fall & winter staples – tops

Hi there 🙂

My wardrobe is super simple… lots of solids, a few simple prints and mostly pieces I can mix and match. This is sometimes referred to as a capsule wardrobe. Not familiar with this term? PINTEREST is your FRIEND.

This is the first of a three-part series on fall/winter staples for casual days. In this post, we focus on tops. Next will be bottoms, then a final post with everything else (accessories, shoes, scarfs)! All the pieces mentioned below are super accessible. You can go high-end or low-end, based on your personal preferences and/or budget – the end result will be EXACTLY the same!

PSA: I don’t spend a lot of money on clothes. Handbags and accessories, now that’s a different story! #pickyourpoison #unlessyouarerich

The key to looking chic is to keep it simple. The fewer colors you wear, the more chic you look! #facts  Find a piece you like and buy in multiple colors!

 

(pictures not my own)

Long sleeve shirts. I always purchase these from Banana Republic. They come in many colors; but, my staples are white, gray and black. Add in a white long-sleeve shirt with black horizontal stripes to your list as well as corresponding short sleeve plain shirts.

Boyfriend shirts. For, um… layers! (who wears coats anymore??) You only need two: one camouflage and one jean material. For camouflage, check Nordstrom or Express. My jean shirt is from Target – I wanted plain jean shirt, no fading, no embellishments, no buttons… sigh; but, you can find these anywhere (Macy’s). If you want to be a little more fancy, add a red buffalo check shirt – this one is men’s (couldn’t find a women’s version online).

One button black blazer. This is a must have! Wear it on top of the shirts described above or over a graphic t-shirt for an extra snazzy look. J. Crew

 

 

 

 

 

Puffer vest from The North Face. In the absence of a coat this piece really does need to work and will last you a VERY longtime! J. Crew also has some nice ones.

 

 

 

 

That’s it y’all! You won’t find me in much more than these pieces on the weekends.

Stay tuned for my next post – fall/winter staples – bottoms!

 

#PackWithMe

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Most bloggers share this kind of information on YouTube. I’ve watched many videos and I’m completely #over watching people take things in and out of bags. 😕

Over the past five (5) years I’ve taken at least fifteen (15) international trips and have had many more domestic excursions. Over time I have PERFECTED MY TRAVEL TECHNIQUE. It’s actually a fun experience for me! So I thought I would share all the fabulous items I take with me on trips (or on holiday as our European friends would say 😘). Before we start, let’s get one thing out of the way: I NEVER CHECK BAGS no matter where I’m going or for how long. I’ve made a carry-on suitcase and a tote/backpack work for two-week trips to Europe so I know you can do it for a weekend getaway or even a week-long trip (with a little a lot of planning).

Travel mantra: Organize! Everything has a place and every place has a thing.

img_0417This is my PERSONAL ITEM (something that will fit underneath the seat). I am currently using the Henri Bendel Jetsetter Backpack. I absolutely ❤️ it and it holds SO MUCH! How much? Everything you see in the picture above! (click the image to zoom in)

gold macbook, gucci zip around wallet, rayban aviator sunglasses, sessa vee pen, marshall headphones, l’occitane hand cream, iPad mini case, louis vuitton pouch, treat yourself pouch & earbud holder (sold out).

from target: gold glitter journal, emergen-c, colgate wisp, glide

in the small black quilted steph & co makeup case: gucci lipgloss, tom ford lips & boys lip color, crem de la mer, dior lip glow, anastasia beverly hills lipgloss, tweezerman tweezer, tom ford perfume

_13475545img_0441Now, let’s move on to the SUITCASE, also known as the meat & potatoes of travel. I use Bric’s Belagio 21″ Roller.

