Author Archives: Serena

  • Your 2019 Holiday Shopping Guide

    Holiday shopping time is approaching quickly

    To make it easier we have developed a unique shopping guide to take some of the guess work out of gift giving. We have also included some very handy tips to help make gift purchasing just a little less stressful.

    Create a list

    Make a list of items for each recipient well before shopping and sales begin. This list should begin with the pickiest recipient and continue down to the easiest. This way that picky recipient will be taken off of the list first, which makes the rest of it easy to accomplish. Knowing what the recipient likes or needs makes shopping or planning for them easier as well.
    If someone seems to have it all it might be better to stick to the general shopping guide suggestions outlined below.

    Here are some Apps to Guide you

    Today, there are many gift guides software apps like Giftster, Santa's Bag, Christmas Gift List, Gift it, and of course Amazon's always reliable Gift Organizer to help keep track of those on a gift list, the types of gifts you purchase, cost and location of where they were purchased.

    Women over 40

    The best gifts for this age bracket fall into the accessories or jewelry category. A beautiful but simple necklace or even a scarf could make their day just right. If their ears are pierced they may even love to receive a pair of pearl earrings. Click here for 25 more great gift suggestions from Woman's Day!

    Men over 40

    Men are usually easy to please when it comes to gift receiving. These males appreciate gifts that provide comfort or make their lives easier. A handsome pair of leather gloves makes touching an ice cold steering wheel much easier in the winter months.

    He may also appreciate a new wallet, scarf, or even a new tie.


    These gifts are traditional, but always seem to be welcomed. Check out Esquire's blog on gifts for some more inspiration on what to buy the man of the house!


    Teens love gift cards. This way they can pick out their own style or items they like. They appreciate the chance to be able to shop for themselves and these cards make that possible.


    This item doesn't have to be just given in a card though.



    Gift cards can be placed between the wrappers of a giant candy bar, put in a gift basket filled with stationary supplies if the teen loves art, or even put in the bottom of a stocking filled with goodies. Again, there are so many unique and fun ways to give this type of gift.


    Pay Attention to Pre-Holiday Sales

    The closer to the Holiday we come, the bigger the sale frenzy! All your favorite online and in store retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Wayfair, Sam's Club will be offering never before found discounts an all things gift and holiday related. The top categories being Tech, Fashion, and home.

    Holiday shopping does not have to be as stressful as it was in the past. With the tips and suggestions outlined in this little shopping guide we hope we have helped to make this holiday season just a little easier!

    Readers, do you have any tips on gift giving? Please share your feedback below.

  • These 3 retailers offer the best cosmetic discounts.

    The Cosmetics Industry is one of the most lucrative with annual industry revenues of $445 billion in beauty cosmetics.

    Men buy almost as much cosmetics as women, though mainly for skin care. Women spend an average of 13 percent more than men on cosmetics, related to beauty products.

    There are over a dozen categories of cosmetics from which to choose. These include:
    . Fragrances
    . Eye makeup
    . Hair preparations
    . Baby products
    . Bath oils, capsules, bubble bath and other miscellaneous bath products
    . Makeup blushers, powders, rouge, lipstick and liquid makeup for the face and body
    . Oral Hygiene products
    . Skin care products
    . Shaving products
    . Manicuring products like nail enamels, polish/enamel removers, cuticle creams
    . Suntan products
    . Skin creams, sprays and powders
    . Deodorants, cleansing soaps and feminine personal products

    Brands name Versus House brands:

    There are two avenues of choice when purchasing cosmetics. The first is to choose brand names that will might cost a little more or a generic brand that costs less. The determination on which choice is better depends on the buyer. Generic "house" brands generally won't offer discounts since they are already reduced in price. Quality is another factor to consider when purchasing cosmetic products.

    However, often the difference in quality between brand name cosmetics and house brands is negligible. In some instances, the less expensive brand might be of equal or higher quality. For example, Lancome Mascara is priced at $26 while Maybelline mascara is priced at $7.

