Black: Tour Through Blogland

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Blazer: Altuzurra for Target | Top: Vintage Lace  (similar style)| Bottom: BCBGMaxAzria Leather Pants (old, similar style) | Shoes: Miu Miu (similar style from Steve Madden) | Clutch: Neiman Marcus 30% off| Earrings: Tarina Tarantino (old, similar style) | Bracelet: Forever21 | Sunnies: Target | Lipstick: Stila ‘Fiery’

Happy Monday everyone!

Last week I was nominated by Caryl at Thirty Something Fashion as one of her 3 favorite fashionistas to follow on Instagram for her Tour Through Blogland feature.  I was really flattered because I’ve been admiring Caryl’s style for quite some time now.  I met her through her weekly Monday Mingle link up and it wasn’t just her pretty face that I took notice but her fabulous style as well.  Not only is she a busy mom but also a personal stylist/consultant.  So, if you think you need some fashion advice she’s a great source to go to.  FOLLOW HER INSTAGRAM HERE!  For this fun game I was asked to nominate my 3 favorite Instagram fashionistas and answer 4 questions.  There are so many to choose and some of my favorite fashionistas are not on Instagram yet!!!

1. What am I working on?

I’m currently working on balancing my full-time job, spending more time with my kids/hubby, carve out time for my friends and maintaining the blog without losing much sleep.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I don’t think I’m unique in any way.  I know a lot of bloggers who work full-time during the day and blog at night as well as bloggers who are full time moms during the day and blogging at night.  I think we all share the same common interest and passion—blogging about things we love and sharing with the world.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I love fashion ever since I was a kid.  I’m cursed with an expensive taste so I tend to buy items that look expensive but affordable and also do a lot of bargain hunting.  I love sharing my finds with my family and friends and also with my readers!  I believe every woman have the ability to look and feel fabulous no matter their age or status without spending a lot of money.

4. How does my writing/creative process work?

I write with my heart and not with my head, which gets me in trouble a lot.  I work on a week’s posts the weekend before, usually after 9pm when the boys are in bed, by storm writing.  I then edit the posts the night before they go live.   I love doing my outfit posts but they are probably the most time consuming of all.  Although it takes me less than 10 minutes to get dressed and out the door, there are many more steps involved in completing a post.  This includes snapping the photos, which usually takes 5 minutes the most.  We don’t waste time when it comes to photo shoot because we both have to watch the twins while snapping away.  Their safety is more important than anything.  Once the pictures are taken I spend roughly 20 minutes using Lightroom to delete photos I can’t use and keep only 4 to 6 for editing.  I only know how to lighten or darken the pictures as well as adding colors if needed and that’s it!  So I rely a lot on natural lighting.  If you are a pro at using Lightroom please contact me because I can use some advice on using other features!!!

Here are my 3 favorite Instagram fashionistas!

1. April from Knocked Up Fabulous

Hey there!  I’m April from Knocked Up Fabulous!!  I started fashion blogging as a way to motivate myself to get dressed while I was pregnant with my second kid.  I had such an out-of-body experience with my first…and I didn’t want to see myself ending up in my husband’s sweatpants and t-shirts again.  Though I’m not knocked up any more, I still enjoy showcasing my work and “momiform” outfits.  I love incorporating vintage pieces with current trends, wearing a bold colored lipstick, and helping other moms get out of their style ruts.

April

I absolutely love April’s style.  She’s gorgeous and has an amazing talent in mixing vintage pieces with current trends.   I’m constantly inspired by her.  FOLLOW HER INSTAGRAM HERE!

2. Rhea from Rhea Etcetera

My name is Rhea and I blog over at RheaEtcetera.com. I am a marketing professional by day, and I fashion blogger anytime I can squeeze in between. I am married to my best friend/favorite guy and we have a two-year-old Shih Tzu and Yorkie mix named Mochi. Outside from blogging, I spend my free time exploring Los Angeles where my husband and I live… from hiking the mountains, hanging out at the beach, trying out different kinds of food, visiting parks, museums, and checking out various LA events. I enjoy shopping and putting clothes together and seeing how they come together in harmony. What started out as #ootd posts and sharing my bargain finds on Instagram evolved to what is now my blog, and I love it so. Aside from sharing my personal style, what I love best about blogging is meeting and making blog friends and being inspired by their individual style.

