august: products that are worth the price tag

It’s mid-August! where the heck is Summer going? I always feel like Winter is 8 months long, while Spring, Summer and Fall are all crammed into 4 short months. Anyone else?

So far, it’s been a whirlwind. Our dog, Bono, was hit by a car last weekend. It was really scare and emotional. I realized how much he means to us. He’s been with us since last summer, just after we moved to Ohio from NJ and has seen us through some hard (emotional) times and I honestly couldn’t imagine life without him. Thankfully, he’s ok!

here he is sitting on our new couch – the one we swore we wouldn’t let him sit on – but could you say no to this face?!

The little things in life make me happy. For example, my husband writing me a nice card, my dog jumping up and down when I walk through the door, or finding a really cute pair of shoes on sale because who doesn’t love a good deal ?! It doesn’t take much to make me happy and I’m sure all of you can relate.

This month, there are a few items adding a little bit more light in my life. I wanted to share them with you!

You know I love skin care…

I recently picked up the Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate at Ulta. I love what this product has done for my skin. In just two weeks, my skin texture has improved and a few of my dark spots have lightened up!

I also picked up their Ultra Facial Cleanser and I’m loving it too. I’ve always wanted to try Kiehls products and I’m so glad I did! I have my eyes on a few others, i’ll let you know which products I try next.

Of course I had to include a pair of shoes…

they’re versatile and comfortable

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen me post these Superga sneakers a few times. They are stark white (which usually isn’t my go-to shoe color). These shoes work well with just about any outfit. I plan to wear them in the Fall and Spring as well!

Have you ever shopped at World Market? They have items from all around the world and a great rewards program! I love buying my pasta, sauces, and home accents there. I saw this crossbody and had to have it – I’m excited to use it through the fall!

Let me know if you picked up any of these items and tell me if they worked for you (especially the skin care)!

with love & gratitude,

stef

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earrings are my new addiction…

I used to hate earrings. My ears always hurt when I wore them, it was painful to take them off, and I just felt like I wasn’t pretty enough to wear them (true story). I always thought I was allergic to the metal used to make them, but I’m now convinced that if you wear them enough, your body just gets used to it (I could be totally off there so if you have severe allergies, please don’t take my word for it).

Not sure what’s come over me recently, but I LOVE them. I’m one to wear all white in the summer time so a pair of colorful earrings provide the perfect pop of color!

I’ve linked a few of my favorites here (all are super affordable):

my favorite colors are green and red, so when I saw these on Amazon I couldn’t resist!

Shop this pair here; they come in a few different colors!

My collection is not large at all, but I plan to grow it! I only included the ones that could be linked.

the green pair are from Amazon while the others are both from Target!

Also linking a few that I’m loving right now at Target!

Let me know if you’re loving these too!

with love & gratitude,

stef

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$10 Shirt 10 Ways

Challenge accepted!

I’m extremely thoughtful when I make a purchase. I look at an item and think of all of the ways I can wear it. Can I wear it for work and play? How can I pair it with something I already own? I like to think carefully before I spend any amount of money, so when I find something REALLY affordable that can be mixed & matched with a ton of other pieces I already own, you better believe I’m buying it!

I picked up this button down tank at H&M and I am completely obsessed with it. It’s super light and great for Summer and it’s only $9.99! Check out all of the ways I’ll be wearing it this Summer.

Keeping it simple here with a pair of white slacks. I love wearing “work pants” casually and if you ask me, white slacks are a staple piece. Untie the shirt and tuck it for work, tie it up for happy hour. I paired it with these super affordable sandals from Old Navy.

Links:
Top
Skirt (last season Loft)
Shoes

Name a better color than green! I love, love, love green during any season. This skirt is from last season and almost didn’t stay in my closet this year! I couldn’t link it, but search (green eyelet skirt + loft) on google and you’ll find a few of these on PoshMark.

White shorts! I love wearing white. Growing up, I didn’t do so well with it. I’m SUPER clumsy so every white shirt I owned had some kind of stain on it. Anyway, loving these comfortable, versatile shorts with this blouse.

Let’s talk about flare jeans for a second or bell-bottoms (you know, because that’s what they really are). I’m here for them, friends. I love when the point of my heel just slightly peeks out from the bottom of my jeans. It elongates your legs and if you’re short like me, you know why I love this trend (it makes you look taller!)

Links:
Top (linked above)
Skirt
Shoes (linked above)

You guys, this wrap skirt…. enough said. I snagged this one from ShowPo aka one of my new favorite sites to shop.

Links:
Top (linked above)
Pants
Wedges

Did I say I love white? These jeans are stretchy and comfortable. Need I say more? If you watch my stories, you know I’m always posting a J.Crew Factory sale and these are on sale right now! Go snag them before they’re gone!

Links:
Top (linked above)
Pants
Hat

Ok, more green. I’m OBSESSED with these pants. I snagged them at Target for $22!

You know I had to throw in a staple work-wear look. I love this one. The second I throw a blazer on I feel powerful… is that just me?

Links:
Top (linked above)
Skirt
Shoes (linked above)

You’ve seen this skirt on here before and that’s because I adore it. The color is bright and beautiful for summer.

Links:
Top (linked above)
Jeans (last season J.Crew Factory)
Shoes (last season Vince Camuto)
Hat

Last but not least, what I would call the simplest look to throw together. Muted top, cropped jeans, and a bright shoe. I use my shoes to express myself (maybe that sounds crazy), but like many women, I love shoes. I’m all for adding a pop of color and these are one of my absolute favorite pairs to throw on.

What do you think of these looks? Drop a comment and let me know which one is your favorite!

with love & gratitude,

stef

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3 simple Questions to Ask Yourself Before Splurging on MDW Sales

It’s that time of year!

