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laurenalyse

STYLE

LAST CHANCE: NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE PICKS

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is coming to an end this Sunday August 6th and you’ve been pounded over the head with 5,000 “MUST BUY” items on Instagram, Facebook, and blogs for the past month. Look, I have a lot of great things to say about the Anniversary Sale. I use this time to stock up on things I desperately need, or foresee I will need for the fall. But at the same time, I try to reel myself in and not become at “spaver.” This is a term I learned the other day from my friend. Spend to Save = Spave. I try not to spend for the sake of spending. Hellooooo, I’m not made of money! I know that Nordstrom has a lot of incredible deals right now, but at the same time I know I can still purchase some things at a lower everyday cost, so I’m not going to buy them just for the sake of being marked down for a short period of time. Nordstrom is a marketing genius in that way – creating a sense of urgency of knowing these items are marked down until a certain date and there are limited quantities. For me… I am simply on a mission to save on quality items that I have a hard time finding at a good price elsewhere any other time of the year.

With that said, below are some of my last chance, essential Nordstrom Anniversary Sale picks I recommend purchasing before the sale ends in a few days.

BASICS

  1. Make + Model Gotta Have It V-Neck
  2. Caslon Rounded V-Neck Tee
  3. Gibson Tie Front Cozy Fleece Pullover
  4. Gibson Bell Sleeve Cozy Fleece Pullover

I purchased the Caslon Rounded V-Neck Tee and no joke I have hardly taken it off. It is so comfortable, drapes perfectly and the white isn’t too see thru. The Make + Model top is very similar just with a more traditional V-Neck. I also own a fleece Gibson top from last year’s sale and it is the softest top I have ever put on my body. It’s a lightweight fleece that’s warm but doesn’t feel chunky. You will find yourself wearing it all fall & winter.

DENIM

  1. Paige Hoxton High Waist Ankle Skinny Jeans
  2. Rag & Bone High Waist Skinny Ankle Jeans
  3. AG The Stilt Cigarette Skinny Jeans
  4. Paige Manhattan High Waist Boot Cut Jeans

Paige Denim is my go to for jeans. They fit the body so well, have a comfortable stretch and last at least 2 years. They are an excellent buy during the sale and I think you will see bootcut and flares on repeat this fall. Rag & Bone is known to make great denim but when not on sale it’s super pricey. I snagged this chance to get them under $140! And the AG jeans are perfect if you are looking for a low-rise skinny. That tends to be my preferred style over high- or mid-rise.

JACKETS

  1. Caslon Swing Back Coat
  2. Trouvé Raw Edge Leather Jacket
  3. Blanknyc Faux Leather Jacket
  4. Blanknyc Suede Moto Jacket
  5. French Connection Back Belt Wool Blend Peacoat

I can’t say enough about the Blanknyc jackets. I own both the faux leather jacket and the suede moto jacket from previous sales and I wear them over and over and over. The faux leather jacket is seriously like butter on the skin. And both keep you so warm in cold weather! I threw in 1 heavier and 2 lighter options here for whatever climate you’ll be facing this fall – the Anniversary Sale is the perfect time to buy these fall essentials that usually aren’t so cheap.

BOOTS/BOOTIES

  1. Franco Sarto Granite Booties
  2. Sam Edelman Merton Bootie
  3. Vince Camuto Madolee Over The Knee Boot
  4. Steve Madden Gabbie Thigh High Boot

There are plenty of adorable open toe booties on the sale, but really for fall and winter we should be investing in closed toe shoes. I love the low heel height of the Franco Sarto booties and the strappy buckle detail of the Sam Edelmans. I own an almost identical pair of Vince Camuto over the knee boots from last year’s sale and they are my favorite! And what girl doesn’t want a pair of thigh highs? The Steve Maddens are recently restocked in 2 colors and less than $90!!

ACTIVEWEAR

  1. Zella Keep It Cool Crop Leggings
  2. Zella Live-In High Waist Leggings
  3. Zella Power Racerback Tank

I’m a huge fan of Zella (and no I’m not sponsored by them in any way). Their leggings are excellent quality, pretty prints, and last a long time. I’ve never been a Lululemon kind of girl that pays crazy prices for activewear. Zella is well-priced (especially during the anniversary sale!) and holds up.

