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$25 eGift Cards For Teachers {Gift Guide}

teacher gift graphic

Parents may want to use this opportunity of the impending Christmas and Winter Holiday break to give their child’s teacher a nice gift as a thank you for the school year so far, especially this very different and challenging pandemic school year.

In a lot of school systems, it may be not permissible to spend too much money on a gift and the government may have imposed a monetary limit, in some cases.

Because many schools systems are distance learning full time, there also may not be an adequate opportunity to personally hand a teacher a box of chocoloates, a nice mug or another nice gift of gratitude this year.

Fortunately, we live in the era when e-gift cards and virtual gifting is now a very regular thing!

I’ve curated a list of nine stores that offer amazing virtual gifts you can simply email your child’s teacher:

starbucks gift card

Starbucks e-Gift Card

With the digital Starbucks card, your child’s teacher will get a code that she or he can add to her/his mobile device and order enough hot cocoa to sip and chill all Winter break long, depending on how much of a cocoa fan s/he is.


sugarwish gift card

Sugarwish

Send your fave teacher the gift of a sugar rush this Holiday season with the popular Sugarwish treats delivery service. Send him or her an invite to choose their favorite flavors of candy, cookies or popcorn and it will get delivered to them. Prices start at $19.98.


sephonra gift card

Sephora

Who doesn’t love the gift of self care and pampering? With an e-Gift card from the beauty store, Sephora, you can send a present in any denomination.


audible gift card

Audible

When keeping up with lessons plan doesn’t allow time to dig into that new book she or he wants to read, Audible books are the next best thing. A month free listens provides access to thousands of books, podcasts and Audible original content. Prices start at $15.00 for one month.


uncommon goods egift

Uncommon Goods eGift

An uncommonly good gift for any occasion, a gift certificate lets them pick from hundreds of unique gifts.


netflix gift car

Netflix

Since we all will be home anyway this Winter, your child’s teacher can catch up and binge watch all those TV shows trachers missed during the semester! A Netflix membership for a month or two will do it!


amazon gift card

Amazon

They have it all so you cannot go wrong with an Amazon.com e gift card.


Ban.do

Ban.do is that place where you can find the quirkiest of gifts and its $20 Gift Shop is filled with a fun ecclectic mix of little gifts that will put a smile on your teacher’s face!


etsy gift card

Etsy

Etsy is a marketplace for personalized gifts, and everything in between and is a beloved place your teacher can get lost at while looking for something for her or himself! There’s so much fun on Etsy!


gift card graphic

48+ BLACK-OWNED CANDLE COMPANIES TO PATRONIZE {Gift Guide}

black owned candle companies

The Bath and Body Works Annual Sale reminds us of another opportunity to support black-owned candle and bath essentials companies

If you were near a Bath and Body Works this weekend, you might have seen the super long lines with holiday shoppers taking advantage of its amazing annual Holiday sale featuring $10 candles that normally sell for close to $30.

Actually, you might have been in that line.

According to reports, the beauty, skin and body essentials company sold out of its online offerings forcing customers to have to visit the retail stores to get the deal.

Because we are still in the year of the death of George Floyd which triggered a renewed interest in elevating, promoting and recognizing, finally, black-owned businesses, the sold out situation presents an excellent opportuntiy to once again consider candle brands and companies that are among the group of biz owners that are traditionally undercapitalized, under appreciated, under represented.

As such, I compiled a list of over 48 black-owned candle makers for you to consider patronizing this year.

Some of these brands overlap with companies that Harper’s Bazaar, Allure, Cosmo, NY Mag, The Zoe Report, 21 Ninety and Elle magazines put in their profiles of Black-Owned Candle makers this Summer and Early Fall back when it was quite fashionable and en vogue to spotlight Black makers in the US, Canada, the UK and globally.

Let’s keep up the energy.

About the Candle Makers

I did take a cursory review of many of the companies. I only shared an image from their Instagram page for convenience and to quickly put this post together.

However, you can access a link to their websites to purchase and you will see who makes their candles in their homes in small batches, who actually delivers locally, who sells at upcoming craft fairs, virtual and in person, and who delivers beyond their country’s borders.

Some, like the ones featured in the major fashion magazines this past Summer and Fall, have appeared on Oprah’s annual Favorite things list.

More Reasons to Support

And don’t think because they are small that the candles will be expensive. Some start at just $5 and others are luxury priced but worth it.

Also, for people who are mindful of essential oils that can be toxic to burn, and allergies to materials in many candles, quite a few of these brands are careful about using toxic dyes, perfumes and other allergenic materials.

They hand pour.

They test.

They scale.

Here is a compilation of Black-owned candle makers in the US and Canada for you to consider patronizing this year.

They come recommended by some of the 38K members of Arsha Jones’ Build, Brand and Launch Facebook group.

I’ll add more as I discover them and I will update this post with local cities where this makers are currently located.

The companies are listed in random order and not by order of rank and I have reviewed none personally yet but did not want that to stop this list from getting out there especially this weekend.

