Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Thursday Moda #176: BLESSED!

I have been MIA and I can go on and on about the reasons why, but bottom line these reasons don't really matter! First things first, I got myself a new computer (finally). I just ordered a new Chromebook (HP) and I have only been using it for two hours tops. It is a little different than a regular lap-top with less buttons too so I need to get the hang of it but I think I will. So many things are different but again it will just take some time. My least favorite thing about it is that the caps lock don't exist and I think the google replacement for them makes it harder to type, especially if you are a fast typist like myself. I haven't commented as much as would have liked, or been able to link my posts due to my other computer freezing and I for sure have not posted much at all. On top of this, life has been so busy and just this week alone I have had to do something every evening after work that hasn't included blogging, Instagram or any other fun hobbies. But enough "complaining". I honestly have so much to be thankful for. I AM SO BLESSED!

Blessed in particular for this beautiful little girl right here, who turns 6 years and 6 months old this Friday on July 19th. Vivian is such a good, loving, happy, smiling, go-lucky child who absolutely loves drawing and painting and is so good at it, too. I am whole-heartedly and totally blessed that Viv is my daughter, my little princess, my ray of sunshine! She has such a big heart, makes friends with everyone, loves everyone in our family and tells everyone she loves them, even her extended family members. Bless her heart she is so sweet. I can see her continue to be her positive, happy self as she continues to grow and learn. But Vivian is also super sensitive and takes so many things personally like if she goes to a playground and kids don't want to play with her, she gets upset; this even happened exactly on the day of these photos, this past Sunday. 

I have been trying to spend some extra time with Vivian this Summer and going on mother-daughter dates together, even grandma/mama/granddaughter dates. Before we both know it this warm season filled with sunshine and warmth will end so soon and Vivian will go back to school and start first grade. Meanwhile she is enjoying Summer school, learning new things in there, doing fun things like art projects, dancing, learning music and singing, learning more fun computer games, spending a lot of fun time outdoors with activities, playing and staying super active. This morning I paid for her last month of school, because let's face it August is just days away. Vivian will go from Summer school straight to vacation because my mom, her and I are going for a few days to Lake Michigan and that ladies is another reason to be BLESSED! The blog can wait, big effin deal if I have only been able to do this very much part-time. SUMMER CANNOT WAIT, it will be over soon! VIVIAN CANNOT WAIT, kids grow like weeds (she will be bigger and arguing with me before I know it). Lets be blessed together in continuing to enjoy the long, hazy, hot days of Summer and spending as much time as possible with our lovely kids. After all - kids are our biggest blessings, I know mine is!

I will always treasure photos like these with my daughter and look at them with happy tears when Vivian is older, I especially love our selfies together. You cannot deny our strong bond in these pictures, and this sweet, real, unconditional love we have for one-another; this child loves her mama so much!

Last week you all loved how I dressed up my little navy dress for work and you loved the jewelry I chose and the fun red shoes - Thank You all! As I was looking through the links I noticed so many different outfits and lots of fun bright colors as well as pastels (mint, red, yellow, green and sky blue were all in the mix). A couple of these ladies did reviews of too - a new website where you can rent and try clothes on before you buy them, while another lady tried (once again) her favorite styling website - Stitch Fix - which she uses all the time. Check out these looks I loved! 2 of these ladies were even featured two weeks in a row, here on Thursday Moda. I am looking at you my dear friends: Jennie and Kellyann. 
Not one, not two, but three beautiful bloggers wore lovely outfits, each showcasing their style during a blogger meet-up they just did recently. Shelbee shared her 'Asheville Experience' from her point of view and it was an awesome post. I loved how these ladies all chose different red patterns to wear. One can never, ever go wrong with red! 
Kellyann welcomed everyone to 'The World of Fashom' and I loved reading her take on this lovely website. The fun little yellow mini dress and colorful kimono were my two favorite items she received.
Fonda shared the most delightful, bright blue pantsuit styled in '3 Chic Ways'. I honestly loved all of the different ways she styled this beautiful suit but I loved it with the pretty blouse in matching blue floral print.
I will always and forever be a fan of a wrap dress and I prefer them with flowers in the Summertime. Ruth also tried the styling service of 'Fashom' and my absolute favorite on her was this flirty little green wrap dress, pairing lovely with those fun white pumps and a little yellow handbag!
Amy is also a fan of yellow, while I always love yellow paired with white for the Summer - great outfit on her part. Amy herself continues to create awesome outfits using another styling service - 'Stitch Fix'.

