The Loot

Oh friends!  Thank goodness it is Friday eve.  I decided to post on Thursday rather than Friday just in case you want to shop the big sale when it opens to everyone tomorrow.

Last week I shared with you that I did in fact place an order from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Well, my first order arrived on Tuesday night and I couldn’t wait to tear into it! Then Wednesday afternoon my 2nd and 3rd orders arrived. Now don’t get to thinking I placed large orders, in total I ordered 7 pieces! I snapped these selfies so I could show you how things fit.

Let’s get right into what I ordered and how I liked it.  I ordered 4 items in this first order.  The first thing I tried on because I was super excited about the message was this graphic tee   on sale for $20. Apparently it is sold out but I have a feeling it will be restocked. I really like this tee, not only the message but the way it fits too. The only drawback is that it’s white and I am afraid it will get stained. I am not sure if I’ll keep it but I am leaning that way since I could wear it to work on jeans days. It would be great under a jacket for a casual look too and right now I can wear it with shorts. For fit reference I am wearing a small and it fits well, not too clingy at all. I can’t stand thin, clingy tees that highlight my back fat! The verdict: I’m keeping it, my son says I need to wear it with another layer like a flannel or light jacket and I will once it gets cooler.

Up next, these Mya skinny jeans from Articles of Society. I am wearing them in all of the pictures btw. I have never tried this brand but based on the reviews I thought for the price $38 I’d give them a try. I love that they are a higher rise and they are stretchy. Hopefully they won’t stretch out as the day goes on. The wash is great as well, not too dark and not too light. They are long though, in fact they kind of bunch up at the ankles and really need to be cuffed. I got these in a 4 and they fit well, the reviews said to size down and I did. Normally I would have ordered a 6 so if you’re thinking of getting these I’d say size down. I have a feeling they will restock so if you’re interested in them keep checking because the price will go up after the sale.  The verdict: They are packaged up and being returned, as great as they are I have other jeans I like as well from Old Navy and my recent favorites I paid $10 for from WHBM.

My favorite thing in this order is this cold shoulder blouse by Lush. The blouse is $29.90 during the sale and $45 after. What can I say except it is perfection. The fabric is lightweight, it drapes beautifully and gives the appearance of a front tuck. It basically styles itself and would be fabulous with any bottom from jeans, to shorts, to a skirt, to slacks. This is definitely a keeper and if it was available in solids I would order more. I plan on wearing it immediately and when it cools off I think a scarf and jacket would look great with it.  I am wearing a medium for size reference. The verdict: Currently hanging in my closet and will wear this weekend!

The final item is this gorgeous tote from Sole Society.The quality of this tote is exceptional, especially given the $49.90 sale price and it looks way more expensive than it is (even at the regular price of $69.90). For me it is just too big. I should have read the description a little more closely and realized it is a tote and not a satchel. If you like a bag you can stash everything in that looks great this is for you. Unfortunately when I carry a bag this large I knock into things, bump into people, and in general become a menace. So while I longingly look at this beautiful tote it will be headed back. Since I knew it was going back I didn’t completely unwrap it so yeah, that’s the wrapping in the pictures. The verdict: It’s headed back today!

My second order contained only two items. This twill peplum jacket in olive for $49.90 ($75 after the sale). This jacket is soooooo cute and I love how lightweight it is, perfect for my climate! Unfortunately it is not right on my body type.  My short waist and large chest are not properly honored in this piece, lol!  It’s too boxy on me but I know it will look fabulous on the majority of ladies out there. I am wearing a small. The verdict: Sadly, going back. Boo!








This fabulous clutch on sale for $52.90 ($79.95 after the sale) is up next. The clutch is fantastic. It feels great, so luxe, and it has plenty of storage. So many clutch bags just don’t have enough room but this one seems to. The foldover flap has a zipper so you can store your stuff in two places! The verdict: Right now I plan to keep it but I feel a little guilty spending so much on a clutch.

My third order was for only one item. These Caslon Slim Utility pants on sale for $49.90 ($79 after the sale). I didn’t expect to love these but I do! They are so comfortable, and don’t seem to get baggy. They aren’t low cut either which is so nice. I got them in a size 4 and they are perfect. They can be worn with cute sneakers, sandals, heels, or booties. The verdict: I am keeping them because even though there are lots of olive green pants out there I just happen to feel like these are my soul mate pair!























Something I didn’t pick up during the sale are my trusty old slip on Converse sneakers.  Mine are a few years old, need a good washing, but I still love them.  Check these out:

I also ordered candles and they were delivered later last night.  I got these Voluspa tins. Because I break up the set and give them individually. Great deal for such a pretty candle that makes a super sweet gift.

Overall I am happy with what I decided to keep and the fact that I did not spend an insane amount of money. I should also add if I didn’t have issues with my left foot I would have been all over the booties because there are some great deals on them. Have you shopped yet? Are you going to? Please tell me what you have your eye on, I love to shop vicariously!


