Long Weekend Ideas

Basically I have come to the conclusion that my co-workers and I are the only people in America working this week...not complaining because my usual commute has been half as long and I get to parade out all my new Christmas fashions and discuss their origin at length.

Don't feel too sorry for me though because as of last night at 6pm, I have three days off...in a row...on a weekend!  What's a woman to do?  In my case head out of town but for those of you looking for some suggestions, here are some ideas for your long weekend ahead.

Idea #1: Browse the sale pages of bloomingdales.com

Click here to get started.

My husband always makes a case for waiting until after Christmas to buy one anothers' gifts because the prices are so much lower.  I always protest but after viewing Bloomingdale's sale, I sort of wish I would have taken up his offer.  So much to choose from!  Here are a few of my picks:


L to R: Aqua Printed Ruffle Camisole $46.80 To Buy
Quotation: Autumn Cashmere Flame Stitch Swancho $71.20 To Buy


L to R:  DVF "Meghan" Leopard Print Merino Wool Scarf $138.60 To Buy
House of Harlow 1960 Peacock Necklace $57.75 To Buy

Artwork-inspired cami, a favorite wardrobe staple for this CC...a Missoni-inspired long cardigan?  I'm in!  And remember this guy?  Now you can have the coordinating scarf and be neck-to-knee neon yellow leopard print!  This House of Harlow 1960 Peacock necklace made every accessories editors' Must Have list and now you can have yours for almost half price.

This is just a sampling of Bloomingdale's super sale selection...and they are also having their annual handbag markdown event...double bonus.  Try to tear yourself away from your computer at some point (bonus idea).

Idea #2: The Cost Plus World Market $25 Challenge

The idea is simple.  Head to Cost Plus World Market and limit yourself to a $25 spend limit and see how much you can take home.  In case you were wondering, that's around 8 bottles of Electric Reindeer which is now on sale for $2-$3 a bottle.  Electric Reindeer is still very January.

Here are some of the international treasures I took home:

T to B: Silver Mosaic Votive Candleholders Set of 2 for $5.98 To Buy, Red Naveen Pillar Candleholders $4.99 to $8.49 To Buy

And you know I had to have these bangles as previously mentioned:

You will have a difficult time limiting yourself just to $25 with all the deals going on in-store.  How can any normal person resist Russian Doll Salt and Pepper Shakers for $3.99 or a set of 4 stemless martini glasses for $5.96?  Uh...they can't!  If you are one of those people who likes to stock-up on their Christmas supplies a year ahead of time when it is much less expensive, you will love their gift wrap.  Three rolls of wrapping paper for less than $4.  Grab a bottle of bubbly for tonight too.

Idea #3:  Go see "The Fighter"

Photo Credit (Suntimes)

True.  I will always have a soft spot for Marky Mark and for some reason angry Christian Bale happens to be my favorite actor, so to have the two of them sharing the same screen?  Yes please!  I acknowledge the reviews have been mixed (mainly because Mark Wahlberg sort of plays the straight man to all the goofballs in his life) but you will not be disappointed.  My husband and I see one movie a year in the theatre because we don't like most movies and hate wasting $40+ (I have to have candy and popcorn) and we both loved this movie.  (Disclaimer: he loves Marky Mark too.)  Males and females alike will enjoy and get this, it is actually more comedy than drama.  Much more crazy family movie than sport movie.  My lazy butt thought it wanted to become a boxer after too?  Don't worry.  That feeling fleeted very quickly.

Idea #4:  Watch a Parenthood Marathon

Photo Credit (NBC)

The last few tv seasons have been disappointing for CC.  I have lost more shows on my DVR than I have gained.  Save for 2:  The Vampire Diaries and Parenthood.  Parenthood is like an All-Star team of tv MVPs.  Five words:  the return of Lorelai Gilmore.  Also Coach, the guy from Six Feet Under (super cute Peter Krause) and really funny Dax Shepard.  You will find Parenthood funny, touching, relatable and you might even cry every other episode.  One of my new favorite conflict resolutions techniques is borrowed from an episode in season 2:  I hear you.  I see you.  Who says you can't get therapy from tv?  The second half of the season 2 starts Tuesday, January 4th so get caught-up!

