Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bucket List: W Hotels


Do you ever think about your life experiences and decide that something is so fabulous it needs to go on your "bucket list"? It could be something you've already accomplished (like finishing a marathon) or a place you want to visit (Mediterranean Greek Isle cruise for 20 yr wedding anniversary).

My bucket list is actually pretty basic...retire early...not have a mortgage past age 60...visit Australia, Bora Bora and the Greek Isles (see above). Also on my list: stay in every W Hotel worldwide.

I'm a hotel snob (please don't judge) and love nothing more than staying in a swanky hotel. Fresh, crisp linens - a cool vibe - fabulous bath products - the staff knowing exactly what I want before I do. These are the things that are important to me. 

I visited my first W Hotel years ago, and was instantly amazed at the level of service and the property. To date I have stayed at W Hotels in: New Orleans (2 different ones), New York (2 different ones) and Seattle. Next I want to add Honolulu to the list - when I was in Hawaii, I stayed at the hotel my boss was paying for (close to our office in downtown Honolulu). 

Until I can book my next trip, I'm going to have to settle for the W Hotels bedding. Part of the W Hotel appeal for us is the BED...the LINENS...and the SHOWER. Wow is all I can say. If you haven't experienced it yet, you simply must add it to your bucket list.

I'm off to order some new pillows on Gilt Groupe today, where they are featuring the W Hotels Bedding. I have been meaning to replace my pillows for a while, and today is the day! This is one purchase even the DH will agree with - he's a total bed snob and would live at the W Hotel if he could! HA! 

You might want to check it out on Gilt Groupe too - it's free to join and you can use my link HERE

What's on your bucket list?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Red Carpet Party at Shopaholic's Preppy Jewelry & Accessory Auctions

Join the Red Carpet Party tonight on Facebook, as my new venture launches at 7pm CST. Please wish me luck, and if you're so inclined, join us HERE. This is a new way to buy fashion and designer inspired jewelry! With most items priced between $15-45, it's affordable and accessible to everyone on Facebook! 

Quantities are limited - and it's easy to purchase. Simply "Like" the page on Facebook (HERE). If you want to purchase an item, please comment under the photo of the item with "SOLD", your Paypal email address, and the quantity you want. You'll receive an invoice through Paypal, and all invoices must be paid within 24 hours or the item goes to the next buyer in line. Once you've paid, your purchase will be shipped immediately. 

In the coming weeks, there will be tons of items available - just in time for the holiday shopping season! Don't forget to "like" the page, and join us online at 7pm CST tonight. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bama Barbie


Until this moment, it was a well-guarded secret...but now the cat is out of the bag! I am a Barbie collector. They are currently stored away and not displayed, but I have a Barbie collector that consists of mainly designer Barbies. Think Kate Spade, Lilly Pulitzer, Versace, Bob Mackie, etc. 

Since my Barbies are stored, I haven't been very tuned in to the newer Barbie collections. However, I just noticed that Mattel has now reproduced the University of Alabama Barbie. She was available years ago (yes, I have the old one - think mid 1990's) and is now available again! 

In addition to the Alabama Barbie, there are Auburn, LSU and Arkansas Barbies. You know - if that's your thing! :-) 



The dolls can be purchased on the Barbie Collector website HERE - and I hear they are also available at Wal-Mart. This would be one of the few things to make me say "I'm going to Wal-Mart". 

Do you also collect Barbies? Which ones are your favorites?

Roll Tide! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Birchbox: I'm In!

I know, I know...you must be thinking "you're late to this party, Lori". Believe me, I already know! ha! But now I'm on the bandwagon and I like it! 

Many of my blogger friends have been talking about Birchbox for months, and I recently decided to get on the waiting list and join the party. When my August box arrived, I was thrilled with the contents and wanted to show you everything I received. 

For August, Birchbox contents had a "beauty school" theme in honor of the back to school season. My box included DDF Brightening Cleanser (which I plan to give away, as I only use a specific brand of cleanser). It also included LiQWd Professional Volumizing Catalyst, which I used on my hair yesterday and loved. This is something I might purchase in a full size version. 

The Dr. Jart+ Waterfuse Beauty Balm is a multi purpose product that includes a SPF25. I might try it on one of those days that I don't plan to leave the house and am not wearing any makeup! :-) The new fragrance sample, which was Juicy Couture's "Viva la Juicy La Fleur", was the WINNER in this box. I absolutely love the scent and will definitely want to purchase the full size version at some point. 

The "Lifestyle Extra" in my Birchbox was a sample of the Larabar. These are advertised as "wholesome bars brain fuel, packed with fruits and nuts". The bar was pretty good, but they are $9 for a pack of just five bars. I think that's a little high, and can find better deals on nutritional bars any given day at my local Publix. 

