Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Sponsor Spotlight

This is one of my favorite times of the month-when I can take a moment and thank each and every one of my lovely sponsors for being a part of this blog. I appreciated having you all on board for September! As you know some my sponsors often have special deals and coupon codes too, so be sure to look for those below, because this month there's even a free giveaway for you too! :)


Stella & Dot



I absolutely adore all of the pieces by Stella & Dot  -you simply must pop by their online jewelry shop! Their pieces are regularly worn by celebrities but their collection is affordable and you're going to love them! If you're looking for a side business to make some extra money in this economy or while the kiddos are in school-this might be a great option for you. Did you know that Stella & Dot offers 3 different starter kit options to launch your very own fashion business by becoming a Stylist? You'll get hundreds of dollars worth of gorgeous jewelry pieces for a fraction of the cost! Plus, you can run your own business from home-perfect for stay-at-home moms, working women who are looking for extra income or those who just want to expand their accessory wardrobe!



Shabby Apple  



What I love about the Shabby Apple line is that each of their pieces is so ladylike, elegant and classy. They are very well known for the fit and comfort of their dresses, regularly featured as editor's picks in many fashion magazines. If you haven't heard of them, they have such a lovely collection of not only dresses but skirts, tops, swimwear, jewelry and they even have dresses for young girls and maternity wear too that are all modest! View their top-selling customer favorites HERE.



Maidenform





It's so important as women to have well-fitting bras and lingerie to support our bodies and what I love about Maidenform is that they offer elegant designs that are budget-friendly too. They have been at the forefront of women's undergarments for 90 years! Just this year they created a Limited Edition vintage-inspired intimates collection. Everything from bras and panties to shapewear and hosiery can be found at their online shop. Click HERE to save up to 75% off at their end of season sale.


Zinc Door



 Zinc Door is and online home decor shop offering a variety of gorgeous furniture & accessory pieces to decorate any space. What I love most about their store is that while on trend, you won't see the same types of pieces all over the web. If you're looking for that one-of-a-kind looking mirror, writing desk or wall art, they aim to please! I have enjoyed including some of their pieces in my e-design mood boards while decorating rooms for my clients. 



Lot 26 Studios


Lot 26 Studios features a wide range of wall art which includes family rules signs, city signs, wall decals, canvas wall art, memo boards and more! Customize any space with inexpensive and unique art that suits your style! Perfect for dorm rooms or temporary spaces such as apartments, these works of art add a chic look and a lot of personality to any room and are easily removable. One of my personal favorites is this chalkboard wall decal.


Blurb Books



My next sponsor has cute name-Blurb. They're an online shop which allows you to easily create your own custom professional-looking photo books. Think wedding albums, trip of a lifetime memories, baby's 1st years, a milestone birthday, coffee table books and more! You can literally put together a book with all of your Facebook or Instagram photos too! ***For a limited time anyone in Canada, U.S. and Europe can get a FREE 7x7 Instagram photo book created by importing your Instagram pics using the bookify book making tool. Offer covers up to $19.95 U.S., $17.95 EUR, $21.95 AUD or $19.95 CAD. Use code: INSTAHEART (tax & shipping still applies). Ends Oct.3, 2012 11:59pm EST.***
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All of My Love for All of My Days


Danette Dillon is the writer behind her personal blog titled 'All My Love for All My Days', she is a mother, wife and lover of Christ. She is passionate about helping hurting people, sharing her own journey through life and loving others. Who doesn't need more love in their life? Covering a multitude of topics, her light-hearted blog will leave your feeling happy and inspired. I hope you'll stop by to visit her and say hello!



C. Wonder


C. Wonder offers an entirely new retail experience: clothing, accessories and home decor products of outstanding quality and astonishing value in a setting that excited and inspires. While they have fun retail shops you can peruse, you need not live nearby for the experience, their online store hosts a variety of pieces.  Their customers adore how they pair timeless design elements with fresh twists, such as unexpected colors and patterned linings. Their collection is pared down to must-haves that enhance a room, refresh a wardrobe or inspire a memorable experience.  I am personally a huge fan of their jewelry! Enjoy an extra 50% off of sale items with code: FallFifty at checkout. Click here to see their sale items.



