{friday finds: black friday weekend }

I can’t think of a time that I have actually set foot in a store on Black Friday. I do most of my shopping after or online. Trust me, there are plenty of deals to be had. Online deals started yesterday, so why put up with psycho shoppers trying to run you over out there?! Nuts.

Poppytalk has a great list of black friday and cyber monday handmade deals. Buying handmade gifts is one of the best ways to guarantee that your gift will be unique, so swing by and take a look the list. {It’s huge!}

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Chronicle Books, the makers of the Worst Case Scenario books, Oh Joy!’s gorgeous creations, Webster’s Pictorial {seen above}, and so many other favorites is having a friends & family holiday sale. Just click on the link and enter the code FRIENDS at checkout to get 35% off and free shipping.

Endless is offering 30% off of full-priced handbags, accessories, slippers, and boots. Yay, for actually offering a good chunk off of full-priced {read: current season} merchandise.

Shopbop is having one of their usual promotions where you spend more and get more off, which will be on until December 4th.

ModCloth released their gift guides, which are pretty cute. Love the francophile one. Oh, and they have up to 40% off on some stuff. Enter code, affiliate10 and you get 10% off.

Shopruche, my lovely sponsor, is offering 15% off today and Monday. Enter code RUCHEBFCM at checkout.

Chickdowntown is offering 40% off and I’m pretty sure you get free shipping if you spend $150 or more.

The best deal I could find from Ulta was 30% Off One Item and 3 free samples with each order. Click on the link and enter code 34481 at checkout.

Origins is offering the Origins Greats gift set. It’s basically six of their best-sellers for $55 instead of $111.50, so not bad. I’ve bought gifts at Origins for boyfriends, dads, and friends. {And, myself… C’mon, one for me, one for you!}

J.Crew is offering 20% off of sale items. Use code Extra20 at checkout. Damnit, J.Crew will you ever give us a nice big code for regular priced items?! Oh well, the sale stuff is good, too.

Ralph Lauren is offering 25% off every purchase you make until December 7th. Enter code HOL2009. Good place to get gifts for preppy friends, yourself, your dog, or your parents. {Plus their boxes are pretty.}

This might sound weird, but the Discovery Channel Store is a great place to get stuff for kids and the men in your life. {Who wants a Jon & Kate Plus 8 DVD set?! J/K!!!} They have a Black Friday and Cyber Monday deal, going, too. Up to 70% and free shippping on orders of $75 or more. Click on the link and enter code FREESHIP.

Ummm… what else. Oh the gap has a gajillion different offers. Seriously, I’m too lazy to explain it all here, but it’s between 10% and 50%, depending on item. Just go there, and you get the discount, plus free shipping on orders of $50 or more.

Also, Amazon has been promoting their black friday deals since yesterday. They have a bunch of those treasure box deal things. {You know, that golden box that you always wonder about? Am, I the only one who didn’t have a clue what that was?} Yesterday, they had the sweet new iMac’s on special. It’s worth a browse.

See how nice I am? I sorted through craploads of e-mails, websites, affiliate crap, to find you discounts. Now get to shopping!

{btw} Don’t forget to stop in next week for the gift guides and month of giveaways kick-off!

{thanksgiving thanks}

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. – John F. Kennedy

I want to take a moment to thank all of my readers. Blogging has brought so many new opportunities my way. Your support has been invaluable. I wouldn’t have taken a shot at writing if I didn’t blog and if I hadn’t gotten encouragement from so many of you. I want to say thank you to all my blogger friends, too. Blogging is a community, and it has been great to be welcomed into it. I wish you lots of love and happiness this holiday season, and in the year to come.

{a little link love to show thanks}
+ pretty as a princess
+ the perfect workwear dress
+ paper art from an aussie
+ what to do with all that left over turkey
+ pretty shiny holiday inspiration here & here

Photo {via} Apartment Therapy

{perricone discount & giveaway}

Tomorrow I’ll be announcing the winner of the tag set giveaway. If you didn’t win or missed that giveaway, we have a new one today. I figure I’d put this one up on Thanksgiving since it is open to only U.S. residents. Perricone is giving away a jar of Cold Plasma. If you don’t know anything about Perricone products, let me help you: amazing and not cheap {the cold plasma is worth $150.} My sister got a hold of Dr. Perricone’s books and did everything the books suggested. She lost ridiculous amounts of weight, her skin was amazing, and her boobs grew {I’m pretty sure that isn’t a typical outcome, but somehow they did.} If you are interested in any of the other products, {may I suggest the total body items and supplements} hop on over to the Perricone discount site.

