Bangle Mania - Fun Bracelets!

I feel like bangles are the bracelet that never goes out of style.  Sure, the material or color may change, but the bangles are still there.

Designers have emerged to make bangles for every occasion.  Whether it's a causal piece to pair with a t-shirt or a glamorous bangle to pair with a cocktail dress - you can't go wrong with the bangle bracelet!

I love Nadri for affordable dressy jewelry.  They have some great pieces that you would never guess are not the real thing.  One of my favorite pieces from their current line are these micro pave bangles. They come in some great shades and look gorgeous with just one or layered with a few.

Nadri Micro Pave Bangle, $98

Another brand for great fashion jewelry?  Alexis Bittar.  As I've mentioned before, he has made some ethereal pieces that are simple, gorgeous, and versatile.  The bangle is one of his most popular items and I'm in love with the pastel color palette out right now. 

Alexis Bittar Dust Bangle, $100

And of course, how can you pass up the enamel bangle?  These classic and bold pieces are great for the work day or to spruce up any outfit.  Brands like Kate Spade and Coach have emerged with these over the past few seasons and they have flown off the shelves.  

Kate Spade 'Idiom' Bangle, $88

So many hard to choose!  Good thing the more the better :) 

XOXO, Allison

Colorful Handbags- A Summer Must!

During the summer - anything goes!  So when it comes to color we tend to go all out.  The accessory that is easiest to change up is your purse so it's no wonder that designers emerge with bright and bold pieces this time of year.  I have to admit that I'm a sucker for these bags, and there are a few brands I always turn to when I want to change it up.

One of my favorite brands for sophistication and color is Kate Spade.  The brand takes simple silhouettes and makes them stand out by providing bright and bold colors or patterns that are extremely unique.  I'm a big fan of this leather Anisha.  If you like green - this is the season for you.  It has emerged as the palette for almost every designer.  This bag still overs a structured silhouette but the color makes it instantly fun.

Kate Spade Chrystie Street Large Anisha, $445

Another brand that offers a great collection of bright and fun handbags is Tory Burch.  Almost every girl loves the satchel bag - and the current Robinson collection offers a piece that is available in a gorgeous yellow.  Still versatile, still spacious, but fun!  

Tory Burch Robinson Satchel, $550

And of course, who could leave out Marc by Marc Jacobs when it comes to color?  If you are looking for a certain color - turn to this brand.  It's youthful and fun while still providing practical and functional bags.  I love this teal color - magnifique!  

Classic Q Hillier Hobo in Reef Blue, $398

How can you say no to color?  It's cheerful, it's beautiful - and it will get noticed!  

XOXO, Allison

Flowerbomb - it's the BOMB!

I apologize for the cheesy title, but if you're looking for a scent that's soft, girly, and perfect for every day you must check out Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb.  It's definitely not cheap, but as with most perfumes - a little bit goes a long way.

Flowerbomb is definitely a girly, floral scent but it also has a moderness to it.  Personally, I feel pretty when I wear it - dainty if you will.  It's the perfect combination of jasmine, rose, and orchid to keep people "smelling" you all day!

Flowerbomb, $25-$150

Still not sure?  No problem!  One of my new favorite trends is the rollerball fragrance.  This purse-size piece is perfect for the girl on the go or to sample a fragrance you're still not sure about.  For only $25 you still get the great scent without breaking the bank!  It's great for the indecisive girl who likes to mix up her scents.  

XOXO, Allison

Buying an Investment Bag - Rules and Guidelines

Recently a friend came to me with lots of excitement - after doing so well in her job she had gotten the okay from her husband to buy the purse of her dreams!  As we can began discussing her wants and needs I realized how important it is for girls to know what a good "investment" purchase is vs. a bad one.

Trust me, it's not that the bag is a bad purchase, but sometimes when we see a popular look on a celebrity that we are dying to get we forget that tomorrow they will probably be carrying a new bag and you'll be stuck with the Pink Mulberry bag you had to have.  Unlike celebrities, most of us are on a budget and therefore when we go to buy an expensive purse it's important that we are happy with it on down the road.

Now here is something that you may not want to hear - and trust me, I've been a victim of this.  In college I really wanted a Louis Vuitton bag.  I definitely don't think I wanted it because I thought it was the nicest bag in the world; I wanted it because it was a status symbol.  So my boyfriend at the time shelled out the $1000 to get me this bag for my birthday.  Now I will say that I did choose a bag that was functional and spacious (the batignalles vertical as shown below) but what I didn't consider at the time was what I was paying for.

