Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Leather & Lace

As we all know, one day you're in, and the next day you're writing a memoir of your 5 minutes of fame.

For those of us that prefer to look the part, even if we're not exactly Heidi Klum status yet, I have found some amazing ways to partake in the latest trend, pairing leather with lace. There's something delicious about the combination of the tough leather with the sweet lace, and it can be worn at any size for any setting.

Sugar + Spice

(Any everything nice)



Friday, January 27, 2012

Products & Provisions

Good afternoon lovelies! Thankfully my laptop is now in working condition again, so back to our regularly-scheduled fashion rendezvous.

Products & Provisions

Elemis Skin Care

Free product reviews

The lip gloss definitely moisturizes, but it doesn't last as long as my Burt's Bees lip balm. It's a good product, but not one I'd willingly spend $24 on.

These wipes take away my makeup beautifully and don't make my skin feel greasy or dry afterwards. A pack comes with plenty, so you won't be running out a week after you buy one. I definitely recommend this for everyone; the wipes are gentle, smell nice, and work wonderfully.

This beautiful little serum works very well from what I've seen of it so far. This past week has been a hectic one and I haven't gotten as much sleep as night as I should have. Every night I've been putting the serum under my eyes and on the corners and I've woken up looking far less tired than I have other sleepless nights. I recommend this, ESPECIALLY for college students who still want to look somewhat rested the next day!

Those are the only 3 I've tried so far. Next week I will hopefully have more reviews for you on the other products that came in the set.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Promised Prizes

Good evening lovelies! As we all know, when it rains, it pours. Relationship ends, job doesn't accept you, car needs to be fixed, etc, but despite the pouring, there's always a silver lining to every cloud.

My silver lining is a slightly silly one; winning free hair care and facial products from Lucky magazine. Every month I enter the contests for every single prize. I won Rusk hair care from the September issue (Cue Anna Wintour cameo) and I recently won a whole skin care line from the December issue.

I enter the giveaways and sweepstakes all the time because, well, why not? They're free and only take a minute of my time. Even if I don't win, nothing was lost, save for a bit of my day. If I win, then I have enough hair care and skin care to last me over a year. One last thing I have to worry about. Score!

When I called Lucky to ask them a question about what I had won, the girl who works for the magazine told me that she never ever enters those contests. I asked "Why not?" she said "Well, I'll never win."

Just think though, even if there's no chance you'll win, what if you do?

You might open up an email to see this:

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Endless Debate

Hello lovelies! Not to worry, I'm not talking about politics on a budget today, I'm talking about an interesting conversation I had this morning that I've been having ever since I went in to fashion nearly 6 years ago: materialistic vs. realistic. 

I understand not everyone understands the fashion industry in the same way, and that's good; if we all were experts of the same thing that would be really boring. Frustration though always seems to ensue whenever friends and I get on to the subject. "I don't participate in fashion" a friend once told me. I couldn't help but recite the scene from "The Devil Wears Prada" where Meryl Streep verbally knocked the heels off of Anne Hathaway's character by explaining how by her "not participating in fashion" she is actually a big part of the fashion cycle.

The Devil Wears Prada
My conversations with friends as of late though have been more along the lines of "I don't like the materialistic aspects of fashion", which I can understand. It has become less about morals and more about selling to meet the goal, no matter the destruction along the way. I stand firm when I say that I will always be a REAListic fashion blogger as opposed to a MATERIAListic one.

Is that dress in the window at Nordstrom's beautiful? Of course, but will it work with my lifestyle? Will it work with my wardrobe? Will it meet both my style needs as well as my wallet's needs? If not, then don't convince yourself you can afford it if you cut here and scrimp there. With every single purchase I want you to ask yourself whether you're being REAListic or MATERIAListic. If you already have 20 pairs of earrings in a similar style, you don't need a 21st pair. Even if it's only $1, save it and spend it on something REAListic; like a pair of jeweled flats that work with every outfit for work AND play.

