Smart Style | Swing Dress

Happy Humpday Friends! I'm off to a girls week at the beach, but before I left, I just wanted to share this amazing new dress!  It's a swing dress (sometimes called trapeze dress) with just the right length and sleeves!!!!  Of course, I bought it in black, but I'm thinking of getting some more colors too!

dress: The Rose Nest // hat : UO (option) // earrings & necklace: c/o Lavish Leathers // clogs: Target // backpack: Fawn Designs



In other news (actually the same news I've been posting about recently), the Nordstrom Sale is still going strong and will be open to non-cardholders (the public) on Friday!!!  While I've spotlighted some of the best deals under $50 and my favorite shoe finds for under $100...I've also curated a Pinterest Board as a place to keep EVERYTHING good that I've discovered in the #NSale!  Many of the items are already selling out or low inventory (meaning the popular sizes are almost gone), so don't waste time if you're planning to score some great deals!  Also, I talked here about how great this sale is and why everyone should take advantage...as well as some tips to shop most efficiently (as it can be a chore to sort through the thousands of sale items).  I hope you all have a fabulous rest of the week...and I'll see ya' on the flip side!






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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale | Shoe Must-Haves

The amazing shoe deals to be had at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale are outta this world!  You're sure to find any and all types of shoe that you're closet is in need of...especially in the bootie, pump, or athletic varieties!  I've narrowed down for you my picks for the best shoe finds, ALL UNDER $100!
If you are waiting until after 'early access' to shop, all my posts/links will be here waiting for you...just remember, things are already starting to sell out!  Check out my other Nordstrom Anniversary Sale posts:  Tips for Shopping the Nordstrom Sale and Nordstrom Sale 20 under $50.

*** Clink on image to shop ***

Tan Booties:




Open Toe Booties




Pumps




Athletic





All my shoe faves from the sale in one place (below)...I've snagged the Lucky Brand peep-toe and hopefully some cute booties soon!



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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale | 20 Under $50

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is upon us and it's like Christmas in July!!!!  Seriously, I'm so psyched each year when it comes along because frankly, it's the best sale EVER.  Nordstrom does something no other retailer does...they discount items that are next season or soon-to-be current, rather than discounting last-season stuff as most do.  Not only does it get us all totally ready for fall/winter, but also allows for some strategic closet assessment in looking ahead to what we might need/want.  (Check out my 5 tips for shopping the Nsale.) Now that's not to say there isn't stuff that can be worn right now -- in the heat of the summer.  Heck, I just bought several pieces yesterday (when the early access went live) that I can wear right now...so it's really a win-win for everyone!

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (or #nsale as it's called on social media) will be going on for the next 2 weeks, with early access for cardholders now and then open to the public on July 22.  My advice to you would be to seriously take advantage...there are some major deals to be had and I always score at least one or two that I congratulate myself on for months down the road.  I will be posting several round-ups including my finds for best shoes and best all-around deals...but today I'm starting out with 20 items under $50 that I think are fabulous!!!! In fact, I already bought several of them for myself! 


*** Click on image to shop or use links below ***


1.  Embroidered Woven Top - Bought for myself, cannot wait to wear with some jeans and clogs! Shop ALL tops under $50 HERE.

2.  Open Front Cardigan - The perfect overlay for cooler weather or just when your office gets a chill.

3.  Bow Blouse - I love the bowtie trend...looks so refined yet on trend.

4.  Wool Round Hat - The ideal hat to throw on bedhead hair.

5.  Denim Pencil Skirt - This is the best one I've seen around...perfect wash and length.

6.  Distressed Skinny Jeans - I've heard these are heaven to wear.  Must try out myself! Shop ALL denim under $50 HERE.

7.  Utility Vest - If you don't already have one, it's a Fall must-have!

8.  Lace Peasant Tunic - Great layering piece for Fall or wear alone right now...pair with skinnies.

9.  Floral Ruffle Tank - This comes in two patterns, super cute!

10.  Black Skinny Jeans - Another staple for any closet.

11.  Suede Clutch - Not only is suede totally on trend still, but this price point is hard to beat.

12.  High/Low V-Neck Top - Comes in 15 colors and patterns!

13.  MAC Brush Kit - I spotlight this deal every year because it's just SO GREAT!  Shop all MAC Anniversary Sale HERE.

14.  Lace-Up Top - Great color and unique neckline...simple yet stylish.

15.  Crop Flare Jeans - Purchased these for myself...wear right now with platforms and in the fall/winter with boots.

16.  Lace Crewneck Sweater - One to save and wear later, but love the unusual detailing.

17.  Faux Leather Backpack - Accessory must-have, leather backpacks are ALL over the place right now!

18.  Pendant Necklace - It's rare to find Kendra Scott on sale...easy to pair with anything! Shop all Kendra Scott sale HERE.

