Have a Holly Jolly (and Earth Friendly) Christmas

Looking for ways to have a more environmentally responsible Christmas? This year, I decided to make some great gift sets for my teen and young adult kiddos with items that are responsible but still cool, fun, and most importantly, actually useful to them. Here are some great gift ideas for those on your list who are already enviro-conscious AND for those who might want to be:

1. Reusable Straws - lots of people already have these, but I found some that come in cute little cases you can clip right onto your backpack! They come in both silicone and metal varieties so you can choose whichever you like best!
green gift guide reusable straw
Resip reusable metal straw kit

2. Bamboo Toothbrushes - these are great because they are biodegradable, unlike the plastic variety we get from the dentist every six months. You can find them for adults or children with a variety of bristle softness. They even come in fun colors and rainbow bristles! I like this set below with their cute little bamboo bases:
Home Natural organic bamboo toothbrush holder 2 pk $7.59

3. Bamboo Reusable Utensils - who needs single use plastic silverware when you have these cute bamboo sets? They come with a spoon, fork, knife, chopsticks, and even a reusable straw. And the whole set fits nicely inside a cute cloth bag so you can carry it with you any time!
2 pk Bamboosty reusable utensils $11.50

4. Reusable Makeup Wipes - these soft pads are washable and reusable...so much better for your face AND for the environment! You can get them in traditional cotton round sizes all the way up to face towel sizes. And of course, they come in a variety of colors!

5. Recycled/Recyclable Wrapping Paper - let's not forget wrapping your earth-friendly gift set! Not all wrapping paper (and gift bags) can be recycled, so here are some that can PLUS they come in tons of adorable prints:

Wrappily 3 sheets for $10
I hope you've found this little earth-friendly gift guide helpful! Leave a comment if you would like some additional gift ideas or if you have any of your own to share. Happy shopping! Xoxo

Fall Fashion 2019 Trend #2: Capes

When you think about a jacket for this fall, think outside the box. We've all got the basic sherpa, a utility jacket, and a great trench, but what about a cape? No, we're not talking superhero capes here (although most women deserve one); we're talking a variety of capes from chic to sporty to elegant. There are numerous styles by lots of different designers at all different price points. Here are a few from the runway for inspiration:

Celine (and those boots are to DIE for)




Miu Miu

As you can see, there are SO many lengths, colors, and styles to choose from. That means there is something for everyone! They're also easy to dress up or down, which makes them a great wardrobe staple to have. Now since this blog is about affordable fashion, here are a few options for those of us who can't spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a new cape for fall:

This beautiful cape from Shein comes in four different colors and is so chic, nobody would ever guess it only costs $25!

Here's another Shein cape in a beautiful jewel tone (which is also another big fall trend)!

This Modena double layer cape is a longer version that's warm, cozy, and only $34.97!

Here's a cute plaid version from Zulily for just $69.99!

And for some real life inspo, here's a great olive cape I wore all over Paris three years ago!

What capes are YOU coveting this season? Tell me in the comments, and let me know how you would style them! Xoxo

Labor Day Sales

It's Labor Day weekend (aka GTFO summer, hello fall!) and one of my favorite holidays of the year! Not just because it means August is finally over and cooler temps are on the way, but because some of the best clothing sales are happening now. Here are the best ones I've found both in-store and online that you NEED to check out:

1. Nordstrom Clear the Rack
There are SO MANY amazing deals in this sale! Take an extra 25% off of clearance prices on women's, men's, home, accessories, and more. My only advice is if you see something you want, snap it up because certain sizes and colors tend to sell out quickly.

2. Macy's Labor Day Sale
Macy's has 25%-50% off items right now, but you can save an additional 15% -20% with the code WKND. Look for great deals in every department!

3. Anthropologie
Take an extra 50% off all sale items in clothing, shoes, home, and beauty. All sales are final though, so choose carefully!

4. J. Crew's Sunset on Summer Event
I love this sale at J. Crew because you can get an extra 50% off sale styles, but you can also get 40% off regular merchandise! Use the code SUNSET.

5. Old Navy's See Ya Summer Sale 
Score 50% off all dresses, jeans, tees, and activewear! Plus the name of the sale embodies exactly how I feel about fall, so you have to love that.

6. Dillard's Clearance Event
This is one of my favorite events, and it happens several times a year! You get an extra 30% off clearance prices on ladies', juniors', and kids' apparel and shoes. Take an extra 40% off the clearance prices on handbags, jewelry, men's apparel, lingerie, and home goods.

7. American Eagle Online Sale
American Eagle is offering 25%-60% off of EVERYTHING but online only! They are also doing free shipping and 30% off of jeans and joggers right now.

