Monday, March 31, 2014

Reclaimed Readables, March 31st

Happy Monday Readers! Here's some new links for your Monday, including when to know it's time to clean your closet, the last day to sign up for Health Care, and how to beat the Monday blues. Enjoy!

Huffington Post: ObamaCare Deadline is TODAY
Looking Fly On A Dime: Signs That It's Time to Spring Clean Your Closet
Refinery 29: How to Beat Monday Blues
Byrdie: The Ten Minute (I'm running late) Beauty Routine
Relevant Mag: Happiness is NOT the Goal
Refinery 29: Post Winter Cold/Pre Spring Warmth Outfit Ideas You May Love

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sponsored: Chuck Chuck Bracelets and Charms

My inboxes are usually overflowing with requests for product reviews and posts to be sponsored here, but I don't go for all of them. I promised myself never to become THAT blogger that's always trying to peddle various stuff to you just to get the blogging exposure. I said that I would be fully honest about everything I write about and share with you and would only write about things I can stand behind.

That being said, this is one I kind of love. These are called Chuck Chucks, interchangeable charms you simply snap into place on a leather bracelet. 

And here is mine. You can choose from a plethora of different "Chucks". There has to be at least one design for every day of the year with a few more to spare. They snap into place, 3 at a time, onto various different color leather bands. As seen above, I selected gray leather. I kept my own choices within the silver, blue, and white family.

I think I made something beautiful. 

For more info, check out Use as a code Whitney1 and you will receive 50% off of your purchase. Can't beat that. What will you make? 

Friday, March 28, 2014

This Week in Thrift: Why Second Hand Saves me THOUSANDS

No one believes me when I tell them that I pretty much only ever wear Thrifted and second hand items. They believe that I must spend thousands of dollars every season on a new wardrobe, because they believe there is really no way to find beautiful, high end clothes and accessories without buying them new. 

I hope by now I have made a believer out of you, dear readers. No, I really don't spend that much on thrifting, ever! I give myself a strict weekly budget, and I still find great stuff that would have cost me more than 20 times more at retail what I pay at the thrift.

Let me explain using this week's finds:

This week was a light but fruitful week. 

First up, a pair of powder blue Old Navy Skinny Jeans. Perfect for spring, with the tags still on. Originally priced for $30. For me from the thrift? 5 Bucks.

These super comfy terry cloth pants.
...that happen to be by Juicy Couture. Originally priced at $88. I paid a whopping $5.

This gray blazer (okeydokey, I know I have a lot of blazers, don't judge me!)
By Benetton. Benetton blazers run $120. This one was on sale for 75% off of 7 Bucks...making it $1.75.

And this work out tank...
By my favorite brand, Lululemon. Yeah, I could wear Lululemon everyday (I do actually try). Originally priced at $64, I paid 3 bucks.
If I would have purchased all of these items retail, I would have spent $302. Whoa. That's like my grocery cost for 2 months. I ended up paying less than $15. Thrifting for the WIN!

What will you find when you go?

Reclaimed Readables, March 28th

Happy Friday people! Here are the last links of the week, all fun and a few kind of insightful. Enjoy your weekend!

Refinery 29: Lazy Girl's Guide to Spring Cleaning
WhoWhatWear: Go Figure. Warming Season's most flattering looks for your curves 
Relevant Mag: How to keep your phone from ruining your life
The Zoe Report: Guess What? More Spring Trends 
Refinery 29: Why You Should Consider Taking Cold Showers

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sh!+ Fashion Girls Say

How long do you think you could read a fashion blog, post, article, or even a simple tweet before you come across words like covet, need, or even obsessed? Not very long, unfortunately. I'm guilty of using a few of these in the past that as I look back now, I cringe at the thought of limiting my verbose vocab to submit to fashion culture clichés.  

Well, enough is enough. These are the words Fashion Girls MUST STOP USING:

This one I was never a fan of. Obsessed? Really? To describe something as transitory as an item of fabric or leather? First off, obsession is an unhealthy emotion that no logical person should ever want to feel, least of all for an object. Whatever happened to just saying what we mean, you know, like "I really like this."? Hyperboles just die.

