Friday, June 29, 2012

Stripe on Stripe

Lately, I've been trying to push myself to do more print-mixing using items I already own.  But instead of contrasting two different prints, I thought...why not mix two different colored stripes?  I have already done one look using this same idea in a somewhat subtle way (here).  Today's effect is much more bold and while it may not be for everyone, I think it's a lot of quite festive in light of the upcoming holiday!

What I'm wearing:
Zara top (last seen here; similar here or here), LOFT skirt (last seen here; similar save or splurge), Gap belt (last seen here; similar), BCBG sandals, The Limited clutch, Accessorize necklace (similar), Bracelets: Sonoma (similar) & c/o Poshlocket (here), Lips: L'Oreal Target Red, Nails: Orly Lemonade


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Real Texture Talk: Naturally Curly

When I was in California for Lucky FABB, I met the adorable Cassidy from TextureMedia.  Upon finding out I have naturally curly hair, she twisted my arm encouraged me to be a part of their Real Texture Talk series on Naturally Curly.  Since I've never shown this side of myself here on the blog, I decided it was about time!  And I do tend to straighten my hair much less in the summer months - mainly due to the humidity & heat, but also to give my hair a break from the blowdryer/flat iron/curling iron process.  At the risk of embarassing myself, I just had to share this picture with you:

I think I was about 10 years old here...clearly, this was before they had mastered the correct formula for anti-frizz products.  Frankly, I'm a little upset my mom let me walk around looking this way.  But, this proves that I wasn't born with the most manageable hair to begin with.  Thankfully, after two pregnancies it has relaxed a little and I've learned the best way to handle my curls. 

The key for me is letting it air dry and touching it as little as possible.  For this reason, I always shower at night so that I can allow it to dry naturally & then I'm ready to go in the morning.  I should also mention that my hair looks much better when I have long layers cut into it (the curls lay nicer and my head looks less "mushroom-shaped").  Here's my step-by-step process:

When I get out of the shower, I spray on a leave-in conditioner & detangle with a wide tooth comb.  Next, I work anti-frizz cream through my hair and make my part.  I then take 1/2-inch sections and twirl the hair around my finger, making a ringlet & twisting away from my face (my stylist taught me this trick - it helps with curl definition & separation).  I continue until all my hair is done and then I let it air dry completely.

Once my hair is dry (usually by the time I wake up in the morning), I carefully separate the ringlets with my fingers, taking care to not "rake" through them.  Then, I fluff the hair slightly at the roots to create a little lift and use my favorite texture spray to gently scrunch my curls.  Here's the finished product:

If I'm wanting to create looser waves, I use the same products mentioned above, but instead of twisting into ringlets, I'll wrap all my hair (while wet) up in a high bun & secure with an elastic before bed.  Then, I just take it out in the morning & the result is more beachy-type waves.  I'd love to hear from my naturally curly readers - what items do you swear by and how do you style your curls? 

You can read the full interview & learn more about my favorite products over at Naturally Curly
Thanks to Cassidy & the rest of their team for having me!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Recent Purchases ~ Part 2

This is my last round of  purchases for the month of June.  I did place some online orders, but the items haven't arrived yet and I have to try the pieces on first to see if I'll be keeping them.  If I do, I will include those in my post for next month.  I know I won't be spending as much in July since we'll be traveling on vacation for 2 I took advantage of some of the great sales going on right now.  In addition to these items below, I also spent $20 on thrift/vintage purchases (like the polka dot shorts seen earlier this week), making my grand total for June = $137.30.

LOFT Colorblock Knit Tank - $27.65 (30% off - used a merchandise credit I had)
J. Crew Linen Tippi Sweater - $28.97 (in-store clearance + an extra 30% off)
H&M Mirror-Print Top - $24.95 (check your local store)


Precious Metal

Metallics were a huge trend seen on the Fall 2012 runways, so when I found this top on eBay last month for less than $15, I decided to give it a try (my only complaint is that it wrinkles quite easily, as evidenced by these photos).  My husband refers to this as my "disco fever" look...obviously he wasn't a fan.  But when styled in a simple way, I believe gilded pieces can look very chic.  Another example of metallics done right is this look on Kate Bosworth, which I love and happens to be perfect for summer.  I also think this blouse will transition well into fall too - peeking out from under a sweater & paired with camel trousers or a leather pencil skirt.

