Grovel or Grin?

Hello fashion freaks! I know I’ve been casually mentioning a bit of a hospital situation in my family right now, so if my writing hasn’t been “on point”, that’s probably why. I am sure you don’t want the whole long story but, my grandmother has a few very rare conditions and when she gets sick she gets really sick. That being said, I wanted to write this blog post about hospitals, and especially hospital gowns.

Yes. Those blue, drab, bulky, airy, way too much exposure to your body trash bags that hospitals ironically call “gowns”. Easy access to everything they need to get to, but not classy or even comfortable. I’m sure after awhile they begin to feel like jailhouse jumpsuits too, everyone wearing the same one as you. But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if instead of being just a room number, or chart number, or the person with whatever sickness, you could keep your individuality in the hospital? It could possibly make it a less drab place, especially if you HAVE to be there. What if you could have that sort of accessibility for the doctors, but keep your own style?

A few months ago I was scrolling through Facebook..as I tend to do often, and I came across an advertisement for a company that creates custom hospital gowns for people who are stuck in the hospital for whatever reason. I thought this was an amazing idea! It is a way to express your fashionable individuality in the medical setting, even if you don’t feel very glamorous. It can make the person feel like an individualn and not just another cookie cutter patient in the same drab blue as everyone else.

Henceforth, I introduce you to “Gownies” ( http://Gownies.com / http://Instagram.com/gownies )They create custom designer hospital gowns in multiple colors, patterns, AND SIZES! As a petite woman, I’ve been in a gigantic over-sized hospital gown, and it is not fun. Gownies customizes based on the size of YOU. Not a one size fits all piece of fabric cut from the same cloth. Gownies.com creates gowns that are approved by medical professionals for easy access while also being stylish! Gownies are fabulous and completely different than others because they are custom to your body type and they do not slip, bunch up, or need readjustment like ordinary ones. They have a great line of maternity gowns as well for new and soon to be moms. > “Gownies wear can also be extended from the hospital stay, and be worn at home after the delivery during the recovery process.”

Gownies has matching gown and pillowcase sets, labor gown and robe sets, delivery robes, sleepwear, socks for labor, mommy and me sets for mother and baby, or mother and child, baby swaddle sets, little girl robes, baby layette sets, plush toys for children, and more. They have the cutest patterns!

Gownie
https://www.gownies.com/collections/hospital-gownies/products/anais-patient-hospital-gownie
Gownie Labor Set
https://www.gownies.com/collections/delivery-gownies-sets/products/brie-gownie-pillowcase-set
Gownie Robe & Nursing Nightgown Set
https://www.gownies.com/collections/robes-nightgown-sets/products/isabelle-maternity-nursing-sleeveless-nightgown-robe-set

Delivery Robe & Swaddle Blanket Set
https://www.gownies.com/collections/delivery-robe-baby-sets/products/amelia-delivery-robe-with-matching-swaddle-blanket-hat

Hello I’m New Here! Navy Blue Receiving Newborn Gown and Hat Set
https://www.gownies.com/collections/baby-layette/products/hello-world-baby-receiving-newborn-gown-and-hat-set

Molly Baby Receiving Gown & Hat
https://www.gownies.com/collections/baby-layette/products/pink-dotty-baby-receiving-gown-and-hat

Little Girl Robe
https://www.gownies.com/collections/girl-robes/products/olivia-little-girl-robe

Aren’t these the most warm-hearted, compassionate, adorable items you have ever seen!?

In addition to “Gownies” I also wanted to speak about the other customized gown company, “Gracie’s Gowns”. ( http://graciesgowns.org / http://Instagram.com/graciesgowns ) “Gracie’s Gowns provides custom hospital gowns to children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. Each gown is homemade and delivered to children across the world.” There is no payment for a Gracie’s Gown, since all gowns are requested. They specialize in gowns for sick children across the world. There is a link to donate to the cause. No family of a child who requests a gown pays, since it is a special gift to lift the spirits of the child. Gracie’s Gowns even achieved a 2018 award for being one of the top rated nonprofits. Below are just a few of the children that have received a gown. Please consider donating to the cause, not because I told you to or because you think I’m advertising (I’m not), but because this company genuinely puts a smile on the face of ill children around the world. To be able to have something that is theirs alone probably means everything to them while being there.

