Eleventh Hour Christmas Gifts

As the wee hours of Christmas Eve close in on you, your window to Christmas shop in the “big box” stores has sadly come to a close. If you are a holiday procrastinator the drug store may be your only option for purchasing gifts. Sure there’s always gift cards which manage to brighten up a recipients face but I tend to think that gift cards are the lazy approach to the holidays.

Here are some great budget friendly items that you can find in your local drug store- and added plus? Many drug stores are open until midnight and several will be open on Christmas Day.

First off, did you know that Nivea has been around since 1911? Clearly such longevity in the beauty industry means that they must be doing something right and for just $1 it’s the perfect stocking stuffer item. Nivea is ideal for smoothing out rough edges. Apply Nivea post bath or shower at night generously to your feet and then put on your favorite socks and your feet will feel like you just got a pedicure in the morning. Nivea also serves as a great alternative to cuticle oil. Use it around your nail bed to keep hang nails at bay between manicures.

Nivea Creme

Nivea Creme

Cantu Curling Cream
If your last minute holiday shopped list includes a naturalista, Cantu curling cream works universally to not only enhance curls, but it also does a great job of minimizing frizz.

Cantu Curling Creme

Cantu Curling Creme

Rocher Chocolates

I will readily admit it- I have a sweet tooth. I discovered Rocher one year when my parents gave me a box for Christmas and I’ve been hooked ever since.

ELF products

For the beauty girl in your life ELF- eyes, lips, face is an awesome option. From deluxe brushes to a wide range of products for well, your eyes, lips and face offers a beautiful stocking stuffer for the beauty-obsessed.

ELF, starting at $2.99

ELF, starting at $2.99

Curvy Shopping Options at Arundel Mills


Shopping options just got a little better for curvy fashionistas in the Baltimore area. Arundel Mills which is one of the largest and premier destinations for discount shopping in Maryland welcomes Fashion to Figure and Torrid. Fashion to Figure a coveted brand offering up to the minute trends for plus-sized women will be opening in Neighborhood 1 this summer. Torrid which offers a complete range of plus-sized fashion as well as shoes, sleepwear and lingerie is slated to open in fall. I’m a huge fan of both brands and I’m excited to see the inclusion of more plus-sized offerings to the mall which offers a wide range of shopping options from Off Fifth (Saks outlet) to Forever 21.

For more information about Arundel Mills’ or for a complete list of retailers, call (410) 540-5100 or visit www.arundelmills.com. Arundel Mills also may be found on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ArundelMills) and on Twitter @ArundelMills.

Photo source

Shop Chic For A Cause With Chico’s

Heart Disease continues to be the number one killer of women and although February is drawing to a close, heart health is critical year round.  The folks over at Chico’s have partnered with the American Heart Association in order to fund research around awareness of the disease.


This gorgeous Fabulous-at-Heart pin retails for $20.00 and Chico’s has committed to donating half of the proceeds from each pin to research, prevention and education around heart health. So why not Shop for A Cause?



Click here for more information on the American Heart Association


In honor of Heart Health Awareness month- here is an interview that I conducted with Raijean Stroud as she talked very candidly about her battle with heart disease:

Interview with Raijean Stroud

Valentine’s Gift Guide For Him


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I recently had a conversation with a dear friend who posed the question whether men should receive Valentine’s gifts. Relationships require care, nurturing and 50-50 gift giving; so as a result of that conversation, I decided to dedicate my gift guide to men. I asked a few of my trusted male friends what ideal gifts would be for them and quite frankly I was surprised at how selfless their responses were. Timepieces were mentioned frequently, however most wanted gifts they could share with the woman in their lives.

Ultimately, men want some of the same things we want- an assurance that we pay close attention to the small details of the things they like with hopes that we would buy gifts accordingly.

I hope this gift provides a bit of inspiration for your Love Day.

It’s all in the details:

On my wish list would be: a gift that the giver knows means a lot to me. Small things- cologne, treat to grooming/(hair-cut/manicure), treat to favorite restaraunt {ruth chris}, a nice cigar, bottle of fav(orite)liquor. Thoughtful things that someone has paid attention to that matter to me. Men deserve valentine’s day gifts too because the holiday is about love. Being in love, being loved – which goes both ways. Men deserve to know that they are loved just as much as women do.”

Carl H, Music Publishing Exec, 43

Something for her for me:

Something for her for me. Like a couples spa session where she reveals custom Soma or La Perla undies with a special message for me”

Russell C, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist

The effort is greater than the gift:

” I think men deserve vday gifts simply because we too enjoy knowing that we are appreciated for what we bring to the table. I think everyone notes the effort that their lover puts forth to show their love.
So does the gift matter or the effort that’s put forth? I think it depends…
1. A massage by her
2. Sports tickets to a game that we both can enjoy
3. A charitable gift that involves both us giving back.
4. A watch or footwear.

This gives her the option to give him (1) romantic time with her alone, (2) date night (3) a moment that they can both give back (4) or lastly something materialistic.”