I think the majority of the fashion community who use this word to describe something beyond water, food, and shelter really don't comprehend what a need really is. I need to drink water today. I don't need a Phillip Lim Pashli (although I very much want one). 

Must Have-
This begs the question, why must I have this thing deemed as a must have? 

I discuss the Lust/Covet issue I have here. Long story short, these words do not adequately describe a accurate feeling of wanting that I feel for a particular item. Plus, who really wants to create a lustful or covetousness feeling in another person over something we have? Sure, want things, that not bad. Want the same things you see others have, also not bad. But when you want it enough to covet, meaning wanting THAT EXACT PARTICULAR thing that belongs to another, then that's a real issue.

Now this one I'm actually guilty of. And while my meaning is implied, that when I say a particular thing is everything, that I mean it's everything good I can think of. But recently I had to ask myself "How exactly is a pair of shoes everything?" No, my friends, they aren't everything. Not everything good. They are just a pair of shoes, whether great or not.

Die/I Die/Dead- 
I chalk this one up to one of my favorite stylists in the game, Rachel Zoe. I would hope that the item one is saying one would die for is at least exciting enough to choose to live for. I mean, yeah there's some amazing and creative and beautiful items floating around in the fashion world, but none of them are worth me dropping dead for.

What do you think? Are there any fashion words you would like to see go?

Reclaimed Readables, March 26

Refinery 29: Spring's Best Trends ON SALE
Relevant Mag: Five Essential Elements to happy, long lasting relationships
Huff Post Style: This writer has something to say to the fashion community, now that she's 60
Refinery 29: The ladies of Curly Essence discuss crazy hair and self acceptance
A Pair and A Spare: DIY Jeweled Clutch (because it's more fun /cheaper to make)
Refinery 29: Want to spring clean your closet? There's an App for that.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Influenster J'adore Vox Box

I recently finished working with Influenster, who kindly enough shipped me my second Vox Box, the J'adore Vox Box. You know I love receiving goodies as much as the next girl. And this box definitely had plenty of fun stuff.

Here's how it worked out:

Product Number 1: John Frieda Frizz Ease
It definitely does what it says and got my hair straight with a helpful dose of keratin. Just a few sprays and I flat ironed my hair as usual. My only suggestion would be to add some form of moisturizer to the product for us dry haired ladies. Otherwise, a great product.

Next up, Kiss Lashes:
So, I'm a lash virgin. Never wore them, had the need to wear them, or the desire to wear them, so this product would be a challenge. I actually had to enlist the assistance of my sister, Terren (her hand shown above.)

But I think turned out well. They look and feel as natural as lashes glued to your face can feel. My only concern is that the glue used by this company is white (though it does dry clear). 

The next product to test, Boots Botanics Clay Mask:
Now I do know a thing or two about masks. I do love a good face product, whether a scrub, serum, cream, wash, you name it.

This particular mask, while a little more runny than I'm used to from masks, worked extremely well. After 10 minutes of looking like the swamp thing, a warm rinse left my skin super soft and supple. This one goes on the re-purchase list.

The other two products in the box were quickly (and shamefully) consumed. 

Red Rose Teas. In a word, scrumptious.

And Hershey Kisses. Never disappointing (other than to my thighs).

Thanks so much to Influenster! Hopefully I will get to work  with your brands again soon.

*These products were received et gratis from Influenster for their blogger network program.

Reclaimed Readables, March 25th

Relevant Mag: Living in your past is KILLING your future
New York Mag: The Team of Upworthy is coming after your cynicism
Refinery 29: Budget Friendly Beauty Swaps
Harpers Bazaar: Shoes You Probably Already Have in Your Arsenal (good for you babe!)
WhoWhatWear: How Real Girls Wear Crop-Tops
Huff Post Style: 8 Easy Spring Styles you should think about having

Monday, March 24, 2014

Holy Collaborations! Peter Som for Kohl's?! Win!

