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Shopping, Style

What to Buy from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of trumpet fanfare and high heels tripping across tiled mall corridors. It’s officially July 22, and that means the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is open to the public. I’ve been counting down to this day for months for two reasons: 1. I’ve amassed a staggeringly long wish list of sale items and now I can finally click ‘purchase.’ 2. My team and I spent week after week writing, editing, polishing and re-polishing the Nordstrom website copy so everything would be perfect for the launch of the event.

Thankfully for me—and for you—the fact that I’ve spent the last few months getting up close and personal with the #NSale offerings means that I’ve been able to scout out the best items. Over the past week, I’ve seen many a “Best of” round-up, and while they’re great, they all tend to feature the same few items. I love a good leather jacket and some pink Illesteva sunglasses as the next girl, but there are so many hidden treasures buried in all the sale pieces. I’ve picked out my favorite shoes, bags, clothes, jewelry and beauty items and provided the links below in hopes that they won’t get overlooked. Happy shopping!


Click the image above or the links below to shop my picks!

Halogen shoes // Louise et Cie bag // BP. watch // Phase 3 fedora // Nordstrom pouch // B-Low the Belt belt // BaubleBar choker // STS Blue jeans // Nordstrom agate necklace // Ted Baker London bag // Dolce Vita boots // neuLASH serum // butter LONDON nail polish // Topshop sweater // Trouve pleated skirt // Helene Berman vest // Topshop boots // Equipment blouse // Nordstrom pajamas // bkr water bottle

 

DIY

DIY Discount: Dolce & Gabbana Fruit Earrings

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dolce-and-gabbana-lemon-earrings-diy-16D&G photos via & via.

I have a major (orange) crush on the Dolce&Gabbana accessories department. The jewelry, handbags, headwear and phone accessories that come out of the Italian house season after season are stunning enough to make a girl willing to work another job just to afford one or two of them. Among my current favorite pieces from the D&G Italian Summer collection are the intricate earrings dripping with ripe fruit that seems to be plucked straight from the orchards of Sicily.

And it seems I’m not alone—Beyoncé herself donned a pair of D&G lemon earrings on her Hawaiian vacation last week. So I set out to satisfy my Queen Bey taste on a pre-American-Idol-Jennifer Hudson budget. It took me awhile to source the perfect lemon drop beads and enameled leaves, but once I had all the materials ordered, these pretty earrings were a breeze to assemble.

dolce-and-gabbana-lemon-earrings-diy-14For this project, you’ll need the following:
• rhinestones (I used these from Hobby Lobby, but you can use any rhinestone as long as it has a flat back and somewhere to attach a jump ring)
• flat earring posts (I used these 10mm ones)
• E6000
leaf beads
• fruit beads (I used lemon beads from this bracelet and these orange beads mixed with these orange beads)
daisy cabochons
• wire
• needlenose pliers
jump rings
eye pins 

dolce-and-gabbana-lemon-earrings-diy-8dolce-and-gabbana-lemon-earrings-diyTo make the lemon earrings:
1. Start by adding a bit of glue to the flat earring posts and gluing them to the backs of your rhinestones. Let dry completely while you assemble the rest of the earrings.

2. Add a bit of glue to the backs of the daisy cabochons, and attach them off-center to the bottoms of the rhinestones. Let dry.

3. Twist thin gold wire through 4 enameled leaf beads, creating a small loop before threading the wire back through the bead hole.

4. Add a gold jump ring to the top of each lemon bead. Thread two leaf beads onto each jump ring, making sure the leaves lay flat on either side of the lemons.

5. Attach the jump rings to the bottoms of the rhinestones. Et voila!

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To make the orange earrings: 
1. Start by adding a bit of glue to the flat earring posts and gluing them to the backs of your rhinestones. Let dry completely while you assemble the rest of the earrings.

2. Add one orange bead to the eye on the end of your eye pin. This will be the base for the earring.

3. Twist thin gold wire through about 7 or 8 more orange beads per earring, creating a small loop before threading the wire back through the bead hole. Now you’ll have a bunch of orange beads fitted with a thin wire loop.

4. Add jump rings to 5 or 6 leaf beads per earring.

5. Starting with the orange-tipped eye pin, layer on orange beads and leaf beads, alternating until you have a nice, full look.

