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Best Spring Fashions for the Chic
PLUS Mother's Day Gift Guide

As spring attempts to settle in — albeit with the pace of a retreating glacier — those of us here in the North are fraught with frustration. The stores are filled with sweet dresses, delightful rope sole wedges and embellished flats, pretty patterned trenches and dressy shorts. The beauty sites hawk fresh blushes and kissable glosses, bright shades for eyes, and the latest in bronzing technology. But we step out the front door in bare legs, strappy sandals and an insulation-free coat at our peril—breezes from the Northwest still howl across parking lots, train platforms and city streets sending frigid air up our springy skirts and down the backs of our necks. Snow has mostly switched over to rain, but it’s still not warm enough to put away the boots and tights, or cashmere scarves and hats. We need ways to be creative with our new purchases (since if I wear those darned houndstooth trousers one more day I’m going to lose it big time) so we can work the new season’s sassafras into the current weather patterns and still feel like our outfits are new and special when the wind stops howling. Fortunately, there are great ways to do that, provided you buy wisely and aren’t afraid to layer. So to those of you south of the Mason-Dixon Line, enjoy your magnolias and mint juleps in your spring finery, sans thermal underwear. The rest of you, advice abounds below.

Work: One issue with dressing for the whole day is that it can be frigid, down-jacket wearing weather when we leNORDSTROM - Shop Women's Work Clothingave the house first thing in the morning, but sunny and mild mid-day when we get a few minutes of fresh air, then chilly again when we head for home. Layers, I repeat, layers, are the sanest choice. Now, wear your new safari-style jacket with khaki-colored trousers, a dark turtleneck sweater, and your favorite dress boots; later, swap the turtleneck for a bright voile blouse and the boots for coordinating patent heels. And when the summer turns sultry, if your workplace is progressive enough, you can swap the trousers for polished, knee-length shorts or culottes  and strappy, neutral-toned sandals.

Now, you can top that sleek shift dress with a sweet cardigan (and hide a gorgeous little cami underneath for more insulation) and keep your (pasty winter) legs under cover for a few more weeks with tights, preferably black, navy, or grey, whichever one coordinates with your dress (please don’t get bright tights!). Wear those lush suede slingbacks, or your favorite ankle or knee boots (and remember, monochromatic matching with your tights will make your legs look looooooong). Later, the silhouette will look lovely the season's must-have gladiators and soft skin, no layers necessary.

The same narrow cropped pants you wear now with pumps, a business-y blouse and a blazer can work later with a bright silk patterned top and work-comfy flats, especially if you change your big dark winter bag for something a bit lighter or brighter. There are some great affordably-priced bags out there this spring—get a different one to coordinate with each look!

Play: We know that jeans work in all seasons, so you can justify the dynamite designer denims by wearing them year-round. Start now with a shimmery or lacey tunic and heeled boots for an evening out with friends, layered with a great jacket, gloves and a clutch. Later, lose the jacket, and trade the boots for chunky heeled sandals or jeweled flats. And if you’re interested in branching out from standard blues, try a pair of white denims—they will stand out in the crowd, and show off the bright colors that are so hot this spring.

If you’re headed to a big celebratory dinner or the theater, try a dress, loose or cinched, in a reflective or metallic fabric that will sparkle in the low light. Add a sleek heel or peep-toe with silky tights, or go funky in a slick little bootie. Later, for the next big celebration, go bare-legged under the dress, add more accessories like a big cuff bracelet and swingy earrings, and show off your bright new pedicure in the evening sandal of your choice.

Weekend: Instead of always falling back on jeans, try something different. Wear a dapper pair of cuffed chinos with a close-fitting little sweater and a cropped jacket, with sneakers to keep it casual. That way, you can walk through all the stores without having to stop and rest your piggies. When the weather changes, trade the sweater for a snug tee with interesting detail, and swap the sneaks for some flat gladiator sandals. And shove the day’s bargains in a funky tote with room for sunglasses, water, and more.

If you need to wear a skirt (brunch, bridal shower, dinner with people you need to impress), grab one of the hot spring trends: a full skirt in a bright pattern (plaid is all the rage) or a floral print. Top it with your trusty jacket and a blouse or sweater for now, with low-heeled pumps, and later you can bare your legs with some platform wedges, and bare your arms in a feminine tank or close-fitting blouse. (Just remember with both of these looks: if you wear a fuller silhouette on the bottom, wear a snug top; you don’t want to look like the Michelin man!)

So we wait for the really warm weather to arrive here in the upper latitudes, but now we have something to occupy our time (shopping), and opportunities to get out the fun new looks before the last of the chill fades away. One last tip: while you’re out looking for sundresses, shorts and sandals, don’t forget to check out the sales for wardrobe staples for next fall, like turtlenecks, cashmere, a definitive little black dress and classic boots! Maybe you can get one last wearing out of them before the temperatures rise!