19.  Draped Utility Jacket - Another purchase I made myself.  Ideal color with a dressier utility feel.

20.  Knit Moto Sweater - Versatile piece for fall/winter at a steal of a price!






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5 Tips To Shop Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starts tomorrow, and while it might not be on your radar (yet), I want to share some of the reasons it's truly the BEST SALE EVER...and tips on how to best take advantage.  This sale not only provides the opportunity to get a jump on fall fashion for a fraction of the price, but with the free shipping (and easy returns) Nordstrom offers, it's kind of a no-brainer.  Nordstrom is my favorite store hands down...always on trend, high quality, great customer service, plus fab sales like this one held annually!
1.  Tomorrow when the sale starts, take some time to go through a make a wish list.  If you are on a budget, just set your filter "under $50" or something similar.  Nordstrom has all sorts of price points and I usually get tops there for under $30 during this sale!  Hand that list over to your hubby or use it as a guide to keep an eye on the items you really want.


2.  When unsure, order more than you need.  For example, last year I couldn't decide between 3 different pairs of booties, so I ordered all 3 of them.  Once I tried each on, it was clear which was the winner and I easily sent back the others free of charge...lickity split!  Not only does this save you buyer's remorse and the hassle of driving to your nearest Nordstrom, but you get the flexibility you would as if you're in the store yourself!


3.  Use the filter to search your favorite (and/or most budget-friendly) brands.  Nordstrom has tons of brands (Lush, BP, Caslon) that are both affordable and on point style-wise!  Strategically shopping in this was will save you time and allow a focus on your particular niche of brands/price-point/etc.


4.  Take advantage of "early access" starting tomorrow (7/14).  Early access to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is for Nordstrom cardholders.  I personally have a Nordstrom debit card and get points every time I use it in the store or online.  You receive rewards and special perks as a card holder...namely getting to shop the sale before everyone else and before things start selling out!  (July 22 starts the sale for non-cardholders.)


5.  Check out the fall trends or looks you'd like to add to your closet this year.  For me, I have my eye out for some new booties, a really great flat, some cute tops, and a cute dress or two.  When you plan for what you "need", you can shop more intentionally and smart.


>>> Stay connected via Facebook and Instagram as I will be posting throughout the next couple of weeks all the deals, steals, and finds from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!  Can you tell I'm excited!!!!????




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Why I Love My Texas

I’m a Texas girl through and through, born and raised, 6th generation...you get the picture.  Sometimes I wonder how I’d fair in another state if we ever moved.  Here in Texas, we’re “indoctrinated” (as my friend Natalie likes to put it) on all things Texas and just southern hospitality in general.  But food is where I truly feel my Texas pride and roots come out...we really do have some AMAZING food here, especially in central Texas.  From our Tex-Mex, to BBQ, to Austin’s eclectic varieties and locally made artisanal eats...we have it all!


This summer, our family is staying around these parts...meaning - no big vacations except for short ones to the beach or road trips within the state (we plan to head up to Waco/The Silos soon).  We’ve even done a few small excursions down to our local creek spot for a picnic and swimming (all the creeks and rivers are nice and full from the rains we had, but drying up quickly).  Primarily, I just want some concentrated and focused family time, which in my opinion, is usually best when done around food...and I love that we have so many options around us in Texas, especially in our small town.


The other night we took some snacks to the creek and made a little evening of it, hanging out as a family, playing around, and enjoying some time together after Daddy got home.  I’m kind of on a charcuterie board kick lately (anyone else?), so I thought...Hey, why not try to make a Texas Charcuterie board!?!  It was SO yummy and the kids (surprisingly) ate it all up!  We used several “local” brands to enhance the Texas tastes (and because supporting local is always the way to go), which made it more of a foodie adventure for my kiddos, taking taste-risks if you will.  Not only was it an easy on-the-go meal, but we had a blast sharing food together and making memories!