HOME

  1. Voluspa Maison Noir Two-Wick Candle Trio
  2. Levtex Addie Crewel Stitch Accent Pillow
  3. zestt Riley Stripe Throw Blanket
  4. Votive Society Soy Wax Candle

Candles are my first purchase every. single. year. I use them so much at home and work and Voluspa and Votivo have some of my favorite scents. My husband and I are also in the process of putting together our guest room and since things like decorative pillows and throw can be stupid expensive normally (seriously – why?!), this is a great opportunity to save on some seriously cute home decor.

JUST BECAUSE

  1. Two by Vince Camuto Off The Shoulder Plaid Blouse
  2. Rails Hunter Plaid Shirt
  3. Hinge Button Front Dress
  4. Halogen Button Back Ruffle Hem Dress

And finally you gotta buy at least one “just because it’s cute and I want it” item. I purchased this Two by Vince Camuto top this year and didn’t realize it was fleece so that actually ended up being a pleasant surprise. I would however recommend sizing down as it’s pretty large and billowy. Rails shirts are normally well over $100, but I love them so much. Their quality is so good and I wear them over and over. The price is just a hard pill for me to swallow. But on the Anniversary Sale they are marked down to less than $100 so I say indulge! And these two dropped waist dresses are simply adorable. Think jacket on top and over the knee boots on bottom – you will be wearing that combo all fall!

I hope these Anniversary Sale picks help calm the overwhelming inventory they have marked down. Happy shopping and don’t forget the sale ends THIS Sunday!

STYLE

SUMMER RUFFLED ONE SHOULDER & WHITE SHORTS

If there is a color combo that screams summer to me, it’s definitely chambray and white. I know summer is usually about bright colors, and don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my bright pops of color. But there’s something about a light wash chambray and white that feels like an effortless, breezy pair. Think: ocean waves.

I happened upon this adorable ruffled one shoulder chambray top during some lunch time window shopping, and at a price point of $30 I didn’t feel guilty giving in to a little impulse buy. I’ve already worn this top & shorts combo several times this summer, just switching out shoes and accessories. It’s so beachy and I am in love!

And these heels are my new favorite! They’re another fantastic Target find and under $30! This taupe color pairs with literally any outfit and they have the perfect heel height to wear around all day. That is essential! Usually you assume that inexpensive shoes mean lots of pain, and these shoes put that stereotype to shame.

Top: Francesca’s (similar here and here) | Shorts: Paige | Shoes: Target | Bag: Souvenir from Italy | Sunglasses: Madewell | Earrings: Lunaphoto (old)

STYLE

THE COZIEST CASUAL FRIDAY DRESS

Y’all know those days where the only thing you are willing to put on is sweatpants. I have far too many of those days. But alas, life must go on. I have to go to work and go out in public, and as much as I love to be super comfy in my sweats, looking like a bum is often not an option. As a result, comfy, effortless style tends to be my go to and this casual dress is basically the best thing I have ever discovered and put on my body. It’s made of a super soft, thick material that seriously feels like you’ve wrapped yourself up in a blanket. I mean it’s called the cocoon dress. COME ON. If that isn’t a tell tale sign of comfort, I don’t know what is. But don’t let the cocooniness fool you (yes I just made that a word). The off-the-shoulder and waist line detail make this comfy casual dress totally acceptable to wear out. I like to add a belt to wear to work to define my shape a bit and make it look more styled, but when I get home the belt comes off and the loose-fitting dress becomes the perfect cozy lounging outfit for an evening of Netflix and chill. I might even stuff a few treats in the pockets to snack on during my TV binge session. Yup, no shame in my game. So if y’all need me tonight, you know where to find me and what I’ll be wearing.

Dress: Anthropologie (on sale!) | Boots: Vince Camuto (almost identical) | Bag: Zara | Sunglasses: Quay Australia

STYLE

WHITE HOT COLD SHOULDER & SUNNIES

 

You know when you order something online you are soooo excited about that when it arrives you are compelled to rip open the box and throw it right on? Welcome to this week’s outfit post because that’s exactly what happened here! This whole outfit was inspired by this white cold shoulder top and these brand new mirrored sunnies.

