Tuesday, February 28, 2017

ShopBop Spring Sale

We finally made it back to NY after a long week in Mexico.  Unfortunately, just two days into our trip, I came down with a horrible flu that immediately threw me into a Lupus flare.  I was so upset that I had to spend two full days stuck inside while everyone else was out having fun in the sun.  But, I'm so thankful we were able to find a doctor who made room calls at our resort, so I could be examined and get some much-needed medication.  

I'll be sharing more photos & a recap of our trip later this week, but today I'm popping in to highlight a great sale that's happening.  Now through March 4th, ShopBop is offering discounts across their site - get 15% off $200+, 20% off $500+ or 25% off $800+ when you use code GOBIG17 + free shipping & returns on all orders!  I took some time to scour their site & have rounded up my top spring picks under $100 below:

DRESSES: One // Two // Three // Four // Five (also love this one)
SHOES: Suede Flats // Lace-Up Espadrille // Leather Slides (also in ivory)
TOPS: One // Two // Three // Four (also love this one)
Five (love this one too) // Six // Seven // Eight


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Weekly Top Finds

Thankfully, the weather in New York is finally starting to show signs of spring & I couldn't be happier about it - I hope it's warming up where you are too!  This time of year, I try to focus on purchasing items that will have a low cost per wear, which means buying classics with a modern twist.  Today I'm sharing a few of my budget-friendly favorites that will be perfect for the coming season - I would wear #1, 5 & 8 together; #4 & 7 would be a chic  pairing and #10, 9 & 2 would be a great day look.


Friday, February 24, 2017

Try It, Love It

One of my favorite parts of my job is getting to try out new beauty products regularly - when I was a little girl, I loved sneaking into my mom's bathroom & playing with all the products on her vanity.  And not much has changed all these years later - I still think there's nothing more fun than experimenting with different makeup, skincare & hair products.  I've often said that every product should be available in a smaller sample size so I could try it out before buying the full-size version.  So, I was happy to learn about the new QVC sample box called TILI (stands for Try It, Love It).  I received mine in the mail last week, tested out all the products for you & am sharing my full review below! 

What I loved about this is that, unlike other boxes, TILI isn't a monthly subscription that you have to sign up for & cancel when you don't want it anymore.  A new box is released each quarter that includes an assortment of beauty products - you receive a total of eight items, three of which are full-size samples...and it's just $22 + $3 shipping! This is such a great way to discover different brands and, thanks to the low price point, it would also make an excellent gift idea. Here's a glimpse of what I received in my box & what I thought of each item:

I was pleasantly surprised by this cleanser because it quickly dissolved all my makeup with little effort and left my skin feeling so soft.  I typically use eye makeup remover pads and then wash my face with cleanser separately, so this was nice to combine those two steps into one and save a little bit of time in my getting ready for bed process. 

Julep Gel Eyeliner (in Blackest Black)
I typically use a traditional kohl pencil or liquid liner, so this was my first time trying out one with a gel consistency.  What I liked about it is that the pigment payoff was high so I only needed one swipe with it to get a dark black line (it also comes in 7 other colors).  It glides on so smoothly and was easy to smudge if you wanted to create a smokey eye look.  I like to flick my liner out at the edges and this pencil made it a breeze to create a slightly winged effect.

WEN Pomegranate Cleansing Conditioner
This wasn't my favorite of all the item I tested, although it could just be that it takes some getting used to.  It's a different kind of hair cleanser because it doesn't lather - so that alone felt strange to me because I wasn't entirely sure I was getting my strands completely clean.  But, I did love the scent and my hair felt really soft afterwards.

This had a much different consistency than the silicone-based primer I usually wear so I wasn't sure about it at first. But, I liked that it has SPF30 built right in and it also had a slightly iridescent sheen to it, which gave my skin a pretty glow - even though it's technically a primer, I would wear this on days when I'm going without makeup because it created such a nice dewy natural look.

ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Marine Cream (splurge-worthy full-size here)
The only downside to testing out sample sizes like this is that you might fall in love with an expensive product (as I did with this one).  This day cream is loaded with botanicals & essential oils - I like that it absorbed quickly and kept my face hydrated all day long - just the treatment my skin needed after this long winter!  The good news is that a little goes a long way so I am hoping to make this tube last as long as I can before buying the full-size version.

This is a product that I already use daily & have raved about repeatedly here on the blog.  I don't know of a single woman who has sampled this and hasn't fallen completely in love.  So I was happy to see it show up in my box and it's nice to have a smaller size like this to take with me when I travel.  If you haven't yet tried this CC cream yet, don't wait any longer...it's life-changing!

This is a great lightweight moisturizer - it didn't leave my skin feeling greasy & it has a nice clean scent to it.  If you're looking for a more affordable choice, this is a really good option but I actually preferred the Elemis cream over this one because it was a little bit richer.  However, if you have oily skin, this might be a better way to go.

