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Mama Wants a Brand New Bag

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It’s time to lighten up, people. Why not celebrate the start of spring by giving your black bag a break and opting for a bit of color, or perhaps a smaller bag that literally forces you to travel lighter?

Whatever your purse preference may be, here are 5 awesome options under $100.


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Sondra Roberts Small Bowler Satchel in Pink (also available in yellow and black), $50 at

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Mini City Office Bag in Sky Blue, $80 at

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Structured Envelope Crossbody in Yellow (also available in blue and black), $25 at

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Jessica Simpson Hazel Perforated Flap Crossbody, $50 at

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Color Block Messenger Bag, $80 at

What else is on your spring shopping list?

- Kristen



Ask Faux Fancy: Job Interview Dressing (and Staying Comfy on Your Feet When you Land It)

Ever watch shows like Mad Men (ahem, Joan Harris) or House of Cards (Claire Underwood’s wardrobe -- swoon!) and wish you could dress like that at the office without feeling ridiculously out of place?

For the vast majority of us, business casual is the norm at the office -- with the “business” aspect being somewhat optional. This makes interviewing for and starting a new job somewhat complicated, wardrobe-wise.

 We recently received a question on this topic from a reader:

I have an upcoming interview … the job description wasn't clear, but it seems like I might be on my feet a lot. I want to look professional and be comfortable at the same time.  Any clothing and shoe suggestions?

 - E

The Interview

Left to right:

With the exception of the most formal of jobs, a full suit is no longer expected at an interview. However, no matter how casual the position, what you choose to wear to this meeting is a demonstration of how seriously you are taking the opportunity, and how much you want it.

My go-to interview combination is usually a top and a skirt, or a top, skirt and blazer trio. I tend to favor skirts, but you can easily sub in a pair of pants for this look. Incorporating a bit of color adds personality, and keeps the look from being stuffy.

The Job

Once you snag your new gig, it’s definitely important to strike a balance between comfortable and professional. A job that requires you to spend quite a bit of time on your feet poses a special challenge.

To tackle this matter, start with the shoes. Fancy flats can be both comfy and chic, and work year-round. In the warmer months, you can also pepper in wedge sandals; while there’s still snow on the ground, ankle booties with a low, chunky heel can also work wonders.

Left to Right:

  • Nine West Crudenza Ankle Strap Sandals, $99 at

  • Plume Robin Pointed Ballet Flats, $38 at

  • Aldo Ceilla Booties in Black Suede, on sale for $60 at

Once you’ve nailed that down, investing in a few key separates -- pants, skirts and blouses -- that you can mix and match can take you very far. Opt for items in breathable fabrics with a bit of stretch in them. That will help keep you comfortable on a long day. Old Navy, H&M, Zara and Nordstrom Rack are among my go-to destinations, along with the sale section at J. Crew.

Best of luck at your interview, E!

- Kristen



My Latest Fashion Finds

Hi Friends! 

Spring is already proving to be a successful shopping season. Here, I’ve rounded up five of my latest fashion purchases, all a steal at $50 or less.

  1. Old Navy Shift Dress, unfortunately already sold out in this print, however, others are available on for $22-$25.

  2. Zara Color Blocked Top, $50 at

  3. Zara Blouse with Contrast Trim, $40 at

  4. Old Navy Women's Sueded Ballet Flats in SFPink, $20 at

  5. Zara Skinny Peach Finish Trousers in Black, $40 at  

- Kristen



24-Hour Solo Getaway to Monterey

Hi Friends!

I’m feeling very, very fortunate these days. After nearly ten years of working as a part of PR and marketing agency teams, I just accepted an in-house position for an awesome home remodeling and design platform.

In the past, I’ve started a new position immediately after the last position ended. This time, I decided to take a week in between to recharge and reflect, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Beyond binge-watching House of Cards and color-coordinating my closet, I also escaped for a 24-hour solo getaway to Monterey, a charming seaside town ninety minutes south of my apartment in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Check out my video diary of the trip, as well as a list of the activities/places/products featured, below!


  • InterContinental The Clement Monterey. Definitely recommend staying at this hotel -- located right in the heart of Cannery Row, with comfortable rooms (some featuring great views!), a friendly staff, and a pretty awesome restaurant (see more in the “Dine” section).


