CYBER MONDAY SALES




Top: Express | Pants: American Eagle Shoes: Vince Camuto (sold out) similar here | Earrings: Charming Charlie Bracelet: Aldo Ring: Bauble Bar | Watch: Michael Kors | Purse: Charming Charlie


CYBER MONDAY has arrived! Truthfully, I kind of  already had a Cyber Monday because I only went into 1 store for Black Friday and was in Target all of 30 minutes.  I did most of my Black Friday shopping in the comfort of my home and in my PJs. Tomorrow is the official best day to online shop, and for me one of the best shopping days of the year!

I have been saving most of items we have been needing to purchase for this weekend! If you have items on your wish list, Black Friday and Cyber Monday truly are one of the best times to cross those items out.  We have been wanting to get our Christmas shopping started, the entire family needs some winter clothing, and we had some tech items we've been wanting.  I've waited patiently to make these purchases. 

I wanted to share some of my favorite stores coupon codes and sale details to help make your Cyber Monday easier, so you can get the most out of your shopping day. I've also shared some of the items on my radar, or that I've already purchased!

American Eagle: 40% of everything + FREE SHIPPING

ASOS: 30% off everything (Code: THANKFUL30)

Baublebar: 35% off 2 items (Code: SAVE35) | 25% off 1 item (Code: SAVE25)

Bebe: 30% off everything (Code: CYBERSALE)

Boohoo: Up to 50% off everything + FREE SHIPPING

Express: 50% off everything + FREE SHIPPING

Gap: 50% off everything (Code: CYBMON)

Gigi New York: Spend $125+ & SAVE 20% | Spend $250 & SAVE 25% | Spend $350+ & SAVE 30% | Spend $500+ & SAVE 45%

Gymboree: 50%-80% off everything + FREE SHIPPING, and spend $100 and get $25 off (Code: BONUSDAY)

Kate Spade: 30% OFF entire purchase (Code: WIRED)

Kendra Scott: take 20% OFF everything + FREE SHIPPING (Code: SALE20)


Loft: 50% OFF everything + FREE SHIPPING (Code: CYBERMONDAY)

NY and Company: Entire store up to 75% off  | Spend $100 & SAVE $30 (Code: 4697) |  Spend $50 & SAVE $15 (Code: 4726)

Old Navy: 40% off everything

Oshkosh: 50% everything + FREE SHIPPING | Spend $40 & SAVE 25% off (Code: GETCOZY)

Target: Extra 15% off

Tory Burch: 30% off orders of $250+ (Code: THANKS)


This is a list of the stores on my radar for Cyber Monday.  I love saving money anyway I can, and if I find a way to save I always like passing that along.  Hope this helps with your shopping. 

Please comment on any other stores having some great sales today!

Happy shopping!

BLACK FRIDAY 2016

 




Tote: Dagne Dover | SweaterNY and Company | Sweatpants: NY and Company ShoesNike | Fit Bit Charge HR  Earrings: Charming Charlie | 



This is it! Black Friday is almost here, well based on the stores trying to get all the business it is pretty much Black Thursday! I hope you are ready, and ready to score some huge discounts!

I have participated in Black Friday almost every year in some capacity, and really why shouldn't you? This year I am limiting my in store shopping, just to avoid the crowds. But definitely not skipping on the shopping. There are tons of great deals out, but you just have to know what really is a bargain and what to pass on. I wanted to share some tips to help make your Black Friday successful.

Dress appropriately: Before we dive in on the deals, let's talk perfect shopping gear.  I made the mistake one year wear uncomfortable shoes and fitted jeans. If you are trying to zip in and out of stores and make that mad dash to the door busters, you need to wear comfortable sneakers.  I always wear sweats, because I want absolute comfort.  It's getting a chilly in Texas, I am opting to wear a thicker hooded sweater, so I don't have to wear a coat.  I despise lugging around my coat in stores while I am shopping. Another must is bring an all purpose bag that you can throw all your essentials, and won't have to run to the car.

Now onto Black Friday business....

First, make a plan and list out what you are wanting to buy from Black Friday. Many of the huge discount items move fast, so if you don't come prepared you will miss out.  I prioritize what items are must haves, I also go on mission to get those items first.  I also make a optional list for items that can go either way.  I have been using various Black Friday website that display the stores ads, this allows me to make my list.  I typically list out what I want from each store, and go to the stores where I can get the most items.  On the top of my list this year is definitely Target, I am trying to knock out most of the boys lists, get some electronics.

