3.31.2014

A Candid Interview: Imbue Designer Rachel Godwin

Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a trunk show that Hilary hosted at Arthur & Daughter's! (If you aren't familiar with her yet, she is the mastermind behind the amazing plexi/brass cuff belt-seen here and here.)

These trunk shows that Hilary hosts are hosted by some pretty fabulous local or Made in the USA designers- all of which she carries in her store!  Rachel Godwin, the designer behind the line Imbue (pronounced im-byoo) was able to attend her trunk show, where she featured her most recent collection. It was such a pleasure to chat with her, as she is so down to earth and kind! Plus, I was able to snatch up one of her maxi dresses- now if the weather were just nice enough to actually wear it!

What I love about Imbue, is that they provide everyday wear to career wear for women. The best part is every single piece is machine washable (amen to not having to make a trip to the dry cleaner), and 100% of their collection is produced in the USA! I love being able to support anything Made in the USA. Plus, I don't have the time or the money to get all of my clothes dry cleaned. As a mommy of two, it is so much easier to be able to toss all of my clothes in the washer!


I am always intrigued by these local designers, as to how they made it, how they got their start, where they got their start, and what sort of gave them the push to start! Rachel was kind enough to take some time out of her busy production schedule to answer a few of my questions! Take note, ladies- any of you out there who have the dream of starting your own line could learn some tips from her!

Is this something you have always wanted to do? 

I had no idea what I wanted to do. I sewed a lot in 6th grade (she made a tote bag in home economics-lucky her....I got to make a pig pillow!) then moved onto pajama pants. It was my mom who encouraged me to make it a profession!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I do research to see what women are wearing. I like to have basic, classic pieces. I am also inspired by fabric, which is what we were told not to do in school! I base a sketch off of fabric I like then build off of each sketch to make a collection!

Why 'machine wash' items only in your collections?

When I moved to New York City (to work in the bridal industry) I needed a professional wardrobe, but I couldn't afford nice, dry clean only clothes. I noticed there was a need for affordable, timeless, classic pieces that could be machine washable. There was a niche that needed to be met! I think it is an added bonus to ourselves that we are machine washable, but we are more than just that though! I also like to wash everything first to make sure it is machine washable!

What is the process like from start to finish?

I design, then source and work with a pattern maker, followed by fittings with models, and then send out samples with sales reps to boutiques and stores!

What I loved about Rachel was how easy she was to talk to. She was honest, she was open, and I personally learned a lot about her side of the fashion industry! I love that she applies what she learned in school, as well as what she learned working in the bridal industry in NYC to her own company. What is also refreshing is that she realizes that what worked last season may not work this season. She recognizes a need or a niche, and she markets herself and her designs to that. She attributes her success to the old fashioned 'pounding the pavement.'


I also think its kind of cool how she goes against the grain, so to speak, when designing her clothes. I think it is important to focus on what works best for you, and Rachel seems to do just that! Being a new Mommy herself, she knows what women want and what women look for in their clothes, affordability, classic pieces that can be carried from year to year, and convenience!


You can check out the collection, shop online, and follow Imbue on facebook, twitter, and instagram!



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3.28.2014

Spring Trends for Your Closet

In case you missed it, I am sharing with you all my first post as contributor for CupcakeMAG! Check out my take on spring trends! 

Although it may not feel warm enough to incorporate spring fashion quite yet, The Powers That Be have been planning for spring and all of it's fashion wonder for quite some time. With the start of each new season comes new trends that become the must haves for everyone (and luckily, there are trends that stick around, which I love).
I've rounded up some of spring's popular trends! And don't worry...if some of these trends aren't one of your favorites, or you don't want to invest in a trend that much, there are smaller, more subtle ways to incorporate the look into your daily style!
So let's take a look at some of the trends you will be seeing:
  1. Florals
  2. Pastels
  3. Full Skirts
FLORALS

When I think florals for spring, I immediately think of the scene in The Devil Wears Prada when Miranda Priestly says "Florals. For spring? Groundbreaking." So true, but yet it just fits! There is something to be said about florals in the spring time! Here are a few options/ideas for you!Floral Collage

Sandals: ModCloth /// Scarf: Forever 21 /// Shoes: Gap /// Sweatshirt: Gap


PASTELS

Pastels is something that you can always wear. I feel like it provides a light and carefree/spring vibe. Just like the other trends, there are more subtle ways to incorporate it into your look if you aren't into wearing it head to toe. I for one, like to incorporate it in smaller ways into my look- I feel like pastels aren't as forgiving as darker shades (at least for me). Something like the belt or necklace is perfect for me.
Pastel Collage

