By now “No Shop Feb” must be all over your instagram feed. I’m sharing the why’s and how’s behind my participating below.
For as long as I can remember shopping has been a big part of my life. Ok, that sounds shallow, but it’s true. Shopping for me was always more of an activity I looked forward to and not a task that I had to do. I’m sure all of you 90’s kids can relate, being dropped off at the mall on Friday nights when you were too young to drive. Hanging out with friends while shopping, window shopping and trying to get a glimpse of your crush.
When I turned thirteen I begged my parents to take my friends and I into Boston to shop on Newbury Street for my birthday. We gathered up all of my jr. high friends and walked, talked, shopped and ladies who lunched for the day. When I was fifteen I went on a trip to California and fell in love with the unique shops and designers on Melrose. When I got back to Boston I googled one of the shops I liked the most and was thrilled to find out they had an online shop, as most retailers back then did not have e-commerce. My first ever online purchase was a pink cowl neck sweater that I regretted I did not buy in person on my vacation. And so, my online shopping addiction was born.
Even one of my first jobs was at OFF Fifth, the Saks Fifth Avenue, outlet in Wrentham, and you can guess where my paycheck went. Even now, with girlfriends, scheduling time together around checking out new shops, running errands, or even shopping on our vacations comes so naturally.
You could say this is just ingrained in who I am. A lot of my favorite times revolved and still do, around the activity of shopping. It’s weird to look back on all of this and see how much of my life and things I actually had joy in revolved around shopping.
I used to admire people with luxuries, and to some extent still do. I immediately go to the “she must work so hard to have that” and relate. Although, realistically, that might not always be the case and often times more than not, it isn’t.
- Organize and purge:
- Go through both closets (yes, two) and endless storage bins to sort clothes into a few different piles: Poshmark, donation & a bin for my future daughter (no, I’m not pregnant but this is always something I wish my mom had done for me, and it’s something I started a long time ago for my future babe)
- No clothing or home shopping for the whole month of February to:
- Mindfully break the cycle of “I want” or “I need”. A LOT of times I am buying things because they are on sale and I justify the spend because it’s “so cheap” or “will never be this cheap again”!
- Use and appreciate what I have. I have A LOT. You don’t realize it, until you really stop and look around, but I have almost everything I need already from a wardrobe perspective.
You can find and follow the gals participating with me by following the #noshopfeb hashtag on IG, or by checking them out individually here: @achicvoyage @afashionfix @amodestlife @asequinedlife @ashleyvbeine @bluebootsgo @champagne_thursday @cmcinthecity @d_mobley @elizabethev @emilyshell @gretsky126 @iceberghaha @jenfirshe @klassicallykaytee @kristinbassett @kristylyons @lyssmmm @mystyletales @natmazz @nishatnguyen @primandpropah@sassyysaraa @sixfeetinheels @speedy2ac @thechroniclesofsheel @aline_aesthetic @alexbyersays
PS – a lot of you were asking about Poshmark via my instagram stories. It’s pretty easy to navigate: post photos of the items you want to list, and an asking price. Be prepared to haggle a bit and to give Poshmark 20% (better than most consignment shops!). I’ve unloaded a lot of items here and whatever I don’t sell within a few months goes to the donation pile. Use “ShaunaGallagher” when signing up for $5 off your first purchase.
**No Shop Feb update: it’s been two weeks and I am shopping-free. I was VERY tempted by a Gilt City sale for Exhale massages on an extra 30% off, but I held out. These deals come up often, so I’m going to pass until next time! (Self-control Shauna!)
I have also had more time to be screen free. I knew I was in front of a screen a lot but I hadn’t realized how much of that time was for online shopping.