My mom gave me this top I had been drooling over for my birthday last month. I love it because it’s light and airy, the texture and peplum details are so unique, and the white cold shoulder is totally on trend right now. Then came the sunglasses. OH THE SUNNIES. I was so excited when I heard they were having a major flash sale for Quay Australia sunglasses on Good Morning America’s Deals & Steals. I bought 2 pairs and literally checked the shipment tracking daily to see when they would arrive. Which happened to be when I was home for lunch the other day and I immediately cut open the box, put them on, and stripped down to change my entire outfit to something that would better match my sunglasses. I know I’m ridiculous, y’all! My fiance told me I have an serious problem and I couldn’t deny it. But the blush-almost-orange mirrored tint of the lenses inspired me to pull out these peach shorts that I originally wore in our engagement photos (see the outfit here). Which spiraled into me throwing on my aforementioned new favorite white cold shoulder top, this white panama hat I bought for our honeymoon, and these two tone sandals (I also bought and told myself I wouldn’t wear until the honeymoon, whoops…). And I have to tell y’all, my mood seriously went through the roof after that. Not that I was in a bad mood before, but there was definitely a noticeable change in my energy when I had my new sunnies and new outfit on. It’s so crazy how a small thing like your outfit can influence your mood and confidence so much. Something to keep in mind for when you are actually having a crappy day!

Paolo Nutini said it right when he sang:

Hey, I put some new shoes on
And suddenly everything is right
I said, hey I put some new shoes on
And everybody’s smiling, it’s so inviting
Oh short on money but long on time
Slowly strolling in the sweet sunshine
And I’m running late and I don’t need an excuse
Cause I’m wearing my brand new shoes

Top: 1. State | Shorts: Pilcro (denim version here) | Shoes: Joie | Sunglasses: Quay Australia | Bag: Zara | Hat: Nordstrom | Earrings: Kendra Scott (come in 10 colors!)

So my advice for you on this Cinco de Mayo Friday is to go buy something for yourself and put it on right away! Then maybe make plans with your friends to have a margarita or two and I don’t see how your day go any direction but up. Trust me on this one!

STYLE

FLORAL MAXI DRESS FOR SPRING

“Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking.”

Okay so maybe Miranda Priestly would be seriously underwhelmed with my new floral maxi dress for spring. But you know what? She can bite me because I think it’s adorable! With the retail market currently saturated with oversized floral prints, I love the more reserved, miniature print here (because everything is cuter in miniature, right?!). Instead, the focus of this floral maxi becomes the criss-cross back and the two slits in the front.  I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a sexy dress per se. After all, there’s nothing overly revealing about it (’cause that’s not really my jam). But there is a little je ne sais quoi about a slit that makes a girl feel feminine and sexy. Especially when the wind hits you and you get just a little peek of leg popping out. Heck, I’d stand in front a fan all day in order to enjoy the gorgeous movement of this dress! Just call me Marilyn Monroe.

Dress: Paper Crane (from local boutique, similar here) | Sandals: Target (old, identical pair here) | Bag: Zara | Belt: American Threads | Sunglasses: Madewell | Earrings: Sugarfix by BaubleBar x Target

STYLE, WEDDING

BACHELORETTE OUTFITS & WEEKEND RECAP

I am back and so excited to share what can only be known as the greatest bachelorette party weekend everrrrr! It was an epic adventure from Dallas to Austin and back with my best girlfriends, and culminated in the sweetest bridal shower hosted by my aunt. I spent weeks leading up to the trip shopping for and planning the perfect outfits for each activity of the weekend. Seriously, y’all should have seen the detailed list I had going. So without further a-do, below are highlights of my bachelorette outfits and weekend events. Hope this gives you some inspiration if you are currently planning your own or your bestie’s bachelorette party!

Cactus Top: Vici | Cactus Shorts: Vici | Clutch: Elaine Turner | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Necklace: A. Marie Jewelry (old)

Our first day in town was spent driving from Dallas to Austin, which of course meant a lengthy pit stop in Waco at the Magnolia Silos was a MUST (and if you don’t know about the Magnolia Silos, just turn on HGTV and you’ll figure it out pretty quickly). We thought the Silos might be a little quieter on Thursday afternoon than on a weekend, but they were just as bustling as you’d imagine! We strolled through their massive home goods store and, by some miracle from God, I exercised self control and walked out of there with only a “TEXAS FOREVER” t-shirt in hand. Then we grabbed lunch from one of the many food trucks they have parked on site, and sat at a large picnic table, chatting with other tourists who, like us, had gone out of their way to visit Magnolia in Waco. I’m glad to know I’m not the only “Chip and JoJo” nut out there! Last on our list before continuing on to Austin was to wait in line at the Silos Bakery for one of Joanna’s delicious creations. Inside, the bakery was decorated as cute as you’d imagine, and picking just one cupcake from the hundreds on display was nearly impossible. In the end, I selected a lavender lemon cupcake with lemon buttercream and it was nothing short of HEAVENLY.

