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1/16/19

Winter Escape to Big Bear / Snow Style

Happy 2019, Everyone!

I hope your year is already off to a wonderful start! It's been awhile since my last blog post, and if you've been following me on Instagram, you know that I took a break from social media and blogging in general to focus on other pressing projects. I've also been making a conscious effort to be more present with family and friends and put down my phone and step away from the computer. Sometimes it's a much-needed break; I love blogging as a creative outlet, but at times there are just other things that require my attention. Not to mention, I have 3 little ones to look after, so it's important that I don't sacrifice quality time or energy with them, especially since they're growing like weeds! Moving forward, I will do my best to blog when I can, and keep future posts brief and more photo-centric (less wordy.) The goal is to keep it simple and sweet.
Over the holiday break, my extended family and I ventured out to Big Bear for a fun, winter escape. It was such a blast with the 12 of us, despite the frigid below-20-degree weather! (Being born and raised here in SoCal, I don't acclimate to cold climates very well.) It was our first time visiting Big Bear as a family, and I was so happy that my dad, step-mom, brother, the kids and their cousins could all go up together. I wanted the kids to be able to enjoy the fresh, powdery snow that fell over Christmas and the days following, and enjoy a true winter wonderland -- sledding, throwing snow balls, building snow men, staying in a cozy cabin and running around and playing to their little hearts' content. They had so much fun, they're already asking when we're going back! I have a feeling we'll be adding Big Bear to our annual vacation circuit. (We already have Pebble Beach/San Simeon, Yosemite, and Cancún in the mix...)
Travel tip: Late November through early January is peak season at Big Bear, so if you're wanting to visit it during the holidays, try to reserve your cabin/vacation rental early to secure your reservation. Rentals book up quickly and you may be looking at well over $1,000/night for your stay. Because we had a large group, most of the larger cabins had already been reserved, but we were fortunate to find a beautiful, spacious, 2-story cabin near the lake and snow resorts through CoolCabins.com. See their FAQ page for helpful information. Be forewarned: prices are steep during peak season, especially for the larger cabins that accommodate 10+ guests. Split among all of us, it was a little more reasonable, but still pricey nonetheless. Also, each cabin has its own owner, contract, and stay requirements, so be sure to review those carefully prior to booking. Some cabins are pet-friendly as well.
Now onto the outfits!
For this trip, I knew layers were an absolute must. I packed several pairs of leggings and thermals to help combat the cold and often wore 2 - 3 layers of pants just to stay warm! I bought these black, fleece-lined leggings at TJ Maxx, which I also found online here and similar here. I've never heard of this brand, but for only $8, these babies kept my legs nice and toasty, so they're now a winter staple for me. They're not waterproof, so if you plan on all-day sledding, skiing or snowboarding, you'll definitely need snow pants. I have an old Burton pair I use for snowboarding, but didn't wear them for this trip. These are similar in pink if you need snow pants. These may work for petites also.
Huge, fluffy blanket scarves were also a lifesaver! If you still don't have these in your winter rotation, you need them stat! They're not just a popular fashion prop featured by everyblogger under the sun; they truly take you from miserable-cold to tolerable-cold. Trust me. I now have a whole new appreciation for them!  This pink plaid scarf was my favorite and most-worn one throughout the trip because it feels like a cloud -- soft, cuddly, and warm (almost to the point of suffocation, at least during snow-play.) Once you take it off, you immediately feel the difference. I just draped it around my neck and let it hang down and that did the trick for me; not too hot, but still plenty warm.

I found a couple of other similar ones here and here that also look cute and snugly.

My pink Hunter boots got plenty of use as well! I initially purchased them with only rainy days in mind, though they're scarce here in LA, but I have to say, these held up nicely in the snow as well. I wear the big kids' size 4. Just add a pair of thick socks (I layered 2 pairs for extra warmth) to keep your toes from entering frostbite territory. Rubber boots = no insulation.

My beanie is another find from the kids' section and on sale now for only $7! I have a smaller head, so I was happy to find this one that fits perfectly. It must run large for kids because the smallest size fits me (1 1/2-4.) Strange, but it works for me!
This insulated, white puffer-coat also became a fast favorite! I shared a quick snap on Instagram here before the trip in my excitement. Finding a petite-friendly puffer-coat that doesn't swallow you whole or make you look like the Michelin Man, is a feat in itself! I found this coat online after a long search, and was thrilled to see in the item description, "designed to fit and flatter 5'4" and under frame." This really stood out to me since the coat wasn't actually listed as "petite" anywhere in the name or on the site. I was even more optimistic when I saw size XXS in stock in this beautiful ivory shade. (It comes in black as well, but I preferred the ivory.)

