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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

Shopping Planner: Locally Made Gifts, Jingle Down Central

Items of the Week: Locally Made Gifts
The bay area is so chock full of talented artists and makers, shopping small is a breeze. Here are a few suggestions for gifts that are all locally made. …

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Get in shape, girl: 6 activity trackers that won't ruin your holiday style

A list of my pet peeves:

1. Valet parking schemes in which a restaurant just puts cones in front of the spaces in the parking lot, forcing you to pay for them to drive your car 25 feet. That is not the point of valet and you know it.

2. Being late to the airport.

3. People who wear Fitbits with formalwear.

I can't do too much about the first two, other than walk several blocks out of spite and leave my house an extra hour early for all air travel. As for the third, well. I'm not a Fitbit user. I know some people find fitness trackers helpful, and I will support you, but there is something very Enemy of the State to me about tracking all my movements throughout the day.

Anyway, it's a personal choice and everyone must find her own path to health. My path are those Get in Shape, Girl fitness cassettes from the early 80s.

My peeve stems not from the fitness tracker itself, but when a fitness tracker sullies a perfectly good look. People get all dressed up, take time to put together a fire outfit, do their hair and makeup, carefully pick out accessoriess and shoes and the perfect bag and then slap on a teal rubber activity counter and head out.


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Shopping Planner: Indie Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and more


It’s that time of year, and Tampa Bay is teeming with holiday markets to meet all your shopping needs. Each week I’ll highlight one or two. Find a complete listing at

The Creative Life Project’s holiday market will pop up at the Flying Pig Tap House in St. Petersburg from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. The organization formed last year to help emerging artists and makers get their work out in the community by popping up at local businesses, a win-win. You’ll find a mix of items at the market, from fun animal collages from Pergamo Paper Goods (pictured) to edgy apparel and designs from Seventh Ink and gemstone jewelry from Treasured Chest. Grab a beer and a snack to nosh on while you’re there. 1584 Central Ave. (727) 895-5900. …

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It's time to fulfill your destiny. Here are your Black Friday hours.

Y'all ready for this? 

Black Friday (or Thursday, as it were these days) is upon us. After you stuff your gut, it's time to head out for the age-old tradition of stuffing your bags and unstuffing your wallet.

Times business reporter Justine Griffin has your store hours right here, as well as some handy facts and figures about the much maligned/loved shopping holiday. Don't forget to pick up your Tampa Bay Times for all those coupons. They double well as cage liner after you make the poorly thought out decision to get your daughter a set of gerbils for Christmas.

Stay safe! 

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Shopping Planner: Shopapalooza, Trollbeads, Boaters Republic sale and more

It’s that time of year, and Tampa Bay is teeming with holiday markets to meet all your shopping needs. Each week I’ll  highlight one or two. Find a complete listing at
The Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa opens Friday, with ice skating, Sono Cafe — a pop-up from Mise en Place featuring seasonal fare, classic snacks, and holiday inspired beverages — and a pop-up market called the Winter Village Shops. Housed in PODS containers, the market features goods from more than 20 boutiques, including decor, apparel, handmade toys, jewelry, even dog accessories. Local businesses Dark Cycle, Carnage Leather, Lularoe and Me2Designs will set up shop for the duration of the village, which ends on Dec. 24. Other vendors will rotate in and out of two additional PODS, including Pergamo Paper Goods today and Silly Dilly Children’s Boutique on Sunday. On Saturday, customized poems written by Blake High School students will be for sale, and there will be additional jewelry and toy vendors. It all opens Friday with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4 p.m. The Winter Village Shops are open Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays noon to 7 p.m. They’re closed Thanksgiving and Dec. 10, and will be open every day from noon to 7 p.m. Dec. 18-24. It’s free to attend, and $12 to ice skate for 90 minutes. The ice rink and the cafe have different hours from the shops.
Across the bay Saturday-Sunday is the Tampa Bay Holiday Market at the Coliseum in downtown St. Petersburg. The historic space will be filled holiday decor, gifts, candles, jewelry and sweets, from vendors including Seventh Avenue Apothecary (candles, which I’ve used, and they are wonderful!), Mrs. Claus’ Sewing Room and Moonbay Gourmet. The first 100 attendees per day get a free jingle bell ornament and the chance to win a television. Celebrity alert! Jolly Old St. Nick himself will be making an appearance from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days. That’s just how merry this thing is. It’s free admission and parking, and the hours are
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. …

