A Year in Natural Hair

I was clicking through the photos on the Chic Mommy, Cool Kid Facebook fan page recently (which you should totally check out if you haven't already), and noticed how much my hair has grown in the past year! In December of 2008, I made the decision to "go natural" and stop chemically relaxing my hair (you can read more about that decision here). Since then my hair has really thrived--it's become healthier and stronger as well as longer. 


hair length April 2011 versus May 2012


During the cool weather I generally get my hair blown out every couple of weeks and wear it straight. But in the summer, humidity and workouts don't really allow for that so I wear it straightened and in buns; or curly and in ponytails or buns. Last summer my care routine consisted of various shampoos and conditioners along with daily staples that included:


- Curls curl creme brule (for moisture)
- Shea Moisture curl enhancing smoothie (for stretching)
- Twisted Sista curl activator and 30 second curl refresher spray (for dry styling on days that I didn't shampoo or condition)
- Eco Styler olive oil styling gel (for my edges)


This year, I think I'll be switching up those products--particularly because I've fallen in love with the Shea Radiance line of products (you can read my review here). I'll be posting a hair products wish list next week, but in the meantime do you have any favorites you'd like to share with me? I heart suggestions!




In My Closet: Organization

I love organizing things--in particular, my closet; everything has to be neatly arranged so that I'm able to see exactly what's there (and so that it's pretty to look at, of course).

Gotta love sunglasses for summer!
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been shifting my winter clothing (heavier sweaters, sweater dresses, suede, etc) out of my closet and making room for lighter spring appropriate items; moving my shoes around so that the peep toes, sandals and wedges are at the forefront; as well as purging a few final pairs of shoes that I never wear.
most of these have now been traded out for more spring/summer like versions
I've finally finished making all the hangers uniform (read more here about why that's important), which makes a world of difference in space. I've become of fan of these hangers from Bed Bath and Beyond because of the hook in the front that allows them to be layered in front of each other so that only one out of every 3 or 4 hangers has to physically be on the rack. Layering hangers has made so much more room for my tops! I also grabbed these tiered skirt hangers for my skirts and strapless dresses and they work in the same way.


uniform hangers / winter shoes and most handbags on the shelves / super cute little polka
dot basket from Target for storing summer scarves and a pink bin for housing belts so
they're not falling all over the place

I’ve gotten mostly to the level of organization I’m aiming for with the exception of still needing to purge a few pair of boots (I’ll save that for the winter closet clean up), and wanting proper storage for my bags and purses—which I finally took out of the plastic bin they’d been in since I moved a year ago. For now they’re flattened and stacked on a shelf, but eventually I want to stuff them and display them in a way that saves their shape. I will probably also need to add additional shoe racks along the floor at some point, but for now every pair has a home. 

Do you rearrange your closet each season? What's your favorite way to organize?

Style Savvy Memorial Day Holiday


“Best. Weekend. Ever.” That’s the phrase I would use to describe my Memorial Day holiday weekend. The honey and I managed to balance lots of quality snuggle time alone with loads of fun with family and friends. 

Friday - Dress: Asos / necklace: NY & Co (also seen here)  / sunglasses: Nordstrom

On Saturday, we headed to the shore for a family cookout at my dad’s house where we would fill up on the grilled goodness my dad was preparing, along with my mom’s amazing potato salad and deviled eggs.  On the way there, we made a quick detour to the outlets so the honey could grab a pair of shorts. Somehow, the kid and I ended up with several bags full of items, while the honey left with—you guessed it—the pair of shorts he came for. Weird… Noteworthy to mention, I snagged a super cute romper from Banana Republic--my second in two summer seasons. I had given up on shorts years ago because they were uncomfortable and I didn't feel they flattered my shape; rompers, however, have restored my faith in shorts. I hope the trend sticks around for awhile!

snagged, clockwise from top left: striped maxi dress, patterned romper and hot pink
nail color: Banana Republic / bracelets: Kate Spade and Ralph Lauren / bright orange hobo:
Banana Republic / a rainbow of basketball shorts for the kid: Nike / shorts and fitted tees
 for the kid: Banana Republic; v-neck tee: Polo by Ralph Lauren

Since we were traveling, I kept my dress simple in a fitted striped number from Loft, with a bronze wedge and a great statement necklace I picked up last week for a pop of color.

Saturday - dress: Loft / necklace and rings: Francesca's / wedges: Nine West

Sunday found honey and I hanging with friends at the Caribbean Wine Festival at Linganore Winecellars. It was ridiculously hot, but huge tents for shade, lots of food and of course—the wine, made the heat much easier to bear. With the weather in mind, I went with a short, flirty orange dress from Asos that has a cute back cut out (also seen here), and orange flowered flats. Sunday evening, we hung out with the honey’s brother, SIL and their babies—a more relaxed (and much cooler) endeavor.


