Friday, April 28, 2017

Spring Awakening


I'm convinced that upstate NY is one of the most beautiful places in the spring - maybe that's largely because, after enduring such a long & hard winter, we feel like we've truly "earned" some good weather.  It's funny because there was a time when I thought I would never stop missing Oregon (where I grew up) & I couldn't imagine feeling settled here...but, after 6  years, New York now feels more like home than any of the places we've lived.  I'm so happy that it's been warm enough lately so I can finally pull out all the sleeveless blouses & pretty dresses that I've been itching to wear.

This pretty ruffled top is one of my new favorites because it's so versatile - I've already worn it with cotton shorts & wedges for the weekend, but you could also pair it with crop trousers & heels for the office.  I love that it has built-in lining, so you don't need to wear a cami underneath. You may remember me talking about these jeggings here before & there's a reason why they get such great reviews - they have just the right amount of stretch & are insanely flattering (they also come in petite, long or short).  If you're looking for a new pair of jeans for the season, I definitely recommend trying them out!





What I'm wearing:
c/o a.n.a Lace Peplum Top (also in lilac, olive & navy; tall version here), 
c/o a.n.a Jeggings (wearing size 2), c/o Style Charles Heels, c/o Olivia Miller Bag
c/o Mixit Earrings, c/o a.n.a Bracelets

I've been so impressed with all the new arrivals at JCPenney - they are really knocking it out of the park this season! A few other items I ordered online & ended up keeping include this striped dress (see me wearing it here), this white crochet-trim tee (under $10!) and this bikini, which is hands-down the most flattering swimsuit I've ever tried on. If you're a mom, they have a great selection of spring & summer styles for kids too - I bought this sleeveless top & these denim shorts for my daughter and also stocked up on short sleeve button-down shirts for my son (here & here) - these are so great for church & he likes them because the fabric isn't scratchy like other brands we've tried.



This fit & flare dress was a pleasant surprise - at 5'8", I'm far from being considered petite...but this style fit like a glove!  It hits at just the right spot on my waist & is the perfect length.  I also love that the fabric doesn't wrinkle easily - I didn't even have to steam it after pulling it out of the package when it arrived!  More cold shoulder options to try are this stunning red dress (just ordered!) or this lace sheath.  Right now, JCPenney is having an amazing sale, but it only lasts through the end of the day - get an extra 30% off your online purchase with code 33GOSHOP and, if you're a JCP rewards member, you'll earn a $10 bonus reward when you spend $50 or more!




What I'm wearing:
c/o Alyx Cold-Shoulder Dress (wearing size 2P; also in black), c/o a.n.a Heels
c/o Liz Claiborne Bag (also in mint), c/o a.n.a Earrings

MY JCP PICKS

Thank you to JCPenney for kindly sponsoring this post.
All opinions are 100% honest & all items were hand-selected by me.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Steals Under $30

This time of year I tend to vacillate between wearing lots of blues & whites (with a healthy dose of stripes) and embracing bold pops of color (red & coral are my favorites!).  I had so much fun putting together a mix of sophisticated & playful looks for this month's edition.  Just a few great sales to highlight here: J. Crew Factory is offering 40% off all new arrivals & an extra 20% off your purchase with your J. Crew card & code CARD20; Target has B1G1 50% off all Xhilaration styles; Macy's has 30% off your purchase with code FRIEND (some exclusions apply) & Club Monaco is offering an extra 30% off sale styles in stores & online (no code needed).  Here are nine spring outfit ideas featuring pieces that are all $30 or less!






MORE UNDER $30


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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

One for One

This post is sponsored by TOMS
All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.



I truly enjoy partnering with organizations that are committed to doing good work to improve communities across the globe.  It's an honor for me to introduce & highlight brands that are purposefully giving back because supporting charities & non-profits is an important part of my life.  TOMS is well-known as the One for One® company - every single product of theirs that you purchase will have a direct & profound impact on someone in need.  Though they started their business with just shoes, they have since expanded their line to carry handbags, apparel & accessories. I love it when I know that I'm shopping for a great cause & even better when it's pieces that are well-made & affordable too!  Today I'm sharing two new spring looks featuring some of my favorite shoes from their new arrivals.



These sneakers are such a fun color for spring & the suede is unbelievably soft.  Even though I traditionally wear sneakers with jeans, I like the idea of pairing mine with a casual skirt (or dress) for a sporty day look.  This is an easy mom on-the-go outfit that still feels cute & put-together without being too fussy.  I found that these sneakers ran a bit big, so I'd recommend going down half a size.  Side note: I swear by this eraser for getting rid of stains on my suede shoes & bags (because they are inevitable!) - sometimes it takes a little elbow grease to get them all the way removed, but it works like magic.



