Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Short Break

Hey y'all - sorry for being more MIA than usual. J and I spent time in Boston hosting a baby shower and Melinda is currently sans computer. We have decided to extend the break throughout this week and start back with blogging on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Posh Purpose Tip: Sephora Mascara Samples

Yesterday, I placed an order at Sephora for a couple of new items and a couple of things that I had run out of a few weeks ago.  One of those staple items was my Benefit mascara - They're Real!.  One of the reasons I don't participate as much in the Mascara Diaries series as Briana does is that I'm pretty much devoted to this mascara brand.

I'd already loaded the Benefit mascara into the cart when I remembered to check out the Sephora weekly specials.  If you don't know about the weekly specials, Sephora has a page that has 4-6 promotional codes for deluxe sized samples of high end cosmetics and perfumes.  This week they are offering a free mini-lash primer and mascara from Dior with any $25 purchase.

Image Source: Sephora Weekly Specials

I had also accumulated some Sephora Beauty Insider points and I was able to trade them in for three deluxe samples of mascara from BareMinerals, Givenchy, and Marc Jacobs.  In my past experience, I've made each sample last 3-4 weeks, which means I'm set for the next 3-4 months for mascara without spending a dime.  So, I decided to remove the Benefit mascara and give these new brands a try.  I really still think that the Benefit mascara is the best, but in the name of saving $23 plus tax I'm sure I'll be just as happy.

Next time you are shopping online at Sephora, make sure to check out these two areas to see if any of your purchases can be replaced by free sample items.  You'll still get high quality cosmetics, but at no cost.  As always, make sure to check out Ebates or Top Cash Back for Sephora deals.  The day I shopped Ebates offered 8% cash back!

***This post was not sponsored by Sephora, Ebates, Top Cash Back, or any of the brands mentioned in this post.  There are two referral links to Ebates and Top Cash Back to help you sign up if you are interested in earning cash back for which I will receive compensation for each referral through their Tell-A-Friend programs.***

Monday, October 13, 2014

Outdoor Halloween Decor

Last week, I shared my mom's Halloween mantle so now it is time to see what she has going on outside. First up, the Monster.

Mom put this monster together out of all kinds of materials, including moss from the back yard and old leaves that fell off her plants. He is pretty cool during the day but at night he gets really scary. Some trick-or-treaters make big circles around him to get the candy at the front door!

Mom also has lined the walkway to her front door with branches. We used similar branches at my wedding, but we painted and glittered them silvery white. They have a much spookier look when left natural.

As you can tell, Halloween is a very exciting place at Mother's house. Her indoor decor has been increasing so make sure to check back for more!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Chairish Collaboration: Our Ideal Home Bar

Chairish recently contacted us to partner with them on creating a style board for our ideal home bar.  For those of you that haven't heard, Chairish helps design lovers buy and sell pre-loved decor to one another.  In addition, Chairish also holds curated shops with design heavy hitters like Emily Henderson.  Briana and I have admired Chairish from afar for quite some time and we were really excited to work on this project.

Our challenge was to pick from a selection of Chairish barstools and get some inspirational goodness together.  Now, y'all should know by now that Briana and I would dearly love to have a butler's pantry/wet bar area for entertaining in our dream homes, but we think it would be awesome to also have an area for seating to serve up some champagne cocktails (Chairish challenge = right up our alley).

I immediately gravitated towards these beautiful rattan barstools...for some reason, they made me think of that Elvis Presley movie, Blue Hawaii,...which I may have watched a thousand times growing up (I went through a movie musical phase, but only the classics.  My mother may still have the songs trapped in her head from watching them with me on repeat - I know she especially loved it when I screeched out the lyrics to the theme song of Bye Bye Birdie.).

Counter Height Swivel Barstools
Image Source: Chairish

After selecting these barstools, and doing a lot of online window shopping on Chairish, two themes quickly emerged: Tropical Elegance and Tropical Fun.  Both themes use some of the same key pieces, but one is subdued while the other is more eyecatching.  Both are a bit glam, a bit retro, and will work in a lot of different types of homes...which is just how I like it.  I also had a vision in my head for the back bar wall to be covered in a luxe printed wallpaper with a big mirror flanked by two sconces on either side.  I imagined a gorgeous chandelier hanging over the bar area and a set of five barstools set up against a gorgeous natural stone countertop.  I also fully believe that barware should be beautiful so it can be showcased and set out to admire rather than hidden away.  With those ideas in mind, I set up my style boards.  First up, Tropical Elegance:

Chandeliers/Sconces/Mirror/Cocktail Set/Ice Bucket/Counter Height Swivel Barstools (all sold on Chairish)
Marquis by Waterford Cocktail Shaker (Image Source: Bed Bath and Beyond)
Dorset Champagne Coupes (Image Source: Williams-Sonoma)

Oooh! I love that wallpaper, the lighting, and the cocktail set soooo much.  The gold design of the wallpaper and the brass ice bucket tie in nicely to the golden tones of the barstools.  The wallpaper and barware keep this home bar looking modern and classic.

