Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The broke bank gift guide

If your like me you probably started shopping for Christmas gifts last January. I tend I plan ahead. If you didn't and your just getting started you may find that cash is running a little tight. I am a huge fan of the dollar store. If you know how to look and you have a little imagination you can turn dollar store finds into special gifts. Here are a few if my ideas.

Buy these popcorn buckets and a variety if popcorn options like kettle corn or cheese popcorn. Add the recipients favorite candy too. Then go through your DVD collection and re-gift DVDs you have watched. Or if you have the cash buy a movie you know they will enjoy.

For the dog lover the dollar store has many cute toys and novelty bones. These jars are probably only around for the holidays so snatch them up. You can buy treats and bones to fill them and give them to your furry friends. I also recently saw the mot adorable tee shirts for dogs at the dollar store. See below. 

This Christmas pickle ornament would make a great gift. This is a tradition in my house. You hide the pickle on the Christmas tree and te child that finds it gets an extra little gift. You can buy a holiday candy at the dollar store for this. You'd be giving a family new memories and a new tradition.

I am not a fan of Justin Beiber but I know a lot of little girls who are and I also know that wrapping a gift for any man in my life in this paper would make for a fun and memorable gift exchange experience. Hahah. The dollar store is amazing for finding gift wrap, bags, tape and scissors to wrap up your gifts.

If your still looking for gift ideas you could buy 4 wine glasses and a bottle of 5 buck chuck for a friend.  Or a set of four martini glass and a bottle of vodka.

For children the $ store offers tons of toys and little things kids love. You can buy a stocking and fill it to the brim with crayons and coloring books, trucks, candy, craft kits & dolls and pretty much anything you can think of.

This can also work for adults. There are many items to fill a stocking for adults too. 

A cute gift idea for a friend at the office is this toy gum all machine and a few bags I bum balls.

Trend alert: the spotted fur

Fur is a big trend this winter. I support cruelty free fashion myself. I am thankful for the advancement in the quality of faux furs available.  I hope they save lives. If you do choose to buy real fur I hope you purchase upcycled fur from vintage shops, etsy or e-bay. There are many beautiful fur stoles online, that people don't want anymore, you can save a life by giving a new life to an abandoned pelt.

I am especially loving the spotted furs. There are many spotted cats cheetahs, jaguars and leapard are just a few. The spotted coat is as classic and timeless as it is edgy and new. 

You can't help but feel luxurious and vintage or feel scathingly sexy and on display when your wearing such a statement piece.

I have combed vintage shops for years looking for a spotted fur coat. I found one once, but it had a cigarette smell to it I knew would never come out. 

The past few years I've seen them in Bebe, Nordstrom, Nieman Markus. I've even seen them in children's sizes at target and boutiques. I have been waiting for lane Bryant or torrid to make one and finally they have.

This sexy number was originally $108 it's in sale now for $75. At Torrid.

Khios also has two styles that run from xs-2x. These coats are between $100-$80 depending on sales in your area. They are available on as well.

These are the coats I've located, if you ind more please feel free to pass on the info so I can share it with my readers. Follow me on onstagram @aleansimone and find other posts at #aleansimone and #aleansimonestyle

Did you know there is a difference between the cheetah, the jaguar and the leapards spots? 

We typically see these spots and call it cheetah print, but in actuality these are leapard spots. 

Cheetah spots look like this

Animal fact: did you know that cheetahs can't roar, it's true. In fact due to this inability they are  not considered to be part of the big cat family and have their own genus category.

Above is a picture of a  standard cheetah 
 And a rare King cheetah. Look at the beautiful variation on their pelts. Gorgeous.

Below is A Jaguar their spots are characterized by a wider more open  rosette than the leapard. A jaguars spots tend to be bigger than a leapard spots as well.

They are all beautiful. Which is your favorite?

Wrap it up

When I receive a gift, I think a beautifully wrapped gift is more special than being handed the item unwrapped. There's something special about the presentation of a gift. You feel special, you wonder what's inside and you savor opening this treasure. It conjures up the memory of the mermaid in splash, when Tom Hanks hands her a beautiful box, and she doesn't open it at first , because it was so beautiful.  I'm a sucker for pretty paper goods myself, I love to wrap gifts. 

At Washington square mall there is a kiosk called wrap pack.

They have a vision for space saving, innovative wrapping paper pads with a low Eco foot print. 

Each pad is 60 sq feet which is equal to 3 rolls of wrapping paper. The pad includes paper ribbons and gift cards you can cut out. It comes with hooks to hang over the back of your door to save space and avoid clutter. Each pad has interchangeable patterns that mix and match well together. The pads cost 24.95. There are three pads to choose from. 

If you run out of gift tags there are free ones available for download on their website. At  pokey

This is a small local  family business. This is the first launch of their product. I fell in love when I visited their kiosk, which is located at Washington square mall between Nordstrom and Santa. In front of bath and body works. 

Also available is custom gift wrapping for small gifts and shirt box size gifts.

Come support a local business and leave with beautifully wrapped gifts for your friends and loved ones.

If you have questions about the product  feel free to call Wrap pack at

Betsy Johnson gift guide

This year macys has launched an incredible gift collection with Betsy Johnson. The time peice collection is amazing. I am dying for one of those.  The array of gifts includes the beautiful jewelry and other accessories we have come to expect from Betsy Johnson. The collection also includes some unexpected suprised too, like bottle openers and penny banks. All of the products pictured here are available at macys. 


This bag comes in the color below as well.

These are just a few of my favorite peices. The array of designs is endless. She made a lot o fairy tale theme jewelry I also love like unicorns and castles and frog princes. 

These come in other styles as well. These are great gifts for the alchy's in the family or girl friends who like to have a few drinks after work.

Every girl needs a compact to check her lipstick. I love this one.

For the dog lover those are super cute ideas.

Betsy designed several Christmas ornaments this Christmas. In my family it is a tradition to get one ornament each year for all the children in the family. The ornament is supposed to symbolize some memorable event from the year. when the kids grow up and leave the nest and get married they will have enough ornaments to decorate their own Christmas trees. And they can tell their kids the stories about each ornament.