Date Night Style Series: Monochromatic

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Top: Loft | Bottom: DL1961 | Heels: Manolo Blahnik (old, similar style) | Bag: Kate Spade (old, similar style) | Necklace: Kate Spade | Bracelets: Forever21 | Lipstick: YSL #12

Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to the Date Night Style series! Each week I select an item from my closet and style it for that special day or night.  This item can be old or new, trendy or classic.  Either way the goal is to transform the piece to a date night or day date look.

This week I selected the silver camo sweater and paired with a silver moto jean to create a monochromatic look in silver.  I love silver because of its sleek high-tech, modern, industrial look.  The silver color is also seen as a glamorous, sophisticated color related to female energy, modernity and prosperity.  When I spotted this camo sweater at LOFT (it is prettier in person than in pictures) it was love at first sight.  When I see the camouflage pattern I think of the color green so I had to do a double take when I first laid my eyes on it.  I love how the silver thread glitters whenever the light shines at a certain angle.  It is such a bold yet feminine color to wear for a date night! 

Link with these fabulous ladies: What Wives WearMix Max Fashion, Penniless Socialite, I Feel Pretty and Tres-Chic Fashion Thursday.

Get The Most Out Of Your Jewelry

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Being a fashion maven means essential pieces and plenty of accessories. A change in accessories alone can completely change the look of an outfit. While having a variety to choose from is great, sometimes it becomes just too much.

We all have plenty of jewelry that we don’t use regularly. Maybe we even have pieces that we don’t use at all. Rather than letting it sit around and collect dust, find ways to get more value out of your jewelry pieces.

I have many pieces of great value that are taking up space in my jewelry box, but I simply do not wear them. They’re family heirlooms and not something I ever intend to get rid of. Instead, I’ll pass them along to my daughters and my husband can pass his along to our son. In the meantime, I can free space by storing them in a safe or security deposit box.

I do have pieces I don’t want to keep that have some value on the market. Selling jewelry can be overwhelming, particularly if you’re unsure of its value.  Check for shops like San Diego Jewelry Buyers that have a good reputation and wont make you feel pressured. Find someone that you feel comfortable doing business with or you won’t be happy with your decision.

There are pieces of jewelry that I have that just simply aren’t my style but have some beautiful elements. I have a gorgeous ring setting and a pair of earrings with breathtaking emeralds in less desired yellow gold arrangement. Instead, I’ve decided to redesign the pieces to match my style. I was even able to work first hand with a local jewelry designer to customize the pieces to my exact specifications. We created stunning emerald solitaire earrings set in white gold, then used the diamonds from the earrings and a small pink tourmaline for my new ring which I wear regularly.

Some pieces are simply just not worth passing along as heirlooms or selling. Most of these pieces are costume jewelry that I picked up at flea markets or needed for a specific look. Others are pieces that broke or are missing pieces like a single earring. Since I know I’ll never wear them again, I’ve found some creative ways to repurpose them.

I used a few cheap necklaces and created some gorgeous and chic curtain tiebacks. Faux pearls are eye catching and add a nice bulk and touch of flair to what I used to think were drab curtains. I used some broaches and single earrings and created some magnets for the fridge, which adds sparkle to the space I use the most. I even used a few beads from a broken necklace and decorated some bobby pins, then added some tulle and a broach to a headband for my daughter. My favorite project has to be the jewelry bouquet I’m creating for my friend’s wedding. We’re locating vintage broaches and putting them together to be used as her “something old” and it will last forever.

When it boils down to it, it’s not about freeing up space in your jewelry box just so you can fill it with more jewelry down the road. It’s about finding the true value in your jewelry and allowing it to reach it’s full potential, whether it’s with you or with someone else.

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Thanks to Sara Stringer for providing this post.  Sara is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about frugal fashion.  In her spare time, she enjoys maintaining an active lifestyle through swimming and practicing yoga.

