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Deal Divas

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

My Outfit Monday: Footwear for your next existential crisis

excrisis.jpgI was home one day last week with a pretty bad migraine. About 7 p.m. the gnashing of teeth eased, and my head started to clear. Things were looking up! I made dinner and flipped through the On Demand shows to find something happy-go-lucky and quiet to watch. I settled on a short documentary on HBO called God is the Bigger Elvis.  It's about nuns, in particular, one nun who left a flourishing career as a Hollywood actress to join a monastery. How delightful that would be!


I don't want to give too much away, so I'll just say that as the film credits rolled, I sobbed alone on my couch, shoveling pasta into my maw, plummeting into a full-tilt existential crisis. Thanks to HBO's compelling storytelling, life had no meaning. Even nuns don't know what they're doing. How was I supposed to know? I was destined to fail. Fail, fail, fail. I shoveled more pasta.

What followed was three days of tortured navel-gazing, after which I arrived at no applicable results or solutions. So Sunday, rather than actively deal with salient questions about our existence on this blue orb, I did what any of us would do.

I bought a new pair of shoes. …

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Free People opens Friday in International Plaza

free_people_dress.jpgFringe, denim and mesh-loving chicks rejoice! Free People opens Friday in International Plaza in Tampa. It's the first store for the Urban Outfitters-owned chain to open in Florida.

The opening will include live music, raffles and giveaways, plus snacks and drinks from local restaurants. The Rose and Zeb Duo will do a live acousinc set from 3 to 6 p.m. And if you spend more than $250 at the grand opening (then you probably don't read Deal Divas, but) you'll be entered to win a gift basket from Lush, Origins or Sweet Harvest Farms. If you do that thoroughly modern thing and check into the store or like it on Facebook, you'll get a free tie-dye shopping bag.

Happy harem pants shopping!

Deal Diva Stephanie

Photo: Free People cap sleeve gypsy lace dress, $128. YIKES. Maybe it'll be quicker to get to that $250 mark than we thought.

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Lauren Conrad shows off a cute pink ponytail

lauren_conrad_pink.jpgEvery now and then, I get the urge to have pink hair. The more sensible angel on my shoulder dressed like a bank president always talks me out of it, with reasons ranging from, "It would clash with certain outfits," to, "People would take you even less seriously than they do now, if that's possible." And then I see people who have tried and failed. Pink done bad can look wishy-washy and pale and sad. You have to commit to it or not do it at all, kind of like super short hair.

But lately, the Pink Hair Bug is IN THE AIR. I went to a new doctor this afternoon, and she was rocking cute little pink streaks in her hair. A doctor! Someone who tortured through years of medical school! And then I got back to work and saw that reality starlet Lauren Conrad dyed the ends of her ponytail hot pink for a stop on her book tour this week. She tweeted a picture of it and then blogged about it the next day.

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Bookmark this if you need to pack for a trip

Are you going on a trip this summer? Taking a cruise? Flying somewhere, anywhere? suitcasestanding.jpg

Yea, me neither. It's "Stay-cations" from here on out :-)

BUT, on the offchance that you ARE one of those people who might be going somewhere cool in the next few months, lets talk packing. 

*Insert Groan Here*

I know, I know. Packing for some people is about as fun as finding the perfect pair of shoes and then getting to the store and finding out they don't have your size. But I never really minded it, even thought I was pretty good at it. 

Until SHE came along. 

"She," is my older sister, who visisted last week from Chicago. She stayed for a week. She vacay-ed. I stay-cayed. 

I was a little confused though, when we picked her up from the airport. Where were her bags?

"Oh, I only brought one," she said. 

Hold up, what? WHAT?! One bag? 

This can't be, I thought. Two years ago I went back to Michigan for a three-day trip and had a large suitcase, a carry-on, a big purse, a laptop and a dog. No joke. I'm one of those chicks who has to have "options."

Sure enough, though, my sister really did only bring one bag. But she got a LOT in there.

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Looking for shoes to walk down the aisle

Don't get too excited. It's my best friend who's getting married, not I.


But as a bridesmaid, I'll be walking down the aisle too. And with the wedding just a couple weeks away, I'm now on the hunt for the perfect shoes. Our bride has requested we wear silver or gold with our beautiful moss colored dresses.

My dress is just on the edge of being too long, so I either need to hem it or go high on the heels. I think I'll start looking for high heels and if I can't find the right ones, go for lower and a hem. I'm leaning more toward gold than silver, but I'll look at both options. 