It's beautiful! This coat is extremely well-made and looks even better in person! I was immediately impressed with it when it first arrived, especially with the fit and design details. I purposely searched for puffer-coats with a belt to cinch the waist and give it a more flattering shape. This one definitely does the job with its simple buckle-belt (just press to open as you would a seatbelt) while still keeping you nice and warm. The removable, faux-fur hood and the softly-lined pockets are a really nice touch as well. I snagged this coat on sale during a flash-sale event, but see it's now on sale again for just over 50% off with free shipping! The price point is a steal for this coat, and I highly recommend it for you petite gals wanting a stylish and practical puffer-coat. I also found it in more sizes here, starting in size XS for just under $100! If you love this one as much as I do, act quickly while it's on sale!
This other wintry look was one my husband snapped of me on his cell phone just outside our cabin. I kept this look simple with my go-to combo of a mock-neck sweater, layered over a long-sleeved tee, fleece-lined leggings, thermal leggings, and for accessories, gloves, faux-fur ear muffs (kids' size & only $5!), and a tartan-plaid scarf (several colors available.)

The ear muffs were my favorite find since they were in the kids' section and were a steal! I love that they're adjustable, too -- perfect if you have a smaller head like I do. My daughter would steal them, too. ;-) If you can't get your hands on these exact ones, these and these are also cute.
Okay, the belt wasn't exactly practical, but it lent a dressier look for lunch/dinner outings, so it made an occasional appearance. This one was wait-listed (6 months?) since size 65 is perpetually out of stock everywhere, but I did manage to get my hands on one. That said, I've always held the view that if you're not wanting to invest in a designer belt, any slim waist belt would work just as easily for this look.
These boots are the best Sorel dupes! I've had mine for about 2 years now, and the quality is still holding up nicely for boots that were roughly $30. I love the Sorel line, but knew the cost-per-wear for me wouldn't justify the price. Unlike my belts, I rarely use winter boots like these, so I went with the budget-friendly option.




The snow-covered cabins were so charming and looked like scenes you'd see in calendars or on postcards...truly beautiful and ethereal. How pretty is that pink cabin? I'd love to tour the inside of it on our next visit; I think it's a Bed N' Breakfast!

We got some amazing family photos this trip and made so many wonderful, new memories. I'm grateful for trips like these with my favorite people. One of my goals this year is to remember to invest in family and experiences over things.

What are your goals for the year? Have you ever been to Big Bear?

Thanks so much for stopping by! It's time to go relax with the babies by the fireplace and enjoy this stint of rain we're getting in LA this week!

xoxo,
Sara
Lip Color: HD Spark
Outfit details linked in the blog post & in the widget below






7/12/18

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale - My Thoughts & (Selective) Picks


Collage is clickable; simply click on any item for details

Oh, the infamous Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, or #NSale, as you've no doubt seen splattered about your Instagram feed. To preface this post, I have to say, I was actually on the fence about preparing this post. On one hand, I love a good sale as much as the next gal and want to excitedly share all of my amazing finds with you (it's one of the reasons I blog in the first place); on the other hand, I've been a bit put off by the incessant over-promotion of the sale by bloggers over recent years. The sale jargon and educational posts on how to navigate it, etc. have become redundant and annoying to an extent and it's become a hot-button topic for some. 

I totally get it. I do. Sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. So why am I posting my NSale Picks anyway? Well, it's two-fold. 1) Despite my frustrations surrounding the over-saturated marketing both leading up to and during the sale, I'm actually really excited about the sale itself. Some of the discounted goodies I found while sifting through the various departments are still worth sharing and considering, even if you've been debating on whether to forego this year's sale madness altogether; and 2) several of you personally reached out to me via direct message (DM) on Instagram and shared that despite feeling the same frustrations I do with the #NSale hype, you'd still be interested to see my picks because you always love what I pick. (What a compliment!) I appreciated the kind words and feedback so much, and wanted to acknowledge those of you who took the time to empathize and encourage me to share my favorites anyway. So, here you go -- this post is for you! 💗

A few things: I'm sharing only the items I either already have and love (some of these pieces have made an encore from last year's sale due to sheer popularity) or would actually purchase or consider purchasing myself. I was very selective with my picks, choosing those I think are most worthwhile, despite my attempts to whittle them down, and am sharing them all below by category to keep things simple. I've also included a bonus sale category below which everyone can shop now, with or without a Nordstrom card! (No pressure and no fear of missing out! This is only for you fellow sale-hunters looking to browse/shop something pretty, yet different at Nordstrom than the usual #NSale fare.)

