31 December 2013

Goodbye, 2013... Hello, 2014!!

Happy holidays, lovelies!!

I hadn't planned to do an "end of the year" post, but thought twice about it because it's been such a great year for Dazzling Diva and I wanted to close 2013 out properly.

Personal style blogging has its ups and downs and certainly presented its share of challenges this year. I can't express the joy I feel when everything is going smooth and on a roll and I get to share my little piece of the world with all of you. It's exciting! And interacting with people who love girly things as much as I do is always enjoyable.




I look forward to making 2014 just as good, if not better. I was thrilled with the success of my first giveaway and look forward to hosting others in the new year.

I am still navigating the waters of social media and appreciate every single person who follows me on Pinterest and Instagram. Through these channels, I actually got to experience my very first brand feature on Instagram, which I'm sure is the norm for some bloggers, but little ol' me felt it was awesome! But that same experience also taught me a lesson about having thick skin...maybe I'll tell you all about it one day. *smile*




IFB has certainly played a major role in providing "bloggerly" guidance throughout this journey. I was also fortunate enough to have my first ever Christmas gift guide be selected for one of their holiday project roundups.




I revel in my small accomplishments, and plan to work toward more in the coming months. I'm not big on making new year's resolutions, but I do believe a new year can represent a fresh chapter, of sorts, and is a great time to recharge yourself.

As for myself, I haven't yet mastered juggling it all - work, blogging, school, family, friends, "me time," etc. so trying to better organize the time and finances in my life are on the top of my list. I also intend to push aside my shyness and reach out to more experienced bloggers for advice.

On a final note, as this year closes, I encourage you to let your loved ones know their importance to you in 2014. My family aims to keep our spirits high as we countdown the remaining hours of 2013, while we nurse heavy hearts and we prepare to send one of our loved ones off to heaven.

 "We enjoy warmth because we have been cold. We appreciate light because we have been in darkness. By the same token, we can experience joy because we have known sadness."
~ David Weatherford ~
 
I wish all you beauties a blessed and happy new year! 

17 December 2013

Kidecals.com - A Review & Promo Code!

Hello, ladies!

I'm sure you all are prepping for the holidays, unless you're one of the lucky girls who's all done! As I finish out my mad and frazzled dash this last week, I decided to take a moment to review one of the online retailers I'd suggested in my very first holiday gift guide: Kidecals.com.

I will preface my review by stating that this is a sponsored post, so I did receive free items from Kidecals, but the opinions stated here are purely my own.

I'm all about being able to customize things to your taste and have long been a fan of wall decals, I use them regularly throughout my home when decorating. My initial thought of the Kidecals.com site was that it looked colorful and inviting, so I was excited to dive in.

I headed straight for the keycals (keyboard decals), since I'm on my laptop a lot and thought jazzing up the keys would be really cute. I was super disappointed to find out that it would only fit the keyboards of Mac products *sad panda*. So I perused around a bit, sure I'd find something else.

And perused some more...took a break....came back and tried again.

Ok, so it took a while. But not because they didn't have other things, but because a lot of the products were geared towards kids or parents. Which doesn't apply to my life directly, though I certainly thought to grab some labels for my nieces. However, I was certain my mom wouldn't appreciate finding them adhered to her walls or dining room table, so I nixed that idea.

Ultimately I settled on some chalkboard labels and two universal use labels. My order arrived quickly in some very fun looking packaging.




You get several chalkboard labels, in two different sizes. But they are kind of small, so don't write big (as I do). I plan to "fake" the whole chalkboard look and just use a white Sharpie instead of chalk. I have yet to decide what I'm going to label yet, but probably some jars for the kitchen.




I am an avid Pinner (you can follow me here), so it's a total truth that most times I'd rather be pinning. Especially being that I even do it while waiting in the doctor's office. I'm thinking this label will likely end up on the back of my laptop, which is just basic black. But I'm curious about the removal or permanency...which is why it isn't on there yet.




The final label totally jumped out at me because in my "real life" I'm what people refer to as an IT geek, (I've worked in the technology field for about 13 years). The home d├ęcor project I'm currently working has been to make over my closet, to make it a really personal space. I've been working on it for a few months and plan to finish up over the holidays (and share with all of you). Anyway, I opted to stick this label to a small sheet of paper and frame it, in order to add it to my gallery wall in there. I thought it would be a nice quirky addition.

