Archive for June, 2014

With the US advancing in the World Cup and Fourth of July this Friday, it only made sense to pull together a classic, All American look.  I am not one to normally wear the red, white and blue combination but when done correctly, it is a cute way to be a bit festive.  Our Fourth of July tends to bounce around all over the place so I pulled together a look that can work from the beach to an afternoon barbecue to a firework show at night.  No matter what your plans are, this look will get you there.

Screen shot 2014-06-29 at 7.39.04 PM book / sneakers / tee / skirt / jacket (sale!) / fedora / crossbody bag

Here is a little more American pride…

 The Chloe and Isabel giveaway ends today!  You can enter by clicking here.  Hurry before it is too late!

Any thoughts as to where we are headed this weekend that would involve these pieces?

Screen shot 2014-06-25 at 8.45.38 PM

Cover Up / Shorts / Sneakers / Tank / Beach Towel / Backpack / Flip Flops / Bikini

I will be sharing our weekend adventure next week but you can follow along on instagram while we are away.  It is our first getaway of the summer and I am really looking forward to it.  I was a little worried that our Oldest’s baseball schedule was going to make it a tad bit hard to actually make this happen but the stars aligned and we are all able to go.  HOORAY!  It will be a quick trip so I will be back Monday but I hope you all enjoy the next three days and have a wonderful weekend.

Here are some more items I may be placing into my bag tonight…

The Chloe + Isabel Giveaway is only open a few more days.  Don’t forget to enter by clicking here!

When it comes to the Little’s clothes, J.Crew’s Crewcuts is one of my favorite places to find classic, sophisticated pieces for children.  J.Crew has done an incredible job of creating an adult look for children, which is my cup of tea.  The only problem I have sometimes is the price of the items.  As much as I tend to be a spender, my practical side comes into play when I am shopping for the kids.  They just destroy everything or out grow items extremely fast so I consistently have a hard time spending a lot of money on their clothes.  With Crewcuts “higher than normal” prices, it can sometimes be hard to justify spending $70 on a dress for a girl who will absolutely find any way to destroy it.  That is until they offer a sweet deal like they have running right now.  It is then that Crewcuts and I meet in the middle.  From now until Friday, June 27th, J.Crew is offering 30% off a number of new summer styles with code HISUMMER.  These sales always make me happy and provide the perfect opportunity to stock up for summer without breaking the bank.  The kids get adorable new clothes and I save some money; win-win.  Added Bonus: all Crewcut orders ship for free.

For the girls…

For the boys…

This sale is not just for the children.  J.Crew is offering 30% off a number of summer items for men and women as well.  You can shop the entires site here.

Don’t forget to enter the Chloe + Isabel Giveaway by clicking here!

IMG_4158

Growing up, I had four best friends.  We have always been together.  We even had a name for ourselves (which I will keep to ourselves).  They are still my best friends and in fact, are more like sisters than friends.  We have shared some of the best times of our lives (graduations, marriages, babies) and also some of the hardest times (we lost one of these best friends at 28).  They know more about me than anyone else.  They support me, challenge me, cry for me, laugh with me and I am a better person today because of them.  The five of us are so different in many ways and yet still so much the same.  It is the diversity of our personalities that I believe have kept us so close, providing different insights to everything the world can throw at us.

Chloe + Isabel, a lifestyle line of jewelry, was developed under the same idea as my friendship with these special people.  The line represents two best friends with different personalities and styles, united by their passion for self expression.  “Chloe” is the fearless fashionista while “Isabel” appreciates the classic and timeless.  Together, the two bring together a line of jewelry that suits every woman, regardless of their style.  Abigail, a local Chloe +Isabel merchandiser, invited me to indulge my two sides with a selection of pieces from their Summer Collections.  One a little more fearless, one a little more classic.

IMG_4159

When I first made a visit to her site, the Casablanca Tassel Statement Necklace instantly caught my eye.  It just screams summer.  I paired this with the Dainty Leater and Faceted Bead Bracelet and wore it with  a simple Everlane Tee and pink lipstick.  The easiest way to add a pop of color and instantly dress up my tee.