It is important to understand the cycle that retailers and consumers are constantly swept up in, but also remember that treating yourself every now and again is just as necessary as leaving that 21st pair of earrings right where it is.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mood: Versace meets Blue Ivy

Mood: Versace meets Blue Ivy

In celebration of Beyonce's latest hit, her baby Blue Ivy, and just feeling a darker winter mood coupled with seeing Versace's H&M pieces sprinkled throughout the internet, I decided to create a party look that could very easily go from the office to a party with just switching out a piece or two. Instead of wearing a sweater, I love the idea of wearing a lacy, see-through shirt over a leather bodycon dress. Layering with lace is making a huge wave right now for all style tribes, so this particular outfit might not be your favorite, but it's a fun trend to try once you find the color combination and proportions that work for you and your lifestyle.

While I am a Thrift Addict, I used these pieces simply to show inspiration. I would never own a $1000+ dress, so do not fret, I am only showing these pieces to act as muses. Maybe there is a shop down the street from you that has a faux leather dress for less than $50 that looks amazing on you? Get it! Don't be afraid to try new things and draw inspiration from what's around; just make sure you shop wisely!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Plaid Promises: $50 or Less

Hey lovelies, despite the pretty weather outside right now, it's still winter, which means that plaid is still in VERY high fashion. Tonight, I want to bring you a few pieces that are just right for your wallet and will be sure to brighten your winter mood, if the warmer weather hasn't already.

Plaid for the perfect price

$50 or Less

Considering the fact that red pants are a major trend right now, this is the perfect purchase since plaid never goes out of style, and you're hitting on a trend right now that you can wear again and again.

Very winter-in-New-England feeling. If only I had owned these when I lived in New England. Never too late though, right?

Just the perfect change purse in the most perfect set of neutral colors.

Simply fantastic.

The coolest shade of plaid, in a rain boot!

This looks so toasty and comfortable. Perfect for nights in reading Poe by the fire.

Very sexy school teacher. Insert ruler here.

The coolest prep school brooch without the expensive books and uniforms.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Personal Project: How to make something new again

Last week I went down to the thrift stores by me to try to find a 1920's dress for a Prohibition-themed party that we never ended up going to New Year's Eve. Despite being too tired to actually go to the party the day of, I came out a winner because I found 2 fantastic items at the Good Will, each for only $2.50.

The first piece was a very adorable and very 1930's feeling wallet purse, specifically looking like it was from  one of my favorite movies,"Fried Green Tomatoes".The purse is by the name brand Bally, and probably cost somewhere between $60-$80 brand new. For such a small purse, it fits every single necessity beautifully, save for my keys, which I just clip to the strap and then i'm good to go. it holds all my cards, phone, mirror, and even square-tubed lip gloss without breaking a sweat. There's a zipper pouch for change and the straps snap on or off, which is always a bonus.

Wallet Purse

The colors and pattern is classic yet neutral, and overall it lends a far more masculine feel to an outfit, which is wonderful considering most of my clothing and accessories are extremely feminine. This will inject much needed structure into my wardrobe.

1930's - print dress

Personal Project

This is the second piece that I purchased, and one I am incredibly excited about. This print makes me feel like I'm the girl in "The Lover", another period movie, and instead of the old silk dress she favors, I'm wearing this. The back of this dress has 2 strings that you tie together to adjust it to your size. My plan for this floor-length dress is to take it up to just below mid-thigh length. Despite the popular trend of longer, floor-length dresses, I'm a very short girl, so the shorter the dress, the longer my legs look which means the less stumpy I look. I'm also going to remove the shoulder pads and remove the strings from the back, which will make this dress hang on me, but allow me to cinch it in with the funky leather belts that I have.

With the extra fabric I'm going to create some funky hair bow clips, or even possibly a fun skirt if I have enough fabric. Pictures will follow as soon as this project is finished!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Jumpstarting with JewelMint: Product Reviews

Hey lovelies! I've done more than one post in the past few months about JewelMint, a company that I am head-over-jewelry box for, and that I recently discovered has offices near LA, but bear with me while I do another. It is my goal for JewelMint to be my future job, but for right now, it is the company that I watch endlessly and pine for my next fix from.

A few weeks ago I received an email coupon for JewelMint to get a piece for $8.99 instead of the standard $30.00 per piece. Immediately I purchased a pretty bauble called the Midas Ring, a gold disc with multi-colored stones running down the center. It came a few days later, and to my dismay it wasn't as striking in person as it was on the screen. I immediately packaged it up and sent it back, emailing them to let them know I wanted the Metal Mosaic Ring instead. Any piece that acquires a permanent place in my jewelry collection needs to be unique and striking as my style is bold and dainty pieces/subtle pieces just won't do. Luckily for me, second time was the charm, and I found myself in awe when the Metal Mosaic ring came to my door.

