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I can't believe there are only ten days until Christmas! I'm finally mostly done with my shopping, and was very proactive with my wrapping as well, so happily I'm not staring at two dozen shopping bags of presents needing to be wrapped (been there, done that).

Now it's time to start the baking, which I always love. Last night I made a batch of gingerbread cookies, which are not usually something we do. Cut-outs seem to be an every other year (or maybe every three years?) kind of cookie. They can be pretty tedious as cookies go, even though I don't really mind sitting for hours piping on icing in intricate designs, it just means that there has to be some sort of planning and time management involved.

My sister will be home next Friday, so this is really the last weekend to get things done. Once she's here it will be just a constant stream of watching our favorite Christmas movies, baking and eating more cookies. We'll do our best to get through Home Alone one and two, Love Actually, Elf, Christmas Vacation, It's a Wonderful Life, our favorite Hallmark movie that they don't air anymore, The Christmas List (somehow it's still on YouTube in it's recorded off of TV in the early aughts entirety), The Santa Clause, The Holiday, and maybe if we have time, we'll check out that new one on Netflix. Overwhelming, I know...but it's our tradition. What are your must-watch holiday movies?

     
The Rundown
Camel Sweater Dress Banana Republic
Red Bow Pumps Ferragamo via eBay
Plaid Blanket Scarf Zara similar
Circle Earrings c/o Grand Avenue Jewelry
Thin Gold Ring Etsy via Ellyn Blue Jewelry
Nail Color "Bubbles Only" Essie



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I've featured a few pieces from the online realtor eShakti a few times over the years. If you are familiar with them, then you know that they allow customizations of their designs to be made to your measurements, as well as changing hemlines, sleeve lengths, and necklines.

For someone as short as I am, even just being able to buy a garment that is going to arrive at my door and be the correct length is a huge win, but eShakti has stepped up their customizations even further with the introduction of their FX feature. Any item marked with the FX logo features a live update of each change you make to the garment. No more guessing about if you should opt for the V-neck or the deep V-neck, as you can see the difference with a click of button.

With all the custom options, every dress is almost like having 100 dresses to choose from. No more getting hung-up on a style not having the right style sleeves, a neckline which works for your bust line, or being stuck with midi dresses so long they might as well be a maxi. I also love that every piece has pockets (and the option to remove them, but who would, right?) plus the lead time is only 14 to 17 days, and everything is so affordable. Even including the $10 fee to customize, you'll be unlikely to spend over $150, while most pieces are under $100.

If you've ever wanted a custom garment, you need to give eShakti a try!

    

eShakti is providing me with a gift card for this review. My views and opinions are my own.
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I've been seeing a lot of leopard print pants in stores as of late, so I felt motivated to pull out my pair, which, as evidenced by this instagram post, were purchased for $9 in 2012 on a shopping trip with Meg and Christine.

It is always said that if you wait long enough, everything comes back again. Considering these pants where secondhand and therefore from a previous iteration of leopard pants being on trend, it makes me wonder just how old they are, and just how infrequently things are new, merely re-imagined. Which is what these pants were by the way - when I got them they had flared legs. I did wear them once in that state before taking to my sewing machine and giving them the skinny silhouette you see.

           
The Rundown
Black Merino Wool Sweater Gap
Leopard Print Pants Joseph thrifted similar
Leather Moto Jacket Express similar
Black Pumps "Natalie" Naturalizer
Bucket Bag "Johnny" Danse Lente
Beaded Hoop Earrings Gorjana
Gold Plated Disc Necklace Matteo via TJMaxx
Ruby Crystal Talisman Ring c/o Uncommon Goods
Thin Gold Ring Etsy via Ellyn Blue Jewelry
 Nail Color "Bubbles Only" Essie

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Sometimes it's hard to believe Chloe has been with us for 18 years. We weren't her first family, but her forever family. I don't believe I've ever shared the story of how we got Chloe. It was not planned, no one, including my mother knew she was coming, as she was a surprise from my grandma!

My grandma had a friend who was looking to re-home Chloe, so she decided she would give my mom the one Christmas wish she'd always wanted and never received as a child - a puppy.