Keep Sparkling! ♡Mel

https://www.graciesgowns.org/donate.html
https://www.graciesgowns.org/donate.html
https://www.graciesgowns.org/donate.html
https://www.graciesgowns.org/donate.html

Follow Up:

Q: Hospitals may make a lot of patients grovel with discomfort on all sorts of levels, but do you believe these companies can lift the spirits of these patients and put a grin on their face?

Easy or Elegant?–Easter Edition

Hello fashion freaks! Happy almost Easter! Tomorrow I will be going to Mass and brunch with my family, probably like a lot of you. I have younger siblings, so I get to spend the day with them too.

Let’s “hop” into it, shall we? Easter fashion. When we think Easter fashion, most people think pastel colors, elegant dresses, high heels and flowery apparel. I must admit, that’s what I think of as well. With all of the flowery, pastel commercials that are out there, it’s hard not to think of Easter fashion in that way, because the commercials are always the same year after year. It’s like some kind of weird implanted mind control.

Of course, not everyone goes all out for Easter. From the time I was born to the time I was a young teen, we used to have Easter at my grandmother’s house. While I have always loved to dress up all elegant and fancy, a lot of my family members would wear a more casual look because they knew that they did not have to get fancy. For example, my mother used to wear basic black slacks (white pants would be great too) and a printed blouse. Acceptable enough,but still comfortable. I’m sure there are a lot of people who prefer this look over the more elegant floral and pastel dresses, heels and flowy top sweaters. Everyone loves good, affordable Target styles like below.

https://www.target.com/p/women-s-casual-fit-long-sleeve-open-knit-cardigan-a-new-day-153/-/A-54309094?preselect=54216415#lnk=sametab

https://www.target.com/p/women-s-casual-fit-long-sleeve-open-knit-cardigan-a-new-day-153/-/A-54309094?preselect=54216415#lnk=sametab

Here is my affiliate link to the Target site. http://em.impact.com/wf/click?upn=OUw5xz35OICnlx8NxAtvM8ZnHA5DVUj7m7-2B2SHmw9APKHRYmRgZO1d0Hq8oQhFF3Waj4G-2Fiy6S9d2PkMO1kOGQ-3D-3D_HcA25odniA0dLT1jEo4J1y-2B6zF-2Bv-2BqijCoujSY60E8le1RrGvNYmZQ2-2FIv2HOl5-2BHCktYjUwJcZm7xj4x3ChGipRvOpKMfTnDj2JdpXq80oj5rCSJ7nCTe1oL6IEG1TSzP-2Bk-2FWHW8jixktL6G5K2EAhF4mElQh8xxY0Yann3gwPrgY-2BHznAHLmCYo72WqZBv1s9SmjqPUIRUbNzHHxCLAUXxIK-2BqHp8fOnSgOJKAclo-3D I’d be very grateful if you used it to shop the site!

Now, we all know by now that I love to get fancy. I spend weeks before any given holiday just looking on different sites to buy the perfect dress for that year, complete with the right shoes to match. This year I scored an absolutely gorgeous strapless illusion (there’s clear straps) floral ruffle dress from Forever 21. I will put the link under the photo below. When I say it’s beautiful, I mean the photo doesn’t do it justice. The colors are bold and bright and the fit of the dress is super flattering, even to someone like me who has a bigger bust. I am matching it with a white cardigan, and white mesh sandals that I acquired on Poshmark. I am also pairing it with a rhinestone necklace, and the rings I wear everyday, my birthstone (April, diamond/CZ) claddagh ring, and my late great-grandmother’s diamond wedding band. I enjoy dressing up becasue my family goes to brunch at a local country club. Some of the families there definitely look rich!

http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-9038798-12227707?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.forever21.com%2Fus%2Fshop%2Fcatalog%2Fproduct%2Ff21%2Fbranded-shop%2F2000305283%2F01&cjsku=2000305283014

If you decide to purchase the dress, it goes through my affiliate link, so thank you in advance. Also, I have a basic affiliate link for the entire Forever 21 site, so if you purchase anything, I’d appreciate if you use my link here. Just click the banner that comes up, and it will route you to the site: http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-9038798-12277503 . Without getting all commercial on you, check it out! They have some awesome and trendy stuff right now.

Keep Sparkling! <3Mel

Follow Up:

Q: Do you go the easy route and dress casual, or do you dress up elegantly on Easter?

Fit or Flair?

Hello fashion freaks! Today was a good day! Yes, yes, I still had to get up early and go to work, but it was uneventful for Holy Week, which is great. I did however, score an awesome collab with a fitness influencer on Instagram for my athleisure shop Sparkle by Melanie a.k.a Teespring by Melanie (@teespring_by_melanie).

