfriend wouldn’t get for herself is the best. Hook her up with a gift card for a cute blowout*.
* = based in Philadelphia.
Got enough lady ideas? Check out my Philly Guy Gift Guide & get some ideas for your man. But first, let’s just share this post with everyone shopping for you this holiday season. They’ll thank you. xx
It’s that time of year again! I love shopping for my family & friends, always on a constant quest to find the perfect gift. While I don’t have a lot of men to buy for this year, I do find it’s hard to shop for the opposite sex on a whim. Whether it’s a nice new leather belt or a Mens Henleys or a crewneck, something that would make such a nice gift to give them, you get the classic, ‘buy themselves exactly what they told you they wanted’. They never give you a good idea of what to get them, usually they respond with a joke and that’s the end of it. Sometimes, a personal gift like similar to one of the custom photo wallets that you can buy are a real help, but you can’t do that for all of them, as you probably don’t have a good enough relationship too! Overall, with any gift purchasing spree, you need research, planning & a good memory. Last year, I put together a Philadelphia gift guide for your man and a lot of people seemed to enjoy it. I wanted to bring it back this year with some awesome updated gifts your boyfriend, best friend, brother, or even really hip dad are sure to love this holiday.
1. The ol’ snapback trick. I like this Eagles snapback* because it looks good on a guy’s’ noggin, and you don’t have to know his fitted hat size.
2. Hook him up with gym bag or out-of-town business trip essentials from duross & langel*.
3. If your guy participates in Movember or sports facial hair year round (yes please), he’ll love these Phillies Facial Hair prints*.
4. I’m obsessed with guys in sweaters like this. This United by Blue sweater* is comfortable & helps a good cause.
5. Unique pillows make a big difference in a living room. Be warned, this famous Philly food inspired pillow* may make you hungry.
6. All Philly men love the Roots, right? This Questlove shirt is about as ‘City of Brotherly Love’ as it gets, folks.
7. These bicycle cuff links* are fun, quirky and perfect for a guy who likes to dress up.
8. The key to getting your man to go shopping with you? Take him to DiBruno Brothers* with a gift card in hand.
* = based in Philadelphia.
I hope these gifts gave you some ideas to get your holiday shopping rolling. Coming up next: my lady gift guide (we all know that’s the real fun one)! Happy shopping! xx