Thrifted Fashion Finds: 5/30

May 30, 2013

I have to say, I am hooked! Thrifting is one of my favorite hobbies, but until now I've limited it to home decor and furniture. The idea of wearing a strangers used clothes always turned me off ( I am borderline OCD). Today however, I put that aside and took a dive into fashion thrifting. Feeling frustrated the Salvation Army I was at didn't have any good deals in the home department, I wandered off into the clothing section. I don't know how else to describe it, but I hit a gold mine. I walked out with 8 items, all for less than $40! And these weren't tattered, smelly, or old finds! Everything was in great condition, most of them were even name brands. 


1. Michael Kors cable knit wool sweater.............$5
2. JCrew wool oversized sweater........................$5
3. JCrew wool sweater........................................$5
4. Gap Ikat print button down shirt......................$2
5. Real leather skirt..............................................$9
6. Black and white skirt.......................................$4
7. White pleated midi skirt...................................$4
8. Furla purse/clutch............................................$2


Seriously! It's practically a whole new wardrobe all for less than what one item would cost full-price!

So here are just a few of the reasons why I think we all should thrift once in a while:
1. It's good for the environment and you are contributing to charity (depends on where you shop)
2. Needless to say, you save money and leave more room for big ticket investment pieces.
3. It forces us to be extra creative.
4. The high you get out of finding these gems is worth all the effort! It's FUN.

1. Don't expect much. Don't expect anything for that matter. 
2. Successful thrifting happens when you do it often because it's always a hit or miss.
3. Take your allergy meds.
4. Wear leggings and a fitted top so you can try things on without having the clothes actually touch your skin ( I told you, OCD).
5. Inspect items for tears, odor, and other things that you think won't be easily fixed.
6. Stores like the Salvation Army or Goodwill tend to have better prices than those shops that buy and sell used items.
7. Check to see when they have their best sales. (I just happened to come in during their month-end clearance, everything was fifty percent off!)
8. Typically, Mondays and Tuesdays and the Spring months are the best time to thrift for anything. People tend to donate items on the weekends and when the weather is good. 
9. It's a good idea to have all your items professionally cleaned if you don't own a washer with a sanitary/steam setting (OCD once again). For health purposes, specially if you are highly allergic to animal dander and dust like me. 
10. Look beyond your size. If you are a small, something nice in a medium or large could look great on you in a slouchy, over sized kinda way.
11. Explore the men's and boy's section! You'll be surprised with all the on-trend items you can find here (think boyfriend jeans and shorts, boxy coats and jackets..).
12.Don't reject something because it doesn't fit. For a few bucks you can get it tailored.  Be creative! If you like the fabric, you can repurpose it into something else.
13. Don't buy because it's cheap, and look past the labels. Buy it because you love it and have ideas on how to style it.
14. Be adventurous! It's the best place to try and buy trendy items without the huge price tag. 
15. I've discovered that some retailers that have too much of something, or those who have had no luck getting rid of inventory in their sale sections just end up donating their items. You could score brand new items with their tags still on if you look hard enough! I've seen brand new shoes from Target, and sample designer decor from Williams-Sonoma!

And the last but not least - the biggest tip I can give..... I get a lot of "I never find anything good" from friends that have given thrifting a shot. The best thing you can do is do some research before you do any kind of bargain hunting (be it thrift stores,  discount stores, etc). It's a good idea to browse through magazines, online, and racks at high end boutiques to get an idea of what the latest trends are. Examine the details of a product and take notes on the color, cut, and details that make it look expensive and interesting. Once you are armed with information, it will be much easier to spot the gems on a thrift store rack!

One thing I will have to warm up to though, is the shoe department. Just not so sure about that yet. 

I'm really excited to style all these pieces! They pretty much mix and match effortlessly with each other and the rest of the items in my closet. I'll be sure to post some outfits real soon! 

Do you thrift? What were your best finds? 

All photos taken by me!

Style File: The Weekend

May 27, 2013

I spent the whole of last week nursing a horrible cold. Can't tell you how nice it was to step out into the sunshine this weekend. We took a short trip to San Simeon to visit Hearst Castle and stayed at a charming boutique hotel in San Luis Obispo - The Granada. Weekend getaways are the best! 

Pencil skirts always tend to feel a bit more dressy, so I paired it with this over sized sweatshirt to keep things casual. I love the color and print of this mini, its versatility, and the fabric - it's weighty and doesn't wrinkle. Mama's best friend.