Visit my athleisure shop! http://Teespring.com/stores/sparklebymelanie

I started my athleisure shop in the summer of 2018 when I found the Teespring website. You get to design your own apparel and gift items such as tees, tanks, leggings, mugs and much more. Once I started designing I couldn’t stop and it was completely addictive! I was designing items almost every night for nearly a year. The only problem with Teespring is, yes, you probably guessed it, marketing.

Now don’t get me wrong, I did not know the first thing about marketing, but everything I read told me to start out with Facebook and Instagram ads for my products. Alas, that did not work. So this year, I started researching influencer marketing and learned about collaborations, person to person communicative marketing, instead of marketing to an unknown audience. I found Glambassador.com, and that has led me to market some of my items through amazing and REAL people that I got to engage with about my products. People that WANTED to promote my products. The three most incredible and unique marketing influencers that I have worked with really deserve credit, and I hope after you read this post that you go and follow them on Instagram right away.

The first woman that I worked with was the incredible Marissa Thurman (@rissway). This was a great collaboration because we were both new at the idea of influencing and through the collaboration we were actively learning together. I showed her my products, which she was happily pleased with and she promoted them on her Instagram. I enjoy seeing her account grow and flourish and I hope mine can continue to as well. Thank You Marissa!

http://Instagram.com/rissway

Coffee Shop Connoisseur:
Tee/Tank-
https://teespring.com/coffee-lovers-february-2019#pid=370&cid=6530&sid=front
Leggings-
https://teespring.com/coffee-shop-wallpaper-leggings#pid=641&cid=102636&sid=front


Boss Girl Bonanza:
Tee/Tank-
https://teespring.com/like-a-girl-boss#pid=370&cid=6530&sid=front

Leggings-
https://teespring.com/new-triangle-leggings#pid=641&cid=102636&sid=front


Magical Mermaid:
Tee/Tank-
https://teespring.com/wear-i-believe-in-magic#pid=370&cid=6530&sid=front
Leggings-
https://teespring.com/holograpic-looking-pastel-legg#pid=641&cid=102636&sid=back

The second collaboration that I participated in was with an amazing woman named Laura Romberger (@dofivethingsaday). She is no doubt an inspiration to me. She has been a mentor to me since we did the collaboration and I couldn’t be happier to be able to rely on her whenever I have questions, as I learn all the the things about influencing and blogging! I sent her an outfit from my shop which she excitedly shared on her Instagram account. She is quirky and fun and I hope I can grow to be half the influence that she is to me. Thanks so much Laura!

http://Instagram.com/dofivethingsaday

Follow her blog too! At:
http://dofivethingsaday.com

Just Be Quirky Tank/Tee: https://teespring.com/just-be-quirky_copy_1#pid=87&cid=2324&sid=front

The third collaboration was with the fabulous Angie Alfar (@angiealfar), who is a fitness guru on Instagram. Her and I had been working on a collaboration to bring more traffic to my shop. She worked to create the perfect content for about a month and had me preview the post and story today. She is a gorgeous model with endless talent! I couldn’t have been more pleased with the post and the story with my link. She is the perfect person to promote my fitness apparel, and we are already in the works to do future collabs! I am thrilled! Thanks so much Angie!

http://Instagram.com/angiealfar

Blue Ice Leggings: https://teespring.com/blue-ice-leggings#pid=641&cid=102636&sid=left

Working with these influential (quite, literally) women has been a gift. They helped me to get my products out there and I hope it will drive more traffic to my site. Check out all of my products at the link in the first photo. Keep in mind that you do NOT have to be a fitness junkie, or even into fitness at all to wear my products. I am not a skinny woman, and I LIVE in leggings and tanks! ❤ ❤ ❤

Follow Up:

Q: Do you wear athleisure apparel to work out or to lounge more often, or for the basic flair of the prints?

Bonus Q: Check out my link and tell me, what was your favorite product design?

Sleek or Sexy?

Hello fashion freaks! As we all know, there is a different way to show the multiple levels of femininity within fashion. It changes from person to person depending on your own personal style. Let’s talk about the modern female, the flirty female, and the sexy female.

