Make us your home page

Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

Tim Gunn finally loses his mind on 'Project Runway' and it is perfect

This might be how Tim Gunn felt on the show. Heidi Klum, left, and Tim Gunn, right, take part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge during the Project Runway finale at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 in New York.


This might be how Tim Gunn felt on the show. Heidi Klum, left, and Tim Gunn, right, take part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge during the Project Runway finale at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 in New York.

This is the total best. 

Gentle, sweet, wise, avuncular spirit guide Tim Gunn finally FLIPPED HIS LID on Project Runway last night when he JUST COULD NOT ANYMORE with a contestant. Read the whole story here at Vanity Fair

(via Lifetime)

Frankly, I'm surprised he didn't lose his hat sooner. One man can only take so many asymmetrical hemlines, hanging threads, misaligned prints and general fashion axe murder.

(Hey, remember that time the Deal Divas interviewed Tim Gunn? I DO.)

Full Story

Haute Halloween: Your fashionable costume guide

Neutrals are so hot and costume-friendly right now.

Universal Studios

Neutrals are so hot and costume-friendly right now.

If you haven’t had your Halloween costume planned for the last 11 months like I have, do not fret. As Queen Juice*, I've come up with a ton of pop culture-inspired ideas for you. And since I wouldn't want you to shell out for a costume that you can only wear once, I suggest picking up some trendy items that will make a statement long after All Hallows’ Eve.

Let's shop it out, trend by trend.

Full Story

Carole Crist talks Goddessey, fashion, Halloween and Charlie

This faux fur vest is $118.

Katherine Snow Smith

This faux fur vest is $118.

Carole Crist, wife of Charlie Crist and a former Florida first lady, recently hosted a grand opening of her women’s clothing store Goddessey Boutique on Third Avenue just off Beach Drive. It’s big, airy and white with a South Beach feel. I talked to her about why she opened the store, her wholesale costume business, her favorite clothing lines and her husband’s next potential political post.

Why did you open the store?

It actually started with what I saw was a real need in the community in downtown St. Petersburg. I found in the last few years spending a lot of time here with Charlie when I had a special event or needed to do some shopping, really the best place for me to go was the International Plaza in Tampa to find the brands I know and love. It was a long drive there and back and I was having to carve out a half a day at least. I thought I’m sure I’m not alone in this community with all these wonderful ladies. Also having a store like this has been a lifelong dream.

Bill Edwards often said he developed Sundial so St. Petersburg residents wouldn’t have to shop in Tampa as much. Did you consider opening there? …

Full Story

Looking for a shopping buddy? New Deal Diva shares weekend plans

So, this is kind of a big deal for me. (No pun intended.)

Joining the Deal Divas, who I admire and often opine with about The Bachelorette and fashion victims at large, gives me a legit reason to spend hours staring at clothing and trying to find ways to recreate looks I love. Thank you, merciful fashion over lords, for believing in me. I will try not to offend fans of things I wish didn't exist. (Success not guaranteed.)

But enough about me. It's somehow still only Thursday. :(

Let's make plans for the weekend to brighten our lives. These plans brought to you by the color blue and the letter F for fabulous. 

Cerulean Blu boutique at 400 Beach Drive, Suite 161 in St. Petersburg is planning a weekend long trunk show for the Veronica M line starting Friday morning. That means you can take 10 percent off the grey fringe cardigan,  long sleeve maxi dress or any other Veronica M item you've been eyeballing on the website for months. Trunks shows are fun because they give you not just a chance to see the clothes in person, but to see them on a human up close and know if it was meant for you or if a piece is a dreaded "for stick figures only" style.


Full Story

Worried about an unethical manicure? Consult this guide

AP file photo of NYC nail salon.


AP file photo of NYC nail salon.

If you read the New York Times' damning May investigation of NYC nail salons — where many workers are paid below minimum wage or nothing at all, among other health problems and humiliating circumstances — you may find yourself worrying, like me last week, whether your favorite nail salon treats its employees fairly.

