Blog Archive

Get Paid to Shop Online!

Wouldn't you love to get paid while shopping online? With Ebates you can! Here's how: 
  • Sign up for a free membership HERE
  • Each time you are about to make an online purchase, log into your Ebates account and enter the online merchant in the search box to see if they are a member. If they are, click the "shop now" link and starting shopping. 

Voila! ~ your rewards will start adding up! How simple is that? As a new member, I found the hardest part was remembering to visit the Ebates site first, but once those checks start rolling in, trust me, you won't forget!

Ebates offers cash rewards up to 39% of purchases plus earn bonus rewards by referring friends. They pay quarterly and you can even track your purchases and earnings on their site. Referral bonus awards are also available as our Daily Double Rewards.

Bonus Opp! New members can select a $10 gift card to either Home Depot, Target, or Barnes and Noble when signing up. The gift card will be earned after your first $25 purchase is made using the Ebates "shop now" link.

Give it a try, it is so simple and you will be so happy you did when you find that unexpected check in your mailbox. Join Ebates today and start getting paid to shop online!

Happy shopping!

Baginc Review and Giveaway

Our first promo with Baginc was so successful, they asked us to feature them again as soon as the last one ended. Of course we didn't hesitate a second before saying OKAY!

We selected their GORGEOUS Monaco Top Handle Croc Leather Pink ~

So springy and pretty in pink, this chic leather crocodile-look bag will take you right through summer. It will blend beautifully with the colors of the season including this year's hottest color, Turquoise, and will make black, brown, navy or white pop. It has a detachable shoulder strap, two inner slip pockets and two inner zippered compartments. Its classic style is timeless. Monaco is also available in Blue, Camel, or Gray Leather or Purple Leather Croc and at $82, they won't last long. Grab one today and checkout the entire line at

Baginc operates remotely from Paris, France, with a warehouse in Hong Kong. Baginc offers FREE worldwide shipping on purchases of $99 or more. Stay up-to-date on new arrivals, current trends and celebrity styles by connecting with them on Facebook and following on Twitter. 

Listen up bag lovers everywhere, Baginc is gifting one of you the Monaco Top Handle Croc featured here. Open WORLDWIDE. To enter complete one or all of the following and leave a comment below for each entry completed including bonus entries {each comment = 1 entry}. Please be sure to include your name and/or twitter ID. ~
  • Visit and let us know which bag, other than the Monaco, is on your wish list.
Bonus Entries {optional} ~
  • Like Chic Luxuries on Facebook
  • Follow @ChicLuxuries on Twitter
  • Tweet about this contest, sample tweet ~ #Win a chic handbag from @Bagincbags and @ChicLuxuries on RV: $82 #Contest #Giveaway Open WORLDWIDE!
Contest ends 11:59 PM ET May 18, 2012. For Complete Rules and additional Gifting Events, please visit our Chic Giveaways page.

Thank you, Baginc, for sponsoring this giveaway and sending us another one of your chic handbags! xox

Photos courtesy of Baginc

Southern Women's Show

This past Friday I spent the day at The Southern Women's Show in Raleigh. I've been many times, but this year was extra special. It's a three-day show filled with exhibitors, fashion shows, makeovers, food sampling and cooking demos. I found a few new companies I hope to feature, caught a couple of fashion shows and had the pleasure of meeting Chef Elise Johnson with whom I've been friends on facebook for a couple of years. Elise was at the BJ's exhibit signing her new Cookbook, You Never Cook Alone, which is now available on amazon. In addition to lots of wonderful recipes, it is filled with funny and heartwarming stories. 

I missed the Dancing Like the Stars show, but here's my favorite contender, Sharon Delaney from My Carolina Today, soaring above the crowd with her partner, David Cox. The show was a fundraiser for Clay Aiken's National Inclusion Project. 

Another highlight was Princess Diana's dress exhibit. The exhibit chronicled Diana's life and, like the Princess of Wales, was exquisite. This is a replica of Diana's wedding dress, the others are her actual dresses.

The Southern Women's Show is one of 19 shows produced by Southern Shows, a family-owned and operated company that launched in 1959. If you have an opportunity to attend one of their shows, I would highly recommend it for a fun day out with the girls. 