Shop here:
Women’s Lush Surplice Cold Shoulder Blouse • Lush • $29.90
Women’s Sub_Urban Riot ‘Work Hard’ Graphic Tee • Sub Urban Riot • Sold Out
Women’s Articles Of Society Mya Skinny Jeans • Articles of Society • Sold Out
Sole Society Susan Faux Leather Tote – Black • Sole Society • Sold Out
Sole Society Tamika Genuine Calf Hair & Faux Leather Foldover Clutch – Brown • Sole Society • $52.90
Caslon Slim Utility pants in olive $49.90
Linking up with:Patti for Visible Monday, The Blended Blog, Royally Waiting,Get Your Pretty On, Moda Thursday,Not Dressed as Lamb ,
Confident Twosday ,
A Pocketful of Polka Dots , Lady in Violet Fashion Should Be Fun Shelbee on the Edge

Orange Crush

I bet if you went into your closet right now you’d probably find very few orange pieces of clothing, am I right?  That was certainly the case for me until our son chose a university, the University of Florida to be exact.  Now I’ve developed an orange crush.

On Sunday I wore this outfit to a family gathering to celebrate my nephew’s birthday.  These orange shorts were one of the first purchases I made after my son decided to attend UF.  I remember shopping with my friend at Loft and we saw the shorts on clearance.  Of course they were, no one wears orange unless it’s to show school spirit.  I grabbed them up and figured they’d be good to wear to a football game.  But I was wrong.

This OTS embroidered top I purchased earlier in the Spring.  I wore it here the last time. But I knew when I bought it that I’d be wearing it with my orange shorts this Summer. I love the way the outfit came together. Since I chose my long tassel white earrings I decided against a necklace. It felt like it might be too much and the embroidery on the top is so pretty and so trendy too! I am also wearing a new pair of shades that I am enjoying but for my family the jury is still out. Spending a lot on sunglasses is not something I normally do, these are $12. Maybe someday I’ll invest in a pricier pair but for now these fit my budget just fine!




I read once that orange is a universally flattering color, do you believe that? I suppose depending on the tone I do. In the Fall it seems there are lots of shades of orange but how about for Summer, do you own anything orange? So, orange, it’s not just for football games and team spirit, it’s a legit color. Orange you glad I said that? Hahahahaha, you know I had to slip an orange joke in here somewhere!

Thanks for stopping by, I so appreciate you!  Check back on Friday for a review of some recent NSale purchases I made, all are warm weather approved!  See you then!



Shop here:
Denim espadrille wedges • Gap • $59.99
Coral • J.Crew Factory • $29.99
Multi Check • J.Crew Factory • $29.50
British Khaki • J.Crew Factory • $34.99
Plus Size Apt. 9® Ruffled Chambray Off-the-Shoulder Dress • Apt. 9 • $24
Plus Size Apt. 9® Cold-Shoulder Top • Apt. 9 • $16
Women’s Apt. 9® Off-the-Shoulder Top • Apt. 9 • $14.40
Women’s Apt. 9® Embroidered Chiffon Top • Apt. 9 • $16
Women’s Apt. 9® Embroidered Flutter Tee • Apt. 9 • $19.99
Women’s Apt. 9® Ruffle One-Shoulder Top • Apt. 9 • $19.99



Linking up with:Patti for Visible Monday, The Blended Blog, Royally Waiting,Get Your Pretty On, Moda Thursday,Not Dressed as Lamb ,
Confident Twosday ,
A Pocketful of Polka Dots , Lady in Violet Fashion Should Be Fun Shelbee on the Edge

Prevent Make Up Meltdown












It’s been awhile since I did a post about make up products so let’s change that today, okay?  With the Summer heat in full force right now you may find your make up literally melting off of your face.  I used to have that problem too, in fact I thought it was normal to have to reapply my make up before venturing out for the evening.  With a few tweaks to my make up routine I have found how to prevent make up meltdown!

The first thing I did was to take a long hard look at my skincare routine. That made a difference right away.  I have oily skin and large pores so using a day time moisturizer was only making the problem worse for me. I nixed the day time moisturizer and now I only use eye cream and a vitamin c serum.  I put those two products on as soon as I step out of the shower to give them a chance to soak in before I start my make up routine.

I will spare you the details of my make up routine because let’s face it (no pun intended) I’m no beauty blogger, nor should I be.  But there are 3 products I use that make such a difference and you may benefit from knowing about them.  The first is this primer. I’ve tried many over the years and this one just feels so good and works so well I believe I have found the perfect one for me.  I was hesitant to spend the money at first so I started with the trial size and then immediately up graded to the big daddy.  It’s sooooooooo good!

A few years back I heard all the hype about BB and CC creams and I jumped right on the bandwagon.  I’ll tell you I am an advertisers dream, tell me about something a few times and I am going to buy it.  You know what happened?  I didn’t like the way I looked in pictures and I wasn’t really all that pleased with what I saw in the mirror but I figured I was getting older and that’s just the way it had to be.  Wrong.  What I needed was full coverage foundation.  I have found three that I love! This one from Urban Decay is magical, really. It covers EVERYTHING and your skin will look flawless. This one is a little lighter and is buildable, meaning you can use more for more coverage. I got it when I was looking for the Urban Decay All Nighter in my shade and it was out of stock (it’s very popular). The salesperson at Ulta told me I needed this Smashbox foundation, handed me the correct color and sent me on my way! I eventually ended up getting the All Nighter from Urban Decay because I wanted to compare. Because the color of my skin varies because of my self tanning obsession they both work; the Smashbox is a little darker and the Urban Decay All Nighter is a bit lighter.

