Nordstrom Mascara Madness Event + My Top 5 Mascara Recommendations

Robe - Plum Pretty Sugar | Necklace - Nashelle

Nordstrom's Mascara Madness is happening for one day only today! This is a promotion they do twice a year typically though not always on the same date. They only announce it 1 or 2 days before, so I hope you read this post in time and can take advantage of it!

The promotion is 'buy 3 mascaras and get 1 of them free' (no code needed), with the least expensive of the 3 that you chose being free. I thought I would throw up a quick post for the event and share my top 5 mascara picks if you need some recommendations. This one from Estee Lauder is the current one in my routine and I've loved it for years! That would be my top pick. And then the other four I love are Guerlain's Maxilash, this one from Armani that I've been using for almost 10 years, this unique mascara from Sisley and the classic Lancome Hynose mascara.

What mascaras are you planning on getting from the promotion?!!

Shop my favorites here:


With the Band + Memorial Day Sales Worth Shopping

 Tee - Junk Food | Shorts - AGolde | Sneakers - Golden Goose | Bag - Chloe (similar here) | Hat - Hat Attack | Bracelet - Giles & Brother | Sunglasses - Stella McCartney (similar here)

I didn't have any band tees when these bands were actually popular, but I'm here for them now! Frankly I would have balked at wearing a ratty t-shirt in high school instead opting for a cute number from the Gap which is where I had a part-time job. But here we are, many years later and I am loving the band tee trend. Especially with distressed denim (either cut-offs or jeans like I wore here), though I can see one worn with an edgy pencil skirt and pumps to a creative type office job. Some of my girlfriends back in NYC worked in the fashion, pr or tech start-up industry and would wear such fun mixes of things such as a band tee and pencil skirt (which is where I got the idea). I always loved how there are truly no rules to fashion. I love seeing women (and men) wearing what they like, what inspires them or what makes them ultimately feel comfortable and their best. I actually had to wear a uniform at some of my old jobs years ago but would not let that deter me from still making my personal style shine through. I would spend extra time on my hair and makeup, carry a fun bag and wear shoes that make me feel fancy. And after awhile, I didn't mind the uniform that much because I made it my own by adding a touch of my style. Ok, I really veered off course from the band tee idea. Ha! So typical of me - always going off on a tangent. 

But before I end this slightly rambly post, I need to mention that are tons of great sales happening this weekend for Memorial Day! Well, let me clarify - there are certain sales that are worth shopping, and others that could be skipped. LOL I went through many of regularly shopped retailers, found the ones that seemed to have the best selection and markdowns and rounded them all up in the widgets below. Each widget has a bunch of options so be sure to scroll through so you don't miss anything. And probably one of the biggest sales is the Nordstrom Half-Yearly sale which I covered in this post and will be continuing to update as I find more pieces or things go out of stock.

And for those that want to live that band tee life with me, I have a few more cute tees to check out below. 

Shop more band tees:

Shop my picks from Anthropologie's sale:

Shop my picks from Anthropologie's home sale:

Shop my picks from J.Crew's sale, use code GETAWAY for 40% select merchandise:

Shop my picks from Loft's sale, use code LONGWKND for 40% off:

Shop my picks from Express' sale:

Shop my picks from Ann Taylor's sale, use code SOREADY for 40% off:

Shop my picks from Net-a-Porter's sale:


When All Else Fails, Wear Black and White + My Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale Picks

 Shirt - Trina Turk | Shorts - Isabel Marant (old but similar here and here) | Shoes - Saint Laurent (great budget option here and here) | Bag - Caterina Bertini (great tote for $99!) | Ring - Kendra Scott | Bracelet - Vita Fede | Sunglasses - Illesteva

My first instinct when wearing a white top is to try and find some exciting color to make sure the outfit doesn't feel too boring. But to be honest every time I put black and white together, I'm reminded of why they work so well. It's an obvious choice and maybe not too imaginative, but nothing beats how crisp and chic they look combined together. I've had these black shorts for 2 years and was so sad not to have worn them last year when I was pregnant, and couldn't wait to bring them out again (this was my last post wearing them before my stomach got too big LOL). They are an old style from Isabel Marant and you sadly can't see the button detail on the front in these photos, but the fit is a high waisted sailor style short. There are still a ton of them out this year thankfully and they are flattering for most body types. 

