Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer Style With Schoola

I'm a big believer in supporting brands that give back - in my mind, the only thing that feels better than scoring a great deal is when you can save money & shop for a worthy cause at the same time.  Schoola is the best of both worlds because everything on their site is marked at over 70% off the original retail price and 40% of their profits go to schools in need to help save programs like art, music & P.E.  You can also donate on behalf of the school of your choice, VH1 Save The Music or The Malala Fund.  As many of you know, the school where my kids have attended since we moved to NY was forced to close at the end of this year due to a lack of funding, so this is a cause that's close to my heart.

I've partnered with Schoola to share with you two looks using pieces that I found from their online store.  I was pleasantly surprised to get both of these easy neutral dresses brand new with tags - one that's perfect for day & one that's date-night ready.  They fit perfectly upon arrival and the styles are so versatile that I'll be able to wear them all season long - the first dress would be great with a denim jacket on top & the second dress would pair nicely with a black moto jacket for a little edge.  They have so many great dresses & summer styles to choose from on their site, including brands like J. Crew, Club Monaco, Kate Spade & more.

Schoola has graciously offered a $20 credit towards your first purchase + free shipping for all PPF readers - all you have to do is visit their site through this link, click join in the top right corner and, once you've signed up, you will see a $20 credit at checkout (for new customers only; excludes NWT items).  They also accept donations of gently used women's & children's clothing, which you can send in for free (request your bag here). Or simply shop their site for brand new & like new items at a fraction of the retail price - you'll not only be getting a great deal on summer clothes, but you can also feel good knowing that your purchase is truly helping to make a difference.  For those of you with little ones, it's also a great place to shop for kids' clothing for less because, as you know, they grow out of them so quickly!

What I'm wearing:
Karen Kane Embroidered Dress c/o Schoola, c/o Old Navy Sandals (similar), 
c/o Old Navy Tote (similar here or here), Lips: L'Oreal Colour Riche (Volcanic)

What I'm wearing:
Rachel Roy Dress c/o Schoola, ShoeMint Heels, Mar Y Sol Clutch (similar for less here), 
BaubleBar Earrings, Soko Cuff, Nails: Sally Hansen Lively Lilac

Thank you to Schoola for kindly sponsoring this post. 
All opinions are 100% honest & all items were hand-selected by me.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Designer On A Dime

My closet has never been one that's stocked full of designer pieces...because that simply isn't realistic for my budget. But, I will admittedly jump at the chance to score those high-end styles for less that I normally wouldn't be able to afford.  That's why I love shopping at Saks OFF 5TH, because it's like treasure hunting for deals.  When I participated in the outlet shopping challenge with People StyleWatch earlier this spring (here), it was the first store I went into because I knew I could find something I loved & that would help stretch my money as far as possible.

Today I'm sharing two new looks with you featuring pieces I selected from Saks OFF 5TH.  Even though I have a store within driving distance to my house, sometimes it's nice to shop from the comfort of home & I've noticed that their online shop has a more extensive selection of styles & sizes than what I've found in-store.  You can find name brand designer styles for up to 70% off + they offer free shipping on orders of $99 or more with code SHIP99.

The only thing better than a pleated midi skirt is one in feminine lace and the color & fit of this one is absolute perfection!  To keep the proportions right, I paired it with this cropped linen shell & these nude ankle-strap heels. Other designer tops I'm loving include this silk tank & this fringe peplum.  If you're going to splurge on high quality shoes, I highly recommend Vince Camuto.  Because it's a brand that's more expensive at full price, Saks OFF 5TH is a great place to buy them for less.  I have four pairs (including these suede pumps) and they are unbelievably comfortable and so well made - I'm also eyeing these woven slingbacks & these espadrille flats.

What I'm wearing:
c/o Milly Cutout Crop Top (recommend sizing down), 
c/o Max Studio Lace Skirt (wearing Small), 

I love easy day dresses that I can wear around town with flat sandals or throw on over my swimsuit for the beach. The pretty coral hue & intricate embroidery of this one instantly caught my eye - unfortunately, it sold out just before I was able to share it with you today, but I've found several similar embroidered styles here (this one is my favorite). This saddle bag is the perfect size for every day & it's so buttery soft that I had to double check the tag because I didn't believe it was faux leather.  I also couldn't believe my eyes when I came across this Loeffler Randall bag for under $100 (seriously tempting!).