What I'm wearing:
Similar Jacket, Gap Tank (similar here or here), LOFT Skirt (similar here or here), 
c/o TOMS Lenox Suede Sneakers, Old Navy Bag (similar)



We all know that wedge sandals are a spring essential & I already own a classic espadrille pair, so this cork style is a fun addition to my closet.  The blue denim is surprisingly versatile because I can pair it with jeans, shorts or some of my printed skirts & white dresses (they also come in a neutral color).  I was actually really pleased with how comfortable these were - but if you're looking for something with a lower height, these wedges are another great option.




What I'm wearing:

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April Q&A




1) I finally made the switch to an iPhone & am looking for the best apps to download that are practical for everyday use - specifically, I'd love any organizational & money-saving tools.

Coupon & Shopping Apps
Retail Me Not - pull up coupons while you're shopping in store (works for restaurants too!)
Ebates - earn cash back for all your purchases while shopping online
Slice - sync this app with your email & it will track all your packages, save online receipts & record your purchase history so you can view all your online orders in one place

Photo Editing Apps
Snapseed - photo editing, enhancements & special effects (my favorite is the selective brightening tool)
Afterlight - great for making basic edits like cropping, sharpening & adding contrast
VSCO - the best app for photo filters (my favorites are S2, J4 & A6)

Health
My Water - helps you track your daily water consumption & reminds you to be drinking throughout the day
My Fitness Pal - because I'm doing intermittent fasting, I like using this app to make sure I'm still getting in enough during my eating window (there's also a step counter; you can keep track of your macros & add in your daily workouts to adjust for calories burned)
Paprika Recipe Manager - organize your favorite recipes, make meal plans & create grocery lists (it has a built-in web browser so you can search for recipes online & then simply click a button to download & save it to the app)

Organization Apps
Google Keep - I'm a compulsive list maker so this app allows me to create multiple to do lists & set time based reminders for myself so nothing slips through the cracks
Family Organizer - allows you to sync schedules across devices & keep everyone's activities & events on one calendar
Key Ring - stores & consolidates all of your membership & loyalty cards so you don't have to keep them in your wallet

2) As much as I love the convenience of shopping at the mall, I hate when I end up wearing the same thing as one of my friends.  Can you suggest some smaller online boutiques that carry affordable styles?









3) I'm a college student on a limited budget & even though I'm working part-time, I still have to be very frugal with my purchases.  I'd love to get your recommendations for drugstore beauty buys that are just as good as the more expensive brands.

I really think that the drugstore brands have stepped up their game over the last few years - I personally use over half of the products below on a daily basis and actually prefer them over higher-end beauty products.  The ombré blush shown here is my latest obsession (I bought it in Mauve Me) - it is the most flattering color, as evidenced by the examples on different skintones in this article.  Here are some more of my favorites:






4) I really love how you complete your looks with unique pieces of jewelry, but I don't have a lot of money to spend on accessories.  Can you share what your top 10 favorites are that would be versatile to wear with many different outfits?

This is a tough one for me because some of my jewelry has sentimental value & I have quite a few vintage pieces too. But, if I had to narrow it down to the items I wear the most this time of year, here's what I would suggest investing in:



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Monday, April 24, 2017

Basics Please


As a fashion blogger, I often feel like I'm doing something wrong if I feature a look that doesn't involve mixed prints or current trends or some type of creative layering.  Working in this industry can be challenging at times because so much of it is built on showcasing the latest & greatest.  While I do enjoy & appreciate all of those things, the truth is that for my everyday life, I really value easy basics that are wearable & comfortable.  There may not be anything groundbreaking about these pieces, but they are the ones I know I will reach for over and over again & won't be "out of style" in another year.

This cargo skirt is one I've worn a ton (see previous looks here & here) - I love day skirts like this that have an elastic waist, don't wrinkle too easily & are easy to move around in.  A lightweight cardigan is another one of my must-have spring staples - for this time of year, I prefer to find one that has a slightly open-knit and slub texture to it - the back detail on this one is great (and it's under $20!).  

I've been searching for the perfect crepe cami for a while and many of the ones I tried were either too loose, too low-cut or too sheer.  I had almost given up...but then I received this one from Everlane.  It's 100% silk & double lined so there's no risk of it being overly revealing - I also found it to be the perfect cut (not too boxy & just the right length).  Here are a few more ways I'd style it:

* Tuck into a wrap skirt & pair with ankle-strap heels
* Layer under a denim jacket & pair with eyelet shorts & Sam Edelman flat sandals
* Tuck into wide leg pants with wedges

What I'm wearing:
One Hart Cardigan (also in black), c/o Everlane Cami (wearing size 2), 
LOFT Skirt (similar here or here; love this one too), c/o Tommy Hilfiger Sandals
Kimchi Blue Bag (similar), Anthropologie Necklace (similar here or here)
ASOS Earrings (similar), Lips: NudeStix Mystic

SHOP DAY SKIRTS

Created in partnership with Everlane

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