Thursday, March 31, 2016

Anti-Aging Tips


I've always been a big believer in aging gracefully - I know everyone has differing opinions on the topic, but for me personally, I don't want to get any sort of injections or have procedures done as I get older.  However, when I hit my mid-thirties, I definitely started to notice some changes in my skin.  But, rather than get discouraged by them, I simply found new ways to manage & counteract those signs of aging.  I still have laugh lines & crow's feet, but I've found that I'm so much happier when I focus on the things that I can control and work on playing up my best features.  So today I'm sharing my top 5 tips & the products I swear by to achieve a fresh, youthful look that will help you feel your best!


1) Make Moisturizing #1
This was an important lesson I learned early on from my dermatologist.  In many ways, you're better off embracing a little shine because nothing ages you faster than having visibly dry skin.  Even if you tend to have a more oily complexion, it's so crucial to moisturize regularly, especially around the under eye area where skin can begin to get a crepe-like texture.  Be sure that your daytime moisturizer includes sunscreen (or apply it separately).  For nighttime, I love the POND'S Dry Skin Cream because it's deeply hydrating and it really soaks into my skin instead of just sitting on top, like other products I've tried.


2) Get With The Glow
Avoid foundations with matte finishes as they can easily settle into fine lines.  A dewy glow with a slightly flushed cheek gives you a more youthful appearance.  This is why I recently switched from a semi-matte full coverage foundation to this CC Cream with SPF.  I use this translucent powder to set my makeup, but I recommend applying it sparingly & only where you need it (in the T-zone) - skip other areas of the face where it can exaggerate wrinkles and make skin look too dry.  If you don't have naturally dewy skin, dab a little liquid highlighter onto the cheekbones & blend well (see detailed instructions here).


3) Instant Eye Lift
Some people will tell you to avoid putting mascara on your lower lashes, but I don't think that's a hard and fast rule. However, wearing a dark liner on the bottom part of your eyes will not only make your eyes appear smaller, but it can also create shadows and accentuate dark circles.  If you really feel you need some color on your lower lids, use a soft color like gray or light brown and smudge lightly so the line is diffused and softened.  I also recommend going light with concealer in your under eye area - while spackled on product might cover those dark circles, it will also highlight lines and wrinkles as it wears throughout the day.  I love this concealer (and have gotten several friends & family members hooked on it) because it has a built-in moisturizer.




4) Perfect Your Pout
As we get older, fine lines can start to develop around the mouth, which creates a potential problem for lipstick wear.  I swear by using an invisible liner, like this one, which helps create a barrier around the edge of the lips to help prevent lipstick from feathering or bleeding.  I've also learned that glosses have more of a tendency to migrate because of their liquid consistency.  So if you want to add a little shine, dab it just in the middle of your bottom lip instead of all over - bonus: this gives the illusion of a fuller pout.


5) Create An Anti-Aging Routine
As any expert will tell you, a strict & consistent regimen is the key to healthy skin.  And it's never too late to start, even if you're just now embracing a regular skincare routine.  I have tried dozens of products over the years, but I keep coming back to this POND'S Rejuveness Cream.  Thanks to a combination of alpha hydroxy acids, collagen and vitamin E, it visibly softens fine lines and wrinkles.  Because my skin is on the sensitive side, I started using it just in the evenings before bed and slowly worked my way up to twice-a-day applications.  My first jar lasted almost 4 months because it only takes a little to cover your entire face & neck, so you really get your money's worth.  And don't forget your hands - they show signs of aging even before your face in many cases, so I recommend applying it all over your hands and rubbing it in really well.




This post was created in connection with my appointment as Influencer for POND'S.
Visit POND'S Pinterest for more skin care tips.
All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Vintage Silk


Last week, my husband & I stumbled across the coolest antique shop in the city and got to talking with the sweet old lady who owned it.  She told us that she visits estate sales in the area several times a month and buys tons of antique furniture, books & vintage clothing, which she then resells in her store.  Her prices were surprisingly reasonable and there were so many amazing treasures to be found.  I ended up getting a few pieces of vintage jewelry and this silk square scarf (for less than $10!), which is exactly what I've been looking for.  I love how it gives a Parisian-chic feel to this outfit and adds a nice pop of color.  I also plan on wearing it with a breton-striped tee, kick-flare denim & mules for a seventies-inspired vibe. 


