{Sale alert} The 2014 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is on!

Happy Christmas in July, a.k.a. the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! If you’re not familiar with how the sale works, this post explains it. As my fellow Nordstrom devotees will understand, this is the most exciting time of the year (in terms of shopping) for me, and requires some real work. There’s the scouting of the catalog when it first appears, the scouring of every single item when the sale opens online, ordering way too much knowing (hoping?) that not everything will work out and therefore you haven’t blown your budget too badly, and finally, the painful wait for the weather to turn cooler so you can wear your new stuff. Last year’s Via Spiga boot purchase taunted me for months!

This year I have an added wrinkle in that I’m six months pregnant and have to anticipate what will work for me after the baby comes. So, I’m sticking to mostly outerwear — there’s PLENTY to choose from this year! — and a few random items like a scarf and some pajamas. That said, I’ve fully browsed the sale and pulled together some of my favorite items for your perusal!

 

Happy shopping, and let me know what you snag from the sale!

My beach bag must-haves

In just a few days, I will be off to spend a week luxuriating at the Jersey Shore with my family. Or at least as close to luxuriating as one can be with a hyperactive toddler whose favorite question is, “You wanna play with me?” Anyway, I’m in full-blown packing mode, which, among other things, means making sure I have all of my beach bag essentials. And since I’m already doing the work, I thought I’d share a list of some of my beach bag must-haves, with some specific picks in each category.


{Hats} First up is the floppy hat, which serves as both a functional and fashion item. As far as I’m concerned, the bigger the better, so you get some nice coverage of your shoulders in addition to your face. I wear my hats to the beach, on the boardwalk, eating outside…pretty much any time I’m going to be in the sun for more than a few minutes.


{Sunscreen} Possibly the most obvious, but also the most important, is a great sunscreen. You may not want/need SPF 50 like I do, but for the love of your skin, please use at least SPF 15 and reapply often!


{SPF Lip products} It’s easy to forget about your lips when you’re in the sun, but yes, they can get burned too. Don’t be afraid to use a product with some color, even if you’re used to going bare-faced on the beach.


{Hair products} My hair is shorter than usual right now, but is still frizzy and tends to get knotted very easily. For the most part, it’s in a ponytail and under a hat when I’m on the beach, but I still like to have a product with me for when I get out of the water. There are lots of options to provide heat protection, frizz reduction, detangling, beachy waves, or some combination thereof.


{Cute towels} If I’m being honest, most of my towels are from Costco, BUT I try to be selective and I’m always tempted by cute towels I see elsewhere. I also have added a Turkish towel to my collection this season, courtesy of a Popsugar MustHave box.


{Coverups} If you’ve got a body that you love to show off, more power to you. For me, while I’m mostly fine with my body, I’m also more comfortable keeping it somewhat covered most of the time. When I’m on vacation I tend to wear a dress-style cover up a majority of the time, so I’m safe


{Miscellaneous} And for our last category…everything else. Waterproof cases for your phone, a pouch to keep money for when the ice cream man comes around, baby powder to get sand off of your skin (it’s a miracle worker, I swear!) and antibacterial wipes for general cleaning up.

That’s my list — what’s yours? Any important items that I forgot?

Want. Need. Must have.

wnmh 7.9.14Of Mercer // Essie // Eva Franco @ Anthropologie // Banana Republic // Parker

{one} I was just recently introduced to Of Mercer and I’m now obsessed with their Stanton Dress. It’s the perfect office-to-evening outfit, and because of the simple lines and colors, could be paired with lots of options for shoes and accessories. The website describes it as “the perfect throw on and go dress,” which seems like an apt description.

{two} Every summer I tend to have a go-to color for my pedicures, and this year I think it’s going to be Essie’s “Too Taboo”. It’s a fun purple/pink/fuschia shade, and it looks great in sandals, even on my pasty skin.