There are times I like to preserve my expensive foundation, so if I’m hanging around the house or my big outing for the day involves the grocery store (yes, my life really is that exciting) I use a drug store brand that works well too. Cover Girl Outlast All Day Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 foundation.  In fact I wear it almost everyday in the Summer.

Regardless of which full coverage foundation I’m wearing I think the  product that makes the biggest difference is this setting spray from Urban Decay.  I doubted I needed this product but I am thrilled that I tried it and now I love it.  Once all of my make up is done I spray it on, lightly.  My make up lasts all day the only thing I reapply is lipstick.  Here’s a tip for you if you’d like to try it yourself.  Head to Nordstrom Rack, it’s half the price.  Urban Decay changed the packaging but the product is the same.  You’ll find it in a white bottle for half the price – yippeeeee!!!!

So there you have it, how to prevent make up meltdown in the Summer heat!  I swear by this routine because it really works for me.  During the school year I am inside and outside, running around all day but my make up stays put!  I’d love to hear your recommendations for fabulous make up products you use, let me know in the comments section below.

Happy Monday friends and as always, thank you for stopping by to see what’s in This Blonde’s Shopping Bag today!



Linking up with:Patti for Visible Monday, The Blended Blog, Royally Waiting,Get Your Pretty On, Moda Thursday,Not Dressed as Lamb ,
Confident Twosday ,
A Pocketful of Polka Dots , Lady in Violet Fashion Should Be Fun Shelbee on the Edge

Sale Picks

I’ll bet you knew exactly what sale I was referring to, didn’t you?  Just in case you aren’t sure it’s the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and early access began on Thursday, July 13.  I had two choices for how to spend my Thursday, July 13. Here they are:









I chose:












No worries, before heading to the beach I shopped online. Apparently EVERYONE shopped online AT THE SAME TIME yesterday because the site crashed! I had no problem completing my order but here’s the good news: Nordstrom is offering 10x points for purchases made yesterday and today. That’s great news if you’re signed up to earn rewards (of course I am, lol). Here’s a little tip: last year I caved and got a Nordstrom card so I could shop the sale early. It was great because I also received the $20 Nordstrom Note (basically works like a gift card) and I signed up to earn rewards. When the card arrived I promptly stored it away. All of the purchases I make online from Nordstrom go on my regular credit card and I still earn rewards. Bottom line you can get a Nordstrom credit or debit card and use it just to get the perks like early access but you can still earn points towards your next Nordstrom Note even using a different card. I like that, most stores only give you rewards if you’re using their card. Of course that only works online. I’ve mentioned before we use one credit card for everything and pay it off at the end of the month. Do not go into debt for clothes! Alright, PSA over!

Sweaters, cardigans, and jackets do not interest me much since I live in such a warm climate but there are other goodies the sale offers so take a look at what I ordered:

I ordered these Articles of Society jeans mostly out of curiosity. They have gotten rave reviews. I’m not sure I’ll be keeping them but I will try them on and let you know!
So this graphic tee has me excited. I LOVE the idea of a graphic tee but because of my job (school counselor) and the fact that I live in the same neighborhood as my school I have to be careful how I present myself. I literally run into my students everywhere – seriously even on our cruise I heard, “Hi Mrs. Rohr!” So yeah, I have to be careful about what I wear.This tee will be fabulous for me and promotes such a positive message!
Ok, I am still crazy about cold shoulder tops and this one will be perfect for Fall and Winter. This is the perfect top for us warm climate girls! We can literally wear this all year. I can’t wait to get it and show you ways to wear it now and when it’s cooler (like in the 80’s hee hee).
Ever since I was a little girl I have been infatuated with purses so this Sole Society bag had to make it’s way into my cart. I love the shape of it but I wish it came in another color besides black, maybe cognac? Anyway, I can’t wait to get it and check it out. If you decide to shop the sale and things are sold out, don’t worry, they keep re-stocking so just check back.

So that’s what I ordered for myself. Here are some other items I have my eye on for my home or to give as gifts. First up, Kendra Scott jewelry. If you don’t already own any Kendra Scott take this opportunity to rectify that situation. Her pieces are high quality and dress up everything! My mother’s birthday is in September so I like to buy her a piece for her birthday. I think what I love the most is that Kendra Scott pieces don’t tarnish and when you wear as much self tanner as I do that’s an issue. You can buy several inexpensive pieces of costume jewelry and toss them in a few months or get one of these quality pieces.

I like to buy sets of candles and then break them apart and give as individual gifts. Voluspa candles come in such pretty tins and make such a nice gift. They also make great hostess gifts, I seriously always have a few of these on hand just in case! Diptyque candles are divine! They are super pricey so this set for $55 ($75 value) is a steal. Once the candle has burned be sure to keep the glass jar and use it to store your make up brushes – you’ll look like a Youtube star! Really, have you noticed how so many people use these jars in pictures?

Here’s my promise, I am not going to bore you to death with details about the sale. While the sale is great, especially if you want to score designer brands at great prices, I plan on sharing what I’m wearing now. Honestly after awhile the sale gets covered to ad nauseam.

So I lifted the shopping ban for the sale only but now I’m back on board with no spending for awhile.

