Friday, July 29, 2011

The Chain Gang

There is no better way to toughen up your look than to add some chains.  I personally love pairing this type of detail with sweet & delicate pieces for a nice balance.  My accessory picks below are all affordably priced, so you can feel good about getting linked up.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Favorite New Finds

While some of these may not be new on the market, they are recent discoveries of mine that I've been impressed with:

1) L'Oreal Colour Riche Le Gloss - $7.99
I am a big fan of most of L'Oreal's glosses - although they tend to discontinue them more frequently than I'd like.  This one is great because it contains moisturizers like Omega 3 & Vitamin E plus it smells like candy!  These have a richly pigmented formula for great coverage & high shine.

2) Kerasal Exfoliating Pumice Paste - $6.99
My new favorite for keeping feet soft & callus-free in the summer!  Scoop out a small amount & scrub over your feet in the shower.  It exfoliates like a pumice stone, but also contains natural oils that help restore moisture to your skin.

3) Goody Simple Styles Spin Pin - $6.29
I have super-thick hair that usually requires dozens of bobby pins to hold an updo in place.  So I was slightly skeptical about this new tool...but it works amazingly well!  Simply create a bun, screw these in & it will stay put all day long!  Plus, they come in different shades to match your haircolor.

4) John Frieda Clear Shine Luminous Color Glaze - $16.99 (2-pack)
Sometimes we all need a little "boost", especially when hair is being exposed to the sun more frequently.  This conditioning glaze smoothes hair & leaves it shiny without weighing strands down.  Use once a week & leave on for 20 minutes for a "fresh from the salon" look!

* I am guest posting for a blogger friend in England today & discussing my affinity for the classic pencil skirt (as seen in yesterday's outfit post) - come check it out here: 


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

City Streets

Although I am a stay-at-home mom now & no longer work in a professional environment...if I was heading to the office each day, this is what I would wear.  I love the streamlined shape of a pencil skirt - mixing it with a graphic print plus a dose of bold color makes this look modern & sophisticated.

What I'm wearing:
H&M blazer (also seen here), Adoro tank, Kenar skirt, Guess heels, Ann Taylor sunglasses, Target necklace, Michael Kors watch, Forever 21 & Banana Republic bracelets (Lips: Revlon Certainly Red)


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

DIY Colorblock Bracelet

I have been wanting to try this for a while, but hadn't found the right thing to "transform".  Then, a couple of weeks ago, my friend invited me to a jewelry party at her house.  All of the items were very affordable and I knew this piece was just perfect for my little experiment!  I got the inspiration from an I Spy DIY post (here).  Instead of using a necklace, I chose this simple pewter stretch rhinestone bracelet (I'm sure you could find a similar one at Claire's or Forever 21).  The before picture:

All I did was pick 2 nail polish colors to create a colorblocked effect.  You could also use one solid color or try 3-5 shades and make into a pattern.  I decided on OPI (Bullish on OPI & Chocolate Moose) with Sally Hansen White On around the edges.  Though I picked more muted colors, this would also be fun with bright neons.  Here is the finished product:

Close up (with flash)

In my stack (no flash)

How to do it:
*Carefully paint over each individual stone in a single stroke (You can also go around the edges, like I did to give it some added dimension).
*Let the first coat dry completely before adding a second coat.
*Allow the 2nd coat to dry before adding a clear topcoat.  This helps protect it from chipping (just like your nails).  If you don't want the shine, try a matte topcoat instead.
*Make sure to use a creme polish that covers well - sheer & perle colors will not be as effective.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Steals Under $30

I hope no one will fault me for wanting to choose fall pieces for this edition!  Even though it is still insanely hot here in NY, I am enjoying seeing the new season's clothes that have debuted in stores & online...and I'm finding myself already dreaming about the cooler weather.