You all know that I love the High Low Collaborations, whether it was Gwen Stefani for ShoeDazzle,  3.1 Phillip Lim or Peter Pilotto for Target or Isabel Marant for H&M.

So as soon as I heard that the Peter Som  would be doing a collab for Kohl's, I nearly hit the roof. Peter Som is one of the masters of laid back cool. And coming April 10, this laid back collection will be available to the masses. My personal faves are the white "leather" moto jacket and the black and white printed ankle pants. Amazing.

Of course I had to share a preview of this phenomenal collection of beautifully made clothes with you, my dear readers. Here are some of my favorites from the upcoming collection.

Reclaimed Readables, March 24th

Today's Readables are a mixed bag. Google honors the incomparable Dorothy Height. Birchbox gets a NYCbrick and mortar store. Famous protestors Westboro Baptist Church gets protested by Lorde Fans. Issa Rae, the Awkward Black Girl takes us around LA. And Spring Style Swaps for your wardrobe and your pad. These and more below. Enjoy.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Anyone Else Feel Like the Guy in Their Friendships?

Just some Sunday night food for thought:

I feel like the guy in my friendships. I really do. And it's become annoying.

This thought was given birth following a few casual get-togethers with my very chill (code for less dramatic) friends and my sisters (who since hitting adulthood, have really been no drama for me). 

And it was awesome. I didn't feel the need to escape. I didn't feel lethargic. I did feel sore from all of the laughing that was taking place. But other than that, a completely drama free night.

And that's when it hit me...maybe there is something wrong with me. Maybe I'm not sensitive enough to the plight of other ladies who have befriended me who I currently think could win a day time Emmy for all the tears and tantrums they serve up. That sounds insensitive. 

Let me explain:

I always got along much better with guys than girls. Why, you ask? Well, most guys are pretty easy going simple creatures. They like simple things: food, sports, hanging out, a good beer, some good jokes, and sleep. Relationships with them are not usually taxing. Basic right. I kind of became that way too. I don't require much. I've never thought of myself as a princess (not hating on those that do). I don't need a ton of attention. I'm just content.

Because of this time with my male buddies, I believe I'm a little more blunt than maybe I should be. But that's for a good reason. I want to get the story right, but I also want to stray from my ability to sugarcoat things that don't need one bit of truth stealing frosting, but needs to be doused in truth, no matter how bitter it is. 

I'm not mean. I just want to talk about the issue as the issue stands and not put lipstick on an ugly situation. Once again, that's my own issue.

Another thing, I'm a writer with a short attention span and a huge imagination capacity. So you could lose me at any minute. That isn't a sign of how much you mean to me, I do these things with my own mom, and she means the world to me, so please don't take offense.

Therefore if you can't hold my attention, let's say, telling me the very same story that you have told me the last 4 times we have spoken and there has been no change despite the countless amounts of advice, hours of tears, and various means and modes of continuing the discussion, ie on Facebook or thru text in addition to phone and in person talks, then please pardon me as I have the tendacy to drift in and out of the convo.

I just don't like feeling like I'm living in a perpetual groundhog's day.

Also, I don't like talking to some of the same people every day. Some days, it's me and my sisters. Other days it's me and my girls. My bosses and I have great convos at lunch, and me and my handsome have great ones at night. 

And then I really love my me time. My own drama free me time with nothing but my iPad, headphones, camera, and the beautiful world to capture in snaps and words. Very few people on that list become an everyday situation. That's just honesty.

But what am I met with? The following: 
"I'm not talking to you because you did something I didn't like." Ok, that's fine. While you pout over there, I'm going to go, you know, do something of actual importance. 

"Why didn't you text me right back?" I was obviously in the middle of something. My apologies, your highness, for not stopping in the middle of, say, work, or a live convo I was having, or God forbid I was doing something for myself, and responding to you, oh desired center of my universe.

Or the passive remarks like "I need new friends." Yeah, well maybe you do. You guys can get together and do a Housewives of Drama-Mama-Delphia. I don't think I make the cut.

