Loving Lately: Glass Lifefactory Water Bottle

Of all the Christmas gifts I get every year, my reusable water bottles have been some of my favorites.

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This year, I received a beautiful, turquoise glass water bottle that I’d been eyeing for awhile. It’s by a company called lifefactory.

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First of all, I love the wide mouth at the top. This makes it so much easier to clean and add ice. I’m often making up some ice water before teaching Zumba, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood in the office break room slowly shoving ice, piece by piece, into one of my other water bottles.

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I also appreciate how the bottle is BPA free and also free of other things that hadn’t been on my radar (BPA being the big thing lately, it seems): BPS, PVC, or phthalates.

And I thought the whole “water tastes better in glass!” thing was a little overrated before, but it really does taste better to me, almost more clean. And on top of taste, since the bottle is made of glass, you can put other things that may have reacted with some metal containers, like fresh slices of citrus: lemons, limes and oranges! I can’t wait to make up some of that for the summer (or sooner, perhaps…why wait for the summer, right?). But, I’d also consider putting other things in here I wouldn’t have with my metal containers: juices or smoothies.

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Did I mention it’s dishwasher safe? I’ve grown accustomed to hand washing my reusable bottles over the years, and I’ll still hand wash this one sometimes, but it’s nice to have the option to throw it in the dishwasher on my busy days.

The only downsides I’ve seen with this bottle so far are: it’s a little heavier (0.95 lbs) and sometimes the lid seems to go on slightly off kilter causing the water to leak out if you’re not careful. Otherwise, this baby is leak-proof and great to use!

The 16 ounce bottle is $19.99 on the lifefactory web site, but it’s currently $17.80 on amazon.com and ships for free with prime. When I wrote this post, I saw 5 color options on the lifefactory site and 8 on amazon! Of course, the turquoise is my favorite. And there are also kid and baby options! So cute!

Are there any other great, reusable water bottles out there I should check out?

Chic Shops: New Hair Dryer {Splurge or Deal}

I’m a quality over quantity kind of girl, so I’ll often save up money to invest in a quality item that will last me longer.

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That was my strategy with my CHI hair dryer…until it died on me after only two years of use. For the few weeks, I noticed the dryer seemed to be putting out hotter than normal heat. And finally, early last week, the hot air was gone completely, rendering the hair dryer useless to me.

Unfortunately, I’d thrown my box away, so I couldn’t remember what the warranty was. I packed up my broken hair dryer and headed to Ulta to see if it was still under warranty. I also brought along a 20% off coupon (on my phone) in case it wasn’t. I quickly found my dryer model and checked the box – only a one year warranty. Blast! On the upside, Ulta frequently does good sales on their products. I actually purchased my CHI dryer at Ulta for 30% off, so I was hoping to find a good deal this time, too.

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I scanned the specials and didn’t see much. I found a sale section with two dryer options: another CHI and a Hot Tools. I googled for reviews on the CHI via my phone, and what I read didn’t seem good. What happened to CHI doing life time warranties on their dryers? I read one too many about the dryer stopping working after a year or two, which is what happened to me! I decided it was time to try something new, especially since the markdown wasn’t that much. A friendly sales associate told me that she had a Hot Tools hair dryer that she loved and had for about eight years. For a fraction of the cost of a CHI, I could love it, too. My CHI straightening iron is still holding strong after about seven years, but I was ready to explore other hair dryer options.

While I had her, I asked about her other favorites. She said she’d had a Rusk dryer that she loved (retail around $120 – 140) for nine years and that her next dryer would probably be a BaByliss ($80 – 140) based on her customer’s positive reviews. I contemplated purchasing another investment dryer but the sale tag on the Hot Tools was calling my name.

I decided to pick up the Hot Tools Star Struck Turbo Ionic hair dryer along with two fall scent Yankee candles that were buy one, get one 50% off. The hair dryer was around $60 full price (based on internet research since the box didn’t have a price tag) and was marked down to $39.99 (the same price as the Ulta site has now!) and I saved an additional $8 thanks to my 20% off coupon – almost half off the original price! Side note: the coupon was for my entire purchase, so I got the candles at a great deal, too!

Let me know if anyone wants a review on my new hair dryer!

Does anyone have a hair dryer they love?