DSW, let's see whatcha got. 

pump.jpgThere's a chance I may be drawn to this pump because it's named "Barbie." I love it, and would definitely wear it again, but is it too flashy for the occasion? 




sandal.jpgThis straps on this sandal almost mirror the pleats on the top of the dress, no? Plus I love the subtle rhinestone detail. This pair would definitely solve the hem-length problem.



silver_sandal.jpgThese would require the hem, but they do look more comfortable. They come in silver or gold. I love a good T-strap.






Which would you say yes to? 

Deal Diva Kim

(Photos: My iPhone, DSW)


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Hot pants for packin' heat

Given the recent rise in concealed weapons permits, perhaps this was only a matter of time. Fashion is now catering to those packin' heat. 

gun.jpgThe clothing company Woolrich is now adding a second pocket to its $65 chino pants, behind behind its traditional front pocket, to hold a weapon. They're also adding a stretchable waistband for those who prefer to use a holster, the New York Times reported.

 < This guy's all like, dude, I need those pants.

Deal Diva Kim

(Photo: AP)

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Get deals on gift cards to International Plaza, Westshore Plaza and more

shopping_westshore.jpgLooking to get some good deals on shopping and dining AND feel good about yourself at the same time?

Bid on one of the items up for sale at the Tampa Bay Times Newspaper in Education online auction fundraiser. The auction started today and runs through May 7 right here.

There are more than 130 deals on shopping, restaurants, entertainment and sports. Some of the best include gift cards to International Plaza and Westshore Plaza, gift certificates to Casa Smeralda on St. Armand’s Circle in Sarasota, a series of five microdermabrasion treatments by a licensed esthetician and getaways at hotels including the Renaissance Vinoy and the Don Cesar.

Best of all, you're helping provide free newspapers and educational resources to Tampa Bay area teachers and students. Warm fuzzies in 5... 4... 3...

Deal Diva Stephanie

Photo: Maybe you'll want to use your auction score to buy a fancy coat like this gal at Westshore Plaza, Times files.

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My Outfit Monday: All dressed up and nowhere to go

mom42312_1.jpegThe headline sounds pathetic, doesn't it?

But that's where I found myself yesterday, when the rainy weather this past weekend pretty much killed my beach plans.

Boo hoo. 

But I wasn't going to let a little rain ruin all my grand wardrobe plans. I got this hat the other day from JCPenney ($14) and I had my heart set on wearing it to the beach along with my new swimsuit.

Instead I ended up just wearing it -- the hat, not my bathing suit -- around the house like a crazy woman. 

What do you guys think?


I paired it with one of my favorite pairs of jeans (I can't remember how much they cost), and my "Barbie dumped Ken," T-shirt that I got on a trip to Tally some months ago for $4.50.

You can't see my feet, but I didn't have any shoes on anyway, so you're not missing much. 

 Deal Diva Kameel

(Photo: my iPhone)


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Pinellas high school students paint Vans shoes, are awesome, etc.

When I was in school art class, the only things I could conjure up were construction paper greeting cards and pieces of pottery full of thumbprints. It seems the kiddos have stepped it up these days.

Some super-artistic students from St. Petersburg, Largo and Osceloa Fundamental high schools competed in the Vans Custom Culture art contest, designed to spotlight the importance of art programs in schools. Vans sent shoes in four styles (106, Sk8-Hi, Slip On, and Authentic) to the first 1,000 schools in the country to enter, and students designed custom works in four themes --  action sports, music, art and local flavor.

Vans whittled down the entries to a top 50, and it looks like our neighborhood schools did not make it (BOOOO). But if you want to go online and vote for the ones who did, do it here. The top five finalists will fly to Los Angeles for an art showcase with celebrity judges who will determine the winner of $50,000 for their school art program.

Now onto the fun stuff. Here are the shoes from our local students! These. Shoes. Are. Cool.

St. Petersburg High School



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Reader spotlight: Caroline Calcote

So the other night some girlfriends and I went to see American Stage in the Park's production of Rocky Horror. 

It was gobs of fun. HIGHLY recommend. 

But it didn't take long for us to realize someone was watching us. A nice-looking couple in the row ahead of us. Sure enough, several minutes later, the woman came over with her phone in her hand. She flipped it around for me to see. "Is that you?" she asked. 

I was flabbergasted. It WAS me. Or at least, a picture of me on the blog. 

Meet Caroline Calcote, a 42-year-old stay at home mom of two boys. Calcote told me she's a huge fan of Deal Divas, which made my night and was a great start to this week's staycation.

Calcote, a former lawyer who also blogs about life, kids and maintaining a 100 pound weight loss from about 5 years ago (you GO girl!), looked great and relaxed and way more prepared than me and my buddies. (Note to self: bring beach seats next time.)

Check out her outfit:



Her top is "Nue Options" from Bealls for $22. Her skirt is "Life Style" and was $24.99 from SteinMart.

