Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fall Favorites // The Frugal Edition

fall wishlist

Boots // 1, 2,3
Sweaters // 1,2
Purses // 1, 2, 3

Booties with a slight heel are a must-have on my fall wishlist. I will always love a good pair of knee-high boots, but I have a special place in my heart for the casual yet sophisticated feeling of these ankle boots.

Layering pieces like these open cardigans are essential for Southern California residents. I long for the days when wearing a full pea coat is appropriate, but for now these darling and cozy layering sweaters will be a staple in my closet.

Neutral and Structured handbags are my weakness. Since the fall reminds me of school time, of course, I'm drawn to bigger and more structured bags that can fit a laptop and a few books. Not to mention, the neutral colors of the bags above are the perfect pair for the mustard yellows and burgundy red hues of fall. 


Thursday, September 12, 2013

How To: Style a Kitchen Shelf

Chrysanthemum Vase || Scalloped Mugs (similar) || Measuring Cups || Prints || Frames || Macaron Book || Shelves

I can definitely be a hoarder when it comes to cute little nick-nacks. There are just too many adorable things to choose from! Our new kitchen shelves are my attempt to create an uncluttered and pleasing-to-the-eye focal point above the dining table. Each of these items are fairly reasonable and you only need a few of them to complete the look.





Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Autumn in Southern California

We're almost halfway through September and the 90 degree Southern California weather is stopping my fall-minded daydreams in its tracks (though, I did have an obligatory pumpkin spice latte). I'll miss summertime, but can't wait for cooler temperatures in October. Check out my fall picks below, each are $40 or under, of course. What are a few items you're currently craving?

fall wishlist

Aztec Cardigan (use code USA20 for 20% off) | Burgundy Maxi Skirt | Cozy Lace Pillow


Thursday, September 5, 2013

New Beginnings: Foxes and Leopards

  

Last week, I sat down for dinner with a friend and fellow fashion blogger. As we talked about our shared passions I realized something about myself, something that has been jumping out at me for the past few months, and which clearly revealed my true hopes for Sparkles and Prays. I've never felt entirely comfortable in front of the camera. I find joy in seeing other people style and document their outfits on a daily basis, but for me, it just doesn't fit.

What I truly love is being behind the lens and capturing beautiful snippets like the ones below. I've recently started getting a firmer grasp on my photography skills and still have a long way to go. Still, I find so much more fulfillment in seeing these images fill the pages of my blog, and I hope you do too.

Like today's post, you'll typically see images that link back to the boutique in some way. Soft and romantic vignettes that reflect my personal style and the things that I'm also inspired by. It's the details, like a perfectly dainty teacup or a handmade necklace that gives me life and inspires me to pause and love every moment.

Gold Fox Face Bracelet
An adorable addition to your neutral fall wardrobe.
Another shot of the S&P Boutique's leopard and gold necklace. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Transitional Target Finds

target finds



Yesterday a Target email popped up in my inbox stating, "additional 20% off women's clearance," and boy, you know I was hooked. I was expecting the typical swimwear and sandals to be in the sale section, but was hoping to find some pieces that could easily transition from summer into my fall attire. I was excited to find these pieces above, all under $15. I can see the striped flats pairing with just about any outfit, and the blush and mesh black top above is simply elegant with a little bit of edge, not to mention it is the perfect tone for fall. So what are you waiting for? Everything is an additional 20% off (price reflected at checkout)!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

For the Love of Gold

gold attack
1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Growing up I always had a penchant for silver, mainly because that's what all my friends liked, of course. Now, I've developed a soft spot in my heart for the antique and timeless look of gold. Some people think it's overdone, but with the right amount added to any outfit, it truly shines. 

So, this gorgeous filigree ring, must-have golden metallic flats, shimmering clutch, and ideal charger plate for special occasions are each items I recommend for any golden girl's home and closet.

Shop some other fabulous gold picks in the S&P Boutique. Like this gold and mint acrylic bracelet and this stunning Art Deco clutch

xo,
Elissa

***


Today I'm linking up with Kristin over at Fancy Things!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

How To // Be a Bargain Shopper

"Like a kid in a candy store." 

I've always been the type of person who gets an adrenaline rush after finding an incredible pair of jeans or an adorable dress on major clearance. I truly hate to pay full price for anything, unless we're talking Forever 21 prices, but even then, their fashions can always be found at a discounted price...read on to see where I find those deals and the tips I use when bargain hunting.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Simply Summer // Life via Instagram

Although we have summer-like weather almost year round in LA, August always seems to hold the final great days of lounging by the pool, barbecues, and exploring new places. Then September comes filled with all the wonderful things about fall. 