And my favorite "I don't think you can give me what I need." Sweetheart, no body does. So take your melodramatic bum back to Dawson's Creek, or grow the hell up please.

And etcetera.

Ladies these are tactics we reserve for our significant others, not each other. I am good for a silent treatment if I think the behavior warrants it, but not with my girlfriends. No. We don't do that. 

Just to summarize, I'm not your boyfriend. I'm your friend. Your female buddy. I can be your confidant, your roadie, your prayer buddy, your accountability. But what I won't be is your substitution for a significant other. Period.

And, to be honest, I'm enjoying balancing something called a life, something that doesn't always involve you, just like your life doesn't always involve me. I'm not the type who calls every day, I'm forgetful, dreamy, sometimes lazy. All of these things are explained in the beginning.

I am not a mind reader, nor am I a "prober" in any way. So when you say things are fine, I let it go. When you say you don't want to talk about it, it means I'm changing the subject. When you don't want to talk to me, please know that I am somewhere else, probably talking to someone else, and more likely not thinking about you at all. And until you come to me face to face to state your issue, I will happy exist like I've been doing. 

And that should be fine.

Anyone else in this boat with me?

Friday, March 21, 2014

OOTN (Outfit Of The Night) Bowling with the Homies

Going out with my buds tonight to North Bowl, by far the coolest bowling alley in my humble opinion, in philly. It's also a clear hipster a hipster neighborhood. 

So...what to wear when you don't really wanna go out and you're going to hipster town?

Hipster Whitney says "I was hipster before hipster was cool." My Guess shirt from the $20 Shopping Spree, and the trusty standbys of my Seven7 Jeggings and DVF Boots. 

My Rebecca Minkoff MAC with my Traci Lynn "Spike", Michael Kors Men's Chrono, and Sarah Chloe Bangle. 

Anthropologie earrings...

And the abnormally large glasses...

What cha think?

Reclaimed Readables, March 21st

Happy Friday All. Here are your end of the week Readables. Enjoy and have a great and restful weekend!

Refinery 29: Peter Som for...Kohl's? WINNING!
Man Repeller: How Your Phone is Making You Rude
Huff Post Style: The Best Sephora Buys that are worth every single penny
CNBC: Both High End and Low End Bag designers feeling the love while mid range is feeling squeezed
WhoWhatWear: The Ultimate Guide to Fashion...Emojis?

The Day I realized I'm a Fashion Girl

It was a rainy morning. Not yet one of those that the sun beat me getting up. 

And I didn't feel like really getting dressed like I usually do for work. No usual Whitney style, a touch of glamour, a dash of sophistication, and a whole lot of comfy. Nope, today was all about being comfy.

Thank goodness my job requires no uniform nor corporate wear. Therefore, in those first semi-conscious moments of my day it was decided that today was an athletic gear day.

So after a super steamy shower and teeth scrubbing, I jumped into my favorite pants, Lululemon black yoga pants I must have bought 2 years ago. 

I zipped up a "new" (clearly most things I buy aren't new since the majority of them are grabbed from the thrift, but they remain new to me.) terrycloth hoodie that happened to be by Juicy Couture. 

Slipped into my Coach jacket and stepped into my lace up Hunter Boots. Slid on my Betsey Johnson hat (today is not the best hair day) and... Suddenly it hit me.

That's a whole lotta brandage going on there. On a supposed very chill day.

When did I become SUCH a fashion girl that even my chill wear has a name stamped on it?

I made myself stop and think about it when I got home that evening. Mid my usual annual spring purge, I filled bags with barely used and virtually new brand name items, adding more to my self loathing.

I used to be the girl who would have made fun of girls like me now.

Did all of my thrifting and resale turn me into a label lover? Was I always a label lover? Or was it the fact that for next to nothing if could easy afford such brands that without the resale system I wouldn't have had in such quantities in my closet. 

