Mom Style

Mom Style Header

Don’t worry, this is not going to be a post advocating mom jeans- although they did seem to make a brief resurgence earlier this year!? WTF. I know. I thought it was a good time to lift the skirts of the blog a little, and show you what lies underneath.  Social media and our obsession with documenting every facet of life to share with followers both known, and unknown has warped our sense of reality a bit.  At least in my humble opinion. While I love and stand behind all of the fabulous styles, products and clothes I advocate, there is a time and place for everything.  In my current life, those times are scheduled in advance and generally involve a babysitter.

Here is my reality:

Mom Style Paige Premium Denim Tom's Zebra Stripe The Heart's Delight Stella Compiseno

Thrown in with a little of this:

(Don’t worry, this was taken while stopped at a red light. Don’t text & drive. My PSA for the day.)

Mom Style 3 Mom Style 4 Mom Style 5

So what are the takeaways?

1) I spend a solid amount of my time makeupless, in my most comfortable clothing behind a desk, typing away at a computer.

2) A good chunk of my day is spent behind the wheel chauffeuring children to their next activity.  They live a much more exciting life than I do.

3) When I’m not driving, chances are I’m doing one of the following things: cooking for children, cleaning after children (90% of time on hands and knees), and entertaining the children (or at least attempting to).

As you can see, none of these activities make any sort of “nice” outfit practical.  Heels, my friends, are out of the question. Motherhood has given me a mild form of  “Fashion Personality Disorder,” and you know what, I’m OK with that.  Sometimes after spending some time catching up on my Instagram feed, or checking in on Twitter, I feel less than stellar about my “ability to do it all and look great while doing it!” Damn you, Gisele Bundchen & Beyonce. Then I remind myself that even Giselle & Bey are not superhuman, have a boat-load (a very technical term) more help than I do, and probably staged that perfect tropical beachfront yoga pose on Instagram with the help of their makeup artist, stylist and personal assistant while their kid was throwing a tantrum just outside of the camera view. Now, that is REAL mom style.

If you’re looking for some easy ways to step up your mom style, look no further, here are a few carpool friendly looks that are DEFINITELY social media worthy. Bonus points (and extra “likes”) to you, if there is a crying child featured as well.

Look #1: Dress/ Hoodie/ Necklace/ Sneakers/ Bag

Look #2: Tunic/ Sweatshirt/ Jeans/ Shoes/ Jawbone/ Bag/ Hat

Whether you’re a mom or not, what is YOUR “real” style?



Monday Musings

what doesnt kill you makes you stronger The Hearts Delight Stella Compiseno

Welcome back!  Hope you all enjoyed your official start to the summer with some fun in the sun!

Unfortunately, some of my weekend plans were derailed when I tweaked my lower back late last week. For all of you suffering from occasional or chronic back pain, O.M.G.  My sympathies.  It seemed that no matter what I did, which way I turned, or how I lifted anything, my lower back reminded me of how I wronged it.  I ended up cancelling out my scheduled Pure Barre and spin classes, figuring that it was probably wisest to take it easy and allow my back to recover.  Workouts were promptly replaced by a cooking (a.k.a. eating) bonanza.  Plum torte, gluten-free blueberry/almond/lemon muffins, bruschetta burgers and onion rings, fresh pea & spinach pesto (for delicious pita chip dipping), grilled chicken and pineapple salsa… Oh and let’s not forget my Vanilla-Pineapple Moscow Mule concoction. You name it, and I may have cooked (a.k.a. eaten) it.

plum torte bruscetta burger plum torte The Hearts Delight Stella Compiseno

Aside from cooking, I managed to fit in a little retail therapy too.  Because nothing cures an injured back like a good swipe of the credit card!  All joking aside, if you’re in the market for some summer clothes to get you through this season RUN to your nearest J.Crew! Their sale department overfloweth with good finds that were an additional 50% off!  I scored a great cream colored pencil skirt, a navy fluted skirt, a striped back-zip dress, two necklaces (1 & 2) and two tee-shirts (1 & 2) for a STEAL.