Happy shopping!

Shop Girl

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Mother's Day Gift Guide

Simply Vera Vera Wang for Mother's Day

Looking for a great gift for mom this Mother's Day? Check out the chic, stylish and affordable selection of jewelry and accessories from Simply Vera Vera Wang available now at Kohl's.


Mother's Day Beautifying Essentials

This Mother's Day, don't just give mom the same old gift; surprise her with gifts she will love. On her special day, treat her to the luxurious beauty products from Carthusia, C.O. Bigelow and Soap & Paper Factory

Carthusia LadyMom will love this sweet and persuasive floral Chypre fragrance that surrounds gently with feminine notes of ylang-ylang, rose petal and bergamot. Sensual jasminefruity peach and lily of the valley apply a touch of floral sexiness and melt into a warm mixture of white musk, patchouli and sandalwood.

Price: $140

Available: cobigelow.com

C.O. Bigelow Eucalyptus CandleThe intoxicating scent of eucalyptus meets enticing fruit in this candle based on the long-time apothecary-favorite perfume oil. Top notes of juicy lemon, apple, and zesty citrus blend with herbaceous eucalyptus, sage leaves, and garden rose. Dry notes of patchouli, oak moss, and vanilla bean lend a touch of subtle warmth.  

Price: $42

Available: cobigelow.com

Soap & Paper Factory Shea Butter Hand Cream in Bouquet : Your mom’s hands will feel soothed and protected with this pure, velvety hand cream formulated with the finest oils available in nature.

Price: $18

Availablesoapandpaperfactory.com


Smooth Skin for Mother's Day

A sure fire way to become Mom's Favorite is to give her the gift of silky smooth skin and permanently remove unwanted hair with mē smooth or mē chic.

mē smooth: Designed to bring the power of professional laser hair removal into the comfort and privacy of your own home, mē smooth delivers unparalleled hair removal at a fraction of the cost and time of in-office treatments. The device is the first at-home hair removal device to be approved by the FDA for use on all skin tones and the widest range of hair colors. Clinically proven to remove up to 94% of hair in just 7 weeks and unlike excruciating traditional treatments, the mē smooth is completely pain-free and fast, treating hair in minutes with no need for down time.

Available: mepower.com,

mē chicSmall and lightweight, the chic is convenient to use both at home and away to treat targeted areas in just minutes. Perfect for smaller, contoured areas like the bikini, underarm and face, yet as effective on larger areas like legs. Powerful but safe, the chic is the only FDA-cleared technology for permanent results on all skin tones and is clinically proven to be effective on the widest range of hair colors, even on blond, dark blond and red hair. Used in the privacy of your own home, unwanted hair becomes nothing but a memory.

Available: mepower.com,


Mother's Day with Look Beauty

Give that special woman in your life the rest and relaxation she deserves for Mother’s Day – without breaking the bank! Pamper her with an at-home spa day thanks to Look Beauty’s Masque Bar Collection.

These treatment masks infused with fruit and natural botanicals extracts, soften and smooth for beautiful, healthy looking skin from head to toe.

 

Masque Bar by Look Beauty Brightening Sheet Mask helps illuminate and correct dull skin, especially after the long days spent at work. This facial sheet mask minimizes the appearance of dark spots and various pigmentation irregularities for a more even complexion and radiant skin thanks to ingredients like Orange Extract, Licorice Root and Vitamin C. ($9.99 for three masks; Amazon.com)

 

 

 

Replenish dry, rough overworked hands with the Handtreat Mani by Look Beauty Moisture & Nourishing Hand Mask!This intense moisture treatment filled in a newly designed "Glove-type" hand mask penetrates quickly & deeply to protect, nourish and restore moisture to skin. ($9.99 for two complete pairs; Amazon.com)

 

 

 

 

After being on her feet all day, she can kick up tired and achy heels with the Feetreat Pedi Exfoliating Foot Mask by Look Beauty. These foot exfoliators and treatments are easy to use wearable socks that removes calluses. With key ingredients like chamomile, natural botanical and papaya extracts, feet will be perfectly smooth within two weeks. ($9.99; amazon.com

 

 

 


Lauren B & Philip B: Mother's Day Gifting

Mom works tirelessly to look after and care for us each and every day. Return the favor this MOTHER’S DAY by bringing a luxurious manicure straight to her with Lauren B. Beauty and Philip B. The Ultimate Nail Treatment Collection is filled with the essentials she needs for the ultimate indulgence on their special day! Keep those manicured hands looking flawless for weeks to come with Philip B luxurious Lavender Hand Crème.

