Life Lately – July 26, 2017

Alameda County FairI hate to break it to you, but we’re about halfway through summer. 

Half. Way. 

For those of you who are counting the exact days, no, it’s not the exact midpoint between the first day of summer (June 21st) and the first day of fall (September 22nd). But if you’re talking school year summers, which vary widely around the country and around the world, we’re halfway through ours! 

Summer has been a whirlwind of activity, which is why it’s been tough to keep up with posting. I’ve been constantly busy with day to day life and my calendar has been booked every weekend. On Sunday, I had a day with no plans, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had actually forgotten how I spend Sundays relaxing because I hadn’t done it months.

I want to share with you some of the things that have been going on in my life lately and tell you about the fun stuff that I’ve been doing. 

Alameda County Fair. My family and I actually have a dispute on whether I’ve been to the county fair before. My father swears that he’s taken me to the fair himself, along with my brother. On the other hand, I don’t think I had been to the fair at all! Until I went with my friend at the end of June.

She was the perfect guide, leading me around the fairgrounds and showing me all the different exhibits and shows. She even knew which food stands served which food and which alcohol stands served which drinks. I ended up getting a mac and cheese hot dog, topped with crushed flaming hot cheetos while she got a mound of french fries topped with mac and cheese (which she so kindly shared). 

Mac and Cheese Hot Dog

It was a fun experience and it was nice to do something different on a Friday night! There will always be restaurants, bars, and Netflix nights in, but the county fair is only in town for a couple weeks. 

Beach Trip. The weekend after the 4th of July, my boyfriend and I went to the beach for the weekend. We got a nice AirBnB in a small town south of Santa Cruz and had a relaxing weekend there just hanging out. We caught up on Game of Thrones, did some light reading, and walked down to the beach with no set schedule. 

It was gloomy at the beach so I didn’t take many photos, but it was still pretty

Until this beach trip, I took “staycations” for granted, thinking they weren’t exactly a waste of money but almost. Maybe we just got lucky with our AirBnB, or maybe it’s just because we were close to the beach, but I actually came back from a weekend away feeling refreshed and calm. 

Twin Peaks. I dedicated over 30 hours of Netflix time (over a period of ~3 months) to watching Twin Peaks, a TV series that ran from 1990-1991 by David Lynch. It’s difficult to categorize the show, as it’s something of a murder mystery, sci-fi show, and soap opera combined into one show, but it’s thoroughly entertaining and has a cult following. The show had only 2 seasons up until May 2017 (yeah, this past May), where a third season was released on Showtime. If you’re looking for a new show, are a fan of Stranger Things, and can get past some of the silly early 90s special effects that happened on television at the time, give Twin Peaks a chance! 

The Book of Mormon. I’m super late to the game here, but we finally saw The Book of Mormon. It was touring in San Jose so we decided to go, because we remembered how everyone was raving about the show…6 years ago. We really didn’t know what exactly the show was about. We also didn’t really research it either, because we wanted it to be a surprise. It wasn’t until when we got our programs that we realized that the writers of the musical were the same writers of South Park. Then we started to get an idea of what we were in for. Was it out of the ordinary for a musical? Most definitely. Would I see it again? Probably not. When I was younger, I definitely liked the South Park type of humor, but as I’ve grown older, I feel like I’ve outgrown a lot of it. 

Alameda County Fair
Another photo from the fair I really liked

I can’t believe I’ve only shared four things with you all. There are so many other things I’ve done this summer too, and so much more to come. I can’t wait to share new happenings in my next Life Lately post!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks and What to Skip

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2017 - What to Get and What to SkipEvery year for the past 6 years or so, I’ve had a ritual of circling items I want to purchase in the Nordstrom Anniversary sale paper catalog. It’s usually mailed out mid-June to cardholders and fashion-forward men and women as well as bargain lovers know the catalog is a sign of what’s to come–Christmas in July. 

To say I love the anniversary sale is a bit of an understatement. There have been years where I’ve woken up at midnight just to be sure I got my hands on exactly what I wanted. There have been years where I’ve taken an early lunch break to head to the mall to peruse the early access zones in every department. There have been years I’ve stopped myself from buying any clothing for months in preparation of the sale. I practically factor it into my yearly budget. 