Mint Skirt: Target /// Mint Dress: Loft /// Belt: Gap /// Skinny Jeans: Gap /// Necklace: Aldo


FULL SKIRTS

Full skirts just make me want to twirl, all day long! I am not one for wearing skirts or dresses too far above the knee, so I like that there are longer (they are often called midi skirts) options for gals like me! These full skirts are great to dress up for work, or wear more casually with your favorite Converse sneakers, a tee shirt, and your denim jacket! I for one don't need to dress to formal on a daily basis, so having the option to pair these skirts with sneakers is awesome!
Full Skirt Collage

Blue Skirt: Asos /// Coral Skirt: Asos /// Green Skirt: ModCloth  /// Peach Skirt: Asos


What spring trends are you looking forward to giving a try?


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3.27.2014

Getting Ready for Swimsuit Season

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TENways  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
This time of year comes on pretty quickly. The panic of summer and bathing suit season looming in the near future (even though it is snowing as I type this!) It's always this time where I try to start to make small changes. I am the type of person, that if I make huge changes in my diet, I am more likely to crash. Small change, baby steps are where its at for me! 
I looooooove soda pop. Like really, really love it. I could drink it any time of the day. Most people have a coffee in the morning, I am content having a soda. With that in mind, a small change in that area is a good start to help get my body bathing suit ready! Lucky for me and all of my soda loving friends, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (DPSG) just came out with Four Ten DPSG Calorie Products! They can be found at your local WalMart. They only have ten calories (yes, only 10!) but still taste like regular soda. My husband even loves them, which is a huge step for him, considering he acts as though he is dying when he drinks any diet soda! And did I mention only 10 calories (I know, I did!) per serving- and the serving is actually the whole can, not just 5 sips of the can! The Four Ten DPSG Calorie Products come in four flavors too- Sunkist, 7UP, A&W, and Canada Dry. 
With having an 18 month old home with me, it seems like we are always on the go- every day there is an errand to run, a place to be, something to purchase. She is SO active and keeps me on the go all the time and makes getting out the door a production (what child doesn't). I always like to grab a quick drink or a snack to take along with me, so I am less tempted to stop somewhere while I am out and get something I would regret eating later! 
Maybe this is the fashionista in me, but anytime I take a drink with me from home, I almost treat it as an additional accessory. Seriously- something simple like having a cute drink to carry with me gives me a little extra kick in my step (especially if I know it is helping me stay healthy). 
(and yes, I am writing about getting swimsuit ready and it is snowing in these pictures. Snowing! And please excuse the no smiling- I have Bells Palsy! Crazy, and hope it doesn't last too long!)





I try to drink mostly water with my dinner, just to make sure I get in as much as possible, but I do like to treat myself every once in a while with my dinner and having something like this doesn't make me feel guilty! (and thank you Ella for letting me use one of your straws!)

If you want to add any of these delish drinks, be on the lookout for a WalMart coupon coming out today (through 4/17), for $.50 off two 2 liter bottles or two 4 pack cans (while supplies last)! You can follow DPSG on facebook and twitter for more savings too! 



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3.26.2014

Rack Room Shoes for Spring

When the seasons change, it's always nice to take a look at my closet and sort of do an inventory of my shoes. There are spring/summer sandals that I keep year after year and wear over and over, and then there are some that I just have to get rid of and replace! And then there are others I purchase, that I don't need, but I certainly want!

These shoes from Rack Room Shoes are amazing. I have grown quite fond of brown sandals and their versatility over the last few years. I have become quite brave with mixing and matching brown with colors or prints that I typically wouldn't have before! I particularly loved these shoes because of their color, but mainly their style. Versatility is the key for me, and these are perfect! 

I was really surprised at the selection of brands and styles that Rack Room Shoes. Steve Madden, Jessica Simpson, Converse and Keds are just some of the brands they carry (a ton more too). All of their spring and summer styles are now available on their website- you can even check out their Style Report here for some great finds and trends! (for not only you, but the man in your life and your kids as well!)









Outfit Details:
Jacket: Target (similar) /// Dress: Target  /// Shoes: c/o Rack Room Shoes /// Necklace: super old /// Hat: Target /// Bag: Target (similar) /// Watch: La Mer for Target (similar) /// Bracelets: Stella and Dot

What spring trends in shoes are you looking forward to? I personally can't wait to wear these shoes again with white jeans! The perfect balance and they will compliment each other so well! I also can't wait to style these shoes as well! 

Rack Room also has a really great rewards program too! The enrollment is super easy, its free, and it is paperless! As a customer you can use your rewards cash to save on whatever you want, including accessories! Some perks include coupons, birthday offers and bonus buck opportunities. These rewards are even sent to your phone or email within minutes of earning them! Convenient, right? You can sign up right here!