I will say this: the products you receive for a $10 monthly subscription to Birchbox are well worth the money. If you love trying new beauty products, you will love Birchbox! Don't be like me, and wait too long to get on board. When I signed up, I was on a waiting list for a few weeks before my subscription kicked in. If you're interested, you might want to sign up soon. You can cancel at any time (which I love) and it's just FUN! Who doesn't love receiving a box of goodies in the mail once a month? 

Sign up to get your own personal Birchbox subscription HERE. I know you'll love it!  

Have you tried Birchbox? What are your thoughts? Remember you can always give away or donate any products you receive and don't want to try - that's what I'll be doing! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

A First: Last Friday

Maybe this is a little too personal to share - but, hopefully my post will help eliminate a myth and ease your mind. 

What is the myth, you ask? The myth: it hurts to have a mammogram. The truth: it is not painful, not in the least.

How do I know, you ask? The truth: I had one last Friday. It was the first time I've ever had a mammogram. And I'm 42 (eek!) years old, so my doctor said it was past time to get my first mammogram. 

In case you're wondering, I have absolutely no reason to be concerned about the results of my test. Nothing materialized during my recent checkup to cause concern, but hey...you never know! 

So here is my advice: if your doctor recommends a mammogram, go get one. It's not painful, and it's always better to know if something is going on in your body. You can fight what you know - and you can't fight what you don't know. Admittedly, I will be on pins and needles until I hear the results of mine...

Have a great Monday! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Salt Water Saturday: Gameday Treats in Tuscaloosa


Last Saturday, we attended Alabama's first home game of the season. Going to Tuscaloosa for the games is always a blast, but we tend to do the same things and go to the same places almost every week we're in town. Last week, we made an effort to hit downtown Tuscaloosa before the game - and we were not disappointed! 

If you are in Tuscaloosa at any point during the season, and you need something to wear, be sure to visit The Shirt Shop. They are on Greensboro Avenue, and carry a wide variety of preppy brands you will love. Looking for Vineyard Vines gear with the Alabama logo? They have it here! Elizabeth McKay, Alice & Trixie and Joie are other ladies staples in this Tuscaloosa Tradition. The Shirt Shop also has a wide variety of men's merchandise, including the Vineyard Vines Alabama gear. 

I was thrilled to find this elephant scarf. It is manufactured exclusively for The Shirt Shop, so of course I had to buy one. I needed more game day wardrobe options because it's a long season!   
The scarf is a great year round weight and measures approx. 45" x 65". You can view it on The Shirt Shop website HERE and can also keep up with the store events on their Facebook page HERE. What a steal for $60, huh?
While walking back to the car, we noticed Sweets Cupcakes. I will admit, I am a sucker for a cupcake and love admiring the artistry that goes into creating each one. Naturally, we had to check it out. And WOW - the folks here were so friendly, and the cupcakes so tempting. 



Thankfully, common sense kicked in and we only purchased one cupcake EACH. :-) I selected the Crimson Pride - rich red velvet cake with cream cheese icing. It was amazing. The red velvet cake was so moist and delicious, and the icing - oh my goodness! 
My parents were torn about which ones they wanted - so they ended up with a Crimson Pride and Alabama Snow. They both tasted each other's cupcakes and loved them! 
You can find Sweets Cupcakes on Facebook HERE - I just noticed on their Facebook page, they also sell birthday cakes! And the cakes look gorgeous in the pictures, I imagine they are delish as well! 

If you make it to Tuscaloosa for a game this year, you might want to head downtown for a bit and stop in The Shirt Shop and Sweets for all your game day treats! I know you'll enjoy both places, for different reasons! 

Do you have any Tuscaloosa recommendations for me? I'd love to hear from you! 


p.s. We won - this picture was taken at mid-field right before the game started. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Virginia Tunic by Jules Reid: A New Favorite

Do you remember my post a while back about Jules Reid? (If not, you can view HERE). Suffice to say, I have a tunic obsession that goes back many many years and always have my eyes peeled for fabulous finds. The Virginia Tunic from Jules Reid (available on her website HERE) is now officially one of my favorites. 

You know how we all love receiving a blue box on our doorstep? Well, how about a teal box? All of your purchases from Jules Reid arrive in this fabulous teal box, tied with a bow, ready for gift giving. In my case, the tunic was a "gift to self" - aren't those some of the best ones? We all need a treat every now and then. :-) 

I paired my tunic with white shorts and gold wedges (please forgive my hair, I needed highlights so bad when this was taken). With the imminent arrival of Fall, I plan to wear my Virginia with jeans and wedges. 

Don't forget - the Virginia Tunic is available on the Jules Reid website HERE. The Resort Holiday collection is up and you'll find several new prints. In addition, the Spring and Summer tunics are now 30% off and you'll find those HERE. You will not be disappointed in the feel and look of this tunic, I can't wait to order another! 