H&M Sweater - $19.95


Friday, July 22, 2011

Gunmetal Gaze

With it being summer, I am enjoying a break from my usual makeup routine and scaling back to the basics.  But, even now, there are times when I crave a little something more...especially when I have a fun girls night planned or a romantic date with my husband.  I've always been fond of the smoky eye & this is my current favorite way to do it.  By leaving the bottom part of the eye bare (save for mascara), it is elegant & less harsh-looking than the traditional kohl-rimmed look.  Take a peek at this example on Sienna Miller:

How to recreate:

1) Line your top lids only with black liquid liner, carefully winging it out & up at the edges slightly.
2) Smudge a metallic gray shadow across your lids & all the way up to the crease, also slightly winging out at the sides.
3) Finish the look by curling your lashes & adding 2 coats of black mascara.
4) Balance out the gray with just a sweep of warm champagne gloss.

Products to try:


Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Short Story

I have never been a big fan of shorts.  I would rather wear a skirt any day, if given the option.  While I do have a few pairs, I pretty much never go looking for more to buy.  But, when I saw these on the sale rack, I was instantly drawn to them...probably due to their vintage-inspired shape & feminine detailing.  Because they are dressier than my other styles & the color is a rich neutral, they'll transition nicely into the fall when paired with tights and booties.

{These pictures were shot at the historical George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography & Film.  George Eastman (who built this estate in 1902) was the founder of Eastman Kodak Company ~ he is heralded as the father of modern photography & the inventor of motion picture film.}

What I'm wearing:
Gap blouse, Anthropologie shorts (here), BCBG sandals, Target belt, Forever 21 & Banana Republic bracelets, Kenneth Cole ring (Nails: Sally Hansen Wet Cement)


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Flower Power

What is one of the quickest ways to feel ultra-feminine?  Throw on something floral!  Flowering prints were HUGE this season and there is no end in sight.  I tend to gravitate towards the smaller "ditsy" styles because they're less overpowering & easier to pull off.  Some fun options that won't break the bank:


Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I started my career very young...mainly due to the fact that I didn't finish college.  I began working in a professional enviroment when I was just 19.  By the time I had finally found my niche, I was only 21 and climbing my way up the corporate ladder.  Though I was gaining the attention of management, there were many (okay, most) who weren't as thrilled for my success.  Being so young, being a female & being promoted over others who had been there for years meant I was a target for snide remarks, vicious rumors and general dislike.

So, when I started this site, I assumed that the blogging world would be much the same as my previous work experiences - everyone out for themselves & a breeding ground for extreme cattiness.  But, I have been pleasantly surprised to discover it is the exact opposite.  There is an incredible network of bloggers out there who have embraced me (though I am the "new girl"), welcomed me into their club & even helped me promote my site.  You probably know who you are, but I'm going to give you a shout-out anyway:

If you aren't familiar with their blogs, please go check them out - these are all beautiful, talented & smart women who do it right!  Meeting you ladies has truly been the greatest gift for have been supportive, encouraging & just plain awesome!  If I had the money, I would fly us all to meet up someplace fun where we could go shopping, swap clothes & hang out like "real" people! 

In our house, we work hard to instill in our children a spirit of gratefulness - for the things they have, for presents they receive & for the people around them who enrich their lives.  As their mother, I want to make sure that I am setting a good example for them in this area & practicing what I preach.  So, thanks to all of you (even those not mentioned here) who have embraced me with kindness & helped me along the has not gone unnoticed & will not soon be forgotten.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Look for Less ~ Eyelet Dress

Although I have previously professed my love for little white dresses (here), I only had a white sheath (worn at our vow renewal ceremony).  While I loved the one I already owned, I was craving a more casual sundress style.  And I kept coming back to this picture of Eva Mendes in her eyelet lace Dolce & Gabbana version.   

Knowing that July brings major markdowns on summer inventory at most stores, I decided it was the perfect time to search.  This silhouette is a little more "sweet" than I normally go for, but I knew I could add a belt & some edgy accessories to help balance it out.