Key Reminders:

July 12 - 19:  Early Access for Nordstrom Cardholders
July 20:  Sale Opens to Public

All online orders and returns ship for free.


My NSale Picks By Category:


ACCESSORIES/BAGS



BEAUTY



CLASSIC/WORK-WEAR



COATS/OUTER-WEAR



FITNESS/ATHLETIC-WEAR



FOUNDATION/LAYERING BASICS



SHOES



BONUS SALE ITEMS I'M LOVING (NON-NSALE)



And there you have my top #NSale picks! I hope you find them helpful, whether you're shopping or simply browsing. You'll see I kept mostly with the classics -- pieces you can wear season over season to get the most cost per wear.

Do you have any favorites? Or are you sitting this one out? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you, as always, for stopping by!

XO,
Sara

6/25/18

10 Cute Bags for Summer! (Most Under $100!)

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10
{Click on any number to shop}


Hi, Everyone! I hope you're having a great start to your week!

Today I'm sharing 10 Cute Bags for Summer!

I love these kinds of round-up posts because it's like virtual window-shopping! You get to see all the pretty picks of the season and hopefully get inspired on how to style them.

Straw totes in every shape and style, everyday totes with extra-special touches, crossbody bags with tassels and in an array of rainbow of colors -- they're all summertime staples, and I'm covering them all! With so many bag finds lately, I knew I had to share my favorites with you all, especially since most are under $100! Only a select few are a bit more spendy (in the $200 - $300 range) but that's because they're from reputable, boutique designers/brands who generally source higher-quality materials, making their bags more durable, long-lasting, and investment-worthy, in my opinion.

So, let's talk Summer bags!


How fun are these colors?! I love the candy-colored stripes and the gold hardware. The clasp has a bit of a vintage design to it, too. This would make such a fun statement piece with any simple, solid-colored sundress. I'd wear it with a blush dress and white espadrilles for a colorful, summery look. I posted this bag to my Insta-stories today (be sure to follow me on Instagram if you're not already!) because it's on sale for $329.25, regularly $439 with code "EXTRA." (Sale ends at 11:59pm tonight, PT.)


Dome satchels are such a classic design and look elegant with any outfit, but the striped scarf that comes with this one is what made it on my list! Who doesn't love navy stripes, especially in Summer? Remove the scarf and wear it as a hair tie, too; you're actually getting 2 pieces for the price of 1!


My love for wicker and straw bags has no bounds. I have a few already but keep finding more cute ones like this one! This is such a great little bag with all the special details of a vintage one, plus it comes with a gold chain crossbody strap! It also has gold, protective feet at the bottom -- always a plus. And wait until you see the interior lining...


4. Tory Burch Fleming Flat Wallet Crossbody (Wallet on Chain) - on sale!
Tory Burch always has the cutest crossbody bags, and this one is no exception. The pretty fuchsia color of this WOC packs such a pretty punch, and would look amazing against a little white dress or navy-striped dress with wedges! I shared this one in my Insta-Stories, too; it's on sale today for $179.25, regularly $239 with code "EXTRA." (Sale ends at 11:59pm tonight, PT.)


A darling bow tote that comes with a matching pouch for only $50? Yes, please! This roomy tote is perfect for carrying your everyday essentials and then some, plus it comes in a host of other beautiful colors. The pearl color shown above and the mauve color are my favorites.


I'm all about romantic flowers, as you well know, so this one was a no-brainer for me. This one is such a pretty take on a classic tote. The small, metallic pouch that comes with it is also adorable and perfect for loose change, chapstick/lipgloss, and keys. This tote is also on sale now for $71.20, regularly $89 with code "BIG." (Sale ends tomorrow, June 26th, at 9:59pm, PT.)


Structured bags with a simple design like this never go out of style. Period. Made of italian leather, this is a top pick for anyone looking for a durable, polished bag for the office and every day. It zips at the top, too, keeping all your items secure. This warm, "perfect sand" colorway is my favorite of the two, though the navy is really beautiful as well. This tote is on sale today for $269.25, regularly $359 with code "EXTRA." (Sale ends at 11:59pm tonight, PT.)