Sunday - dress: Asos / sandals: Nine West / sunglasses and earrings:
Nordstrom / bracelets: Ralph Lauren, Cruzan hook from St. Thomas /
watch: Rotary / necklace: Tiffany 

On my nails this weekend: two shades of purple; a pastel lilac and then a darker sparkly violet.

on thumb and ring finger: Sally Hansen Insta-Dry nail color in 'vigorous violet' / on remaining nails: OPI 'Do You Lilac It?' 

I like to think of Memorial Day weekend as the kick-off to the summer season so this one was the perfect lead-in to summer fun! 

What to Wear: Festivals

Coachella may have ended, but festival season is just kicking into high gear here on the east coast. With a plethora of wine festivals, annual music fests like Rock the Bells, and newer events like this year's JayZ fest in Philly--there are still plenty of reasons to get festival fab this summer. Wondering what to wear?


There are certain staples--like maxi dresses, flat sandals, crossbody bags and great sunglasses--that will always be the perfect items to wear to a festival event (click here to find out why these pieces always work); but you can always update them by incorporating things that speak to the current season’s trends.

Here are a few trends you’ll want to try this year:

Short flirty skirts

Maxi dresses rule the summer when it comes to comfort, but why not try a shorter flirty skirt to play in? Asos has a plethora that fit the bill, like the skater skirt in check print and this gorgeous color block number.

Prints

Floral, gingham, chevron, scarf, Aztec—prints are all over this year, so why not give them a whirl? This Vero Moda palm print skirt and Anthropologie shape swirled skirt are great ways to get started with this trend.

Straw fedora

Block those harsh sun rays in style with a straw fedora. White House Black Market has a gorgeous white one with black ribbon trim, and Urban Outfitters gives their ‘pins and needles frayed’ version a girly touch with an adorable bow.

Chambray / Denim

Chambray is always on trend, and there are so many great styles to choose from if you want to insert it into your summer outfit lineup. Go sophisticated in this Bellatrix Chambray Shirtdress from Nordstrom, or pair a chambray top—like this Tommy Hilfiger button down--with your favorite pair of colored jeans.


*photos via Refinery 29

Ruffled and Racerback | Style Savvy Weekend Rewind


I inhaled so much great food this weekend that I couldn't WAIT to get up this morning and get in a workout. LOL. But it was totally worth it. My sweet cousin Tionah graduated on Saturday from Morgan State University--my alma mater, so I was doubly proud--and her graduation dinner was held at Houlihan's. I've eaten at Houlihan's before, but had never tried the dishes I tried on Saturday, and boy was I missing out! If you ever decide to dine there, I highly recommend the goat cheese and artichoke poppers with fresh thyme and lemon zest; the Parmesan frites (fancy french fries); and the seared scallops with lemon asparagus risotto and baby greens. All were absolutely delightful. I literally could NOT stop eating the lemon asparagus risotto and ended up stuffing myself silly.

photos, clockwise from top left: goat cheese and artichoke poppers / scallops w/lemon asparagus risotto / Houlihan's skinny superfruit martini and the grad's tasty celebratory cake / Sunday breakfast on the balcony: homemade oatmeal cooked from steel cut oats and fresh brewed coffee--with a little Glamour on the side


We enjoyed perfect dress weather this weekend! For Tionah's graduation ceremony I went with this striped number with ruffled top and racer back from Francesca's. I belted with my wide black patent leather belt from White House Black Market, slipped into my polka dot peep toe pumps and topped it all off with my favorite yellow cardigan (which I swear I must wear once a week, but I just love it so, and it goes with so many things in my wardrobe!). On Sunday I attended an awesome private, ladies only vision board tea, hosted by the fabulous Cylia Lowe of From Theory To Practice, a boutique consulting firm dedicated to "empowering you with the tools you need to unlock your potential." I think it's really important to know what you want, to set actionable goals, and to have someone to help you be accountable for all the little steps it takes to achieve said goals; so working on a vision board in a group environment sounded like a fantastic idea. Food, supplies, great energy, sound encouragement, a raffle and parting gifts made this an all around awesome event.

photos, clockwise from top left: headed out to the graduation ceremony / with the lovely graduate / this weekend's nails: a light pink from Urban Outfitters, topped at the tips with 'Not Your Average Turquoise' from the Sephora by OPI collection / the white pleated dress, bronze belt and bronze Nine West wedges I wore to Sunday's event / the same Nine West wedges in tan and white as well as pink, red and orange; I wanted to snag one of these in addition to the bronze (which I picked up on Saturday), but they didn't have my size. *sadness* / a cool kid arm party that T snuck in with my photos

**For more photos of what I wore or what's in my closet, be sure to follow me on Instagram, @PishPoshPerf or like the Pish Posh Perfect Facebook page and check out the Instagram feed.

