Gift Guide: The Hostess

A friend of mine recently let me sample some thyme liqueur and it was amazing. I'm convinced it needs to be a number one ingredient in a holiday cocktail. Other than that, lets face it, you are not going to show up to a christmas party and gift your host an apron or probably any of these other things. At least, I don't think that you will, so it's my fault for calling these hostess gifts. But they are fun things you might want if you were hosting a party of your own, right?

Vinter Apron, $8 at Ikea
Measuring Cups, $17 at Crate & Barrel
Animal Drink Stirs, $10 via Etsy
Gold Serving Spoons, $20 at Target
Metallic Print Mug, $10 at H&M
Metallic Print Plate, $7 at H&M
Farigoule Thyme Liqueur, $23 at Ace Spirits
Marble & Gold Barware Tool Set, $30 at Target

Gift Guide: The Guys

Shopping for the men in my life is my biggest struggle, even more so with the fact that before we are even 40 days into the new year I'll have to get birthday presents for all of them to boot! Thankfully Sean helps me out with this guide now so hopefully some of these will be spot on for the men in your lives.

The Leatherman multi tool is one of Sean's top picks, and he felt it was also important that I mention it comes in stainless steel and matte black as well as the green, which is my preference of course!

The leather bag is actually a leakproof cooler, which has to be the most stylish way I can think to cart around your food and drinks.

I read one review of the mini wireless projector and was convinced I needed to include it on this list - wouldn't being able to project a movie anywhere you go just be so much fun?

Waxed Cotton Cap, $48 at J.Crew
iPhone Super Fan, $6 at Kikkerland
Key Chain Bottle Opener, $20 at Uncommon Goods
Bronzino Leather Belt, $20 at TJMaxx
Leatherman Wave Multi Tool, $90 at Leatherman
Merino Wool Striped Sweater, $80 at Banana Republic
Timex Scout Expedition Watch, $30 at Amazon
iCODIS Mini Wireless WiFi Projector, $200 at Amazon
Duck Canvas Cooler, $160 at Mission Mercantile

Gift Guide: The Girls

I hope everyone who celebrated had a lovely Thanksgiving! I spent the weekend at my parents house and the only productive thing I managed to do the whole time was put together a week of gift guides for you. Other than that, I shopped online, watched movies and Gilmore Girls and enjoyed leftovers, and managed to come down with another cold, which I think will be my third this year and I'm pretty bummed about it.

Even though it's Cyber Monday, I'm pretty shopped out after the weekend. I think no fewer than half a dozen packages will be arriving at my house this week. It is a great time to take advantage of some good deals, some even better than they were on Friday.

But on to the gift guide! Naturally I like to start with the easiest, the girls, aka, stuff I have and like or have seen and want. I spotted the metallic purse in Target and even though it's not leather it's the cutest thing, and definitely looks like a Kate Spade bag, except it's $20. Those fur mittens seem like they'd be super warm, which I would love since my hands are perpetually cold, and if you haven't checked out the home section of H&M, it's time you.

Striped Teddy Sweater, $31 at J.Crew Factory
Tinted Carafe, $25 at H&M
Gorjana Alphabet Neckalce, $25 at Gilt
Copper Elephant Ring Holder, $10 at Amazon
Tarte Drench Lip Splash, $22 at Tarte
Metallic Mini Purse, $20 at Target
Faux Fur Mittens, $44 at Banana Republic
Rifle Paper Co. Bon Voyage 2017 Wall Calendar, $26 at Shopbop

November Budget

I decided to wait until the ugliness of Black Friday was over to post my budget, and while I may end up returning a few of these things I decided I'd rather just post so I can reflect on everything I bought this month and keep it as a reminder of how much I need to not be shopping for myself at all in December.

I had the good fortune of a little blog revenue this month, but rather than being smart about it, I let the Paypal balance burn a hole in my pocket and splurged on a Tory Burch dress and a bag from Banana Republic.