On one side I pack all of my clothes. Mostly solid/plain pieces that I can mix and match. For every 1 pair of pants I will take 2 shirts (remember to count the bottoms you are wearing!) The trip I’m currently packing for is only 3 days (Saturday – Monday) so I packed 1 additional pair of pants besides the jeans I wore on the plane, 2 shirts and 1 jean shirt. See below for the 3 outfits I made from this combination. (see also Meaningful Holidays)

Side 1 of my suitcase was pretty easy. Side 2? Not so much! 😩 This is where my mantra REALLY comes into play (O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-E❗️). Take a look at side 2 below. This is where I pack everything else:

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Looks nice and neat right? That’s because it is! ORGANIZE. ORGANIZE. ORGANIZE! On the left hand side:

On the right hand side is:

  • Get ready for this super travel tip: my Gucci Soho Disco Handbag serves as storage for all of my underwear, socks, comb, hair bonnet and my prescription glasses! (GREAT way to help the bag keep it’s shape while on the go!)
  • The Anya Hindmarch In Flight Case has all of my liquids: makeup, skin care, etc. ❤️❤️❤️ this bag and the contents EVEN MORE! This case has two sides: Take Off (deepest) and Touch Down (more shallow). I ALWAYS buy smaller sizes of the products I use everyday to take with me. #justsayno to those clear plastic containers that can all contain what can appear to be  mystery liquid. #nobueno 👎🏽 I absolutely love all of my things and I want to see them in as close to their original form as possible!!! 😍
  • Finally, I have a Tory Burch umbrella (no longer available ☹️).
  • Did you notice there’s no jewelry mentioned? That’s because I don’t wear much. I usually take 1-2 bracelets and it’s on me at all times: a dainty necklace, my pandora thumb ring, michael kors watch, some form of  studs for earrings and my wedding ring – that’s it!

take off side (deepest): first aid ultra repair cream, amazing grace (travel size at ulta), purity made simple (1 oz at ulta), clinique take the day off, lancome eye makeup remover, SK-II facial treatment essence (night only), SK-II facial treatment clear lotion (daytime only, great for oil control), makeup forever matte primer, urban decay b6 spray, l’occitane almond shower oil (travel size at sephora)

touch down side (shallow): toms deodorant, la mer lip balm, dior nail polish, toms toothpaste, jo malone fragrance, la mer hand cream (night only), crem de la mer moisturizing cream (night only)

Whew!!! That was fun! ☺️ And I still had enough space left to pack Christmas gifts for the kiddos! 🎁🎄 Happy packing!!!

 

see also #pampermesunday and #favoritethings2016

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Black Friday in July

jtz6iw9r5fksj4kr0eluGet ready to shop until you drop on July 15th! Last week, Amazon announced plans to hold Amazon Prime Day. “Prime members can shop exclusive deals from electronics, toys, video games, movies, clothing, patio, lawn and garden, sports and outdoor items and more.” Amazon’s Prime membership costs $99/year but has lots of benefits, described here and they even offer a free 30-day  trial for the service in case you want to “try before you buy”. I’ve told you before about the benefits of automating purchases of mundane items like toilet paper, laundry detergent, deodorant etc. to simplify your life (see Amazon Subscribe & Save). Now is as good a time as any to get in on the action! Think of this day as Black Friday in July (it also includes free shipping), mainly because Wal-Mart is also joining the party and is introducing thousands of exclusive discounts for online purchases on the very same day.

So here’s a tip if you’re not into Amazon… take FULL advantage of Wal-Marts price match policy ANY DAY of the year, including on Amazon Prime Day. The policy can be found on the retailer’s website, guarantee here. You have a few options:

  1. Contact Wal-Mart customer care at 1-800-966-6546 before you make your purchase online
  2. Drag yourself into the store and show the cashier the sales price on Amazon’s website
  3. Purchase your item in-store, or online as normal, then use Wal-Mart’s Savings Catcher app and wait for the price to be matched (Savings Catcher). If you are buying a large item it’s always a good idea to take screen shots (item #, price) to have proof, just in case this process fails.

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 6.50.17 PMI play this price matching card ALL THE TIME and literally just got $50 refunded to me this morning from Anthropologie and J. Crew because of a little diligence (see also Price Match). This is the reason I typically buy things I want, even if they are not on sale. More likely than not, the item will go on sale – no need to wait until then as your size/color may not be available. I also ALWAYS setup price alerts on the Shop Style app (iOS,  Android) at ALL stores offering the exact same item so that I don’t have to keep checking each website to see if the price has changed. If you do not have this app, GET IT NOW!!!

