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Deal Divas

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

Memorial Day Weekend sale alert: Cerulean Blu

I wonder what kind of sunscreen she uses.

screenshot via pinterest

I wonder what kind of sunscreen she uses.

Officially, summer starts on June 21.

Unofficially, it started when all the skin started peeling off my arms, c. two weeks ago. Sunscreen is important, and you need more of it than you think! Who knew? Everyone. Everyone knew.

So, anyway. It's hot out. Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and I'm sure I don't have to tell you about all the sales going on around town.

Here's one you don't want to miss, though: Cerulean Blu (400 Beach Drive, St. Petersburg) is having a 50 percent off select swimwear sale Friday through Monday.

"Loyalty customers" get early dibs on the sale when doors open at 10 a.m. Thursday.

BYO aloe.

 

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Ashley Graham debuts swimsuit line for sizes 10-24 (and it's on sale)

Ashley Graham's swimsuit line is pretty fun. Dive in!

Ashley Graham's Twitter

Ashley Graham's swimsuit line is pretty fun. Dive in!

And now for a word on bathing suit season that won't leave you all stabby.

Model Ashley Graham, who's like really pretty, released a line of 11 hot bathing suits this week that come in sizes 10-24.

You may recall Graham is an expert on the subject, having modeled for Sports Illustrated's bathing suit issue.

The styles and colors of her Swimsuits For All collection are pretty varied. If you like triangle bikinis, there are triangle bikinis. If you like sassy one-pieces *hand-raise emoji* you're also covered. There is single-shoulder, lace-up, mesh and strappy galore. Peruse the looks at People or swimsuitsforall.com.

Prices range quite a bit, from $55 to $75 to $109 to $278 for this black Swarovski crystal-draped bikini. It looks like the suits have been marked down as part a sitewide sale.

Related, Graham issued her top five tips for finding a bathing suit to Glamour. My go-to of ordering online and hoping for the best is not one. But ordering multiple sizes so you find the best one is.

Swimsuits For All also has a gallery of non-model customers who look pretty happy in the suits.

If you try one, let us know how it goes.

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Learning life lessons by breaking in a pair of new cowboy boots

My first day wearing these boots was painful. They're supposed to be snug so they mold to your feet. Well, after a few weeks, they became the most comfortable shows in my closet.

Stephanie Hayes

My first day wearing these boots was painful. They're supposed to be snug so they mold to your feet. Well, after a few weeks, they became the most comfortable shows in my closet.

This morning I accidentally spilled cat food into my cowboy boots. 

That sounds like the opening line of a country music song. Dear god, what has my life come to?

About six months ago, I purchased my first-ever pair of cowboy boots. And I never thought a love like this would ever come my way.

A few months ago, my boss sarcastically commented on my "new country look." I smiled, and said, "Thanks. It's just who I am now." As I eagerly look my 30s in the face, I've embraced a new sense of myself. The song Prime, from country sweetheart Jillian Jacqueline, is my anthem.

While I'm in prime // I'm gonna do what I want // Gonna ride the wave, gonna make mistakes // Gonna fall hard in and out of love ...

And I have my boots to thank. …

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My Outfit Monday: You may have noticed it is Tuesday

Well, here we are.

photo by Katie Sanders/Deal Divas

Well, here we are.

Webster's Dictionary defines "the worst" as beginning any blog post, wedding toast or varietal speech with a reference to a Webster's Dictionary definition. But lately, I also fit this "worst" category.

When did I post last? Kind of a long time ago. Why am I posting a My Outfit Monday on a Tuesday? Did you know you could see Mars with the naked eye the other night?

Long story short, it's been a crazy few months, but I'm going to be posting regularly again. So without further ado: What I wore yesterday, the Monday in question.

Don't hit me, but my top is from Stitch Fix. It's a great example of something I would have never tried on and didn't like when I pulled it out of the box. But then I put it on and voila, one of my favorite tops. It's much more colorful than most of my wardrobe, and pairs equally well with skirts and jeans.

