Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thursday Thoughts Blogger Link-Up


This week, I'm linking up with Jennifer @ Ramblings of a Suburban Mom for Thursday Thoughts. I have been trying to do more blogger link-ups lately, as it gives me a chance to get to meet other bloggers. I particularly like Thursday Thoughts, as it gives me a chance to write what's on my mind, questions to the universe, and on occasion, vent a little bit.

-Starting with a vent (sorry...). I ordered a limited edition La Prairie Glossybox back in January. For some crazy reason, they sent it to my old address in Connecticut. I haven't lived there in almost two years, and I have received a Glossybox every single month to my address in Ohio. What is so frustrating is that they were not helpful at all. The post office hasn't been very helpful either. I have the tracking number, shouldn't they be able to forward it to me? Anyhow, in a complete non-Andrea move, I sent Glossybox an email (they never answer their phones) telling how unhappy I have been with them, and they refunded my money. I would have loved the box, but hey, I made progress! 

-I've been working with two different companies that I wrote reviews for, Blues Jean Bar Express and Nadine West. Both companies are offering my readers a discount with the code PREPPY MOM. This is a really big deal for me as a blogger. They both did it as a thank you-I think that's pretty great.

-After being out of town for what seemed like forever, my husband has been home all week! It also snowed pretty much every day while he was gone. I'll be glad when the boys are old enough to start shoveling, or for us to move somewhere warmer. Actually, my pick is somewhere warmer! I spent most of my life in Arizona (not terribly proud of this lately, but hopefully they are back on track), and my husband's company is based out of Phoenix. We're really hoping for a transfer one of these days. Most of my friends are there, and I'm not currently working because of a health issue. I would be crazy excited to go back, so I'm keeping fingers crossed. We'd be closer to my family as well, and I would love for the boys to be able to spend more time with their cousins.

-Are any of you gearing up for a late winter/early spring vacation? We won't be going away this year, but if I could pick a vacation spot at this point, it would be to Disney World, or maybe a Disney Cruise. I grew up on Disney. My family went pretty much every year, alternating between California and Florida. My husband had never been until we were dating. We have been a few times with the boys, and we've always had so much fun. We've never gone on a cruise though. The last time we were at Disney World, we were upgraded to a room on the concierge floor at the Grand Floridian. We're pretty well ruined now, and would have difficulty staying at one of their budget resorts.  The boys, of course, could care less! C. loves the characters, and the last time we went, H. was terrified. 

-I can pretty much say that February was a terrible month for mail. In addition to the Glossybox problem, I ordered two lipsticks from Etsy. Their tracking says that a notice was left and then that they were delivered. Neither one happened, which I'm bummed about. I also returned an item to Nordstrom that has gone MIA. I used their paid shipping label, and I took it right to the Post Office. Who knows where it went? I'm hopeful it will turn up though, as it wasn't a cheap item. Maybe the snow and freezing temperatures has something to do with it? 

-I'm loving the Jimmy Fallon/Seth Meyers nighttime talk show combo. I've been laughing so hard, I'm surprised that I haven't woken M. up! I also love Chelsea Handler and E! News. Justin Timberlake was on Jimmy Fallon, and as usual, it was hilarious. You can tell they're good friends because all they do is talk really fast and laugh at themselves.

-Are any of my readers gluten-free? If so, was it because of an allergy, or another reason? I've been reading about sensitivities to gluten, which can wreak havoc on your body. I don't think I have a problem, but I've been reading that a gluten-free diet can help with certain auto-immune/inflammatory illnesses. I'm considering it, but I just don't know where to start?!

-Have any of you seen the new rose gold hair color trend? I really like it, and I'm thinking about doing it next week when I go to get my color done. I'm pretty light blond naturally, and pale! I wear it in a short bob, kind of like this one. It's blended with pale blonde, medium blonde and a bit of rosy pink. I'm 42- I don't want to look weird. Maybe toned down a bit? What do you think? Would you try it?


That's about it for tonight. I seriously LOVE hearing from you all. If you follow me, I'll definitely follow back. I answer all comments and/or questions also. Let's visit!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What?? Free Jewelry?!

