Shabby Apple Dress Review and Giveaway – Win the Guinea a Minute Dress in Your Favorite Color!

shabbyappledress_5Hello lovely readers! Today I am partnering with the Vintage Clothing boutique Shabby Apple to bring you a great giveaway: for this super-cute Guinea a Minute Dress!

shabbyapplecolorsIt comes in three colors: Black & White Striped Top with Teal Skirt, Black & White Striped Top with Mustard Skirt [the one I’m wearing!], and Black & Green Striped Top with Black Skirt. shabbyappledress_1 Made of a stretchy medium-weight cotton, it really enhances your curves and is super-cute! (I plan to wear under a longer, poufier skirt too when I just want the striped top showing, or under a swingy sweater to play off the mustard skirt). shabbyappledress_3This dress has two functional pockets in the skirt waist adorned with two little buttons on each side – and there are 2 buttons on each of the sleeves near the cuffs. I love the longer length of this dress – it’s totally appropriate for work, but can be dressed up for some nautical-inspired style or a vintage pinup look. One thing to keep in mind with this dress is that the skirt is much more clingy than the top – so if you’d rather keep everything under wraps I’d advise shapewear underneath!;-) Based on the reviews of the dress I sized 1 size up from my usual size 6…and upon wearing it without shapewear underneath I wished I had gone yet another size larger! If you are pear-shaped, hippy, or have full thighs definitely size for your bottom half:-)shabbyappledress_2

So, who would like to win her choice of color of the Guinea a Minute Dress? Complete the steps below!!

Edit 11/23: Giveaway is now closed and winner has been chosen. Thanks for entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

shabbyappledress_4Good luck!!

And come back tomorrow for full outfit details and more photos! 😉



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Soooo Cheap! Take Advantage of Columbus Day Sales Happening Now!


1. ChicWish Baroque Embossed A-Line Sleeveless Dress, $50.92  /  2. Cobson Glasses in Midnight Blue, $99  /  3. Russian Doll Sunglasses, $49  /  4. Romwe Caped Navy Blue Boat, $82.99

5. Romwe Color Intrigue Galaxy Print Legging, $19.99  /  6. ASOS Paul the Panda Sweater, $34.71  /  7. ASOS Suppose Pointed Heels, $43.61  /  8. ChicWish 3D Flower Embellished White Shirt, $38.17  /  9. ChicWish Diamond Jewel Stone Necklace, $16.92  /  10. ASOS Across Body with 2 Front Buckles, $17.80

Columbus Day is now upon us and the sales are happening quick! Don’t let some great deals pass you by… Fall Sale CreativeShop and get up to 50% off during the Mid Season Sale!

You can get a free pair of sunglasses with any order over $99 at BonLook with coupon code FREESUN.

Shop Now

ChicWish is offering Free Shipping and 15% off your first order.

Shop ChicWish Now

Romwe is having a Columbus Day sale where you can get an additional 14.92% off of $50 of sale items with promo code 1492.

Shop Romwe Now

Happy shopping!


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Rock Your Music World with Monster Headphones and Enter to Win Your Own Pair!


monsterheadphones1Really, really love listening to music? Want to feel the music all the way down in your toes and immerse yourself in its world? Need to upgrade over the tiny and flimsy earbuds that came with your phone? Monster N-Tune Headphones may be just what you’re looking for! monsterheadphones2

I was recently sent a pair of Monster N-Tune HD Headphones to review, and was pleasantly surprised at the sheer durability of the product, and the quality of the sound through them. The headphones come packaged in this very slick case, with a soft microfiber pouch to house them in while you’re on the go. Just cinch the drawstring, and you can throw them in your bag without any worries over them being crushed or tangled. These headphones are practically indestructible – and no matter how much junk you’re carrying around in your bag (guilty! 😉 they still emerge intact. The band that goes over your head can be twisted, yanked, or even crushed – and it withstands everything that you can throw at it no matter what. monsterheadphones3

Since the headphones are available in 5 different candy-bright colors, you can personalize your ‘phones with your choice of color (and I was especially thrilled that the pair I received was in my favorite blue hue!). Giving a nod to the fact that many people use their phones for listening to their tunes, the tangle-free cord also includes a universal in-line remote that can answer phone calls (as well as play and pause the music).monsterheadphones4

The sound quality is fantastic, and the compact on-ear style allows you to become completely immersed in the music (and doesn’t mess with your ear adornments 😉 They block out the surrounding environment completely so you can focus. Plus they work double-duty: not just for music, I’ve also been using them for all my video sound-editing lately, and they’re a lot more comfortable and light than my old outdated “cans” [those huge ear-covering headphones used by sound editors]. monsterheadphones6

And with the holiday season coming up, a pair of headphones in the recipient’s favorite color would add a dose of awesome to their music – and thrill any young music-lover with your great taste. Just sayin’!