I can't tell you whether some workers in Tampa Bay nail salons face remotely similar conditions. But I can pass on a few tips from the Times and Allure that a friend recently passed on to me that can make your mani search more socially conscious.

The sources offer similar advice, except on whether you should straight-up talk about wages with your manicurist during the service. 

One constant is to be willing to pay more. Exceptionally low prices could present a red ethical flag.

The Times quoted Yale Law School lecturer Nicole Hallett, who has worked on some nail salon wage cases in court. She said, “We, as consumers, expect to have low prices and to be able to go to nail salons often, but the more prices are pushed down, the more employers are cutting costs. They’re cutting costs somewhere, and in many cases it’s coming out of the pockets of the workers themselves.” …

Full Story

My Outfit Monday: Moody weather, uplifting prints

Stephanie captured a bunch of candids outside of Times HQ instead of one glamour shot, like this...

Stephanie captured a bunch of candids outside of Times HQ instead of one glamour shot, like this...

Welcome to October. It's been waiting for us!

Yes, I have a birthday-month bias, and yes, it's rainy today, but you have to admit that it feels plain awesome.

With the weather turning crisp, I'm turning down summer's bright hues (yellow Target purse excepted) in favor of toned-down, moodier wardrobe choices that match my midnight pedicure.

That doesn't mean the fun's over. With mixed patterns, the fun never stops. 

I inherited this floral blouse with billowy sleeves for free from Deal Diva Alumna Kameel. There's something about tucking baggy blouses into fitted pencil skirts that leaves me inspired and happy, so that's where I took things with this navy Target skirt (also from Kameel).

I could have stuffed my toes into reliable maroon pumps for a look that made polished sense. But I wanted to give a shoutout to my pedi, and these low wedges from DSW came to mind as a neutral but playful surprise. Or are they actually bonkers?

I texted Stephanie a photo with the usual question (with usual lazy punctuation). She provided the usual answer.

Displaying IMG_9203.PNG

She blessed this, so I went with prints on prints.  …

Full Story

A shopping event to kick off fall

Infinity Headbands is one of more than 40 vendors at the boutique sale.

Infinity Headbands is one of more than 40 vendors at the boutique sale.

You mean to tell me it's the first day of October and you haven't even started your holiday shopping?

Don't panic. One of the first shopping events of the season is tomorrow.

The Chic Boutique at LCC Day School in St. Petersburg is open to all from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday. It's at 4400 Chancellor St. NE. near Snell Isle and 38th Avenue NE.

The school's fifth and biggest holiday shopping market features local vendors, including one of our favorite Central Avenue boutiques, Ashe Couture. Infinity Headbands offers everything from cute bows for kids to beaded bands for the older, hipper set.

Expect clever home goods, designer children's and adult apparel, hand crafted jewelry, handbags and more.

Vendors include: Knits by Cheryl, Huntington Street Glass Art, Caydyn & Charlie Jewelry, Beyond the Needle, Boaters Republic, Dolly & George Boutique, L. Wood Athletics, Noonday Collection, Thirty-One Gifts, Usborne Books, Younique, Tone it Tampa, Stella & Dot, Enewton Designs and several more.

Full Story

Living that pinup life with Pinup Girl Clothing's yard sale

You will not look bad in this. It's on sale for $50, link below.

Pinup Girl Clothing

You will not look bad in this. It's on sale for $50, link below.

Oh gosh, oh me, oh my. 

I've always loved pinup culture, and have the Alberto Vargas coffee table books to prove it. Still, I tend to incorporate pin-up style into my own look in half-committed ways. A red lip here, a flutter skirt there.

Deal Diva Lydia commits fully to the pin-up aesthetic on the reg, and we're always in awe of how she pulls it off. It's no surprise that she was the one to alert me to this sale today. The aptly named Pinup Girl Clothing (or PUG, if you're in the know) is having its famous "online yard sale, with prices up to 70 percent off, with most items coming in less than $60. 

