The Best Black Friday Sales

Hey there! Hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving with those you love! 
It's Black Friday, which means the deals are hot this weekend. I'm here sharing the best of the Black Friday shopping sales! This is the day I get most of my Christmas shopping done, so I'm excited to tackle my list.  Here we go!
ANTHROPOLOGIE: 30% off everything! Price reflected at checkout. Here are some of my favorites:
I picked up this chunky knit sweater last week since I had some giftcards from my birthday. But of course it's on sale today! Gotta love it ;) It's so warm...I wear it all the time! Size down.


I think I'm grabbing this green lace top today! It's so beautiful. Such intricate lace and with button down the back...it's the perfect holiday top! I have green/blue eyes, so it really made them pop.


Chenille Pullover-- size down! This is SO cozy and warm. You can layer it over a plaid collared shirt for a little extra something.


If you haven't gotten these fleece lined leggings yet, now's the time!! I wear them almost every day. Maybe I need a second pair ;) This picture makes them looked ribbed, but my pair is not. They're only $16 now!


More faves: 
Dresses:

Sweaters:

Tops:

Accessories:

BANANA REPUBLIC: 50% off everything. My husband's getting another pair of the jeans he loves so much! We'll wrap them and they'll be a present ;)
BEAUTYCOUNTER: Free mask gift set with purchase of $250 or more + free shipping over $100.  Also, two new holiday sets! Volumizing Mascara & Remover set AND the travel size Cleansing Balm. I'm picking that one up for myself, because it's so moisturizing and has vitamin C in it!
If you want to try a few products, today's the day since you'll get free shipping over $100! My favorites include the body wash in Citrus Mimosa, charcoal mask, and lip glosses. There are a ton of holiday collections that are discounted big time, so I'm getting a few sets and distributing them as gifts. For example, I got the face mask set of 3 and I'll be giving two as gifts and keeping one for myself! Same with this pink trio of lip gloss.  The holiday lipgloss smells like peppermint and is absolutely delightful!
FRANCESCA’S: Buy one, get one 60% off all clothing, jewelry, accessories, shoes, home & gifts
GAP: Everything is 50% off 
HUNTER Boots: Shop the Black Friday Sale alongside an exclusive offer up to 40% off a new Hunter product every day.

J.CREW: 40% off your purchase with code THANKU

J.CREW FACTORY: 50% off everything
Clothes:

Jewelry:

LOFT: 50% off everything with code FRIYAY


LULU & GEORGIA: 25% off everything with code GOGOGO
MADEWELL: 25% off everything
NORDSTROM: extra 20% off sale

This is my favorite top on sale!

Other favorites:




THE MASON JAR BOUTIQUE: 20% off! A few faves:

Embroidered bootie:
Layered Sweater:
Feather Dress:
THIRD LOVE: Save 35% off the satin set bras and panties (love this company!!)
POTTERY BARN: 20% off + Free Shipping with code THANKS
Let me know if I'm missing any sales! I'll add to this post if I find any other killer deals. Hope you have a great day!
xoxo
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Happy Thanksgiving Thoughts



Happy Thanksgiving, my friends! I hope your day will be filled with those you love, gathering around a table and enjoying the gift of yummy food and community. I couldn't let tis day pass without naming things I'm Thankful for! It's easy to get caught up in the busyness of life (and this season, specifically!) and forget to be conscious about our blessings or constantly be in a state of wanting more, so I want to share what I'm thankful for here.

"Gratitude turns what we have into enough." -- Melanie Beattie

***

I'm thankful God created beauty that comes in many forms. Beauty in flowers and sunsets, landscapes, marriages, joyous occasions, but also in the broken, messy parts of life. I will always love this quote by Ann Voskamp from her book One Thousand Gifts, “I want to see beauty. In the ugly, in the sink, in the suffering, in the daily, in all the days before I die, the moments before I sleep.”

I'm thankful that God created us in His image, which means we were also created to create. Being able to design client homes and conceptualize our workshops is a passion of mine, stemming from the talents the Lord has given me to be creative.

