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What To Pack for a Mini Vacation
plus Mother's Day Gift Guide

Oh, the weather is taunting me. One minute I am absolutely sure summer is around the corner and all my warm wishes will be fulfilled in my own city, and then the rains pour down and I just know I need to immediately get myself in a train, car, or airplane to a place known for it’s year round warm weather like Mexico or Florida. Or the Caribbean! Or Brazil! Or South Africa! Okay, I may be getting a little carried away here.

But, here I am, sitting on my couch in a cute sweatshirt (so 90’s reinterpreted with a fresh twist making it so now) while the rains try and break through my windows and I can’t help but think that maybe I need a break. Some type of spring break. But not so much in a girls gone wild flirting hard at some Bros kind of way, but more of a refined, looking fabulous, sometimes I believe I really am a grown up and if some nice gentleman would like to flirt with me and maybe buy me a beverage that would be lovely kind of way.

So where to go? I can envision myself strolling through shops, looking for a taste of the local flavor, strolling through museums, strolling through gardens. Wow, I must really be into strolling. I think that is probably because my new maxi dress looks so good when I’m strolling along.  On this vacation I will also require some type of poolside lounging, and perhaps some open air dining. Well, I have my wish list; I will ask my dear friend where she thinks we should go. She’s so good at choosing locations, and plus: she cares more. She can select our destination, and I can do what I do best: packing!

With all my strolling about I will certainly need excellent shoes. I’m thinking something flat, possibly woven, and as sandal-like as possible. This is a vacation after all. And isn’t one purpose of vacationing to show off your pedicure? Perhaps this pair will come with me on my vacation.

Now that I have shoes, let’s toss the easy things into the carry on: a swimsuit. I’ve already purchased a new suit for this year and am so excited to wear it! This is going to be great!  Will also need a cover up, and I think I may just use my maxi dress for that purpose. Oh, it seems that all of my vacation photos will show me in the same maxi dress. Hmm, I better bring two. Although, I could switch up the look of my dress with airy scarves, or put a top over my dress and pair with a skinny belt and suddenly have a whole new look! Perfect. I can easily toss a belt into my suitcase!

As it is, dresses are not of interest to my vacationing friend, so I will suggest she pack a skirt and one or two shorts. This pair would look marvelous on her! She could wear them with casual tees, embellished tops, tunics, or floral tanks.

While the last thing I want to do on vacation is think about my accessories, it is still important to bring some along. Anyway, all the thinking will be done pre-trip, so when it’s time to get dressed, precious vacation time won’t be lost contemplating the complexities of the arm party. That said, I must bring my bracelets! They are so fun, and so summery. Woven bracelets, wooden bracelets, leather, reflective, or shimmery bracelets can all go on one wrist.

Sunnies are a must. The sensible, smart, practical twirty girl will bring only one pair. I am not that girl. I will bring two. One for my face, and one for my bag. I will probably snatch up this cute sunglass case as well, seeing how at least one pair won’t be in use at all times. (Unless, of course, my friend forgets her pair, and I just happen to be so prepared that I am able to offer her the use of my back up.)

Have I mentioned scarves yet? They are so cute this season! Of course they need to be absolutely weightless, and in a gorgeous print or summery color. I can wrap one around my neck, or wrap one around my hair to protect my flowing tresses. It will instantly change a tired outfit into something a little more spontaneous, fun, and pulled together.

Also I must remind myself to find a crushable bag to tote around all my purchases from all the strolling/shopping I will be doing.

Good thing packing was so easy, now I can narrow down my magazine selection. Eight glossies seem like a bit too much for a carry on, no?

Hearts,

Shop Girl

 


Mother's Day Gift Guide

SHOWER ME WITH MUSTELA
Facebook Contest!!

This month, Mustela is giving away three ULTIMATE baby shower prize packs on their Facebook page! Just go to the Mustela Facebook page and "Like" us to enter!


Give Mom The Gift of Great Shape!

SPANX Swimsuits. Fashionable. Flattering. FINALLY! 


 


This Mother's Day:


Show Mom She's The (Bath) Bomb!

Stuck on ideas for how to show your love and appreciation for mom this year? Not to worry, LUSH has gifts that will make every mom feel magical.  This year, LUSH is launching fantastic new inventions sure to spoil moms everywhere rotten. Each is made with the finest ingredients and essential oils (only the best for mom), and have minimal preservatives and packaging – keeping kind to your other mother, Mother Earth!