Personalization Mall Review

Don't you love receiving personalized gifts? They just have that extra special touch. We were delighted to receive a couple of Personalization Mall's best-sellers to introduce us to their company.

Town and Country Silver-Plated Keyring

The keyring is gift boxed and arrives in a pretty black velveteen drawstring pouch. It has a substantial weight to it. To attach keys, simply screw off the removeable rounded end, slip keys on and replace the rounded end ~ love how convenient that is...and manicure friendly! The keyring has a smooth shiny silver plating and the monogramming is carefully engraved in a beautiful script. This would make a lovely gift for Mom for Mother's Day. The cost is very reasonable at $21.95, item #1159, ships in 1-2 days. 

I don't think I've ever seen personalized chimes, what a great idea! These are Woodstock Chimes {my favorite} measuring 27" long with 6 bronze tubes. The wooden wind catcher reads "Summer's A Breeze" and can be custom engraved with a 2-line name or sentiment. These would be fabulous for a housewarming or hostess gift and perfect for Mom to relax to on her special day. They have a soft soothing sound, wouldn't they look great on your porch? Personalization Mall has several styles of chimes to choose from. A neat feature on their website is a soundclip of the different chimes to assist in selecting your favorite. The Breezy Summer Wind Chimes are item #11546 and retail for $44.95.

Both of these items and so much more are available at Join their Personal Rewards Program and receive one point towards for every $1 spent towards a merchandise credit, plus exclusive member rewards a birthday gift, and more. Connect with Personalization Mall on Facebook and Twitter for extra savings, news and new product announcements.

Thank you, Personalization Mall, for gifting us these beautiful custom-engraved gifts. 

Photos courtesy of Personalization Mall

LifeProof iPhone 4S Case Review and Giveaway

Have you ever destroyed your cell phone by accidentally dropping it in the water? I haven't but several of my friends have. I've also dropped mine so hard the battery fell out. If you're an iPhone 4 or 4s owner, you can now have peace of mind that your phone is protected against water, snow, dirt, sand, and shock. LifeProof has created the first waterproof case that is also shockproof. That's right you can take it under water, in the shower, snowmobiling, dirt biking...anywhere! 

We received LifeProof's iPhone 4S case to see what we thought of it. I don't own an iPhone so I sent the case to our tech reviewer, Michael, to see what damage he could try to do to it. Michael is a Phys Ed teacher in NYC. Between the NY subway, hockey games at Madison Square Garden, and his students, there is no one better to put LifeProof to the test. Here's what Michael thought of it ~

Overall, I have enjoyed using the LifeProof case. With a 1.5mm thickness, it isn't nearly as bulky as some of the other iPhone cases I have seen. The case is also fairly light. After dropping my phone a few times, purposely and by accident, I feel confident that the LifeProof case protects my phone as it should. When I first submerged it in water to perform the water test, I saw two bubbles come from the speaker area. I left the case underwater for an hour and when I removed it, there was no water inside. I repeated the water test a second time and found no water, moisture or bubbles inside. The sound from the speaker of my iPhone 4S seems to be redirected by the speaker protectors of the case and the sound now comes more from the back of the phone rather than the actual speaker. This muffles the sound a bit but it still audible. I particularly like that the case is shockproof as well as waterproof, it will be great to have at the beach this summer.

The LifeProof case for the iPhone 4 or 4S retails for $79.99 at

Chic Giveaway! ~ LifeProof is giving away a iPhone case! Enter to win by completing one, or all, of the following and leave a comment below for each entry completed including bonus entries {each comment = 1 entry, scroll to bottom to leave comments}. Be sure to leave your name and/or twitter id.
  • Visit and leave a comment below letting us know which product or feature you like best.
Bonus Entries {optional} ~
  • Tweet about this event, sample tweet ~ #Win an iPhone case from @LifeProof and @ChicLuxuries on ARV: $80 #contest #giveaway
Contest ends 11:59 PM ET May 13, 2012. For Complete Rules and additional Gifting Events, please visit our Chic Giveaways page.

Many thanks to the LifeProof team for gifting us a case and sponsoring this giveaway.

Photos courtesy LifeProof

What's Special at Douglas Carroll Salon, Spa and Boutique?

