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Pink Granite Gift Guide

Because every blog on the planet is required to have a gift guide at this time of year, AND I’m sitting on my parents’ couch watching football - I figure why not try my hand at it? Some of these items I own, some I’ve purchased for others. All geared towards our more professional purposes - none supported by ads or came with perks for me to make the recommendation. Enjoy.

For the business traveler:

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The Concourse Rolling Computer Bag from Mark & Graham. I own this bag, complete with my initials. I love it. It fits perfectly under the window or middle seat on Southwest flights and never does a trip go by where a complete stranger doesn’t ask where I bought it. Men and women have both asked. It’s a good find and I’m thinking through adding to my Concourse collection with the other carry-on pieces. I also have this iPad sleeve from the same company, which I also find quite handy.

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Also - if a loved one flies through major airports on a regular basis and doesn’t have CLEAR. I’d suggest a membership is in order. The gift of CLEAR will speed them through either pre-check or regular security lines - and admittedly make them lazier at getting to the airport on time. It’s worth every penny of the cost and I’ve even heard that many major airlines offer deals for membership to their loyalty program participants. It also makes a great gift to self. It seems unnecessary and frivolous - until you need it. Now I’d never go back.

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Other great travel items to consider: this Lug brand “nap sac” for long flights is a game changer, I’ve mentioned it before. ANY of these Sephora face masks would make a great stocking stuffer. I mostly love how they are packaged. You can squirt out just what you need and then use them over and over again. There are always a couple in my overnight bag because the only time I get to actually use face masks is when I’m alone in a hotel room for the night. Finally - if you work out when traveling this mini foam roller is a great option for staying flexible on the go. Let’s just say I’ve purchased more than one for my husband over the years.

Beauty:

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My feelings about fragrance are ever changing but I never leave home without one. Right now this DEBASER is all I want to smell like for the rest of my days. I bought it at a local shop in downtown Asheville a few weeks back and haven’t regretted it despite the admittedly steep price tag. They also sell a mini that could be perfect on the go. I love keeping a roller ball handy. I’ve also asked Santa for the Le Labo Discovery Set this year. Fingers crossed he makes it happen.

If you have a big person in your life to give a last minute gift to it’s always loved and easy to grab a gift card to Milk & Honey spa online. It’s a top notch place with locations in Austin and Houston - and soon to be in Ft. Worth. Also they do nails and sell products in the salon. So even a smaller gift card is classy and could go a long way if you’re not ready to pop on a 90 minute swedish massage for someone.

I’m also a firm believer in (if you’re able) to gift items your friends are unlikely to splurge on themselves. For me Aesop’s Resurrection Hand Balm fits this bill - plus it comes in 2 sizes. I have yet to meet a woman in her 30’s who hasn’t thought about buying it for herself.

For the True Texan:

A friend of ours, Jay B. Sauceda, is a pretty accomplished photographer and he’s just come out with a great book of aerial views of our great state called A Mile Above Texas. I’d recommend snagging a copy for any Texan on your personal or professional gift list and right now you can get a signed copy on his website for $40.

 
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Another great idea for family members that are really into the idea of you working in and around the Captiol - last year Governor Abbott sold Capitol Christmas ornaments that were signed in exchange for a $40 political contribution. I’m not sure if this will be done in 2019 but it made for a great gift. Even if unsigned Capitol Christmas Ornaments are always a good idea.

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And for the teeniest Texans, Biscuit in Houston makes the sweetest cactus-ridden jammies. Get yours here. I also love their Wimberly and Marfa stationery.

For the Entertainer:

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I’ve had a colleague gift me this Domaine Carneros sparkling rose duet each Christmas and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s so good and a welcome bottle to have around during the holiday season. Get your gift set here. It’s so good I eventually became a member of the winery myself.

For hostess gifts I’m pretty predictable usually bringing a bottle of wine, or this candle if it’s a big party and a VERY good friend. I also love the idea of gifting something like Reese Witherspoon or Chrissy Teigan’s new book. If you know they don’t have it it’s a fun way to encourage them to continue hosting. I’ve also been known to show up with $25 Central Market or Whole Foods gift cards in a Christmas card for my hosts and those also always seem appreciated.

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If you have more time on your hands and want to get very personal - consider personalized stationary from Dixie Designs. The designs are quite southern and unique you’re guaranteed to be one of a kind - I’ve gifted the fleur de lis notecards to a good friend from New Orleans and she loved them. I also have these company print my professional Christmas cards each year as well as my personal correspondence cards. So many great designs!

