Thursday, August 6, 2020

Lately

Sweater// Tee// Jeans (old, similar)// Sunglasses


We are at the lake this week! It has been a nice change of scenery and I've just been taking the week to unplug, relax and enjoy time on the water. Henry loves the water and just being able to run around with so much space so it always makes me so happy to see him thrive here. He certainly goes to bed each night extremely tired haha!

I've been doing a lot of sunbathing, swimming, reading, watching movies, and sleeping in and it has just been wonderful- a little slice of heaven! It's usually very hot here, however, the temps have been much cooler than usual which is a welcome change!! I have loved throwing on a sweater or sweatshirt in the evenings and it's getting me excited for slightly cooler fall temps to come.

Wearing: This is my latest favorite Tee. It's SO soft, it feels very worn-in, it's generously sized. I got a size small and it's very relaxed/roomy and just great to lounge in. Also, this Sweater is incredibly inexpensive. I loved the open-weave and color. 

Eating: We got the street taco kits from Costco for one night this week and I forgot how good they are. If you are a Costco member, definitely look for them next time you are there. The flavor is out of this world good!

Drinking: This week, I made a peach martini. Basically, all I did was muddle 1 peach with a few basil leaves, added vodka, and shook vigorously. It was SO delicious. It tasted so fresh. It didn't produce a ton of liquid, so I think it could be good as a cocktail by adding a bit of sparkling water to it! 

Reading: Some good hydrangea tips from Martha Stewart. 

Sale: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is live and going strong. I wrote about the things I have and love, here. I'll have more sale content on 8/13, so keep an eye out for that if that is something you are interested in. 

Watching:
 We watched Midsommar this week, which my sister said she had heard 'good things' about. It's a thriller and all I have to say is DO NOT watch this movie. It was the creepiest thing I have ever watched and beyond that, just incredibly bizarre.

Listening: I'm about to switch over to a fall playlist in a few weeks and so here's the last call for my summer 2020 playlist. I am still adding but will switch come September! 

Loving: My go-to yearly calendar is out for 2021!!!! I am so excited I could cry. I am a paper calendar girl and my 2020 calendar has been quite literally worthless... I'd love to burn it!!! So I am SO excited to start filling up my 2021 calendar with the hope that it will be a MUCH better year. 

Wanting: Sucha a cute striped workout top... and oh my goodness THIS DRESS!!! And this navy sweatshirt. I'm not a tie-dye fan but I really love this. 

Smelling: Ok so I chatted with you all on Instagram stories about candles and literally hundreds of you said that I had to try the 'leaves' scented candle from Bath and Body Works. I haven't thought about Bath and Body Works in years. It reminds me of body glitter and cucumber melon, hah! But here we are- I ordered the candle and I will report back! 

Quoting: 'Contribute more than you criticize' - Brene Brown// See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Fall Tablescape Inspiration


Fall Tablescape Inspiration
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By now, you all know how much I love setting a pretty table. I never got the chance to get creative in my apartment because I didn't have a table so I've been on overdrive collecting items here and there to create fun tables. I don't typically love to do much seasonal decor around the house or do much decorating for holidays, but I LOVE a themed or seasonal table. 

Since we have been doing so much eating at home since March, it's given me a chance to get really creative. I'm already browsing and gathering inspiration for fall tables. Fall is my favorite season and the tables I've been pulling for inspiration have me so excited for the season. So, I'm sharing some of the images that inspire me as well as some of the items I've been finding and loving! 

Fall Tablescape Inspiration
I love this table because of its simplicity! It's a lot of white, which I typically think is a bit boring but this is not boring at all! 

Fall Tablescape Inspiration
Not only do I love this table because of the cabbage dishes, but I love how there is a ton of basketweave/rattan. I typically think of rattan as a more summertime look but this is a great inspiration for using summer textures into fall! 

Fall Tablescape Inspiration
Tory Burch can do no wrong and this table is proof. She takes her casual spongeware pattern and dresses it up a bit. I love the combination of deep oranges/reds/browns with the blue as the pop! 

