November Birchbox vs. IPSY


November Birchbox – Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips, amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo, Greenleaf Candle, Mirenesse iCurl Secret Weapon 24 Hour Mascara, Dr. Jart+ Pore Minimalist Mask

Although Birchbox already won the best out of 3 {see September Birchbox vs. IPSY and October Birchbox vs. IPSY}, I thought I’d share my November results with you as well. I’m sad to say this will be my last IPSY. It is so similar to Birchbox that I just couldn’t justify paying $10 each, and Birchbox just exceeded IPSY every month in my 3-month comparison of both subscriptions.

While IPSY was super fun and I love the adorable little cosmetic bags included with each month’s subscription, I just didn’t get any ground breaking products like I do in Birchbox. I LOVE trying new products, but it really takes a sample that produces amazing results to get me to purchase a full-size product and change up my everyday routine. For me, I’m all about trying to tame my unruly hair, and in a Birchbox two years ago I discovered Kerastase Moroccan Oil, long before moroccan oil was all the buzz and most recently, Macademia Flawless Oil Cleansing Conditioner. I’m also wild about the super popular Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle spray included in my October box.


November IPSY – SeaRx Skincare, IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye®, J. Cat Beauty Wonder Lip Paint in Mad Splatter, Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Volume Shine Hairspray, Starlooks Gem Eye Pencil in Ultra Olive

Both subscriptions are $10 per month. IPSY pros – adorable cosmetic bags, bigger samples, and mostly cosmetics. IPSY cons – I really didn’t discover anything new. A brand may have been new to me, but the products weren’t particularly new or exciting. Birchbox pros – products so exciting that I have retired a few of my very loved daily products and I love the massive reviewing community at that lets me know what they think of each product. I also give preference to Birchbox because I’m pretty sure they invented beauty sample subscriptions to your doorstep. They live and breathe these fun products!

Have you tried either of these subscriptions? Both? If so, which do you prefer?

Manicure Mondays – Gold Encrusted French and Moon

Essie Rock At The Top Jiggle Hi Jiggle Low Cut Out Negative Space Holiday Christmas Manicure Nail Art

Happy Manicure Mondays! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! I have another super fun holiday manicure for you all. Last week I did a Christmas ornament nail art manicure using Essie’s winter holiday collection and today, I came up with something a bit more simple, also using Essie’s winter collection.

This manicure, inspired by the Tadashi Shoji New York Fashion Week runway manicure featured in my 8 Elegant Fall Manicure roundup, was super easy because I didn’t use a base color. In the spirit of the negative space cut out manicures that are so popular right now, and in the spirit of saving time, I added my gold french tips and moons directly to my nails, rather than having to wait for a base color to dry before adding the tape. This sparkly manicure is so fun because I wore it all week with jeans and a t shirt, but it can also be dressed up for a fun holiday party!

Essie Rock At The Top Jiggle Hi Jiggle Low Cut Out Negative Space Holiday Christmas Manicure Nail Art

Start by taping off your moons and your tips, all using french tips stickers. Make sure you press the edges down very well so that you don’t get paint under a sticker bubble.

Essie Rock At The Top Jiggle Hi Jiggle Low Cut Out Negative Space Holiday Christmas Manicure Nail Art

Paint two coats of Essie’s Jiggle Hi, and Jiggle Low at the moon and tips. Slowly peel off the stickers while the polish is still wet. After it has dried, paint with a top coat.

Essie Rock At The Top Jiggle Hi Jiggle Low Cut Out Negative Space Holiday Christmas Manicure Nail Art

This is the finished look using only Essie’s Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Low. To add a little more holiday glam to your manicure, check out the finished look below!

Essie Rock At The Top Jiggle Hi Jiggle Low Cut Out Negative Space Holiday Christmas Manicure Nail Art

Add a golden sparkle to your moons and french manicure by dabbing on Essie’s Rock At The Top, from their LuxeEffects collection {check out my swatches of the original Essie LuxeEffects collection}. I went a little thick with this because I wanted the manicure to have a textured gold encrusted look.