What I'm wearing:
c/o Dorothy Perkins Sweater, J. Crew Factory Skirt (similar here or here), Vintage Scarf (similar here or here), 
c/o Dorothy Perkins Flats (similar here or here), Clare Vivier Clutch (similar here or here), Pilgrim Earrings

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Embroider Me

Something about the warmer weather has me gravitating towards seasonally festive patterns & textures.  I have always been a big fan of embroidered pieces because of their handcrafted, slightly boho feel.  I also love how unique they are - no one will know whether you purchased these online or picked them up at a local shop in Mexico on your last vacation.  My friend Karla has found some amazing embroidered items at thrift & consignment shops, so if you have the time, that's a great place to hunt for them.  But, for more instant gratification, I've rounded up my top affordable picks for spring & summer (many are on sale now)!



MORE EMBROIDERED FAVORITES

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Girls' Day Out


Even though we lead fairly busy lives and it can be difficult to balance everything being a working mom, parenting is always a top priority.  It comes first before almost anything else (second only to our marriage) & it's a role that I cherish & treasure.  As my daughter gets older, I'm finding that it's so important to set aside time for just the two of us to spend together.  There are times when it saddens me to see how quickly she is growing up and I miss when she was little enough to carry around on my hip & sit in my lap.  But there's also part of me that's really enjoying this new phase of life with her.  I love watching her become more independent and to see the way our relationship is changing & growing into a deeper bond.  Now that she's in middle school, she's coming to me more often with questions about peer pressure & self-confidence (read more of my thoughts here).  I'm so grateful for the open communication that we have developed over the years and it's something I'm continuing to foster by making time for special girls' days together.







Earlier this month, we took a mother/daughter road trip to Toronto for the weekend and we had so much fun shopping, going to the movies, having long talks and making new memories.  One of my favorite moments was watching her take some extra fruit from the breakfast buffet at our hotel to hand out to homeless people on the street.  I'm constantly amazed by the maturity she has for her age and how she seeks out opportunities to show compassion to others.  Though we share a lot of similarities (we're both strong-willed and have a deep love for music), she's also different from me in many ways (her style is sportier than mine & academics come very easily to her).  There are few things that bring me more joy than being her mother - I am incredibly proud of the kind & respectful young lady she is becoming.




I mentioned the brand Treasure & Bond in this post last week and I was so excited when they reached out to partner with us.  Not only do they have great casual staples for women, they also have the cutest girls' clothing line available exclusively at Nordstrom.  I really appreciate that they are working to make a difference by giving 2.5% of their net proceeds to worthwhile charities & organizations.  We both selected our favorite tops from their new spring arrivals and styled them into casual looks for a girls' day out.  I already own two of their boyfriend tunic shirts (last seen here) and I love them because the fit & length are both perfect and they are unbelievably soft.  The subtle print of this one makes it ideal for spring & summer and it will work well layered under jackets & sweaters in the fall too!  My other top picks include this ombrĂ© scarf, this plaid tunic & this cotton jacket.



What I'm wearing:
c/o Treasure & Bond Boyfriend Shirt (wearing a Small), c/o Old Navy Jeans (similar here or here), 
ShoeMint Mules, Zara Bag (similar), c/o InPink Necklace, c/o Timex WatchForever 21 Bracelets

Because my daughter shot up in height so quickly this last year (she's already 5'7"), she has outgrown most girls' sizes.  But thankfully she can wear a women's XS and it's a near-perfect fit.  I love watching her interest in fashion grow, seeing her figure out what pieces work best together and letting her develop her own personal style.  She loved this burnout baseball tee because it is super-soft, lightweight enough for warmer days & it has a slouchy oversized fit (she is all about comfort!).  She has a pretty strict dress code at school so anytime she gets the chance to wear jeans and a shirt without a collar, she is thrilled.  Her other favorites from the girls' line are this ruffled top, this lace tank & this printed dress


What she's wearing:


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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Weekly Top Finds

I've been spending the week in Florida with my family & one of my favorite things about going on vacation is being able to shop in stores that I don’t have at home.  This is how I first discovered Saks Off 5th many years ago & I'm excited to be visiting their store later today. Luckily, this weekend they are having their Friends & Family Sale, so there are some amazing deals to be found.  If you don't have a store near you, you can shop online & take advantage of these incredible prices.  Here are my top picks from the sale & everything is under $80!


7) Embellished Sandals (also in black) // 8) Lace-Up Striped Top // 9) Skinny Jeans

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Friday, March 25, 2016

Scalloped Lace


I've always had a soft spot for lace, particularly in the warm weather months, because it's so lightweight & has such a pretty feminine feel.  The scalloped details on this top instantly caught my eye & I know it would be a versatile piece for dressing up or down this season.  It also comes in black & I would recommend going up a size (the XS fit me best through the torso, but I needed the Small to accommodate my broad shoulders).  I chose to wear a simple bralette underneath, but this top looks just as nice layered over a full-length camisole in white or nude.