In a word EVERYTHING! One of North Carolina's finest treasures, Doug is an internationally-renowned stylist whom we are lucky to have right here in Raleigh. His award-winning salon, spa and boutique is a buzzing mecca of chic luxuries.

My hair can best be described as "difficult". I have been to countless stylists over the years, the majority of whom cannot blow out my hair to my satisfaction, never mind getting the color "right". If you are in the Raleigh area or plan to visit, I recommend Doug for what is certain to be THE best haircut and style of your life! He is an incredibly talented artist who is in high demand so be sure to call a few weeks in advance for an appointment. I received my all-time favorite style, color and highlights from Doug a couple of years ago when I first met him through My Carolina Today ~

Prior to meeting Doug, I had been to his salon many times as another of my favorite stylists had worked there until she moved away. Always observing, I often wondered if Doug's assistants know how fortunate they are to work by his side. This week after Doug cut my hair, his assistant, Brandon Partin, colored it using All-Nutrient Professional Haircolor. More on All-Nutrient in a bit, but first let me tell you about Brandon. Clearly he has not wasted a second learning from Doug this past year. Their style and technique are uncannily similar and since Doug is the best stylist I have ever been to, I could not pay Brandon a higher compliment by telling him so. Aside from being extremely talented, Brandon is courteous, fun, attentive, professional and, like Doug, a perfectionist. I understand why so many women and event planners seek him out for special occasions. Also worth noting is Brandon's signature head massage. It was so fantastic, that I asked him if he took a course in massage therapy, he said "No, it just comes naturally". ☺ And...Voila! ~ 

All-Nutrient left my hair shiny, bouncy and healthy looking. {LOVE the layers, Doug!} Brandon created the curls with just a blow dryer and a few fabulous products. The benefits of All-Nutrient Professional Hair color include:
  • Certified Organic Cream Base
  • Sulfate-Free Haircolor 
  • Effective MicroProtein System for Effective Repair and Restructuring Inside the Hair Fiber 
  • Even Distribution of Color Deposit and Intensity 
  • Greater Conditioning System 
  • Non-Progressive Oxidation Process 
  • Incredible Tones ~ Shimmering Translucent Shades
For those with frizzy hair, Doug's private label, Argan Collection Style Creme, is FANTASTIC and my new not-so-secret weapon!

While you're waiting for your color to process, enjoy a cup of complimentary flavored coffee and shopping at Jbat Boutique which is filled with beautiful fashion-forward women's clothing and accessories. Make a day of it and treat yourself to a relaxing spa service in a tranquil oasis which offers everything from french manicures and massages to the latest anti-aging facials. If looking for a gift for Mom, a gift card to Douglas Carroll Salon, Spa and Boutique would surely make her day! May Specials include ~
  • 30% off Laser Genesis, Titan and Limelight Facials
  • 15% off any 3 retail products and 20% off any 3 skincare products
  • 25% off a $100 purchase at Jbat Boutique {with coupon, sign up for email to receive}
Douglas Carroll Salon, Spa and Boutique is celebrating their 25th Anniversary and from what I see, it just keeps getting better. Join their Facebook and Twitter and sign up for their newsletter to be the first to hear about all upcoming events, specials and services. Douglas Carroll Salon, Spa and Boutique is located in the Sutton Square Shopping Center on Falls of the Neuse Road in Raleigh and online at They can be reached at 800.851.8929.

Thank you, Doug and Brandon! See you soon! xo
                                                                                         ~ Barbara                                                                   

Disclosure: As a Brand Ambassador for Douglas Carroll Salon and Spa, I received reduced pricing on services. All opinions expressed herein are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Cancun, Mexico Getaway - Bel Air Collection

We recently discovered a great all-inclusive value property in Cancun, Mexico. Situated in the quiet, southern end of the strip, close to the airport, is the Bel Air Collection hotel. When searching for just the right place for our getaway we focused on finding the best value for our money. We thought an all-inclusive would be the way to go and discovered the Bel Air on The Bel Air has a beautiful infinity pool overlooking the crystal blue Atlantic Ocean.

The beach area is very nice with plenty of umbrellas and comfortable lounges.

