July 29, 2011

My Summer Sun must-haves

I'm a little bit of a product freak...you should see my linen closet and bathroom drawers, too many products!! But, I have a lot of favorites for summer sun time that I thought you might like too. Here's my list of must-haves for beach time.

Clinique SPF Face Cream

My face can easily break out so I like to use an SPF formulated just for faces that is oil-free. I also like that this has a few added benefits that you don't always get with the drug store brands. Here's what Sephora says about this cream: Clinique's innovative SolarSmart™ complex triggers an anti-aging repair process while at once providing skin with a high level of defense from the aging and burning effects of UVA and UVB rays. The formulation also includes a boost of antioxidants to shield skin from environmental aggressors. 

My sister and I both have sensitive skin and this never irritates us. I also have a cream I use by Lancome but it doesn't seem to be available online anymore, bummer.

Floppy Hats
These are an obvious must-have! I have a big floppy hat from Gap, but here are a few others that I think are cute and definitely shield you from the sun. I used to have a straw cowboy hat in high school that I wore to the beach, so I added one to the mix. So cute.

Top left via, top right via, bottom left via, bottom right via.

SPF Spray Lotion
I don't know why this wasn't invented when I was a kid, so easy. I always bring a Target one with me to the beach or pool. Cheap and it works great.

Now, for after the sun I have a few things that never fail me...

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads
These just came out this year and I LOVE them. One little pad exfoliates your skin, gives it some antioxidants and leaves you with a great, natural looking glow. My face never seems to get that tan, especially with all the lotion I put on. This is a great way to give yourself a glow, minus the sun damage. Sephora and Nordstrom both sell these for around $32, but the best deal is really from Amazon, you can get a pack of 20 for only $26! And free shipping too.

Tree Hut Shea Body Butter
After a day at the beach I always slather on a really thick cream. This has been a favorite of mine since I got it for a birthday gift in January. It has the best beachy scent and really moisturizes great. Another bonus? The products are made right here in America and are all natural. Everything they make also uses certified organic shea. My favorite scent is Hawaiian Kukui.

Aromatherapy Sugar Scrub with Essential Oils
I've been using this scrub from the Bath&Body Works Aromatherapy line since high school, it's good stuff. Right when I see the first signs of any peeling starting I use this. Not only does it exfoliate like nothing else, but it also has an oil base so your are super smooth and moisturized when you step out of the shower. They have a lot of good scents too, strong, but not quite as over powering as some of the other B&B Works products.

Vasoline Cocoa Butter Body Oil
More moisturizers! To me, Summer is all about keeping your skin nice and soft and of course the moisture helps to keep your tan around a little longer too. I like to put this on my legs right after showering or before a night out! The oil contains:
  • Brazilian nut oil - rich in essential nutrients known to boost skin's moisture barrier
  • Almond oil - naturally high in minerals and known antioxidants
It smells great too!

That's the list! What about you guys, are there any products you swear by for summer time that I should try?

July 27, 2011

Words for Wednesday

I love this quote and the adorable custom made print by Uplifting Prints. I am dying to have this cute little print to hang in my bathroom. There are tons of prints for sale in UP's etsy shop. And guess what? There is also a giveaway going on right now at bouffe e bambini. Head on over there and enter to win a print of your own!

July 25, 2011

Steal of the Week: Free Lettuce Wraps from PF Changs

This is a seriously good deal. My sister found this at Money Saving Mom's site. . All you need to do is "Like" P.F. Changs on Facebook and you get a coupon for one FREE Lettuce wraps appetizer with the purchase of a drink or food. This offer ends July 31st so go print your coupon today! Sign up HERE.

July 21, 2011

Favorite roofdecks in Chicago

Everything's better when you do it outside, isn't it? There's nothing I like more than sitting on a roof deck, overlooking the gorgeous skyline on a summer evening. Sipping a drink high above the streets always reminds me why I love this city. I put together my list of favorite alfresco roof decks to try in Chicago.

Let's start with The Terrace at Conrad. What I love the most about the Terrace is that it's unassuming. Very laid back and chill. Which is why it's great for drinks after work, any day of the week. They also show movies on Sunday nights, go here for the dates of showings. It's located on the fifth floor perched above Nordstrom and Rush Street. My cocktail of choice here is the Mango Bubbles because frankly, I can't resist a good cocktail with bubbly on top!

Via Conrad website

Above 4 pictures from big sister's camera
Next let's head up to the 26th floor at Vertigo Sky Lounge. This is another great spot for cocktails, a lot higher up than the Terrace and more happening for nights out, as opposed to just happy hour. Vertigo is a part of the Dana Hotel. Interesting to note, Vertigo is actually open year round! Yes, in the middle of December they have a fire going outside and you can put on one of the Dana hotel's bathrobes to stay warm and sip drinks! My drink of choice here is bubbly, but they have great specialty cocktails as well!

Via the Dana Hotel

And last but not least, C-View. I saved the highest for last, C-View is located on the 29th floor in the Affinia hotel. This is so high above the city streets you can forget about all the hustle and bustle going on below and just enjoy a drink and relax with awesome views of the skyline. They have a great drink list and serve food from the C-View restaurant. I haven't been here as often as the others, so no drink of choice, but whatever I had when I went was delicious!

Both via

My beautiful Mom!

If you live here or are just visiting, I hope you get a chance to check out one of the many roofdecks in the city! And more to come -- I'll be back later in the summer with Part II. We haven't even talked about one of my favorites, Trump yet!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Terrace @ Conrad
521 North Rush Street

Vertigo @ the Dana Hotel
Two West Erie Street

C-View @ Affinia Hotel
166 E Superior Street

July 19, 2011

We have a winner!

