Monday, June 30, 2014

Mixed Prints

This is the first summer we've had to deal with both my husband and I working from home + managing the kids' schedule.  It has definitely been a challenge and I find myself often feeling guilty when I have tasks that need to get accomplished but all I really want to do is play with them.  What has really helped to create balance, though, is putting together a schedule so they know what to expect and we can carve out both structured reading/learning time and some fun outdoor activities.  

One of the things we instituted this year was "adventure day".  Every Wednesday, we pack a picnic lunch and head out for a whole day of exploring somewhere new.  The first week it was a local farm & petting zoo, followed by a hike with breathtaking views.  And last week, we decided to take a long drive to an indoor earth museum near Ithaca.  The kids had so much fun & it ended up being the perfect choice because it literally rained all day long.  

As we were heading home, I spotted an antique mall and twisted my husband's arm to let us go.  My daughter, like me, loves anything old-fashioned so she couldn't wait to get inside.  Little did we know that there was an enormous upstairs room full of vintage clothes, handbags & jewelry (at crazy low prices).  So naturally, we spent a good hour rummaging through the racks and trying dozens of pieces on.  I was so excited when I found these cute floral shorts for just $5!  They fit perfectly and are so lightweight & comfortable - I instantly knew I wanted to pair them with stripes for an easy summer look.

What I'm wearing:
c/o Sheinside trench (similar here or here), Ann Taylor top (on sale + extra 40% off!), 
Vintage shorts (similar under $15under $20under $30), 
c/o JustFab flats (I removed the ankle straps), Forever 21 clutch (similar here or here), 
Michael Kors watch (similar), Necklaces: H&M (only $5!) and c/o InPink, Zara ring (similar), 
Forever 21 aviators (similar), Nails: Essie California Coral


Friday, June 27, 2014

Organza Stripe

For someone who had sworn off shorts for years, I've definitely had a complete change of heart.  Though it's taken a bit of trial & error to discover that the most flattering styles for my body shape have a more relaxed fit & slightly longer length (somewhere between a 4- 5" inseam is my sweet spot).  Lately I'm loving silky lightweight options that can easily be dressed up or down.  And since I've been wanting to embrace more bright colors this season, these seemed to be an ideal choice for Sunday brunch with girlfriends.

What I'm wearing:
Forever 21 topThe Limited cami (in nude), ASOS shorts, Forever 21 heels (similar), 
The Limited clutch (similar here or here), c/o BaubleBar earrings, c/o T+J Designs cuff (similar), 
Forever 21 ring, Nails: Essie California Coral, Lips: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable (Cherish)


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Perfect Pairings: Pleats

I have always loved pleats for their feminine feel and soft structure (as evidenced by the photos shown above).  These pieces are so airy & pretty for the summer months and they can really help balance out your shape in a flattering way.  In my opinion, a pleated skirt (knee-length, midi or maxi) is a wardrobe essential. Take a look at the 2 outfits I've created here and then scroll through my affordable pleated finds below - everything under $70!



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Denim & Fringe

My motto has always been to never pay full price for anything - but, every once in a while, I will break my own rule for an item that is truly special.  Which is exactly what happened when I tried on this skirt in NYC last week.  Everything from the texture to the fringed detail to the fit was absolutely perfect...and I knew I couldn't go home without it.  It's the type of piece that will look just as good with a basic tee for daytime as it will with a black blazer for evening.  And it's so well-made that I know I'll own it for years to come - totally worth what I consider to be a "splurge".

I'm honored to be guest blogging for Alex today over on To Vogue or Bust - come check out my ideal vacation outfit (hint: it involves stripes)!

What I'm wearing:
c/o Old Navy shirt (similar), H&M skirt (I'm wearing a size 6), Charlotte Russe heels (similar here or here), ModCloth bag (similar here or here), Bracelets: c/o BaubleBar & Zara (similar), c/o ShopLately ring, Lips: BITE Beauty (Syrah) + Maybelline Color Elixir (Nude Illusion)


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

NastyGal Favorites

I love shopping at online boutiques because you often discover really unique items that you can't find in your local stores.  NastyGal is one of those sites that seems to perfectly curate on-trend items at attainable price points.  They have so many pieces that I love right now & they offer free shipping on orders over $75 + free returns!  I've partnered with them today to share a few of my favorites for the season - all under $80!