I hope you all have a great rest of the week. I got a style post which I am working on for Friday, hopefully another post for Sunday and I am working on a special collaboration and review post for Monday next week, with Fashom, so stay tuned. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO JOINED THE THURSDAY MODA LINKUP LAST WEEK. The new linkup is Live below. =)

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Amazon Prime Day On-Trend Picks and More!

As we all know and as I mentioned in this post last week, the Nordstom Anniversary Sale is in full force now. It will go on until August 4th. And I don't plan on shopping it. Not this year. It is very overhyped I think and the "deals" are not all that great. But tomorrow is the Annual Prime Day which means the largest Amazon Sale of the year takes place on July 15th and July 16th 2019. It is a quick full two days of deals and time to stock up on things you may need or want, new electronics, home decor, a new coffee maker perhaps, or even Christmas Shopping, why not. To compete with Amazon three of the biggest retailers are having great sales this Monday and Tuesday too - Target, Wal-Mart and Best Buy - will ALL have lots of sales and deals on the same days as the Amazon Prime Sale.

When the #NSale previewed online and from seeing several influencers do their try-on hauls, I noticed that there were a lot of leopard and snakeskin items as these two animal-prints are a huge trend for the upcoming Fall and Winter season. But honestly when was Leopard not in style?! Another big trend was camouflage. I saw lots of tees, camisoles, booties, loafers, mules, jackets, sweatshirts and even leggings, dresses and skirts in camouflage, snakeskin-print and leopard from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and a lot of them are sold out, like the Steve Madden Studded Pointy Loafers or the Studded, Open-Side Studded Snakeskin Booties, the Leopard+Camouflage Light Sweatshirts, the Lace-Trimmed Camisoles (loved the Leopard one), the Gorgeous Leopard Midi Skirt or that Spaghetti-Strap Leopard Midi Dress - all sold out. But not to worry, because you can get similar items and dupes like the Nordstrom pieces on Target, Amazon or Wal-Mart. In the widget below I am including a lot of Nordstrom dupes and many cute pieces for your Fall Wardrobe in Leopard, Snakeskin and Camouflage. I will be shopping the Amazon Prime Sale a little as I need a few things for home, including a new lap-top. I might add a couple of Fall items too. What will you be shopping on Amazon Prime for?! Do you plan on shopping it?! Do you plan on shopping Wal-Mart or Target during their big sales to compete with Amazon Prime?! Let me know in the comment section.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Thursday Moda #175: Navy, Red and Silver Accessories.

For Summer Days, dresses, tops (and even coverups, kimonos, etc) that have some type of crochet, macrame, eyelet or embroidery definitely say Summer and are great items to wear wile the days are hot and the nights feel muggy. Ditto for breathable materials like 100% cotton, a light poplin cotton blend or better yet linen. I particularly like tops, pants and dresses that are a linen-blend, fully linen or have that layed-down, slept-in, wrinkly effect. First of all the materials are very cozy and airy for Summer. Plus these are good fabrics that help with the humidity, don't cling to you, don't make you hotter ether, and it's no big deal if they wrinkle easily since linen already looks a little wrinkled. Just like my Pretty Navy Dress today.