I also don’t plan on two posts a day like I’ve done twice this week! Originally this post was planned for Monday but I thought you might like to know how you can score 10x the rewards points through today. So, yes, think of it as my gift to you as you head into the weekend!


Bells and Scallops

Happy Friday!  Otherwise known as “Day 2 of the #NSale Early Access.” Have you shopped the sale yet? I spent yesterday at the beach with my bestie. What a great day! It was just the two of us – no kids, no husbands! In other words, 2 ladies, 2 chairs, and a little Moscato, absolute perfection. I had been toying with the idea of driving the 2 hours to Tampa and checking out the sale but the beach was a much better idea!

Before heading off to the beach I did check out the sale online. Let me tell you, Nordstrom DOES NOT PLAY. I had to input my Nordstrom card to get access just to look online! Holy cow! After perusing 46 pages of the women’s sale I did purchase a few things. So, yes, I broke my shopping ban. However, I am not planning on keeping everything and I mostly ordered to share here on the blog. That’s what’s so awesome about Nordstrom’s free returns! I was very pleasantly surprised to see quite a few pieces that those of us living in warmer climates can wear. Of course that’s where I focused my energy. I promise I’ll be putting together a quick post on what I purchased from the sale but in the meantime I am sharing a couple of pieces I mixed and matched to put together 3 outfits perfect for this time of year.

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These scalloped shorts are a favorite of mine, I am in love with the fabric and the color!  A favorite color combination of mine is pink and black.  I purchased this bell sleeve, gingham blouse at TJ Maxx a few weeks ago for $19.99. This one is similar but a splurge. This blouse is so versatile, it’s great now and will be perfect in cooler weather as well (at least by Florida standards). I’ll add a scarf when (and if) it cools down.  My advice is to check your TJMaxx and grab it!  I added my white beaded necklace and nude sandals.

So a funny thing happens when I want to get blog pictures.  The weather gets crazy!  Really.  Either the wind picks up or storm clouds start rolling in.  That’s what happened Wednesday night when these pictures were taken.  Yes, I tried to lighten them up a bit but nothing replaces natural sunlight.

In Wednesday’s post I shared with you all my copy cat skills. Well folks, I hope you enjoyed it because I’m doing it again! This time it’s the beautiful Blaire from Peaches In A Pod providing the inspiration. I absolutely adore her outfit and since my pieces were similar I used what I had. Pink and turquoise pair so well! My white blouse from Loft and my turquoise necklace from Accessory Concierge work with great with my shorts.  I kept my nude sandals and grabbed my very favorite clutch.  Honestly if this bag were bigger I would carry it every single day, it brings a smile to my face!

In the last look I paired the gingham top with a pair of black shorts I’ve had for years.  They’re from Express and I really like the length so I don’t plan on replacing them anytime soon.  I changed my shoes and put on a pair of black wedges from Chinese Laundry.  I’ve had these shoes for years, I think I purchased them from Macy’s.  They are comfortable enough for me to wear to work.  I kept the necklace and bag to add a little color because that’s how I roll.

I love taking a few pieces and combining them in clever ways to create new looks.  By taking a few key pieces and adding in some accessories you can mix and match and come up with new outfits without spending a bundle!

Have a wonderful weekend dear friends and thank you so much for visiting!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!



Shop similar pieces here:
Tie Back Ruffle Cuff Top • LOFT • $39.99
Riviera Shorts with 6 Inch Inseam • LOFT • $29.88–39.50
Express Knot Platform Sandal • Express • $59.90
Express Fly Front Cotton Shorts • Express • $49.90
Express Gingham One Shoulder Puff Sleeve Top • Express • $59.90

Linking up with:Patti for Visible Monday, The Blended Blog, Royally Waiting,Get Your Pretty On, Moda Thursday,Not Dressed as Lamb ,
Confident Twosday ,
A Pocketful of Polka Dots , Lady in Violet Fashion Should Be Fun Shelbee on the Edge

Super Sale

This never happens.  Not for me anyway.  Really, 2 posts in one day?  Who am I? Did you think when you saw the title of this post that I was referring to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? Well, I’m not!

Here’s the thing, it is so hot here in Florida and it is going to continue to be hot for several more months.  So as much as I LOVE Fall clothes and dreaming about cooler temps it is not my reality.  Unless you live here you may not really understand, it just doesn’t cool down until the end of November (if we’re lucky) and there have been plenty of Decembers with temps in the 80’s with high humidity.  My eyes are on end of season sales because the rest of the country is prepping for cool weather but those of us living in warmer climates can totally cash in on great deals on clothing we can wear for MONTHS!

I adore J. Crew Factory because they offer great quality clothing in classic cuts and fun prints.  They are pieces you’ll keep for years.  Right now using the code SUPERCLEAR you will get an EXTRA 50% off clearance.  Guess what?  The cutest clothes are on clearance!

Remember this outfit?  Yep, totally on clearance! You can get the whole outfit for just about $40!