Obviously loving this can't-miss Dames dress in Red Bengaline, but I might be more interested in these purses (!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!11!!!!!). I will take one of each, please. If that's not sale enough, check out the final sale section of the site, with deep discounts on discontinued items. 

Can't wait to buy one moderately-stylized item and then be totally blown to bits by Lydia when she shows up in full victory rolls and fishnets. 

Full Story

Blake Lively shuttering lifestyle site Preserve, with a promise of deep discounts

Don't leave us, Blake.

Getty Images

Don't leave us, Blake.

It is with great sadness that we bring you the news that Blake Lively is giving up on Preserve — for now. The good news: There are major deals to be had.

The actress and new mom is shuttering the lifestyle site until she can rebrand and, basically, just do a better job.

Preserve, which was created to connect users with makers “of things, of experiences, of stories,” opened to great fanfare last summer — Lively, 28, seemingly became BFFs with Martha Stewart just seconds after the launch — but it was soon criticized for issues with everything from site design to product descriptions to prices. …

Full Story

Get a free doughnut at Datz's Dough on Friday

In the spirit of continuing this week's theme of Where to Get Free Food and Beverage in Tampa Bay, we bring you this heartwarming news from Tampa restaurant Datz and its sister bakery next door, Dough:

Our sister, @DatzDough is giving out FREE #doughnuts on this Friday to celebrate winning 'Best Doughnuts'! #BOTB25

That's right, free doughnuts will be available to all on Oct. 2, while supplies last. The restaurant, located on McDill Avenue in South Tampa, opens at 7 a.m. They're celebrating their recent win in the category of "Best Dougnuts" in Creative Loafing's Best of the Bay contest. We'll take it!

More doughnut wisdom: Deal Diva Lisa told me this morning about a miraculous deal over at St. Pete Bagel Co. (seriously great bagels) in which customers who buy any size latte get a free doughnut. The hole-in-the-wall up on Fourth Street in St. Petersburg hand-makes their own bagels and dougnuts in house.

Full Story

Here's where to get your free coffee in Tampa Bay today

Tuesday is National Coffee Day, and lots of retailers are offering free (or very cheap) coffee in honor of the holiday. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]

Tuesday is National Coffee Day, and lots of retailers are offering free (or very cheap) coffee in honor of the holiday. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]

Don't be like me, coffee fiends. I made the awful, unforgivable mistake this morning of bringing my own coffee into work from home.



Never again.

I should have consulted the Times' helpful guide on where to get free coffee today. Check it out. There are deals at Kahwa, Wawa, Whole Foods, Dunkin' Donuts, Nature's Food Patch and Krispy Kreme (+ a free donut, whaaaaaaat).

I should mention there's a double bonus in play. Take a picture of your coffee and your Tampa Bay Times and tag it #TBTCoffee. Our social media team will be choosing their favorites to feature on Twitter and Instagram. 

Free coffee + instant fame? That's a happy Tuesday.


Full Story

My Outfit Monday: This outfit cost $6

$6 outfit in action, Charles and Di mug full of steaming hot java.

Photo by Katie, who helped me find the light.

$6 outfit in action, Charles and Di mug full of steaming hot java.

Today in the category of Practice What You Preach:

I present to you an outfit I got for $6 total from the Dress for Success Excess Inventory Sale over the weekend. Remember the one we told you about, where suits were $10 and clothes were $5? Yeah. I couldn't get there until the final hour, and it turned out to be a major boon because just as I started shopping, the organizers announced that everything was being reduced to $2. YES, EVERYTHING WAS $2. My heart started racing and all the women at the sale started scooping up more and more armloads of stuff, not unlike rabid wolves.