6. Trim any excess, then connect the top of the eye pin to the loop at the bottom of your rhinestone teardrop.

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Shopping

Summer Sales

 

best-summer-sales-11. Tory Burch scarf 2. French Connection top 3. J.Crew bracelet 4. J.Crew Factory tank 5. J.Crew Factory tunic 6. Kate Spade bag 7. J.Crew Factory top 8. J.Crew Factory polka dot dress 9. Zara pajama top 10. J.Crew Factory jeans 11. J.Crew Factory stripe tee 12. Zara floral tunic 13. Journelle bra 14. Journelle underwear 15. J.Crew earrings 16. J.Crew Factory sandals 17. Tory Burch wallet 18. J.Crew Factory orange shirt 19. French Connection dress 20. BaubleBar necklace 21. J.Crew Factory shorts

Summer has officially begun, and that means the start of the summer sale season. In an effort to save more money for traveling and other fun activities, I’ve been trying to pare back on my shopping habit. That’s why I’ve rounded up the best sale picks of the moment for you all to shop. And if I happen to pick up one or two majorly marked down items for myself (on accident, of course) then so be it! Click the links above for my specific summertime picks, or check out the list below for a round-up of the best sales going on right now. Happy shopping!

J.Crew Factory – 50% off
Zara – semi-annual sale
French Connection – semi-annual sale
kate spade new york – extra 30% off sale
J.Crew – extra 40% off sale with code SHOPNOW
Journelle – semi-annual sale

 

Style

Baby Pink

pink-ruffle-dress-skinny-scarf-1pink-ruffle-dress-skinny-scarf-5pink-ruffle-dress-skinny-scarf-4pink-ruffle-dress-skinny-scarf-6pink-ruffle-dress-skinny-scarf-2pink-ruffle-dress-skinny-scarf-7pink-ruffle-dress-skinny-scarf-3pink-ruffle-dress-skinny-scarf-8Dress: French Connection // Shoes: Zara // Scarf: old, similar // Sunglasses: Prada via DITTO // Bag: Kate Spade (old, similar) // Bag Charm: Amazon // Lipstick: NARS in Roman Holiday

This dress will always have a special place in my heart. I first spotted it on sale on the French Connection website and knew immediately it had to be mine. I clicked submit order and waited impatiently for it in the mail. At the same time, my family and I were all waiting rather impatiently for the arrival of my sister’s baby. She and her husband decided not to find out the gender of the baby, so not only were we waiting for it to be born, we were also waiting to find out if it would be a a girl or boy.

I got the call at 2AM that my sister had gone into labor. The next morning I got this dress in the mail. That night I found out that I was an aunt to a sweet little baby girl named Olivia. As I was getting dressed the next day, it seemed there was only one way to celebrate the birth of my sweet niece: a super-feminine frilly pink dress. All day, anytime someone complimented my dress I would respond with, “Thanks! I’m wearing pink because my sister just had a baby girl!” What a happy, happy day.

Food

Pretty Whole Wheat Ricotta Pancakes

multigrain-ricotta-pancakes-edible-flowers-2multigrain-ricotta-pancakes-edible-flowers-6For the past month or so, I’ve been stalking the fresh herb aisle of the grocery store for the packs of edible flowers that appear the with the start of the growing season. After seeing a beautiful flower-topped pancake stack on Instagram from the Aussie restaurant The Kettle Black, I was determined to try my hand at this beautiful breakfast dish.

This is one of those meals that looks infinitely more impressive than it actually is. I’m all about sleeping in on the weekends, so I start with my favorite Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Pancake mix plus a healthy scoop of ricotta so the pancakes get extra fluffy. I whip those up in no time, coffee in hand, and top them with layers of pretty and delicious accoutrements. A generous dollop of vanilla-infused whipped cream perfectly balances the slightly peppery flowers, while a sprinkling of sunflower seeds and pepitas add lovely crunch to the dish. Fresh, seasonal berries play wonderfully against the nutty whole grain pancakes for a dish that’s as lovely to eat as it is to look it.

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Ingredients:
• your favorite whole wheat pancake mix
• 1 cup ricotta
• 2 eggs
• 3/4 cup milk
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, plus dash more for whipped cream
• fresh fruit (I used strawberries, raspberries and blueberries)
• edible flowers—you can usually find these in the fresh herb aisle of gourmet grocery stores or at your local farmers’ market)
• sunflower seeds
• pepitas
• whipping cream
• syrup

Directions:
1. Mix pancake batter with eggs, milk, ricotta and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Cook in butter in a pan or skillet.
2. Dress with seeds, fruit and flowers; top with a generous dollop of vanilla whipped cream.
3. Serve with warmed maple syrup.

multigrain-ricotta-pancakes-edible-flowers-5multigrain-ricotta-pancakes-edible-flowers-17multigrain-ricotta-pancakes-edible-flowers-14

Shopping, Style

Color Crush: Jade

eva-chen-jade-bracelettemperlyI’ve long admired Eva Chen’s jade bracelet for its cultural significance and the touch of tradition it brings to even her most badass looks. And when I think about it, I’ve always been drawn to the luminous shade of green—sometimes brightened by clouds of milky white and often shot through the more saturated shades of blue-green—that borrows its name from the semiprecious stone.