Don't get tricked by weak store sales: There are some stores that I won't waste my precious Black Friday shopping time on when they are offering sales that are similar to the rest of the year.  So make sure you fact check. 

Make a spending limit:  It is easy to fall into the sale trap, and go way over budget.  But remember it is not really a sale, if you had no business getting it either.  Don't go broke just to participate in Black Friday.  That is another reason why I highly recommend making a list prior.  Not only does this organize you, but also allows you to create your budget.  Even if I see a great deal, if it is not on my list I am not wasting my time.

Online vs. Store:  A lot of people love the experience of shopping on Black Friday, I used to as well. Now, I try to limit going out in the crowd as much as possible. Fighting over parking spaces and long lines just gets the best of me sometimes.  Another reason I am converted to majority online is most of the stores offer the same sales online.  So why would I not stay home in my pjs and shop?! I may make a quick stop at Target.  Another quick tip, unless you are getting that TV that is marked down by 90%, you really don't have to be waiting in line all night.  I got all the stuff on my list walking into Target last year 30 minutes after they opened, and never camped out. 

Now let me share what stores I am definitely shopping at this year....

Express: The entire store is 50% and FREE SHIPPING.  Express rarely offers free shipping so take advantage of that.  I plan on getting a ton of Portofino tops, jeans, jewelry, and dress slacks.
Old Navy: 50% off the entire store! I like getting everyday tops for me here, clothes for the boys, coats, and some sweaters for Rick.

TARGET: Where do I even begin, Target is the main store I will be shopping at.  We plan on getting a Xbox One S it's marked down to $249.99, and you get a $40 Target gift card (which we spend towards other BF items). Nintendo DS for Cameron on sale for $99.99, and games are only $25.  There are quite a bit of toys t I am snagging for the kids as well. You can't figure those $4 and $6 movies! Another perk is clothing being 30% off! Sidenote: My Fitbit will be on sale for $89.99!!

JCPenney: I need some new luggage, and they have a great deal on a set!

Nordstrom: They have already started their Black Friday sale, but tons of items are 40% off!
NY and Company: They are having a ton of door busters, and will have sweaters for like $14.99.  I want to stock up on my winter wardrobe.
A few other stores on my radar, because I am not sure yet what their exact sales will be is Bauble Bar ( I am in need of new jewelry), Sephora, and Nike
There are probably more stores I will stumble upon, but those are my core.  I used to go to Toysrus, but it was just too crazy, and I didn't want to go to a store that was just solely dedicated to only toys.  With Black Friday you need to be as efficient as possible.
Where ever you go, make a plan and stay within your budget!
Happy shopping!

THE PONCHO - FALL MUST HAVE







Poncho: Nordstrom  | Top: BP  Jeans: Express  ShoesJust Fab | Earrings: Charming Charlie Watch: Michael Kors  | Necklace: Charming Charlie Purse: Charming Charlie 


Am I the only one that sometimes stays typically runs from the idea of wearing a poncho?!  I mean honestly...some of my thoughts are will the poncho make me look 15 pounds heavier (which I definitely don't need), will this require too much effort to keep it laying correctly, and where I am really wearing this at?  Those 3 things have kept me from owning a poncho. 

This year I decided to give it a chance, because I stumbled on this poncho, and fell in love with these colors.  If you are on the fence like me with wearing a poncho there are a few things to consider to help you with styling your poncho.

1. Know the right places to wear it:  I likely won't be wearing this poncho doing my daily mom life activities, or running after Calvin. I feel that ponchos are constantly falling off my shoulders, and you have to adjust to make sure it is centered.  Ponchos are perfect for a girls night out (where you can have your girls do any adjustments), or date night.

2. No added weight:  If you don't like how ponchos sometimes make you look like an umpa lumpa (well maybe that is just me) a suggestion is to consider styling it with a waist belt.  This will add some shape to the poncho, and not drown out your body.  Another tip, is make sure to have your layered top be fitted, to also promote there is a nice shape underneath the poncho.

3. Nothing is perfect. It will slide off, be uneven, and you may possibly trip over it (yes that happened to me).  Either way stop worrying about it and just rock it confidently! When I do wear a poncho I typically try to hold it in the middle, this also helps with making sure it stays centered!

