How to Find Holiday Style Essentials for a Steal

I’m planning to spend the entire holiday season in St. Louis. So, my holiday style essentials this year are a little less swimsuit and a little more outerwear. As I shop for holiday style bargains to jazz up my style this holiday season, I’ve been prioritizing color and weather-appropriateness.

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St. Louis Premium Outlets Haul (c/o):

BCBG Max Azria jacket | J.Crew Factory top | Tory Burch sunglasses (via Off 5th)

Other items:

Leggings (only $18) | Pumps (newer option) | Bag (option)

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I was invited recently to shop the holiday selections at the St. Louis Premium Outlets, and I was excited because I just knew I would exceed my shopping goals.  You see, the bargain shopping possibilities there are endless.

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One of my first stops at the mall was the BCBG Max Azria factory store. I had such great luck there last time. Remember my pleated maxi skirt in the perfect wine color (seen here and here)? I had high hopes of finding perfect holiday style bargains.

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I walked into BCBG, and I immediately scanned the store for color. Yes—I spotted something in the best shade of green. So, I made a beeline towards it. And, yes—it was a structured moto jacket with shoulder epaulettes, notched lapels, and front zip pockets. Yes, again—this jacket that retails for almost $300 was about 70% off at the factory store. All I could think at that point was, “please fit me!” And, it did!

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For the rest of the shopping trip, I looked for pieces that’ll pair well with the stunning moto jacket. I found the printed blouse I’m wearing at J.Crew Factory; it was 50% off. I got an additional discount by using my VIP pass. Just so you know, anyone can join the VIP shopping club at the Premium Outlets to get access to exclusive deals.

Holiday Style Bargains Premium Outlets

After just one shopping trip, I found the perfect piece to add a pop of color and a little edge to my holiday styles. And, the price? Unbeatable! So, guess where I’ll be heading if I need anything else.

Disclosure: I was invited to shop the St. Louis Premium Outlets as a blogger and received a gift card to shop the mall.

A Day in the Central West End + Win a Gift Basket ($500 Value)

Last Sunday, I experienced life in the Central West End (CWE) the best way possible―through the eyes of the experienced team at 4101 Laclede. The CWE is a bustling St. Louis neighborhood. It’s so happening right now that it was named a top 10 great neighborhood in America by the American Planning Association. Why? Because this neighborhood has everything from sidewalk cafes to historic streetscapes to quaint boutiques. In addition, the CWE will soon be able to brag about its modern luxury residences on Laclede.

4101 Laclede will break ground in December. Developers project completion in about a year after that. And, let me tell you, I want to put my house on the market and move in. The 54 residences at the development will offer modern living at its best. You name it, 4101 Laclede has included it in its thoughtful designs. Gourmet kitchens. Walk-in closets. USB charging outlets. Soaring 10-foot ceilings. And, the best part? The location. The CWE is literally at the doorstep of 4101 Laclede.

Central West End Living

Retreat Gastropub, for example, our first stop on the tour that Sunday, is across the street from 4101 Laclede. Imagine rolling out of bed and stepping into one of the best brunch spots in St. Louis. That’s the life!

Retreat Gastropub Brunch Central West End

Since it was a tad chilly on the day of the tour, we navigated the streets of the Central West End in golf carts. And, I had so much fun. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have caught a few of my hilarious Instagram Stories that day.

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Our next stop was the World Chess Hall of Fame, an institution unique to St. Louis that celebrates and educates about the game of chess.

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Our visit to the World Chess Hall of Fame coincided with the Designing Chessmen exhibit. This exhibit is open through March 12, 2017, and it’s a must-see. When you visit, be sure to stop by this wine glass chess set. How cool is that?

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Kit and Ace, a clothing and accessories line best known for its comfy, machine-washable cashmere pieces, was the next stop. We sipped on mimosas, played video games, and of course, explored the styles.

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I picked up this cozy tee in one of my favorite colors of the season. Stay tuned to see how I wear it.

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I was really excited about our next stop, Centro, your one stop for high-design furniture, accessories, and lighting. I had gotten glimpses of the store before, so I knew I would be inspired in the space. The pieces and displays are breathtaking.

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Back on the grounds of 4101 Laclede. What better way to end an exciting tour than on the grounds of the future luxury condominiums at 4101 Laclede?

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Cheers to a successful CWE living tour and to exciting new developments in the area.

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Now, it’s your turn to experience a bit of the CWE and St. Louis living in general. Enter below to win this $500 gift basket.

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What you win: One bottle of Butter Chardonnay, one bottle of special 4101 Laclede Reserve with two etched wine glasses, a box of Bissinger’s fine chocolates, a $10 gift card to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, Jeni’s Desserts Cookbook and patch + pins set, $50 gift card to Retreat Gastropub, $50 gift card to Kit+Ace, $25 gift card and fresh grounds from Northwest Coffee Roasting Company, Left Bank Books coffee mug, a 12-month membership to ALIVE Magazine, and a Bowood Farms potted house succulent. ($500 VALUE)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rules: Only entries that are fully completed with valid information will be considered. Winner will be contacted by December 16th, 2016 by email. Must be 21+ to enter and win. By entering you are opting into 4101 Laclede’s e-subscriber list and understand that you may receive promotional content.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Alive Network. All professional photographs taken by Ashley Kuenstler.

