Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Do you REALLY need a vacation?

(Photo Credit: www.picpuddle.com)
When was the last time you thought to yourself, "Well, what's the point anyway?"

How often do you feel like just throwing in the towel on your creative passion because it's not paying the bills (right now)?

Have you ever looked at your wardrobe and suddenly lost all interest in showing the fun side of your personality?

Over the years, as a writer, editor, and social media content developer (see my bio), I've gained surges of inspiration at random times...and lost inspiration at random times nearly as quickly. Fortunately, I've gained some incredible lessons along the way and learned how to maintain a balance and create a life that I truly enjoy. But it sorta takes practice to get to a point where your desire to work long hours on a project outweighs your desire to escape from it all merely to sit on a beach somewhere and sip mojitos. (Although that does sound pretty fabulous.) I mean, isn't this quote from the incredible author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker Seth Godin sooooo right on? When I came across it, I realized that it's my duty to not only be the 'Good Girl Gone Shopping' but to be the 'Good Girl Gone...Resourceful.' I love spreading the idea that you can always make a change and embark on a journey so that you can experience the life you actually want.

Every decision that you make in life contributes to the overall climate of your happiness or sorrow. I haven't been on a vacation in years (...ummm...at all?), and I didn't make it to my favorite So Cal beaches this summer. That's major.

But it's all good...I sense an amazing tropical island trip on the horizon and another scorching hot summer before I know it.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Free Your Heart Apparel: "For the Dreamer in All Of Us!"

(Image Credits: Courtesy of www.freeyourheartapparel.com
I think fabulously sultry singer Fiona Apple said it best: "...And I don't go to sleep to dream." But how do you stay grounded while keeping your head in the sky? How do you stay whimsically hopeful and not lose sight of your goals?

Free Your Heart Apparel is a Miami-based knitwear brand that "is designed for the dreamer in us all." In wearing one of these adorable tees, how could you need feel a surge of positivity? Founder Amanda Guevara, who launched Free Your Heart Apparel in 2012, aims to "inspire women with a brand that shows the dreamer in us all while still being comfortable and perfect for day or night. Beautiful silhouettes, impeccable bit and the softest fabrics can be easily dressedup or down. A brand you will fall in love with."

So reach for the clouds and get your shopping on! Thanks to Free Your Heart Apparel, Good Girl Gone Shopping readers can save 15% on all items starting tonight, 9/8! Offer good through next Monday, 9/15. Use shopping code: FYH15

*Connect with Free Your Heart Apparel on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

Thursday, September 4, 2014

LA Fashion Week Volunteers Wanted for 'Project Ethos'!

Announcement: My friends at Project Ethos are seeking LA Fashion Week volunteers! If you wanna get involved (or you know of others who believe in the explosion of fashion, music, and art), be sure to make contact. 

If you've yet to attend and want to find out what really goes down at a Project Ethos event, be sure to check out some of my event recaps in Agenda Magazine: 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Well, Well, Well...If It Ain't September!

If you're an 8-5'er, I hope you're enjoying your day away from the office (It's Labor Day!). If you're a freelance professional, may you be able to carve out a little extra time to smell the coffee or go for a walk. And if you're both - working around the clock (like many of us are!) - may you find extra inspiration simply by being YOU. Currently, I'm transcribing my recent interview I had last weekend with a lovely fashion stylist. Yup - I'm feeling joy in my chosen path.

There's just something about the beginning of a new month that excites us! Something about a new month that offers us the chance to analyze our wardrobes and determine if our items are doing us justice. There's just something about having (what feels like) a do-over...

Surprise me, September! Let's see what you have in store. 

Photo Credit: www.weheartit.com 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lounge Around in...Linge Shoes!

(Photo Credit: www.lingeshoes.com)
Linge shoes are these cutesy and comfy (and high quality!) ballet flats you can pretty much pair up with any outfit. Tons of colors to choose from. Tons of versatility.

