Beauty Box 5 – Gift Guide

by katyrose on November 28, 2014

The ModlyChic 2014 Holiday Gift Guide was curated by me. I was sent products to sample in order to write my reviews and create a worthwhile gift guide for my readers. All thoughts are my own.


Do you have someone on your gift-buying list that has more cosmetics than any woman could ever need in her lifetime? Is she still searching for that perfect shade of lipstick, that can’t-live-without lotion? Beauty Box 5 is a subscription box that delivers five deluxe samples and full-sized products right to your door monthly. With the plethora of cosmetic options out there, Beauty Box 5 wants to simplify the discovery process by introducing subscribers to new brands and great products. And they don’t just ship the products to you, they also share tips on the best ways to use them!


The November box contained several new-to-me products including the Laura Ashley body butter, which I am now obsessed with, as well as a HASK Macadamia Revitalizing Shine Oil, which I am now using religiously after conditioning before styling my hair. Plus it had a sample of the Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash – perfect for my gym bag when I need to sneak in a shower before heading off to school in the morning.


I’m looking forward to trying the Nicka K New York Eyelight Crayon for one of my upcoming holiday parties – the gold color is going to be so much fun during all the sparkles and glitter of the season.




Giving Thanks in 2014

by katyrose on November 27, 2014


It’s funny how some years it is so easy to gush about all I am thankful for and other years it takes a real effort to find the good things. This is a gushing year of greatness.

This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for…

  • Taking a chance on a new profession. When I was debating the move from journalism to teaching many people were very open in sharing their opinions on the matter. Some thought it would be a perfect fit. Others thought it would be a huge professional mistake. Some said the classroom would be the perfect place for all my energy. Others thought I was much to professionally minded to move into teaching. I listened to all the pieces of advice, which probably made the decision more difficult, and then in the end I decided to give it a try. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? I give it two or three years, I hate it and start again exploring career options. But I can honestly say that I’m loving this. And since everyone says it only gets easier, I’m thinking next year I am really, really going to love it!! And going along with all of this – I’m so thankful for the students who actually make me want to get to school in the morning, the ones that hang out in my classroom even when they don’t have to, the ones who stop by just to talk, the ones who ask engaging questions. And of course I’m grateful for the other teachers and faculty members who have helped me survive and thrive through this year. I can’t believe I am almost an entire semester into this crazy leap of faith.
  • Being back in Chicago. I haven’t lived in my hometown, my state since going off to college. Yes, I’ve had the pleasure of living in a number of different cities throughout the Midwest and East Coast. I have been given the chance to travel around, to explore, to learn, and to grow. But now I am grateful to be back in the place that I am familiar, and is yet all new to me too. I’m enjoying the chance to explore Chicago and the suburbs as an adult. Seeing and exploring the city through adult eyes is different from adventures as a kid. I appreciate variety more, I’m more open to trying new things, my vision is a little grander – all of which makes it so much fun to be back.
  • My family. They always rank high on my list of things I am most grateful for. Year after year I see more and more clearly that my family, the closeness of my siblings, the complete family unit we have in place is something not many others share. Sure, some might call it over sharing. Some people think it is strange that we all know so much about what’s going on in each other’s lives. But I love that!
  • ModlyChic. Maybe it is odd to say I am thankful for this blog, but I am. Over the years it has grown, changed and evolved with me. I went at it full-time for awhile, have worked at it sporadically as a hobby and keep it now as a passion and good additional second income. (Let’s be honest private-school teachers make NOTHING!!) I’m grateful for this creative outlet, for the readers and followers, for my fellow bloggers who I have become friends with online and in person as a result. I’m grateful for the opportunities it has afforded me and the way it pushes me every day to step outside of my comfort zone.
  • Finally finding a solution to my migraines. Yes, sometimes it is a serious bummer to be permanently on the paleo diet. It makes eating out a little more of a challenge and it makes packing lunches a project in salad creativity. But after more than 15 years of suffering from these debilitating headaches, I have finally found a diet that basically eliminates them from my life almost entirely. And considering the high stress levels of this year and yet the decided lack of corresponding headaches, I know this is working. So I eat an obscene amount of eggs and vegetables. But I’m headache free and oh so grateful for that.  And honestly I don’t even crave the sweets and carbs any more. They don’t even look appetizing.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I hope you all enjoy the time with family and friends, remembering all the reasons you have to be grateful this year for the things you have and even the things you don’t have!