I posted a review of Nadine West's Subscription Service earlier this week.

As you may recall, one of the best things about their service is that they do not charge styling fees or shipping costs. Nadine West allows their customers to try on their accessories, tees and dresses for free! You fill out a style profile, and they send you surprise packages for you to try on at home. If you don't like what they send you, you send it back, without any charge whatsoever!

It just got better! If you sign up for Nadine West, and tell them that you heard about them from me (use code PREPPY MOM), you will automatically receive a $10 credit towards your purchase. Many items are $9.99, so you could get a piece for free! 

PREPPY MOM is not a referral code, but rather Nadine West is offering my readers a lovely gift! Didn't get what you were hoping for on Valentine's Day? This is a great chance to pick up something beautiful for free.

If you have any questions, ask away-I love hearing from you! You can also contact Nadine West's Customer Service. They are very helpful.

Free Jewelry-I love the sound of that! How about you?? If you'd like to take their style quiz and get started, click here.



***Disclaimer-This post contains an affiliate link. I am not compensated for my review, and all opinions are 100% my own.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Social Blogger Link-Up


As I have been for the past several Sundays, I'm linking up with Neely & Ashley for their Sunday Social. I'm a little late this week, but hey, it's still Sunday!!
Here are this week's questions from the Sunday Social link up...
  1. Favorite breakfast food: I'm not a huge breakfast eater, which I know isn't very healthy. I love pancakes with berries, but it's not often I get those! I'll usually grab a bagel or frozen Special K waffles. The easier the better. I'm thinking about going gluten free for a medical condition, and I know it will be so hard! I really dislike eggs, so I'll likely be living on yogurt and fruit, not too bad!
  2. Best way to spend a free day: It is so rare that I actually get a free day. Our 5 year old, H. is home, and this is the first time since I was 16 that I'm not working. It's crazy though! IF I were to have a really free day though (maybe next year when kindergarten comes), I would like to start painting again. I have a BFA, and I used to really enjoy watercolors. If I didn't live in the COLD weather, I would love to sit on the deck, where I could paint or read. Actually walk the dogs when I'm not freezing my backside off!
  3. Airline ticket to anywhere in the world... where would you go and why? I actually have two answers for this. If I was with M. and the boys, I would love to take a trip to Disney. I grew up as a Disney kid, and to me-it really is the happiest place on earth! If it was just me, I'd love to go to Paris. I spent time there in college, and I love it there. I know it sounds cliche, but I used to just walk and people watch. I'd love to go back as a grown up, so that I could eat in actual restaurants, enjoy a glass of wine, have a little bit of money to spend, etc. It was a pretty carefree time in my life though. I dream about going back.
  4. You can only leave the house with one thing. What is it? It would definitely be my cell phone. I have a case with a little pocket that holds my license and debit card, so I'd really be fine without anything else!
  5. How do you take your coffee? I'm not a huge coffee drinker. I like a latte or cappuccino every once in a while, but I'm more of a tea drinker. It depends on what type of tea I'm drinking. I will, on rare occasion, drink it with milk and sugar, but usually I will just take it with a Splenda.

February Nadine West Review

I recently had the opportunity to review jewelry from Nadine West. Nadine West is a subscription service that sends jewelry and fashion items from top designers for you to try at home. Subscribers fill out a style profile, and Nadine West sends out clothing and accessories that fit within your preferences. Items range from $9.99 to $29.99, and you return what you do not wish to purchase. There is no styling fee, and Nadine West pays for the shipping, so it is truly risk free.

I received two jewelry pieces, but they also have shirts and dresses that they may send their subscribers.


The first item that I received was a very pretty necklace from Ann Taylor Loft. It was approximately 36", and was a lovely design in gunmetal, dark gray and gray pearls, and dark rhinestones. I actually have a necklace that is quite similar, otherwise I would likely purchase this necklace. This design came to me in a red bag, which means that it is a $29.99 item. That is definitely a great price for such a substantial piece. I will be sending it back, but I am quite impressed with this particular piece.