Rhea

Rhea is such a girly girl.  I can always rely on Rhea for my daily dose of outfit inspirations.  If you’re a working girl and need some work-inspired outfits Rhea is your go-to girl! FOLLOW HER INSTAGRAM HERE!

3. Lulu from Simply Lulu Style

I always had an eye for fashion (Seventeen was a regular reading source).  Through school and college I decided to go a safe route.  After getting married, having the nuggets (boy/girl twins), I wanted to have an escape for my creative side.  Simply Lulu Style grew out of originally wanting to showcase some jewelry collections I had created.  I found I liked the fashion more than creating the jewelry!  My hope is to help other woman through all stages, the young professional woman, ladies just married, pregnant woman, and moms to look and FEEL beautiful.

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Lulu is also a working mom of twins.  She has impeccable taste in clothing and home decor.  Every outfit post is closely edited and well put-together.  I want to raid her closet!   FOLLOW HER INSTAGRAM HERE!

Linking with these fabulous ladies this week

Manic Monday with On the Daily Express and More Pieces of Me |Monday MingleStyle to InspireHow I Fall|DC InstyleAll About YouReal Mom Street StyleThe Pleated Poppy |  Mix and Match FashionTres-Fashion Thursday Link Up | Spotlight Link Up WeekdayThree-fer Thursday LinkFashion InformantFashion Friday|Stylish Saturday | What Wives Wear

Amazingly Chic & Affordable: All Under $100

Happy Friday everyone!

This week’s Amazingly Chic & Affordable items all under $100..

Have a fabulous weekend.  Until next week, I will see you on the blog!

A New Smile to Boost Your Self Confidence

Invisalign compare to braces

If you’ve been following my blog then you know that one of my constant obsessions is my teeth.  I take pride in maintaining the health of my teeth because I believe your confidence shines through when you are comfortable with your smile.  I have never had braces even though I needed them.  My parents were not able to afford braces for me & my siblings.  After the tooth fairy took away all my baby teeth, crooked ones started making appearances, which I carried for a very long time.  Once I was able to afford braces my Orthodontist told me they were unnecessary and a customized retainer would do the trick.

Getting my teeth straightened was the 2nd best lifelong investment on my personal self.  The first was getting lasik done on my eyes when I was nearly going blind.  With clearer vision and mostly straightened healthy teeth I was unstoppable.  It gave me so much confidence that I felt like I could do anything in the world.  I co-founded a software company and also opened a boutique.

Do you think your smile is holding you back?  Did you know Invisalign® is a discreet alternative to braces that allows you to perfect your smile without sacrificing your busy life? One of the key benefits of Invisalign® clear aligners is that it can discreetly straighten teeth while providing the confidence of a great smile from the first day of treatment.  Invisalign® is a series of virtually invisible, removable aligners made of lightweight plastic that gradually move teeth over time.  The benefits include no food restrictions, ability to easily maitain healthy dental brushing habits, and the freedom to smile without most people knowing you are in treatment.  You can visit the Invisalign® website for more information about the clear alternative to braces.

Are you ready to get started?  Check out the Invisalign® Countdown to Confidence Sweepstakes, which is awarding one winner $100 each day for 60 days plus a chance to win the grand prize: free Invisalign® treatment and $1,000!  Enter daily to increase your chances of winning!

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Disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post.  However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Decor Inspiration: Bedroom + Blanket Giveaway ($170 ARP)

BedroomSource

The bedroom above is my dream master bedroom…well pretty close to it.  Our current master bedroom is half this size and given that our wooden bed is less than 3 years old it is not due for a Cleo Bed replacement anytime soon.  But hey, a girl can dream because dreaming is free and sometimes dreams do come true.  Until that happens, I do my best in making our bedroom relaxing and cozy.  It is still a work in progress.  Here’s how our current bedroom looks.