I was also ebaying and poshmarking again, and the anchor sweater is kind of miss - It's a J.Crew size small which is normally fine, but this sweater is really on the small side and may end up being a re-posh.

On the upside, the dark floral blouse from Old Navy is quite lovely, and the velvet pants are stretchy and comfy and at half off, who could resist?

Both bodysuits were purchased today, so I'm really excited to try them out and who knows, perhaps they will solve all my shirt tucking problems and I'll be a convert!

Banana Republic Italian Suede Accordion Bag, $77
Old Navy Floral Popover Blouse, $14
J.Crew Anchor Sweater $15 via Poshmark
H&M Velvet Dress, $20
Tory Burch Green Silk Dress, $108 via Yoox
Banana Republic Bucket Bag, $25 via eBay
New York & Co. Obi Belt, $12
Old Navy Velvet Pants, $19
H&M Velvet Bodysuit, $24
Carmen Marc Valvo Bodysuit, $19 via TJMaxx
J.Crew Plush Fleece Excursion Vest, $62 via eBay

Total: $395 - $225 blog income = $170 spent in November

Best of Black Friday Sales

Already my inbox is flooded with the start of all the sales, and as much as I'm trying to shop for others, it's hard not to let my eye wander. So I've rounded up a ton of my favorites - an absurd amount of velvet - cozy weather favorites and of course a bit of the fancy stuff.

I'll be taking tomorrow off to spend time with family, eat way too much and just relax. Then of course I'm looking forward to my online Black Friday shopping and bingeing all the new Gilmore Girls episodes! So excited about that, I'll be celebrating with too much ice cream and take out (and all my Thanksgiving leftovers).

But on to the sales! If you missed my post about how you could be using Shoptagr to get a heads up when anything on your wish list goes on sale, you should check it out.

Happy Thanksgiving, and happy shopping!

Ann Taylor  - 50% off Sitewide and In Store with code: CELEBRATE
Loft - 40% off sitewide with code: THANKS
Banana Republic - 50% off One regular-priced item, 40% off the rest of your purchase with codes: BRFIFTY and BRFORTY
Shopbop - Spend $200+, get 15% off; Spend $500+, get 20% off; Spend $800+, get 25% off with code: GOBIG16
Express - 50% off everything In Store and Sitewide + Free Shipping
Gorjana - 30% off curated category with code: STUFFED
Macy’s - 20% off Sitewide with code:  FEAST
ModCloth - 20% every purchase, 30% off $100+, 40% off $200+ with codes: FRIDAY20, FRIDAY30, FRIDAY40
J.Crew - 40% off your purchase with code: HOLIDAY
J.Crew Factory - Half off sitewide


It's easy to complain about life, everything from the weather, to the car who zipped in a stole my parking space at the mall, to having my apartment completely disrupted by the remodling of the unit above me - they cut the wrong pipe, and water poured through my ceiling all night. But I can choose to be grateful instead. Grateful that the water only soaked my rug and no other furniture or valuables, grateful that it's not a problem for me to walk from a farther spot in the parking lot, grateful that I have an innumerable (becuase I choose not to count) number of winter coats I can wear now that freezing temeatures are bearing down on us.

If there is anything I've learned from any of the self help books I've read, it's that to have a happy life, every day you must recount all the things you are grateful for in your life, be they big or small, and that is always something I've struggled with doing. But it's the week of Thanksgiving, and no better time to put forth the effort and be thankful. 

 leopard print blouse, black leather jacket, black jeans-7.jpg leopard print blouse, black leather jacket, black jeans-1.jpg leopard print blouse, black leather jacket, black jeans-3.jpg leopard print blouse, black leather jacket, black jeans-4.jpg leopard print blouse, black leather jacket, black jeans.jpg leopard print blouse, black leather jacket, black jeans-9.jpg leopard print blouse, black leather jacket, black jeans-5.jpg leopard print blouse, black leather jacket, black jeans-6.jpg leopard print blouse, black leather jacket, black jeans-2.jpg
The Rundown
Leopard Blouse J.Crew thrifted similar
Black Jeans Old Navy similar
Leather Jacket Express similar
Lace-up Flats Gap similar
Leather Bucket Bag Banana Republic similar
Watch "Stella" Fossil via ebay
Gold Wrap Ring gift from Meg similar
Hammered Gold Ring Thrifted similar
Sunglasses "Caravan" Ray-Ban via Ditto



