Holiday Gift Guide with Elements

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If you are anything like me, come October you are gearing up and looking forward to the holiday season. I am very much against the forced consumerism aspects of the holidays, but I love picking out those perfect gifts for family and friends. Each year as fall comes and goes, I meticulously make my Christmas lists of what to buy and I always buy something special – a little treat that I know friends/family will love, but may never purchase for themselves. For this gift guide, I’ve teamed up with Elements Beauty Shop to share some of my favorite beauty products which would also make great gifts. I’ve bought many of these myself both for my own use as well as for others and can vouch for their specialness!  

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  1. LATHER Sugar and Spice – This is definitely on my Christmas list for family this year. I love LATHER products as they are all natural and good for my budget.
  2. 80 Acres bath salts – Bath salts are my go-to for relaxing during stressful times or when my muscles are sore from yoga or climbing and these salts infused with olive oil sound utterly delightful.
  3. Kneipp Healthy Feet Foot Repair – A great, practical gift for someone who is on their feet all day. I purchased this for my mom this past Mother’s Day and she was thrilled!


  1. FarmHouse Fresh Sweet Cream Body Milk Lotion – This has to be my all time favorite product. I have bought this multiple times for gifts (and have yet to treat myself!). The scent is so light and the feel so creamy.
  2. Juara Invigorating Coffee Scrub – Another gift my best friend received from me last year. She says the coffee smell is to die for!
  3. Tokyo Milk Honey & The Moon No. 10 Hand Cream A great splurge with beautiful packaging, this is one handcream that the receiver may end up purchasing for themselves once it’s gone!


  1. Archipelago Botanicals Boticario de Havana Body WashWe can’t forget the guys now can we? This body wash has a great earthy scent that isn’t too strong for us ladies to borrow from every now and then but still retains a nice scent.
  2. Caswell-Massey Mock Ivory Shave Brush Medium – A great gift for any guy (we have bought them for nearly every man in our family), a shave brush will last many years and is practical, and handsome, to boot.
  3. Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub – This is on repeat in our house and has replaced most of our other face scrubs. The peppermint scent will leave your guy feeling awake and ready to tackle his day (besides helping to keep him squeaky clean) and ladies – you can borrow it too!

Other fun Elements benefits:

  • Use my code CHICSTRIPES to get 10% off your first online order
  • Create an online account for all your purchases and start earning loyalty points by sharing on social or writing reviews of products you have tried. I did this a few months ago and received over $80 in discounts!
  • Share your purchases on social with #ElementsBeautyHaul and you will be entered for a chance to win a $50 gift card – one winner is picked each month!
  • In Richmond? Make sure to come out to the A Very Cary Christmas event on Thursday, December 3, 2015, 4 – 8 PM, EST. You can find all the details here.

This blog was post in partnership with Elements Beauty Shop and my participation in the Elements Beauty Bloggers group. All opinions are my own.


Outfits: Saturday Night

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Outfit: top – Enza Costa from The Outnet | skirt – vintage, second hand from Ashby | tank – J. Crew | bag – thrifted | heels – Mossimo thrifted from The Clothes Rack | earrings – thrifted from Thrifty Quaker

Images; Andrew

I’ve been spending a lot of time in yoga pants, comfy sweaters, and jeans lately so it was nice to get fancied up for a date night to Southbound this past weekend. Southbound is one of those places that offers adventurous eating (blowfish that you eat like chicken wings were on the menu) and we ordered lamb and sweet potato gnocchi, pickled vegetables (for me), and a double cheeseburger with fries (for him). We have been having deliciously chilly fall weather for the last few weeks here in Richmond and this knee length green leather skirt was the perfect outfit pairing for a night out.

The Thrift Series: Thrifting 101 with The Clothes Rack

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Thrifting is serious business (side note: so much so, that my sisters and I turned it into a business). I can’t get enough and jump at pretty much any chance to do something thrift related. The Clothes Rack, a thrift store that benefits the Junior League of Richmond, a volunteer organization that raises funds to deliver programs to children and their families, reached out last month and wanted to do a collab. As I am a regular shopping at the two local Clothes Rack locations, my saying yes was a given. I also had a lot of fun writing a thrifting 101 post that isn’t filled with your typical how-to’s. You can view the blog post here with bonus photos of all the amazing things I have found at their stores. For my tips, keep on reading.