Here are a few snapshots of how I hope to spend these last moments of long days and sunny adventures.

{Working on my newest project, the Sparkles and Prays online boutique}
{Taking in more adventures with loved ones, like this quick trip to San Francisco, Chinatown with two of my dearest friends.}
{Getting my fancy sunbathing on with a relaxing day at the pool.}


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Shopping from Home // H&M online

H&M online

_________________________________________


I'm sure your Instagram feed has been flooded with photos featuring the new H&M online. What's not to love about affordable fashion you can shop directly from home? I too have fallen for this beloved brand's on trend yet classic fashions. Above are a few of my favorites for fall from the new site--and boom, the Internet became that much more of a dangerous place to browse!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Newly Launched // Vintage-Inspired Boutique


{via the Storenvy platform}

As some of you may have read in my "About Me," I have always dreamt of one day opening my own boutique, filled to the brim with "sparkly, pretty, and vintage things."

Earlier this month I decided to kick-start that daydream and began curating items for the Sparkles and Prays online boutique . I'm thankful for the opportunity our technology-driven society has presented, a chance to share beloved items I've found with fellow fashion-loving women like myself. From true vintage items to vintage-inspired clothing and accessories with a feminine feel, you can expect a hand-picked selection. 

Here are a few items currently for sale in the S&P boutique. You can look forward to many more beautiful pieces to come! Follow along on Instagram: @sparklesandprays.

{shop this evening gown and other here}
{shop this delicate necklace and others here}
{shop this woven cross body bag and other accessories here}
{find these emerald bow heels here}
{find this leopard print necktie blouse here}

Blog Followers can receive a special discount by using the code: SP_BLOGLOVE

xo,
Elissa

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rose Bowl Flea Market Review

{Vintage Vogue}

A few weekends ago I spent my Sunday at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena. It was my first time stepping foot into the famous and celebrity-filled swap meet, and though it was a blazing hot day, it definitely held up to my expectations. 

We first walked around the vendors that circle the actual bowl and found that most of the items displayed there are wholesale or handmade items. Since our goal was to score some vintage pieces we branched out into one of the parking lots, which looked like a sea of blue and white pop-up tents filled with vintage items galore.

As I spent the last of my $60 (I brought a limited amount so I wouldn't overspend) I walked away pleased with my purchases: two retro dresses ($10), one succulent terrarium ($22), ten vintage brooches ($10), and a hand painted wooden "One Love" sign for Ronnie ($20). 

Needless to say, I can't wait to go back again. This first trip was more of a preview for me in order to have a more specific idea of what is available next time. General admission is $8.00 and you can find free parking in Lot K. 

{Fabulous Rotary Phones}
{Who doesn't love a feather fascinator? 
My fabulous friend Kate of Wear In La definitely does! }
{I still regret leaving this classic and chic telephone behind. (Also, I just had my wisdom teeth removed 3 days prior to this picture being taken. This is my "trying to mask my puffy cheeks" smile.)}

xo,
Elissa

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

One Sweet Pup


It's one of those moments that I'll never forget, reading an email from my mom explaining how her and dad stood lovingly over our sweet Taylor as the veterinarian laid him to rest (*cue the waterworks). 

I'll also never forget the day, about 15 years ago, when we picked up our sweet Taylor out of a litter of nine golden puppies. I loved him the the moment I picked him up and saw the white diamond shaped patch of fur on his chest--he was the puppy I always wanted. So Taylor entered our family as the silliest, most fun-loving dog we had ever met. 

He definitely had a case of doggy ADHD, if there is such a thing, but we loved him all the same. No matter how many jelly glitter sandals he chewed of mine or bags of Halloween candy he ate, he continually was the highlight of my day. 

Since I moved away from home five years ago, I've missed the daily comfort of seeing our sweet and loving pup. He was one of the most vibrant 15-year-old retrievers you will ever meet, but every time I made a trip back home his age became more apparent. My sister and I often talked about how we dreaded the day he would leave us because, in numerous ways, he was an integral part of our family unit. It seems like every family memory we have from the past 15 years involved our golden fur ball.