IMG_0471

For a more classic look, I selected the gorgeous Gilded Reeds Aventurine Long Pendant and matching ring.  Paired with a simple dress, denim jacket and heels, they were the perfect details for my son’s graduation look.

IMG_0415

All four pieces have been on constant rotation and I see them getting a lot of wear this summer.  Now here is the fun news.  Abigail is giving away one of these two necklaces to one lucky Juggling in Heels reader.  Which one?  That is the fun part.  The Winner gets to pick.  Whether you love a good statement and want the tassel one or prefer a more classic look, leaning towards the stone, the winner will be able to select which one is more her taste.  The hardest part will be deciding which one.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will be open until Monday, June 30th and is open to US Residents only.  Good luck!

You can also take advantage of a surprise sale Chloe + Isabel is offering.  From now until June 27th, receive $25 off orders of $125 or more (+free shipping) with discount code SUMMER25.  You can begin your shopping by clicking here.

IMG_4477

“If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it.  Anything you want to, do it.  Want to change the world, there is nothing to it” – Willy Wonka

Chocolate. Gummy Bears.  Candy Bars.  Cake.  Licorice.  Ice Cream.  Soda.

It is hard to image a place that could really bring together all the greatest sweet indulgences that we lust after when watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  A fantasy world that could make any child’s mouth water, not knowing where to begin and never wanting it to end?  It can’t be possible.  Or is it?

Last week we were invited in to Sweet XO in Huntington Beach to experience their store and I do not think the kids realized the fantasy world they were about to enter.  The second we walked in they were surrounded by every sweet treat you could possibly image.  Candy.  Frozen Yogurt.  Cake Bombs.  Soda Fountain.  Ice Cream.  There heads began spinning as they were not sure which direction to go in.  Along with candy, the shelves were filled with unique and entertaining gifts, books, clothing, bags, glasses, notepads.  You name it, they had it.  I had expected the candy portion but was blown away with how much retail there was.  From baby gifts, to graduation gifts, bachelorette parties to a teen’s birthday, Father’s Day or a hostess gift, you can really find something for everyone throughout the store.  While I perused the merchandise, the children fill their bags with gummy rattlesnakes, jaw breakers, gummy fish, and numerous other goodies.

Once the bags were full, they began to indulge in numerous tastings of frozen yogurt and the homemade ice cream.   With every turn there was another creative flavor such as “Circus Animal” or “Frozen” (my daughter about died with this one) or “Dole Pineapple”, making their decisions on what they actually wanted extremely hard.  The hardest decision of the day was for my Oldest, deciding between the ice cream, frozen yogurt or the soda fountain that offered 125 different flavors.  Like I said, a candy paradise.  As for me, I had my eye on the cake bombs and quickly grabbed the birthday cake and maple bacon flavors before another customer cleaned them out (they sell out extremely quick!).

Like any kid in a Candy Store, we laughed, shopped, ate and all walked out on a crazy sugar high.  It was our own little Willy Wonka paradise.

You can visit Sweet XO in Huntington Beach at 7631 Edinger Avenue, Suite 151.  They also have four other locations around Southern California.  You can view the list here.

Thank you Sweet XO for having us!

IMG_4457

Stuart

IMG_4428

IMG_4461

IMG_4436

IMG_4430

IMG_4470

IMG_4414

IMG_4481

The Spire Giveaway closed over the weekend.  Congratulations to Sharon for winning the Turquoise Tribal Necklace!

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Now that school is out, the weekdays and weekends all seem to be blending together.  Every day is filled with fun activities, games, family time and, a favorite in the house, sleeping in.  We quickly transitioned out of the rigid school schedule that was beginning to seem extremely dull and right into the long, peaceful days of summer.  We have made visits to the beach, the pool, the water park, candy shops (more on that to come!) and also have spent days doing absolutely nothing and staying home all day.  It feels wonderful.

With this sudden relaxed feeling that I have not felt in a while, my day to day dressing has changed as well.  Instead of heels, silk and structure, I have been living in bathing suits, comfortable shorts and tees with hats and sandals.  No fuss hair and less makeup is making the entire process of getting ready nice and relaxed, just like our days.

