Sunday, February 23, 2014

Winter Into Spring Wishlist

Casual Change of Seasons

I've always been a fan of floral prints...they just seem so pretty and girly. I have always found myself drawn to floral designs. Lucky for me that floral prints are in style for 2014 and I'll be right on trend.  I really like the mix of floral and sporty that I've been seeing lately.  So, here are a few cute and casual picks that I think are perfect for making the transition into spring. 

Monday, February 17, 2014 Review and Haul

Today I have a review of my experience with, as well as a haul from the site.

Awhile back, I was contacted by Ashley at to do a review of some items from her site. is an online store that sells many types of women's clothing, accessories, and jewelry.  They have recently added some home decor items as well.  You can see a post that features some of my favorite Gemz picks here

When I first checked out, I was impressed by the stylish items that they sold and the reasonable prices.  I was even more impressed that Ashley and her sister, Meagan, had formed the company together in order to immerse themselves in what they love the most: beauty and fashion.  I loved the idea of being able to help support two young women who were working hard to create their own small business, so I quickly agreed to do the review.

I received the items featured in this article for review purposes, but I was not compensated for this post.  The opinions stated are (as always) my own. 

I was super-excited to receive my came neatly packaged in this Priority Mail box.

When I opened the box, it was packed with pretty tissue paper, a packing slip listing all of my items, and it even included a sweet handwritten note from Ashley and Meagan, since I had communicated back and forth with Ashley while setting up the review.

When I peeled back the tissue, these are some of the goodies that I found!

First, was this cute striped fabric-covered headband.  As you can tell by my recent post featuring striped looks, this is just my style!  Inside a silver box, was this gorgeous jewelry:

This set of earrings is great individually, or for mixing and matching, if you have multiple earring holes.  My boyfriend really likes the long spike pair, as do I! And the studs are so super-sparkly and pretty.

My pictures do not do justice to how sparkly, gorgeous, and fierce these rhinestone and gold spike earrings are! From the front, the glittering rhinestones give them an almost formal look, but catch them from the side and they are spiky and wild.

This set of two gold-tone bangles includes one plain gold-tone bangle, and one rhinestone bangle.

This is how they look on. These bangles are so versatile, and I think they go perfectly with the gold and rhinestone spike earrings in this haul.

Then, there was an animal-print makeup bag that was filled with beauty goodies! It contained 2 L.A. Colors nail polishes (purple and silver), "Wizard Pads" nail polish remover pads, and some original Lula Missy cosmetics.  

Color: Prom
Color: Summer's End
Swatches of the shadow: L-R Prom and Summer's End

This purple scalloped belt looked exactly like the picture from the site! Picture
My Picture
The belt is really versatile.  It is great to have one of these to cinch the waists on maxi dresses, button down shirts, and skirts. I love the rich plum color and the gold accents.

Here are a couple of ideas that I came up with for styling this belt:

Thick belt ideas

Tucked under the first layer of items was this striped tote.  Here it is pictured in red/white on the site. 

This tote comes in red, blue, black and brown.  I got it in blue.  As you can see, this tote is huge! It is perfect for the pool or beach.  My sister really liked this bag...she was totally plotting on it. Too bad for her, though, because I'm keeping it! I plan to use it to carry my towel etc. when I go to the pool club this summer.
This is a beachy styling idea for my new tote.

One Hot Beach
Finally, was this lovely purple dress, my personal favorite from this haul.  It is a strapless style with a sweetheart neckline and bubble hem.  It is made of a soft floaty chiffon.  It is fully lined and the great thing is, while the shape of this dress easily allows for a strapless bra, it also has a slightly padded cup, so it can be worn alone, if you choose.  I love the way the chiffon is pleated and drapes gracefully across the bodice.  I plan on wearing it to the next wedding that I attend.  This would also work great for a semi-formal dance or other similar event or occasion.
Picture from
My Picture
Look at the beautiful pleating and draping!
This dress looks even better in real life than it does in the photos! In person, it is a deep and rich eggplant color, not quite as bright as Gemz' picture, and not as dull as mine.
Because the style and color combination is quite simple, there are innumerable ways to style this dress.  Here are just a few that I came up with: Dress

Overall, I was quite impressed by the service and the quality of the products that I received.  All items were exactly as pictured and described, and Ashley answered any questions that I had promptly and professionally.  I would highly recommend   

Gemz has great items that you aren't likely to find elsewhere.  I personally love their dresses...They have quite a few styles that are perfect for semi-formal special occasions.  So, if you are looking for something that is unique, but without high boutique prices, you should definitely check out this site! When you shop you can be assured that you will get great service to go along with their stylish merchandise, and you can support a small business in the process. What a win-win! And, for my international readers, ships internationally.  

Please take a minute and like Gemz on facebook:

So, what is your favorite item from my haul?


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Recently, I was approached by Ashley from Gemz ( to do a review of some items from her website.  Gemz is a online store that sells a variety or women's clothing, accessories, and beauty items. 

What I like most about this company is its story: Ashley and her sister, Megan, are two young women who decided to pursue their dream of founding a beauty and fashion business.  They also believe in giving back to the community, and they are especially interested in the area of women's causes.  It is so inspiring to hear about these two sisters working together to actively pursue their goals, and live their dreams!

The first thing I noticed when I checked out the Gemz website were the prices.  Usually small boutique-type retailers have fairly high prices, because as a small business, it's nearly impossible to compete with the massive buying power that large chain stores have.  A small store simply can't sell as low as a large one and still make a profit.  That's why I was really surprised by how reasonable the prices at Gemz were, especially for sale items!  And right now they are running a promotion of free shipping on orders of $50 or more if you use the code FREESHIP50.  Most smaller retailers never give deals on shipping!  