    The three retailers who offer the best cosmetic discounts include:
    . Walgreen's
    . Walmart
    . CVS

    These three retailers regularly offer discounts in printed flyers, as well as online at their websites. It is also important to note that all three of these retailers stock trade name cosmetics like Chanel, Clinique, Lucerin Skin Care, Cover Girl makeup, Maybelline, Revlon and their own generic brands.

    These three retailers also offer online discounts that are automatically applied at time of purchase with discounts applied to a credit or debit card.

    In addition, all three retailers provide a price matching policy to ensure customers get the best prices available. For example, Walmart Customer Care policies are accessed online and help customers determine price matching eligibility.

    Walgreen Benefits:

    Walgreen's takes discounts on cosmetics a step further with "paperless discounts" via paperless coupons. Simply go to the Walgreen's website and shop for the cosmetics of your choice and click either "Shop" or "Clip" from the online menu. When you visit the store, discount coupons you selected are automatically applied, reducing the cost of the item.

    CVS benefits:

    CVS has an interesting "rewards" program. When a customer spends $30 on cosmetics, they can get a free beauty bag outfitted with favorite cosmetic samples like Biore skin products, Dove Bath and Body Wash and beauty tools and accessories.

    With certain cosmetic sales campaigns, CVS also offers a BOGO (Buy One, Get One) policy with up to a 50 percent discount. If customers are not satisfied with their cosmetic purchase, CVS has a return policy.

  • The Future Of Shopping

    The Impact of Modern Technology

    Modern technology has impacted numerous sectors including retail. This has resulted in many retail lotions closing as the future of shopping shifts to e-commerce. This has placed pressure on the remaining retail locations to adapt or become extinct. Many consumers are choosing to shop online using a computer or mobile device as opposed to visiting a physical store. The expectations of augmented reality will become more sophisticated and impact the online experience. This technology will enable consumers to see exactly how different items will look in their homes. Making purchases online is expected to be voice activated to make the experience even easier.

    The Social Experience

    The physical retail locations are expected to make the shopping experience of the future along the lines of a town square. The expected offerings include a selection of restaurants and entertainment facilities including theatres, concert halls, electronic and virtual reality arcades and bowling alleys. The retailers must find a way to not only attract new customers but to ensure the existing customers want to return. Many stores are expected to become guide shops where the consumer touches the product they desire and can be educated by the sales associates. Retailers are also expected to use new technologies to obtain more information about their customers, personalize the experience and revolutionize their marketing.

    The Independent Locations

    The number of independent stores is expected to increase despite the number of retail locations that have closed. The combination of the cloud and mobile based solutions will make it easy to open a new store with a fairly small investment. The option of making a purchase online and picking it up at a retail location is expected to gain in popularity. This will combine online and offline purchases and is tentatively being called click and collect. Checkout lines and cashiers may be replaced with artificial intelligence. This will enable consumers to charge their purchases when they leave while alleviating long lines and wait times.

    The Themes

    Themes are expected to play a larger role as time passes. This includes flexible payment methods, enhanced customer service, mobile wallets and mobile systems available at the retail locations. Drones are being developed for faster delivery, technology is decreasing the time necessary for product development and environmental and ethics consumer concerns will be addressed. Data security will substantially increase and jobs may be lost to artificial intelligence. The Internet of Things or the connection of devices will become essential for retail operations due to the dramatic increase in the number of consumers shopping with a portable device.

    The New Models

    The new generations are not interested in the methods used for traditional marketing. This has caused a retail renaissance leading to a disconnection of the consumer experience. Retail is expected to use data as a means of expanding commerce to reengage the consumer. The behavior of the modern consumer makes digital technology necessary for any retail business to survive. The behavior and requirements of the consumer will be analyzed regarding their preferences in the future. This will require new technologies including faster speeds, more convenient purchases and the deployment of physical locations.

  • Be trendy and don't break the bank with these 6 tips!