I recently recently received a pair of bright red Linge shoes, which nicely add to my lounge wear. While these shoes have sufficient sole coverage for a basic narrow shape, my feet (which are weird, wide, and just well, not my fave body part) need a thicker and wider sole to support my feet when outside. That said, however, they are so perfect for me indoors, especially when having guests over...and especially when I don't have time to get a pedicure. So I've chosen my Linge shoes as my staple to lounge around in. Because they can roll up nicely in a bag, I also look forward to taking them with me on my next trip. What a perfect, space-saving item to pack!

To learn more about Linge shoes, which are designed for women ($59) and babies/kids ($39), be sure to visit its website! You can also connect with 'em on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Exclusive Interview with Kristi Yamaguchi - Olympic Champion and Creator of Activewear Clothing Line, Tsu.ya!

(Kristi Yamaguchi - the one and only!)

Did you know that Kristi Yamaguchi -- the Olympic Champion and American figure skater we've all adored over the years -- has a retail fashion collection? After recently learning about her line, Tsu.ya (pronounced sue-ya), I can think of a handful of awesome women who would benefit from this collection - including myself. 

"Designed to Feel Good. Designed with a Purpose. Designed for Real Life.

A philanthropist, active mom, and fashion aficionado, the Olympic medalist was influenced by her many years of traveling as an international athlete. She understands the importance of comfort when it comes to fashion! And these days, after several years off the ice, Kristi knows that women on a mission (who probably couldn't even grasp the concept of "getting a day off") deserve amazing clothing to wear. Offering modern designs, on-trend colors and sophisticated styles, Tsu.ya looks to nicely combine the concepts of fashionable and functional, while giving back to a beautiful cause; a portion of the proceeds from this activewear line going to her Always Dream Foundation," which inspires underserved children to reach for their dreams through innovative reading programs and by advancing the cause of early childhood literacy." 

For more insight from this all-star professional (including exclusive fashion tips!), check out our interview:

      As an Olympic gold medalist, did you ever envision that you would take on the fashion industry with an exclusive retail collection?
K.Y.: I’ve always been interested in fashion and have always been open to one day doing something like this. I think years of being a part of my costume designing whet my appetite.
(Yup - you can totally be comfy AND cute in activewear clothing!)

I really appreciate the concept of Tsu.ya. How does your retail collection stand out among what’s currently available online and in stores?
      K.Y.: We are proud to be a product with purpose. Tsu.ya was inspired to be able to give back so women can feel good both inside and out. Tsu.ya also takes great care in selecting quality fabrics that feel good. Our designs are on trend with a feminine touch with many pieces that can layer on the active ones for a more contemporary look. Silhouettes that flatter the female figure.
Tsu.ya has turned up the notch on casual, post-workout wear, adding a chic, feminine touch. What are some of your favorite Tsu.ya pieces you'd recommend to on-the-go, busy women for summertime? 
K.Y: I love the Danya tank...either over a sports bra or a cami. The Rachel capris are a staple and have a great wide, supportive waistband. The Julia jacket has been popular and will also carry over to Fall in a new color. 

(A portion of Tsu.ya's proceeds goes to Kristi's foundation - www.alwaysdream.org)

Which celebs could you immediately see wearing pieces of the Tsu.ya line? 
K.Y.: I see Reese Whitherspoon, Lucy Lui, Jennifer Gardner, Pink, Kerry Washington, to name a few!
Who or what inspires you?
K.Y.: My daughters, philanthropy 
What do you feel is the biggest challenge women have when it comes to shopping? Any tips to making the experience enjoyable? 
K.Y.: Have an open mind. When I go out to find something specific, I never find it. When I just go to look, something usually catches my eye. Also, I like going in the evening, its much quieter then. 
Three words to describe your own sense of style feminine, on-trend, comfortable
Wanna keep up with Kristi Yamaguchi? (I know, sounds so cool.) Connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook! Oh, and did I mention that you can find great deals on Tsu.ya.com! Go ahead - get your wallet out. 
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Tsu.ya

Friday, August 1, 2014

Win a ($100-Value!) Pack of Goodies From Vincent Longo Cosmetics!