The winner of the Shabby Apple giveaway is Ruri! The random number generator came up with number 1. Thanks so much to everyone who entered!

Ruri, I'll email you so we can talk details and you can pick which piece of jewelry you'd like!

July 18, 2011

Chicago Eats: 5411 food truck

I finally had my first experience with a food truck. I am loving this trend, such a novel idea and great way to try something different for lunch. Last week the 5411 empanada truck was right by my work and I was so excited to try it out! You can get 5411's lunchtime locations by following them on Twitter. 5411 creates gourmet Argentine empandas, and guess what? They are baked, not fried. No need to feel guilty if you happen to try oh, you know, 3 or 4...

Are these not the most gorgeous empanadas you've ever seen?? Each flavor of empie is baked in a different shape dough.
Via the 5411 website.
The menu for the day.
The truck did not let me down. I had the Beef empanada and the Spinach and cheese one, delicious! I also got a side of chimichurri sauce. The homemade baked dough was perfectly cooked and flaky. And you've got to love the prices, all empanadas are only $1.99 each and a selection drinks are only $.99 cents.

My one regret? Not trying the Nutella & banana one. Huge fail on my part. I must get that for dessert next time. Do you guys have any favorite food trucks where you live? Any I should scope out in the Chicago area?

July 14, 2011

Steal of the Week: The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Some things are so good, they only happen once a year. It's that time again -- The Nordstrom Anniversary sale!! New Fall lines will be on sale starting tomorrow morning at 8 AM. I obviously couldn't wait until then, I've been hitting up the preview sale all week and wanted to share my favorite finds with you.

Let's start with accessories. There are awesome deals on Michael Kors watches. The three pictured below are featured, but there are also 4 or 5 other styles on sale. This is probably the only time you will find these watches marked down. There is a light and dark tortoise shell on sale and there are also a few DKNY watches that are more reasonably priced than the MK ones.

In this same department, my absolute favorite tights on our sale -- Spanx Tight End Tights, get it :) These are a wardrobe staple for me in the winter. Perfect opaque color and lots of slimming action happening up top. This year they added a new style, reversible! Hey, why not? I got a black/brown pair. Regularly $42 and something like $28 for the sale. Also, upstairs in the initmates department, the best Spanx basics are on sale -- the girl short shaper and the longer, high-waist shapers. Again -- wordrobe staples in my opinion. See food posts here and here if you're wondering why....

On to the shoes!! This is hands down the best time to buy Fall boots. We all know how expensive a good pair of leather boots can be, so I think it's best to scout out the sales. I purchased my first pair of Fryes at the anniversary sale a few years back, definitely a worthwhile investment! Here's a few boots I'm liking from this year's sale:

Tory Burch, even I can't rationalize myself into shelling out the money for these. But they are gorgeous aren't they?

Both of the below boots are a good deal. On the left is Steve Madden for around $130 and on the right is Nordstrom's brand BP, a great "steal" for tall leather boots at $109.90.

Last but not least, the jeans department has some decent sales. There are a couple of different Hudson's on sale, the Baby Boot and a skinny pair. They are both normally $170+ but on sale for around $115 I believe.

Let me know if you guys find any good deals -- Happy Shopping!

July 13, 2011

Words for Wednesday

Image via
Does anyone else remember the "Wear Sunscreen" speech and song? It came out in 1998 and I loved it (an early indicator of my quotes fascination)! I stumbled across it in my iTunes the other day, and it's still good. Above is an excerpt I thought was worth remembering. You can read the full text of the speech here.

July 11, 2011

Shabby Apple Giveaway!

Happy Monday, I've got a treat for you! The first ever Little Ditty giveaway! Shabby Apple has graciously given me the opportunity to give one lucky reader their choice of a piece of jewelry from their online collection.

Shabby Apple has so many cute things! I am loving their dresses and skirts. They even have maternity dresses and little girls sizes. And now is the perfect time to shop, their summer sale is going on and you can get 20% off a lot of things on the site! Here are some of my favorites below...

Now, on to the jewelry. There are so many things I'd like to order! I found a few of my favorites for summer below. You know that coral bracelet would look awesome with a sundress and a little tan :)

The Giveaway
One Little Ditty reader will win one piece of Shabby Apple Jewelry of their choice. Here's how you can enter:
- Mandatory entry, go to Shabby Apple and then leave a comment here with your favorite thing from the site. It can be anything dresses, skirts, jewelry, etc.

- Bonus Entries, you can get additional entries if you (1) become a fan of Shabby Apple on Facebook, (2) are a follower of my blog, (3) tweet about this giveaway, (4) post the giveaway to Facebook or (5) blog about it. Each of those items earns you one bonus entry, just leave me another comment!

I'll pick one winner using random.org sometime on Monday, July 18th. Good Luck!

If you don't win or just can't wait to get your hands on something from the site, here is a special discount code for 10% off. Use ALittleDitty10off at checkout. This code will work for 30 days.

Details: The winner must live in the Continental United States. Please leave your email in your comment if it is not linked to your Google account so I will have a way to contact you.

July 6, 2011

Words for Wednesday

I hope everyone had a great 4th! I had a few days off and it was so nice to have a little break from the daily grind. I've got an exciting giveaway to announce later this week, a Little Ditty first!! Stay tuned for more details. And without further adieu, this week's Words for Wednesday...

Lake Michigan as taken from my HTC EVO


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