Hello Summer.  We are happy to have you.

Screen shot 2014-06-19 at 1.49.57 PM

 

Printed Palm Tree Tee / Drawstring Shorts / Panama Hat / Phone Case / Beach Bag / Bikini Top / Bikini Bottoms / Sandals (30% off!)

The Spire Jewelry Giveaway closes this weekend!  Enter here.

Happy Weekend.

Salad 2

This last Saturday night the hubby and I hosted two of my dearest friends from college.  It was LONG overdue.  Three families and eight children leads to the never-ending conflicting calendars and the inability to ever find a date that works for everyone.  I cannot tell you how many times it seems these never work out.  Life just gets to hectic.  Miraculously, last Saturday worked and so I booked it immediately and began working on a menu.

With the incredible weather we have been having, it only made sense to pull together a menu that involved the grill and lots of flavor, without it being too heavy.  We went with a basil and lime marinated chicken and decided to pair it with this Arugula, Avocado, Papaya and Jicama Salad and these Grilled Sweet Potatoes with lime and cilantro.  Both were incredible and stole the show against the chicken.  I tend to become bored with the traditional salad and opt for grilled vegetables instead.  The combination of avocado, papaya and jicama intrigued me and I loved the idea of combining these fruits I have never combined before.  The flavor was amazing and it was just as light and refreshing as I expected it to be.  Sometimes our palette just needs an adjustment and this recipe got me right back into loving salads again.  It makes for the perfect warm summer night menu.

I will note that instead of making our own dressing, I did simply use a pre-made pomegranate dressing.  We were entertaining!  I had to cut corners somewhere!  Also, I know I am not showcasing the sweet potatoes here but they were delish!  I highly suggest giving those a try as well.

Salad 1

The Spire giveaway is only open until Sunday!  Make sure you enter now by clicking here!

Screen shot 2014-06-16 at 11.29.31 AM

<SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion / ‘Cool Down’ After Sun Lotion / ‘Cool Down’ After Sun Gel / ‘Cool Down’ After Sun Aloe Spray / SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray / SPF 30 Lip Balm / SPF50 Disappearing Zinc Oxide / SPF 30 Suncreen Face Stick>

Since I was a little girl, I have lived in the sun.  I was a swimmer for most of my youth, lifeguarded through High School, played sports and worked on my tan all summer long with friends.  I cannot even image how many hours I have accumulated in the sun.  I could have definitely been more aware of sun damage back then and spend a little more time applying sunscreen but hey, it was the 90’s and we didn’t know what we do now (when was SPF 4 even something we bought?!).  Nowadays, I am crazy about sunscreen.  CRAZY.  I do not step out of the house without it on and definitely do not let my children spend long hours in the sun without some protection.  I have tried so many different brands and types of sunscreens and it is extremely rare that I become addicted to a specific product.  In fact, I am usually disappointed with a brand and move on to the next, trying to find something that really works.  Then I was introduced to Sun Bum.

For the first time, I have found a line of sunscreen that keeps up with my family and actually seems to protect our skin from the sun.  True protection where if I apply as I should, my children do not come home with sunburns.  I used the entire line all last summer and we never faced a day when someone had too much sun and was coping with being burnt and uncomfortable the following day.  I first started using the sunscreen lotion but have since added the after sun lotion, lip balm and the face stick, which makes applying to the face extremely easy.  An added bonus is that all the products smell fabulous and you do not have the terrible sunscreen smell following you all day.  I have fully stocked my beach bag for this summer with all their products.

I must stated that this is not a sponsored post but simply a product that I love that I wanted to share with you.  I am telling you, “Trust the Bum”.

The Spire Jewelry giveaway is still open.  Don’t forget to enter by clicking here!

IMG_0554

For as long as I can remember, the beach has been a part of my life.