Check out these super steals! Keep in mind with the code SUPERCLEAR you will get an extra 50% off these prices! Honestly you will pay the same price you’d pay at Target for better quality pieces! Happy shopping friends! (p.s. be sure to click the arrows so you can see all the goodness)

Or click here:
Navy Ivory • J.Crew Factory • $39.99
White • J.Crew Factory • $34.50
Natural • J.Crew Factory • $29.50
Blue Bandana • J.Crew Factory • $29.50
Neon Berry • J.Crew Factory • $14.99
Multi Plaid • J.Crew Factory • $59.99
Navy • J.Crew Factory • $39
Blue Ivory Stripe • J.Crew Factory • $59.99
Ivory Watermelons • J.Crew Factory • $9.99
Blue Wash • J.Crew Factory • $24.95
Misty Green • J.Crew Factory • $28
White • J.Crew Factory • $22.50
White • J.Crew Factory • $16.50
Natural • J.Crew Factory • $18
Cobalt • J.Crew Factory • $24.99
Warm Cerise • J.Crew Factory • $59.50
Black Champagne • J.Crew Factory • $34.50
White • J.Crew Factory • $29.50
White • J.Crew Factory • $11.50
Old Red • J.Crew Factory • $14.95
Neon Berry • J.Crew Factory • $20.50

If I could I’d put every single piece in my shopping cart, lol!


Imitation is the Greatest Form of Flattery

Most of us read blogs and magazines to get inspired. Whether you’re looking for make up or hair advice, exercise, nutrition, or home decor inspiration you’ll find a plethora of options. I mean, really, how did we ever survive without Pinterest? I often think what a different childhood my own sons would have had if Pinterest had been around when they were little. What I love about blogs is the clothing and styling ideas I get from the bloggers I follow. What I am sharing today is the result of being inspired by two of my favorite bloggers.

Months ago I saw this cute dress on Andrea over at Living on Cloud Nine. Although it was from a site I’d never ordered from before I placed my order, the price was too good to pas up and it was so cute! When I received it and tried it on it was a little too short for me to wear as a dress so I thought I’d keep it and wear it as a cover-up.

A few months later I almost gasped when I saw what looked like the very same dress /tunic on Jennie at A Pocketful of Polka Dots. Better yet she paired it with denim and espadrilles! I was thrilled to find a new way to wear my tunic! In fact I left her a comment telling her I’d be copying her outfit! Take a look at my inspiration:












So call me a copycat but here I am:





The denim I am wearing I purchased right before I went on vacation.  White House Black Market had just started their big sale and I was shopping with a friend.  I hadn’t planned on purchasing anything (famous last words) but I couldn’t pass these up!  I paid a whopping $10 after an extra 50% off the sale price and applying my birthday reward.  They were originally $94.  Score! My exact pair are here. They have this tuxedo stripe down the side and a step hem. I am seriously considering trimming off the step hem because I’m not sure about it.  But the best news is that you can still purchase this dress for under $17. I was thrilled to see it is still available!  Wear it with denim, as a dress, or as a cover up and it comes in other colors, buy it here.

And that my friends is exactly why I follow so many blogs.  I love seeing real women wear real clothes in real life.  I hope Jennie is flattered by my attempt at imitating her outfit!

Since my self-imposed shopping ban went into effect you’ll be seeing me shop my closet and share recreations with you.  I hope you enjoy this! Have you recreated a look based on what you saw in a magazine or on a blog?

Later this week the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale will begin for cardholders. If you’re unfamiliar with it basically it’s a sale of new Fall and Winter items and as soon as the sale ends on August 6 the prices will go up. It’s a unique sale in that these are not end of the season items; they’re new, fresh fashions. It’s a great time to get premium denim, designer bags, shoes, and jewelry. If you’re not currently a cardholder go here to fix that by getting either a credit or debit card. As a bonus you’ll get a $20 Nordstrom Note to spend! Want to preview the sale catalog? Go here. The sale opens to the public on July 21st so if there’s something you’d really like it is worth it to become a cardholder and get early access. Items do sell out!

So before the BIG SALE starts, I picked out a few things I’d buy right now at Nordstrom if I had a little extra money right now and I wasn’t on a spending freeze.

Thank you so much for stopping by today, This Blonde’s Shopping Bag is going to stay empty for awhile but I promise I am full of inspiration!

Shop links below:

Step Hem Straight Crop Jeans • White House Black Market • $59.99
Distressed Skinny Crop Jeans • White House Black Market • $56.40
Embellished Skimmer Jeans • White House Black Market • $59.99
Tuxedo Straight Crop Jeans • White House Black Market • $39.99
Distressed Skimmer Jeans • White House Black Market • $49.99
Umgee USA Dip-Dye Tunic Top • Umgee USA • $36
boohoo Clare Frill Sleeve Dropped Hem Tunic Top • Boohoo • $16
WHITE MARK White Mark Yanette Tunic Top Plus • $31
Neiman Marcus 3/4-Sleeve Split-Neck Tunic, White/Orange • Neiman Marcus • $42.50
Free People Violet Hill Printed Tunic Top in Charcoal • Free People • $33–35


Linking up with:Patti for Visible Monday, The Blended Blog, Royally Waiting,Get Your Pretty On, Moda Thursday,Not Dressed as Lamb ,
Confident Twosday ,
A Pocketful of Polka Dots , Lady in Violet Fashion Should Be Fun Shelbee on the Edge

Blue Striped Shorts

I just love stripes! I’m drawn to them and love to mix them with florals to create interesting outfits. Today I thought it might be fun to share an old pair of striped shorts and two different outfit ideas. Here’s to hoping we can break out of some style ruts and wear stripes with something other than solids! I know, I know, this may be taking you waaaaaaay out of your comfort zone but that’s actually when the best growth occurs (trust me I’m a licensed therapist). You know what’s funny? I hear from a lot of friends and acquaintances when they admire something I’m wearing that I can get away with wearing something but they couldn’t. Guess what? That’s nonsense. We are talking about clothes here, no one will be issued a citation for print mixing! Go for it is what I say! Of course at the end of the day you have to be confident in what you’re wearing, that’s how you “get away with it” for real!

