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Open back sweaters, we either love them or hate them. We love the bare backs. We hate the bra straps. We’ve all bought a cut-out top that eventually had to be returned because the bra killed your vibe! The bra straps were the focus point, not your new top. I’ve been there.

I’ve since stocked up on a variety on bra styles, from strapless to racerback. Don’t go out and buy 10 different bras at once; wait until you find one on sale.  You can find great steals at lingerie boutiques and department stores during the holidays. Just because you don’t have a top to layer it with now, doesn’t mean you won’t be wishing for it later. Plus, it’s on sale!

Parfait’s “Elissa” and “Jeanie” make great layers for sweaters. Their adjustable straps make it simple to rock this season’s cut-out tops. Go strapless, halter or criss-cross. They have your back!

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Elissa Strapless Bra P5011 | Elissa Brazilian Thong P5014 in Pearl White

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Elissa Unlined Wire Bra P5012 | Elissa Brazilian Thong P5014 in Pearl White

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Jeanie Contour Strapless Bra 4815 | Jeanie High Cut Brief 4803 in Black

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Jeanie Contour Strapless Bra 4815 | Jeanie High Cut Brief 4803 in Black

What’s your go-to style bra for open back sweaters?

Featured image via Pixabay

Every year around my birthday I like to stop for a second and ask myself if I’m truly happy.

As we get older and experience more of what life has to offer, happiness can seem like an unattainable goal because we know quite well now that it can’t be bought with a new pair of Manolo Blahniks or a glass of Dom Perignon. We strive to procure happiness by finding the goodness in every situation, exercising, giving and receiving love, laughing with the family or by excelling at work.

What if I told you the key to finding happiness is not about how it affects you, but how you affect someone else?

When helping those in need, we give ourselves a purpose to live.

New shoes will eventually wear out, but a generous act of kindness lives on forever.

With the holidays around the corner, it’s the perfect time to pay it forward. Sometimes all it takes is one genuine compliment to lift someone’s day or, if you have more time to spare, try volunteering at a local hospital. Just remember that paying it forward should make you feel good about yourself.

For example, donate to a charity that speaks to you or volunteer at an organization that you support.

Here are a few of my continuous efforts in paying it forward to give you a head start on your generous acts of kindness.

 

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When we’re asked to help someone, most people instantly think of homeless shelters and people there who have nothing: food, water nor shelter. Occasionally when I’m too tired to cook dinner, I’ll go to a fast food restaurant for a quick bite. McDonald’s and Burger King have dollar menus with an assortment of add-ons like small cheeseburgers, french fries and chicken nuggets for less than $1.30. I’ll purchase two for the homeless person at the end of the drive thru.

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If you’re anything like me, you probably make a trip to Target at least three times a week! The house is always screaming for skin care, toiletries, home décor, groceries, dog food, you name it. I don’t walk out of Target without spending at least $100. Now imagine if a random person asked if they could pay for your groceries. Wouldn’t you feel like you just won the lottery?

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My hair has never grown long enough to make the donation, but this is definitely on my bucket list.  Give your locks an 8 inch trim next summer – or now – for a good cause! Pantene has partnered with hair alternative source HairUWear to develop the first campaign to create free, real-hair wigs for women with cancer.

Here’s everything you need to know before making the cut: http://pantene.com/en-us/brandexperience/make-the-cut

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One Summer during high school I volunteered at a local hospital to highlight on my college application. Although it started off as a selfish act, I couldn’t have ended my summer more grateful for my health and family. You spend your mornings preparing breakfast for children with leukemia and your afternoons helping the elderly walk. We don’t all have the same amount of money, but we all have the same amount of time. Take a Saturday off from your normal errands and volunteer at a children’s hospital or animal shelter.

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I have an aunt who’s not only a single mother of two boys, but a full-time college student. A pony tail is her ideal hair style since her hair is long and thick, and her curls are unmanageable. “Pony tails are quick and easy,” she says.  Countless times I’ve swayed her into letting me straighten her hair, and it really brightens her face. Sometimes I think she’s doing me the favor seeing that I find it rather entertaining. It’s like practicing new hair styles and testing new hair product on a life size Barbie doll.