This Fabulous Navy Dress is in a very breezy linen blend, fully-lined. It keeps you cool. Since it has a modest neckline and short-sleeves, plus it fits right at the knee length-wise is the perfect dress for the office, for Summertime. Don't get me wrong though, you can wear it with crisp white sneakers and a baseball hat for a mom look or dress it up with high heels, a French bun and some bling-bling earrings for date night or a Summer wedding. Recently, for work, during the 4th of July week, I paired it with Bright Red Suede Laceup/Ghillie Flats and decided to go all out with the jewelry keeping it in the silver and blue family. Isn't that Crystal Collar Necklace Stunning?! I love the Pearl+Crystal Hoops too and my bracelets and rings compliment each other with all the stones and enamel. I also carried a Multi-Textured Silver+White Clutch. Do you own a Little Navy Dress?! I think it is as needed and as useful in your closet as a Little Black Dress. Especially if you are a working lady. A Little Navy Dress could be styled a million ways for work, and for ALL seasons. What do you think of the Patriotic 4th of July-Inspired Look I created today with my Navy Dress?! I apologize about the photos, they kept coming out blurry and the sun was in full effect that afternoon. 

Since last week the linkup fell on the 4th of July and I did a recap "Red, White + Blue" Outfit post, I didn't feature any outfits from the previous week. Therefore since both of the last linkups were light, I chose my top 4 favorite looks from the last two weeks, with a total of 8 favorite outfits. Since 4th of July was around the corner, of course a lot of these outfits were inspired after the colors of America. Look at those two gorgeous red dresses! We also saw stripes and stars in the mix. Several of the ladies last week linked more than one post. I also noticed some posts that featured 2-3 different outfits, including some of the beauties I have included below. I also love a good remix post and one of these stylish bloggers showed us different ways how to wear white jeans for the Summer, during the 4th of July. Check out the looks below. =)
My friend KellyAnn starts us off in her 'Red, White' and Blue with the cutest nude wedges. After all, besides the darling off-shoulder floral red dress, this post was all about the shoes - while dressing patriotic! Would wear this entire look in a heartbeat!
Gorgeous Emma always looks fab in bright colors! She actually linked this 'Sequin Face Top and Polka Dots' Outfit but I had previously pinned this stunning neon pink and periwinkle blue look. Both outfits after all feature unique, adorable, girly graphic tees and cropped pants. Emma does pumps and fun matchy bags for both - love that she has a signature Summer style.
Jennie is one of those beauties who can wear any and all variety of styles. She rocks this 'Oversized Shirt' creating the illusion of a shirtdress over cigarette pants. Tres Chic!
So glad sweet Carrie is back to blogging and showing off her cute style. She was for sure having a 'Red, White and Blue Day' in all the outfits she shared in this post where she styled her white skinny jeans 3 ways and kept those cute nude platform sandals the same.
Grand Laurie spent a 'Royal Ascot Ladies Day' looking sublimely sophisticated in layers of seafoam and silver chiffon. That watercolor maxi is both ethereal and regal!
Melissa is a fabulously-stylish mom who posted a '4th of July Look that Isn't Cheesy'. Paperbag, wide-leg trousers like hers are so stylish right now.
My stylista friend Kathrine knocked it out of the park in the most gorgeous, best-priced, red 'Summer Wrap Dress'. The color is vibrant while the material feels soft and breezy, plus the style shows off her curves.
Lizzie linked 3 posts last week and while I truly liked all of her girly, feminine, floral outfits, I loved the Spanish vibes in this tiered rose-print maxi dress with the matching rosette crossbody bag. That bag was inspired by 'Beauty and the Beast'!

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Why I Won't Be Shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.


Unless you live under a rock lol (that's supposed to be a joke so please take it as one, I am not trying to offend anyone), if you are a blogger or an Instagrammer, you know that from this Friday July 12th, starts the annual Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, otherwise known as the NSale (#nsale). What is unique about this sale is that in order to celebrate its anniversary each year, Nordstrom does a big sale every July where all the items/merchandise for sale are new pieces for the new season and the next season is Fall, so it is not a clear-the-season type of sale Honestly, you can find a lot of pieces for both Fall and Winter that will be discounted at about 30 to 45% OFF during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, which is actually open to card-holders that hold the "ambassador" or "icon" title as I am typing this and will be open for all card-holders this coming Friday and for ALL public next Friday.