You see, even though the canvas is a durable material it is not leather.  The straps and the edges are in leather but the purse is not.  Therefore, you are paying a lot for the brand, and not as much for the material.

These days I tend to be a leather person - I love the feel of leather.  However, beware of soft, buttery, caviar leathers.  They feel wonderful, but are terribly difficult to care for.  Brands like Chanel excel in this leather (which is part of the huge price tag) but this leather wears much more quickly.  You are much better off to go for a pebbled or grained leather.  Although you may not like the look and feel as much, it will be much more durable.

Additionally, you have to consider color.  Now I don't just say this because I think you will run out and buy a blue or a pink bag.  If you think you'll be happy with that in a few years than go for it!  However, what I do warn you of are the gorgeous lighter shades of white, ivory, and browns.  As gorgeous as they are they show every move you make.  So if you travel a lot, or wear dark denim, or tend to be a little hard on your items go for a darker shade.  I was so disappointed when I purchased this Botkier Bianca bag several years ago in Ivory.  I hadn't even carried it for a few hours before my denim started to show blue streaks on the ivory leather.  Sure, it was in a location that was not visible, but after making the large purchase it was extremely disappointing!

Lastly - opt for functionality and styles you enjoy carrying currently.  If you see a satchel bag you love but know that you hate carrying things on your wrist - don't buy it!  Even though it looks great, you will be disappointed!  This happened to me with a Marc by Marc Jacobs satchel I had been eyeing for some time.  When it went on sale I knew that it had to be mine!  However, after carrying it for a week I was annoyed.  The satchel straps were not adjustable and I couldn't carry it on my shoulder at all.  It even had a crossbody strap but I couldn't adjust it to fit perfectly.  I ended up selling it on ebay about a month after purchasing it...

So there you have it - look for functionality, durability, and the price.  You want to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck - and I have to tell you that with some higher end brands (like Chanel, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton) that will not be the case.  If you want a classic bag you will be happy with for years to come look into Chloe, Prada, Mulberry and Miu Miu.  These are brands that have intricate, modern leather craftsmanship for about 1/2 the price that you would pay for similar styles on the other brands.  Here are a few of my favorites from these lines: 

Chloe Marcie Leather Satchel, $1595

Miu Miu Matelasse, $1695

Mulberry Alexa, $1150 

Start saving ladies - you won't be sorry!  

XOXO, Allison

SIWY Denim - The Latest in High End Denim

Once you get past the name (SIWY is the last name of brand designer Michelle Siwy) and start looking at the pieces, you can tell that SIWY denim has joined the elite in denim brands by providing fashion forward vintage inspired looks that are flattering to every figure.  The brand is favorite of celebrities like Kate Moss, Rachel Bilson, and Emily Blunt.

From unique washes, to verstaile styles this brand is for everyone.  Whether you're looking for a pair of colored cut off shorts or dark rinse bell bottoms SIWY has it.  Here are some of the styles that everyone is raving about!

Camilla Cut Off Shorts, $152

Alice Boyfriend Jeans, $198

Ramona Bell Bottom Jeans, $196

Valentine Cargo Pants, $229

As we all know, a great pair of jeans can take your whole look up a notch - and I think this is a brand that does just that.  Now to choose which style to go with...

XOXO, Allison

My New Favorite Beauty Brand - Fresh

I've realized that when you move to a new location by yourself, close to a mall, and some free weekends - you go to the mall a lot.  Although a few of my favorite stores are missing, there is a Sephora - and I have quickly become a frequent customer in the shop.

Sephora is one of those stores that I could spend hours in.  There are always new and innovative products that promise to make you look more gorgeous, have healthier, ageless skin, or smell delicious.  However, I've learned over the years to not buy into the hype right away!  That's why for years I have been ignoring Fresh.  To me it appeared to be an expensive product that I hadn't heard much about.

However, recently I was in need of a new lip treatment and my favorite Sephora saleperson, Daphne, recommended the brand.  I decided to give it a try - and was instantly hooked.  My first purrchase was the Fresh Brown Sugar Lip Polish.  It actually contains brown sugar crystals that are great for buffing and exfoliating the lips.  You apply a small amount to lips, leave it on for a few minutes, and then rinse it off.  Can I just say - WOW?  Umm, my lips were extremely soft - it was like I had brand new lips!  Plus the scent is this amazing sweet lemon scent that smells...well, fresh.  I was instantly hooked...

