Ashley Brooke // Florida and Los Angeles Beauty and Fashion Blog by Ashley Nicholas

Monday, July 21, 2014

my perfect pair of jeans #bestfitever

I styled this cute summer outfit with jeans from Abercrombie & Fitch as part of a sponsored post for SocialStars by Crowdtap #AFStylist #BestFitEver

Like any American girl, I basically live in jeans. They're comfortable, flattering, and can be dressed up or down with the addition of a few accessories. As a 5'3 lady with extremely short legs and a whole lot of curves, it can be challenging to find denim that fits properly. I once spent an entire day at the mall trying on a dozen pairs of jeans from every single store. After hours of bad jeans and endless frustration , I stumbled into Abercrombie & Fitch and something miraculous happened. The first pair of jeans that I picked up fit perfectly...and so did the second pair...and the third pair. The short length was actually short enough, and the jeans were fitted in all the right places. This dressing room miracle convinced me to become forever loyal to Abercrombie & Fitch jeans. There's an A&F promotion going on right now where you can get any pair of jeans for only $35, so I just had to add these distressed Sloan Skinny jeans to my summer wardrobe!

As usual, I couldn't leave the A&F store without making a few additional purchases. I picked up the most precious off-the-shoulder floral peasant top and this pretty lace-trimmed tank. Combining the lace tank with my new distressed skinnies gives off a cool California vibe that I just can't get enough of. 

I wore my new jeans and flirty top to a lunch date by the lake, and I couldn't have felt more confident. My jeans fit like a glove, and the denim is soft and extremely comfortable. I added antiqued gold and turquoise accessories along with my favorite orchid nail polish to add a finishing touch to the outfit, but the star of the show was my new pair of jeans. 

A&F creates jeans in a variety of fits and lengths, so there's a perfect fit for every body type. The fit of the Abercrombie & Fitch Sloan Skinnies is perfection to me. It's definitely my #bestfitever! They hug my curves without being too tight, and the distressed details on the dark denim are in just the right places. When jeans are this flattering, you can bet that I'll be wearing them every single chance I get. They're comfortable enough to pair with a t-shirt and sneakers, but they're cute enough to wear to a lunch date with my espadrille wedges and lots of gold jewelry.

If you haven't stopped by Abercrombie & Fitch lately, run to your car and head to your local mall immediately to take advantage of the promotion to discount any one pair of jeans to only $35! Their summer line is seriously adorable and more pieces will be making their way into my closet very, very soon. Let me know which A&F style is your #bestfitever and be sure to tag me on social media! I'd love to see how you cute you look in your new Abercrombie & Fitch jeans!


Let me know what your perfect fit is in the comment section below! Are you a skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans, high-waisted jeans, or jeggings kind of girl?


power meeting ootd + twice #summerjamgiveaway

There's nothing like wearing a cute new outfit for the first time. Unfortunately, no matter how much I love something when I buy clothing, I inevitably either get bored with the item or completely forget that I own it. Both options leave me spending too much money on new clothes. I've been trying to be a bit more frugal and sell my lightly worn clothing pieces that just don't get enough love from me. I had high hopes, but it's honestly a time consuming and annoying process to photograph, list, and monitor your items online. I was just about to give up on the whole process, but then I found TwiceTwice is basically a fashionista's best friend. You can easily buy lightly used designer clothes at majorly discounted prices or sell your lightly used clothes quickly and easily. I was looking for a few pieces to add to my summer wardrobe for business meetings and local events, and I found some beautiful pieces from J.Crew and Madewell for 70% off!

J.Crew Tank c/o Twice  |  Madewell Skirt c/o Twice  |  Heels: Forever 21  |  Necklace c/o The Red Ruby
Bracelets: Sears  |  Rings: Windsor  |  Lipstick: Revlon Rio Rush |  Nails: LVX Orchid

My Twice purchases arrived quickly and in impeccable condition. I still can't believe I bought a Madewell skirt AND a J.Crew tank for such a great price. They're classic and pair perfectly with my nude pumps, gold bracelets, and tortoiseshell statement necklace from The Red Ruby to create a summer power outfit ideal for any work event.

So, now that I've gushed about Twice, let me tell you how it works. Simply sign up for a Twice account (super easy AND you get $10 off your first purchase and $10 towards your first sale!), and you can browse my designer, price, or type of clothing. Twice carries all of my favorite brands ( J.Crew, Madewell, Lilly Pulitzer, Kate Spade, Free People, Tory Burch, and so many more), so you're guaranteed to find something you love at an incredible price. Selling your clothes is just as easy. Twice will mail you a shipping label and/or a shipping container, and you simply fill it with your lightly worn designer clothing. Twice takes care of all of the hard work (photographing, listing, selling), and you get paid right away. I'd just go ahead and bookmark the site.


