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ABSTRACT

I last wore this graffiti maxi dress in Hawaii. Truth be told, I have problem with buying too many dresses, and sadly they never get enough wear. However, this has been one of my best impulse buys to date.

This weekend we’re heading out for a couple trips and while the destinations aren’t as tropical as this one, I’m reminded of the many reasons we love to travel, and most importantly the many friends we’ve been able to make long the way. As you know, we’ve moved around a lot, and we are so lucky to have friends all over the world. In fact, it seems that wherever we travel, there’s always the chance to reconnect, and we love this part of our trips!

I always say the best way to organize a trip is as follows…

  1. Explore, Get Messy, Adventure

  2. Visit Friends, Eat Well, Shop, Get Local

  3. Recover, Unwind, & Relax before heading back home

I’d say 90% of our trips follow this recipe whether we travel alone or with friends. So next you get away for a trip, try it out, and let me know what you think! As for this dress, unfortunately it’s old and no longer available, but I’ve linked my favorite similar styles below.

As always, be sure to follow in stories! These next two destinations will include lots of friends and lots of outdoors– turns out you can take a girl out of Alaska, but you can’t take Alaska out of the girl ;)


Anniversary Sale is Here + What's Actually in my Shopping Cart/Closet

Avec Les Filles Shearling Moto Jacket

Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale is officially open to the public through August 5th! For my full lineup of item's worth purchasing, head here. As for today, I'm sharing what's actually in my shopping cart/closet, style, fit, and materials. 

Don't forget the shop tab in my menu bar as I'll be updating this throughout the sale, and for those who are already seeing sold out items/sizes, keep in mind there will be restocking throughout the sale, so check back regularly.

And now, the item's I'm actually buying/own (to shop, simply click product image)...

 

Faux Shearling Biker Jacket

I actually purchased this coat last year full price & wore it all winter/early spring– LOVE! Because of it's naturally oversized design, I'd order TTS or size down. Personally, I ordered TTS to be able to zip during pregnancy, and will still be able to wear it this year oversized as intended, though I could probably go down to an XS. Honestly, one of my best purchases of 2017– it's timeless, it's warm, it's got attitude, and I'm so happy to see this label bring it back with zero updates (it's that good)! *Photographed above post pregnancy*

 

Coco a Go Go

If you read my Winter Skincare post, you'll see I use coconut oil for everything, and recommend Kopari products repeatedly! Personally, I have a bit of eczema, and during pregnancy my skin got so dry and sensitive that I had to change my entire routine– simple natural products were the only thing that worked. Kopari cofounder is an integrative health and nutrition expert, so naturally, she'd know what's up. This starter kit is the perfect way to test out a few of her products at a steal and therefore an easy add-on item for Anniversary Sale!

 

Surplice Wrap Sweater

In my previous Anniversary Sale post, I mentioned that my shopping cart looked a little different this year. Truth is, while I love my dress up clothes, it doesn't get worn often enough. this year, as a new mom, I'm thinking more practically about my wardrobe– especially as a nursing mom! For the nursing mamas out there wrap sweaters are a lifesaver, and frankly the good ones are hard to find (trust me, I've ordered and returned plenty), so I would definitely take advantage of this opportunity! Personally I'm using this sale to stock up, ordering this one in Black, true to size. 

 

Faux Leather Leggings

You can't shop anniversary sale and not get a pair of leather leggings! Like I said, Anniversary sale is an opportunity to invest in products you'll need later, NOW (while on sale). I'm picky about my leather leggings, but when I find a pair I love, I wear them out! Seriously, these are a staple in my fall/winter wardrobe, they're so easy to style and more often than not, they add a sophisticated flare to an otherwise plain ensemble. Trust me, you need these, and they'll likely sell out, so add to cart fast. 

 

Wubby Fleece Pullover

Another one that will sell out fast is this Wubby Fleece Pullover. This was one of the hottest items last season and for good reason– just look at it! This is a pinterest-worthy, snuggle-up anywhere favorite & I can't wait to pair it with jeans, leggings, pajamas, or any excuse to feel constantly hugged :) This one runs large, but personally, I like a looser fit in most tops, so I'm ordering the Grey, in a size Small. 

 

Chenille Robe

In similar cozy style, this Giraffe Chenille Robe has already sold out multiple times, but as I said, item's are likely to restock throughout the sale, so keep checking back. This one comes in sizes 1, 2, & 3  – consider it the new S M, L. 

 

Over the Knee Stretch Boot

I walk almost everywhere I go in the city, so I'm far too practical when it comes to shoes. I also have a narrow calf, so finding an OTK boot that fits well is near impossible. Haven't gotten these yet, but have high hopes based on reviews and materials used. Also, love the pointed toe and minimal heel– perfect for everyday wear. Already dreaming of the many ways to style these this fall! 

 

Lace up Ankle Bootie

So exited about this one! I've been eying a pair of lace up heeled booties & Kork-Ease makes such comfortable shoes that I know I'll be able to wear these anywhere and everywhere! Shoes really aren't worth much to me if I can't wear them while walking around the city, so when I find a pair that are both stylish and comfortable, I jump on it! Run TTS. 