We don't know too much about Chloe's past, the only papers we have came from the shelter she'd been surrendered to dated December 1st, 2000, stating that she was a one year old Bichon named Munchkin (yes, I completely spearheaded the name change).

We had no idea what we were getting into the afternoon Chloe showed up and became a part of our lives; but I can honestly say that it is hard to imagine what our home would be like without her. And as for the tree farm photos - we'd just gotten home with our tree that Saturday in 2000, and so the following year we chose to celebrate Chloe on the same day we got our tree, and have done so ever since, our little Christmas Tree Dog.

       
The Rundown
Plaid Shirt J.Crew similar
Plush Fleece Excursion Vest J.Crew similar 
Jeans Joe's via saks off fifth similar
Brown Boots "Mullin Spice" Clarks via eBay
Gold Ball Earrings Kohl's
 Antler Ring House of Harlow similar
Nail Color "Twill Seeker" Essie
Dog Chloe similar



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As much as I love color and print, chilly grey days often have me reaching for cozy neural colors, and true to form, I'm continuing my end of year boycott of tights. Thankfully over the knee boots provide the perfect solution to staying warm while still getting to don a dress.

This month is already flying by, and hopefully this weekend we'll get the tree and then it will really start to feel like Christmas. I still have so much shopping - and wrapping - to do! I also have some lofty baking goals, and just had to talk myself out of spending $10 on a copper reindeer cookie cutter at Williams Sonoma, since I only wanted it for the purpose of being a background element in photos. I decided to be rational and ordered a $1 cutter instead (but split the difference by adding half a dozen other shapes to my cart). Are you ready for the holidays yet?

       
The Rundown
Grey Sweater Dress Old Navy similar
Cream Funnel Neck Teddy Coat Loft similar
Over the Knee Boots Marc Fisher similar
Suede Accordion Bag Banana Republic similar
Tortoise Earrings Loft
Diamond Chip Ring c/o Crown Jewelry
Chevron Ring Etsy via Silver Canyon Jewelry
Nail Color "Twill Seeker" Essie
Sunglasses "Meteor" Ray-Ban c/o TJMaxx

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On Saturday it was in the mid 40°s and sunny, so I decided I could get away with not wearing a coat. I also decided I could get away with ballet flats. I can't say it was 100% the correct choice, but lately we've been having two types of weather - either overcast, wet, and warm, or bright and sunny but below freezing. So I saw a chance to wear my Ferragamo flats without the threat of rain and I took it.

I sort of feel like the red bow Ferragamo flats are my 'holiday' shoes. No guarantees I'll end up wearing them on Christmas itself, but they do feel terribly festive. I don't have a great deal of red in my closet as of late. Most of my bright red pieces were donated in recent years and with the small exception of searching for something festive to throw on this time of year, I haven't missed them. Though it turns out, a great red accessory offering just a pop of color is enough.

        
The Rundown
Striped Turtleneck Ralph Lauren via TJMaxx similar
Plush Fleece Excursion Vest J.Crew similar
White Jeans Gap
Red Bow Pumps Ferragamo via eBay
Red Willis Bag Vintage Coach via eBay similar
Gold Ball Earrings Kohl's
Thin Gold Ring Etsy via Ellyn Blue Jewelry
Sunglasses "Meteor" Ray-Ban c/o TJMaxx
  Nail Color "Bubbles Only" Essie



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Thanks to Grand Avenue Jewelry for sponsoring this post.

I'm always looking for an excuse to get dressed up. If I had my way, every weekend in December would be booked with a party or gathering, any reason for a pretty dress, a pair of heels, and fabulous jewelry. When Grand Avenue Jewelry asked me if I'd be interested in styling a couple pieces from their latest collection, it was an immediate yes; gold and minimalistic has very much been my style as of late.

The pieces crafted from brass and double plated in 14 karat gold feel special enough for an evening out, but are also completely wearable for everyday. While I can sometimes be wary of plated jewelry, Grand Avenue describes their double electroplating process as being four times thicker than average, yet they keep their markups low enough that all the price points are under $100. Better quality jewelry that is kinder to my wallet certainly meets my approval!

