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May NYC Sample Sales – Rebecca Minkoff, Jonathan Adler, Tocca and more!

I confess, most of this is ripped off from DailyCandy.com with a few additions since I will be traveling this month and would hate for you to miss out on all of these fabulous deals!

Here’s your complete NYC guide to sample sale shopping for May:

What: MCM
Why: Up to 70 percent off leather handbags, totes, clutches, and wallets.
When: Today-Thurs., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: Flatotel, 135 W. 52nd St., b/t Sixth & Seventh Aves., 5th flr., ste. b.

What: Be&D
Why: The embellished accessories brand knocks up to 70 percent off merchandise with shoes starting at $75, handbags at $125, and clutches and wallets from $40.
When: Wed. & Thurs., 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri., 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Where: 260 W. 36th St., b/t Seventh & Eighth Aves., 8th flr.

What: Raoul
Why: Flirty skirts, tailored pants, shorts, and printed blouses from the latest fall, spring, and cruise collections are up to 75 percent off.
When: Today-Fri., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: 601 W. 26th St., b/t Eleventh & Twelfth Aves., ste. 1745.

What: Inhabit
Why: Cashmere sweaters ($80, reg. $398), cotton dresses ($50, reg. $258), tees, and tanks for $30-$50.
When: Wed. & Thurs., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 320 W. 37th St., b/t Eighth & Ninth Aves., 14th flr.

PC Featured in the Dressbarn’s Spring Fashion Challenge (+20% off coupon)

Dressbarn's Flutter Sleeve Ruffle Wrap Dress

After working with Dressbarn for their suit drive to benefit Dress for Success (I hope some of you we’re able to donate!), the brand approached me for a fun challenge — finding a universally flattering dress despite size and shape. Does a one-dress-looks-good-on-all frock exist?

Well here it goes… the 5 Ways to Wear It: Spring Fashion Challenge.

The Contestants: 5 bloggers, 5 different shapes

The Dress: Dressbarn’s Flutter Sleeve Ruffle Wrap Dress in Cobalt Blue ($39.99)

Description: Flirtatious ruffles flutter at the sleeves, edges and hemline of this slinky monochrome wrap dress, which ties at the waist to create an instant hourglass shape. 37″ from shoulder to hem. Full wrap detail closure. Material is 95% polyester/5% spandex. Machine Wash. Available in Size 4 – 24.

{How I rocked the Flutter Sleeve Ruffle Wrap Dress}

I went for more of an edgy rock-glam look when outfitting this dress. I styled the wrap dress with Ray-Ban sunglasses, Winter Kate jacket, mark. necklace, Express bracelet, Skweez Couture tights, Zara shoes, and Rebecca Minkoff bag.

Usually I find when shopping online the items look better on the site then when they come in the mail. Not the case when it came to this dress. It fits like a glove and cobalt blue is all the rage. It’s an easy dress to take from day to night and style in a variety of ways. It’s also really easy to pack so this dress will for sure be going on my Beirut-Rome trip I have planned next month!

For all of you Dressbarn fans, they we’re nice enough to offer a 20% off coupon for all of you to enjoy, valid through 4/30. Details below:

Disclaimer: This dress was sent to Lara on behalf of Pretty Connected for the 5 Ways to Wear It: Spring Fashion Challenge. Pretty Connected was under no obligation to participate or receive any financial gain.

Last Minute Holiday Gifts

1. Two Faced Sweet Dreams Makeup Collection – $52 ($186 value). Exclusive to Sephora, this whimsical makeup set is a dream! Filled with 15 of their best-selling eye shadow shades, a full-size Prime Anytime eye primer, two shades of blush, bronzer and highlighter and their signature “How To’ Cards to learn how to apply gorgeous looks with step by step instructions. Every girl in my office bought this palette (it’s that good).

2. Rebecca Minkoff Collaboration Timepiece with Baby-G ($200) – Here’s your chance to own Rebecca Minkoff’s first watch and as of now there are only 500 of these Baby-G watches being made!