The pencil skirt I'm wearing is an oldie but goodie - I think from Banana Republic. And my shoes are Coach but let'sbereal, from TJ Maxx. …

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Local shop Juxtapose gets some national love

Some agate stone-on-leather bracelets from Love, Nina Jane at Juxtapose in Tampa a couple years back.

Natalia Galbetti

Some agate stone-on-leather bracelets from Love, Nina Jane at Juxtapose in Tampa a couple years back.

Congrats to Juxtapose, which has locations in Hyde Park Village in Tampa and Sundial in St. Pete. The boutique got a little love from Home Accents Today, a trade magazine for the "home accents industry," which I didn't really realize was a thing, but, of course it is! The shop was named one of the top 50 retail stores for 2016.

The list represents "some of the best independent home decor and furnishings stores in the country," according to a press release. While Florida has four shops on the list, Juxtapose is the only Tampa Bay nod. 

I have run into Juxtapose more than once for a gift. It has a cool mix of accessories, home decor, clothing, knick knacks and random laugh items. Just ask Katie, whose last birthday gift from me came from there -- a pair of earrings and a book full of ironic tips on how to be a "lady." 

Best part? The store clerks put your items in a pretty bag and tie it up with orange ribbon. Instant wrapping, and you're on your way. Well done, Juxtapose.

 

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How do you like my new broachlace?

The patent-pending Broachlace

kss

The patent-pending Broachlace

I wanted to add a little finishing touch to my outfit the other day and thought my double chain necklace didn't quite do the trick. I decided to go old school and pinned on a fun bumble bee broach I bought at an estate sale for $10.

Then I remembered when British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, a broach devotee, died in 2013 fellow Deal Diva Lisa Gartner told me I reminded her of of the Iron Lady. Thanks Lisa. That's just what every mid 40-year-old woman in her prime wants to hear. "You remind me of an 87-year-old lady with circa 1952 hair, sensible shoes, pearls and broaches."

 I have since made a point of never wearing broaches, or hanging my reading glasses on a chain around my neck or leading the House of Commons.

As I removed the broach from my dress I thought of pinning it on my necklace. Thus the "broachlace" was born. I think that's better than "neckroach." Now I can have something to look for at vintage shops and estate sales because I ant to create a library of chunky pins. 

And by the way, just last week Lisa told me I looked like Audrey Hepburn in my new blue and white fit and flair dress. I think that's what the astute judge of good fashion meant to say all along. 

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St. Pete's Spring Fling Shopping Expo promises a sea of sellers

This could be you.

Thinkstock

This could be you.

Spring may be on its last legs, but we’ve still got plenty of fling left in our step. Hence why we should all stop by the Spring Fling Shopping Expo in sunny St. Pete on Saturday to find tons of vendors eager to bestow upon us beautiful and delectable goods.

Early birds will get the worm at this event as the first 100 shoppers will receive free swag bags. The fling benefits the Mr. Strong Foundation, which aims to ensure that “no special needs child be denied therapy services due to financial constraints and or lack of insurance coverage.”

Dozens of vendors — such as Origami Owl, Usborne Books, the Littlest Woodchuck, Max Loves Stella, Mama’s Whoopie Pies, Perfectly Posh and McCuutie’s Dog Boutique — will gather to sell clothing, jewelry, handcrafted decor, crafts, baked goods and more.

All sellers will donate an item worth $25 for a special giveaway at 1 p.m., with raffle proceeds going to the Mr. Strong Foundation. It's happening from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Gladden Park Recreation Center, 3901 30th Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free admission; $1 for individual raffle tickets, $5 for six. (727) 871-3277. mrstrongfoundation.org.

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How to layer an academic look at work, comfortably

Displaying image1.JPGGreetings from the Tampa Bay Times' Washington Bureau!

Up here it is an unseasonable 55 degrees and raining, and so I find myself scraping together warm outfits from the few fall and winter items I haven't yet shoved under my bed. It just so happens that I had a fashion breakthrough as a result. This might not be useful to you Floridians until your so-called winter, but I thought I would share my tip with you anyway.