The site offers all types of cute clothes.  They have dresses, tops, pants, skirts, and outerwear.  They sell a small selection of Plus sized items.  You can also find beauty products, jewelry, and accessories.  I especially love their dresses!  While they have some casual styles, many are dressier and would be perfect for events like weddings, school dances, and other special occasions.  The prices for the dresses currently range anywhere from $20-$69.  

Gemz also offers a beauty box called the Siren Box.  It is something along the lines of those monthly subscription boxes like Birch Box and Glam Bag, only you can buy them individually for $15 without the that's pretty cool!  They offer four options based on different personality types: Classy, Simple, Night Owl, and Fashionista.  There is even a cute quiz to help you figure out your type. 


So, I thought I'd show you a few of my favorite items from

This dress is bold and glamorous.  It is perfect for a glitzy evening event.

I love these leggings for a 90's inspired grunge look, or to add a bit of edge to a classic outfit.

This dress is darling and feminine, yet also sleek and modern.  It would be great for a springtime wedding or other semi-formal event.

Awww this phone case is too cute! It reminds me of one you would find in a little accessory shop in Seoul! They have a matching "Boy" case if you want to go for a couple's look with your boyfriend!

I like the shape, structure, and texture of this dress, as well as the color and shine.  This dress seems really versatile.  I think it looks great alone, and would look equally good with a blazer on top.

This drop-waist skirt with faux leather trim is so sexy and cool!

For more cute clothes like these, check out  If you are in the Arizona area, the girls also have a boutique located in Surprise, AZ.  

Please take a minute and show your support for these two young fashion entrepreneurs by liking Gemz on Facebook:  

Stay tuned because I will be posting my review of Gemz in the coming week!

So, what online boutiques do you love?  Have you ever bought anything from Gemz?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Polyvore Look: Rich Famous Paris

Chanel Sweatshirt look

This is a look that features a couple of items from my wardrobe that I absolutely love: A comfy Chanel-inspired hoody from Forever21, and my red Dr. Martens.

What are some of your favorite pieces in your wardrobe?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Polyvore Looks: Stylish Stripes

My mind is always dreaming up new outfit is like a sort of mental outfit math where I calculate different possibilities based on the specific pieces I have.  Sometimes when I come up with an idea for an outfit, or see an outfit I like on someone else, I quickly sketch it out.  Lately, though, I've created a lot of looks on Polyvore instead.  Polyvore just looks so much neater and more fashionable than a sketch, and I there is something enjoyable about tracking down items that are similar to mine and creating sets.  So, I thought I'd share a few outfits that I created based on striped items from my own closet.

striped sweater

Striped Crop Sweater-Forever21

stripe skirt ideas
Striped Skater Skirt-Forever21

striped dress

Striped dress-Forman Mills

So, what patterns are your favorites? Or do you prefer to stick to solid pieces? 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Bargain Brag: Kicks USA $4.99 Sale Haul

Yesterday, a friend of mine alerted me to a sale at the Kicks USA store at the Port Richmond Village Shopping Plaza here in Philadelphia.  The store was having a grand opening event, and she said I should hurry over because there was tons of great clothing on sale for just $4.99!  I have been in Kicks USA stores in other locations, and I knew it was a Foot Locker-type place that sells mostly sneakers and sporty/urban clothing.  I imagined piles of sweat suits, running shoes, and blingy tee shirts that said things like "baby girl."  Mmmm...Not really my style.  I wasn't too enthused about the sale but decided to check it out anyway.

When I got to the plaza, there were hardly any parking spaces.  Even in the parking lot, you could hear a DJ blaring from inside the store.  The store was really bustling, and there were giveaways and all kinds of promotions going on.  There was a fun grand opening event feeling in the air.  Even though the store was really crowded and busy, the sales people were all so nice and helpful!  I have nothing but good things to say about this experience at Kicks USA in Port Richmond Village Plaza.  

It turned out that there were plenty of cute juniors' styles on sale there.  They had a variety of tops, jackets, and pants for only $4.99 each!  I zeroed in on the jeans because I felt they were the best value.  Their selection of jeans were mostly inexpensive juniors' brands that I was very familiar with such as Celebrity Pink and YMI.  While it is pretty easy to find these brands for low prices, they aren't usually THIS low!  I'd say these types of jeans usually cost in the range of $15.99-$29.99, although it isn't unheard of to see them on sale for even lower.  They also had a few brands I hadn't heard of as well. I grabbed stacks and stacks of $4.99 jeans and headed to the fitting room.  To my surprise, almost everything I tried was a keeper.

Here is what I picked up:   

These gray ponte pants feature black flocked crosses and zipper pockets.

The photo doesn't do these black high-waisted YMI dress pants justice!  They fit perfect and the fabric is stretchy and dressy.

These dark denim YMI stretch jeans have black faux leather accents.

 These are some good basic high-waisted jeans by Lolo

Some stylish dark wash destroyed stretch jeans by Celebrity Pink.

I got 2 pair of these "Wanna Betta Butt" jeans by YMI.  One pair has a slightly higher waist with 3 buttons, the other is a classic one-button cut.  I don't think they do anything to make my butt look especially amazing, but these are comfy, basic and have a nice dark wash and a good weight to the fabric.
$4.99 each

These stone-washed super high waist jeans are pretty cool.

They also had tops and jackets.  I grabbed this studded light olive jacket, because for $4.99, why not?

Lesson learned: Keep an open mind-you never know where you will find a great deal!

So, where is your favorite place to shop for jeans? What style/brands do you prefer?