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Today I’m doing a little fashion Q&A with my friend and new contributor Lisa Mallaiah. Watch for the other amazing contributors in the coming weeks. Lisa will be sharing fashion and beauty on Live the Fancy Life two times each month, but today I just want you to get to know Lisa a bit better. Please welcome Lisa to the blog. All photos by Melissa Oholendt Photography. And before you dive in, don’t forget to check to see if you won the Signazon.com giveaway! 

LTFL: Tell us about yourself. What do you do? What experience do you have with fashion?

Lisa: I am a full-time working mama of two little babes, Miles (3 in August) and Malia (17 months). My day job is a Pharmacy Account Manager for an insurance company. These two things are enough to keep me plenty busy, but I need to release creative energy, so I love taking on creative projects and collaborating with other creatives and business owners on the side. I most recently prop styled the summer lookbook for Parc Boutique. And when you asked me to help style outfits for Alt Summit, this was such a treat!

I like to set the entire scene, whether it is with fashion or decor. Another favorite for me is styling my littles. My day job and mama duties keep me very busy, but I almost never say no to a creative opportunity. It makes me feel balanced and energized. I am so looking forward to contributing on Live the Fancy Life. I look forward to bringing easy to recreate fashion and beauty inspiration for women as well as style inspiration for littles.

LTFL: How did you get so good at and so interested in fashion?

Lisa: I would not say I am “good.” I just love fashion as a form of creative expression. Growing up, I would read Vogue and dream about what it would be like to slip into all the fancy clothes, designer shoes and handbags.

LTFL: When you go shopping, how do you ensure you stay focused and your outfits work well together?

Lisa: I am usually not shopping just to go shopping anymore. I usually have an event (work or personal) that I need an outfit for, so my shopping is almost always focused. I like to have a few looks captured on my phone so I can quickly scan and stay focused on what I am going for.

This helps keep focus when you’re in a store. Because there are so many options out there, it can be so overwhelming that you end up walking out with nothing. It also helps piece together the entire look down to jewelry.

Less is more! Try not to over style. Minimal is chic.

LTFL: How do you accessorize?

Lisa: Very minimally. When I am going out, I either choose a statement necklace or a delicate necklace and a stack of bracelets. Less is more! Try not to over style. Minimal is chic.

LTFL: What are some of your favorite resources for clothes, accessories and shoes?
Wear whatever makes you feel beautiful and confident.

Lisa: Inspiration is everywhere and there are really no rules. Wear whatever makes you feel beautiful and confident. I used to be able to pour over all the fashion magazines and online stores looking at every single item. This was all before the kids. I have a much more efficient method now by default. Most of my inspiration comes from Instagram, lookbooks, fashion blogs and my fashionable friends!

I am a little obsessed with instagram and follow entirely too many people, but honestly much of my inspiration for fashion and events comes from here. I feel like instagram captures the beauty in everyday living. I snapshot images that inspire me, whether it is a beautiful outfit or photo. I save it all in a separate folder on my iphone. When it is time to dress for an event or plan a party, I access these files!

I also love lookbooks, because it is a collection of fully styled ensembles that you can make your own. It is an easy way for busy women to stay on top of current trends. Some of my favorites are J.Crew (obviously), Shopbop, Madewell and Parc Boutique.

LTFL: How do you organize your closet or pull outfits on a daily basis? Are things grouped by outfit or by item?

Lisa: Ha! I wish I could answer this with a yes, but closet organization is something I am still working on. Honestly, I wear many of the same pieces over and over again until it’s played out and I live in denim most days. I work from home so my personal style is laid-back, minimal, casual chic with a little edge.

Less is more and I stick to neutral colors. Right now I have a rotation of three pairs of skinny jeans, a pair of shorts, a skirt and d’orsay flats that I pair with silky flowy tops, chambray shirts and vests. I mix and match these items to keep it interesting and occasionally, I will mix patterns or throw in a pop of color to keep it fun.

Oh and I almost forgot, my favorite piece at the moment is an Alternative Apparel jumper I picked up at Parc Boutique. It is like wearing a chic pair of sweats, it is that comfortable. It is a pulled together no effort look that works for the park, daycare drop off run, after work out outfit etc…

LTFL: And the biggest question of all. How do you make time to stay fashionable as a mom of two young children? Any tips for the mamas out there?

Lisa: I am like any mom constantly tweaking to try and maintain balance, but I have a great support system, accept help when needed (housekeeping service has been such a game changer for us), and last but definitely not least…..a good cup of coffee every morning makes everything clearer for me.

Beyond this, I think it is very important to make time for yourself. It is so easy to always put the kids first and let your needs take a backseat.

I try to fit in little moments for myself, whether it is during the kids naptime on the weekends, after they go to sleep at night or during my lunch hour on the weekdays to workout, get my nails done, get a haircut, go to the chiropractor or go shopping. I am totally ok with not having everything perfect and because of this, I feel like I can have it all!!

LTFL: Why is it important for a mama to make herself look/feel great?

Lisa: Confidence and a positive outlook are sexy and beautiful! I think this goes beyond just a fashionable outfit. If you feel happiness and beauty on the inside, this translates to the outside and your friends and family feel and feed of your positive energy.

This is beautiful to me. I try to make an effort to nourish myself emotionally and physically. I feel like I can be a better mom after I’ve done something for ME.

I also think that it teaches the kids to prioritize themselves and their health. I try to be what I want for my kids. One of my releases is working out. I LOVE to mix intense cardio workout classes with more relaxed stretching and toning like yoga. This is how I unwind, release stress, relax and focus completely on myself.

It makes me feel good on the inside and the added benefit is that the clothes look better on as well.Thanks so much for stopping by today, Lisa! I really appreciate your perspective on fashion and life and was so grateful for your help with my Alt SF wardrobe. I can’t wait for you to begin contributing here in the coming weeks. 
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