Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2021

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2021 Haul |

I love this sale so much! It's one of my favorite Summer events. I use it to stock up on the more expensive basics I love while they're at more affordable prices, and to grab some special pieces that I don't find in my typical shopping experiences the rest of the year. I think I got some pretty great pieces this year! 

And it was funny, because we were on a quick overnight trip and I had to set an alarm for 3am while on vacation to shop. I don't remember the sale starting overnight like that before?? Worth it, though, because I grabbed some beauties and quick enough that my orders didn't end up canceled. Which has definitely happened to me before! Here's what I scored:

Grey Plaid Shacket

Thread & Supply Shirt Jacket
I have to start with the shacket! It makes me laugh every time I say that. This wasn't on my original wish list, but as hauls and try-on videos started up and this made an appearance in nearly all of them, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I couldn't decide if it was just too trendy for me, but for only $32 I decided it was worth trying. I ended up realllly loving it - it's so warm and comfortable, and super cute worn open like a jacket. As of this writing, this color is sold out, but things might pop back up for public access today.

simple black tory burch crossbody
Tory Burch Carson Zip Top Crossbody Bag
This was the first order I placed because it was at the very top of my wish list! I didn't have a nicer, date-night level purse and really loved how simple and small this one is. It's a perfect size, and is a really great price! It's 60% off, and worth every penny. It cost less than my Tory Burch sandals, and looks so great paired with them! And, to my shock, this one did not sell out!! I was so sure it would.

ruffle sleeve free people shirt

Free People Natasha Ruffle Sleeve Top
This shirt immediately jumped out at me, but I had no idea it was Free People at first. It definitely has a little bit of that unique free people style, but it doesn't have that flowy, bohemian flair I usually expect to see. I just love the sweet ruffle sleeve detail so much! This is totally sold out as I'm writing this, but I'm hoping it comes back in other colors! It runs a little on the smaller size compared to free people's usual sizing - I was the most comfortable sizing up in this one.

blue floral free people top

Free People Print Clare Tee
This is the other Free People item I got - I totally missed this when I was building my wish list and when I saw it in some try-on videos I rushed to grab it! I love a good floral tee, and I have many by free people that I love for being the softest, lightest tees ever! This one runs a lot smaller than most free people tops. Usually they feel huge to me, but this one runs small and I sized up to get a perfect fit. 

the best spanx leggings

SPANX® Booty Boost Active 7/8 Leggings
These are my favorite leggings ever! They are very similar to Aerie's offline leggings but with more of that spanxy-tight hold. They are so comfortable and supportive, but at almost $100 a pair I don't exactly stock up on them. The anniversary sale is the time to buy, for sure! These are currently sold out, but keep checking! I peeked for days and finally grabbed a pair in my size.


Wit & Wisdom Ab-Solution Skinny Jeans

I've had a bit of a denim obsession lately, I'm not sure why. I guess I'm on the hunt for more pairs of "pull them on and they're perfect every time" jeans, instead of like...2 of those plus a mix of "these are just okay" jeans. Even when I find a great pair sometimes, after wearing them out and about, I later decide they're not quite perfect. The only ones I have with staying power so far are Good American, but those are so so pricey. I only own the two pair I do because I was lucky enough to snag some hidden clearanced pairs at the rack! So recently I grabbed a pair of J Brand jeans, and then during the sale I thought I'd give these a shot. They have all this interesting elastic and bands inside them that sort of pull and lift and support, and I haven't gotten any farther than trying them on, but I think I'm going to really love these!

super soft off the shoulder thermal

Treasure & Bond Off the Shoulder Thermal Knit Top
This shirt so SO CUTE. Like, ridiculously adorable. And not only that, it's not stiff or scratchy like some thermal tops can be. It's incredibly soft, cozy and flattering and looks great either with a strapless bra or a cute bralette. I got it in the black, and loved it so much that I went back for the cream. I hope that one goes through - it said there was only 1 left when I ordered it! I'm not sure if it will be restocked for public access or not, but there's a really pretty blue color, too! You should note, though - this shirt is pretty short. It's almost cropped. I ordered it in two sizes, and kept the bigger size for the length. 