The second item that I received was a pair of cream colored pearl earrings set in silver metal and a rhinestone wreath around the edge of each boarder. There wasn't a tag on these, so I am not able to provide that information. These are not genuine pearls, but they have a beautiful glow, and they are well made. The earrings were delivered in a black bag, which gives them a price point of $9.99. I'm choosing not to keep these, but I may call at a later date to see if they still have these in stock that I might purchase. These are definitely my style, but I'm thinking of these as a Mother's Day gift for my mom. I bought her an almost identical pair many years ago that I paid close to $1000 for, but she lost them. I know that she would love these.

While I'm not keeping either piece right now (darn you, taxes), I like them both very much. If you buy everything that Nadine West sends in your shipment, you receive a discount. If I were to keep both the necklace and earrings, I would be charged $29.99! That's a great deal!

It's sometimes hard for subscription companies to know your style right away, which is why Nadine West has subscribers fill out a style profile. They also ask for your input on items that you return, so they can continue to send you items that you will LOVE! This is my second shipment from Nadine West, and I can honestly say they've done a pretty good job with my style. Some might say that my style is boring-I wound say it's classic. I'm a twin-set and headband girl. I'm used to wearing a small pendant or a strand of pearls with either studs or tiny hoops. Both of these pieces fit well within my comfort zone. I can't wait to see what they send me next.

Interested in giving Nadine West a try? There is no risk at all! Click here to learn more about Nadine West, and to fill out your style profile. Also, because Nadine West is so awesome, they are offering my readers $10 off a purchase by using the code PREPPY MOM.

***Disclaimer-I was not compensated in any way for my review. All opinions are 100% my own. This post does include an affiliate link.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Blues Jean Bar Express (BJB Express) Review

I had heard that Blues Jean Bar was doing a subscription service/personal shopping similar to other clothing services, so I contacted them to see if I might review for Blues Jean Bar Express, or BJB Express. They responded that they would be happy to work with me. I filled out a style/sizing profile online, and was notified within a day or two that I had packages on the way from them. BJB Express does require a credit card, but they only take an authorization for $1. I was pleased that unlike other companies, BJB Express does not charge a styling fee. You can get shipments from them every once in a while, or on a regular basis.

I was surprised with how many options they sent me. Their stylists bundled looks together, and shipped me a huge box and a bag. Honestly, I was blown away.


This was my first bundle. I knew right away that I would like the particular looks in this grouping. I am the first to admit that my style hasn't changed a ton over the years. I'm really trying, but I'm comfortable in jeans and tops, khakis, sweaters, etc. Change will be gradual for me, but I'm trying!


















The first shirt that was in this bundle was a charcoal gray cowl neck thermal by LA Made. They called it black, but it really is a charcoal color. I LOVED this top. It's casual and comfortable, but the cowl neck dresses it up a bit. I don't think I would have picked this out myself, which is the point of trying new things! I put this in my "maybe" pile.


The next shirt was a long sleeved gray shirt with a cream sheer back by BB Collection. I liked this shirt because when you look at it from the front, it appears to be a plain light gray t-shirt, but when you see the back, it's interesting and unexpected. I would normally consider something sheer to be sexy, but it really isn't. This wasn't my style at all, but it looked so cute on. I put this in my "maybe" as well. Are you seeing a pattern? 


The next shirt that I tried on was very cute. I don't own anything with studs, but I love tissue tees. This was from LA Made, and is called the Leila top. When I tried this on, it was very cute, but it was very sheer. It would need a cami underneath, or to be layered under a shirt or jacket. The cut was cute, and I really liked it. It was very wearable, and seemed like it would look good on most frames. I decided against this shirt, simply because I knew that I could easily spend a ton of money on this box of treasures.


These two t-shirts were both Rib Sleeve Scoop Neck Tees from Alternate Apparel. I love long sleeve t-shirts. These were very cute, and the gray one was layered under the olive military shirt below. These would be a terrific staple item for anyone.  I decided against these t-shirts, but I may purchase them at a later date.


The next shirt was Joe's Jeans Unisex Military Shirt in Olive. I liked how they had it paired with the gray t-shirt, so that it was more of a jacket. Although I thought this was cute, it was not my style at all. Both shirts were very comfortable, but just not for me.