When I was little, I remember jumping over the breaks with my brothers and sisters and building sandcastles with my dad.  When I was in High School, we would get to the beach any way that we could to hang out with friends until the sunset.  And now, I watch as my children develop the same memories I have; learning how to boogie board, playing in the sand and feeling the calm that only a day at the beach can give you.  Salt water air, crashing waves, sand between your toes.  There really is nothing like a day at the beach.

With summer officially underway, we have already began our consistent trips to one of my favorite beaches, Strands in Dana Point.  Tucked down a cliff below the Ritz Carlton and lined with gorgeous homes, filled with clean sand and a perfect break, there really are very few beaches nicer than Strands in Orange County.  With a packed lunch, a ton of toys and of course, beach-ready bathing suits, we can spend hours there.

When it come to swimsuits for the kids, there are three things that come to mind when selecting a suit for them.  One, is it cute?  Two, is it comfortable?  Three, does it protect from the sun?  One of my favorite swimwear lines for children that touch on all three is the Sunuva Swimwear collection.  I was first introduced Sunuva here on Juggling in Heels about a year ago and have been a fan ever since.  Their goal with the collection is to provide children with swimwear that is stylish and cool yet still provides them with the proper protection from the sun.  They have completely achieved their goal with some of the highest quality, cutest board shorts and swimsuits around (just ask my friends who kept asking where I got their suits).  I love the simplicity of the boys trunks that offer style and also STAY ON.  Believe me, when your little one is riding his boogie board for hours on end, it gets tiresome for them to be continuously pulling up their shorts.  For Baby Girl, looks is key for her and I love that some of the suits offer the option of being reversible, giving her two bathing suits in one.  For a little girl who is constantly changing her mind, this is perfect.  Most importantly, all the swimsuits offer a protection of SPF 50, helping to keep their little bodies safe in the sun.  With how much we are in the sun, this is a necessity.

IMG_4325

IMG_4354

IMG_4364

IMG_4340

IMG_4367

IMG_4326

We put Sunuva to the test and at the end of the day, they made for the perfect beach bathing suits.  They will definitely be on high rotation this summer as we continue to enjoy our Orange County summer.  If you would like to preview the entire Sunuva collection, you can visit their site by clicking here.

Also, don’t forget to enter the Spire Jewelry giveaway by clicking here.

All swimsuits c/o Sunuva

IMG_9851

“Where the Bohemian Beach Girl meets the City”

There are very few phrases I come across that perfectly represent who I feel I am when it comes to my style.  One day I may be in a pencil skirt and white button down with heels and the next day it is cut offs and a tank, walking around in Vans.  I have never felt confined to selecting only one “look” when it comes to my closet and it is why I feel comfortable transitioning from the office to the beach without so much as a flinch.  When it comes to the details of my style, I love jewelry that transitions with me, providing the perfect compliment no matter the look.  Spire Jewelry is one of those collections that represents exactly what it says; “where the Bohemian Beach Girl meets the City”.

I sat down with Erin Stafford, the designer behind Spire to chat about the line, how it came to be and her hopes for her collections.  It was fun to be on the other side of the interview because she was my first interview ever when I first started Juggling in Heels, writing my feature article in Orange Coast Magazine back in January 2012.  It was so fun to have the tables turned!

When Did you first launch Spire?

Spire started in May 2012

What was your inspiration?

I always say that Spire is where the Bohemian beach girl meets the city.  I grew up in Orange County near the beach and am obsessed with all things turquoise and beachy.  But I also lived in Europe for 8 years (Paris, London and Cambridge), so I definitely have that chic, European, city vibe as well.  Add to that my nomadic spirit and obsession with traveling to the farthest corners of the globe, and its really a mixed bag.  Spire is without a doubt beachy and bohemian, but it’s also got a subtle and refined, sometimes edgy, twist to it.

IMG_0025

<Wearing the Agate Slice Necklace with my favorite Everlane tee, Gap jeans, and Vans to run errands>

What is your background in jewelry/fashion/retail and how did that get you to the place of being a designer?

My background is certainly not traditional.  I was a political science undergrad and gender studies MA who worked in digital media and advertising for years in London at an agency, and then at MTV.