Velvet: this winter season’s must-have trend. From velvet blouses for every day to accessories that make a luxe statement. With a few more months left of winter – it’s not too late to embrace the all-things-velvet trend. In my opinion, this is one trend that will keep making a resurgence, year after year. Stock up on these oh-so-soft pieces (mostly on sale!) to wear now and save for later.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, this velour dress would make the perfect date-night-getup. Ditch go-to red for Valentine’s Day with a soft pink number. I love this long sleeve velvet dress for a more casual look. Or, if you’re heading out for drinks with gal pals (sans a date) – this peplum tank top is the perfect pick, especially with a faux leather jacket layered on top. I’ve been eyeing these block heel velvet booties for a while now, they would look so chic paired with ripped denim and a simple white button down. Check out a few more of my fave velvet picks:
1. cupcakes and cashmere dress – $50 (from $120)
2. Free People minidress – $64.80 (from $108)
3. Madewell mockneck dress – $29.99 (from $69.50)
4. J.Crew peplum cami – $19 (from $68)
5. Sanctuary velour bell sleeve sweatshirt – $37.15 (from $89)
6. J.Crew Factory midrise skinny jean – $39.99 (from $79.50)
7. Sam Edelman cap toe high heel booties – $120 (from $150)
8. Superga classic lace up sneakers – $83.30 (from $115)
9. Madewell baseball cap – $24.99 (from $32)
This valentine’s day we’re thinking about our best gals, they’ve always got our backs, so why not show them some love on love day! We’ve rounded up our favorite galentines day gift ideas for you to share with your besties — think sweet treats, perfect pick-me-ups and experiences you can do together.
We couldn’t resist these pouty candies by Sugarfina, so fun and so sweet.
If Patchology isn’t in your beauty routine already, you’re totally missing out. The greater Boston-based company makes the most soothing solutions to all of your skin 911’s. This little set has two of our favorites together! Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
Patchology wink & a kiss – $10
These mugs made us smile. We all have that friend (and maybe we are her too!) who is obsessed with Target. And this chips and salsa set is like the 2018 version of a friendship bracelet. I call the chips mug!
Love Target Mug – $14
This mini cinema light box is perfect for an inspirational message and doubles as instagram prop!
Cinema Light Box – $29
I use this diffuser every night next to my bed. It hums a bit, but thats soothing to me at this point. Run it with an XOXO essential oil blend, with aphrodisiac properties, including pink grapefruit, Ylang Ylang, tangerine, damiana, amyris, lavender. I highly recommend Jennifer Sowle of Saratoga Aromatherapy, she’ll do a one on one consult with you and develop personalized blends for your every need.
Essential Wellness Diffuser – $29 + 20% off (Amazon 10% off auto coupon + use code: “Shauna10”)
We just picked up the Herbivore jade roller and can’t wait for it to arrive. Hearing so much about this brand, it was hard not to love this rose tinted trio.
The slip silk pillowcase I got for my birthday has been a godsend. It’s sooooo soft, it’s literally dreamy and feels so good against your face. I might get this for myself after #NoShopFeb, but it might be overkill?
Slip Silk Eye Mask – $45
Have a day in the South End. Facials at skoah will relax you both and leave you with amazing, glowy skin. We love the staff here and the facial always leaves us in a pure state of bliss. When you’re done grab a mimosa and lunch!
Calligraphy never gets old. Learn how to hand letter with the best hostesses, Julie and Meg. Have a cocktail and test your skills at Sip and Script! Most events have super cool venues too, from small businesses to trendy restaurants and bars.
Floral arranging is a skill you should master within your lifetime. Knowing how to throw together a great flower arrangement can save you a lot of loot and add that something special to your gatherings. See Alice’s Table for the next round of events near you.
One last idea: instead of traditional chocolate, gift caramels. McCrea’s Candies are locally, handmade bites of heaven. Flavors and prices range.
S & Tash
Is it just me or are guys the hardest to shop for? I’ve got a list of everything I want and I’m not afraid to share it with my boyfriend, family and friends. So, for the hard-to-shop-for guy in your life, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite Valentine’s Day gifts for him, including some fun Boston date night options.
Is binge watching Game of Thrones one of your fave to-dos as a couple? This GoT whiskey glass makes the perfect gift for the John Snow wannabe. He’ll definitely be bringing this glass to guy’s night. Or, if he’s into craft beers this homebrewing starter kit makes for a great hands-on gift. Guys have a (bad) habit of dropping their stuff just anywhere – change, wallet, etc. This Mark & Graham wood valet is practical for all of his loose end stuff, even better? Monogram it!
