March 31, 2011

I'm Still Back!

 From the blooming wineries of Sonoma, CA to the bustling city of San Fransisco, welcome to part deux of my Northern California Vacay.

 {Wearing the same skirt as at the wineries, darker tights & playing with clear plastic spectators}
 {A chocolate-lovers dream}

 And then I came home to this....
...at the end of March.  In the Kansas City area. Almost April.

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An Inspired Awkward & Awesome Thursday

Awesome.

- Plum & Turquoise
- Inspired outfits by Rachel Roy
- Outfits with interesting color mixtures.  I can't get enough - I'll try it all.
- April.  Tomorrow is April!  Means patio time, margarita's, sunshine and summer ahead.
- More California time ahead - freshly back from family vacay in Sonoma and San Fransisco, and I'll be back to CA for a fun work conference in less than 2 weeks!
- Dinner parties with friends - had a fun one at my house last night, and wee bit tired today because of it!
- Pay day! Been waiting for this so I can justify a lil J.Crew order...
- Last day to vote for me to be blogger of the month - takes 2 seconds to click & vote for Chasing Davies, please help me out! :) Click here and look for the poll on the right side!


Awkward.
 - Wearing tights in late March.  Seriously? I'm over it.  That is me saying that - I LOVE tights, you know... but I'm over it now.
- Awkward outfit shot in a hotel room, with poor lighting to boot!
- Snow on freshly bloomed flowers - actually, that's not awkward, that's just mean!
-Tripping in front of an entire group of people meeting on my way to the bathroom (I really had to pee, and everyone then knew)!
- Adult break outs!  I don't know if it's the flying (recycled air usually makes me feel a little ick), lack of sleep, or getting immune to my face wash - but I'm broken out way more than usual!

Good Stuff to Check Out:
Shop via Chasing Davies virtual party to get entered to WIN jewelry
Last day to enter my Giveaway to win $100 to GNC




March 30, 2011

To the Max

Update - Big Favor guys! Can you vote for me (Chasing Davies) real quick?! It will take literally 3 seconds - click here, scroll down a tiny bit and look to the right side of the blog for the poll unit.  Vote! Would be so freaking excited if I won blogger of the month!

Since I was vacationing last week, I missed my photography class last week and the assignment.  So instead of Lulu and my typical I See, You See - we took pics of each other - hah! You'll have to head over to her blog to see the final chosen pics - one of her taken by me, and one of me taken by her.

Also using the pics Lulu took of me for today's outfit post {Thanks so much L}... Wearing my new maxi skirt.  This is new to me.  I love the maxi dress thing, sure, but haven't tried the long skirt - and now I own 2, thanks to shopping on vacay.  Here's the first attempt - a long black and white stripe skirt. Paired with this washed out denim shirt, I think I look a little tired cow girl ish?


{Jacket - Target; Denim Button Down - Target; Stripe Maxi Skirt - Macy's; Gray Boots - Endless.com}

If you are craving some denim & maxi skirts... here are some shopping opions:


Brought to you by Beso.com


Brought to you by Beso.com

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Become a Sponsor, Starting at $4/Month!

 Chasing Davies is also now accepting April sponsors (or plan ahead for May, June, etc). There are a variety of options available and custom opportunities may be negotiated, just let me know your ideas!  I would love to collaborate on how we can together advertise for your store/product and give my readers good content! For now, here are the basics!

The Full Sha-BANG:
Ads on the side bar of my blog each come with one dedicated post on product/shop with a reader giveaway and personal review by me/incorporation into my own outfits for a monthly cost (depending on size of ad chosen):



Top ad unit (200x75): $6/month + Reader giveaway + Personal review of provided product
Smaller ad unit (80x80): $4/month + Reader giveaway + Personal review of provided product
Notes:
I tweet to my twitter followers on my posts and will do with as added value for your dedicated posts.
The order of ads will be based on first come first serve in the categories - Top/larger ads on top, smaller ads below.

Reader Giveaway Only:
Send me an email on the product (or product options, credit amount, etc) you wish to giveaway on my blog with relevant links and information.  I'll provide a dedicated post around this giveaway opportunity for my readers.

Personal Review/Wear Your Items Only:
I will gladly incorporate/wear a provided item and/or review a product in a post for advertisement of your product/shop.  The item must be ultimately chosen by me and I will only accept if it fits with my personal style or relevancy of my blog.

Detailed site statistics are available upon request.  Let me know if you have any questions at all - you can email me at: ChasingDavies(at)gmail(dot)come or click here.


March 29, 2011

Neck Full of {Hot Pink} Rosies

I was really craving a rosette necklace a few weeks ago.  Did some digging around and found a great shop that sells tons of colors, styles and types of rosette jewelry - and for a great deal.  I jumped at getting a hot pink one and paired it today with plum, camel and a dash of leopard.