What I'm wearing:
J. Crew shirt (via eBay - similar here or here), Gap trousers, Urban Expressions clutch c/o Baghaus (here), ELLE pumps, Dockers aviators (on sale here), Bracelets: J. Crew, Vintage & Tasha (similar)

*I'm thrilled to be featured as the guest blogger over on Baghaus today - check out the full article, more photos from this shoot & my favorite picks from their site here.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Short & Sweet

I have been dying to share my latest thrift-store purchase with you - I was so excited when I found these polka dot high-waisted shorts!  They did require a little bit of tailoring, which I had no problem paying for since they cost me less than $5.  They aren't organza, but the style reminded me so much of this J. Crew version, which I loved but wasn't within my budget.  I don't own very many pairs of shorts & I like that these can be dressed up, they will be great for print mixing with striped pieces (like this blouse).

What I'm wearing:
Forever 21 shirt (similar), H&M blazer (similar save or splurge), Thrifted shorts (similar save, spend or splurge), Guess pumps, ALDO clutch (on sale here), Dockers aviators (on sale here), Michael Kors watch, Vintage bracelets, c/o JewelIQ necklace (here), Lips: CoverGirl Lip Perfection Temptress


Monday, June 25, 2012

Stella & Dot Jewelry Giveaway ~ CLOSED

Today's giveaway comes from one of my new favorite jewelry brands, Stella & Dot!  They have such gorgeous & well-made pieces that are easy to wear alone or mix and match with items you already have.  My friend Whitney graciously offered these beauties below, which are especially ideal for summer (the earrings were so popular that they've already sold out)!

{Together Forever necklace & Turquoise Sea Drop Earrings}

How to enter:

1) You must be a follower of PPF on Facebook, BlogLovin or Twitter
2) Like Whitney's Facebook page
3) Visit Stella & Dot and leave a comment below telling us what your favorite piece is
4) Be sure to include your email address with your comment so we can reach you if you win

You have one week to enter - this giveaway will close on July 2nd at 12am EST and I'll announce a winner the following day.  Good luck!!


Friday, June 22, 2012

INPINK Winners

Thank you to everyone who entered the INPINK Giveaway - since there are 50 winners (determined by and it's too many to list here, INPINK will be directly emailing those who won with their gift card codes to spend on the site. 

Even better, INPINK has graciously decided to offer $15 virtual gift cards for ALL those who entered but didn't win - amazing, right?!?  So, everybody gets something!  What a great way to start your weekend...with a little jewelry shopping spree!!

As if that wasn't enough, I'll be starting another great giveaway coming up on Monday, so make sure you check back!


Summer Sparkle

I am a sucker for anything scalloped, so when Flourish Boutique sent me this pretty feminine top, I was ecstatic.  It's so perfect for summer & would be great over white skinny jeans, cuffed shorts, slim-cut ankle pants or dressed up for a date night (as I did here).  In addition to cute & affordable pieces like this one, Flourish Boutique also has amazing sales.  Every day at 8am EST, they feature a "steal of the day", which is a new item $9.99 or under + each afternoon they release a "deal of the day", which is an existing item that's marked down to 50% off or more!  Just like them on Facebook to get their daily sales alerts or visit Flourish Boutique & sign up for their VIP newsletter.

What I'm wearing:
Blu Pepper top c/o Flourish Boutique (here), Ann Taylor skirt (last seen here - similar here or here), J. Crew belt (similar), BCBG pumps, Banana Republic/DIY & J. Crew bracelets, Expressions NYC miniaudiere (similar)


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Flat Espadrilles

Nothing says summer is here more than a pair of flat espadrilles.  These slip-ons are a cute, casual option & much more my style than sneakers.  The ten picks below are fun and affordable, most under $25...with the exception of one ballet flat-inspired splurge pair (still less than $40).  Which ones are your favorite?