Who wants to win a gift certificate to Twice plus an assortment of awesome prizes? Simply enter the Rafflecopter below from now until August 3rd for your chance to win:

$50 Gift Card to Twice
Strawfoot Handmade Dopp Kit: Strawfoot creates handcrafted bags in Santa Cruz!
Cappellos Cookie Dough: Cappellos is a Colorado-based company that crates gourmet, gluten-free and grain-free products!
Projecteo's Mini Projector: Projecteo is the cutest tiny Instagram projector you ever did see.
Nar Gourmet Orange Peel Jam: Nar Gourmet makes healthy, organic Mediterranean products!
Fjord Timepiece: Fjord Timepieces crafts elegant timepieces and jewelry inspired by the Scandinavian landscape.

My beautiful blogger friends Mash Elle, The Rachel Ross, and Pancake Stacker are also participating in this fun giveaway. Be sure to stop by their blogs and check out their fabulous outfits!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

my top ten summer fashion essentials

No matter how many summers I spend in Florida, I always forget about how horrible and unrelenting the heat, humidity, and daily thunderstorms can be. As uncomfortable as the weather may be, I just can't say no to spending time outdoors in the bright sunshine. The blue skies and summer flowers are just too tempting to resist. While the temperature may rise above 100 degrees, I still like to look my best at every summer event. Extreme weather does not prevent this girl from trying to look cute. These ten summer fashion staples (including everything from a fabulous bikini to my secret weapon shapewear from Maidenform) are my main wardrobe pieces for the warmer months. Mixing and matching any of these ten items will help you look hot while you stay cool!

1. Fun Hats: Let's face it. It is actually impossible to keep your hair looking good when you're a sweaty mess. Add a few fun hats to your wardrobe and you can add personality to any outfit while hiding your hair and protecting your face from the sun!
2. Killer Sandals: Show off your bright summer pedicure with a killer pair of sandals. I'm all about gladiator sandals and studded sandals for this season. These shoes will match any summer outfit and keep your feet comfortable in the heat.
3. Boho Chic Handbag: Lightweight, casual handbags are best for the warmer months, and I just can't get over leather fringe handbags- especially in neutral colors.

4. Off-the-Shoulder Tops: Show off your tanned shoulders in a flirty off-the-shoulder top. This design is completely on-trend and will help allow your skin to breathe in the scorching weather!
5. Flirty Sundresses: Lightweight dresses are a lifesaver during this time of year. It's the easiest outfit ever. Slip on a sundress, add your sandals, hat, a pair of sunnies, and you're good to go! You'll look feminine and put together with minimal effort.
6. Cute Rompers: I'll admit that it took me a few seasons to embrace the romper trend, but I can't get enough of them this season. The loose fit of rompers won't stick to your skin, so you'll stay cool all day long.

7. Your Power Bikini: When you're headed to the beach or a friend's pool party, you're going to want to rock a bikini. Every season, I pick out a bikini that flatters my body type. There's no use wearing a bikini if you're going to feel self-conscious, so choose a swimsuit that makes you feel like a supermodel!
8. Cat Eye Sunglasses: Protect your eyes against damaging UV rays and add a major wow factor to any outfit with a unique pair of sunnies. I've been gravitating towards cat eye designs in tortoiseshell patterns.
9. Turquoise Anything: Natural stones look phenomenal against tanned skin, and turquoise is my absolute favorite for summer. Instead of layering on lots of jewelry that will only get uncomfortable throughout the day, accent your summer outfit with one big statement piece in turquoise.

10. Shapewear: We've now reached the most important item in my top 10 list: shapewear. With so many itty bitty fashion pieces to flaunt this summer, you want to focus on feeling confident. By adding Maidenform shapewear to my summer outfits, I don't have to worry about any lumps and bumps peeking out from my outfit. My Maidenform Comfort Devotion Natural Boost bra keeps me supported and secure up top, and my Weightless Comfort Shortie Slimmer shorts allow me to wear short dresses and rompers with ease. When I'm wearing a sexy, form-fitting dress to a summer party, I always wear my Maidenform Comfort Devotion Smooth Body Full Slip to cinch my waist and smooth my hips and thighs. To me, proper undergarments and shapewear help me feel more comfortable and confident, and they make my clothes fit even better!


What are your summer fashion essentials?