Also, the Nordstrom Half-Yearly sale has now started and I rounded up my picks in the widgets below. Many of these pieces I have already shown on the blog so I tried to include them in this round up. In addition to picks for me, there were a few things I have for Miles that are on sale as well! These are the best swaddling blankets that I used when he was a newborn, I have quite a few pieces from this clothing brand and love their designs, as well as this brand which is a bit pricey but I like to grab things when they are on sale (like now)!

Shop my Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale picks:


New In: NARS Orgasm Collection - Blush, Illuminating Loose Powder and Afterglow Lip Balm with Swatches

NARS Orgasm blush may be the first NARS blush I ever wore if I think back long enough. I can't remember a time when I didn't know about this cult classic. It's a golden peachy-pink that looks good on almost any skin tone. It does have a good amount of shimmer but for those with oily skin it can still be beautiful when applied with a light hand. Because of it's popularity and universal appeal, so many other products in the NARS Orgasm family have been launched over the years. The newest ones are the Illuminating Loose Powder and the Afterglow Lip Balm. In addition to both of these, a limited edition Orgasm blush is being released as well. 
Left to right: Lip Balm, Loose Powder, Blush
I'm already a fan of the blush which has been a staple in my makeup routine on and off for years. The Illuminating Loose Powder is definitely more golden peach rather than a coral color and is very intense. This is not for a conservative day look. For those with drier skin, this would be beautiful dusted over the apples of the cheeks for a bit of golden shine. Or if you want to have a more subtle look, dab it along the cheekbones ever so slightly to give a sun-kissed highlight. For me, this needs to be applied in very small amounts because it is too bold for my day to day life, but using a fan brush to lightly dust it on my cheekbones is beautiful for evening.

The Afterglow Lip Balm is beautiful to look at and swatches lovely, but on the lips it didn't show up at all for me. It looks exactly like my lip color. The gold shimmer was nice, but I could not even get the color to show up on camera which is why I didn't show swatches of it on my lips. If you are looking for a no-makeup makeup lip color to keep in your bag to throw on in a pinch, this is perfect. Or even as something to wear to the beach or pool (yes, I still like to wear a bit of makeup), this would be ideal. However, if you want something to be a full look for the day, I'm afraid this would be way too subtle. 

The blush is always a winner in my book so you can never go wrong with picking that up. The loose powder is more of a serious shimmer product, so it may not be for everyone but definitely a stunner on the skin. And the Afterglow Lip Balm feels great on the lips but won't give you that much coverage, so you may want to get it for a summer touch-up but not for a full makeup look. If you have tried the Afterglow lip balm and have a different coloring than myself, leave me a comment below and let me know how it wore on you!
*pr samples included

Shop more NARS products I love:


5 Summer Wardrobe Staples To Add To Your Closet

 Tee - Free People (size down, I'm wearing an XS, more colors on sale here, also available here) | Shorts - AGolde (size down, I'm wearing a 25) | Wedges - Treasure & Bond | Boots - Isabel Marant | Bag - Street Level (similar here, here and here) | Hat - Janessa Leone | Bracelet - Giles and Brother

First things first, yes I am wearing two different pairs of shoes in these photos because I couldn't make up my mind which I preferred. LOL So I decided to take pictures with both since I have worn this outfit both ways and love each look equally. Second, this outfit is comprised of every piece that is a basic in my upcoming summer wardrobe (with the exception of the ankle boots though I do wear them year round). Straw hat - yup, that is a non-negotiable for me. Denim cut-offs - I have been looking for the perfect pair that fits well, isn't too short and has the right amount of distressing. These are it! As I have mentioned before, these wedge sandals are my best shoe buy of the season. So comfortable and they go with everything (see me wearing them here, here and here). This round rattan bag sold out almost instantly, but I have found a ton of almost identical ones. The style is so versatile and can be worn with almost any spring/summer outfit (see how I styled it here and here). And finally, a good white tee is a necessity. I love that this one is a bit different with the cut out at the neck, but a simple tee is also always a good idea to have in your closet (this brand makes my favorite ones of all time).

I feel like with these pieces in my closet, so many outfits can be created around them. They are all items that can be worn over and over with various looks. In addition to the pieces that I'm wearing, I found 10-15 more styles of each item and put them in the widgets below. Be sure to scroll through to see them all as there are a variety of price points and brands included. 

