12.17.2014

A Lilly Bridal Shower...


J's mother and sisters were so sweet to give me a bridal shower while we were in Chicago.  I'm lucky to be joining a family with such incredible women... I adore them.  And... It was the perfect opportunity to meet family and friends invited to our wedding I had yet to meet.

We braved the cold and headed to an timeless little church converted into a cozy restaurant, where the snow faded away as Palm Beach and Lilly took over an upstairs room!!  Bright flowers, girls in colorful dresses, starfish cupcakes and ornaments as favors.  It was perfection.



Pearls.  Classic Bag (affordable version here).  Louboutin Pumps (affordable version here).  Pink Lace Dress.  Don't forget to add sheer black pantyhose to make it a bit more wintery.

On each table the girls had placed snapshots of John and myself, as well as fun facts to help the guests get to know us better as a couple.  I had so much fun chatting with J's friends and family... It made me even more excited to celebrate with them at our wedding!!

The girls asked guests to ship my gifts to me since J and I flew.  Guests brought photos of their gift to the shower and pinned it on a cork board to share.  It's been fun to get packages each day that I get to unwrap and share with J when he gets home.  I've been taking photos of each gift to put with the cards and keep in a little memory book.  This time as a bride goes by so fast... Someday I'll love looking back and remembering these moments.

Enjoy some of these snapshots from the shower... I left out friends and family to protect their privacy.  Except for Mama P... Because she's used to it.  :)












Be sure to check back tomorrow for an Under $50 last-minute stocking stuffer gift guide.  On Friday I'll be announcing Giveaway 5 in my #TTWeddingSeries!! 









12.16.2014

The Ultimate Guys' Gift Guide


Every year I struggle with what to get the men in my life... My dad, my uncle, my male cousins, and now a very discerning fiancĂ©.  I usually shop for them last because I'm deciding up until the last minute I can get a package shipped for Christmas.

So... This year, I decided to do some major shopping research and enlist J's help to put together the most extensive gift guide I've ever done.  Phew... Hours later, I think I've found some seriously impressive items for any guy on your list.  

To start, here are a few of my favorites.  I go more in-depth for each category of gifts down below.






Clothing

This category might seem stale, but there's a good reason why clothes are often the first thing we think of when choosing a gift for someone... We wear them every day.  So... Think about the guy in your life and how he spends most of his time.  Does your career-driven brother need more options for his work wardrobe - some nice pants or a wrinkle-free shirt?  Are you planning a vacation with your boo somewhere warm and tropical, calling for new swim trunks and tanks?  Maybe it's your dad and he'd appreciate a luxe cashmere sweater?

Take a look at some of my favorite men's clothing picks in the slide below.

**Bonus:  Get 30%-40% off J.Crew styles using code JINGLE




Lounge

This is a relatively new category of clothing, most suited to younger generations and travelers.  Lounge clothing is attire that can go from lounging on the couch to running errands... Versatile but most importantly, comfortable.  Your guy might wear this to the gym, to grab some groceries, or for a Homeland marathon on the sofa with you.  Travelers (like my dad) appreciate this attire for working in hotel rooms; the bed is often the only place to spread out and get work done but lounging in a suit or business clothes isn't comfortable and rules out the ability to wear said suit the next day.  

Take a look at some of my favorite men's lounge picks in the slide below.




Accessories

High on J's list were accessories... Watches, belts, hats, sunglasses, wallets, and bags.  These are items every man can use and appreciate.  Take a look at the brands and styles he favors... Many guys are loyal to one brand or another and tend to prefer a few particular brands over everything else.

One thing I've learned from J is that these items are like handbags to women... They are status symbols and since men have much less variety in their wardrobe they don't have a need for the plethora of accessories we women have, and therefore their pieces are usually a bit nicer.  For example, you'll find a mixture of Forever21 and Chanel in my closet but J has fewer yet nicer things.  Be aware of this when you're shopping for accessories and make sure you get him something nice; accessories is not an area in which you should skimp.

Take a look at some of my favorite men's accessories in the slide below.