You can watch both seasons at nbc.com.

Idea #5:  Go to the Rose Bowl or Sugar Bowl (Or Just Watch On Tv)

I did not attend either university but I come from a Big Ten family.  So even though we are bitter rivals when playing against one another, CC always pulls for her fellow Big Ten-ers.  More importantly, this is the sweater I would wear for each of the games, whether watching in-person or from the couch.

Cotton Cable Boatneck Sweater
$39 at victoriassecret.com To Buy

No pressure but CC's team already won their Bowl game.  Granted it was a Bowl I had never heard of but a win nonetheless. 

Idea #6:  Be Happy and Healthy in 2011!

So there you have it!  The last CC post of 2010 -- the year it all began!  I hope everyone enjoys their holiday weekends safely and has a healthy and happy 2011. 

Sorry no philosophy quote applicable for New Years...trust me I tried!

Thank you for reading.


An Elitist's Dream

This week the CC will be hitting the country for some much needed rest and relaxation for New Year's weekend.  What I am really looking forward to is cozying up on the couch and getting a chance to partake in an activity I have neglected in the weeks leading up to Christmas...reading.

In searching for a book to bring with me on my trip, I stumbled across this list from BuzzSugar on books that are currently being adapted into movies.  BuzzSugar points out how by selecting a book from this list you can finally be that person who says, "I thought the book was so much better than the movie."

Click here to flip through 15 books currently in the works for the big screen.


Two Words: Game On

My presents have been opened and the cookies have been eaten, meaning there is only one favorite part of my holiday season left...the after Christmas sales!

After Christmas sales are the best because all the items you have been coveting since Fall are on super sale and the gifts you wanted to buy for yourself (but restrained) are now marked down.

Although it never feels good to add more dollars to the spent column, some of these post-holiday deals are hard to resist.

For example:

As I lamented last October it is never fun being at the pool wearing the same swimsuit as a model half your size.  You do feel slightly better knowing your suit was 20% off though.

Through Thursday, save 20% on Victoria's Secret Clearance Swimwear

Granted I will give you that the thought of putting on a swimsuit after a few weeks of indulgence makes me a little queasy, but truly this is a rare deal from the folks at VS.  You can get a swimsuit for less than $25 which is a rarity, never mind how fun it is flipping through the different color options and selecting the perfect bottom.  Order now and save for spring break!

Save Up To 75% at Bath and Body Works

At the B and BW, you can almost always get some version of a deal.  The deal that I am most interested in is the 50% off seasonal Slatkin candles.  You can save the more holiday-oriented scents for next year while grabbing a few winter scents to use the rest of the season.  And while you are there, you can always grab my favorite Anti-Bacterial Hand Soap for $2.50 each.  Score!

Simply Vera Vera Wang at Kohl's

I love, love, love the holiday collection from Vera Wang.  The bedazzling, artist brushstrokes and jewel tones, so much to love, so little price.  Grab a few pieces at a fraction of the cost to make your boring winter basics a little more interesting, especially when trying to beat the winter wardrobe doldrums.

Holiday Clearance at Cost Plus World Market

I have been obsessing over these bangles for about two months now so I am thrilled to take advantage of a good ole' fashioned two-for-one.  In case you didn't know, World Market has the best tribal influenced jewels at a much lower cost than other retailers.  You might be tempted to save your tribal bangles until spring...don't!  Bangles of all styles are popping up on the wrists of fashion plates everywhere this winter.

This is just a sampling of all the fab sales out there for post-holiday shoppers.  Head to your favorite retailer's website and see what they have to offer.  Shop early to take advantage of the best inventory and best selection.  Prices will go lower in about two weeks but if you wait, you will have access to a fraction of the selection.

Treat yourself...you have been good all year!


All I Need To Know In Life I Learned From A philosophy Bottle

The holidays can be a little rough on your favorite CC.  Busy at work and preparing for Christmas makes for one loony CC.  One who does not have as much time as she would like to discuss all things chic and cheap.