 

Ultimate Nail Treatment Collection: Pamper your hands and nails with this botanical breakthrough. This kit includes only vegan-friendly and cruelty-free ingredients, including travel hand cream, smoothing cuticle balm, and long-wearing top coats, for a guaranteed perfect manicure.

 

 

 

Philip B Lavender Hand Crème: This rich, super-indulgent, youth-preserving crème sinks in instantly to tackle dryness, making rough spots, peeling cuticles and itchy palms a thing of the past. Bonus: The elegant pump bottle makes a gorgeous gift. Just tie on a ribbon and you’re set.

 

 


Let Mom Slip into Luxury with Minnie Rose

Your mom will adore the amazing new addition to the Minnie Rose collection, the Cashmere Slipper. Adorned with a fur pom, it is the perfect combination of cozy, comfortable and fun! I would love you to consider these slippers for any upcoming Mother’s Day gift guides and features. The cashmere slippers are a fabulous complement to the brand’s popular knit pieces and are an ideal gift to make your mom, sister, friend, or wife feel super special. Exclusively for Mother’s Day the slippers will retail at $143.

Additionally, Minnie Rose is known for its classic ponchos, wraps and cover-ups. These also make great gifts and are essential transition pieces.


Mother's Day Gift Idea: MAKE Mom a Gift with the Help of We Are Knitters

Mom always loved the hand-made gifts when you were a kid, so this year give her the grown-up version with the help of We Are Knitters.

This Madrid-based fashion meets DIY company offers wide selection of quick fashion options that are on-trend, but instead of the finished piece, you receive everything you need to knit (or crochet, or petit point) it yourself. And if you’re thinking that knitting is only for winter-wear, think again, We Are Knitters has a large selection of knit tees, gorgeous accessories and even a bikini.

Just imagine the joy that will come across mom’s face when she realized you made the gift for her! Or if knitting/crocheting isn’t your thing, you could always just gift her the kit, she’ll still love it!


NEW Shadow Stick Extra Eyeshadows from Mally Beauty

Get this gorgois eyelook spring with this newest product from Celebrity Makeup Artist and Founder for Mally Beauty,Mally Roncal, the Shadow Stick Extra Eyeshadow. Building on the success of her smudge-proof, transfer-proof, crease-proof, bullet-proof Evercolor Shadow Sticks, these reformulated shadows add MORE hydration making them anti-aging too! Go for a sheer wash of color, or layer it on to dial up the drama. You get thirty seconds of playtime before the shadow sets, so you can blur or blend any way you like for a look that stays put until you decide to take it off.
 

For the Mom Who Loves to be Pampered:
Le Couvent des Minimes Eau Sereine collection

Inspired by the serene setting of the Convent in the South of France, this collection will help mom indulge in a moment of perfect calm. The collection features a selection of premium goods designed to help steal away a few moments each day to reflect and restore. From the nourishing hand cream to the blissful pillow mist to indulge in total relaxation, each product offers a moment of pure calm.

Botanical Cologne of Serenity: Inspired by the breathtaking surroundings of the Convent, this botanical fragrance captures the tranquil waters of a lake high in the mountains of Haute-Provence. Made from an original recipe, the fragrance blends delicate lavender and bergamot for a relaxing scent, while lily of the valley, rose and blueberry notes combine over base notes of warm cedar for a revitalizing finish.
Moisturizing Hand Cream: Light and silky, this indulgent hand cream helps to soften and hydrate dry hands. The fragrance pays homage to the Original Recipe with a signature blend of lavender and mandarin, leaving hands lightly scented.
Relaxing Shower Gel: Inspired by the relaxing setting of the Convent, this rich, plant-based cleansing base gently cleanses skin while leaving behind a revitalizing fragrance.
Relaxing Foaming Bath: Create an atmosphere of well-being with this luxurious, cleansing foam. Made from an original recipe, the foam combines lavender with mandarin for a calm, restful scent.
Relaxing Pillow Mist: Drift away to peaceful relaxation with this gentle mist. The scent blends essential oils with florals for a fragrance that’s evokes a sense of calmness. Simply spray the fragrance onto your linens or in your bedroom, and allow the soothing scent to provide an instant feeling of well-being.

Sustainable Apparel Brand
Threads 4 Thought

Looking for a unique Mother's Day Gift for the eco-conscious mom? Threads 4 Thought — a sustainable apparel brand for Men & Woman — has amazing product that would be sure to score you some brownie points with the Mom in your life this Mother's Day!

Whether she is a fitness fanatic, likes to lounge in comfy clothes, or is always looking for the perfect accessory to jazz up an outfit, Threads 4 Thought will have the perfect gift.

 


NEW from PÜR Cosmetics: HydraFluid Water Serum Foundation

 

HydraFluid Water Serum Foundation is a hydrating serum foundation that combines the dewy look of a beauty balm with the coverage of foundation. The innovative formula utilizes an Encapsulated Water Complex to deliver pure water sourced from the Swiss Alps deep into skin, supporting skin’s physiology and integrity – water sourced from the Swiss Alps is known for its high purity and is the ideal mineral water to refresh skin.