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Although it is far from my dream bedroom it is a sanctuary I look forward to every night for relaxing and cuddling with hubby.  I did my best to decorate the bed and its surroundings by adding accents like pillows and more recently, the Softest Blanket Ever from Baby Jak.  I have not heard of Baby Jak until a few weeks ago and decided to do a review and offer my opinion about their product.  Wow, they are the softest blanket. EVER!  This blanket is versatile and stylish.  Not only have we’ve been using this blanket in the bedroom but also in the family room whenever we have movie nights.  The boys can’t get enough of it because of its warmth and softness.

And we have one just for you because Baby Jak is generously giving away $170 worth of Softest Blanket Ever.  All you need to do is visit here and comment which Softest Blanket Ever you would like to win.  Entries open to U.S only and end 10/24!  You can also purchase the blanket with a discount code “heels” for 25% off.

BabyJak SBE

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Although I was given the Softest Blanket Ever from Baby Jak in exchange for a review plus a giveaway, all opinions are my own.

Beauty Buzz: Bee Panacea

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Have you heard of Bee Panacea?  Not me…until now.  Apparently, Bee Panacea is a quantum longevity formula, in the natural orgnaic raw for, never processed, pasteurized, or mechanically modified. Believe me I turned down A LOT of edible items for review because they were not organic primarily.  However, with Virgin Raw Foods, I said yes after they educated me about their Bee Panacea product.  It’s organic, raw, no preservatives and non-GMO.  It is also gluten free, soy free, diary free and nut free.  Enuf said..send me the goods!

So what is Bee Panacea?  In plain English “it’s a superfood dietary supplement”.  This dietary supplement is a blend of bee honey, pollen, super-foods such as spirulina and chlorella and macs root, and Chinese herbs such as goji berries as well as reishi (a form of mushrooms). The concoction can create glowing skin, strengthening the immune system and detoxifying the body.  I’ve been ingesting this 1 tsp a day for the past couple weeks and here’s my take on it:

The Product:

Bee Panacea

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The Claim:

Bee Panacea has been created with the intention of supporting the body in the process of removal yeast, candida (fungus), mucus, toxins and heavy metals – main contributors of any inflammation.  In depth, here’s what it claims to do:

  • Increased mental clarity, focus, and energy levels
  • Provides lasting strength and stamina throughout day
  • Contains essential adaptogenic herbs for the bod to improve stamina
  • Detoxifies body and optimizes digestion
  • May improve vitals such as hair, eyes, and skin

Mama’s Take:

Please be warn that even though the Bee Panacea tastes like dark chocolate it may be too potent for you because it contains Chinese herbs that may not be familiar to your taste buds.  For me I LOVE dark chocolate and since I grew up with lots and lots of Chinese herbs, ingesting Bee Pancea for me was not an issue at all.  I didn’t mix the paste with tea or other juices.  Instead I took it straight from the jar with a spoon!

Since I have only been taken this for a little over 2 weeks I can’t really be certain that this product has improved my vision, skin or hair.  I probably need to ingest more than 2 weeks to attest to that.  But, I can tell you that after ingesting 1 tsp of Bee Panacea after a sleepless night (twins woke up a few times in different times last week) incident I was full of energy and was able to function and perform my daily routines.  This actually happened twice in 2 weeks and I was pretty convinced that Bee Panacea came through for me.  I can see why this is Victoria Beckham’s new thing…she’s a busy mom too!

Let’s talk about price.  Yes, it’s a bit steep…2.5 oz ($29.95), 5 oz ($45.95) and 10 oz ($69.95) and we don’t have deep pockets like VB but why not give it a try?.  After all, where else can you get raw honey plus 20 superfoods in just 1 little teaspoon that can boost your energy?

Disclosure:  Although I was given products to review from Virgin Raw Foods, all opinions are my own.

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Now it’s time to link up your beauty posts with Beauty Buzz Link Up.  Each week I co-host with Jo-Lynne of Musings of A Housewife, Alison of Sassy Moms in the City and Kristin of Mom Trends for some more beauty tips and tricks! Alison is hosting this week’s link up so head on over to Sassy Moms in the City  and link up your beauty posts.  Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win $90 worth of L’Oreal Paris products!!!

Simple and Easy

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Blazer: Altuzarra for Target | Top: leather box top via TJMaxx (old, similar style) | Bottom: 7FAMK | Shoes: Topshop | Bag: Bottega Veneta (similar style at Gap) | Necklace: JCrew (old, similar style @ 50% Off) | Watch: Kate Spade

Happy Columbus Day everyone!

