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It's All in the Bag
Top Handbag Essentials

Ignoring the extreme wind/rain/snow outside, my walk to the mailbox yesterday had a major spring feel. It was a little difficult to ignore the wind in my springy cork platforms, but I managed.

I was surprised to find a “sorry we missed you” note from my mailman. Naturally I had no idea what this meant. An insured, certified parcel with return receipt and delivery confirmation/signature required? What is a return receipt? Can I return this thing if it isn’t something I actually want? Did the mailman at least leave the receipt so I can return it, if that’s even possible?!

Nope. No receipt.

Then it hit me. My new handbag! The super hip satchel I ordered for my mom’s birthday, but then changed my mind and decided to keep for myself! (Don’t worry, she still got a fab pair of mid heel wedges. that will go with just about everything in her closet!)

It was only 4:15 and the Post Office was open ‘til 5:00. I figured that would give me enough time to go pick it up. I ran inside, ransacked the office for the receipt I printed off when I ordered the bag because apparently the Post Office requires receipts as proof of purchase in case I want to return the item, then hopped in the car and headed to the P.O.

It was a 12 minute drive, leaving me with plenty of time to decide what items I would stash in my new handbag at all times so I can one day fulfill my dream to be just like Michelle Pfeiffer in One Fine Day. Or Mary Poppins. Scratch that, Michelle Pfeiffer's oversize tote was sooooo much more stylish than Mary's carpetbag...Where was I? Oh, right. Filling my new bag with the bare essentials. Of course I added more last night. Then I decided to subtract from my list of 37 necessities and narrowed it down to this:

Top 10 Handbag Essentials:

Great Wallet. I like my wallets to have separate areas for coins and cash, and organization-friendly pockets for credit cards, business cards and my driver’s license. I also love a wallet in a nice, bright shade so it is easy to find in my handbag. Tip: Keep a couple of clear Band-Aids in your wallet — perfect for when those nasty little blisters appear whenever one is breaking in yet another pair of adorable spring sandals.

Cell Phone. No explanation required.

Plenty of Green. By “green” I don’t mean money. I can see how you’d think that. I’m talking “green” as in a reusable shopping bag (folds up tiny). I love to have a couple of these little bags handy for trips to the farmer's market, and the occasional sidewalk sale! Okay, and I also mean money.

Chic Shades. Without them I am blinded by the sunlight reflecting off my vampiresque complexion. (If a sexy vampire world really existed I’d be welcomed with open arms.) I also have incredibly long eyelashes, which you'd think would be an asset right? Well, when it comes to sunglasses they are a bit of a nuisance — always hitting the lenses whenever I blink. But thanks to these gorgeous shades from Kate Spade, I am not only totally chic and stylish in the sun, but also not visually impaired whenever I blink!

Mini-Makup Kit: This includes lip gloss, pressed powder for shiny-face days and mascara. Oh, and don't forget a great little moisturizer — look for a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen for double duty protection. Rather than carry full-size mascara and lotion tubes, go for sample-sized. I adore this little purse-size kit from Smashbox. It has absolutely everything I need! It’s all you need for a quick touch-up and will save space. And I snapped up this great makeup bag to keep it all handy!

Gum or Mints. I don’t feel compelled to explain this one. But I do feel compelled to link to my new fave breath-saver (The Freshmaker!).

Hair Bands and/or hair pins. I always keep a few hair clips, hairbands and bobby pins in my purse. They’re especially handy when I am in a hurry or get caught in the wind/rain/snow and need to pull my hair back.

Hand Sanitizer and Fem. Items. These are grouped because I wanted to fit them both into my “top 10” list. Yep, I cheated. Hand sanitizer is more useful than one might think. Just get some. And the fem items can be tucked into an adorable little tote-of-it's-own, instead of rattling around in the bottom of the bag collecting lint.

Pen. It seems like any time I don’t have a pen handy I really need one, so now I do my best to have one at all times. Hubby is totally brill and bought me this mini notepad with pen so I wouldn’t have to worry about carrying yet another item in my bag. Then I found this über cute wallet pen; it’s my backup.

Mini Flashlight or LED Keychain. This can seriously come in handy. What if your cell falls under the seat? And speaking of keychains I have a fabulous little trick to keeping my keys organized and always where I can find them. A carabiner! I use it as a keychain, then I can clip my keys to one of the little loops that seem to be in all of my handbags, or I can clip them to the shoulder strap, or I can even clip them to my belt loop! No more rummaging around in the dark for my keys! And everyone thinks I am a total rock climber extraordinaire when they see the carabiner, even though the closest I have come to scaling peaks is wearing my new summer sandals!