The Bel Air is among the older properties in Cancun. Because of its location – 15 minutes from the bustling downtown area – it caters to an older crowd and is very quiet. The all-inclusive option was excellent with special dishes including Goat Candy and mango mousse. A full hot and cold buffet were available at every meal as well.
The waiters and bartenders were very helpful and – unlike other all-inclusives we’ve been to – all drinks were included and were not watered down. If you are looking for a big hotel chain experience, the Bel Air is not for you. If you need a true escape and are focused on getting the best value for your money, you may want to check out the Bel Air.

Aetrex Shoes Review and Giveaway

Aetrex's rock-star PR Representative, Alexandra, introduced us to the brand and sent us their Veronica sandals in Tan ~ 
I have such a hard time finding shoes that are comfortable yet stylish. I have found one brand that I love and have several pairs of casual sandals from them, but occasionally I need something a bit dressier. Aetrex's Veronica to the rescue! These are so Me, I gravitate to this color shoe even in winter. These sandals are ultra comfortable, look gorgeous and work with so many outfits. Every pair of Aetrex's heeled sandals come with a Lynco®-shaped footbed for superior arch support along with a 2-1/4" leather-wrapped heel. For maximum comfort, they contain memory foam cushioned heel seats as well as a lamb suede and microfiber footbed top cover ~ dreamy!

Also available in black in full and half sizes 5 to 11 and in medium and wide widths. The Veronica Sandals retail for $129.95 at

Another style that looks super soft is the Tanya sandal ~
Tanya is available in Black, Ginger Wheat or Desert Tan in full and half sizes 5-11 and retails for $129.95.

Chic Giveaway! ~ Aetrex is giving away their Tanya sandals in the winner's choice of color and size! Enter to win by completing one, or all, of the following and leave a comment below for each entry completed including bonus entries {each comment = 1 entry, scroll to bottom to leave comments}. Be sure to leave your name and/or twitter id.
  • Visit and let us know which is your favorite style
Bonus Entries {optional} ~
  • Tweet about this event, sample tweet ~ #Win a pair of shoes from @Aetrex and @ChicLuxuries on ARV: $130 #contest #giveaway
Contest ends 11:59 PM ET May 12, 2012. For Complete Rules and additional Gifting Events, please visit our Chic Giveaways page.

Many thanks to the team at Aetrex for gifting us the Veronica sandals and sponsoring this event.

Where did you get that Ring?

So many people have asked where I found the ring I was wearing on yesterday's My Carolina Today segment, that I thought I'd write a review to tell ya'll about it. Maria Tirotta, Avon's Senior Executive Unit Leader and CEO of Avon Dreamers, sent it to me. It's a brand new item from Avon's mark. line and it's called the Pretty Stellar Ring ~ and it is just that!

It's in this year's hottest color, Turquoise, and is surrounded by glass rhinestones set in burnished brass. Of all Avon's products, I gravitate to the mark. line most...I wear mark. lip gloss and I find the jewelry and accessories chic and fashion forward. One of the things I love about this ring is it has a stretch band to fit a range of ring sizes, wear it on your pointer, ring or middle finger. Although it's a larger ring, it's very light and super comfortable to wear. It will be available in a couple of weeks at for JUST $18! Be sure to like Maria's Facebook page and be the first to hear when it's available. 

Maria ranks #15 of 6.4 million Avon Representatives and leads a team of over 1,000 Representatives. She is an incredibly giving person, leader and entrepreneur. To join her team or learn more about the Avon earnings opportunity, EMAIL Maria today!

Chic Giveaway! Surprise! When I told Maria how many people have asked me about the ring, she decided to do a giveaway! Maria is gifting one Chic Luxuries' reader $125 in Avon goodies including the Pretty Stellar Ring. Also included is Anew Genics Treatment Cream, Genics Eye Cream, Step into Sexy Purse Spray and Wristlet. 

Enter to win by completing one, or all, of the following and leave a comment below for each entry completed including bonus entries {each comment = 1 entry}. Please be sure to include your name and/or twitter id.
Bonus Entries {optional} ~
  • Tweet about this event, sample tweet ~ #Win $125 in Avon goodies from @AvonDreamers and @ChicLuxuries on #contest #giveaway
Contest ends 11:59 PM ET May 11, 2012. For Complete Rules and additional Gifting Events, please visit our Chic Giveaways page.