In 2019, the most modern female is the sleek, determined, working, lounging, everyday female. The fashion trends you will see her wearing are usually pants and blouses, rompers, jumpsuits, basic work attire, tees and jeans, sneakers, flats and similar fashion items that are considered basic. The apparel that every woman should have in their wardrobe. In all honesty, basic fashion is usually the most comfortable and the most versatile when it comes to mixing and matching. Everyone loves a good top with their favorite pair of jeans, or a nice work dress with new booties. Jumpsuits have been an up and coming trend which can be dressed up or dressed down depending on how you wear it. They are easily matched with a purse, cute shoes and trendy accessories.

For more flirty femininity, lacy, swing, or a-line dresses are a signature staple in the closet, as well as flowery and colorful tops. The airy feel of a new dress or top is a feeling like no other. They can be purchased in multiple colors, patterns and cuts to match your personal style. Another thing that flirty girls need are heels. Platform heels, heeled sandals, heeled booties, you name it and they need them. I know for me personally, my favorite thing to wear is a light, airy dress with beautiful matching heels. One adorable thing to wear for the spring would be frilled, lacy or otherwise decorated tees or tanks. Cut-outs are trending and I have seen quite a few frilly tops make an appearance in online shopping sites.

I am fortunate to have a pretty relaxed dress code at work (I work in a Catholic Church). As long as I don’t wear anything too short or low cut, almost anything goes except jeans! I consider myself a girly girl and my wardrobe would prove that too. Too many clothes to count and over 200 pairs of shoes, which, I must admit, I have to purge. Check my Poshmark closet- Poshmark.com/closet/sparklebymelbtq

As for all my ladies who love to bring out the sex appeal, some closet staples are bodycon dresses, strappy dresses and tops, patent leather, stilettos, mini skirts, low cut dresses and tops (like Kendall Jenner below), over the knee boots, crop tops (like Dua Lipa below), black clothing, bright colored clothing, sequins, and other items that make heads turn. I can appreciate the women who are that comfortable with their bodies that they know for a fact they look hot. They can make the men’s necks turn with the right outfit for them. Pair all of that sexiness with the perfect accessories, the on-fleek makeup, and the perfect hair (which never gets enough credit), your completed look puts a definite stamp on the type of woman you are. Let your inner goddess shine!

Keep Sparking! <3Mel

Follow Up:

Q: What type of woman are you? Modern, Flirty, or Sexy?

Gingham or Graphic Tees?

Hello fashion freaks! Let’s talk spring trends for 2019. I am all into the trends for this year. I see lots of neons, off shoulders, gingham, graphic tees, florals, prints, crop tops, polka dots, wrap dresses, maxi dresses, and bucket hats.

I love shopping and I am seeing these patterns pop up everywhere I turn. Just yesterday I was looking at the Old Navy website where they are having tons of sales! I added a lot of items to my cart to purchase later. Many of these were gingham. Yellow and white, blue and white, dresses, tops, rompers. It is a super cute look for anyone because it is an eye-catching pattern with a light, airy spring feel. The pattern is considered “busy” because it is repetitive and not abstract, meaning that if it is a darker gingham especially, it can hide problem areas and slim you down.


Old Navy Waist-Defined Square-Neck Gingham Cami Jumpsuit for Women

https://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=412188002&cid=1114843&pcid=15292

Fit & Flare Gingham Cami Dress for Women

https://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=412378012&cid=1114843&pcid=15292
Old Navy Waist-Defined Wrap-Front Gingham Dress for Women

https://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=416544022&cid=1114843&pcid=15292

Another trend which has been going full steam for some time has been graphic tees. EVERYONE loves graphic tees because there is an absolutely unlimited amount of possibilities. Graphic tees comes in hundreds of colors, patterns, and styles, with any graphic imaginable. You can mix and match them with skirts, shorts, jeans, and leggings. Personally, I don’t see this trend going anywhere any time soon for that reason alone. Endless possibilities to be trendy!


Shein Neon Lime Letter Print Tee

https://us.shein.com/Neon-Lime-Letter-Print-Tee-p-690818-cat-1738.html
Shein Cartoon Print Tee

https://us.shein.com/Cartoon-Print-Tee-p-596386-cat-1738.html

A personal favorite of mine is peplum tops! I know that peplum is a give or take for many people and looks different on all body types. I love peplum because it accentuates the waist and hides the dreaded belly bulge. My favorite brand for peplum tops is Worthington because they carry them in a number of patterns and colors and the fabric is high quality, stretchy and very comfortable. I am wearing one in the photo below. Many people on Poshmark and EBAY sell Worthington which is amazing for me to get the best deal on the style that I adore!