(Photo Courtesy of Vincent Longo Cosmetics/Maria Lankina)

Feelin' a bit lucky? Then put those vibes to good use and enter to win a fabulous pack of cosmetic goodies from Vincent Longo Cosmetics. (I know, quite a fun collabo giveaway, right?) As the recent sponsor of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Miami, Vincent Longo Cosmetics has been one of the world's premiere color cosmetics brand since its inception in 1995. Luxurious, high-performance formulas take the concept of "long-lasting" to a new level. (I'm in love with there Silk Velour Lipstick in Mulberry!)

To win all that you see above in this fabulous photo, just CLICK HERE. Yup - it's all about the eyes! Check out what could be yours:

- Pearl X eyeshadow in Luna Beach
- Creme Gel Liner in Velvet Plum
- Angle Liner #11 Brush
- Volume Plus Mascara in Black (Gluten-Free)

*Contest will run through Friday, August 22nd! Winner will be chosen at random by Vincent Long Cosmetics. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

3 Shopping Don'ts That DO!

(Photo Credit: www.seventeen.com
When I first began giving shopping tips back in '07-ish, my thoughts and theories were a bit more simple. A tad more black and white, if you will. I've always done my best to provide helpful information for y'all, which developed out of my own trial-and-error experiences and shopping outcries I would receive from friends, coworkers, and previous personal customers (past "Nordy" employee talking). Sometimes, however, you just grow. And in some cases, the don'ts that you once lived by, become dos. Here are 3 that could help you out:

(1) DON'T make a shopping list every time you shop. If you just feel like treating yourself and you're not obsessing over a certain item at the moment, don't limit yourself. Try a new store. Try a new fit. Try a new trend! Sometimes, allowing yourself to wind up somewhere new - or trying on something new - will open your eyes to new possibilities. This often happens to me at the Melrose flea market.)

(2) DON'T walk straight to the clearance racks. This used to be a must for me no matter what retail outlet, boutique, or department store I was in. But after doing this for so long, I realized that you skip out on the overall experience and aura of an awesome shop. Also, just because something isn't on clearance doesn't mean it isn't affordable...and just because you score a great clearance item doesn't mean it's of great quality. Readjust your thinking and you may try on an outfit that is full price and still fits within your budget. 

(2) DON'T remember where you parked. This one is tricky if you're on a time limit and/or you're wearing uncomfortable shoes. But if not, use the walking time to analyze what you bought -- hopefully with excitement! Get a good walk in, and enjoy the accomplishment of finding great new pieces to add to your wardrobe. Consider it meditational mall exiting. 

As always, I welcome your tips and feedback! Please feel free to comment below. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Get Exclusive 20% Off 'Weekend Society' Cool Casual Wear!

I'm sooo digging on Weekend Society. The LA-based clothing company (that I religiously stalk on Instagram) not only provides an affordable ($5 - $45) collection of guys and girls' casual wear, the message behind this brand is super cool: "Weekend Society is devoted to the wanderers, the wild ones, and those who believe there is still a bit of mystery in the world."

So how great is it that I can offer you, my fabulous readers, the chance to save while shopping their site?! Founded in August 2012 by Andres Andrieu and Jason Joyce, the Weekend Society collection includes a great selection of comfy cotton tees, snapbacks, hoodies, and more. I appreciate the balance of Weekend Society's So Cal style and vintage vibe, and I think you will too! So check out their site, learn more about their story, and update your wardrobe in the process.

Exclusive promo code: GOODGIRLSHOPS
Discount: 20% off anything in the shop!

Follow Weekend Society on Instagram and Twitter! (Both scenic and merchandise images are captured on camera beautifully.) 

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Weekend Society

Monday, July 14, 2014

I Wanna See You Tweet!

Happy Monday! Hope y'all had a fabulous weekend! From following up on new interview sources and phone chatting about a new project in the works to enjoying two nights out in Hollywood and playing a little b-ball outside (phew!), I was heavily busy.

