Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year From THE SAVVY SHOPPER

Photo: Abstract Wallpaper
I'm hoping 2017 is kinder to us than was 2016. On the dark side, we survived a nasty, polarizing election, as well as, the deaths of so many beloved luminaries in such quick succession that at times it seemed like fake news, another characteristic of 2016. Sad events are hard to shake off while still fresh.

On the bright side, The New Year begins here in the USA with President Barack Obama still holding office for all of 20 days. Personally, I will miss his intelligent, measured, informed and steady leadership.
The Obama Christmas card
Moreover, there has never been a classier First Lady than Michelle Obama. We should thank the Obamas for their dignity, focus on meaningful progress, and for inspiring us with their attitude towards their critics: "When they go low, we go high." We will do well to embrace their grace and positive example as our guide in tackling change and trepidations in 2017.

Furthermore, Malia and Sasha are turning into beautiful young women. I will miss this warm, down-to-earth family!  

Soon ... onto the next phase of their lives. As I understand it, when President Obama leaves office, he wants to mentor the next generation of leaders in the Democratic party, as it strives to rebuild. So we will have his leadership in another vital capacity.  

Taking another lesson from the Obamas: Change sometimes requires a call to action. Is something not what you want it to be? Get involved. Make things better!

To the readers of THE SAVVY SHOPPER, you are awesome! Thank you for the honor of your time. I love getting your emails and comments, plus cherish a few friendships developed with my fellow bloggers. Sharing our thoughts, interests and knowledge with one another is what makes blogging worthwhile. I love hearing from you and am grateful you stop by for a read. 

Warm, good wishes to all my lovely peeps all over the globe for a ...



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Saturday, December 24, 2016

It's Christmas Once Again

St. Peter's Square, The Vatican, Rome Italy
Can you imagine attending midnight mass at St. Peter's Basilica on Christmas Eve? Who must you know to get tickets ... His Holiness, the Pope? (I'd love to come, P. Francis, if you're reading this!)🎄

It has been a difficult year for our little ole world ... embroiled in war, terrorism, the rise of (blind?) nationalism and all kinds of other undesirable "isms" around the globe. There are deep fears and insecurity effecting how people vote these days. Some folks are worried about the rise of isolationism and tyranny similar to that of the 1930s. Countries are turning to conservative leaders and dicey ideologies out of worry, and I hope we don't pay a heavy price for such leanings with our future. Democracy needs to prevail; and at the end of the day, truth and compassion must win out.

After a turbulent 2016, we probably need a little Christmas more than ever!

Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque crèche at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
If you visit New York City, you can stop at the Met to see the 17th century Christmas tree and Nativity figures above. The huge, centuries old exhibit goes up every (late) November!

A "Christmas plant" in the corner of my Manhattan apartment.
Meanwhile, at home I put up some of my decorations. Just like Egyptian hieroglyphics, my "Christmas pothos" only requires vertical space. It is green, festive, and guests seem to appreciate it.

My apartment-size crèche on top of my entertainment center.

Least we forget, Christmas celebrates a humble, holy child who brought hope, peace, joy and a new beginning to the faithful in an uncertain world.



I borrowed this soothing hymn from my friend, Patricia of The Red Cardinal, who sings it in choir. It is a beautiful rendering and so apropos for our holiday season.

Merry Christmas Peace to Everyone all over the world!



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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Coconut Macaroons ... Delish

Photo: Food Network
The time has come to eat bake Christmas cookies. Do you make the same cookies every year like we do? Coconut macaroons are always on our list. We keep them pure and simple. It's the texture of the coconut and taste of vanilla that makes this cookie delicious. When perfectly baked, they look exactly like the photo above: Slightly crispy on the outside, yet soft, chewy and completely done on the inside. Here is our family recipe:

Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients:

3 large egg whites
1/2 cup white sugar
16 ounces sweet, shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a tiny spash of lemon juice
a tiny splash of rum

Directions:

1) Mix all the ingredients and beat until uniform. (If your batter is a little wet, you can add a spoonful of flour. We don't normally, but if your egg whites are from extra large eggs, you can add a little flour.)
2) Scoop up the batter with a spoon and drop onto a cookie sheet. Shape more like a ball (as opposed to flat) so that you end with a chewy center.
3) Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes.
4) Remove from the oven and let cool. 