Our sweet (loving, loyal, hilarious, farts-and-eats-a-lot) Taylor, you made the last 15 years better simply by being with us. Always loved and always missed. 


xoxo,
Elissa

Monday, June 24, 2013

Look For Less // Nautical Chic

She's the It Girl everyone loves to hate and has style we constantly hope to replicate (unintentional rhyming). Olivia's feminine and sophisticated outfits never fail to inspire my next ensemble. Effortlessly chic, I love this simple outfit pictured below, and here is how you can get this nautical look for less!

olivia palermo relaxed chic

xo,
Elissa

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Collective Link Up // By Peacoats & Plaid

This week I'm co-hosting a link-up with the fabulous blogger, Bre, behind the blog Peacoats & Plaid. You'll find some amazing blogs here if you take the time to browse around. 
Enjoy! And thank you for linking-up!

Friday, June 21, 2013

What's On Sale // ZARA



S-A-L-E. The greatest four letter word in my fashion vocabulary. I'm thinking those studded glitter heels should come home to me!

Happy shopping!

xo,
Elissa

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Orange and Silver + A Pinwheel Backdrop



Here's some orange eye candy to brighten your Tuesday! My lovely coworker Amy and I had the privilege of planning the 25th company anniversary for a fellow coworker who deserves the very best. The 25th year is the silver anniversary and orange is Patty's favorite color so we decided to decorate with all the orange and silver one could possibly imagine! I used this helpful tutorial on Pinterest to create the pinwheels. Most of the items used were found at the 99 Cent store (wrapping paper, candy dishes, flowers, etc.).

{Brandon Medeiros Photography}
{Brandon Medeiros Photography

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Splurge or Save?

Four favorites

A Claire Vivier clutch, Michael Kors watch, Samantha Wills bracelet, and Valentino heels. You'd think it was Christmas with the amount of luxury items that are currently on my wishlist! As much as I'd love to have the real things, I simply can't justify the fact that a pair of Valentino heels would cost me two months' rent. With that said, see my SAVE picks below, which offer both style and affordability.

Four favorites

Leopard Fold-over Clutch // I was stunned to see how similar this clutch was to Claire Vivier's and at a much cheaper price. I was even more impressed to find so many other adorable items from the Etsy shop, Renee Love & Cothat makes this beautiful clutch.

Turquoise Bracelet // This bracelet isn't an exact match, but it has all the characteristics I was looking for in a turquoise bracelet--and for an incredible price! I love the scalloped silver trim and vintage feel of this arm candy. There is only one of these available, but the seller (Snowflower Pie) has several other unique vintage finds. 

Studded Pointed toe Flats // Now, I know the heel is missing on this pair of studded shoes. But, it dawned on me that a pair of flats would be much more practical for my everyday life (and I had a heck of a time finding an exact pair inspired by Valentino's nude heels). I'm loving the blush undertone of these bargain flats, the eBay seller offers them in several other colors as well.

Tortoise Gold Watch // This gold tone tortoise watch is from Kmart, believe it or not! You can bet I'm snatching I'll be snatching up this steal to fulfill my summer watch craving. 


xo,
Elissa

Linking up with Fancy Things blog for my Four Favorites!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

May 2013 // Spending Report

May Spending
*Most of what I purchase is found secondhand, thus, the images above are similar to, but not the exact item.

Clothes

Vince Camuto Satin Ruffle Heels (similar) // $25 // I scored a pair of pre-loved blush pink heels with a satin ruffle front on Poshmark.

Basic V-Neck Tanks // $20 // I usually stock up on basics once or twice a year. This time around I purchased the coral red color above, lavender, pink, and two plain white t-shirts at Wet Seal.

Sundresses (Similar: FloralZigzag // Approx. $15 total for both // I purchased two sundresses like the ones above from Poshmark as well. I always like to have them ready for summer!

GAP Utility Dress (similar) // $5 // I found an older style, yet still adorable, olive green utility dress from GAP on, of course, Poshmark!

Hudson White Jeans (similar) // $40 // Yes another Poshmark find, white Hudson jeans for a fraction of the retail price.

Black Cat Eye Sunnies (similar) // $5 // Purchased on ModDeals, but they are now out of that exact style.

Blue Floral Bauble Necklace (similar) // $5 // Yup, you guessed it, another Poshmark deal! My necklace is from the LOFT, but the one above is a dead-on twin.

Floral Headband (similar) // $2 // I adore headbands, they are so easy to wear! I added a floral one, similar to the one above, to my sundress purchase on Poshmark.

Pink Crossbody Satchel (similar) // $5 // OK, OK...I also got a pink Forever 21 bag from Poshmark. Yes, I have an addiction! The purse I purchased actually looks very similar to the Rebecca Minkoff purse above. 