Enza Essentials: Beauty Formulated For You

Happy Tuesday everyone! Welcome to Beauty Buzz!

I’m loyal to products that work for my skin and am also willing to try anything new.  If you don’t try it then how would you know whether they work for you or not.  When Enza Essentials came knocking to put together a perfect beauty regimen based on my lifestyle, skintype and ethnicity I jumped at the chance.  Enza Essentials products are formulated by Dr. Josefph Rucker, board certified plastic surgeon, and they use the highewst quality ingredients.  Dr. Rucker has worked on beautifying skin for over 30 years, has appeared in New Beauty magazine, Lifetime’s The Balancing Act, The Docts TV, Arizona Sports and Lifestyle, and has acted as a celebrity skin consultant at the 2012 Academy Awards in Los Angeles.  So this doctor KNOWS what he’s doing when it comes to skincare!  A personalized beauty regimen was created for me  a month ago to obtain optimal results.  I’ve been using the Enza Essentials products for over 3 weeks and here’s my take on them.

The Goods:

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Saturation Cleanser, Saturation Toner, Saturation Aloe Scrub, Face Firming Complex, Eyebright Intensive Eye Creme, Glycolic Serum, Vitamin C Crem, Advanced Protecton SPF30 and Saturation Herbal Creme.

The Claim:

Saturation Cleanser: A mild moisturizing cleanser designed to gently wash away impurities while providing the valuable nutrients necessary to maintain soft beautiful skin.  Derived from the fruit; aromatic essential oil, cleansing, rejuvenating, promotes cell renewal refreshing and soothing.

Saturation Toner: Uses lotus flower to soothe and nourish, along with the extract of ginseng to invigorate and condition.

Saturation Aloe Scrub: This formula contains a powerful AHA and aloe vera that work together with natural grains to safely lift off dead skin cells.  It smoothes and brightens the complexion.

Face Firming Complex: Firms, tones and retains skin’s elasticity and improves cutaneous tensile strength. Their exclusive ingredient blend helps skin to hold moisture levels for up to 24 hours while nourishing the skin’s deep layer – which restores youthful elasticity and glow.

Eyebright Intensive Eye Creme: The formula contains peptides and botanical extraction technology to smooth, hydrate and refine the delicate area under the eyes.

Glycolic Serum: Contains natural healing properties.  Deep exfoliation in a gentle base that hydrates and refines skin.  It promotes cellular turnover.

Vitamin C Creme: Skin brightening and toning; improves look of complexion; promotes cellular regeneration; skin balancing; promotes collagen production.

Advanced Protecton SPF30:  The powerful anti-oxidant is known for its anti-irritant properties, preventing redness, rough skin, and peeling caused by sun-drenched skin.

Saturaion Herbal Creme:  Rich in proteins and fatty acids to promote skin cell health, detoxifying, noursihing, revitalizes, softens and hydrates the skin.

Mama’s Take:

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The first thing I was asked was what were some of my skin’s concerns.  Well, my skin is surprisingly supple in the morning (thanks to my DIY Vitamin C Serum) but my frown lines are still there the crow’s feet are still visible.  I want to look youthful for my age and constantly looking for skin care products to help that along the way.  I know my vitamin c serum is working slowly but my skin still needs more help to take to the next level.  Based on my skin concerns, a skin care regimen was created for me.  Here’s my Skin Care Regime:

AM:  Saturation Cleanser, Saturation Toner, My Own Vitamin C Serum, Face Firming Complex and Advanced Protection SPF 30.

PM: Saturation Cleanser, Saturation Aloe Scrub (2-3x per week), Saturation Toner, Eyebright Intensive Eye Creme, Glycolic Serum and Vitamin C Creme

I have sensitive skin so these products do not irritate my skin at all.   I didn’t notice any difference on my skin until the 2nd week after using them.  My skin started to tighten like I was getting a face lift and my lines were minimized.  I love using these products but my two favorites are the Glycolic Serum and the Face Firming Complex.  They are like butter that melt on my skin…LOVE LOVE LOVE!  Overall, I’m really happy I was introduced to their products and had a chance to fully review them.  Given the positive results I will definitely continue using their products and restock them later.  Thank you to the Enza team for formulating a beauty skin care regimen that actually works for my skin!!!