What do you think about the Jules Reid Virginia Tunic? Which prints are your favorite?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Quit Your Job, Buy A Ticket, Get A Tan, Fall In Love, Never Return: Island Company Brightens Up A Monday!


Doesn't that sound like a dream on a Monday morning? Who doesn't want to quit their job, buy a ticket to paradise, get a tan in paradise, fall in love (quite possibly again with the same person you already love!), and never return? The folks at Island Company are making it easy for us to at least act like that's what we're doing everyday! 

I recently discovered Island Company and love all of their products! They are headquartered in West Palm Beach (not a surprise, huh?). Island Company is a focused lifestyle brand featuring women's and men's apparel, accessories, sun care, and lots of fun things. The brand is a perfect match to our lifestyle here on the Alabama Gulf Coast. 

Today, I will be sporting the Quit Your Job Tervis Tumbler on my desk at work. Think everyone will understand that I'm not happy to be working on a Monday? HA! You can get yours HERE on their website. 
The folks at Island Company were kind enough to send me a few products to review and introduce to my readers (see the first photo). My DH grabbed one of the Tervis Tumblers and he's currently using it while traveling for work in South Carolina. The other one will stay on my desk. :-) 

There are many other items available in the Quit Your Job line, you can see the full collection HERE. I'm also loving the long sleeve tee in Navy, and want one of these for fall and winter. Many of the tees are currently on backorder, but this one is available HERE
As many of you already know, I am constantly on the hunt for quality suncare items. My requirements are simple: easy to use (no strange bottles, nozzles, sprayers, etc), available in a variety of SPF options (the SPF we use depends on the time of year and the depth of our tans), and they must smell fantastic. The smell is a HUGE thing for me. 

DH and I have tested the Local and Islander versions of the suncare from Island Company. We are absolutely in LOVE with both of them. The Local-Dark Tanning Oil doesn't have any sunscreen, so it's intended for those who already have a deep base tan. Words cannot express how amazing this smells - the scent is called "Coco Love" - and love it, we do!  It's available on the Island Company website HERE

The Islander-Dark Tanning Lotion has SPF6 and I have been using it on my morning walks/runs. The scent is named "Colada Recipe" and it also smells amazing. The lotion is very moisturizing and even after showering and exercising, my skin still feels and smells great. This is perfect for those who have a base tan or plan to spend a short period of time in the sun. It's also available on the Island Company website HERE
Don't forget - there are also suncare products available in SPF15 and SPF30 - they are named Traveler and Tourist, respectively. You can see the full line of suncare from Island Company HERE

I love all of their products, and plan to use my Quit Your Job Tervis Tumbler and Islander SPF6 lotion every day this week! If you're looking for something fun to use on your late summer or resort vacation, be sure to check out Island Company. You will NOT be disappointed! 

What do you think about the Island Company products? I wish I could translate the smell of the suncare through my computer screen so you could also be transported to a tropical locale this Monday morning! :-) 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Salt Water Sunday: Fall Weather? Hopefully!


Forecast

View Calendar10-Day Forecast for station KALGULFS7

Sunday, 9
Partly Cloudy
83 | 66 °F
Partly Cloudy
Chance of
Precipitation
0%
Monday, 10
Clear
81 | 72 °F
Clear
Chance of
Precipitation
0%
Tuesday, 11
Clear
82 | 72 °F
Clear
Chance of
Precipitation
10%
Wednesday, 12
Chance of Rain
81 | 73 °F
Chance of Rain
Chance of
Precipitation
20%
Thursday, 13
Mostly Cloudy
81 | 73 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Chance of
Precipitation
0%
Friday, 14
Partly Cloudy
82 | 73 °F
Partly Cloudy
Chance of
Precipitation
0%
Saturday, 15
Chance of a Thunderstorm
82 | 73 °F
Chance of T-storms
Chance of
Precipitation
50%
Sunday, 16
Chance of a Thunderstorm
81 | 75 °F
Chance of T-storms
Chance of
Precipitation
40%
Monday, 17
Chance of a Thunderstorm
82 | 75 °F
Chance of T-storms
Chance of
Precipitation
40%
Tuesday, 18
Clear
82 | 75 °F
Clear
Chance of
Precipitation
0%
Source: BestForecast at 8:47 AM CDT on September 09, 2012
Descriptive Forecast


Hope you are having a wonderful Sunday - I've been lazy all day and trying to get a few things done at home. 

Above you'll see our forecast for the next few days. Could it really be true - is it going to feel like Fall? Note that anything under 85 degrees during the day qualifies as "Fall" around these parts! I'm excited for less humidity and bright sunshine on my morning walks! 

How are you relaxing today? 

P.S. lots of fun coming up this week, stay tuned! :-) 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Moment Of Clarity In A Time Of Crisis

Do you ever have a brief moment of clarity?  It could be about anything life throws your way - a gut instinct regarding a career change, a relationship change, or a change in your habits? Oprah calls these "Ah Ha" moments, and I'm inclined to agree.