Essie Rock At The Top Jiggle Hi Jiggle Low Cut Out Negative Space Holiday Christmas Manicure Nail Art

Essie’s Jiggle Hi, and Jiggle Low is a perfect “gilver” {gold meets silver}, making it my go-to color for the holidays. Last week, I brought out the silver tones by topping it with Essie’s Set In Stones in my Christmas ornament nail art manicure. This week, I’m playing up the gold tones by topping it with the super sparkly gold glitter found in Essie’s Rock At The Top!

Have you started thinking about your holiday manicures yet? Any ideas yet? Please share below!

Don’t miss my Manicure Mondays board for more mani Pinspiration!

The products mentioned in this post were sent to me by the merchant or their PR company. All opinions are 100% my own. For more info, please view my full disclosure policy.

Deck Your Everything With Boughs Of Holly

Holly Decor Decorating Vase Bottles Mantle Candle Wreath Table Tablescape Lantern DIY

Friday’s Fab Five is my weekly inspiration board of things I’d like to buy, try, or DIY this weekend! This week’s five is dedicated to, you guessed it, holly!

This year, deck your halls, your mantle, your table, and everything else with holly decor! Holly is the least expensive, yet most high impact decor you can use to add a little holiday cheer to your entire home! If you don’t have any holly at your house, I bet your neighbors do, and they probably wouldn’t mind you snagging a couple of branches for your holly jolly projects {with permission, of course lol}.

Do you plan on adding a few holly DIYs to your to-do list this holiday season? Please share below!

My Holiday Gift Guide Featuring ShopRunner

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Holiday Gift Guide - Essie Nail Polish, Pearl Chain Link Necklace, Kate Spade New York Notebook, Wood Ash Soy Candle, White Beaded Cake Plate, Plaid Infinity Blanket Scark, Legends Gold Cuff Bracelet, Michael Wainwright Truro Gold Double Old-Fashioned Glass, Jonathan Adler Zebra Dish Tray in Silver and Gold, Gold Metallic Clutch, Cable Knit Beret Hat, Smith's Minted Rose Lip Balm, Ella B White and Gold Headphones

Have you all started your holiday shopping yet? I’ve been pinning a lot of ideas to a secret Pinterest board, and now that I’ve narrowed down my thoughts on who’s getting what, I thought I’d share in case you need a dose of gift idea inspiration. My holiday gift guide has ideas for the baker, the beauty maven, fashionista, and music lover on your list. This year, I thought I’d make your shopping WAY easier by introducing you to ShopRunner, an exciting membership service that offers up free two-day shipping, free return shipping, and amazing deals to your favorite online shops!

ShopRunner was nice enough to offer me a free 1-year membership to test drive their services and that same day, as I was checking out at Neiman Marcus for the fun Jonathan Adler zebra tray in my holiday gift guide, I noticed a button for checking out via ShopRunner! Not only was this a fun coincidence, but I realized this was a single sign-on feature, meaning that once you have your shipping and credit card information stored with ShopRunner, you don’t have to log in and create an account at the sites you shop. You just one click log in with the ShopRunner button, check out, and enjoy free shipping! Brilliant!

Take advantage of ShopRunner’s holiday free membership offer – spend $100 on one order at any of the 100+ ShopRunner partner stores and get a free 1 year membership to ShopRunner (a $79 value)! See a full list of partner stores and score the following amazing benefits:

  • Unlimited Free 2-Day Shipping: Get it. Thousands of brands shipped fast and free
  • Free Return Shipping: No risk shopping. If you don’t love it, send it back for free
  • Member Only Deals: Early access to sales events and exclusive offers for members
  • Express Checkout: Fewer clicks between you and your stuff
  • ShopRunner Central: Track all your online shopping receipts in one place
  • Better than Amazon Prime: ShopRunner offers many brands and products which are not available via Amazon Prime

You can shop my holiday gift guide below, featuring ShopRunner retailers! Spend $100 on one order at any of these shops to score a free 1 year membership to ShopRunner!

