Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter dresses for minis.

Easter Sunday is...wait for it...this Sunday. We're going to an Easter egg hunt and I was thinking I should find a pretty dress for Mini G. She's very opinionated on what she wears, putting ensembles together completely on her own. The main guides are Elsa and that it's blue. Elsa is always a winner, however solid blue can usually trump Elsa. Those are the house rules. Four of these dresses are more of what I would pick for her. I think she would go for the Nautica dress (top row, #3), but in blue and Ralph Lauren dress (bottom row, #3). I'm doubtful that anything would arrive in time, but shipping has gotten much faster at Macy's so it's possible. If I go for something online, I'll be sure to do it today. I'll probably visit in-person to see what they have.

I went to to look at dresses, but couldn't get the products to load after clicking on them. So I went over to I could see Mini liking these four styles. They're more for casual wear than a dressy occasion, but would probably work just fine for our needs. She already has the top left tutu dress, but in a different color.

HAPPY gets 35% off  & free 2-day shipping on $75+. That will come in handy if I decide to order online. It looks like that promo is good online only. I might stop by a store to see what they have and what the prices are like. HAPPY is only good thru Mon nite, so I'll have to be decisive before the promo ends at 8:59 PST.

Do you dress up your kids and/or yourself for Easter? Do you have your outfits picked out, yet? I'll get something new for Mini G, but I'll be looking at my skirt collection and picking something for myself. The challenge for me is wearing somethng I'll feel comfortable shooting photos in. I'm an amatuer, shooting for fun, but I like to sit on the ground or whatever it takes to get the shot I want. A skirt might be not be the best choice, but I'll know once I start trying things on.

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

J Crew Factory - Last chance for Gilt City

I hope some of you took advantage of the awesome 40-60% off at J Crew Factory30% off w/your Gilt City coupon code. Most promo codes work thru 11:59 PST. I hope that's the case with this one because it's just after 8:30 PST and I have some recs:

Prices are before addtl 30% off

I ordered
I already have the retail floral print skirt, but the sheaths have been done well in both retail and factory, so I thought I'd try the floral print dress (net approx $40). The ponte dress in stripe (net approx $40) is cotton/spandex. Yay for that. I didn't think to check if it has pockets. If I like it, I hope it does. The scallop necklace (review) I like, but didn't need. I haven't been wearing my jewelry very much lately. The net $11 price made it very attractive.

If you need a code, try...

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Weekend Promos & Sales

Ok, so after I boxed & taped up the Arabian princess costume (a.k.a. Jasmine), George said we should just keep it. So I didn't return it. Mini wore it for a couple of day with her Jasmine tiara that I found on Ebay. The attire was short lived and of course now we're back to Elsa. I do like this costume quite a bit. I'll have to update my online review because Mini G did mention that it's scratchy. She just wears a long sleeve shirt and leggings under it, which works fine because the costume is a little large. Of course that was short lived and we're back to Elsa.

In Crohn's & anemia news, this past week was better than the previous. I decided to add coconut water to help with heal and prevent Crohn's flares. I've tried Trader Joe's band and another and I cannot sip them as easily as water. I hold my nose and chug down 2 oz in the am and 2 oz in the pm. Next week I'll share the name of the 2nd one I tried because I'm probably going to try a new one and will share that, too. I also added Trader Joe's coconut oil to my diet. I don't know why, but I tried eating the coconut oil a teaspoon at a time. Then I remembered that I could just mix it in with things. I mix in in my tea. Tea that I need to stop drinking, because the tannins in tea interfere with iron absorption. I also add the coconut oil to my steel cut oatmeal. And last nite I finally got brave enough to cook popcorn in it. I was worried that I wouldn't cook correctly with it or that the taste would be unbearable. Quite the contrary. It was soooooo good. Years ago I found a fool proof popcorn popping method. Check it out with, pretty pictures, on Baked Bree. This is my first time seeing honey + butter. I might try that one day.

I ordered a number of things from Amazon yesterday. Most were herbal related items. While I was on the site, I noticed these beauties. Nine West Garrie ($50.05), Charles David Pact ($99), Isaac Mizrahi ($50.30) and Nine West Chimein (pictured color is $44).

$50 off full-price dresses w/DRESSFORIT
40% off sale items, no code needed
20% off sale items w/EXTRAEXTRA
Addtl 50% off sale items with BRSPRING
Ends Tue, 3/24

BOGO 50% sale items in-store & online B1G150OFF n, ends Sun, 3/29
If you shop Forever 21 and aren't signed up for emails, do so. They've sent 30% off and 40% off one regular price item via email. That type of promo is rare, but I've seen two in the past 4-6 wks. 

On last week's free ship no min promo, I ordered the classic v-neck cardigan ($8.90) in lime, sz S. It's a color that I'll have to mix with other things to work well with my skin tone, but I like the color pop.
 40% off your purchase and free 2-day shipping with HAPPY, some exclusions
Ends Mon, 3/30

30% off sales styles & 50% off cuffed chambray with HAPPYSPRING, ends Sun, 3/29

I wore my cuffed chambrays (review) yesterday and they pulled at the side seams, showing white. Hard to explain without photos, but it looks like distressing at the parts where they stretched. I'm going to return them. I don't know if I will exchange them for another pair. They didn't stretch out with wear during the day like other elastic waist/drawstring pants. 
40-60% off sitewide, ends Sun, 3/29 
30% off one-time use code thru Gilt City, ends Sun, 3/29

Older reviews in the Factory Irl Pic Guide.