As so often happens, as I fixated on Chen’s perma-accessory, I began to notice the beautiful jade things around me. It started with a gold-inlayed jade pendant necklace at my favorite local antique store. Then Princess Kate stepped out in this gorgeous Temperley dress and my color fixation was fully formed. I began to see jade all around me, from this beautiful deep jade lingerie set to this totally on-trend suede jacket and this lace-trimmed cover-up. To stop myself from purchasing all the aforementioned finds for myself, I decided to round them up in case you, too, have a penchant for jade green.

Click the plus-sign icons to shop each style, or follow the links below. 

Temperley lace dress // J.Crew tunic // J.Crew swimsuit top & bottom // ASOS dress // Bourbon & Boweties bangle // Samantha Wills earrings // La Blanca cover-up // CeCe by Cynthia Steffe dress // Bling Jewelry bracelet // Styletrolly dress // Kendra Scott earrings // Zara jacket // Zara mini skirt // Zara maxi skirt // Cosabella bra // Cosabella underwear // Boohoo romper // Mark Cross bag // Foley + Corinna clutch // Kara bag // Butter London nail polish //Menbur sandals

// photos via New York Magazine and Temperly

Style

Saint Laurent Moment

saint-laurent-dupe-outfit-2 saint-laurent-dupe-outfit-13 saint-laurent-dupe-outfit-1saint-laurent-dupe-outfit-7saint-laurent-dupe-outfit-18saint-laurent-dupe-outfit-6saint-laurent-dupe-outfit-15saint-laurent-dupe-outfit-10Jacket: Forever 21 // Dress: Boohoo // Shoes: Zara (old) // Sunglasses: Prada via DITTO // Earrings: BaubleBar (old, similar) // Rings: BaubleBar (similar here and here) & Rachel Zoe

Truth be told, I’m not a huge Hedi Slimane fan. In fact, I’m praying that he won’t be the man chosen to fill Raf Simons’ impossible-to-fill shoes at Dior. That being said, there’s something about the Saint Laurent Spring 2016 collection that’s really stuck with me. Upon first viewing, I felt nothing. There was no fluttering of the heart like there was when I first saw the already-classic Gucci Resort 2016 collection, and there were no verbal exclamations like there were when I first laid eyes on D&G Alta Moda 2016 collection. There was nothing.

And then something strange happened: I started looking out for a slinky silver dress. I thought, hey maybe a slinky silver dress would look pretty cool with my trusty leather jacket. It turns out there is something inarguably—and somewhat annoying—cool about the Saint Laurent girl. She’s part Kate, part Courtney, and she’s who we all want to be (for a day, at least). So I put my snobbery to the side and clicked buy on this silver-flecked plissé popover dress, and I haven’t regretted it for a second.

As predicted, this bad boy layered perfectly under my moto jacket. In place of the irreverent tiaras worn on the runway, I donned my favorite pair of crystal drop earrings plus a stack of Xena-chic silver rings to finish off a look that makes me feel fierce. P.S. This dress is as comfortable as my favorite jammies, so it’s a total win/win situation.

DIY, Food

Cactus-Themed Baby Shower for Sarah!

pretty-sarah-maternity-shoot-17This is my beautiful little sister Sarah. In anywhere from 0-8 days (and hopefully not too much longer), she’ll be giving birth to my first niece or nephew, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to help plan and host a shower for little Baby Forrest at my mom’s lovely house in San Antonio. After a good bit of brainstorming, we decided to pay tribute to our South Texas location with a cactus-themed party.