Fall Tablescape Inspiration
Wow, this one is stunning. I love the rich reds that make everything feel so cozy. The blues pair so well with the red, too. I'm normally a staunch white pillar candle only person, but the red pillar candle is catching my eye in this one, too. 

Fall Tablescape Inspiration
Since I love white pillar candles, I love this idea of using acorns! Also, it looks to me like in one of the hurricanes, there are walnuts, which also seems like a great idea! I love the texture of walnut shells!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Nighttime Skincare Routine


Nighttime Skincare Routine

Nighttime Skincare Routine

Nighttime Skincare Routine
I try a TON of different skincare products so my routine is constantly changing. I haven't done a nighttime skincare routine in quite some time so today's the day! I actually prefer nighttime skincare more than morning. I'm not sure why but I think it's because I think it seems more effective to me than my morning routine. I also LOVE a heavy moisturizing cream and that's usually reserved to nighttime. 

Biologique Recherche p50 1970// I've been using this product for a little over a year and it's one of my holy grail skincare products. You can read my full review about it, here. Basically, I use this as a toner and it's STRONG. It's one of the best skincare products I have ever used for minimizing pores. 

Shiseido Eye Cream// I'm not married to any eye cream. I do have a few I like but to me, eye cream just always seems 'extra'. Like, you could easily use your face cream in place of actual eye cream. However, at night I like SUPER thick creams and this one is extremely thick and feels so good on my under eyes. I really try to make sure the area around my eyes is super hydrated at all times. 

Dermalogica Bright Spot Fader// This is one I've had for a while. It's a spot treatment that targets age spots, skin discoloration,  acne scars, etc. It is pretty powerful and I notice spots fade within about two weeks. It's a gel-like substance and I use it before I moisturize. I notice it is better at fading dark spots rather than acne scarring. 

Kaplan MD Night Cream// This is a newer product to me and I LOVE it. The night cream feels really thick on my fingers but once I apply it to my face, it feels so lightweight. I wake up each morning and my face is very hydrated. I am really picky about face moisturizers and this one passes with flying colors. I also love that it has a metal ball scooper type thing so you don't have to put your fingers into the jar! 

Olay Regenerist// This is a go-to of mine and something I always have on hand. It's affordable and super-rich and creamy. This particular moisturizer is packed with vitamin B3 which is known to greatly improve the quality of the skin. 

MB Drying Lotion// This is a product that I keep backstock of. It is a spot-treatment and works miracles on zits. I just dip a q-tip into the jar, put it on the zit area, and when I wake up in the morning the zit is, at the very least, greatly reduced if not completely gone. It shows up as pink on your face so this is definitely a nighttime thing right before you go to bed. 

Dennis Gross Peel Pads// This is a product with a cult-like following and for good reason. The pads are 2-steps and very easy to apply. You just wipe on step one, let it dry, and then wipe on step two. I personally prefer the extra strength ones as I feel those are the most effective. They are pricey but well worth it in my opinion. If I know I have a big event or something coming up, I use these 1-3x per week for about a month or two. You can use them perpetually, but they're pretty expensive, so in between, I usee these Glycolic Acid Pads. The peel pads minimize pores, acne scarring, discoloration, etc. I was using them leading up to my wedding and plan to use them again once we are leading up to our wedding again. This is one of the strongest over the counter products, in my opinion, so if you have sensitive skin, you might not want to go with the extra strength ones. You can start using them once a week and then build up to a few times a week once your skin can tolerate it. 

Neck Serum// This is a product that is definitely not a necessity, as again, it's a little like the eye cream- you could just use your moisturizer for your neck. But this is such a luxury. It has a rose quartz roller that actually dispenses the product onto the roller and then you roll it onto your neck. It's somewhat chilled feeling and so refreshing. The serum is really hydrating. Since the application is so convenient, I keep this in my bedside drawer and just roll it on my neck once I'm in bed. I'd like to think it's working, although, I haven't seen any crazy results. I look down at my phone and computer way too much so I like using this even if only for prevention. 