You get one entry for each of the following:

1. Leave a comment below with your favorite skin/anti-aging tip

2. Tweet about it and tag @bitsofbeauty

3. Follow this blog {let me know in the comments section, too!}

The contest will run for two weeks, ending on December 10th. I’ll announce the winner on December 11th. Don’t forget to check in for all the other giveaways, too!

{everyday beautiful life: automatism}

Happy Thanksgiving for all the US readers. Today I’m thankful for many things, which I’ll be sharing with you. I’m thankful for all my EBL participants. You all have given us a peek into your lives and helped us reflect on our own. I’m also thankful to Lori of Automatism for preparing this post, despite the death of her computer and having to get a brand new one this week. She’s a blogging ninja! Let’s take a look at what makes her life Everyday Beautiful:


Each day begins with a cup of tea. It’s a quiet daily ritual that centres me and readies me for the day.


I don’t leave the house without lipstick, which to me is a wardrobe essential. Not only do I not feel properly dressed without it, but I love the old school elegance of it, too (no lip glosses or the like for me!).


Blogging has led me to so many happy discoveries — at the click of a mouse I can view beautiful images of art, interiors, clothes and more. There’s so much beauty out there, just waiting to be found. Every day brings something new.


I always have a book or two (or more) on the go, dipping into in here and there when I can during the day — exploring the worlds within the pages of a novel is an ever-renewable pleasure to be savoured.


I love being an illustrator for a living, even when it’s tough (such as slow work periods or slow payment). To have a job creating art is a real joy, and I look forward to spending a day creating something beautiful.

P.S. The illustration was for a Texas Monthly article about a woman who finds that, after an evening at an expensive restaurant, eating a formal dinner composed of innumerable courses of tiny portions, all she wants is some solid home made mac and cheese.

Photos {via} 1. Debbie Trolar, 2. Marta, 3. Design*Sponge, 4. Sweet Home Style, 5. Lori Langille

{letting the cat out of the bag}


You may have noticed random absences in the past month. Some of you already know, but the rest of you have only been given hints. Now, you all know I’ve given in to creativity this month. I signed up for NaNoWriMo. I’ve failed miserably at hitting the 50,000 word mark, but with good reason. Back in October, I was contracted to find photos for and author a book entitled Historic Photos of Cuban Miami. It’s definitely one of the more interesting bits of freelance/contract work I’ve picked up. It has kept me incredibly busy, but it also lead to quite a bit of research that will help me in writing my novel for next year. The folks over at NaNoWriMo suggest you have a solid outline and idea of characters before you begin the challenge; I didn’t have that. I do now.

What else has come of this? My little one asked me to write him a book. I’ve got the story for that finished. Now, I’m going to dig up my old art supplies and have a go at illustrating it. I haven’t drawn in years, but it can’t hurt to try. Besides, I know some fabulous bloggers who happen to be artists. If all else fails, I’ll beg them to help!

Photo by simpleeffulgence

{bit of wisdom: say grace}


You say grace before meals. All right.

But I say grace before the concert

and the opera,

and grace before the play

and pantomime,

and grace before I open a book,

and grace before sketching,

painting,

swimming,

fencing,

boxing,

walking,

playing,

dancing,

and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.

– G. K. Chesterton

Image {via} weheartit

Support {Bits of Beauty} by visiting our sponsors:


{fa la la la la la…}

For a child, or an adult, an Advent calendar filled with little treats brings a bit of joy each day. I remember getting one as a kid with chocolates from Germany. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. I keep the tradition with my little one. I think it would be a great thing to do with friends or roomates. Or, better yet, using one to propose? Anyone know a poor chap that’s stumped? Help him out!

Don’t have one? The advent calendar pictured up top is from Align with Design. If you order one before Thanksgiving, you’ll get it before December 1st! {Only if you live in the U.S.}

And, as an added surprise, one lucky reader will get a set of 10 gift tags, pictured above. Just leave a comment on this post by November 25th at midnight EST. The winner will be announced on Thanksgiving.

Good luck!