A Brief History of Nail Art

You've probably noticed that short, squared off French manicures have given way to fun fingernails. Longer lengths, vibrant colors, and nail art are now mainstream. But as with so many trends, this one is not actually new. Black women have been rocking this look for ages.

As we are all (hopefully) doing a better job of educating ourselves these days, I think it is important to bring attention to the fact that many current trends are originally from Black culture. While Kylie Jenner and other white influencers may be credited with the nail art trend, Black women started this fashion statement years ago. The amazing Olympic athlete Florence Griffith-Joyner ("Flo Jo") and her patriotic nails of the early 90's come to mind. Black women have long been criticized for extravagant nails while many white women have not typically received the same treatment. You can read more about that here.

I have long admired this nail trend but wondered if I could still pull it off. I used to do my own nails in junior high and high school, and I still remember my typing teacher telling me on the first day that I would have to cut them (I didn't and still ended up with the fastest time in the class).  After creating an expansive Pinterest board with nail art looks, I decided to go for it. You can check out some of my most recent looks below. I, for one, am in love with this trend and don't see myself going back to boring nails anytime soon!  

Nordstrom Sale Before the Sale!

One of the biggest events of the fashion blogger/influencer world is the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale every July (August this year). However, many people may not know about what I call the sale before the sale, which is happening right now! For a short time, you get an extra 25% off their clearance sale prices on hundreds of great items. Now you guys know that I'm a big supporter of sustainable fashion, so why am I promoting a Nordstrom sale? There are two reasons. The first is that I believe it's okay to buy high quality staple pieces brand new because they will last longer than something that is cheaply made.  If you're buying a high quality classic wardrobe staple instead of a trendy piece, you might very well be able to wear it for over a decade! The second reason is that Nordstrom is beginning to support sustainable fashion by creating a resale shop called See You Tomorrow. For now, customers are only able to sell back their items in person at the NYC store, but it's a start and I'm willing to give them props for it.

Now back to the sale! Here are some of my favorite items that are included in the extra 25% off clearance prices:

Jean trends come and go, but a great pair of dark wash skinny jeans are always a safe bet. This pair of Madewell jeans are only $60.75! 

You can't go wrong with a cute shirt dress, and this Samsoe Samsoe one is only $60!

A great blazer is a classic wardrobe staple. This Topshop houndstooth blazer is a steal at only $37.49! Bonus: the matching pants are on sale also!

These beautiful Veronica Beard wide leg slacks can be dressed up or down for work or play. They are just over $100 and were originally $425!

These are just a small sample of the bargains you can get right now, so jump on Nordstrom.com and see what you can find! Xoxo


Keeping It Cozy

If you've ever felt the winter blahs, you're not alone! Many people get the blues during the long winter months. My earlier blog post on hygge (read it here) talks about my own struggles with this and how the concept of hygge has turned it into one of my favorite times of the year. I thought it would be fun to round up a few essentials that help me feel cozy and share them with you all!

If you took a look at my hygge post I mentioned earlier, you'll know that I like to decorate my home to make it extra cozy during the winter. I have one new area this year in addition to the ones shared in my previous post, and it cost less than $20 to put together! I put a scarf over the top of my piano and decorated it with a couple of cute wintery signs and a pinecone garland from the Target Dollar Spot, a handwoven basket made by my mom (but you could use any basket you already have), a couple of fox Christmas ornaments, a tree from Dollar Tree, and some fairy lights from Marshall's. Super easy and super cozy!

Probably the most obvious item is a warm, fuzzy blanket. Nothing is better than curling up on the couch to watch a movie or read a book while wrapped in your favorite blanket!  Barefoot Dreams has the market cornered when it comes to coziness, and this gorgeous blanket  in ivory and gray is only $49.97 (normally around $100) right now at Nordstrom Rack! It also comes in a tan and ivory striped pattern for the same price. If you are looking for a Valentine's Day gift or cute Valentine's decor, this pink and red "Stay Cozy" shearling blanket is perfect at just $18.73, also from Nordstrom Rack! Weighted blankets are also gaining in popularity these days. Amazon has tons of styles, sizes, and weights. A good one to start out with is this Degrees of Comfort velvet and sherpa 15 lb blanket. It comes in a variety of colors and is only $69.99!

Another no-brainer when it comes to being cozy is a comfy pair of pajamas! I've found more pairs than I probably need this winter at Kohls. Not only do they have a ton of styles and colors, but they have great sales on a regular basis! My favorite set so far is by LC Lauren Conrad and is SO super soft on the inside! They are warm without being too bulky and come in several cute prints for just $20. Coming in at a close second are these Simply Vera Vera Wang pajamas that come with a faux fur scarf...so fun! I especially like the floral patterns. Sometimes we all need a break from plaid and fair isle during the winter! And right now, they're on sale for under $20! If you like the classic button-up flannel pajamas, then this Croft & Barrow set for only $15.99 is perfect for you. It comes in a variety of prints as well, even a red polka dot one that would be so cute for Valentine's Day!

The final step in being cozy is to get a warm cup of coffee or tea and a good book. And what could be better than a book about being cozy? I recently picked up a copy of Cosy: The British Art of Comfort and read it all in one sitting. Not only is it adorable, but it has some great ideas! It discusses the fact that the idea of being cozy is different for everyone and that it's good to think about what makes YOU feel comfy. If the answer to that is your old college sweatshirt and your grandma's quilt, then you don't need to buy anything to make you feel cozy! Order a copy here and enjoy all the cozy ideas it offers!

Other activities that help me get through the winter months include watching a good movie, a phone call with my mom, playing board games or card games, and cooking a delicious soup. I hope these ideas help you feel a bit more cheerful as we wait for spring to get here! Feel free to leave a comment with ways that YOU beat the winter blues! Xoxo
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