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Fashion

Holiday Shopping Gift Guide: $100 and Under

November 21, 2017

The holidays are here! This is the first of several holiday gift guides I’ve created for everyone to shop with. Let’s also talk about things to do during the holiday season. In the next series of posts, I will be throwing in my ideas for you this year.

 

 

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Fashion Lifestyle

My Incredible Birthday Surprise

September 20, 2017

A little over a week ago, on September 10th, I celebrated my birthday! Not going to lie, I had no clue what was in store for my birthday as well as the remainder of my birthday weekend. My birthday was on Sunday, so I made sure to celebrate all weekend long. Here’s what I did:

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Fashion

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Hits & Misses Part I

July 26, 2017

At long last, I get to share my Nordstrom Anniversary sale finds! My site was down for a few days, so this comes right on time. Between work and family obligations, I am finally able to round up my hits and misses. I ended up with more than I expected, so I’ll be breaking these posts up into 2-3 so I can highlight just what I loved, and what I did not love so much.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

So, first off, I am a Nordstrom addict. I have been since I was in grade school. I have been shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary sale since I was in high school. Then, my mom had the card and I would beg her to take me so I could get the right back-to-school clothes. Now, I find myself spending my summer paycheck on this HUGE sale. The sale is not one to be missed. I noticed all the more popular bloggers getting their picks in as soon as early access went up, and I really commend them for doing that because I was able to get a preview hours before I went shopping. And you bet that I went the day Early Access started.

What is “Early Access” at Nordstrom?

Early Access is a special pre-preview for Nordstrom cardholders only. It makes cardholders feel extra special getting to buy the fresh picks before they go out of stock and have to re-stock before it is open to the public. Each price tag shows you the sale price and the price the item will be after the sale so you do not miss a deal.

I’m not going to lie, I was a little disappointed in this year’s sale for a couple of reasons: For one, they usually have the Early Access portion of each department tented up. This year they only had yellow guard tape (I’m not even sure that is what you call it), so you could easily get confused by what was included in the sale or not.

Another, I just was not so in love with this year’s fall picks. Yes, I did find more than I thought I would. But I am a full believer in quality and some of these labels are using some pretty cheap feeling fabrics that I probably would not be the most comfortable in. Along with that, I thought the shoe department was a bit sparse this year, and I found it hard to find a good shoe even under $80 (we’ll get to the shoes later) I decided to go with only the BEST quality and price combo I could find. So, here we go:

 

Miss

Let’s start with my let-down. It was this top. The problem with it was the fabric: You would not believe that I steamed this top out two times before shooting it. It wrinkles SO easily. It was so soft, being 100% rayon, but such a letdown. I purchased it because I liked the style, price at $45 and it was something new for me, but I was weary about this and I was right. I have a petite upper-body, but the fit was way off. The straps continuously fell and yet the bottom was gappy. It may work for some with bigger shoulders, but not for me, as disappointing as that may seem.

Hit

These pants. Oh-My-Gosh are they excellent! They fit great, and they feel great. I knew that Kut From the Kloth was a great brand, but they had my favorite deal. They only cost $52.90, which I believe is a steal because of how casual to dressy these jeans (even though they do not feel like jeans) can go. I found myself not wanting to instinctively run to put on my yoga pants right after I got home because I  normally hate jeans that much. These are the exception.

Top | Pants

This is piece 1 of 2 from the brand, that I bought from the sale (I’ll be highlighting the other piece in part II). They also come in a green color, I may just have to go back and get. For now, I love this wine color. It fits my personality and it fits my fall color wardrobe so perfectly. I am in between sizes right now, but I really suggest a size up for extra comfort.

I cannot wait to share what else I bought from my favorite sale of the year!

 

Fashion

What I Wore This Week: LB Off the Shoulder Dress

June 28, 2017

Last month, when I was in Vegas, I had some time to kill so I hit the local Nordstrom rack and found this dress. At just $21, I knew I couldn’t pass it up. Bonus: it has POCKETS!

I feel like much of my summer wardrobe has come from Nordstrom Rack. For instance, last week’s striped dress was purchased on the same trip.

DRESS | NECKLACE

What I like about this dress is that it can go from casual to dressy based on the shoes and accessories. I wore this to my friend’s flower crown making soiree and then to the Chicago Botanical Gardens on Sunday. I decided to feature this necklace, purchased for about $20 at a new favorite boutique I stumbled upon in Evanston, Illinois called Gigi Bottega. The necklace created a nice elegant touch to my outfit. My favorite thing about this necklace is that it has little pearls, my favorite!