With these items neatly stashed in your handbag, you’ll be ready for almost anything! Especially if you take advantage of the great deals out there and snap up an adorable spring handbag or two. I'm thinking this gorgeous crossbody is ideal for everyday use and this sleek white leather satchel is exactly what I need for dressier occasions.

Oh, and as it turns out the whole “return receipt” business had nothing to do with me returning the bag, which I never will because it is so gorgeous. I’m so glad I didn’t give it to Mom!



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She She Me & Girly's Favorite Things

Brighten with Burt's Bees NEW Collection!

Check out the newest launch and innovation from Burt’s Bees – their Brightening Collection. Formulated with daisy extract, a natural skin brightener harvested for its lightening powers, the 99% natural collection is both clinically proven and completely affordable. The five piece collection harnesses some of the best ingredients from nature to help reduce the appearance of dark spots and pigmentation in as little as four weeks.

  • Burt’s Bees® Brightening Daily Facial Cleanser (6oz. $9.99) is a natural lightweight cream cleanser which effectively removes dirt, oil, and make‐up and is clinically-proven to help improve the appearance of surface dullness
  • Burt’s Bees® Brightening Refining Tonic (6 oz. $9.99) is a refreshing way to perk the skin up while removing lingering traces of dirt, oil, and make‐up that may have been left behind
  • Burt’s Bees® Brightening Dark Spot Corrector (1 oz. $19.99) is the ideal non-comedogenic spot corrector that is clinically-proven to even skin tone and help diminish the appearance of dark spots
  • Burt’s Bees® Brightening Eye Treatment (.5oz $19.99) has been Ophthalmologist-tested and clinically-proven to even out skin tone and help diminish the appearance of dark spots and discoloration
  • Burt’s Bees® Brightening Even-Tone Moisturizing Cream (6 oz. $19.99) is a non-comedogenic and lightweight daily moisturizer clinically-proven to nourish the skin while leaving a clear complexion
    Burt’s Bees Brightening Collection can be purchased at

Your At-Home Spa Day

While winter drags on and on why don't you indulge in a little pampering – lounge in a warm bubble bath, paint your nails, give yourself a facial.  However, getting a spa glow doesn’t require shelling out the cash for a day away from home.  With a few of my favorite products, treating yourself to some R&R has never been easier:

The At Home Facial: Use Tammy Fender’s Travel Treatment Kit.

Tammy Fender’s Travel Treatment Kit is the perfect essential for an at-home facial.  You can choose a Cleanser, Tonic or Floral Water, Moisturizer and Serum that will work well with your skin type.  The kit comes with a 3-week supply of products, and all are formulated to keep your skin luminous while providing purification, hydration, nutrients and protection that healthy, glowing skin needs.

The Bubble Bath: Use the Soap & Paper Factory Luxe Bubble Bath

This Luxe Bubble Bath includes ingredients to make your skin so soft, you will never want to leave your tub.  The new, tall and slender Classic Collection luxe bubble baths are sleekly designed and will look gorgeous next to any vanity.  The baths come in original Soap & Paper Factory scents, including Verbena, Gardenia, Jasmine, Green Tea, and Lavender.

Mally 24/7 Gel Polish Nail Color 

The Mani-Pedi: Use the Mally Beauty 24/7 Gel Polish Nail Color

Skip the nail salon with Mally Beauty’s revolutionary nail polish.  Mally Nail Color provides the most vibrant color and glossiest shine that any color can provide without chipping, dulling or peeling!  Developed with the latest color trends in mind, this polish lasts for up to two weeks and will look great with any outfit on any occasion.

Healthy Hydration with Bio-Oil

Sally Beauty Relaunches FingerPaints Professional Artistic Nail Collection For Spring 2014

This spring, feast your eyes on the latest in nail lacquers from Sally Beauty Supply and rediscover FingerPaints Professional Artistic Nail Color. The line has been made new again with terrific new colors and finishes for your nails. Launching January 2014, with over 90 stylishly saturated shades, the newly formulated collection provides exceptional wear, resists fading, and lets you change your look as often as you change your mind. Choose from glitters, metallics, shimmers, toppings and soak-off gel formulas.