I recently spent way to much time looking through the archives of my blog. Eight years is a lot of outfits, some wonderful, some a bit less so. I kind of miss the days when I'd just run out to my driveway and snap photos with the tripod. Now I feel like I want my photos to be more reflective of life whenever possible, which means carrying the camera and often getting a somewhat reluctant photographer to stop what we are doing for the sake of photos. I hate it when outfit photos feel like a burden. There is something to be said for my tripod days.

I also happened to remember this polka dot blouse, which I don't think I've worn since 2012, and if I were anyone else, it would have been long gone, but I'm terrible with the follow through of dontaing items that end up in my donate pile, so I went to my parents house, dug around a bit, and sure enough, there was the blouse. Ready for round two.

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The Rundown
Polka Dot Blouse Gap similar
Flared Denim Gap similar
Trench Coat London Fog thrifted similar
Studded Booties Guess via TJMaxx similar
Bag "Alexa" Danielle Nicole
Pearl Earrings Gift similar
Gold Choker Mark similar
Gold Circle Ring Thrifted
Sunglasses "Meteor" Ray-Ban c/o TJMaxx


Black Friday Shopping Strategy with Shoptagr

We are just one week away from arguably the biggest shopping day of the year, though apparently statistics state that December 23rd (go procrastinators!) is the actual biggest. However the best sales to be had are on Black Friday, only my strategy does not include waking up early, standing in the cold, and fighting crowds. I much prefer to do my shopping from the comfort of my living room, and with help from one of my favorite sites Shoptagr, I'll be sure to get the best sales the moment they happen.


Shoptagr is a site I've been using for the past two years to keep tabs on items I like, but don't want to buy until they go on sale. The simple to use browser button notes the size, color, and desired sale price of an item and as soon as there is a sale, I get an email. I can't tell you how many mornings a Shoptagr email has fed my shopping addiction. As a bonus, if an item goes out of stock, but then there is a pop back, Shoptagr sends an email too. They offer a mobile app so you can be tagging and shopping on the go, and it's easy to see which items are in stock, on sale, or have been purchased.

Easy to use browser button.

To help me get all my holiday shopping done and save as much money as possible, I've created a private list where I'm tagging all the gifts I want to buy for my family and friends. When the Black Friday sales start I'll be ready, and if an item goes on sale before Black Friday, I'll get a notification, including when a new coupon code becomes available!

Organized lists are easy to shop and share.
I'll also be creating a separate list for myself, which I can share with friends and family - they always appreciate the help when it comes to getting their own shopping done. Shoptagr is partnered with hundreds of retailers such as J.Crew, ASOS, Banana Republic, Nordstrom and Shopbop, so pretty much all the sites I do most of my shopping at.

If you are as dedicated to never paying full price as I am, then you should definitely be using Shoptagr, sign up and install the browser button now, it only takes a second!

This post is sponsored by Shoptagr, my views and opinions are my own.

The best sweater dress for fall

The other week I went to visit friends in Boston and was faced with the ever present dilemma of what to wear for a two and a half hour car ride. It has to be comfortable, it can't turn into a wrinkled mess, and it has to work for the remainder of the day - walking around the city and going out to dinner.

After half my denim wardrobe had ended up on the floor, I remembered this little grey sweater dress tucked away in a drawer. It has comfort in spades, and was the perfect choice for the car ride. The knit is thick without being bulky, and it has long sleeves, which meant I was still warm even as the temps dropped in the evening, and it's form fitting enough that I still felt dressed up at dinner.