What I'm wearing:
c/o Max Studio Embroidered Dress, c/o French Connection Saddle Bag
Vince Camuto Sandals (similar), Similar EarringsSimilar Bracelets


Thank you to Saks OFF 5TH & ShopStyle for kindly sponsoring this post.
All opinions are 100% honest & all items were hand-selected by me.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

My Skincare Secrets

I personally strive to take the best care of my skin that I possibly can so I don't need to cover it up with makeup all the time.  Especially in the summer months, I tend to prefer a pared-down beauty look and when my skin is healthy on its own, that's so much easier to achieve.  My skin is far from perfect, but I'm determined to do everything I can to make it the best it can be as I move further into my 30's.  Today I'm sharing the top five skincare secrets that have worked well for me to protect my skin, prevent the signs of aging & get that lit-from-within glow (no highlighter required!).

Take preventative measures
I wish I had realized the importance of staying out of the sun when I was younger but instead I was chasing the deepest, darkest tan I could get.  Now, I'm much more careful when heading outdoors, especially when I know I'm going to be exposed to the sun for long periods of time, like at the beach or an outdoor festival/concert.  The best way you can protect your body is with sunscreen, but I'm also a firm believer in wearing an oversized hat to shield your face from harmful rays & big sunglasses, because repeated squinting can create crow's feet.  Wearing: Forever 21 Dress (similar here or here), Similar Hat, Panacea Necklace

Adjust your diet
When I was first diagnosed with Lupus, I drastically changed my diet to eliminate all grains, dairy, processed foods, sugar & alcohol.  Not only did it help put my disease into remission, but I noticed an almost immediate improvement in my skin.  Now that I've been eating a modified Paleo diet for 2 years, I've learned that I can allow myself occasional indulgences like organic raw cheese or gluten-free desserts, but if I let it become a regular occurrence, I instantly see the effects on my skin.  You'll achieve your best skin by striving to eat whole foods, plenty of fruits & vegetables & drinking water as much as possible.

Start using serum
Developing & sticking to an anti-aging regimen is crucial and it's never too soon to start.  If you're in your late twenties, you can get ahead of the curve by beginning to care for your skin properly.  And if you're older but haven't embraced this yet, don't wait any longer!  The key is to find a serum that targets wrinkles and is backed by science so you can really trust it to work.  I love No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum because it's more concentrated than a lotion or cream, so you only need to use a small amount each time.  Not only does it improve the appearance of lines, but it also contains hyaluronic acid which helps create a firmer appearance...and who doesn't want that?!  After 2 weeks of twice-daily use, I started seeing a difference & found that my skin looks noticeably younger.  For best results, I recommend applying to freshly washed skin & then follow with an application of moisturizer (preferably one with SPF) to lock in hydration.

Make sleep a priority
I don't think I fully understood the critical role that sleep played until I developed my auto-immune disease.  But now I can really feel the difference between a full night of sleep versus a mere 5 hours...and the first place it shows up is on my face.  My dark under-eye circles are far more pronounced and there is a dullness to my complexion.  Because of this, I strive for 8-10 hours every single night and I've also noticed that it helps to go to bed around the same time each evening, so my body develops a regular & predictable sleep pattern.

Sweat it out
We all know that regular exercise is good for your heart, mind & body, but there are plenty of skin benefits as well. When you work out, it increases blood flow to the skin & sweating is a way for the body to flush toxins from your system and clear out your pores.  Endorphins also help decrease cortisol production in the body, which is one of the hormones that contributes to acne.  The more regularly you hit the gym, the greater your results will be.  Just make sure you stay well hydrated during your workout and be sure to shower & wash your face thoroughly when you're done. Wearing: Old Navy Tank, Forever 21 Sports Bra, Similar Leggings, Nike Sneakers

Thank you to No7 for kindly sponsoring this post.
All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Ruffled Eyelet

This past weekend was practically perfect weather, so we spent every waking minute that we could outdoors.  We hosted some friends for dinner & lawn games on Saturday night and went over to another friends' house for a BBQ on Sunday afternoon.  I'm always looking for comfortable pieces that I can wear to these type of casual get-togethers that still look polished.  I like that this eyelet top is so versatile - you can wear it as a cold-shoulder style (as seen here) or wear it as a sleeveless top with your arms completely through the holes.  It has just enough interest without feeling too fussy, which makes it ideal for pairing with shorts or a lightweight skirt.

What I'm wearing:
c/o Dorothy Perkins Top (free shipping w/ code DPTREAT), 
Banana Republic Shorts (similar here or here), 
Vince Camuto Sandals (similar here or here), c/o Old Navy Tote (similar), 
BaubleBar EarringsSimilar Cuff, Ray-Ban Wayfarers


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Weekly Top Finds

White is one of my favorite colors to wear in the summertime because it has the ability to be soft & feminine, while still remaining clean & chic.  Whether you wear it head to toe or contrast with bold hues & pretty patterns, it's a classic choice for the season that looks good on everyone.  I've rounded up some of my top affordable summer white picks (with a hefty dose of lace & eyelet).


