Tuesday, July 23, 2019

{amazon kaftan + dressing for the heat}

Amazon Kaftan // Steve Madden Shoes (go up a size they run small) // J.Crew Purse //

Photography by Lauren

Amazon Kaftan // Steve Madden Shoes (go up a size they run small) // J.Crew Purse //

When the temperature goes up normally the amount of clothing goes down. Ha you know exactly what I mean... the thought of having clothes on when it's 100+ degrees outside (DC's reality last weekend) makes me want to stay inside all day! When you feel like your skin burns just from being in the shade even the last thing you want to do is wear cute white jeans and a top. My go to is normally a romper or a cotton dress. Then I found this kaftan on Amazon... I ordered it knowing that I could return it instantly if it overwhelmed me size wise. [It says it's a beach coverup and I guess you could wear it for the beach but it's NOT see-through at all so it's good to go as a regular dress.] The colors are right up my alley but I felt like this could just be a looooot - I'm no Patricia from Southern Charm haha this isn't my usual style!

But the second I slipped this on I was in love! I tried it belted and loved it too! But sometimes you just don't want to wear a tight fitted outfit to fit your body (my mother hates it when I wear baggy clothes lol). The deep v in the front was so much fun and showed some skin without feeling like I was putting the girl on display and the low back helped the breeze come through. The side panels are sewn closer in to the body so that it doesn't look like you're wearing a bag and then the slits up the legs help the bottom of the dress flow open!

I joked that this was my Housewives of Key West look ;) I threw it on one hot morning and was able to walk to the grocery store comfortably! I think the key is because it doesn't stick to you - the shape and cut allows air to flow while still protecting you from the sun. I kind of think of it like seeking out shade... it can be sweltering hot outside but you're find to sit in the shade! This kaftan may be long and look like a lot of material but it protects you from the sun and creates some nice shade for your skin and legs! The material doesn't soak up and hold a lot of moisture either so the quick dry tendency is a game changer!

The best part is I just love the colors. They're vibrant and playful and remind me of shades of a sunset! Who doesn't love a great Amazon kaftan find like this?!

Love Always,

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

{finding happiness in the little things + my new fave green dress}

Green Dress (small) // Sand Dollar Earrings // Steve Madden Sandals (go up 1/2 size) //

Photography by Lauren Middledorf

I've talked about finding happiness in the little things a lot. I'm no stranger to getting in funks and not being able to pull myself out of it right away. I can't simply snap my fingers and make myself happy again (can anyone though?) - life just doesn't work like that. I can wind up festering on one thing until I fully think it through and come to a conclusion. The problem with that is sometimes it will take days and it's a huge distraction that causes me to be unable to focus on anything else...

Sound familiar?

Yeah, I know I'm not alone! I very easily let other people's emotions and thoughts influence me. So if I'm unhappy at work, for example, and a coworker is feeling the same way and shares those thoughts with me I begin to go in a downward spiral. This happens quickly to me because I'm a very optimistic person. Sounds like an oxymoron doesn't it? An optimistic person that gets dragged down with pessimism. A negative attitude or thoughts weighs on me heavier than it does for others. Because I attempt to see the best in everything when someone points out a negative it's almost a "glass shattering moment" for me. It's kind of like someone taking off your rose colored glasses ha. I feel emotions very deeply - so when someone announces a pregnancy, engagement, exciting news, etc I feel absolutely elated! If it's sad news like a death or breakup my empathy takes full control of my heart and mind.

I've learned this more and more about myself in the last 3 years. Perhaps it was recognizing how my actions had an effect on others and being forced to take an inward look at myself after a bad breakup, moving into a solo apartment, dating in DC, and then ultimately losing my dad. It was a cumulation of events that makes you look at life differently! For awhile I started writing 3 things that made me smile every morning, then I began to have a one word goal for the week (like endurance, joy, or patience), and I would also have a quote that I wanted to embody by the end of the day/month/week. All of these tasks helped me succeed and keep my happiness up but it was just that... a task. I had to carve out time to do it and really think about what I wanted to focus on and choose. Would I do it again? Yes. I still occasionally write down 3 things that make me smile if it's something unique and random.