1. Jadore Candles

SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA

2. Well Lit Candles

UPPER MARLBORO, MARYLAND

3. Simply Scents by Shan

HOUSTON, TEXAS

4. Alchemy Bliss

5. Black Girl Candle Company

North Carolina

6. Pure Candle House

Chicago, Illinois

7. Len McCaddy Home Candle and Co

Atlanta, Georgia

8. Common Scents

Savannah, Georgia

9. Amajai Home

Randallstown, Maryland

10. Nautana

Atlanta Georgia

11. Lufrays

Cedar Park, Texas

12. Elixir

13. Wicks And Shit

Gwinnett, Georgia

14. Cozy Wicks

Owings Mills, Maryland

15. South Florida Candle Supply

North Lauderdale, Florida

16. Adesuwu Botanicals

Lithonia, Georgia

17. Sola In the City

Baltimore, Maryland

18. Deese Noire

Buckhead Atlanta, Georgia

19. Gavin Lux

Los Angeles, California

20. Be Speak Candle Co

Sacramento, California

21. Alexandra Winbush

Atlanta, George

22. Chaos Candle Company

23. Lit Unity Candle

24. Wick’d by Nik

25. Camiller Creations

26. Elon Eick Candle Co

27. Breathe Enlight

28. Lit AF Candle Co

29. Forvr Mood

30. 2-10 Candle Company

Oakland Park, Kansas

31. Rooftop Candle Co

32. Quiet Quarters

33. Heavenly Candle Co

34. Posh Candle Co

35. CC Holistic Living

36. So Lit Candle Co

37. Candle Essentials

38. Bonaco Candles

39. Just Candles

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

40. The Jetsetter Candle Co

41. Naughty Naturals World

42. Her by Kashay

43. Simply By Toni

44. Krazy Essentials

45. Liliane’s Glow

Washington, DC

46. Experience of Luxe

47. Diary of Queen Esther

48. Shai Sensual

49. Harlem Candle Company

Harlem, New York

50. MĀKTUB Candles

Los Angeles, California

51. Uplift Candles

Hyattsville, Maryland

52. South FL Candle Supply Company

Broward County, Florida

53. Wicktrovert Candle Co

St. Petersburg, Florida

54. Diamond Life Home

Georgia

55. Willow St. Design Company

Washington, DC

56. Elevated Scentz

Houston, Texas

57. Arrows + Feathers

Mitchellville, Maryland

58. 6ixs Wicks

Toronto, Canada

59. Ivy Mae Blake

Toronto, Canada

60. Bright Black Candle

Durham, North Carolina

61. Peace and Harmony Brands

62. Knits, soy and metal

Baltimore, Maryland

63. Twelve 21 Candle Company

Brooklyn, New York

64. Narii Nicole

Fairburn, Georgia

65. Wix & Wax Fanatic

Orlando, Florida

66. Wyk Candles Zoo

Kalamazoo, Michigan

67. Amor Mas Luxury Scents

Wallingford, Connecticut

68. Lamar Denom

69. B Calm Candles

Brockton, Massachussetts

70. Southern Elegance Candle Company

Raeford, North Carolina

71. Elevation Lifestyle

Camp Springs, Maryland

72. By District 78

Pause Cincinnati, Ohio

73. Tribal Unicorn

East London, UK

74. Frères Branchiaux Candle Co.

White Plains, Maryland

75. Damalia’s Soy Candles and Body Bar

Hartford, Connecticut

Top Athleisure Brands to Shop Other than Lululemon {Gift Guide}

This Year, athleisure and loungewear will be big but there are other options to Lululemon

It’s official. With rising cases of the novel coronavirus, a lot of us will not be going anywhere this Winter to stay safe. In fact, everyone may be holed up at home.

The new normal for the season

As a consequence of the ongoing pandemic, a lot of restaurants, entertainment and other activities have been canceled, postponed or suspended. This shift will leave little opportunity for people to dress up. Alternatively, this opens up a market for the leisure wear industry.

Therefore, people will be trading in their club wear for sweats. If you’re considering getting clothing for a significant other, sister, teacher, nanny or sitter, friend or any other woman on your holiday shopping list this year, I’ve got the run down on the top brands in this sector of the fashion industry.

Lululemon isn’t the only game in town

Arguably, Lululemon is the most well known brand of athleisure, yoga and lounge wear but it is quite costly. It has a problematic history but still remains the go-to source.

But there are other options. Here are 9

aday

ADAY adopts a ‘less-is-more’ approach and a design ethos based on seasonless pieces and sustainability to offer everyday, athleisure-inspired clothes that are both performance-driven and stylish.

Every ADAY piece of clothing features novel technical material properties (sweat-wicking, quick-drying, UV- and chlorine-protected and wrinkle-free).

alala

Alala is a super trendy New York City-inspired luxury activewear brand.

Ivy Park offers high-fashion meets high-tech performance wear by Beyonce. The collection of activewear is effortlessly cool and includes everything from sports bras to leggings, crop and oversized sweatshirts, bodysuits and more. She recently partnered with Adidas on a collection.

athleta

Athleta (by Gap) The Gap-owned fitness brand Athleta offers stylish athleisure wear for women and girls for a variety of activities including yoga, running, swimming, and hiking.

fabletics

Fabletics Kate Hudson’s fitness fashion brand Fabletics features a collection of comfortable workout and athleisure clothing. This American retailer sells sportswear, footwear and accessories.

ivl collection

The Ivory Lane Collective, or IVL Collective for short, is fastly becoming a leader in women’s athleisure wear. Their activewear collection includes everything from cute leggings to tanks, tees, and jackets.

Nike One of the most successful and recognisable sportswear brands in the world, Nike offers everything from quality shorts and t-shirts to shoes and socks that are both fashionable and functional. The brand also sells a lot of high-quality gym gear for your home..

under armour

Under Armour The American sportswear label Under Armour launched in 2016 Under Armour Sportswear (UAS), a premium athleisure range designed by Belgian designer Tim Coppens. UAS fuses high-performance sportswear designs with an elevated sartorial touch. They have really cute and sexy gym clothes on their website.

FP Movement is Free People’s active fashion line which triumphs both bohemian chic style and function.

adidas

Adidas is a sportswear powerhouse that combines quality and style to create modern, street-savvy active wear. The active wear brand’s signature three-stripe motif has gained iconic status in popular culture.

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What to Get the Woman Who has Everything {Gift Guide}

posh mom gift guide image

It can be difficult to holiday shop for that woman who has everything.

Think the CEO or boss of your small company, a high net worth corporate executive or law partner, the jetset babe or your Chanel Princess bff who also happens to be a trust fund baby.

And because getting a $27,000 Tiffany Yellow diamond or a $371,000 Himalayan Birkin bag may be out of the budget, you have to settle for the next best things.

Lucky for you I’ve curated the below list with the help of some mom lawyer friends of mine I know who are in the know.

jolene

Jo Malone London

Luxury Bauble Collection

The luxe fragrance house sells six decorated baubles that can be reused each year and hidden inside each one is a duo of surprises including Colognes, a Miniature Candle and Bath & Body essentials.

$210.00

Handmade Chocolate

Burdick Critters Collection

Treat her with a collection of exquisite chocolate from New Hampshire-based L.A. Burdick Chocolatiers Burdick Critters Collection. All the critters are made individually by hand, meaning each is unique and no two are alike. Includes wood box of 16 Chocolate Mice, wood box of 9 Chocolate Snowmen, wood box of 6 Chocolate Pigs, wood box of 9 Chocolate Penguins, and 1/4 lb. Everyday Chocolate Assortment.