Banana Republic Eyelet Strapless Dress (here) - retail $130; bought for $34

Details I love: White eyelet lace is crisp & feminine, boning at sides means I won't be "pulling it up" constantly, classic shape is ultra-flattering.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Snake Charmer

Python prints were all over the spring & fall runways - from Lanvin's dresses to Balenciaga's totes to Marc Jacob's ballet flats...and the list goes on.  I personally love the exotic look of snakeskin - it brings a slick texture with a tough edge.  And although it's a print, it actually works like a neutral and is so easy to pair with other items you already own.  Plus it's looks decadent with whites & brights in spring/summer and luxe with rich camels and garnets in fall/winter.  Feeling really adventurous?  Try this amazing DIY snakeskin manicureMy penny-pincher picks for adding a small dose to your wardrobe:


Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Full Sweep

Another week with 2 outfit posts - I think they are doing the challenges this way on keep me on my toes!  This time for Bloggers Do It Better, it is all about the maxi skirt.  I had previously posted about my love for them (here) and I'm really hoping they never go out of style, because they're are so comfortable & feminine.  The one I'm wearing is great because the print means I can mix it up with many different colors, plus the pleating detail & flowy fabric is perfect for dressing up or down.  I can't wait to pair it with a lightweight knit, cropped leather jacket & booties in the fall!

What I'm wearing:
Fashionista blouse, Anthropologie skirt (here), Forever 21 belt, Banana Republic wedges (also seen here), Michael Kors watch, Target earrings, Banana Republic & vintage bracelets


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

We Have a WINNER

Thank you all so much for entering my first giveaway!  Hopefully, this is just the first of many wonderful prizes for my faithful readers!  I decided to do this contest because I want to thank you lovely ladies for following my blog, for telling your friends & neighbors about it and for all your sweet comments that truly make me smile! 

I know we all lead busy lives & that time is the fact that you choose to spend a few minutes here each day really means the world to me.  If you haven't already, please pop over to my Facebook page and vote on my poll to tell me what you'd like to see more of! 

Now, without further ado, here is our winner:

Congratulations to Moira (@moicain)!!  

Please shoot me an email (or tweet) so I can get your address information...then I will package up all your goodies & send them to you this week!  I hope you love each & every item and that you get lots of use out of your new clutch!! 

Thanks again to everyone who participated & welcome to all my new followers!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mornings in Marigold

As much as I love the color yellow, I have to admit I only had one mustard blouse in my entire closet.  So when they announced that this cheery hue was the theme for the EBEW July challenge, I panicked.  Thankfully, eBay came to my rescue and I found something just in time...literally!  It arrived on Thursday & we shot on Saturday, which meant I didn't have time to take it to the tailors (so I added a belt).  Since the cut of this dress is very classic & sophisticated, I chose to modernize it a bit with some angular shoulder-grazing earrings and a dash of leopard print.

What I'm wearing:
Banana Republic dress, BCBG heels, Mossimo belt, Target earrings, Monet & vintage bracelets (Lips: L'Oreal Target Red, Nails: OPI Bullish on OPI) 


Monday, July 11, 2011

Shop Mapel

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Mapel! 

A super-sweet girl I went to high school with opened this adorable clothing boutique in my homestate of Oregon.  If you happen to be lucky enough to live nearby, you can drop into this beautiful sunny spot & browse through their amazing inventory. 

What is fabulous about her shop is they carry the name brands you know & love - 7 For All Mankind, Joe's Jeans, Citizens of Humanity, Tulle, BB Dakota, Alternative Apparel & more.  But, they also carry a wide range of local & independent designers, which means you can find something not everyone else will have!  Although they have jeans, tops, jewelry & handbags, I am completely smitten with their dresses - here are some of my favorites:

What makes them more unique is that they offer online "happy hour" specials at Shop Mapel from 1-7pm every day.  Even sweeter?  Shipping & exchanges are FREE - always!  And...for a limited time, ShopMapel is offering a discount to all Penny Pincher Fashionista readers ~ just enter code PPF25 at checkout and you'll receive 25% off your entire purchase, including sale items (now through July 25th)! 

Check out their blog here, like them on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter for deals & sale alerts hereI know you'll love their philosophy & selection of clothes as much as I do!


Friday, July 8, 2011

My Top 3

For this edition of my top 3, I decided to share with you some of my most favorite recent purchases.  Of course, being the "penny pincher" that I am, none of these pieces cost me more than $25!  And I'm sure you'll be seeing each of them in future outfit posts...