Thank you, Maria, for sending us this beautiful ring and sponsoring this AWESOME giveaway! ♥
                                                                                       ~ Barbara

Thank You My Carolina Today!

Sending lots of hugs and thanks to Executive Producer Kim, Sharon Delaney, and the entire team at My Carolina Today for having me on the show and making me feel so welcome. Although I am probably the most unphotogenic person I know and not a public speaker, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to feature some of the brands we have partnered with on Chic Luxuries. Also included is one brand we found through HARO. Okay, here goes {Keep in mind the camera adds at least 15 lbs.} ☺ ~ 

The four brands we selected to feature in the Mother's Day Gift Idea Segment were ~


Be sure to see the posts below to enter to win some fabulous prizes and visit for another chance to win a Custom Photo Canvas from Gallery Direct.

Oberon Design Gifting Event

Our wonderful friends at Oberon Design sent us a few items for our Mother's Day segment on My Carolina Today. We selected a variety of colors and styles to showcase including ~

Women's Bi-Fold Wallet ~

This is the Paisley Design in Purple. Inside are six card holders, a zippered coin purse, four pockets for cash, receipts, etc. and a pen holder. Checkout the matching pewter button! A long-lasting easily replaceable bungee closure keeps the contents secure and a replacement bungee is included.  The wallet measures 7.25" x 4.365 and retails for $118.

They also sent us a beautiful Moleskin Cover ~

This is the Creekbed Design in Green. This is a slim journal cover that measures 6x8" and weighs only 18 oz. with the notebook inside, perfect for carrying in your handbag. The Moleskin Cover retails for $65.50. A lined Moleskin Notebook is available for $16.50.

We also received this stunning iPad3 Cover ~

We chose the Wild Rose design in Red. You may remember my article a few months ago raving about the iPad2 Case I received from Oberon. This is very similar but has wider straps to make inserting the iPad a bit easier and a rigid bumper for horizontal platform use. It also has all of the same features as the iPad2 case including two large side pocket and a smaller pocket for ID or cards, built-in felt wool felt screen protector, Marine-grade replaceable bungee cords with replacement cord, camera hole in back, and matching pewter button. It can be held book-style, folded for use with the built-in slanted surface for horizontal keyboard use, or can stand horizontally. The iPad3 case retails for $130 and is made to last. **Note: the iPad3 case also fits the iPad2!**

Each item is handcrafted in the USA and custom made to order! Oberon's attention to detail, superior craftsmanship, and outstanding customer service is second to none. Checkout their facebook fan page if you don't believe me! Be sure to follow Oberon Design on twitter too. Find their wide selection of beautiful treasures at

Chic Giveaway! We are giving away the iPad3 cover which we received courtesy of Oberon Design!! YAY! Enter to win by completing one, or all, of the following and leave a comment below for each entry completed including bonus entries {each comment = 1 entry, scroll to bottom to leave comments}. Please be sure to include your name and/or twitter ID.
  • Visit and let us know which of their creations you would most like to own.
Bonus Entries {optional} ~
    • Repin one of the pins on our Giveaways board on Pinterest
    • Tweet about this contest, sample tweet ~ #Win an iPad3 Cover from @OberonDesign and @ChicLuxuries on RV: $130 #Contest #Giveaway
    Contest ends 11:59 PM ET May 10, 2012. For Complete Rules and additional Gifting Events, please visit our Chic Giveaways page.

    Thanks so much to our fabulous friends at Oberon Design for sending us these awesome treasures and for sponsoring this giveaway. Huge thanks also to the team at My Carolina Today for having us on the show.

    Gallery Direct Gifting Event

    We featured one of our favorite brands, Gallery Direct, on NBC-17's My Carolina Today in our Mother's Day gift ideas segment. Gallery Direct will transform Mom or Nana's favorite photo into a custom canvas for a gift that will be treasured for years to come. Everyone on the set commented how brilliant the colors were in the canvas that we used as a demo. This is the finished canvas ~

    Although my camera doesn't do it justice, the detail is as crisp and clear as in the original photo. Checkout the videoclip of the segment that we will be posting later today to see the vibrancy of the colors and how well it turned out. We selected to have the canvas gallery-wrapped rather than framed because I love how the three-dimensional canvas "pops" off the wall, however, several framing options are also available. This canvas is in the medium size which measures 17x24". Ordering is simple, just upload Mom's, Nana's or your favorite photo, the turnaround time is super quick and the custom canvas will be shipped via FedEx. For a limited time you can purchase a gallery-wrapped canvas in the medium size for just $49!!! That is the lowest I've seen it so don't wait, hurry on over to Gallery Direct also has hundreds of stock photos to choose from as well as fine art. To celebrate their appearance on My Carolina Today, Gallery Direct is giving away a $200 gift certificate on so be sure to enter...AND...

