What I Bought: Black Friday Purse


What I bought: Fossil “Erin leather small top zip crossbody” purse (Macy’s)

What I paid: $44 (it was already on sale, then an additional 25% off as part of Macy’s Black Friday sale)

I have two go-to purses for shopping: a black crossbody bag and a brown crossbody bag. I love crossbody bags because I prefer to have both hands readily available for picking up potential purchases and I hate trying to keep my purse on my shoulder.

Last Christmas, my mom bought me this black Fossil crossbody bag that I’ve been using almost every day since. It has brown details, so if I am too lazy to transfer its contents to a brown bag, it’ll still “go” with that kind of outfit. I also love that I can fit almost everything I could ever need in the purse. Here’s a snapshot of what’s in my purse:


Instead of packing what I will really need, I pack what I will need if all my shopping nightmares happen at the same time.

Michael Kors wristlet: This holds all my credit cards, cash, coupons and my ID.

Pen: Who doesn’t need a pen?

Bobby pins: I have enough bobby pins here for a fancy updo halfway through my shopping excursion. I have no idea why I pack so many.

Eucerin hand lotion: My hands get disgustingly dry, so I need lotion.

Facial tissue: In case the air is cranked and my nose starts to run.

Hand sanitizer: I typically shop at Mall of America. There shouldn’t be any need for further explanation.

Two lipsticks: I maybe wear lipstick once a week — I have no idea why I would need two colors in my purse when I’m shopping. Yet here it is.

Chapstick: I go a little crazy if I’m out and realize I don’t have chapstick with me.

Bandaid variety pack: I’ve gotten blisters from new shoes and paper cuts from shoe boxes — bandaids are a must-have.

Medicine: Cough drops and Excedrin Migraine. The air in shopping malls is usually a little dry for me, which makes my throat hurt. And just being around the general public is typically enough to give me a migraine. Best to be prepared.

The purse itself is fairly heavy, but the weight nearly doubles once I add all these items. Within half an hour, I notice discomfort in my back and tension in my neck and shoulders. I try switching the bag from one side to the other, or adjusting the shoulder strap length so I can carry it with my hand instead. None of these solutions is a long-term help, however.

When I was doing a little after-dinner shopping on Thanksgiving night, I came across the small Fossil purse in the clearance area at Macy’s. There are several zippered pouches, perfect for the actual essentials: chapstick, cell phone, coupons, credit cards/cash, ID, mini bottle of hand lotion, Kleenex tissue, car keys.

The purse itself was extremely lightweight, and I liked the pop of color. Since it was already on sale…and an additional 25% off…and the checkout line was short…and I was carrying a door-buster memory foam pillow…I decided to buy it.

I used it all day yesterday during my true Black Friday shopping and it was great. It was practically weightless and I had ZERO discomfort in my neck, back, shoulders. I’m in love.

I’m sure all the other serious shoppers out there have been using a super small crossbody bag for years — not sure what took me so long to join the party.


What I’m Wearing: Thanksgiving

oatmealWhat I’m wearing: Old Navy Fair Isle Cardi Coat (camel)pantsWhat I’m wearing: Loft Marisa Straight Leg Pants (rustic port)

I really hate picking out clothes for holidays and other special occasions. I know I have tons of clothes, but somehow nothing is “just right” for the event. Holiday meals have always been tricky for me. Will I be hot? Will I be cold? I know there’s a good chance we’ll take pictures, so I have to wear something flattering. I also plan to gorge myself on delicious food, so whatever I wear has to hide the multiple helpings of turkey, potatoes, green bean casserole and Grandma’s homemade mac & cheese.

Enter Old Navy’s open-front cardigan and Loft’s straight-leg pants. I love camel and the maroon color together — they seem perfect for a fall holiday. I tried the sweater on this evening (and bought it, of course) because it perfectly draped over my body. I can tell that this sweater will hide all evidence of my over-indulgent behavior at Thanksgiving lunch. But it’s also fitted just enough in the right places so I don’t look like I’m wearing a large garbage bag.

As for the pants…normally I wouldn’t wear dress pants for a holiday meal. I have always considered dress pants to be uncomfortable and confining. However, this pair is super comfortable and almost feels like I’m wearing cotton sweatpants. Even the waist is forgiving. I love the jeans I recently bought from Loft, but the waist doesn’t stretch out much (I suppose that means they fit correctly), and are somewhat uncomfortable if I’m sitting for long periods of time.

I still have to decide what to wear under the cardigan, but that should be relatively easy (I’m thinking a lightweight, over-sized t-shirt).

Now, we’ll see if this is what I actually wear. I always seem to plan outfits for these events and then end up trying on 20 different clothing combos before deciding on something completely different.

What I Want: Christmas Wish List – Beauty

I wanted to do a gift-giving guide/series to help everyone with the sometimes difficult task of finding just the right gifts for family and friends. When I started coming up with ideas for the people in my life, I realized that the only reason I had these particular items on the list was because they were things I’d want. Maybe this happens to a lot of people — but I’m pretty sure my wishlist is not supposed to be the “guiding force” that helps me decide what to buy for others.

So instead, I’ll share with you a list of the things I think would be great to receive, and you can decide if they’d be right for anyone in your life 🙂

coachWhat I want: Coach Coffret

What it costs: $48 (it seems like most stores have a free gift with purchase for this; shop around)

Lately I’ve been mildly obsessed with fragrances. It started with a set I purchased from aerie last year after Christmas. Then this fall, I fell in love with Honey from Marc Jacobs. I also have a million little body sprays from Bath & Body Works. I always wanted to have a signature scent, but I just don’t think I can settle on one! Which is why this gift set from Coach would be perfect. You get four scents: Coach Signature, Coach Poppy, Coach Poppy Blossom and Coach Love. The bottles are super small (.17 ounces each), but that’s probably good for me because I can never seem to get through a full bottle anyway.

originsWhat I want: Origins mascara

What it costs: $17-21

Three years ago, Dan’s mom gave me Origins mascara for Christmas and I LOVED it. I have no good explanation for why I didn’t purchase it for myself once I ran out, other than price. Origins has several mascara varieties, and I have absolutely no clue which one I received, but I do remember using the Underwear for Lashes product, and it was great. The mascara I used went on smoothly — seriously, no clumps. I know makeup brands will claim that their mascara is “non clumping,” but I don’t think they know the definition of “non clumping.” In my opinion, it actually means NO clumps. The Origins mascara I used glided on smoothly and lasted all day. I also noticed that my eyes didn’t itch as often (not sure if that was actually due to the mascara or not) and my eye lashes weren’t hard as rocks/crunchy after the mascara dried.  sinWhat I want: Urban Decay eyeshadow in Sin

What it costs: $18 (.05 ounce)

Two years ago, one of the top items on my Christmas wishlist was the Urban Decay Naked palette. This palette is amaze-balls. The colors are so neutral (other than possibly the super dark “creep” and “gunmetal” shades). I wear combinations of the colors nearly every day. The shade I wear the most is “sin.” The color is like a champagne-pink, but it has a shimmer/satin (not glittery, but “luminous sheen”) finish to it. It’s so pretty and perfectly fine on its own, but also looks great with slightly darker shades of pink or pinkish-brown colors (like “hustle” and “toasted” in the palette). I don’t wear a ton of eyeshadow, which is how the palette has lasted me almost two years. But I’m getting close to hitting the bottom on this color.

I’m not sure I can rationalize spending $18 on a mega small container of eyeshadow, so I looked online for “dupes.” The dupe most posted about was Wet n Wild’s Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio in Walking on Eggshells ($2.99 for three colors).