NYC, Style & A Little Cannoli



Rosemary is the author of the blog NYC, Style & a Little Cannoli. Growing up with regular visits to the big apple as a child, her blog features her favorite activities and adventures in New York City as a woman who now resides in Pennsylvania but visits NYC every chance she gets. She knows all the best restaurants, cafes, shops & activities to enjoy a day trip, vacation or even a lifetime in NYC. Her love of desserts and Italian background mean you're guaranteed to get a regular dose of sweet sugary eye candy. Do visit her and  also follow her on Twitter where she shares her favorite must-see places and must-eat treats!



Layla Grayce




Have you ever visited Layla Grayce? I'm a huge fan of their online shop! If you haven't seen their goods before, they offer gorgeous items for women, babies, children and the home. Everything from lighting and jewelry to cribs and monogrammed dishware. This shop is filled with everything girly and delightful. One of my favorite collections of their jewelry line is the Kirra Tate jewelry collection-it's so stylish and super affordable. Their earring collection is divine! Save 15% now off their entire store with code: LG8YRS until 10/31/12.


Once again a huge thank you to all of September's sponsors! Thank you to many of you who have already renewed your ad space for October and those who have purchased multiple-month ad spots! :)

Are you interested in becoming a sponsor of this blog and having your ad proudly displayed in our sidebar? We'd be honored to have you join us for October. The next 5 people who purchase our small ad space (150x150 size) will get it at 75% off using promo code OCT75! Click {here} for all of the details..it's a great way to try it out for just $5 and you'll be featured in a post just like this too at the end of the month!  :)

XO


Friday, September 28, 2012

Fashion Friday: Target Under $20



After hearing the same request from many of you about fashion posts and what to wear in blog comments, via e-mails, Facebook messages and of course the poll running in the sidebar, we will have regular posts all about classy fashion and how to dress classy. What does this mean? First of all, the items I select in my posts are items I would wear myself and might even have on my wish list, am inspired by or already own. The fashion posts each week will link to the item sources and will share why I've selected them and how they contribute to the overall look and appeal of a classy woman. To kick off the first post of the Fashion Friday series, I thought what better way than to share some fall budget-friendly picks from Target.

While a classy woman invests in key apparel pieces such as denim, black dress pants, trench coats and skirts that are of good quality and built to last, she knows that she can play around a little more with accessories. While she might find a great scarf, watch or sunglasses she'll own for years or even decades, smaller items like bangles, a sleek evening bag or a chic pair of earrings need not break the bank. Even a stylish watch at a desirable price can be a fun way of incorporating a current trend.

Once you've built a solid wardrobe filled with classics (which we'll go into greater detail in weeks to come), a great way to keep your wardrobe fresh and ever-changing is to add new accessories every season. It's the quickest and least expensive way to create new outfits and add versatility. Below are my selections so help you do just that....



31 Fall Fashion Accessories Under $20 from Target


Not wearing accessories is like having a house full of furniture and no artwork, flowers, pillows or rugs! Earrings help draw attention to your face and neckline and are something I wear every day. Bracelets and statement rings help add to the layering of an outfit. I own the black and gold filigree earrings-I adore them with dressier tops! I have my eye on the burgundy and gold clasp bracelet. This season is filled with bordeaux tones and this hinge bracelet is the perfect accessory!



Define your waist with a skinny belt in an unexpected pattern or color. I recently added the gold glitter belt, leopard print belt, brown braided belt and calf hair belt to my wardrobe. You can buy these in a smaller size to fit around your natural waist area to define the smallest point of your body or buy the belt a size or two larger and it can be worn through your belt loops. Wider belts are great for dresses and pulling a skirt and top together without a line of separation.



  Clockwise from top left: White watch / gold round watch /


Grow your collection of watches and include a variety of colors and materials that will go with a variety of outfits. My favorites are the brown tortoise with gold as well as the white resin with crystals and mother of pearl face-I own this Fossil watch which looks very similar. I invested more into it because Fossil watches last forever and I knew it was a classic design I'd have for years to come. Gold tones are quite popular right now and these Michael Kors knock-offs are a great price.





Clockwise from top left:  plaid cross-body / wine cross-body / chocolate croc clutch /


Large handbags are in for fall (and I'll cover those in future posts) but for a night on the town, leave the over-sized bag at home and opt for a cute clutch in a crocodile or snakeskin texture for evening. Pull out the strap and use it for daytime use. Cross-body bags are stylish and easy too-perfect for everyday wear especially for busy women on the go or those traveling by foot who don't want to carry excess weight. Grab a bright or fun color-this year bright, happy colors are in style for clothing and accessories so enjoy!