$198.00

Go up in budget with the Epicurious Collection for $350

joggers

Vuori

Joggers

The performance jogger by Vuori is slim but relaxed fit with a slightly cropped leg, side pockets and a drawstring. Designed with their softest premium stretch fabric, they’re your new go-to. Great for traveling, yoga, training and chilling. It comes in a variety of colors and shades and in sizes XXS to XXL.

$84.00

Barefoot Dreams

SOFT THROW

She will love to be blanketed in the luxurious warmth of a soft chenille throw from the Barefoot Dreams Store and you can practically feel the softness through the screen.

$120.00 +

NEST New York

Grapefruit Candle and Diffuser

If your rich misses is like a lot of women who enjoy fragrant homes, then she will thoroughly enjoy filling her abode in this intoxicating signature scent behind NEST New York’s iconic fragrance which is a blend of pink pomelo grapefruit with watery green notes, lily of the valley and coriander blossom. The Classic Candle is meticulously crafted with a proprietary premium wax formulated to burn cleanly and evenly, while the Reed Diffuser is made with the highest quality oils to release continuous fragrance for 90 days, uninterrupted.

$75.00

Skin Store

Slip Skin Pillowcase

Your receipient will love to lay her head down and protect her crown with a silk pillow covering. It is a brand of silk cases recommended by dermatologists, hairstylists & beauty experts and is made of the highest grade (6A) long fibre mulberry silk, and without the use of dyes.

If you’re seeing this on Cyber Week 2020, get 25% off with the code Cyber at check out.

$110.00

Lululemon

Align Yoga Pants

Get the most breathable, sweat wicking pants, soft, light weight and with added lycra that retains shape after wash and wear.

Normally $98-$118. They’re on sale for the season

$69.00

Drunk Elephant

The Littles

The eco-conscious beauty buyer is wary of essential oils, chemical perfumes, dyes, fragrants and alcohol that are all horrible for the skin and so she is drawn to lines like Drunk Elephant which has combined sample sizes of all its best sellers into one kit it calls The Littles.

$90.00

cavallini calendar

Cavallini & Co. Paper Company

2021 Wall Calendar

Printed on Cavallini Paper Company’s signature Italian paper, this calendar features a unique collection of late 18th century wildflower prints and is perfect for home, kitchen, or office.

Calendars.com is offering free shipping this week.

$21.95

Boden

A Dress

Any dress in any print from Boden could be worn at a variety of events, openings, meetings, formal or informal outings. This Mila Midi Dress with its colorful and attractive stripes would do perfectly!

It’s practically half off down from $198 right now but not sure how long this will last.

$99.00

Yeti

20 ounce Rambler

The Yeti ramblem with the megslider lid is the perfect gift for a coffee or tea drinker or anyone who loves to sip slowly because it keeps hot drinks very hot and cold drinks super cold for long periods of time. It’s a winner that I’ve personally enjoyed and highly recommend.

$29.00

Athleta

Pranayama Wrap

Go from the yoga studio to the coffeee shop and back in this highly coveted and well rated wrap from Gap’s athleisure brand, Athleta. And it has pockets! Yes to this.

$99.00

Good luck and happy shopping and shout out the ladies of the Lawma Facebook Group for giving me all these ideas for this post!

gift guide pinterest graphic

Matching Family PJs To Get Today

Family pjs celeb

The family pajamas thing is more than a trend.

In fact, each year, we see more and more families, large and small, outfitting themselves in matching pajamas and taking a photo to share in their social media fees and in their annual Christmas card or just for “The Gram”.

Celebrities Love This Trend

Celebrity families like The Currys, The Harts and more have been posting up on social in their chic coordinated sleepwear. Snapping a photo with the entire family has almost become the cliche yet obligatory new Holiday season trend.

And…you and your family can get in on the fun too. It’s not even a costly option anymore because Amazon, for example, sells sets that start at $13. What a bargain!

family in matching pjs

If you have a Macy‘s department store near you, hop in the car and head over to pic up its  Family Matching Merry Pajamas ($10-$49).

Walmart also has the red plaid family PJs starting at $10. The options and variety of styles are limitless

Here are a few faves:

family in matching pjs

Hanna Andersson

Matching Family Tannenbaum PJs are organic knit and cotton

matching pj

Hannukah PJs

Hanna Andersson also has matching families for Jewish families that do not celebrate Hannukah /

matcching ps

Gender Neutral

If you’re lucky to get these when they come back in stock in a variety of sized, you can get Old Navy’s gender neutral family set for under $30

matching pj

Family Pet Inclusive

We cannot let Fido out of the family photos and that’s why a lot of newer family sets include pieces for the family dog. Kohl’s had some starting at $19.99

luxe matching

Family Luxury Set

If you prefer premium quality PJs, then there are a few luxe brands also offering matching family sets like

10 Ways the Kids Can Help Prepare Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving place setting

Thanksgiving is all about family and spending time together.

Generations often share the kitchen while creating some of the best tasting dishes.  Bring the kids into the kitchen this year and help them learn about some of your family’s traditional Thanksgiving recipes.  From toddlers to teens, there’s something everyone can do to help out.