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3.25.2014

Kluster Happy

I was first introduced to Kluster when I attended Lucky FABB in October! Kluster is the most charming line of hand made, made in the USA jewelry! Every piece is truly made by hand. To me, something made by hand is a lot more unique and meaningful, because you know someone poured their hard work into it!

After Lucky FABB, I quickly added the Sparkling Sage bracelet to my jewelry collection- I absolutely love it! (you can see me wearing it here and here) My bracelet is made with genuine green aventurine gemstones!


They just released their new spring/summer line a few weeks ago and it's pretty gorgeous! They added tons of bright colors for the spring (Cherry Pink, Electric Blue, Clover Green)!


Gorgeous, aren't they? And yes, they are handmade!! 

What is even more awesome is they include a hand written note with your purchase. I don't know about you, but I think hand written notes, letters, etc are a dying breed (sad, but true), so receiving one is a pleasant and welcomed surprise! 

Check them out, add some color to your jewelry, and support a small, hard working, made in the USA business! When you wear their jewels, instagram a picture of yourself wearing it and use the hashtag #klustered to be featured on their website or instagram account!

This post isn't sponsored by Kluster...I just really like their stuff :) 

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3.24.2014

Leopard Lives On

I have made it know many times how much I love leopard, and how in my world it is pretty much a neutral! I have several pairs of shoes to prove it, so whats another pair of shoes, right?

I had originally ordered a gorgeous pair of slip on sneakers from Steve Madden, but long store short, they totally messed up my order. Kind of bummed out, I took to the internet to find a replacement pair, and let me tell you, I am so thankful that my order was never processed!

Thanks to WindsorStore, I was able to purchase these amazing slip on sneakers for only $12.90. Yes, you read that right. Only $12.90!! How amazing!

They paired perfectly with my new shirt from JEG Boutique's Swag Bag Party last weekend (which was also purchased by both of my cousins...we have the same taste!!)








Outfit Details:
Shirt: JEG Boutique /// Jacket: Target (similar) /// Jeans: Target /// Shoes: WindsorStore /// Purse: Target (similar) /// Bracelets: all Stella and Dot /// Initial Necklace: Brin and Bell via Etsy (other necklace old and gifted)


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3.20.2014

My Dream is Coming True: Great News for Elizabeth & West!!!!

Over the last couple of months, I have chatted with you all about my new venture, my online boutique Elizabeth & West Fashion House! (you can read the story behind the name here).

Slowly I have been adding inventory, trying to grow the business, which is totally awesome. With the web page done, you are now able to shop online, which is even more awesome! But what is the most awesome, is what has happened over the last few weeks! (this is no surprise to those of you that are my friends/family)

Without boring you with all of the details, because that would be a loooooong post, fate stepped in, God stepped in (in the form of you, Natalie!), the stars aligned, and an amazing (which is totally an understatement) retail location pretty much fell in my lap. The timing couldn't have been more perfect! I am usually not one to believe in signs and whatnot, but there have been so many little things that have sort of stopped my husband and I in our tracks to think 'wow, was that a sign? yeah, that was a sign!'

Sooooo....starting (hopefully) May 1, Elizabeth & West will not only be an online boutique, but I will have a retail space as well!! I am speechless, excited, nervous, humbled, thrilled, all of the above, at the fact that I will be actually living my dream. Crazy, right? It has been a long time dream of mine to have a clothing boutique- never, ever did I think it was possible! But here I am!

This is the adorable door/front stoop of my little boutique, my heaven on earth: 15 N Beaver Street! I will be on the best street in the city, among the most amazing merchants as well, and doors down from the iconic Central Market! Eeeekkk!!


And this....this is the amazing bay window! Oh I can't wait to fill it with mannequins!! 


Believe it or not, I haven't actually gotten a really great picture of the whole storefront, so that is most definitely on my agenda! This did happen though, thanks to my wonderfully supportive and amazing friend Susan! 


Everything has happened so quickly, but I couldn't be happier! I have the most supportive family and friends, allowing me to take a chance and make my dream a reality!! 

So what's the next step for me? Working my rear off (along with my husband and the rest of my family) trying to get anything and everything set up and done so we can open by May 1st. That includes buying a TON of great inventory, which will be online over the next few weeks!

 In the meantime, follow Elizabeth & West on instagram and facebook, and check out my awesome logo, created by the one and only, incredibly talented Blair Ritchey!


Once again, this whole blogging thing, blogging community is just amazing! If it weren't for my blog, I never would have taken the leap to start an online boutique, which led to my dream coming true! What a wonderful thing!