Scarfs are not only chic but they're practical too as the weather cools down. Wearing a lot of neutrals? Break it up with a great pop of fall color! The solid pashmina comes in lots of colors but I just loved purple.



I had a lot of fun putting today's post together and I'm already excited for next week's post which features great fall staples for your wardrobe from a classic brand which happens to be one of my favorites. Now, I'd love to know...what are your favorite ways to freshen up your fall wardrobe with accessories?

XO




*all image collages with text and header created by me, accessory items all from Target

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Becoming a Great Role Model for Your Children


Yesterday we focused a bit on the 10 Rules for a Happy Marriage. Today, I wanted to take a moment to focus on the relationship and interaction of women and children. As some of you know, I enjoy posting daily inspiration on the community Facebook page but once in a while I decide to expand upon it further-today is one of those days so I apologize for the repeat if you popped over from that page.

This is actually a gentle reminder for ALL women. If you're a mom, this is one of the most important pieces of advice ever! Children do not do as we  say, they do as we DO. For the ladies who are not yet mothers (like myself), start working today towards being the role model that you want your children to model themselves after one day, and you'll become a better person and more classy woman in the process! :)


"Be the change you wish to see in the world." 
~Ghandi


Now I want to hear from YOU! What is the best advice that you were ever given as a mom? Maybe you have some advice for the new moms out there or future moms?


I'll see you here tomorrow! I'm excited to share our very first Fashion Friday post with you!

XO





*photo credit

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

10 Rules for a Happy Marriage




I'm changing the pace a bit here today, I know many of you are married so I thought I'd share some tips for a happy marriage. Before I got married six years ago, my Aunt hosted a bridal shower for me and one of the fun things that the guests did was take turns sharing some marriage advice out loud with me and then wrote it down and each slip was placed inside a painted wooden box with a latch that now sits on the shelf in our family room. From time to time if I'm feeling sentimental I'll pull it off the shelf and read each one.

So, in addition to the 10 Rules for a Happy Marriage poster shown above, here are a few pieces of advice that were given to me in my advice box that you might find helpful....

Always compromise if you don't agree

Cherish each and every moment you spend together

Always remember that God put you two together for the greater good

Never go to bed angry

Remember to make time for yourself and continue to do the things you enjoy most


As we women tie the knot and spend our marital years learning and navigating the blissful moments as well as the choppy waters, we create our own rules and sometimes begin giving advice to others. One of my favorite pieces of advice came in the form of a Facebook comment on a post I wrote several months ago about the importance of being reconciled vs. right. She said the rule in her house is, "It's about what's right, not who is right". They focus on being a team and keeping in mind what is best for them as a couple instead of pointing fingers at one another and fighting over who is right. While that has always been the goal in our home (we often refer to ourselves as Team Davis) it hasn't always been easy with two strong minded and independent individuals. However, since I read that comment and shared it with hubby, we now make a point of reminding ourselves that it's about what is right and that nips any arguments in the bud.



What is the best advice you've been given about marriage or what advice would you love to give those who are just about to wed or maybe those who are struggling to stay together?

XO

Monday, September 24, 2012

Manners Monday: Bathroom Behavior



I hope everyone had an awesome weekend and is doing great! I feel like it's been forever since I've blogged. Most of you know I was away for 2 weeks visiting family and friends back home in Toronto, it was SO needed. Everything from re-connecting with some of the most important people in my life to getting to see how their children are growing up to taking in the first signs of fall were what I had been hoping for. I even got to meet a dear friend's first baby-a 7-week old baby girl named Savannah. She is such a doll! Since I was staying in her home for 10 days of my trip I got to see her and hold her often which was so great. I was so ready to blog once I got back home but then unfortunately was hit with a flu bug almost immediately-probably the result of recycled plane air. ;) After 4 days of feeling blah and a day trip to the beach, I'm feeling better-it's mostly thanks to a natural homeopathic flu remedy that I swear by so now I'm back in the blogging game again. ;)

Both leaving for my trip and in the airport waiting to catch my flight back to Florida, I encountered two interesting bathroom situations. I have been meaning to write about bathroom etiquette for a while but this trip just sealed the deal. It is clear to me more than ever that some people have a real disrespect when it comes to the public restroom environment. So, that is why it's the topic for today's Manners Monday post.