    Looking fashionable and trendy without breaking the bank can be tricky as well as difficult to pull off, mainly because you are probably working on a budget. However, it does not mean that it is not possible. Here are six tips to help you look fashionable and stylish without breaking the bank.

    1. Purchase Your Clothes in Sales or During the Off-Season

    Keep in mind that you should never leave the house without knowing what you are going to spend. Plan, budget, and stick to that figure. Most people usually end up spending more than they had anticipated just because there were some lovely items on sale. If you insist on purchasing from an expensive store, make sure that you only do it from their sale rack. Moreover, ensure that you do not buy clothes when they are in high demand, as they are going to be more expensive. For instance, do not buy a winter coat during winter as it will be a lot costlier then. Purchase it during summer, and you will get to save a lot.

    2. Sell Articles That You No Longer Need

    We all get caught up in the habit of hoarding clothes thinking that we might ‘need’ them someday. However, if you cannot remember the last time you put it on, sell that item. This way, you will get money to purchase trendier ones. Online sites offer platforms such as Thredup, Tradesy, and Poshmark to name a few to sell your used clothes. Moreover, you will have created space for your new clothes.

    3. Get Selective Colors

    One of the golden rules of looking trendy is to make sure that you wear the right colors. This means avoiding purchasing clothes that require a specific partner. By purchasing neutral colored clothes, you will be able to match them with various tops and trousers.
    Moreover, you can also play around with monochromatic and dichromatic outfits.

    Monochromes usually have a sophisticated appeal. But if it gets too monotonous, you can try a dichromatic look to shake things up a bit. Nevertheless, monochromatic and dichromatic hues always look sharp.

    4. Visit Charity or Thrift Shops

    Most people do not purchase their wares from these stores. However, you’d be surprised by what you can find there. Go and look around, you might find a goldmine.

    5. Keep it Simple

    Keeping it stylish and fashionable does not mean that you must purchase expensive accessories and clothing. In fact, experts recommend keeping it simple regardless of whether you are on a budget or not to avoid overdoing it. Understated pieces are often the most elegant. As such, ditch those flashy and tacky accessories which might cheapen your look, and go for the subtle, timeless pieces which are both stylish and modest.

    6. Read Fashion Magazines

    The more you know, the better equipped you will be at understanding how to be stylish even when on a budget. Fashion magazines are full of tips and ideas. And thus, even if you will not purchase the exact items in the magazine, you will have an idea on how to make things go together. Peruse through those magazines.

    Being trendy does not mean visiting expensive shops. You can be stylish without breaking your bank. Utilize the above tips, and you will turn heads everywhere you go.

  • September Is The Perfect Time To Buy These 5 Things

    When fall is upon us, that means we get to break out our comfy sweaters, indulge in cinnamon and spice, enjoy the cooler weather, and save money on great products and services! September is the perfect time of year to buy a whole host of different things.


    Summer Apparel

    Yes, it’s true, that fall means long sleeves and pants, coat and scarves, so why buy summer clothes that you won’t be able to wear? Well, because retailers such as Nordstrom Rack, Macy's, and JC penny offer big discounts on all sorts of summer clothing, including swimsuits, shorts, and tees. In order to make room for their fall collections, retailers will mark down their existing stock to low, low prices, which means you can score cute, summer items that you can save for the next time it gets warm out.


    If you’re planning a big trip for the holidays or thinking of going home for Thanksgiving, then you should search for airfare as soon as those fall leaves start to hit the ground! Buying a ticket early means that you will save big bucks, and you can use that money you saved on gifts for you or your family. If a winter holiday is too far away and you need to getaway now, many airlines also offer great off-season deals on flights.