Shop Fab’s Holiday Gift Guide

Essie Holiday | JOA Multi Pearl Chain Link Necklace | Notebook Set By Kate Spade New York | Baxter Of California Soy Wax Candle | White Beaded Edge Cake Plate | Gold Legend Bracelet Cuff | Checkered Infinity Scarf | Michael Wainwright Truro Gold Double Old-Fashioned | Jonathan Adler Zebra Dish | Gold Clutch | Cable Knit Beret | Minted Rose Lip Balm | Ella B White and Gold Headphones

Here’s my pretty little Jonathan Adler zebra dish in silver, purchased using my new ShopRunner membership! The single sign-on was super easy and my dish showed up a day later! I thought it was perfect sitting on my DIY gold bauble box featuring my Essie Winter collection nail polish.

Jonathan Adler Zebra Dish Tray Silver Gold

What items are on your holiday gift list? Share your ideas below! is the best way to shop online for the stuff you love. Visit ShopRunner to sign up! Plus, for a limited time only, make a $100 purchase at a partner store and get a 1-year membership to for free! A $79 Value!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ShopRunner. The opinions and text are all mine.

Holiday Storage And A Giveaway From Organize-It


‘Tis the season to start breaking out your Christmas decorations! My plan was to pick up a few ornament organizers after the holidays; however, I’m so happy I revamped my storage before decorating because the process really helped us figure out what we have, what we need, and what we would like to donate. Somehow, over time we ended up with a lot of weird glitter thingamajigs from who knows where or who – they can go!

I’ve teamed up with Organize-It once again {see organizing my new home and my nail polish storage} to feature some of their ornament storage and Christmas light organizer must-haves, in addition to an exciting giveaway for you all! We’re giving away a $100 gift card and a $50 gift card to two lucky readers.


I’m sure the pic above looks familiar to you all, once you start digging in to your holiday decor! Oh what a mess! And as we all know, unpacking is way more fun and easy then packing it back up again, but hopefully this year will be different! My goal with organizing my Christmas decorations is to fit all of the above, into all of the storage below, courtesy of Organize-It! Wish me luck!


From left to right, Organize-It sent me Christmas Ornament Storage, Christmas Light Storage, and a Holiday Ornament Storage Box.

Christmas Light Storage


First up is Organize-It’s Christmas Light Storage. This is “the before” of our Christmas lights bursting out of their unstable box.


3 reels are included with minimal assembly required. Just snap the reel together and wind your lights up, leaving the plug at the end so that it will unwind first.


Stack the three reels into the storage bag and zip. The bag also has a carry handle at the top.


A single clip is included in the Christmas light storage set. Snap it on to a reel and attach the clip to a ladder or gutter. The lights will spin off of the reel, making installation super easy!

Christmas Ornament Storage


Next up is the super sturdy Christmas Ornament Storage organizer. I love the hard plastic walls so that you are able to stack the box without worrying about your breakable ornaments. Cardboard dividers are included and you can assemble them to fit small or large ornaments.


Making progress and it feels SO good!

Christmas Ornament Storage Box


This Holiday Ornament Storage Box holds SO many ornaments. What I like best about it is the dividers. Add in as many or as few dividers as you’d like to accommodate unique sized ornaments.


Can you believe that everything fit in all of my organizers and I actually had room to spare?!?!


The drawers stack and can be labeled. I love the carry handles on the sides.


I feel so accomplished and oh-so-organized! Wow, I can’t believe it all fit with room to grow! This may be the first year that I don’t dread packing up all of our Christmas decor, although I’m always so sad when this time of year has passed!


And all of this ended up in the trash lol. Yay! It felt great!

How To Win

One lucky reader will a $100 gift card and another lucky reader will win a $50 gift card to! Follow the directions in the RaffleCopter below for a chance to win. There are no mandatory entries, US and Canadian readers only, giveaway ends 11:59 Eastern on December 11th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The products mentioned in this post were sent to me by the merchant or their PR company. All opinions are 100% my own. For more info, please view my full disclosure policy.

Holiday Shopping With My Intel 2 in 1


I FINALLY had a few days off for Thanksgiving, so the last thing I wanted to do was stand in a freezing cold line with strangers bright and early Black Friday morning just to take advantage of a few sales. I’m sure there’s a fun spirit to all of that, but not when I was desperate for a little rest and relaxation! Instead, I shopped from the comfort of my warm and cozy home with my Intel 2 in 1 tablet while sipping on homemade hot chocolate. And, I’m pretty sure I scored better deals than the die hard shoppers that were roaming the aisles of their local stores!