If you’re a parent, or have little-ones in your life that you like to spoil rotten with beyond adorable ensembles, promptly head over to Gap Kids/Baby Gap.  I picked up 15 pieces for UNDER $100.  My kids are now set through the fall. I physically had to cut myself off, because my back was killing me from all of the digging through the sale racks.  That’s the price you pay for good style, kids.

NYC packing

Upon bringing my haul home, I realized  that I’m less than 10 days out from my annual NYC trip. What does that mean exactly?  That means that I need to pack 2 weeks worth of clothing for myself and 2 children to be shipped via UPS to NY in time for our arrival.  Yes, shipped UPS.  For the past few years, my family has been UPS shipping our luggage in advance of most vacations.  The convenience of not travelling with luggage is unbeatable and worth the extra time and organization required to get it done.  With checked luggage fees these days, often times it actually ends up costing less than checking two large bags at the airport.

So that’s basically it!  Kudos to you if you made it to the end of this epic Monday Musings post.  I’m off to rub my back down with some of the most amazing crack lotion that I pilfered from my dad.

bad back

I have no idea what’s in it, but this stuff works wonders whenever I have any serious back or muscular pain.  Fingers crossed that I’ll be back on the (spin bike) saddle shortly!




The Broke Girl’s Guide to Spring Shopping

The Broke Girl's Guide to Spring Shopping

When putting together posts, I am always conscious that everyone has different financial priorities and different budgets when it comes to shopping.  I’ll admit I tend to have expensive tastes, but I’m realistic and I like to invest in pieces and items that I know will be timeless and carry over, season after season.  That being said, those “splurge” items get constantly mixed and matched with bargains that I pick up each season that are more fun, trendy additions to my wardrobe.  Occasionally, I hit the bargain hunter motherlode and come across something that is super affordable, yet equally as nice and of the same quality as something comparable at a much higher price point.  At that precise moment, I squeal with joy and do a little happy dance, usually in my head, but occasionally in public.

I’ve rounded up some of my BEST broke girl finds for this season.  Take a look, but be forewarned… they’re REALLY good.

#1: The Perfect Bathing Suit – Contrast Spot Scallop Swimsuit • Topshop • $72.00

The Heart's Delight Stella Compiseno

This guy is the epitome of PERFECT one piece.  No wonky tan line worries here!  In addition to being a super flattering style in a modern color palette, it’s also supportive, lined and bound to be a flattering option for those days you want just a little more coverage.  I’m all in.

#2: The Classic Short – 2 1/2 Inch High Rise Striped Shorts • Express • $59.90

Bargain #2 Express Striped Short

What can be more classic than a black and white stripe?  This pair also happens to be the perfect length.  You know, that sweet spot where you can sit down without worrying about exposing your nether regions to the public, yet short enough where you don’t feel dumpy and matronly?  You can dress these up OR down, and for under $60 (with a BOGO promo on shorts going on too!) you really can go wrong.

#3: The Summer Clutch – Leather flap clutch • Gap • $27.99

Bargain #3 Gap Leather Clutch

O.K., I own this clutch.  It’s a STEAL.  While the reviews are mediocre at best, I beg to differ.  It’s the ideal size for your night-out necessities and comes in the best colors to coordinate with all of those dresses you’ve bought for upcoming summer weddings.  The style is also a streamlined basic with no fancy bells or whistles to make it look dated next year.  C’mon people- LEATHER, for under $30!!! Just craziness, I tell you.

#4: The Shirt Dress – ASOS Military Shirt Dress • Asos • $75.26

Bargain #4 ASOS Military Shirt Dress Dove Grey

I love shirt dresses.  They are seasonless, they are flattering and they are timeless.  This one comes in the softest grey color that I adore.  Dress it up with strappy heels and a clutch (see bargain #3, above!) or dress it down with a skinny belt and a simple slip on sneaker and you can literally go anywhere with this dress.  BY the way, how AMAZING would this dress look paired with a pop of neon!?  Don’t mind me… I’m just styling all of the ways I want to wear this guy!