I'm so thankful for my family. It's really hard to live across the country for them (my brother and sister in law in Dallas and my parents and extended family all in California), I'm not going to sugar coat it! But knowing they are there, healthy, and supportive of us is so encouraging. We treasure the time we get to spend with them even more, being so far away. I'm also thankful for the way my parent's raised us. It's something I don't take for granted!


Of course I'm thankful for my husband, who shows me so much love, even when I don't deserve it. he's helpful around the house (and can make scrambled eggs like no one else!), is supportive of my dreams and business(es) and truly has a heart for Jesus. He's the most precious gift.

I'm so grateful for a warm place to call home. It's small as can be, but we love it! I'm also thankful my husband let's me decorate pretty much however I want, but of course I'm mindful of his style, too ;) 

Although a lot of work, we just adore our puppy, Lincoln! Since getting him, we've been doing more things outside together which has been so fun. In the summer we went to the dog park a few times a week and I just loved getting outside. Lincoln's taught us about patience (ha!), unconditional love, loyalty, and not to take ourselves too seriously. It's amazing how furry friends steal your heart so quickly!

I'm incredibly thankful for sweet friends. When I moved to Michigan almost 4 years ago I was most nervous about finding a community of friends. God has blessed me beyond measure with our church, which is where I found almost all of my good friends! I'm in a cooking club with some girlfriends and that's been really sweet.

* Photos by Ashley Slater Photography from our workshop in Dallas, TX in October


As we have a friend in the ICU fighting for his life, we are very mindful of our health. We know this is not a guarantee, so I am extremely thankful that we are healthy. I'll be honest and tell you that I have anxiety over getting sick or someone I know being sick, but I'm trying to learn that I can trust the Lord with those fears. No matter what may come, He is good. 

Then there's other things I'm thankful for, like my job and being able to work for myself, for our cars and clothes, and food in our fridge. For freedom to believe what we want and attend church, for kind people, and for little joys like wonderful smelling dish soap, a crackling candle, fresh flowers, and getting snail mail. Even the little things are worth celebrating and writing out. Again, Ann Voskamp says it so well, “And when I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me.”


And of course, I'm thankful for all of you who come here each day or week to read what's going on in this corner of the web. I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving day!! 

xoxo



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Gift Guide: For the Home

We're only a few days away from the best dinner of the year! This year I got asked to make my rosemary mashed potatoes again and I'm really excited (and honored...ha!) to do it! The first Thanksgiving with my husband's family I made a raspberry marshmallow jello that we have always had on Thanksgiving with my family since I can remember. Well, nobody touched the jello except for my husband (then boyfriend) who I forced. I was offended, I'll be honest...ha! Turns out they aren't jello people (and for the record, neither am I, but I love this one). Well, last year I asked if I could make my mom's mashed potato recipe. My mother in law said yes, but I was so nervous over the previous years' flop! Everyone ended up loving the potatoes, I was so relieved. Even better, I got asked to make them again...hooray!

Incase you're looking for a recipe, I do about one russet potato per person attending the meal. We usually make 10-15lbs. After boiling them to get them soft, I mash them up, then put them (usually in two batches) in a kitchen aid mixer. I add a few tablespoons at a time of milk so it's not too runny, then a tablespoon or two of sour cream, almost a full stick of butter, lots of salt and pepper, about a teaspoon or two of minced garlic from a jar, and then about two teaspoons of thinly chopped rosemary. They are so tasty! I taste as I go to see if they need more of anything.
Anyways, the point of today's blog is to give you a gift guide for the home, not tell you about mashed potatoes, but I couldn't resist! Onto the gift guide:
DETAILS:
magnolia hearth & hand wreath / herringbone vase / letterboard / rose gold frame / rose copper candlesticks / pineapple / white pouf / white ball lamp / retro kitchen copper timer / gold tray / candle / gold metallic pillow / Beautiful All American Decorating book / You Are My Home sign / Coasters 
I love so many things on this board! I'd love any of them as gifts for my home. A few stand out pieces are the gorgeous copper candlesticks, delicious smelling oatmeal cookie (seriously one of my favorites. Mine from last year just ran out!), the sweet magnolia lambs ear wreath for target that's perfect for any season, and the wood sign. This sign in particular is really special, I think, and something I'm learning as my family lives across the country. My husband is my home! 

