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Charting the style of daily life...with the mouth of a sailor.


Holiday Gift Guide, Special Edition| Fort Wayne

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With only two days left to complete your holiday shopping, I've got some fantastic last minute ideas for those who reside in my fair city. Shake a leg, people!

* Subscription to Fort Wayne Monthly -- I hear they have some pretty kickass contributing writers in that gorgeously glossy mag. It's $18 a year and provides readers with all the fantastic things happening around town! Fill out and send in the subscription card or complete the online form and put a bow on the current issue (available at Kroger) for under the tree or in a stocking. Just go ahead and get one for every person on your list... You'll make at least one freelance writer very happy! 

* Opal & Ruby is a tasteful and fun gift shop for babies, kids, men, women and home --- essentially, everyone. Check out the selection of gourmet seasonings, Doodle tablecloths for creative kids, printed canvas wine flasks, chic zip code pillows, affordable sparkly earrings, books, stationery, greeting cards and cool men's grooming products. 

* The Monogram Shoppe always stocks the most current gifts and gadgets and the massive inventory is impressive. Go here for no-fail gifts for the kiddos --- or die-hard IU or Purdue fans, as the store stocks a wide selection of novelty gifts that represent both.

* If you need a gift for a girl of any age, you can find it at Essentials & Frosting. Think eco friendly cosmetics, candles, a vast array of jewelry and gobs of sweaters and denim.

* Symmetry stocks designer clothing and a well curated selection of cool jewels and accessories for the fashionistas (I hate that word but sometimes it's hard to find a good substitute --- someone help me) on your list.

* Bravas' new brick and mortar burger joint sells gift certificates - a slam dunk for all the bros on your list.

* Make a donation in someone's honor to Wunderkammer Company. Right next door to Brava's, this indie gallery churns out hit after hit, supporting the community and the regional scene with innovative events and a fresh, approachable take on the arts.

* A membership to Science Central or the Fort Wayne Museum of Art can be enjoyed all year long. One membership can serve an entire family and they'll think of you every time they visit.

Keep the change, ya filthy animal!

Holiday Gift Guide, Part 4 | For the Gourmand

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Luxurious kitchen and dining gifts are among my favorite to give and receive. For this installment, I've gathered cool sets and accessories for those who love to get funky in the kitchen, all under $80!

Holiday Gift Guide, Part 3 | For the Fine Fellas

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Whether yo man is a sports bro, a DIY dandy, a rocker, a fine fella or a man's man, I've got you covered with gifts $85 and under!

RIFD-blocking Steel Herringbone Wallet $75  | Whiskey and Rum Making Kit $75 | Beard Pack $40 
Baseball Game $48 | Ticket Stub Diary $12 | Stalk Tiebar $85

Miss the previous editions of this year's gift guides? Fear not: Part 1, For the Glamour Girls | Part 2, For the Kiddos

Holiday Gift Guide, Part 2 | For the Kiddos

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There are standard gifts that most children always love to open (think Lego, Barbie) but I like to hunt around for more unique gifts for the littles in my life. I've gone a little too out there in the past (clip on unicorn horn for my 3 year old niece -- she was underwhelmed) but I'm confident in this year's list. Bonus: All items are $50 or less!

Warning: This list contains gifts adults will want to play with. I may or may not have had a long, intense session with Simon recently. 


Simon Memory Game $25 | Make Your Own Dream Catcher $45 | Snowball Launcher $25 |  
Perplexus Epic Ball $30 | Boogie Board LCD e-Writer $39 | Snow Castle $50

Miss the previous edition of this year's gift guides? Fear not: Part 1, For the Glamour Girls

Holiday Gift Guide, Part 1 | For the Glamour Girl

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I love giving (and getting) presents. I shop year round for my family and friends and use an excel spreadsheet to track my gifting from year to year - it's quite handy to see what I've previously given. But I realize many people labor over holiday shopping. If you're one of those, I'll be serving up gift ideas for every recipient on your list each Monday morning from now through Christmas (for you last minute Scrooges). Oh, and everything's under $100. This week it's all about the glamorous girls in your life.