I had a great time at the Botanical Garden; every time I go it feels like such a treat. This time, I was blown away by the Rose Garden and the Lily Pads. It was also my boyfriend’s first time there since moving there, and I could tell he was pretty taken away by the captivating gardens. It was a fun place to shoot since there is so much scenery to be seen, and I did not want to pass this opportunity up to shoot for the blog.

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My Favorite Things: June 2017 Edition

June 2, 2017

Don’t you just wish you had summers off again like you did when you were in school?

I sure do. That’s why my first edition of My Favorite Things is going to be everything summer!

Munching on [food]: There’s nothing I love more than a patio on a warm, summery day. I’m jonesing to go back to Earl’s patio this summer and indulge in a juicy burger.

On another note, I plan on visiting one of my favorite spots – Evanston, IL, for Buffalo Joe’s buffalo wings. OMG, this place is fantastic and has been featured as some of the best wings in Chicago. I. Cannot. Wait.

Sitting on [furniture/decor]: My patio furniture for the deck is on its way! I cannot wait to share the pieces that I ordered. I ordered them from Wayfair (where I get most of my furniture), and I will be reviewing it soon!

I also have been wanting to start revamping furniture and selling it on the side. The only problem is the lack of space in my garage! We’ll see if I actually attempt it…

Wearing out [fashion]: I have a number of outfits ready to go out on this blog! I’m due for another photo shoot this week (weather pending) and will have some fun shots up momentarily. Lately, I’ve been checking out the dress section at Bloomingdales. I can’t wait to show you my favorites!

Listening [music]: I’m seeing Rise Against in Chicago next week, the same day their new album comes out. I have been following this band since I was a freshman in high school. I also hold them near and dear to my heart because they are from the Chicagoland area. Give their new single a listen.

Watching [TV & Movies]: I have a strange addiction to Mr. Robot. It is about a hacker with mental issues, and the takedown of a conglomerate. Not my usual show, but the struggle is real here. I am starting season 2 as we speak.

I have Wonder Woman on the list of movies to see this weekend. Have you seen it yet? Tell me what you think!!

Until next time,

Steph Shakes

 

Fashion

Summer is Here + Weekend Recap

May 31, 2017

While technically summer begins in late June, This past weekend we celebrated Memorial Day, which kicks off summer (unofficially).

Memorial day is not just about starting summer off on a good note, but also about remembering those who lost their lives while serving in the military.

We decided to get some cool shots of Chicago by visiting Navy Pier, which is located in downtown Chicago. Over 100 years old, Navy Pier is a beloved tourist spot to Chicago. They recently revamped the pier, and boy was it packed! We grabbed a margarita and headed to the water to shoot.

 

Tank Top | Shorts Shoes | Tote Bag

I chose this outfit from the Loft because it was easy, breezy and comfortable. My colors this summer are definitely navy and red and felt like the best thing to wear for this holiday weekend. It made maneuvering around tourists that much easier.

On our way back, we stopped by Molly’s Cupcakes for a yummy dessert. I chose the Key Lime Pie cupcake and Andy chose the Chocolate Raspberry. We ate them so fast, we forgot to document in a picture!

After, we enjoyed an evening stroll on the beach. We finished the weekend off at a Memorial Day party at a friend’s. Needless to say, it was a relaxing and fun-filled weekend. Nothing makes me happier than when it gets warm and the sun comes out!

 

Lifestyle Travel

Wanderlust Wednesday + Bucket Lists

May 3, 2017

It’s no surprise, I’ve got quite a few things on my Bucket List. My list is always changing and growing, but I figured that if I put it down on paper, maybe I’ll stick to them even more. I wanted to take a few moments to share some of those goals and see what kind of things are on yours!

Here are some cool ones:

  • Learn horseback riding.
  • Go horseback riding on a beach.
  • Start a clothing line (from the days when I was a Fashion major).
  • Learn a new language (and actually know how to speak it!)
  • Travel to a new country/city at least 3x per year. I would like to begin with Bora Bora, Germany, and England.
  • Take one of those cool DNA tests like this.
  • Own a home in a new place.
  • Own a vacation home in an even cooler place.
  • Buy my dream car

Then there are the obvious, cheesy ones, like:

  • Go back to school
  • Pay off my car
  • Learn a new dish to cook
  • Start a family

I’ve always wanted to learn to ride horses, but it would be even cooler doing it on a beach. How romantic does that sound? And recently, I’ve been seeing more and more beautiful photos from people vacationing in Bora Bora. I would love to do this in the next year (hopefully my boyfriend is reading this). And as much as I love Chicago, settling down somewhere I can call “home” has always been a dream of mine. Even better, having a vacation home we can go to on weekends sounds DE-LIGHTFUL!

Tell me, what’s on your Bucket List??

 

Steph Shakes