What I'm wearing:
Who What Wear Lace Top (also in black), Forever 21 Skirt (check your local store; similar here & here), 
c/o Old Navy Sandals (similar), Zara Bag (similar here or here), Forever 21 Earrings (similar), 
Bracelets: Forever 21 & Zara (similar), c/o Charming Charlie Rings (similar), 
Lips: Revlon Matte Balm (Elusive), Nails: Essie Madison Ave-Hue

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Bold Giving

The past month has been one of the hardest I've ever faced from an emotional standpoint - several of our friends and close family members are suddenly in crisis or dealing with unbearable loss & tragedy.  All of these situations occurred one right after another and it seemed that I couldn't even catch my breath, let alone process the reality of what was happening.  It's been difficult to focus on work or make time for the things I usually enjoy because I feel as if I've been walking around each day in a complete fog of sadness & disbelief.

My goal in launching this Bold Giving series was to highlight ways to give back to those who need it most, to discover new ways to serve in your community and to encourage us all to think outside of ourselves (see previous posts here & here).  I had every intention of focusing this month on volunteering at a local organization that's near to my heart and sharing that experience with you.  But, as it turned out, the people who needed my help & support the most were the ones closest to me.

Because I've been so concentrated on my family & friends during this season, I decided instead to share with you today about a few organizations you can support who are helping to make a difference around the world.  Many of these are fashion & beauty brands that I already love, so they come highly recommended by me...not just for their philanthropic-centered mission, but also for their high quality, integrity & exceptional customer service.  Even though it seems like a small way to give back, it's so rewarding to know that your purchase is going to benefit a worthy cause.




TREASURE & BOND

2.5% off net sales are given to organizations that empower youth.
From now through January 2017, proceeds will support 
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America & Canada.  Learn more here.


HAND IN HAND

For every product purchased, Hand in Hand donates a bar of soap 
& provides 1 month of clean water to children in need.  Learn more here.


 TOMS

For every bag purchased, TOMS will help provide a safe birth for a mother & baby in need.
With every pair of shoes you purchase, TOMS will give a new pair of shoes to a child in need.
Read more about their One for One program here.


31 BITS

Using beads that are made from recycled paper, all jewelry is handmade in Uganda.
By purchasing 31 Bits jewelry, you are helping a woman & her family to gain the
skill sets & resources necessary to be financially stable.  Read more here.


YES TO

A portion of all YES TO sales goes to provide 50,000 meals to kids around the globe.
Learn more about the YES TO Seed Fund here.


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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Polished Pattern


For some unknown reason, I tend to shy away from wearing prints (save for stripes, which are a full-on obsession of mine).  One of my style goals for myself last year was to embrace more colors and prints...and I'm ashamed to admit that I failed miserably.  So when I do come across a patterned piece that I'm drawn to, I feel a strong urge to purchase it, if only to help balance out all the solid items in my wardrobe.  This silky loose blazer is one of those styles that just feels cool thanks to the effortless draped fabric and the tie-details on the cuffs.  Most importantly, it's a print that didn't seem intimidating to me because I knew it would pair easily with my favorite jeans for now & white shorts later in the season.




What I'm wearing:
H&M Patterned Blazer (recommend sizing down), Aerie Ruffled Top (similar here or here), 
c/o Old Navy Jeans, ShoeMint Sandals (similar here or here), Banana Republic Bag
Madewell Necklace (similar here or here), Bracelets: Banana Republic & J. Crew (similar), 
Madewell Earrings, c/o Old Navy Ring (similar), Nails: Essie Madison Ave-Hue

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

20 Under $20

Now that spring is officially here, all I want to wear are easy breezy pieces in soft colors & simple silhouettes.  If you're looking to expand your wardrobe for the season, it's a truly great time to shop because tons of retailers are offering amazing sales.  I was able to find so many great deals this month that I went a little overboard and crammed as many items as I could into the collage below (well over 20) + I've included even more in the scrolling bar below!