Product

Most men don't think about skincare and products until they are out of soap or shampoo... But guys need to take care of their skin just as much as we do.  Giving him a nice set of product he can use after the holidays; skincare, fragrance, and body care all make great options.  Purchase travel sizes if your guy travels often for work; he'll be thankful for some luxe minis as opposed to the lackluster products in most hotels.  Kick it up a notch and introduce your man to SPF and moisturizer.

Take a look at some of my favorite men's product in the slide below. 




Home

Today's man cares about his surroundings more than ever.  Whether he's a bachelor or living with his significant other, he wants to be surrounded by an environment that makes him feel inspired, comfortable, and relaxed.  Think framed vintage maps of his favorite place, a photo of your last vacation, antique sports equipment... Make it personal.  

Help him organize.  Every guy comes home and tosses their keys, wallet, and change onto a flat surface... Instead of letting it clutter, get him a nice leather tray to keep it contained.

After moving into our new home I noticed how much J appreciates little touches like framed photos of a great hunting trip, a masculine metal plane in his office, warm cable knit blankets, and vintage maps of our wedding destination.  Whether they mention it or not, men do appreciate their environment.

Take a look at some of my favorite men's home items in the slide below. 




Outdoors

Is the guy on your list the type that loves hiking, fishing, camping, hunting, or skiing?  Maybe all of the above?  Here in Colorado the outdoorsy-man is the norm and most guys have a favorite hobby that involves being outside.  No matter what your guy likes, it's a safe bet that he needs some clothing and accessories to brave the elements.  A waterproof jacket, wool socks, or a waterproof speaker perhaps?

Take a look at some of my favorite men's outdoor gear in the slide below.




Office

Men can always use some office upgrades.  This is the space they need to feel most confident and most organized... Help them out by getting some seriously chic organizational pieces or some masculine desk accessories.

A timeless leather briefcase, structured laptop case, handsome desk organizer, or clean and classic stationery.  The options are endless... Monogram them to make it more personal.

Take a look at some of my favorite men's office accessories in the slide below.





Experiences

In the unlikely event that you weren't able to find anything to suit your man's desires in the above slides, please consider the following options, courtesy of J.

Plan a romantic trip for two... Somewhere beachy and sexy.  It doesn't have to be exotic... You know I'm partial to balmy Florida beaches and breezy California ones too.  Not into the water??  Check out some of the desert resorts in Arizona or Palm Springs.

Is your guy into planes, trains, and automobiles??  Buy him a flying lesson (airplane or helicopter) and treat him to a day in the sky.  A small warning... Following through to a pilot's license can be quite pricey; around $15,000 to $30,000 depending where you live.

Gift your guy a pass to a track day or drag strip if he's a car guy and likes to go fast, but has never really driven off streets.  This is one of J's favorite things to do.

Look into hunting, fishing, and dude ranch weekend trips in your area.  Outfitters and lodges can provide great experiences if you're not sure what to look for!  Send him with a guy friend, or you can even tag along and have your own fun during the day... Relaxing or curling up by the fire with a good book.  Fishing outside Aspen??  Come along and shop!

Skiing is another great weekend option, especially for those in Colorado, California, Montana, or surrounding areas.  Even if one of you isn't into skiing (don't worry, it's not my thing either) you can don some cute wintery gear and ice skate, hot tub, and go to some amazing ski town restaurants!

Probably the least expensive option... Lingerie.  Enough said!!



I can't believe I'm so behind on holiday shopping this year... But... It has been one crazy year for us!! Don't worry if you're in the same boat... We still have several days left!! 




  




12.09.2014

Christmas in Chicago









Shop this polished holiday look in the slide down below...


Christmas just feels different when you're in the city... Twinkling lights, beautiful shop windows, and the hustle and bustle of people doing their shopping.  It's an energetic sort of Christmas spirit. 

We made the most of only five days in Chicago... Dinner with J's siblings, a neighborhood get-together, Santa Brunch, celebrating Christmas with his family, and the beautiful bridal shower they gave me.  Spending time with family during the holidays is one of the things I cherish most, and there are so many wonderful things to do during the holidays.  I also loved getting to meet some of the family friends who will be attending our wedding.