So let’s get on with it! First up, a totally safe and albeit boring outfit. My striped shorts are old from Old Navy. A plain tee and flip flops and there ya go, your standard issue Summer outfit.

Let’s take it up a notch and be a little more fabulous. Here I just switched out my tee for a colorful tank, threw a lightweight chambray shirt over top, one of my favorite tassel necklaces, and my fab hat that can save a bad hair day. See? So simple and even though I know this outfit isn’t going to land me on the pages of Vogue anytime soon (I am totally ok with that btw) I guarantee someone is going to compliment me on it and think “I could’ve done that” or tell me how cute I look. Honestly it’s just adding a few simple pieces and having fun. I dress for myself not for compliments and not for anyone else’s approval and I happen to like everything I’m wearing here!

Don’t think I’m crazy with this last one. I have had this top for well over a year now and up until now I have only worn it with white denim. Whaaaaaaaat???? Yup, white denim only. I wore it last week out to dinner with a few friends and when I got home it dawned on me that it had way more potential. I think it looks great with the striped shorts because the stripes are a smaller size than the shorts and they go in a different direction. I’m keeping everything else fairly toned down.  This is my favorite of the three looks!

Now it’s your turn to take your summer shorts up a notch. You probably already own similar pieces but if not you can shop the links below.

Thanks so much for spending some time here with me, your kind comments absolutely make my day!

Petite Plaid Tie Off The Shoulder Top • LOFT • $34.88
Gingham Side Tie Off The Shoulder Top • LOFT • $34.88
Fluid Racerback Pocket Tank • LOFT • $34.99–39.50
Vintage Soft Racerback Tank • LOFT • $16.50
Lou & Grey Striped Softserve Cotton Tee • Lou & Grey • $24.99
Lou & Grey Softserve Cotton Tee • LOFT • $19.99
Shimmer Vintage Soft Tee • LOFT • $29.50
Striped Fluid Shorts • LOFT • $39.99
Striped Side Tie Shorts • LOFT • $24.99
Mid-Rise Striped Linen-Blend Shorts for Women (5″) • Old Navy • $15
Calvin Klein Performance Tie-Waist Striped Shorts • Calvin Klein • $24.99
Vero Moda Striped Shorts • Vero Moda • $29
Mosaic Stripe Shorts • LOFT • $24.99
Women’s Panacea Beaded Cuff Bracelet • $22
Women’s Panacea Beaded Tassel Necklace • $24
Women’s Panacea Stone Statement Earrings • $18
Women’s Treasure & Bond Long Tassel Pendant Necklace • $23.60
Women’s Baublebar Romany Drop Earrings • BaubleBar • $22.80
Women’s Panacea Beaded Teardrop Earrings • $18
Women’s Bp. Stone Fringe Pendant Necklace • BP • $11.98

Linking up with:Patti for Visible Monday, The Blended Blog, Royally Waiting,Get Your Pretty On, Moda Thursday,Not Dressed as Lamb ,
Confident Twosday ,
A Pocketful of Polka Dots , Lady in Violet Fashion Should Be Fun Shelbee on the Edge

Life Lately

Happy Friday and cheers for the weekend!  Since returning from our cruise and celebrating the 4th this week has been interesting to say the least.  I think we all need a weekend just so we can get back on track and know what day it is! Today I thought I’d share a little bit about my life lately.

Truth be told I’ve had this meme pinned on one of my Pinterest boards for a loooooong time.  It’s not only funny but it’s true for me!  Especially in the Summer when I am off work and my gym routine changes (drastically) and I have more time to cook and bake.  I LOVE trying new recipes and in the Summer I’m constantly trying new things.  Eating more and moving less equals weight gain.  Over the years I have come to expect that, it’s normal for me.  When school starts back and my routine gets normal again I eventually lose the weight.  This year feels a little different though.  It started back in the Spring when I began indulging in one too many happy hours and now I am not at all happy with how my clothes fit.  It’s time to get serious and start making better choices.  To motivate myself I have imposed a shopping ban – no clothes shopping until I drop a few pounds.  I can’t say exactly what that number will be, I’m thinking at least a good 5 to 8 but we’ll see.  The goal is for me to still enjoy my Summer break but feel good in my skin.

Summer break also means I have more time to spend with my precious little great niece.  Taking her to story time at our local library is something I love doing with her.  This girl has my heart!












And here we are in our matching Mexican dresses I picked up on our cruise!
