    Sometimes the best thing we can do in order to get a good night’s sleep is buy a new mattress. But mattress retailers don’t offer a lot of sales throughout the year. But September is the perfect time of year to buy yourself a new, comfy mattress. Starting around Labor Day, most mattress retailers offer stunning deals on new mattresses. Like the apparel retailers, they want to get rid of old stock to make room for new products, which means you can snag a new mattress at a bargain price.

    iPhones and iPads

    Every September Apple throws a huge event in order to introduce their new products, including the latest models of iPhones and iPads. So if you’ve been debating on when to replace your old, damaged phone or tablet, now is the time to do it, as you can get the latest and greatest iPhone or iPad. But if you’re not dying to own that new, fancy iPhone, you can score big discounts on the older models that all get marked down significantly.

    Plants and Produce

    To add a little greenery to your life and yard, the early fall season is the perfect time year to score discounted plants at your local garden store. To make room for holiday plants, garden stores will mark down their summer flowers, shrubs, and plants. The fall harvesting season is also a great time to head down to your nearby farmer’s market and enjoy fresh, local produce, in the form of vegetables and fruits.

    Fall is the best time of year to save big on a wide range of products!

  • Keep An Eye Out on Fall Fashion Sales on Labor Day

    Fall fashion calls for lots of chunky sweaters, high boots and scarves. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to afford a whole new fall wardrobe when the holidays are so close by, you're starting school or you're trying to buy clothing for multiple children for the school year. Thanks to the variety of Labor Day sales available every single year, it's never been easier to afford fall fashion.

    When to Look for Sales
    The best time to look for sales is Labor Day weekend. This is when a good majority of stores hold most of their clothing sales and price down a good bit of the items they have available. Keep in mind that a lot of stores are also one season ahead when it comes to fashion, so when fall finally comes around, most stores are gearing up for winter and have winter wear out on the shelves and racks. Because of this, Labor Day offers consumers a way to save on fall and winter-type clothing without the heavy price tag of buying it when it's not on sale.

    Where to Find Great Offers

    You can find these great offers virtually anywhere that sells fall fashion. Most people do their shopping locally, which allows them to try on and buy what they like before committing to anything. Others like to do their shopping online, especially if they know their size well and have already made use of a specific store and know how the clothing fits them. This is especially beneficial for those who are buying clothing for kids and who already know their sizes. You can scour a range of different shops online, compare prices and sales and then make your decision on where you'd like to buy your items.

    What to Buy

    When it comes to the autumn time, you want to look for a range of different garments that won't just keep you warm, but are going to help you look your best. Because there are tons of different clothing and garment options, it can sometimes be difficult to find exactly what it is that you want, so keep up on the latest trends by looking at magazines, looking to see what stores are selling and what other people are wearing while walking out on the street. These options can give you a clear idea on what the latest trends are like and what you should invest into buying.

    With the start of fall comes amazing fashions to keep you cozy, warm and chic. You'll love the tremendous amount of sales happening that are specific to this season and that allow you to find and buy only the very best clothing and shoe options at rock bottom prices. You will notice that a good majority of stores out there offer some of their best sales at the beginning of fall, so this is a great time for you to start shopping for yourself and for the rest of your family as well.

  • Which Retailers Offer the Most Comfortable and Trendy Shoe Bargains

    No matter what time of year it is, you want a comfortable and trendy pair of shoes that not only keep your feet cozy but are also stylish and go with just about any outfit you choose to wear. Unfortunately, the shoes that you buy are often the most expensive component of your outfit, since they can easily cost hundreds of dollars if you buy them full-price from the wrong retailer.

    Why You Need a Bargain

    Shoe bargains can be found virtually anywhere and at any time of the year, however, there are certain times of the year when sales are more readily available. Labor Day and Memorial Day are huge in the retail industry world, so you'll often find a good majority of sales and shoe bargains around this time. The reason you might want to make use of a bargain or sale is because shoes can be incredibly expensive if you're not too careful. Many retailers offer their shoes at full-price when there is not a sale happening, which means you're spending a lot more money than you should be shelling out.

    Which Retailers are the Best for a Bargain?