1. Game of Thrones whiskey glass – $22
2. At-home beer making kit – $34
3. Mark & Graham personalized tray – $39
You can never own too many sweatshirts. He’ll be wearing this Patagonia pullover on repeat from outdoors to lounging. If your guy is a self-proclaimed mixologist, he’ll love this leather-wrapped personalized cocktail shaker. Or, for the active type – he’s sure to love these Allbirds wool runners.
4. Patagonia fleece pullover – $59
6. Allbirds wool sneakers – $95
For a unique gift that he’ll wear again and again, gift a handcrafted wood watch by JORD. You can even leave a sweet love note engraved on it or his monogram. We’ve teamed up with JORD to give you a chance to win a $100 gift card to spend at JORD (all entrants will receive a 10% off code), so enter now!
Instead of gifts, my guy and I love doing things together. We love picking an activity and just spending time together. We recently went on the Harpoon Brewery tour and had so much fun (plus the pretzels and UFO Raspberry were so yummy). The Hopsters make your own brew experience would make such a great date day/night. Plus, you can enjoy after! Or, if you’re a total foodie – check out Eataly’s cooking classes. There’s nothing better than Italian food date night.
8. Hopsters make your own brew – Prices vary
9. Eataly cooking class – Prices vary
Chilly temps are here to stay (at least for the foreseeable future). So how do you stay on-trend and warm? Sweaters, sweaters and more sweaters. Is knit-hoarding a thing? If so, guilty. I’m especially loving all of the ruffle sleeve sweaters, I can’t get enough of these special details!
Ruffles are no longer frumpy but fun and flirty. The layered ruffle details give my new favorite sweater a little something extra. This is the perfect, feminine sweater to wear on a casual Friday to the office and to post-work drinks or a weekend date night (I’m thinking Valentine’s Day in this soft, purple meets pink hue).
This ruffle sleeve cardigan is so adorable – perfect to throw on and go. Or, how cozy does this tiered ruffle knit look? Also, turtlenecks are making a comeback in a big way. From tees to sweaters in every cut, color and fabric – turtlenecks are so hot this season.
I paired my feminine ruffle sleeve sweater with edge-ier black ripped denim and my fave Sam Edelman block heel booties. Can you tell I love all things black? These pieces are on constant rotation in my wardrobe.
Shop My Look:
Ruffle sleeve sweater (similar) – $55
J.Crew denim – $110
Sam Edelman booties (similar) – $105 (from $150!)
Rebecca Minkoff crossbody (similar) – $295
More adorable yet keep-you-warm ruffle sweaters under $100 below:
Looking for a guilt free cocktail? This calorie free, sugar free, ginger moscow mule mix will do just the trick. I typically opt for wine, but thats because I always feel guilty drinking cocktails, as they are usually loaded with calories, sugar and god knows what else. That was until, I found Be Mixed, a calorie free, sugar free, gluten free, preservative free (the list goes on!) all natural cocktail mix. Even better, the brand was founded by two gals who didn’t want to deal with the all the junk that goes into a typical cocktail, but still wanted to have amazing tasting drinks. The cocktail mixers are made with monkfruit, a little bit of stevia extract and are flash pasteurized so you won’t find any artificial ingredients in these bottles.
Be Mixed comes in a few flavors – cucumber mint, margarita and my fave – ginger lime. I’m obsessed with ginger lately, even taking ginger infused “detox” baths (but more about that later), so I whipped up a guilt free ginger lime moscow mule. And for a total score, I used Polar’s new limited edition flavor, Ginger Lime Mule. Win, win, win!
Ginger Lime Moscow Mules
- 4 oz. Be Mixed Ginger Lime
- 1.5 oz. Vodka
- 1 half lime, in wheels
- Ginger Lime Polar soda water
- Crushed ice
- Squeeze lime into chilled copper mug and drop in lime wheel
- Add vodka, Be Mixed and ice
- Stir until very cold
- Top with soda water and garnish with mint
For a sweet twist try this pomegranate take on a traditional moscow mule.