{three} This orange of this Eva Franco Tangelo Dress is drool-worthy and reminds me of a cotton J.Crew dress that I wore on my honeymoon. It could potentially be tricky to wear, especially for those of us with a larger bust, but on the right person I think it would be gorgeous.

{four} Some of the few non-maternity pieces that I wear throughout my pregnancy will be my cardigans. However, I’m in dire need of some new ones and have my eye on this zip-up version from Banana Republic. It’s a great cream color that will go with anything, and the lightweight material would be good for summer office air conditioning on through fall.

{five} I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I am terrible at styling skirts (largely because they tend to hit me at my widest part — my love handles), but this Parker Topanga Skirt REALLY makes me want to try again. The flowy (but not too flowy) maxi cut is perfect, and that print is amaaaazing. Sigh.

 

{OOTD} Summer business casual

IMG_3355_editIMG_3354_editIMG_3350_editMotherhood tank top // A Pea in the Pod cropped jeans // Kendra Scott chalcedony necklace // Kelly & Katie nude sandals // Ray-Ban sunglasses (similar here & here) // Kate Spade Harmony tote (this color sold out)

Have you ever noticed that as the summer goes on, people start getting more and more casual? I think it’s something about coping with ridiculous heat that makes us feel like we can blur the lines of dress codes. Jeans are a no-no in my business casual office except for casual Fridays, but somehow in the summer white jeans and a tank feel completely acceptable. Hopefully HR agrees…

On a side note, while my new necklace matched nicely with the blouse I wore last week, I think I’m going to like it best in outfits like this, where it can stand out against a neutral background.

{OOTD} Minty fresh

IMG_3281_editIMG_3284_editGap Maternity sleeveless blouse (similar on sale here and here) // Banana Republic skinny pants (on sale!) // Kendra Scott ‘Rayne’ necklace // Kelly & Katie gold sandals (similar here and on sale here)

It was somewhere in the ballpark of 583 degrees out yesterday, with humidity that made it feel like you were walking through a sauna. So, getting dressed for work has gotten a bit challenging this week. Luckily, my parents gave me some really cute clothes for my birthday, including this super-lightweight top. I love the style, and I LOVE the color. Plus, my in-laws got me this beautiful Kendra Scott necklace that I had asked for, which happens to go perfectly with the top!

Other than wearing dresses, this is my summer sweet spot: cropped skinny pants, light flowy tops and flat sandals. And yes, this applies whether or not I’m pregnant.

IMG_3267_editAnd your bonus shot of the day: D is learning his best modeling poses. This is his blue steel — try to contain yourselves, ladies.

Want. Need. Must have. {Fourth of July edition}

wnmh 7.2Splendid // Gap // Everleigh // Yosi Samra

Stars and stripes, and red, white and blue — it must be the 4th of July! I thought I’d pull together a few pieces that would be perfect for the festivities (some more literal than others). My holiday weekend won’t be filled with barbecues and parties this year, but we will be visiting some good friends who have a son D’s age. Hopefully the weather will cooperate so we can enjoy some pool time and fireworks!

{OOTD} Birthday dinner

IMG_3239_editIMG_3243_editSplendid maternity tank dress // Stella & Dot necklace // Arturo Chiang braided wedges (similar here and here)

My birthday was on Saturday, and while I didn’t feel the need to make a big deal out of it this year, Geoff and I did go out for a nice dinner. We left the little guy at my parents’ house and went to this great restaurant on the river in Rumson, NJ. It’s rare these days that we eat a meal together that isn’t either dominated by a toddler or eaten in front of the television, so we took full advantage.

As I said in my last OOTD post, it’s a bit challenging these days to find things that still fit and make me feel good. This Splendid dress, which I got during my first pregnancy, is one of my few go-tos when I want to dress up a little bit. It’s a jersey cotton, so it’s really comfy, but the cut and color make it feel a little more dressy — especially when I throw on some gold heels and jewelry.

