Watch Me Friday on "FOX & Friends"

If you are up well before dawn on Friday to grab Black Friday bargains - tune in bright and early to catch me on "FOX & Friends."

I'll be doing two segments, sharing holiday deals for several companies, with everything from TVs, laptop computers and gaming consoles to toys, personalized items and gourmet gifts.  Many of the sales actually start online just after midnight on Thanksgiving morning, and most are available in-store through Friday and Saturday.

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I am scheduled to be on about 6:50 a.m. ET and 7:50 a.m. ET.  But in TV land, those times are always subject to change pending breaking news, so tune in early - and please stick around if you don't see me right away!

For a look behind the scenes, follow along on Instagram @amysewellstyle.  And for a complete list of deals - and links to segments - check back here over the next few days!

Beauty Buy: L’Oréal Repair Remedy Mask

Although I periodically write about beauty products, I don't really consider myself a beauty blogger.  But every once in awhile I fall in love with something I try, so why should I keep it to myself?  That was the case with this Repair Ready Mask from L’Oréal Paris.

I confess that I wash my hair at least four or five times a week, which is a lot more often than hair professionals recommend.  I'm the kind of person who cannot really feel clean without clean hair, and hot, humid weather or exercise can leave it feeling pretty gross.

On top of that, blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons and all of the heat-blasting tools connected with TV appearances really take their toll.  

I have tried products to repair heat damage, but never really found something I loved.  Besides, most were pricey salon formulas, while I definitely prefer more affordable things I can scoop up at Walgreens or CVS.

On a recent visit to the "beauty closet" at Alison Brod PR, I picked this up.  I stuck it in the bathroom cabinet, and promptly forgot about it during my heavy travel schedule. With a few days at home this week - most of them hot, humid virtually make-up-free days - I decided to give it a try.

One use - and I am hooked!

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My hair went from dry with lots of flyaways to feeling super-soft and silky smooth after just one use.  Since they recommend using it twice a week, I am looking forward to adding it to my routine. 

Did I mention it is only $8.99 tops?  That's a double-win in my book.

What are your must-have hair products?  What do you save on, and what is worth the splurge?

Mall of America

Not surprisingly, I love to browse around malls.  I like to see what's new, look for ideas for TV segments and - occupational hazard - observe people and how they shop.

Anytime I book a TV appearance in Minneapolis, I always schedule a few hours to wander around the number one tourist attraction in Minnesota:  the Mall of America.  I get a bit of shopping done, and it's a great way to stretch my legs and move around after sitting on an airplane for several hours.  Without even thinking about it, I get in miles and miles of walking.

The Mall - in a word - is massive.  With 520 stores and more than two dozen rides and attractions, there's something for everyone.  To give you an idea of the size, you could fit 32 Boeing 747s or seven Yankee Stadiums inside of it.

Over the years, I have scooped up a few fashion finds here that turned out to be really good ideas.  A super-soft leather jacket from an unexpectedly snowy October visit 15 years ago, and one of my favorite cozy winter turtleneck sweaters - a teal number from Ann Taylor that, more than a decade later, I still wear all.the.time in freezing weather.

The sensory overload of the mall can be a bit much, especially on a weekend.  The amusement park rides in the ginormous atrium provide a steady soundtrack of background noise.  This particular weekend, I had the added challenge of trying to avoid being crashed into by people playing Pokemon GO in an already-crowded space. 

One thing I appreciate is that the food court is on a separate level from most of the stores, so you aren't bombarded with pizza and cinnamon pretzel aromas while you try on shoes.  Happily, I was able to sneak away to one of the many full-service restaurants for lunch, grabbing a quiet corner at Tiger Sushi to a tuck into a plate of sashimi.

To stay organized and avoid buying things we don't need, I always go with a shopping list.  This time, it consisted of a comfy new pair of ankle boots for our upcoming holiday in Paris and London, a cute but sturdy duffle bag that can withstand the abuse of airline baggage handlers, and extra-long socks for what I assume will be a cold winter (you should be able to find plenty of those in Minnesota, right?)