Nordstrom Foil Paint Accent Pillow $38 | Kate Spade Bow Beanie $98 | Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow Palette $75 | Rebecca Minkoff Molly Metro Wallet $75 | Ugg Andi Slipper $90 | Keychain $14


Want to thank me? Send me something from this list. I want it all.

Black Friday Beauty

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You're either into Black Friday shopping or you aren't. I know not every participant gets punched while trying to scoop this year's must have item but I much prefer to the spend the day after Thanksgiving at home, decorating for the holidays and lounging with my family. That's not to say I don't do a little shopping of my own. I just happen to take advantage of the online version rather than the brick and mortar kind. I'm so thankful e-tailers cater to passive shoppers like me. 

I'm particularly excited about Tarte's Black Friday sale! Tarte is fabulously eco chic with effective and luxurious products that manage to do the trick without the harmful ingredients still used by many beauty brands. Take advantage of today's online sale and stock up on favorites or try something new. If you're looking for a great introduction to the brand, you can't go wrong with their legendary Cheek Stains or uber moisturizing LipSurgence lip crayons.

Our Holiday Gift Tradition

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Every year, my husband and I exchange Moleskine notebooks for Foxmas (our pet name for the holidays). While we're both tech junkies and rely heavily on our iPhones and iPads, we both still love the feeling of putting pen to paper and cherish these beautiful books. We archive them once filled, so they've become a defacto diary-slash-scrapbook of our personal and professional lives. Now, our 6 year old son has taken a shine to them and is following in our footsteps. 

Over the years, Moleskine has added niche notebooks for every interest. From wine, beer, food and travel journals, limited edition StarWars, Hello Kitty and Simpson theme books, to a rainbow of cover colors, sizes and paper options, these elegant notebooks make a great gift for everyone on your list - one that's truly appreciated and never goes unused.

Shop the vast array of Moleskine notebooks and get working on chipping away at your gift list.

Every Monday from now until Christmas Day, I'll be posting kick@$$ gift guides to help you along. 

Stay tuned for awesome ideas, all under $100!

Stylish Holiday Gifts on #INsight...

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gifts that give back...

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Now that Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday have passed, you might have a few people left on your list that are a bit harder to buy for. Yes, sometimes I end a sentence with a preposition --- sue me.

Below is my tried and true list of gifts that give back and may speak to the passion or interest of those hard to buy for loved ones:

* Kiva is a rewarding and interactive way to help those who want to help themselves but need a little financial boost to get going. The money gets repaid and can be re-gifted to another person in need, making this a gift that truly keeps on giving.

* One of my dearest friends helped to start Drop in the Bucket, an organization that builds water wells in Africa. Every person on this planet deserves clean drinking water and giving a donation in someone's name will make everyone feel great. Give the gift card inside the sleek and attractive Drop in the Bucket glass bottle.

* I am super passionate about the rescue, protection and preservation of elephants and one of the best gifts I have ever received is the ongoing sponsorship of a sweet ele named Sities, through The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. A sponsorship of an ele or rhino would make a memorable and inspiring gift for an animal lover, especially when gifted with Dame Daphne Sheldrick's book, Love Life and Elephants, an African Love Story. Since I have your attention, please take a moment to read and sign the petition to halt the destructive ivory trade once and for all by visiting iWorry - Say NO to Ivory.

* Common Threadz is a non profit that focuses on helping children by supporting them and local communities in the developing world. The online shop has gobs of cool t shirts for sale that help fund their mission.

* Donors Choose is another fantastic and interactive way to give back because every single donation goes directly to a classroom project of your choosing. The recipient can narrow down the selection based on state, city, school, teacher and/or project. After the money is given to the project, the recipient will receive at least one letter from the teacher and classroom, expressing thanks or updating the progress or impact of their funded project.