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Maidenform. The opinions and text are all mine. #MFSummerSurvival

Monday, July 14, 2014

beautiful mornings with lifeway kefir

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KefirCreations  #CollectiveBias
I've been blessed to be able to work independently for the past few months, but sometimes it's hard to stay productive and healthy without a daily routine. I'm naturally inclined to over-schedule, over-commit, and generally overwhelm myself in every aspect of my life, but this month I've been attempting to simplify my routine and create healthy habits. I have so much going on in my life right now, so it's important for me to develop healthy routines to keep myself physically and emotionally healthy. This month, my goals have been to schedule in healthy meals, trips to the gym, and moments of relaxation. Scheduling these healthy activities into my day help me to prioritize my health and well-being without skimping on my professional obligations. The hardest part of this new schedule has been the early morning wakeup call. While I instinctively want to hit the snooze button on my alarm each morning, I've been forcing myself to wake up and get out of bed. Waking up early is painful at first, but it's a little bit easier when you know that you have a beautiful view and a delicious, healthy breakfast like Lifeway Kefir waiting for you.

 A healthy breakfast makes a huge difference in how I feel throughout the day, and it's harder for me to stay devoted to my gym routine when I feel sick from a heavy breakfast I like to start each morning with something light and easy to prepare. I love fancy breakfasts and brunch with friends, but there is absolutely no way I'm going to spend thirty minutes making myself breakfast on a weekday. It's either a quick meal, or I won't have time to eat at all. I've been stocking my fridge with Lifeway Kefir lowfat milk smoothies ever since I spotted them on a grocery run at Winn-Dixie. Kefir basically tastes exactly like yogurt, but it's thinner and smoother- close to the consistency of a smoothie. It's just sweet enough to hold me back from my love for donuts, and the protein helps keep me energized throughout my busy mornings. I add a small bowl of fresh fruit, and I'm ready to tackle my email inbox and morning to-do list before heading to the gym!

If you're crazy busy and/or a total zombie in the morning, you might have just discovered your ideal breakfast. Simply shake the bottle a few times and pour it into a glass. If you want to get a little fancier, Lifeway Kefir also easily fits into a variety of morning snacks. I love to mix the strawberry flavor with a splash of almond milk and oatmeal in one of my beloved mason jars at night before I go to bed. When I wake up, I add fresh fruit and nuts to my overnight oatmeal! I've also had great success pouring the blueberry flavor over fresh fruit and granola for a delicious morning parfait. You can also easily add any variety of Lifeway Kefir to your favorite smoothie recipe or use it as a topping for cereal or oatmeal. 

 After I've had time to soak in a bit of sunshine, eat my healthy breakfast, and go through a big section of my ridiculously over-full email inbox, it's time to workout! As a lifelong dancer, I'm partial to ballet or jazz classes, yoga, or Pilates, but any activity that gets your blood moving will help you improve your health and your mood. It's funny how something as small as choosing a healthy item for breakfast can influence your entire day. When I start off my morning with a greasy breakfast sandwich or sugary pastry, I'm honestly just not motivated to exercise or get things done throughout the morning. Lifeway Kefir always feels like a good choice to me. It's gluten-free, 99% lactose-free, and it contains a healthy dose of calcium without any artificial sweeteners. Plus, the milk used to create Lifeway Kefir is free of hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics and comes from grass fed, GMO-free cows. With a simple shake and pour, I have a yummy breakfast filled with calcium, protein, and natural probiotics without any yucky stuff included. 

If you're looking for an easy and healthy morning snack, try Lifeway Kefir. It's perfect for the entire family and easily accessible at your local Winn-Dixie store. You can even print out coupons for Lifeway Kefir online!



What's your healthy breakfast?





Tuesday, July 8, 2014

summer vacation outfit ideas


Over the past four years, I've basically lived out of my suitcase. Between two cross-country moves, and countless weekend trips, I've perfected the art of packing for a short trip. With only seven key fashion pieces (two tops, one skirt, one pair of jeans, one dress, casual shoes, dress shoes), a classy handbag, and a handful of fun accessories, I can create three to five outfits that help me to look chic for my entire getaway. Thanks to a recent over-the-top shopping spree at Sears, I have three super cute outfits to share that are perfect for any summer vacation.


Whether you're jetting off to Hawaii or road-tripping to the beach, your departure outfit should be simple and comfortable. I paired my favorite pair of skinny jeans with an adorable lace top that ties in the front. Black leather studded sandals and a gold chain bracelet add character to the outfit without sacrificing comfort. Of course I couldn't travel without my trusty black handbag. It matches everything, and it holds a lot more than you'd expect! My handbag is always filled with my travel essentials: laptop, iPad, wallet/passport, chargers, and my makeup bag.