Glycolic Acid Pads// These are SO good. They are inexpensive for what they are and they can be shipped quickly via Prime. They are very similar to any other peel pads/glycolic acid pads I have used before. I love that they are really soaked with the acid and they work so well. These are similar to the Dennis Gross Peel Pads and you can pick your strength, too. I use 20% which is the highest, but they have lower percentages if you have sensitive skin. I use these every night and not only do I think that they work on preventing/reducing fine lines, and minimizing pores, etc. but I think that they also keep acne at bay. 

NeuBrow Serum// This is something I've been using for years. I usually buy it in the Nordstrom Anniversary sale because you can get 2 for $100, so it's like getting it for half off as usually, one tube is $100. This is a brow serum that you apply nightly or a few times a week and it makes your eyebrows grow/look fuller/etc. After two weeks the results are incredibly noticeable. I have thinner eyebrows than I would like and this serum really helps to fill in the sparse areas. 

Tula Acne Spot Treatment// This is what I have been using as a spot treatment for zits. It's basically salicylic acid, so it's just easy to put on a zit at night without any irritation. I will typically use this when the zit is starting to form and then use the MB Drying Lotion when the zit is farther along. Use code SYDNEY for 15% off.
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Monday, August 3, 2020

Things I Have and Love from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

nordstrom anniversary sale 2020
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Tomorrow starts the rolling entry to early access of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I love the way they have it set up this year so that we can preview the entire thing before it goes live. It's given me the opportunity to pore over every little detail of each item to make sure the price is a good deal, it's a good quality item, etc. I also think the wish list feature is awesome because you can really tailor your wishlist and stick to your budget without tossing things in because you feel 'rushed' to purchase before it sells out. 

It's also given me a real chance to really dig into my closet and pull the items I already have and love from past sales which is what I am going to highlight today. I heard from most of you that you will be primarily shopping on 8/10, 8/13, and 8/19 so I'll focus on those future dates but for now, I wanted to get this piece out there for those of you shopping on the earlier end or just preparing your wish list. 

My take is that the sale was what I was expecting. Because of the current circumstances of retail in general, and the state of the world, the selection is much more limited than in previous years and a lot of the selection are just repeats from year's past. I will say, though, I think the variety is good and the prices are good (for the most part). There are few 'new' items that are good. So in a nutshell, I would say I'm underwhelmed and unimpressed but that's no surprise to me! 

So here we go. These are all items I already own whether purchased in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale previously or just elsewhere. It's not everything I own from the sale, I wanted to narrow it down to the best of the best. 

Oversized Cashmere Cardigan// I bought a version of this cardigan several years ago during the sale and each year they have brought it back with a slightly different design. It's such a classic and in a basic neutral black color. I get SO much wear out of it. Whether I'm dressing it up in the winter with leather leggings and booties or wearing it over pajamas in the morning, it's a versatile, high-quality wardrobe staple. I find Vince to run a little big, but I still mostly choose to get my usual size small as I like that oversized fit. If you want something a little more fitted, I suggest sizing down.

Sports Bra// This is one of my go-to sports bras and has been for years. It has medium compression, stays in place when working out, holds up well wash after wash, and is inexpensive. It doesn't have any padding (which I like).

Almond Shower Oil// This is a splurge as it is quite pricey, but this is a really good deal. This is shower oil that warms up and works into a later. It's the BEST to shave with... so much better than traditional shave gel. Plus it smells wonderful. I tried the Trader Joe's version hoping it was just as good and it just isn't the same. This is worth every penny.

NeuBrow// I love this stuff. It is designed for brows and truly works. I've been using it for years and always buy it in the sale because of the price. It's basically half off. You can also use this on your lashes even though it is just marketed for your brows. It makes my brows grow so fast and so much thicker.

Diamond Bangle// I don't have this exact bangle, but I do have one that looks pretty darn similar and it's one of my favorite pieces of jewelry ever. I actually just took it to the jeweler to have the prongs tightened and had a security clasp added just in case. It's dainty and a piece you can wear every day. When I have mine I never take it off!