Cute maternity clothes for summer

As you know (and hopefully aren’t sick of hearing about yet), my eggo is preggo, so I’m facing the prospect of a long, hot summer with a big old belly. This is new to me, since I had the little guy in May and avoided having to deal with things like maternity bathing suits. This time around I’m trying to strategically buy items that I’ll get a ton of use out of, without breaking the bank. Here are a few tops, bottoms and dresses that I like, some of which I already own and love!

{TOPS}

maternity 3LOFT // Target // Tees by Tina // Gap

I own the top from Target and wore it for the first time last week. I had more than one non-pregnant friend ask if it was maternity and respond with disappointment when I said yes — always a good sign! For really basic tees, I go with Old Navy, which get the job done and are dirt cheap.

{BOTTOMS}

maternity 2Theory // LOFT // J.Crew // Boden

I focused on non-denim items here, but make sure to check out my post from a couple of weeks ago on maternity jeans for denim snobs!

{DRESSES}

maternity 1Hatch // Splendid // LOFT // Old Navy

This Splendid dress is among the best maternity investments I’ve made. I got it during my first pregnancy and have already relied on it heavily this time around. Throw on a blazer and heels and it works for a meeting. Flat sandals and fun jewelry and it’s perfect for the weekends. I highly recommend this one. I’ve also been eyeing the Hatch dress for a while as a possibility for an upcoming wedding, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I love the flowy look on the model, but sometimes don’t like that style on myself. If you’ve tried this dress, let me know!

I hope these picks are helpful to some of you. If you have any specific shopping needs (maternity or non-maternity), leave a comment or send me a message on Facebook!

{OOTD} Throwback Thursday

CONFESSION: I’m in a serious style rut right now. I’m blaming most of it on being pregnant, not fitting into my regular clothes, and trying to scrape by without spending tons of money on maternity clothes. And while I am definitely not a woman who beats herself up for gaining weight while pregnant, I don’t love how my body looks in a lot of clothes at the moment. So…this means that I’m not taking many outfit photos lately, although I do have some cute new things that I’ll show off one of these days.

In the meantime, I came across some pictures on my camera that I completely forgot about, from a Little Smiles event back in April. I was pregnant, but not showing yet, so I still look like my “normal” self. As you can tell from the background, the event was at Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies play. Always a fun backdrop! Please excuse the red wristband, which served as the admission tickets for the event :)

P1010507_editBanana Republic silk blouse (similar here and here) // Banana Republic skinny black pants // Rebecca Minkoff “Jelly Bean” pouchette (other cute crossbody RM options here and here) // Nine West wedge pumps (similar here and here)

I promise to scrape together a cute new outfit soon and reveal the rapidly-expanding bump. Oh, and I’ll be posting a list of some of my favorite summer maternity pieces for all of my fellow pregnant ladies!

{Summer essential} The LWD

I am very loyal to the LBD. Despite my occasional desire to branch out into other colors or prints, black dresses are just a comfort zone for me, so I come back to them again and again. But now that summer is upon us, we can’t forget that other important neutral, the LWD. Just as versatile as its black counterpart, the LWD is the perfect backdrop for bright accessories. I’ve been a fan of this staple for a long time, probably starting with my high school graduation dress, which was a simple white sheath that I felt extremely sophisticated in (I wish I had a picture). And of course last year’s Dîner en Blanc festivities renewed my interest in wearing all white.

LWD 1Marc by Marc Jacobs // Torn by Ronny Kobo // Banana Republic

If you’re sitting there thinking that you can’t be trusted to wear all white, trust me — I completely understand. But I’ve got one word for you: bleach. Unlike other light colors, you’re more likely to have success bleaching a white dress without ruining it (at least in my experience).

lwd 2Diane von Furstenberg // Anthropologie // Splendid

Are down with the little white dress, or are you too paranoid about stains to get comfortable? Any favorite dresses that you’ve seen lately?