While I got this dress last winter, I've linked a few of my favorites you can pick up this season, and I might need to grab one in a different color too, because dresses just make life easier.

 grey sweater dress, black boots, bucket bag-8.jpg grey sweater dress, black boots, bucket bag-5.jpg grey sweater dress, black boots, bucket bag-3.jpg grey sweater dress, black boots, bucket bag-2.jpg grey sweater dress, black boots, bucket bag-4.jpg grey sweater dress, black boots, bucket bag-7.jpg grey sweater dress, black boots, bucket bag.jpg
The Rundown
Grey Sweater Dress Old Navy similar
Brown Leather Jacket c/o Wallis similar
Boots Migliorini via TJMaxx buy on eBay similar
Leather Bucket Bag Banana Republic similar
Gold Hoop Earrings Amazon
Cloudy Agate Bracelet J.Crew
Stacked Rings Gorjana via TJMaxx similar
Sunglasses "Caravan" Ray-Ban via Ditto



We all know the power clothes have to change our moods, and sometimes it's what only we can see which has the biggest effect of all. Sometimes we wear sexy lingerie for our significant others, but sometimes we wear it just for ourselves. Another great mood booster is getting a package in the mail, so has brilliantly combined the two. A subscription based service, complete with a stylist, a pair of beautiful panties arrives each month in a rose petal filled box. The panties are sourced from European designers, and they offer a wide range of styles.

The Enclosed is a great idea for men who would love to give lingerie to their significant others but are unsure of what to get and might not feel comfortable going to a brick and mortar store. All you need to do is fill out a simple questionnaire and let the stylists do their job.

Wouldn't it be such a fun gift for a bachelorette party too?

But best of all, The Enclosed is giving one Chic on the Cheap reader a free one month subscription to try it out for themselves!

This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal, my views and opinions are my own.

Monday night out

I like to listen to NPR. I blame my father, for if you drive with him it's all you will listen to, and I logged a good many hours as a passenger in his car. At the time I didn't love it, but eventually it grew on me, and now, especially since NPR has a very convenient app, I listen to my favorite shows on demand.

Sean and I were listening to Ask Me Another on Sunday and at the beginning of the show they announced that the next live recording would be featuring Dennis Quaid, Christian Cooke, and Cary Elwes! It would be at the Bell House theater in Brooklyn New York, and it would be on November 14th (which was tomorrow, at the time, and I had a mini freak out at the idea of being in the same room as Cary Elwes).

It was a very last minute plan, and normally heading into the city for a late night on a Monday would not thrill me, but we had such a great time at the show, it was hilarious, the space was small and intimate, I laughed and relaxed and forgot about needing to go to work today.

I must also mention that if you are a Princess Bride fan and you are in New York, or at least New York adjacent, Cary Elwes will be at a book signing and a screening of the Princess Bride this week - check out his twitter for the details.

 floral blouse, black suede mini skirt, knee high boots-6.jpg floral blouse, black suede mini skirt, knee high boots.jpg floral blouse, black suede mini skirt, knee high boots-8.jpg floral blouse, black suede mini skirt, knee high boots-4.jpg floral blouse, black suede mini skirt, knee high boots-9.jpg floral blouse, black suede mini skirt, knee high boots-3.jpg floral blouse, black suede mini skirt, knee high boots-5.jpg floral blouse, black suede mini skirt, knee high boots-7.jpg floral blouse, black suede mini skirt, knee high boots-2.jpg
The Rundown
Shawl Surplice Blouse Tracy Reese via Roundabout
Black Suede Mini Skirt Thrifted
Boots "Jabine" Adrienne Vittadini
Leopard Clutch Clare Vc/o Shopbop
Gold Hoop Earrings Amazon
Necklace Old
Naomi Druzy Ring c/o Kendra Scott
Gold Herkimer Diamond Ring c/o Lumo
Chevron Ring Etsy via Silver Canyon Jewelry