I loved this lip pencil so much that I already ordered another - this is one of those colors that would look good on everyone and it's just a great everyday neutral hue.  It goes on really creamy and, unlike other pencils I've tried, it wasn't too matte or overly drying on my lips.  Full disclosure: I didn't try using it on my cheeks, though I love the idea of a versatile multi-tasking product, especially for travel.

Overall, I was really pleased with the items I received & I definitely found some new products that I loved and will order again.  Right now, new QVC customers will get $5 off their purchase using code FIVE4U, which can be used towards your first TILI box


Thank you to QVC & ShopStyle for kindly sponsoring this post.
I have been compensated by QVC for my participation, however,
all opinions expressed are 100% honest & completely my own.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

February Q&A

Thank you to everyone who submitted questions for this month's edition - we have a good mix of fashion & home decor topics that I hope will be helpful for many of you.  If you have something you'd like to see covered in March, feel free to email me with your ideas and I'll be sure to include them in next month's post!

1) I'm looking for a new tote for spring - I'd like something with a sleek, minimal design in a neutral color that's large enough to hold my laptop (and ideally under $75). 

(more options here, here & here)

2) We're getting a tax refund this spring & I plan to use the money to spruce up our home a bit. We've already invested in new furniture, but our decor is seriously lacking.  I want to make our dollars stretch as far as possible, so I'm looking for affordable places to shop for chic accent pieces.


3) I'm graduating this year & am actively looking for jobs, so I need affordable interview & office outfits.  I'm specifically searching for gray or black suiting that will work on my petite frame.

Your best bet for petite-friendly suiting is going to be Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Express, J. Crew or a larger department store like Macy's or Nordstrom.  Unfortunately, in many cases, the in-store selection for petites will be small, so you'll need to order several options online and return what doesn't work for you.  There may be an initial investment for these pieces, but I recommend buying the best quality suit separates that you can afford so they will last you for years to come.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tweed Prep

One of my favorite ways to style short-sleeve tops and sleeveless shells for spring is to layer a crisp white button-down underneath.  Not only does this extend the versatility of those pieces in your closet, it also adds an extra dose of polish - just swap out the jeans for slim trousers or a pencil skirt & you've got a chic office-ready look!  The tasseled hem on this classic tweed top is such an eye-catching detail that gives it a fun modern feel - as you know, I have a hard time resisting anything with fringe!

What I'm wearing:
Zara Tweed Top (wearing an XS), Old Navy Shirt (similar here or here), 
Joe's Jeans (non-distressed version here), ASOS Loafers
NastyGal Bag (similar here or here), Melrose & Market Earrings, Similar Cuff



Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Tropical Getaway

If you're following along on my Instagram & Snapchat, you've already seen that we arrived safely in Mexico & are busy exploring the area together as a family.  My in-laws own a timeshare in Cabo, so they graciously provided us with a place to stay & all we had to do was take care of our airfare. This was our first time escaping the cold & heading to a tropical destination in the middle of winter & there's a lot that I learned through the process of planning for our trip.  I thought it might be helpful to share some of those insights for any of you who are traveling to a warm destination during the cold-weather months.  

My first step was to pull my spring & summer clothes out of storage to determine what pieces I already owned that would work for our trip.  I didn't want to use this as an excuse to spend frivolously & buy an entire "vacation wardrobe", especially after having just come off a shopping freeze where my eyes were opened to the fact that I already have more than enough. But, I knew that I wanted to purchase a few new pieces for the trip - so I set a dollar amount for myself that fit within my budget and I stuck to it.  I was able to find some great deals & stay focused on buying items that I knew I would wear well beyond our Mexico trip.  Here's what I bought:
It was definitely a challenge to find beachy items during the off-season.  As always, I recommend using ShopStyle if you're looking for something really specific (because you can filter by color, size & price point).  You can also locate warm-weather pieces by searching using key words like linen, crochet & embroidered.  Here are the best sites I discovered that have summer styles year-round + some of my top picks:

ASOS - wishing I'd bought this dress & this cover-up
Shoptiques - obsessed with this lace dress
Nordstrom Rack - picked up this ruffled dress for my daughter
6pm.com - almost bought this tank & this jumpsuit
Macy's, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Saks Off 5th (most department stores will have a "resortwear" section)

Whenever we are headed on a trip, I plan out all my looks in advance (right down to my shoes & jewelry) and take a picture of each outfit with my phone.  I do my best to adhere strictly to what I've planned out so I'm packing as lightly as possible.  I typically keep my accessories fairly minimal when traveling, especially if we're going somewhere warm.  Jewelry & hats are two of the most difficult items to pack and I've had my fair share of these get ruined over the years because I didn't have a solid system in place.  Here are the methods I now use to get my accessories secured in my suitcase & arriving in good shape:


For most trips, I use a travel organizer, which keeps everything neatly in place.  But if I don't have room for my jewelry roll, I recommend using these handy tricks:

Step 1: Thread any dainty necklaces through a plastic straw to keep them from getting tangled
Step 2: Pull out one large sheet of GLAD Press & Seal (match the size to the width of your suitcase)
Step 3: Lay your jewelry pieces flat & separated from one another on top of the sheet of plastic
Step 4: Pull out another large sheet of GLAD Press & Seal and lay it on top, carefully pressing down in between each item & eliminating any air bubbles (see example here)


Step 1: Flip the hat upside down & fill the crown with smaller clothing items - this is the perfect place to pack your swimsuits since they don't need to be laid flat or folded neatly.  Continue until it's completely stuffed full so the hat keeps its shape
Step 2: Place the hat right-side up on top of your bigger clothing items & shoes (this take a bit of maneuvering so the items don't fall out)
Step 3: Finish packing, layering items on top of the brim of the hat & working around the crown 

I hope this post has been helpful for you - if you're traveling to a warm destination in the next few months, feel free to email me & I'd be happy to share more.  I'll also be posting a recap of our trip + some of the looks I wore on the blog next week, so stay tuned!  Until then, you can get a peek of our Mexico adventures on my Instagram & Snapchat (ppfgirl).


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Weekly Top Finds

With the holiday coming up on Monday, tons of retailers have launched some pretty impressive President's Day sales for this weekend.  So, I've rounded up a few of my top spring picks & am sharing the details of all the coupon codes below you need to shop & save!

Anthropologie - extra 40% off sale items (no code needed)
Bloomingdale's - 20% off your purchase with code NEWARRIVALS (some exclusions apply)
Gap - Extra 25% off your purchase with code MORE (some exclusions apply)
Ann Taylor - 40% off full-price styles & an extra 50% off sale styles with code WEEKEND
White House Black Market - extra 40% off markdowns with code 50458
J. Crew Factory - 50% off everything (no exclusions; prices as marked)
Macy's - extra 20% off your purchase (some exclusions) + free shipping at $49 with code PRES
Express - 40% off everything (prices as marked) + free shipping at $50
LOFT - 40% off full-price styles & an extra 50% off sale styles with code HAPPY
Madewell - extra 30% off sale styles with code MOODLIFT
H&M - up to 70% off select styles with code 7779 + free shipping at $40 with code 0040
Nordstrom Rack - extra 25% off clearance items (prices as marked)
ASOS - 20% off your purchase with code PREZ20


Friday, February 17, 2017

Mom & Me Style

Many of you know that I refer to my son as my "miracle baby" - I was told I might not ever be able to get pregnant again & then Nolan came along & surprised us all!  He's turning 9 next month and I still can't wrap my head around the fact that this will be his last year in single digits - I honestly don't know where the time has gone!  As much as I miss those early years, I am so proud of the sensitive, brave & sweet young man he is becoming.  

The best part of my week is on Wednesday nights when my husband takes our daughter to youth group and Nolan & I get to spend time just the two of us at home.  We usually play games (Settlers of Catan is his favorite), build Lego creations & read together.  Nothing beats getting that quality one-on-one time with him and I cherish those moments - because he is growing up so quickly, I want to make the most of every minute!

During the course of my pregnancy, the doctors warned me that he was going to be an active kid because he was constantly moving around in the womb...and they were right!  Any clothing that I buy for him has to meet his high standards of softness & flexibility.  Those of you who are moms know how picky kids can be about their clothes - and considering how quickly they outgrow them, it makes no sense to spend a lot on something they'll only be wearing for a few months.

The Jumping Beans line from Kohl's has been a long-time favorite of ours since he was a toddler because they have pieces that reflect his personal style, they hold up well through multiple washes & they're wallet-friendly too.  He currently wears the biggest size they carry in this brand, so we'll be very sad when these no longer fit!  He loved these shorts because they're lightweight & easy to move around in + they have an easy elastic waist, which means he doesn't have to mess with a zipper.  We also got this striped tee in two different colors, which will be great for transitioning into spring & summer (they're already packed in his bag for Mexico).

My typical "mom style" is casual basics with a twist - this layered look incorporates trends in a way that feels effortless.  This quilted bomber is made from a soft knit material that feels like a cozy sweatshirt & is just the right weight for spring - it's a nice change from my cargo or denim jacket that I usually wear on the weekends.  I layered this ruffled-hem top underneath to give it a feminine feel & finished the look with cool metallic sneakers - perfect for running around after him all day long!

On me:

On him:

Thank you to Kohl's for kindly sponsoring this post.
All opinions are 100% honest & all items were hand-selected by us.