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Michelle Obama photographed by Annie Leibovitz for 'Vogue'

No doubt, First Lady Michelle Obama has been a gift to the fashion world throughout her husband's presidency. She has never shied away from embracing style, and she's not stopping now. She's on the cover of the December issue of Vogue, her third cover for the magazine. Famed photographer Annie Leibovitz photographed Obama around the White House in frocks from Carolina Herrera to Atelier Versace.

"Any first lady, rightfully, gets to define her role," she told the magazine. "And that's a wonderful gift of freedom." 

Check out the stunning pictures here

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Shopping Planner: Holiday markets, Bags of Change and more

Gift-Giving Season: Holiday Market RoundUp
It’s that time of year, and Tampa Bay is teeming with holiday markets to meet all your shopping needs. I’ll be highlighting one or two every week. Find a complete listing at
The Junior League of Tampa’s Holiday Gift Market is the mack daddy of holiday markets, boasting more than 150 vendors and large enough to fill the Expo Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds. In addition to the wide selection of gifts, the family-oriented market also includes activities like Cookies with Santa ($20, includes admission), a Candle Pouring Party ($35, includes admission) and a Princess Meet and Greet. A Mother’s Nook provides a quiet space for baby’s needs, and there’s also a Man Cave with oversized sofas and lounge chairs to watch sports on giant flat screens. Get your gifts wrapped for a nominal fee, and there’s a bag check so you don’t have to lug around your purchases as you continue to shop. There’s a preview party tonight from 7-10 p.m., which includes live entertainment, food samplings and a raffle, all for $35. Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. $8 at the door, or $5 in advance for Junior League Tampa members. Parking is $6, cash only. 4800 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. …

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Here's what Melania Trump wore during Donald Trump's acceptance speech

Melania Trump walked on stage in the wee hours of Wednesday morning wearing the color Hillary Clinton supporters had been encouraged to wear to the polls.

#wearwhitetovote trended before election day among Clinton supporters, honoring the historical color of the suffragettes. Trump, joining her husband to celebrate his victory over Clinton, chose a one-shoulder white jumpsuit by Ralph Lauren. Trump wore his signature black suit and red tie, a look he has not strayed from throughout the campaign.

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Slideshow: Women in pantsuits turn out for Hillary Clinton in New York

Editor's note: Lorrie Lykins is a Tampa Bay Times correspondent who splits her time between Florida and New York. Last night, she attended Hillary Clinton's election night watch party at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, where supporters donned pantsuits in support of Clinton, an avid suit wearer. Pantsuits have become an emblematic fashion choice for the election, seen on everyone from average women heading to the polls to Beyonce playing a Clinton rally. Here's a sampling of who she met at Tuesday's event.


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Whoopi Goldberg is selling $139 ugly holiday sweaters

Some years ago, I was asked to judge an ugly holiday sweater party at a night club, which is about as scientific as it sounds. Judging a bar full of people tipsy on lemon drops and all trying to be the most hideous one in the room is something most can only dream of. To outfit myself for the occasion, I stopped in a Bealls Outlet and found offending attire for something in the neighborhood of $15. Here we are.

Fine, right? Ugly. Festive. Done. This seems like a perfectly reasonable amount to spend on such an item, but apparently Whoopi Goldberg thinks you can expect more and pay more. The host of The View has created her own line of ugly holiday sweaters that retail for $139 at Lord & Taylor, lolololol. They are made of wool, alpaca, cashmere and cotton, and mine was made from the tears of elves, so.

