Just a quick post today to show you one of my recent Target purchases, and their fancy-schmancy cousin from Saks. I’ll take the $16 pair any day. And then you can use the $169 you saved on random stuff you definitely don’t need at Target. I know I’m not the only one who does that.
Happy Monday! After last week’s post on what to give a high school graduate, I wanted to follow up with an appropriate gift for a college graduate. This would work for someone finishing up graduate or professional school too, if you know they have not yet secured a position and will be hitting the job search pavement full force!
Calling cards are such a great idea for so many reasons. They’re appropriate not just for business connections, but for any time you meet someone new who you might want to keep in touch with. I saw this post on Waiting on Martha last week, where Mandy mentions the importance of a calling card and thought, yes yes yes! What a perfect gift for the recent graduate! It’s personal, but all you have to know about the recipient is their basic contact information and you have a custom, beautiful gift that is probably more useful than anything else they could receive.
I absolutely recommend Kathryn of Della Carta for gorgeous custom-printed letterpress calling or business cards. I have used her twice now for my design business and her results are absolutely stunning. She combines custom calligraphy with classic letterpress techniques and will fully customize whatever you envision, including contrasting colors for the edges of your cards or ahandsome pattern on the back for some extra pizazz. See for yourself!
And to pull it all together, I would include one of these beautiful business card holders from the Waiting on Martha shop. They are available in bright pink, black, gold, silver, and white and are the perfect finishing touch!
Spring has sprung, and that means graduation season is here! Graduation gifts can be difficult to shop for. Especially for a high school grad, when recipient is in a weird transition period between high school and college. Money is always appreciated and appropriate, but it’s just so impersonal and not very fun to give. But look! I fixed that!
Start with a really nice wallet, a step up from the velcro one they’ve been carrying from PacSun. This one from Kate Spade is beautiful but the bright color keeps it from looking too grown-up and fussy. Find out where the grad is headed after this summer and stock the wallet with gift cards for area eateries, grocery stores, and catch-all stores like Target. Throw in a couple of twenties and you (and your grad) are all set!
Without fail, and without ever looking at a price tag, I will always want the most expensive item in any given store. It never ceases to amaze my husband when we are shopping for anything together, (like furniture, anything we need to agree on…) I will always choose the priciest item in a totally unintentional and consistent manner.
So, when I purchased the dress above (on sale for $39.99 with an additional 30% off! BOOM!) I challenged myself to style it how I would without any limited budget, and then recreate the same look as conservatively as possible.
What do you think? Can you tell the difference?
If you can, would you believe that the difference between these two ensembles is about $1,400?
True story. The ensemble on the left would cost approximately $150 to put together. Total. That’s it. The look on the right? About $1,650. Take THAT, stupid recession.
(The proof, should you doubt me:)
Sun dress / Tory Burch espadrille shoes / Strappy wedge / Jimmy Choo clutch / H&M straw clutch, $12 / La Mer wrap watch / Wet Seal bangle watch / Rebecca Taylor leopard print scarve / H&M sheer scarve, $7.61 / San Diego Hat Co. fedora hat / Forever 21 straw hat / Oversized sunglasses / Karen Walker Eyewear tortoise sunglasses
Hi friends, thank you for your patience.
I am working on a schedule that will allow me to post more often, and I plan to post much more consistently from now on with some great stuff. First, though, I wanted to jump on and address all of the questions I had about the at-home gel mani.
My results were gorgeous when I finished applying the manicure, so thick and shiny and smooth. However, the manicure did not last as long as I was hoping.
I was good for about 5 days, which is way longer than I can usually wear a mani (I’ve been told I have “oily nails.” Weird.) but I was really hoping that this would be my solution for at least a week of pretty tips. Close, but no seeeee-gar.
But fear not, my loyal and beloved Sparklers! I am a woman on a mission and I am now determined to find the perfect at-home alternative to the gel manicure, without having to buy one of those kits with the uv light and all that nonsense. Justice and vanity shall prevail!
Last week I was perusing (read: losing hours in the black hole that is) Pinterest and I found a pin that promised to replicate a salon-quality gel manicure at home, for less than $15.
I’m a bit of a pin snob. I don’t care how amazing the tutorial, tip, deal, or invention is. If the picture isn’t appealing, I won’t pin it. Do other people do that, or am I the only loon who practices discriminatory pinning? I will “like” unattractive pins, but they don’t make it to my boards. Does that make me a Pinterest Mean Girl?
Anyway, the photos on the blog post were all ugly, so I elected not to re-pin. I told myself. ”I’ll try this in a few days. I’ll remember that so-and-so pinned it and I’ll go back to her board when I’m ready to buy the stuff.”
You can all guess how that worked out for me.
Five days later and about twenty seven (slight exaggeration) lost hours later, I could not find that stupid, visually displeasing but oh-so-intriguing Pin! So off to Target I went, with only the vague memory that there were three products, the base and topcoat were Sally Hansen, and they said something about acrylic in their names.
And this is what I ended up with. I don’t know if this is the original formula I found on Pinterest, but I am absolutely thrilled with the results! I have a professional-looking manicure that is strong, smooth, and incredibly shiny. I used Essie’s “Hip-Anema,” a pretty new orangey-red. Make sure each coat is totally dry before moving on to the next. I purchased all of the supplies at Target, and they cost me less than $15 total. For less than the cost of a salon gel manicure, I have the supplies for dozens!
I can’t wait to see how it lasts. I will definitely keep you posted!