14 Days of Summer Love – MZ Wallace Giveaway!

MZ Wallace Giveaway | Frock Files

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article about extremely high achieving entrepreneurs and learned a secret to success: simplify. Many of them eat the same things every day, wear just one color all the time, and live by a very regular schedule, all because eliminating those choices allows more room in their brains for their businesses. Although I’ll probably always be someone who goes through three wardrobe changes before leaving the house, I can see how this type of streamlining comes in handy.

In fact, ever since I began using my MZ Wallace Fiona tote, I haven’t had to switch bags at all, and that’s actually relieved a lot of stress. Whenever I used to switch bags, I’d inevitably forget to transfer something important–lip balm, sunglasses, parking pass–but now that I can use the same bag for almost everything, I could pass for a Girl Scout. I’m so prepared!

MZ Wallace Giveaway | Frock Files

I’ve teamed up again with 14 other fantastic bloggers for two weeks of giveaways that we’re calling 14 Days of Summer Love, and today it’s my turn! My friends at MZ Wallace are giving one reader the opportunity to select a bag from their collections. To enter, leave a comment naming your favorite MZ Wallace bag. For bonus entries, “like” their Facebook page.

MZ Wallace Giveaway | Frock Files

This is just day six of the giveaways, so stay tuned for more great prizes. Each of the giveaways runs for three days, so you still have time to enter at Squirrelly Minds, Handmade Mood, and Design Improvised. Keep up with all the giveaways, both for this round and future ones, over at the 14 Days of Love page.

June 23  Design Improvised – $200 Home Decorator’s Gift Card
June 24 Handmade Mood – Instax Camera and Film
June 25 Squirrelly Minds – $150 Wayfair Giftcard
June 28 Jade and Fern – 2 Simple Peace Bags, The Handwoven Beach Carryall and The Organic Hemp and Cotton Farmer’s Market Bag ($120 value)
June 29 Everyday Reading – $100 Wrenn Jewelry Giveaway
July 1 Poppy Haus – Curated Art Wall from: Emily JeffordsClare Elsaesser, and Jennifer Daily (4 pieces valued at $350)
July 3 The Flair Exchange – $100 gift card to Pier One Imports
July 4 Melissa Creates – Prize Package including products from Shop Melissa Creates and a Target Gift Card (total value of $100)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is going to run for the next three days!  The giveaway will end on June 29th at midnight EST. Sorry, US residents only. MZ Wallace is supplying a purse for this giveaway. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep Frock Files going!

14 Days of Summer Love

Chic Cape Style for Summer

Chic Summer Style by Joules | Frock Files

Usually, when we take our clothes out of storage I find all of these things that I had forgotten about that I love. Not this year. In fact, as we pulled out our summer clothes I remembered how much I needed new clothes at the end of last summer. Shopping, anyone?

I’ve been on the hunt for everything summer, but for a long time I was having difficulty finding things that struck the right balance of casual, comfortable, and chic. When the UK company Joules introduced me to their new US line, I was thrilled to find that so many of their pieces are right up my alley. In fact, take a look and you’ll see splashes vintage floral–I do like to be the walking embodiment of my blog!

Joules asked me to put together a wish list for my ideal summer holiday outfit from their Vacation Shop, and I instantly thought of what I’d wear on a day on Cape Ann.

Chic Summer Style by Joules | Frock Files

When we’re on the North Shore, we might go from a hot dog lunch to a lobster dinner with friends, so it’s important that I wear something that can transition easily. This is just as good for popping into little beachy boutiques as it is for sitting down with a cool glass of white wine.

I love that all of these pieces work so well both together and separately, too. The grey skirt is one of those that I’ll live in all summer, paired with a cami and cardi for the office, with a belt and an embellished top for date night, and just as it is in this collage for basically every other circumstance I can think of.

Chic Summer Style by Joules | Frock Files

And for those summer storms, I’ve already got my eye on a pair of Wellies from Joules’ large selection! They are, after all, English. They know how to conquer rain in style.

Are you already acquainted with Joules? I’d love to hear about what would make your summer style wish list. Until then, enjoy this first official weekend of summer!

This post was sponsored by Joules but all opinions are my very own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make it possible for me to continue investing in Frock Files.

The Perfect Work Bag

The Best Bag for Work/Life | Frock Files

One of my favorite things about working in a space with other creative people is having the opportunity to flex my fashion muscle on a regular basis. Soon after getting hired, I realized that I just didn’t have a bag that would fit all of the things I needed for work and look appropriate for general running around. My friend PJ introduced me to a line called MZ Wallace, and after watching a video in which a woman packed so many things into one of their bags that I began thinking of her as Mary (as in Poppins), I knew I had to have one.

http://www.mzwallace.com/studio/videos

More to Love

I bought the Belle and fell in love with it instantly. It’s the perfect commuter bag, with so many pockets that I could easily carry everything I needed — laptop, notebook, thermos, lip balm, tissues, phone, charger, a ridiculous number of pens, my lunch, and headphones — and still have plenty of room for more. Since I tend to be that girl who dumps out the contents of her bag to find her keys, I appreciate the front pockets the most, which make it easy for me to put my keys in the same place every time. How many minutes of my life did I just get back by not having to do that any more?

