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Katie Sanders, PunditFact Staff Writer

Katie Sanders

Katie Sanders is a staff writer for PunditFact , a website founded by the Tampa Bay Times and Poynter Institute to fact-check talking heads. She previously reported on state politics and government for PolitiFact Florida from the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee bureau and on breaking news for the Times in St. Petersburg. She earned bachelor's degrees in journalism and English from the University of Florida.

Phone: (727) 893-8037; cell: (850) 673-1511


Twitter: @KatieLSanders

Blog: Deal Divas

Website: PunditFact

  1. Big sale on boots at Zulily


    This morning we're thanking our stars that we live in Florida and not the northeast, which is buckling down for a mighty blizzard. (Bliz-zard [noun]: a severe snowstorm that goes on for a long time.)

    Here in the Deal Divas department, the winter weather got us thinking about boots. We all need them at some point or another. If now is that time for you, we may have a helpful tip on a sale....

    Ring the alarm! Cheap boots.
  2. PunditFact: Were Barack Obama's State of the Union veto threats the most ever?


    President Barack Obama issued several not-so-thinly veiled veto threats to the new Republican-led Congress in his 2015 State of the Union this week.

    To CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, it sounded like the most ever.

    "I don't know about you," Blitzer told co-anchor Jake Tapper during the post-SOTU haze, "I don't remember a State of the Union address where I heard a president issue so many veto threats to the Republican majority, to the opposite party in the United States Congress."...

    President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday on Capitol Hill. [AP photo]
  3. Ashe Couture opening Central Avenue store Friday


    Just this week, one of my great uncles who has lived here for most of his 90-plus years assured me St. Petersburg is an "old person's town." 

    Here's just one reason why I respectfully disagree: the continued reinvigoration of Central Avenue storefronts with cool new boutiques for the younger set.

    Throwing its grand opening this Friday is Ashe Couture Boutique, 953 Central Ave. ...

    Screenshot of Ashe Couture's Instagram feed.
  4. PunditFact: Frankly, Matt Lauer, your Golden Globe facts are off

    The Feed

    Red carpet interviews are substance-free safe zones for fact-checkers, a rare chance to turn on the TV and turn off our ears for misleading claims.

    That's what we thought, anyway, going into the Golden Globes. We tuned in Sunday for the pre-show with a beverage in one hand and our phone in the other for snarky tweeting.

    Then Today host Matt Lauer had to go and kill our vibe with an apparently researched question for Kevin Spacey, who stars as the conniving Frank Underwood on Netflix's House of Cards....

    This undated image released by NBC shows Matt Lauer, co-host of the "Today" show in London. Lauer has no regrets asking General Motors CEO Mary Barra about balancing work and motherhood, saying he sees it as an issue that affects all working parents regardless of their gender. The host of NBC's "Today" show, 56, said Friday, June 27, 2014, he'd welcome the same question if it were put to him. He struck a raw nerve in Thursday's live interview with a question criticized as sexist. (AP Photo.NBC, Anthony Harvey) NYET501
  5. Steals at LOFT, The Shop's sidewalk sale in St. Pete


    It's easy to scroll past Ann Taylor LOFT promotion emails, but one this morning caught my eye. 

    Lots of beautiful winter clothing is marked down "up to" 75 percent. I include sarcastic quotations because the things I like are only up to 60 percent off. Yes, only. I collected my favorites for the slideshow. We'll need cute, cozy sweaters one day again, right?

    Locally, The Shop on 3440 Fourth St. N in St. Petesrburg is throwing its (annual?) sidewalk sale. Today there were cute boutique-style dresses, skirts and tops at a price of either $5-$20. There are $5 earrings and bling necklaces, too....

    I am serious about this embellished sweater. Dry clean only, but worth it? $30.
  6. My Outfit Monday: Rainy days are for the birds


    Today I built my outfit around a new favorite find: a vintage golden feather belt.

    I'm pretty sure a similar one is lurking inside your mom's closet. You should steal it!

    I bought it before the holidays at the St. Pete indie market on the 600 block of Central Avenue. The market, by the way, is really fun. I also bought my other favorite thing there, a sweatshirt that says Mindy Is My Spirit Animal. (If you have to ask "Who's Mindy?" you haven't tuned in for a while, have you?)...

  7. Huge liquidation sale at dELiA*s as store goes out of business


    I can remember being a teenager and combing through dELia*s catalogs, coveting Paul Frank monkey sweatshirts and sparkly short dresses. Problem was, I had exactly zero homecoming dances to shop for and their prices were always higher than my back-to-school budget allowed. My dELiA*s wardrobe was slim to nonexistent. 