$22.50, Sephora

My next purchase in the Fresh family was the Sugar Lip Treatment.  The treatment contains real sugar and moisturizes and soothes lips to make them irresistibly soft.  Seriously, I want to buy one of these for every place I could possibly go.  One for my purse, one for my office, one by my bed - you get the drift. This is not "chapstick" and it's not slimy.  It goes on dry and soothes lips for hours - it's amazing.  

$22.50, Sephora

Recently, I purchased the gift set that includes the Brown Sugar Body Polish, the Lip Treatment, and the Brown Sugar Fragrance - and it was well worth it!  For $45 you get 3 amazing products!  The body polish is fabulous and can be used in the shower.  It's a great exfoliant, and I've noticed that my legs feel so much smoother.  The fragrance is surprisingly wonderful - it's a scent that you can wear all day wherever you go without feeling like you have perfume on.  

Fresh Sugar Lover Gift Set, Sephora

Basically, I'm hooked on this brand and I can't wait to try more of their products.  Because of the "organic" nature of the brand - the products are amazing quality and the scents are natural.  It's not an enhanced brand and that's what I love about it - I don't have to worry about staining a towel because it has bleach in it or giving my family a headache due to the scent.  It's definitely a brand worth investing in.  Oh and the best part?  A little bit goes a long make it last!  

Ahh...I love my job as blogger :). 

XOXO, Allison


An April Favorite - Water Repelling Wellies!

April Showers...are here.  And I don't know about you, but I HATE when the bottoms of my pants get soaking wet from the rain.

After moving from a home to an apartment, I forgot how much I would be going in and out letting my 2 boys Snickers and Rufus out.  I also didn't realize that Memphis gets a lot of popcorn showers...and of course the area that the dogs love is always flooded.  I basically ruined my UGG slippers from stepping in a huge puddle.  Ugh.  That's why I have been on the search for some Wellies and let me tell you that there are some great pairs out there.  

Now when it comes to a purchase like this, I have to go with function over fashion.  Fortunately, there are some brands that offer both.  I've tried the cutesy ones, and let me tell you - they don't keep all the water out!  Gross!  Nothing worse than trapped, damp feet. 

I have eyeing the Hunter Classic rain boots for quite some time now.  When I lived in Indianapolis, snow boots were a need over rain boots, so I could never justify the purpose.  However...with all of this moisture down south it is getting harder to resist.  

Hunter Classic Tall High Gloss, $125

Now these babies are not cheap - so you better get a lot of use out of them if you decide to purchase.  The boots run $125 and have extras like socks for the colder weather months which range from $30-50.  Like I said, it better be a need!

A few friends have pointed me in the direction of Tretorn.  For about half the price, you get a great boot that is already lined - no needed for the boot socks.  My cousin's favorite attribute of these boots is the optional style with the "converse all star" white sole - allowing you to wear them all day.  

Tretorn Skerry Rubber Rain Boot, $60 

Not a fan of the white "tennis shoe" bottom?  No problem!  Here's something a little more traditional - also from Tretorn.  

Tretorn Kelly Rubber Rain Boot, $65

Still need something with a little extra something.  Well, Kamik offers rain boots in patterns and bright colors as well - for those of you who need a little girly in your rain boot.

Kamik Janis Plum, $48

Now you'll actually forward to the rain when you step out in any of these great boots!  Who wants to jump in puddles? 

XOXO, Allison

Geek Chic - Fashionable Spectacles

In case you haven't noticed, every celebrity under the sun has been opting for some eyewear - even if they have 20/20 vision!  That's right, Hollywood's elite has been sporting the nerdy spectacle trend for several seasons now - and it doesn't show any sign of slowing down.

Anne Hathaway at the Rio premiere

Justin Bieber

Most celebrities are turning to Dita eyewear for these looks - pricey, but fabulous geek chic frames for every occasion.   And I have to admit I'm a big fan of some of their unique looks.  

Dita Corsair, $390

Dita Elan, $375

Dita Royce, $375

So the next time you're up for some new spectacles, go for something that makes you look genius!  Don't worry, your secret is safe with us :) 

XOXO, Allison

Real Life Fashionista Spotlight on Ashley Downey

Ashley Downey is to truly an inspiration - the mom (with number 2 on the way) is a great example of how you don't have to lose your fashion edge just because you have kids.  She still finds time to look fabulous and trendy even with a full time job as an Engineer, a budding business (EK designs), an active toddler, and baby on the way.