Sometimes giving friends and family gifts for their home feels too personal, but if you know them well enough, you should be able to find something meaningful and beautiful. Something on the generic side, like coasters, is a great way to go if you know their color scheme! These come in so many colors, it'd be easy to find one that would fit. Going for something neutral is always a great idea as well. It's my personal belief that no one can have too many trays (okay, maybe that's not quite true!) so a neutral or metallic tray would make a great gift. They're awesome for holding mail, tv remotes, jewelry, and generally housing the clutter!

Here are a few more gift ideas thrown in below:




Past Gift Guides:
Personalized Gifts
For the Hostess


What gifts do you love receiving for your home?
xoxo
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Gift Guide: Personalized Gifts

Like I've said before, gift giving is my love language (side note: have you read the 5 Love Languages?!) I learned I don't have to be embarrassed about this. I love receiving AND giving gifts! Nothing makes me happier when I'm putting together a gift and find a way to personalize it a little more. Be it a gift tag, some custom calligraphy, their initial on the item, or -- good heavens -- a monogram! I'm all about it. I think it makes the giftee feel extra special that you thought of them even further!

Today's Friday Finds are all personalized gifts for your loved ones and friends:
Personalized Initial Necklace / Monogram Marble Serving Board / Initial Gold Ornament / Classic Monogram Mug/ Monogram Hook / Clutch with Gold Monogram / Plaid Scarf (monogram optional!)/ Swell Water Bottle / Umbrella / Personalized Pillow / Tie Trio for Men


Okay, if you're been a reader here for long, you're probably thinking I included that kate spade initial necklace last year in my gift guide. Sure did! #noshame. It's a tried and true, perfect gift for friends or sisters with little ones. Get their baby's name initial engraved and you've just won a million points for that new mama!

This sleek and practical clutch (with a gold monogram, of course!) is so great. It has a spot for everything you need!

I also adore these initial hooks. We have them in our entry and they spell out HOME as you walk up the stairs, doing double duty for decor AND practical space to hang coats.

I just added this umbrella to my wish list because it covers so well. It's like a full on sphere over your head, making sure rain doesn't come in from all side angles ;) I take our pup outside in the rain sometimes and I feel like this would make it more enjoyable.

This gold initial ornament has my heart. It's so feminine and sweet. I love getting things like this and attaching them to the outside of a gift, just for an added cute-factor!
Finally, I thought I'd give a little something for the men. If you have a business-man in your life, this trio of a tie, pocket square and socks might be great!
Alright, spill. Do you like giving personalized gifts?! 

Couldn't sign off for the weekend without giving you some sales. Anthropologie: 20% off sweaters and tops. This is probably my favorite one!!

LOFT: $25 off dresses, skirts and cardigans.

Pottery Barn, West Elm and the whole Williams Sonoma Brand: up to 70% off!


Past Gift Guides:
For the Hostess

Happy Weekend!
xoxo
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Gift Guide: For the Hostess

It's pretty much officially that time of year! I heard Christmas music on the radio the other day and I wasn't even mad about it ;) Next week we're getting our tree and I can't wait to decorate it (I showed you the inspiration here). It's also time to start thinking about holiday gifts! For someone like me, who's love language is gifts, this is a really fun time of year. For others, this can cause a lot of stress. I'm hoping to help you cut the stress by coming up with a bunch of really sweet and thoughtful gifts for your loved ones. Today we're kicking off the gift guide series with gifts for the hostess. 

My mom always taught me to bring a little gift over when you get invited to a party at someone's house as a thank you, so these can be hostess gifts, or gift ideas for those who love to entertain! 




1. Hello Lovely Mug: Mugs with encouraging or fun sayings on them is never a bad gift idea. I love filling mugs with a gift card, candy, peppermint bark, or something else for an added surprise!