    You have two options when it comes to finding the best shoe bargains: buying online or buying locally. When you look online for a retailer selling high-quality trendy shoes at affordable prices, you'll be able to compare prices on one page. If you shop locally, it might be a good idea to be aware of sales occurring before you start going from one store to the next. Some of the most popular retailers for comfortable yet affordable shoes includes Walmart, Kohls, Target, Payless Shoe Source, Super Shoes, Sears and Shoe Warehouse. You can find most of their sales online or locally, so be aware of when they're offering these bargains.

    Which Shoes to Choose
    You might want to shop a season ahead or behind when it comes to getting the best price on your shoes. This means that you'll be purchasing shoes when they're on clearance or on deep sales because the store is just trying to get rid of their inventory. Most people shopping for footwear find that the best discounts they get is when shoes are put onto clearance because it's the end of the season. If you stay relatively consistent with your shoe size, you can easily buy shoes for the next year and have them ready and available for wearing.

    There is absolutely no reason for you to spend a small fortune on the shoes that you need and want for the season ahead. You can find a range of bargains available that will make shoe shopping easier and more affordable for you. Now is the time to take a look at these options and see which store you'd like to shop to get the shoes that you need. It's a good idea to make use of these sales and bargains whether you're shopping for yourself or for the whole family.

  • The Five Color Trends Dominating Summer of 2018

    The summer is already here, and one of the most amazing things about the sun and the holidays is that you get to experiment with more fun wardrobe such as sundresses, shorts, and splashes of color. Well, every season comes with its fashion trends and top colors. Here, are a few colors that you can expect to dominate the fashion scene this summer.

    Soft lilac

    Most people are saying that this summer is all about ethereal colors, and sift lilac is as ethereal as the colors get. The color was introduced into the summer scene by designers such as Victoria Beckham and Michael Kors. The color can be paired with some good denims and does a great job in softening other textures.

    Bubblegum pink

    This is another color which has come back with a big bang. The color has even been hailed for being the 2018 version of millennial pink, it doesn’t get better than that. Celebrities like Lucy Hale, Kim Kardashian, and Emma Roberts have all been spotted wearing a number in this color, even little North was spotted with a bubblegum tracksuit earlier in the season. There is something playful and yet so chick about this color. Grab yourself a little bubblegum pink dress, it will make your summer complete.

    Chocolate brown

    Nothing makes a hot summer day more bearable than a refreshing chocolate ice cream. Well, this summer, in addition to having your favorite chocolate ice cream, you can rock chocolate brown the color as it is back on the runways. Select outfits which have the solid color, or have it mixed up with its complementary colors. Some colors that go really well with chocolate brown are jungle green and cream white.


    Well, if there is one color which screams boldness and confidence, it is yellow. Kylie Jenner has already been spotted donning a very appetizing tracksuit in a shade of the color, and so has Ummah Thurman, in Kill Bill. The return of yellow also means that its complementary color, purple will be making the headlines. Find amazing ways to combine and block these colors, and you will be winning the summer dress up game.

    Tomato red

    This is another bold color which is really in season this summer. The trend started with Alexander McQueen’s cocktail dresses and was enhanced by those sophisticated pajamas from Victoria Beckham. You can wear the color alone or mix it up with some complementary colors such as navy blue, brown and purple and their different shades. You can be as bold or as playful as you want to be with the colors and shades to spruce up your summer.

    These are some of the colors that you should definitely incorporate in your wardrobe this summer. Other top colors that have been making a statement include Cinderella blue and ultraviolet.

    There is still some time left in the summer, so, get into the trend and pick a few pieces to make this year’s sunny season 2018 one to remember!
  • How to Pick the Right Accessories for Your Outfit

    Being fashionable and always looking your best is an individual style preference. However, the right accessories can make or break even the greatest outfit. Jewelry, scarves, shoes and handbags can also help to make your wardrobe go even further by creating different kinds of looks. Think about a basic black dress and how many different looks can be created with simple, understated pieces or bright, bold pieces. To look your best, put as much effort into selecting your fashion accessories as you do the main components of your ensemble.