cream thermal

swiss dot puff sleeve top

CeCe Puff Sleeve Mixed Media Top
I love a black tee more than anything else in my wardrobe. But sometimes I get a little too comfortable just pulling out the same classic black tee and I want something a little more special. I love a little accent sleeve so much, and this one gave me Kate Spade-ish swiss dot vibes. It's adorable and feels super delicate in person, but it is shorter than I would have liked and I do wish I could size up in it for the length.

bp. sweater

BP. Rib Crewneck Sweater
This sweater is SUCH a deal. Seriously consider grabbing this one!! It's less than $19, so flattering, and SO cozy! This one is cropped intentionally, so just be aware of that and know that it's probably best with high waisted jeans or leggings or even a skirt. I actually bought the black one first (below) and kept going back to peek at the purple one before I finally broke down and grabbed it. I loved it even more...and so I thought I'd grab the tan one, too. It's such an affordable, adorable sweater with its subtle little balloon sleeve and snuggly style. I sized up both for coziness and length, and they are perfect!

tan cropped sweater


BP. Plaid Long Sleeve Minidress
I went back and forth on this dress so many times, and I don't have it in my hands yet so time will tell if it's cute or just too trendy. I think it looks really comfy and cozy and like it would pair well with some leggings and booties, maybe a scarf. Ya know...really add on the layers of basic, haha. It sold out for a while so I'd let it go, but it popped back in stock and I had Nordstrom notes to spend, so I grabbed it. We'll see!

soft throw blanket

Nordstrom Bliss Plush Throw
Hey look I got something that wasn't clothes or a purse! I really wanted something simple and neutral for the couches this fall, and this just seems totally lush and cozy. I could have gotten something a little more creative as far as color goes (the Olive Honey is a gorgeous fall gold, and the Teal Atlantic is honestly gorgeous), but I wanted something that would stand up to messy kids and pets and span the seasons.

So, during the Influencer level of the Nordy sale, along came the Rack's Clear the Rack sale. I don't have a Nordstrom store nearby, but I DO have a Nordstrom Rack, and their shipping to store is free. So I couldn't help but grab a couple of super affordable cuties.

hot pink champion sweatshirt

CHAMPION Powerblend Graphic Boyfriend Sweater
I used to be a rabbid hoodie girl - one of my best friends actually slapped me with a "no more hoodies" mandate a couple years ago. (I didn't listen, lol) But in recent years I'm finding that I like a good quality oversized sweatshirt more than a hoodie. They just feel more wearable or something? I don't know. I'm constantly buying everything in black and grey (and there's a super cute grey version of this one!) so I decided to get a little crazy and go for the Barbie pink. I sized up to make sure it's ridiculously cozy - I don't even care if I end up overwhelmed by fabric. Cozyyy.

unique hem tee

14TH AND UNION Crew Neck Short Sleeve T-Shirt
This shirt came in a handful of colors, but I restrained myself and just got a basic grey that will go with a lot of things. I loved the little split hem detail! This was only $4 and change during the clear the rack sale, so it was kind of a no-brainer staple purchase!

So, I'm still waiting on 6 of these things - shipping has been a little sluggish, so be aware of that! But everything I've gotten so far is my new favorite everything. I love it all so much!

Did you grab any of these? Let me know if we'll be twinning! ;)

Monday, July 26, 2021

Last Minute Monday - Pt. 5

I guess it's Monday??

Summer does that to me. The late nights and the busy days and the familiar peaceful, sunny mornings all start to blend together and I never know exactly when I'm existing. I'm 0% complaining. I love Summer life. And I know my days of being home with my boys for their summer breaks are numbered. (Boo that.)