It’s hard to think of looking stylish on a chilly day when your teeth are clamping and body is quivering, but there are many ways of stepping up your winter attire without dropping the body temperature. Let’s save the chunky knitted sweaters for casual outings with the family. These bulky sweaters are comfy, I get it, but they do not compliment a woman’s curves for a night out. If you have a big bust, turtlenecks and giant collars can make the width of your chest look larger in pictures – not cute.

Just recently, I’ve adopted light-weight sheer sweaters for special occasions. “Why?” you may ask. Because with the right black bra, you have yourself a sexy top for a holiday party. Showing a little flesh always has a way of turning casual into chic. Think of the peek-a-boo bra as just a flirty accessory. Most importantly, you’re still warm!

I picked up a few of my favorite sheer tops for the season, from sweaters to crop tops. See what difference a little black bra can do!

Soft Black T-Shirt & A Black Plunge Bra

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Top: Target / Bra: Jeanie Plunge Molded Bra 4801

Sheer Printed Blouse & A Silky Black Bra

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Top: Target / Bra: Aline T-Shirt Bra P5251

Pretty Patterned Top & A Sexy Black Bra

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Top: Bebe / Bra: Matilda Contour Plunge Padded Bra P5311

Which sheer look is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!

For some, Thanksgiving may have ended last Thursday. For others, the giving continues for #GivingTuesday. On Tuesday, November 29, 2016, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together to encourage giving. #GivingTuesday started in 2012 and has garnished worldwide attention. Last year, 45,000 organizations in 71 countries participated by offering pro bono assistance at work or raising money for charity. There are lots of ways to help a community in need!

The #GivingTuesday Organization developed a few ideas on how you can get involved today:

1.  Raise Funds

  • Donate or organize a fundraiser for a nonprofit and leverage #GivingTuesday. Experiment with creative approaches to expand your donor base and to raise more for charities around the world.
  • Launch a campaign on #GivingTuesday to increase donations through the end of the year.
  • Partner with a donor or sponsor to host a matching grant challenge for #GivingTuesday. This could be a 24-hour challenge, it could lead up to #GivingTuesday, or could launch on #GivingTuesday and run through December 31.

2.  Volunteer

  • Volunteer at a charity or organize a larger team volunteer event with your friends, staff, and neighbors.
  • Donate pro bono hours to help charities in need of your skills.
  • Organize a donation drive for people to donate goods, clothing, and other items for people in need.

3.  Collaborate

  • Partner with local organizations to give a donation (money, goods, or services) to nonprofits.
  • Ask organizations to work together to build a local #GivingTuesday movement. In 2015, over 50 cities and states led their own #GivingTuesday movements to benefit local nonprofits.
  • Create a #GivingTuesday product to sell during Black Friday and Cyber Monday and donate proceeds to a partnering charity on #GivingTuesday.
  • Get your local government officials to proclaim November 29, 2016 #GivingTuesday in your city or town. Make this a big press moment and bring the community together to celebrate generosity.

4.  Get Social

  • Activate your social media constituency (or open a new social media account) to talk about giving.
  • Celebrate community heroes and service leaders on social media and with your local press.
  • Email your community to educate them about #GivingTuesday and invite them to give.
  • Share photos from past campaigns or volunteer events to teach your followers about how you serve the community. Remember to use the hashtag #GivingTuesday!
  • Create a #GivingTuesday video with your family, community, or staff. Share on YouTube, Facebook, and social media using the hashtag #GivingTuesday.
  • Brand your personal and organizational social media accounts with #GivingTuesday graphics and be an ambassador for the movement.
  • Partner with organizations or sponsors to do a social media fundraising campaign, where a certain amount is donated per re-tweet, like, or post.

Don’t forget to use hashtag #GivingTuesday on social media when talking about your campaign!