Bottom row:  Ferrah Jumpsuit // Boss in Blossoms Dress // Moxy Maxi Dress // Adrianne Dress


Thank you to NastyGal for kindly sponsoring this post.  All opinions here are 100% honest & completely my own.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Sophisticated Layers

Being a budget shopper does not mean that you are doomed to wear clothing that looks cheap.  One of the main objectives of my site is to prove that you can find affordable items that look high end.  It's all about paying close attention to the fit and finish - for example, this faux leather top (worn as a vest) and snake-print shorts appear expensive because the textiles are thick, textured & look luxe.  It's worth it to take your time carefully selecting well-made pieces and, if you do, they will become staples in your wardrobe (even if no one knows how little you paid).

What I'm wearing:
c/o LuLu*s top (worn as vest; similar here or here), JCP shirt (similar here or here), 
c/o Dorothy Perkins shorts, Chinese Laundry flats (similar here or here), c/o JustFab clutch
c/o Caravelle by Bulova watchBracelets: TJ Maxx (similar) & c/o BaubleBar (similar)


Friday, June 20, 2014

Twisted-Back Ponytail

Since this is the time of year when wedding invites start flooding your mailbox, I decided to do a pretty style in keeping with the season for this month's hair tutorial.  Whether you are going to a bridal shower, attending a wedding or even if you've been asked to be a bridesmaid, this soft & simple look is easy enough for anyone to recreate & is ideal for this type of event.  Here's what you will need to get started:

I personally love this style because it's a feminine twist on the everyday ponytail - and since you are wrapping your hair around the base, your elastic won't show through...which gives it a more polished look. If you are in the wedding party, you can tuck a sprig of baby's breath at the top of twist for an elegant finish.

Step 1: Apply TRESemmé Thermal Creations Curl Activator Spray to protect your strands & prevent breakage from heat damage.
Step 2: Curl hair in small sections with 1" curling iron, wrapping strands away from face (not using the clamp).  
Step 3: Separate hair into 2 sections (front & back), keeping your natural part in front.  Pull the bottom section into low ponytail & secure with a clear elastic.
Step 4: Take the right section & twist up and away from your face, wrapping around the ponytail base clockwise & securing the ends underneath with a bobby pin (you may need 2 pins if your hair is thicker).
Step 5: Repeat with the left side, wrapping around the base in the opposite direction (counter clockwise) & secure ends with a bobby pin under the ponytail.
Step 6: Apply TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Finishing Spray to hold your style in place.

What I'm wearing:
Miss Tina dress c/o Walmart, eBay belt (similar), Zara heelsExpressions NYC clutch (similar), c/o Walmart cuff, J. Crew earrings (similar here or here)

This post was sponsored by TRESemmé, a Unilever brand.  For more inspiration from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, click here.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Well Covered

I am so honored to announce a new partnership that I've formed with the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation.  They reached out to me after reading this article where I shared my story and I immediately said yes.  I am thrilled to be able to get involved, help raise funds for Lupus research and, most importantly, educate & encourage others who are living with this disease.  I will be periodically guest writing for the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation’s website providing lifestyle, fashion, beauty and health tips for women to feel better inside and out.  And I will also be speaking at their Wellness Workshop and participating in the Lupus Walk in NYC this fall.  It's a cause that I am passionate about and an area where I feel that I can really make a difference by sharing my journey to remission.

Because I'm so excited about this new opportunity, I decided to share here the first post I created for their summer newsletter.  For those who may not be familiar with this auto-immune many cases, increased symptoms & Lupus flares can be brought on by prolonged sun exposure - which makes it especially difficult to manage during the summer months.  So my challenge/goal was to show that you can still look chic while protecting your skin & staying covered up!  This easy breezy outfit is perfect for a day at the beach (just throw on over your suit) or a picnic in the park.