I’m so happy to be a part of Intel’s Smart Squad for an opportunity to try out their tablet and share my thoughts with you all! I’m quickly becoming addicted to my new Intel 2 in 1. Not only was it key to my Thanksgiving menu planning, but now it’s playing a huge part in my holiday shopping! This tricky little tablet easily converts from a laptop with the attached keyboard, or remove the magnetic-snap keyboard to use it as a “take anywhere” tablet. Either way, it is super lightweight so I can keep it out of the hands of my one year old without the workout that’s involved with my laptop.


This tablet is razor-thin, SUPER light, and ultra fast! I got so much holiday shopping done, curled up in my pajamas on my favorite corner of the couch, all while my little one was napping. The keyboard makes searching and browsing so easy, and when John wakes up, the keyboard comes off and my touch-screen tablet joins me in the kitchen as I continue my shopping out of his reach. His hands are desperate to touch anything and everything, especially if it lights up lol.

If you’re looking for holiday gift ideas, I highly recommend the Intel 2 in 1 for anyone on your list! If you’re tired of carrying multiple devices, then maybe you should gift one to yourself ;) ‘Tis the season!

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel This could include Intel providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Manicure Mondays – Christmas Ornament Nail Art

Essie Holiday Christmas Nail Art Manicure Tuck It In My Tux Jiggle High Jiggle Low Luxe Effects Set In Stones Silver Glitter Nail Polish

Hey everyone! Happy Manicure Mondays. I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving weekend full of food, fun, and a little relaxation! I was lucky enough to enjoy a four day weekend with my family and I’ve been smiling ever since. Yesterday was the most gorgeous Florida day I’ve seen in a long time, so we had our windows open while blasting the Christmas music and we even picked up a tree already! I guess we were a little excited about our first Christmas in the new house with our little man John!

With all of that, is it too soon to bring on the Christmas nail art? lol. Clearly, I was in the mood. I thought I’d play with my Essie Winter 2014 collection and I came up with a fun take on a pearly white Christmas ornament. My first thought was to add diagonal curved tips using Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Low over Tuck It In My Tux {similar to my nude and navy diagonal french tips manicure}, but then I got a little excited and added Essie LuxeEffects {LuxeEffect collection swatches} Set In Stones to give a little extra holiday sparkle with a diamond tips effect.

Essie Holiday Christmas Nail Art Manicure Tuck It In My Tux Jiggle High Jiggle Low Luxe Effects Set In Stones Silver Glitter Nail Polish

Start with three to four coats of Essie Tuck It In My Tux sheer white nail polish and top with a dry fast top coat. Wait for this layer to dry COMPLETELY {I came back to this hours later}, before you apply any tape.

Essie Holiday Christmas Nail Art Manicure Tuck It In My Tux Jiggle High Jiggle Low Luxe Effects Set In Stones Silver Glitter Nail Polish

Next, place a round office label over each nail tip, high on one side and low on the other, to create a diagonal curved effect. Cut the labels in half to get two nails out of each. Make sure the label is pressed down well against the first layer of polish, in particular against the sides of your nails and then add one coat of Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Low to your tips.

Essie Holiday Christmas Nail Art Manicure Tuck It In My Tux Jiggle High Jiggle Low Luxe Effects Set In Stones Silver Glitter Nail Polish

Remove each piece of tape while the polish is still wet. This prevents the nail polish from pulling or cracking once it’s dry.

Essie Holiday Christmas Nail Art Manicure Tuck It In My Tux Jiggle High Jiggle Low Luxe Effects Set In Stones Silver Glitter Nail Polish

I love this wintery combination of Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Lo tips over Tuck It In My Tux! Leave it as is, or carry on to add a bit of diamond sparkle glam to your tips!

Essie Holiday Christmas Nail Art Manicure Tuck It In My Tux Jiggle High Jiggle Low Luxe Effects Set In Stones Silver Glitter Nail Polish

Add more dazzle by dabbing on Essie LuxeEffects in Set In Stones to your tips. No need for tape in this step.