1) Target  2) ASOS  3) Franco Sarto  4) Call It Spring  5) ASOS  6) Aerie  7) Go Jane  8) ASOS  9) Naturalizer  10) Target


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Red, White & Blue

Is there anything more classicly American that a navy-striped top with red pants?  I couldn't help but feel drawn to this combination in light of the upcoming holiday.  Thankfully we are still having enough cooler days here in NY that I can get away with wearing my wide-leg trousers for a little bit I'm taking advantage of it while I can.

What I'm wearing:
H&M top (similar here or here), Kardashian Kollection trousers (on sale here), c/o Christina M. Boutique necklace (here), ELLE pumps, Zara clutch (similar splurge or save), Michael Kors watch, Vintage & Monet bracelets, Dockers aviators (on sale here)


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One to Four with Agave Denim

I was thrilled to be asked to participate in this collaboration with a few other fabulous bloggers.  I met these lovely ladies while in California for Lucky FABB and was so excited when Jacey invited me to take part in this styling challenge.  I personally love seeing different ways to wear the same piece (part of the reason why I do 4WTW every month). 

To be honest, this was my first pair of "jeggings" - I've never purchased them before because I am more pear-shaped and didn't really find them flattering to my figure.  These, however, are incredibly soft and fit me like a glove.  When wearing something so slim fitting on bottom, I like to go with a longer, looser top to help balance out the proportion.  This is something I would wear on a date night with my husband or a girl's night out in the city.

Be sure to check out how the other girls styled their skinnies here: Casual Glamorous, Tobruck Ave, Damsel in Dior

What I'm wearing:
Simply Vera Vera Wang tank (on sale here + an extra 10% off w/ code BLOGGER10), H&M blazer, c/o Agave Denim skinnies (here; similar for less here or here), ALDO pumps (on sale here), Expressions NYC miniaudiere (similar), BCBG necklace (slightly different, but love this one), Bracelets: Vintage & Forever 21 (similar), Target ring, Nails: Essie Tart Deco


Monday, June 18, 2012


Today I'm excited to introduce you to one of my newest sponsors: StyleGodis.  They are a cute little online boutique with affordable pieces you can mix and match to suit your own personal style.  Their current selection is the perfect blend of trendy meets bohemian - take a look...

They're adding new styles daily, so be sure to visit their store to check them out and let me know what you think!


Sunday, June 17, 2012


{The day my son was born ~ 2008}

To the man who has sacraficed so many of his dreams throughout the years in order to provide for our family & allow me to be a stay-at-home mom (which has always been my dream)...  
To the man who takes our daughter on "dates" to teach her how a gentleman should treat her...
To the man who is living by example to show our son how to be a man of integrity...
To the man who is a tremendous partner to me in raising our two kids & who is always quick to help out before I even ask...
I am unbelievably blessed by you ~ in my eyes, you deserve a medal. 

Happy Father's Day


Friday, June 15, 2012

Recent Purchases

Thank you all so much for your feedback and comments on my post earlier this week!  I am incredibly grateful to have readers who want to take part in making this site better and I am excited to implement a few new changes here on PPF!  To that end, I've decided to start sharing my purchases with you - to show you how I stick to my monthly budget and to hopefully clue you in on some great deals!  There are some months where I don't spend all of my budget and some months when I go over - the idea is for it all to balance out.

Instead of showing you one big haul at the month's end, I thought I'd post purchases as I buy them - this will ensure that I can link to them, if you are interested in buying too, before they sell out (in most cases).  Two of the items below (the neon sweater & graphic clutch) are pieces I've been stalking since I saw them in stores.  Once they were marked down to a price I felt comfortable with, I happily snatched them up.  The other Forever 21 purchases were simply because I had a gift card (but I was thrilled to find this cream-colored bag - it is WAY more expensive looking in person).  Everything pictured here cost me a total of $63.38:

J. Crew Garment-Dyed Sweater - $34.99 (in-store clearance + extra 30% off)
Forever 21 Necklace (sold out online; check your store) - $14.80 (used $50 gift card)
Forever 21 Fedora - $9.80 (used $50 gift card)
ALDO O'Hanley Clutch - $20.99 (in-store clearance + extra 30% off)
Forever 21 Studded Tote - $32.80 (used $50 gift card + $7.40 of my own cash)


Sunny Days

There is no better instant mood-lifter than a bright flowy dress, a big floppy hat & a cheery red lip.  Not only is it feminine & fun, but there is an unmistakably retro feel to this reminds me of something my mom would have worn in her younger years.  (This little heart ring is my new favorite accessory - very similar to the Marc Jacobs version which is sold out everywhere - but mine was less than $2!)