2. Oven Mit & Pot Holder: How cute are these holiday prints?! I think it'd be so fun to be able to pull out Christmas themed kitchen accessories. And if someone is throwing a holiday party, chances are they'd also love it!

3. Marble & Gold Feather Coasters:  Everyone loves marble and gold, but this coaster design is made unique with the feather pattern in each one. It's simple and neutral, so it will go with any style. 
4. Monogram Marble Cutting Board: Any hostess will love a cheese board / cutting board, especially if it's a pretty marble tone. Perfect for setting cheese and crackers out on for their next gathering.
5. Mr. & Mrs. Champagne Flutes: This one is for the newlyweds or newly-engaged couples, of course!
6. Slow Cooker Cookbook: Honestly, this is on here because I need this book ;) I want to try more crockpot meals this winter since they're easy and homey. I think giving a cookbook as a gift to someone who loves to entertain is a no-brainer.
7. Gold Spiced Candle: this candle smells amazing (it's a wonderful spiced holiday scent!) and it's really pretty and festive with the gold hue.
8. Hand Lotion: Yummy hand lotions are a great gift! This one's scent is divine. It's citrus mimosa, and let me tell you-- they ain't lying about that scent! It's refreshing and soothing and totally safe for your skin. Any hostess who does a lot of dishes after the parties needs an amazing lotion to finish with ;)
9. Hearth & Hand Dish Towel: If the hostess loves Joanna Gaines, this is the perfect gift! A set of two dish towels from the new Magnolia for Target collection.
10. Art of the Bar Cart Recipe Book: Another fun cookbook, but this time for the cocktails. This has such a cute cover, you could leave it out on your coffee table all year round!
11. Picture Frame: The shape and blush pink color caught my eye on this frame. I thought this would be a cute one to frame signature cocktail drinks in for a party!

12. Grapefruit Soap: Another amazing smelling product! Anyone who likes to host is very familiar with doing dishes. A delicious soap will help :)
Just a few more gift ideas for the hostess:

What do you think of these ideas? If you have some more thoughts, please add to my list in the comments!
xoxo
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Safer Beauty Products for You & Your Family

Hi friends and happy Monday! I hope you had a restful weekend. I'm really excited to be sharing this announcement with you today, as it's been a long time coming and something I'm super passionate about! Let's rewind a little, so I can share my story and heart behind this announcement. 

A few years ago, I started really thinking about the products I was using to clean my apartment. The strong smell alone from products like bleach and windex always got me and had me thinking "what are in these things?! It can't be good!" So I went on a mission to clean up my household cleaning products. I found The Grove Collection (Mrs. Meyer is my fave!) and Seventh Generation to be awesome lines.

About this time, I also found the Healthy Living app, which allows you to scan barcodes on products and it will tell you on a scale of 1-10, how harmful or non-harmful the product is and why. This was so interesting to me! I would scan products that I thought for sure were okay for my skin or well-being, and they'd be a 7 on the toxicity scale. I couldn't believe it, but I also felt so overwhelmed by trying to replace all my skincare and beauty routine products. I felt like I'd just conquered the beast of the cleaning products, so couldn't fathom doing the same with my makeup and skincare.

In the fall of 2015, our family went through a really hard season. My husband's father's prostate cancer came back. He'd been battling with this for around 10+ years, but this time it was back and treatments weren't working. I can't even describe the heartache I felt watching my husband with his dad, who only had a few months left here on earth. He was so tender towards his dad, cherishing moments and often recalling sweet memories. I knew in my heart we didn't have long with him, though we fiercely prayed for healing every day. I haven't written a lot about this on my blog because it's truly hard to put into words. In January of 2016, right after our engagement, his father passed away. He was the most generous man, cared for the hurting and poor, and was an amazing Pops to his grand kids. We are so thankful he had a relationship with God and is with his Heavenly Father now, but our hearts were (and still are) broken.

