Gift Ideas for the Last Minute Shopper

Anyone else scrambling last minute like me for holiday gifts?? Well, worry not, I gotcha covered. I just starting thinking about gifts this week and here are a few things I have come up with for the last minute shopper:

  1.  I personally own this backpack and I LOVE IT. It’s the perfect gift for the high school or college student, for the mom on the go, your professor friend who needs to tote their 13″ macbook and wallet to conferences, or simply for yourself because who doesn’t shop for themselves while shopping for others??

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Snakeskin backpack from Target, $34.99

2. I always have a hard time shopping for men – my hubby included – but I love this shaving kit from Target/Harry’s.  I got one for my hubby earlier this year and he loved it so I know the men in your life will too.

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Harry’s Shaving Kit, $14.99

3. This is one that is personally on MY wishlist.  I’ve seen it all over Pinterest and Instagram, so you know it’s a popular item this year. I’d love to get it for my cloffice (you know, closet-office) because it has the extra lighting I need to apply makeup etc.  Plus, it’s really just super cute, so why wouldn’t we want it??

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Impressions Vanity Mirror, $45.00

4. We own the Google Home, but this Amazon Echo Dot is too good a deal to pass up! It’s a great present for kids too.  You can put it in their rooms or play areas to play music or games with. It’s also a great device for the family overall and a great addition to any party. echo dot

Amazon Echo Dot, $29.99

5. I always feel like you can’t go wrong with pajama’s for Christmas or other holidays. Paired with some cozy slippers and a cute mug, you’re sure to have the best gift around. These are my favorite brand of pj’s and currently available in a variety of styles and only $15 a piece!

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Gillian & O’Malley, $15

6. Finally, monthly subscription boxes are one of my favorite things to gift. They are truly the gift that keeps on giving. I personally have this subscription and love it. It’s great for the woman who loves to work out, the woman who likes to wear workout clothes but doesn’t work out, AND the woman who doesn’t currently workout but wants to. 🙂 The monthly subscription delivers 3-5 items a month, usually including at least an outfit, but with the larger subscription, workout gear as well. For a special discount use code CHICINACADEMIA at checkout!

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Ellie Activewear Subscription Box, $39.95 per month

7. I’m not sure that you will get these before Friday – although it wouldn’t hurt to check, but they are one of my favorite things at the moment. Everly rings are made with simulated diamonds and are simply gorgeous. They are mistaken for real diamonds every single time I wear them. I have several of their bands and recently got one of their larger rings and can’t say enough about how much I love them. For a special discount use code CHICINACADEMIA at checkout.

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Everly Rings, Get any 5 stackables for $175

7. Finally, Tula is a brand I recently tried and loved. I especially love their gift sets because they’re perfect for the person who travels a lot like me! This one in particular provides a nice sampling of their best products. You can also use my discount code for an extra discount, CHICINACADEMIA.

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Tula Discovery Kit, $52.00

 

What other gift ideas do you have?  I’ve posted other ideas on instastories as I find them, so make sure to check them out on my Instagram account. Otherwise, make sure to also check out Pinterest and Facebook for occasional posts!

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!

Life lessons in heels

**I partnered with KIWI Protect-All spray for this post, however all opinions are my own.  

I have a pair of red suede shoes that I love.  LOVE.  One day last summer, I wore them, not realizing a huge thunderstorm was in the forecast.  Of course it hit right as I was getting to leave my office building for the day.  SIGH.  I waited.  15 minutes passed and I was now running super late to pick up the kids from daycare and after school care.  So, what’s a fashionista to do when wearing shoes that will damage in the rain?  Walk barefoot to the parking deck.  And so I did!

Of course, I’ve learned my lesson.  In an earlier post, I told you about my new found love for KIWI Protect-All® spray and how much I’ve come to love the product.  I’ve since applied it to my favorite red suede heels so that I can wear them without fear of the weather.