Shauna & Tash
We’ve rounded up our fave gift ideas for the plant lover (or hoarder!) in your life. Let’s face it – succulents, cacti and houseplants basically became accessories this year thanks to instagram. Greenery became must-have home decor items, from actual plants to prints, patterns and decor made to look like your favorite plants.
Does the plant lover in your life need some help in the “keeping the plants alive” department? With these cactus prints from Etsy, your plant lover can enjoy the view sans taking care of it. This millennial pink version would look gorgeous with a gold frame or, opt for a lighter color print and pair with a white frame. Gift both so your bestie can style them in her gallery wall. How adorable are these cactus salt & pepper shakers – they’d make perfect stocking stuffers. If your bestie is a self-proclaimed interior decorator – she needs a few of these faux Monstera leaves from West Elm. It’s perfect for styling on a mantle with a clear or geometric vase. Lucky for you, this Pineapple Air Plant Magnet just got restocked. Air plants need minimal attention and care, and these look totally adorable on your fridge or bring some happy into your cubical. For a more personal, delivered-to-door gift, opt for a succulent garden gift box from Lula’s Garden. These succulent sets are eco friendly and long lasting! Ditch the go-to classic floral delivery and pick your garden size and succulent combo. Never let your plants go thirsty again with these vintage plant misters.
1. Vibrant Cactus Print – $4 (from $5.90!)
2. Cactus Print – $6
4. West Elm Faux Monstera Leaf – $12 (from $16!)
5. Pineapple Air Plant Magnet – $18
6. Lula’s Garden – $25+
7. World Market Vintage Plant Misters – $25
A plant connoisseur can’t live without the essentials in their kitchen. Think Rosemary, Basil, Thyme or Oregano (yum!). Gift this Anthropologie Herb Planter Set for just about anyone in your life: the hostess or chef, perhaps. For a less practical but more statement piece – add this West Elm Freeform Terrarium to your collection. Easily display your beautiful blooms in this open glass case. We’re also loving this marble + glass terrarium. It doubles as a coffee table focal point or “shelfie” fave.
8. Anthropologie Herb Planter Set – $32
9. West Elm Freeform Terrarium – $34-48 (from $49-69)
10. West Elm Marble + Glass Terrarium – $41 (from $59)
If you’re looking for even more ways to bring the outdoors in, try this Anthropologie trio plant hanger. In this gorgeous hammered gold, it looks less “plant hanger” and more like a decor item that’s sure to be a centerpiece. Hang in the kitchen or living room and enjoy the greenery.
11. Anthropologie Gold Trio Plant Hanger – $78
These are gifts that will definitely keep on growing (with a little help, of course). Happy planting!
S & T
Everyone has that one person on their list thats always traveling. So what do you gift your bestie or family member who’d love a plane ticket instead? We’ve rounded up our favorite (and most practical) gifts for the traveler in your life.
Ditch the extra baggage weight of hair products and add this mini Living Proof Dry Shampoo to your packing list. It makes the perfect stocking stuffer, too! Globetrotters have no time to worry about bad hair days. These Patchology Eye Gels are a lifesaver for those dreaded red-eyes. Just apply mid-air and de-puff. To make your home away from home feel zen just flip on this Portable Mini Diffuser. It will easily fit in any carry on! For the stylish (international) traveler, gift this floral Anthropologie passport case. I love how easily your passport fits so you can breeze through security and customs.
1. Living Proof Dry Shampoo – $12
2. Patchology Eye Gels – $15 (now $11.25!)
3. Portable Mini Diffuser – $20
4. Anthropologie Floral Passport Holder – $24
If you want to feel refreshed post-flight, throw on this Skin Rejuvenating Eye Mask. Infused with copper, it helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while you sleep. The one essential item a globetrotter can never have enough of: a universal power adapter. Plus, never lose it with this adorable case! Is your traveler a fashionista? This Halogen reversible wrap is seriously so cozy and adorable. I hate feeling “bulky” while flying; wear a lightweight tee under this wrap for easy on and off.