8. Clothes Mentor Wardrobe Builder Sale
For my local ladies, Clothes Mentor in Edmond is having a great sale Saturday and Monday (they are closed on Sunday). Take $10 off $50, $20 off $100, or $35 off $150! If you've never been in there, go check it out! They've got designer clothing, shoes, and accessories at resale prices. It's where I've gotten all my Gucci, Burberry, Fendi, etc!

I know this is a short post, but I wanted to give you plenty of time to shop! :) Are there any other Labor Day sales that you're excited about? Leave a comment and let me know! Xoxo

Fall Fashion 2019 Trend #1: Animal Print

It's that time! Kids are going back to school, September issues of all the fashion magazines are coming out, and the weather (hopefully) is about to turn cooler. That means it's time for us to start talking about my favorite subject: FALL FASHION! It's a bit much to cover in one blog post, so I'm dividing up the major trends and writing a post over each one during the next couple of weeks. First up is animal print!

Animal print is a trend that has been around for a while now (check out my summer trends post from earlier this year) and it isn't going away anytime soon. It's a fun way to add a bit of personality to neutral colors. It really does go with almost everything! I remember buying my first pair of leopard flats when I started teaching 11 years ago and wondering, now what exactly can I wear these with? At first, I thought they were only meant to go with black. But I soon learned that they looked amazing with a plethora of colors as well as simple patterns like stripes. If you think about it, it makes sense...leopard is just a combination of the neutrals brown and black, after all! So don't be afraid to wear your leopard print items with bold colors! Here are just a few of the ways you'll be seeing leopard print this fall:
Universal Thread Printed Mules
Glenda Leopard Print Suede Platform Wedge Sneakers
Glenda Leopard Suede Wedge Sneakers by Blondo
J.O.A. Leopard Pattern Cardigan, Main, color, LEOPARD/ MUSTARD
J.O.A. Leopard Cardigan
Women's Apt. 9® Animal Print Cardigan
Apt 9 Leopard Cardigan

Reba Tanya Stretch Leopard Print Skinny Leg Jean
Stretch Leopard Skinny Leg Jeans

Free People Raw Hem Jacket

Tip: If you're looking for a REALLY good deal on some leopard print gear, Wal-Mart has a ton of cute, new items this fall! Don't forget to check out the shoe selection also!

Another animal print that has really grown in popularity lately is snakeskin. There is a bit of a new take on it this season though. Instead of the white/gray color we typically see, brown snakeskin is in for fall! I love it because it has a warmer feel and goes better with the greens, yellows, and burgundys of the season. Check out these booties and flats that were some of the biggest sellers from this year's Nsale:
STEVE MADDEN Feather Studded Loafer, Main, color, TAN SNAKE PRINT
Feather Studded Loafer by Steve Madden

STEVE MADDEN Missie Bootie, Main, color, BROWN SNAKE PRINT
Missie Booties by Steve Madden

Now that the Nsale is over and everything has gone back to their original prices, here are a couple of less expensive options, too:
Snakeskin Lenox Loafers

Milkway-07A Light Brown Multi Snake Chelsea Bootie
Qupid Brown Chelsea Bootie

Faux-Suede Pointy-Toe D'Orsay Flats for Women

Old Navy Snakeskin Flats

Remember that if you're unsure about wearing the whole animal print trend, accessories are a great way to test it out! Instead of buying a leopard print coat, try a pair of shoes or a small crossbody first. Belts, scarves, and jewelry are also great ways to subtly incorporate the trend into your wardrobe. If you're looking for something specific, always feel free to message me! I'm more than happy to help you guys find great pieces at great prices! Fall Trend #2 will be coming soon, so stay tuned! Xoxo

Christmas in July

The origins of Christmas in July are debatable, but there is one explanation that seems to be the most widely accepted. Since the southern hemisphere is experiencing summer during the month of December, people in Australia decided to have a Christmas in July celebration so they could partake in all the cold weather festivities we associate with Christmastime. Makes sense, right? My girls and I used to have our own Christmas in July celebration where we would crank up the A/C, make hot cocoa, and watch Christmas movies for a day! Now I refer to Christmas in July as all the fantastic sales that happen during this time of year! Since the theme of this entire blog is Chic for Cheap, I'm going to fill you in on the best sales, when they start, and what you will want to purchase at each one.