But despite the lower prices and such a good sale, I don't plan on shopping the Nordstrom Sale this year, not at all. I won't even look at it. I will probably skip all the gazillion Insta Stories from every blogger and influencer and skip through all the links they will link to, for the items they are picking up. I will get to my reasons as to why I won't shop it. But first let me tell you: I like Nordstrom. For the most part, their prices are not in my budget but when they have a good sale, they have a good sale. Plus their return policy anAd customer service is unlike any other and all experiences I have had shopping with them both in store or shopping online, has been very good and a positive, enjoyable experience. 

But I will not shop the #NSale just like I didn't last year. First of all, IT IS STILL SUMMER. Who is thinking about long cardigans, thick sweaters, wool blankets and boots now?! I am certainly not! I haven't even gone to the beach this year and my Summer vacation is still 5+ weeks away. Technically, Summer isn't even one-third through. It is still Summer until September 21st. And I know the fashion world and all the stores, retailers and brands are always at least one season ahead. Thank you Joan Fabrics and Hobby Lobby for reminding me that Fall is around the corner! I see all the pumpkins, the Halloween decor and the velvet decorations everywhere already. But in real world, kids are still on their Summer breaks and most schools don't even start until after Labor Day. That is almost 2 full months away, guys! I am clearly not thinking about coats, sweaters, booties and boots now. I live my life one season at a time, in real time. I don't want to think of the cold weather. We get plenty of it here in Michigan for about 8 months! 

Another reason why I do not want to shop the #NSale is because I honestly don't think it's that great. It is such an over-hyped, super-talked-about sale. It is so commercialized, as in it we hear about it a lot! As a matter of fact, it is covered by every single blogger and honestly almost everyone covers it the same. Every blogger writes a post about what the #NSale is and how and when to shop it; then they do a Nordstrom gift card giveaway on Instagram about it; then they write another post with all their top picks put into a widget or a collage and what they think will sell out; then a lot of Insta stories with hauls of purchases mostly clothes and shoes from the sale. I have yet to see a blogger who covers it differently. Yes, this sale kind of feels like Christmas in July and items are discounted heavily but unlike what influencers try to tell us (to shop for your Fall+Winter wardrobe and think of Christmas presents), most of these items aren't special enough for any of us to shell out hundreds and thousands of dollars, now. As a matter of fact, I know from several people who shopped the NSale last year, that said that just a few weeks after the #NSale, Nordstrom put a lot of the same merchandise on regular sale or on clearance. This even upset a lot of shoppers, especially influencers. Now, if you need a good pair of jeans especially designer denim, this is the time for you to shop for a pair or two. Ditto for the expensive bras that rarely go on sale, like the Natori bras. Also, those infamous Spanx leggings that almost never go on sale and are about 100 bucks, are a great deal with the 40% OFF discount during this sale - an investment worth splurging on, in my opinion. But if you don't need to shop for designer denim, Spanx or a good bra, I would say skip this sale!! There will be plenty of time for you to add a few new pieces for Fall and there will be a lot of sales, everywhere. Right now you can even shop COMPLETELY-NEW, Designer Pieces for Fall+Winter at TJ for a good fraction of the price.

I won't be shopping the NSale because of money reasons too, if I am being 100% blunt! A] I Need Money. B] I need to save money (especially with Vivian's Summer school unpaid for August and with our vacation in mid August). C] I do NOT need anything (even-though I do not own a pair of Black Spanx Leggings). D] I don't have extra large amounts of cash laying around for me to use right now. E] I don't need to "save" on items for Fall and Winter while it is ONLY the middle of July. Also, my Christmas Shopping can totally wait. I don't buy any of my Christmas presents at Nordstrom anyway. Rarely. This over-talked about sale can wait!! I don't need any new sweaters, designer denim, bras or boots, even if we are talking leather and suede designer shoes. So what?! And I don't care if a certain item sells out. There will be so many brands, retailers and stores that have yet to reveal everything for the upcoming Fall season. You and I will fall in love with so many things. But we will re-fall in love with our 'old' pieces from last year too and look at the large amounts of clothes, shoes and bags we own - especially us style bloggers. I am just being honest! It is so hard to resist temptation. This sale is super tempting and I totally get it, especially for bloggers, influencers and shopaholics (trust me, I love to shop), but if I can do it, you can too!