Prostate cancer runs deep in my husband's family, so after his passing, I began experiencing a lot of fear of loosing my own husband to this one day. He's young and healthy now, but questions and fears started creeping through my head for the future. I felt a huge weight of responsibility to care for the health and well-being of our family, even now before we have kids of our own. I was on a mission to find the right vitamins for him (and myself) to take to help us stay healthy and I was adamant my husband have regular doctor appointments.

It was then I started doing more research on healthy beauty products and skin care for the both of us. I learned that parabens (widely used preservatives in cosmetics) were extremely harmful, so I started using products that could claim they were paraben-free. I felt like this was a good start, and it was! So many chemicals that companies use in their products are linked to scary and sad things like reproductive issues, cancer and more. I just couldn't believe I was using things that could contribute to that.

This last summer I told myself I would start to completely switch out products as they ran out and find chemical-free products that were also high-performing. Right on time, my sweet friend Carmel of Our Fifth house, asked if she could send me a few makeup and skincare products from the company called Beautycounter. I was skeptical, but researched the company and thought after reading their mission and dedication to safer beauty products, I would accept the products she was sending me. I used them and quickly fell in love! Not only were the products extremely high performing (like, the foundation lasts all day and doesn't make me oily!), they were also safe for me to be putting on my skin (our largest organ, by the way!)

I had no idea how vast the Beautycounter collection was, but I quickly found myself researching all their products and found they had an alternative to nearly every.single.thing. I was currently using.
Tinted moisturizer, foundation, blush, mascara, face wash, skin oils, masks, lip gloss....you name it, they have it. I was SO impressed.

The more I learned about Beautycounter, the more I fell in love. I could have never predicted I would do this, but I'm excited to say I've joined the Beautycounter team and have become a consultant. This is honestly the craziest thing to me, as I'm extremely busy with my interior design clients and workshops I host, so joining had to make 100% sense to us. I'm really passionate about getting these safer beauty products into my friend's (this includes you, my sweet readers!) and family's hands.

As a side note, I want to say that I do not believe that by using these safer products, taking vitamins, and eating better, that will make us immune to disease, hardship, or even cancer. I also want to say that I have and still am really working through living in fear of myself and those around me getting sick. Only the Lord knows those details and I know he is good and can be trusted. If that means disease, we will walk through that and He will still be good. However, I do want to be responsible with the knowledge I have and others have shared with me, and do anything I can to keep me and my husband (and future family) healthy and safe!! I hope you hear my heart in that. 



- I love Beautycounter's mission. You can read it below:


The one about a major law not being passed to regular safety in cosmetics since the 30's BLOWS my mind!! I can't believe that Canada has over 600 chemicals banned and Europe has more than 1300 products restricted and the US has 11. What the heck, you guys?! We are supposed to be ahead and we are sorely just...not.

- Beautycounter has a list of 1500 ingredients they never use in their products, which is called The Never List. The crazy thing is these chemicals and ingredients that BC restricts and never uses, other beauty companies (even some I love and was using!) use them in all their products.


- Their products are genuinely amazing! My skin has literally never been clearer. The makeup also lasts all day, doesn't flake or make my skin dry or irritated, and the skincare lines smell lovely.

- They list ALL of their ingredients. Did you know that cosmetic companies don't have to disclose ingredients in a color / pigment or fragrance, because it's considered a "trade secret"?! That's where a lot of toxins lie, so Beautycounter is committed to writing out exactly what is in their products. I so appreciate their authenticity and integrity.

- I already share with you what I put in our home and what I wear, so this seemed like a really natural extension of that.


- The first thing this means is that I'm NOT turning into a beauty blog. I can assure you of that! I promise I will not be posting about Beautycounter every week. Regularly scheduled programming will continue around here with house + home, entertaining, fashion and lifestyle posts. I will be sharing a few skincare and makeup things every once and while, though! I hope that's okay.

- Like I told my girlfriend yesterday, if I like a current non-Beautycounter product I use and find that it's not harmful, I might continue using it. I'm not going to be a snob about selling this stuff, though I do believe it's wonderful. I will always, always be honest, just like I am with all my reviews on the blog, about products. If I ever use one I don't like, I'll be sure to let you know.