Pink Granite Poll: Business Casual and Blue Jeans
  Photo:    Mamamia

Photo: Mamamia

My mother always told me it was better to be overdressed than under-dressed for any occasion. I’m a real firm believer in this policy… until you find me in black tights at Target. I know they aren’t pants. I know. Let me live!

But when in a professional environment I try to stick to my guns on dress codes. I’m still learning every day and like anyone else my style and opinions/interpretations evolve. So we’ll start this first Pink Granite Poll in what I think is a bit of a lay-up.

FOR WOMEN - Are blue jeans considered business casual?

I don’t mean “casual Friday” I’m asking in situations where you are invited to a meeting and the email reads “Attire: Business Casual”

I’ve fiercely debated a friend over this recently and would love your vote in the comments.

StyleAmy Whited Comment
Girl Friday, 2018 vol. 5

Ready for the weekend? Is this the "official" end of summer? Can I wear tights next week? That's all I really need to know. When are tights acceptable again?

Some friends and I will be saying goodbye to summer by roasting at a resort in Scottsdale this weekend - celebrating a bride to be. I wish I was one of those bloggers that could share with you the adorable swimsuits that I hunted down and look amazing in, or the custom embroidered hats we'll all be wearing etc. But the real truth of it all is that I think I have 2 swimsuits I can wear. Both are full coverage, a one piece and a tankini. 

Also - I'll be headed to Nordstrom this afternoon to buy the bride a gift for the lingerie shower, just about 12 hours before my departure. Because I plan ahead. I joke but it will be very fun, massages, blow-outs and cocktails galore. 

Everyone I know is talking about Sephora right now. I didn't know it was a thing - this big Sephora sale but I can brag about unloading a bunch of cash on them last week because that's when all of my makeup ran out. Does that happen to you? Everything runs out at the same time? I don't buy much makeup but when I do I feel like it all comes at once.

Here's what I picked up:

The Naked 2 palette is probably one of the store's most popular items and they finally got me on it. I haven't purchased eyeshadow since before my daughter was born and she's almost 4 so I think I was due for the $54 splurge. But I'll admit I put it back once or twice before finally grabbing it on my way to the check out counter.

Now that I have it, I'm so glad I do. For some reason it feels refreshing to have new colors to play with and not to relegate yourself to whatever the next brown is in your old palette - the color you never would have used 12 months ago is now your daily shade. Doesn't feel right. Starting over does. Maybe this one will last me another 4 years.

I also picked up my favorite overnight cream posted about here, and the perfect foundation for my skin tone here.

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I can't stress enough the value I have found in going into Sephora once or twice a year and letting them do their little computer scan on your face for identifying your perfect foundation shade. Foundation is completely intimidating to me and the lovely teenagers at Sephora always talk me off the ledge when I come in. I always leave with a product that works great for what my face needs at that time of year and it's never what I would have picked on my own.

In other girly news I used a job interview as an excuse to do some major shopping last weekend. Here's what I found along the way:

This red dress and suit jacket from Brooks Brothers. What do we think? Can I pull of a red on red suit? I didn't wear it for my interview because 1. it didn't arrive in time for my flight but 2. the bright red may have been seen as a bit aggressive. Now it's hanging in my closet and I'm deliberating. It's more than $100 off what I paid, so regardless I'll be headed to the store to get my price adjustment later today. FYI - Brooks Brothers will give you 10 days to adjust a price with receipt.

Let's also discuss Theory Suits. I've never been into their Domain location but man, those gals got me. I came out with this long blazer, which has a crazy good cut if you can get used to the length, as well as silk shell I never knew I needed and the matching pencil skirt. I'm also debating going back for the pants to match.

The women that work in the store are so friendly, patient and knowledgable about what their products are made out of and how they are made. For me they offered honesty in the dressing room and suggestions that I never would have considered and ended up buying. Basically they are good at their sales jobs. So you've been warned.

The cut of the long blazer is a bit trendy but looks great on and should last forever. I'm very excited about my new pieces. Plus the dressing rooms smelled like a spa and had cocktail hour lighting which I'm always on board with.

Until next week, happy #GirlFriday. It's lunch time and I'm off to adjust some receipts and buy some unmentionables.