Festive Finds

Since I’m sure lots of people are traveling, hanging out with family, not working and not reading my blog (tear) this week, I thought I’d keep it short and sweet with some fun festive (and inexpensive) attire and home decor I found recently!

Trying to break out of a grey-day slump a few weeks ago, I went to Kohl’s to wander around.  I needed a butt-covering sweater to go with leggings and skinny jeans because it’s just so darn cold here, one layer of material on the tush is not enough.  I haven’t been to Kohl’s in probably six months because it’s usually crowded as all get out, and that day was no different, but the mark downs can be pretty significant if you find the right items, and there can be some hidden gems amongst the racks of what can only be described as half “frumpy mom jeans” and half “club chick trashy”.  (Which isn’t to say those categories don’t have their merits…I have been known to wear the latter back in the day, and I’m sure I’ll find myself in the former at some point in life.)  Right now, I’m pretty smitten with a lot of what Lauren Conrad puts out.  It’s kinda embarrassing to say that I’m taken with designs by an ex-reality star from MTV no less, but I do admire how she’s created quite an empire of books and fashion, and frankly I would go work for The Little Market, an online marketplace she founded that sources and sells wares made by women in foreign countries that don’t have access to sell their goods otherwise.  I would love to travel, finding interesting crafts and goods, meeting new people and promoting women’s enterprises.  Okay, but on to what I found at Kohl’s:

IMG_1492 Sweet Lauren Conrad bow sweater.  What you can’t tell from this picture is that the cream knit also has flecks of gold yarn woven in to give it a little sheen/sparkle.

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These Lauren Conrad patent leather pumps are perfectly festive for the holidays and beyond.  I love how the bows are metal and not fabric – something unexpected that I haven’t seen before.  Also, they have a lower heel than my current plain black patent leather pumps, so they are more versatile and can be worn for longer chunks of time before my feet start hurting (hopefully…theory yet to be tested).

As I may or may not have mentioned before, I am newly obsessed with Home Goods.  We didn’t have one in Baltimore (that I knew of), so I was quite excited upon learning that there is one so close by here in Ann Arbor.  They have so many cool home decor, kitchen, bath and furniture items.  I can’t really go in there unless I’m looking for something in particular, or else I will walk out with all sorts of stuff.  I recently exercised some self control and only purchased two candles….

IMG_1500 Shiny silver tray with opalescent shell inlay border (that I bought over the summer at Home Goods).  I also found this “winter spice” (read gingerbread-ish) smelling candle at Home Goods.  I’m a sucker for those three-wicked candles.  They somehow seem schmancier (as in fancy schmancy) to me.

image_3 I also picked up this unscented sparkly gold pillar candle at Home Goods.  The outer layer is like a crust of sequins.  I put it in this rustic branch lantern that I bought at Home Goods a while back.  It creates a warm and cozy ambiance for our living room against this red abstract painting that my aunt and uncle gave me for my college graduation.

My next festive find came unexpectedly when I was picking up some cotton balls at CVS.  These mini-nail polishes were on sale for 3 for $10.50, so I couldn’t pass it up when one nice full size bottle could easily be $8 on its own.

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They each have a very fine sparkle to them.  No big chunks of glitter, but subtly glinting on my fingers.

My last find was at the supermarket, Kroger.  Not super exotic, but fairly well stocked.  A) I still cannot get over that they sell alcohol at the supermarket or pharmacy here;  B) Our Kroger has an Asian foods section which is pretty awesome for finding all the sauces and marinades you could ever need.  I picked up some frozen dumplings that I’m excited to try to make, even though the directions are not in English.  TBD on how those turn out 🙂

image_2 Michigan definitely seems like a beer state to me.  There are some wineries, but I haven’t come across any bottles that I’ve been willing to try yet.  On the other hand, there are a ton of breweries, including a fair number with their own brew pubs in downtown Ann Arbor.  Out in the middle of the state by Kalamazoo is Bell’s Brewery.  I’ve tried their Octoberfest Beer, Christmas Ale, and my newest find is their Winter White Ale.  It’s pretty smooth and light without a lot of aftertaste.  Looking at their website, it looks like you can find Bell’s along the East Coast, although not in Maryland.

So there you have it, some wintery treats I’ve discovered recently.  And yes, I did find a simple black knit turtleneck sweater that hits mid-thigh so as to keep cozy in skinny jeans.  Next up: winter cooking and crafting including some wedding DIY projects.  Keep warm!

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