- I will not be salesy (that's just not me!), so don't worry about that -- and will probably never host a party for Beautycounter (ha!), but if you do want to learn more, try some samples, ask me questions about products, please get in touch with me! I'd love to help you and hopefully be a great resource for you.

- If you'd like to learn more about Beautycounter and safer products, you can through my newsletter. I will be sending a newsletter out about once a month (give or take a few months) will really helpful info on chemicals, toxins, new products, special promotions and giveaways, and overall fun beauty news! You can sign up for that here. I promise not to spam you :)


You might be wondering, where do I start?! There are so many products! Here's what I did, because it would be insane and expensive to switch everything over all at once. When things started running out, I began replacing them with the Beautycounter comparable, and what I found was I actually like Beautycounter's products even better than my beloved toxic cosmetics ;)

- My friend Carmel originally sent me the Flawless in 5 collection which has the foundation, blush, touch up and concealer pen, lip gloss, mascara, and eyebrow pencil. This is how I fell in love with the products! I love each one in this collection so much, that I started ordering my own things-- I'll tell you about a few below.

- Citrus Mimosa Body Wash: first, this smells heavenly! Second, it does good things for my skin. It's rich in nourishing oils, has a creamy texture and locks in moisture. My husband, mom and dad are also obsessed with this.

- Charcoal Mask: this kaolin clay mask purifies and balances and is amazing for spot treatment, if you have a little break out. You put it on for 10ish minutes (until it dries), then wash off with warm water. I always put an oil or radiance syrum on after since the charcoal's job is to pull out oil, exfoliate, and balance your skin tone (thanks to the salicylic acid-- a great replacement for glycolic acid), you definitely need a heavier moisturizer after. 

- Lip Sheer: I got the color Currant and it's truly the perfect fall shade! This is not only a lipstick offering color, but also moisture. The only fragrance is a hint of natural vanilla, but it's so faint. It's just a really nice, smooth color. I will let you know this is a little lighter (not in color, just in thickness) lipstick than my old favorite Mac lipsticks. 

- Nourishing Day & Night Cream (moisturizer): these are light moisturizers which I've been using for about 2 months now and I can honestly say, my skin has never looked better! I used to use Dermologica, and I liked the products but found they weren't as safe as I thought. These are great! They contain "a mix of organic coconut oil, safflower oil, and aloe to provide nourishing hydration, plus antioxidant-rich acai to protect against dry skin".  I mix the day cream with my tinted moisturizer, before I put on my foundation. I'm excited to try a few face oils soon to tell you how I like those as well! How could I forget?! I also love the nourishing eye cream. This is more of an everyday eye cream. If you're looking for something to fight aging, I would go for the rejuvenating eye cream.
- Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation: I am prettyyy fair, so I use the Linen color and think it's a great match. I love this foundation and I've actually never used a liquid foundation before-- I've always used Jane Iredale, which I actually still stand behind as being a safe option, but having a liquid one gives more coverage and is better in the winter / dryer months. I'm all about the description: "sodium hyaluronate, a natural moisture magnet, promotes smoother-looking skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles". The dew skin tinted moisturizer is on it's way in the mail, so I'm eager to try it. It has vitamin C in it, which is great for your skin.

* If you want help figuring out which color works for you, let me know and I'll send you some color samples!

- Lip glosses: I have a few of these, because they are honestly my favorite lip gloss ever. I have the color Peony, then also just got the holiday trio collection with the three you see below. They have a little shimmer to them and instead of the vanilla scent, it's peppermint-- perfect for holidays!



To celebrate my new little adventure, I'm inviting you to enter to win $50 to Beautycounter from yours truly. I'll send the winner a gift card and you'll get to pick up something fun and safe for yourself, right before the holidays! Just use the tool below to enter. 


And please email me if you have questions or want some samples (hello@michaelanoelledesigns (dot) com). I'll see what I can get my hands on for you :)

Thanks for continuing to support and encourage me through my blog and businesses! I'm so thankful!
xoxo


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