We like our coconut macaroons plain, but you can dip yours in melted chocolate (with paraffin wax) if you wish.




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Monday, December 19, 2016

LED Stud Earrings In 9 Illuminated Colors


People who love Christmas sometimes wear over-the-top Christmas sweaters, or Santa Claus (or Reindeer) motif pins that light up. Are you one of those people? If so, it's not a bad thing, and you are probably a spirited, fun person, who knows how to have a good time during the holiday season. If you can't be festive and over-the-top to celebrate Christmas, when the deck-the-halls can you?
In addition to the ugly Christmas sweater and Christmas themed chotskies, look what else is available: LED Stud Earrings that light up in an array of colors just like Christmas lights! Amazon, some Etsy shops and Ebay offer them, and they are an inexpensive novelty item. 
The glowing studs are constructed of stainless steel and come with two tiny batteries. Some are diamond shaped, while others are star shaped.

Are earring studs that glow in the dark for you? If so, what color would you get?


Ho! Ho! Ho! You're welcome, my merry peeps!
🎄


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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Gifts For Him


Men's Tumbled-Leather L.L.Bean Boots, 10'' Shearling-Lined
For a myriad of reasons, men are harder to shop for than women. Our brains are wired differently, and women talk more about their wants or needs. Men not as much. Also, men's clothing is more precisely sized, making it difficult to get the fit of a pair pants, or shirt right. There's just more margin for error. When clueless about what kind of gift to buy for a man, I fallback on the usual suspects: books, liquid and gift cards. 

L.L. Bean is a retailer I also turn to for well-crafted gifts that last. If I don't know what to get a man (or woman), I get something I would love. Here are a few possibilities:

1) Ultralight 850 Down Jacket - I don't understand why, but even in the middle of winter when I'm layered from head to toe, a man will just wear a jacket. This high performance jacket is 850-fill down. It repeals water and is super durable. Spiffy too!




2) Men's Ragg Wool Hat and 3) Men's Ragg Wool Gloves - Each is mostly lambswool lined with soft polyester microfleece to insulate when wet.


4) Sweaters galore: Choose from lambswool; ragg wool; Shetland wool; cashmere; cotton-cashmere blend; double cotton and more. Styles include crew necks, v-necks and cardigans.


5) Men's Tumbled-Leather L.L.Bean Boots, 10'' Shearling-Lined - (top photo) L.L. Bean made their first iconic boots in 1912, and what a gorgeous boot it is! I'm super envious that the men's boot comes in black. It is only offered in brown for women. (Why ... oh, why only brown for the ladies?) Men also have a 2-tone color: Maple/Brown. It is a premium grain, soft leather boot with a broken-in feel that is water resistant. They are light, comfortable, and his feet stay dry after hours of wear. This is the holy grail of winter boots.


L.L. Bean has stylish, yet practical stuff for under $25 too. Buy a nice gift at every price point! Still scratching your head?: Gift card. What is your fallback gift for a man?


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Sunday, December 11, 2016

5 New Maybelline Products in 2017

Photos: Maybelline
As stated in older blogs (which you can find in the search box), Maybelline has truly stepped up the quality of its makeup in recent years. At drugstore prices, it now rivils the luxe brands. With rich pigments and winning formulas, Savvy Shoppers can save lots of moola without compromise. Plus, Maybelline's inventory keeps improving, as well as, expanding. Here are 5 new products launching in January 2017, some are already out at places like Walgreens, Target and Walmart:

1) There is a new Maybelline The 24K Nudes palette, which I saw stocked already at Bed, Bath and Beyond(Sending Angie Smith, reader and friend of THE SAVVY SHOPPER, an alert: Go to BB&B ASAP to pick one up! You will love it like the first 3 The Nudes!!) 