The Nsale 7/12-8/4
Let's just start with the big one, shall we? Nordstrom's annual Nsale is the true equivalent of Christmas morning for thousands of fashionistas everywhere. The thing that sets it apart from other sales is that they are putting NEW merchandise on sale! Their newly released fall items are marked down from July 19th through August 4th only. Prices go up to their normal retail amounts on August 5th and remain that way throughout the fall. If you have a Nordstrom card however, you get to start shopping on July 12th! This is why you will see practically every blogger you follow saturating Instagram with #nsale a week early. I'm not a big proponent of credit cards, but I do have a Nordstrom card for this very reason (and because their rewards program is fantastic). I'm working on a blog post entirely devoted to the Nsale, so I won't go into too much detail here. Just know that you will want to buy pieces for the upcoming fall and winter because you will get them for the cheapest prices of the season - before the season even begins!

Zara 6/20-???
The Zara sale started towards the end of June and is still going on. Zara has great basics which you can get for even cheaper during the sale, but I like to take advantage of the great prices on some of their more expensive pieces. Zara has some cool, trendy items that cost more than the basics but are way more fun! Unless you are in need of some good basics, I would use this sale to snag some unique looks that can really add personality to your wardrobe.  But purchase quickly because things sell out like hotcakes! And FYI, they have free shipping on orders over $50!

Amazon Prime Day 7/15-7/16
This sale is always a bit of a mystery, but if you're like me, that's half the fun! It's obviously not all fashion-related, so I also look for home items, Christmas presents, and electronics.  Many items are previewed before they actually go on sale, so pay close attention to launch times. There are limited quantities of most deals. I like that they put hot ticket items on sale (last year's big sellers were Roku and Instapot) and not just random crap that you wouldn't be interested in anyway. The only catch is that you have to be a Prime member in order to get the deals.

Macy's 7/2-7/7
Macy's 4th of July sale has great discounts on clothing, home items, beauty, and even furniture. They also offer bonus Star Money and extra discounts with codes FOURTH and FOURTH25. This is a great opportunity to get some more summer gear (because let's be honest, it's going to stay hot outside until at least the middle of October) as well as some great deals for the home.

Leave me a comment and let me know what YOUR favorite summer sales are! Happy shopping! Xo

Dublin Travel Guide

This summer, I was able to check another adventure off my bucket list: traveling to Ireland! What made it even more special is the fact that my oldest daughter and my mother went with me! I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the highlights of our trip as well as what I packed.

The weather in Ireland was forecasted to be markedly cooler than it was here (which is one reason I was so excited to go). I decided I would need to take long pants, a couple of jackets, and a scarf or two. This was my basic packing list for our week-long stay:
-3 pairs of jeans
-2 pairs of leggings
-4 long sleeve shirts
-2 short sleeve shirts
-1 jacket with hood
-1 light scarf (doubles as a blanket on the plane!)
-1 pair of sneakers
-1 pair of waterproof booties
If you go during even cooler weather, I would recommend taking a couple of undershirts, a heavy scarf, and some nice warm socks!

We decided to stay in a house instead of a hotel, and I have to say, I am a big fan of this! It is cheaper than a hotel room, plus you can save even more money by not eating out for every meal since you have a full kitchen at your disposal. Check out the GORGEOUS historical townhome we stayed in!
It was just down the street from the bus stop, a grocery store, an amazing coffee shop, and the cutest little Irish pub. The entire street was so picturesque and felt very safe.

I scoured Pinterest and a ton of travel blogs for months prior to our trip, trying to find the best things to do and see. My daughter's only request was that we see the Cliffs of Moher. Other than that, our plan was to stay in and around Dublin. There are, of course, the typical tourist spots like Temple Bar, Grafton Street, and the Molly Malone statue, but we wanted to find some of the hidden gems Dublin has to offer. Here are a few of the must-see places we discovered:
-The National Leprechaun Museum: One of the most FAVORITE things we did on this trip was the Darklands tour at this museum! It's totally not what you think it is. This museum is a storytelling experience, and it is phenomenal. You learn about the history of Irish folklore and then travel through different rooms as you're told various classic tales. The storytellers are amazing performers and really draw you in. The daytime tours are the PG versions and the Darkland tours (the one we went on) are the original versions of the stories. I highly recommend hitting this place up. It's a very uniquely Irish experience!
-The Winding Stair Bookshop and RestaurantThis cozy little bookshop is a fun place to look around. They also sell some prints by local artists (I got a cool painting or the Dublin skyline for a very reasonable price). There is a cool restaurant next door that serves some great Irish food and drink
-Guinness Storehouse: Most of you probably already know this is a major Dublin attraction, but I wanted to mention it because it truly is a unique experience. It's like the Willy Wonka factory for grown ups! Even if beer isn't really your thing, the history is pretty interesting and their exhibits are very well done. There is also an AMAZING restaurant that serves huge portions, and a bar on the top floor with gorgeous views of the city.
-Irish Whiskey MuseumOk, this one is also kind of a given, but it really is worth your while to go. Heads up though, you have to get tickets and it is a guided tour. And of course there is a tasting at the end!
-Epic Immigration Museum: Many people are aware of the potato famine, but most don't know all the other occurrences that made it necessary for some Irish to leave their homeland. This museum puts on an informative and intriguing display of Ireland's history, both good and bad, and implores its visitors to learn from the mistakes of the past. I could have spent most of the day here reading over all the fascinating information.
-Vintage Tea Tours: Unfortunately, this is one activity that we did not get to do. We saw the bus driving around several times though, and it is THE cutest thing I've ever seen! You get to ride around in an adorable bus and learn more about Dublin, all while having a tea party...what's not to love about that?
-Trinity College Library: This attraction is best known for housing The Book of Kells, but I found the library itself to be more impressive. But maybe that's because I'm a teacher, the daughter of a librarian, and a bibliophile. The main part of the library has floor-to-ceiling books and is still a functioning research library. Oh what I would have given to be able to pull some of those centuries old books of the shelves and look through them!