Happy shopping! (video below)

Here are a few of the other items Amazon is teasing:

  • Fire TV Stick $15 off
  • Kindle, $30 off
  • Fire HD 7, $60 off
  • Fire HD 7 Kids Edition, $60 off
  • 40-inch 1080p LED TV, $115
  • A “brand-name 32-inch Smart HDTV” for under $200
  • 50-inch 4K TV bundle, under $1000
  • Bose headphones at the lowest price ever on Amazon
  • Over 50% off two Nikon COOLPIX cameras
  • “Highly rated” binoculars, under $120
  • Two security camera-kits, $279.99
  • K’NEX 2-in-1 Ferris Wheel Building Set (Amazon Exclusive), $35.99
  • K’NEX Crossfire Chaos Roller Coaster Building Set (Amazon Exclusive), $23.99
  • Playskool Heroes Transformers Rescue Bots Optimus Prime Figure (Amazon Exclusive), $9.99
  • iRobot Roomba Pet Vacuum Cleaning Robot, under $300
  • Husqvarna mower, under $300
  • 40 lightning deals on DVDs up to 75% off
  • Up to 50% off any of the Harry Potter books
  • Save more than 70% on the Divergent Series Complete Box Set of books
  • Save up to 70% on select kitchen products from top brands like Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Foodsaver and Thermos
  • Save up to 50% on select tools for the DIY auto enthusiast
  • Connected Car and Scan Tool products starting at 60% off
  • Road-trip-ready automotive products starting at 50% off
  • Save more than 50% on Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain
  • 30 percent off some clothing, shoes, jewelry, and watches
  • 60 percent off Amazon Elements Baby Wipes with code ELEMENTS60
  • Free luxury beauty sample box with $50 purchase of luxury beauty products, with promo code LUXSAMPLES
  • Buy an Amazon.com Gift Card multipack, get $10 in Amazon.com promotional credit
  • 25% bonus Amazon Coins when you buy 5,000 or 10,000 Amazon Coins

Nordstrom Price Match

The goal of this post is to share information about how you can get better deals on purchases. Most people think getting the lowest price when they make the actual purchase is the only way to great deals on merchandise – not true! Most stores have a PRICE MATCH policy which include lower prices from THEIR store and their COMPETITORS! One of my new favorite stores, Nordstrom, has a 14-day price match policy. It states: 

  • Price matching: We will be glad to meet our competitor’s pricing if you ever find an item that we offer, in the same color and size, available from a similar retailer.

  • Sale Adjustment: If an item you have purchased is reduced in price within two weeks of your order date, we will happily adjust the sale price for you.

0400087026029_247x329An example always helps: Thirteen days ago on April 7th, I purchased a tote from Nordstrom for $298. This morning I noticed Saks is having a Friends & Family sale, where most items are 30% off. So what did I do? Searched for this product on Saks’ website and sure enough they had the exact color I purchased from Nordstrom. So – I called Nordstrom’s customer service, alerted them of the price difference and they adjusted my price down to $208.60. That’s a savings of $89.40 that will be credited to my card just because I was diligent. So go ahead and buy what you want. Set a reminder on your calendar 14 days later to check competitor sites like Saks, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus.  (It may also be helpful to check back every couple of days in case they have a short-lived sale, like 1-day promotion). It does not matter if these stores are in your area or not! STAY FABULOUS!

Savings Catcher

UnknownIf you shop at Wal-Mart, no more scanning a million sales papers to see who has the lowest prices. Nope! Wal-Mart has a  new program called Savings Catcher. Simply shop and buy what you normally would and scan your receipt afterwards. Wal-Mart searches local stores (Kroger, Publix, Walgreens, Target, etc.) for lower prices and refunds you the difference via a gift card. The next time you shop, show them your “rewards” and receive it as a credit on your bill. It’s that simple. So far the program is only available in limited markets (Atlanta, Charlotte, Lexington, Dallas, Huntsville, San Diego and Minneapolis). I tried it a few weeks ago and saved $0.50 on a $50 purchase.

Few facts: in-store purchases only, up to 7 receipts per week, 72-hour turnaround on price matches, does not apply on store brand items, produce, deli, bakery and weighed items like meat.