Of holiday sweaters, Whoopi tells the New York Times: …

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Shopping Planner: Sparkle and Shine, Smartly Dressed and more

Sparkle and Shine: Holiday Boutique
Now that Halloween is behind us, we’re officially into the holiday season, at least as far as shopping goes. Get a jump on your holiday shopping Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., as Florida CraftArt opens its festive Sparkle and Shine Holiday Boutique. Peruse the selection of handmade crafts from more than 300 artists while enjoying holiday music. You’ll find one-of-a-kind ornaments and holiday decor, works of clay, glass and wood, and of course, tons of jewelry. Shop for everyone on your list, and don’t be surprised if you pick up a few things for yourself, too. Free. 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. …

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Shopping Planner: Dia de los Muertos, Halloween ComicFest and more

Fresh Fiesta: Casa Tina’s Dia de los Muertos Celebration
Casa Tina, the Dunedin Mexican restaurant, is known for its annual Dia de los Muertos celebration in Pioneer Park, perhaps the most elaborate of any in the area. The theme of Saturday’s event is “Leyendas Prehispanicas,” based on the legend of Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl. The celebration includes a Dia de los Muertos fashion show and costume contest. Count on a lot of sugar skull-painted faces, flower crowns and soldadera garb. The fashions and makeup were co-created with Mayra Guerrero, Claudia Bo, Neva Durham, Estragos D Gante, Sati Jaya, Perla Leal Balch and Shawn Ryan. The costume contest has three categories: Local Artist, Fridas (as in Kahlo) and Calaveritas (meaning little skeletons, or your children). There will be an abundance of authentic Mexican folk art for sale, live music, drumming and folkloric dancing. The festivities all culminate in Casa Tina’s Calaca Krewe candlelit procession down Main Street. The event runs from 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Suggested donation: $10. …

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Shopping Planner: Zine Fest, native plants, BoTiki fundraiser and more

Self-Published: Daddy Kool Zine Fest
If you’re not aware of what a zine is, it’s a self-published, minimagazine of original texts and/or artwork with a small circulation. They are often associated with the punk rock, DIY movement, and in the early years they were made on photocopiers and sometimes handwritten. They were really popular in the ’90s, especially with the Riot Grrl movement. With all the ’90s nostalgia these days, it’s really no surprise that zines are having a renaissance, enough to have a Zine Fest at Daddy Kool Records in St. Pete on Saturday. Local and national zine vendors will be there and you can check some of them out on Daddy Kool’s Facebook page, The organizer has mini-interviews with some of the vendors so you can get to know them a bit. Bonus: Most zines run just $2-$6 each! There will also be food trucks and FREE BEER from New Belgium Brewing Co. It’s free to attend, and runs from noon-6 p.m. at 666 Central Ave. …

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Here's what everyone, including Michelle Obama, wore to the White House state dinner

It's that time in the day on a Wednesday when you probably need to fantasize about a life other than yours. For instance, I just ate a microwave meal at my desk, I'm wearing a secondhand H&M jacket and my hair is too tight.

Come with me, children, to Tuesday's White House state dinner for Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi and his wife Agnese Landini. pictured above with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Indeed, this is the kind of event you attend in your head when you're staring off into the middle distance during the marketing meeting.

Let's take a closer look at what Michelle Obama wore, and then die because it is Versace, and it is perfect. She has wowed at many a state dinner throughout her husband's presidency. This was her final dinner, and you can't blame a woman for going out in full bronze shimmer.

The event honored people of Italian heritage and was catered by Mario Batali. Who else was there?

These guys. Of course they were.


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Shopping Planner: Hauntizaar, Gem and Mineral show, Tracy Negoshian warehouse sale and more

Dark Arts: Hauntizaar
The Halloween season is all the way upon us, and my neighborhood already looks like a set from a number of different horror movies. I want to join the party and decorate too, but most decor in stores is cheap, tacky stuff I wouldn’t want to spend money on. I want something spooky, yet tasteful. Enter the Hauntizaar event at the Studio@620 on Saturday. The inaugural event is presented by St. Pete Craft Heroes, who also put on the annual artists’ holiday market, Holizaar. This event is a similar concept, featuring original creations of seasonal artwork from 20 area artists. This one is all about Halloween and the Day of the Dead. You’ll find lots of creepy-cool creations, ranging from fine art oil paintings, to textiles, sculpture and ceramics. Participating artists include the Crafty Hag, Paper Moon Boxes and Calamity Kim, whose work is pictured. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. …

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