Sunday, July 30, 2017

Nsale Favorites - Part One

So I'm finally getting to share some of my favorite finds from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! I found so much good stuff that it took longer than I expected to take pictures off all the outfits, so I'm going to have to do a couple follow-up posts when I get the time to finish taking pictures! But for now here is the first batch of goodies.

** denotes Nsale item
Sweatshirt: Target (shop similar shirt)
Skirt: Halogen Pleat Faux Leather Skirt ** $79.90 (after sale $119.00)
Shoes: Ivanka Trump (shop similar shoes)

Sweater: Express (shop similar sweater)
**Skirt: TopShop Faux Leather Skirt $39.90 (after sale $60.00) size 6 (fits like 2-4)
**Shoes: Sam Edelman Rafaella Ballet Flats $99.90 (after sale $149.95) size 6.5

**Sweater: Leith Blousson Sleeve Sweater ** $45.90 (after sale $69.00) XS
Skirt: Talbots (shop similar skirt
Boots: Anne Klein (shop similar boots)

Sweater: Antonio Melani (exact sweater -- similar sweater)
**Skirt: Vince Camuto Windowpane Sweater Skirt $52.90 (after sale $79.00) XS
**Shoes: Charles David Rabbit Fur Pom-Pom $69.90 (after sale $109.95) size 6.5

Dress: Antonio Melani (exact dress in white)
**Jacket: Hinge Shrunken Leather Bomber Jacket $199.90 (after sale $299.00) XS
**Shoes: Sam Edelman Rafaella Ballet Flats $99.90 (after sale $149.95) size 6.5
Sunglasses: Ralph Lauren (exact glasses)

I'm completely obsessed with the things that I found on the Nsale! I can't wait for cooler weather so I can enjoy the sweaters and jackets. I've always been too scared to shop for clothes online because I always have to try things on since I'm a slightly weird shape. I found it super helpful that the website tells you if the garment runs small or large or true to size. With every garment I ordered it fit perfectly when it arrived! I couldn't be happier. The only garment in my whole haul that I had to buy a weird size was the TopShop Faux Leather skirt. I'm usually a pretty true size 2, but I am super curvy so I was concerned that it would be too tight, but it was actually perfect in the 6 (I was like what? I'm ordering a 6! It's never going to fit. Thanks UK sizing.). Make sure to shop the Nsale while it's still open (until next Sunday - August 6th)!! And stay tuned for more goodies as I get the chance to photograph them! 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Baby Nsale

So when I first found out about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I scurried over to see what kind of awesome finds there were to be had. I applied for my Nordstrom Card so I got early access and promptly spent a ton of money. And not until this morning did it occur to me to shop the baby Nsale! I'm not sure why this revelation took so long because my son's favorite Wubbanub came from Nordstrom. Twice. So this morning I tackled the baby sale. They have everything from clothes to strollers to diaper bags; anything you could want or need. They have especially cute things for little girls which made me slightly jealous. They even have baby jewelry for the little girls (adorable choking hazard anyone?). I didn't get quite the haul for the baby as I did for myself (let's be honest- thanks to baby showers that child has more clothes than me!) but I did find some cute things I wanted to share!

Tucker + Tait Isarsia Dog Sweater $22.90 (after sale $35)

I just thought this sweater was absolutely adorable! I got it in the 6 month size so Munchkin can wear it this fall! Be on the look out for adorable pictures. 

Nordstrom Baby Luxe Chenille Blanket $31.90 (after sale $49) 
 How sweet is this blanket? I can't wait to use it for Munchkin to play on, have his picture taken on, and when he's old enough it will be great for his to sleep under! My uncle got me a yellow one like this when I was baby, so I couldn't pass up a chance for my baby to have one too.
This little outfit just killed me. I'm a sucker for anything aviator themed; especially bomber jackets. So of course I couldn't turn down a baby bomber jacket!! Unfortunately, they didn't have a small enough size for Munchkin to wear it this fall so I got the 18 month size for next year. If only I can make it that long!! 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Urban Decay Partay!

So if you follow my blog on Instagram you got the see some pictures of the Urban Decay party that I went to at Ulta on Saturday. It was an absolute blast! I'm inevitably one of those people that find out about cool events like that after they have already happened. But this time I got in on it! So professional makeup artists that work for Urban Decay came in and basically took over Ulta for the day. You could schedule a free 20-30 minute session with them, or buy a $100 Ulta gift card and get an hour and half slot for a full makeover. Let's be honest: I went for the free session since I spent all my extra money on great finds from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (post coming soon!).