Packing versatile pieces will help you get more outfits without stuffing your suitcase. This fit and flare dress can be dressy or casual based on your choice of accessories, and the textured fabric hides wrinkles! I'm obsessed with my new tassel necklace from Sears, so it was an obvious addition to my outfit. My gold accessories and nude pumps from the Kardashian Kollection give the outfit a polished look, but you could easily wear the sandals from my first look for a more casual event!


My dinner outfit couldn't have been simpler to put together. My Kardashian Kollection shirt pairs perfectly with my blue skater skirt from Sears. The chiffon detail at the top of the shirt adds some personality to the outfit, and this shirt can also be paired with jeans for a more casual look! I added these killer black pumps, but I left the accessories from my previous outfits to show that you don't need to pack an endless amount of accessories to create different looks.

If you're planning a summer getaway, check out Sears to refresh your wardrobe before you leave. I found some fabulous pieces for unbelievable prices, and I'm already planning another shopping trip! 


What are your summer vacation plans?


The hottest trends, celebrity style and fashion tips you can afford to try.

Compensation was provided by Sears via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sears. #searsstylefind

neon pink + mialisia

I love every part of getting dressed up, but there's something special about adding the finishing touch of your signature lipstick of the day and a few killer accessories. You can change the vibe of any outfit with your choice of jewelry. A statement necklace can transform a basic t-shirt into a chic outfit, and an armful of bangles and a few fun rings can add a rocker edge to even the frilliest dress. I was recently introduced to the ingenius Mialisia jewelry line, which takes this idea to the next level. Not only can you add personality to your outfit with their fabulous jewelry, but you can wear many of the jewelry pieces several ways and even combine Mialisia jewelry to create new pieces! This week I decided to add some glitz to my summer date night outfit with four of my latest Mialisia finds.

As I mentioned earlier, you can wear many of the Mialisia pieces in several ways. I wore the beautiful Precious Pearl Necklace as a belt to add an extra feminine touch to my floral lace dress, and I wore the Avondale Necklace as a bracelet. 

The "versastyle" pieces from Mialisia feature hooks and removable extension chains that allow you to adjust the length of the chains and even combine them into your own signature jewelry piece. In the picture above, I easily hooked together the Avondale and Precious Pearl to create a unique pearl/gold chain bracelet. You can also easily adjust the length of any piece to create a necklace, belt, or bracelet!

The Filigree Earrings from Mialisia are my new summer statement piece. They delicate gold design adds personality to any outfit.

Precious Pearl Necklace c/o $54 || Filigree Earrings c/o $25 || Avondale Necklace c/o $37 || Princess Ring c/o $29


I cannot wait to show you all of the gorgeous Mialisia pieces that I've added to my jewelry collection. They're classic and add the perfect bit of sparkle to any outfit. Look forward to a few more outfit posts and styling ideas in the near future!


Want to win the jewelry that I wore in this post? Enter to win in the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What's your favorite piece of jewelry? What do you think of the Mialisia "versastyle" concept?



Mialisia kindly sent me some of their fabulous jewelry. I'm absolutely smitten with their line, and all of my expressed opinions are honest and genuine.

Monday, July 7, 2014

become an online shopping PRO

Thanks to Coupons.com for sponsoring this post. I know that my fellow shopaholics (and our wallets) appreciate your phenomenal coupon codes.

There are two things that every girl on earth loves: shopping and sales. There's a special rush you get when you find a good sale, stumble upon a great coupon code, or see an advertisement for free shipping. If you want an easy way to find the best sales and latest coupon codes, I've got the perfect website for you. Let me introduce you to one of my very best online shopping friends: Coupons.com. With the back to school shopping season around the corner and fall fashions getting ready to hit the shelves, you're going to want to bookmark this site to stay up-to-date with the very best sales from your favorite online retailers. 

So let's say you're a student or the a parent to a student who's getting ready to go back to school. The Coupons.com back to school sales page makes checking off every item on your shopping list incredibly easy and stress-free. They list all of the best sales for items that students need (laptops, electronics, clothes, books) along with special coupon codes for free shipping or additional discounts. Simply head on over to the website, search for your favorite stores, and copy your favorite discount codes to save even more. Plus, you'll want to check out the Back to School sweepstakes at Coupons.com too for your chance to win!

Here are some of favorite deals from the Coupons.com back to school sales page:
I love using Coupons.com because it makes my life so much easier. I definitely don't want to spend hours searching the internet for sales that are expired or coupon codes that don't work. Coupons.com does all the work for me, so that I can go straight into the fun part: SHOPPING. 



What's on your shopping list this week?