Simply Vera by Vera Wang Necklace (Kohl's)

Forever 21 Top (eBay)

Banana Republic Wedges (BR Factory Outlet)


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Walk in the Park

We live right next to this park...literally NEXT to it.  So close, in fact, that it is an everyday occurrence to have geese/ducks/turtles crossing our street.  There are multiple ponds, picnic tables sprinkled throughout & a running track with "exercise stations". 

Now that it is summer, we spend alot of time here.  My kids love feeding the birds/squirrels, walking the trails & packing up lunches to eat under the shade of the trees.  And, although it has been a tough transition from our big house in the South to this small 2-bedroom apartment, I am thankful for the close proximity to this beautiful setting.

What I'm wearing:
Forever 21 kaftan, Old Navy jeans, Rampage sandals (also seen here), Dockers Aviator Sunglasses, Fossil & vintage bracelets, Target earrings, Michael Kors watch (also seen here)


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Giveaway ~ Banana Republic Clutch + Extras!

This is my first GIVEAWAY!!!  Can you tell I'm excited?  I hope you are too...because one lucky PPF reader will win this amazing Banana Republic clutch.  Isn't it fabulous?!  In classic navy blue with a woven design, this is perfect for summer!  It will add some nice texture to an outfit, plus the oversize shape (14" x 7") makes it functional & versatile, too.  (To tell the truth, I kinda' want to keep it for myself!)

Not only will someone win this adorable clutch, but I am personally "stuffing" it with some of my favorite beauty products...because I love & appreciate all my readers so much! :) Just take a look at these goodies:

(Essie Resort 2011 Collection Mini Polishes, EOS Cucumber Hand Lotion, VS Pro Smooth FX Lip Scrub & Balm, .5 oz. Pureology Split End Correcting Treatment, 1.5 oz. Sebastian Re-Shaper Brushable Strong Hold Hairspray & a fun peacock-print nail file)


To enter:
* You must be a follower of Penny Pincher Fashionista either on Google Friend Connect, BlogLovin or Facebook AND leave a comment letting me know you are (check the right-hand sidebar for these options).

More ways to win:
* Follow PPFGirl on Twitter (here) and leave a comment telling me that you are a follower (1 additional entry).
* Tweet this giveaway and leave a comment with a url to your tweet below (1 additional entry).

You have 7 days to enter - I will close the giveaway on July 13th at 12am EST & announce the winner on July 14th.  If you win, you will be notified via email (in addition to me posting it here), so please make sure I have a valid address for you. 
Good luck, ladies!!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Bows have been popping up everywhere lately - celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Diane Kruger & ChloĆ« Sevigny have been seen wearing them on the red carpet and Tiffany's even has a line of bow jewelry.  I love the playfulness of bows & think it's definitely a trend to try...but proceed with caution.  It's easy to go overboard with this style, if you're not careful.  You don't want to look like you're trying to recapture your childhood or that you're impersonating Minnie Mouse.  But, keep it understated and simple & it will read as classically sophisticated.  Here are some budget-friendly pieces to add just the right amount of girly glamour to your wardrobe:


Monday, July 4, 2011

Proud to be Free

I am such a Daddy's girl.  I have always been that way since the day I was born.  He was big & strong and always there to catch me when I fell down (in the literal sense when I was younger, and figuratively as I grew up).  One of the things I love and appreciate most about my Dad is that he is a fighter.  He works hard & doesn't give up easily.  Maybe that is where I get my stubborn streak from...

He served in the 1st Infantry Division, US Army and fought in Vietnam.  He received the Bronze Star award for his bravery in service.  But, you would never hear him fact, he was reluctant to hang up the shadowbox my mom made for him with all his medals & badges.  Although he fared much better than others did coming out of that experience, he still bears several scars from his time there.  He now has diabetes as a result of his exposure to Agent Orange and the emotional damage goes far deeper than even he would like to admit.

I am incredibly proud of my Dad and so thankful for the sacrafices he made to fight for our country.  There are millions of others who have done the same; who have given their lives - families who have lost brothers & sisters, sons & daughters...all for the price of freedom.  Amidst the barbeques & fireworks today, let's not forget the real reason that we can celebrate our independence.