The good news!  Christmas is almost here and I can finally reveal all the fabulous gifts I have been dying to tell you about!

In the meantime, my holiday wishes can best be expressed via the text on my philosophy candy cane shower gel:

may your season sparkle with wonder.
may your season sparkle with light.
may your season sparkle with love.
may your season sparkle with hope.
may your season sparkle with joy.

Merry Christmas and I look forward to sharing a stylish New Year with you all. 

Available at Sephora and philosophy.com


9 Days And Counting: Universal Gifts

The countdown is shockingly on...how did it become mid-December already?

Believe it or not I am actually done shopping give or take a little prezzie here and there.

That being said, we all know the hardest people on our list are always the last presents we have left to shop for.  Over the years I have compiled an arsenal gifts, no matter whom the recipient, that are always a homerun.

1.  UGG Slippers

I will admit, I was slow to jump on the UGG bandwagon, but now that I am on, I will never get off.  You also might be thinking UGGs are just great gifts for women but not true!  Over the last few years I have gifted UGG slippers to some of the men in my life and I would venture to say they might enjoy their UGG slippers more than any woman I know.  Guaranteed no matter whom the recipient, they will love their cozy footwear and be forever grateful for their sheepskin heaven.

L to R: Women's Cozy Knit Heart Slippers $100 at uggaustralia.com To Buy
Men's Ascot Slippers $100 at uggaustralia.com To Buy

CC Tip:  Please remind your recipient to NEVER under any circumstance, not even once, to wear their UGGs with socks.  Just one time can make them stink-o for a lifetime no matter how delightful one's foot might smell.

2.  Kiehl's Skincare Products

Kiehl's skincare products may not be the flashiest gift under the tree but I have yet to find one person who does not appreciate the quality and value of their Kiehl's products.  I literally buy it for everyone on my list from my father-in-law to my boss.  I love Kiehl's because it makes me feel like I am traveling back in time as Kiehl's was originally an apothecary on the Lower East Side.  Plus, they pride themselves on all natural ingredients.  My personal faves:  the Creme de Corps Soy Milk and Honey Body Polish for women and the Facial Fuel Energizer Face Wash for men (I love it too).  Also, people die for the Creme de Corps body lotion.  

Creme de Corps Soy Milk and Honey Body Polisher
$28 at kiehls.com and upscale department stores To Buy

Ultimate Man Collection Set
$50 at kiehls.com and upscale department stores To Buy

3.  GAP t-shirts

GAP makes the best vintage-y tees.  Supersoft and the perfect basic to work with the other more interesting items in anyone's closet.  The best part?  Your recipient does not have to spend their money replacing their basics or stocking-up on everyday tees.  My husband always stocks up on his GAP tees so they are man approved gifts too.  I love the Supersoft long-sleeved T.

GAP Supersoft long-sleeved T
$19.50 at GAP stores and gap.com To Buy

4.  Digital Bank

You might think I am joking but I am not.  I actually gave this gift initially to my husband because we were keeping our change in plastic cups and always curious how much we had.  Well problem solved with a digital bank that counts your change for you and tells you with each addition exactly how much you have.  It was the first birthday gift my husband used and has provided us with countless entertainment since.  It may sound stupid but I can guarantee your recipient will enjoying the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly how much change they have at all times.  You're welcome.

You can find this bank at Macy's, Bed Bath and Beyond for around $10
Kohl's has a fancy leather one for $15

5.  Electric Wine Opener

Well, if you thought the digital bank was too much entertainment for one gift list, then hold onto your bottles because your world is about to get crazy.  I actually received this as a gift from my father-in-law and he could not have been more excited to give it to us because he is so in love with it.  And now that it has been on my counter for two years, I cannot tell you the number of people who love playing with it when they come for a visit.  Everyone fights for who gets to open the wine.  I am still a fan of the Rabbit opener...mainly because I cannot figure out how to work the electric opener?  Add a bottle of Electric Reindeer and you have the perfect give for any adult on your list.