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Photos by Mary Margaret Smith

Of course, one learns about tricks like using a shoe protector like KIWI Protect-All® spray over time. It wasn’t something my mom used and told me about, for example.  But much like a fine wine, I too am getting better (wiser) with age.  I’ve learned about better ways to take care of my shoes, clothes, among other life lessons of course.  The photos above capture how I feel the older I get. Somehow more confident, caring less about what others think.  Don’t get me wrong, I still very much care about what others think to some extent – I am not yet completely immune – but I am much better than I was when I was younger.

There is a certain swagger that can only be had in heels at times (for me at least), that I feel these photos capture perfectly.  I’ve also become a lot more confident when it comes to my height.  I used to have a major, major complex about being vertically challenged.  The heels I’m wearing here are maybe – at most – 3 inch heels.  I used to wear nothing less than 4″ heels with a platform!  I was nuts for sure.  I also wasn’t running after two boys under 8, haha.  Life has certainly changed.

Anywho.  Did you try Kiwi Protect-All spray since the last time we chatted??  If not, try it and let me know what you think!  I saw it while I was at CVS today and it prompted me to remind you all about it.  Photo_1027

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!

**I partnered with Kiwi Protect-All for this post, however all opinions are my own.  

Walking with Pride

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I partnered with KIWI for this post, however all opinions are my own.

It’s no secret that I love to wear heels.  I think my mom bought me my first pair of heels when I was about 12 years old.  In fact, I distinctly remember what they looked like:  a white pair of faux leather kitten pumps.  I LOVED those heels. The rest is history, and the heel height never got shorter!

As I’ve gotten older, heels have become somewhat of a confidence booster.  My genetic fate proved to not favor my height, thus I remained vertically challenged. Not a problem, however, when you can wear 4 or 5 inch platform heels!  And boy was I good at walking in them!  Occasionally I would wear a pair that made me sound like a clydesdale when walking (aka not graceful), but for the most part, I like to think that I have always been most graceful when walking in heels.

As I have come up in the ranks of academia, I found that I was resorting to heels to help give me confidence I needed when at scientific meetings, when talking to peers, and simply for making me feel like I was “dressing the part”.  There is a stark difference between how I feel when I wear flats and how I feel when I wear heels.  I actually feel SUPER short and self-conscious when I’m wearing flats.  Not to mention, being short and female in a male-dominated field makes it even a greater challenge.  People literally look down at me to speak to me, and something about that body language really gets to me.  Wearing heels, on the other hand, even if they are 2-3″ heels, give me that extra little boost, and they really seem to make all the difference.  It enables me to walk with confidence and pride.

As a result, I have become quite the heel-wearer and thus, heel-buyer.  I have SO many pairs of heels.  They aren’t all expensive pairs, but, because I don’t wear them often, they tend to last longer.  I also know when to be practical and NOT wear heels.  Especially when I know I will have to walk long distances.  So, on those occasions, I like to wear comfy sneakers.  Have you noticed that sneakers also give a little bit of added height??

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All photography by Ron Pride Photography

Between my numerous pairs of shoes, and the 1-2 pairs of sneakers I own, I make sure to take great care of my shoes so that they will last and not easily damage.  My husband swears by KIWI shoe polish, and I have since become a fan of this KIWI Protect-All.  In fact, I carry it in my purse.  Do you remember me getting stuck in the building at work last year because I was wearing a pair of suede heels and I didn’t want the water to damage them?!  Well, I have since become savvy and taken action.  I’m in love with this KIWI Protect-All.  It sprays on lightly, doesn’t have a super strong scent, and in all, works-great to protect outer surfaces, shoes included.

Have you tried it before??  Let me know if you have!  If you haven’t, make sure to check out the KIWI website for more information. For those who haven’t used the spray before, simply remember to 1) shake the can well before use; 2) hold can upright approximately 15 to 20 cm from surface; 3) spray the entire surface evenly and thoroughly; 4) if using on leather or suede, let the leather or suede dry at room temperature. Actually, I bet it would also work well on handbags now that I think of it…  Hmm, sounds like another blog post idea for the future! I’ll keep you posted!

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!