Ashley, Miss Evelyn, and Danny

We talked to Ashley to find out how she does it and what advice she has for other mommy fashionistas.

NF: What's your favorite piece of clothing or go to outfit?
AD: Going out? What is going out? Kidding! But with a toddler and one on
the way going out doesn’t happen much. Besides the fact that going out
is no longer in my game plan I can long for those outfits I use to

A must for me is Hudson Jeans. These jeans look
a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y amazing on all body types. I will usually pair my
jeans with a cute halter from Sky. If I am feeling more “hippie”
(which is usually the case) I will dress more low key. I will still
incorporate my Hudson jeans with my “hippie” outfit and I will pair
them with a simple comfy tee (james perse) and have a very dramatic
necklace and bracelet.

I get my fun jewelry from a local boutique
called Yaprak. She hand makes all of her jewelry. One time I walked in
and she matched my outfit on the spot. She pulled other necklaces
apart to make the perfect statement for my outfit. On days I’m not
feeling a simple tee, I will usually wear a fun custom design from
Yaprak. Can you tell that I love her boutique?!

NF: Where do you buy most of your clothes?
AD: Anthropologie, Nordstrom, Yaprak, even Target

NF: What do you look for in clothes, accessories, etc? 
AD: I tend to go towards items that are comfy. I usually make a statement
with a necklace and a purse. In the clothing department I am pretty
basic and love the designs at Anthropologie. Oh, and opposite to most
girls…I do not like heels. I’m already 5’9” so I don’t think I need
those extra inches. I do love my ballet flats and coach tennis shoes!

NF: How would you describe your personal style? 
AD: Comfortable and on-the-go.  I tend to pair neutrals and have a more bohemian style.  

NF: What's your favorite trend right now? 
AD: I love those hippie long skirts.  I'm so glad they came back!  I use to always wear them in high school.  

NF: Who is your fashion inspiration?
AD: Pattie Boyd - Oh how I love the 60s!  

Miss Pattie Boyd 

Thanks, Ashley!  We admire that you haven't given into the temptation of mom jeans, sweatshirts, and sweater vests!  

XOXO, Allison

Dry Shampoo - a FABULOUS find!

I've been reading reviews online for awhile now about dry shampoos and the one consistent comment was that it works greats for brunettes and red heads, but not so well for blondes.  Additionally, people were discussing a white residue that was left behind - gross!  So of course, for the good of the blog, I have researched this product and will now let you decide for yourself!

I tried both the higher end brand and the drugstore brand - and for blondes, it does make a difference.  If you're a lighter brunette or a blonde - you'll want to dish out the extra money.  My personal favorite is the Oscar Blandi Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray.  It honestly felt like my hair had new life.  I just sprayed some at the roots, let it set for 2 minutes, and then combed it out.  It was super easy and fast - making it great for the woman on the go!

5oz bottle, $23

For brunettes and red heads, I have a feeling that you can get away with the drugstore version of TRESemme dry shampoo.  It's only $4.79 and has similar results.  However, I did see some residue after trying this product that looked dandruff-esque.  If you have dry hair with seasonal dandruff - I don't think this is the product for you.

TRESemme, $4.79

My verdict is that it is truly dependent on your hair type and color.  For me, the higher end product works better.  And remember - this isn't for every day use...every once in awhile a shower is needed!  Let's keep this product away from the men in our lives...

XOXO, Allison

High for Tie Dye!

Tie Dye is no longer just for the hippies.  In fact, many brands are coming out with styles that take this 70s trend to the runway.  So here are some of my favorite throw back looks that awake the free and easy lifestyle of the flower child in all of us!

GAP Impressionist Print Tank, $24.95

Patterson J. Kincaid Tie Dye Hampton Tank Dress

Monrow Tie Dye Vintage Shorts

Vince 'Little Boy' Tie Dye Tee

Peace and Love, Peace and Love.  

XOXO, Allison

The Perfect Spring Trench

The up and down temperatures of the spring are here, and nothing looks better than that perfect spring trench.  It's been the accessory of Hollywood's elite, but not all of us can afford to go spend 1k on the perfect Burberry look like Kate Middleton and Kim Kardashian.  However, the great thing about the trench is that you can get the same luxe look for a fraction of the price!

One of my favorites for the Spring 2011 collections is this fabulously chic coat from J.Crew.  The Matinee Trench (also available in Khaki) is a great modern piece that has the classic cut of the trench.  I love the hood for those rainy or windy days, and the belt that allows you to cinch in the middle.  For $158 this piece is a steal and a staple for any closet.  I just picked it up in the khaki and I'm in LOVE!  