 

Rib Wrap Sweater 

Like I said, stocking up on wrap sweaters this year! This one is a bit heavier weight that the first, but necessary all the same– especially once winter hits! Soft and sexy, this one will likely be worn a lot around the holidays. Runs TTS. 

 

 

Long Knit Duster

I love a great duster sweater, see similar one here! My only warning with this one is that it may be too long on some. For reference I'm 5'8" and this hits right around the knee. One Size Only. 

 

Baker Boy Cap

Really need to photograph this one for you! I'm a sucker for hats, I have way too many, but one of my favorites for fall is this "Baker Boy" (I call it "newsboy") style. You don't need as many as me, but if you're up for trying something new on those bad hair days, this is a good opportunity to try a trendy piece at a discount. Note: if you're trying this style for the first time, stick to black. 

 

Square Sunglasses

Unfortunately, I need prescription sunglasses, hence why you only ever see me wearing a handful of pairs on repeat. That being said, these Marc Jacob's are extremely similar to one of my go-to sunglasses! A combination of square and cat-eye, they're a little dramatic, but nothing that will overwhelm, & they're highly versatile– I could pair these with almost anything! 

 

SPANX Faux Leather Leggings

Guys, I'm so excited these are on sale! These are probably the most comfortable leather leggings out there & rarely get marked down! Honestly, if you've never tried leather leggings, I'd say start here. When ordering, keep in mind these are SPANX & have a control top (medium support), so they will feel snug, but this is also what makes them so flattering & they're super stretchy! I'd still say order TTS. 

 

Wrap Blouse

This is one that I overlooked online, but fell in love with in stores– the gathering on the sides is tailored beautifully for a super flattering draped design! Also- wrap blouse! #momlife
Order TTS. 

 

 

Topaz Flat

I just got a pair of these flats and they're a little out of my comfort zone (I call them my mom shoes), but they're so soft and comfortable! My first true pair of loafers (and I think the pointy toe makes all the difference), these are easy to style– I've already been pairing these with cropped denim, leggings, and sweaters. Run TTS, and obviously I recommend ordering them in black.

 

Moto Faux Leather Jacket with Removable Hood

Again, I purchased this last year, and have worn it a million times over! The removable hood, makes this highly versatile for any wardrobe. Wear it casually over athleisure with hood, or remove the hood and add an edgy flare to that LBD. Updates from my version are the rose gold detail & black hood (mine has silver detail & a grey hood). All in all, an easy addition you'll get to wear over & over. Runs TTS. 

 

All Black Rain Parka

This year, a new one for me is this all black rain coat & guys it's even better in person! This is one of those pieces that I overlooked online, but I couldn't do without in stores! If you're looking for a rain coat, this is a fun twist on the classic yellow rubber jacket. Heads up, it runs a little large, so I chose an XS. 

 

High Waist Raw Hem Skinnies

Typically, Anniversary Sale is my chance to stock up on good denim. Rarely do you find quality jeans discounted to this level. However, after not getting to wear much of my denim last year, I'm focused on fitting back into what I already own. That being said, I still need these raw edge skinnies, and the high waist is a major plus for new moms! 

 

Superwoman Tee

Speaking of new moms, every mom needs this Superwoman Tee by Rebecca Minkoff! Seriously, don't overthink it– you deserve it! End of story. 

 

(H)AIR Styling Kit

Moms you'll also appreciate this Summer Love's Set by Bumble & Bumble. If you haven't used their products before, this is a great place to start. I rarely blow dry my hair, and this Don't Blow it (H)Air Styler + Surf Spray combo can't be beat! Paraben & Cruelty Free.

 

Glowing Kit

Also in Beauty, this Glow set by RMS Beauty. You may have seen my previous post on why clean beauty matters. It can be hard to find clean beauty products that perform well, but RMS stands up to the challenge. I've been using the highlighter in this trio for a few months now, and couldn't be happier! 

 

NUFACE Toning Kit

If you're looking for a facelift, NUFACE doesn't dissapoint! I plan on doing a full post on this later as I've been using it for a couple years, but this discount is unreal! I originally purchased this from Nordstrom at regular price at the advice of, not the saleswoman, but her client who had undergone multiple plastic surgeries, urging me to start NUFACE now and avoid going under the knife. Point taken! 

 

Barbour Waxed Cotton Utility Jacket

Guys, this is one I've wanted for a long time! I'm a huge Barbour fan, see here & here. This is definitely an investment piece, but it's a timeless & utilitarian design perfect for fall! I'll be honest, I sold a previous Barbour to make room for this one– too many jackets... #guilty. Runs a bit small–European sizing. I chose the Fern in a 6US/10UK. 

 

Open Front Cardigan #1

Coudn't say no to this Rugby style cardigan in Ivory-Black. I can already picture it with leggings, skinny jeans, my new loafers (above), and sneaks! This will be a go-to piece, no question! Again, runs TTS, but may be long on some (hits right below the knee for me - 5'8"). Luckily, comes in Petite!