Nick T, Supply Analyst, 20 something

I don’t expect much:

“I’m a very simple man and Valentines Day has never held a lot of weight in my eyes. I celebrate Valentine’s Day because I know its important to my mate. I typically don’t expect much. However, If I needed to compile a list of prospective gifts, it would look like this.
Watch /Vintage Timepieces
Vinyl music of my favorite band or musician.
Shoes >> probably not sneakers.
Shirts w/ties ….maybe casual Polo’s. Cologne gift sets
Sporting events tickets / Team Apparel etc”

Jay F, Sales rep, 31

QVC to Launch Isaac Mizrahi’s Fabulous Fragrance during Fashion’s Night Out

New York Fashion Week kicks off this week and there are tons of events, designer presentations and of course one of my favorite NYFW events- Fashions Night Out!  This year marks the fourth anniversary of the shopping event which has grown significantly with celebrity appearances , discounted shopping and new product launches occurring nationwide. One of my favorite guilty shopping pleasures QVC will participate in Fashion Night Out by premiering the launch of designer Isaac Mizrahi’s new fragrance- Fabulous. Tune in on Thursday, September 6th  from 9pm- midnight for the unveiling of the fragrance, which combines the notes of citrus, musk and peony.

Memorial Day Weekend- What to Wear?

Memorial Day Weekend is highly regarded as the official kick-off to summer and with temperatures promising to be hazy hot and humid, summer for all intents will officially be in effect.  Every year, my crew goes to the Linganore Caribbean Wine festival and for us, this event marks the official beginning of festival season.  I am blessed to have a circle of friends who are more like family and we will be spending the entire weekend together enjoying libations at the wine fest on Saturday followed by a BBQ on Sunday.


If you’re like me you want to be equal parts stylish and more importantly comfortable because the majority of the weekend activities will be spent outdoors.


Here are some of my favorite looks to inspire you for whatever fun your weekend may bring:


Asos Gingham Sundress 

Asos Curve Maxi 

Old Navy One Shoulder Maxi 

Aqua Chiffon Asymmetrical Maxi

Style Item of the Week- Asos Statement Necklace

If you cannot tell by now, I am a huge fan of Asos. In spite of all the time I spent coveting their pieces, I was a bit leery of ordering from them since after all, they are a UK-based company who just recently began delivering in the US.


After my initial hesitation I took the plunge and I have been an Asos loyalist ever since. When I came across this gorgeous statement necklace, I knew I had to have it and thought it not robbery to share with you!

This Rocco Articulated Statement Necklace retails for 27 bucks so why not treat yourself?

Baltimore Has Style Too

I have said it before and

I will say it again- I am a Baltimore Girl true and thru.  I have loved fashion since I requested my first handbag at the tender age of four and in spite of evidence to the contrary, I believe there are Baltimore women who have style and substance that can rival fashionistas in any major metropolitan city. I encounter beautiful, well-dressed women all the time and I want the rest of the fashion world to see Baltimore has style too.


I would like to feature women from my fair city rocking the newest, latest, hautest!


Email me at lisabrownhall@ghettofashionista.com showing off your Baltimore Style for a chance to be featured on my site.


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Jason Wu for Target

Jason Wu is the latest designer to collaborate with Target to bring their high-end range to the budget concious masses.  Wu gained notoriety when he created the uber gorgeous gown that Michelle Obama wore to the presidential inauguration back in 2008.  The collection will be available both in stored and online beginning February 5th and the entire  range is less than 60 bucks!

spotted at Glamour.com

I am still learning to love my curves


The love affair of a curvy girl in a tiny world is one that is constantly waxing and waning and I am still learning to love my curves. I believe my apprehension about being “luxury-sized” started back as early as the fourth grade where I can remember being both taller and far more “developed’ than any of my peers.  The same curves that bought attention (mostly unwanted) from the boys in my class made it very difficult to forge any friendships with my female classmates. Quite simply, I was a brick house and I was only in the fourth grade.  I was ostracized for having the body that other people wanted never mind that I could rarely wear the latest fashion because the clothes simply did not fit. My initial wardrobe challenges at a very early age are when the fashionista in me was first born.  More often than not I couldn’t wear trendy clothing because I was so curvy so instead of following the trends I learned to make my own.   I developed an affinity for skirts and dresses and at the tender age of 8 because I already had difficulty finding jeans for my already womanly hips and dresses were an easier option to wear. 

I come from a long line of women who are unabashedly curvy. My mother in her younger years was frequently asked to be a plus-sized model and it was ultimately through her own love of self and the never ending compliments she received for being so well-dressed that I began to become comfortable in my own curvy body.  Admittedly I still dread the idea of going into the dressing room to try on jeans and a swimsuit but doesn’t every woman?   I recognize the importance of my own unique beauty and in spite of the fact that I am not a size 2 I can still be chic, stylish and an authentic fashionista!

In less than 24 hours, I will head to South Beach where the swim suits will be tiny, the people will be beautiful and the partying will be endless. I will proudly don my bathing suit in the midst of women who are likely half my size- I will be bold, head turning, and authentically me.

Here’s a sneak peek into my curvy girl friendly beach options…


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