What I'm wearing:
LOFT chambray shirtSO linen pants, c/o Old Navy sandals
Mossimo hat (similar under $15under $20 or under $30), c/o Old Navy bucket bag
Bracelets: Zara (similar) & LOFT (similar here and here), Ray-Ban sunglasses
Lips: Revlon Moon Drops (Blase Apricot), Nails: Essie Waltz


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

20 Under $20

I was able to find so many affordable pieces this month that not only did I create four different looks, but I also included even more items below - sometimes I'm truly amazed by the things that you can find for less than $20 when you just take the time to persistently search.  Take a look at these great deals and let me know what you've got your eye on!

Bottom right:  H&M Blouse // Zara Earrings // ASOS Cuff // J. Crew iPhone Case



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

On The Fringe

Even though I believe in carefully editing my closet once a quarter, there is something to be said for hanging onto items that you really love...even if they aren't necessarily on trend at the moment.  This outfit is a combination of pieces I've owned long before the styles were really popular. This skirt is well over 4 years (before the tropical print craze) and I had no idea when I purchased this top in January of last year how prominent fringe would be on the 2014 spring runways.  Further proof that sometimes being a hoarder does pay off.

What I'm wearing:
Ann Taylor top (identical style here), BCBG Max Azria skirt (similar here or here), 
c/o JustFab heels (similar), Forever 21 clutch (similar)A.V. Max cuff c/o Lemon Stripes, 
Forever 21 ring (similar), Target earrings (similar), Lips: Revlon Super Lustrous (Coral Berry)


Monday, June 16, 2014

The Versatile Maxi

I'm a firm believer in building a wardrobe of staples that can be reworked & reworn over and over again. And it's essential to have pieces in your closet that you can mix, match & style in different ways.  So today, I'm out to prove that a solid jersey maxi is one of the most versatile items for summer.  This particular dress is cute enough to wear all on it's own (it would also make a chic swim cover-up), but I've tried to create 8 really creative (& some unexpected) ways to style it with other favorites from your closet.  If you don't already own a style like this, the one I'm wearing here is on sale now for just $20 & it also comes in 5 other fun bright hues for summer.  It's available in tall & petite sizes as well - for reference, I'm just over 5'8" and am wearing a regular size small.  Take a look at the breakdown of outfits below & let me know which one is your favorite!


What I'm wearing:
c/o Old Navy dress, c/o Dorothy Perkins scarfJ. Crew sandalsALDO hat (similar here or here)
c/o Old Navy bag, Bracelets: NastyGal (similar) & Vintage, c/o BaubleBar ring (similar)


What I'm wearing:
c/o Old Navy dress, Allen B skirt (similar), Forever 21 belt (similar), c/o JustFab heels (similar), ASOS clutch (similar), Forever 21 necklace (similar), c/o INPINK ring (similar), c/o LoveStylize cuff


What I'm wearing:
c/o Old Navy dressJessica Simpson sandals, c/o LuLu*s clutch, c/o BaubleBar necklace
c/o Old Navy ring, Ray-Ban wayfarers (similar)


What I'm wearing:
c/o Old Navy dress, c/o Old Navy vestH&M sneakers, c/o DailyLook tote
Olivia Burton watch (similar), LOFT bracelets (similar here and here), c/o ShopLately earrings
Forever 21 aviators (similar)


What I'm wearing:
c/o Old Navy dress, c/o ShopSosie jacket, c/o Dorothy Perkins heels (also in nude), ASOS clutch (similar), Bracelets: c/o BaubleBar & Zara (similar), JewelMint earrings


What I'm wearing:
c/o Old Navy dressH&M sweater, Forever 21 belt (similar), Old Navy sandalsH&M necklace, Vintage bracelets (similar here and here), c/o ShopLately clutch (similar)


What I'm wearing:
c/o Old Navy dress, Express top (similar), c/o LuLu*s heels (similar), ASOS clutch (similar), c/o T+J Designs cuff (similar), c/o Prima Donna ring (similar)


What I'm wearing:
c/o Old Navy dress, Joe Fresh t-shirt (similar here or here), H&M sandals, c/o JustFab bag, c/o LoveStylize cuffJ. Crew Factory sunglasses
This post was sponsored by Old Navy
Check out Old Navy's latest fashion lineup in store or online at