POLL: Do You Celebrate Black Friday And Cyber Monday?

While I enjoyed a lazy day in Salt Lake City on Friday, I read update after update on Facebook about Black Friday deals and early morning lines.

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I’ve never participated in a Black Friday shopping spree, which is somewhat surprising, considering my love of sale items.  I have, however, found some pretty good deals on Cyber Monday.  (I prefer browsing in my sweatpants.)  Last year, I found a $300 printer for $99, which I bought Travis for his birthday.  (Yes, I know it’s an unromantic gift.  But he loved it!)

Yesterday, Travis and I hunted around online for a point-and-shoot digital camera, and we ended up buying a cool waterproof model for $100 lower than the normal retail price!

Have you braved a food coma and hit the streets in search of a good deal?
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Do you get up early for Black Friday, or do wait for Cyber Monday and score good deals online?  Do you prefer to opt out of these crazy sales?  What’s the best deal you’ve scored?  Tell me in the comments!

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Happy Holidays: Unique Wreaths

Happy Monday, lovely readers!  I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving!  Travis and I had our first ever snowy Thanksgiving (we even got to go sledding!), so it really feels like the holidays have begun in our house.

I’ve been stumbling across a bunch of creative winter-time decor lately, and I am obsessed with these cool wreaths.  Check ‘em out:

I found this photo in the latest edition of Real Simple Magazine.

Learn how to make this adorable wreath on The Spotted Fox!

I love how the chartreuse bow modernizes this traditional wreath.

Feathers!!

Wouldn’t this be a cool way to display your holiday cards?

Which of these wreaths do you like best?  Do you have any favorite holiday decorations?  Do you like the idea of making your own wreath, or would you rather pick up a pre-made piece?

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Wedding Wednesday: Bridesmaids… Skirts?

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a super conventional bride.  There are many traditional elements to our wedding, but Travis and I aren’t attached to hosting a super formal affair.  As gorgeous as traditional weddings are (seriously, I think they’re beautiful), it just doesn’t feel like “us”.

This philosophy trickles down to every aspect of wedding planning, and it’s come up most recently in the form of bridesmaid dresses.  The thing is, I don’t want bridesmaid dresses to come within a ten mile radius of our ceremony.

Okay, I know that’s a bit harsh.  But like I said, we don’t want our wedding to be too “wedding-y”.  So I’ve been looking for alternative outfit choices for my girls, and I think I may have finally come up with the perfect solution: bridesmaids in skirts!

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When I pitched this idea to my ladies, they were less than thrilled.  But after further discussion, I think I have them convinced.  Assuming you find the right skirt, this look can still be just as classy and dressy as a bridesmaid dress, but it allows for a little more freedom of expression on the part of the wedding party.  If all of the bridesmaids wear the same skirt with a different top (in a coordinating color), they’ll look cohesive while still being a little individual.

What do you think of putting bridesmaids in skirts instead of dresses?  Do you prefer a more traditional look?  If you were a bridesmaid, would you be happy to assert a little of your own style?  Have you seen this done at a real wedding?  Tell me about it in the comments!

P.S.- Have a great Thanksgiving and a relaxing long weekend!  Travis and I are in Salt Lake City visiting family, so this will be my last post for the week.  But join me here on Monday for some pretty Holiday inspiration!  xo


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POLL: Would You Chemically Alter Your Hair?

When I was six I asked my mom if I could get a perm to make my stick-straight hair look more like Mariah Carey’s.  Not surprisingly, she said no.  Instead, she braided my hair the night before every big event (first day of school, performances, etc…) and I was temporarily able to enjoy the curly hair I wanted so badly.

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These days, I enjoy the versatility of my hair texture— some days I like to wear it straight, other days I add a little curl.  Still, I have considered chemically changing the structure of my hair.

Perms are not what they used to be… there are many styles of perming that look natural and not poofy.  There are also a number of techniques to permanently straighten the hair.  The upside of these treatments are that they make daily hair styling more manageable if you’re constantly curling or straightening your hair.  However, they grow out just like hair color, meaning maintenance  every 6-8 weeks.

I’m curious if you’re interested in either…


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Would you change the texture of your hair?  Why or why not?  Would you choose to straighten or make it more curly?  Have you done it before?  How’d it turn out?  (Bonus points for pictures!!)

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Your Questions, Answered: Bad Air, Bad Skin?

Reader Reiley lives in Santiago, Chile, and her skin is paying the price.  She writes:

How do you clean your face when you live in a polluted city? (With cruelty free options, please!) I use exfoliating face wash and astringent at night…but i had to go to the derm because my skin got too bad. I’m also curious as to whether those exfoliating brushes work….

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Here are my thoughts…

According to this study, pollution has minimal effects on the clarity of a person’s skin.  But based on personal experience, I beg to differ.  When I moved to San Francisco from Santa Cruz, my skin had to adjust.  I have been blessed with relatively clear skin, but I found myself battling pimples on a much more regular basis.  Regardless of the cause, there are always things we can do to improve our skin care routine…

Reiley mentioned that she uses both an exfoliator and astringent every night.  But exfoliation is something that shouldn’t be overdone.  If you are using a gentle exfoliator that is specifically designed for the face, then daily use is fine.  But if you’re using a grainy scrub, this should only be used once a week.

Using astringent is a great habit, but make sure you use a cleanser first.  Astringents and toners tighten up the pores, which keeps pollutants out, but if your pores are not properly cleaned out, you’re really just keeping the bad stuff in!

I recommend trying Clinique’s Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam.  Not only is Clinique endorsed by PETA as a cruelty-free brand, they are known for amazing skin care products (and for good reason!)

The study  I mentioned above acknowledges that pollutants lower the skin’s natural levels of both Vitamin E and antioxidants, so I would find products that are high in both.

Origins A Perfect World moisturizer is designed to combat the wear and tear caused by pollutants, sun, etc… and is super high in antioxidants.  (Plus, it’s also a cruelty-free brand!)

We’ve discussed Alba before, both for its PETA endorsement and its great line of sun care products.  For an extra-deep clean, I’d use their Vitamin E-packed Deep Sea Facial Mask once a week.

And here’s the deal with those exfoliating brushes:

Brushes can totally help to dig deep into pores and thoroughly clean the skin, but make sure you’re not using the brush in conjunction with an exfoliating cream (one is plenty!)  These brushes are meant to be used with a regular cleanser, and should only be used 2 or 3 times a week. (Over-exfoliation can be super harmful to your skin, even if it feels like you’re deep-cleaning daily!)  Also, make sure you buy a brush with soft bristles, meant only for the face, and not a body brush, which will be too harsh for delicate facial skin.

Reiley, I hope this helps!

For a full list of cruelty-free companies (beauty related and otherwise) check out PETA’s website.

Have you ever moved to a new town and noticed a change in your skin?  What did you use to combat this problem?  How often do you exfoliate?  And do you buy only cruelty-free products? (Props to Reiley for doing so!)  Tell me about your skin in the comments!

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