Disclosure:  Even though I was given products to review from Enza Essentials all opinions are my own.

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Now head on over to my fabulous co-hosts Jo-Lynne of Musings of A Housewife, Alison of Sassy Moms in the City and Nicole of Mom Trends for some more beauty tips and tricks! Jo-Lynne from Musings of A Housewife is hosting this week’s Beauty Buzz Link Up!

What Can You Buy with $100?

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 Dress: Nicole Miller c/o Thredup| Sandals: Topshop | Necklace: Anthropologie | Earrings: BaubleBar| Lipstick: YSL #12| Twins’ shirts: Ralph Lauren c/o Thredup| Twins’ Shorts: The Children’s Place

Happy Monday everyone!

So what can you buy with $100 nowadays?  Maybe a pair of shoes, a dress or a bag?  What if I told you that you CAN buy all of these three items and more?  Oh, did I mention they are brand names?  In case you missed my first review, I’m collaborating with them again on this post.  Them meaning Thredup.  If you have not heard of Thredup they are the largest online thrift and consignment shop to buy quality used clothing at great prices and also sell your clothes for cash. My most recent collaboration with Thredup is to do Back to School shopping on their site for my kids and myself for $100.

Well my twin boys have not started school yet so my challenge then was to find something from their site and see what I can purchase with $100.  Since my last review over a year ago, they’ve been carrying items from kids clothing to shoes and handbags.  They also added a new category called X Collection where they carry contemporary styles and designer brands.  It was through this collection that I located this fabulous maxi dress by Nicole Miller.  The retail price was $595 but it was 85% off and the condition was excellent.  So with $100 I was able to buy this dress plus 2 Ralph Lauren shirts for my twins.  I take comfort knowing that I can buy fashionable and stylish but practical clothing from an online store like Thredup without breaking my bank.

Linking with these fabulous ladies: Monday Mingle, DC Instyle, Manic Monday with On the Daily Express and More Pieces of Me , Stylis Saturday, Style to Inspire How I Summer, Tuesday PrettiesTrend Spink Link Up The Pleated Poppy, Because Shanna Said So, Pampers and Pearls , Tres-Chic Fashion Thursday ,  I Feel Pretty and Fashion Informant.

Amazingly Chic & Affordable: 13

Happy Saturday everyone!

Welcome to the weekly Amazingly Chic & Affordable series.  Each week I will share on-trend items that are chic and affordable.  These are items that look “expensive” and chic and are friendly to your wallet.  After perusing some online sites I found a handful of chic but affordable items which I think you will love!

 Enjoy your weekend :)

5 Simple Steps to Finding that Great Bottle of Wine…

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Happy Friday everyone!  We have relatives visiting us this weekend and we are planning to do some fine dining at home (chicken breast wrapped in turkey bacon….so fingers crossed!).  Fine dining usually comes with fine wine so I thought I should share some simple wine tasting tips that I have learned with you…

You like to drink wine but not sure if you know what you’re doing when presented with a bottle to sample the wine before your entrée?  I have that problem 99% of the time because I can’t tell if I’m drinking the best wine but I sure know if the wine is bad.  A couple years ago, hubby and I met up with an old friend of his, Pasquale, visiting from Italy.  Pasquale happens to be a Sommelier and while dining out I asked him how to sample wine.  He graciously offered his 5 simple steps to find that great bottle of wine whether you are dining out or just plain wine tasting.

Acidity:  Does the wine make you pucker?  If yes, it’s high in acid.

Tannins:  Does the wine dry out your mouth?  It’s probably high in tannins.