Shop more straw hats:

Shop more cut-off shorts:

Shop more cross-body bags:

Shop more summer tees:

Shop more wedges:


An Alternative To a Denim Skirt + The Books I've Recently Finished

Camisole - Express (wearing an XS, this is the shade Soft Ivory) | Skirt - Free People (runs large, wearing an XS, on sale here but limited sizes, also available here) | Bag - Reformation (similar here) | Sandals - Joie (old but similar here and lower heel option here) | Necklace - Nashelle

Bring me to a plant farm or nursery and I go straight for the cactus, succulent and palm tree section. It's my favorite! Stan is trying to fix up our backyard so he asked me to head here last week to pick up some vegetables to plant (just packets of seeds, I figured I could handle that LOL). My photographer and I shot here before and the lighting is so beautiful so I asked her to meet me here to take some photos. I have had this skirt in my cart for weeks and knew it would be a perfect fit. I've come to know exactly what styles of clothing look best on me before even buying them, and this wrap skirt was one of them. I liked it because while I can make it a bit dressier with heels and a nice camisole like I'm wearing in this picture, I have also worn it with a t-shirt and slides for a more casual look. It's a nice alternative to a traditional denim skirt which can be hard to dress up - this one still has that comfortable and easy to wear vibe but can be suitable for more occasions.

This post is going to be a 2 for 1 because I am adding in all the books I've recently finished and my review on each! I listen to audiobooks rather than reading so I get through a ton more now which I love. Some people have asked me when exactly I listen to them because they find it hard to focus on an audiobook while doing other things. For me the main times I listen to them are when I'm driving, putting on my makeup and walking in the evenings. This round of books were not all hits, but there were a few good ones in the mix. If you have any suggestions of great books that I should read, please leave me a comment!

1. The Dark Lake - This book was a bit too predictable for me to truly enjoy it. Gemma Woodstock is a local detective that must uncover why an old classmate that she went to high school with was found murdered.  It has the makings of a good thriller, but I figured out who the killer was halfway through so as the book progressed it lost all excitement for me.

2. Copy Cat - This is a good beach read though as with the last book, it was too predictable. Sarah Havenant receives a message from a friend on Facebook mentioning that there is another profile with her name and information on it. When Sarah goes to look, she sees an entire Facebook profile with private pictures of her family and home, many of which were taken just that very day. From this point on, someone begins terrorizing her and her family and her life begins to fall apart. I quickly figured out the culprit (not because I am a genius, but because it's a bit too obvious), and sadly the ending is too over the top for my liking. It was almost as if she wrote this hoping it would be turned into a movie.

3. Baby Doll - This was a very different kind of read because it tells the story of Lilly Riser, a young woman that escapes from her captor after being imprisoned for years. The book is different in that it begins with her escape, rather than leading up to it. The story is about how her life goes on and the challenges she faces after the nightmare ends. The man responsible is arrested within the first few chapters, which could make for a boring remainder of the story but surprisingly I found this book quite good. I loved reading how Lilly rebuilds her life, faces her captor and ultimately finds peace again after dealing with all the trauma she experienced.

4. And When She Was Good - This was my favorite book of the bunch! Heloise lives a relatively normal suburban life from the outside. She pays taxes, goes to her son's sports events and tries to remain as inconspicuous as possible. However, little does everyone know about the double life that she lives. I won't give it away since what she does for a living is the entire premise of the book. But this one was definitely a hit with me!

5. The Glass Castle - This book was made into a movie and though I didn't see it, I understand how it would translate well into a film. The book is a memoir about the author's unconventional childhood, growing up with parents that rarely had jobs, moved them around constantly and were more like the kids rather than the adults. I didn't enjoy the book at the beginning, but as the story developed I really got into it. It's truly remarkable how all of her siblings managed to escape the devastating poverty and neglect they experienced as children, and push through that adversity to become very successful adults.

6. The Passenger - It took me a bit to get into this book, but as it went on I really liked the story. Tanya Dubois is on the run after leaving her husband's body dead in their home. She didn't kill him rather he actually fell down the stairs and hit his head, but she was too worried that when the police came her real identity would be discovered. She is on the run for most of the book, taking on different aliases, living in different places and constantly trying to escape her past. What kept me interested is I wanted to know what was she truly running from. Once it was revealed, I was shocked and so mad! The ending is a bit cheesy but don't let that deter you from the rest of this story - it's a good one.

Read all my previous book reviews here.

Photos by Paula Bartosiewicz.

Shop more cute summer skirts here:

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