    Our friends at Gallery Direct are so generous they are also giving away a $200 gift certificate to one lucky Chic Luxuries' reader! YAYaay! Enter to win by completing one, or all, of the following and leave a comment below for each entry completed including bonus entries {each comment = 1 entry}. To leave a comment, click on comments at the bottom right of this post.
    • Visit Gallery Direct and let us know which piece of art would you choose if you win
    Bonus Entries {optional} ~
    • Tweet about this event, sample tweet ~ #Win artwork from @GalleryDirect and @ChicLuxuries ARV: $200 on #contest #giveaway
    • Click Share under our Facebook post about this event to share on your wall
    Contest Ends 11:59 PM ET May 14, 2012. For complete rules and additional gifting events, visit our Chic Giveaways page.

    Huge thanks to the wonderful team at Gallery Direct for sponsoring another fabulous giveaway with us and sending the beautiful canvas for the My Carolina Today set. And to the FANTASTIC team at My Carolina Today ~ xox!!!

    White Pear Bath and Body Review and Giveaway

    One of the brands we featured on My Carolina Today just happens to be one of my favorite companies on the planet, White Pear. Their luxurious Moisturizing Body Lotions, Sugar Scrubs and Soaps are not only heavenly scented, they literally have been a life-saver for my skin. 

    I first discovered White Pear a few years back, when the company's owner, Claudia, was doing a demo at a local marketplace and I tried the Energy Sugar Scrub. I remember the next day I was still telling everyone I ran into about this awesome sugar scrub that I found which left my skin unbelievably soft and that I could still smell the delightful fragrance the following morning. It was then that my addiction to sugar scrubs began.

    At the time I was still using chlorine in my swimming pool and it was destroying my skin. It was so itchy and dry that it sometimes bled from scratching so much, {tmi, I know}. I began using White Pear's Oatmeal, Milk and Honey Moisturizer and after about a week, the dryness completely disappeared. I also found it helps soothe any type of skin irritation. AND it smells INCREDIBLE! The scent is long-lasting, not overpowering but definitely addicting. I can't go a day without using the lotion, you HAVE to try it, I promise you will LOVE it!

    My other fav scents are Energy, which is like a refreshing burst of sunshine to start your day, and White Tea and Ginger. A 9-oz. Body Scrub is $18, an 8-oz. Moisturizing Lotion is $14.00 and a 4.3 oz. Soap is $6.50. Or save and purchase a gift set which includes all three products plus a travel bag for $36. Each month White Pear features a different Scent of the Month for savings of at least 20% off regular prices. 

    White Pear is an eco-friendly company that uses all natural ingredients and no preservatives. Visit them online at or if you're in the Raleigh area, stop by their boutique at The Cotton Company located in Wake Forest. 

    Chic Giveaway! If you caught the show, you know White Pear is giving away an Energy Gift Set {Moisturizer, Soap, and Sugar Scrub}. Enter to win by completing one, or all, of the following and leave a comment below for each entry completed including bonus entries {each comment = 1 entry}. Please be sure to include your name and/or twitter ID.
    • Visit and let us know which scent or product you would most like to try.
    • Like White Pear on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall. 
    Bonus Entries {optional} ~ 
    • Follow @ChicLuxuries on Twitter
    • Tweet about this giveaway, sample tweet ~  #Win a luxurious bath and body gift set from @WhitePearShop and @ChicLuxuries on #Contest #Giveaway
    Contest ends 11:59 PM ET May 3, 2012. For Complete Rules and additional Gifting Events, please visit our Chic Giveaways page.

    Many thanks to our friends at White Pear for sponsoring this giveaway and supplying us with their fabulous products for the segment and to My Carolina Today for having us.

    Pics courtesy of White Pear

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