The last item in the first bundle was the Cornelia Dress by Alpine Stars. I loved this dress, and thought it would be a great addition to my wardrobe, but it fit VERY small. I couldn't even really tell how it would look because it was so tiny on me. The fabric was beautiful. It was lined, so that it wouldn't be uncomfortable against the skin. If you're interested in this dress, I would recommend purchasing a size up.



I knew immediately that unless it was hideous on me, I was going to love the sweater on top of the next bundle. My older sister had a sweater with a similar pattern in the 80s by Benetton in pink and light blue, and I always did my best to try to pack it with my things when I was heading back to boarding school. She always caught on though, and I never made off with more than a white turtleneck (I admitted to her years ago that I had it for years).


The sweater on top of the bundle was a peach leopard print sweater by Blu Pepper. It is absolutely gorgeous, and so soft. It has a slight hi/lo cut, which gives it a bit more shape. It fit true to size and was very comfortable. There was no question that I put this in the yes pile as soon as I took it off.

The first pair of jeans in my shipment was a pair of Lila Super Skinny Ankle Jeans by Henry & Belle. Their official color was Pure Indigo. These jeans were so nice, but unfortunately I had my jeans sizing off.  I will likely request these again in my size. I had never tried Henry & Belle jeans before, but they were beautiful. They were dressier than some jeans, and they could easily be worn out, and still look like adult clothing.

The next pair of jeans, and final item in the second bundle was another pair of jeans by Henry & Belle. They were Super Skinny Ankle Jeans in Onyx. Like the other pair, these were too small. They were very nice, and would be a dressier jean to wear. Henry & Belle Jeans are on the expensive side, a little over $150. You can tell, however, that they are well made, and that they are dressier than an average pair of jeans.


The next bundle immediately caught my eye when I opened the box, as on top there was a bright magenta scarf. It was a great pop of color that certainly would get noticed, but not in an obnoxious way.


I knew immediately that the jeans in the bundle wouldn't fit because of my mistake in sizing. Of course, I had to give them a try to prove to myself again, that I wouldn't fit into the jeans. Why do we do that to ourselves? These were The Hunter High Class Jeans by James Jeans. The color was Dark Paris, and they were not quite as fitted as the skinny jeans, but rather a bit more tailored. The price point was about the same. I like to think of many of the jeans that I purchase now as "grown up jeans." They are definitely worth the higher price. They are well made, last longer, look more put together, and can be worn for Casual Friday without looking schlumpy.


There was a nice black cami by PACT. It was cute, and had very nice lines. It fit well, and I liked the V neckline that it had, but that it didn't gap or show too much cleavage. I am not the kind of person who would ever wear a cami on its own, except to pair with pajama bottoms. It was put in to wear with the next shirt, and it was so pretty together.


The next shirt was by Blu Pepper, a brand that Ihad difficulty finding much about when I was researching online. I wish I had gotten a better picture. It was a black woven lace back shirt. As you can tell, the front is quite sheer , and the back was lace. It was long sleeved, and looked so pretty with the cami underneath and with the magenta scarf. It wouldn't be a shirt that I would choose to wear to work, but would look fantastic as it was put together for a night out, dinner, or drinks. I put the shirt in my "maybe" pile.


The final item was the Magenta Infinity Ruffle Scarf by Created New. I loved the color, the light silky texture, and how it draped. It looked beautiful with the black lace shirt. I also put the scarf into my "maybes." The pile was getting a little big...



The next bundle had the same scarf on top that I already knew I liked, except in a smokey color. Except for a shirt and jeans, I couldn't see what was in the bundle. Kind of like Christmas.


The scarf was the same Created New Infinity Ruffle Scarf in Taupe. I liked the color, and don't have a scarf in a grayish color. I already knew I liked the scarf, so I put it with my other possibilities. 


The shirt that was paired with the scarf and jeans was also by Blu Pepper. It was labeled as an Ivory Woven Sheer Jacket, but personally I would never consider it to be a jacket. When I first looked at it, I almost didn't try it on at all, as it seemed a little too "folky" for my tastes. Is folky a word? I just didn't think I would even remotely like this shirt. I did try it on though, and it looked cute, especially with the scarf. Still not for me, but I was surprised by how cute it really was on.