...And because I'm social media-obsessed (proud of it), I typically tweet about my randomness in one or another. So if you're on Twitter, which I'm thinking you definitely are, be sure to follow me! I'm totally into creating connections and building relationships with like-minded creatives, so yup - I follow back, retweet, and reply regularly.

Tweet me or leave your Twitter handle in a comment below!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

No-Show Stylish Socks by Taft Clothing = Chic and Comfy!

There's nothing cute about sweaty feet (sans socks). Nor, is there anything cute about trying to attain the no-show sock look by pushing down long, bulky socks into your shoes. In both of these scenarios, Taft Clothing has your back.

With a collection for both men and women, this Utah-based clothing company (formerly known as "Wimbley's"), developed a style that is durable and lasts after several uses. According to Taft, they tested their socks "at the gym, on the field, on our shoes, and on the ground." 

The story behind Taft Clothing: In March of this year, they launched a Kickstarter project under the name "Wimbley's" to help bring their product to those who simply love shoes. In April, they ended up raising $45,000 (!!!), succeeding their goal of $29,000. According to the cool peeps at Taft, "Our no-show socks for men and women work because they hug your heal, ensuring your socks will never fall off! On top of all that, we designed our sock to look fun when you want to kick of your shoes...Just because you don't see them doesn't mean they have to be boring!"

Having received a cute pair of my own from Taft (the adorable polka dot, peach and navy pair you see above), I attest to the comfort and durability. I'm one of those fashionistas who pretends a mishap was on purpose, such as wearing mismatched socks 'cause I sloppily store them in my drawers. Now, just as I'm conscious with where I store my new Chuck's from Brize Collection, I am totally aware as to where I place my cute 'lil Taft socks. 

If you didn't get involved with the company's Kickstarter campaign, you can still pre-order your own pair(s) off their website: www.taftclothing.com. (A pack of 4 pairs for 40 bucks!) To connect with them directly, be sure to follow them on Twitter and Instagram

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Taft Clothing

Saturday, June 28, 2014

I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night (And Party Every Day) With Brize Collection...

Such a cool feeling when you interview a source and the two of you click. Like instantly. I never would have predicted that Tosha Brize, the humbled mastermind behind Brize Collection, would become more than an interview. That this woman, who is armed with such unwavering persistence, would quickly become a dear friend.

As the story goes, I reached out to Tosha on Twitter immediately after I noticed a conversation between her and Reality TV star/model/actress Tami Roman. Being the nosey tweetaholic that I am (and researcher, by nature), I began checking out the fashion item they were discussing. As I soon realized that Tosha Brize created custom-made Chuck's -- really cute, custom-made Chuck's - I knew that I needed to speak to her and feature her on Good Girl Gone Shopping. After all, unique, creative fashion will always be in style.

Agreeing to an interview (her first one!), Tosha not only gave me the rundown of the company, her goals, and her overall story, she also learned more about who I am. Finding time amongst our busy schedules, we eventually began chatting like old girlfriends, and not long thereafter, she began creating a custom-made shoe for...me!

Not only was I delighted to wear her art on my feet, it was a great time to explore a new, comfy flat! Typically, when I'm not wearing heels, I'm all about a pair of Old Navy flip flops...It was time to change that.

History behind the shoe:

In junior high and the earlier years of high school, my backpack and jeans were covered with patches of my fave early 90s, KROQ-esque bands (Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Hole, Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers...). I used to cut v-neck sweaters and then pin them together with safety pins. At 15 years old, I was most comfortable wearing my sister's 14-hole, worn-in Doc Martens with green laces (while sneaking a quick drag off a friend's cigarette in the parking lot at school). Basically, the time in my life when I really stood out as a Jewish biracial girl growing up in Pomona (receiving all sorts of criticism and confusion from different directions, which did not necessarily help a girl work thought an identity crisis), music was my go-to relief and sanity.