But more recently I've begun to find happiness in the little things, in the things that already exist and make up my life. Instead of seeking something out I let it come to me. It makes me appreciate a giving quality in a stranger, or a puppy that I passed on the street, or someones IG story that made me laugh really hard on my commute home. I don't sit down and force myself to say why I'm happy - I glance around for it and it finds me. I think this has caused a domino effect in me because I'm able to recognize the happiness faster and in return I can be pulled out of a funk more quickly.

It sounds silly but this green dress is one of those happy things... I wore it to work on a Friday and got so many compliments that I wore it again on Sunday to drinks with friends. I didn't care that I'd worn it two days earlier. It made me happy and I felt good about myself :) I'm a sucker for green and a dress that I can spin and dance in! That's one of the little things that will always make me happy!

Love Always,

Friday, July 12, 2019

{nordstrom anniversary sale 2019 | early access}

[Scroll to the bottom if you want to see my picks and already know this drill...]


Today marks the first day of Early Access - that means you have to be a card holder to shop the sale. But don't worry, the sale opens up to everybody on the 19th. So if you don't have a card start making notes about what catches your eye and if you do have one... what are you waiting for! The prices go back up on August 5th. [Note: if you go into stores before July 19th you won't be able to shop the items unless you have a card as well]

This sale is always primarily Fall clothing. It feels weird to be buying boots and sweaters in the dead of summer... but when you know you need a new pair of boots for cooler weather because your old ones have seen better days? Why not get them when they're on sale! It just makes it easier when you're in denial that summer is over and all of a sudden it's cold and you're in need of an upgrade [can you tell I'm speaking from experience?]

This blog post is different from a lot of other bloggers [legit zero hate or shade here y'all!!] because I have a strict budget. I shared a lot of this on IG stories last night but I don't have the freedom to spend thousands of dollars to pull looks together for you lovely ladies. I absolutely adore seeing outfits others create but I always view this sale as a time to invest in pieces I truly need and will get a lot of wear out of or to replace something in my closet that needs to be updated. If you're in the market for a designer handbag or a pricier piece of clothing slash pair of shoes this is also the time to do it.

I save gift cards from Christmas and my birthday for this sale every year knowing there's always something that I'm going to want/need come the Fall season [my budget varies based on what I was given and saved - this summer I have $350]. This year I really need to invest in a new pair of tennis shoes (my current ones are ripping in the back), update my every day booties, and invest in a nice cardigan that I can wear to events/church/fancy dinner (some of my go to's are a little too slouchy). I also like to grab at least one basic sweater... why? Because I can't stand the cold so having something new that I'm excited to wear really helps ease me into the colder season. Haha I know that's sooo strange. Last year I wore the same chenille sweater a million and a half ways so I was excited to find a sweater that has similar potential :)

If you want to shop something below just click on the item!

In the past I have really invested in boots that I knew I would wear constantly and for years - that's why I own Tory Burch boots in black and brown. I purchased my black pair 5 years ago and wore them so often that I saved and invested in a pair of brown riding boots. I wear both of them all the time and keep them in their boxes horizontal so their shape keeps!

I've purchased 3 pairs of over-the-knee boots from this sale (including a new pair last year - my fave so far because of the pointy toe). OTK boots are my go to for a night out and work as well. I love how slimming they are and they legitimately go with everything. Be prepared for another year of me wearing the same shoes non-stop. I'm just addicted to them!

I also wear my suede camel boots a lot (seen here from 2 years ago). They're a great classy look for pants or a dress while still being really comfortable to walk in. I bought these on a whim one year (prior to having a plan) and was really shocked at how much use I actually got out of them. Mine are still thriving so it's not time to invest in a new pair yet! I chose the Sam Edelman ones from this year because that's the brand I have and they're comfortable and durable!