Romper: Vici (blue here, yellow here) | Heels: Nordstrom | Clutch: Gigi New York | Earrings: SUGARFIX by BaubleBar for Target

When we arrived in Austin, we checked into the Driskill Hotel which is just dripping with old world Texas charm and located in the middle of the action on the infamous 6th Street (because you can’t go to Austin for a bachelorette party without hitting 6th street!). We spent the evening bar hopping on 6th, as well as hitting newer hot spots on Rainey Street where we danced the night away to some epic cover bands. On this particular night, my MOH had arranged for all the girls to wear black and I donned this adorable white romper with my “Bride” pin and pop-of-yellow heels.

Romper: Elison Rd. (similar here) | Wedges: BC Footwear | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Necklace: Gorjana | Hand Chain: Jacquie Aiche

All day Friday was spent floating the San Marcos river with ATXcursions. We could not have asked for a more beautiful day to float and ATXcursions made the whole trip so easy and stress free. We just showed up to their offices in our bikinis with a case of beers and they literally took care of the rest – transportation, tubes, ice chests, lockers, etc. – we didn’t have to worry about anything except making lots of new friends on the river!

After the river float, with crispy skin from the sun, I threw on this romper and our plans for the evening included something I was very unsure about, but turned out to be one of the most fun & memorable parts of the trip – going to see Esther’s Follies Comedy Show! We had read 5-star reviews ahead of time that described the comedy show as a musical, so I had no idea what to expect and I was feeling so hesitant. A musical comedy show??? How weird… But it was HILARIOUS. We walked out of there with sore cheeks and minds blown (oh yeah, there was also magic). If you are in Austin, I highly recommend you make time to catch a show!

 photos: Paisley Lane Photography Dress: BB Dakota (on sale!) | Heels: Nordstrom

Finally, Saturday was spent packing up, grabbing one last delicious meal in Austin and heading back to Dallas for my bridal shower on Sunday. The shower was absolute perfection down to the last detail. So many wonderful ladies from all stages of my life came to celebrate and we had a grand ole time sipping bellinis, eating brunch, playing games, opening presents, and taking lots of silly pictures in the photo booth my aunt had set up. I felt strange not wearing white (since I’m the Bride, HELLO), but because our wedding colors are peach and yellow, I just couldn’t resist wearing this perfect peach lace dress that still had a bridal air about it.

All in all it was a jam-packed, fabulous weekend! If you are thinking about visiting Austin (or Waco), go!! And I hope I’ve given you plenty to do when you get there!

STYLE

COLLARED COLD SHOULDER WITH RUFFLES

Here’s why places like Nordstrom Rack are dangerous… You go into the store trying to find a specific thing like a marked down pair of designer denim, and as you stroll around the store hunting for those Paige skinny jeans, you pass a table full of adorable tops in an array of colors that is topped with a sign boasting “UNDER $30.” You stop in your tracks because obviously you must investigate further. And all of a sudden you find yourself in the check out line with about 5 things under $30 (which no longer seems like you’re saving money at that point) that you didn’t intend on purchasing when you walked in. Well played, Nordstrom Rack. Well played. This is exactly how I ended up with this adorable collared, cold shoulder ruffle top. But you know what? I’m not mad about it because this collared cold shoulder is not only unique, but also so versatile and affordable (hellooo “under $30”!). I mean I know it’s all about the cold shoulder right now, but who has seen one with a collar and ruffles? The neutral color plays nicely with pops of color, the vertical lines are flattering, and it can be worn both in the office and out at events with friends and family. Here I styled a more casual office look with high-rise flare jeans, gray pumps, and fun black and gray tassel earrings. And you can’t forget the punch of plum on my lips. Nordstrom Rack may have gotten me this time, but I think I came out the real winner.

Top: Pleione via Nordstrom Rack (similar herehere, and here) | Jeans: Mother Denim | Heels: Madewell (old, similar) | Sunglasses: Madewell | Earrings: Bauble Bar (similar) | Lips: Katy Perry x Cover Girl “Kitty Purry”