So they were doing this party as sort of the launch party for the Naked Heat eyeshadow palette. I've been seeing ads for the palette for a while, but honestly I was scared to try it. I know that sounds silly from the girl who will wear just about any color and even wear gray lipstick. But while I absolutely adore the colors in the Heat palette, any time I've tried to use those colors on my eyes I looked like I was having an allergy attack. But after the UD makeup artist showed me how to use it and mix and layer the colors correctly, I'm obsessed!! And besides, that Heat palette are the exact colors that are in for the fall season. When all my goodies arrive from the Nsale I'll show you how great the colors mesh! So I wanted to share my pictures and insights with you to let you know that you should embrace the Heat too!

The next two pictures are of my eye makeup once the Urban Decay makeup artist used the Heat Palette on my eyes 

So naturally, on Sunday I tried to replicate the artist's work from Saturday. I did a slightly different lid color though. 

I've officially decided that other than Younique (you can't beat all-natural, healthy, well-priced makeup!) that Urban Decay is my favorite makeup brand. I love all of their eyeshadows and eye- liners and lipsticks and lip-liners. 

Let's take a minute and talk about the lipstick that I have on in these pictures. Its all the same in each picture: it's called Sheer Liar (used with Manic lip pencil). Looking at the lipstick in the tube, this would never have been a color that I would have gravitated toward. I would've thought that it looked too matronly. But I looooove it!!! It's my absolutely new favorite pinky-neutral. The UD artist picked this one to complete the look that she did on me at the party and its amazing. I hadn't used this particular formula from UD and its incredible! Its super moist and hydrating and slightly shiny and yet it lasts all day like a matte long-wear! I was completely shocked when I went through my coffee, lunch, and a nap and it still essentially looked the same. I've never experienced that with a regular lipstick. I'm officially obsessed. And I plan on going back to see what other colors they have in this unicorn of a lipstick. 

There was something else fabulous that the Urban Decay artist introduced me to, and that is their new eyeshadow primer called Sin. This stuff in incredible; it's basically a sparkly, champagne cream eyeshadow but its also a primer. So it actually primes your lid and is also your neutral base color. And it gives a sparkle to any eye shadow you put over it. It's like fairy dust and I'm hooked. 

And speaking of fairy dust, my last earth-shattering find at the party was the brand new Urban Decay Vice Special Effect Lip Topcoats. Oh. My. Word. These things are incredible!! They're $18, so its basically like buying another lipstick, but they go on top of your lipstick or they can be worn alone. They have everything from coral (the one I got - its called Fever) to red to even teal. They're glittery and also iridescent. They either add life to a lipstick or they can change the color all together, depending on what you want. I wore it on top of my Sheer Liar lipstick in the Sunday pictures, but I just put it on my cupid's bow and the middle of my bottom lip to add some extra shine and a little pucker to my lipstick. 

So make sure you check out these new and awesome Urban Decay products! And be sure to check to see if the party is coming to an Ulta near you to help you get geared up for fall! 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Maternity fashion: Staying stylish while round

So here I am again, writing a much overdo post. This time, however, I have an incredibly valid excuse: I had a baby! He's the cutest sweetest little thing in the whole world and I'm totally smitten and in love! However, His Royal Cuteness is a ton of work, so combine loving on preciousness and trying to get back to a regular work schedule, and it hasn't left much time for this post that has been simmering for about three months or so.

It was maybe two weeks before my son was born that one of my friends commented on how cute my maternity clothes were and how I should do a maternity style blog post. I had to laugh at myself because after all, that's exactly what this blog is for! And how could I not have thought of that myself?! So at that point I felt like a beached whale and some of my cute outfits didn't fit anymore, or didn't fit well anymore so I tried to get as many pictures of outfits as I could.

A couple months before I got pregnant, a friend and fellow fashion blogger wrote a fabulous post about her maternity style and she bought clothes and what she bought. It was a huge help to me when it became my turn to buy clothes. (It was the July 30, 2016 post on Now I hope to do the same thing for some other fashionista who is lamenting the loss of her normal, fabulous wardrobe.

I'm a firm proponent that leggings are not pants, however, I didn't have a choice in the matter for the first few months of my pregnancy. None of my pants fit (even with the rubber band around the button trick) after about a month, but I wasn't even anywhere close to fitting into maternity pants. So I went with leggings. I found a brown pair and a gray pair of leggings (that were real fabric, not dignified hose) at T.J.Maxx. My first trimester was spent in Indiana, and most of it was cold. I'm not convinced that Indiana is ever actually warm, but I suppose that's beside the point. So that first trimester, and the first month or so of the second trimester I basically wore leggings and then I bought regular sweaters and long-sleeved t-shirts at Loft that were a size or two bigger than what I normally wore, and paired them together.