Here is MY Poshmark Boutique/Closet

http://Poshmark.com/closet/sparklebymelbtq

One trend that I have seen over and over again has been crop tops and tube tops. I am so jealous and wish I could wear these so much, but my stomach likes to be shaped more like a beach ball than a yoga mat! I applaud all those who have the body shape to wear them because they are super chic for festival season! The summery patterns and the sorbet colors are beautiful and the top looks very cooling for the hot summer!

Shein Fringe Detail Crop Cami Top

https://us.shein.com/Fringe-Detail-Crop-Cami-Top-p-669818-cat-1779.html
Shein Tye Dye Crop Tank Top

https://us.shein.com/Tie-Dye-Crop-Tank-Top-p-670004-cat-1779.html

Neons are very in this season and I am so here for it. I have always loved neon colors and I am so ready to let it shine! Florals have also arrived again, they are classic spring, with tons of varieties of patterns there for any taste. Off-Shoulder is making it’s spring premiere for at least the second year in a row. Maxi dresses aren’t slowing down with their good run either. I’m so glad warmer weather is coming!


Shein Flounce Cold Shoulder Ruffle Hem Floral Dress

https://us.shein.com/Flounce-Cold-Shoulder-Ruffle-Hem-Floral-Dress-p-495041-cat-1727.html

Shein Smocked Waist Dip Hem Scarf Print Dress
https://us.shein.com/Smocked-Waist-Dip-Hem-Scarf-Print-Dress-p-667150-cat-1727.html
Shein Spliced Polka Dot Self Tie Wrap Dress

https://us.shein.com/Spliced-Polka-Dot-Self-Tie-Wrap-Dress-p-673584-cat-1727.html

Old Navy Waist-Defined Tie-Neck Dress for Women
https://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=447579032&cid=1114843&pcid=15292

Old Navy Fit & Flare Floral Cami Dress for Women
https://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=390752002&cid=1114843&pcid=15292

Sleeveless Jersey Swing Dress for Women

https://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=390739122&cid=1114843&pcid=15292

Shein Neon Lime Bodycon Cami Dress

https://us.shein.com/Neon-Lime-Bodycon-Cami-Dress-p-669885-cat-1727.html
Shein Neon Pink Slant Pocket Belted Wide Leg Pants

https://us.shein.com/Neon-Pink-Slant-Pocket-Belted-Wide-Leg-Pants-p-669964-cat-1740.html

Now don’t get me wrong, hats are a great accessory for some people. I like snap-backs and sun hats when necessary. But bucket hats seem to be a new trend for 2019. While I won’t be participating in that trend, I admire all who do and can absolutely rock it!

Aliexpress Women Bucket Hat Wool Fedora
https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/bh2yNWXm
Foldable Cotton Bucket Hat
http://”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MZJXL2Y/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B07MZJXL2Y&linkCode=as2&tag=04242212-20&linkId=0b47a0960908300ac618e4987b22c225

In 2019, I say you do you. Not every trend will work for everyone, and for some, none of the trends will, and that’s okay! Be yourself and stay chic in your own way!

Keep Sparkling! <3Mel

Follow Up:

Q: What trend are you here for? Which pattern do you prefer more? Gingham, Floral, Neon, Graphic?

Florals For Funerals?

Hello fashion freaks! Going off of the basis that I seem to attend many funerals and work on funerals as part of my full time job, its time to talk about something that most people don’t talk about; funeral fashion. Depressing? Maybe. Interesting? Yes, because it is something that most people put zero thought into.

Everyone knows that when the need arise and an unfortunate loss happens, that people tend to just break out the black. The dreary, solid, dark, depressing black. Let’s face it. It’s easy, simple, thoughtless, and overall classic. It’s something that everyone has done if they have ever had to. It’s something that generally seems to come with the territory. The point being, black is always a classic. Wearing it is seen as classy, distinguished and poised when it comes to dressing up, even for these depressing types of events. It has been, and always will be a timeless part of everyone’s wardrobe.


Miusol Women’s Vintage Floral Lace 2/3 Sleeve Bridesmaid Party Dress >Amazon<

<a href="http:// “>http://

Although many people do tend to go with the classic black for the occasion, some put a lighter twist on the fashion for a funeral. For example, a simple fit and flare dress or blouse with a black background and a muted or slightly bold floral pattern or dotted pattern can also be cute and different. It mixes the classy with the ability to still be fashionable even in tough times. Although that is not the first thing on your mind when it comes to a funeral, being presentable in a way that is different from everyone else can break through the dullness of a full room, or brighten the atmosphere in which would usually be a sea of darkness.