Hope you are enjoying the long weekend!

Top:  Zara  //  Skirt: HM  //  Shoes: Aldo  //  Purse:  Target  // Sunglasses: Celine


Shop It: Hello, Summer Sales

May 24, 2013

This weekend marks the unofficial start of Summer - when most retailers start their mid year sales. I've got a handy list for you smart shoppers. Take advantage of all the great deals over the next few days! Happy Shopping!


ASOS: Take 20% off everything with code TAKE20

TOPSHOP: Take 20% off selected items

Nordstrom: HALF YEARLY SALE for women + kids through June 2. Shop select items for fall and save up to 40%

Saks Fifth Avenue: 40% designer collections, 30% off swim. Free shipping over $150 with code MAYSFA. 

Shopbop: New markdowns for Memorial Day

ALDO: Up to 50% off in-season styles. Free Shipping this weekend.

J.Crew: Up to $75 off your purchase using code SHOPNOW

J.Crew Factory: Through Monday enjoy 40% off everything 

Gap: Through Tuesday receive 20% off your purchase with code GAPGIFT

Madewell: Through Monday take 20% off Tees, Tanks & Shorts with code SUMMERNOW

Gorjana: Through Monday save an extra 40% off sale items when you use code SUMMERTIME at checkout

Intermix: Through Tuesday offering an additional 30% off sale items

Anthropologie: Through Monday enjoy free shipping on all orders $150+ with code LONGWEEKEND 

Rebecca Minkoff: Through Monday shop exclusive styles at up to 60% off

West Elm: Extra 15% off sale items now till 5/27 using code MEMDAY15

Furbish: Memorial Day Sale, 15% off everything on the site till 5/27 using code LONGWEEKEND

C Wonder: Spend $100, receive 25% off. Through the end of May, save an extra 50% off sale items with code SALE50

Joie: Shoe sale!

Les Novelles: Through Tuesday take 20% off new styles with code SPF20 and extra 10% off sale items with code SPF10

Rag and Bone: Women’s early access sale

Last Call: Extra 40% off entire purchase

Sole Society: Through 5/31, use code RSTYLE20 for 20% your order

Social Dress Shop: Through 5/31, use code DRESS25 for 25% off your order

NecessaryClothing: Through the end of the month, save 15% off with code PJX15

Paige Denim: Through next Friday receive 15% off any purchase with code RS15 at checkout.

Collective Habit: Through Tuesday take 20% off site-wide with code SUMAY20

OpenSky: Save 50% and more on the Memorial Day Clearance Event

Coach: Get up to 30% off at their Semi-Anual Shoe Sale

Free People: Save up to 50% off summer essentials

Henri Bendel: Get $25 towards every $150 that you spend. Use code MAY25HB

JC Penney: Save an extra 10% with the code SPREE10

Juicy Couture: Get 20% off your purchase of $100 or more with code RMNJC20

Bare Necessities: Take 25% off your order with code BNS25

In The Kitchen: Frosted Sugar Cookies

Growing up, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen baking and crafting with my mom and sisters. Mom has a DIY approach to almost everything, so naturally that rubbed off on me. When we wanted something, you name it - she would try to copy it and make it for us. She sewed our costumes, perfected recipes, and crafted decor for our home. There is something about creating things yourself, and I appreciate it all now even more than before. The home-made goodness, perfect imperfections, and quality time spent together. That's something you just can't buy.

I try to spend a lot of time with my little one the same way- filling our days with as many activities she can learn from. Yesterday, we raided our pantry and what we had was just enough for one of our favorite and fun recipes - Sugar cookies. The sky's the limit when it comes to these because they can be shaped and decorated in every way possible. Natalie specially loves the whole cutting of the shapes part, its just like Play-Doh - but better. We decided to frost them instead of cover them with sugar or sprinkles. 

I'm sharing one of my personal recipes that I've tried and tested over the years. They are so simple yet delicious - definitely one of my favorite comfort treats. 

1. You can right click on the recipe and save it to your computer. It's a free download from our home to yours :)
2. Bake cookies until right before the edges turn golden brown (about 12-13 minutes) - this will make them more chewy. If you prefer crunchy, take them out of the oven when the edges are slightly brown (almost exactly 15 minutes).
3. We used tiny cutters instead of regular-sized cookie shapes. Things are just much cuter when they're small. 
4. When frosting designs, wait until one color dries before piping the next. This will prevent the "bleeding" of the colors, unless you are really trying to go for that marbled/ tie-dyed effect. 

