Transform Your Scarf Into A Cover-Up

Scarves have provided me with an easy way to vamp up and accessorize my maternity wardrobe. While shopping at one of my favorite boutiques in San Clemente, Lincoln Street Boutique (they always have an amazing selection of scarves), the always stylish shop owner showed me this neat way to transform my favorite scarves into a vest or cover-up! Follow these instructions for a quick way to cover-up your favorite swimsuit or add some flair to an everyday look:

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Rayon Scarf, Lincoln Street Boutique

Step 1: Using a LARGE scarf, fold in half lengthwise and loosely tie the ends of one corner to form two “bunny ears”.

Step 2: Fold again and pinch a small section of fabric on top of the “bunny ears” to form a third “ear”.

Step 3: You should now have three “bunny ears”, tie the two previous ears tightly over the third to secure – that’s it!
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Topshop LA

I can still remember the first time that I shopped at Topshop on Oxford Street in London – I was just twelve years old. The five story location was overwhelming and mesmerizing. There was nothing like it in the States, especially back in Boston where I grew up, and I couldn’t wait to share the beautiful fashions that I had found with my friends. From then on, every trip to London included an afternoon at Topshop where we would get lost in the endless racks of cutting edge fashions.

Topshop eventually started shipping to the states, so I would occasionally purchase things online. I remember being so envious of New Yorkers when they got their first store in Times Square a few years ago. When I heard of the LA store opening, I was thrilled and couldn’t believe that it would only be a short drive away (without traffic). So this past weekend I finally made it up to the Grove to check it out! I have to say, it’s definitely NOT Oxford Circus, or anything close to it, but it still did the trick. I was concerned that the store would be packed and picked over, but that wasn’t the case. The racks were well stocked and there was no elbowing our way through crowds. I spent some time sifting through different sections and came across their special edition dresses that run from $200-$300+, which seemed a little high considering the quality. I wasn’t blown away by the accessory section, and I have a hard time paying $90+ for faux leather shoes. I was really hoping to find some Maternity pieces to bring home, but the small section left little to choose from, so I’ll be sticking with online shopping.

Overall, I was slightly disappointed with my first experience at the LA store, but it’s hard when comparing to the flagship store in London. Fast fashion has really changed the industry and made trend items accessible to the masses without paying huge retail prices. It will be interesting to see how Topshop grows in the states while competing with the likes of Forever21, H&M, and Zara – all of which offer on-trend styles at lower prices than Topshop. Here’s hoping that the Summer/Fall seasons will bring new and exciting fashions to Los Angeles.

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Maternity Style Guide: The Basics

These days, we pregnant women are lucky that loose tops and leggings are always trending and wardrobe staples. However, there comes a time during pregnancy when we must submit to wearing maternity clothes! Since this is my third pregnancy, I have tried and tested just about all of it! I’m extremely picky when it comes to fit, silhouette, comfort, and especially price. Maternity clothes are very expensive, and it kills me to spend a fortune on something that I’ll only be wearing for a few months. Thankfully, retailers such as ASOS and Topshop have created maternity lines that are on-trend and wallet friendly. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite basic pieces that are essential in any pregnant woman’s wardrobe:

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1. ASOS Skinny Jeans 2. ASOS Leggings 3. Alexander McQueen Skull Scarf 4. TopShop Fisherman Sweater 5. Topshop Wide Stripe Top 6. Old Navy Jersey Tank 7. Gap Pure Body Short-Sleeve T

These key pieces are my absolute favorite right now! They’re great for lounging around the house and can easily be dressed up by simply adding a fun scarf and ankle boots.

Birchbox

I had first heard about Birchbox from my cousin who has been a subscriber for about a year now – she always talks about how fun it is to receive a “present” of new beauty products in the mail every month. Each month, Birchbox subscribers receive an assortment of top product samples from high-end brands. The cost is only $10 a month, and it includes all of your samples and shipping fees! After sifting through some of my cousin’s samples, I  immediately got online to sign up for the monthly deliveries. I love everything about this concept; especially since I’m never one to splurge on any sort of beauty product without sampling it first. Plus, I don’t exactly have any extra time to spend at beauty counters hunting for the latest and greatest with two busy children en tow.

Unfortunately, I was wait-listed for a few weeks upon subscribing (this is common and should be expected), but my first box has finally arrived and I was THRILLED to test out all of the new products!

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Juicy Couture – Viva La Juicy, ModelCo SHINE Ultra Lip Gloss, Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo, Claudalie Vinexpert Radiance Day Cream SPF 15, 100% Pure Nourishing Body Cream

My favorite product from this months box is the (full size) ModelCO SHINE Ultra Lipgloss. The gloss is a perfect shade of sheer shimmery pink, and I love that there is a built-in mirror on the tube.  I was SO glad that a clarifying shampoo was included this month as I have been meaning to incorporate it into my weekly regime, so I will definitely be purchasing a bottle of the Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo! The Viva La Juicy perfume was a bit too much for my taste – I prefer more subtle scents, and this was too strong for my liking. I plan to use the SPF 15 day cream in my beach bag, and I enjoyed the body cream, but at this point I am solely using STRETCH MARK creams! All of the products that were sampled will ship free, should I decide to purchase full sizes, and Birchbox was kind enough to include a “welcome to the club” coupon code for my first purchase. Overall, I was extremely pleased with this month’s samples, and I can’t wait to see what will be included in my next box!

Visit www.birchbox.com to sign up for monthly deliveries, or to purchase full sized products. A Birchbox subscription would make an excellent gift, too!

Swap For A Cause

Last month, I had the honor of attending the 2nd annual Swap For A Cause; a clothing swap party and fundraiser. The event is hosted by Marilyn Prado-Test and Andrea Lanfried, who donate countless hours planning and preparing for this amazing event. This year, all proceeds went towards Laura’s House, an authorized state supported organization and “safe place” for women and children who have been victims of domestic violence.  All proceeds, in addition to the left-over clothing, were donated to Laura’s House.

The amount of clothing they gather for this event is astounding – there were racks and racks of gently worn and new clothing in addition to rows of shoes and accessories. Many designer items were found, some with tags still on them. Guests happily walked away with a bag full of new goodies, knowing that they contributed to a wonderful charity. Roman Cucina, one of my favorite Italian restaurants, provided delicious appetizers for guests to enjoy before the swapping began. Brand new designer gowns were provided by Pistol and Stamen for a silent auction and there were also a number of raffle giveaways which included:  a designer handbag,  a spa package,  a hair salon package, and Ria Ray lifestyle products.

To find out more about Laura’s House you can visit their website by clicking here. Be sure to check out the Swap For A Cause website to stay up-to-date of future events!