Colorful cacti with vibrant blooms took center stage on the soft turquoise invitations, hinting at the decor to come. I enlisted the help of my other siblings, Genevieve and Billy, to sculpt little cactus menu card holders, and my mom painted them with bright colors—truly a great example of family teamwork. I used a cactus-shaped cookie cutter to transform regular turkey, cheese and pesto sandwiches into bite-sized saguaros. Tiny avocado toasts topped with shaved radish, a kale salad inspired by one of my favorite restaurants in SF and grilled flank steak with chimichurri sauce (another shoutout to Billy on that one) rounded out the savory small plates.

cactus-baby-showercactus-baby-shower-2For desert there were chocolate-dipped pretzels, a delicious bundt cake with cream-cheese frosting and chocolate-chip cookie ice cream sandwiches filled with mint-chocolate chip ice cream—something Sarah’s been craving a lot lately. We served all of these tasty snacks atop DIYed marble-look platters, made by affixing marble contact paper to circular pieces of wood. It’s a great way to make a bunch of beautiful and semi-disposable serving trays that all match and look much more polished than paper plates. We also used this handy contact paper to wrap around the plain planters our actual cacti came in. Gotta love a double-duty party supply.

We went old school in the drinks department, offering this wonderfully classic and still very delicious Sunday punch, as well delicious lime-flavored Jarritos sodas (jamaica is actually my favorite flavor, but I had to stay within the color scheme here, you feel me?) served in darling Cheeky x designlovefest cups.

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We eschewed the typical onesies in favor of painting wooden blocks—less laundry, more shelf-styling power, was the thought—and played all the fun baby shower standards. An over-abundance of flowers finished off the decor, and I crafted a flower crown for the queen of the party from the beautiful bunches of ranunculus and roses I scored at Trader Joe’s. The last DIY of the day was perhaps the most ambitious of them all: giant Geronimo-inspired balloons. They’re filled with glitter and festooned with layer after layer of colorful tassels, making them the perfect photo prop for an impromptu maternity shoot in the backyard.

All in all, it was a lovely evening spent celebrating the imminent arrival of little Baby Forrest. I can’t wait to find out whether it’s a boy or girl!

cactus-baby-shower-8cactus-baby-shower-23cactus-baby-shower-24cactus-baby-shower-16pretty-sarah-maternity-shoot-28cactus-baby-shower-3cactus-baby-shower-5pretty-sarah-maternity-shoot-32

Style

Americana

chambray-off-the-shoulder-top-panama-hat-4chambray-off-the-shoulder-top-panama-hat-7 chambray-off-the-shoulder-top-panama-hat-6 chambray-off-the-shoulder-top-panama-hat-1chambray-off-the-shoulder-top-panama-hat-3 chambray-off-the-shoulder-top-panama-hat-2 copyHat: J.Crew (old, similar) // Top: Boohoo (sold out, very similar) // Skirt: Forever 21 // Shoes: Halogen // Bag: DIY // Sunglasses: Prada via DITTO // Necklace: Forever 21 (old, similar)

As of 5PM today we’ll (hopefully) all be joyfully skipping from our desks to begin the three-day weekend that kicks off the summer season. That is truly something to be excited about. But before I go on to talk about the lighthearted things that so often occupy my mind and space on this blog, I want to make sure to offer a little written note of thanks for all the men and women who have given their lives in service of this country. Sure, we may be about to elect Donald Trump (heaven help us), but this country is pretty darn great, and I’m so thankful for the people who helped keep it safe.

After observing a moment of silence on Monday, I plan on donning my favorite new top for summer—this perfectly oversized off-the-shoulder chambray number—for a day spent drinking cold beer and grilling delicious food. Sweet corn isn’t in season yet, but it’s been popping up in small quantities at our local grocery stores, and I’ve been buying bags of it because it’s already so delicious.

Whether you plan on attending a Memorial Day parade, grilling out, hitting some epic sales or all of the above, I hope you have a lovely three-day weekend!

Food, Shopping

The Gold Bar

gold-bar
1. Pigeon & Poodle coasters // 2. Marchesa by Lenox old fashioned glasses // 3. West Elm bar tool set // 4. Yukiwa gold-plated cocktail shaker // 5. The Fowndry pineapple cup // 6. Indigo gold rim glasses // 7. Houzz corkscrew // 8. Kate Spade cocktail shaker // 9. Pigeon & Poodle ice bucket // 10. Chairish drink stirrers // 11. Douglas and Bec bottle opener // 12. Sears ice bucket //  13.  Godinger gold julep cup // 14. Houzz bottle opener

In a gilded tribute to my magpie tendencies, today’s round-up is all about the new gold standard for barware. From midcentury-inspired glitter swizzle sticks to hammered gold ice buckets and 14-karat-ringed Champagne coupes, I can’t stop shopping for all gold everything when it comes to drinking paraphernalia. Perhaps it’s because I’ve run completely out of cabinet space, so every new purchase has to be display worthy. Or perhaps it’s just that I really, really like the warm sheen of gold. Either way, I’m sold on those gilt pineapple cups and I’d be shocked if you aren’t, too.