BeautyKind: Beauty Buys that Support Your Favorite Causes

Just in time for the holidays. I’m so excited to share a new kind of beauty retailer that’s making shopping for beauty products an even more beautiful experience. BeautyKind, an online retailer of the beauty brands you already love, donates 5% of every purchase to a charity of your choice.

BeautyKind Beauty Retailer

Makeup. Hair products. Nail care. Tools of the trade. You name it, BeautyKind carries it. At the end of your purchase, you also name the charity you’d like to receive 5% of your purchase price. And, your chosen charity receives the entire 5% since BeautyKind covers all of its own operational expenses.

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Think you might find it challenging to narrow down a single cause? No worries. BeautyKind features 4 charities for a cycle. Furthermore, you can explore the missions of featured causes right on the BeautyKind site before deciding on one.

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By the way, I really enjoyed my first BeautyKind package. I got to try a Nest Fragrances candle that smells divine and a Goldfaden MD facial product that’s perfect for my sensitive skin.

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Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I received a review box of BeautyKind and loved the concept so much that I thought you should know about it.

How to Make a St. Louis Staycation the Best Ever

When my homegirl Danyelle of The Cubicle Chick told me that she was rounding up the #STLChicks for a St. Louis staycation at Marriott St. Louis Grand, I got on board immediately. Danyelle hosts the best events. They’re fun, educational, and they connect you with the right people at the right time. It was actually her blog conference 5 years ago, my first blog conference, that pushed me to approach blogging seriously.

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So, I packed up my favorite weekender bag, tossed on a comfy outfit, and headed downtown last weekend. I knew the trip would be a great opportunity for connecting with fellow influencers. And, I knew we would have a blast the entire time. What I didn’t anticipate was feeling completely transported in my own city, in a hotel so near to my house. But, I did. Today, I’m reflecting on the crucial things that made this St. Louis staycation such an enjoyable trip.

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1. Choose a hotel that suits your style. Aesthetics matter to me. And, the Marriott St. Louis Grand is a fashionable gal’s haven. First, it’s housed in a beautiful historic building with an exterior that’s pleasing to the eye and also perfect for outfit photos. Second, the hotel’s redesigned interior is modern and minimalist and swanky, all at the same time.

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2. Choose a location that excites you. St. Louis city is a defining touchstone in every image I share on this blog. What can I say? I’m a city gal. And, the Marriot St. Louis Grand is nestled in the heart of downtown St Louis. I simply stepped outside into the following dreamy cityscape.

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And, here’s the view from my room on the 18th floor:

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3. Choose a hotel that has all the amenities to satisfy the needs of your trip. This recent getaway was a girl’s trip organized around a special networking event for influencers hosted by Danyelle. That event, which drew about 20 local bloggers, took place in one of the Marriott St. Louis Grand’s private dining rooms. We had bites. We had drinks. We had all the elements necessary for a good time. The following morning, the #STLChicks ended our trip with a special breakfast.

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4. Choose fellow travelers who inspire you. On this trip, I had the absolute pleasure of spending the weekend with fellow digital-savvy influencers. We talked about goals. We shared knowledge. We encouraged each other. We made magic together.

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By the way, if you’re not already following these women, get to know them:

Danyelle Little of The Cubicle Chick

Angel Watkins of Angel Watkins

Shaquan Grove of Coach Shaquan

Brandy Butler of Brandy Butler Online

Winnie Caldwell of The Wire Hanger by Winnie

Lakesha Brown of Uncommon Chick

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Disclosure: This trip was hosted by Marriott St. Louis Grand. Our accommodations were provided free of charge for review purposes. All of the opinions and ideas are my own.

What’s in My Bag Including 2 Dinner Giveaways

I’m back with another what’s in my bag post (and a giveaway)! I don’t know why, but I love seeing what people carry around in their bags. You too? This fall, I’m primarily carrying a small crossbody bag. Since it’s smaller, I’m forced to pack efficiently. By the way, I have a super cool surprise for you in this small bag. I’m giving away two $25 gift cards to Elephant Bar Restaurant in St. Louis!

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What’s in my bag:

Suede crossbody bag (port)

Wallet and business card holder (options in surprise sale | ending tonight)

Travel sized lotion

iPhone 7 in case

Mophie charger (c/o, find out why it’s purple)

Favorite pen and a marble memo pad

Favorite fall lipstick (Mac Rebel)

Gum

Tory Burch Marion Suede Crossbody Bag Port

I tried the new menu at Elephant Bar recently. Oh my gosh! The cocktails, like the Ultimate Rye Manhattan, are amazing, and the food is even better. Since I’m vegan, the restaurant whipped me up a few super special off-menu options, including tofu lettuce wraps and a tofu stir-fry. My husband, on the other hand, really enjoyed the shrimp and chicken jambalaya. We have plans to return to Elephant Bar, and I think you should visit too. To make the decision to visit easy, I’m giving away two $25 gift cards. Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Entries can be made until Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 11:59 PM CT.
  2. Must be in or near St. Louis or another city with an Elephant Bar to redeem gift card.
  3. 2 winners will be randomly selected using random.org
  4. Selected winner has 48 hours to respond to winning notification email. In the event of no response, another winner will be selected.

Disclosure: Elephant Bar hosted me and a guest for dinner and also provided the gift cards in this giveaway.