So, I'm coming off of a week-long readathon and about 5 hours of swimming yesterday so my brain is kind of like....can we not? Alas, my house suffered while I spent hours and hours reading, so my fridge is bare and my basement has formed a new Mt. Laundry and there are Legos over every square inch of my living room. Ya girl needs to get to work. So I wanted to keep today's post simple.

Summer is summering over here. It's kind of wild how normal it has all felt. I both expected and didn't expect that this year? Pandemic life is just so odd. As soon as we were vaxxed up I knew things would get a little more flexible, but at different points of the late winter & earlier spring I had varying timelines in my mind. And while we've returned to a lot, visited with many, and let a lot of normal back in, it's a careful balance with my younger, unvaccinated kids. It's just always on my mind in one way or another.

But we've fit in a lot of good summering, and my freckles are out of control.

I gave myself July to just be and enjoy. To let it be Summer, and just Summer. Because last year? I spent damn near 90% of it worrying about what the school year would look like. I wrote "just in case" IHIPs and googled curriculums and talked to every parent I knew of in the district. I spent my evenings dialed into dramatic, uncontrolled zoom calls with the board of education. And at the end of it all, no one even knew what was happening when September started. So who cares if we end up in a rush or scrambling to figure out what's right? Everyone else is in the same boat, and the chips will fall where they fall. We'll wing it, like we've been doing for a year and a half already, and we'll be fine. Because it turns out...everything gets decided eventually. 

Unfortunately, though, July is coming to an end. Which means as soon as August hits, I can no longer ignore the school supply lists or the figuring out school clothes and the blah blah blahs of it all. (Boo that also.)

But August IS my birthday month, so we can't be too mad about it.

The last (maybe?) of my Nordstrom sale orders get here sometime today. I'm telling you now because on Wednesday, I'll have a post of all the goodies I scooped up just in time for the sale to go public. Ya know, if you're into it and plan to shop. Which according to my Instagram followers, is none of you. I'm sharing it anyway, lol.

Well, I love chatting with you, but if I don't get off this computer and start filling an Instacart order, my family members are going to riot. So excuse me while I go hunt and gather. Happy week. xo

Friday, July 23, 2021

Summery Friday Favs

Happy Friday! It's been a busy, summery week with both really hot sunny days and intense summer storms, so it felt like a good time to gather all of my recent favorite things from this summer so far. 

Here's what I'm loving lately!

pink purple and blue hydrangeas   bathroom bouquet

Fresh Flowers in the Bathroom
I don't know why it never occured to me to put flowers in the bathroom before because I am obsessed! We were having company for the 4th of July weekend, and I had bouquet that was a little in the way of the counter space needed to cook for a crowd. I stuck them in the bathroom thinking they'd be safe there when I realized...they looked kind of amazing. I've been rotating fresh flowers and vases in there ever since, and it makes me happy every time I step in there. (And yes, those insane hydrangeas are real!! My MIL grows them at their cottage in the finger lakes and gave us some. So gorgeous!)

repurposed tie-dye clothing    reviving second-hand clothing

Radiant Janes
I found this local woman-owned creative business at a nearby farmer's market recently. They specialize in tie dye, though they carry all sorts of creative things including jewelry, embellished lighters and dried fruit and flower framed mirrors. I lingered around their stall for entirely too long. I bought a tank and a matching scrunchie, and ended up coming back for another tank. They're my new favorite summer pieces! Though most of their selection is found locally, they do have a website where you can find some of their beautiful goods - check it out HERE.

healthy treats   oatmeal berry cookies

Breakfast "cookies"
I've been making some health moves this Summer, and ended up with a serious carb craving after a few weeks of effort. I don't see carbs as evil, just that I know there are healthier ones than others, and until I reach my health goals I want to be careful with my choices. My friend sent me a recipe for 4 ingredient breakfast cookies (which I spiffed up and made 6 ingredients, but the extra two don't really change the health factor) and they instantly became my "indulgent" breakfast of choice. Have you ever made these? They're just a ripe banana, rolled oats (1/2 cup per banana), dash of salt, dash of cinnamon, splash of pure vanilla extract, and whatever berry (or berries) you'd like to toss in. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 mins. So easy, and they hit the carby spot.