    Alert: Things have changed.

    The store is going out of business - donezo, outta here, that's all, folks. (Pause for moment of silence.)...

    Sad news for dELia*s, good news for your inner teenager.
  8. Some Lilly Pulitzer fans depressed about designer 'selling out' to Target


    In case you missed it, we slipped in some news in Wednesday's post about Target's newest partnership with Florida-girl favorite Lilly Pulitzer.

    Some editors here wondered how Lilly's biggest (really, richest) fans would handle the news.

    It appears not well....

    Oh noes! Lilly Pulitzer might be affordable for some people now!
  9. Brad Pitt busts out half-hearted nail art, plus super fun Wednesday links


    I promise this Deal Divas update is not just an excuse to talk about Brad Pitt. All right, you caught me, but as far as excuses to look up images of him in our photo system go, this one is actually solid.

    See, there's a fashion connection.

    Mr. Pitt showed up to the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival last week (our invitation was regrettably lost) sporting a fresh-to-death midnight blue suit, shaded sunglasses, an age-appropriate salty goatee and, surprisingly, a titch of nail art....

  10. Same-sex couples around Tampa Bay line up to get married and make history


    TAMPA — Before she presided over a mass wedding ceremony Tuesday, Hillsborough Clerk of Court Pat Frank asked the dozens of gay couples how many years they had waited for the moment.




    "Forty three!" said Frank. "Well, you have waited a long time."

    No longer. At that park in Tampa and across Florida, wedding bells rang for same-sex couples, the result of a successful court challenge to the state's 2008 ban on gay marriages....

    Kellie Peterson kisses and holds the hand of her partner, Jennifer Hasbrook, on Tuesday as they were married at the Pinellas County Courthouse in St. Petersburg. Both are from St. St. Petersburg.
  11. PunditFact: Does the U.S. already have the biggest diplomatic presence in Cuba?


    Critics of President Barack Obama's move to normalize relations with Cuba have suggested they will do whatever they can to stand in the plan's way, from holding up the appointment of an ambassador to denying funding for a new embassy.

    But the moves would be more symbolic than anything, Obama's former Cuba policy adviser Dan Restrepo told CNN.

    While the Senate could block the formal confirmation of an ambassador, Obama could tap a career diplomat to lead the embassy without Senate approval. And as for the embassy itself?...

    A classic American car drives past the U.S. Interests Section building in Havana last month. A half century after Washington severed relations with Cuba, the seven-story mission is set to become a full-fledged embassy.
  12. Need last-minute gift ideas? Consult our guide


    I've reached the point of the holiday heyday in which there's too much to do and not enough time to do it. What do I get a grandpa who wants nothing? What do the teenage kids like these days? Ack! To the Internet! (Repeat.)

    If you're still confused about what to get the last few people on your gift list, we may be able to help. (And if my inbox is any indication, your procrastination may be rewarded with bigger-than-usual discounts as we inch up to Christmas.)...

  13. Rent the Runway offering special for New Year's Eve dresses


    Ready for New Year's Eve?

    (Don't hate me, I know we're not through the holidays yet.)

    If you're still looking for something sparkly and fun to wear, Rent the Runway is offering a 20-percent discount for orders over $50 placed Dec. 26-31.

    Use code HAPPY2015 at checkout. The offer expires Dec. 21.

    Join me in browsing their suggestions. I'm digging this Badgley Mischka rental in navy -- a departure from the usual blacks, silvers and golds you usually see that night. If you really want to make a statement, jump on in this Hunter Bell white jumpsuit. I dare you!...

    Dare to wear? (Link in blog)
  14. My Outfit Monday: A tale of two outfits


    This weekend in Florida there was sun and frivolity. There was a beach at my feet and a sunset in front of my face. It was 80 degrees and silly.

    I wore a polka dot dress from Old Navy's clearance rack over a polka dot bathing suit. I grabbed a friend's dotted sunglasses and pulled my dotted wallet from my purse, which is floral but has a reversible polka dot option. Everything was so hilariously matchy-matchy that I had to take a picture....

    Ah, what a nice, dotty December day in St. Pete Beach.
  15. Coming soon to Tampa: Yes, another H&M, always more H&M


    The Swedish clothing gods heard your cries -- "We want another H&M! More H&M! Open one even closer to me!" -- and plan to reward you with what you want most this holiday season.

    You asked for the promise of an H&M store in North Tampa, right? Great news!

    Yes, the formerly hard-to-get, cheap-o yet luxury-like goods are now basically everywhere. The new store inside Westfield Citrus Park will be Tampa's third H&M store....

    AP file photo from inside an H&M.