GRACE KARIN Boatneck Sleeveless Vintage Tea Dress Belt >Amazon<
<a href="http:// “>http://

The second option is usually what I go with, because you can be presentable in a way that is different from everyone else, while still being respectful and compassionate towards the family. It’s also is easier to pair with accessories such as a clutch and heels. Of course, black heels are a usual must for a funeral as well, but a navy or nude could also work, depending on the outfit.

Even though funerals are unavoidable, they still require you to do some dressing up. In my opinion, if you have to dress up, you may as well make the most of it. In times of sadness, it could make your day a just the littlest bit brighter to feel good in what you are wearing, and how you present yourself to those you know and those you don’t when you give your condolences.

Keep Sparkling! ♡Mel

Follow Up:

Q: What is your go to outfit for a funeral? Solid black, or black infused patterns?

The Fall of Brick-and Mortar, or the Rise of Online Shopping Sprees?

Hello fashion freaks! It’s been a couple days since I have written, as there have been funerals and ER visits and all that fun stuff in my family. BUT we are all good, and I am finally back now!

Piggybacking off of my last blog post, I’m going to be discussing retail shopping vs online shopping! For me, it’s a toss up. I love the thrill of going to the mall and looking at all the people; the way they dress, where they shop, and what their style is (without being a creep and staring, though my friend and I call it “people-watching”). I love the noise and the smells and the sights, but overall I think the best part of retail shopping is the dressing room, and the physical experience! I enjoy going into a retail store, getting to feel the fabric, see all the details of the item, and actually hold it in my hand before I spend my money. I love the fact that I can try anything on. Especially since I am only 5 feet tall, and not the skinniest person on earth. Pants are literally my rival! Seeing the actual color of the item is great too. When you shop online, a lot of disclaimers say that the item may look different in person because of the discrepancy in screen resolutions/brightness.

When you purchase in-person retail, it may be more expensive, and although the salespeople may be pesky sometimes, they can also be helpful. As introverted as I am, I can admire the fact they they have to communicate with probably dozens of people a day with the same courtesy, regardless whether they are having a bad day or not. Although we are the generation of technology, there is the realization that in-person communication is vital to society, even in the fashion world. Brick-and-Mortar retail shopping is a completely different and more physical experience, so while I understand the accessibility and convenience of online shopping, there is just something refreshing about re-immersing yourself into retail after a while. It’s very disappointing when store after store that you grew up with continue to declare bankruptcy because people have reverted to online ONLY shopping. That being said, here is a small list of some of my favorite retailers, and their…wait for it…online links. Though I highly encourage you to check them out in person if there is one around you!

LOFT- https://www.loft.com/ ~ best for chic career fashion or casual fashion for regular and petite sizes!

Francesca’s- https://www.francescas.com/ ~ best for boho, lightweight, and trendy boutique fashion!

Macy’s- https://www.macys.com/ ~ best for any type of fashion for anyone! Basic shopping store!

Forever 21- https://www.forever21.com/us/shop ~ best for juniors and young adult fashion, trendy styles and colors!

Now, let’s talk online. We all know the pros of online shopping. Staying in, not having to look presentable, the ability to shop literally wherever and whenever you want to and from wherever you want to! But there is one pro of online shopping that nobody talks about: the ability to compare and contrast. You can research the price and the quality of the same item form a bunch of retailers with a click of your finger! By doing so, you can get the best possible deal for your style and wallet! This ability is so much better than having to run store to store to compare similar styles and price.

Around the time I started this blog, I have become a brand affiliate/ambassador for a few online brands. You may or may not have read the post about that. Since I have grown my Instagram following I have become an influencer in search of brands to promote. Given the opportunity to work as an affiliate with these brands means that I can promote products and brands that I love, while making money! All I have to do is actively promote their websites with my honest opinion and post my affiliate link (the link that connect you to their site and me to your shopping as the person who referred you) for my friends and family to shop through. By shopping through my affiliate links you help me to earn commission from the companies of the brands I already love! (Zero money comes from your pocket, all you have to do is shop through my link and the company pays me a commission when a purchase is made!). Here are the companies I have affiliate links for, and if you’re in a shopping mood, I’d appreciate you using my links to do so <3.

Amazon, Shein, Target, JustFab, and Kohl’s.