  1. Lay out the bread to dry. Many stuffing recipes require stale bread.  Have your child set the bread out on the counter. Once it’s stale, allow him to break up the bread and dump in premeasured spices.
  2. Wash the vegetables for the crudité platter.  Serve a platter of crudité with some dip for guests to snack on.  Kids can wash the veggies and drain some pickles and olives before putting them onto a platter.
  3. Peel the potatoes. Around ages 8 to 10, most kids can use a potato peeler with supervision.  Teach her how to use the peeler than observe her in action before leaving her to the task.
  4. Add the marshmallows to the top of the sweet potatoes. Kids may enjoy the simple task of adding marshmallows to the top of the sweet potatoes, while sneaking a few as a snack, of course.  When kids help prepare a dish they feel connected to it and may be more likely to try it.
  5. Make some whipped honey butter. Allow a stick of butter to sit out until it reaches room temperature.  Have her add the butter, along with some honey, to a mixing bowl.  A couple of tablespoons worth are enough.  Add a few spoonfuls of powdered sugar and turn on the mixer.  Once blended, scoop the finished product into a pretty bowl and it’s ready to serve.
  6. Toss the salad. There are several ways kids can help create the dinner salad.  Let him tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces, rinse it off and toss it into the salad spinner. Once he spins the lettuce dry he can add in the rest of the ingredients, including the dressing. Have him toss the salad and set it on the table.
  7. Set the table. Depending on their age kids can set the entire table Thanksgiving table independently or set out items as you direct. Draw a table setting on a piece of paper. Your child can use the paper as a place setting guide.
  8. Plan the meal. Letting young ones help plan the menu for the big day will not only allow them to feel part of the celebration, but it may get them to try more types of food. Ask your children what vegetables they’d like to see on the menu and work together to find something appropriate to include.
  9. Snap green beans. Green bean casserole is a traditional dish served at many Thanksgiving feasts. Have the kids snap the ends of the beans that you’ll use in the casserole. Parents and kids can race to see who can finish snapping the ends off of their pile of beans that fastest.
  10. Mashing potatoes. Another traditional dish at the Thanksgiving table is mashed potatoes.  After the potatoes are boiled, kids can use a hand masher to help mash the potatoes up.

Consider what meal preparation tasks are age-appropriate for each child in your family. Assign each child at least one responsibility. The more involved kids feel, the more excited they’ll be about sharing Thanksgiving dinner together.

How To Get An Elusive PS5: Log In Stock/ReStock Links

If a Sony Playstation 5 is on your child’s Christmas wish list and you haven’t pre-ordered or purchased a console by now, it’s going to be really hard to get your hands on one.

Sony released its biggest launch everthis past November 12 in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore and South Korea and the rest of the world on Nov 19th. Before then, some retailers offered pre-orders causing there to be a extreme backlog.

However, the good news is that Sony has indicated, and the main Big Box retailers have confirmed plans to put new game systems back in stock starting today thru Black Friday this upcoming Friday.

How Much Does a PS5 Cost?

PS5 costs $499.99, while the digital-only edition will cost $399.99. The console is backwards compatible with PS2 games.

Can you Still Get One This Year?

Here are the following links that will take you to the landing pages that will take you directly to their respective paes for taking PS5 orders.

Have these pages open and continue to refresh until you see some come in stock then Go!

PS5 at Amazon  – $499.99

PS5 Digital Edition at Amazon  – $399.99

PS5 at Best Buy  – $499.99

PS5 Digital Edition at Best Buy  – $399.99

PS5 at GameStop  – $499.99

PS5 Digital at GameStop  – $399.99

PS5 at Walmart  – $499.99

PS5 Digital Edition at Walmart  – $399.99

PS5 at Target  – $499.99

PS5 Digital Edition at Target  – $399.99

PS5 at Sam’s Club  – $499.99

Tips for Getting Your Device

Be already logged in

If you need to create an account, do so now, and be logged in. By the time you take to set up an account after putting a console in your cart, it may disappear as the system may take your in unreserved cart away. You never know because bugs happen especially during a time when everyone is online trying to get one.

Have your Credit Card Ready

Have the credit card account you plan to use ready in hand if you haven’t already logged it in the account. Many people have their card of choice already registered with the above websites to make ordering seamless. If you’re comfortable with having an online retailer store your account (which is not necessarily common these days with all the security breaches), then do that NOW.

Use my links above and enter the billing address etc.

Disable PopUps and Other Draining Software

A lot of websites auto refresh in the background. Some apps that you have downloaded on your browser or your computer hard drive also take up resources. Go to the Running Aps Task Window and turn off all those that you are not using but are running in the background. You need an uniterrupted exprience and no slow downs.

Good luck and tag me at @Bellyitch everywhere in social media, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and let me know if these tips help you get one. I’m on the hunt as well and am literally juicing up my competition with this blog post so I do hope you appreciate it! And at least share it with your friends and family also on the hunt!

What to Wear To Thanksgiving Dinner This Year

fall

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Next week is Thanksgiving in the US and this year, health experts and government officials are recommending that everyone forego the large family gatherings with out-of-town guests and instead have a small private meal at home with just the immediate family.

Those of us planning on adhering to this suggestion will spare ourselves the hassle of getting dressed up to join others or invite others into our home.  While going total casual and having Thanksgiving dinner in our PJs would be fun, there is a less lazy route: dress in a shirt dress in flannel material!

It’s soft, and the Buffalo check is homey. Slip on a pair of cozy ballet slippers and you’re good to go and don’t have to worry about what to wear for Thanksgiving this year.

The Universal Appeal of T-Shirt Dress

The shirt dress with a collar universally flatters all shapes, body types and silhouettes, even expecting mamas-to-be.  In fact, the easy-to-wear versatile silhouette is appealing in case you plan to take photos for the gram.

You can actually put some effort into the endeavor by wearing a tee shirt or turtleneck or camis underneath it.

Land's end model in belted bufallo check shirt dress
Land’s End makes a long-sleeved flannel knee-lentgh belted dress. The material is soft and made of quality material that are well stitched and runs for just $49.97   In addition to the Buffalo check pattern, it comes in other patterns as well. The belt is also removable.

If I were splurging, I’d invest in Salvator Ferragamo Joy Ballet Flats, to wear to Thanksgiving dinner this year, but sensibly, Vera Wang‘s affordable Simply Vera‘s Berner Women’s Flex Round-Toe Ballet which is a modest $17.99 is a better fiscally more responsible route.

OTHER PLAID SHIRT DRESSES

 

OTHER BALLET FLATS

Upgrade the Basic Look

To upgrade this super casual look a bit, tie your hair in a bun, drape a scarf around your neck and swap out the ballet flats for pumps or booties.

I like the H&M woven scarf which runs just $12.97 and I think is on sale this fall for like $10!

I like to mix up original items. I’d swap out the original belt with belt  more  edge like the handmade leather wrap  belt by  Ada.

 

Wearing pumps is cool if you’re a heel type of woman. They are conservative yet still always on trend and you can get them in a low heel too.  I prefer booties.  My fave booties are peep toe ones though they require you to have your tails polished and well pedicured.