  1. Know what you want. Thrift stores can either be a lovely place to leisurely treasure hunt or they can be a gold mine when you hone in on a few specific items. Going into a thrift store armed with a list can help you navigate messy and packed racks or it can guide you directly to one section of the store (i.e. jewelry or jeans), helping you focus your search and avoid being overwhelmed by all of the choices.
  2. Inspect, inspect, inspect. A lot of really great, amazing condition items can be found at the thrift store. But just as many end up at a thrift store because they are damaged, worn or stained. Most thrift stores will scan their items to ensure quality, but this isn’t a guarantee. Closely inspect the item you are interested in – run a hand over the garment paying special attention to the under arm area, pull gently on seams to look for loose stitching, and inspect the buttons.
  3. Try it on. Most thrift stores will have a small dressing room area. Some will not. Either way, you want to try on items prior to purchasing them because once you do, it’s doubtful you can return it. If there is no dressing room, it’s common thrift store practice to pop on a top over what you are wearing or pull on bottoms right there in the store. To make this easier, if you know you will be thrifting, wear light layers such as leggings and or a dress/skirt.
  4. Know your price point. Just because you found Seven Jeans for $12 or a J. Crew sweater for $10 doesn’t mean you should scoop them up. You want to inspect for wear AND try it on. If it doesn’t fit right, or doesn’t fit your own personal style, it’s never a bargain.
  5. Love the hunt. Not everyone likes a treasure hunt, but that is the best mindset for thrifting. Looking for a great blazer? Definitely check the women’s jackets, but also venture over to the boy’s section. One of my most prized blazers is a maroon corduroy jacket I found in the boy’s section. Looking for a belt? Try the silk scarves. Want to create the perfect jean cut-offs for summer? Find a relaxed men’s fit not the women’s fit.
  6. Know the sales. Most thrift stores have some sort of discount or sale schedule – whether it’s certain days of the week or a color that is 25%, 50% or even 75% off. If you want the most bang for your buck (even at a thrift store!), you can focus your search to only those items. Another great trick is to sign up for a thrift store newsletter if they have one (which The Clothes Rack does!). You will get advance notice on sales and other special in-store events.

Perhaps my best tip though, is to just have fun, try it out, and see what you find! Some of the best pieces (and laughs) can be found at a thrift store.

Outfits: Faux Wrap

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Outfit: dress – Ronnie Heller Designs for MJ from The Clothes Rack | belt – thrifted, from The Clothes Rack | shoes – Salvatore Ferragamo from Baggio Consignment | earrings – Clothes Mentor Short Pump | ring – vintage

Images: Hannah

Despite the fashion world’s constant yammering that the wrap dress is THE dress to have, I have only ever owned one other one (an Alice Temperly for Target, one of the very first collabs). It was a true wrap dress and it indeed did flatter. When I spotted this one on the rack at a local thrift store i new I had to try it on. I snapped a dressing room selfie and took it home that day. And what better things to pair it with than all #2ndhand1st items? Also – a red barn is A+ for blogging photos.

The Thrift Series: Fall Fashion and Refashioning with Duck in Yellow

2015-10-22 The Thrift Series PeriscopeLast night, Katie of Duck in Yellow and I went thrifting in pursuit of fall fashions and refashioning – and broadcasted it all live on Periscope. We had a great time roaming the store, trying to figure out Periscope, responding to questions, and finding a few gems. It was certainly a social media experience!

Since I actually broadcasted my version of the event NOT on Chic Stripes (which would explain why some people said they couldn’t find it), it looks like we’ll have to do another one soon! You can view my half of the broadcast here and head over to Duck in Yellow for her half!

Thank you to Goodwill Corporate and Andrea for giving us permission to do this in store and to Hannah, my intern, for being our photographer, side broadcaster, and stuff carrier. 

The Thrift Series: How to Scan a Rack


You guys know I LOVE thrifting right? I’ve been thrifting since I can remember – usually for fun, sometimes because I just want to save buck. Either way, I have picked up a lot of tips and tricks along the way and met some great people who also love thrifting and I’m super excited to announce a fun collaboration with Katie of the blog Duck in Yellow. She is a DIY, re-fashionista who I totally admire because she can make things out of curtains. Curtains you guys. She’s got a way with scissors, thread and dye. We are partnering up for a series of fun posts and live broadcasts all about thrifting. For our first post, we are giving you our insider tips on how to scan a thrift store rack. Thrift stores can be overwhelming, packed to the gills, and you don’t want to waste your time on items you know you won’t love. Head over to Katie’s blog to read her tips and keep reading for mine!

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A Thrift Series: How To Scan Racks

1. Push, shove and cram a row of hangers to one side. I am right handed, so I literally get in front of the racks and shove all the clothes to the right. Depending on how full a rack is, this trick may or may not work as well, but either way, you want to create some space for the passed over items.

2. Touch and flick each hanger. Once I’ve pushed everything aside, I touch each and every hanger and QUICKLY flick it over to the left. When you come across a fun item, you will instinctively slow down and can then move to my next tip, which is to….

3. Pick up and evaluate. Touching is key here, and when you’ve slowed enough to look over a piece, you really want to evaluate it. Pull it out of the mess of hangers and other items; scan for damage, holes, tears or picks; hold it up to your body; look at it in a mirror; and decide if you truly want/need it in your wardrobe.

4. Put back what you are passing on and keep it moving. The key to getting through racks at a thrift store is to move quickly and not linger over those what if’s – what if it were smaller, what if I could alter it, what if I bought this for my friend/sister/mom?

So there you have it. Four easy ways to quickly scan a thrift store rack and only take home those items that spark joy for you.

If you enjoyed this post, we hope you will enjoy our LIVE broadcast on Periscope next week where we take you through a thrift store, talk fall fashions, how to re-work those thrift store items into something a little more you. See below for details!ChicStripespromoimage

Images: Kyle. 

Location: The Thrifty Quaker

A huge thanks to Kyle who put with with Katie and I as we went through EVERY single rack in this thrift store, giggled over insanely funny and outdated items and literally tried on clothes in the store. I also want to thank The Thrifty Quaker for letting us shoot our images in the store. And finally, a big thank you to Katie from Duck in Yellow for partnering with me on this series!