There’s a rush I get when I get my hands on something I really really want. And a rush I get when I get something that’s later sold out. Like my taste has been justified by demand or something. Okay now I sound like I need help, but I am being brutally honest with you. 

Now, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Anniversary sale before. But maybe you don’t know much about it: It’s a sale that’s different from all other sales in that it’s fall and winter fashion that’s on sale. Not spring stuff or random fashion, but the clothes you’re going to need once the air gets brisk and chilly. Also, everything goes back to full price after the sale.

Well, not everything. You’re probably wondering why Nordstrom would host a sale like this. It’s because they will figure out which items they want to stock for fall and winter based on demand for the items you purchase now. Those Tory Burch boots you like so much that sold out in minutes? They’ll be back in the fall. The Nikes with the weird pattern that still has every size left in stock? They probably won’t be bringing those back. 

Smart move, Nordstrom. 

And it’s a smart move for people like us if we know how to shop the sale. 

First of all, you’re going to need a Nordstrom card. I’ve had mine for years. I actually have a Nordstrom Visa Signature, so I can use that everywhere and earn points which turn into Nordstrom Notes. 

Some things to know about the sale:

  • Early access starts on Thursday, July 13th and ends July 20th. Early means you can shop the best sale picks before everyone else. 
  • You must have a Nordstrom card to have early access. Online, you will have to confirm your card before you can even see the items. 
  • Everyone can shop the sale starting Friday July 21st

So there you have it. Once you see the catalog, it is pretty tough to resist adding stuff to your cart and purchasing (shipping is free, btw). 

Now, onto my favorite picks. I’m including items I have purchased and items that I haven’t. I’ll let you know which ones I have bought and which I haven’t. 

What to get:

Women's Trouve Wrap Blouse
Women’s Trouve Wrap Blouse

Women’s Trouve Wrap Blouse – $45.90. $69 after sale. (25% off)  This blouse has a really flattering silhouette and comes in a blush pink, navy, and pattern. I love love love the blush pink color. 

Chelsea28 Bell Sleeve Blouse
Chelsea28 Bell Sleeve Blouse

Women’s Chelsea28 Bell Sleeve Poplin Top – $58.90. $89 after sale (33% off).  I love the bell sleeve look, and it’s a trend that has been up and coming for a while now. Many style and fashion bloggers have wear bell sleeves in their style shoots. There’s no reason why you can’t turn up to work or a nice dinner in this bell sleeve top. The blue one is sitting in my closet right now :)

Women's Hinge Ruffle Blouse
Women’s Hinge Ruffle Blouse

Women’s Hinge Ruffle Blouse – $49.90. $79 after sale. (37% off).  I have to say, I’m a huge fan of this pattern and style, which is why I purchased this blouse. It’s simple and casual yet put together. It also comes in other colors like black if that’s more your thing. 

Zella Live In High Waist Leggings
Zella Live In High Waist Leggings

 

Zella Live In High Waist Leggings – $35.90. $54 after sale. (33% off) – Available in classic black or fall-inspired burgundy, Zella leggings are a staple at Nordstrom. Well-priced and good-quality, you’ll feel a lot less guilty about buying 3 pairs of Zella leggings for the price of one pair of Lululemon leggings. I personally have the burgundy pair. 
 
adidas Originals Trefoil Crewneck Sweatshirt
adidas Originals Trefoil Crewneck Sweatshirt
 
Women’s Adidas Originals Trefoil Crewneck Sweatshirt – $39.90. $55.00 after sale. (20% off) – Athleisure lives on with this comfortable but stylish heather grey crewneck sweatshirt. If you’re into brand names or maybe giving your weekend wardrobe a little change, you might be a big fan of this sweatshirt. Cozy, comfy, and goes with almost everything. I love being cozy, which is why I bought this sweatshirt! They’ll go great with the adidas leggings I purchased last year. 
 
