Shopping 101: What To Gift Her This Season

The holidays are upon us. Yay!! My fellow shopaholics and I love this time of the year because this is our biggest excuse to go shopping. Now if you are an expert level shopper, like me…yes I’m bragging, then you have finished all of your shopping and now am silently tormenting your mom as she tries to figure out what she has under the Christmas tree. Or maybe that’s just me, hehe. So now that your shopping is done this is where you turn your screen for the loved ones to read on and get ideas.  You may think we have it all since we shop all the time but honestly, we don’t. And being a shopaholic it is actually really sweet when a person gets me something other than a gift card. It takes little effort to go and grab a gift card and fill it up and give it to your shopaholic. But I get it, she’s the shopper and you aren’t. So I want to give you guys, parents, loved ones or friends, including mine, help with what to get your shopaholic for this holiday season.

  1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera ($69.95) This fun new take on the polaroid camera that died in the beginning of my generation is that perfect gift for your shopaholic. This is the digital age but one thing you can count on is the need for memories. Instantly print out that fabulous selfie or keep a pic of your outfit of the day, this will be one of her favorites.
  2. Fitbit Charge ($89.99) This is a gift for all of our shopaholics wanting to get a jump start on their New Years Resolutions. Its easier to say take more steps in a day than to say go to the gym 3 times a week. Help her set those attainable goals.
  3. Gift Certificate, Not Gift Card ($-$$$) Again the gift card is so easy and takes little thought. So if you really don’t know what to get her as far as a gift under the tree then think bigger. Where is her favorite place to eat? Make her next mani and pedi your treat. Give her a certificate to a nice salon for highlights or a trip to the spa for a massage. This shows more thought and is something she will remember.
  4. Concerts or Play Tickets ($$-$$$) These take a lot of thought and bring even more memories. Adele just announced her U.S. tour right on the rim of Christmas and who doesn’t love Adele. If you are Southern California native then you know Disneyland is a favorite for all ages. There are many great people, plays and events in 2016 and these would be great gifts for her.
  5. Lush  ($-$$) If you have not yet discovered this store then this is definitely what she needs this year for Christmas. Bath bombs, shower gels and face cleansers fill this store and your senses as you walk in. Handmade brands with natural products and so much more to give her that relaxing Saturday afternoon or Sunday night right before she starts off her work week.

These are just a few ideas, most under $100, to get for her this holiday season. This is definitely things I would love and some were a little vague but they are a test on you to see how much you know your mom, friend, sister, cousin, best friend, or daughter. Time to get shopping. Happy holidays!!

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Retail Therapy: 30 Days of Shopping Detox

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What happened if the world stood still? What if the end of days was tomorrow?…No just kidding but this is what my next 30 days are going to feel like. If you know me then you know that I am an extreme shopaholic. So, after a very successful 30 day skin detox, I have decided to go on a retail detox. This comes from a very obvious reason of, simply put…I have a problem. But it also comes from me wanting to do more. I am ready to travel. I want to pay up and pay off some debt like student loans and credit cards. I cut my retail spending fund in half at the beginning of the year and now more than half way through the year, I was able to put together a whole summer concert series for myself with the extra money. Now I’m ready to see what I can get done when I completely cut out that fund.

This little trial is going to be similar to my skin detox because I had to build the habit. I had to cut out bad things and add healthy alternatives. I plan to do the same with this detox. I am going to cut out spending on the shoes, clothes, make up, purses, etc and add that extra money to my savings, bills and travel funds. The good thing is that since I am a low-key hoarder I don’t have to worry about running out of anything. I am both excited and scared of this challenge but then again it is called a challenge for a reason. I have made my last retail purchase for the next 30 days today, of course, and cannot make any more of those purchases until the 1st of August. I will post updates on my progress and techniques I am using as well as try to not completely lose my mind. Stay tuned.

My name is Elle and I am a shopaholic.

Inventory Chaos, What’s Your Number?