 {Top - Loft; Skirt -Oldie Banana Republic, Belt -Target; Scarf - China Town San Fran; Bag - Theit; Shoes - DSW}

You should get your own rosette necklace (or headband? hair clips? shoe clips? ring? etc.) at Twenty Five Design. And of course, my current fav camera holder/purse/everything bag - Theit.

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I'm Back!

Hey guys! I hope you enjoyed the guest posts/bloggers and a HUGE, mighty big, Thank You to Rosa, Nora, Rebeka, I Try Stuff On, and Gina!

I was in Northern California for 6 days visiting family.  The first 2.5 days, my mom and sister stayed in Sonoma, CA and hit up wineries with family.  Then we headed to San Fransisco for the remainder of the time for more family, shopping and food.  Here is my vacay recap in photos....


 {Chocolate cups filled with shots of wine}
{In Bloom}
{Wined}

Stay tuned for Part Two of CA Vacation...

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March 28, 2011

For Your Face! Gina from Chronicles of a Canadian Twentysomething

Guest Post: Gina from Chronicles of a Canadian Twentysomething

It has been a pretty wet winter up here in Montreal. That’s typical of the winters on the coast I’m used to, but it’s pretty darn weird for Montreal. I’ve been changing up my rainboots and winter boots about as often as I change my undies and it’s definitely not easy on the make-up routine.

I kept it pretty simple this winter, just making sure to wash my face and add moisturizer (with a drop of foundation stirred in) every day, plus mascara and lip balm. I never wanted to do anything more intensive than that just in case a big truck came along and soaked me with gutter slush. Which did happen. The cold temps also meant lipstick was out of the question, since it dries up too fast and gets flakey. Ew. I will say that lip gloss was my saviour for days/ nights when I had to glam it up.

I also somehow developed wrinkles under my eyes while writing my Master’s thesis in the fall, and so I’ve been using various night-time concoctions to try to deal with that...

Products I used through the winter:

Please ignore the messy desk....

Daytime:
Facial cleanser: Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser (in shower, applied with face brush). Also as first step
in make-up removal.
Toner: Neostrata Toning Solution (applied with cotton pad)
Facial moisturizer: Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer, SPF 15
Foundation: CG trublend (usually I just swirled a drop or two into my moisturizer, unless thesituation is dire.)
Concealer: CG "invisible" (for around the nose, on the chin, and under the eyes). Doesn’t blend
as well as I’d like, and tends to dry too fast and get flaky.
Mascara: Rimmel MAX VolumeLash (pretty awesome, but I'll likely get something different next
time for kicks. I think it may also have expired :P)
Lips: Carmex (Strawberry) Lip Balm plus 1 of 4 different lip gloss/lipsticks (Left to right in photo:
Rimmel "Stay Glossy", JacobCare gloss (unknown name), CG Lip Perfection in Kiss, Maybelline
Moisture Extreme in Roseberry). The Rimmel gloss is the same colour as my lips, which is pretty
amazing considering it came in a bag of free swag at a fashion event.

 
Nightly:
Heavy-Duty Make-up Remover: Pond's Cold Cream. Yeah. I kinda smell like a grandma, but my face is crazy soft, so I win.
Eye cream: L'Oreal Paris Eye Defense sometimes with a tiny bit of ProX Eye Restoration Complex mixed in (it makes my eyes itch like mad...probably the silicone)
I also apply Lush Dream Cream all.the.time. to take care of my eczema. It’s amazing. Cleared it up in 2 days! :)

This is a pretty basic routine (really, it only takes a few minutes!), so I’m pretty pumped for spring so I can be a little more playful with colours. I know it’s still going to be wet and rainy, but at least with warmer temps I can put on lipstick and other products without risking flakiness. Here are products I’m looking forward to getting, OR have just bought for spring and am loving.

Sephora Colour Flip – Have you seen this?! It’s ADORABLE. I played with it in the store and wanted it immediately. We’ll see if I can justify it to myself. There are actually much bigger versions for not a lot more dollas. What to do...

Sephora by Opi Glee nail colour in “Slushied” – amazing. Cornflower blue toenails? Oh yes.

New foundation – this one is up in the air. I really like my foundation, but it doesn’t have any SPF. I don’t need a great deal of coverage but I also don’t want it to be pointless. I just want to even things out a bit. Also, a pump top is necessary. If you have suggestions, please share!

Face brush - I have a cheap one made by Sephora, because I’d heard such good things about the Botanics Face Brush (which I can’t find here in Montreal). It actually is working. My face is soooo soft. I use it with my cleanser in the shower. Loooove it.