Drool Worthy: Standout Shoes





My obsession with high high heels was fed via Pinterest this week, while I fawned over these amazing high end shoes. They're all so unique--whether in color, design or fabric--and all are guaranteed to make those calves look amazing (as evidenced by the last pic). When it comes to drool-worthy footwear, you can always count on Zanotti, Louboutin and Choo!

Hope you all have amazing plans to enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend!
xo



Color Struck: Black and White


Color is bountiful for spring, and it marks wonderfully the change in the season and the chance for a  new beginning. As enamored as I am with color, I continue to be inspired by the combination of black and white. It is classic, clean and appropriate all year round--I am always struck by the many different ways in which these colors can be structured and worn.






Black and white works for decor just as well as clothing; You can add a pop of color or a bit of sparkle; it can be the basis for your entire room or outfit, or it can be the accent that pulls together your color story.






As you finish the remainder of your week, remember to take a break from your busy schedule, so you can breathe and get inspired!


Photos: (1) Where Did U Get That / (2) Girl About Town / (3) Pinterest via Glitter Guide / (4) Pinterest / (5) Pinterest


Posh Tip: Host a Swap Party


Want to get new clothing items, shoes, accessories or products without having to spend a ton of money (or any at all)? Why not host a swap party?

Here is an opportunity to get your best girlfriends together, along with any items they no longer want, can’t fit or can’t use. Just organize everything together in appropriate groupings, and then trade away! Obviously everything should be new or in good condition—and even if items don’t still have the tags, they will be new to your closet and you’ll put a whole new spin on them. Plus, your friends are people whose taste and opinions you trust, so what better closet to shop than theirs? Add light fare and cocktails for a complete “girls’ night in” style affair.

My friends and I are planning a product swap party for this summer. We’re (almost) all natural girls and all product junkies—but since everyone’s hair, skin and nails differ, not all products work for each of us. Instead of having things go to waste or just sitting around in our bathrooms, we’re going to gather everything together and swap! Another fun girls’ day to get excited about!


Photo via Pinterest

Sunny and Stripes | Style Savvy Weekend Rewind


This weekend was chock full of love, and though exhausting, I had a wonderful time with family and friends, snagged a few new items, and wore a couple of super cute dresses.

Snagged



I needed to restock on a brush and cleanser for my Clarisonic MIA, so I made a quick Sephora run for those items, and ended up getting 2 new polishes as well: “Cartwheels on the Catwalk”, a gorgeous light blue from the Betsey Johnson for Sephora by OPI collection; and “Not Your Average Turquoise”, a glitter polish, also from the Sephora by OPI collection.

Every time I visit my mom, I spend some time browsing her jewelry; and almost every one of those times, I snag something from her jewelry box. Everything just feels more special when it belongs to her so I spend a lot of time ‘borrowing’ pieces. After watching her parade around in a fabulous layered necklace with her suit on Mother’s Day, I decided that I needed it. It’s going to work perfectly with something that I wear this week…I just don’t know what yet. Stay tuned.

Wore


congrats AB!

Love the pleating on the back of this tuxedo style blazer. dress: Banana Republic / bag: Target / shoes: GUESS by Marciano

On Saturday I got to see AB graduate with her Master’s of Science in Marketing--such a proud friend moment! And for the occasion, I brought an oldie but goodie out of the closet: this yellow and white patterned Banana Republic dress; and topped it with a white tuxedo style blazer.


rings: GLITTERRINGS / watch: gifted / chain link bracelet: Etsy / necklace: Tiffany & Co. (gifted)

Saturday evening was spent running errands, so I opted for jeans, the blouse with the horses that I snagged from Francesca’s a couple of weeks ago, a black wedge and silver jewelry.



dress, belt: White House Black Market / shoes: Shoe Dazzle / sunglasses: Nordstrom

On Mother’s Day, I attended church and brunch with the family in the black and white striped dress I wore last Sunday to the Day at the Races event—but this time I changed up the accessories, wearing it with the fuchsia belt that came with the dress, and my shoe dazzle t-strap pumps with a hint of hot pink. Mom was uber stylish in her purple suit with white hat, gloves and bag that she got when we took T to NYC last month for his birthday. Doesn’t she look gorgeous??!!!



on fingers: 'Cartwheels on the Catwalk', 'Not Your Average Turquoise' accent, both Sephora for OPI / on toes: OPI 'Alpine Snow'

And of course, I couldn’t wait to try out my new polishes, so my nails got the blues with a little bit of sparkle. Glitter polishes and accent nails are pretty much my favorite things right now.

Hope you had a fantastic Mother’s Day weekend as well!

For more peeks at what I'm wearing, you can follow me on Instagram @chicmommy1 or fan my Facebook page and follow the feed from there.