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Have you ever gone through your shoes and fell in love all over again? I definitely have. I most recently started my spring cleaning which will include cataloging all of my shoes. I started the other day while at home sick by going through all the shoes under my bed and take snapshots of them on my Ipad. I am a little too attached to my shoes and found this to be more of a fun photo shoot rather than a chore…Go figure. Now since I don’t have an amazing walk-in closet (yet) this method I am using is to have some ease from shuffling through shoes on a day to day basis. What I am doing is taking snapshots of the shoes on top of the boxes with a clear reading of the name. I get a lot of shoes from Shoedazzle.com so this helps a lot to know the name and since I sometimes get the same shoes in different colors this also helps when the colors in the fashion world can get complicated. The bad thing about getting your shoes from a common place is that all the boxes look the same so I really rely on the name of the shoe and what it looks like. Not only can I easily scroll through my Ipad to pick out the shoes but I now know exactly what they are stored in and where to find them. I have the photos grouped by where they are in my room; so I know that my first grouping of pictures are for the shoes under my bed, the next grouping is going to be the shoes on my shoe rack and the last grouping is going to be the shoes in my closet. This is extremely helpful if you are a pack rat with not enough places to store your shoes. If you have a lot of shoes this is the perfect time to get your spring cleaning out of the way and take inventory of your merchandise. I still have tons more to do but eventually I will be able to tell the world, and myself especially, how many pairs of shoes I have.  Just under my bed and recent purchases I am currently at 75 (Please don’t judge me)…But tell me, what’s your number?

What to Wear Where: Office Edition Pumps

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Lets talk about a few of my favorite things…Shoes!! This is all about building your wardrobe for that office friendly look.  My transition from part timing at a uniformed-issued sweat shop to a full-time business attire office had been a little challenging I must say. When you have a uniform you don’t ever think about what you have to pair together and most importantly what shoes will match. You just throw on and go.  I remember I even had my go to accessories because we were only allowed to wear a certain size. Now you would think being a fashionista I would love to finally get to show my style, and I do but you have to be very careful. Those short skirts and high-high heels they portrayed on The Devil Wears Prada and Sex In The City aren’t going to fly in our real world office.

I think it’s best to start this series with heels because, well, I freaking love them! And I think this is where you will have the most freedom with your outfit. Take for example these green and black pair I featured for the article cover. I wore an all black top and all black pants that stopped right at the ankles and threw on these heels to bring life to the outfit. I stayed very conservative while showing some fun with my heels. Have fun with your heels but be kind to your feet. Six-inched pumps that you are breaking in all day at the office are not going to be as fun as they were when you tried them on at the store. These pumps I’m wearing today are 4.5 inch and this can still be pushing it for some people but I personally cannot do the kitten heels in every style. And yes your feet will not be the most attractive if you are constantly breaking in new heels. I will be the first to admit that. (Hey have you seen some of these celebrities feet, mine are way more attractive than theirs)

If you ever have any doubt on which style to pair with your pencil skirt and blazer, I say go with a nice pair of pumps over any other style. Comfortable, classic, and one of the most common styles to find in any budget range.

**Chartreuse colored pumps; Clique; Shoedazzle.com; $20.00**

Outfit Of The Day: Venomous Steps

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Well whoever thought gray and gold don’t mix, didn’t see this outfit coming. This is actually my outfit from yesterday, but of course I couldn’t get it uploaded in time but I feel like this still works. Right? Okay. I bought these items online around the same time with no intention of wearing them together but once I laid everything out I had to do this combination. The shoes are from Shoedazzle.com ($39.95), of course where I always look, and they are to die for! The style, the color and lets not forget the snakes wrapping up the heel, there’s no wonder why they are sold out now. I typically will hold off on the full priced items, yes I am cheap, or use my free credit to buy the full priced items but I knew these wouldn’t last in my size. Even with all that they have going on they are some of the most comfortable shoes I own.