What I'm wearing:
H&M dress (similar splurge, similar neon yellow & similar under $30), BCBG sandals, Target hat (here), Vintage & Monet bracelets, Forever 21 ring (here or similar here), Mudd sunnies (on sale here), Lips: L'Oreal Target Red, Nails: Essie Tart Deco


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Steals Under $30

With summer now in full swing and the weather getting warmer by the day, I am gravitating towards easy, lightweight pieces with minimal jewelry.  This outfit would be perfect for a Sunday brunch, shopping with girlfriends or a laid-back afternoon date.  And the best part is that all these pieces are less than $30!

1) TopShop Knot Front Shirt - $24.00 (in tall & petite too)
3) RGB Nail Polish (Dew) - $16.00 (similar for less here)
4) Fantas-eyes Dunbar - $15.00
5) Forever 21 Pleated Midi Skirt - $17.80 (also in tan & navy) 


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

An Explanation & Request

It has come to my attention lately through a few anonymous comments that some of you  may feel my site has strayed slightly from what it started out to be.  So, I would like to take an opportunity to explain my general philosophy for PPF so there will be less confusion moving forward.

I completely understand that my definition of penny-pinching versus someone else’s may be different.  Overall, the content of my site has been & will continue to be highlighting pieces that I believe to be affordable for most people.  I will, however, on occasion do collaborations with other bloggers, brands or retailers that feature pieces which may be considered more of a "splurge" or a watch-until-it-goes-on-sale item.  But these will be less frequent than my usual posts and, whenever possible, I will try my best to provide a link to a similar style that is more budget-friendly.
You will never see any high-end designers on my site (unless my husband decides to surprise me with a Chanel bag or a pair of Louboutin’s for my birthday - guarantee he's laughing outloud reading this!)...mainly because it is not in keeping with my income or lifestyle and I want this blog to remain true to who I really am.  Most of my personal shopping is not done with these brands – I have never purchased anything from Bergdorf Goodman, The OutNet or Barneys.  I do believe there are items worth saving for & investing in if it’s something that will last you a long time and is a classic, well-made piece (my Michael Kors watch is a great example, even though it was purchased pre-owned from eBay).
Furthermore, in an effort to be more transparent with each of you and combat some of the discrepancies, I am asking for your input.  I originally began this site in an effort to help other women, so please let me know in the comments below what you would find interesting & beneficial for me to include on a regular basis:

                              * More remixing of already owned pieces to show the versatility of wardrobe basics
                              * A monthly detailed post sharing what I have purchased & how much I spent
                              * Both of the above
                              * Change nothing - it's fine the way it is
I am also open to suggestions beyond these and really would love nothing more than to have an ongoing open dialogue with my readers.  I understand that anonymous comments will happen (it comes with the blogging territory)...but if you have a question, concern or constructive criticism, please don't hesitate to email me directly so we can talk about it.  I appreciate your honesty & willingness to help me make this site the best that it can be for everyone who comes to visit!


Head to Toe

If you haven't visited your local Ann Taylor store lately, you are in for a pleasant surprise.  Their styles have had a recent makeover - still in keeping with the tailored & feminine silhouettes you're used to seeing from them...but they've invigorated the brand by embracing current trends.  They graciously gave me the opportunity to put together an outfit from their current line and I couldn't be happier with the outcome. 

I love mixing classic pieces (like this khaki trench) with more modern styles (like the open-knit sweater & neon necklace).  It creates a nice balance and is also a great way to try out new trends you may be slightly wary of.  I'm also obsessed with these new cropped pants (see how I wore my green pair here & this same pink pair styled differently here) - they are the perfect colorful addition to my summer wardrobe...and you'll be seeing alot more of them!