5 Things I Want to Add to My Spring Wardrobe

With the sun peeking out only briefly a few days per week, it hasn’t felt quite right to go with the full on bright color and fun prints indicative of a spring wardrobe. But while waiting for the warmth to settle in, I’ve been keeping a watchful eye for 5 pieces that I know I want to add to my spring wardrobe.

Neon or pastel jeans



I’m not a huge jeans girl, but they are such a practical basic and this season’s neon and pastel styles are making me want to snag a pair. Adding a great print blouse--or even a white tee and scarf—along with a great heel makes this ideal for the season.

An envelope clutch



Envelope clutches are the perfect in-between bag: small enough to carry under your arm, but large enough to hold more than keys and a lipstick. Adoring this style.

Sandals



For the past few years I’ve opted for peep-toe pumps and sling backs. I have really wide feet, so the task of trying on dozens of sandals to find the right fit can be daunting. But I think that this year, I’m getting back in the game.



I’ve been drooling over this Zara basic sandal for weeks on Instagram, but I need to head into a store and try them on before purchasing. I have to be careful about ankle straps, making sure they don’t cut off my legs and make them look even shorter than they already are. 

A pastel pump



I mentioned wanting to snag a pair of these here. And they just keep showing up everywhere—on Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr—you name it. I searched for a great yellow pair I’d seen on Instagram at Cusp.com; but they were no longer available.

Pastel cardigans



What better way to fight the chill and look darling while doing it, than to wear a pastel cardigan? I have a few in my closet, but I could do with a few more since lately every day calls for layering.

What great pieces are you still trying to snag for spring?




Currently Inspired By…



I moved into my current space just about a year ago this month. When my son and I were first getting settled, I was very into nesting and pulling everything together the way I was envisioning in my mind’s eye. But as winter and cold settled in, my enthusiasm waned. Now, with spring in the air, and the natural inclination it brings to want to refresh and make things feel new and bright, I am reinvigorated in my quest to make my home more beautiful. Here are some of the things I am currently inspired by for this endeavor…

Stripes and Chevron








Pretty but Functional Closets
(and other multi-functional storage)






Ultra-Feminine Office Spaces











Elegant Mirrors






Do you feel the urge to update your home in the spring?
What are you currently inspired by?


All photos via Pinterest

Out and About | Style Savvy Weekend Rewind


This weekend was one of those that went by in a whirlwind as I moved from event to event. I had such a great time and was so present in the moment that I didn’t take a ton of pics. But, I did capture a few to share.

beaded maxi dress from my favorite consignment shop


On Saturday afternoon, GG hosted a birthday cookout for her oldest child. The weather started out perfectly—kind of warm, but with just enough breeze to keep you cool—so I opted for the comfort of a maxi-dress. For all intents and purposes, this is a simple brown cotton maxi—but the jewel of this dress is in the intricate, colorful beading along the racer back tank cut of the back of the dress. That, and the fact that the length actually works for me (maxi dresses are almost always too long for my 5’ 3” frame) makes this one of my favorite dresses for summer.


blouse and earrings: Francesca's / jeans: Old Navy / t-strap pumps: Shoe Dazzle / bag: Target 


Later that evening, Mrs. S. and I headed out on a BFF date to check out ‘Cirque Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour’. If you have an opportunity to go and see this show dedicated to the King of Pop, I highly recommend that you go. It’s a stunning tribute—Michael’s vocals superimposed over live music, whimsical costumes, amazing visuals and spot-on choreography really make this a phenomenal show.

watch: Rotary / Cruzan hook: snagged in St. Thomas years ago / other bracelets: gifted /
rings: GLITTERRINGS

I love how sky high these pumps are!

We thought we’d get dressed up just a little since we were going to a show. I had initially planned to wear a dress but since the weather cooled off after dark, I went with jeans and a blouse. Even in dressy jeans we were probably the most formally dressed, but we looked adorable so who cares, right?!


hat: Banana Republic / metallic clutch: DSW / satin gloves: gifted / shoe: White House Black Market


I had my first experience at the racetrack when I attended a brunch event at Pimlico on Sunday. It was super fun (I’ll be posting more about it later this week), but the best part was that I was able to get all dressed up in a hat and gloves like a proper lady. I had to drive to two White House Black Market locations to snag this patent leather color block shoe in my size, but it was well worth it!



I picked up this yellow Julep polish last weekend from Sephora and was so excited to try it out. I love the color, but as it turns out, not the pigment or the wearability. I had to use two really thick coats to get the opaque look I was seeking, and after two days it is already peeling back from the edges of my nails. No es bueno. As a busy working mom, I need something that can take me through the better portion of the week. I’ll continue to use it, but do so for occasions where I’ll have time for a re-do within a couple of days.

So how were your weekends, Dolls? What did you do and
what fabulous pieces did you wear while doing it?


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