1) Chambray Shirt // 2) Tassel Bracelet // 3) Panama Hat // 4) Gold Stick Earrings
5) Patterned Maxi Dress // 6) Printed Square Scarf // 7) Braided Espadrille Wedges
8) Lace-Trim Blouse // 9) Open-Front Cardigan // 10) Crossbody Bag // 11) Metallic Slide Sandals
12) Striped T-Shirt // 13) Striped StrawTote // 14) Wrapped Gold Cuff // 15) Gold Knot Cuff
16) Filigree Necklace // 17) Shaping Skinny Jeans // 18) Wishbone Stud Earings // 19) Tassel Earrings
20) Slip-On Espadrille Flats // 21) Lace-Up Heeled Sandals // 22) Floral iPhone Case
23) Marled V-Neck Sweater // 24) Striped Scarf // 25) Tortoise Sunglasses // 26) Pastel Nail Polish Set
27) Lace Top // 28) Ankle-Strap Sandals // 29) Layered Necklace // 30) Printed Skirt
31) Cutout Mosaic Ring // 32) Beaded Bracelet Set // 33) Fringe Clutch

MORE UNDER $20


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Monday, March 21, 2016

Day To Night Style


The new season is finally here and that means it's time for a little spring cleaning.  Many of you have emailed me asking for advice on editing your closet and how to build a wardrobe that you love (see my top tips here).  In my opinion, the best idea is to invest in clothes that fit your particular lifestyle.  Because I work from home and have 2 kids, it makes the most sense for me to have more casual staples than anything else.  But, even when you're focusing on basics, that doesn't mean they have to be boring!  Incorporating different colors, textures & layers will keep your outfits looking fresh & feeling polished.  Today I'm sharing three different spring looks featuring pieces from Kohl's that will take you from morning to evening.  Right now they're having an amazing sale & I'm detailing all the codes for you below so you can take full advantage & get the lowest prices possible.

Get 15% off any purchase using code FLOWERS15 or get 20% off orders over $100 using code FLOWERS20 (thru 3/23) + you can earn $10 Kohl's cash for every $50 you spend (thru 3/26).  If you have a Kohl's card, use code FABULOUS30 to get 30% off your entire purchase & code KCMARCH to get free shipping sitewide.  Get $10 off your women's apparel purchase of $50 using code SPRINGSTYLE (thru 3/26).  The best part: I double-checked and confirmed that all these codes are stackable!

MORNING COFFEE RUN

Though I usually make my own at home, sometimes it's fun to head down to my favorite local spot and grab a cup of coffee before running errands.  I threw on some casual basics that are easy & comfortable, but still look pulled together.  I love this combination of colors because it's slightly unexpected - the soft blue & deep rose play off of each other so well.  I'm a big fan of cargo jackets and the hue of this one is a nice change from the olive green I usually wear. The textured design on these sneakers instantly caught my eye & I was so happy to find a pair of sporty slip-ons for spring...although my daughter has already "borrowed" them from my closet and doesn't want to give them back!



What I'm wearing:
c/o Mudd Cargo Jacket (wearing a Medium), c/o Awake Tank Top (wearing a Medium), c/o SO Jeggings
c/o Keds Slip On Sneakers (I went down half a size), c/o LC Lauren Conrad Backpack
c/o LC Lauren Conrad Sunglassesc/o LC Lauren Conrad Ring, Similar Earrings
c/o LC Lauren Conrad Bracelet Set

LUNCH WITH FRIENDS

I have quite a few girlfriends who are stay-at-home moms, which makes it convenient for us to meet up at a sidewalk cafĂ© during the week.  This breezy embroidered top is the ideal complement to a denim pencil skirt, which has quickly become a closet staple for me.  With a pretty bucket bag (that's just the right size) & my favorite mules, I'm ready to head out the door for a leisurely lunch with friends.  Styling tip: this top would also be great with shorts, flat sandals & a straw tote (like this designer-inspired style) for a day at the beach.





What I'm wearing:
c/o Mudd Embroidered Top (wearing a Small), c/o Lee Denim Skirt (wearing size 4), ShoeMint Mules
c/o Dolce Girl Bucket Bag, c/o Mudd Earringsc/o LC Lauren Conrad Rings (here & here), 
Lips: Cargo Essential Lipcolor (Kyoto)

DATE NIGHT

When I'm selecting an outfit for date night with my husband, I usually gravitate towards feminine & flirty styles. This little white lace dress has such pretty details and I appreciate that it's not constricting in any way, so I can indulge in a delicious meal without worry.  Since it's still pretty chilly here in the evenings, I topped it off with this gorgeous faux suede jacket, which is buttery soft & looks far more expensive than it really is.  With some comfortable lace-up heels & minimal jewelry, it's a chic ensemble for a night on the town.





What I'm wearing:
c/o Speechless Lace Dress, c/o Apt. 9 Faux Suede Jacket, c/o Candie's Lace-Up Heels
c/o Lenore by La Regale Woven Miniaudierec/o LC Lauren Conrad Ring, c/o LC Lauren Conrad Cuff
c/o LC Lauren Conrad Earrings

Thank you to Kohl's & ShopStyle for kindly sponsoring this post.
All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

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