Last week I was faced with evacuating from my home here at the beach due to the pending arrival of Hurricane Isaac. Luckily, our area was mostly spared from any damage and turns out evacuation probably wasn't necessary...but I still had to go through the motions. 

After packing up all my important papers (deeds, titles, insurance documents), my wedding photos (I got married such a long time ago there are no electronic copies) and my jewelry - I was standing there in my spare bedroom looking at the contents of my closet. Then I looked at my second closet. I had to decide - what to take and what to leave. As you can imagine, the entire process was completely overwhelming. It was in that moment that I went "Ah Ha".

I have way too much stuff. Seriously. I made the decision to pack up everything that was still new with tags, and sent it all inland. It was so much that I would be mortified to admit the quantity. When did it get so out of control? I know I'm a "Shopaholic" - but still...what happened here?

In that moment I made a decision. From this moment forward, I will be much more ruthless about what I buy. I will know that I will wear that item within a specific period of time. No longer will I buy things and allow them to sit in the closet, NWT, for a year or more. Because the thought of evacuating and deciding what to take and what to leave (and potentially lose) is just too overwhelming.

Of course we have insurance, but I already know there is no way insurance would replace my collections. And who wants to fight that battle? Yeah, not me. 

Have you ever had that "Ah Ha" moment? Tell me I'm not alone here! 

P.S. Note that Hurricane Isaac's evacuation occurred AFTER the Lilly Pulitzer Endless Summer Sale online...and I ordered a PILE of stuff from that sale. I'm waiting on it all to arrive (yes, still) and will be blogging my finds there. Just don't want you guys to think I'm crazy and ordered a ton AFTER the evac. Not that it would surprise anyone, of course. :-) 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lilly Pulitzer: Fall Collection Purchases



Over the long weekend, I finally had a chance to try on some of the Lilly Pulitzer Fall collection pieces. As I have mentioned here before, Fall is generally my least favorite season for Lilly. Not because I don't love the clothes (of course I do) - but mainly because we don't have much cold weather here on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Plus it's really difficult for me to get into sweater dresses when it's 90-100 degrees outside. 


First up: the Kinley Sweater Dress. I absolutely loved this dress on, and didn't feel like I was going to die from a heat stroke while wearing it. I purchased this one and plan to wear it early in the season on it's own, later with a Sherette Sweater Coat or some type of cardigan. 


Second: the Hart Top in Tusk In The Sun. Sorry I didn't get a photo of me in this piece, not sure what I was thinking. Anyway - I loved this top, and of course the elephants were right up my alley. Hart now lives in my closet, and I've already worn it to lunch with the DH on Monday. 

Next up: The Jonah Dress. I have to admit, Jonah is always one of my favorite styles of the Lilly Pulitzer Fall collections. However, the fit on this year's Jonah just did not work for me. The pockets were oddly placed in the front and poked out, I felt like I had a kangaroo pouch on the stomach - front and center. Not an attractive look on me, so I didn't purchase. It might have looked different in another print, I only tried this one. I was disappointed, as this is normally a winner. Hopefully it works better for other ladies! 
Last year, I always regretted not trying (or purchasing) a Helena Sweater Dress. So I tried on the Bomber Blue color. I loved this dress, but didn't think I'd get much use of this color. I'm holding out for it in solid black, which should arrive in stores on Sept. 25. I didn't get my photo in the dress, but it looks great worn alone or belted. I will definitely purchase this dress when the black version is available. 

Not pictured: the Arina Dress. I was very disappointed in this dress. I'm not sure if it was the material, or the fit, or a combination of the two. It just didn't work well for me, and I am normally a big fan of the wrap dresses. 
You'll notice in the photo of me wearing the Kinley Dress, I am also sporting the Lucky Medallion Necklace. I knew I'd fall in love with this necklace, as it has elephants and a tusk theme. I purchased it, and plan to pair with some of the fall dresses I already own. I will say this for those who haven't tried it yet - it's a little bit on the heavy side. If you're not accustomed to wearing heavy jewelry, you might want to try it before purchasing. 

So that was my damage: Hart Top, Kinley Sweater Dress and the Lucky Medallion Necklace. I have also preordered the Helena Dress in black. That will complete (gasp!) my Fall Lilly Pulitzer purchases. I know, it's hard to believe. Then again, I suppose it's always possible I could fall in love with something I haven't seen yet. It could happen, ha! 

Besides, now that I've seen a preview of the Resort collection...let's just say this: I'm saving up for Resort. It will be the exact opposite of Fall: I will want it ALL. It's fabulous. Consider yourself warned and plan ahead for the Resort collection (October 25 will be the first delivery). 

What are you favorite Lilly Pulitzer Fall pieces?



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