The numerous pubs we stopped at were a great highlight as well. All of them were so cozy, the people were so kind, and the food/drinks were SO good! I look forward to going back and seeing more of the country. Besides the Cliffs of Moher, there are so many other places to see like Wexford, Kilkenny, Blarney Castle (ever heard of the famous Blarney Stone??), Cork, and others. And the best part is that you can do it all relatively inexpensively! See, I'm not just a bargain hunter when it comes to clothes! Xo

Clothes Mentor Personal Shopper Spree

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you already know that I’m a big fan of resale. It's more affordable and is so much better for the environment. I am a big fan of Clothes Mentor in particular because they carry high end designer brands at super low prices. So when I was presented with the opportunity to participate in Clothes Mentor’s free personal shopper program, I jumped at the chance! You might be wondering why a fashion blogger would use a personal shopper. That’s a fair question. The answer is, I know my shopping habits well enough to realize that I tend to go for the same styles over and over again. Now that’s not to say that I don’t try new trends, but when it comes to my everyday wardrobe, I can sometimes get stuck in a style rut (anyone else have that problem?). Having a personal shopper choose outfits for me was great because she put together looks that I never would have picked out for myself, and guess what? I LOVED THEM. It’s easy to recommend that others take fashion risks, but it can difficult to do for yourself. This experience forced me to expand my fashion horizons and helped me find some killer outfits that I never would have found on my own.

You also probably know from this blog that I am a big fan of saving money. Shopping resale lets me wear brands that I love without paying prices that I don’t love. But let me show you just how much money you can easily save when shopping resale!

Ten of the items I purchased were brand new with the tags still attached (NWT):
$49.50 JCrew “Masterpiece” graphic tee (JCrew)
$44.00 a.n.a. Black distressed jeans (Kohls)
$29.00 Dog graphic top (Dillards)
$33.00 Umgee black embroidered boho top
$44.00 Libby Edelman denim lace up dress
$29.99 A New Day black striped jumpsuit
$24.94 Old Navy mint cut offs
$24.94 Old Navy dusty rose cut offs
$29.00 Mia navy ruffle slip ons
$39.99 Madden Girl rose gold sandals
$348.36 TOTAL

Based on the retail prices on those tags, I would have paid $348.36 plus tax if I had bought them from their original retail stores. But by shopping resale, I was able to buy 38 ITEMS (4 flyaways, 11 tops, 4 pairs of pants, 6 pairs of shorts, 4 dresses, 2 jumpsuits, 1 vest, 1 jacket, 5 pairs of shoes) for less than those 10 items originally cost. So for the price of this….

...I was able to buy ALL of this!

Starting to see why I’m such a big fan of resale?

Let’s get back to the personal shopper experience. It was super simple to sign up. I just went to the Clothes Mentor website and clicked on the personal shopper link. That took me to a short questionnaire. I told them what styles and colors I like, what sizes I wear, if there is anything specific I need (like certain pieces for my upcoming trip to Ireland and a cruise later this summer), and gave them my contact info. The whole process took less than 10 minutes. Easy, right? Then I was contacted by one of their personal shoppers to set up a time to come in. She asked me a few more questions to really get a good idea of what i was looking for and made me feel so at ease from the very beginning. Check out this cool bio sheet she made to help her decide on looks I would love:

The best part of the personal shopper experience is walking in the store and being treated like a rock star. My personal shopper had a rack full of amazing clothes waiting for me as well as a bin full of great shoes! I was then shown to my large dressing room where she helped me decide what tops to try on with what bottoms and which shoes would best complete the outfit. Yeses went in one pile, maybes in another pile, and she put all the nos back for me. She gave me honest feedback on every outfit and helped me create multiple outfits from the same pieces. If an item I liked didn’t fit quite right, she would run find a similar item in another size. It felt like a total “Pretty Woman” shopping experience!
Somehow, we managed to narrow down all of this...