And today, music still plays a role in my well-being and image! I still rock out to the Chili Peppers while I drive, but I'll also ride along to the hits of Drake and the eclectic sounds of Santigold. With my newly locked hair and officially living among the beautiful and bizarre of Los Angeles, I find myself continuing to make my own statement as a fashion writer. Music definitely supports and inspires my own transformation.

So this pair of Chuck's was recreated by Tosha with my particular personality in mind. She says, "The shoes represent the historical Kiss group. When designing the shoe, I did research on the group - 1973 is the year the band was created. Their first big album to hit the billboard charts - which put the band on the map - was "Alive." As Tosha was explaining this to me, and adding that she thinks some great detail to the shoe should include safety pins as well as the word "Alive," I became waaaaay excited. I was all in! Although posters of the band Kiss didn't grace the walls of my bedroom while growing up, this American hard rock band has been one of the loudest statement-makers when it comes to their flamboyant style. I've always loved it, and trusted Tosha to use all of her creativity for my shoe. A one-of-a-kind shoe that uniquely plays on someone's love for rock music, my Chuck's are the most special piece in my closet right now (actually placed in a different room than my other shoes, as they deserve their own space). They were made for me.
Ordering your own pair of Chuck's:

The attentive and excellent business woman that she is, Tosha is very receptive to feedback and welcomes new orders.  I encourage you to follow Brize Collection on its social media platforms, so you can see the wide range of her custom-made Chuck's. You'll also notice that she is a jewelry designer!

Connect with her today on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Click HERE to read our full interview!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Shopping Cheap (With Chump Change): Don't Knock It Til You Try It!

(Walked in a store next to Trader Joe's last week and walked out with these $1.50 boho chic danglies.)

(A total score at Marshall's - a BCBGeneration "Blessed" band spotted for less than $10 while in line. Was a must-have.)

(The flea market off Melrose and Fairfax is the perfect hunting ground. This $7 turquoise, double-strand necklace is my new fave item.)

If you've never paid for a pair of costume earrings, a bracelet, or a necklace with just a handful of change, I gotta be honest with you: you're not truly living. I mean, you may believe that you're the hottest fashionista to strut your stuff since the 80s catwalk days of Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, and Naomi Campbell...and OK, maybe you are...BUT...what about being a hot style maven who knows how to stretch her dollar while appearing effortlessly gorge?

While luxury accessories will always be sought after by the ultra-chic fashionista, there is something exciting and purely awesome in buying a new, fun item to adorn your outfit with using the change in your purse pocket. (Maybe from that $5 you forgot was left over from your breakfast combo from Starbucks...or possibly from those bucks that used to go toward a pack of Marlboro menthols...)

Ultimately, there is just something really cool and smart in buying cheap costume accessories. Whether you are on a mission ("OK, I have $20! I'm gonna find some great items today!") or you calmly stash your fashion change on an as-needed basis ("There's nothing I really need right now, but I might check out that shop I walk past every day. Let's see what they have in stock..."), keep your options open! Don't get me wrong, I firmly believe that quality outweighs quantity, and that investing in brands and designers is an important part of maintaining a fabulous image. (I love my Tiffany jewelry and Betsey Johnson dangly earrings.) But I also believe that if you leave misconceptions, judgment, and nervousness at the door, you are opening yourself up to workable items that you may never have considered before.

Living in Los Angeles, I often walk the historical flea market off Melrose and Fairfax on Sundays, typically walking away with an extra pep in my step because of my new necklaces and hair clips. I also come to a screeching halt when I see local lawns full of yard sale junk treasures. Yup - the Goodwill is also a fun stomping ground for affordable and vintage-y pieces.

Remember: It's all about how you style what you've got. As a fashion writer, I take pride in being able to sit at top designer fashion shows in both LA and New York (inhaling the fabulous scent of couture), while equally proud that I don't give an eff if I'm wearing earrings that cost $1.50 or $100. In fact, I brag more about the former investment.

Do you proudly shop cheap? What was the best item you ever purchased?