Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Same brands better deals than the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!

If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably already seen this post. These deals are so good though it was worth sharing to my blog readers that don't follow me on Instagram or missed the post.

When I was browsing the Nordstrom sale I noticed a lot of the included brands are brands that other retailers also carry. Out of curiosity I started flipping through some of their items to see what they were offering and was shocked at the prices and how similar/same some of the items are. Some retailers are also offering more of a variety of certain brands that Nordstrom has on sale.

If you are looking for a good deal or sizes that might be out already at the Nordstrom sale it is worth giving these retailers a look and seeing what they offer! Some of them are my go-to sites when I am shopping and offer great deals. 

Monday, July 15, 2019

1 day 50% sale!

Right now everyone is competing with the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and Amazon Prime Days. Ads are coming out left and right for different retailers that are running deals!

One of my favorite retailers for back to school shopping is running a 50% sale online, today only. They already have a decent selection of fall clothes and transitional items in stock. I picked up a few items last week for the girls when they were running a sale and I had an additional discount code for my birthday. Since I heard this sale was coming I decided to wait to add the rest to cart.

I am linking the items below that either I had my eye on or the girls had added to cart. I usually let them go through a site before I place an order and add what they like and then I narrow it down from their picks. This is a great sale to grab a few pieces for 1st day of school and even school pictures day.

I love that this retailer usually carries pieces in all categories (ladies, mens, and kids) that all coordinate or match. They also usually carry items with the same fabric even within a category so I can match my girls without them actually being super matchy matchy.

The outfits that they have on are new releases that are a great transition into fall!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! Honest Opinion and a few tips!

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is here and I am going to give my honest opinion on this sale. Part of being a blogger is being honest and true about products, stores, etc. So here goes!

What is the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and What Makes it so Popular?

What makes this sale so popular is that it includes items that are for fall. The items are marked down for the sale and then the price increases after the sale. The items are usually a good representation of what is going to be in style for fall. It also includes a lot of basics and name brands that rarely go on sale. Part of what makes it so popular is all the hype from bloggers.

Who Can Shop and When?

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opens to Icon and Ambassador members starting today 12:30 pm ET. Your status is based on your yearly spending at Nordstrom and cardmembers get advanced access to the sale. To find out your status log into your Nordstrom credit account and it will tell you. All card members gain access on the 12th at 12:30 pm ET and public can shop on the 19th. The sales lasts till August 5th when prices go up. You can apply now for a card to gain access. A lot of items DO SELL OUT during presale, but are often restocked during the sale. A TIP- if you see something you want and your size isn't available you can always exchange it later (even after the sale) if your size does come in.

My Opinion

So I used to be a HUGE lover of this sale. I would get the catalog in the mail and circle all the items I wanted to look at once the sale actually started. I would have TONS of items circled from stuff for myself to things for the girls. The last few years I have been underwhelmed with the selection offered. I haven't seen much that I can't find someplace else on a deal. Another TIP- most other retailers will also price match this sale. If you find something you like try another retailer they may be offering a similar selection at the same price. Nordstrom also does this throughout the year when it's competitors have a sale.

The catalog has been extremely small the last few years and I haven't found much to be excited about in it. I have seen bloggers that pre-shopped the sale and leave with bags full. A lot of the items I didn't see in the catalog so maybe the selection will be better once it is online and live. The kid's selection in the catalog was a one page spread this year. This is a time when I usually stock up on the items that don't go on sale for them ex: North Face fleeces, Ugg boots, Nike shoes for school I didn't really see much even promoted.

I also usually stock up on items for myself like Zella leggings, Hunter boots, Uggs, cardigans, etc. You can only own so many of these items though. I plan to look and see what is offered but like the popular leopard cardigan I see all the bloggers snatching up right now, I found it at Nordstrom Rack last year. Speaking of Nordstrom Rack another TIP I found a lot of what didn't sell from the Anniversary Sale last year at the Rack shortly after the sale! If you have one close you definitely should check it out.

A Question from Instagram

I have had people message me wondering how I get "credit" if they buy something. I do get a small commission on items purchased through my links. If you link through me on the tab I inserted above that takes you to the sale and anything you purchase from that visit I get "credit" for. You don't have to purchase anything I even actually linked, it just has to be a purchase from that retailer and I have to be the last person you linked from. I also receive "credit" if you shop through my Liketoknow.it links. I am incredibly grateful for those of you that do and have linked through me. This not only lets the company know that you value what I post but also me. It also lets me know what stores you enjoy and items.

So this is my general opinion and few tips for the sale! I will be putting together some of my picks once the sale does open. I might do a sneak peek on stories if I do make it do the store soon as well!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Widow Wednesday--Workplace support during illness

Ray loved his job. He loved kids and the ones that were difficult were the ones he loved the most. Why? Maybe because they reminded him of himself when he was in school or maybe he just liked the challenge. He would get up early and go into school for breakfast every morning to socialize and help out. He would spend hours downloading songs from playlists the kids had made so he could DJ the school dances. If he knew a kid would struggling at home he would do what he could to help make things a little brighter.

His co-workers were a huge part of his life. They weren't just friends and co-workers but truly family to him. I can tell he was seen in the same light by his co-workers and students when he became sick. The outpouring of support was incredible.

At the time Detroit Public Schools would allow co-workers to donate hours to other staff that needed the time off. They would continue receiving pay during their illness, but their insurance would be cut. Ray made this his mission to keep the insurance active arguing that insurance when someone is ill is more important than even pay. Doctors, hospitalizations, and treatments are all extremely expensive and insurance was needed. After a lot of back and forth they did side with him and implemented as long as they had hours they would continue receiving their insurance. He received more hours than he even ended up needing to use. This was a huge display of kindness from his co-workers.