Michael kors bootie

I like Michael Kors Blaze Peep-Toe Leather Booties!

collage of three women in shirt dresses

Ditch the Plaid and Upscale It With a Wrap Dress

If you’re from one of those families that do not “do casual” for major holidays and you treat Thanksgiving meal like a formal occassion, you can still be comfortable and shi shi at the same time by opting for an elegant wrap dress instead of a t-shirt dresss.

A knee length of longer version of the dress would also make it more dressy.  Wear your nice pearls and switch out the pumps for elegant heels or a nice pair of calf or knee-height boots. .

I like Dress Barn‘s striped cotton faux wrap dress which is currently on sale for $44, down from $75.



A String of Pearls or A Necklace Upgrades The Look

I am obsessed with the Wolfe Back Pearl by jeweler Serefina is exquisite way to show off a toned back. Dotted with baroque pearls, this necklace is perfect to drape for a showstopping back detail. It’s only $69 which is a steal in my book.

A pristine pair of heels complete the look.

The candle in this collage is Jo Malone LondonEnglish Pear & Freesia Candle.

family thanksgiving

Black Friday Shopping outfit

Finally, the next day, my plan is to throw on an oversized comfy sweater over a pair of jeggings and head Black Friday shopping.

GET THE LOOK!

Dark Green Hooded Drop Shoulder Sweatshirt

Faux leather Spanx jeggings

Balenciaga iphone cover

Herschel Mini Backpack

Apple Watch

festive fall doorway

Best Stationary Bikes Other Than Peloton

peloton instructors in front of a wall

Disclosure: This post may have affiliate links. If you purchase any item mentioned in this post, I will earn a small commission from the sale. 

With lockdown ahead, fitness fanatics will once again turn to interactive fitness equipment like Peloton bikes, and  fitness apps

As the country and the entire world goes back on lock down as cases of COVID-19 start the surge again, fitness fans and those of us working to unload some of our Quarantine 15 pounds will have to find at-home ways to exercise.

The new restrictions would mean workout apps like Beach Body On Demand, remote fitness equipment like Peloton bikes and on-demand online and mobile workout apps offered by gyms and exercise studios, large and small, will once again start to be the go-to source for fitness fanatics.

Not long ago, I counted myself among the super fit. I  would participate in charity road races every month. With work, life, family obligtions, I’ve fallen off the wagon but do plan to get back on the saddle.

I am familiar with the  Peloton revolution as I had downloaded the app so I could preview and explore the hundreds of free non-bike specific exercise classes which are available free for 60 days!

Peloton — at home fitness

Peloton Effect

I quickly began to understand the appeal to the disruptive spin bike company.

The bike comes with a 24-inch screen, access to world-class spin instructors and hundreds of fitness classes including 10-14 live daily classes and dozens of on-demand ones.

Early in the pandemic, a lot of people were like me and so much so that Peloton’s stock price jumped as sales soared durig the initial lockdown. While dealing with an order backlog, the company decided to forego participating in Black Friday this year and instead  decided to sell its world-reknown bikes which retails for $1, 895, a drop from its original $2,245 original price.

Beyonce x Peloton advert

The company upped its game again recently when it announced a collaboration with pop star Beyonce which involves Rides featuring her music.

Beyonce and Peloton worked together to create a series of themed workouts for her “Homecoming” HBO visual album, which is being held virtually this year due to the pandemic.

Additionally, Beyonce and Peloton are gifting two-year Peloton memberships to students at 10 HBCUs, and Peloton will also build recruiting partnerships with these schools.

Peloton bra model

Peloton Alternatives

While the idea of a 24″ HD screen that can rotate 360 degrees and a sturdy bike that can withstand the rigors of an intense rider sounds great, there are a few other bikes out there that will do the trick for less than half the cost.

Here are a few bikes that I have my eye on and am hoping some Black Friday sales come thru as well:

Bowflex

Bowflex C6 spin bike

Fitness equipment maker Bowflex‘s answer to the Peloton bike is its C6 which sells for  half the price of a Peloton bike at $999 and Bowflex throws in a pair of 3lb dumbells, adds an aditional 5-year mechanical warranty, a total of 10 years for its bike. The annual cost for the Bowflex workout subscription for the app service is $158 a year which is about 1/4th of Peloton’s annual subscription which is $468.

The C6 does not come with the monitor but it allows users to tether the bike with an app they connect to their Apple TV, a regular streaming TV or a phone or tablet.

Woman modeling Echelon spin bike

Echelon

A price point below that is the Echelon Connect Sport Indoor Cycling Exercie Bike which retails for $497 and is essentially a Walmart exclusive Peloton knock off complete with its own app  that comes with 1,600 rides included for 6 months of its subscription service.

Sunny Health

On the even lower end of the spectrum is the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-B1002 Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike which sells for just $369 but has excellent reviews and comes well recommended for being stable, able to accommodate 100mph speed, is quiet and easy to assemble.

'woman modeling SUnny spin bike

 

Like Orange Theory, Peloton riders, have a cult-like following. They buy the gear and wear the branded clothing. But sometimes, the tops the instructors wear catch the eye of female riders and a new style trend takes off!

I noticed on Facebook this weekend that three of my friends were wearing the exact same cut-out bra. The linking characteristics of these three friends? They each are avid Peloton riders.

woman in cut out sports bra

It is sold on Amazon for $15, but I found a similar one at Romwe for 9.95. The plus to both of these is that the bra is well constructed for the price and it comes with padding!

Woman in Rowe Sports bra

Alo, a California-based yoga studio with studios and shops in Cali and New York, sells a version for a slightly higher price ($54).

Woman in Alo Sports bra

It gets excellent reviews as well from verified purchasers who describe the bra as comfortable, edgy and stylish. Their only complaint is that it has no padding and my not be suitable for HIIT workouts but is great for everything else.

Woman in free People ruffle Sports bra

Free People makes the Ruffle Me Up Sports bra which is a whole lot of feminine mixed with sporty.

Woman in Urban Outfittrs Sports bra with dog on deck

Finally, Urban Outfitters comes thru with the sexy pushup version in its Year of Ours Victoria sports bra.