I do not want to shop this sale, especially if I am pushed by an Influencer - which I get too because blogging is their full-time job and they make money through their shoppable links - because at least for the last three years I have had my Instagram, I honestly don't see anything that different or unique. The influencers I feel, all of them ALWAYS show the same 50-70 pieces including lots of cardigans especially long cardigans and oversized cardis, different sweaters, some denim, boots, booties, loafers, the same sneakers and a coat, a skirt or a dress here or there. Target, Loft, J.Crew, J.Crew Factory, Banana Republic and even Old Navy or H+M  have very similar items come Fall, and their sales are usually way better. For example you can always count on a good sale from Target, Loft or Old Navy. Plus, you can find so many great 'dupes' from Amazon at any time. Why would I pay 50 bucks for a cardigan that was originally 80 bucks, when I can find it for $30 or less at Target or Amazon just a few weeks later? A lot of the people who religiously shop this sale, say that it is time to stock up on basics such as a black, a grey, a white or a striped tee, or other pieces like jeans, sweaters and cardigans. Now if it's a basic like a t-shirt and you are replacing it each year, why spend the extra money at Nordstrom when you can find it elsewhere for less?! Target, Loft and J.Crew have a lot of well-made, good-quality T-Shirts that they offer every year, every season. You don't need to get them at Nordstrom. Even on sale, they will be overpriced.

I also don't plan on shopping the #NSale because I kind of learned my lesson from two years ago, where in my opinion I spent lots of money. I got two pairs of booties, two pairs of jeans, a few sweaters, a couple of trendy tops - I have yet to wear, a pack of Mac mini lipsticks, leggings - I have yet to wear again and two pairs of shoes for Vivian. Honestly, I regretted buying and never returning almost everything I got with the exception of both pairs of jeans and my perforated suede booties I have worn a ton and absolutely love. The 3 sweaters, the cardigan and the 2-3 tops I bought I could totally do without. And Vivian didn't need the shoes I purchased in a bigger size. The next year when I planned for her to wear them, I totally forgot about them. So, long story short, instead of "saving" money during the big Anniversary NSale, I lost money, and hundreds of it. I will look at it as a lesson learnt. As a very busy single mom, I don't have extra bucks laying around and I certainly don't have money to loose!

I am also not shopping the sale because I have a vacation ahead to pay for and I truly need a new lap-top (which is a need, not a want) and I plan on buying it next week during the Amazon Prime days (Monday the 15th and Tuesday the 16th of July). And the big Prime Day Sale that Amazon offers each year for about 48 hours is another 'reason' to encourage you not to shop the #NSale. There will be plenty of REAL good deals on Amazon Prime and you can get them delivered as fast as the next day. Plus Amazon's return policy and customer service are just as amazing as Nordstrom's. And if Amazon isn't enough reason to convince you, there are many stores and retailers such as HSN, QVC, Macy's, JC Penney's, Lord and Taylor, Kohl's and more that are doing fantastic sales all this month and many "Christmas in July" sales too.

I am honestly flabbergasted and sick seeing all of these bloggers (already) fill out entire bags and the entire car baggage with their Nordstrom purchases. This morning alone I saw 4 or 5 bloggers who had purchased at least 20-35 pieces of clothing, 7-10 pairs of shoes, plus bags, blankets, clothes for their kids, their husbands, things for their homes, etc. etc. In my head this translates into thousand of dollars! We are so consumed in this world of consumerism. All of us could live with a lot less! I am trying to do my part, one day at a time. I know some of these bloggers and influencers will keep all or the majority of these things they are buying, but I also know that a lot of them return more than half of them and they just do these shopping hauls and large try-on sessions so that their followers could buy through their links. And in my opinion that is not right. It it not right at all. It seems like cheating! I work with affiliate links myself (and I make very little money through them by the way) but I am showing links to items I am wearing or that I own so that you can find the same or similar things. I couldn't in my right clear conscience link things I would not buy or items I am buying just so that I can return them.