The 24K Nudes palette reminds me of THE NUDES (warm, natural colors) with a bit of shimmer (like the Rock Nudes palette). All 4 The Nudes palettes are natural hues, with the Rock Nudes leaning towards cool colors; whereas the others: The Nudes, The Blush Nudes and now the 24K Nudes leaning towards warmer colors.)
2) More matte lip colors are coming out. Look for Maybelline Matte Nude Lipstick, as well as, it's Vivid Matte Liquids.

3) Maybelline Dream Cushion - is a full coverage cushion foundation that offers a luminous finish.
4) Maybelline Face Studio Master Camo Color Correcting Kit - is a palette with 5 color correction concealers, plus a pearly highlighter. There are 3 versions of the kit to match different skin tones.
5) Maybelline The Colossal Big Shot - A new mascara with a new brush and collagen-mousse-like forumula to keep it from flaking and clumping as it volumizes lashes.

Other new Maybelline products launching include a Brow Highlighting Pencil, Face Hightlighter Liquid in a tube, pigmented Baby Lip Balm Crayons and a special edition eyeshadow that is now only available on Amazon.

Most of Maybelline's products cost from $5 - $10. Where else can you get non-better mascara for $6, or a makeup palette with rich pigments for an Alexander Hamilton!? Plus, drugstores and BB&B offer deals, taking more money off. Look polished for oodles less!

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Holiday Party Dresses

Glitzy Angel - TFNC Florence Metallic dress
It's the season to add pazzazz to your wardrobe. A little silver here, a bit of gold there, and accents of glitter. Let's have fun on THE SAVVY SHOPPER by picking a few party dresses, shall we? I'll be your wardrobe stylist by putting together several possibilities -- Christmas red and green, classic black, lace and bronze metallic. It is time for us to shimmer and sparkle!
  
Rickety Rack - Glitter Empress dress
Lulus - Star Dust Gold Sequin Bodycon dress
Dress the Population -  Hayden Lace Fit & Flare dress
Dress the Population - Grace Sequin Lace dress
Dress the Population - Mearcella dress
Adrianna Papell Pleated Jersey Sheath dress




Dress the Population - Avie dress
Topshop - Hanky Hem Lace Midi Dress

Do you have a favorite holiday dress style? Tell us about it. Can you see yourself in one of these?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Jarware Wide-Mouth Mason Jar Citrus Juicer

Not everything useful is high-tech, nor costs a million bucks. Sometimes a simple, cheap tool improves your life 100%. This citrus juicer sells for $3.99. I have a metal citric juicer that costs alot more, but using one hand to squeeze a lemon half with it is tough. 

Twirling the lemon (or lime) halves over the ridges of this gadget is much easier for me, and I get more juice out.

Furthermore, I especially love how this little gizmo fits right over a wide-mouth Mason jar! The rim (minus the medal lid) secures it in place. The lemon (or lime) juice goes straight into the jar. After removing the rim and juicer, I can pour cold water, sweetener and ice directly into the same jar to drink a refreshing one-and-a-half pint of lemonade. It is a one-jar clean-up!

Love the small footprint of the juicer when storing it away also. This little pointy juicer is genius engineering!



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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Two Faced La Creme Lipstick: Unicorn Tears


Unicorn Tears is one of the 10 new colors.

Two Faced has 10 new shades of their La Creme lipstick. The formula is a combination of creamy color and intense hydration. All 10 hues, ranging from naughty nude to candy apple red, are pretty and wearable.
Photo: New Beauty. A swatch of Unicorn Tears
I am wild about the shimmering Unicorn Tears color (above) for holiday parties, although I could also make a case for Wham!, an iridescent raspberry and Sugar Daddy, which is a lovely nude rose. 

Somehow the 10 new shades have a wow factor, as well as, an understated and classic look. As you can see from the color drenched Unicorn Tears in the images above, they flatter both fair and dark complexions.

A tube of Two Faced La Creme Lipstick makes a coveted stocking stuffer, or anytime gift. 

Do you like to pick out a shade for someone, or play it safe with a gift card?💋

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