La Mer Mini Miracle Set
La Mer Mini Miracle Set
 
Mini Miracles Set – La Mer – $85. $140 value. This is a great way to try out one of the most raved about and pricy skincare items out there. While it’s a mini set, it’s enough to see if you’re serious about splurging on a full size set.  This is definitely a wish list item for me. 
 

 

'Resolve Plus' Waterproof Jacket THE NORTH FACE
The North Face ‘Resolve Plus’ Waterproof Jacket

The North Face ‘Resolve Plus’ Waterproof Jacket – $69.90. $99 after sale. (30% off) – I am a huge fan of North Face jackets and they’re pretty much all I wear when the weather isn’t that great. What I love about this jacket is that the hood tucks away so it doesn’t have to be showing all the time. This is great if you have long hair and you don’t want to have the hood out all the time messing with your style. 

Benita Off the Shoulder Dress CUPCAKES AND CASHMERE
Cupcakes and Cashmere Benita Off the Shoulder Dress

Cupcakes and Cashmere Benita Off the Shoulder Dress – $79.90. $120 after sale. (33% off) – If you didn’t know, Emily Schuman of Cupcakes & Cashmere has a clothing line at Nordstrom. Known for her pretty LA fashion and lovely lifestyle posts, you can channel Emily’s style with this dress.  

Pleione Double Ruffle Sleeve Blouse
Pleione Double Ruffle Sleeve Blouse

Pleione Double Ruffle Sleeve Blouse – $39.90. $59 after sale. (33% off) – Not everyone is a fan of ruffles and I totally get that. To each his own. What I like about this top is that the ruffles are done really well. They aren’t frumpy and they still have some structure. If you do like ruffles but still want to have a clean cut look, this blouse might need a new home in your wardrobe. It also comes in red and white. 

Paige Hoxton High Waist Ankle Skinny Jeans
Paige Hoxton High Waist Ankle Skinny Jeans

Paige Hoxton High Waist Ankle Skinny Jeans – 99.90. 189.90 after sale. (47% off) – This is probably one of the biggest steals of the sale. Designer jeans for almost half price. If you’re like me and aren’t totally ready to let go of skinny jeans, or maybe you like high waist skinny jeans, you might like this pair. 

Halogen Button Back Ruffle Hem Dress
Halogen Button Back Ruffle Hem Dress
 
Halogen Button Back Ruffle Hem Dress – 65.90. $99 after sale. (35% off) – I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s just something I love about this dress. Maybe it’s the colors…or the pattern…or the ruffle hem. Either way, it’s a very nice dress for fall and it looks like the kind of dress only Nordstrom is carrying at the moment. 

What to Skip:

Most of the home goodies – Yes, decorating your home is really fun and finding new items can be really amazing and small changes can make big differences and and and I can go on and on! The thing is, nothing really stands out as something you can only get at Nordstrom. That, in combination with the prices, leaves me personally wanting more out of the home sale. You’re absolutely welcome to take a peek though–I’ve left you the link. 
 
I think you’ll find home items you like better if you go to your local Nordstrom store. It’s easier to browse through the trinkets and notebooks they have in store than online because it can get tedious online. 
 
FOREO LUNA play Facial Cleansing Brush – There are great reviews on this cleaning brush and I have personally seen a lot of people rave about it online. But it’s only a $4 discount. If you want an upgraded version of this brush that’s actually on sale, you might want to take a look at this:
 
FOREO Luna Mini Cleansing Brush
FOREO Luna Mini Cleansing Brush
LUNA mini Compact Facial Cleansing Device – $66 on sale, $99 after sale. 

bkr Spiked Naked & Tutu 16-Ounce Glass Water Bottle Duo – $50 – It’s a $75 dollar value, and I’ll give you that these bottles are cute. But you really don’t need to spend $50 on two glass water bottles that only hold 2 cups of water each, sorry. I personally have a bkr bottle and I think they’re really pretty, but it was part of a subscription box where I definitely did not spend remotely close to full price on the bottle. I think a better choice would be this one if you really want a fancy water bottle:

Palm Beach Stainless Steel Water Bottle S'WELL
S’well Palm Beach Stainless Steel Water Bottle
 
S’well Palm Beach Stainless Steel Water Bottle – $22.50. $35 after sale.  – The stainless steel will keep your drink cool, plus it’s a cute pattern. They also come in more sizes if you want a larger or smaller bottle. 
 