Even Gumby likes the Metal Mosaic Ring.

Overall Review: The Metal Mosaic Ring is worth every penny spent. It is a comfortable, beautiful piece of jewelry that will work with any outfit. 

I was so happy with the Metal Mosaic ring that when I received an email a week ago about the WonderMint Mystery Bag, a surprise bag that contains 2 random pieces of jewelry, coupons for all the Mint sites, and potentially an Ipod, Ipod Nano or other electronics for the price of one piece, I decided to take a leap of faith. As I have always been the personal shopper and never the shop-ee, I was a touch nervous when my WonderMint Mystery Bag was waiting for me when I came home today.

Disappointingly, I found no electronics, and the only coupon was a 10% off my next purchase from JewelMint despite the site guaranteeing substantial coupons for every Mint site. Strike 1. Then slid out the 2 black velvet jewelry pouches. The first pouch contained a bracelet called the Soleil Bracelet, which looks lovely online, but in person felt very cheap and like it would fall apart after a few wears. Strike 2. The second pouch contained the Le Beau Necklace. I fell in love the minute I laid eyes on it. Online, it looks very dainty and not particularly striking, but in person it makes you feel rough and tough, yet feminine and sweet at the same time; a keeper. No strike 3, but I wouldn't recommend taking your chances buying the WonderMint Mystery Bag unless you just want 2 pieces for the price of 1 and a 10% off coupon. If you purchase the WonderMint bag, they choose 2 random pieces of jewelry for you, and those pieces aren't from your showroom. Whatever styles they have excesses of, you get 2 of. While I'm happy to have been sent something that wasn't in my showroom, I'm not happy about being let down from the other parts.

Overall Review: Skip the wondering and just wait for a coupon code for an individual piece and purchase the Le Beau Necklace by itself. You'll save yourself the hassle of probably not getting one or even two pieces you'll want to keep.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Years Day: New Years Resolutions

Happy Sunday lovelies; I hope all your hangovers have now fully gone away and your day was filled with merriment and severe relaxation after all the festivities last night.

It is now a new year, and due to the underwhelming lack of material in my blog over the last part of this year, it is a new year and now a new kind of blogging for me. It is my goal to aim to post as often as possible about as much as I possibly can, as opposed to the twice a week that has been my standard since I created this blog. After watching one of my favorite bloggers, Andy Torres, talk on Ted Talks in Amsterdam, I am taking a note from her and going to do more "ego blogging", or posting more pictures of myself in the outfits i put together. While I can always find wonderful deals online and in thrift stores, how do these trends actually look wear? How do they look on my body type as compared to a slim dress form or a stick figure model?

Andy Torres: Ted Talks

This year you will see me, Ashley Davis, as I am taking you through my daily travels and how I find a way to make my wardrobe work in my living situation, and my clothes work in my life. This is now not just about being a thrift addict and finding the best deals, but how those deals will work in your personal wardrobe and how to wear them once they're out of the dressing room and in your fitting room to make the most out of every piece.

You will not see me toting around an Hermes Berkin bag or shopping at Louis Vuitton. You are going to see a real girl with very real, attainable style.

New Year's Nice

**Great Customer Service**

One thing I will say out of everything that's happened this year thus far (not much to go on just yet, haha) is that the spirit of giving is contagious.

Last year during the holiday season and all the free shipping websites were giving, I hopped onto Nasty Gal and looked at their sale. A ring I had been checking out for over a month was finally at a price I could live with: $5. Combined with free shipping, it was a no-brainer and I immediately purchased the pretty bauble. 2 days after purchasing I received an email stating that my order had been cancelled because the item was no longer in stock.

Confused, I went back to the website and to add to my confusion, I saw the piece still being offered in the Sale section. I shrugged it off thinking "Well, I guess someone hasn't gotten around to taking down that ring's page yet" and decided that my $5 was better in my account than on my finger, but it did leave my a touch leary about recommending Nasty Gal.

This morning I was checking my email and found an email entitled "Nasty Gal Gift Card" sent to me from the Customer Service department. Opening it up, I found a sincere apology about my order being cancelled, and a $20 gift card gifted to me for the inconvenience. 

Excellent customer service Nasty Gal; keep it up! <3

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