Even brands like target are jumping on the trench train!  This Merona water repellent trench is one of my favorites.  For only $49.99 you get a great piece that you can wear season from season!  

And if you've just run into a small fortune, why not go all out and purchase this gorgeous Burberry trench.  It's BANANAS!  

Marystow Double Breasted Trench, $1095

There aren't too many times in the year where I'm excited to wear a jacket...however, I'm kind of hoping those 60s are back so I can sport my new fantastic trench!  

XOXO, Allison

A Perfect Primer from the Least Likely Place...

When my sister-in-law told me to try Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel as a primer, I have to admit I was extremely skeptical.  Perhaps it's the fact that my family is always pulling pranks on each other or the fact that when I think Monistat my mind tends to wander elsewhere.  Either way, I was apprehensive about this product.

I was happy to find that online people were raving about this product as well, making me realize that perhaps it was worth trying.  So on my next trip to Target, I grabbed a tube for $7 and tried it out for a week.  And...the results were pretty surprising...

This product definitely worked just as well as some of my other primers - including my go-to Philosophy product.  It has the same effects for 1/3 of the price.  I had some concerns initially because I have sensitive skin and small changes can make my skin react in strange ways.  However, I didn't have any breakouts, it's not greasy, and it does the same thing as other primers by minimizing pores and making skin look more even.  Seriously, this is one secret that I'm very glad my sister-in-law shared with me. 

The only bad thing about this product is that it's hard to find - when I've looked for it elsewhere it's almost always sold out!  That leads me to believe that even more women have found out about this hidden treasure.  So look past the name and pick up a bottle - it's amazing!  

XOXO, Allison

An April Favorite - New Fashion Line Twenty8Twelve

You have to admit that any fashion line backed up my Sienna Miller would be a success...but with her designing the line and modeling for it - it's a sure in.  Sienna has been a style icon more well known for her bohemian style rather than her acting chops.  Well, and there is that relationship with Jude.

Twenty8Twelve is a fashion line created by Sienna and her sister Savannah.  The goal of the line was to bring the natural coolness factor of young London to life in a clothing line.  The line offers something for everyone - with funky high waisted shorts, bold patterned dresses, and a romper that I would buy in a heartbeat if I could pull it off.  Honestly, I don't know how you could possibly look uncool in this line.

Here are some of my favorite pieces - enjoy!

Bow Shorts, $315

Ava Romper, $395

Marigold Dress, $180

Auriole Crochet Skirt, $280

Now if only I could look like Sienna Miller.  A girl can dream...

XOXO, Allison

I see Paris, I see France, I see Pretty Underpants!

I'm sure that all of you are as amazed by my witty title as much as I am.  You can think my mother and her sixth grade sense of humor for that one!

Any who - on to more important and pretty things!  If you're like me, you've learned in recent years that you can't wear the same underwear that you wore when you were 18 - nor do you ever want to again!  Let's face it, as we get older we look more for...function.  However, just because we're looking for a little more comfort and coverage doesn't mean that our underwear has to be ugly.

In recent years I realized that the only cute underwear from some chains like Victoria's Secret was directed towards a much younger audience.  Something about a 14 year old girl choosing, buying, and wearing the same underwear as me kind of freaks me out.  Then, as you head to the back of the store you realize that the rest of the options are made for women in their 50s.  No offense mom, but I'm just not ready for that yet.

That's why a few years ago I ditched Victoria's Secret and started heading to new places.  One of those brands that I am totally in love with is B. Tempt'd - a Wacoal brand.  Wacoal has brought the same quality and comfort to this more youthful line that is in the same price range as Victoria's Secret with a pretty, delicate edge.

Below are a few of my favorites.  I love that you can combine some of the styles to get a discount.  In this case, that's 3 pairs for $27.  You can go for something bright and bold, neutral and demure, or just plain white or black.

I've also heard that Soma Intimates is a great place for quality undergarments.  I haven't personally tried out any of their items yet, but they are getting rave reviews from everywhere under the sun.  I really like the "modern brief" collection.  They are made of a super soft cotton that apparently feels like you aren't wearing a thing.  I love this pair - and right now the style is buy 3, get 2 free!

So...if you're intimate collection needs a little updating here are a few options!  Even though your "week day" underwear might be acceptable to your husband, you never know who might see you wearing Thursday's pair on Monday!  

XOXO, Allison