I think I'll color in that piece of "tape" with a gold Sharpie....
y'know, since I'm a Chic Geek lol

Overall, on a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give Kidecals a 6. Their shipping was prompt and fast, checkout was easy (we like people who use PayPal) and the items that arrived were great quality. I would just suggest that they widen their selection of offerings if they want to attract another section of consumers.


Why don't you try Kidecals out for yourself and get 15% off your order by using the coupon code 'FASHION' at check out.



10 December 2013

10 for $10 (or Less!) - Gifts for the Unexpected Guest

At holiday time I like to be prepared as possible, and that means having Christmas gifts on hand for those unexpected visitors! It could be your brother's new girlfriend, a friend from work drops by or a cousin you haven't seen in ages shows up to spread some cheer.

Well, even if that person knows that I was not anticipating their arrival, I still feel bad if they leave empty handed. Especially, if they have such great timing that they show up during the family gift opening!

So as I do my holiday shopping, I try to also pick up a couple things that I can wrap and place under the tree as "placeholders." And no worries, these gifts don't have to be major purchases!

10 Under $10 - Gifts for the Unexpected Guest

 


1.  Mason Jar Shot Glasses $10
2.  Hard Case Security Wallet $10
3.  Studded Bow Convertible Gloves $7
4.  e.l.f. Nail Cube $10
5.  Copco Reusable Travel Mug $8
6.  Pocket Ungame $9
7.  Merona Fleece Scarf $9
8.  Agloves Unisex Texting Gloves $9
9.  Bath & Body Works Scentportables $10 (for holder and pods)
10. Mens Studded Wallet $10


Another great thing about these presents is that they are all things that if you don't gift them away, you can use them yourself (or give one belatedly to a forgotten friend)! So, I'd personally encourage you to grab things that you'd also like, because you just might be able to keep them! *wink*

03 December 2013

Don't Break the Bank Holiday Gift Guide

'Tis the season, y'all! Even you hadn't started before, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have kicked off the official holiday shopping season, so get your credit and debit cards ready!

In season's past I've typically been delighted to be known as the family Santa, as I thoroughly enjoyed shopping for family and friends. I was even one of those people who had backup presents under the tree in the case of an unexpected guest. It was a regular occurrence for my shopping list to be all checked off by October.

However...

Not this year. This year I find myself struggling a bit for gift ideas and find my brain a bit too fuzzed out to focus at times. I figured maybe some of you may be in the same boat, so I'm adding my two cents into the world of gift guides taking over the web.

So let's dive in, shall we!


via

For your friend who is the walking, talking diva of your group, give her a little glam to take her into the new year, with the gift of fabulous fur (in an animal friendly faux) or sparkly sequins:
 
 
 
via
 
We all have that girlfriend who is religious about taking out "me time" (which is uber important) and loves to spend that quality time enjoying good soak in the tub. Help make those moments even more special by adding a touch of glimmer or coziness to her ritual:
 
 


via

She's just a lover of makeup, but all of her friends are pretty sure that her artistic skills rank right up there with the best. Give an elegant gilded tray for her to display her fav beauty goods or a shiny dotted train case can keep her organized on the go:

 
 

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For the diva that keeps you all updated on the latest and greatest technology, and is never seen without one of her devices (if not more!), deserves gifts that customize or accessorize! Give her stylishly fun keyboard decals for her Mac or an oversized clutch that can do double duty as a device case or outfit accessory:

7. Kidecals Keyboard Decal $16
(as a gift for all my lovely readers, get 15% off your order
at Kidecals.com when you use the code 'fashion' at checkout)
 



Bounties of baubles can be found adorning the fingers and neck of this fabulous friend, give her a place to store those adoring pieces by her bedside. You can personalize a dish and have it monogrammed with her initials, or even better, if she's a recently engaged friend or newlywed, this is a sweet way to acknowledge her new union:

 
 
I really do try to give thoughtful gifts to my loved ones and dear friends during the holidays, but that certainly doesn't mean I have to go broke over it! All of my suggestions are priced under $25, because even divas have to budget.
 
Any suggestions I've provided where prices may or have gone up, keep an eye out for 50% off sales (like at Express and The Limited)  and coupons in your inbox or mailbox (Ulta has a $5 off $10 currently circulating) which will help to keep your price points low.
 
If you ladies have any other key places for finding great holiday gifts, I loved to hear about them in the comments!


This post is also linked to IFB Project #125.