If you do shop the Nordstrom Sale, I would suggest that you give yourself a limit of 5 items. What are the 4 items your closet needs the most for Fall or Winter?! And what is the 1 item you have really previously wanted or want from the Nordstrom Sale but that you haven't pulled the plug yet?! The 4 pieces your closet needs, may be neutral booties, a classic coat, some well-fitted skinny jeans or a cashmere sweater. I would make sure those are all classic, versatile, timeless, well-made wardrobe pieces that are worth purchasing even if the original prices are high.  Now is a good time to get a good deal on them! For a 5th item, I would 'throw' something you want. It can be a trendy blouse, a new set of makeup, a fun, very in pair of shoes or sneakers, a new throw blanket or a fabulous going-out dress or jumpsuit. 

I, by no means judge anyone that shops the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Not at all. I simply won't shop it! But if you do, good for you! It is ok to think differently. Plus we all have different budgets, different priorities, etc. So, if you are like me and you think the same way I do, let's all save some money this July!! Let's live in the moment and not think of Fall or Winter just yet!! I know I may be in the minority about my thinking in regards to the Nordstrom Sale and I am fully aware that my opinions may be unpopular but I am being nothing but honest. The last thing I need is a new sweater, booties or such. On the other hand, I could use an extra weekend off, a few days of vacation and some quality time with people I love. I rather eat out a few times this Summer and try some new restaurants while I wear Clothes I Already Own and Love! Are you with me?! Or will you be shopping the #NSale?! I would love to know your take in all this so please leave me a comment, below.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Lots of Ruffles Times Two.

These outfit photos were taken the day Vivian (finally) got her ears pierced, which was exactly 5 weeks ago. I have been telling her to pierce her ears for the last two years now but she hates shots and being poked or pinched lol, but if you follow me on Instagram as I showed it through my Insta Stories, she did great and was very brave and when it was all said and done, she realized getting her ears pierced as as easy as 1, 2, 3. Claire's always does such a great job and little Viv got a couple of toys afterwards (the little toy she has in her hands, in some of her pics). I love her little gold earrings with the tiny but very sparkly pink crystals. She chose the earrings herself, of course.

As you can tell, we rocked the ruffles that day. We wore coordinating Flutter-Sleeve Dresses. Mine is by Loft and I love the little Dandelion Print on it. Since the colors are red (sort of like a burnt orange) white and blue, this dress would have been cute for the 4th of July, too. You can always count on Loft for lots of pretty floral prints and lots of ruffles and flutter sleeves in their dresses and cute girly tops. The Swing Style of this dress makes it girly, feminine, fun and very flattering. It can totally be dressed up, too I love the not-too-thick but sturdy soft cotton knit material too. It makes it cozy, breezy and breathable. This dress is from last year but I am sure Loft has similar ones currently. As a matter of fact, I have linked ALL of my most favorite dresses currently from Loft, directly below on the widget. I paired this dress with my Peep-Toe Flower-Perforated Nude Booties by Target, some Beautiful Sparkly Pave Studs, Oversized Sunglasses and a Multi-Stranded Blue+Gold Ribbon Bracelet. Vivian's own Adorable Dress has little swimmers in it and it is by Genuine Kids from Target. She wore more ruffles and some bows as she has White Ruffled Lace Socks, Shimmery Baby Pink Jelly Bow Sandals (from Wal Mart - they are so cute and comfortable, Viv loves them) and her New Orange/Pink/Yellow Knotted Bow Headband by Claire's purchased that day. Viv's dress is also very nautical and Americana. It would look great with a red bow headband and some red or striped sandals/sneakers. I loved how girly and fun my little girl looked. I will miss the days when she wears frilly dresses, lace socks and loves all of her bows and glittery things. They are only little for a short period of time, right?! Do you wear or love wearing ruffles?! What about flutter sleeves, how do you feel about them?

Rocking your brand-new earrings dear Vivian. They match your little baby pink shoes, perfectly, too!