Makeup artist Rebecah Janian has set a name for herself in the Hollywood industry by working with celebrities, like bombshell model Charlotte Mckinney and entertainment reporter Stephanie Bauer. If that’s not enough, her flawless work has been published in the pages of Vogue Magazine and Men’s Style Magazine. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Rebecah for two years through numerous photoshoots, so trust me when I say that this woman has the magic hands. Her signature face includes a natural highlighted cheek bone, long luscious lashes and a plumped nude lip.  If you need some visuals, check out the latest fresh faces on her Instagram.

Whenever you’re working with a beauty expert, you can’t help but to ask them about their go-to products. You find out who their trusted brands are, discover new products and, if you’re lucky, hack their beauty tricks. I couldn’t wait to ask Rebecah about her top 5 on-the-go essentials. In other words, “… so, what’s inside your beauty bag?” Rebecah carries around a blend of drugstore and high-end products wherever the day may take her!

 

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Shopping during the holidays can get pretty stressful for me: the check-out lines are long, people are fighting for the latest steals and the best deals are happening now! It can all get a little overwhelming for me, so I’ve come up with this holiday’s rule of thumb to stay in line with the fashion trends. This season, I want BMW: Burgundy, Metals and White. A new BMW does sound nice though!

BMW helps me focus on what I need to stock up on before it’s gone, and hurry on home. There’s no better time to wear metal hues than winter to represent the holiday spirit. If you’re hosting a Christmas dinner or New Year’s Eve party, bring out the sparkle! Burgundy hues are great for day time wear, like for work or weekend brunch. It’s a dark, rich color that brings out elegance without going overboard. White, ivory and cream tones took over 2016. From home decor to fashion ensembles, white tones obviously make anything or anyone feel chic!

Here are a few of my Parfait picks that made this month’s wish list.

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Casey Plunge Molded Bra and Boyshort in Ruby Wine

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Charlotte Padded Bra and Bikini in Bronze

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Ellie Unlined Wire Bra and Hipster in Pewter/Nude

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Tess Unlined Wire Bra and Bikini in Ivory

Which look is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!

I can’t express how much I love winter! Everything from the crisp air to Starbucks’ custom holiday drinks (Chestnut Praline Latte, my fave!). Isn’t it ironic how the cold months can be so warm and incredibly romantic? Find lovers canoodling to keep warm as they stroll across the icy pavements, and notice the chic coats and leather gloves parading through local coffee shops. The season sparks with memories by the fireplace and holiday dinners surrounded by friends and family. There’s no better season than Winter.

Earlier this week, I wrote about how I like to spend my selfish minutes in heaven, A.K.A my time alone, in my lingerie because embracing  my curves increases my confidence. Well I make no exceptions during the cold winter months! Oh, the weather outside is frightful, my cozy knee-highs are so delightful. Knee-high socks are a great winter staple to keep your legs toasty as you scan the morning headlines. Also, in my opinion, I think they make my lingerie sets so much cuter!

What’s your favorite winter accessory? Parfait is giving away a lingerie set and a pair of knee-high socks to five random lucky readers who comment before Sunday, November 28, 2016, 11:59 P.M. EST. Just our little way of saying “thanks for reading”! 😉

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Casey Unlined Wire Bra and Boyshort in Nude

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Casey Unlined Wire Bra and Boyshort in Nude

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Tess Unlined Wire Bra and Bikini in Ivory

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Tess Unlined Wire Bra and Bikini in Ivory

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Jeanie Plunge Molded Bra and Hipster in Navy Blue

Which look is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!

They say you can tell a lot by someone’s shoes, but, in this day and age, I say you can tell a lot by someone’s phone. My phone is my life: pictures of my family and friends, my contacts, my alarm, flight check-in reminder. Without it, I feel like my day would cave down because my phone makes my life one step closer to easy and organized.

Here’s the low-down on my everyday apps that I think all women should download for the sake of their sanity!

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Do you use any of the apps? Tell us in the comments below!