Every few weeks or so I try to layer a sweater over a collared shirt, but I always end up feeling so uncomfortable. The fabric gets all twisted and misaligned, especially in the sleeves. The sweater is always tighter than the button down, so the buttons and pockets all show through. And the layers eventually make me way too warm, but I don't want to take the sweater off and reveal an ill-fitting, super wrinkly shirt. Le sigh.

But I have discovered a solution to my woes: sleeveless button-downs. …

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My wintry outfit Monday, starring a car that’s not mine

Me, my outfit, a fancy car and St. Pete.

Photo by Peter Couture

Me, my outfit, a fancy car and St. Pete.

Happy mid-May, everyone!

Check me out: It appears I did not get the memo that it is 86 degrees outside, but it’s cool. It’s cool. Because my vintage-inspired blouse breathes.

And besides, sometimes you have to sacrifice comfort because you’re dying to wear a clearance-rack skirt crafted from mega-thick fabric.

So for this edition of My Outfit Monday, I paired a pricey Pinup Girl Clothing Sheer Perfection bodysuit (just don’t even look at the $$ because I’ve worn it 26,983,625 times and will wear it 26,983,625 times more) with a ribbed, asymmetrical Harlowe & Graham midi skirt that I bought for a shockingly low $15 at Nordstrom Rack (marked down from $68) but can only find for $44 on Tradesy at this point.

On my feet: A pair of Michael Antonio – Milena Sue Wedge Booties that, much like Steph’s stacked heels, have been helping me walk in from this very parking garage since 2016. They were $17, you guys. But they, too, are super hot. …

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Great time to find a nice piece of glass on Central Avenue

Lovely gifts for any time of year.

Morean Arts Center

Lovely gifts for any time of year.

We often use the term “hot sale” but this time it’s literally hot. The Morean Arts Center has beautiful works of glass art created with fire in its Hot Shop on sale up to 50 percent off today through Sunday.

Colorful glass bowls, vases, plates and other artwork made by local artists would make perfect presents for Father’s Day, anniversaries or all those summer wedding you have coming up. Or perhaps it’s time to give yourself a little piece of local art.

The Moreah Class Studio and Hot Shop are located a the corner of 1st Avenue N and 7th Street behind the Morean Arts Center & Gallery at 719 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg.

It’s right near the Hyppo gourmet popsicles at 627 Central. Go check it out, grab a cool treat and you’ve got yourself a nice little weekend outing.

 

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Save your poor feet with this shoe tote from Two Sisters Accessories

Lookie there. No bunions!

Two Sisters Accessories

Lookie there. No bunions!

Here's a fond memory on which to reflect:

Recently, I was all, "Wahh, I have to walk a few blocks to get into my office, sniff, sob, construction, wahhh." I discussed my recent aquisition of stacked heels to ease the treacherous walk into the building from the far-flung parking garage.

Well, a local problem solver dropped me a line with yet another solution.

Two Sisters Accessories, based in St. Petersburg, is the proud purveyor of a handy-dandy shoe pouch. The bag, $41.65-$49, has a divide down the middle to separate your shoes so they don't get scuffed or stuck on other stuff you might be toting in a purse (mine is a nightmare and I can't talk about it). Owner Judi Dreyer writes, "They are more than the drawstring pouch, or the plastic Publix grocery bag that we have all put our shoes in!"

Slip your heels in the bag on the way to the building, swap them out for your flats or sandals once inside. Don't leave various shoes strewn all over the floor around your desk like I do. Easy peasy. Check out the product at twosistersaccessories.com. The site offers another brilliant solution for an item to tote:

Wine.

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Shopping Planner: St. Pete Shop Hop, beautiful benevolence and a pretty, handy item of the week

Amanda Henderson, owner of Ashe Couture, poses in her new boutique, one of several businesses participating in St. Pete's Main Street Shop Hop on Wednesday, May 18.

Scott Keeler | Times

Amanda Henderson, owner of Ashe Couture, poses in her new boutique, one of several businesses participating in St. Pete's Main Street Shop Hop on Wednesday, May 18.

