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Deal Divas

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

Confessions of an adult using shampoo for kids

cowabunga_coconut.jpgWhen I was dog-sitting recently in the Florida Keys, the homeowner left a nice note saying her house was my house, eat the bananas, use the towels, swim in the canal, etc, etc. I'd brought my own tiny travel-sized bottle of shampoo, though, and I was just going to use that. Then I stepped in the shower. 

There was a bottle. There was a monkey on the bottle. The monkey was surfing. The monkey was carrying a coconut. The monkey was having a great time.

So was I. And I was also really into coconut, the taste, the scent, the idea of coconut, being tropical, smelling beachy. So even though this shampoo was called "Cowabunga Coconut 2-in-1 Shampoo Smoothers," and it was made by Suave Kids, and it was intended for the homeowner's toddler grandson, I thought back to the note and decided they wouldn't mind if I used just a dollop.

It was so creamy and it smelled so good. It smoothed right in and washed right out and my hair was detangled and shiny and fragrant. It got me thinking about little kids and their hair, how it's so much better than adult hair, all wispy and soft and pure. That probably has to do with the fact that kids don't subject their hair to a regular battery of chemical and heat treatments, aren't old as dirt and so forth. But I wondered if it had a little to do with the products, too.

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Finally - a sale at ModCloth!

I can't remember the first time I heard about ModCloth, an online retailer of all things vintage.

Want a cute, 50s-esque dress for a party? Or a smart coat for fall? Or a retro bathing suit? ModCloth has it all. And I'm usually drooling about all of it.

Which is why I was delighted -- DE-LIGHTED, I tell you! -- when I got an e-mail the other day telling me about a quick sale they're having. (Backstory: I've been on ModCloth's email list for some time, and while they're great at keeping you updated on the latest styles and trends, they rarely actually have, you know, coupons or exclusive deals.) purpletry.jpg

It's a very specific sale on a specific dress, but hey, it may be worth it, as ModCloth's prices sometimes tend to be just on the verge of "affordable" for this Deal Diva.

But enough of my blabbing. Here's the deal:

You can get 25 percent off your bill if you buy one of the website's top rated picks - a frock they call the Coach Tour dress. 

The dress, shown here in its purple form, normally costs $47.99.  …

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Tampa's Blowbar salon to host benefit for the Rapunzel Project

rapunzelproject.jpgRemember when I had long hair and went to Blowbar Express Styling Salon in Tampa for a blowout? I wrote a story about the process that confounded men the world over. That was fun.

Thursday, Blowbar is hosting an event at the salon to benefit the Rapunzel Project, an organization that helps women going through chemotherapy keep their hair via something called cold cap therapy.

From 2-5 p.m., the salon will be offering nail polish changes and Kenra deep conditioning treatments for donations to benefit the Rapunzel Project. From 5:30-8 p.m., enjoy snacks and drinks and shop with Stella and Dot and Tresca Italia. Ten percent of the profits will go toward the Rapunzel Project.

RSVP on Facebook or visit the Blowbar site.

Deal Diva Stephanie

Photo: the Rapunzel Project

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World's priciest dress sparkles with black diamonds

o-most-expensive-dress-570.jpgCheck this out guys. It's the world's most expensive dress!

Just what you wanted to read about as you try to get through this last hump day of September 2012, right? Sure, we'll never be able to afford it, but let's gawk anyway.

I know what you're thinking: "I could make that."

Just kidding. 

I have to say ... I kind of like it. And it's not even because, as Huffington Post reports, it's covered in 50 two-carat black diamonds. 

Although, that's nice too. 

No, I really do like the shape and color. Not sure I could pull it off, but who are we kidding, I'm never going to wear it, so who cares!

The dress is the branchild of British designer Debbie Wingham, and cost, oh, about $5.7 MILLION. 

I hope there's a lay-away plan.

Wingham spent 6 months sewing the frock, which weighs as much as a kid. (30 pounds, reports say)

Now, as a person who doesn't even have ONE black diamond to her name, I struggle to connect with why, exactly, you'd need this dress. But I'm sure someone, somewhere out there will snag this eventually. 

I'm betting the woman who wears this is probably the same person who'll buy a bottle of the world's most expensive nail polish. They have the same black diamond theme going on.  …

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Why I pay more for perfect jeans

jeans.jpgDid you hear about Deal Diva Kameel's recent breaking point with finding jeans? About how the agony of not finding denim suited for petite, curvy people was making her want to cry?

Sorry to hear it, girl. I'm short and curvy and haven't felt that way in years!

My body places an "emphasis," you might say, on its thigh and posterior regions. Yet I've had my jeans issues sorted out since high school. HOW DO I DO IT, many have asked (okay, just Deal Divas Stephanie and Kameel one time at a happy hour that they might not remember).