The concentrated formula delivers hydration benefits that promote a healthy-looking complexion while offering medium, buildable coverage for a fresh, youthful look. It is incomparably lightweight yet offers the perfect amount of coverage and satisfies the desire for dewy, breathable, luminous looking skin. This is the chosen foundation to create “bare-looking” but perfect complexion whatever your skin tone or type.


Tata Harper Elixir Vitae Eye Serum 

Looking for a game-changing, natural solution to stop wrinkles and saggy skin around the eyes…right in its tracks? Enter Tata Harper’s NEW Elixir Vitae Eye Serum. The latest addition to her fan-favorite, Elixir Vitae, this new launch instantly plumps, lifts and tightens the eye area, while visibly repairing existing lines and preventing the formation of new ones and helping to achieve a youthful complexion.

Tata Harper Elixir Vitae Eye Serum Intensive Volumizing Eye Therapy 

Instantly plump, lift, and tighten the eye area with this silky, fast-absorbing antiaging daily eye serum. Powerful natural extracts visibly repair existing lines in the eye area and prevent the formation of new ones, while boosting the appearance of the skin's youthful cushion to help reverse the hollowing effects of aging. Long-term results include a restored fullness around the eye area, plus increased resilience and a dramatic reduction in the visibility of lines and wrinkles.


Spring Clean Your Beauty Routine

April is here, and Spring is finally in sight! There is no better time to spring clean your beauty routine to match your skin to the season. With these pretty picks, you’re sure to brighten any day.

Korres Pomegranate Balancing Cream-Gel Moisturizer  KORRES Pomegranate Balancing Cream-Gel Moisturizer delivers immediate and lasting hydration while simultaneously balancing oily to combination complexions. The unique lightweight cream-gel texture is formulated with a blend of 15 percent pomegranate water, pomegranate extract, alpine willowherb, tannins, and polyphenols. These ingredients help reduce the appearance of pores and rejuvenate the look of skin while providing a matte finish..
 
Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare Complete Clarity Facial Cleansing Wash will remove impurities and help protect your skin with a moisture barrier, leaving it incredibly soft and smooth.
 
Lavanila Laboratories The Healthy Body Butter in Vanilla Grapefruit absorbs instantly for deeply hydrated, luxuriously soft skin. 100% pure Shea & Cocoa Butters blend with powerful antioxidants and essential oils for long-lasting hydration. With super soft scents and a non-greasy formula, prepare for the ultimate indulgence.

Cargo Cosmetics New Eye Contour Eye

Introducing Cargo Cosmetics' new Eye Contour Eye Shadow Palettes designed to help you lift, define and highlight eyes like a pro through the art of contouring.

The new essential collection of six graduating matte shades, one double-sized shimmer shadow/highlighter and one double-sized matte base shade was designed specifically for creating a natural-looking, sculpted eye. Each shade is labeled warm or cool, light to dark and blends seamlessly for an airbrushed effect.

HOW TO USE

  • Step 1: Apply the matte or shimmer base followed by the light
    shades
  • Step 2: Lift by shadowing outer corners and accentuating the
    crease with the medium shades
  • Step 3: Define by emphasizing lash lines and creating depth with
    the dark shades
  • Step 4: Highlight inner corners and brow bone for eye-catching
    light reflection

Just for Fun

Our Vie Adventures!

Want to experience the ultimate road trip vicariously? You've GOT to check out my girl Madison's blog about her adventures with hunky hubby and adorable feline friend Vladimir Kitten! This fearless trio is chasing their dream by taking on the challenge of visiting ALL of the National Parks in the continental US this year (which just happens to be the centennial year for the National Park Service!)

My favorite part? They have rescued a down-and-out RV (recently re-christened "OurVie") and given it the ultimate Extreme Home (on wheels) Makeover, which is completely documented in their recent blog post. You will be amazed and astounded at what these adventurous and creative souls have done with this little love wagon! Ingenuity abounds in this renovation - cabinet doors made from repurposed barn wood, a découpaged ceiling using old topography maps, countertops made from sheet metal (you cannot destroy them!) and cabinet handles created from leather belts found at a thrift shop!! And to top it all off (literally) OurVie has solar panels on the roof!!!

Join in the fun and follow the adventures of Madison, Cees and Vladimir Kitten! You will laugh, you will cry with joy and your soul will be fed by the beautiful scenery to be found in this fabulous nation of ours. Check it out at OurVie.com.

They have teamed up with several sponsors, but are always interested in partnering with others, so if you want to see your logo on a fab retro motorhome give them a shout at contact@ourvie.com.

 

 


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