Marlee’s Bracelets – Gift Guide

by katyrose on November 26, 2014

The ModlyChic 2014 Holiday Gift Guide was curated by me. I was sent products to sample in order to write my reviews and create a worthwhile gift guide for my readers. All thoughts are my own.


Since starting my new job in August, I’ve been focused on bracelets almost more than any other type of jewelry. Why? Well, my wrist tattoo needs to be hidden while working. This means I stack bracelets for an arm party, wear chunky watches, and come up with all sorts of creative ways to cover it during the school hours. With that said, I’m always looking for new places online to find bracelets. I came across Marlee’s and have to say I am loving the little trinkets that arrived in the mail earlier this month.


The two delicate bracelets were the PERFECT accent to wear this past weekend to my first holiday party! I went with a bold necklace and earring combination and wanted something simple and elegant for my wrist without overpowering the whole look. Slipping this two little bangles on my wrist ended up being the perfect addition in every way.


While I only got the chance to try these three bracelets, the rest of the jewelry and accessory options available on the site are tempting! Shopping is easy too. You can search via categories or check out all the items the company offers along a certain trend.




This is a Fashionista Event and a promotional item was provided to me by Coupons. com. Hosts for this event are Still Blonde after all these Years and yours truly. #BlackFridayGiveaway #ad

6eb73432a86311e3bd5b12f05023f629_8 Honestly, I have a history of stellar Black Friday purchases. When I was old enough to know who exactly it was doing a little extra shopping for the man in red, I went along to help. The morning after Thanksgiving mom and I would wake up early – really early. We would load into the car, rubbing the sleep from our eyes and head out to the best deals in town. My mom is organized. She would have a list and know exactly what she was looking for, what she needed and where the best deal could be found. I tagged along, pushed the cart and added my opinion when needed. Over the years we made some amazing Black Friday purchases, a tradition that lived on once I truly grew up and moved around the country. I’ve dodged other carts at an overly crowded toy store at 5 in the morning to get the last of a toy my brother couldn’t live without. I’ve braved some insane lines to get door buster deals at Gap the year everyone asked for good-quality basics. I screwed up my courage and entered the patterned bliss of a Vera Bradley outlet where bags were literally flying off the shelves because the deals were so steep. I trudged through the streets of Boston carrying home a new flat screen TV I got at Best Buy on a deal, I’m still bragging about to this day.  Two years ago my sisters and I pretty much knocked out our entire set of lists shopping downtown Chicago on Black Friday morning! The list goes on and on. 4ccd55be358111e29ad022000a1f9a79_7 Heck I’ve even worked retail on four different Black Friday mornings – two at Kohls, two at Ann Taylor. I know, most retail professionals HATE Black Friday – the deals, the lines, the often crabby customers, the running around the store to hunt down a size, the clueless men who are looking for something to fit the girl whose size they don’t really know – but it’s actually my favorite day of the year to work as well. There is something fun about the first shopping moment of the Holiday season. There is something really enjoyable about watching people walk out with a stuffed bag they can proudly show off because of the deep discounts they scored by waking up early and braving the mall traffic and crazy lines. While I am not as organized or focused as my mom, I do go with a list of who needs gifts and a few possible gifting options, but I also let the Holiday spirit and the deals move me. Because let’s be honest, on Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) it’s all about the deals! The cheaper the better. And no, I wouldn’t wait out in the cold on my Thanksgiving in order to get the best deal in the world, but I will do everything in my power to take advantage of the deals as soon as Friday morning hits. Black-Friday-Shopping-Infographic This year I’ll be taking advantage of and Black Friday articles on The Good Stuff – it’s a great resource for everything you need to know about Black Friday shopping. And if you are an infographic girl – you’ve got to check out the stats on Black Friday and Cyber Monday! It’s not surprising that most of the shopping done on these days is completed by parents and those without a lot of expendable income. So interesting! Black-Friday-Giveaway Interested in even more savings? To celebrate Black Friday and Cyber Monday, here is the Black Friday Giveaway! It runs now through November 28th, which will still give you plenty of time to shop after you win. With 100 winners everyday and one $10,000 Grand Prize Winner, what have you got to lose by entering??? Heck, I’m planning on entering daily. Happy Shopping!!!