This post is dedicated to all our heroes and their families, who fought for our freedom and lived to protect our country.

And now off to enjoy our little patriotic cookies! Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!


Currently Craving: Block Heeled Sandals

May 22, 2013

My search for the perfect minimalist block heeled sandal is finally over. I'm loving the heel height, buckle details, silhouette, and the textured leather. I'll be pairing these with shorts, skirts, and harem trousers over the summer. They can easily transition from day to night and have that tough yet chic vibe I am constantly craving these days.

S H O P :
 Aldo "Cabalina" Sandals here

W E A R   I T   W I T H :

10 Beauty Basics: Skin Care

May 20, 2013

Pretty much everyone agrees that no matter what you're wearing, flawless skin is the best accessory to any ensemble. I take my skin care very seriously. Blame it on all the magazines I started reading in my early teens, having aunts that are dermatologists, and a mom that has porcelain perfect skin. While the products have changed slightly to adjust to my more mature skin -  cleansing, toning, and moisturizing have been my three steps to basic facial care since I was about 13. Most of the products on this list are drugstore finds. I like keeping things simple. When it comes to essentials I like sticking to items that are practical- i.e cost-effective and easy to find. I like knowing that when I travel, if I forget my facial wash the next drugstore will surely have it.

I've never had acne, but my skin is extremely sensitive to fragrance, oils, and certain sunscreens. In general, "combination normal to oily" is what I would classify my skin type as.  I make sure to cleanse and exfoliate with my Clarisonic brush (twice a day), tone at night with a salicylic acid based toner (prevents nasty blackheads and whiteheads), moisturize day and night, and apply sunscreen whether I'll be indoors or out. I drink lots of water throughout the day (never leave home without my water bottle), eat as healthy as I can, and never ever go to sleep without completing my night time regimen. My goal is to maintain my skin's health and prevent the signs of aging. I don't get facials or regular treatments of any kind, so these basics work really well together in terms of keeping that glow. I am no beauty expert, but I do get a lot of compliments on my skin.

What skin care essentials do you use and swear by? I would love to know!


Style File: Plaid

May 16, 2013

An ode to Dries Van Noten's sheer and sophisticated plaid collection for Spring 2013. 

Top: Zara  |   Denim: Forever 21  |  Coat: Zara  |  Shoes: Christian Louboutin  |  Purse: Chanel

S H O P   T H I S   L O O K:

Lil' Style File: Gingham and Stripes

May 15, 2013

Our first mother-daughter outfit post! My little side kick and I were feeling very preppy chic over the weekend. She rocked the chambray and stripes look, while I went for gingham. It was one of those days comfort ruled over everything since I wasn't feeling too great. My JCrew top came straight out of the dryer and felt perfectly cozy-casual. On days I don't feel like dressing up, I try to add some oomph to my ensemble. A little dose of bling never fails in lifting an outfit's (and wearer's) mood. In this case, the sparkly deco- inspired necklace did just the trick. I'm wearing a cargo vest that is actually a jacket - it comes with leather sleeves that zip on and off. Can't tell you how perfect it is for Bay Area weather year-round.

Natalie is wearing her current closet faves. She pretty much dresses herself these days and I am always in awe with how she pulls her looks together. I tell her what kind of shoes she needs to wear, what kind of coat or jacket, and she does the rest.

I seriously love my Natalie more and more each day and I'm so honored to be her mom. She is the most lovable, comical, smart, fun-loving, generous, and big-hearted person I know. We are so blessed. I feel my heart bursting so often that I can't imagine anything else better. 