Ponchos are great for layering, especially in this transition to Winter.  Sometimes I have been wearing ponchos as an alternative to jackets.  

Side note: If you haven't been wearing burgundy this Fall you are missing out, it is perfect hue this season. I even snagged some burgundy booties that I am obsessed with.  Definitely make sure to add some burgundy to your closet for Fall!

Happy Styling!

30 AND THRIVING - THE BIRTHDAY POST


Top: Macys | Jeans: T and J Designs ShoesSteve Madden Earrings: Kendra Scott Necklace: Kendra Scott Ring: Bauble Bar | Watch: Michael Kors | Purse: Rebecca Minkoff


30 and thriving! I walk into year 30 with excitement for everything God has blessed me with.   Whether it be the lessons from the hardships I've learned or the successes.  I embrace entering a new decade, and truly feel that I have I am coming into my prime. I am feel more sure about the decisions I make, the most confident I have ever been physically, and trust my instinct. 


In the spirit of turning 30 I wanted to share thirty pieces of wisdom I have learned along the way (in no particular order).


1. Yellow, is by far the best color ever! It instantly makes me feel more cheerful, and brightens every outfit.


2. Invest in your shoes. Your feet will thank you later (along with your outfit)!


3. It is ok to be transparent and admit when things are not fine and you need help. So often I would feel like I needed to be super woman and mega mom. And that's just not always possible.  I had to start speaking up, so I wouldn't wear myself down.  Speaking up is key!


4. Find hobbies or something you love to do, and make sure to put time aside. Realizing that I had to get hobbies and activities separate from my husband, kids, and work has been so rejuvenating.


5. Working out is non-negotiable.  Even if that means missing my favorite reality show.


6. Keep those friends close to you that have been loyal through every season. They are my backbone and put the energy in to appreciate them.


7. Sometimes shut up and quick nagging.  I'm not perfect, and I shouldn't expect him to be either.


8.  As much as I may want to fit in that smaller size If you just aren't there DO NOT try to squeeze in it.  You will look way more flattering in your true size that trying to fit in something that truly doesn't fit.


9. Invest in quality weave!


10. Date night is one of the best things we could do for our marriage. Despite life's craziness invest in your marriage and invest in alone time away from the kids.


11.  Spanx or any shapewear are game changers. Even if you are slim, it instantly is a great finishing touch to any form fitting outfit.


12.  I will never be ashamed that I still love T-Pain, I am still waiting on his greatest hits.  Leading with "Buy you a drank" LOL!


13. Even in times when you don't understand it trust God's timing. 


14.  Being a mom is one of the greatest gifts I have received.  With that, I've had to learn that my children still do not define me. Continue to have some time to pamper yourself, and even if it is taking 5 minutes to have a nice hot both. 


15.  Never be so wrapped in designer clothing that it breaks your bank.  If any of your clothing prevents you from being able to pay something. You should NOT be purchasing it.


16.  Marriage is tough work. The moment I realized that our marriage is bigger than myself or my husband, and focused on God's purpose for our union the better it became.  Marriage is so much sweeter having God at the center.


17. The moment I my wardrobe started living was the moment I started wearing leopard. ha!


18. Nex-Gen nails is the best nail trend to date.  Goodbye Gel and Acrylic! If you haven't tried it definitely do!


19. When you feel that your weight is up always fall back on an all black! You can never go wrong with that.


20. Losing weight by placing unrealistic goals or by doing extreme methods never succeeds long term. So take your time, and don't place that type of pressure on you.


21. My confidence level is due in part of me becoming sure of who I was and what I am not.  No amount of clothing can add the type of confidence inner self-assurance adds.


22. The moment you want to go on a shopping spree first put money aside (if you haven't already) and save.  Having a savings account and emergency fund feels better than any new pair of shoes.


23. Girls night is a must have! I love my boys, but having girl talk is good for your soul!


24. Nagging repeatedly will not solve anything besides make an uncomfortable home environment.  Realizing that has made my communication more effective.


25. If you are busy woman, there are 2 things you need to be doing.  Using online grocery ordering and cooking multiple meals at once. Game changer!


26. Never over accessorize. Have bracelets on each wrist, belt, necklace, flashy earrings, and rings. Before you leave take 2 pieces of jewelry off.


27. It's ok if you haven't figured everything out in life, sometimes that is the most encouraging realization and allows the most growth.