I have been trying to adjust to wearing contact lenses.  Here’s the backstory: I’ve always had great vision, until my 40’s when reading became challenging.  I did what most of us do, I bought inexpensive readers and pulled them out when I needed them.  Then working on the computer became difficult, so I had my eyes examined and found out I need progressive lenses.  Last year I finally got a pair of glasses that worked but they drove me crazy!  Having not been a glasses-wearer I always felt like I wanted to take them off – like I was wearing goggles.  So I am giving contacts a try.  I went the Monday before our cruise and had MAJOR problems, the prescription wasn’t right and putting them on and taking them off was a nightmare.  On Monday I went back and spent half the day at the optometrist’s office.  Now I’m trying to get used to this prescription (one lens is for close up and one is for distance) but putting them on and taking them off is a lot easier.  I’m kind of seeing double right now but the doctor assured me my brain will adjust and it will take some time, fingers crossed!

Next week begins the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, for cardholders early shopping begins Thursday, 7/13.  I have mixed thoughts on the sale this year.  In part because of my self imposed shopping ban but also because I need to practice some self-control.  Living in Florida means I don’t need heavy sweater, jackets, boots, etc. but when I see them on every blog I read I start convincing myself that I do in fact need those things.  So I order some and put them away.  Fall comes and it’s still hot, Winter comes and we have a few cold fronts but I end up with fewer cold days than cold weather outfits.  I am going to try to make better decisions this year.  I’ve been perusing the catalog and I am contemplating a trip to Tampa to shop in person.  The beauty buys, accessories, and shoes can be worn in almost any climate.  I always stock up on candles too.

And finally my heart is overflowing with gratitude for new friendships I’ve found through blogging.  Many times in the past I’ve referenced my sweet friend Andrea and her blog.  She’s been so supportive of me and so encouraging.  To show her my appreciation I sent her box of some of my faves for her birthday.  She returned the favor a few weeks ago and sent me some of her faves, including her favorite wine from Chicago! I wish I could share the bottle with her!









Here’s to a great weekend my friends, next week I’ll be back with more of my usual posts including recreating a look from one a blogger I have a lot of admiration for so stay tuned!



Linking up with:Patti for Visible Monday, The Blended Blog, Royally Waiting,Get Your Pretty On, Moda Thursday,Not Dressed as Lamb ,
Confident Twosday ,
A Pocketful of Polka Dots , Lady in Violet Fashion Should Be Fun Shelbee on the Edge

Cruising the Western Caribbean

I have started typing this post about 5 times now.  Each time I start typing I end up deleting.  Why?  Because I’m not really sure what you want to know if anything about our cruise and this blog is supposed to be a fashion/shopping blog.  Am I crossing the line and now I’m sounding more like a lifestyle blog? Is that so bad?  I’m not sure so I’ll try to tackle this from both perspectives.

We booked our cruise back in the Spring after quite a bit of debate about where to go and what to do for vacation this year.  I’ll tell you what, having a child go away to college really changes things, the timing of vacation, Summer courses, etc.!  After consulting our travel agent about different types of vacations we decided on a cruise.  Since we live so close to Port Canaveral (about 45 minutes) we chose a cruise out of that port because my husband hates driving long distances if not absolutely necessary.  We were thrilled to learn the Oasis of the Seas from Royal Caribbean left from Port Canaveral and traveled to Haiti, Jamaica, and Mexico!

Back in March when we booked this baby I started thinking of the clothes I’d bring and the possibility of sharing a packing list with you.  And then I snapped back into reality and realized that is so not me. I am a proud overpacker because, why not?  I wasn’t flying anywhere and our cabin was large enough for all of my stuff so there was no reason to skimp on choices.  I am all about having options because I’m not sure what mood I’ll be in and that dictates my fashion choices.  I blame it on my birth sign – Gemini.

Just for organizational purposes I’ll break this post into these sections: where we stayed, where we went and what we did, what I wore, what I bought, and some final thoughts on cruising.

Where We Stayed

Get ready for some photo overload of the ship because it was ENORMOUS and just unbelievable in every sense of the word.  The Oasis is divided into different neighborhoods such as Boardwalk, Entertainment, etc.. Our cabin was in Central Park, in fact our balcony had a terrific view of Tiffany & Co. and the Coach store.  Central Park was filled with gardens, perfect little places to sit and relax, a cafe, and upscale restaurants, as well as a photo studio and upscale retailers.  In the evenings a string quartet played and we could enjoy the music either from our balcony, a park bench, or bistro table.

We had two cabins, one for the boys and for my husband and I.  The cabin was a nice size!  We had a king sized bed, a sitting area, good size closet, and a decent sized bathroom.  I especially liked the fact that there were plenty of drawers and closet space.  I unpacked and hung all of my clothes which made it so nice to get dressed each day.












Where We Went and What We Did

We boarded the ship on Sunday, 6/25 but our first stop was not until Tuesday, 6/27 in Labadee, Haiti. That meant we had a good day and a half at sea.  We spent most of Sunday figuring out where things were on board and Monday by the pool and at the Flow Rider.  My husband and sons enjoyed the Flow Rider.  I refused because after watching several people fall hard I was terrified of injury.  I was happy to take video of the boys and snap pics!  The ship had mini golf, basketball, volleyball, ping pong, and a zip line.