NEW Mom Approved Innovations!

 

Mum Reusable Bubble Bar Wands: $8.95

This bouquet of reusable bubble bar wands will last way longer than the roses you always get for Mom and she will be sure to enjoy these “flowers” more since they contain the NEW Bubbleroon fragrances! Just one swish of these bars around the tub and mom can enjoy the fragrance of fresh cut grass (Mum bubble bar wand), a tropical getaway (Mum Tulip bubble bar wand) or a dozen roses (Madame Butterfly bubble bar wand). When she’s done, place on the side of the tub to dry. Each contains about six baths—a gift that keeps on bubbling!

 

 

The Dish Fairy: $6.95

This is our first foray into household products, a lemon-scented, unpackaged, unpreserved, solid wand so you can get your dishes clean and have soft hands too! This Mother’s Day, give mom the night off, fill the kitchen sink and swish around your fairy in the water.  The Dish Fairy makes this chore fun and will make you want to help mum out more often.

Sensational Gifts for a Super Mom:

 

Thanks Mum: $26.95

Just a little something or the lady who gives you everything. Treat mom to a few of LUSH’s most luxurious pieces and say “thanks” for being so lovely!

Contents: Tiny Hands, Dream Cream 45g, Butterfly Bubble Bar Wand, Sugar Scrub

Mamma Mia: $39.95

Treat Mom to some TLC with this lovely package containing a selection of hand care products and an indulgent assortment of bath goodies. She’ll enjoy some me time in the tub and her hands will thank you!

Contents: Lemony Flutter, Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner, Sultana of Soap, Buffy, Olive Branch

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day Tin: $56.95

This collectable tin contains beautiful bath time treats that mom can soak in long after her special day ends. After she’s experienced all the tin has to offer she can keep it to store photos, cards or items from Mother’s Day past and present.

Contents: Mum Tulip and Madame Butterfly re-usable bubble bars, Tiny Hands, Butterball bath bomb, Dream Cream, Ocean Salt, Miranda soap.


Unique GIfts for Mother's Day From NikNaks

Monogrammed Slippers - $20
Lenora Dame Alphabet Keychain - $30
Dabney Lee Monogrammed Coasters - $85
Butterscotch Blankees Personalized Blanket - $125
 

 Rock Mom's World With The Ahnu Jackie!

It’s Spring! Time to get outside and get moving. And now there’s a whole new category of shoe that’s somewhere between sneaker and fashion, for girls who like to do it all.

Introducing the new Ahnu Jackie.

Available in three bright wovens, this low profile slip-on is infused with high-tech comfort features and cushioning to keep you balanced and blister free – you could literally go hiking in these shoes! The rubber sole keeps you steady – even when splashing through Spring puddles – and moisture wicking mesh and antimicrobial treatment keep you high and dry. It’s truly the shoe for everything and everyday – the Jackie of all trades!

Pair with denim for a bike ride around the city, add some punch to your yoga pants for an urban hike, or style with a sundress for the ultimate cool, casual look.  

I have a pair in the gorgeous Bright Chartreuse and I will take this chance to rave about them! I am recovering from a horrible broken foot and subsequent surgery, and once I got the pin removed from my foot I found that I could not wear ANY of my shoes! My foot was extremely tender at the incision site, and still swollen after two months. The only shoes I could wear were a pair of old lace-up running shoes, and honestly, they did nothing for my image. Then I received my Jackie's. Not only are they extremely comfortable, but they are oh-so-stylish! Perfect for a weekend getaway or running errands around town. And they have saved me these past few weeks! I love them and I'm gonna get them in every color!


Ultra Chic Handbag from Marie Turnor Accessories

Marie Turnor Accessories has come out with a Limited Edition Real Leather Tin Foil Picnic Handbag.  Marie Turnor Accessories is known for their “Picnic” style which is designed to “imitate” a high end, stylish brown paper bag.