SHOP MORE SPORTS CUT OUT BRAS

The appeal  of the black cut out bra phenomenon is not necessarily new. Fitness pro Sylwia Wiesenberg wore a similar cut out bra in her Femme Fatale workout video back in 2014 and similarly, inspired thousands of women to go out and get a similar bra.

Veterans Day: Everywhere Vets Can Eat Free, Deals and Sales

Happy Veterans Day, America and to all those who have served and currently served in the military!

To pay respect and honor to our beloved vets, a lot of restaurants, retailers and service and product providers are offering up a host of free meals, deals and other sales just for Vets and their famlies!

Here is a curated list from Military benefits to start you off:

2020 Free Meals

Updated Daily!

All November

Eat’n Park

All active and former United States military personnel will receive a special 10% discount for the entire month of November.

Golden Corral

From November 1 – November 30, 2020, all active and former military members can pick up a free “thank you meal” promotional card that’s good for one free lunch or dinner buffet and beverage. The promotional card can be used Monday – Thursday after 11am from November 1 – May 31, 2021. One promotional card per person.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

110 Grill

Complimentary lunch entrée from a select menu to all Veterans and active duty military on November 11th.

54th Street Grill & Bar

Free entree up to $12 on Veterans Day (Wed 11-11-20) for Veterans + Active Duty who dine inside a 54th Street. #54supportsvets.

7-Eleven

Get a free coffee or Big Gulp on Memorial Day, July 4th, and Veterans Day. Download the 7-Eleven app and sign in or register.

Ahipoke Bowl

On Nov. 11, veterans and active-duty military receive 50% off poke bowls. Dine-in or take out.

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza Veterans and active military personnel receive a free 12-inch cheese pizza on November 11th.

Applebee’s

Veterans and Active Duty Military can select a free meal from a limited menu on Veteran’s Day. Provide proof of service required.

Aroma Joe’s Coffee

On Veterans Day (11/11), all Veterans and Active Duty Military can get up to a 24oz drink for free.

Arooga’s

Active Duty military and veterans with a valid ID can choose a free item from a special menu on 11/11/2020 at participating locations. Menu include Arooga’s Buffalo Pretzel, Chopped or Caesar Salad, Cheeseburger, Grilled Cheese & Bacon with Creamy Tomato Basil Soup, Spicy Italian Wrap, Boneless Wings and Original Boli.

Aspen Creek Grill

On Wednesday, Nov. 11th, all veterans and active duty military can select from a complimentary menu from 11 am to close.

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m on Wednesday, 11/11, Veterans & Active Duty servicemen and women receive a free BD’s All American Burger & side with valid Military ID. In person only.

Bagger Dave’s

Active, non-active, reservists, retired personnel, and first responders with proof of military identification get one Great American Cheeseburger and fries on November 11, 2020.

Baker’s Square

Free Rise & Shine breakfast for veterans on 11.11.20 and on that same date, all Veterans and active duty members who dine their will receive a 20% off the entire check coupon valid for their next visit.

Bandana’s Bar-B-Q

Veterans and active duty get a free Budget Buster Meal on Wednesday, 11/11/20.

Bar Louie

Wednesday, November 11th Louie nation is offering a free craft burger or flatbread of your choice to all active or retired military.

bartaco 20% off food on Nov. 11 for all active duty and retired military.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s

Free meal for veterans with a purchase of equal or greater value up to $10 on Nov. 11.

Ben’s Soft Pretzels‏

Free pretzel for veterans and active military on 11/11/20.

BIBIBOP Asian Grill

BIBIBOP is giving all Veterans and Active Duty Military a free bowl on Veteran’s Day.

Big Boy

Veterans can come in on Veteran’s Day with a valid ID and pickup a voucher for a free future meal. Participating locations only, limit 200 per store.

Biggby Coffee

On November 11th BIGGBY COFFEE will be offering free brewed coffee for veterans.

Billy Sims BBQ

Veterans & active military can enjoy a free pulled pork or chicken sandwich, 1 reg. side & reg. drink. Offer good for dine-in & carry-out only. Valid only on #VeteransDay.

Black Angus Steakhouse

11/11/20 participating restaurants will offer veterans and active military professionals get an All-American Steak Plate for just $10.99 plus all the fixings and a non- alcoholic beverage. Must show military ID.

BJ’s Restaurant

On Veterans Day, all service members can enjoy a complimentary entree up to $14.95, plus a free Dr Pepper, by presenting a military ID or proof of service.

Bob Evans

Bob Evans Restaurants are offering free select menu items to Veterans and Active Duty Military on Veterans Day, Wednesday., Nov. 11.

Break Time

Break Time will give all veterans a free  fountain drink or coffee on Wednesday (11/11).

Brick House Tavern + Tap

20% off meal on Nov. 11 for veterans and parties up to 4.

Bruegger’s Bagels

Veterans can grab a free medium fresh-brewed hot or iced coffee with your breakfast 11/11/20.

Bubba Gump Shrimp

Military personnel and their families receive 20% off on food and retail purchases on Nov. 11, 2020.

Buffalo Wild Wings Free Wings

All day long on Wednesday, November 11, veterans and active duty military who dine-in at their local B-Dubs can receive a free one order of boneless wings and a side of fries. At participating U.S. locations only.

Buffalo Wings & Rings

Veterans and Active Military with valid ID will receive 3 free tenders and a drink on November 11th, 2020 at participating locations. Valid for Dine In Only.

Calhoun’s

All veterans and active duty military members can enjoy a free meal on Wednesday, November 11.

California Pizza Kitchen

On Veterans Day, all veterans or active duty military personnel will be able to select a free entree from a special Veterans Day menu including pizza, salads and pasta. Please come in uniform or bring your military ID or other proof of service.

Cantina Laredo

Veterans and active duty military can receive a complimentary meal on Wed., Nov. 11.

Casey’s General Store

Casey’s is providing free coffee on Veterans Day across its more than 2,200 locations. In addition, $1 will be donated for every online or in-app purchase of a large pizza and two-liter Pepsi brand drink, up to $50,000 total.

Cattlemens Steakhouse

Cattlemens Steakhouse offers current and former military members a complimentary 8 oz. Sirloin Steak dinner on Veterans Day, November 11.