The Best Bag for Work/Life | Frock Files

And you know nothing tickles my fancy more than beautiful things that are made with function in mind. Aside from the space and the aesthetics of the bags, I love love love the signature nylon that the company uses. While the trim, handles, and accessories are made with high-quality leather, the nylon is used for most of the structure of the bags, and that makes them super lightweight and durable. On top of that, the fabric has proven to be stain resistant, so even though I’ve used mine through the winter and I’m hard on my stuff, it still looks as new as the day it arrived. Oh, and the zippers? Like buttah.

Spring/Summer 2014

When MZ Wallace sent me the Tri Color Bedford Fiona bag from their Spring/Summer 2014 collection, I fell in love all over again. This is seriously the most ladylike bag I’ve ever owned. The proportions are just lovely — the straps are a good length, the bit of chain is just chunky enough without being burdensome, and the flat bottom leaves plenty of room for everything I need to carry. I don’t think I’ve ever received so many compliments on a bag before! It goes everywhere with me these days. I just love not having to transfer bags every time I get home from work. This bag will be available soon, so keep your eyes peeled for it.

The Best Bag for Work/Life | Frock Files

What are your work bag necessities? And for you mamas out there, what essentials do you keep handy? I know PJ, who just had her second little boy (congrats, friend!), has used an MZ Wallace as a diaper bag and just got another for the new baby because it’s so roomy and easy to organize. I love that idea!

P.S. More office fun here!

This post was sponsored by MZ Wallace but all opinions are very much my own. (I’m seriously, seriously a die hard fan.) Thank you for supporting brands that keep Frock Files going.

What’s In My Desk Drawers

Frock Files | What's In My Desk Drawer

It’s been about two months since I started my new job, and I love it more every day! As many of you know — and can empathize with — I spent years trying to find the right fit career-wise. I’ve worked as a new media textbook editor, a book designer, an executive assistant, and I even had a stint as an editor of investigator reports at a detective agency, but none of them seemed to be going anywhere, nor did they fill me with any sense of purpose. I feel so lucky to have found this position doing something I really enjoy, working on a team of people I truly like and respect.

For the month of March, I’ll be featuring one post each week about different aspects of work life, including fashion, supplies, and yes, cubicle decor. I’ve been working on putting these posts together for awhile now, and I’m so excited that I’ll finally get to share them with you!

To kick things off, I wanted to start with what’s inside my desk drawers — office must-haves.

What’s In My Desk Drawer

A pair of pumps | I actually have a few pairs of shoes in my file cabinet, since it’s winter and I clonk around in snow boots until I hit the office. It’s great to have them there as backup during the warm months, too. I’ve broken a heel at work before and had to spend the rest of the day alternating between hobbling around and being barefooted.

Tea + snacks | Work makes me hungry. I generally bring a lunch and try to pack snacks as well, but sometimes I’m in such a hurry in the mornings that I forget. Having a stash of trail mix in my drawer to enjoy alongside a cup of tea takes care of these hunger pangs.

Lip gloss | Because when I do remember to put it on, I feel more put together. I’ve yet to find one better than Bobbi Brown’s.

Cute notepads | My sister got me this adorable Rifle Paper Co. notepad, which I reserve for special notes and big projects.

Mints / Hard candies | It’s always nice to have something to offer people when they come into your workspace. I keep some hard candies handy, which also proved handy when I was under the weather. My grandma used to keep these in her purse and that may be why they seem so ladylike to me.

Hand Lotion | My hands seem to be perpetually dry, so I keep hand lotion with me at all times. My favorite: Aveda’s Hand Relief. It’s thick and creamy, doesn’t leave a residue, and it smells divine.

—–

Do you have a job that you love? I’d love to hear about it. For a period of time before Frock Files, I kept a blog called People Who Love Their Jobs. It was hard to find people to interview! I’m always interested in knowing how people find career paths they can thrive in.

A Little French

French Connection USA | Frock Files

The first thing you’ll ask when you see these pictures is, “Weren’t you cold?” And the answer would be yes. I’d intended to take these pictures in the woods, but once we got there we found all the dead trees and dirty snow too depressing. So we flew over to this cute little square while we still had light, and once we got there we realized I’d forgotten the faux fur stole I’d planned on wearing. So I took a deep breath, and we shot quickly!

French Connection USA | Frock Files

French Connection
sent me this frock to wear to the Green Party at Alt Summit, but since I left a day early to beat the snow storm, the dress and I crossed paths. A total bummer, since the it’s gorgeous and totally fit for a fancy party. Luckily, it’s a classic staple piece that I’ll be able to keep in my wardrobe for years and years, and will be excited to wear every time the opportunity arises.

French Connection USA | Frock Files

With their new US collection, French Connection is all about clean lines and contemporary chicness. Their dresses, in particular, are at the crossroads of classic and modern, which makes them easy to dress up or down. As I work on building up my wardrobe now that I actually work outside my home, I’m turning to French Connection for the effortlessly cool undertones their collection brings.

Now I’m daydreaming about throwing a fancy tea party just so all of us can break out our fanciest frocks! Or maybe, just maybe, Valentine’s weekend will bring about an occasion worthy of this number.

Dress: French Connection // Earrings: J.Crew (similar) // Shoes: Me Too (past season) // Clutch: Macy’s

This post was sponsored by French Connection. All opinions are my own.

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