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3.19.2014

Spring Stripes

I don't even care that it was a bit chilly and insanely windy when I wore this outfit. The winter has been so brutal that any temps in the 50's or even 40's for that matter have felt like a relief! I totally could have done without the brutal wind when wearing this outfit/taking these pictures (which explains why my hand doesn't really leave my hair in the pictures!)

This outfit was the perfect bit of dressy but casual for an event I worked for Susquehanna Style. I love how these Old Navy pants have the feel of being dressy and look perfect with a pair of heels, but can easily be dressed down thanks to the elastic/drawstring waistband and slouchy look!




(I am actually not choking myself in this picture, I swear the wind was out of control!)
Outfit Details:
Jacket: Gap (similar) /// Top: Kohl's /// Necklace: Gifted /// Pants: Old Navy /// Shoes: Candies via Kohl's /// Watch: La Mer for Target (similar) /// Bracelet: Target /// Clutch: Gifted

Don't forget to enter to win $145 in cash from myself and other awesome bloggers!! You can enter here!!


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3.18.2014

A Mommy in the Modern World

I think other bloggers will agree with my when I say there are a ton of awesome things about blogging, but one of the best things is meeting other bloggers that have the same passion as you and just instantly clicking with them!

Mary is no exception! She is so nice, a mommy just like me (an instant bond between ladies, if you ask me), has an interest in dieting (mine is maybe more of an obsession) and is beautiful both inside and out! Plus, I am a little jealous at how organized she is- maybe one day I will be the organized Mommy that I aspire to be!!

I love her blog for its honesty-she is pretty much an open book! You will love her just as much as I do! How can you NOT love someone who goes into Target for one thing and walks out with a million? Take a moment and say hello on her blogtwitter and instagram!

I'm Mary


Hi all!

I’m Mary from ModMommyMK. I’m starting the journey of putting my blog out there for all to see and I hope you like it. Who am I? Well, I’m a married (10 years in August—woohoo) mom of two who loves:

Spending time with family and friends
Healthy Living
Starbucks
Decorating everything and anything I can in robins egg blue
Surfing People.com
Makeup trends
Organizing with my Thirty One products (I’m a consultant, shameless plug alert!  www.mythirtyone.com/mkeevers)
Visiting Target several times a week.  Going in = 1 item to buy.  Coming out = 10 items in my bag.

On any given day you will find me sipping my grande dark roast Starbucks, making notes in my Erin Condren planner, toting around my lunch in my Thirty One thermals (did I mention I was a consultant?), finding new ways to organize our home, starting new projects and trying to master being super mom (my husband already has super dad powers mastered). 


I hope you enjoy ModMommyMK, it’s a collection of thoughts, tips, tricks of the trade and stories close to my heart.  Xoxo.
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3.17.2014

What Would YOU Buy with $145?!?!

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend! I enjoyed mine visiting my family, celebrating Ella's birthday (a little early) and our cousin Luke's birthday! It was such a fun gathering with my family! I just love them so!

Despite it being soooo windy, it was actually pleasant out this weekend. I was able to wear a lightweight jacket out to lunch and to run some errands this weekend!









Outfit Details: 
Jacket: Old Navy (similar) /// Shirt: Old Navy /// Jeans: Old Navy /// Shoes: Old Navy /// Watch: La Mer for Target (similar) /// Bracelets: Stella and Dot /// Clutch: c/o Blair Ritchey

I realized as I was working on this post that my outfit is head to toe Old Navy- I guess I have a thing for the brand, you think?!

Now onto the fun stuff....what would you buy with $145? Imagine all you could buy at Old Navy! So much!! I am teaming up with Karli and some other fabulous bloggers for this awesome giveaway!! Good luck to you all!

Take it away, Karli!

a giveaway? ain't no thang. just a $145 cash giveaway from these fine September FARM sponsors this month. 

i've already entered my farmer, my kaye, and my sister. our odds are good. real good.

kidding kidding. that's not legal. 

need ideas on how to spend $145?
  • how about some new hunter rain boots just in time for spring showers?
  • how about some glorious easter decor from pottery barn? (a personal favorite.)
  • or maybe you need a ridiculously beautiful new easter dress to wear to brunch and sip champagne in? (oh easter brunch…i love thee.)
  • possibly you've been eyeballing a new swimming suit for all the hours you're going to log at the pool this summer? (dear god, please tell me this is in my future.)

well then, i suggest you do the following two things:

1 | get entered. there are about a trillion entry options. do all of them.

2 | go ahead and visit all 15 of these sweet gals and show them some love. 

very very best of luck! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway



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