I'm still waiting on my order of the shoes and LOVELY sweatshirt in the set below. The ikat Isabelle pumps are $54.50 + 30% w/your Gilt City code. That navy floral sweater is sold out, fyi. It went very quickly in the new release.

I saw the a.n.a. Farah pumps on Instagram. #stripesick -- They're satin. I don't know how I feel about that. Would have to see in-person.. Free shipping on $99+ or free shipping to a store on $25+. That's cool.

25% off sale items with EXTRAS, ends Sun 3/29
Free shipping on all orders

Still loving my make headlines canvas bag ($25). I use it for so many random things. It's my last minute grab bag. Yesterday I toted a DSLRs in it. Then put that inside of larger, open tote.


The closing sale was 60% off sitewide, all final sale. Some of the items were still regular price. I was surprised they didn't drop the prices more before the discount. However, Saturday is supposed to be folded in to Kate Spade so it's possible we'll see some of those items in the near future. Or maybe at our local TJ Maxx stores. There's an interesting article on Fashionista about why KS Saturday wasn't successful.

40% off everything, ends?

Not sure if LOVESPRING1 for $25 off $50 regular price still works. If it does, it will be on prices ending in .00. Meaning it will stack with the net 40% off prices.

INSIDER357 for $25 off $100, expires 3/31. I didn't get to test either of these codes.

Check out my Facebook feeds.
*  Gi Gi. - I can see your status updates, unless you block me (?). Don't know how blocking works. I share the deals + funny videos and links to interesting articles.

Gigi's Gone Shopping. - Works like a fan or business page. Cannot see your status updates or anything about you. No inspirational quotes or funny videos. I share just the deals, the deal and nothing but the deals. I've been linking to a few retail business articles as of late. 

I usually share from Macy's, Old Navy & Target for sure, but not this go-round. Yesterday I went to a seminar for work and then straight to shoot a baby shower. Did you see my InstapicI didn't get home last nite until after Mini G went to sleep. I need to take is her the park and go to the Farmer's Market. Can't wait to get outside!

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

My herbal remedies for iron deficiency anemia

I received an email requesting more information about my experience with lemongrass oil to combat anemia. In the event you need to get caught up, I shared my Crohn's diagnosis and the fact that I have anemia caused by bleeding ulcers over on 1060 Pairs.

I had general bloodwork done last August and my ferrutin level was 6. The normal range is 15-150 ng/mL. As you can see, I was very low, not even hitting the minimum measurement of 15. I was prescribed 325 mg of ferrous sulfate to take twice/day. I didn't take them regularly for two reasons. One was that I would simply forget. Apparently, a side effect of anemia is foggy brain. The second reason I didn't take the iron Rx is that iron supplements can cause constipation. Mainly, though, I would just forget. George got frustrated on occasion, thinking that I wasn't listening to him or was ignoring him on purpose when I didn't respond while he was talking. Little pings would go off in my head, but dots were not being connected. Many times I couldn't get a coherent thought together to share. My other anemia symptoms included shortness of breath, heart palpitations and fatigue. The fatigue feels like an achy pain all over in the inside my body. I knew the heart palpitations were not my anxiety and that they were related to the shortness of breath. Neither of these worried me. I just felt like my body was working hard because I was out of shape.

Right around the time I got my test results, one of my best friends had went to an essential oils party. So she looked up anemia for me and told me about lemongrass oil. I did a general search online. Shortly after, I picked up Aura Cacia lemongrass oil at a local health food store. There are only 2 brands of oils at this store and I've always liked my Aura Cacia, so I stuck with that. Dr. Google (slaps knee) told me to apply a few drops of oil to the soles of my feet. So I did. And still do. I often don't wear socks, so I was concerned about attracting additional dirt into my shoes because of the oil. I haven't really run into that problem. The scent is lemony, and bright, if that makes sense. I feel like it adds a boost when I'm feeling tired. I try to do it twice/day. I ran out of the oil a couple of weeks ago and I could really tell the difference without it. I plan to get a 2nd bottle so I can have one in the car and one at home.

Around the same time, Mini's 3-year checkup came and she tested low for iron. I don't know if it's standard to check, but her pediatrician had the bloodwork checked for hereditary issues. It turns out Mini G has thalassemia minor, a hereditary anemia. Minor is better than major. We'll have to keep this in mind as she goes thru life, switches doctors, etc... There could be comptability with life issues if she has a baby with someone who has the same condition. I will have to be 100% clear about the facts in the future. Right now I don't remember the details and at her age of 3.5 I certainly don't have to worry about pregnancy. Her diagnosis is interesting though because it means that George & I are both carriers. My doctor didn't test to see if I have hereditary anemia. She sent me down the gastro road, which is fine. However, if I have hereditary anemia, it's something we should know about because in some cases you don't want to keep taking Rx iron supplements because it can cause problems. Back to Mini, she will sometimes say she's exhausted. I've used the lemongrass on the soles of her feet, but not regularly. I swear it seems like we finally just got into a groove since the spring forward time change. The other day I told her to remind me that we need to do oil when we take vitamins. I'll have to move the oil on the shelf next to the vitamins.