I ' M   W E A R I N G:
Gingham button-down: JCrew  //  Pants: Jcrew Pixie  //  Jacket-Vest: Zara  // Bluchers: Zara  // Sunglasses: Celine  // Purse:  Celine  // Necklace: Forever21

S H O P   M Y   L O O K:

N A T A L I E   I S   W E A R I N G:
Chambray button-down: Zara  //  Leggings: Target  // Striped Blazer: Old Navy  // Studded smoking slippers: Zara

S H O P   H E R   L O O K:

Decor DIY: Brass Urchin

May 13, 2013

Brass Urchins (or starbursts), made popular by designers like Kelly Wearstler and Jonathan Adler, are part of the retro glam trend. They are everywhere these days - invading coffee tables, book shelves, desks, tabletops and even hung up on walls or from the ceiling. I've had my eye on these from Furbish Studio, this from Williams Sonoma and these from Target but couldn't help experimenting on a DIY version. Last Christmas I crafted some urchins out of styrofoam balls and skewers, which worked perfectly as ornaments for the tree. But I wanted something more substantial, so I came up with this version that uses clay. I'm pretty happy with how ours turned out, and at less than $10 for two decorative urchins it was totally worth it! It was so easy - a quick project my four year old and I did together.  If you want to add a touch of glam in your space, get a kick out of making things yourself and enjoy saving a few bucks, give this a try!

1 Can gold or brass spray paint
2 packs mini wood dowels (I got mine at Michael's)
1 small square Sculpey oven-bake clay (any color)

1. There are different tutorials online, but  most of them use either styrofoam or self-hardening clay. While both work just fine, they tend to crumble. My version requires baking the "sculpture" in the oven.
2. Toothpicks work as well, but I prefer the blunt ends of these wood dowels.
3. Follow the instructions on your clay's packaging, since temperatures and times can vary.

S T E P - B Y - S T E P   I N S T R U C T I O N S

M Y   D I Y   B R A S S   U R C H I N S

I can think of a million decorative uses for these little things! How great would they look on a place setting at your next dinner party or wedding? Or how about make a whole lot and turn them into an art installation in your living room wall? I would love to hear how you would use these to decorate your home. 


Style File: Cozy Camo

May 10, 2013

In my teens, I dressed to be part of whatever was "cool". In my late teens, I dressed to impress the boys. In my early twenties, I dressed to get a job. Boy do I have a fair share of cringe-worthy fashion moments.  Constantly dressing with others in mind does that - coupled with the fact that style wisdom only really forms over time. It's only recently (in my mid to late twenties) I left all that behind and started wearing what I felt was me. All those phases and countless regrettable outfit choices are inevitable and I think, necessary evils in the path to self-discovery. I know who I am and what kind of fashion language I'm trying to communicate now. I've stopped dressing to be "in with it", I've stopped dressing for the boys, and I've stopped dressing too "safe". You can say that my fashion "sense of humor" has slowly evolved - I no longer take things too seriously.  I wear what I like, what's comfortable, and what makes me feel good. 

When it comes to trends, I tread cautiously. I will give anything a try, but will never force the issue. If I feel awkward in something or if it calls out too much attention in a way that I'm uncomfortable, I'll pass. I never thought I'd be able to rock camo pants. But on a random trip to Old Navy, there they were. Why not? Oh hello, cute badass little camo skinnies! You make me feel strong, confident, fun - I think I'll keep you. And on another trip to Target - spotted in the shoe aisle were these Marant-inspired kicks. Um, sneakers that cushion every inch of my foot and make my legs look a tad bit longer? Yes, please. So I've embraced these two trends. Paired with something simple like this cable knit sweater- and I still feel so very me. A tough-chic version of me. 

And if ten years from now I look back at these pictures and laugh at myself - at least I know there won't be regret. Just the happy memory of how good I felt taking a chance on a pair of camo pants. 

TGIF! Have a great weekend! 

Sweater: Gap (old)  //  Skinnies: Old Navy (no longer available)  //  Sneakers: Target  //  Purse: Celine  // Sunglasses: Celine //  Leather Cuff: CC Skye


Style File: A Walk With August

May 09, 2013

Meet my niece August, aka Auggie Bear! She is my favorite canine - absolutely the sweetest, perfect and most adorable puppy ever. Her mum Jackielyn is my awesome BFF who so happily took on the role as hair stylist and photographer today. Isn't she talented?! We had some much needed girl time today over lunch and took Auggie out for a little walk. I am wearing my favorite leather pants by Milly, which was a Nordstrom Rack clearance score! They are made from the softest buttery leather and are the most comfortable pants I own. Today I paired it with a silky olive top (another sale score from HM) and simple heels - not recommended for dog walking!

Luv you Jack, I don't know what I'd do without you! xoxo

Top:  HM (on sale recently!), similar here  //  Leather pants: Milly, similar here  //  Heels:  Zara, similar here  //  Purse:  Celine, similar here  //  Sunnies: Celine, similar here