Admittedly, my secret -- which may not work for everyone/cause a Deal Divas revolt -- comes with its own pain. The pain of a lighter wallet, smaller debit account, fewer happy hours.

My jeans come from Buckle.

A lot of people don't know about Buckle. If they do, it's not always for good reasons. Its displays tend to be heavy on the Ed Hardy, rhinestoned-up-and-ripped-up-look-but-I-bought-it-that-way-so-it's-cool vibe. I urge you to ignore the hot mess on their mannequins and go in. There is quality, curve-embracing denim inside. …

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New Aerosoles, Vans stores at International Plaza and Bay Street

aerosoles_gold.jpgYou probably woke up this morning thinking, "Dude, I could really use another new shoe store." Congratulations, you're getting two.

This fall, Aerosoles will move into International Plaza and Bay Street. If you've ever worn these shoes, you know they are second only to little feather pillows snapped around your feet with carabiners and velvet cables. Aerosoles used to be a little geriatric-looking, but the company has really stepped things up in the style department with cool fall riding boots, leopard prints and funky gold wedges. There's no opening date yet for the IP store, but the location is under construction as we speak.

If you want to get really laid-back with your footwear, visit the newly-opened Vans store, a mecca for skateboarders and Jeff Spicolis the world over. You can't miss it -- there are giant Vans hanging from the window displays. Last week, a DJ was spinning inside the store while people shopped. Party! …

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Jewelry sale at Blue Nile

bluenile.jpegWhen it comes to sparkle, why buy fake when you can have the real thing?

I've recently discovered Blue Nile, an online retailer best known for well-priced engagement rings. Sadly, I'm not in the market for diamonds these days. But nothing makes me happier than online window shopping for Blue Nile's stunning gemstone, pearl, gold and silver jewelry.

And the pricing? You could spend more on junk at Claire's

Don't believe me? Check out Blue Nile's fall sale. I can personally vouch for this pear-and-garnet birthstone earring, which looks at least three times more expensive than its current sale price of $41. 

And how much fun could you have with this 54-inch colored pearl necklace, now half off at $55?

After all, when it comes to jewelry, there's nothing like the real deal.

Deal Diva Letitia





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My Outfit Monday: What we wore and saw at Tampa Bay Fashion Week

We've just about recovered from Tampa Bay Fashion Week, but what's one more post, right? We thought on this My Outfit Monday, we'd cull through our best pictures and bring you not only our outfits from Friday's show at the Ritz Ybor, but some of the fabulous designs that went down the runway. The stage was set up in a really cool horizontal position and we had great seats. The models routinely stopped right in front of our faces and struck amazing Tyra Banks broken-down doll poses. It was like, KERCHING, KERCHING.

First, our outfits.

I wore a dress from Entrada Couture, a St. Pete-based leg of Designs to Shine (where my bff works), paired with the jacket I got for $1 at the garage sale in my grandparents' neighborhood in Ohio, a LoveCulture belt and an Italian wicker purse I found at an antique shop in Tarpon Springs last year.


Welcome our incoming Deal Diva Marissa Lang, who will start blogging this week, as long as the technology gods align. She put together her gorgeous look by thrifting. She's going to fit right in here.


Here's Kameel, sporting some sparkly starfish jewelry and yet another dress she yanked out of "The Pile." You remember.


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Join the Deal Divas for Emmys red carpet live tweeting!

sofia_vergara.jpgQuick! Get the vino! Get the Hostess cupcakes! The Emmy Awards are tonight!

We've been so wrapped up in Tampa Bay Fashion Week that the Emmys almost slid right by with no warning, but don't fear. We're putting on our rippiest pajama pants to rip on red carpet fashion starting at 6 p.m. The pre-pre-show is on right now on E!, and we can tell you that both Kelly Osbourne and Giuliana Ranic are wearing Grecian wedding gowns, so things are really looking promising.

Follow along on our Twitter at @dealdivas, and add your own snark so we can retweet you. If you want to start a drinking game with categories like "fishtail gowns" and "misguided cleavage" and "your Spanx are showing," be our guest! We'll forgive your typos.

To the Twitters!

Deal Diva Stephanie

Photo: Sofia Vergara wears a fishtail, says things in an adorable accent, makes us want to curl up and die, etc. 2011, Getty.



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Look for the Deal Divas as Tampa Bay Fashion Week wraps tonight!

tbfashoutfit.jpgThe day has come! It's the final night of Tampa Bay Fashion Week, and boy, are our feet tired. Have you been following along on our Storify? Do yourself a favor and check it out, if nothing else for the amazing Instagrams of outfits, sparkles and general YES from all around Tampa Bay. It has truly been an impressive week here for those concerned with art, fashion and business. Here's my recap of the events through Wednesday, including my minor outfit crisis that happened at the start of the week.