...and all of this...

...to this!

As I mentioned before, one of the best perks of having a personal shopper was that she picked out items that I wouldn’t have normally picked out for myself. I think we all get into fashion ruts once in a while where we find ourselves wearing the same styles over and over. Having fresh ideas from someone else is never a bad thing, in my opinion. Here are a few of the fabulous looks I wouldn’t have now if it weren’t for this experience:

I would have thought this dress was way too long for my petite stature, but it looked amazing!

A simple denim dress seemed too plain at first, but it's so easy to dress it up with different shoes!

I never would have even pulled this off the rack, but it looks SO cute on!

Whether you need a few key items for a specific event or an entire new wardrobe, I highly recommend Clothes Mentor’s free personal shopper program. I can say with complete confidence that you will not regret it! They pick out great looks for you, help you put outfits together, and give you feedback….and did I mention that it’s FREE?  Plus, you can save a ton of money on great designer brands. Remember, I ended up buying almost 40 items (many of them NWT) for the same amount I would have spent on only 10 of them originally. And you don't have to feel guilty because shopping resale is environmentally responsible.Treat yourself and give it a try! But in the meantime, take a look at the rest of my epic haul! And please give me a shout if you have any questions. Xoxo

Spring 2019 Trend #4: Boiler Suits

If you read that title and said, “Huh??” don’t worry, you’re not alone! Most people here refer to them as jumpsuits, pantsuits, or coveralls (think Rosie the Riveter). If you’ve never worn one, get ready to fall in love!
The best thing about a boiler suit is that it’s an entire outfit made up of just one piece of clothing. Easy, right? You just grab one thing out of your closet, and you’re ready to go! While that may sound basic, they are anything but. For example, a denim suit worn with boots produces a very different image than a flowy, floral print suit worn with heels. Details such as prints, sleeve style, belts, cuffs, and embellishments can personalize them even further and achieve fun, unique looks. Another great thing about them is that they can be made from almost any type of fabric, so you can find boiler suits for all different seasons. Here are some of the coolest ones on the runways for spring:
Now let’s look at some more affordable options, shall we? Boiler suits are available in stores like H&M, Nordstrom, Express, Forever21, and even Target! This is another trend that you can find in vintage, thrift, and resale shops as well. And remember, there are tons of ways to personalize them. You can add a belt or scarf, roll or unroll the cuffs, go casual with sneakers or dressy with wedges/heels, and you can change up accessories like jewelry, handbags, sunglasses, and hats. Take a look at these more affordable options (including one of ME in my boiler suit from Target!) and just imagine all the ways you could style them! Xoxo

Spring 2019 Trend #3: Tie Dye

One of my favorite trends this year is colorful, groovy tie dye! While often associated with peace signs, hippies, and “Dead Heads”, tie dye is not something we are accustomed to seeing on the runway. And yet, there it was, in all its flower power glory! It was used by the likes of Prada, Chloe, and Stella McCartney and featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmo, and Elle. Check out a couple of the great designer tie dye looks straight from the runway:
However, if you can afford those, you’re probably not reading my blog! Fortunately for the rest of us, there are many affordable options for great tie dye pieces to liven up our wardrobes. Stores such as H&M, Zara, Lulu’s, Nordstrom (and Nordstrom Rack), even Walmart and Target, all have tie dye this season! And don’t forget to shop resale, vintage, and thrift shops. You can find some amazing deals there as well.
WIth the popularity of tie dye among teens, I’ve had some people ask if it’s really a trend that “grown ups” can wear. The short answer is: YES! Just be mindful of the garment the tie dye is on. Pieces such as overalls, crop tops, or shorty-shorts might not be the best choices (unless those are styles that you frequently wear anyway). But you can easily incorporate tie dye into summery dresses, rompers, coverups, and tops. Another way to make the trend look more “mature” is to choose subtle colors. Instead of bright red or neon green, go with softer shades of blue, lavender, or even black. Check out these examples below, all of which were under $50!
While tie dye may never be appropriate for the corporate wardrobe, there are lots of ways you can affordably incorporate the trend into daily life and look groovy AF! Xoxo
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