Moving on before I turn into a commercial for Shoedazzle, my gray jumpsuit ($20.99) is from Charlotterusse.com and I caught one of the sales and grabbed quite a bit that day…and days after. I can usually find inexpensive jumpsuits from their site and this one was a little higher than what I usually find but I loved it and everything else I got was really inexpensive so I splurged with this item. I wore this combo at work, and I do work in a very professional setting but everyone knows me for doing the non-traditional business attire. All I had to do was safety pin the front of the jumpsuit and throw on a blazer over it and I was good to go. I went with a gray blazer to keep the look toned down for work and the only other yellow I wore was the necklace. This is by far one of my favorite outfits and it is perfect for a day to night look. From the office to happy hour bold statement outfit. Elle Styles.

**Download the Charlotterusse app on your phone and you get free standard shipping on all orders through the app, no min.**

Money Management: How To Splurge The Bargain Hunter Way

shoppingI am constantly asked do I spend a lot of money on clothes and shoes. Well…yes, but in the long run. When I compare my shopping to that of most around me I find that I use a totally different way of thinking and technique. There are a few basic rules I give myself when I am ready to “splurge” spend:

1. Shop around.
You can definitely find all the trends pop up in many of the well-known stores but what is it worth? Department stores love to advertise all of the trends by name brand companies and it should be no surprise that they come with a steep price tag. If it is an item that you absolutely love and more importantly will look good in (hey some trends are not for everybody) then don’t be afraid to leave it in the store and check out smaller chains for that very similar look. This is when online shopping is ideal because you can pull up multiple windows and compare prices all at once from the comfort of your room. Not only are you saving time but you ultimately save money.

2. Set a limit.
Now this is different from setting a budget. The budget is going to be how much you spend overall while the limit is what you are willing to spend on a particular item. For example whenever I am shopping around I always have my limits in mind. I have come to a point now that when I am browsing any online store that I immediately go to the sale’s tab, sort the items from low to high, and stop looking when it reaches a certain price. This comes with a lot of discipline but really becomes easy if you follow the first step because you learn that there’s always going to be another store that has them for less. Next time you shop try this; for a complete outfit (top, bottoms and shoes) set your limit for your top at $8, your bottoms at $10 and your shoes at $20. This is very easy to do with stores such as Wetseal who always offer an additional discount off of their clearance section, Forever21 that have the “Style Deals” section and Shoedazzle who offer a $15 clearance section for VIP members.

3. Set a Budget
As mentioned above, your limit and your budget are going to be two different things. Why? Well 9 times out of 10 you are going to be purchasing from different stores and if shopping online you have to consider shipping and tax. So be realistic with your budget both with your income and your source of shopping. My budget ranges from month to month depending on several things. Such as, am I planning a trip, what priorities (bills) do I have to take care of first, what sales are happening at the time and I work three jobs to support my habits so most of the time it’s based on how many hours I raked in. So lets say $100 is your shopping money for the month. My biggest problem is that I LOVE shoes and would rather buy shoes all day everyday, then realize that it’d illegal for me to walk around with only shoes on (I know, such a cruel world we live in!). So try to find a balance in your budget where you split it and set aside have on shoes and half on the rest of the outfit. If you follow my limit plan above you can easily come out with items or outfits with the $100.

4. Stick to 1-3.
There is nothing worse than having buyers remorse on something you thought you absolutely needed. A lot of splurges are due to that extra income or just finding a great deal at a store, but these two scenarios together can be a recipe for disaster.  First, you might not have had the opportunity to buy yourself anything for a while and you feel that you deserve to get that new blazer plus the shoes that match.  Second, both the blazer and the shoes are on sale so maybe you decide to buy multiple blazers and get the shoes and a purse you also found on sale.  Finally you find yourself at the register with all these sale items that add up.  Yes I speak so in detail because this has happened to me…multiple times.  If you only remember one thing from all this, remember this step because this step is just a reminder of steps 1-3.

Don’t expect to be this amazing budget friendly fashionista right from the start because that is not going to happen. Instead I encourage you to make mistakes. I did. A few Ramen noodle cups for lunch in a row and I learned my lesson rather quickly. Enjoy a responsible splurge  with these tips all on your dime with Elle Woods.  Happy Splurging!