These are a handful of the top brands that I love to shop while online, and with whom accepted me as an ambassador/affiliate! I couldn’t be more thrilled! Check out my post that has all my links here!!! >>> https://wp.me/paS1cn-z

Shopping, fashion, and personal style in general is amazing, however you choose to go about it. The shopping experiences involve the same thing in brick-and-mortar and online, since you end up with the product you love both ways, but they are completely different experiences in the journey of attaining that sought after item. I will always hold a place in my heart for brick-and-mortar shops, and I will always support the way technology is expanding to create easier and more accessible means of fashion, especially as I grow with it in hopes of making a good enough commissions for more income. We shall see what the future holds!

Keep Sparkling! ♡Mel

Follow Up:

Q: How do you feel about brick-and-mortar vs online shopping for yourself? And why do you prefer one over the other?

“Payless” or Pay More?

~Saturday, April 6, 2019~

Hello fellow fashion freaks! Today I made the awesome mistake of telling my sister I would go to the mall with her. I was babysitting her and my siblings later anyway, so I wasn’t going out of my way, and let’s be honest..what fashion freak doesn’t LOVE going shopping?? Anyway, we go into the mall, and I literally get so excited. Like a kid in a candy store (namely my sister in Godiva). The first store I set my eyes on is my beloved Payless. Of course, by this time, I had forgotten that it was going out of business. YAY 50% OFF SALE!!! It was the best surprise that I had forgotten about, ever. Of course, I dragged my sister in there to help me out, because it was crowded with all the other girls and women who wanted discounted shoes.

We look for only mere seconds before I feast my eye on the first pair that I fall in love with. It is a black criss-cross sandal, encrusted with dozens of small clear rhinestones. They are a cute, trendy style that would look good with nearly any outfit. We all know that black matches anything. Bam. Instantly in my “absolutely getting” mental checklist.

“Brash” brand, by Payless. Unable to find link, sorry 😦

The second pair that I fell in love with was a pair of (again) black slip-on sneakers that have sparkles all over them. They are comfortable for walking around in, yet still sparkly and chic! Have I mentioned I LOVE sparkles? As if it wasn’t obvious…

Brash Women’s Crave Slip On

https://www.payless.com/womens-brash-crave-slip-on-shoe/78407.html?dwvar_78407_color=metallicblack&dwvar_78407_width=Regular#start=8&cgid=women-sneakers-athletics

The third pair are these super cute, (Christian Siriano!!) light pink and white checkered flats. At first, I wasn’t going to buy them because you would need to plan your outfit to find something to match them with, but I swear, they are totally worth it. In my head I was thinking, “Well, since Payless is going out of business, I should get them, because I may never see anything like them again!”

Christian Siriano Pink and White Pointed Toe Checkered Flats. No link either, couldnt find these online.

The fourth pair…oh man…the fourth pair. They are gorgeous high heeled, metallic silver, Christian Siriano’s. I’m telling you, it was like a spotlight appeared and said “YOU CANNOT LEAVE WITHOUT THESE”. Words cannot express how beautiful these shoes are. You can wear them for any holiday, semi-formal, or formal occasion. They look amazing while being worn, and are comfortable enough to handle while walking.

Christian Siriano Izzi Silver Heels
(sorry only white and black listed on the site!?)

The point of this blog post wasn’t just to describe my new shoes to you all. It was to inquire about something quite trivial, but also a bit annoying to me. The fact that Payless gets a bad rap. There was a post on Facebook that I read recently where people were legitimately putting others down for buying shoes at Payless. It was comical, but also made me a bit angry, because I just can’t for the life of me understand it. It’s just the name of a store. That’s all it is. Why would you want to pay more for a brand on a different website or in a different store, JUST so you didn’t have to say you purchased them in Payless? Maybe I’m a different breed of fashion freak, but I BRAG about the deals I can get, when I can get them! You’ve got $45 Christian Siriano’s from Amazon/Famous Footwear/DSW? Well damn girl, I got them for $15 at Payless!! Same shoe, same brand, same gorgeousness, HALF the price. Now, that’s what I’m talking about!

