Thursday, July 31, 2014

Perfect Pairings: Eyelet

I'm a sucker for anything lace, but particularly a delicate eyelet pattern because it's slightly more wearable, youthful and so perfect for summer.  Though traditionally seen as a feminine & sweet textile, there are plenty of ways to modernize it by pairing with more casual or edgy pieces.  Take a look at the outfits I've created here & shop the scrolling bar below for over 65 affordable eyelet styles to love!













MORE EYELET PIECES:


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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Little Black Midi


Sometimes the chicest looks also happen to be the most simple.  This sleek midi dress has a cool minimalist feel to it and could be worn a dozen different ways.  I'd also dress it down with a denim shirt (tied around the waist) & these cool slides.  It's the type of piece that I would consider to be a closet essential - comfortable, versatile enough for everyday and flattering without being too body-hugging.  So much so that I might just go back & get one in every color!













What I'm wearing:
c/o Old Navy dress (I'm wearing a small; also in plum & sage), Zara heels (similar here or here), 
ASOS clutch (similar here or here), Madewell necklacec/o ShopLately rings (similar), 
A.V. Max cuff c/o Lemon Stripes, Lips: Revlon Orange Flip, Nails: Zoya Paz

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

14 Years


Ours is not a typical love story.  We met when I was just 14 years old.  When I first laid eyes on him, I knew. There was something different about this one.  I had to get closer; I had to find out who he was.  We became instant best friends, though deep down I was hopelessly in love with him.  I cried the day I watched him drive away, his car packed up for college, while I stayed behind for 2 more years of high school.  It felt like part of me was leaving.  But, there were long letters, phone calls and surprise visits. I had boyfriends and he had girlfriends, but something kept drawing us back to one another.  There was a strong connection between us that simply couldn't be duplicated or replaced by someone else.

And then there was that summer night after he had moved back home - both of us a little older and wiser. Standing in the kitchen laughing...when, out of the blue, he kissed me.  It was the kiss that changed everything.  And that was when we both finally knew.  There would be no one else. This was the beginning of our life together. 

Since that day, we have seen unspeakable joys and unbearable hardships.  He lost his dad and I almost lost mine.  There was a cancer scare and he was nearly sent to Iraq to fight in the war.  We had a beautiful baby girl.  There were 4 consecutive job losses and moves to 2 new states.  Doctors said they weren't sure I could have another baby - and then our miracle boy was born.  There were many times of difficulty, trials almost too great to overcome...when I thought we might not make it.  But we always came out stronger, closer & more committed than ever.

We haven't lived a particularly glamorous life - most of our years have involved paying off school debts, hefty medical bills and saving up for our kids' school tuition.  Both of our cars are over 10 years old (miraculously still running!) and we don't even own the house we live in now.  We haven't traveled to exotic locations or taken lots of weekend trips away. But we've realized that there is beauty to be found in the ordinary & joy to be uncovered in the everyday routine, if you seek it out purposefully.

The longer time goes on, the harder is it to recall memories that don't have him in them...which is just fine with me.  Our life together is so much better than it was before on my own - the family we have built, the memories we have made, even the hard times we have endured.  He has blessed me so richly by just loving me for who I am, by respecting me & my opinions and by always making me feel beautiful.  

I have known him for 2 decades, been his wife for 14 years and loved him since the moment we met.  To the man who holds my heart, to the one who believes in me & my crazy dreams, to the best friend I'll ever have...happy anniversary 


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ShopLately $200 Giveaway ~ CLOSED

I'm so excited to be partnering today with ShopLately to offer an amazing giveaway for their online store! You have seen me wearing their pieces for over a year here on PPF and the items I have from them are some of my absolute favorites.  I love that you can shop from so many different sellers all in one place and the things you find are truly special & unique (not to mention affordable).  They have a great mix of clothing, accessories, handbags & jewelry - no matter what your style, you're sure to find something you love!

I am collaborating with them to help promote their Insider Program (which I am currently a member of). They provide you with a free 30-day trial (after the first month, you pay just $9/year) which gives you access to exclusive sales, free shipping on all orders & prepaid returns on damaged or flawed items.  If you shop online frequently, you know how much shipping costs can be, so this is a great deal as it covers all of your purchases for the entire year!  Take a look at a few of my current picks from their site & read on below for how you can enter to win:




iPhone Case // Collar Necklace

HOW TO ENTER:
(must be 18 years old & a US resident)

1) Follow PPF on at least one of these platforms: BlogLovin, Facebook or Instagram
2) Create an account at ShopLately
3) Sign up for their Insider Program 
*Free 30-day trial - you can cancel at any time
4) Leave a comment below to let us know you've completed the steps

This giveaway will close on Tuesday, August 5th at 11:59pm EST.
A randomly-selected winner will be announced the following week.  
Good Luck!!