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Mantry Subscription Box – Gift Guide

by katyrose on November 24, 2014

The ModlyChic 2014 Holiday Gift Guide was curated by me. I was sent products to sample in order to write my reviews and create a worthwhile gift guide for my readers. All thoughts are my own.


I don’t know about you, but there are several men in my life who know there way around the grill and the kitchen! Growing up my dad was always the ultimate Sunday morning breakfast maker. Mom took care of all the other meals, but dad always had breakfast which was never complete without at least a dozen scrambled, cheese-filled eggs, and a skillet of potato/pepper/sausage goodness. I have a guy cousin too who is a cooking connoisseur! Thanksgiving at his house is always the greatest feast I’ll experience that year! So naturally, when I stumbled across Mantry I was intrigued.


The idea behind this monthly subscription box is to introduce guys, and gals, to American artisan foods! Sounds good, right?

The box I got focused on the themes of coffee and smoke, offering six amazing new-to-me products that utilized this greatness. There was a delectable bottle of Hot Georgia Soul BBQ sauce, some seriously tasty La Quercia Smoky Borsellino and Granola Jones in mocha hazelnut flavor (add some greek yogurt and chopped up fruit for the perfect breakfast).


Over the years, I’ve gotten a number of subscription boxes of all kinds, but I have to say this is the most beautifully presented box I’ve yet to receive in the mail. I love the flyer that explains each item in such a stunning and descriptive manner. Such a great touch to the overall box of goodness!


If you have a man who knows his way around the kitchen and the pantry this is THE subscription box he needs!


My Head Cozy – Gift Guide

by katyrose on November 23, 2014

The ModlyChic 2014 Holiday Gift Guide was curated by me. I was sent products to sample in order to write my reviews and create a worthwhile gift guide for my readers. All thoughts are my own.


When I lived in St. Louis I became close with a family who lived there. While I moved away more than four years ago now, I still keep in touch with them, exchanging the occasional email to stay current on what’s new, how things are changing in their lives, etc… One of the girls, there are 4 in the family, is currently in college and working hard to raise money in order to study abroad next year. Rather than pitching family and friends for donations, she’s putting her mad talent to work creating knitting masterpieces and selling them through her etsy account - My Head Cozy.


I have a hard time wearing a hat, even in the winter months. I’ll put one on if I am going to spend long hours outside and have no where to go but only in those circumstances. This head cozy is the perfect solution. It’s totally warm and does a great job of keeping my ears toasty. While at the same time it is still chic enough to wear out and about while running errands.


I’m a huge fan of this vibrant purple color but the head cozies also come in cherry red, ice blue, coral and blue. Not sold on this style? She also makes adorable slouchy hats and ones that look like owls too! I’m telling you this gal is mad talented so anything you order from her will be done perfectly!!!


Brickloot Monthly Subscription – Gift Guide

November 22, 2014

The ModlyChic 2014 Holiday Gift Guide was curated by me. I was sent products to sample in order to write my reviews and create a worthwhile gift guide for my readers. All thoughts are my own, With five brothers, the youngest of which is 12, as well as a soon-to-be 4-year-old nephew in the family, […]

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Stitch Set Monthly Subscription – Gift Guide

November 22, 2014

The ModlyChic 2014 Holiday Gift Guide was curated by me. I was sent products to sample in order to write my reviews and create a worthwhile gift guide for my readers. All thoughts are my own, as always.   Admittedly, I am not much of a knitter. I’ve tried a few times, learned the basics […]

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ModlyChic 2014 Gift Guide

November 21, 2014

Over the next 14 days I’ll be highlighting some of my favorite gift ideas for the holidays – all of which can be purchased with the use of your computer from from the comfort of your home! Since I have a wide range of siblings, the gifts cover the gamut, offering great selections for pretty […]

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Reaching Beyond the Clothing Comfort Zone

November 21, 2014

Skirt: Kohls Sweater: TJ Maxx Vest: Kohls Scarf: Charming Charlie Boots: c/o DSW Tights: Target Earrings: New York & Co. Coffee: splurged on the Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks Lately, I’ve been trying to reach beyond my usual clothing comfort zone. I’ve been trying to challenge myself to think of the items in my closet and […]

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