Even worse, some brands, while I was familiar with them, I didn't realize how pricy they were because they were in such abundance at my local thrift. For example, I didn't know how expensive my favorite t-shirt company, Splendid, was until a recent Nordstom rack visit. And I was in sticker shock. Shirts I was paying, at the most, $8 for actually cost up to $50.

So maybe I'm a different type of fashion girl. The kind who loves something made quality and reliability, but refuses to subject her wallet, bank account, credit score to have it. Maybe I'm the type who would rather spend pennies on something used that double digit dollars for the same thing new. Maybe I'm the type who would rather set my own trend rather than follow the wave. Maybe I'm the type who would rather wear my mother's necklace or my father's watch rather than buying a new piece because I would rather have something of theirs than have something new. 

Well, I guess, that's not such a bad type of fashion girl to be.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

This Week in Thrift: The $20 Shopping Spree

This week was a rough week in my personal life. So I felt like it was time for some retail therapy. Judge if you want, but wait until you see what I found at the thrift, for less than the price of a good pizza.

This GreenLeaf Reed Diffuser. Still in the box. These retail for about 50 bucks a piece. I got this bad boy, priced at 4.99, but with the tag sale happening, I got it for 3.75. Side note, it smells soooooo good.

These beautiful bowls from Japan. $2.25 together.

These uber cute saucers from Crate & Barrel. 99 cents each...until the sale was applied. 75 cents for all three!

This frame from Zara. Priced at $1.99. With the sale, $1.50.

A Guess button up (with the tags still on! Joy!) $6.

An Armani blue knit Tee. 4 Bucks. Oh yeah.

This Polo Tennis Sweater, only a buck!

That leaves me with the grand total of 19 Dollars and 25 cents. Not bad for a retail therapy. 

What will you find when you go? Happy thrifting!

Reclaimed Readables, March 20th

Today's Readables are in honor of the long awaited first day of Spring! These links will lead you to stylish, trendy, and classic to upgrade your post winter beauty, wardrobe, even our keys get a cool new update. Happy Spring!

The Zoe Report: 25 Spring Beauty Upgrades (Anything to get this winter off our skin and into history)
WhoWhatWear: 25 Floral Outfits to Welcome Spring (I can hear Miranda Priestly Now..."Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking.")
A Pair and A Spare: Studded Key Ring (Because even your keys should get an update from time to time.)
Refinery 29: Not into buying a full new spring wardrobe? Me neither. Try these instant updates instead
Daily Candy: What do you know? More spring style upgrades. Wonder if florals are involved?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring Trend: Mixing Pastels

I love a good pastel almost as much as anyone, and when I saw that mixing pastels was a trend for this spring, I was elated. All of those gorgeous pale and muted colors that could combine so nicely.
Look at all of these chic options.

Then I began to see ways of not doing it so well; you turn out either looking like a 6 year old, a crazy person, or an Easter egg.

So here are a few ideas on how to sophisticatedly combine these candy like colors to their best without looking a mess. 

1) Patterns are your friend: Patterns are the easiest way to do the Patel mixing, as the mixing is done for you. All you have to do is choose one color from the pattern to pick up the other pieces. Like if you have a patterned sweatshirt (as seen below), pick up one of the colors in the sweatshirt for your pants and shoes.
2) Combine Unexpected Colors: instead of choosing mint green and the palest of pink, try another color combo, like that same mint green and lilac purple or that palest of pink with a muted orange.
3) Choose an unexpected item in pastel: I chose the sharp and angular blazer below in a pastel because the angularness (there I go, making up words again) of the cut toughens up the pale floral colors. 
4) Go for it: Have fun! After this long, dull, gray, cold winter, these spring colors should warm up your whole vibe. Play around with different combos and ideas. Be free. 

Oh, and as an added bonus, all of these pieces are 50 Bucks and under. Enjoy and combine away.

Spring Trend: Mixing Pastels

Mango pink top
$50 -

Mango floral shirt
$50 -

Mango embellished top
$30 -

Cutie floral jacket
$20 -

Mango pink pants
$50 -

River Island faux leather skirt
$41 -

Pink sandals
$46 -

Open toe shoes
$33 -