Can you tell I’m smitten with Sephora? I discovered we have a Sephora store here in Montreal and I can’t stay away!

What are you guys excited about for spring?




March 26, 2011

Shopping Tips from I Try Stuff On

Guest post by blogger at I Try Stuff On (So You Don't Have To)...Enjoy!

I strive to be as well-dressed as possible but aim to spend as little as possible.  Isn't this a familiar tune?  I recently had a week off from work before starting at a new law firm and decided to make it a week dedicated to shopping.  Yes, I spent a lot of money.  But I also used a few frugal-friendly shopping techniques that I hope can help others, even if you don't have reason to shop at a NYC department store.

I should note that my starting price-point is much higher than the price-point of the average Jane, and because my grandmother passed along a love of finely crafted Italian shoes, it might seem as if I spend a lot (but in reality I sort of don't...).  I usually do two major shopping trips a year, and supplement it with small monthly purchases which I attempt to keep under $200/month (impulse purchases, trendy items, etc.).

I know when to splurge for quality (hello, Manolo Blahnik mary janes going on year 3) and when to skimp on price (hello, burnout tees on the clearance rack at Urban Outfitters that barely last one summer).  I hope that my shopping techniques can help other fashion-conscious women achieve a frugal yet extremely fashionable existence.

On that note, I have pulled five frugal-friendly shopping tips that I have either recently discussed on my blog,  I TRY STUFF ON (SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO), or have planned to discuss in the next few weeks.

Shopping Tip #1 - eBay, eBay, eBay!

I recently was interviewed for a Women's Wear Daily article on shopping habits of professional women in NYC (no link provided due to anonymity, as they used my real name and also used my photo in the article).  Every woman mentioned eBay as a source of affordable yet stylish clothing.  This was not some survey fluke -- eBay is an excellent source to find brand-new or nearly-brand-new clothing at a steep discount.  Some women mentioned that they even used eBay to find affordable vintage items.  If you have your heart set on a particular item, you may not be able to find it.  But if you are just generally looking for silk tops to wear to work, you can easily find some affordable and classy contenders, especially if you don't care about the brand and are willing to consider items that may have been worn by someone else a few times.

One recent clothing acquisition during my week of shopping came from eBay.  It is a Cynthia Steffe silk shirt and was purchased on eBay for $19.99 (shipping was extra).  It was apparently only worn once by the seller (a claim I believe because the shirt is in flawless condition).  This v-neck button down shirt has a slightly lacy color, some minor front ruffles and cap sleeves.  Can't you just see this top softening up a stern black suit while still looking entirely professional?



Shopping Tip #2 - Always check your local discount stores, whether it be a T.J.Maxx, a Marshalls, or something like a Century 21 that may carry more expensive brands!

Certain designers rotate in and out of these stores and if you go in at the right time, you can score some major deals.  My first designer purchase at Century 21 was an Armani skirt for $109, and it was originally priced at over $500.  My biggest discount was a Jean Paul Gaultier silk button-down blouse for $79, and the original price tag of $699 was still attached!  Sometimes the designers are boring, but if you visit at the "right" time, you will be able to purchase some terrific brands.   However, you have never know when that "right time" is, so be patient and diligent.  And, of course, be prepared to spend time digging though potentially-unorganized racks of clothing.

I purchased another silk shirt at Century 21 (the organized and awesome Queens location, not the tourist-infected location in lower Manhattan).  This Marc by Marc Jacobs polka-dot silk top has sleeves with little ruffles, a crew-neck style neckline, a button-down front, and a cute front sash.  I am wearing it tucked into a standard pencil skirt (which I did not purchase).  Again, this is a very comfortable top but will look great with a very standard "lawyer" suit.  If I am going out after work I can ditch the suit jacket and wear the top and the suit skirt alone and not look so formal.  I paid $99 for this $198 top -- still quite an investment for a shirt, but I will always pay more for quality and a superior fabric.



Shopping Tip #3 - The cheapest option may be to buy directly from the designer.

When a designer wants to clear out a past season's merchandise, the sale prices may be dramatically low.  I was just in Reiss in Soho, for example, and formal dresses were discounted up to 70% off.  I've purchased Betsey Johnson dresses for as low as $30 directly from the store.  Now, what does this mean for you?

If you are looking to buy something by a designer, don't have hours on end to spend looking for a deal, and don't necessarily care whether it is from a past season, try going directly to the designer's store or the website instead of hunting through discount stores, fighting the mobs at sample sales and scouring the deals on eBay.