28. Challenge yourself every year to accomplish one new thing you haven't before. This has helped me push my growth to the next level.


29. Daily take time to unplug from all electronics. The entire household unplugs. It's best way to reconnect as a family.


30.  Be careful with who you share your life with.  If they are not living in line with your values, you probably shouldn't be getting advice from them.


*Bonus, travel often.  I didn't use to travel much, but once we did we realized how much we were missing out on.  Whatever capacity you can put money aside to get away.


Of course I have learned many more things, but these are 30 that came to my mind.

Thanks for reading!

SWEATER SEASON






Top: Charming Charlie | Jeans: American Eagle ShoesJust Fab Earrings: Charming Charlie Bracelet: Charming Charlie Ring: Bauble Bar | Watch: Michael Kors | Purse: Charming Charlie



Sweater season is here, and sadly Dallas still doesn't have the weather to match it. Ugh! I swear I love so many aspects of living in Texas, but weather is not one of them.  Give me the colorful leaves, cool Fall breeze, sweaters, and boots! I will always be a Michigan girl at heart.  With that, I love sweaters, and refuse to give up on them so I have been rocking pseudo sweaters lately.  This sweater is perfect because it has short sleeves, and it's flowy so you feel comfortable to wear it during southern weather.  It is great for any Fall day that is still not very cool. An added bonus that this top has a cowl neck.  And I got excited when this cowl neck didn't make me feel like I had a double chin.  Sometime cowl necks can lay awkwardly, but this one is perfect!

 It's no secret that I love a deal! I am not afraid to say it! Being in Texas its harder for me to pay top dollar for boots and winter clothing.  When I know we have so many months of scorching hot temperatures. So I try to find a deal whenever I can.  I recently bought 4 different booties from Just Fab and it cost less than $120 dollars! I am going to be honest I was apprehensive and preparing to possibly return before I got them.  While, I do like a deal, I don't like cheap looking items. I was pleasantly surprised.  I say all that to say, if you are wanting new booties but don't want to pay top dollar I would recommend Just Fab. (and no they did not sponsor me to say this). It is my honest review from one person looking for a deal to another.

And while we are talking deals, my entire outfit from head to toe (exclude my watch) cost less than $150!!! I did get a couple of my items on sale at the time of purchase. I always love being able to land a outfit that looks high quality, at a fraction of the price. Moral of the story is don't be afraid to try items just based on looking at there discounted price.  It does not always mean they are low quality.  There are some stores I shop at where I know they have great prices but doesn't compromise the quality.

A few sites that never fail me are Charming Charlie, Old Navy, Just Fab (great for shoes your fashion shoes), NY and Company, and of course Target. Those are some major stores I go to when I want a quality items for less. Don't go broke trying to look cute, when there are so many great and cheaper alternatives. :)

Happy Styling!

HOW TO GET THE PERFECT FAMILY HOLIDAY CARD









PC: Team Howard Photography

CALVIN- Cardigan: Lands' End | Pants: Lands' End | Shoes: Lands' End 

CAMERON- Sweater: Lands' End | Pants: Lands' End | Shoes: Lands' End 


RICK- Cardigan: Lands' End | Shirt: Lands' End  |  Pants: Lands' End | Shoes: Lands' End | Tie: Lands' End

ME- Dress: Lands' End | Shoes: Lands' End 

November is here and which means it is time to start thinking about that Christmas Card. Every year I say I am going to be proactive and get those Christmas cards out early.  Never fails that every year I always end up rushing trying to get our cards out the week before the holiday.  This year I was determined to do better and send out our holiday cards early! Another goal is to knock out Christmas shopping in the next couple weeks, but let's just take this one week at a time. LOL

Part of the battle that starts the procrastination thinking about what to wear, will my toddler cooperate, how will I have time to do all this. I wanted to share some tips that have helped our Christmas cards turn out great!

I love getting my boys and I dressed up for the holiday card, but it can be a daunting task trying  to coordinate a family of 4 (and a puppy). I love our looks to be cohesive, and I also try to find looks that we can wear even after the pictures.  I teamed up with Lands' End to because they gave me that classic look that gives us that catalog look.