There are some simple considerations that if we all follow them will make things better for everyone involved. Here is a list in no particular order of things to be mindful of while in a bathroom whether it be your own home, while visiting in another's house or a in pubic restroom.

10 Rules for Better Bathroom Behavior

1. Privacy. Shut & Lock the bathroom door-even if you're at home, I can assure you that your family members don't want to see what you're doing in there. Strangers most definitely don't want to catch you in the act.

2. Get in & Get out-Often times in a public washroom there is a line. It is important to try to be as quick as you can out of consideration for others. Even when you are out of the stall and need to wash your hands it's good to wash and dry your hands quickly and do a momentary mirror check and move on. It's not the time to pull out a bunch of cosmetics for touch-ups when you have people trying to get past and wash their hands in a confined space, it will only annoy others.

3. No Smoking-On my first flight I popped into the closest restroom to wash my hands one last time before boarding the plane. I could barely breathe, someone before me had smoked a cigarette in the bathroom, if you can believe it! The whole area reeked of stale smoke and for someone allergic to cigarette smoke, I got out of their as fast as I could and found another one. That is probably one of the most disrespectful (not to mention illegal) things that one can do and a public space.

4.Wrap it up-When it comes to feminine products, be sure to wrap everything up properly with either the wrapper from a new product or toilet paper and ensure it went completely into the receptacle. There's nothing worse than entering a stall and finding used products lying on the floor or stuck to the disposal container itself. (I'm sorry that I even have to include this here but I keep seeing it in public washrooms so obviously some women out there need to hear this one more time or maybe for the first time-hopefully they'll somehow stumble upon this post.) Next to this would be to ensure even the clean wrappers from such products themselves are placed in the trash and don't get left on the floor if they've fallen.

5. Flush! When I was working at the airport, I can't tell you how many times I discovered stalls where people hadn't flushed and I always wondered what's so hard about flushing a toilet? This is in a tidy and diligent airport that gets cleaned properly by the hour! If you don't want to touch the button or lever in a public bathroom for fear that others have used their shoe-use your own shoe to flush (most people do and touching the handle would be super germy anyway).

6. No Cell Phone Zone-I will never understand why people want to talk to others while they're on the toilet and with the sound of flushing toilets in the background among other sounds. I would be not only disgusted but disturbed at why a friend felt the need to call me during such a time. The phone call can wait 3 mins! Even texting or touching your phone at all in a bathroom (especially a public one) is just a recipe for disaster, it is one of the dirtiest and germ-filled places and now those germs will be on your phone touching your face.

7. Reading Material-Some people enjoy bringing reading material in bathrooms for longer visits. If you're at work or in a public restroom, avoid doing this. It just signals to others that you will be in there for a while-giving them a clue as to what you'll be doing. It's just awkward for everyone.

8. Leave it as Clean as you Found it- In our own homes, we want to leave things as neat and clean as possible and there's no reason why the same rules should apply when we are in another's home or in a public restroom. If you dropped toilet paper, pick it up with a clean piece off the floor and dispose of it properly, the same holds true for paper towels. If you like to dry you hands and use the towel on the door handle so you don't have to touch it, if there's no garbage bin beside the door, take it with you outside and find a trash bin elsewhere, the floor is not a dumping ground for used paper towels. It goes without saying that any sprinkles on the toilet seat created by you should be cleaned up with toilet paper. A good way to avoid this is to line the seat with toilet paper or a seat liner so you can sit and are not hovering and making a mess.

9. Handicap Stalls- It's always best to leave a handicap stall available just in case someone comes in and needs to use it. However, especially if you are in an airport and have a big carry on bag and a lot of stuff, or need to change your clothes, squeezing into a tiny stall is sometimes not an option. I'm a private person and when I used to work at the airport I would use this stall everyday after lunch so I could floss and brush my teeth since our company did not have its own individual bathroom. I was quick about it though as to not take up that stall. Thankfully out of the whole 8.5 months that I worked there, only one time did someone in a wheelchair need the stall that I was in, and I was very quick to say I'd be right out. I notice it's also a popular one for mothers with more than one child, especially when they have a large stroller to maneuver.