Alone time is an incredibly rare occurrence for me and, I’m sure, for many of my Parfait readers! Who has time to be alone when you have business conferences, parent-teacher meetings, grocery shopping, pediatric appointments, all while trying desperately to squeeze in a much-needed hair consultation?

I’ve begun to take these rare moments very seriously because it’s the only time that I get to mentally pamper myself. For starters, I like to walk around in my lingerie because, believe it or not, it’s a great boost of confidence. Give your body some TLC the next time you’re home alone. It’s a little awkward at first, but you’ll begin to embrace your curves in no time! Lingerie just has a way of making every woman feel sexy.

Here’s my ultimate cheat sheet on how to take advantage of, what I like to call, “my selfish minutes in heaven”.  You’ll begin to feel like yourself again by doing the things that bring pleasure to your life.

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Enjoy your mid-morning wake-up call with a warm cup of coffee. Turn off your phone.

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Now is your chance to read that romance novel you bought two weeks ago, but haven’t had a chance to flip open.

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Shake what your mama gave you! We all practice our dance moves when no one is watching. This counts as exercise, right?

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I love online shopping at home. I know what does/doesn’t look good on me. I know my true size and never try to size down. I know what colors enhance my skin tone. The key is to know your body.

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Take a selfie. Love yourself by taking selfies for your eyes only. Ten years from now you’ll never understand why you ever criticized yourself and wish you had taken more!


Featured lingerie:
Parfait Lucie Unlined Wire Bra P5202 | Parfait Lucie Brief P5203 in Mood Indigo
Parfait Tess Unlined Wire Bra P5022 | Parfait Tess Bikini P5023 in Charcoal
Parfait Darlene Unlined Wire Bra P5172 |Parfait Darlene Bikini P5173 in Summer Blue
Parfait Casey Plunge Molded Bra 2801 | Parfait Casey Boyshort 2805 in Ruby Wine
Parfait Ellie Unlined Wire Bra P5082 | Parfait Ellie Hipster P5085 in Pewter

There’s no escaping the thought of needing tight glutes and flat abs when your social media feed has nonstop updates about your best friend’s new Lululemon tights or your man’s new weight training goal.

If you’re not sold on the idea of working out because you believe your body is perfect the way that it is- and it is! – then maybe these other perks might convince you to  run one mile a day. If I can’t convince you, then maybe our favorite leading on-screen women can!

1.  Increases Happiness

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via Giphy

In the words of Elle Woods, “happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t” and I couldn’t agree more.  When we exercise, our body releases neurochemicals called endorphins into our brain that help relieve stress or pain. Studies show that those who once suffered from depression had recovered from their “mental illness” by simply exercising.

2.  Provides Allergy Relief

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via Imgflip

Did you know running for 30 minutes reduces coughing, sneezing and itching by 90%? Go out for some fresh air the next time your golden retriever sheds hair all over your living room rug. Cher reminds you to take out your nose ring!

3.  Creates a Clear Mind

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via Imgflip

Not sure how to ask your boss for a raise, or, in Goldie Hawns’ case, take down your ex-husband?

When I can’t reach an answer to my problem, I like to hop on the stairmaster for 25 minutes and WA-LAH! – like magic. Exercising gives your brain more oxygen and energy by speeding up the blood flow, which allows you to think more clearly. The answers to all your problems will begin to appear.

4.  Inspires Friends and Family 

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via Imgflip

There is no better way to show your family and friends how important health and fitness are than to have them watch you do it.  Even if they aren’t completely on-board with working out, they’ll think twice before going to McDonalds for lunch and remember to eat healthy.

5.  Increases Self-Confidence

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via Giphy

Confidence is a given. People who exercise often feel beautiful and healthy inside and out. You have that natural glow that no one can help but notice. You receive compliments from coworkers who admire your outfits every day. You have the energy to carry conversations with liveliness and positivity. It’s no wonder why you’re invited to happy hour every night!

Do you enjoy working out? Tell us in the comments below!

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