Shoe Feign: Fabulously Fringed In The City

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So my recent binge shopping has brought in a lot of shoes that I no longer have room for.  The good news about this binge is that there has been amazing semi-annual sales on two of my favorite shoe sites, Shoedazzle and Justfab.  Talk about an unexpected deal. I originally saw this pair in yellow on the new arrivals lists and I held out on getting them and bought a few pairs from the clearance.  Well thankfully due to my excessive webow-shopping (web-window shopping) I found weeks later that these were put on the sale page. The yellow pair had sold out by that time but I was more than happy to get the purple pair. I think they are more daring and a bolder choice to pull off….Not to mention my favorite color, so i might have a little bias.  I was able to break them in on my full 8-5 work schedule with no aches or pains by the end of the day and was fabulously fringed with a pair of black pants and blazer to really make these heels pop.   

Fashionista Headquarters: DIY Walk In Closet

20140613_175129_resizedThe big reveal of my new headquarters is coming soon, as I  slowly wrap up on all the little jobs that still need to be done. One of the main things I wanted was an open space for a changing room. I always wanted a walk in closet that looked like a small store with all of my clothes, shoes, jewelry and products on display. I wanted to have this space where I can pick out my outfit and put on my makeup with ease. In my previous space I had all this clutter with shoe boxes taking up every little nook and my vanity was used for everything except my makeup brushes and eye shadows. Now as I am unpacking and organizing everything, I am falling in love. This closet space is an add on to the closet space I had and I am taking the closet doors off so that everything flows. Now my actual closet won’t be as organized as the shelving unit I installed but I have curtains for that. This shelving unit is from Walmart, the cost was $90 and it was worth every penny. It was very easy to assemble with just some minor frustration when my dad and I were making sure everything was leveled. (My dad works construction and is a perfectionist with these DIY projects) This shelving unit is great because it can stretch from 4 feet to 8 feet and you can arrange the shelves and rods into numerous combinations. I stretched it to 7 feet and used all three shelves and both rods to maximize storage. You can see from the picture that this unit came in handy. There is more to come before the big reveal, so stay tuned for more updates. Building your dream space all on your dime with Elle Woods.

OutFit Of The Day: The $40 Bombshell

P1030031The joy that is the peplum top.  It is the fashionista’s dream.  Whether you are plus size or petite, the peplum is just that perfect top for the illusion of the hour glass figure.  I got this leopard print peplum on my last trip to Ross.  I grabbed a few peplum tops that day and at Ross they were for an amazing price.  This top was $10.99 full price and all the other tops were around this same price…no clearance rack needed.     The shoes are from Charlotterusse, online, and they have this classic Marilyn Monroe days feel, but you are seeing this style everywhere now.  These shoes are elegant and edgy with the double strap and the gold plate across the toes for only $14.99.  For my bottoms I wore black pants from a local store here in San Diego called “M’s” store; everything in the store is $10.  I added a dark green blazer to make it nine to five appropriate and if needed, I could have ditched the blazer and had happy hour down town.  Add a little tax for the purchase effect and that makes for a $40 bombshell…who said you have to spend a fortune to look like a million bucks.  Creating bombshells at any budget, all on your dime with Elle Woods.

 

 

 

Shoe Feign: Caught In A Net Of Heaven

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There are always three things I try to look for when buying my shoes; comfort, affordability and wow factor. You give me that and I am one happy shoe addict. It’s repetitive in all my shoe posts but hey that’s what I want. Now these shoes are ones that have that look where you are not quite sure if you would buy them if you saw them in the store. Me being the bargain hunter that I am, I found these lovelies on shoedazzle.com for $15. I was willing to take a risk for that price. Not only do they offer comfort but they are super stylish on your feet. This nude color is perfect for my skin tone and the netted front make them unique and ultramodern. Nude is definitely the go to shoe color for spring and summer. It is perfect for bright colors and adds pop to dark colors. I paired these with dark pink crop pants and a blush pink button up. I kept it profession for work while adding a little piece of netted, nude heaven. Keeping your shoe fetish fed, all on your dime with Elle Woods.