That being said, I’m having a bit of a fashion depression knowing that Payless is going out of business forever. I will honestly miss it dearly. It’s crazy how many retail brick-and-mortar stores are going out of business now. I saw at least four in the mall today having closing sales. So if you love Payless or just love shoes in general, you’re going to want to get to your nearest one AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

Now as far as apparel, in my travels I saw a bunch of cute dresses and outfits that I wanted, but I refrained (yay me, personal victory for not impulse buying!), since spending most of my budget on shoes, per usual. Those included a pale yellow and white plaid dress from Francesca’s, a yellow floral high-low dress from LOFT, and a yellow floral romper/jumpsuit from Hollister (only because since its for teens, the length actually fit me, as I am a disgruntled 5 feet tall, and my sister made me go into that store with her to begin with). It’s also interesting that they all happened to be shades of yellow. That seems like an upcoming spring 2019 color to keep an eye out for. I am usually not a yellow fiend, but there were plenty of gorgeous plaids, stripes, and florals that I saw making an appearance in many retailers that revolved around yellow as the primary color!

Keep Sparkling! ♡Mel

(LOFT) Floral Ruffle Flounce Dress
https://www.loft.com/floral-ruffle-flounce-dress/486833?skuId=27141687&defaultColor=3632&catid=catl000013
(Francesca’s) Marla Plaid Midi Dress

https://www.francescas.com/product/marla-plaid-midi-dress.do?sortby=ourPicksAscend&refType=&from=fn&ecList=7&ecCategory=106120
(Hollister) Crop Wide-Leg Linen-Blend Jumpsuit
https://www.hollisterco.com/shop/us/p/crop-wide-leg-linen-blend-jumpsuit-21528820?categoryId=12600&seq=03&faceout=model

Follow Up:

Q: Would you rather Payless (Pay Less) at a discount, or pay more just to say you purchased at a higher end retailer?

I Am Officially a Brand Affiliate!

Hi all! Thought I’d share my links with you! I’ve been accepted into a bunch of affiliate programs and I would appreciate it if you would use my links to shops! Stay awesome fashion freaks! See list below ♡♡

Amazon- Shop on Amazon! The go to site for anything and everything! One of the biggest marketplaces on the world! Shop from my personal link!  bit.ly/amazonsparkle

Shein- Shop at Shein now for the BEST affordable apparel! Use the link below to find womens, mens, and children’s apparel! bit.ly/sparkleandshein

Target- Everyone’s go to! ♡♡♡
bit.ly/targetsparkle

Kohl’s-
Follow my link to shop now and get early access to spring styles!
bit.ly/kohlsparkle

JustFab Shoes & Apparel- Shop now for some of the HOTTEST shoe styles this spring and summer season!! I ADORE JustFab shoes and I am a VIP member ♡♡♡
bit.ly/jfabsparkle

Forever 21-
bit.ly/F21sparkle

Lazy Friday or Fab Friday?

~Friday, April 5, 2019~

TGIF fellow fashion freaks! It’s Friyay! The start of the weekend, the close of the stressful week and everything seems great. The thing is, when you get up on a Friday, how do you feel?

Some Fridays, I feel like having a glow up. A day I go into work with makeup and a fresh new outfit is a day where I get a lot of compliments. This is because I way prefer my extra 5 minutes of sleep in the morning then struggling to make sure my lashes look on point. On the rare occasion that I do go all out, I end up feeling fabulous. I mean, crazy happy, sunny, I-don’t-care-what-mood-my-boss-is-in, fabulous. All because of my outfit and my makeup. It really amps up the vibe around you. Unfortunately, these Fridays are few and far between for me in the winter. It’s freezing and gray and gloomy and it just makes me feel so tired and lazy! Which brings me to the opposite point…

Some (really most, who am I kidding..?) Fridays I am too lazy and too tired for the effort. Take today for example. I didn’t bother with makeup, and I wore my comfy black leggings, a cute rose and coral/peach color-block sweater and my silver sequin UGGs that all the little old ladies at the church compliment me on. In fact, on a lazy Friday, I’m more like pre-Saturdaying, then Friyaying (is that a word?… it is now!). I’m getting pretty old for that…right? I’m going to say that because the reality is, I want to relax on a Friday night. Maybe that’s just the introvert in me! I get through the busiest day of the week at my job, and I take about 5 minutes to decompress in my car. I don’t care if I look like a freak sitting in a church parking lot alone. I NEED that five minutes at the end of the day..REALLY, I do. A quick run to Starbucks doesn’t hurt anything either. It signals the start of the weekend. Even though my lazy Friday clothes are super comfy, I still come home and immediately change into my even more comfy pjs. Am I the only one??

Have a great pre-Saturday night all!

Keep Sparkling! ♡Mel

Follow Up:

Q: Do you glow up on Fridays, or let go? And, who else jumps right into their pjs when they get home??

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