Enter to Win a Pair of Monster Headphones (ARV $150)!!

How to Enter:

1. Visit the Monster Headphones page on

2. Leave a comment on this post telling me which is your favorite N-Tune color for a chance to win!

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.
For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

BlogHer will pool entries from participating blogs and select a sweepstakes winner at random and will contact the winner with details about fulfilling the prize.

The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 10/2/13 – 11/1/13.Please let me know if you have any questions.

Good luck!

xo Carly

To win your very own pair of N-Tune headphones (valued at $150), read all about the Monster headphones here and let me know in the comments of this post which color you prefer. The comments on this post will be aggregated with the comments on the posts from the other bloggers participating in this review, and 25 pairs will be given away. This giveaway will close on Nov 1.

FTC Disclosure: I was provided a pair of Monster NTunes headphones for review purposes as part of a paid campaign with BlogHer and Monster Headphones. The above opinions are my own. Monster Headphones is also providing 25 winners in their giveaway with a pair of headphones each. My full Disclosure Policy is here.


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Review & Giveaway: Diamond Candles and 5 Ways to Tell if Your Diamond Candles Ring is Real

diamondcandles_introphotoCandles are a great way to brighten up and add some glamour to any living space. Diamond Candles takes it a step further by including a surprise in each and every soy-based candle: a $10, $100, or $1000 ring! They have some really fun scents, too, like Caribbean Dream, Cupcake, Sweety Pea, Ocean Mist, Chocolate Truffle, Vanilla Lime (yum!).

I was sent a complimentary candle to try out, and I chose the Fresh Grass scent (now sold out, unfortunately:-(

diamondcandles_burning2Indeed, just as the reviews say, it does smell like a hint of grass, with a fresh laundry smell, and a slightly sweet undertone. It is reminiscent of waterfalls, lush, mossy areas, and sweet, wet grass – a very pleasant and clean smell. The scent lasts awhile, lingering in the air for hours after burning, which is a huge plus (compared to candles whose smell just fades away once extinguished!) And I would definitely order it again if they re-stock it.

diamondcandles_burningBut of course the real draw was the hidden ring inside the candle: what would it look like? Was it real? How much would it be worth? It was sort of a treasure hunt inside a candle. You can tell where the ring is embedded from the outside: just a few inches below the top of the wax, so at least I knew what I was aiming for.

diamondcandles_ringIt took about 6-8+ hours to burn the candle enough to where the wax was soft enough to remove the ring. (Use a skewer or toothpick to remove, place on a paper towel, and allow to cool before handling!) Then, carefully peel off the surrounding foil and plastic packaging, making sure the wax is hard before you do so. (I was too eager and some of the molten wax got on my ring, which is proving truly difficult to remove!)diamondcandles_ring2When I got my ring out I was very pleased to see that the quality of the ring was very good – in that it was an excellent piece of costume jewelry. Though I could tell almost immediately that my ring was not worth $100, let alone $1000, it was still a decent piece of jewelry, with precise settings and a pretty piece of yellow glass in the center. It could pass for an actual wedding or engagement ring, since the stone had a sparkle to it and the setting did look expensive.

But if you’re wondering if your ring is the real deal (and one of the rare rings worth $100 or $1000, as Diamond Candles says), here’s how to find out:

5 Ways to Tell if Your Diamond Candles Ring is Real (as in, Worth $100+)

howtotellifyourringisreal_moldseams1. Look at the quality of the setting and ring shank. Do you see any lines or obvious seams? If so, the setting and/or shank was created in a 2-part mold, rather than fabricated out of precious metal wire and sheet. Lines or seams in central areas of the setting and/or shank indicate the ring was cheaply made.

howtotellifyourringisreal_missingstamp2. Look inside the ring shank for a stamp. Any stamp that says something like 10K, 14K, 18K, 585, 750, 900, 950, PT, Plat…or a jeweler’s name or brand name indicates the ring is made of precious metal. If there is no stamp or signature, or if like my ring, yours says “China,” then the shank is likely made of cheap, base metal.

howtotellifyourringisreal_crispletters3. Look at the stone, and turn it upside-down on a piece of newsprint or a magazine. If it is a diamond, you should not be able to read anything through the stone; if it is glass, you will be able to. A real diamond has a high refractive index and will distort type.