Alcohol:  Does the wine warm up your mouth?  It may be high in alcohol.

Body:  Does the wine linger on your tongue?  If so, it’s full-bodied.

Aromas & Flavor:  Does the wine’s smell or taste remind you of a flower, food or anything else?

What does “body” in Wine mean?  As a general rule of thumb, the more alcohol in a wine, the more body it will have.  Wines made of grapes with higher sugar content (more sugar to convert to alcohol) have more body.

Why do some wines have an ‘oak’ flavor?  Oak barrels used in wine making develop a toasty, caramel or vanilla flavor from being fire-charred.  The barrels can be toasted depending on the winemaker’s preference.  Those barrels can hold wine while it ferments or while it ages.

Well, we can’t all be Master Sommeliers like Pasquale but now we can at least know how to choose a wine that will appeal to our personal preference.  Visiting a wine shop is a wonderful way to experience different wines served with some great advice.  Specialty wine shops usually focus on small-production wines but some of the best wines come from these vintners.  Another great place is finding a great neighborhood wine hub with a knowledgeable staff is the best place to experience new wines

Once you have mastered on how to find that great bottle you can visit and order some fantastic wines from the online wine makers.  Earlier this year, I received a NakedWines gift certificate from LeTote.  I didn’t know you can order wines online so I ordered the beginner’s package and then some more.   Although each selection was limited it sparked my interest to start looking for other online winemakers that carry luxury and super premium wine but at lower prices.

While doing the research I stumbled upon Quilceda Creek ,   Leonetti Cellar, and  JJBuckley and other sites.   I was really impressed with JJBuckley’s Wine Wizard.  They can guide you with the best wine selection based on your wine knowledge and your food pairing preference.  With the anticipation of the visit I decided to do a virtual wine tasting on JJBUckley’s wine wizard.  Based on my personal preference  in terms of price and food pairing, they recommended the 2008 Langmeil Winerey Shiraz Orphan Bank & 2009 Turkey flat vineyards Shiraz.  So we will see how well these wine pair with the entree!  Do you have other online wine tasting makers that you can recommend?  Cheers and have a fabulous weekend!

Date Night Style Series: Killer Pumps

 

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 Blouse: Elie Tahari (old, similar style) | Denim: Rockstar by Old Navy (DIY Fray Denim) | Heels: Steve Madden | Bag: Prada | Cuff: Noir (old, similar style) | Lipstick: YSL #12

Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to the Date Night Style series! Each week I select an item from my closet and style it for that special day or night.  This item can be old or new, trendy or classic.  Either way the goal is to transform the piece to a date night or day date look.

If I can’t make up my mind with what to wear for a date night then I always look for a pair of statement killer pumps and then dress accordingly.  These Valentino inspired rock stud pumps from Steve Madden fit the bill for my recent date night with hubby.  First and foremost, these killer pumps are THE most comfortable high heel shoes EVER!  I have wide feet and these 4″ heels with cushion sole fit my feet comfortably.  I wore these heels again last night and walked in them for at least half an hour nonstop and had no blisters or even a scratch of any pain on my feet.

I love the fact that these pumps are affordable (cost 90% less than Valentino) and versatile and that I can pair them with a dress, suits, shorts or denim like these fray jeans shown in these pictures ( more info on how to get these fray denim look for less so stay tuned!).  Do you usually pick a pair of killer pumps first before the outfit when prepping for a date night?

P.S. I also LOVE these in silver and neon combo!  Remember these killer pumps run a bit small so order 1/2 a size up.  I usually do for all my Steve Madden purchases.

Link with these fabulous ladies:

Mix and Match Fashion, Tres-Fashion Thursday Link Up , Fashion Informant , What Wives WearTreat Yo’ Self Thursday and Fashion Friday.