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And speaking of hair, I finally got another cut. Thank you Jason at Salon 42! If you need a new stylist, check out Jason and tell him I sent you – we’ll both get a discount!

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Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check out my other accounts on Facebook, twitter, and Instagram, too. Have a great week!

Green Jeans {SouthPark – Fall 2013}

I’m at the beach – a quick pit stop on the way to Zumba Convention 2013 in Orlando, FL – lounging on the ocean view porch of my hotel and taking a moment to share info about the Green Jeans pop-up consignment sale starting TOMORROW in Charlotte, NC. Technically, the charity sale is happening right now, but you’d already know about this sale if you had tickets for that!

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{postcard image thanks to Green Jeans Consignment}

I spent a large portion of this past weekend prepping for Green Jeans instead of packing for Zumba convention.

I got really excited about purging my closet after seeing the wonderful results from consigning at the last sale, so I already had some items set aside to sell that I pulled shortly after the spring event. In addition to the pre-pulled items, I went ahead and had some tough love on my closet and pulled items that I hadn’t been willing to part with before. It was difficult (yes, I’m attached to my clothes), but things have gotten easier with every sale. I love seeing more space in my closet and more money in my account! These positives help me be more apt to adding something to my Green Jeans consignor items.

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I used a TV table and my laptop to turn one room into command central as I priced items I had pulled and placed on a rolling rack.

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But things don’t end with the purging. When you consign with Green Jeans, you get to price all your own items and decide if you want to let them be sold at a discount. But printing and cutting tags and then attaching the tags to the clothes is the real doozy for me. Entering the items can take awhile if you go slowly or have trouble pricing, but I zipped through that part pretty quickly. I used a scrapbook tool to cut the tags, and I used a tagging gun, clear packing tape, and some ribbon to add the price tags to all my clothes, belts, purses, and shoes.

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All in all, I have 115 articles of clothes, plus shoes and accessories for sale. I transferred 39 from the last sale, and all the rest were either set aside shortly after the last event or pulled Saturday night. Some of you may remember that some clothes I wasn’t ready to let go of awhile back went to my parents house. I even pulled some of the nicer items from there, too, and added those to the mix. Phew! It was a lot of work, but I’m looking forward to tracking the sales as they go. I’ll be checking in from Zumba Convention to see how the sale goes and how my clothes are selling. I’m just sad I can’t shop the sale because I always find wonderful things there! If you’re in town, I definitely recommend you go!

You can get more info at greenjeanssale.com. Oh, and sign up for their newsletter for coupons and news. I helped out with some of their web graphics this year, so you may see something I’ve done or photos I’ve taken in the newsletters!

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Also, here’s a random food shot, since I know you guys like the “eats” photos here on The Chic Life. This is one of the delicious meals we enjoyed this past weekend – a turkey and muenster panini on toasted sesame seed bread, cherry tomato and fresh herb salad (with parsley and basil from our backyard), and pickles made by my parents with cucumbers from their garden. I hope I get to enjoy another one of these tasty meals again soon!

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I’ll have photos from the beach and Zumba Convention to share soon! Be sure to check on Instagram, twitter, and Facebook for faster updates! ;) Thanks for stopping by!

Mas Shopping, Mobile Clothing Boutique, and Weekend Eats

The weekend shopping continued on Sunday, but this time, we shopped for furniture.

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Hubby found a cute new store with vintage-inspired furniture. We saw several things we liked and took measurements to see if things would fit in our house. I definitely prefer to think about large ticket purchases, so we’ll give them some time before we commit.

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We grabbed Pio Pio for lunch. They have really tender, delicious, rotisserie style chicken among other delicious eats.

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Just outside, I noticed a truck with the words “mobile clothing boutique.” You know this shopaholic had to check it out.

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Inside was a for-real-boutique complete with shopping racks, clothes, and accessories.

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Sunday was the kick off for Motor Couture, a spin-off from Jordanos, which is a local boutique here in Charlotte.

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Not only does Motor Couture have a fun concept and a nice selection of clothes, they also have big plans to turn the idea into something to help the community. They’ll be donating a portion of sales to their non-profit “Project Reover”, and they have other ideas to get gently worn clothes into the hands of kids in need.

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{the dressing room}

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Here’s Karen who is the brains behind this operation. I loved chatting with her about her ideas for helping the community.

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We kept dinner simple – mom’s pork chops, rice, and steamed broccolini.