#5: The White Jean – Blank Denim Spray On Skinny Jeans • Blank • $55.30

Bargain #5 Blank Denim Spray On White Jeans

Blank Denim is a premium denim brand available for a fraction of other “designer” jeans.  A good pair of white denim is so hard to come by, but this pair nails it.  I NEED these.  Get em’ while you can- they just hit the ShopBop sale and are bound to go fast.

#6: The Sexy Cami – Smooth Moves Cami Tank • Nasty Gal • $26.60

Bargain #6 Nasty Gal Smooth Moves Cami Tank

If you are a living, breathing female I highly recommend you own at least one simple camisole in your closet.  A cami can be a serious wardrobe workhorse taking an office appropriate suit to night, with a simple drop of a jacket.  Now, how gorgeous would this silky cami look with some jeans, a tan and barely there sandals?  H. O. T.

#7: The Summer Dress – Embroidered cord dress • MANGO • $59.99

Bargain #7 MANGO Embroidered Cord Dress

I still can’t get over the intricate cording details on this dress… for under $60! It’s the ideal lightweight, easy silhouette you want to throw on on a hot summer day.  Picture yourself in this dress, a light wind blowing through your hair with a cold lemonadeiced tea, margarita  in one hand.  Got it!? Now hurry and get this dress.

Have YOU made any serious shopping scores lately?  I would love to hear about them!



Monday Musings

"Scream" // Rebecca Blair

(“Scream” by Rebecca Blair)

The picture above basically describes how I feel right now… Generally, I think that with only two kids I’ve got this parenting thing in the bag.  Not so much.  My daughter just turned three and for those of you going on about the terrible twos: sorry to break it to you, but the threes are a total and complete s%@!-show.  There is no candy coating it, as my husband and I just endured a full weekend of screaming tantrums, tears, talk-back and total, unrelenting stubbornness.  To make matters worse, our 5 year old son was (and is) the easiest, most amenable child so we had no idea this sort of absurdity could possibly come out of a 35lb little body.  I could not have been more relieved each night when bedtime rolled around.

Now, back to blog business.   Unfortunately, my big posting plans of home beauty treatments were hijinxed, so we’ll have to save that fun for another day this week.  Instead, I’m happy to report I was finally able to expose some ankle and break out cute shoes again!  I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to wearing ballet slippers as I did this warm weekend.

Loving the double strap of this Chloe pair I wore on Saturday… They could not be more comfortable either.  I love how the feminine shoe pairs so well with the more masculine feel of the distressed denim, white oxford and motorcycle jacket.  Opposites DO in fact attract!

Stella Compiseno The Heart's Delight

Cheers to me.  Sunday’s flat of choice was a neutral snakeskin printed ballet flat.  While my Dolce Vita pair are no longer available in stores, this GAP pair is almost identical (and under $35!).  I also just came across this TOM’s style which I totally love!


So, anyone have any words of wisdom or advice for 2 very mentally and physically exhausted parents of a rambunctious 3 year old?  Anyone else been through this sort of parenting challenge?  I would love to hear what worked in your experiences!  Hopefully, we are not alone.




Good Jeans: 3 Types of Denim You Should DEFINITELY Own!

Good Jeans Header

I think I may have spoken too soon yesterday when I said that I was ready to “start thinking Spring.” Mother Nature just shook her head at me and gave me a smack down in the form of 6-8 inches of snow forecasted for today.  Really!?  Again!?  It’s MARCH 12th!!! Just plain ridiculous.  The silver lining to this dumping of snow, is that it’s a perfect time to talk denim.  The one clothing staple that is seasonless and knows no geographic boundaries.