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Monday, July 28, 2014

Ivory Coast


There is something so polished and sophisticated about wearing all one color.  I really loved this look from last fall and decided that I wanted to try it again for the current season with light, relaxed layers.  As I've mentioned before, the key to a successful monochromatic look is mixing different textures together so it doesn't fall flat.  The silk shirt, open-knit sweater & woven shorts provide just enough interest and result in a luxe mix (even though each piece was under $40).











What I'm wearing:
H&M sweater (similar under $15, under $25under $35), Joe Fresh shirt (similar here or here), 
Zara shorts (similar), MIA sandals, Madewell bag (similar here or here), Bracelets: J. Crew (similar), Madewell (similar) & J. Crew (similar), Nails: Treat Collection (Blue Sky)

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Relaxed Topper


I typically don't like to buy pieces that are notoriously trendy  - in fact, sometimes I get bothered when I purchase something and suddenly it's so popular that everyone owns it.  I usually prefer to have more unique pieces (one of the many reasons I will never buy a pair of Rockstud heels or a Celine bag, even though they are beautiful).  However, I made an exception with this blazer - the more I kept seeing it on other people (examples here and here), the more I fell in love with the modern stripes & easy shape.  As soon as it went on sale, I snatched it up & I am so glad I did...even if quite a few other people own it.


What I'm wearing:
Zara blazer (on sale; I'm wearing an XS), ASOS camisole (similar), c/o Old Navy jeans
Steve Madden pumps, Danielle Nicole clutch (similar here or here), Zara bracelets (similar here and here), c/o Lily & Violet earrings, Nails: Treat Collection (Blue Sky)

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Loose Beachy Waves


I've been getting a lot of questions recently about how to create the loose waves I often wear in my hair (recently seen here).  This is, without a doubt, one of my go-to styles...it looks great on everyone and when done correctly gives off an effortless vibe that's ideal for summer.  So I've decided to share my tips for recreating this at home.  Here's what you'll need to get started:



Unlike the updo we created in May, you will achieve the best results with this look when your hair is freshly washed & blow-dried.  Because this style is all about ease, you don't want the curls to be tight or too perfect looking - it's important to break up the waves by running your fingers through to create a slightly undone feel.  This is a perfect look for a girls night or date night out!



1) Apply TRESemm√© Platinum Strength Heat Protect Spray to prevent breakage and dry hair, often caused by heat styling.
2) With 1 1/4" curling iron, curl small sections of hair without using clamp, leaving about 1" free at the ends. 
3) After curling & before hair cools, gently tug on the end of the strand to slightly relax the waves.
4) Alternate the direction you are wrapping strands as you work your way around until all of hair is curled.
5) Once hair is cool, break up the waves & tousle lightly with fingers to create an effortless look.
6) Lightly mist with TRESemm√© TRES Two Extra Hold Hairspray for movement and flexibility all night!






What I'm wearing:
H&M blazerNo Boundaries tank top c/o WalMart, Vintage shorts (similar herehere or here), 
c/o LuLu*s heels (similar here or here), c/o Prima Donna clutch, c/o WalMart necklace
c/o ShopLately rings (similar), Bracelets: Vintage & c/o BaubleBar

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

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Edgy Side


During the school year, I pick out both my clothes & my kids' outfits the night before to help make our morning schedule run more smoothly.  But now that it's summer, I've been enjoying being able to dress for the mood I'm in on any given day.  And some mornings when I wake up, all I care about is wearing something comfortable...like a soft lived-in tank and roomy denim shorts.  So, on those days, to avoid the combination from feeling too basic, I like to add a structured jacket - though still a very easy & simple pairing, it helps add a dose of polish and balances out the casual pieces nicely.













What I'm wearing:
c/o Dorothy Perkins jacket (I'm wearing a US 6), Gap tank, c/o Old Navy denim shorts
c/o American Eagle bootiesForever 21 clutch (similar here or here), Bracelets: c/o BaubleBar
Zara (similar here and here), Forever 21 ring, Nails: Treat Collection (Blue Sky)
Lips: NYX Matte Lip Cream (San Paulo)

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

20 Under $20

It seems I need to rename this series since I keep going over 20 items each month.  But when there are so many great affordable pieces that I come across, it's hard to limit myself because I want to share them all!  I created 4 different outfits for various occasions using pieces I found that are all (unbelievably) $20 or less and I've curated even more of my top picks in the scrolling bar below.  Take a look at these amazing finds and let me know which is your favorite!