TOTAL: $122

Well, my spending fast went out the door quickly. BUT I did spend quite a bit less than I did in April! WOOHOO! However, the streak must continue. How is everyone else doing with their spending habits? As you can tell, I'm ever the bargain shopper, but tend to go overboard. Being involved in the blogger world, it's so hard not to want every cute pair of earrings and shoes you see! 

In other news, I actually did purchase a Canon Rebel T3 DSLR camera and am in love with it! (I decided to leave it out of my clothing expenses here.) It's such an easy starter DSLR for a newbie like myself. I purchased it on Amazon for about $320. It's refurbished and is an older model, but works like a charm. You can look forward to better photos on my blog in the future, finally!

xo,
Elissa

Today I'm linking up with Style Elixir.

Monday, June 10, 2013

"Maxi-mizing" Your Suitcase Wardrobe

Ronnie and I are taking off to Massachusetts at the end of this month to visit family. I'm excited for long days of sightseeing, shopping, and lounging on the beaches of the small fishing town, Gloucester (Wicked Tuna anyone?). I'm preparing for heat and humidity with the hope of packing light! Currently, I'm brainstorming outfit ideas with interchangeable pieces so I can create several different looks by using the same items. I purchased this black and white striped maxi skirt for only $13 at Charlotte Russe. I've been on the hunt for one and am thrilled about its versatility. 

We'll also be celebrating our 3 year anniversary while we're out there, so I wanted a piece that could translate into an easy date night outfit. Here's what I'm thinking so far!


Maxi Striped

Skirt | Tank | Sandals | Bangle | Bracelet 

________________________________________
________________________________________

Maxi Striped

Skirt | Bustier | Heels | Necklace 

What other multi-wear pieces do you recommend?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Lately Uninspired

For my few yet lovely readers, sorry for the lack of posts and new inspiration on my blog. Honestly, I've found myself uninspired and, unfortunately, simply unmotivated to write on Sparkles and Prays due to other life changes (all good!) happening at this time. I'm not sure if all bloggers slump into lulls like the one I'm currently in, but I wouldn't be surprised if I'm not alone in this feeling. 

I love style, writing, and the community that blogging has brought me. Though, I've realized the fear of disinterested readers and the hope to gain more followers, was becoming the motivation behind my blog. Ultimately, I want to share the things that I'm truly excited to write about, rather than pulling together a quick post just for the thrill of it.

I've accepted that other priorities will come first throughout the different seasons of my life, and I have to allow myself those guiltless periods of time to find the inspiration that I always hope to share with you here on S & P

I love everything that blogging has allowed me to do, and as a new blogger, I'm always looking for more ways to define and refine my voice as a life and style realm. Thus, in moments like these, I'm constantly thankful for the grace that God allows us, to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride he has prepared for us--and in this case, one blog post at a time. :)

And now, here are a few random, but fun, snapshots from the last month that I have been wanting to share with you all. (Sorry some are a bit grainy!)

My new fur-nephew, Jack! Too cute not to share.
A vintage Chanel that I found for a friend. Probably my most incredible find yet! 
New bedding = happy relaxation time for me :)
Purchased this new mannequin beauty, "LaShonda." She looks pretty good modeling my Poshmark items!

Xo,
Elissa

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Fashion Inspired by Film

Deco Decade
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 

I think I've written a total of four posts on the Art Deco fashion of the 1920's alone. I can't help but dream of what it must have been like to live during that time when style really began to take risks. Of course, I probably would've needed a hefty bank account to accommodate the sparkly deco jewels and geometric prints of my dreams, but nonetheless I'm excited to be transported back to that era with the premiere of The Great Gatsby this weekend.

I rounded up a few items that I would love to add to my collection. The blush pink beaded clutch is simply beautiful, seriously. I'm in the process of redoing my room and would also love to add a vintage print to my walls like the one of the three ladies above. (Plus, all the items above are under $50!)

What do you love more about this era? The clean lines or the dazzling jewels?

xo, 
Elissa

Friday, May 3, 2013

Zig a Zig ahhhh...


It's Friday. And yes, the title of this post was inspired by the Spice Girls song. Anyway, I have a new outfit post for you featuring Bella Dolce Boutique!

Bella Dolce was kind enough to let me try out some of their new spring items. I chose the stunning floral cuff and zigzag print peplum above. The top was a perfect fit and light and comfortable enough to wear for summer, not to mention it's the black and white combo that I've recently been loving. Bella Dolce is offering 20% off for Sparkles and Prays readers with the code: SNP20. Some of my other favorites are this coral chevron skirt ($28 with discount) and studded mint Rebecca Minkoff-like handbag ($44 with discount). So what are you waiting for? Get shopping!