3. kai bubbles & light holiday set ($49) – The gift of relaxation is always a winner in my book. This limited edition set comes in a sheer gift bag and is filled with kai’s bubble bath and all-natural fragrance candle.

4. ALEX & CHLOE for FOREVER 21 -Alex and Chloe designed a full collection of jewelry for Forever 21 all under $20!! I’m all about mixing their Rhinestone Bangels (set of 3 – $14.48) with their thicker  Rhinestone Hexegon Bracelet ($14.80), pictured above, and am very excited to welcome them into my jewelry collection.

5. Pantone Mug – offered in a variety of Pantone colors ($15.95 each or $90/set of 6), this mug is a full proof present for any creative-types or coffee addicts on your list.

6. Clinique Chubby Sticks Trio ($45) – I love these hydrating color balms! They offer a soft tint of color and shine with every application. This set includes shades Super StrawberryChunky Cherry and Whole Lotta Honey. They are also available individually (in a variety of shades).

7. Sock it to Me knee socks ($9) – offered in a variety of funky prints and colors, forget buying underwear this holiday and go straight for the socks!

8. CND The Plum Truffle Collection – This duo nail polish set includes CND shades Plum Truffle Colour and Plum Truffle Sparkle Effect. Designed to be worn together, apply two coats of Plum Truffle Colour, followed by one coat of Plum Truffle Sparkle Effect (don’t forget your base and top coat!). Makes a great stocking stuffer! This set is available on timetospa.com.

9. Parker Pens Ingenuity Collection ($190)- I was recently at an event for Parker Pens and fell in love with them. Pick a pen based on the way it writes, looks and feels, and Parker has a grand collection of pens. However if you need a guidance, check out their new Ingenuity Collection (my favorite is the Large Daring Black Rubber and Metal pen). Everyone can use a quality ink pen, especially right around the holidays — just think about all of those ‘Thank you’ cards you’ll have to fill out. Plus it makes you feel so fancy!

10. Martha Stewart Crafts Set Your Own Stamp Case ($20.59) – If you’re looking for a gift for any of your craft friends/family, check out Martha Stewart Crafts collection. I have my eye on her Set Your Own Stamp Case which lets you create your own message on cards, invitations, tags, scrapbook pages… and includes upper and lower-case letters, numbers, punctuation marks, icons, phrases, and circular border stamps. Includes 318 pieces to be used with any colored ink pads (sold separately).

11. Victoria’s Secret Party Perfect Makeup Kit ($18) – A medley of 20 must-have VS eyes and face shades, including 16 eye shadows, blush, bronzer, eye applicator and face brush. What more can you ask for from a beauty kit?

12. “Blowout in a Box” by Living Proof and T3– $200 ($258 value). Don’t you love it when two quality brands that compliment eachother partner together to bring you a value set? Exclusive to Sephora, this set has everything you need to create the ultimate salon quality blow-out from the comfort of your home. The “Blow Out in a Box” contains a T3 Featherweight Hair Dryer, Living Proof Straight Styling spray, and a Shine & Volume Application Kit which contains Neo-tortoise shell comb to detangle the hair when wet and Ceramic barrel brush for styling.

Lucky Shops 2011 VIP Night Recap

Makeda from Glamazon Diaries, Lara (me), Eileen from Miss Who Ever You Are

What an exciting weekend! Friday night I was one of the featured bloggers for Lucky Magazine’s Lucky Shops VIP event (you may have noticed me tweeting up a storm).  I partnered with the publication to serve on their blogger committee which was nothing short of fabulous; I was so honored to be working with them.

The VIP event kicked off the annual Lucky Shops, which is 3-day shopping event, where dozens of our favorite designers sell their merchandise at up to 70%! It’s a fashionista’s dream, which NYC is not short on; so needless to say, it was packed.

My fellow committee members included  (check out their awesome blogs!): New York Girl Style, Miss Whoever You Are, My Style Pill, The Beauty File, Cheetah is the new Black, Nubia’s Nonsense, Audrey Allure, Honestly WTF, Cheap Chicas, Platinum Blonde Life, Style Cusp, Glamazone Diaries and of course myself, Pretty Connected.