CC’s Coffee House

Free tall brewed coffee for all Veterans & Active Military this #VeteransDay, Nov. 11. (Participating locations only).

CentraArchy Restaurants

On Wednesday, November 11 CentraArchy Restaurants are showing their gratitude by honoring veterans and active duty military service members with 50% off an entrée. Includes California Dreaming, New York Prime, Chophouse ’47, The Tavern at Phipps, Carolina Roadhouse, Joey D’s Oak Room, Gulfstream Cafe, Chophouse New Orleans.

Charley’s Philly Steaks

Offering a small or regular size Cheesesteak on Veterans Day. Please note that this promotion is at domestic non-AAFES locations only.

Chicken Salad Chick

free Chick meal and regular drink on Wednesday, November 11.

Chili’s Grill & Bar

All veterans and active duty military personnel can choose a complimentary meal from a select menu on Veterans Day 2020.

Cicis Pizza

Free adult buffet with valid active duty or retired military ID on 11/11/20.

Coco’s Bakery & Restaurant

Receive a free slice of pie for all Veterans and Active Duty Military with proof of service plus buy one get one free entree for breakfast, lunch or dinner on Veterans Day.

Coffee Beanery

Veterans can use code THANKYOU20 to take 20% off your online order Nov. 11 – Nov. 13.

Colton’s Steak House

Veterans eat free on November 11 from 11am-4pm. Free entree valid for all active, former, or retired military when ordering from Veterans Day menu.

Connors Steak & Seafood

On Wednesday, November 11th, Connors Steak & Seafood locations in TN, AL, and FL are offering 50% off any dine-in lunch or dinner entree to all active duty and retired service members with military ID or in uniform.

Cotton Patch Cafe

Veterans and active duty may enjoy a free Chicken Fried Steak or Chicken Fried Chicken on Veteran’s Day.

Country Cookin

All active, reserve, retired, and honorably discharged members of the U.S. military are invited to dine on Veteran’s Day, November 11th and receive a free salad bar or $5 off any entree.

Country Kitchen Restaurants

Free country scramble for active & retired military on Nov. 11 at participating locations.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

During Military Family Appreciation Month Cracker Barrel will offer in-store specials on Veterans Day for military veterans and promotions throughout November to support military families in partnership with Operation Homefront. On 11/11, veterans can receive a free slice of Double Fudge Coca-Cola Cake with their meal.

Crooked Pint Ale House

On Nov 11. veterans and active military eat free.

Davanni’s Pizza

Get a free Solo 1-Item Pizza and a Regular soda for all veterans and active service members on Nov. 11.

Denny’s

All active, non-active or retired military personnel at all participating Denny’s restaurants nationwide will receive a free Build Your Own Grand Slam breakfast on Wednesday, Nov. 11, from 5 a.m. to noon. Diners must show ID to receive this offer.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Free Pulled Pork Classic Sandwich this Veterans Day. To redeem in-store, veterans and current military personnel must present a military ID or valid proof of service.

Drake’s

Veterans and active duty military will receive a complimentary meal at participating locations.

Dunkin’ Donuts

On November 11, Veterans and active duty military can enjoy a free donut at Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants nationwide, no purchase necessary.

East Coast Wings + Grill

Wednesday, November 11th have a free meal. Available all day, dine in or takeout.

Einstein Bros. Bagels

On 11/11/20 veterans and active-duty military get a free hot or iced medium coffee.

El Chico Cafe

Veterans and active military eat free on Wednesday 11.11.20 (Limit $20).

El FeniEl Fenix veterans eat free Wednesday, 11/11, with Taco Dinners. Choose from two Chicken or Beef Tacos, served with rice & beans.

Exchange

The Exchange will feature one-day only specials on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, including a free coffee for all shoppers at Express and participating Exchange restaurant locations. From Nov. 8 through 14 The Exchange will also feature deals deals in stores and online at ShopMyExchange.com.

Famous Dave’s

On Nov. 11 in honor of Veteran’s Day all former and current military personnel will receive a free free Georgia Chopped Pork Sandwich plus a side. Dine-in or To-Go.

FATZ Cafe

Veterans and Active Military are invited to join us for a FREE Calabash Chicken Basket on Nov. 11, 2020. Dine-In Only.

Farmer Boys

Wednesday, Nov. 11 veterans and active duty military with valid proof of service get a free big cheese cheeseburger.

Firebirds

Complimentary meals to active duty military and veterans on Veterans Day.

Fogo de Chão

On 11.11.20, Veterans receive 50% off and their guests 10% (up to three).

Food City

Veterans and active military members eat free at the Food city deli on November 11. Bring your Military ID card or proof of service with your ValuCard.

Fox & Hound

This Veterans Day get a free meal. Dine-in only. Not available at Schaumburg and Arlington Heights locations.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers Veterans and active duty military can pick up free combo meal cards on Veterans Day. The cards are good through 11/30/2020.

Frickers Restaurants

Veterans get 10 free wings (boneless or traditional) on Nov. 11.

Friendly’s Free Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner

Friendly’s is treating veterans and active military, with a valid military ID or honorable discharge card, to a free All-American meal for lunch or dinner, which consists of the All-American Burger, served with a side of fries and a drink on Veteran’s Day 11-11-2020. The burger can be upgraded to a cheeseburger for free.

Glory Days Grill

Free appetizer or a regular order of boneless or grilled boneless wings on Veteran’s Day.

Gold Star Chili

Enjoy a free 3-way and drink on Veterans Day. For all who served.

Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants

Participating locations will offer veterans and active duty military a complimentary free entrée from a Veterans Day menu, on November 11th.

The Greene Turtle

Current service-members and veterans can enjoy a free meal on Veterans Day.

Green Mill Restaurant and Bar

Veterans and Active Duty Military will receive a free lunch or dinner dine-in meal at participating locations on Veterans Day. Must show proof of service, and beverages and gratuity are not included in free meal.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria All veterans will receive 25% off on 11/11/20.

Hamburger Stand

All veterans and active duty with a valid military ID receive a free hamburger, regular fries, and a small Pepsi.

Hooters

Veterans can stop in for 10 free boneless wings with any 10 purchase from a long list of wing styles.

hopdoddy burger bar

Free Classic Burger with Cheese for veterans on 11/11/20. Redeemable for in-store dining or to-go orders placed by phone.