Her shoes are Kino "Lilly Sandals" from Key West for $13.00. …

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Rock ombre hair without looking like a skunk

miley_hunger_games.jpgAnd now, we bring you a special guest post from a junior Deal Diva, Katie Lamont from our friends at tb-two*. Take it away, Katie!

Ombre (oum-bray) is the style for lazy people. I fully embrace that fact. The look, whose name comes from the French word for “shaded” or “shading,” is captured usually by lightening the ends of the hair to about mid-shaft, slowly blending into your natural (darker) roots color. The lazy part is, unlike most color jobs, you don’t have to worry about touching up the roots.

The trendy style has been seen for the past year or so, and isn’t dead yet. In fact, my venture into the ombre world was due to Miley Cyrus’ effortless locks at the LA premiere of The Hunger Games last month (right). Of course, as I sit here resembling a skunk, maybe Miley is the only one who can pull this off. Ombre is simple, low-maintenance and also cost-effective (no touchups), if it’s done right. To avoid skunk hair, listen up.

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Bieber Fever symptom: new sunglasses

Okay, FINE. I'll admit it.

I've caught Bieber Fever. 

Look, I didn't say I was proud of it. I didn't choose this. Fever is right, people. You just... catch it. I mean, have you heard, Boyfriend? Don't even try to tell me you're not pining for your tween years with this ditty in your earbuds. I'm suddenly ready to fight with my sister over who gets a turn on AOL while I cook a Totino's Party Pizza. 

Back to the Biebs.

As I said, I've got the fever. Which means I literally can't think of anything else to write about. It also means I'm now dying for a sweet collection of unnecessarily outlandish sunglasses that I'll wear indoors and out. A la: 
















These Ray-Ban wayfarers might do the trick. wayfarer.jpg





Or I could really creep you all out and go for the pair named "Justin." OMG, it's out of control. Switching songs now. 

Deal Diva Kim

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Lands' End offers mastectomy swimsuits for breast cancer survivors

landsend-tankini-top.jpgEvery summer, we gripe about the proliferation of tiny triangle bikinis that offer no chest support whatsoever. But we don't often think about the people with more complicated concerns in that area.

What if you're dealing with breast cancer?

A handful of companies specialize in suits for women who've undergone mastectomies or reconstruction. Lands' End has joined the pack this season, introducing its 2012 Mastectomy Swimwear Collection.

The tops come with or without prosthesis pockets, and the bottoms are supportive and smoothing for women who've had surgical procedures. Genae Girard, breast cancer survivor, author and founder of, partnered with Lands' End to review hundreds of mastectomy swimsuits before settling on the 50 best.

Check out the options here. There are a ton of cute suits ranging from bikinis to shorts and tanks. Prices are $50 to $145, which we all learn is pretty reasonable once you start hanging out in the swimsuit racks.

While you're browsing online, check out the sale going on right now at Lands' End -- 20 percent off clearance and sale merch, plus free shipping on orders of $50 or more. Don't mind if we do.

Deal Diva Stephanie …

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My Outfit Monday: a floral feeling

 Walking my dog lately, every few blocks I'm overcome with the smells of blooming flowers -- jasmine, gardenia, roses. Spring, it seems, has sprung! I figured I'd do my part with my outfit today. 

mom3.jpgMy floral patterned shirt is a thrift store find from way back when. It's a trend that's timeless.

I got the black pants on sale at the Michael Kors outlet at the Ellenton Outlet mall

My black wedges are a recent Target spurge, and my beaded necklace was bought on a post-graduation trip to Paris. 

necklace_photo_2.jpgWho else is feeling spring-y? 

Deal Diva Kim

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Tampa's Kathleen Selman a finalist for Macy's Million Dollar Makeover

katieselman.jpgMacy's Million Dollar Makeover with Clinton Kelly is back, and ONCE AGAIN, we have a finalist from Tampa Bay! In January, thousands of people applied via Macy's Facebook page with a short video or essay talking about their professional goals in either fashion, food or home inventions -- and why they deserve to win $1 million.

Macy's picked Kathleen Selman of Tampa as one of three finalists. She's a mother of five and an Army wife who calls herself a “fierce, busy perfectionist." She invented a line of LED light clutches called "Sweet Athena" that help you see inside your purse in places like dark movie theaters. NEED ONE. She hopes to sell them in Macy's.

Watch Kathleen and the other two finalists go before judges Tommy Hilfiger, Marcus Sameulsson and Martha Stewart and vie to win on a one-hour special airing at 7 p.m. Tuesday on TLC.

Good luck, Kathleen!

Deal Diva Stephanie

Photo: That's Kathleen Selman, via Macy's


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