This whipstitched tote is another chic, everyday option with the prettiest details; the stitching is eye-catching and easily my favorite detail, while the slouchy design is practical and easy to carry. The pebbled leather is also lower-maintenance for any spills, which definitely comes in handy for any white handbags. And if you're in need of a roomy tote, this is it: it can easily fit a laptop and all your daily essentials, too. This tote is on sale today for $224.25, regularly $299 with code "EXTRA." (Sale ends at 11:59pm tonight, PT.)


I actually did a double-take on this one because I thought it was a designer bag! Would you believe this bag is only $45?! I know I couldn't. This is such a stunner of a bag that gives you the look of "high-end designer for less." I love the chevron quilted design, the top-handle and detachable crossbody strap, turn-lock clasp, and protective feet. This is easily one of my favorite bag finds, and all of the colors are beautiful! This bag comes in the pretty blush colorway shown above, as well as a white and a black colorway. If you've been looking for a vegan alternative to most designer bags, this is a perfect option, and will no doubt garner tons of compliments.


Last, but certainly not least, is this mini, white satchel with the cutest, little detail: a striped, grosgrain ribbon. Is this not one of the sweetest bags you've ever seen? I absolutely adore it! Mini, white bags are everywhere this summer, but this one really takes the cake. Made of durable leather, it's a higher-quality, everyday bag that can be worn on the arm or crossbody with the detachable strap. The grosgrain ribbons attach at each side for easy tying and untying, and the main compartment zips at the top, keeping all your items secure. Cute and functional = my kind of must-have bag!

And there you have my 10 Cute Bags for Summer!

I hope you enjoyed this round-up as much as I did! I'd love to hear which ones are your favorites and why!

{Also, I've snuck in a few more of my picks into the widget below, so be sure to scroll through!}

Thank you, as always, for stopping by, and I hope you have a lovely rest of the day!

XO,
Sara



6/21/18

Little White Dresses: Button-down Faves

Today I'm popping in with a quick outfit post with this everyday look that's fuss-free and perfectly Summery, featuring this little white button-down dress! And yes, I'm mixing things up a bit by sharing some iphone photos instead of my usual, more "stylized" photos taken with a DSLR. Sometimes it's nice to just share a few real-life snaps of a look I'm really loving and wearing at the moment without all the fluff of a photo shoot. And some of you have been so kind to say you really like these types of photos on my Instagram, so I'm giving it a try in some of the blog posts, too! 

Now, onto dresses! I'm really having a moment with button-down dresses these days, as you've probably noticed. I think they are such a cute and versatile option for every day, don't you? Throw one on for errands, lunch, weekend outings -- anything, really. And white dresses with buttons? Even cuter! They're crisp, fresh, and perfect for combating the Summer heat. I'll be sharing more button-down faves for you below, but let's talk about this one first.
You've probably seen this little number a lot on social media by now; I know I have. But that's because it's the sweetest little dress that looks amazing on everyone. Loft really got it right with this one. I absolutely love it, despite some of the mixed reviews online, which brings me to... 

The pros: the fit-and-flare shape, the button details, and the pockets! (Yes!) I'm also thrilled with the wide straps; no worrying about strapless bras! 

The cons: the material. It's linen and a wrinkled mess when it arrives in the mail. Plan on giving it a good steam before wearing it. I also agree with the online reviewers who say it's on the sheer side. 
{I had to share a shoe shot ~ suede bows are always my fave!}

So how do I make this dress work? For me, a half slip and a thin cami are an absolute must, especially because the buttons are functional and can open slightly when you bend down or move throughout the day. Some ladies have said they can get away with wearing only nude undergarments without any issues, but for me, I'd rather not take the chance. For a summer dress, I know it's not the most ideal to wear extra layers, but lightweight ones are definitely do-able and recommended in this case, in my opinion. Also, if you have a larger bust, consider sizing up or wearing a thin, white cami underneath in case of any gaping or pulling at the buttons. 
The sizing runs about one size larger. I took a size 00P and thought I was sent a 0P or even a 2P by mistake because there's a lot of excess material in the back on me (the back is smocked, which is nice and stretchy, but there's a lot of material.) So, if you're petite like me, you may need to have the waist taken in for a more fitted silhouette like I have here. I had hoped the dress would fit better as-is, but I'm fine with the alterations since it's a dress I know I'll wear often.

This dress comes in both regular and petite sizing and even in a maternity option, but sizes are already going fast online, so act fast while there's free shipping. Loft rarely offers free shipping without any minimums, so definitely take advantage! Loft is also offering 30% off everything + an extra 10% off with code "SUMMER" for a very limited time. (Click here to shop!)