Hoss’s Family Steak & Sea House

20% off meals on 11/11 for all veterans.

Houlihan’s

Receive a free entrée from a select menu on Veteran’s Day 11/11 with proof of veteran status or active service in the military.

Huddle House

Huddle House is offering a free MVP Breakfast Platter to all active military members and veterans with proper I.D. on Veterans Day, November 11.

Huey Magoo’s

Treat a veteran or active military member with proper I.D. to a free meal for one when you purchase a meal for one and two beverages on Veterans Day.

The Human Bean Coffee

Free 16oz drink to all veterans and military personnel on Veterans Day.

Hurricane Grill & Wings

All veterans and active duty military receive a complimentary entree on Nov. 11th at participating locations. #veteransday.

Hy-Vee Free Breakfast

Enjoy a free curbside pickup breakfast for veterans and active military members November 11, 2020 from 6 – 10 a.m. Plus, get 15% off discount on groceries when shopping Aisles Online or in stores.

IHOP

All active duty and Veterans are invited to come in and enjoy Free Red, White, & Blue Pancakes on Wednesday, November 11, from 7 am to 7 pm.

Ikea Enjoy a free meal at Ikea 11/11. Military ID Required.

Incredible Pizza

Veterans eat free all week (expires 11/13/20).

Insomnia Cookies veterans & active military can enjoy a free 6-Pack in-store w/ any purchase on Veterans Day (just show military ID in-store to redeem).

Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant

On 11/11, veterans and active duty service members get a free Brewski burger or either of our fried chicken sandwiches and soft drink.

J Christopher’s

Wednesday, November 11th, those who served receive a free meal.

Jet’s Pizza

On 11/11, America’s military veterans, retirees, and active-duty personnel can order 50% off menu priced pizzas with a military ID. Pick up orders only, not available online.

Joe’s Crab Shack

On November 11th, all veterans can enjoy 20% off. Valid for parties up to 4.

Joellas Hot Chicken

Wednesday, November 11, all Veterans, Active Duty, and Reserves get a free meal of 2 Jumbo Tenders, 1 Southern Side, Dippin’ Sauce & Drink.

Juice It Up!

This Veterans Day all veterans and active military will receive a free  20oz Classic Smoothie.

K&W Cafeteria

Free meal that includes choice of entrée, two vegetables, bread and a refillable beverage, with the presentation of your military ID on Wednesday, 11.11/20. Offer valid from 11a.m. to closing.

Kolache Factory

Enjoy one free kolache (any kind) and one cup of freshly brewed Katz coffee (any size). All veteran and active military with government-issued military photo ID or DD 214.

Krispy Kreme Free Doughnut & Coffee

On Veterans Day, a free doughnut and coffee will be on the house.

Kwikfill

November 11th veterans receive free coffee at Kwik Fill locations.

Lamar’s Donuts

Free donut and a 12oz coffee for all veterans and active military on Veterans Day.

Lion’s Choice

Free original roast beef sandwich for active-and-retired-members of the armed forces on Wednesday, November 11.

Little Caesars Pizza

On Wednesday, November 11, from 11am to 2pm, veterans and active military members can receive a free Lunch Combo, which features four slices of Little Caesars popular Detroit-style DEEP!DEEP!™ Dish pizza, paired with a 20-ounce Pepsi product.

Logan’s Roadhouse

On Nov. 11, all active duty and retired U.S. military personnel are invited to enjoy a free meal from the American Roadhouse menu in honor of Veterans Day. This offer is available from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at all Logan’s Roadhouse restaurants nationwide.

Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

On Veterans Day (Nov. 11), active and former military can enjoy a complimentary dessert, and a 20% discount with proof of service. Veterans receive 20% off the entire month of November for ‘Military Family Month.’

Luna Grill

Luna is offering a “Buy One, Get One Free” deal from Wed., November 11 through Fri., November 13 to any active duty or veteran member of the armed forces at all locations.

Macaroni Grill

This Veterans Day, 11/11, all veterans and active military receive a free Mom’s Ricotta Meatballs + Spaghetti with military ID.

Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant

Nov. 10th thru Nov. 15th, all Veterans & Active Duty Military personnel receive 50% off their entree. Valid for dine-in only with valid Military ID.

Max & Erma’s

On Veterans Day, participating Max & Erma’s locations are celebrating veterans and active military personnel with a free cheeseburger, endless fries, fountain drink and a chocolate chip cookie.

McCormick & Schmick’s

Veterans of the Military, National Guard, Gold Star Parents and Gold Star Spouses can enjoy a half priced entrée off a select menu on Sunday, November 8, 2020.

Menchie’s Free Frozen Yogurt

On Veterans Day, all Veterans and military personnel with a military ID or proof of service will receive a free six ounce frozen yogurt any time of day on Veterans Day 11.11. Show a valid ID or be in uniform to receive.

Mimi’s Cafe – Now through November 13, 2020, 20% off for Veterans and their families.

Mission BBQ

Veterans and active duty will receive a free sandwich on Veterans Day, 11/11/20.

MOD Pizza

Sign to receive a buy-one get-one free MOD-size pizza or salad with military ID by November 8 and MOD will send you a coupon on November 9 to redeem on #VeteransDay.

Morton’s The Steakhouse

All current and former military members enjoy 20% off on November 11. Valid for parties up to 4. Must show valid ID.

Mountain Mike’s

Enjoy 15% off any large pizza this Veterans Day. (coupon code: 178130)

Native Grill & Wings All Veterans and Active Duty Military are invited to enjoy a free menu item (up to $11.99) on 11.11.

Nektar All veterans are invited to come into their local Nékter and enjoy a free fresh juice or superfood smoothie (16 oz.) on November 11.

Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub

On 11/11 from 11am – 5pm, Veterans and active military can receive a free entrée from a special Veterans Day menu with the purchase of any other entrée. Dine-in only.

Noah’s Bagels

Veterans can grab a free medium fresh-brewed hot or iced coffee with your breakfast on 11/11/20.

Read more: https://militarybenefits.info/veterans-day-discounts-sales-deals-free-meals/#ixzz6dWGxlL8O