There’s so much more I could include, but it would take me forever to put the rest of my favorites on here. Go ahead and browse the catalog and see if you find items you like! 
 
Do we have any of the same favorites? What are some of the items you’re looking forward to buying at the sale? 
 
-S
 
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. 

How To Take Your Happy Hour To The Next Level

 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Riondo Prosecco. All opinions are 100% mine.

How to Upgrade Your Happy Hour Hey friend, how are you? How are you enjoying your summer? Are you spending time outside enjoying the sunshine and warm weather? Or maybe staying in and binging on Netflix? Both are good ways to spend your days, no judgement here. 

I’m on a mission this summer to go beyond doing the usual and take everything to the next level. More hanging out with friends, more vacations/trips, more adventures, more family time–basically more summer fun. Life is short, time passes quickly, and I want to enjoy my youth. 

Surprisingly, it’s not very hard to take your summer fun to the next level. I always thought I had to plan so far ahead to make sure all these tiny details are in order, but that actually isn’t the case. Small changes here and there make all the difference.  How to Upgrade Your Happy HourHow to Upgrade Your Happy Hour Instead of drinking my usual beer, wine, or cocktail this summer, I’ve been enjoying more sparkling wines like Prosecco. Not everyone knows what Prosecco is exactly, so let me explain real quick: Prosecco is a white sparkling wine from Italy. Like Champagne, the name Prosecco refers to a specific region and grape. Prosecco comes from glera grapes grown in the north-east Veneto region of Italy. Riondo Prosecco is meant to be enjoyed anytime and fruity, with a slight hint of sweetness, making it perfect to have with summer fruit. Unlike Champagne, which is generally reserved for special occasions and celebrations, Riondo Prosecco is meant to be enjoyed anytime and remember, I’m taking things to the next level.So I’ve been enjoying it at dinner, while watching TV, or during happy hours, and more.  How to Upgrade Your Happy Hour I’ve been trying out different brands of Prosecco this summer and I must say, I’m partial to Riondo Prosecco. Some Proseccos can be a little too strong for my taste, but Riondo is perfectly balanced. It’s one that I can see myself buying over and over again, especially since it’s well-priced. 

Riondo is also a great choice for backyard BBQs, patio get-togethers with friends, brunch, and more because of its versatility.

Though it is traditionally served on its own or in Bellinis,  Riondo Prosecco pairs very well with juices, garnishes, and other spirits. Check out some Riondo Prosecco Cocktails for some excellent inspiration! I’ve even done Prosecco floats and they’re delicious.  How to Upgrade Your Happy Hour My favorite way to drink Prosecco is outside in the afternoon for happy hour. Just popping a bottle isn’t enough though. There are so many ways to make your happy hour a little more festive and “up” the feel.  

Ways to upgrade your happy hour:

  • Switch it up from beer and wine and try something you never usually drink. 
  • Location location location. Enjoy your drink(s) on your patio, balcony, or in your backyard. If you don’t have access to a space like that, maybe head to a park with a beautiful view. 
  • Invite friends! Some people refuse to drink alone, while others prefer to have their drink of choice without the company of others. I personally think it’s nice to have friends around when indulging in libations. Have a catch-up session with a friend or spend some quality time with a special someone. 
  • If you have a few people joining you, come up with 2-3 drink recipes and leave out recipe cards for your happy hour guests to serve themselves, sort of like a no-host bar. 
  • Set out snacks. Summer fruit, cheese, and crackers are a great place to start. 
  • Add some decorations. A vase with fresh blooms or a relaxing candle will do the job, but you can always go above and beyond and add more!
  • Throw on a good Spotify playlist on a portable speaker. Maybe play something you don’t usually play? Try a playlist like this one.
  • Put your phone away for the moment and grab a book or magazine to read, or simply enjoy your surroundings if your happy hour is a little casual and it’s pretty much just you around!

Is there anything special you would like to add to the list? I would love to know what you would do to upgrade your happy hour and take it to the next level. 

-S

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