Chandelier/Sconces/Mirror/Divided Platter/Chip & Dip Dish/Ice Bucket/Counter Height Swivel Barstools (all sold on Chairish)
Brazillance Wallpaper (Image Source: The Greenbrier)
Tortoise Glassware (Image Source: Horchow)!  I think this style board kicks the tropical theme up a notch but without being cheesy or overdone.  Of course, I know that banana leaf prints are popping up everywhere, but it's for good reason.  They are AWESOME!  Y'all know how I feel about some Georges Briard servingware, so I'm really loving the divided dish and how it mixes in with the other barware.

I had the best time working on this project for Chairish and my favorite part was choosing the lighting from their great selection.  Which do you like best: Tropical Elegance or Tropical Fun? Or would you pick a totally different set of bar stools for your home bar?

***Posh Purpose was NOT compensated by Chairish.  We simply believe in the company and like a good styleboard as much as the next obsessed fanatical avid Pinner.***

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Posh Purpose Review: Brooks Brothers Outlet

I took a pile of clothes to the dry cleaners recently and discovered that my favorite black suit had developed a hole in the crotch and in the crease in the front of the pants (how does that happen?).  I also took a look at the jacket and I saw the fibers were starting to break down.  If you've ever accidentally thrown a dry clean only item in the wash, you know exactly what I'm talking about.  My mom had originally bought my suit for me when I did an internship in grad school which was over 7 years ago...soooo I definitely got my wear out of it (thanks mom!).

I immediately went into a panic, because the official colors of Washingtonian work life are navy, grey, and black...with black being the most dependable.  After a trip to the mall to check out suits at J.Crew, Talbots, Banana Republic, and Brooks Brothers, I've determined that women's fashion is a barren wasteland of cheap polyester suits with ill-fitting pants and cuts that will go out of style (belted jacket anyone?).  My original suits came from Talbots, so I was really disappointed that they have change their cut and I couldn't find an easy replacement.  Brooks Brothers was the sole exception in the quality department, but there was only one suit I wanted, they didn't have it in my size, and even with the Friends and Family special they were running, my suit was going to be close to $850 with a jacket, skirt, and pants.

After a call to my mother, who has always advised me to buy the best quality suit, I was still wrestling with the decision to blow a ton of $$$$ on the suit.

THEN Mr. 3 offered to drive me out to the Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets to visit the Brooks Brothers Outlet on a MONDAY AFTER WORK.  For those of you who aren't in the know, this was an extremely generous offer, considering the outlets are 45 minutes away...without D.C. commuter traffic.

Image Source:

After a little bit of searching (they were also short on sizes), I found exactly what I wanted: a skirt, jacket, and lined pants made from tropical wool with a classic (but not frumpy) silhouette in petite sizing.  Brooks Brothers Outlet was also running a huge sale and I had an outlet coupon for an additional 15% off.  Mr. 3 has also needed a new suit for over a year, so we both wound up purchasing new black suits for less than what I would have paid for one suit at the retail store.

I know outlets get a bad rap for having lesser quality items than the retail stores carry.  If you've ever been to Banana Republic or an Ann Taylor Outlet, you have seen the difference.

However, I found out a lot of really helpful information from the store manager, who used to work at the retail location, that made feel 100% OK with an outlet suit. To begin with, the outlet uses the same fabric as retail but the outlet store suits are manufactured in Egypt or Taiwan. Retail suits are made in the U.S. or Italy.  However, all of the factories, regardless of location, are owned by Brooks Brothers so they can maintain quality control rather than hiring it out to any ol' garment factory and slapping a label on it.  Both of these factors made me feel really good about this purchase because the fabric and quality control standards for the outlet suits and the retail suits are the same.

Mr. 3 went with the classic style in a classic fabric (as opposed to the fashion styles and fabrics which will come and go), which means Brooks Brothers Outlet will always carry Mr. 3's suit so if his pants wear our or he needs another pair, I can just go in and purchase them without having to invest in a new jacket too.  As for tailoring, the manager told me that you can take your pants to the retail store and they will hem them for $10 and also do other alterations.  Luckily, neither Mr. 3 nor I have to get any alterations, but I think it is a great service (and $10 for hemming is a STEAL in D.C.).

While I would always prefer to buy American or Italian-made, sometimes it just isn't in the budget.  I'm happy I found exactly what I wanted at a price I could afford while still being confident in the quality and longevity of the suit.  Anyone else had a hard time suit shopping?  What solutions did you find?

***This post was not sponsored by Brooks Brothers or Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets.  We just like sharing our thoughts on all things fashion.***