For making your own Texan Charcuterie Board, here's the ingredients I used:
 (most are local to Texas...and I linked where to find them)

  • Texas shaped board (optionally obviously, but hey I'm sucker for a theme)
  • Ozarka Spring Water - easy, on-the-go flip lids and Ozarka water is our favorite because of it's unique Texas fresh taste, coming from 3 natural springs (Ozarka direct)
  • Paqui Tortilla Chips - Natural ingredients, unbleached/untreated flour, YUMMY
  • Any type of bread - tear in pieces
  • Home-grown cherry tomatoes - my tomatoes wouldn't grow this year, but my mom has tons
  • Summer sausage - Trader Joe's turkey sausage is pretty darn good, and dare I say, on the healthy side?
  • Diced avocado with The Spice Kings seasoning - gives a nice little smoky flavor, organic and locally grown
  • Snow's BBQ Sauce - for dipping, use on any meats, Texas Monthly's "best in TX"
  • Yellowbird Habanero Sauce - drizzled over summer sausage, made in ATX, love how natural this sauce is ingredient-wise
  • Cowboy Caviar - another Texas fave I eat on everything
  • Black olives - double yum
  • Crackers - build your flavor combos on crackers or the bread
  • Prosciutto - the perfect meat base for all the delish condiments
  • Jelly Queens jam - yummy, unexpected taste, nice compliment to the honey
  • Local honey- HEB brand, a must for any charcuterie board
  • Sweet & Spicy mustard seeds from Taste Elevated - this can go on ANYTHING, and totally addicting as a condiment
  • Cookwell & Co. Queso - for dipping, great blend of authentic tastes with a bit of a kick


What do YOU love about where you live?

*Sharing our family adventures is what I love, which is why I've partnered with Ozarka Brand Natural Spring Water on their initiative across Texas telling why I love where I live.  All opinions and views are my own.  




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4th of July Sales Roundup

There are some really great Independence Day Sales this weekend!  I've rounded up some of my favorites for your 4th of July shopping pleasure.  Hope all you have a fabulous holiday weekend!!!!  



Anthropologie // Extra 30% Off all Sale Items // CODE: EVENBETTER

Banana Republic // Extra 50% off sale
J. Crew // 40% off summer styles + 40% -60% off sale // CODE: COOLSTYLES
Kate Spade // Up to 50% off plus + extra 30% off all sale // CODE: SUNSHINE
LOFT // 50% Off Everything + Free Shipping // CODE: JULY4TH
Modcloth // Extra 20% off Sale Items // CODE: MORE4U
Old Navy // 25% Off Online Purchase // CODE: ENJOY








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Birthday Wish List | 2016

It's almost that time of year again...halfway across the year from Christmas.  JULY.  My birthday month!

While I have a short list of things I'll ask for my birthday (mostly from my husband), here's my actual  full wish-list (like a shooting for the stars wish list) I'm sharing with you today.  I usually keep a "secret" Pinterest board with things I'm either saving up for or have on my wish-list...I also keep an Amazon wish list.  If you also do something similar, it's good to let those sit for a while to make sure you do actually want to pull the trigger on them, rather than just an impulse buy.  Does anyone else do this?  Writing it out makes me feel reeeeaaaaaaalllly materialistic.  But hey, birthdays only come once a year, right?

So without further ado...My 2016 Birthday Wishlist!

^^^ Aren't these just fabulous!?!  You probably have seen them on Instagram with all their witty posts.  Make sure to check out Letterfolk! ^^^

^^^ Loving this bar necklace from Handstamped Gold ^^^

^^^ I have some knock-off Birks I got from Target last year that I really liked...but quality doesn't last that long with those.  AND, I'm needing some better support.  So Birkenstocks it is. ^^^


^^^ If you follow my Instagram account, I often mention how great I am about killing plants.  BUT, I've turned over a new leaf. (pun intended)  I've managed to keep a succulent, a fiddle leaf fig, and a plumeria alive for over a month, so I'm thinking I might have the hang of it...maybe. Pressing my luck, I'm wanting to get a snake plant for the house too! ^^^
^^^ Too many times lately, I've wished I had a waterproof camera, namely a Go Pro.  We've been in the water LOTS this summer so far, and I hate to risk my own camera or phone to get the good shots...plus video! ^^^


^^^ And again on the outdoor activities, this HydroFlask I've had my eye on for a while.  I've heard they're the bomb dot com on keeping drink COLD for the longest time! ^^^













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