I performed this simple task just last week.  I decided that I truly needed a new DVF wrap dress but the eBay offerings were high-priced and I am always wary of authenticity to boot.  The department store sales were somewhat pathetic.  I therefore visited the DVF online store one morning and went right to the sale section.


What did I find?  Check out the beautiful colors of my new DVF dress below!


I am now the happy owner of the Justin wrap dress in "Ophelia."  The original price was a steep $325.   Some websites were listing it on sale for about $200.  DVF's own website listed it for sale for... $168.  Quite a nice little savings, right?  Not only did I save the most money by buying directly from the designer, but I am guaranteed an authentic dress and I know the dress is brand-new (the original price tag was even still attached).  My dress came perfectly packaged, nary a wrinkle in sight.

Here is a fuzzy photo of the dress on a model.  I don't have a photo of me trying the dress on because I didn't buy it in a store.  I was perfectly fine ordering a DVF wrap dress online because I know my size and trying it on  prior to purchase wasn't necessary.



Shopping Tip #4 - Don't be afraid to shop at a traditionally expensive store, like Bergdorf Goodman.

I concur that the prices at department stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barney's (NYC staples) are often sky-high.  However, just as if you had visited a designer's store during a seasonal cleanout, these upscale department stores will often have seasonal cleanouts as well -- and discounts are often steep and can sometimes be found online. 

Bergdorf Goodman will have these major cleanouts just a few times a year, but they are worth waiting for because the prices drop so insanely low!  I once bought two suit jackets and a skirt (all Tahari and Theory) for less than $250 collectively.  For a frame of reference, the retail cost was closer to $600.  My most prized find was a pair of Christian Louboutin heels for less than $300 -- they were just sitting there, brand-new and lovely, on a clearance rack of designer shoes.  These heels became my wedding shoes!

I recently purchased an adorable summery Milly dress from Bergdorf Goodman for $229, marked down from $385!  Discounts like this are standard at Bergdorf Goodman, as long as you are there when the right clearance racks are out.  This is the perfect dress to wear this summer to work, with a cardigan, and then out in the heat afterwards.  I just loved the cut, the fabric and the terrific little belt!



Shopping Tip #5 - Just like eBay, a resale/consignment store might yield some amazing items.

A stroll around Greenwich Village in NYC is never complete for me without a stop at the Buffalo Exchange on 11th Street (which is conveniently flanked by two other resale/consignment stores, so you really have a lot of shopping options in one small area).  The Buffalo Exchange has locations all over the country, so visit the website and see if a store is near you.  The goods are gently used but generally in excellent condition.  Sellers bring items directly into the store and the savings are passed on to you!  I tried on an adorable pair of J.Crew wedges and a cute Banana Republic dress this past visit, but decided to purchase a brand-new-looking Juicy hoodie... for $19.  I was able to try it on in a private dressing room (unlike eBay) and inspect the item myself to assure it was definitely worn once or twice at most!

You don't need to live near a Buffalo Exchange to get a great deal.  Many cities have resale/consignment stores and they are probably worth a look.  Just a few blocks from my apartment is a consignment store that sells everything from Pucci purses to cheap and flashy costume jewelry.  Even your local Goodwill or similar type of thrift shop may be a great source.  I used to visit a Goodwill-type of store in Boston and bought plenty of crisp button-down shirts for work and cute outfits for going out for only a few dollars each.


Thank you for reading!


I TRY STUFF ON (SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO) is a blog written by a woman who prefers to remain anonymous (a lawyer, wife, stepmom and all-around fashionista). 



March 25, 2011

Rebekah - From the Mixed-Up Files: Lace!

Hi!  I’m Rebekah of From the Mixed-Up Files.  I'm so excited to be doing a guest post while our girl Meggy is out of town.  It's also my first guest post ever--woohoo!

 
If you follow outfit of the day (OOTD)-type blogs, you may recognize the skirt above, which is from Target.  It should probably be deemed the 2010 official skirt of fashion bloggers.  I eyed it in the store for a long time and finally pulled the trigger when it was on clearance this past fall.  Because I was pregnant at the time, I haven’t gotten a chance to wear it until now.

There are a few things that will always catch my eye whenever I'm shopping, regardless of season or trend:  anything yellow, ruffles, and LACE!  I’ve been sneaking lace into my wardrobe for years--for going out to bars in college...



...And most importantly (for me anyway), for my wedding dress.  


 Needless to say, I was pretty delighted when lace items started popping up this fall.  Now that spring’s around the corner (sooner rather than later hopefully!), lace is everywhere, and I couldn’t be happier about it. 

Here are some items I’m loving from Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, Victorias Secret, and Delias (I’m probably too old to shop at Delia’s, but they have a lot of cute lace options):


Currently Sold Out


Thanks for having me!