I’ve had many questions come my way about denim over the past year:  What color?  What length? What style?  Just to name a few.  There are many factors to consider when purchasing denim, however once you master FIT, everything else is buttah’!  Unfortunately, finding a good fit is totally individual and varies person to person and body shape to body shape.  The only thing I can say is that aside from “carpenter” style boxy denim (I cringe at the thought of those hammer loops!), everything else is fair game.  You need to take a few hours, go to the denim department of your favorite store and just try on all of the different styles until you find those that suit your frame best. No muffin tops, no plumber’s crack, enough room to breathe and appropriate length-  i.e. no shorter than lower calf. Anything less, will cut your legs visually and make you look shorter and heavier than you are.  Trust me.

Once you have your favorite CUTS of denim in check, we can move on to the next step: COLOR. Specifically, the 3 denim color variations I believe that every woman’s closet should contain.

1) Dark wash denim

This is a “dressier” version of denim.  The dark wash is both slimming and classic.  There should be little to no fading, whiskering or distress marks.  Even paired with a simple white t-shirt, these jeans can be easily dressed up with a few key accessories.  A statement necklace, a great pair of heels, a little blazer/jacket and you’re ready to hit the town!

Dark Wash Denim Picks

From left to right:  Gap blue jeans / J.Crew blue jeans / Joe’s Jeans jeans / Rag & Bone skinny jeans

2) Distressed denim

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, this selection should not surprise you.  I love me some distressed boyfriend jeans (see HERE or HERE!).  The roughed up look is not for everyone, but I love the bit of edge it gives even the most conservative outfits!  I’m a big advocate of incorporating unexpected elements into an outfit and these jeans are my secret styling weapon.  I can think of nothing chicer than distressed boyfriend jeans paired with a soft cashmere sweater, pearls and classic high heels.

Distressed Denim

From left to right:  H&M tapered leg jeans / Topshop boyfriend jeans / J Brand denim jeans / Current/Elliott cropped skinny jeans

3) White denim

A pair of great fitting white jeans is one of the most versatile pieces in any woman’s closet.  With a few switches of tops and accessories, this crisp denim wash can easily transition from beach to bridal shower, preppy to edgy, summer to winter.  Yes, I said winter.  I declared my advocacy of year-round white denim HERE.

White Denim

Rag & Bone rag bone jeans / J.Crew jeans / Mango mid-rise jeans / Hollister Co. ripped skinny jeans

What are YOUR must-have denim finds?  Do you have any denim questions that I can help with?  Feel free to turn the “COMMENTS” section into an unofficial denim Q & A!



Spring 2014 Wish List

Spring 2014 Wish List Header

With the daylight savings time change and slightly more temperate weather, I think I’m finally ready to start thinking Spring. Unfortunately, my almost-transparent pale skin is not cooperating with this plan, but that’s nothing a little professional spray tan won’t fix!  With all of the in-store and online new-arrivals it’s hard to narrow down all of the new season wares to just a few key pieces, but I think I did a pretty good job.  Nothing too Easter egg, pastel-ly, nothing that screams “THIS IS SPRING!” too loudly, just a few updated items that will help transition your closet into warmer temps and sunnier days.

Here are my picks for your new Spring 2014 wardrobe:

ZARA Spring '14 Wish List

white cropped top / pink skinny trousers / stripe tee / pink mini skort / white embroidered jacket / fringe scarf / marbled shift dress / colorblock pumps  / python printed leather slipper shoe / suede fringe handbag 

Gap Spring '14 Wish List

drapey printed burnout T  / destructed sexy boyfriend jeans / striped knit sweater / pleated print skirt / leather sandals / moto jacket / infinity scarf / leather flap clutch / crossbody leather purse

J.Crew Spring '14 Wish List

cotton sweatshirt / crepe flare skirt / leather ‘Lanie’ stacked heel / linen baseball shirt /  gathered chambray slim leg pants / ‘Crystal Melange’ necklace / sunglasses / animal print loafer cotton trench coat 

What’s on YOUR spring shopping list?