Get Your Glow on with Sensai

Even though our days are short and the warm sun is far away doesn’t mean we don’t dream of a summer glow. No one wants to have sallow skin during the long winter months. Sensai’s Bronzing Powder gives your face the perfect glow.

Sensai Bronzing Powder: This exquisitely light finishing powder keeps your skin hydrated while imparting a silky finish and a translucent glow.

L’Occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream


Give your tired tootsies a pampering break with L'Occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream!

Shea Butter Foot Cream is the perfect prescription for relief and well-being. This luxurious foot cream contains antiseptic A.O.C. lavender essential oil to purify, and anti-inflammatory arnica extract to help reduce redness and irritation. With hints of refreshing mint, this cream will cool feet by massaging from toes to ankles whenever feet are tired from too much walking, or when feet feel hot or tense. The Shea Butter Foot Cream is enriched with 15% nourishing Shea Butter for exceptional comfort.

Natural look trending!

The biggest trend in red carpet and media has been a natural beauty look.  Check out these “bare” essentials to perfect the look as if you don’t wear makeup at all!

  Every natural look starts with perfected skin.  Lumene Excellent Future Age Defying & Repairing Serum uses the latest scientific apple stem cell technology to repair, prevent, and delay the signs of aging.  It improves skin’s elasticity for a youthful smoothness and glow.
Colormetrics - TouchBack BrowMarker .04 oz. No matter how flawless the skin everyone looks bland without a bold brow, especially in the winter months! TouchBack BrowMarker is the easiest brow tool to get the perfect full brow look.  Works just like a felt tip marker, fill in quickly for a natural looking bold.  Available in 5 shades. 
Natural lips need to be smooth and moisturized.  noya Lip Balm is made of 4-6 all natural ingredients that you will most likely find in your kitchen.  They are the best long term moisturizers for lips and come in yummy flavors!
Best way to hold your hairstyle is to hold it up invisibly! Scunci No Slip Grip Beautiful Blends come in an amazing shade blending array of colors to match any hair type

John Frieda Hair Care's New Colour Innovation: Colour Refreshing Gloss

Introducing John Frieda® Hair Care’s newest colour innovation for 2014: Colour Refreshing Gloss. From the brand that brought you Precision Foam Colour and custom colour care shampoos and conditioners, John Frieda now brings home another complementary element of the salon colour process—gloss—to deliver fresh looking first day colour to first day colour throughout your colour cycle.

Available in six colour-prescriptive shades—warm and cool blonde, brunette, and red tones—this gentle, weekly in shower treatment restores vibrancy and tonal dimension between colouring, while counteracting fading, neutralizing colour change, and correcting the appearance of dull, washed out colour.

“I always recommend glosses to my clients between colouring—it gives hair that fresh, just-coloured look without the damage,” says John Frieda® International Creative Consultant Harry Josh. “I love the new Colour Refreshing Glosses because they actually restore lost pigments that are customized to a women’s hair tone, bringing hair back to its true, brilliant colour.”

Not sure which shade of the six prescriptive shades works for your hair colour? Log onto to learn how you can pick your perfect hue.

Winter Lip Service

Don’t let your lips suffer just because of the cold, winter weather. Help heal chapped lips and indulge with ESPA Mandarin Lip Balm. This lip treatment is rich in texture, refined in flavor, and offers a little bit of everyday luxury to soften, smooth and protect the delicate lip area. Enriched with a 100% natural formulation, derived from the finest ingredients including Mandarin Essential oil for a sweet citrus flavor and aroma, Wild Mango Butter to condition, soften and smooth, Pomegranate to increase hydration and Rosemary to protect against environmental damage.

ESPA Mandarin Lip Balm ($28): Nourishing, conditioning lip balm infused with sweet Mandarin. Deeply nourishes lips to leave them soft, smooth and supple and presented in a beautiful compact complete with integral mirror. Available at and select spas worldwide.

Kick Those Winter Blues Goodbye!

During the long winter months it is hard to not dream about tropical islands and a bit of summer. Don't be blue; you can have the scent of sun and sandy beaches all year round with Lavanila The Healthy Vanilla Coconut Collection. The fragrance ensures you’ll be whisked away to a tropical terrain every time you use their deodorant, body butter or fragrance.

100% natural and made with ingredients such as luscious coconut, bright tiare flower, fluffy heliotrope, creamy sandalwood and Madagascar vanilla. This scent gives you the lift you need – in a bottle.


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