Emerson Electric Wine Bottle Opener
$19.99 at Target and target.com

CC Tip:  You can also find this opener at Bed Bath and Beyond and similar models at most home stores.

These are my rec's for anyone who you may have a hard time shopping for, don't know what to get or just want to add a little something extra under the tree....and if they don't love these gifts like I do?  Revoke their CC membership immediately.  

Enjoy your last weekend before Christmas!


My Wish List

Here are the things I asked for this Christmas...in no particular order...and no, my list is not just a crate of Electric Reindeer.

1.  Lisette lace shell

Lisette lace shell
$78 at jcrew.com To Buy

Last year I received a gold shell from J. Crew for Christmas and every time I wear it, I receive a bizillion compliments.  So I thought, "why not repeat the magic?"  Plus I think the color combinations are so lovely and feminine.  This shell will layer beautifully under blazers and cozy, chunky sweaters this winter. I am envisioning this top with either skinny jeans or leggings and black suede ruffle booties.

Piper Bootie by Lovely People
$89.95 at dsw.com To Buy

2.  Philosophy Cheers! Set

philosophy Cheers! Set
$25 at sephora.com To Buy

For some reason, the 3-in-1 philosophy shower gel / shampoo / bubble bath combo has become one of my fave bath products.  Now give a philosophy gift set a champagne theme and I am hooked.  How NYE of them.  Okay, sure. I asked the dog for this gift.  Guess what?  Through a canine miracle, she ordered it for me.  

3.  Cooperative Chunky Rose Open Cardigan

Chunky Rose Open Cardigan by Cooperative
$79 at Urban Outfitters To Buy

Just because something is a gift doesn't mean you should abandon your Couture Cheapskate ways.  I love the versatility of this sweater as it looks great with heavier colors such as black but also would work well into spring with the yellow.  A perfect vintage nod when worn over a t-shirt and destroyed jeans and boots. 

4.  Metallic Croc Pencil Skirt

Metallic Croc Pencil Skirt
$64.99 at Ann Taylor Loft To Buy

I have been obsessing over this skirt for a few months now.  I love a jazzy skirt because it is such an easy way to make your basic tops more interesting.  Once again versatility is key!  In the pic the skirt is paired back to a black sequin top; super cute but I want to make sure I have ways to wear it beyond holiday.  I will wear mine into the winter with a dark grey top, black tights and black boots.

5.  Bow Stationed Necklace

Bow Stationed Necklace
$22 at piperlime.com To Buy

I tend to always be drawn to more chunky jewelry but sometimes you just need something a little more dainty.  The holiday wish list when done right is the perfect way to fill in the holes in your current wardrobe and someone else doing the selecting sometimes helps add things you wouldn't normally pick.  Of course I love the gold metal and silver rhinestones so you can wear this necklace with all your other existing jewelry.

So there are 5 things I am hoping will be under the tree this Christmas...hint, hint :)  Just kidding!

I would be lying if I said there wasn't one more thing I am hoping for under the tree:

Beyonce: I Am... World Tour Blu-ray Disc
$25.99 at Best Buy To Buy


Here Is What I Am Obsessed With This Holiday Season

My mission here....embrace the spirit of the season...spread the joy!

Here Is What I Am Obsessed With This Holiday Season

1.  Dunkin' Donuts Gingerbread Coffee

I am proud to say I have successfully weened myself off of a strictly Starbucks diet and can head back to the land of the Double D.  And boy was my timing right.  I love their holiday-inspired gingerbread flavored coffee.  And I don't even like gingerbread!  The perfect afternoon treat after a day of running around or a cozy way to start your day.  It makes your heart warm for around $2.

2.   Orange Spice Anti-Bacterial Hand Soap From Bath and Body Works

Orange Spice Anti-Bacterial Hand Soap
$5.00 each or 4/$15 at Bath & Body Works To Buy

As you know, I have already shared my annual tradition of converting all of my hand soaps to holiday scents circa mid-November.  When I bought Orange Spice, I had no idea what a delight I was in store for...every trip to the bathroom is a treat.  Listen to this profile:  a sparkling blend of Italian mandarin (amazing), cinnamon, glove, cedar stick (a personal fave), honey, coconut milk and olive fruit.  Yum.  I might start wearing it as perfume.  It is is borderline weird how much I love this soap.