Essie Holiday Christmas Nail Art Manicure Tuck It In My Tux Jiggle High Jiggle Low Luxe Effects Set In Stones Silver Glitter Nail Polish

Have you started thinking about your holiday manicures yet? Any ideas yet? Please share below!

Don’t miss my Manicure Mondays board for more mani Pinspiration!

The products mentioned in this post were sent to me by the merchant or their PR company. All opinions are 100% my own. For more info, please view my full disclosure policy.

The “EVERY FASHION SALE” Black Friday Guide


The wait is over! Here are your Black Friday 2014 fashion sales, listed alphabetically!

6PM // Black Friday 15% off
DATE: 11.27 – 11.28
CODE: 6PMEU112720141585
AllSole //Black Friday 30% off
DATE: 11.28-12.01
Alternative Apparel // 30% off sitewide
DATE: 11.27-11.30
ASOS (US) // Black Friday 30% off
DATE: 11.27 (8pm EST) – 11.30 (8pm EST)
Athleta // 20% off
DATE: 11.28-11.30
Azalea // 30% off sale
DATE: 11.26-12.01
Banana Republic (US) DATE: 11.27-11.28
50% off 1 full-priced item – CODE: BRFIFTY
40% off sitewide – CODE: BRFORT
Blank NYC // Black Friday DATE: 11.28
$50 off $100 – CODE: BLANK50
$100 off $300 – CODE: BLANK100
$200 off $500 – CODE: BLANK200
Casadei // 30% off select product
DATE: 11.28
Coggles // Black Friday 30% off
DATE: 11.28-12.01
Cosabella // Black Friday 40% off sitewide
DATE: 11.28-11.30
Delia’s // 50% off sitewide + free shipping
DATE: 11.27-11.28
40% off sitewide + free shipping
DVF // 40% off select styles 11.25-12.01
Black Friday 15% off sitewide 11.28
Eloquii // Black Fridaey 50% off sitewide
DATE: 11.26-11.30
Equipment // 25% off sitewide
DATE: 11.26-12.01
Forever 21 // Black Friday deals under $5, $10, $20
// Extra 30% off clearance
DATE: 11.27-11.30
French Connection // 30% off sitewide
DATE: 11.25-11.28
Gap (US) // Black Friday 50% off sitewide
DATE: 11.27-11.28
Gilt_LogoGilt // free shipping
DATE: 11.27-11.28
Koolaburra // Black Friday 25% off sitewide
DATE: 11.28-11.30
Luisaviaroma //extra 20% off
DATE: 11.25-12.02
madewellMadewell // 25% off your entire purchase
DATE: 11.25-11.30
Mara Hoffman // 25% off sitewide + free shipping
DATE: 11.28
CODE: blackfriday14
Missguided (US) //30% off
DATE: 11.27-12.01
Nicole Miller //
$50 off purchases of $250
// $150 off purchases of $500 or more + free shipping
DATE: 11.27-11.28
Old Navy – entire store will be 50% off
DATE: 11.27 (4pm) – 11.28
PacSun // Black Friday
Buy one get one 50% off select categories, buy one get one free denim
DATE: 11.28
Piperlime // 25% off sitewide
// Black Friday 25% off sitewide
DATE: 11/28
Rachel Pally // 25% off sitewide
DATE: 11.28-12.01
Saks Fifth Avenue (US, UK, & CA)
Up to 60% off select styles
DATE: 11.26-11.28
Singer 22 // Black Friday 20% sitewide
DATE: 11.25-11.30
Sole Society // Black Friday 30% off all footwear
DATE: 11.28
30% off all footwear & bags
DATE: 11.29-11.30
Sweaty Betty // 20% off + free shipping
DATE: 11.28-12.01
The Dreslyn // Black Friday 20% off sitewide
DATE: 11.27-11.30
The Zhush // 25% off all purchases
DATE: 11.26-12.02
True Religion // 30% off sitewide + free shipping
DATE: 11.27-11.30
Urban Outiffters // Black Friday
Additional 25% off all sale online, additional 50% off all sale in-stores.
DATE: 11.28
30% of sitewide

My Pregnancy Journey – Take A Deep Breath & Enjoy The Ride

My Pregnancy Journey and Birth Story

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, then you probably already know that it literally took a team of people to help us get pregnant, and then a team of people to get that baby out of me! I really don’t think I could have been as calm and as happy throughout my pregnancy, given our ups and downs, had it not been for all of the support I had around me. My friends, family, and even the friendly professionals, in particular our in vitro doctor, know this journey is as much emotional as it is physical and they were all key to my peace of mind.