Mama P flew in town for the shower and we relocated downtown to attend a dress fitting appointment for her.  We went to the Christkindlmarket - a charming little German Christmas market in Chicago - that evening with J and his sister.  And one of my oldest friends met us for lunch between dress appointments.  Talk about a busy 36 hours in the city!!  

It was wonderful.
















Follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@BrittanyPillard) to see more of our adventures. 

Make sure to sign up for the 4th giveaway in my #TTWeddingSeries!!  I draw 2 winners on Friday!! 

A few iPhone snaps...

Christkindlmarket

Dress fitting for some of my mom's looks

A dreary, misty Chicago evening


12.08.2014

Happy Holiday Sales


This week J and I flew to Chicago to celebrate Christmas with his family.  Christmas... How can it be Christmas already?!  It was just last week we were stuffing ourselves with pumpkin pie.

The Christmas tree is up and the kids are running around in their elf jammies; the holiday is coming quickly!!  So just in case you've been slacking a bit, here are some great gift ideas and new holiday sales.

Make your list... And check it twice!!




An extra 30% off sale items using code EXTRAMERRY.
Ends Tuesday December 9th.






J.Crew

25% off $100+ or 30% off $150+ with code MERRYMERRY.
Cardmembers get 30% off entire purchase with code MERRYCARD and your J.Crew card.





More Sales... 

Nordstrom
Up to 40% off select new markdowns.

C. Wonder
30% off and free shipping.

Saks Fifth Avenue
 Up to 40% off designer sale.

Neiman Marcus
Up to 50% off Women's, up to 33% off Men's.



Sending you Christmas wishes from the Windy City... 










12.05.2014

Giveaway #4 - Holiday Makeup!!


I decided not to make a video for this giveaway because the gifts are wrapped up in the most adorable packaging so I can't really show you anything anyway... And I had to get up at an ungodly hour to do planes, trains, and automobiles today and could not wrap my head around sitting in front of the camera and filming!! 

Since I'm not posting a video to my 4k YouTube channel subscribers, this means you'll likely have a greater chance to win... Always a good thing, right?!  

This giveaway is all about holiday makeup.  A gorgeous smoky, neutral eye look packaged up and ready to go... As well as everything you need for a sexy holiday lip (minus the mistletoe!)


There will be TWO winners this time, and each winner will receive a MAC Keepsakes Red Lip Bag starring their bestselling red, "Ruby Woo" lip liner, lipstick, and lipgloss packaged in a shimmery pearl cosmetic bag.  Each winner will also receive a MAC Keepsakes Eyeshadow Palette in "Beige Eyes", a selection of smoky neutrals to flatter any skin tone and eye color.  The total value of each prize is $79... I may throw in a little something as a holiday surprise from me!! 


Enter through the handy little widget above and get all the entries you can!!  I don't think you guys understand how excited I get to see who won and ship your goodies... It makes me so happy to think of making your day when they arrive. 

Blogging makes me incredibly happy and I love seeing your comments, tweets, and Facebook posts.  My goal when I started blogging was simply to talk about the things I love and find a positive community that feels the same way.  I hope that when you come to my site you feel happy and positive too.  So a huge THANK YOU to each and every one of you!! 


Good luck!!  I will draw a winner the morning of Friday December 12th!!






12.03.2014

Budget-Friendly Holiday Gift Ideas






Homemade Goods

Round Tins - $3.00
Approximate Cost of Cookies - $2.50
Total Gift Cost - $5.50



Candy Boxes

Round Santa Tin - $2.80
Peanut M&M's - $5.00
Total Gift Cost - $7.80

Rectangular Tin - $2.30
Almond Roca - $4.59
Total Gift Cost = $6.89



Boxed Ornament

Ornament - $3.50
Fabric Box - $2.00
Total Gift Cost - $5.50



Hot Cocoa Set

Santa Mug - $5.00 
Cocoa Mix (2) - $0.30
Total Gift Cost - $5.30



Christmas Card and Starbucks

Christmas Card - $2.50
Postage - $0.50
Starbucks Card - $5.00
Total Gift Cost - $8.00




Hope you enjoyed my video!!  Stay tuned for more holiday gift guides and inspiration... 