SUPPORT CENTRAL: MAIN STREET SHOP HOP
If you have yet to make your way to St. Petersburg for a day of strolling and shopping, the time is now. The city’s three Florida Main Street communities are teaming up to celebrate the incredible and diverse locally owned businesses in these historic districts. The Grand Central District, EDGE District and Deuces Live Main Street are hosting Main Street Shop Hop from 3 to 7 p.m. May 18, featuring select retail shops in all three districts. During your day out, expect to find antiques, jewelry, clothing, vintage furniture, funky fashion, art, designer apparel and coastal decor. Each participating store will feature specials, giveaways, refreshments and more to pamper you while you peruse. Ditch the car and pick up a Shop Hop Card at any participating retail location to take advantage of dozens of promotions, prizes and more. Have your Shop Hop Card validated at five participating stores — with at least one shop in each of the three districts — and you’ll be entered to win one of three grand prize drawings for Main Street gift baskets, each valued at more than $250. facebook.com/stpetemainstreets. …

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Look for big sales Friday and Saturday at Doma Home Furnishing

In this photo from 2006,  a sales consultant at Doma shows off the Flexy Table by Calligaris, a coffee table that converts to a dining room table at the push of a button.

Times files

In this photo from 2006, a sales consultant at Doma shows off the Flexy Table by Calligaris, a coffee table that converts to a dining room table at the push of a button.

Need something for the home? An ergonomic desk chair? A table lamp? A rug to tie the whole room together, perhaps? If so (and, let's be real, even if you don't need anything), head to Doma Home Furnishing on Friday and Saturday.

The locally-owned store in St. Petersburg that features classic, modern home decor is having an everything-must-go moving sale, where home furnishings will be up to 80 percent off. I already have my eye on this leaning bookshelf with built-in desk.

The store, which opened in 2006 and is currently located at 2540 22nd Ave. N in St. Pete, is moving across the street to a larger showroom on Monday. Clearance floor models aren't moving with them, so expect big discounts on those; other items from Doma's Tampa location will also be on clearance during the sale.

For those in the know, the "VIP only" sale runs Friday, May 13, from 4 to 8 p.m.; the sale continues 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

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Amazon shutting down MyHabit, focusing on Amazon Fashion

If you're a shopping hound on Amazon, we may have some bad news for you. The MyHabit flash-sale site is closing down.

The news has been out for a couple weeks, but the shipping giant announced it to subscribers this morning.

"Although goodbyes are hard, we're excited for you to continue shopping with us on Amazon Fashion,"reads the email.

Orders for MyHabit goods can be placed through noon May 20.

The website came up five years ago with other sites like Gilt and Zulily at a time when designers needed to offload more of their expensive leftover inventory. These sites have struggled as the economy has recovered.

I wasn't a huge user of the site, buying just one thing (a white skort romper, heh) last year. My friend Hilary, who found that skort romper, said she liked MyHabit over Amazon for clothing and accessories because it was entirely discounted and easier to search.

We know what you're thinking: Is there an everything-must-go sale in this for me? It's too soon to tell, but we're watching out for one.

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My Marimekko Outfit Monday

Merry in Marimekko

Scott Keeler, Tampa Bay Times

Merry in Marimekko

I love my new Marimekko shirt from the limited Target collection even if the Finnish line didn't draw near the frenzy as Target's Lilly collection. Okay, not only was it not a frenzy, it was like, crickets. Anyone? Anyone?

A friend who knew I scouted Marimekko sales whenever I was in New York suggested we go to Target the day the line of patterned skirts, pants, tops, plates, pillows, towels, baby clothes and swimsuits came out. Being a member of the overly excitable media I said we better go at 6:30 a.m. because people were standing in line earlier than that when Target released its limited, lower priced Lilly collection.

We were the only car in the parking lot until around 7:45 a.m. when employees started pulling up. The doors opened and we had the two Marimekko sections of clothes and home goods all to ourselves for about 10 minutes. Then a few other people with discerning taste showed up and started loading their carts.  …

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