A favorite purchase (and investment) was my cashmere scarf - it's big enough that it doubles as a shawl or wrap too. Cashmere is a luxury but the sale prices make it a lot more accessible. I knew that I would get a lot of wear out of this scarf so I justified the purchase by estimating how often I would wear it. I thought about the scarf I wore to work commuting every day... this cashmere one replaced it. I also love that it's nice enough to wear on holidays to a fancy dinner or to church on Christmas. If you're going to invest in something like that you have to think long term! Really think about what color will go best with your wardrobe. Black goes with everything but I didn't feel I could dress down a black scarf. The first one I invested in was camel and my second was grey. I figured if I wore all black those two colors would still look sleek and sophisticated against black. (The one linked below is by the brand Halogen - that's the brand of both of my scarves.)

A must have every year from this sale? A great pair of booties (this years pair shown above in the collage)! I feel like every girl, myself included, goes through one pair a year. I'm not rough on my shoes but the weather certainly is! I never wear new shoes out drinking so if I have a pair that's older they become my "going out" shoes and the new pair takes the place of date night/work outfit/with parents shoes ;) Also make sure to treat ALL your suede or leather shoes!!!! I've linked the Vince Camuto ones because I like the toe shape - I don't own booties by Vince Camuto (my old ones are BP brand) but I'm purchasing these VC ones and have always liked their boots. [cardigan and booties from two years ago during #NSale]

I also love to get a new cardigan - I keep these in my purse when I travel and one is always at my desk in case I get cold during the work day. I would recommend to check your closet and see if you actually need a new one before purchasing though. At one point I had 5 grey sweaters and really needed a new white one haha. You can style the same cardigan multiple ways so don't feel like you have to own a ton! But that being said, if your current cardigans are worn on the wrist cuffs or the elbows are stretched out - these prices make for a great time to donate the old and snag a new!

I've loved my faux-leather look leggings with a big sweater or tee and cardigan! I've tried out cheaper versions of leather look leggings and they just don't hold up. If you're interested in this look you really need to shell out a bit more money... this Spanx brand sucks you in and they stay up well. Plus it has a nice texture which helps with the leather look.

As I mentioned in the section above about what I'm purchasing this year, I love to get a basic sweater. Last year I got a mock neck white sweater with slightly larger sleeves and it is easily my most asked about sweater (it sold out in white during early access last year so womp...) the styles of two sweaters below [bottom left] are super similar to that sweater!! [you can see a photo of it below - top left image]

And last but not least... Diptyque candles. This is a guilty pleasure and I ask for a full sized Baies scent every year but have never gotten one haha. They're still pricey at $55 but it's a fun little indulgence and the lowered price tag helps. I've only purchased this twice in my entire life :) it was a fun treat that I've made last for easily 3 years because I light them sparingly and on special occasions. I love to save the glass jars and re-purpose them! These would also make luxe gifts for friends, mothers, etc!

If you want to shop something below just click on the item!

Sharing the similar items I've worn in the past below... some of these photos date back to 2015 - that's why I feel comfortable recommending y'all purchase a cashmere scarf, for example. I truly believe investing in quality pieces over quantity will help your closet be stable with basics for years! This also gives y'all a glimpse into why I've chosen the pieces that I have. Side note: not every outfit makes it to the 'gram so a lot of these pieces were only seen on Southern Anchors!

I will be putting together another post around July 19 with lots of my favorite items from this sale when it opens up to the public. That way, everything I pick as "items I would like to purchase" will be available! This will be a similar fashion to what I've done in the past with items from all departments (shoes, purses, jewelry, clothes) fitting into 3 categories: lounge wear, weekend wear, & work wear. I really enjoy finding unique pieces that people haven't already put up on Instagram - and it seems like y'all did too based on IG feedback last night!

**As a reminder, I may make a small commission when you use my links and then shop through them! Lots of bloggers push this sale on their readers with lots of items because it's a "click war" to get their cookies on your computer during the sale. Basically, if you click my link riiiight before making a purchase I benefit from that click - roughly 7-10% goes to me! (I have no clue who purchases and what's being purchased though) This allows me to keep Southern Anchors running so that I can bring you new style ideas and dedicate time to putting posts like this together - it means the world that y'all support me... seriously!**

Love Always,
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