Dark Wash Skinny Jeans// Ok so I think out of every single thing in the entire sale, this would be my #1 and because of that, I am going to do a post dedicated to these jeans and why I love them so much. They run pretty true to size, they are stretchy so if between sizes, you could definitely size down. I wore these all last fall/winter. They're still a splurge even on sale but I think they're the most comfortable and most flattering jeans I have ever worn.

Distressed Skinny Jeans// I have these and love them for the super casual vibe that they have. They are stretchy and very comfortable. I love these jeans paired with a white button-down.

Boyfriend Jeans// I've had these for years. Mine are distressed and I got them in the sale years ago. They are casual and slightly baggy so they feel SUPER comfortable. They'd be a good pair of jeans for wearing around the house. You'll feel polished but because of the looser fit, they're super comfortable. The pair I have is distressed but I actually prefer this year's design without the distressing.

Cashmere Tee// I've had these cashmere tees for years. They are classic and seem to come back every year. They're a splurge but at $126 on sale, this is a great buy (usually $255). The cashmere is thick and very high quality.

Veja Sneakers// I don't have the esplar, which is what these are, but I do have the Veja Campo and I love them SO much. These are very much the trendy European sneaker right now. I bought the esplar and campo and compared them in this blog post.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Duo// I've been using this pencil for forever. I took a brief hiatus to use the brow powder from Anastasia and then went back to the pencil after a makeup artist told me to because it's a much more natural look. This pencil is foolproof, truly. I have not tried the brow gel before but am interested in trying it! If you don't care about the gel, it doesn't really benefit you to get the kit as you can just get the regular pencil for $23 (full price)

t3 Curling Iron// **If you are a Costco member, you can find this on their website or sometimes in store for $59.99. A Costco membership is ~$60 so it's almost worth it to buy the membership and then get the curling iron. There is an ever-so-slight difference in design (looks only). The hairdryer is also at Costco for $75. I have both and love both and use them weekly.

Hunter Rain Boots// I have these in the classic green and they are just classic and practical. If I were to get a second pair, I'd get black, because I always wish I had black when it rains and I'm wearing black leggings!!

Patagonia Better Sweater// I have both the gray and black and get so much wear out of them year after year. I mostly wear mine with either leggings/workout shorts like you would a traditional sweatshirt or layered with jeans under a Barbour or use it as a layer for skiing. It's just a classic, functional piece of clothing that holds up to a ton of wear and washing. It runs true to size.

Chanel Chance Eau Tendre// I love this scent. It's light and fresh but I feel like it has a bit of a stronger scent than my other go-to Chance au fraiche so this is the one I like to wear on 'special occasions'.

CZ Stud Earrings// I have real diamond earrings and actually prefer to wear these because I worry way less about losing them. I'm all about wearing the 'nice jewelry' all the time, but I am known to lose earrings so these just make me feel much more comfortable. Not to mention they really are gorgeous. I'm ordering a backup pair this year just so I have it. They also come in a really cute box so it's a great gift option/stocking stuffer. It would also make a nice gift for bridesmaids.

Hydroflask Water Bottle// I have this exact water bottle, just different colors, and I have never been able to get over the $50+ price tag for it (because it is NOT worth $50, I don't think any water bottle is worth that). However, at $32, it's a WAY more appealing and the price is much fairer, in my opinion. It keeps my water cold for literally days. I mostly use it when working out. I had the wrong cap originally and finally got the straw cap (which comes with this version) and it is a game-changer.

Mario Badescu Trio// This is a trio but I mainly love it because I am never without a bottle of the drying lotion. It is truly one of the best skin care products ever. If you have a zit, this stuff seriously clears it up overnight. It's magic. I've been using this for years. It's $17/per bottle so for just $6 more you get the rose spray and the lip balm. If you are only interested in the drying lotion, you could put the lip balm and rose spray together and use it to add to a gift for someone else to try! 
 

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