Nordy Sale 2021

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
I have a whole post coming next week, but I couldn't let a favorites post go by without mentioning it. It's been one of my very favorite distractions, as it is every year! I love finding pieces that are little more unique and special than the basics I pick up from more affordable sources through the year. The things I've ordered have been shipping slowly, and I'm sure they're suuuper busy but I'm dying to get all the beauties I've found! 

Weight Watchers Cilantro Lime Chicken

Lime on Everything
I've found that a lot of the healthy recipes I've been trying out have lime or lime juice as one of their ingredients. This feels like such an obvious "duh" thing, but I can't get over how much flavor there is just by adding lime to things! One of my favorites is this cilantro lime chicken with cilantro lime rice and a little bit of avocado on the side. SO good!

Backyard Flowers
I've never really gotten into flower gardening as much as I have herb and veggie gardening. Not that I'm an expert on that, either - super not. But I've still tried year after year. This year I ordered some flower seeds and my kids have had fun filling containers of their own that we've arranged around our fire pit patio. I love watching their progress and seeing their colors emerge. Flowers are such a favorite of mine - always and forever!

Dua Lipa
I'm not a new Dua fan, just having a Dua moment. I saw her in concert before she was huge-huge - she opened for Bruno Mars. I'd already liked a couple of her songs, but after that concert I was hooked. Especially after hearing IDGAF live. This Summer I've been hitting replay on We're Good and Levitating.

summer drink glasses

Lemon Glasses
My MIL gave me these glasses years ago and I only remember to bring them out for Summer every couple of years. I don't know why! I'm so glad I remembered them this year because they've added a little brightness and festivity to my summer. I love seasonal dishes. She also gave me her Christmas dishes recently so I have a whole different set to pull out for the holidays this year and I'm ridiculously excited about it. Don't be surprised if I eventually end up with fall and spring dishes, too. ;)

summer readathon

Camp Readaway
If you missed my post about it, my beloved summer read-athon was skipped this year. Not sure if it's done forever or for a minute, but I've become so accustomed to a July week of reading my face off that I couldn't handle it not happening sooo I made my own! I have had the best time getting to know some fellow book lovers on Instagram and chronicling my reading days. Even though it's more work building this challenge myself, it's still my favorite week of the Summer. I may make it a yearly thing? Possibly. If you have any interest in reading a crap ton or seeing my reading-heavy week, check out my highlight called "CR 2021!" on my Bookstagram.

Linking up with Friday Favorites today!
Happy weekend! <3

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Rock City + Camping in Salamanca, NY

Last month, we took a long weekend trip to Salamanca, NY

It's about an hour (and a little more) away from where we live, and also where my Grandpa on my Dad's side was born and raised. When my Dad suggested we camp there this year, I was mostly excited to go back and see the hills where my Grandpa used to have a hunting cabin. We spent many weekends of my childhood there - roughing it without a bathroom and looking for crayfish under rocks in the nearby creek.

The whole trip was great, and if you're looking for somewhere nice to camp (in a cabin or an RV), an amazing place to hike, and small towns to explore in Western New York - keep reading!

We arrived at Elkdale RV resort on a Thursday evening, and were surprised by how calm and quiet the whole place was. This was our first time at an "RV resort" vs a campground - which I've come to understand has less amenities and activities and more quiet, calm atmosphere. I honestly think I like both for different reasons, but it depends on your trip and what your camping style is!

One interesting aspect of this place that I hadn't run into before, is that many of the people staying at this resort are long-term temporary guests. Unlike seasonal campsite renters, those guests are contracted construction workers who are in the area for a while and need a home base. Some of them even bring their families or keep veggie plants on their cabin porches. I just thought that lifestyle sounded so interesting!