The Tin Foil Picnic looks like aluminum foil but is actual real genuine silver leather and  is only being produced for a limited time.  The style retails for $220.  It is available at www.mohawkgeneralstore.net or www.marieturnor.com


 L’Occitane’s NEW Pivoine Délicate Collection for Mom

Looking for a Mother's Day gift that Mom will adore? Check out the NEW Pivoine Délicate Collection from L'Occitane. Lovingly called the flower of a thousand petals, the peony reveals dazzling pink hues and subtle floral scents. The gorgeously packaged Pivoine Délicate products consist of irresistible fragrances and makeup that resembles the peony’s gorgeous pink shades and subtle scents. The collection includes Eau de Toilette, Hand Cream, Shimmering Powder, Eau de Toilette & Lip Gloss Duo (my personal fave!) Lip Shine, Lipstick and Lip Balm. Price: $12 to $45 at www.usa.loccitane.com.

  This special Limited Edition of our best-selling hand cream is enriched with Shea Butter, Vitamin E and Peony extract from the Drôme region of France. Its light texture and non-greasy formula helps to moisturize hands and protect them from daily aggressions. The Pivoine Délicate Hand Cream will leave your hands softened and delicately perfumed with a tender, floral scent.
  This original duo combines two beauty essentials in one conveniently sized tube. The Roll On contains the soft and powdery Pivoine Délicate Eau de Toilette. The Lip Gloss melts onto lips, coating them with a pearly radiant shine. This duo, perfectly sized to keep in your handbag, is a must for touch-ups throughout the day!
  The Limited Edition Pivoine Délicate Eau de Toilette celebrates the most tender garden Peony, with its pastel shades and large, luscious petals. This fragrance blends the delicateness of Peony petals with the fresh green scents of rose and Lily of the Valley. Made with a Peony extract from the Drôme region of France, this fragrance has a luminous floral accord with a soft powdery trail.
 
Our collection of Pivoine Délicate Lipsticks, enriched with a softening Peony extract, provides an instant feeling of comfort and beauty, and leaves lips feeling light and smooth. Rich in texture and delicately perfumed, the Pivoine Délicate Lipstick coats lips with a soft pink color with silver reflections.

Koh Gen Do NEW Premium Pressed Powder

Koh Gen Do is pleased to introduce a new pressed powder to its Face Powder series, a staple of the brand for over 20 years. This beautiful, high-polished powder – the perfect integration of skincare and mineral powder makeup – incorporates three subtle light-reflecting shades in one compact. Apply the feathery light powder to set foundation, blot or create a soft focus perfect veil on the skin.

Koh Gen Do Premium Pressed Powder (SRP $73) is infused with premium grade emollient oils of shea butter, jojoba seed oil and olive squalane, plus ceramide 3 to help restore the skin’s barrier. Skincare specific coatings prevent dryness that is usually associated with powder.


Fabulous Custom Fashion Bags
from Forever Frogs

Forever Frogs is a fun new line of personalized fashionable messenger bags, lunch sacks, drawstring bags and even backpacks for both adults and kids. Design a custom bag online and choose from a variety of fun prints and bright solid colors on each section of the bag - from the front to the inside - and even the zipper. Bags can even embroider with your name for an extra personal touch. Women can choose from zebra print, damask, polka dots, stripes and more. There are also a large variety of kid friendly prints like peace signs, floral print, owls, camouflage and tie dye. The bags offer a variety of uses including, toting to the office, school, travel…anything!

I recently received an adorable personally created lunchbag which turned out so gorgeous that I am using it as a mini handbag! I have received so many compliments on it that I have decided these bags will be my signature gift at baby showers and bridal showers! They make excellent gifts for girls of all ages!

Forever Frogs was created by a mom who lost her daughter to brain cancer, at the age of 5. A portion of all proceeds are going to the Payton Wright Foundation. The bags are made in the U.S. and are made using only high quality, durable fabrics.  www.foreverfrogs.com

 


Let Laura Ashley Help You Celebrate Mother's Day in Style!

Why just give Mom the same bouquet of flowers for this Mother’s Day? Why not give her floral and fruit scents to enjoy and remember you throughout the year?  Laura Ashley USA’s new Pink Petals, Floral Heart, and Green Meadow lines of perfume products would be a welcome surprise for Mom this year.  The perfumes and body washes in the line range in suggested retail price from $24 - $78.

Our new Pink Petals fragrance combines fresh top notes of exotic water fruits with a pretty floral heart of sensual flowers and a creamy woody base. Perfume designed by Azzi Glasser
Our new Floral Heart fragrance has a rich abundance of fresh fruity top notes, balanced by a luxurious heart of rose de mai, magnolia and tuberose absolute with a classic musk base. Perfume designed by Azzi Glasser.
Our new Green Meadow fragrance features top note higlights of soft fruits combined with a passionate heart of flowers and hot amber and musk as its base. Perfume designed by Azzi Glasser.