Date Night

Weekend Casual

Sunday Brunch

Office Chic

MORE UNDER $20:

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Heartfelt


In the months before my grandmother passed away (back in 2002), she had to go to dialysis on a regular basis because her kidneys were in bad shape.  Fortunately, the location where she went was right next to my office building - so, once a week on my lunch break, I would pick up sandwiches for us and go spend time with her. I used those hours to ask her questions about what it was like to grow up with a mother who was an opera singer, what her favorite memories were from when she was little & how she met and fell in love with my grandpa.  I am so grateful for those special moments we got to share, just the two of us, and for all the stories she told me that I can now share with my own kids, who never got the chance to know her.

When Angela & Roi reached out to me about partnering with them and I learned about their incredible passion for giving back to those in need, I didn't hesitate to say yes.  They donate a portion of the proceeds from every handbag purchased to important organizations that are working hard to make a difference. Because of what my grandmother went through, I chose this red bag - each sale helps support those fighting kidney disease.  Another aspect I love about their organization is that each bag ships with a postcard that includes the story of someone who is currently fighting a disease - you can write an encouraging note on the postcard & share it on their Facebook page for that person to see.  So you're getting the chance to give back + personally bless someone else!  You can learn more about The Ribbon Project here & shop their entire selection of bags here.















What I'm wearing:
LOFT dress (I'm wearing a 2; also in petite), c/o Angela & Roi bag (also in green, gray, yellow & nude), 
c/o ShoeMint heels (similar), Bracelets: Forever 21 & Target, Zara ring (similar), 
Olivia Burton watch (similar here or here), J. Crew Factory sunglasses (similar), Nails: Zoya Paz

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Going Home


On Monday, we leave for a 3-week vacation to visit our families in Portland, Oregon (where we were both born & raised).  It's been two years since we've been back and we are so excited to spend time on my parents' farm (pictured above), go camping, play at the beach and make lots of memories.  I've worked hard to get all my posts done in advance so there will be no interruption here on PPF & content will continue as usual.  I'll also be sharing snapshots of our vacation adventures on Instagram, so you can follow along with me there. I will be occasionally checking emails, but it may take me a little longer to get back to you (though I promise to do my best!).  I also will be unable to update the Sales Alerts page during this time - other great resources to check for sales & coupons before shopping are: RetailMeNot, Chippmunk & See Chloe Shop. Thanks so much for your understanding - I hope you enjoy the posts I have planned for the next few weeks!

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Many of you may have already taken advantage of the amazing Anniversary Sale going on at Nordstrom. But for those who aren't cardmembers & didn't have early access (like myself), we finally get the chance to start shopping today!  Because there's always a lot of inventory, I wanted to help you filter through the marked down items by curating a round-up of the best pieces under $100.  As hard as it is to think about buying autumn clothes, shoes & accessories in the middle of summer, it is a great time to get investment pieces & closet essentials for less.  The sale only lasts for a few weeks and prices go back up August 4th, so don't miss out (and remember you get free shipping & returns on all online orders)!








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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Now Trending


When a trend emerges that I find myself drawn to & interested in trying out, I always ask myself three questions before taking the plunge: 1) Can I find an affordable version of the style?  2) Will it be flattering on my body shape?  3) Is it a piece I can wear several different ways with items I already own?  If I'm able to answer yes to all three, then I begin my search to find what I'm looking for - in this case, it was culottes.

I love the idea of this type of loose-fitting cropped pant and knew if I could find a pair that were more fitted through the waist without pleats, I would buy them.  These definitely fit the bill, plus they are so lightweight & comfortable.  I've worn them with my flat gold sandals for a casual chic look, but they are also easy to dress up as I've done here (and they'd be a great option for the office!).  I would recommend styling these in the same way you would an a-line or full midi skirt (tuck in your shirt or try a crop top) so you still maintain your shape without overwhelming your frame.  And, for those who are petite, your best bet is keeping the length to just below the knee or mid-calf at the lowest (great example here).  



What I'm wearing:
Express top (runs big; I'm wearing an XS), Forever 21 culottes (I'm wearing a small), 
Sam & Libby heels (under $20!), ASOS clutch (similar here or here), 
Forever 21 necklace (similar here or here), A.V. Max cuff c/o Lemon Stripes, 
Nails: Treat Collection (Blue Sky)

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