  • Sly McFly’s Lunch and Dinner House. I had an extremely specific craving for clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl when I arrived in Monterey. This was the second restaurant I walked by after parking, and when I spotted the dish on the menu, I was sold. It got the job done, but I wouldn’t seek the restaurant out specifically next time -- the chowder was just okay, not quite as hearty as I’d like, but it’s a conveniently located spot for pub-style fare.

  • The C Restaurant and Bar. I typically don’t make a point of dining at the hotel restaurant, but when they’re as great as the C Restaurant and Bar, I’ll make an exception. The restaurant features terrific views of Monterey Bay, and a delicious menu. Don’t plan to skip on the carbs -- you’ll want to enjoy the goat cheese and olive oil-whipped butter served with warm bread. While they specialize in seafood, I opted for the applewood-smoked duck breast, and it was heavenly.


  • Monterey Bay Aquarium. This is an absolute must -- truly magical no matter your age. The video barely does it justice, but gives you a glimpse at how incredible this place is. Worth the $40 price of adult admission.

  • The Spa at InterContinental The Clement Monterey. I had a lovely river stone massage during my stay in Monterey at the spa at the InterContinental. The spa is smaller and more intimate than many resort spas. This provided a nice, quiet, relaxing environment, and I didn’t see a single other guest during my stay. The one drawback is that there isn’t a traditional changing area as in larger spas -- there are small lockers where you can stow your belongings, as well as change into your robe and slippers, but there are no showers or primping stations. This is actually fine if you’re staying in the hotel, as I was … they let you wear your robe and slippers back to your room to shower and change, and you can leave them there.

  • Garrapata State Park. There are lots of awesome hiking options near Monterey/Big Sur of various durations and difficulty levels. I decided to try Garrapata State Park this time around, just a 20 minute drive from the hotel. I took the Soberanes Canyon trail, which is about 1.7 out to the turnaround point, at which point you can either opt to continue on a much more strenuous path, or head on back. I opted to do the latter. I found this site to provide the most helpful details about this particular hike.


  • First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Purifying Mask With Red Clay, $30 at Sephora. I really enjoyed this mask -- it definitely feels as though it gives your skin a deep clean, but doesn’t feel overly harsh or drying. This is a 20-minute mask, so you do need to give it a bit of extra time to do its thing, which actually makes it perfect for a longer pampering session.

  • Lush Bubble Bar in A French Kiss, $9 at The British YouTubers and bloggers I follow are major fans of Lush -- likely because they also all seem to have large, luxurious bath tubs at home. Taking a relaxing bubble bath is one of my favorite things to do when I’m staying in a hotel, and from now on, I’m going to make sure I have a Lush bath bomb or bubble bar to make it extra special. The French Kiss bubble bar provided the loveliest, subtle lavender scent, and essential oils that made my skin feel super silky.

- Kristen



The Three Things I Need For Spring

Depending on where you live, the concept of spring may feel something like a desert mirage -- distant, ephemeral, and possibly too good to be true.

But fear not, warmer weather is actually on the way. To help you prepare for the thaw -- clothing-wise, at least -- I’ve rounded up the three key items that I’m planning to introduce to my wardrobe this spring.

1. A Bit of Gingham

One: Altuzarra worn by the Axente sisters, as seen in Vogue. Two: Oscar de la Renta. Three: Gingham worn by the Quann Sisters, as seen in Vogue. Four: Oscar de la Renta. Five: Oscar de la Renta.

From Altuzarra to Oscar de la Renta to Diane von Furstenberg, gingham was all over the spring 2015 runways, and nothing looks fresher for the change in season.

Pro Tip: Today’s gingham looks freshest in pastels, graphic black and/or large prints. Avoid the classic red-and-white pattern to avoid an unintended picnic table-like effect.

2. A Bold Print Topper

One: Burberry. Two: Tracy Reese, as seen in Glamour.

There’s nothing like a statement coat to transform your wardrobe for spring, and inject some much-needed color into your look.

Pro Tip: To truly capture this trend, bolder is definitely better. Opt for large, graphic prints to keep the look modern.


3. Standout Shirts

One: J.Crew Factory; Two: Zara; Three: H&M; Four: J.Crew.   

A few good shirts can be the most versatile items in your wardrobe, tucked into a pencil skirt for a business meeting, worn open over a sleeveless dress for brunch with the girls, or loose over a pair of shorts on vacation.

Pro Tip: Prints and color blocking make these shirts feel new. The options are also endless, so feel free to experiment with looks that feel uniquely you.

What items are you most looking forward to adding to your closet this spring?

- Kristen