Site to Watch: Visible Interest

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I get giddy whenever I discover a new site, especially a site that is unique and different.  So I’m really excited to share Visible Interest with you!  Visible Interest specializes in sleek modern jewelry from vetted independent designers in an easy-to-shop layout (think of it as a highly curated Etsy).  Most of the offerings are handcrafted here in the USA.  If you love one of a kind pieces or limited edition pieces that you cannot find anywhere else then Visible Interest is THE place for you.  Don’t believe me?  Take a peek at these gorgeous one of a kind unique pieces that I rounded up for you!  Or, you can check out their entire collection here.

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Thank you Visible Interest for introducing me to your site!

 

Beauty Buzz: Beauty Finds That Changed My Life

I’m saddened to learn the news about Robin Williams.  I will always remember him as Mork.  RIP Robin.  Now on to today’s post.

Each week, I co-host the Beauty Buzz link up with Alison from Sassy Moms in the City, Nicole from Mom Trends, and Jo-Lynne from Musings of a Housewife. Alison is hosting this week’s Beauty Buzz link up so head over to Sassy Moms in the City and link up your beauty post!  We also host monthly beauty products giveaway from our favorite products.  This month we are giving away the Phyto Intense Volume Mousse gift certificates from Skin1 to 5 winners!

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This week I’m sharing my latest beauty finds that changed my life!  I love reviewing new products but I’m very loyal to any products once I know they work for me.  Recently I came across YSL Touche Eclat & Makeup Forever HD Foundation while window shopping at Sephora.  Actually, I went to Saks to purchase my beloved foundation, Giorgio Armani Luminous Foundation but stopping at Sephora first to check out some beauty products.  I spotted Makeup Forever and YSL while browsing through the store.  I read a lot of great reviews about Make Up Forever HD Foundation and have been wanting to try this product but I really really love my GA foundation.  Since I was in the market to buy a new bottle why not give it a try?  Just like most of the reviews out there, the foundation is very light and it has great coverage.  It’s also a lot cheaper than GA.  I’ve been using this foundation for a couple weeks now and I’m really loving it.

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The Touche Eclat has been on my list of items to try for a while.  I’m not a concealer girl even though I really should be using them.  I have dark puffy circles under my eyes (big time) but a lot of concealers that I had tried in the past did nothing for them.  In fact, the coverage was so thick that it made my lines more visible than not wearing any concealer so I decided not to even try to use it.  The Touche Eclat concealer has a cult following in the beauty community because it’s like a magic wand that can make dark circles under eyes disappear.  Well, guess what?  I’m part of that cult now!!!  It literally melts on your skin and diminishes lines.  This is by far the best concealer I have ever used.   And yes, it’s quite expensive but oh so worth it!

Shop the post below:

Matchy Matchy…

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Blazer:  ASOS |Shorts: ASOS | Top: Forever21 (old, similar style) | Heels: Brian Atwood (old, similar style) | Clutch: DIY leather clutch (similar style) | Cuff: Rivka Friedman (similar style)

Happy Monday everyone!  I’m not a big fan of matchy matchy outfits when it comes to casual dressing even though I’m a huge fan in match matchy business suits.  When I spotted this lace pastel matching outfit I did a double take and pondered if I should order them.  I was in love with the color first but I couldn’t resist the fact the the bottom was not a skirt but shorts.

When the items arrived I did not expect them to be better in person.  The pictures do not do its justice. The material is just exquisite with organza lace over light cotton blend. I don’t know how to describe it but the material looks and feels expensive.  It was the perfect outfit to wear for Preschool visits during the selection process.  The shorts offered comfort while the light jacket kept me warm inside the full blown A/C facilities.  Do you like to dress in matchy matchy outfits?  I hear that they are this season’s biggest hits.  What do you think?

I’m linking with these fabulous ladies: Visible Monday,Monday Mingle,DC Instyle, Manic Monday with On the Daily Express and More Pieces of Me and How I Summer ,Style to Inspire, Tuesday PrettiesTrend Spin Linkup,  Stylish Tuesday and #AllAboutYou, .