    When choosing how to accessorize your look, consider several factors - color, scale and style of the pieces that you choose and how they will complement, rather than overwhelm, your outfit. It's also important to think about the occasion you are planning for - casual or business, day or evening.

    The colors that you are coordinating are the first and most important part of choosing how to accessorize. Black, white and any neutral colors make accessorizing a breeze because basically any color or finish of your jewelry will match. When you are complementing outfits that are more colorful, it's important to choose pieces that won't clash with what you wearing.

    It's completely acceptable to accessorize with colors that are not the same as what you're wearing as long as the colors complement each other. Reds and pinks, blues and purples, yellows with greens.. and if you're feeling especially bold, combining more than one color as your accessory can create a unique and fun look.

    Consider patterns and prints as well when choosing how to accessorize. If what you're wearing is really busy - floral prints, ruffles or plaids, for example - better to choose simple jewelry or solid colors. Keep your choices understated so as not to create a gaudy look with too much going on.

    Your body shape is also important. Women with larger frames, for example, can wear jewelry that is also larger. Medium and larger size bags can complement the curves of a larger sized woman. Smaller women should choose large pieces in isolation and not try to combine several pieces to wear at once.

    Most importantly, the right fashion accessories can define your fashion style. Simple, classic pieces like pearls, simple chains, and solitary bangles say "I'm in control", "I'm serious", "I choose to keep it refined". Long, draping earrings, over sized rings, rhinestones and crystals and oversized glasses say, "I feel glamourous", "I feel confident", and "I choose to define my own style". Accessorizing with playful pieces like bold, chunky bracelets, brightly colored earrings and large, printed handbags say, "I love having fun", "I am unique", and "I am completely unpredictable!"

    Choosing how to accessorize what you are wearing tells the world what you want it to know. Be creative! It's easy to create a unique personality simply be accessorizing.

  • Five of the Top Budget Beauty Products

    There are literally thousands of beauty products available and it can be overwhelming when you try to sort through them. To help you out, I have provided a list of five amazing products under twenty-five dollars. Not only will you read about some amazing products, but you will see how you can save money too. Read on for my five favorite picks.

    Mary Kay Vitamin C Squares

    These amazing little squares are 100% vitamin C! Seriously! All that vitamin C packed into something that is almost transparent. It is so easy to use. I can use just a few drops of water to dissolve it and then mix it with my moisturizer. Then I apply my moisturizer as usual but now I have a full, concentrated dose of Vitamin C being directly fused into my skin. This is one of the best beauty products on the market.$24,

    Covergirl True Blend Face Primer for Combo Skin

    This is one of my favorites because I tend to sweat in the summer. It is exciting to actually find a primer that work. It glides on easily creating a smooth palette for my makeup. It is non-comodogenic (which is great for sweaty people like me) and suitable for many skin types. It keeps my makeup looking super fresh.$8.79

    Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water

    This is an amazing cleanser because you don't really have to do any scrubbing to cleanse your face. There is no oil, no alcohol, and its unscented. It is totally free of harsh chemicals. And it works pretty fast considering the fact that you don't have to scrub. This product is also great for sensitive skin. The cleanser is perfectly priced for someone on a budget. $8.99

    E.L.F. Cosmetics Beauty Blender Sponge

    There are a million and one beauty sponges on the market and, personally, I am not excited to pay twenty bucks for a sponge. Since I am on a budget, I tried the E.L.F. sponge which is in the lower price range, but it is an amazing sponge that allows me to perfectly contour my makeup like a pro. It is only available online, and it comes in three different cool colors. $5

    L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Waterproof Miss Manga Mascara

    One of the most popular beauty products is mascara. I am a person who loves big lashes so this mascara had to go on the list. This L'Oreal mascara is amazing because it actually gives you movie star lashes. You will be wide-eyed and glamorous after using the flexible 360 degree brush. The brush designs are really great because it helps to get those hard to reach lashes. The best part for me is that its waterproof (because I sweat!). $7.99

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