Color Coordination
 I start with this deciding our color for the holiday shoot. If matching is not something you are interested in then you can disregard this tip.  I will say, I strongly recommend having a color theme in some capacity.  Even if everyone is wearing a different color it is nice to still have a similar color family that can be cohesive. HOWEVER, since I love matching our families I start with searching color ideas also keeping in mind our previous year colors. Last year we did red, black, and white so I knew that I wanted to stay away from that color scheme.   I then started putting together possible looks and see if there are enough options for each family member.  Another major factor is not having our looks be to matchy. You want to be a cohesive balance.
  I like our outfits to fit together like a puzzle.  Typically, Cameron or Calvin will have the primary print, and the rest take pieces of each other that print.  I fell in love with Lands'  End Hunter Green and Navy pants for Calvin that I knew this would be our color scheme for this  year. I always make sure either myself or my husband will have a solid color to balance out the look.  I also  make sure that Rick   and I aren't wearing the same main color.  This year I wore navy, and Rick is primarily in green, this keeps the photo from looking to busy.   The boys don't normally have on the same print, but I like both brothers to each wear the staple colors. As you can see I am pretty passionate about coordinating our looks. HA!
Here are a few of my favorite color schemes:
Red and Green: (just be careful on this you don't want to look like Christmas lights. I also have been trying to get away from red and green as I felt it limits our photos to just the Christmas season.  However, I like our pictures to be on display in our home.
Navy:  I am slightly obsessed with Navy. I feel that it is such a classic color, and looks great with many colors.  We paired with Hunter green, but the options are endless.
Golds and neutrals:  If you want to glam it up, add gold to your color scheme.  I've always wanted to do Gold and creams.  This would be such an elegant look.
Red and Black: Last year we did Houndstooth, and it is probably one of my favorite holiday looks.  So chic and classy!
Mustards with Earth tones:  If you don't want your holiday card to look like Christmas, consider  Mustard.  I would pair that color with burgundy and even Navy.  This would also be a great color scheme if you wanted to do a casual look with flannels. 
Color coordinating for me just elevates the family photo.
Choosing what to wear

 This truly will vary based on your own personal preferences. However, there are a few items that never fail me.
A Skater dress: I love a dress that is simple not much detail and flairs.  Midi length also adds an element of class.
Cardigans: This item is great for Rick and the boys.  Cardigans look so perfect on my boys.  Calvin and my husband are wearing cardigans this time around.
Plaids:   If you are not use to color coordinating your using plaids is an easy way to do so. Plaids have a multiple colors in the print, and allows me to use that print as the staple piece for our outfit color scheme.
I was able to get our entire look head to toe from Lands' End which made it easier for me.  If you are like me with limited time it is always a time saver if you can get all of the family's look from one store.  It also ensures that the colors hues match. Consider  shopping from a store that services everyone to save time  and make coordinating a little easier.
Tips for the photo shoot
It doesn't matter if you have the best outfits if the photo shoot does not go well.  You have to be set up for success in order for it to execute well. 
Earlier shoots are your best friend:  My toddler cooperates a lot more first thing in the morning. He is a lot more smiley, and we reduce the risk of photo shoot meltdowns.  Consider this if you are have children that don't do well during photos.
Don't skimp on the photographer:  Choose a photographer that you have seen great consistent work.  The last thing you want is to have everyone standing there looking great, and they photographed you  squinting because you were looking in the direction of the sun.  Sometimes it is also nice to communicate with your photographer beforehand to let them know what you are wearing and the vision.  This will allow them to pick a location that will best suit your attire and style.
Be aware your weather: Last year we had  to reschedule our shoot, because it was so cold and rainy.   The year before that Cameron was shivering so much, all the pictures he looked really tense.  If you are in area that quickly gets cold, consider taking your photos before the cold front hits.  This will allow you to get the images you want without the dreaded element of bad weather.
*If you can try to get a variety of a family poses.  Just in case you don't particularly care for the way you looked in that one scene.
For the longest we didn't use to take regular family photos because it just seemed like task I didn't want to take on. I got out of that thinking because I like documenting our family growth over the years and increase in family size.  It started with just Rick, Cameron and I. Now we have added to the bunch Calvin, and even our Labradoodle Conan.  Be organized, and start with making a clear plan of how you want your photos to looks. Once you nail down your idea, this will allow you to start executing it!  
I also have additional family photo shoot tips here.
 
SN: How festive are my heels! It was a great pop of holiday fun for the shoot! Don't be afraid of stepping outside of the box for family shoots.  These heels were so perfect!
Happy  Styling!