The rest of my pregnancy was spent in South Carolina, where I live, and it was anything but cold. Some of the sweaters continued to work through the rest of the "winter" and some ended up being too heavy. However, my tool for survival was maxi dresses and other loose-fitting dresses. I'm slightly obsessed with maxi dresses to begin with (I confess that I own far too many), but this time my obsession paid off. Most maxi dresses stretch in all the right places and are perfect for maternity use without having to buy a maternity dress.

One of my best friends lent me her maternity clothes which consisted of a few dresses, a pair of jeans, and a top or two. And then another friend lent me her maternity shorts. Both were absolute life-savers!! So if you have friends who are about your size and you don't abhor their style, ask to borrow stuff! And if you're the one with the clothes and your friends are pregnant, offer to let them borrow things. It is absurd how much maternity clothes cost just because the retailers know that you have no choice. I think taking such advantage of a hormonal, pregnant woman is just awful: but that's an entirely different conversation.

About the middle of my second trimester I finally broke down and bought some maternity clothes because I needed real pants, and I needed some black outfits to wear when I played for weddings and other gigs (considering that my real life job is as a professional violinist). So off to Pea in a Pod I went. Now I'm all about designer labels, I'll admit, but them wanting $200 for a pair of jeans about killed me! If I didn't pay $200 for regular jeans I wasn't about to pay $200 for jeans that I was only going to wear for four months. Thankfully I found a pair that wasn't quite as awfully priced. So I ended up getting a pair of jeans, two pairs of dress pants, a white lace top, and then I got a black skirt, a black lace top, and a black dress for performing. And that ladies, is all the maternity clothes I bought. Period. And the lace tops and the dress are styled so that I'm still wearing them even though I'm back to a normal size human. And another thing, those "maternity camisoles" that they're going to try and make you buy at the store? Unless you're like six feet tall you don't need those. Your normal camisoles will stretch and be fine and will go back and still fit you correctly post-baby. Promise. Another well-kept secret? Belly bands. They're fabulous elastic bands that can be bought cheaply at Target and they hold up your pants so you can wear your normal pants up to the very last minute, even when they no longer zip. I had a flesh colored one and black one and they enabled me to wear my regular dress pants up until about my early third trimester.

So, if I could give you my must haves for being pregnant, this would be my list.

  • Normal size maxi dresses (the more the better!)
  • Normal size jackets 
  • One or two interesting vests to add flair to t-shirts and dresses 
  • At least two pairs of stretchy waisted real fabric leggings
  • Multiple normal size loose and flowy blouses (crepe, lace, etc) 
  • Maternity jeans
  • Maternity shorts 
  • Maternity dress slacks 
  • Loose fitting normal size interesting t-shirts 
  • Normal size maxi skirts with elastic waists 
  • A couple maternity shirts if needed (I only needed them for formal wear)
  • Two or three maternity dresses (for when nothing else fits) 

So all that to say, besides the maxi dresses (which I didn't get to take pictures of while I was pregnant), here are some of my favorite maternity outfits that I put together. I hope that it helps with your shopping and your style so that you can still feel like yourself even though you're growing another person!

Dress: Gap Maternity 
Vest: Stein Mart 
Shoes: Michael Kors (purchased at Belk) 
Necklace: So Good Jewelry 

Dress: Stein Mart
Shoes: Ivanka Trump (from Nordstrom Rack) 
Earrings: Local Artisan (from Merle Norman)
Watch: Michael Kors
Bracelet: Michael Kors 

Top: Pea in a Pod Maternity
Skirt: Pea in a Pod Maternity 
Shoes: Charles David (from Belk)
Earrings: So Good Jewelry 

Top: Cable and Gauge (from Nordstrom Rack)
Shorts: Old Navy Maternity 
Shoes: Michael Kors (from Belk)
Earrings: Belk
Necklace: So Good Jewelry 

Dress: Motherhood Maternity 
Jacket: Jessica Simpson (from Belk)
Shoes: Michael Kors (from Belk)
Earrings: So Good Jewelry 
Shirt: Calvin Klein (from Nordstrom Rack)
Slacks: Pea in a Pod Maternity 
Jacket: White House Black Market 
Shoes: Steve Madden (from Belk)
Sunglasses: Kate Spade (from Nordstrom Rack) 
Earrings: Saks Off Fifth 
T-Shirt: White House Black Market 
Vest: Stein Mart
Jeans: Pea in a Pod Maternity 
Shoes: Michael Kors (from Belk) 
Earrings: So Good Jewelry
Bracelet: So Good Jewelry
Ring: Local Artisan (from the City Market)