My family and I rented a cabin, and my Dad and step-mom parked their camper in our cabin's backyard. This gave us a big area for meals and fires and letting the kids run around. The cabin was really spacious, in great shape, and fully stocked. We really only had to bring our own food and clothes - everything else was there! Which is not how most cabins are. We usually have to bring our own linens, toilet paper, hand soap, cooking utensils - everything. So this is a great place to go if you're looking for a lot less packing!

The cabin had a full kitchen, full bathroom, separate bedroom, living space, and a nice porch we spent most of our mornings on. There was plenty of room for 5 people, but the place could have easily accommodated even more!


The main attraction of our trip was hiking at Rock City State Park. My Dad used to take me there all the time when we'd stay at my Grandpa's cabin, and I was really excited to go back there and show it to my kids. 

Pictures don't do it justice - it is breathtakingly beautiful on the hiking trails! There are so many unique trees-growing-on-cliffside situations, mysterious alleyways between boulders, and intricate nature-y details to soak in as you move along the trails. We packed a lunch and made a little picnic on the tailgate of my Dad's truck, buf if you're lucky you can nab a picnic table at one of the first-come-first-served camping spots. 

  knotted tree roots

My kids loved Rock City as much as I always have, and there are many varied length/difficulty trails to choose from so you could spend a few hours or all day (or even night!) here if you wanted to. The gravely stone roads that lead you to the peak of the park are a little intimidating (and feel surprisingly long on the way up), so expect that - but it's worth it! I looked into the history and geology of the structures there, and it's so interesting! It started 290 million years ago when North America and Africa collided! If you want to learn more about it, scroll down to "Geology" here.


Another highlight for us was going into the town of Salamanca. I think my family probably appreciated this a little more than the average people because of our shared history, but it's still a really cool, old-school small town to check out. 


We made a special point to check out the Veterans park because my Grandpa (as well has some of his family members) has a dedicated brick in their memorial wall. We loved finding his name and feeling connected to him there, but there's also some really cool war memorabilia to check out. My kids especially liked the huge tank and the warplane propeller. There's an impressive anchor, too. Super cool info for any history buff.


There's a really great little lunch and ice cream place right across the street from the veteran's park called Tony's Tastee Freeze that we highly recommend! We only got ice cream, but the servings were impressive and more affordable than any ice cream place we've ever gone to! They only accept cash, though, so if you visit be prepared for that.

I don't have any pictures of it, but we stopped at a really cool pet store/aquarium that the kids loved. It's called Ellicottville Aquatics, and they have so many petable little creatures and fish tanks to explore. My kids loved it there!


Speaking of Ellicottville, it's very nearby if you want to take a trip there! If you've never been, it's a gorgeous little ski town full of shops, restaurants, and the locally well-known Ellicottville Brewing. We stopped in and just walked up and down the streets for a little bit - it was the weekend and very crowded and we had all our kids with us so we didn't stop in anywhere, but it was a nice walk. As of our June trip, most places were still limiting capacity so just take that into consideration if you visit.


Back at the resort, there are a couple of "extras" to fill your time with if campfire cooking and taking it easy on your porch isn't enough. There is a huge pond on the property where you can fish to your heart's content - my kids caught a whole bunch! They weren't successful until we picked up bait in town, though, which we did at Ellicottville Aquatics, so I recommend grabbing some wherever you can find it if you plan to fish! There's also a driving range (which you can walk to from the pond), and Elkdale Country Club is right next door if you'd like to golf. In fact, a couple of the holes overlook the RV resort.

We really loved our time in Salamanca, and if you're in search of a not-too-far-from-Buffalo family destination with some outdoorsiness and gorgeous mountains, I recommend the trip!

Fun fact: the man who wrote the famous Christmas song "Silver Bells" was born and raised in Salamanca, NY! His name was Ray Evans. Super cool!