Shopping

Dr Martens | Current Favorites

by Jamie Sanford on May 14, 2018

I am an avid fan of Dr Martens shoes, and have been since I was a teenager. (See this post to have a look at the first pair I bought, back in 1994-95. I still have them.)

My collection continues to grow, as I’m always on the lookout for something new and unique to add in to the collection. The best deal ever was on the Arabella loafers in navy blue, a purchase from Hautelook for over $250 off of the original price. We have a Dr Martens outlet nearby where I found the 1461, Valentine edition. (Which I don’t wear nearly enough.) The Kristy boots are a new addition featuring soft leather that I have loved from the second I put them on.

I have gathered a list of the Dr Martens shoes in my collection (or the closest match), and also some of my wishlist items as well. Check it out below, and tweet me with your favorite Dr Martens shoes.

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Holiday Shopping | Christmas Tree

by Jamie Sanford on December 1, 2017

I will be traveling this year and so won’t be putting my tree up. However, I look forward to the day when I will have a house and will definitely be having multiple trees in my home. I don’t know what “Christmas decor overkill” means.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking these links.

Let’s start shopping with trees.


The variety of trees is remarkable. I am not a person who needs a real tree, I think that’s why pine-scented candles exist.


One of my greatest dreams is an upside-down Christmas tree. They sell them with bases that come out of the top, but I want to actually mount a tree to the ceiling so there’s empty space under the tree. I think it would make an amazing centerpiece over a dining table.


I have a collection of ornaments starting from when I was born. Those “baby’s first Christmas” ornaments are quite fragile now, and so I hang them inside the tree a bit so they do not get knocked to the floor. I have traditional decorative ornaments in gold, as we ended up with a slight gold theme after my husband Will suggested that we supplement the white lights already in the tree with extra gold ones. I also have some Hallmark pop culture ornaments that were gifts, as well as ones purchased in our travels. I absolutely have too many ornaments for my current tree, which is another reason why I need a house so that I can have multiple trees.


Lights! My main tree right now is pre-lit, but as mentioned above, we haven’t been able to leave it at that. Once Will suggested adding more lights, we have gone a bit crazy. We have the white lights that came with the tree, and we add regular tree lights in gold, and then we add a few more that have ball-shaped bulbs, some with beautiful texture. This adds dimension to the tree that I did not expect, but I love it and will never go back.


Tree toppers! Since my tree is not the sturdiest, we have utilized a simple ornament-style topper for years, like the Christopher Radko one above. Once I get a more substantial tree that can manage a more robust topper, I will likely struggle to pick one that I like. Now that I’ve seen it, I am definitely obsessed with the peacock.

That’s all for me on Christmas tree shopping and decoration. Tweet me with your favorite Christmas tree traditions.

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Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

I receive promotional emails from Dr Martens, and almost always open them. I am engaged with the brand and was excited to see a 40% off sale come into my inbox.

Things got unfortunate from there.

I have biggish feet, so I choose WOM 10 from the dropdown menu for size.

Why is the 9 there? I don’t wear a 9, I wear a 10 in Dr Martens shoes. I click the X next to the 9 to remove results that only apply to size 9.

Doing this unchecked both 9 and 10, so now I have all of the results again. This is INTENSELY frustrating to experience, and without being able to quickly skim which shoes were available in my size, I was over the shopping experience very quickly.

I hope that Dr Martens can get their website filters sorted soon, so that my next shopping experience is less frustrating.

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To see all of my travel posts, click here. All images made with the iPhone 7 Plus, which is amazing and impressive. (The previous link is an affiliate link, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link.)

During our mini Floridian road trip, our first stop was Sanibel Island, Florida. We were largely there to spend time in the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, but as soon as we turned onto Periwinkle Drive (the main thoroughfare of Sanibel), I wanted to stop everywhere! We traveled to Sanibel many times when I was younger, and I would love nothing more than to make another trip there soon.

I pulled into the parking lot when we approached She Sells Sea Shells, a Sanibel Island mainstay.

She Sells Sea Shells has been in business since 1976!

Featured on the sign is a Junonia shell, a holy grail for shellers.

So. Many. Products! You can see more Junonia shells, real ones, in the display case on the left.

There seems to be endless shell art – the creativity is impressive.

Christmas tree ornaments of all shapes and sizes are available.

These are flowers made from shells!

I picked up one of these and was completely surprised at how robust and solid it felt! (Related – I purchased a beautiful Christmas tree ornament that was a mermaid made of shells, and she made it all the way home, in my suitcase, intact!)

Of course, there is a huge section of open stock shells in the store.

So many options!

I went shelling a bit on a Sanibel beach later that day, and I didn’t find anything that looked like this, so I can see why people might want to buy them.

Do you need decor for your beach house or shore house? Look no further!

There were mobiles all of the store. I don’t know how you get one of those home with you, but I find them incredibly charming.

One more wider shot of the store. If you ever find yourself on Sanibel, you MUST stop at She Sells Sea Shells.

Happy trails!

Hilton Hotels

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Sephora VIB Sale Picks and Wishlist | Spring 2017

by Jamie Sanford on April 18, 2017

The Sephora VIB sale event is back!

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April 18-24: VIB Rouge Members receive 15% off on all purchases, in store and online.

April 19-24: VIB members receive 15% off on all purchases, in store and online.

April 20-24: Beauty Insiders receive 15% off on all purchases, in store and online.

To become a VIB member, you have to spend $350 at Sephora in the span of a year. I’ve managed this the last few years by purchasing skincare from Sephora instead of with the individual brands. To become a VIB Rouge member, you have to spend $1000 at Sephora in the span of a year, which doesn’t feel like reality. I’m guessing it is mostly beauty professionals in this category.

So let’s get into it! The list below combines my wishlist or items I would like to pick up, as well as favorites that I might have to stock up on while they are being discounted. I will definitely also be picking up skin care items from Murad and Origins.

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