I was always interested in fashion though, so when I moved back to Orange County from London, I got a gig as an assistant to a celebrity stylist in Hollywood and began my career in fashion.  I eventually branched out on my own and worked as a stylist, image consultant, personal shopper, and fashion show producer for a decade (I still do from time to time as well!).  I also started working as a fashion journalist for a number of magazines, but mainly Orange Coast Magazine, where I’ve been their contributing style editor for 8 years now, and still am.  In that capacity, I get to meet so many fun and creative people in Orange County.  I am constantly scouting out new boutiques, talking with buyers and boutique owners, interviewing designers and fashionable people in the area.  It was during a few of these meetings that I was inspired to start making jewelry.

I took a few classes to learn the basics, but have mostly taught myself.  I still take classes from time to time to learn a new skill or technique.  I am always looking to expand my repertoire and incorporate new materials and techniques into my designs.

I look at my design process the way a stylist would though.  A stylist doesn’t (normally) design their own clothes.  They pull from a number of designers and stores to put the perfect look together for their client.  In the same way, I buy beads, components and supplies from markets and sources all over the world and put them together into fabulous pieces of jewelry.  I am not physically mining for agates and polishing my own beads, or creating molds that I then pour silver into to create a particular pendant.  If I need something like that made, I have someone I use that brings my designs to life.  But mostly, I love scouring the globe for interesting materials and supplies that I can incorporate into unique and fun pieces of jewelry.

What is your hope for your customers when purchasing a piece?

I hope they love it and it makes them smile and feel great every time they wear it.  My line is so easy to wear on its own, or layered together with other pieces you already own.  It’s fun for me to see how people mix up Spire jewelry and put their own, unique style print on it.

The bohemian girl might mix it with a ton of pieces, or the classic girl might just wear one necklace on its own.  Either way, it looks great.

IMG_9974

<wearing the Tibetan wooden bracelets with a Heidi Merrick dress and a Foley and Corinna crossbody for brunch>

What did you see missing in the market that you felt Spire could provide?

Jewelry is like shoes…you can never have enough!  There are so many fabulous lines out there, but there is always room for more because women love jewelry and will continue to buy more.  It’s amazing how a new piece can add new life to an outfit you’ve had for years.  It can also dramatically change the look of an outfit – taking something from day to night, or from bohemian to preppy, with a change of jewelry.

I wanted to provide women with transitional jewelry.  Things they could throw on with a tank top and cut offs or wear with a silk blouse and blazer.  Many women have a selection of jewelry, but have those few pieces that live on your dresser that we wear all the time.  I want Spire to be a part of that dresser-top collection.  Those pieces you can throw on with anything, because they work with everything and make you feel great.

Who is the Spire customer?

She’s definitely a free spirit.  Someone that speaks her mind, and isn’t afraid to be unique.  But the longer I do this, the more I realize she’s any woman that wants to infuse a bit of elegant, beachy, edginess into her wardrobe.  I have these simple 18K gold vermeil spike earrings that sell like crazy.  My mom, who is super conservative in her dressing loved them and wears them constantly.  SHe would NEVER be considered an edgy dresser, or someone that would gravitate towards anything spiked, but because they are so simple and understated, they work for her.  Like I said before, SPire is transitional.  It can be very beachy, bohemian and edgy if you put it all together, or it can be elegant and refined if you wear it alone.  I love that.

IMG_0072

<wearing the Tibetan cluster necklace with a Cynthia Vincent poncho, Zara shorts and sandals and a Marc Jacobs bag for a day at the pool (hence the wet hair!)>

Erin is pretty amazing and am so excited to have her collection featured here on Juggling in Heels.  And I saved the best for last!  Erin has offered to giveaway one of my favorite pieces, the Tribal Turquoise Spike necklace to one lucky JIH reader.

IMG_9866

It is gorgeous and such an easy piece to incorporate into any wardrobe.  You can receive up to 10 entries by entering below.  This giveaway will be open until Sunday, June 22 at 12:00am Pacific Standard Time.  Good luck!  (This giveaway is for US Residents only).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To preview the entire Spire collection, you can visit the Spire Jewelry shop by clicking here.