Shopping and Sharing

Hello Everyone! I had hoped that by this time the coronavirus would have faded into the past, however that is not the case. Therefore, this blog post is going to be talking about the importance of small business online shopping and social media in the e-commerce industry.

As we all know, not a lot of people feel safe venturing out to the stores nowadays, whether it be for medical reasons or for the simple fact that the virus is still around us. We all had an idea previous to the pandemic of how important online shopping can be, but now the e-commerce business is booming like never before, for big and smaller businesses.

For small businesses, this pandemic has been a fairly good thing. More revenue into smaller, privately owned businesses and sole proprietorships means more money into the hands of middle class citizens trying to make their way or trying to make some extra cash that the virus has unfortunately nabbed from us, due to layoffs and furloughs. You will even see that supporting small businesses is a surprisingly nicer experience, as most of the products that come from them are more intricate, handmade, or acquired with care instead of mass produced like the big companies such as Amazon or Walmart.

Even though there is negative twist on social media about things going on nationwide, there is another little corner of the internet where makers, creators, entrepreneurs, and business savvy thinkers alike come together to support and share each other’s gift with the rest of the world. It is a place where we can be socially distant, yet relate to each other as we support one another’s crafts and online shops, communicating in a positive way to show love to other human beings who take time, effort, and blood, sweat, and tears (in some cases) to be able to create one of a kind items with their own two hands. The sharing aspect of social media has become, in my opinion, more driven than ever before to shed light onto small business owners, especially those who call the internet their home away from home when it comes to their business.

I encourage everyone reading this, the next time you find that you need or want something, look towards this homey corner of the internet to find what you are looking for, rather than continually contributing to the billion dollar mass produced industries. No, this does not mean you have to give up your Amazon addiction. I certainly haven’t! However, I have been more conscious of where my money is going, and I have found myself spending more of my money on skilled and talented individuals and their creations. It means a lot more to that individual than it ever will to a gigantic company. As a small business owner myself, I can say that wholeheartedly.

A few of my very favorite small business owner sites I like to shop from are as follows: Poshmark.com – Etsy.com – Teespring.com . You will find sellers and makers of all kinds, especially on Etsy, which focuses on handmade items.

Sharing is caring, buying is supporting, spreading the word is priceless. Below highlighted in blue is a list of my own shops and links. I love the communities on these platforms, as well as fellow creators I get the chance to speak with on social media.

My shops and social media pages

Q: What is your favorite small business platform? Who is your favorite creator?

Drop your links in the comments!

Caution in Colors

As we all know, the Coronavirus Pandemic that is going on is having a large impact on the individual as well as the economy. BUT since this is a fashion blog, I won’t bore you with all of the medical statistics of this virus,as I am sure by now we all know that it is BAD. What I will say is that there are lots of comapssionate hard working small businesses behind the scenes that are based out of the individual’s home or small workspace. This post is dedicated to those who are making work for themselves, while also helping the community and the healthcare workers within them through this pandemic in a much bigger way than anyone realizes.

As per CDC guidelines, we are supposed to stay at least six feet away from any other human being as a means to be safe and cautious and to not catch the virus. For those of us that must venture outside of the home for essentials, there are a few ways to protect yourself. The first is plenty of hand sanitizer and washing your hands religiously. The other way is to wear a mask when out to protect your face from the germs in the air and to prevent you from touching your face–two ways in which the virus spreads. So how does this relate to the title “Caution in Colors”, you ask?

Simple. Those small businesses that I mentioned are ones who are working tirelessly to help us through this pandemic. They are the small businesses started or catering to those on the front lines. These are the hard working individuals, who, while at home, are taking the time to create masks and bandanas (I’ll explain later) for healthcare workers and those in need of them. We know there is an extreme shortage and a dire need.

One of these compassionate businesses is RCLange Fun Bag, (https://www.facebook.com/RCLangefunbag) who has transformed her bag business based on Etsy into a pandemic mask production page on Facebook. Her cloth masks prevent germs and prevent you from touching your face while still being fun and stylish. They come in multiple customized prints to make wearing a mask in and of itself, less daunting. The photos below show just a few of the many masks she has made for essential and healthcare workers, as she helps her community through this hard time. She has adult, toddler AND child sizes for anyone in need. The masks are $6 for citizens and $3 for healthcare workers, and the best thing about that is that every sale she makes, she will make a matching donation to her local healthcare or retirement facility! Check out her incredibly cool masks below.

Another incredible shop owner, Lindsay Reilly, owns an shop named “The Cue” (https://shopthecue.com/) in Dorchester, Massachusetts (close to my neck of the woods). She has even been featured on the news for turning her accessories shop into a “Headbands for Heroes” shop. She makes headbands/bandanas with buttons on the sides for healthcare workers so that they can attach their masks to the buttons, and not get irritation behind their ears from the constant elastic of the masks. These headbands also come in cute prints and can be worn even without a mask. Read the full article here, and check out the photo below: (https://boston.cbslocal.com/2020/04/03/coronavirus-covid-19-headbands-nurses-doctors-health-care-workers-boston-lindsay-reilly-the-cue/?fbclid=IwAR1Nk5V2eWabuKqnRIaIuYc5DQMpw0xNO9FZApVuRxb-pSmM66p712UjJ-s )

The third and final shop that has great heandbands is JustBeCo (https://www.etsy.com/shop/justbeco). She has headbands in multiple prints as well as in solid colors, and they come either with or without buttons to attach for your face mask. She has bundles of masks for sale as well!

Bundle of 30 Headbands- https://www.etsy.com/listing/725549346/headband-grab-box-healthcare-workers?ref=shop_home_feat_4
Single Headbands- https://www.etsy.com/listing/789937607/healthcare-worker-headband-workout?ref=shop_home_feat_3&bes=1

I think so highly of these women who have taken the chance on making their shops into a community project and helping our essential workers and healthcare workers who are on the front lines of this pandemic. If you were considering getting your own “fashion” mask, I HIGHLY recommend these ladies and their businesses!

Q: What are your thoughts on these customized masks and headbands!?

I’m still alive!

Hello all! I know it’s been soooo long since I last wrote. It has been a very very hectic few months for me. 3 family members died, including my grandmother who I was really close with. But, where there is bad, there is also good! Today I found out that I got the job for a public safety 911/police dispatcher! I interviewed on Monday and it went well. I’m thrilled to me moving on in my professional journey, as well as making more money.

Speaking of making more money, once I am in the 911 Academy I’ll be making a lot more than I am right now, which means I can buy more inventory for my boutique!

In other great news, I have created my own website for my boutique so I can now make direct sales! I must admit, it’s very very tricky trying to get traffic to my site but I’m determined not to give up. I would love if you could check it out and drop me a comment, telling me your thoughts on it.

I’m happy for my upcoming new journey in my workplace and in my business! Click my website link/name below. Thanks all! ♡♡♡

Sparkle by Melanie Boutique

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 individual, 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?

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started