10. No Bathing in Public Restrooms-This might seem like an obvious point but you'd be surprised at the amount of people that do this to some extent and in general what they choose to use the sinks for. About 4 years ago when I was still a member at Bally's fitness, I saw a women dying her hair in the sink of the women's change room. (I'm guess she didn't want to fuss with the cleanup in her own home?). On my way out of the gym that day, I let the front desk know about it. I was told that they did know about it and that it's become a problem. Literally 2 weeks later there was a plaque up on the wall near the sinks that said 'no dying of hair in sinks'.

While preparing for my flight back home to Florida, I popped into the restroom to brush my teeth after eating a meal. I was horrified at what I saw upon stepping up to the sink- by the way this restroom had handicap stalls without sinks so I was forced into the common area. ;) I watched a woman washing her face then making snorting noises (cleaning her sinuses?) but what followed was shocking to say the least. The woman was older and wearing a long dress that appeared to be a particular type of cultural attire. She took off her shoe and whipped her foot above the counter and into the sink!! All the while, I'm looking for my toothbrush in my toiletry bag and looking up thinking 'oh, no you did not just do that?!'

She followed by washing the other foot and drying off with paper towels and putting her shoes back on. Just as I located my toothpaste and started to zip up my carry-on bag she walked over to me and asked if I had any lotion. I could see where this was going and since my body lotion with a pump top was in my checked luggage and the only thing packed in my carry-on bag was a pot of face cream that is not for sharing, I simply said, "I'm sorry, I don't". She proceeded to tell me that her face got really dry from the plane air. I'm not sure if this woman had ever traveled before or just didn't understand the importance of packing travel size necessities in her carry-on bag or handbag along with not bathing in the bathroom.



One last thought...out of politeness, if another woman in a stall next to you didn't look first to see if there was toilet paper and she asks you, be kind enough to hand her a wad of it vs. a couple squares. She might need more and may be too embarrassed to ask for it. :)

I'm sure there are hundreds more that could be listed here, but these are the ones that stood out in my mind or those which I see happen frequently.

What's the weirdest or most shocking thing that you've come across in a public washroom? Leave a comment and share with us!

XO

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Heading in a New Direction....




I hope everyone had a fabulous Labor Day weekend and did something memorable or relaxing to bring the last summer long weekend to a close. It's been a bit crazy around here lately. As you know, last week was my birthday and then yesterday hubby and I celebrated our 6-Year Anniversary (it's exactly a week apart). I spent yesterday cleaning, running errands, doing laundry and packing for my annual trip back home to Toronto to visit my family and closest friends-this time for 14 days! It's a birthday present to myself and I'm very excited to head north and escape the blazing Florida sun and humidity in favor of seeing colorful leaves, wearing sweaters by night and enjoying hot apple cider and crisp evening air.

During my trip I will have my iPhone with me and will be checking e-mail here and there when I have downtime. If you have a question or leave a comment, I will read every single comment and e-mail but it may take a little while to get back to you. My plan is also to share regular inspiration on Facebook but it may not be daily as it is now, just until I return.

I'm really excited to get away and unwind and although I'll miss my husband, I need some ME time and I also really long to re-connect with my closest girlfriends who I now only see once per year. Hubby is staying behind holding the fort down while he dives into a new Master's Degree program.

Not only am I getting on a plane and heading in a new direction but once I'm home from my trip I'm excited to move in a new direction in terms of a new feature here on the blog too. Over a month ago I posted a poll in the sidebar and asked you what kind of posts you wanted to see more of. I had heard from several of you via comments and e-mails here and on Facebook that you really love the Manners Monday posts, so that is a series keeper. ;) What many of you wanted to see even more was fashion posts, such as the What to Wear  series that I created. I'm looking forward to sharing regular posts with you for varying ages all about what a classy woman wears, putting together outfits and I may even share my own outfits and break them down for you. ;) I'll be beginning a regular Fashion Friday series that you can look forward to just as you do with the Manners Monday posts. By all means, if you have a request for something in particular, do e-mail me and I'll do my best to share it here on the blog.

Thanks so much for reading! I've got my bags packed, passport in hand and I'm ready to head to the airport, so I'll see you all here again in two weeks! Have a  great week! :)

XO





*Photo Credit
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