3.  100 Best Cookies Magazine

100 Best Cookies magazine $5.99
by Better Homes and Gardens Publications
Available anywhere you buy magazines
(mine came from Barnes and Noble)

Although I love to cook, I am not the best baker.  There is something about following directions I am not so hot with.  I bought this magazine because of the many sweet and salty recipes included.  So far I am 2 for 2 with delicious cookies turning out edible.  I have baked Chocolate-Dipped Butterscotch Logs and "Holiday Crispies" which are butter cookies with candied cherries, chocolate chips and...potato chips.   Still up:  Peppermint Whoopie Pies, Sweet and Salty Almond-Chocolate Chippers and Banana Bars with Butter-Rum Frosting.  This is a nice little pick-up if you are looking to shake things up at the annual cookie exchange or have a big time baker in your life.

4.  Electric Reindeer Wine

Electric Reindeer Wine
Exclusive to Cost Plus World Market

So obviously you can tell I have a very sophisticated palette.  I mean $4 to $5 for a bottle of wine with a reindeer on the label?  I am pretty sure it doesn't get any more classy than the Electric Reindeer.  It actually tastes pretty good and the price tag of the wine is not relative to the taste.  Similar to another fine wine, the Two Buck Chuck, if you will.  So don't be embarrassed to bring the Electric Reindeer to a holiday get-together, or in my case, drink in front of your dog.  I like the Merlot and Chardonnay best.  

5.  China Glaze "Party Hearty" Nail Polish

China Glaze "Party Hearty" Nail Polish
$7.00 at Ulta

Shown below over green nail polish

If you can't be a little gaudy during the holidays, when can you?  And when everyone has had a little Electric Reindeer, your nail polish will be a big hit!  Not daring enough (some might say tasteful), try on your toes.  Who cares?  It's the holidays and they are supposed to be fun.  You have 11 other months for a boring manicure.

Just five obsessions that have helped my make my season more merry and bright!


An Update On A Few Holiday Posts

If you are like me, you have been out shopping once every day since Thanksgiving.  What?  You haven't?  So you have like actual hobbies?

Oh well, while you were bettering yourself, I was out doing additional research on some previously discussed holiday finds.

Original Post #1:  Shoe Stock Up at Forever 21 :  I shared with you 3 cute pairs of shoes that could be yours for less than $35.  Well, I have found one more pair that is perfect for the holidays!

Sequined Flats
$16.80 at forever21.com To Buy

Last year I bought a pair of sequined pumps and was surprised how much wear I got out of them especially during the holiday season.  I love these because they add instant snazz to an otherwise basic outfit.  Black skinny pants and white blouse...snazz.  Cuffed jeans and turtleneck sweater...snazz.  Add statement earrings to both outfits...double snazz.

Original Post #2:  More Than Just Make-UpI feel duped.  Somehow I did not even know this existed.

Souffle Body Creme Sampler
$50 at department stores and lauramercier.com To Buy

I am not going to lie...I think $50 is a bit much for this gift set but if you have someone on your list who loves or wants to love Laura, and there is a bit more in the budget, this gift set is dec-a-dent.  Previously I have professed my love for the pistcahe and creme brulee scents but new in 2010...the fresh fig!  One would not think fresh fig to smell all that enticing but in my opinion, it is lovely.  The Soufflee Body Creme is the ultimate winter luxury and with the inclusion of Fresh Fig, a hot gift.

Original Post #3:  Do They Make This In My SizeApparently I am a woman in her 30's who wants to shop at GAPKids.  Well, now add Jessica Simpson Girl's shoes to the list.