Here is what I picked up this weekend.   Are they fancy?  Not in the least - but they are super-comfy and are ready to log millions of miles around Paris and London next month.

And that duffle bag?  Mission accomplished at L.L.Bean.

My final stop - always - is Caribou Coffee.  They have half a dozen locations in the mall, perfect for unwinding after a long walk, or - during the winter - for warming up before heading out into the Minnesota cold.

Have you ever been to the Mall of America? If so, what did you think?

Gear Up For School

When it comes to shopping for school supplies, I am like a kid in a candy store.

Although it's been years since I took my last final exam, I am always on the lookout for pretty notebooks, pens and organizers - only now I refer to them as "office" supplies.

School supplies have come a long way since I was in elementary school, when the fanciest thing I could find was a five-subject Mead spiral notebook that featured a different color of pastel paper for each subject!

So, I am super-excited to partner with Office Depot this year to show what's new for back-to-school.  From backpacks to cute school supplies, they have everything students and parents need to gear up for school.

For many kids, it's all about the backpack. Not only do they have all of the popular styles and high-quality brands like High Sierra, Jansport and others - but parents will love that all styles are now 30 percent off. (Photos courtesy of Office Depot).

The exclusive Divoga fashion collections have dozens of cute notebooks, planners, folders, binders, pencil pouches, rulers and other supplies/accessories - perfect for expressing your personal style and accessorizing your basic school uniforms.  I have already stocked up on several of these notebooks!  Here are a few of my faves:

Take a look at all of these cute items - along with some great back-to-school looks from Dockers - on this segment on the "Sonoran Living" show on ABC Phoenix:

 Appearing on the "Sonoran Living" show on ABC, Phoenix.

Appearing on the "Sonoran Living" show on ABC, Phoenix.

Moms - what are your children's "must-haves" for the new school year?

 

 

Grocery Shopping in the Big Apple

When people hear that we live in New York City, the most common question they ask is “how do you shop for groceries without a car?”

As weird as that may seem, car-free shopping is actually the least quirky thing about foraging for food in Manhattan.

Here are a few of the differences:

We don’t really have “supermarkets.”  At least not the Walmart Supercenter kind. 

You can find all of your basics here.  You just won't find 183 varieties of yogurt.

 Yogurt selection at C-Town in Manhattan vs. your typical Walmart Supercenter

Yogurt selection at C-Town in Manhattan vs. your typical Walmart Supercenter

Our carts are smaller than yours.

Small stores + narrow aisles = tiny carts.  Which is fine - because where would you store all of that stuff anyway?

 "Fun-sized" carts at C-Town vs. SUV-sized carts at Walmart (note the size of the gallon of milk relative to the cart and aisle!)

"Fun-sized" carts at C-Town vs. SUV-sized carts at Walmart (note the size of the gallon of milk relative to the cart and aisle!)

No such thing as a "quick trip" to the store. 

After living here awhile, waiting 15 to 20 minutes on a checkout line seems perfectly normal.  Bonus: you can catch up on email -  or write a novella - while you wait.

Someone directs you to a register - a job that quite possibly exists only in New York. 

With multiple lines snaking through the store, without this person on the front lines of the grocery battlefield, chaos might ensue.

You buy produce on the street.

Not from some shady character in an alley, but the produce carts that seem to occupy every other corner.  Whether you need bananas for breakfast (5 for $1) or a package of mushrooms for tonight's dinner ($1), they usually have the best prices for basic fruits and veggies.  Buy blueberries here for $3, or pay $6.99 for the exact same thing at the grocery store across the street.

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You shop around.  A lot.

To find the best prices and selection, New Yorkers use a lot of different stores and online delivery services.  Grocery staples at C-Town (Home of the Tiny Carts) or Amazon, produce from street vendors or FreshDirect, meat from the pork store, cereal from Trader Joe's, prepared foods from Fairway or Whole Foods.  Need pickles and olives?  Go to the Pickles & Olives Store (yes, it exists). 

They deliver.

If you buy more than you can carry home - a rare occurrence for me, since most New York City kitchens don’t have room to store lots of stuff - everyone delivers.  Who needs that car, anyway?