Since I'm loving so many white button-down dresses right now, I'm sharing more of them below for you! Just click on any of the photos for details or to shop.

More White Button-Down Dresses I'm Loving: 





There are so many pretty options, aren't there? I shared some in extended sizes, too, aka plus sizes, tall sizes, and petite sizes -- my hope was to share something for everyone! Every gal needs a summer dress like this one!
OUTFIT DETAILS:
Loft Button-Down Pocket Flare Dress (00P) - also see similar above //
Bow Wedge Espadrilles // Embroidered Straw Tote - re-stocked! (similar, similar) //
Baublebar Adrielle Layered Necklace

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope the rest of your week is a wonderful one!

XO,
Sara

6/6/18

Summer Office-Style Inspo: Pintucked Ruffles & Pearl Buttons

Classic, timeless pieces with feminine details continue to be my staples for work wear. These are pieces that I reach for time and again, and that have me feeling my best when it comes to looking professional and polished for the office.

Today I'm mixing pieces from one of my favorite retailers for office wear, Ann Taylor. If you've been following my blog for some time, you know that I have shopped and styled several pieces from AT fairly regularly over the years. I've been a longtime AT shopper; their styles seem to suit me best, and I can always count on finding that perfect piece to incorporate into my work wardrobe.
I admit I own far too many ruffled blouses to count, especially shells. I love how versatile they are, allowing me to wear them alone during hot, Summer days, or to be worn layered under a cardigan or blazer in the frigid, air-conditioned office. They're definitely a staple in my wardrobe. 

This pintucked ruffle-bib blouse caught my eye online because of its beautiful periwinkle-blue shade. It's not a color I see too often, so seeing it with the ruffled details and ties at the neck, I knew that it would be a keeper. It's such an elegant, sweet blouse, and looks great tucked and untucked. It's easy to wash with no special dry-cleaning required, so that's also a bonus! (This ruffle blouse in the same color is also worth a glance!)
The show-stopper piece that I had to have, though, is this button pencil skirt. And it's why I'm such a loyal AT shopper: this skirt is nothing short of amazing. The fit, the style, the details -- they're perfection in my book. The color is black, despite it photographing a navy-blue here due to the bright lighting. The pearl buttons down the side are my favorite detail and really dress up this basic pencil-skirt style. It reminds me of something the ladies of the 1930s-40s would wear with their buttoned skirts and blouses, white gloves, pinned hair and hat, and pocketbook. It's an ultra-feminine look from a bygone fashion era that I continue to draw inspiration from daily.

A classy skirt like this can be worn an infinite number of ways and will look just as incredible for years to come. (Be sure to see this button skirt, too.)
 
I draped an open, tweed blazer over my shoulders for more coverage, which works well for the office. This is an older, legacy piece from Ann Taylor that I still reach for often. It adds an element of 'chic' to any outfit, from jeans and a top to a dressier, office look like this one. The ivory and black colors are a classic combo, and the tweed, open-front style of this jacket is very reminiscent of Chanel. I like pairing ivory/white and black with a pop of color, and think the structure of the jacket frames the periwinkle blouse nicely. 

To elongate my legs and keep the overall look streamlined, I kept with nude, patent accessories to finish the look. The right nude accessories can really make any outfit look sharp. For me, this means a simple, structured bag and  a pair of closed-toe pumps with a sleek shape. This "formula" never fails. It looks polished, pretty, and professional in any work environment.

ANN TAYLOR SALE + PIECES I'M LOVING

Get an extra 60% off all sale items until 9pm tonight, PST! (No code is needed; discount will be automatically applied at check-out.) 

Now's the time to snag your favorite pieces at a major discount, but hurry, the sale ends soon! 

Here are a few Ann Taylor pieces I'm currently loving (some on sale, some not):


OUTFIT DETAILS:

Ann Taylor Open Tweed Jacket (xxsp) - old (similar here) //
Arcadia Nude Patent Dome Satchel - old (similar here) //
Pearl Stud Earrings - old (similar here)

__________

Summer outfits like this one help me look and feel my best when it comes to dressing for the office, and I hope it inspires you to do the same. 

What are some of your favorite office styles during Summer?

As always, thank you for reading! 

XO,
Sara

This post was in no way sponsored by Ann Taylor or Ann, Inc.; I am only sharing pieces and outfits I love that were created from my own, personal collection and wardrobe.


Copyright @ StyleMePretty661.