My Pregnancy Journey and Birth Story

Lessons have been learned… If you have a plan that includes well-researched professionals, health insurance, and hopefully a little help from family lined up for when your little one arrives, then take a deep breath… everything will be just fine! John was born with high risk jaundice that landed us in the hospital for a week, but I didn’t have to worry for a second because I trusted all of the professionals that we’d met before our pretty intense stay.

The other advice I’d give myself, if we have another one someday, is everything doesn’t have to be PERFECT! I’ll be chasing John around while holding a little baby, so there’s no way we can be as particular the second time around. I have a friend that worried about so many things with her newborn baby boy and her pediatrician gave her the best advice, “In spite of you, he will live”. It was such off the wall advice, but it actually stuck with me and made me feel so much better.

After rocking John to sleep the other night, I sat down on the couch next to my husband and said, “I still can’t believe we have a baby sleeping in the next room”. When it takes you 3 years, over 300 shots, and 3 pregnancies before finally delivering a happy healthy baby, then maybe it takes 3 more years to come to the realization that there’s a precious little baby in the next room. My heart has never felt so full and I’m loving every minute of earning the title of John’s “mommy”, which is by the way, his new favorite word!

My Pregnancy Journey and Birth Story

After so many years of trying, I still can’t believe he is mine. This would have never been possible without my amazing in vitro doctor. We never gave up and I just can’t imagine my life without him. It wouldn’t have been nearly as full and rewarding. I’m such a lucky girl, wife, and mom!


This is a sponsored post, courtesy of State Farm and Style Coalition.

8 Elegant Thanksgiving Manicures

Chevron Half Moon Manicure

Chevron Half Moon Manicure

The deep burgundy in this chevron half moon manicure cut out over an unpolished nude nail is gorgeous. I love the simplicity of this nail art.

Gold Moon And Tips Manicure

Gold Moon And Tips Manicure

Gold moon and gold tips over nude nails. Yes, please! This is the only jewelry you'll need for your Thanksgiving get together.

Chocolate Layers

Chocolate Layers

Try this easy layered chocolate manicure by layering on 3 shades of brown, each after the previous layer has dried, with each top layer shorter than the one underneath.

Navy Nails With Gold Striping Tips

Navy Nails With Gold Striping Tips

A Thanksgiving mani doens't have to involve the usual suspects of reds and browns only. I'm loving the simplicity of this navy manicure with gold striping tips.

Shades of Fall

Shades of Fall

Simple, yet definitely a stand-out at the Thanksgiving dinner table. This Thanksgiving, go for garnet nails with a gold glitter overlay and a gold metallic accent nail.

Sparkly Gray Days

Sparkly Gray Days

Copper glitter gives an elegant fall sparkle to an otherwise cloudy day manicure with this simple glitter tips nail art.

Garnet And Gold Tips French Manicure

Garnet And Gold Tips French Manicure

Another garnet and gold tips mani, because these shades are so on trend for fall. Gold tips elevate the sophistication level of any solid cream manicure.

Almost Black Brown

Almost Black Brown

How about a solid cream manicure in a brown so deep, it's almost black. With this shade, you can skip the nail art altogether!

Instead of literal Thanksgiving nail art, like leaves or a turkey gracing your nails, why not try a sophisticated Thanksgiving manicure instead? I always try to wear something that’s not quite dressy enough for church, but less casual than my everyday attire to the Thanksgiving dinner table, and I think my mani should match the dress code. Really, any sophisticated fall nail art would be perfect for the occasion.

What nail art will you be wearing for Thanksgiving? Tell me below!

Don’t miss my Manicure Mondays board for more mani Pinspiration!