I won't continue to say that the jeans didn't fit, but I want to reiterate that it wasn't because the jeans are cut small or ill fitting. I had my sizing off. The first pair of jeans were The Madison Baby Boot in Indigo by 15 FIFTEEN Jeans. I didn't like these as well, but they were still very nice. I prefer jeans to be completely straight or even to taper a bit, so a boot cut, even a baby one, isn't for me. I'm also quite short, so that could be the reason I prefer jeans to be more fitted at the ankle-I can get away with them being a bit long on me that way. If you like bit of a boot cut, you would really like these jeans. They have a bit of variation in the dye to look a bit worn in, and are quite sharp.


There were several pairs of jeans in this bundle. The second pair was The Microflare Jean in Rustic by Henry & Bella. Again, a little less tapered than I prefer, but you can see that they are actually quite straight. I may have really liked these though, but it was difficult to tell what they would look like on my frame. They were a lighter color denim than the other jeans, and seemed a bit more casual. These would be an excellent everyday jean.


The next item was The La Brea Muscle Tee by Alpine Stars. The fabric was a pretty woven black and white, with black leather trim. It was a funnel neck and sleeveless, and I can honestly say that it looked terrible on me. I know that as a forever prepster, it is completely out of my comfort zone, but I can say that it just did not look good on me at all. I perhaps do not have the frame for this, and it was much cuter off than on. It is beautiful as pictured on the model below, so I think this is truly one that would need to be tried on and be the right style.


So, interestingly enough, as much as the shirt above was out of my style comfort zone, the next jacket was REALLY out there. Also by Alpine Stars, this is the Tessa Jacket in black. When I first picked it up, it was a light jersey fabric with a bit of a shawl collar and a zip front. I was really excited, thinking it would be something I would wear all the time. As I put it on, however, I realized that there were leather cuffs/sleeves up to the elbows. I thought I shouldn't even bother putting it on, but when I did, I loved it! It was very comfortable and unexpectedly cute. After all, I'm trying to branch out a bit. Not everything I own has to be pink, plaid or polo. My husband liked this jacket a lot as well. It was so soft, and again, unexpected. I put it in my "maybe" pile.


The next pair of jeans were Henry & Bella's Super Skinny Ankle Jeans in Pitch. They were a coated jean, so there was a bit of a sheen to them. These were gorgeous. Definitely dressier, and absolutely nicer than pictured. I will definitely try these on in my size at another date, and if you're looking for a nicer pair of dark jeans, I would recommend giving these a try. Henry & Bella was a company that was new to me, and I'm so glad that I was sent several pair to look at-I will definitely want to take a closer look at these on.


The last item in my shipment was a pair of jeans by Yummie Tummie.  I've heard of the brand, and seen them online, but I hadn't ever seen them in person. They were very nice, and have a slimming effect. The jeans were their Slimming Mid-Rise Skinny Jean in Jet Black. I will want to try these again, as with most moms out there, this is an area that I am always trying to improve. As a mid-rise, they sat a bit lower, but didn't have that awkward gap in the back when you lean forward. They were slim at the ankle, and a very nice jean that I will look forward to a more serious try-on in the future. Yummie Tummie has become a very popular brand, and they offer a whole line. If this is an area that you are looking to minimize without a squeeze of special undergarments, give this brand a try.


I was happily surprised with how much BJB Express sent, and it was SO nice to get an idea of what they offer their clients. Not everything was a hit for me, but I definitely found some things that would fit into my closet and that were wearable with my current wardrobe. Of course, there were a few things that just weren't me, but that will always happen when trying to freshen up your look. I did have to narrow it down a bit, so what did I purchase? I bought the LA Made Black Cowl Neck Thermal and the Blu Pepper Peach Leopard Sweater. I'm so happy with my purchases. I would have liked a few more pieces, but decided to control myself, and I sent the rest back to BJB.

Will I continue to receive shipments from BJB Express? Absolutely!! I worked with Scottie, who was my personal shopper. I gave her feedback so that she will continue to send me items I love, as well as some that will surprise me. 