"Jacey" by Jessica Simpson
$40 at piperlime.com and Macys stores To Buy

Oh, Jessie.  And here I thought you just designed platform pumps.  Turns out you have more on your footwear resume than I thought.  Well done on these cute glitter flats for the girls who one day aspire to wear your platforms.  You know I cannot resist a glitter flat either.

Just wanted to keep you posted!


In Case You Don't Have A Brother

In case you don't have a brother, you can borrow mine. 

Not literally.

Over the years, maybe my brother and I have not seen eye-to-eye on everything but there is one thing I will have to give him, he has good taste.  So I asked him to make a couple recommendations on what to buy the younger, professional male that is both affordable and stylish but also very manly.  Here are his suggestions:

1.  Fred Perry Track Jacket

Fred Perry Track Jacket
$78 at zappos.com To Buy

My brother loves all things British as is the Fred Perry label.  But have no fear, you can get their famous polos and track jackets stateside at an affordable price.  Fred Perry is a British tennis player but the collection is now very British street chic.  I mean if Amy Winehouse collaborates on a collection, how preppy can you really be?  Ironically the track jacket I bought my brother last year for Christmas, he didn't think he would like but now is a staple in his wardrobe.  I bet the man on your list will love it too.

Please click here to see one of my faves, Ewan MacGregor, sporting his own track jacket.  It is the last frame in the Emotional Attachment section.  I love his sunglasses and I love him.  Such a cute gent.

CC Tip:  Google Fred Perry track jacket to see a price range.  You will find everything from $39 at Zappos's sister site 6pm to $95 and up at more upscale retailers..  I would also say Fred Perry runs on the small side.

2.  adidas Gazelles

adidas Gazelle
$55 at adidas.com To Buy

So if you look at the roster of clients Adidas sponsors (David Beckham, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose amongst others) and consider Run-DMC has been wearing adidas shoes for 35 years, you can see the universal appeal of adidas footwear.  My brother likes this pair because "they look good with anything."  We think this is a hipper option to the usual Chuck Taylor.  Lots of color options to choose from to suit the man in your life's personality.  I would choose these:

adidas Originals Gazelle Skate
$45.50 at 6pm.com To Buy

From what I read online the Gazelles are very comfortable.  Put your Gazelles with your Fred Perry track jacket and you are one European-street-cool dude.  I know that sounded lame but I like the look.

3.  "Band of Brothers" and "The Pacific" dvds

Band of Brothers and The Pacific
Both available at amazon.com To Buy

I think Band of Brothers and The Pacific are to men like what Sex and the City was to women.  Except grosser and bloodier.  I think every man I know thinks Band of Brothers was one of the best television shows of all time, including my brother, and while he did not enjoy The Pacific as much, he found it a "fantastic watch nonetheless."  The perfect gift for the guy doesn't get HBO.

4.  A box of a dozen Titleist NXT Tour balls   

Titleist NXT Tour Balls
$30 at Golfsmith and golfsmith.com To Buy

I don't speak golf so I am going to directly quote from my golf-obsessed brother here:

"They're a great quality ball for $30 rather than spending $45 for a dozen Titleist Pro V1's. What? He'd rather have Pro V1's? Titleist sells a dozen Pro V1 Practice balls for $30. They are exactly the same as the regular Pro V1 except they will have some sort of cosmetic flaw, often times unnoticeable to untrained eye (if at all), which designated them to leave the factory as a Practice ball. They play and feel exactly the same. The only difference is they have PRACTICE stamped on the side but you will not notice any difference at all in actual play. For Titleist's official explanation, see the link provided:

http://www.titleist.com/customerservice/afmviewfaq.asp?faqid=62475 "
End quote...I have nothing to add.  Except why are golf balls so expensive?
5.  When in doubt, gift card it out.  Knowing the interests of my brother, he would first choose a round of golf at a good course.  But if your recipient isn't a golfer or you are not sure of a course, my brother recommends as his next best option: a Best Buy gift card.  A good choice for electronics, music, dvds, books..etc...you know what they are about.
So now that you have borrowed my brother, please give him back.  My  Mom would miss him and maybe I would too...plus who would give us suggestions next year?