Penny Pincher Fashion Penny Pincher Fashion

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Weekly Top Finds

Since we are on a family vacation for the rest of the week (see more on my Snapchat - ppfgirl), Abbey was kind enough to help me out by moving her recurring post from its usual Saturday slot to today.  She found some amazing styles for less at one of my favorite stores - take a look below!

T.J. Maxx is one of my go-to stores for finding the latest styles on a budget - I love that they stock a wide range of items (many from high-end designers) at a price that I can afford. Since they opened up their online store, it's even more convenient to shop - you can get free shipping on orders of $75+ using code SHIP75 & free returns to your local store!  Right now they are holding their Summer Clearance Event and the markdowns are pretty amazing.  Here are a few of my top picks that you can wear now & transition into the fall:


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ladylike Lace

I typically don't invest too heavily into trends because I don't think it's wise to spend a lot on something that's potentially a passing phase.  So, when there is a new style that appeals to me, I try to search for an affordable version that still looks well made.  I've fully embraced the off-the-shoulder trend this season, so I couldn't resist this pretty lace top - the scalloped hem and tie-detail on the sleeves give it a sophisticated feminine vibe that works just as well with skinny jeans as it does with a sleek pencil skirt.  I've also worn this with black cropped trousers & bright red flats for a more classic feel.  Side note: these earrings I'm wearing are part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and I haven't taken them off since they arrived!

What I'm wearing:
Do & Be Lace Top (also in black; love this one too), Forever 21 Skirt (similar here or here), 
c/o Dorothy Perkins Heels (similar here or here), Yosa Bag (similar), Nadri Earrings
BaubleBar Cuff, Rings: BaubleBar (similar) & Nordstrom Rack


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Bold Giving

When I was solidifying the details for my jewelry line, I knew that I wanted to donate some of the proceeds to charity.  I made the decision long ago that if I was ever given the chance to create my own clothing or accessory line, I would use that as an opportunity to give back.  As I mentioned in last week's post, 20% of the net sales from my upcoming jewelry collection will be donated to Feed My Starving Children.  This particular charity is one that is near to my heart & I wanted to share more about that with you today.  FMSC is a non-profit organization that provides nutritional rice packs to children in countries across the globe with the goal of ending world hunger.   What I love about their business model is that it's volunteer-driven & they have set it up in a way that reinforces accountability so that more than 99% of meals shipped reach their intended destination. 

Earlier this summer, we had the opportunity to go as a family to one of their mobile packing events that was being held in our area.  Whenever possible, we try to include our kids in community service projects and volunteering because it's a wonderful experience for them to see outside of their world and to practice selflessness & compassion. After watching the videos and learning more about what FMSC does, we were given instructions on how the packing process works and what stations we would each be in charge of.  We then spent the next 4 hours in an assembly-line filling up pouches with their special blend of rice, vegetables & protein and packing them into boxes to fill the pallets that would be loaded onto their truck.  These boxes are then shipped out to their overseas partners to be distributed to areas in need.

My son was in charge of holding the pouch while it was filled and my daughter & I sealed each pack shut

We helped the kids find a task they felt comfortable with and we came up with a special cheer to shout out every time we successfully filled a box with rice packs.  Not only was it rewarding to see the hundreds of boxes that we completed that afternoon, but it gave me such joy to do it alongside my husband & kids and to see their eagerness to work hard at the jobs they were given.  At the end of the day, we hadn't quite finished all of the pouches they'd given us at our station and, though we'd already been on our feet for hours, I was so proud when my kids asked if we could stay past the cut-off time so we could fill the rest of the empty boxes.  