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This is always a hit in our house, and it’s so easy and affordable, too.

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Next up here on The Chic Life – get your mixing bowls ready because you’re going to want to make these easy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies! I’ve been working on this recipe over several batches, and it’s finally ready to share!

Have a great weekend!

What I Bought at the Green Jeans LKN 2013 Sale

Since I was volunteering for the Green Jeans sale by doing some photography and since I brought my sister to the sale, I ended up stopping by the sale a couple times and shopping on multiple occasions. Here’s everything I got from the 4 day LKN sale in one post.

I thought it would be fun to make guesstimates for how much I thought the retail value of each item was. Of course, most items at the GJ sale are used so their values are less than retail, but I still thought it would be interesting to look at different numbers. I know, I’m so analytical!

Here are the goods:

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Frenzii Black wrap vest/cover-up: marked at $16, but got 50% off for $8 (retail guesstimate $48)
Cynthia Vincent heels: marked at $60, purchased 50% off for $30 (retail guesstimate $220)
Ella Moss pink skirt: marked at $9, scored 50% off for $4.50 (retail guesstimate $100)

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I spotted these Cynthia Vincent heels on the first day of the sale, but I didn’t really need new black heels. I decided if they were still there on one of the 50% off days that I would try them on and get them if they fit well. I barely remembered to look for these in the last 5 minutes of the sale, but I found them and they fit great.

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{Bailey is such a ham! He always sneaks into my photos!}

Juicy Couture black dress: $34 (retail guesstimate $140)
Ann Taylor: $16 (retail guesstimate $100)

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Everly dress: $26 (retail guesstimate $60)

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Trina Turk skinny cargo pants: $15 (NWT $236)
Banana Republic sweater jacket: $26 (retail guesstimate $100)
7 for all mankind denim skirt: marked at $15, scored 50% off for $7.50 (retail guesstimate $180)

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Black beaded necklace: $8.50 (retail guesstimate $30)
Black wood bangle: $1.50 (retail guesstimate $5)
Parachord bracelet: $8 (retail guesstimate $16)
Spiked leather bracelet: $15 (retail guesstimate $50)
1928 Locket Necklace: $10 (retail guesstimate $40 – maybe more because I think this is vintage)

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Total Retail Guesstimate: $1,325
Total Spent: $210

The next two Green Jeans sales will happen in (I think) August. I’m already looking forward to both shopping and consigning at them! Time to start closet purging again…

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Have a great week, everyone!

Shopping with Sis and Margarita Time

My sister messaged me a couple weeks ago wondering when she could visit. We picked this past weekend so she could partake in the Green Jeans consignment sale that she’s seen all over my blog.

The plan was to wake up early on Saturday and hit up the sale in the morning since it was the last day and the hours were short – 9am-1pm. Fortunately and unfortunately, we slept in. Not sure about Sis, but I definitely needed the rest. Despite sleeping in, we managed to hit up the last hour of the sale.

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As I expected, the racks were more sparse than they had been earlier in the week, but my sister still managed to find some great deals. She got about 5 or 6 items, including a new skirt suit, for only $50. Not too shabby! I even managed to find a couple more things to get.

I’ll post a full recap of my purchases soon.

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Since we were in the area, we hit up my favorite Indian restaurant, Sangam, for their lunch buffet.

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We got hot tea…

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…and hit up the buffet.

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{my plate}

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I had three mini portions of dessert so I could taste a little of each bite – gulab jamun, mango pudding, rice pudding.

After the buffet, we hit up Summerbird to see if Sis could find a formal dress for an upcoming event. She didn’t find what she was looking for, but I found a new pair of shoes. Woohoo!

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We raced home to whip up a quick appetizer for an event later. Sis made this bacon cheddar cheese ball, a recipe from a co-worker of hers.

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And then, we headed to my friend Jennie’s house for a margarita party!

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On the menu – mango margaritas!

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Jennie makes really cute headbands and other accessories. She’s very crafty and sells at local art & craft shows. You can also find her on Etsy at Three Girls Creations.

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We hung out most of the evening on the back porch…

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…with a table full of yummy snacks.

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Fun times! Thanks, Jennie and Bill, for having us over to your beautiful home!

Reader question: What’s your favorite margarita flavor? Traditional, strawberry, mango…something else?

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