Memorial Day Weekend is upon us and the sales are almost as good as black Friday sales. EVERY store has some awesome, impossible-to-refuse, unbeatable deal happening and it’s so hard to avoid shopping! I’m here to tell you that it actually IS possible to avoid shopping or at the very least, overdoing it.

I’m no stranger to shopping sprees and trust me when I say, I have a hard time avoiding a good sale. We can pretty much convince ourselves that we NEED anything, but do we? do we REALLY need that pair of wedges that looks exactly like the pair we already own and is just SLIGHTLY different in color or height (questions I ask myself EVERY TIME I purchase another nude shoe)!

I’ve given this quite a bit of thought and so I came up with 3 things to ask myself before I buy something that isn’t a real necessity.

1. Can you spare the extra cash?

Probably the most important of all of the questions. It’s not really “Do I have money for this?” it’s “Can I afford to spare the extra money I do have on this particular item?” Two very different questions. Sure, you might have $200 sitting in your account just waiting to be spent, but does it really need to be spent on that one thing or things? The $200 thats just sitting there could sit in your savings account instead and rather than buying the $200 item, you could put it towards a large “necessity” in the future like a car, a house, an investment, etc.

I should also say that I’m all about “treating yourself”. Why work your butt off and not occasionally treat yourself to something nice? The problem is that when these kinds of sales roll around, it’s hard to treat yourself just ONCE.

2. Is this something you need? Something you’ll get great use out of?

This question is all about wether or not you actually need something. If it isn’t a necessity, say for example, it’s a sun dress and you have four other sundresses, but you really want this one and it’s only $20. My guess is that a $20 dress won’t last you very long. Items on the less expensive side tend to fall apart after two or three washes and that’s when your extra $20 ends up in the garbage. This is where I’d advise you to save the extra $20 four more times so you can buy the more expensive dress that will last way longer. The more you can use a product or item, the more value it adds to your life.

3. Finally, is this really worth the price? Can I actually get a better deal?

So that’s two questions, but they go hand in hand for me. Is that dress WORTH $80 (to me) or can I hold out for a better deal? EVERYONE flocks to the mall for Memorial Day sales just the same way everyone flocks to the stores on Black Friday. Yes, the sales are great, but guess what? That item will probably be on clearance or on sale again in a few weeks. I see this all the time with major retailers. They have a huge sale, something like 40% off your entire purchase + an extra 10% off. Seems super exciting, right? Then, a few weeks later their offering an extra 60% off sale and all of the items you bought in the 40% + 10% sale are suddenly marked down more than half price.

Remember that the people who set these sales up know what they’re doing! If you head to the mall for just ONE store, you’ll end up at five. So before you throw your shopping shoes on and head to the mall (or an online store), Ask yourself these three questions!

Did you find this helpful? or do you totally disagree? Let me know in the comments!

with love & gratitude,

stef

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Try-on: Banana Republic

Current sale: 40% off purchase with code STYLE; if you’re a cardholder get an extra 10% off with code BRCARD

I’m a big fan of Banana Republic, Gap, and Old Navy. I can pretty much find what I’m looking for at any of these stores. Whether it be a pair of jeans, a blouse, a cute jumpsuit, or a fun dress. What I love most about them? There’s almost always a sale going on at at least one of these retailers.

At Banana Republic, I usually find really great quality items. When the items aren’t on sale, the price tag can be pretty high for my pocket. So when I can grab them at a great price, I take full advantage! PLUS, if you’re a cardholder at any of these stores, you get an additional 10% off at Banana!

I saw that there were having a sale and thought why not run in for a quick try-on?

Wearing a size 4 – TTS
linked here

I love a great fitting jumpsuit. I’m 5’1 and 127 lbs. I also have a small pudge 🙂 which I’m not a huge fan of but that’s a topic for another time. I tried this one on yesterday and felt great in it. I didn’t have to go for a petite because it’s cropped so that always makes me happy! I also love wearing white (I’m getting better and better and NOT staining my white tops lol). This one is great for so many occasions, you can wear it to a baptism, church, a barbecue, for a night out with the right accessories, for a day date, etc.

Not entirely sure what’s happening with my legs here
Wearing a size 4, but could possible size down to a 2 for a more fitting look
linked here

Next, I tried this adorable dress! Same pattern/print as the jumpsuit pictured above. This dress is super comfortable and great if you plan on eating a lot on the day you wear it! Fun fact about me: I base all of my outfit choices on how much I plan to eat that day.

It looks black in the photo, but it’s Navy Blue
Wearing a size 4 here – TTS
linked here

I LOVE a comfy dress and this navy blue one is that. It’s a more stretchy material and it has pockets! Who doesn’t love a dress with pockets?! I would wear this one to work or you could even pair it with a denim jacket and sandals for a casual day.

What you can’t see in this photo is that the zipper didn’t go up all the way!
Wearing a 4 here, but would size up to a 6
linked here

I spotted this midi-dress and fell in love with it. The cut is perfect (keeps you modest) and it’s great for a number of occasions. it’s not completely white (navy blue stripes) so you could wear it to a wedding or to a brunch with friends!

Full disclosure: I could not breathe in these pants so I would definitely size up to a 28.
I’m wearing a 4 in the blazer, but the arms a bit long so would go for a 6p
pants linked here
blazer linked here

Last but not least, this coral jeans and navy blazer combo. I saw these and fell in love with the color. The blazer was comfy and easy to move around in, which is great because there’s nothing worse than super stiff clothing. I liked the way they paired together. Navy blue and coral is never a mistake!

Let me know what you think in the comments? Any other Banana Republic lovers out there?!

with love & gratitude,

stef

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