Life can be heavy, friends– especially if you watch the news these days– KWIM? And admittedly, amongst the sea of these many real-world and real-life issues, style and beauty can feel “frivolous”. Clothing, make-up, hair styles– alone, none of it is solving big life problems. But one of the things I love about beauty and fashion is that it has the ability to change feelings– and changing the way a person feels– sparking confidence, beauty and joy in spite of a heavy day to day is incredibly powerful.
She is 42 years old, a proud mother who beams when she speaks of her brilliant and beautiful 18 year old baby girl, a fellow distressed denim lover (Yaasss!!), and has been courageously battling cancer for 14 years.
This past week, in partnership with the incredible Diva For A Day Foundation and my favorite indoor outlet mall, The Mills At Jersey Gardens, I had the honor and privilege to help Nicole set aside her stresses for a day and embrace her style and beauty– of which by the way, she is over-flowing.
The Diva For A Day foundation was founded by two cancer survivors, Peggy Matzen and Debbie Sestokas who set out to remind cancer patients of how fabulous they are. Every Diva’s special day is unique. Their services and pampering can include things like a massage, hair, make-up, dinner and a Broadway show or a shopping day with their own personal stylist!
Prior to this special Diva Day, I had never met Nicole.
Was she a laid back boho gal? (She is) Did she love florals? (Mehh. Not so much) Straight leg or boot cut? (Keep the skinny jeans far away!) I just didn’t know any these answers, but I wanted to give us a good starting point.
So the day before, I headed out to pull a variety of styles for her before she arrived.
Here’s a preview of some of the outfits we started with:
On the big day, Nicole arrived at The Mills At Jersey Gardens via a private car service. Her smile and positive energy was both inspiring and instantly contagious.
Although she had not heard of the foundation prior to getting the call that she had been nominated by her brother and chosen for a day, she told us how thankful she was and how The Diva For a Day Foundation’s mission resonated with her because she said it is easy to lose your sense of “self” to the treatment and everything that goes along with it.
She was ready to have some fun and so we hit the racks at Century 21 to scoop up a few more things before we headed to her dressing room.
She was such a good sport and totally game to try on all the looks I had put together for her, even if it wasn’t something she would have normally picked out herself.
My motto is try it all on– you just never know!
Pink Rose is my new favorite brand find. Their stuff is super crazy buttery soft, it washes like a dream– and their price tags are totally affordable! The cardigan above was only $16.99! I gushed over this brand to Nicole as soon as we set foot in Century 21. I was so glad she chose something from them.
| Max Studio High Neck Lace Top|
If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, you are probably already familiar with this poetic lace top. I gave a little sneak peek and polled everyone on this trending style.
High neck tops are tricky. People tend to love or hate them. It was a gamble, but we gave it a whirl and I was thrilled to see how Nicole owned this look!| Free People Cross Cable Sweater |
Free People is a boho-lover’s dream. Their styles are effortlessly chic and always insanely comfy. This cross cable sweater has the cutest split in the back and had Nicole’s name written all over it!
And last but certainly not least… SHOES!
To complete her looks we scooped up two pairs of versatile booties–
Low heels for comfort but style for days!!
I am beyond thankful to generous Mills At Jersey Gardens team, who invited me to be part of this inspiring day and gave me the opportunity to have met this courageous woman.
I hope that this day is one she won’t soon forget (I know I won’t) and I hope that in some small way, on the most challenging of days, she can peek in her closet, look in the mirror and remember how very beautiful she is.
To nominate someone you love to be a Diva For A Day you can nominate them here.