Now this is my kind of outfit – simple and easily worn for day or a casual evening out.  This blazer is the second item from Altuzarra for Target that I purchased online during the launch.  Target (stores only) just marked down their Altuzarra items over the weekend so go and check them out if you want to snatch up some bargains.  I bought 3 more items (will share with you soon) for less than $80…a steal!

You can swap out the jeans for a pencil skirt or high waisted trouser as the options are endless. This is the type of outfit that I don’t think about once I’ve slipped on because I know I look my best and that in turn I feel my best.

Linking with these fabulous ladies this week

Manic Monday with On the Daily Express and More Pieces of Me |Monday MingleStyle to InspireHow I Fall|All About YouReal Mom Street StyleThe Pleated Poppy |  Mix and Match FashionTres-Fashion Thursday Link Up | Spotlight Link Up WeekdayThree-fer Thursday LinkFashion InformantFashion Friday|Stylish Saturday | What Wives Wear

Amazingly Chic & Affordable: All Under $100

Happy Friday 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 under $100 for fall, which I think you will love as much as I do!

ACA All Under $100

Leopard iPad Case ($35) | Over-the-Knee Leather Boots ($79) | Jewelry Holder ($29) | Tweed Jacket ($83) | Weekender ($99) | Skinny Jeans ($88) | Mirrored Glass Trays ($89) | Leopard Knit Sweater ($24.95) | Fedora ($38)

Have a fabulous & safe weekend.  Until next week, I’ll see you on the blog!

Outdoor Maternity Fashion Essentials For 2014

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It’s odd to see that many maternity brands assume that pregnant women want to become matronly beings who abandon all their fashion sense for the 9 months of their lives.  While it used to be the case before, it’s evident that times are changing.

Whether you’re currently enjoying a well-dressed baby bump, or soon expecting, 2014 outdoor maternity trends are going to leave  you totally inspired.

With the latest fashion essentials, you won’t just feel good about yourself – you’ll be able to turn heads as you walk down the street on a casual day.  It’s not only possible but preferable to stay true to your style.  Here are the trend outdoor maternity fashion essentials:

Block Colors and maxi outfits

Simple color blocks instead of busy prints are appropriate for streamlining your figure while adding height to it.  Dark, solid color tops will be suitable in the upcoming fall season, and they can also be complementated by bright jewlery or scarves.

No matter what trimester you are in, maxi outfits are a great option to wear outdoors for a stylish pregnancy.  Choose full-length or short-hemmed dresses (simply add a jacket for a chic look if you don’t want to give away the arms).  You can complement maxis with heels or flats and enjoy the comfort while walking down the street.

A long black lycra tank top can also work well as a layering piece.  These tops are chic on their own and allow the wearer to add jackets and cropped sweaters.  A perfect slimming soil for a voluminous outlook can be achieved by adding black leggings.

Bottoms

When you start feeling globbiest in your jeans outside, it’s time to replace them with a blank knit pencil skirts.  These skirts can be pulled up over the bump and you can also tie a shirt over it.  It could be a tee tied in a knot with a blazer over top, or even a crop top.  It would make you feel pulled together and pretty at the same time.

Aside from skirts, pregnancy tights can add a style statement to the rest of your outfit.  Such tights are available in different styles and colors and they allow true gradient compression for moms-to-be.  True gradient compression has the added benefit of energizing tired feet and legs, while the design overall is fashionable for everyday wear.

If you love wearing denim, opt for dark denims that are a comfortable fit.  Pair them up with boots or heels of slip on ballet flats.  You may also throw in a black jersey bias-cut dress; it is comfy and au courant.

Accessories

Scarves are the ultimate choice for the fall season.  During the first trimester, they can camouflage a bulging belly.  For the second and third, drapey choices will deliver a stumpy shilhouette.  A silky scarf will add verticality and look extra cool.  A colorful fringed one would add a touch of daring to your overall look.

Belts are also a trending choice when it comes to accessories; apart from being decorative, they add a functional style element that deliveres the illusion of a waistline.  A flashy belt just below the waist will draw attention away from areas that you may not be fond of.  A stretchy belt below the bra line would help in creating an empire waist.