I had exactly $40 in cash in hand to keep myself within a budget, and it turned out to go way farther than I could have imagined. I left with 18 items for $36 ("You couldn't find two more things?" my boyfriend asked. I donated the last $4). I scored dresses and skirts and all kinds of stuff, items by INC, Lilly Pulitzer, Jones New York and so on. I even found a pair of Michael Kors sandals that look to be just about brand new. …

Full Story

For the love of Mary-Kate and Ashley don't pay $100 for a scrunchie

Scrunchies peaked in the 1989 in the dark comedy "Heathers."

YouTube screen shot

Scrunchies peaked in the 1989 in the dark comedy "Heathers."

Twelve years ago Sex & The City's Carrie Bradshaw proclaimed to her soon to be ex-boyfriend, Berger that: "no stylish woman in Manhattan would be caught dead wearing a scrunchie," unless maybe she was in the bathroom washing her face. He had written a novel about a N.Y. fashionplate and mentioned she wore one of the '80s trademark fabric-covered elsastics.

Carrie a.k.a. S.J.P was right. The scrunchie was long past the peak of its fashion lifespan when it was so prominently featured in the opening credits of the 1989 dark comedy "Heathers."

But even nails pounded into a coffin by Sarah Jessica Parker can be removed it seems allowing scrunchies by the thousands to flow back into the fashionsphere.

I've seen them at American Apparel for $3. A great vendor with a lot of throw back stuff sells them for about $5 at the St. Pete Indie Market.

But what's much more surprising than a scrunchie comeback is what some retailers have the nerve to charge for them.

Missoni sells crocheted scrunchies for $100. Nordstrom sells silk ones for $24 to $54. I mean, please tell me, who is paying that much money for a SCRUNCHIE? On second thought. Please don't tell me. I don't want to know. …

Full Story

$8,000 Chanel watches: Discovering the Groupon clearance rack

Life took me today, as it does most days, to Groupon

I've already mentioned my affinity for Groupon vacation deals. Just last week, my guy and I scooped up a long weekend cruise for $99 on Groupon. Now, I'm in the market for a few home services, chief among them a cleaning service. I don't want a regular maid (well, I DO, but I live in reality), just someone to come once and clean the grout and the windows and that kind of thing. In the words of Groupon's effective marketing campaign, I "checked Groupon first."

While exploring my grout options, I saw a tab I never really noticed before marked "clearance," and like a moth to the flame, I clicked.

Whoa. There's some good stuff here, and some weird stuff, and some stuff that defies category (Arizona Cardinals coasters?).

Some highlights:

These Chanel watches can be yours for only $8,459! Before you scoff and stomp away, consider that the previous price was $16,250. Ok, now you can scoff and stomp away. I think this is something people who aren't buying a once-a-year grout cleaning on Groupon can consider, but not the rest of us. …

Full Story

The so very real issue facing Americans in 2016

Hillary Clinton posted this on Instagram today, and my curiosity about what else exists like this took off.

Hillary Clinton posted this on Instagram today, and my curiosity about what else exists like this took off.

As Deal Diva Lisa pointed out, we write for Deal Divas on the side of our usual beats at the Times. I work for PunditFact, which fact-checks pundits like PolitiFact does politicians, and today I'm reporting about Ronald Reagan's record of tax increases and cuts in the '80s.

Today I'm also taking a moment to point out something not so serious, because what's life, and politics, without some whimsy?

Like election manicures. 

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton today posted, in her view, a "100" emoji-worthy manicure (presumably from a fan, and not her own, though that would be different), on her Instagram. The fingertips asked "Who run the world" on one hand and answered with her cartoon likeness on the other.

At this writing, the other candidates have not embraced this brand of candidate loyalty. But hey, if you're into one of them — and I think this could be pulled off at a party convention next year, especially — the Internet can fill the void.

I found a lot of nail wraps for the other candidates, plus President Barack Obama, on the website Zazzle (specifically the Minx store). …

Full Story