Another anemia remedy is unsulphered black strap molasses. I took that a few times last fall, but more or less forgot about it. So between the iron Rx, the lemongrass oil and the unsulphered black strap molasses, I ended up doing the lemongrass oil most consistently. My bloodwork was done exactly 4 months later and my ferrutin level was 15. The level was still low, but I doubled it within 4 months -- thru the use of lemongrass oil. When I recently ran out of the oil, I remembered the blackstrap molasses. I take Grandma's Original in the morning. I'm still feeling very tired too often, so I've been trying to take it in the late afternoon as well. I have the oil again, but I dropped the habit after not having it for a couple weeks. I was also taking it with me in my purse, forgetting where I put it, left it at my mom's one time. I definitely need a 2nd bottle of the oil.

From Daily Super Food Love here are benefits of unsulphered black strap molasses: relieve constipation, decrease eczema, diminish anxiety, ease acid reflux, regulate menstrual flow, reduce cysts and tumors, reverse hair damage, and reduce inflammation from joint pain. On a number of sites I've read that it's supposed to grow your hair its original color and slow down the greys. 

Unsulphured blackstrap molasses is also rich in antioxidants known as polyphenols. Polyphenols are a chemical that can protect against the effects of aging, reduce cardiovascular disease, and may even prevent cancer.

In a thread on Earth Clinic, there are a lot of suggestions for incorporating the molasses into drinks and food. I just take it right off a tablespoon. The best way to describe it is that my brain thinks it's honey, based on the gooey texture. And then I realize it's not honey at all. Some people say it's bitter. I'm used to the taste now. I don't ever crave the taste, but I adapted to within a couple weeks. I never feel like I have to chase it with water or mix it into a drink. I tried it in tea and maybe coffee. Didn't work for me. I just try to think about how something so inexpensive and easy it is to take and get it on down in one hit. Speaking of tea, I was on a few sites, including Rate Tea, reading how tannins in teas can interfere with iron absorption. It's always something, isn't it? Too bad about the tea because I drink about 4 cups/day. I'm going to have to cut back on tea, bump up my water intake, keep up with the molasses and lemongrass and see if my energy level goes up.

I have a seriously fuzzy memory right now. I'm tired. It's late. I'm not a doctor. I only proofread this a couple of times. Please research these things for yourself and ask your physician questions. Even if you decide to try herbal remedies, be sure you're getting your bloodwork done. I can't underscore the importance of getting tested. Don't just treat symptoms, especially not on your own. 

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p.s. J. Crew Factory has 40-60% off items + you can use your Gilt City coupon code. Remember, you can 'order' up to 5 codes from the pull-down list and the promo is also good in-store. The last day is Sun, 3/29. The polka-dot ruffle hem dress nets $40 after using a Gilt code.

Earlier in the week I ordered the Isabelle ikat pumps. They currently net $38.15 with a Gilt code. Crazy deals. I wear 7.5, but like all J. Crew pumps, I take an 8 in the Isabelles.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Guest Review: J Crew sleeveless tassel tunic dress

We have a guest reviewer today! ZanyAZ is sharing her thoughts on the sleeveless tassel tunic dress (B6494, $98), which runs XXXS - XL. It's currently on sale online for $74.99.

Size S - bright indigo -  PSA: It's HUGE! And long! I should have known given that the only reviewer on is pregnant! I thought I was sizing down by ordering a small, but I'm swimming in it! I often get a M for length. I'm almost 5'10" and it goes below my knees, almost too long for flats. I'm usually a 6, sometimes an 8, rarely a 4. The model is probably my height, maybe a bit taller, so imagine what it looks like on someone shorter!

It's kind of beachy, which is weird since it's poly. The color is nice and vibrant. I personally wouldn't belt it, but I suppose it's possible. I don't mind wearing the occasional summer sack dress (at my height of 5'9" 1/2 I can pull it off), but this is really unflattering. I'm small busted, with no hips and a booty, FYI. 

I didn't edit the color and it's pretty accurate. I was trying to show how wide it is and though I don't want the dress to fit this way (last pic), I was just showing how much extra fabric/width there is.

Anyway, I love your blog and I just wanted to save others from this final sale disaster. I'll answer any questions in the comments.


I love you for reviewing and taking photos. Thank you, ZanyAZ!

As she stated, ZanyAZ will answer any questions in the comments.

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p.s. I'm always accepting reviews! If you'd like to submit, please share the following via email:

* 2-3 pics of you in the item(s). Crop your head for privacy, if you like, or I can do it on my end.
* Review name you want to go by if you don't want to use your real name.
* Your height and applicable measurements.
* Briefly discuss fit, fabric and anything else you want to share.
* Email to gigiofca@gmail with Guest Review in the subject line.

No need to ask in advance. Just send the review on over!

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