Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Nordstrom Sale 2020

Nordy Club cardmember Early Access dates.

Cardmember Early Access

Nordstrom anniversary sale is here and if you follow my stories or read my blog last year you know I have mixed feelings about this sale. I used to LOVE this sale. I would get the catalog and circle the items I loved and anxiously await when I could purchase them. The last few years I have felt the items offered aren't great and the quality is subpar to normal Nordstrom items. 

Last year Lily got a pair of UGGs and after wearing them twice they started unraveling along the top of the boot. We took them back to the store and the salesperson told us that Nordstrom buys large quantities of items from the different brands, they make them for cheaper, but at a cheaper quality. Luckily, Nordstrom is good about returns/exchanges and we were able to put the purchase amount toward a new pair. 

In the past I have picked up new UGGs for the girls, Hunters, Nikes, and other items that they like that don't normally go on sale. Zella is also a brand I have bought in the past as well as North Face and Patagonia. I have found though that the Zella quality is on par with the same ones offered at Nordstrom Rack and are a similar price point. Denim I also have found the same. 

During the sale I have also found other retailers offering good deals to compete. Make sure to check similar stores (ex: Bloomingdales) for price matching and deals. Nordstrom Rack also gets anything that doesn't seem to sell at the sale. We have found a lot of the merchandise before school even starts at the Rack. So if it isn't something "you have to have" just wait. Last year I found very similar items at other retailers similarly priced or even cheaper and did a blog post on it. 

The girls and I went to Somerset today and browsed to see how they had. The anniversary sale was setup throughout the store and unlike in years past, no curtains up around it. They had a ton of shoes, but not a ton of anything else. Maybe they will set more up tonight since the sale starts tomorrow based on status. 

I did link a few things that I have bought in the past of we happened to see today that we liked. The girls spotted the leopard Hunter boots immediately and both asked for a pair.  I saw a bunch of P448 brand sneakers, which I personally love are part of the sale. The normal Zella leggings, as well as Spanx for kids we added to our wish list. 

What are your thoughts on this sale? Will you be shopping? What are you shopping for?

All items linked below or click here to shop!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

LTK Day 2020

Today is the LTK Day 2020! There are 18 participating brands, but these are the ones that I typically shop! Sales are good through the app only. To access the sales download the LIKETOKNOWIT. app and search for me: youngwidowedstylishmama, After you are on my profile click the item to the store you wish to shop at and it will directly link you to the page and apply the savings! Happy shopping!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

40 years old...today

40 years old....

I don't know how I thought I would feel when I was 40 or look, but I know this isn't where I expected to be in life. As I look back at the last 40 years I have grown and changed so many times. I am thankfully and grateful for the life I have lived. I have the best family and friends, even though it has taken some hard decisions to let go of people that weren't meant to be in my life and let others in. I have become stronger and even though it is a challenge to put myself first I am learning how to do it.

I have grown a hobby into a business and met some of the best people through it. I absolutely love that I can do what I love. I love that I can be creative and help others capture their own memories.

I love blogging and the creative outlet this is for me. It is therapeutic, as well as a source of income. I again do something I love and share with others and hopefully they take something away from it.

I had many goals for my 30's, as I had just turned 30 when my husband died. I am happy that I was able to achieve so many of them, while still being the best mom I can be. I have learned that I can do things on my own and stand on my own two feet, and quite well, but I can still accept help when I need it.

As I look toward my next decade I hope to continue to grow and let go of things that are holding me back and move forward with the ones that are meant to be a part of my journey. I hope to continue to put effort and my heart into things that I want to continue to grow and achieve.

Linked outfit details below, my dress sold out (currently on backorder) shortly after I bought it so linked a similar:

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Master Bathroom Update: Boho Bathroom

Before (I had thought about doing "before" pictures after I started working, so it is really a mess):

After (So clean and bright!):

I am finally ready to share one of the projects I have been working on. Anyone else feel like projects take forever to be completed because you have a vision and can't find what you are looking for to complete it? Whenever I do a room it takes me a while to piece things together. I am not someone that walks into a store and immediately knows what I want. It seems I find one thing and it builds off that.

If you would have asked me a few months ago which room I would want to gut and totally redo I would have said my master. When we moved in I hated the high ceiling in there and how large and cold it made the room feel. I had the painter paint the room all one dark color to close it in. At the time I had a spa like theme in mind and it worked for years, but now it was starting to wear on me. It felt dark and dirty. I had a break when the girls went back to school after the holidays with no photo shoots or wreaths to work on and a few cans of extra paint in the basement. I decided to just paint and it kind of went from there. I used paint that we had had down there from my basement bathroom and it looks completely different in my upstairs bathroom. Since the room is brighter (windows and large) it is a much lighter color than in the basement. I changed the ceilings to a bright white and once that was done decided I wanted something bold on the one wall.

I had been intrigued by the wallpaper at Target and felt this was a good place to try it out. I have always loved palm print and it went well with the coral walls. I decided to try the peel and stick wallpaper. It was actually easier to apply than I had expected. I rolled the wallpaper out on my kitchen floor, measured the length of the wall and then cut the pieces. I then lined up the wallpaper pattern to make the next cut. I left extra on the bottom of each one I cut and trimmed it off once the paper was on the wall. I was able to do all of this on my own, no help was necessary. The wallpaper is removable which made putting it on a little easier. If it wasn't quite lining up you just pull it off and redo.

Once the wall was done I felt it needed something to break up the pattern and began my search for something on the wall. I found the basket to hang and originally ordered it in the small size but it was too small so I exchanged it for the large one. Once that was on the wall, the wall next to the tub looked way too plain. I found the hanging plants first and then happened to walk into Hobby Lobby during a 50% off wall art sale and found the perfect prints to put between the plants.