You can follow BJB on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. They are listed under thebluesjeanbar.

Would you like to give BJB a try? You can find them at www.thebluesjeanbar.com/bjb-express. By using "Preppy Mom" where it asks how you heard of their service, you will receive 20% off! That's a great way to give them a try. 

**Disclaimer-I was sent items to review, but was not monetarily compensated in any way. This, however, in no way altered my opinion of items or my review. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Social Blogger Link-Up


Today I'm linking up with Neely and Ashley for the Sunday Social. Actually, in Cleveland, it's already Monday. I've been terrible about posting this week!

Sunday Social Questions:
  1. What are your favorite things to do on a lazy day?  On a lazy day, I like to stay in comfies (usually sweats), catch up on the DVR and hang with my boys. We've had a terrible winter, but when it's nice out, I like to be outside with them while they ride bikes and play. Hoping for spring to arrive soon!
  2. What is your TV guilty pleasure?  Everything on E! I love the Kardashians, E! News, and my newest favorite, Rich Kids of Beverly Hills.
  3. What is your favorite road trip music?  I'm going to admit it, I hate road trips. I LOVE vacations, but not the getting there, especially if involves the car. We've done a couple of cross country moves-ugh! I sleep most of the time. When I was in college, I would drive from Tucson home to Phoenix, and I would blast Barry Manilow (I know...), Jimmy Buffett, and mix tapes (this ages me)!
  4. What are your favorite magazines or books to read by the pool or laying around? I love InStyle, Allure and Marie Claire. As far as books, I like a huge variety of fiction. I read Gone Girl recently, and it was amazing!
  5. What is your favorite snack?  I didn't like sweets to speak of, until I was pregnant with my second son. I prefer salty snacks-cheese and crackers, pretzels, etc. I also like gummy bears!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sunday Social Blogger Link-Up


This is my first time linking up for the Sunday Social. I'm trying to blog more consistently, to participate in blogger link-ups, and to meet other bloggers. Ashley and Neely are hosting this Sunday Social, which is on the number 4. Please forgive that these aren't the EXACT questions-I lost my entire post after already posting it.

1. List 4 bands that you liked in high school
This is going to sound strange, but I went to boarding school in the middle of nowhere New Jersey. There were seriously no radio stations there, so most of us really didn't keep up with current music trends. That sounds so completely lame, but it's true.  Without itunes, the world was a different place! That being said, I did listen to current music when I was home, and what a treat that was! 
The "bands" that I liked were:
-Duran Duran
-The Bangles
-Madonna
-Prince

2. List 4 things that you wish you could cook/cook better:
Unfortunately, I'm probably the worst cook ever. I just was never really at home to learn, and when I was, my mom was a really good cook. My husband is a great cook, so he does most of the cooking in our house. I know how to make casseroles, but he doesn't really like them. So, this is actually a much longer list!
-Pot roast
-Chicken Parm
-Lasagna (not from a box)
-Chicken Marsala

3. List 4 cosmetics that you would be lost without:
-Concealer
-Blush
-Lip/gloss, lipstick, lip stain, etc
-Mascara
I'm completely obsessed with makeup and skincare. I spend a crazy amount of money on them each month.  The crazy part is, I don't wear that much makeup!

4. List 4 things that you need every single day:
-My iphone/ipad (obviously, I knew how to function without these at some point in my life, but it would be impossible now)
-My glasses (I fight it, but it's getting harder every day)
-My family (I have the most awesome husband and sons)
-A sense of humor

5. List your 4 favorite apps:
I'm not a HUGE game player, but I do tend to start playing a game, and then play only that one until I'm totally sick of it. Then I generally don't play it again. They're usually random like Smurfs or Monster Pet Shop. Here are the non-game ones that I use all the time (kind of boring):
-Facebook
-Blogger
-itunes
-Sephora

If you would, please follow me! I love making new friends, so I'd like you to come by again! You can follow me on Blogger by entering your email here, you can follow me on bloglovin, Facebook (Preppy Mom's Wanderings), Google+, and Twitter (@preppymomm).