If you are still searching for gifts for some of the special ladies in your life, or just something to treat yourself, Grand Avenue Jewelry is offering Chic on the Cheap readers an exclusive discount code, which can be used through the end of the year. Use CHICONTHECHEAP20 to get 20% off your order!

      
The Rundown
Maxi Dress Banana Republic similar
Black Pumps "Natalie" Naturalizer
Scalloped Clutch "Tilly" Matine
Fur Scarf Target
Circle Earrings c/o Grand Avenue Jewelry
Curve Necklace c/o Grand Avenue Jewelry
Nail Color "Twill Seeker" Essie


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Thanks for supporting the brands who support Chic on the Cheap. As always my views and opinions are my own.
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My poor shopping habits are numerous, and proving difficult to break. Even though I will happily throw on a pair of jeans that are over a decade old, the moment I see something I want, I resolve to have it, even better if it's a challenge.

Take for instance this faux suede trench. I saw a genuine suede trench at Banana Republic for just shy of $600. Even with their generous holiday offer of 30% off, it still wasn't going to happen. Naturally my next step was to search for dupes and secondhand pieces; lastly I arrived at this inexpensive coat from china, which I won in an eBay auction for $23. It might not have the luxury of real suede, the seams aren't perfect, the flaps on the pockets are decorative, and it isn't lined. Not to mention I don't how much I'll actually get to wear it, since it rains here pretty much every other day and I wouldn't dare to take even faux suede out in inclement weather, however, I was determined to have it, so I got it, and I'm not sure that is a good thing.

       
The Rundown
Rust Turtleneck Tee J.Crew Factory
Jeans Max Studio via TJMaxx
Faux Suede Trench Coat eBay similar
Leopard Loafers Franco Sarto via TJMaxx similar
Snakeskin Box Bag c/o Vintanthromodern similar 
Wide Brim Fedora "Lady Roulette" Goorin Bros. via ebay similar
Gold Ball Earrings Kohl's
Evil Eye Necklace c/o Belcho
Gold Circle Ring Thrifted



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Thank you to Joe's New Balance Outlet for sponsoring this post.

It's taken a long time for me to find a rhythm with going to the gym regularly. I can't really be trusted if left to my own devices, so I've found three classes to attend throughout the week, and have even become friendly with my instructors and classmates who will know if I skip a workout.

While I've always been one of those people who feels like running errands in workout clothes is just not an acceptable thing to do, as more and more cute workout and post-workout clothes saturate the market, my resolve has crumbled, just a little.

Joe's New Balance outlet recently sent me over this cozy En Route Sweater, and I'm in love. It's light, gauzy, and allows me to feel put together if I'm making stops before or after my workout. Because I recently added a Saturday morning class to my schedule, post workout errands and even having breakfast out have become my reality.

The problem with really cute workout clothes and sneakers (the kind I'd actually wear out of the gym anyway) are that they are so expensive. I'm not about to justify spending $70 on a pair of sneakers or $100 on a pair of leggings when I could spend that on pumps and a dress. Thankfully there are places like Joe's New Balance Outlet, which offers huge discounts on workout clothes - yes there are even the New Balance for J.Crew pieces! And since their Cyber Monday sale has been extended through today, snagging up to 70% off apparel and select footwear styles, plus getting free shipping means cute sneakers like these 501 Ripple Soles are a mere $42, and I can fill my closet with cute workout clothes without feeling as though I'm sacrificing my whole clothing budget.

       
The Rundown
En Route Sweater c/o Joe's New Balance Outlet
Leggings Fabletics
501 Ripple Sole Sneakers c/o Joe's New Balance Outlet
Scalloped Tote Matine
Gold Ball Earrings Kohl's
Thin Gold Ring Etsy via Ellyn Blue Jewelry
Nail Color "Twill Seeker" Essie

and
Cute & Little's On Trend Tuesday

Thanks for supporting the brands who support Chic on the Cheap. As always my views and opinions are my own.
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