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.

Inspiration: Sarah Jessica Parker’s Townhouse

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This Greenwich Village townhouse owned by Sarah Jessica Parker and husband Matthew Broderick is currently on the market for $22 million.  With more than 6500 sq ft over an expanse of five floors, this gorgeous home offers five bedrooms and seven working fireplaces.  You can view the entire listing at Douglas Elliman.  The last time I saw Jessica inside this place (and I’m very certain it was the same place) was here.  The ping pong table is removed but it’s the same townhouse!!!

Anyhow, ping pong table or not can you imagine yourself living here?  I can…let me check my wallet…ooh I have only $22 dollars in cash so I will have to win the lotto!  This couple has great taste (well, maybe with a little help from a designer?).  Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed browsing through every room, especially the kid’s bedroom with the teepee tent.  That alone inspired me to put one in my kids’ room!  Here are some of my favorite decor inside the townhouse and I hope you will enjoy them as much as I have…

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 Image Sources

Beauty Buzz: Uma Oils Review

Happy Tuesday everyone!

For this week’s Beauty Buzz I’d like to share my review on Uma Oils.  Uma is a line of 100% natural & organic luxury skincare and wellsness oils, that are grown, extracted, formulated and bottled entirely at a lush family estate in India.  Handcrafted in small batches, Uma oils harvest the deepest Ayurveda and Aromatherapy secrets to deliver lifelong, lasting beauty.

I’ve heard of face oils before and have always been curious about this new type of skincare.  As risky as I am I have not had the courage to try them.  Whenever I hear the term face oils I think of greasy acne buildup.  I have extremely sensitive skin so I’m a bit wary when it comes to face oils.    My under eye area has a tendency to acquire milia when in contact with heavy grease or oils.  When Uma Oils contacted me to do a review I had to do some thorough research about face oils before committing anything.   The fact that their products are 100% natural and organic really changed my mind.  I’ve been using their Anti-Aging face oil for the past 2 and a half weeks and here’s my take on this product.

The Product:

Absolute Anti Aging Face Oil

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The Claim:

This transformational anti-aging oil was expertly developed to be the most potent, luxurious and all-natural solution to turning back the hands of time. Created to rapidly absorb, slow the skin-aging process and alleviate fine lines and age spots, it dramatically improves brightness and complexion.

Mama’s Take:

First off, I love the bottle and the teal velvet bag that it came with…so pretty and elegant.  The oils look and feel like essential oils but not has heavy and potent.  The scent also smells like essential oils but it dissipates within 5 minutes after the application.   Although it is oil based the oils are light and not greasy at all.

It’s been a little over 2 weeks and I’m really impressed.  I thought my face would breakout…NOPE.  I thought my under eye area would accumulate milias…NOPE.  I thought my face would look like a grease pan….NOPE.  Instead, my skin feels more plumped and it actually radiates (at least I think it does!).  My night time beauty regime now includes applying the oil before my anti-aging creams (vitamin c, skinauthority night cream & enza glycolic serum).  I learned that by applying the oil before your anti-aging cream can trick your skin into letting active ingredients from your anti-aging cream get deeper into the skin and closer to the collagen-producing fibroblasts, all without irritating the surface.  Hence, you get that hydrating plump look on your face.

Okay, let’s talk about the price.  It costs $175 for 1 oz…yes it’s a bit steep but this stuff is really really good on your skin.  I recently started to add 1 drop of this oil and mix with my foundation for that dewy look.  This Uma Anti-Aging Face Oil changed my perspective about face oils and is definitely on my list of items to stock up!!!

Disclosure:  Although I was given products from Uma Oils to review, all opinions are my own.

Beauty_BUZZ_NEW-1Now it’s time to link up your beauty posts with Beauty Buzz Link Up.  Each week I co-host with Jo-Lynne of Musings of A Housewife, Alison of Sassy Moms in the City and Kristin of Mom Trends for some more beauty tips and tricks! Kristin is hosting this week’s link up so head on over to  Mom Trends and link up your beauty posts.  Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win $90 worth of L’Oreal Paris products!!!