Friday, June 24, 2016

Modern Silhouettes

For me, having fun with fashion is all about playing with new trends & testing silhouettes that might even intimidate me a little.  It's exciting to step outside of what I normally gravitate towards & try a sleek modern look. This outfit is a combination of several of-the-moment styles: an off-the-shoulder top, kick-crop pants & a slim choker.  Though this pretty floral blouse would be great with jeans, shorts or a denim skirt, I wanted to give it a more sophisticated feel.

What I'm wearing:
c/o Dorothy Perkins Off-The-Shoulder Top (wearing US6), c/o Old Navy Pants (similar here, here or here), 
c/o Dorothy Perkins Heels (similar here or here), ASOS Clutch (similar here or here), 
Forever 21 Choker (similar here or here), Bracelets: Vintage (similar) & Lucky Brand
Pilgrim Earrings, ASOS Ring, Nails: Sally Hansen White Out


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Closet Necessities

I've written quite a few posts about the classic staples that I believe to be the building blocks for a versatile wardrobe (see previous content here & here).  But, it's equally important to invest in essential undergarments & a handful of special tools that will help extend the life of your clothing, shoes & accessories.  So today I'm highlighting my top picks in each category & sharing why I can't live without these key pieces.  I've purposely selected products & brands that I personally use and love, so they come highly recommended by me.

1) Leather hole puncher - This is such a handy tool for quickly adjusting your accessories (I've done this with several of my vintage & thrifted finds).  Because there are a variation of hole sizes, you can use this on belts, purse straps or watch bands to create the perfect fit.
2) Suede cleaning kit - After having one of my favorite pairs of suede boots ruined due to unexpected weather, I immediately went out and bought a suede care kit.  This one has everything you'll need to protect your suede shoes from puddles or stains and to carefully clean them without ruining their soft finish.
3) Clothing steamer - I'm fairly certain there is no one who despises ironing as much as me, so I rely heavily on my steamer for most wrinkle-removing tasks.  This handheld size is great for traveling, but if you're looking for a heavier duty model, I recommend this one for at-home use & larger jobs (both on sale now!).
4) Sweater comb - This fine tooth comb is ideal for removing pilling from fine gauge knits & cashmere.  I recommend using a very light hand when brushing over your sweaters so you don't snag the fabric.
5) Fabric shaver - I use this battery-powered gadget on my thicker knits, chunky sweaters & wool jackets to remove fuzz & lint - it works quickly and thanks to the smaller size, it's great for packing when you travel.
6) Lint brush - I don't like to use the sticky lint rollers as they can leave an adhesive residue on clothing, which ends up attracting more lint.  So, I prefer this brush style and I also have this travel size, which I keep in my purse for on-the-go touch-ups.
7) Jewelry cleaner - I prefer not using the liquid jewelry solution because the smell always bothered me and there was too much potential for spilling.  So I was happy to discover this kit, which comes with both the smaller brush stick (for rings & dainty items) and the cleaning cloths (for necklaces & larger pieces).

1) Seamless camisoles - I recommend having these in black, white & nude and I personally prefer to have a variation of styles (some scoop-neck, v-neck & some with thicker straps) so I can wear them with any neckline top or sweater.  Shown above: one // two // three - more options here, here & here
2) Strapless bra - I've tried several different brands over the years & have discovered that the key is to look for a style that has rubber grips lining the inside so it truly stays put (I swear by this one).  I also recommend buying one that's a little tighter than a regular bra because it will stretch with continual wear.  Shown above here - additional bras here & here
3) Full slip - This comes in handy if you find a dress you love that's slightly sheer or if you just want a little more coverage.  I have one in white that came with a dress I purchased years ago, but it's so versatile that I wear it with several other pieces in my closet.  Shown above here - more styles here & here
4) Backless bra - These are especially useful in the warm weather months when you're wearing dresses or tops that are low cut in the back.  Most styles are good for 20-25 uses before they start to lose their adhesive staying power.  Shown above here - other options here & here 
5) Shapewear - The exact style you purchase comes down to personal preference - the high-waisted pair I own are the ones I reach for most often, but depending on the garment you're wearing them under, you might want one that hits right at the waist.  Shown above: one // two - also like these cooling shorts, these mid-thigh shapers & this extra-firm style
6) Half slips - So many of the current skirts & dresses in stores aren't fully-lined and, many times, it will be a style that I really want.  So instead of passing it up completely, I'll opt to wear a half-slip underneath.  I have a longer-length style in nude that I found at the thrift store, but I'm on the hunt for a shorter version as well.  Shown above: one // two - also like this midi-length, this lace-trimmed style & this knee-length slip