5. Skin Rejuvenating Eye Mask – $35
7. Reversible Wrap – $49
There’s nothing worse than living out of a suitcase especially when dirty clothes are involved. Stay clean and organized with this Flight 001 Clean Bag Set. Keep your laundry and shoes separate from the rest of your travel gear. One of my fave items when traveling has to be a portable charger. When traveling to a foreign city or country, having your phone die midday is not an option. This Anker charger is perfect for capturing those gorgeous insta-story-worthy views or getting you from point A to point B (it charges phones over 7 times!) For weekend trips, pack this Sole Society weekender duffel. It comes in two color options, plus it’s vegan! At this price point (under $90!), it’s a total steal.
8. Flight 001 Go Clean Bag Set – $52
9. Anker Portable Charger – $60
10. Sole Society Vegan Weekender – $85
When I travel, I like to make sure that everything has a place. Store your makeup, toiletries or jewelry in these gorgeous Cuyana leather travel cases. Lost lipstick or spilled perfume, no more. Plus, they come in 12 colors – from neutral to bold. No trip is complete without photos. Capture every moment with this super fun, retro Fujifilm camera. If you’re like me, staying organized while traveling is a must. Store your iPad, cables and cards with this Mark and Graham Leather Envelope. It’s perfect for airports or foreign Starbucks’ alike. I love the blush color.
11. Cuyana Leather Travel Case Set – $110
12. Fujifilm Instax Mini Camera – $117
13. Mark and Graham Leather Tech Envelope – $129-149
Where would you love to jet off to next year?
S & T
Be the best house-guest ever, skip the go-to bottle of wine and up your gift-giving game with the best hostess gifts. Or, be the hostess with the mostess and upgrade your party gear with some of our go-to favorites. From a welcoming entrance and upgraded party essentials, these hostess gifts are sure to be the center of attention at this years holiday soirée and beyond.
The perfect hostess always knows how to break the ice. Prosecco Pong is a classier take on beer pong, just make sure you don’t spill too much Vueve! Make sure you have Recyclable Champagne Flutes for a toast later (they’re also $13 for 12!) to go sans broken glasses. These Marble Coasters or colorful Geode Coasters are as much practical as they are beautiful. Is a unique gift more of your thing? Opt for this personalize-able Wine Caddy perfect for picnics (or moving from room to room).
1. Target Marble Coasters – $10
2. TOSSWARE Recyclable Champagne Flutes – $13
3. Anthropologie Geode Coaster – $14
4. Mark and Graham Wine Caddy – $19
5. Prosecco Pong – $25
A hostess should always greet her guests with something pretty. This Boxwood & Myrtle Wreath is gorgeous for the front door, pair it with this Wine/Work Door Mat for an absolutely adorable entrance. Dress up the table with this patterned Wine Decanter and Marble Monogram Cheese Board. For the healthy hostess, gift this all-natural, calorie and sugar free cocktail mix. The variety pack includes Cucumber Mint, Ginger Lime and Margarita mixes, just add booze. Our fave was the Ginger Lime in this whiskey cranberry cocktail recipe. Hello, guilt-free signature cocktails and EVEN BETTER the company is woman owned!
6. Anthropologie Wine Decanter – $28
7. be MIXED Variety Pack – $33
8. Boxwood & Myrtle Half Wreath – $38
9. Wine Door Mat – $34
Turn your hostesses home into a vineyard a la this Wine Flight Board. Jot down each wine type on the slate board, just make sure to have your cheese pairings handy. If your gal is a cocktail amateur go with this Bartender Prep Board. It has everything you need and more – tips, tricks and measurements! Plus, it can be personalized. For another darling-door-option, show up with this Olive & Thistle Wreath. Nothing’s better or more welcoming than a great smelling home, gift her a Baies, Figuier and Roses Candle Set, or, split them up and gift to multiple friends and fam!
11. Wine Flight Board – $52
12. Mark and Graham Bartender’s Prep Board – $59
13. Olive & Thistle Wreath – $65
14. Diptyque Candle Set – $100
With these fab gifts (or two) in tow, you’re sure to be the first to catch an invite year after year.
S & T