In Haiti we visited Royal Caribbean’s resort, Labadee.  We snorkeled and relaxed in the shade. I especially enjoyed the snorkeling, the water was beautiful and we saw all kinds of fish and coral.  I had a great time until I accidentally kicked a sea urchin and ended up with a needle stuck in my toe!  Luckily my husband was close by and removed it – that hurt! Now if you know me well you are surprised I went snorkeling – but I did and my kids were so proud of me.  Just a little aside, I am by no means a swimmer, I’m more of a lounger, so this was a big deal for me.











On Wednesday we stopped in Falmouth, Jamaica.  We booked a lazy river excursion.  I should add that my husband and I let the boys decide on the excursions.  Collin (our youngest) wanted no part of visiting museums or anything historical he wanted fun, plain and simple so that was the theme.  I could not have cared less what we did as long as we were together! Falmouth, Jamaica was pretty much our favorite stop.  Our tour guide was wonderful and informative.  The trip to the river took almost an hour so we were able to hear a lot about Jamaica and their culture.  We saw some fabulous sites! The lazy river was cool and refreshing and afterwards we stopped for Jamaican beef patties.  They were delicious!  We made another stop to sample Jamaican rum and buy coffee.  It was a fabulous day!

Thursday was another at sea day followed by our Friday visit to Cozumel, Mexico.  The excursion the boys chose that day was Playa Mia Beach Resort.  Playa Mia did not disappoint!  The beach was GORGEOUS!  The sand was like sugar and the water crystal clear.  The boys (including my husband) enjoyed an inflatable obstacle course while I floated around on a sea mat (best invention ever) and made some friends from Kentucky.  We chatted away while floating around and it was heaven!  Afterwards we snorkeled, had lunch and then headed back to the ship.  I went into a few shops and ended up buying a dress for myself and one for the cutest little 15 month old girl in my life (my great niece).











Saturday was our final at sea day and then Sunday morning we disembarked.  When we weren’t on an excursion were either by the pool (sitting in the shade of course), playing cards, reading (me), going to the Broadway Show Cats, checking out the comedians (hysterical), in the nightclubs, the casino, shopping, eating, relaxing.  There was never a dull moment!

What I Wore

I packed mostly dresses, swim suits and cover ups.  I wore all but one of the dresses I packed because the last night on board I skipped dinner while my husband and the boys went, I was just too full and too tired. There were two formal nights; on one I wore a dress and the other I wore my black jumpsuit.  I don’t like getting too dressed up for formal nights I prefer an understated look.  A cruise ship is like living in Florida, anywhere you go you’ll find some people dressed to the hilt while others are in jeans or shorts.  I’m not ready to don sequins or gowns but I’d never be comfortable in jeans or shorts either so I’m somewhere in the middle. There’s no shortage of photographers on board waiting to snap your every move which is great for family photos.

I packed several pair of shorts and tops but I only wore one pair.  Partially because near the end of the cruise I felt so bloated the thought of having anything on that involved a button or zipper made my skin crawl!  I indulged in delicious food, cocktails, and wine so that was the price I paid. This was one of the first cruises I’ve ever taken where I did not work out even once.  I brought work out clothes but never put them on which seemed like a good idea at the time but now not so much, lol!

What I Bought

Surprisingly, I really bought very little on this trip.  Although I mentioned earlier the Coach and Tiffany shops the ship also had a Michael Kors shop and a Kate Spade shop.  The Michael Kors shop had a sale one morning and I waited in line for a few minutes to go in (they only let in 15 shoppers at a time).  I left empty handed because I wasn’t in the market for anything but there were other shoppers buying multiple bags.  I went in because I was nosy, lol and I enjoyed chatting with the other women in line.

In Jamaica I bought coffee, rum, and jerk seasoning and in Mexico the only purchases I made were on the two dresses I mentioned earlier.  We also purchased snorkeling gear for the 4 of us and my younger son picked out a pair of expensive sunglasses.  It’s nice now that the boys are older and are no longer asking for souvenirs!  I snapped some pics of my purchases since this is a shopping blog – hahaha!!!!











Some Final Thoughts on Cruising

While I’m no packing expert one thing I recommend for any kind of travel is to save all the sample size beauty and perfume products you receive throughout the year and bring them instead of full sized products.  I’m constantly receiving samples from Nordstrom, Ulta, and Sephora.  I brought several perfume samples with me as well as skin care samples, and It Cosmetics CC Cream (it has an spf of 50 and it’s what I wear when I’m going to be at the beach or by the pool).  The samples take up less space in my toiletries bag and I don’t have to worry about bottle breaking.

Wearing comfortable shoes is key.  I wore Vionics pretty much the entire time (except when we were in Jamaica and Mexico) and my feet never hurt.  The ship was so big and I’m sure we walked miles each day.

If you’re unsure about a cruise I say go for it!  With a cruise you can have whatever kind of vacation you’d like.  Our ship had almost 10,000 people on board (including the crew) but you’d never have known that because there is something for everyone.  Some people enjoy the casinos, dancing and staying up until the wee hours of the morning.  Others (okay me) are usually in bed before midnight and rise and shine early the next day. Some are sun worshippers others enjoy the shade and a good book (okay, me again).  The food and the service with Royal Caribbean has always been top notch for us as well as the entertainment.

If you have read all the way to this point, thank you.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Actually once I started typing it was nice to get this all down and record my thoughts on our trip.  Let me know if you have any specific questions and I’ll be happy to answer!