What I'm wearing:
c/o Ann Taylor sweater (on sale here), c/o Ann Taylor trench coat (on sale here), c/o Ann Taylor pants (on sale here), c/o Ann Taylor sandals (on sale here), c/o Ann Taylor wristlet (here), c/o Ann Taylor necklace (here)

*FTC Disclosure: Ann Taylor provided me these items free of charge - I was not paid to write this post and all opinions here are my own.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

May Glossybox

Remember last month when I introduced you to the first Glossybox USA?  Well, I was pleasantly surprised when a second box arrived at my door last week!  They graciously sent me their May edition to review, so I'm sharing all the details with you!  Here are the items I received:

1) PHYTO Phytojoba Intense Hydrating Mask for Dry Hair
What it says: Indulge in luxury and aroma with a conditioning treatment that moisturizes and detangles strands without weighing hair down.  Nourish, revive and delight.
My review: This is perfect for me because my naturally curly hair tends to be more coarse & dry.  It has a clean, fresh scent that smells like you just peeled a lemon and it definitely left my hair feeling light & soft.  I'll use this on a bi-weekly basis as a deep conditioning treatment.

2) Burberry Beauty Lip Mist Natural Sheer Lipstick (Copper No. 202)
What it says: A creamy lipstick that offers a hint of natural, sheer color leaving your lips moist and dewy.  The perfect present for that perfect pout.
My review:  This is so sheer that it applied more like a tinted lip balm (versus a lipstick) and the color was more mauve than copper.  I like that it's a smaller size, so it would be great for traveling or poolside when your lips need moisture without the heaviness.

3) Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Refreshing Hydra-Gel
What it says: A hydrating gel moisturizer that leaves your skin feeling bright and refreshed.  Notice your complexion visibly improve, giving you confidence and a natural glow.
My review: I was intrigued by this product, mainly because a full-size container is SO must be good, right?!  It said to apply morning & night, but I chose to use only once a day because I was afraid it would be too rich for my skin.  Haven't noticed a huge difference in my skin's texture, but it is a great moisturizer!

4) Zoya Arizona (from the Summer 2012 Beach and Surf Collection)
What it says: Dive into the creamy shades and shimmering sea foils of the Zoya Beach & Surf Collection.  Allow your nails to go on a vacation every day.
My review: Love this color, but unfortunately...I already own it.  So, I will be sending this one to my sister-in-law.  If you are looking for the perfect bright tangerine polish, I highly recommend this one - full opacity with 2 coats & so fun for summer!

5) Glossybox Blush Brush
What it says: Crafted from the finest goat's hair - an essential for any world beauty jetsetter.
My review: Getting a nice new makeup brush makes me feel like a kid on Christmas morning.  This one is super-soft and doesn't shed its bristles...LOVE!

6) Marvis Whitening Toothpaste
What it says: Make the most of your splendid smile with a whitening toothpaste dripping in cool mint freshness, all while protecting against decay, tartar and plaque.
My review: I have read about this brand in so many magazines & heard that there are tons of celebrities who swear by it.  But, since my front 4 teeth are porcelain veneers, I have to use a different whitening toothpaste to treat them.  So, I had my hubby test it out & he really likes the flavor and said he'll keep using it.

Have any of you signed up for Glossybox yet or are you planning to?  Thus far, I've been very impressed with the products they've sent and the presentation/packaging is so pretty.  If you're not ready to splurge on it for yourself, I think it would make an amazing birthday or bridal shower gift too!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Simple Basics

When the temperatures start climbing upwards of 80 degrees (as they did this weekend), I always reach for easy, simple pieces that I can add a few interesting details to.  Black & white separates provide the perfect backdrop for a tribal print clutch, colorblock heels and my new Stella & Dot necklace.  My friend Mary was sweet enough to send this over to me and I was thrilled when it arrived.  I know alot of you are already familiar with this brand, but if you're like me & haven't yet purchased any of their jewelry, you can shop their gorgeous selection here - I know you'll be as obsessed as I am!

What I'm wearing:
Monteau Los Angeles top, Mossimo jeans (similar), Zara sandals (here), c/o Stella & Dot necklace (here), Vintage & Monet bracelets, Mossimo clutch (here), Dockers aviators, Nails: Essie Tart Deco + Sephora 18K Gold Top Coat, Lips: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Rendezvous