 

Cheery Flowery UmbrellaThe Erin City Umbrella - Cherry Charoal (or one of the other styles) is a striking floral umbrella from Laura Ashley USA offers an automatic opening and a wind-resistant frame. It includes a superior sixteen-spoked canopy and provides a robust structure to help Mom bear a spring or summer shower in style. The suggested retail price of this umbrella is $28. (Image attached.)
Flower-clad Garden Bag and Tools – Laura Ashley USA’s Cressida Garden Bag and Tools have a beautiful flower pattern on the 8-pocket canvas gardening bag, which contains a cultivator, trowel and fork to inspire Mom’s gardening this year. The suggested retail price for the kit is $85. (Image attached.)

Give Mom Radiant Skin For Mother's Day!

Just in time for Mother’s Day Murad, Inc will release the Intensive-C® Radiance Peel an anti-aging formula that reveals an instantly brighter, more youthful appearance by actively smoothing and illuminating skin to enhance radiance, while reducing hyperpigmentation to restore skin clarity.

How Intensive-C® Radiance Peel Works:

  • Glycolic Acid exfoliates to accelerate turnover of dark damaged cells, removing dullness and improving skin texture.
  • Vitamin C and Indian Fig protect against free radical damage while enhancing skin clarity and luminosity.
  • Myrtle Extract supports collagen production to boost youthful resilience and elasticity.

Intensive-C® Radiance Peel is available on Murad.com and at the Murad Inclusive Health Spa® and is also available at Sephora, Ulta and leading salon and spa locations nationwide. $49.50 for 1.7 FL. OZ.

Murad is also excited to announce Time Release Retinol Concentrate for Deep Wrinkles which targets stubborn creases and crow’s feet, and visibly reduces the appearance of deep wrinkles by 45% in 6 weeks*.  Featuring new technology that controls the release of Retinol over time for maximum performance, Time Release Retinol Concentrate for Deep Wrinkles is a triple-action, wrinkle-fighting treatment that helps rebuild damaged collagen and diminishes the appearance of deep wrinkles wherever they appear.

Time Release Retinol Concentrate for Deep Wrinkles is at the Murad Inclusive Health Spa®, Murad.com, Sephora, Ulta, Massage Envy Spa and leading salon and spa locations. $65.00 for 0.5 FL. OZ.


Kimono Rose Gift Set

Give the gift of the Kimono Rose Gift Set from Thymes to remind your mother this year how sophisticated and chic you think she is.

This limited edition gift set features three stand-out Kimono Rose products: a hand cream, a votive candle and bath salts. The rich, warm Kimono Rose scent imbues any room with a sense of luxury and calm. The Kimono Rose Gift Set, donned with a delicate floral pattern, is the perfect pampering experience for the lady of the house this Mother’s Day.


ZAMRIE Launches e-Commerce Site

About  ZAMRIE: Chicago native Ashley Zygmunt started her career working under high fashion powerhouses Zac Posen and Peter Som in New York City.  Upon returning to the Windy City, Zygmunt was chosen as one of six designers for the Chicago Fashion Incubator 2009.  Sponsored by the City of Chicago and Macy’s, this promising program helped her launch her own label ZAMRIE.  A collection of stylish, wearable pieces that are made for mixing matching, the ZAMRIE collection oozes sophistication and intrigue.  Bold prints in classic silhouettes and feminine detailing are a staple of the Zygmunt’s collection.  Versatile blouses, tanks, tunics, skirts, jackets and more are available each season in a variety of prints, solids and styles. 

A compilation of timeless pieces that are both fresh and classic, ZAMRIE draws inspiration from generations of women’s style. The label will simultaneously remind you of the modern, bold look of your best friend, the effortless elegance of your grandmother, and the easy confidence of a girl in her favorite, wear-all-the-time dress.

Style is a combination of confidence and amazing clothing – and it’s what women discover in ZAMRIE’s collections of comfortable, versatile pieces that are unmatched in design and quality. At ZAMRIE, you’ll find upgraded basics to wear for life – and discover statement pieces that you’ll never find again.

Here are a few of my favorite looks from her Spring 2012 line:

Emily Relax V-Top
Wesley Ruffle Dress
Louise May Kimono Top
Kim Scarf Dress


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