As a fashion blogger, my job can feel quite frivolous at times...and I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother me.  I want to be remembered for so much more than sharing deals and giving style advice.  I couldn't look back on my years of blogging feeling proud about the work I'd done if I knew I didn't use this platform for something greater & more meaningful.  However my site may change & grow in the future, I feel very strongly that I always want giving back to be a central theme.  I hope that by sharing my experience with you today, you will be encouraged that you don't have to open your wallet to make a difference - you can give of your time & skills and still have a tremendous impact.  The video below is just one of a thousand reasons why I am passionate about donating to this charity & it's a touching reminder of the power that we have to change lives.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Casual Family Style

This post is brought to you in partnership with Shoe Carnival.
All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

One of the best parts about summertime is getting the chance to spend more time together as a family.  Because my husband & I both work from home, we have a regular schedule for the kids most days (so we can still get our work done), but we set aside one day a week for what we call “Adventure Day”.  We take off the day from work, drive somewhere & spend the afternoon doing a family activity or exploring a new area.  It’s become one of our favorite traditions and it’s so nice to have that special time together to look forward to every single week.
Earlier this month, for our adventure day, we drove up to Niagara Falls.  We’ve been several times before to the Canada side, but this time our goal was two-fold: to view the falls from the New York side & to pick up some new shoes at the Shoe Carnival store in Niagara (our closest location).  Because I have two kids who are very active, they tend to be pretty hard on their shoes.  I’ve learned my lesson that it’s better to buy them good quality footwear so they hold up well through all the inevitable wear & tear.  So I was happy to find that Shoe Carnival carries a wide selection of brand name shoes for less + they have very regular sales on top of their already low prices.  Read on below to see the styles we picked & our full reviews!

My daughter definitely has a sporty tomboy style – she loves dresses and jewelry, but when it comes to shoes, she’s all about comfort (girl after my own heart!).  She had a pair of Converse hi-tops from the winter that she wore until they fell apart, so it was only fitting that she get a fun colorful pair for summer that she can wear with sundresses & shorts.  We found that these ran about a half size big, so if you’re ordering online, you might want to size down or order two sizes just to be safe.

On her:
Old Navy Vest (similar), Old Navy Dress (similar), c/o Converse Sneakers

My son loves his athletic gear and would probably wear gym shorts & tees 24/7 if I let him.  We are pretty loyal to the NIKE brand since my husband worked at their headquarters for 7 years when we lived in Oregon.  So, when he spotted these bright blue sneakers, there was no talking him out of them.  I love that they are supportive and well made, but they still make a stylish statement.  If you’re not familiar with NIKE shoes, they run a bit narrow, so you may need to size up to get the perfect fit (especially if your son has a wider foot).

On him:
Despite all my best bleaching efforts, the white canvas sneakers I’ve owned for years weren’t looking so white anymore.  So I decided it was finally time to retire them & find a new pair.  This classic style is so comfortable & the leather laces give them up a grown-up feel.  I like that I can just slip them on without having to fuss with tying them + the plush cushioning makes them super comfortable for all our weekend adventures.

What I'm wearing:
Old Navy Sweater (similar here or here), Gap Denim Shorts (similar), c/o Sperry Sneakers, Zara Bag (similar)


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Weekly Top Finds

This summer, I've been all about classic styles and, in my opinion, J. Crew is one of the best places to shop for well-made pieces that will last for years.  They are having a pretty incredible sale this weekend - get 30% off select full-price items and extra 40-60% off sale styles when you use code SUMMER (through 7/25).  Also, for those of you who have been patiently waiting, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is finally open to the public!  I bought this open-front vestthese stunning earrings, this leather belt, these pointed flats & this cozy sweater - see the rest of my clothing picks here & my bag, shoes & beauty favorites here.  If you found something you love at the Nordstrom sale, please share your review in the comments below!

1) Eyelet Ruffle-Hem Top (also in red & black) // 2) Denim Jacket // 3) Striped Maxi Dress
4) Denim Shorts // 5) Linen Fringe Tank Top (also in white, turquoise & navy)
6)  Double-Breasted Blazer (also in petite) // 7) Tiered Eyelet Midi Dress (also in black)
10) Faux Leather Scallop-Trim Stripe Tank (also in navy/white stripe)