 

Classic Every(WEAR) Cardigan

This Open Front Pocket Cardigan by Halogen is an Anniversary Sale classic– a version of this will always be release this time of year, and with good reason– probably one of the most versatile cardigans out there, it's a closet staple! I have it in black and wear it with everything from workwear to athleisure. Because it's so lightweight, this is also perfect to carry with you to dinner or date night. Runs TTS in Regular & Petite and comes in a variety of colors. 

 

Updated Track Pant

I don't have a lot of frivolous items in my cart this year, but these Side Nap Track Pants I had to try. I can't help, but think of Victoria Beckham rocking these with some heels at Heathrow, am I right?! Because these are already slouchy & I'm aiming for a more polished look, I ordered one size down. 

 

White Leggings

Last, but not least, I love a good pair of white leggings, and the high waist on these is a plus! I think a lot of women are afraid of white leggings, I know I was, but I've found them surprisingly easy to keep stain free. Bottom line, you can't top the polished appeal of this gym style! 

 


 

Like I said, for me Anniversary Sale has always been an opportunity to stock up on trend & investment pieces while they're on promo. Not a ton of basics here, but if you head to the Shop, I've linked some of my favorite basics for you there. What's one of your favorite items from this year's Anniversary sale? Comment below or head over to Insta and let me know!

 

 

FETCH


We got to bring these pups home with us for the holidays, and a few of you reached out with questions about traveling with pets. Honest truth: it's not bad, but two vs. one is a game changer. A few words of advice...

  • Research Airlines– We love Alaska Airline, so when traveling with the pups, we are exclusive to Alaska. The pet fee is reasonable, and the service is exceptional– in fact, once you're seated, a flight attendant will bring you a note with your pet's name confirming they're safely on board too. It's all in the details. 
  • Map Your Route– While flights to Alaska are long, when traveling with the pups, we always try to keep our total travel time to a minimum. When possible stick to direct flights.
  • Plan Ahead– You'll need a health certificate, so make sure to schedule a vet visit a day or two ahead of travel. Depending on your vet, this certificates should be valid for 10-30days. Depending on your pet and travel destination, your vet may recommend additional vaccines/medication. 
  • Burn Energy– Before heading to the airport, (when possible) play catch or go for a run. 
  • Supply Comfort– We do our best to make the pups kennels comfortable. If all goes well, hopefully they sleep the whole flight, but regardless we make sure they each have a sleeping pad and favorite toy for comfort. 
  • Finally, brace yourself for the heartache... – While our pups have traveled a lot, I've never met a dog who actually liked flying. Long story short, they get super excited when they see our suitcases and realize they're coming with us. The excitement continues when we reach the airport and they have a hundred new faces to greet! If they've gotten to burn some energy prior to arriving at the airport, check-in runs pretty smoothly. In general, all is good and well, until the kennel door opens and they realize they'll be separated from us. This is the hardest part and always tears me up a little, but in our experience, they're so excited to arrive at our destination, that it makes the whole journey worthwhile! 

One last word of advice, don't make your pets fly for just a few days. We never bring our pups along for weekend getaways, thats when we hire a sitter. We only consider bringing them along, when travel arrangements extend beyond 7-10 days. In our experience, this gives them enough to to adapt to new surroundings and take a break before making the journey back. Bottom line, know your pet, consult your vet, and if possible start them early. Both of our dogs started flying when they were puppies, and they usually get 2-4 flights with us a year. 

Hope this helps all you fur momma's out there, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Also, don't forget to follow along in Instagram stories- Camp Grandma & Grandpa is their favorite!

 


SILVER LINING

'Tis the season for sequins and cozy knits alike. I purchased this skirt a few years ago, so I did my bets to link similar pieces below. I don't get to wear this look often, but I love the statement it makes in all white– would also look great with an oversized sweater, like this one

Bottom line, make it simple, but significant, and have fun this holiday season!

xoxo


BRONZE

I'll be honest, during this shoot, part of me was celebrating the holidays, but the other 90% was just excited for another day of non-maternity clothes! I don't know what I'll actually fit into once the holidays arrive, but if I could, you know it'd look something like this ;)

Style tip: this skirt is a lot of fun, but if you're intimidated by sequins, a bronzed/antiqued gold is much easier to dress up or down based on your preference ;)


December Dust

Happy December! If you're anything like me, you've been looking forward to this holiday season since you were forced to pack up the stockings back in January.

We were lucky enough to head home for Thanksgiving, and it's funny how the cold always surprises me. Don't be fooled by these photos, temperatures hovered between 0-10 degrees the whole time we were there, so coming back to a 50-60degree Chicago feels like Spring!

Also, Paul has this ridiculous rule that I can't start any Christmas related activities until after Nov. 24th (I don't know where he comes up with this nonsense). Needless to say, now that we're home, the holiday songs are streaming nonstop, and this weekend will be 100% Christmas themed! In the words of Buddy the Elf,  "I planned out our whole day: First, we'll make snow angels for two hours, and then we'll go ice skating, and then we'll eat a whole roll of Toll-House cookie dough as fast as we can, and then to finish, we'll snuggle." 

What are you most looking forward to this month?...

Still shopping for Christmas gifts? Highly recommend this cardigan (size down) and scarf, wore them almost every day we were in Alaska– so cozy & both under $50!