12.01.2014

Cyber Monday Deals



And through the snow we went… 

Just got back from a cozy Thanksgiving weekend at our ranch.  We kept busy with lots of wedding planning details, a little Black Friday shopping, and supporting our local businesses on Small Business Saturday.  Oh, and did I mention??  Lots and lots of food… Eeek!!  Time to get back on the Wedding Dress Bandwagon!!

Here are my favorite Cyber Monday deals… Happy Shopping!! 



20% off all sale items using code EXTRAJOLLY and free shipping on all orders.  

This is a great place to stock up on knits and sweaters for holiday events and winter warmth!!  Also find the coziest scarves, booties, throws, eclectic jewelry, and aprons… Perfect gifts for girlfriends, mothers, aunts, and holiday party hostesses.






Take 25% off a selection of regular-priced and sale-priced items, plus free shipping.

Anything and everything… A great selection of shoes, handbags, outerwear, jewelry, and clothing for ladies.  But also a great place to snap up home decor and gifts for guys and kiddos.






40% off sitewide… Ends tonight!!  Free shipping on orders over $100.

This site is adorable.  Think J. Crew meets Kate Spade… Slightly preppy, but with enough quirk and whimsy to make your heart sing.  Find the perfect holiday sweater, jewelry to make you sparkle through the snow, and fabulous gifts. 





Other Great Sales…

25% off sitewide and free shipping.  11.26-12.01
**The perfect place to shop for the quirky fashionista.

20% off sitewide and free next day shipping on orders over $200.  11.28-12.01
**Lots of edgy, moto-boho styles and leather goods.  

Up to 80% off and free shipping.  12.01 only
**Perfect place to go if you're shopping for jackets and outerwear.  His leather jackets for guys are so sexy!!

50% off entire purchase using code CYBER50.  Ends 12.03 at 3 PM
**For the stylish, professional woman.  Love these polished, classic looks.

30% off sitewide plus free shipping on every order using code CYBER30.  12.01 only
**Lots of cute yet affordable items… Cute holiday dresses, little jackets, and denim.

20% off when you spend $60 using code CYBER20.  30% off when you spend $100 using code CYBER30.  Free shipping on every order.  
**Let's be honest… These items are all for you, honey!!  PJ's and jewelry make good friend gifts though!! 

30% off select full-priced items and 40% off select sale items using code MONDAY today only.  Free shipping on all orders. 
**A great place to snap up sweaters for the whole family… Cozy pajamas too.  I love their selection of accessories and jewelry.

30% off sitewide using code OHWOW.  
**Find great holiday outfits and gifts for your modernista friends and family.

Every order receives a free Lilly tote and free presents that switch on the hour.  Orders over $75 receive the free tote + hourly gift + free travel laundry bag.  Orders over $150 receive free tote + hourly gift + travel laundry bag + free clutch.  Orders over $500 receive free tote + hourly gift + travel laundry bag + original painting. 
**Have a preppy friend or relative??  This is your spot. 

25% off sitewide.  Free shipping on orders over $50.
**Great place to find some inexpensive, unique gifts.  Also some seriously adorable holiday ensembles.

Savings up to 40% off.  Level 1 Rewards members earn double points on every dollar spent.  Level 2-4 members earn 10 points on every dollar spent. 
**It's no secret; you guys know I love Nordy.  Gifts for everyone from grandma and grandpa to the kids to the friends with the new house. 

30% off sitewide plus an extra 40% off sale items using code CYBERSALE.  
**Seriously stylish yet wearable clothes + accessories.

Tory Burch
Up to 30% off using code LUCKY plus a free gift with any purchase of $150 or more.  Free shipping and complimentary gift wrap.
**The discounts get better the more you shop, so take advantage of knocking out a few major purchases at once.  




Happy Cyber Monday!!