On the red carpet...
Bloggers unite!

I met the glam team at Bloom Beauty Lounge to start the night out right with some blow-outs and styling. I went with my signature blowout with a some added curls and volume (I call it the Victoria’s Secret model blow-out) to compliment my awesome outfit  [Shirt/Shorts/Boots: Nicole Miller; Tights: Joe Fresh; Necklace: Banana Republic; Belt: The Limited]. Once our hair was red-carpet ready, that’s just where we headed — to the red carpet where we joined the likes of  Bridget Moynahan, Kaylee DeFer, Iman, Susan Lucci, Rachel Roy, Katina Bowden, and Erika Dasher to have our pictures taken and have exclusive coverage opportunities. Then on to go shopping!

Brandon Holly, Mary Alice Stephenson and Mrchy Bloom
30 Rock star, Katina Bowden
My Lucky Shops Outfil {Nicole Miller Shirt/Shorts/Boots}

I invited a few friends at the event and we bee-lined it to Rebecca Minkoff, and all walked away with a new purses. We circled the ground floor and then made our way upstairs to the Hunter Dixon booth. I’m new to their designs but am keeping them on my radar since I wanted everything in their booth! After settling on a pair of pants and skirt (my dates bought up just dresses and tops), it was time to move on. Two Lucky Shop shopping bags full later, I was cut off.

In love with my new Rebecca Minkoff bag!

We then headed to the Lucky Shops after-party at the Crosby hotel for a private advanced screening of Jane by Design starring Erica Dasher, Andie MacDowell and a whole lotta good looking men. As someone who probably doesn’t watch enough television, let alone ABC Family, I found it entertaining and fun without being cheesy (as I find most shows geared towards teenagers to be). If follows unpopular (although very fashion forward) high school student, Jane (Erica Dasher) as she applies for a fashion internship and instead mistaken for an adult, accidentally lands a part-time job. For the love of fashion, I’m sure this show will suck me right in — although it doesn’t premiere until January 23rd, so you’ll just have to wait to see what I’m talking about.

Moi with Jane by Design star, Erica Dasher
Q&A with Jane by Design star, Erica Dasher and Costume Designer, Olivia Miles
More Blogger Love: Christine from Tineey.com, Makeda from GlamazonDiaries.com, and me

Thank you Lucky Magazine for a great night and the amazing opportunity to work together!

The WIE Symposium presented by Sarah Brown, Donna Karen and Arianna Huffington

Donna Karen moderates the 'Mind Body & Spirit - Creating Calm in the Chaos' panel

This week marked the 2nd annual Women: Inspiration & Enterprise (WIE) Symposium hosted by Sarah Brown, Donna Karen and Arianna Huffington garnering the theme of “what it means to be a woman now”. The two day conference featured a series of panels and discussions led by women leaders, activists, entrepreneurs and entertainers exploring how women can be more socially conscious, spiritually balanced and work to become more enterprising and inspiring leaders.

Sarah Brown autographing her book

Speakers and panelists included Nancy Pelosi, Dr. Jill Biden, Kelly Cutrone, Rebecca Minkoff, Jane Wurand, Katia Beauchamp. Cynthia Rowley, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Christy Turlington, Dany Levy, Fran Drescher, Nancy Brinker, Gayle King, Georgina Chapman, Sonia Kashuk, amongst many more. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to clear my schedule to the extent I was hoping to be present for all the panels, I did however catch the Mind Body & Spirit – Creating Calm in the Chaos segment moderated by Donna Karen; who’s panel took us through a meditation exercise illustrating how just a few minutes of “getting grounded” can help bring balance to ourselves and those

Are You Ready for New York Fashion Week?

I am, I am! Ehhhhhh! The Spring 2012 shows are upon us, and I just got my official press pass to Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week! Joining all the big-wigs of the fashion industry, I’ll be covering the makeup backstage and the fashion shows. IMG has posted the official schedule for Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park for September 8th-15th, and announced some exciting first timers to the venue including J. Crew (are you as excited as I am?), Honor, Candela,