My hardest challenge in this room was probably the rugs. I must have bought and returned 10 different rugs. My vanity is an odd size with the wall next to it, so I had to have something 5ft in length and most are 4 or 6. I also didn't want a plain rug, they just didn't look right when I tried them. Finally, after a long search, I came upon this one and it was better than I could have imagined. It is made of a washable material and super absorbent, as well as thick and soft.

A room that I had once wanted to completely gut because I hated everything about, even the tile, I now love everything about. I was able to keep a lot of the stuff that was in that room in there after it was done because it still matched. This was a fairly inexpensive update for me. If I would have done what I originally had wanted to do it would have been very expensive.

I am linking all the products that I can below
Wall color is Comical Coral from Sherwin Williams
Most of the art and mirror are Hobby Lobby, the rest linked below
The towel holder and hamper are both very old IKEA

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Must haves for a ski vacation or day on the slopes!

My girls have been going to ski club with the school and I was talking with some parents about why I dress the way I do on the hills and also the kids. I was stopped multiple times and told my ski suit was cute, but more so than that it is noticeable. That is tip #1 wear something that stands out and put your kids in something that stands out. I had a ski instructor stop and tell me I was right about him always seeing me after I pointed out my reasoning for my snowsuit. Both of my daughters also wear outfits that I can spot. When you look out onto the hill normally you see a sea of black on black snowsuits and everyone has on a helmet and looks identical. If you aren't about the snowsuit even a helmet that is noticeable will help.

Tip #2 is set a meeting spot with times. Even with outfits you can see I still make sure they check in from time to time and have an exact meeting place.

Tip #3 warmers. Don't forget the hand and feet warmers! This speaks for itself! Another tip is to wear mittens and not gloves. It is easier to put hand warmers in and your hands stay warmer. Also they make ski mittens that have wrist holders attached so you can take them off and they hang without you losing them.

Tip #4 buy boot and ski bags. Boot and ski bags help transporting the equipment. It also keeps them from getting all scratched up and ruined.

Tip #5 If traveling with equipment pack heavy things together and put in a carry-on. When we traveled to France during Christmas I packed our carry-on suitcases full of boots. I usually just ski with a base layer on which makes the suitcase lighter. I packed both girls helmets in the luggage and filled them with their gloves, etc. It also helps to have a face cover for days when it is really cold.

Tip #6 check out yearly rentals if your child is still growing. A lot of ski stores near me have a yearly rental program. You pay a one-time fee at the beginning of the year and pick up your skis. Then at the end of the season you return them. This is great if your child is still growing and you don't want to have to keep spending money on new equipment.

Tip #7 if you are buying equipment check out skis.com. Skis.com sells kid's systems that are used. I purchased my daughter brand new skis in the summer (tip #8- buy off-season) and used boots. The boots were a huge deal and looked barely worn. I also purchased myself used skis and boots and neither looked worn at all. I had been skiing on skis that I gotten when I was in middle school, the last time I had grown, and it was time to upgrade. Due to my height and weight, I was also able to buy youth skis, saving a ton of money.

I am sure some of these tips are pretty common-sense and might not be looked at as tips, but hopefully some are helpful!

Below I will link some of the items that we have!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

2020 Goals

I know it is halfway through January already and I am just making goals, but that is what happens sometimes. Last year my goal was to build my blog and establish it more, that didn't happen. I sporadically posted and had great gaps in posts. At the end of this year I re-evaluated the blogging and Instagram posts/time spent. I love doing both but it takes a lot of time and I was leaving other things undone.

I also have to have someone shoot the looks I post and posting to my Instagram pictures that the kids take or I do in a mirror aren't always the best. This year I want to get back to a more regular schedule of posting, but I had to get some stuff done at the house first. In the next month or so, I hope to reveal some of the home projects I have undertaken and accomplished. Everything takes me twice as long doing them by myself and around our schedules. One of my projects I still have to complete is an area to do try-ons and ootd posts.

When I started this blog I tried to rehash what it was like to go through Ray's journey but in-between I would do random posts on Wednesdays. I never kept track of what I was posting and just wrote from the heart and what was on my mind. Since this blog has been going over a year now I want to make sure my topics aren't overlapping all the time. I want to make a map of where I want this to go.

So even though last year I thought I would make my building year, I hope this will be it for me. I want to get back to a more normal posting schedule and not just random posts. I hope to use my time better and get everything I need to do accomplished and have time for the blog too. Right now my biggest goal is getting my home in order and then it will be back to the blog.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A New Decade

10 years ago I didn't make any plans and my only thoughts on the future were all so uncertain. New Years was spent calling an ambulance because Ray was so sick and needed to go back to the hospital. While most people look at the New Year as a time for new beginnings and to wipe the slate clean I was not so positive. Everything I had known and I knew, all my hopes and dreams, were slowly dying.

Every year since I think, Is this my year? Will I finally be more certain about what my future holds. The past 10 years I lost some of the most important people in my life. I had heard your 30's are supposed to be some of the best and for me I felt more and more anxious every year just floating through life. What am I supposed to be doing? The girls continue to get older and closer to that fateful age of 18 when they will be tested for the gene. Both having learning disabilities has pushed me to be even more anxious of what the future holds for both and continuing to push for them to receive the help they so need and deserve.

I have learned over the past 10 years I am stronger and can achieve much more than I ever thought possible. I can do things on my own, but the help and support of everyone around me is much needed and I need to learn it is ok to accept it.

I have grown a hobby into something more with my photography. My blog which I intended as a place to write down my feelings has given me a source of income and reached, and hopefully helped, a lot of people. I have made connections I never would have through my blogging.

I hope in the next 10 years I reach a place of contentment and stability. I hope to become less anxious and continue to grow personally and professionally.