Tonight is the biggest event of all. Local designers will show their creations on the runway at the Ritz Ybor. Deal Divas Kameel and I will be there, along with our BRAND NEW DEAL DIVA, Marissa Lang! That's right, we have a new Diva starting next week! We'll give you the full treatment on her then, but for now, just rest assured we're going to initiate her real good by plopping her into the middle of the madness. Let's see if she still wants to stay afterward. (Something tells me she will.) …

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On the hunt for the perfect pair of jeans

Can we talk jeans?sp_274668_borc_threads_2.jpg

Hold up. Don't give me that look.

I KNOW it's a touchy subject. In fact, I've been shying away from the discussion myself for months because, well, finding the right pair of jeans can kind of suck sometimes. (Can I get an AMEN?)

You know what I'm talking about: Excruciating hours in front of dressing room mirrors. Rises that are too high. Rises that are too low. Fabric that's too snug. Fabric that's too loose. The little bubble phenomenon that pops up in the back.

Frustration. Anger. Exhaustion. The end. 

Don't act like you haven't been there. 

I  think I'm at my breaking point guys. My mainstay pair of jeans have paint all over them (new homeownership!) And thanks to a summer of weight gain and loss, none of my other pairs seem to fit. 

I haven't even found comfort in the half a dozen magazines I've got that claim to teach me how to FIND THE PERFECT PAIR! (I fall for it every time)

So I'm turning to you, friends. 

Where have YOU found your favorite jeans? Old Navy? Express? Forever 21? H&M? JCPenney? Ann Taylor? The odd thrift store? …

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A new Times column about shopping, plus new sales

bananablouse.jpgHere's something new to watch for in the Tampa Bay Times: a column from retail reporter Susan Thurston about spending money.

Her first What's In Store column, which ran in Tuesday's paper, opened with a testimonial about the restorative power of retail therapy (and full-priced (!), feel-good jeans from Nordstrom). Preach, Susan. She'll also dish about new store and restaurant openings, like H&M moving into WestShore Plaza as part of the chain's Tampa Bay takeover. 

Now for some sales.

Gap is offering 25 percent off sale items through Friday. Enter "gapsale" at checkout.

It's time for fall, right? Ann Taylor Loft has BOGO half-off sweaters and tops.

Banana Republic has 30 percent off sale clothing, in stores and online, today only. (I might break down and get this glam bow-tie blouse by the end of the day.)

Macys has reduced lots of dresses by 15 percent. 

Happy shopping!

Deal Diva Katie

Photo: Banana Republic

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All that glitters with H&M's St. Pete opening

hmtop.jpegLet's talk need vs. want. I need to wash my bras. I want sequins.

Some background: I've been on Deal Diva hiatus for many months, welcoming a baby into my life. But as burp clothes proliferated, shopping became a joy of my past. My only purchases in almost a year centered around utility runs to the Old Navy clearance racks.

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My Outfit Monday: If at first you don't succeed...

mom2photo.jpgYou know when you have an item in your closet that you absolutely LOVED when you bought it a couple years ago but you look at it now and you're like, "Why did I ever....?"

Yea, that's how I felt about this dress for a long time. 

I picked it up a while back from Revolve Clothing Exchange in St. Pete (don't remember the cost), wore it maybe half a dozen times, and then ... saw a picture of myself in it. 


For whatever reason, the same frock I loved on the hanger suddenly seemed a little too tight when viewed through a camera lens. The shape was a little off. The pattern a little too busy. The ... oh heck. Ladies, you know what I mean.

Bottom line, it was not working anymore. And so, I tossed in THE PILE. 

The pile, for those of you not familiar, is that storage bin/trash bag/free-form pile in the corner of a room made up of clothes you swear you will donate today,   tomorrow , whenever you get around to it. 

This dress lived in the pile for a long time. Months. 

Until this morning. 


POOF. Love at first try-on. Again. 

I paired this oldie-but-goodie with a vacation purchase: a pair of grey heels by Nine West. I scooped them up at a TJ Maxx in Michigan for $50.  …

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Itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot ... Face-Kini?

facekini.jpgI don’t know from personal experience, but I’ve heard from my fairer-skinned friends that sunburn is a $*@!

There’s redness. There’s peeling. There’s the feeling that your skin is going to radiate right off your body.

Regardless of skin tone, beach living in sunny Florida means owning a few skin-protecting necessities: Sunscreen. Sunglasses. Maybe an umbrella or tent.

And, according to recent media reports, there’s a new must-have item making the rounds overseas: The Face-Kini.

That’s right. It’s a swimsuit … for your face.

The ski mask-like face shields are apparently the latest fashion craze to hit China, where pale skin is a symbol of beauty and status.

Reviews are mixed. Several beachgoers told the New York Times that the Face-Kini is great at blocking those harmful UV rays. Others say the embarrassment of being seen in one outweighs the benefits.

What do you all think: Would you wear a Face-Kini? What are your "go-to" sun-protection tips?

Deal Diva Keyonna

Photo: Getty Images

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