4. Look carefully at the sides of the stone. When you rock the ring from side to side, do you see any flashes of extra colors – like bright orange or bright green? If yes, then you may be dealing with a real diamond or citrine. Also, any colors visible in the flashes appear as in distinct bands or solid areas. Glass stones (or low-quality diamonds) will often show a full rainbow spectrum in their facets, with colors not distinct from one another.


5. Look at the inside of the stone. In glass stones, you will often see air bubbles trapped in the glass. Real gemstones may have inclusions, but not perfectly-round air bubbles. (This is something apparent upon magnification.)

Source 1 ; Source 2

This is not just a useful rule of thumb for evaluating your Diamond Candle ring…you can also use it to check out rings when buying vintage pieces or evaluating heirlooms in your collection. (Of course, a jeweler will be able to do the best job in distinguishing fake from real – but you might be able to save yourself the money by looking closely and at least eliminating pieces that are obviously not expensive items.)


So, are you ready to embark on your very own treasure hunt with Diamond Candles?

You Could Win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck to everyone!



FTC Disclosure: I was sent one Diamond Candle for review purposes (ARV: $25). I was not compensated in any way for this post. The opinions above are my own. One candle will be provided to the winner of this giveaway courtesy of Diamond Candles. To read my full Disclosure Policy, click here.

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I’m Participating in the Third Annual M&J Trimming Blogger Challenge!

mjtrim_bloggerchallengeboxI was so thrilled to be recently contacted by M&J Trimming to participate in their Third Annual M&J Trimming Blogger Challenge.

Alongside other powerhouse DIY bloggers (such as Kristin of Glitter ‘n’ Glue and Lia of Smart n Snazzy), I’m in amazing company!

M&J Trimming sent me a box full of amazing DIY supplies as you can see above…and I got super-busy creating!

Read the M&J Trimming Intro to All the Bloggers Here

…and tomorrow head over to the M&J Trimming Blog, where all my projects will be available!



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April Sponsor Spotlight: The Plaid Barn and a Giveaway: Goodie Box Stuffed with $50 Worth of DIY and Crafting Supplies!

The_Plaid_Barn_giveawayIt’s April already – which means a brand-new sponsor for Chic Steals and an amazing giveaway too!

The_Plaid_Barn_logoThis month’s sponsor is The Plaid Barn: a one-stop destination for daily sales of crafting and DIY supplies, all highly discounted from 60% off and higher.  With items ranging from 5 cents – around $40 at the very most, all the supplies available on the site are super-affordable…and are of extremely high quality, rivaling that which you can get at retail stores (for a huge markup in the stores, that is).  They have offered sales on washi tape bundles, mini clothespins, flower barrettes, printed scarves, pretty cabochons, and typewriter earrings (just to name a few), as well as DIY kits and grab bags full of lovely supplies. (Even after the Daily Deal has expired, you can still purchase supplies and kits here.) You can also hear an interview with founder Lindsay Edens that I did in my last Creatively Chic podcast here.

Caress Passionate Spell Finer Fragrance Elixir Body Wash Review + $25 Gift Card Giveaway!GIVEAWAY: A Box Stuffed with $50 Worth of Crafting SuppliesCaress Passionate Spell Finer Fragrance Elixir Body Wash Review + $25 Gift Card Giveaway!

Caress Passionate Spell Finer Fragrance Elixir Body Wash Review + $25 Gift Card Giveaway!How to EnterCaress Passionate Spell Finer Fragrance Elixir Body Wash Review + $25 Gift Card Giveaway!

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And that’s it!

Giveaway open to anyone, WORLDWIDE!

Giveaway period is open from now until Sunday, April 14, 11:59 PM PST.
Winner chosen by The Plaid Barn representative and notified by email.
Good luck!


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