Letters, phone calls, and visits were all very important to him. The union rep from his school also sent him a card/letter updating him continuously. They weren't get well cards but rather funny cards. They were updates in life and what was going on with the rest of the staff. He looked forward to receiving these. She even continued to send them when she was out of the country over summer vacation.

While he was sick the community he was in had a support walk in his honor. I was overwhelmed by not only the money that was raised but by the participation in the walk. The local community all came together and the students made signs showing support and walked holding them. He received photos of all the kids and the signs. I still look at them today and think about how the kids that he loved so much all came together to show him the same support.

I still remember the students that came to his funeral. Parents telling us how they drove from Detroit to make it because their child didn't want to miss it. All the messages on facebook from students that found my account and wanted me to know how he impacted their lives. I still will on occasion receive them...9 years later.

After he died the school planted a tree in his honor and put up a plaque. They had a ceremony that they invited us to when they planted it. A year or two after he died we went to tie a purple ribbon to his tree for stomach cancer awareness month and when we arrived the tree was being watered. It meant a lot to all of us that even a while later the tree was being taken care of and hopefully would be part of that school a very long time.

His school holds a cultural event every year and we were invited to it the first year after he died. They had a wall decorated in his honor. This event was always something he looked forward to every year. Halls were decorated and they had an ethnic luncheon. It meant a lot to our family to be a part of the event.

I know that he will never be forgotten by the people that he touched in his short time here and the impact he made on his students is something that will live on in them.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Last year of my 30's

The last year of my 30's...if you had told me I would be in the position I am in 10 years ago I would never have believed it. I remember my dad telling me 30's was his favorite age because he had his kids and was in a good position at work with a stable income/future. I remember at 29 thinking my 30's would be the same. Instead my 30's were filled with learning how to do everything myself and finding the person I want to be. It has been filled with anxiety about just what the future will hold. I have learned so much about myself in the last 10 years. I am definitely stronger than I thought and able to do more than I ever imagined I could.

I thought it would be fun to tell a few things about myself in honor of my birthday and to get to know me better.

1. I am an introvert. I hate more than anything going to parties and being in large groups of people. I think sometimes I can come off as rude, but am just super shy. I hate being the center of attention and even had a small, intimate wedding ceremony because I didn't want everyone looking at me. Making small talk is extremely difficult for me especially if you aren't someone I know well.

2. I am the oldest of 3 children. I am a typical oldest child. I follow rules and my parents were toughest on me. My sister is 8 years younger than me and definitely grew up differently than I did.

3. I only applied to one college because I wanted to go to school where my dad. My dad had season Michigan football tickets my entire life and started taking me when I was around 8 and that was the only place I ever wanted to go to school.

4. I went to school for psychology, but took a ton of classes in communications, so I decided to double major. I was only a few classes away from also earning a marketing degree. I loved school and would have just continued being a student if I could have. I went on to pursue a master's degree in school and community counseling (I was doing both tracks) but didn't complete my practicum or internship to graduate. I had two babies at home and decided I wasn't going to return to work so I should just put it on hold.

5. Every job I have ever had was offered to me.

6. I drink Starbucks every day. I could eat McDonald's every day if my kids would let me. I prefer fast food and normal American food over any other kind of food. I am a huge donut/cake lover.

7. My Grandma was my favorite person and I always felt closest to her growing up. I loved spending time with her. She was the most patient, grateful person I have ever met. She was kind to everyone and just died a few years ago at 99.

8. I have a huge family. My dad was one of 11 kids so I have a ton of cousins. Everyone has always been super close but I always wonder if this is where my hate of large groups comes from haha.

9. I always wanted to go into fashion and that was my passion but I didn't want to move away. I thought if I pursued fashion I would have to move to NYC or California.

10. I love traveling and for most of my birthdays I have been on some sort of vacation. I have memories of vacations all over.

As I close out my last year of my 30's I am grateful for my family and friends and all the support they have shown me. I know I have gotten through these tough last 10 years because of them.

My outfit is sold out but linked a shirt I own in the same color, shoes, and bracelet below.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Widow Wednesday--July

July, should be the month of fun in the sun. Summer vacation is finally here and time to have some fun, yet this is one of the hardest months for me without Ray. I seem to be super emotional during this month. Maybe because when he was here, this was our time with him. Even though he was still working we would get to see him more. Technically, this was his summer vacation from work too.

I think the family vacations and daily outings are just another reminder of things he is missing out on. Things he will never get to do with his girls. They never got to have a real summer with him that they will remember. I see families at the park playing or taking walks through the subdivision. All reminders of things he misses out on.

I remember his last 4th of July he was wrapped in a heated blanket in fleece pants to sit outside and watch the fireworks. He always loved fireworks and really wanted to watch them. He was all skin and bones and so sick but wanted to be on the back patio.

For some reason my birthday seems to be a hard day. I remember my first birthday without him was my 31st and since on my 30th he was very sick I didn't really do much. For my 31st birthday a group of my sweet friends had a surprise party for me and my parents surprised me with a trip to Miami to see one of my best friends. I remember blowing out my candles on my 31st birthday and everyone saying make a wish and thinking my one wish can't come true. I was spending my birthday without him. Every year is just another reminder of a year past without him her and everything that he missed during that year.

July is also our anniversary. It is so weird to think I have been without him more years than with him.

Maybe because July was the last month I had with him that makes it hard I don't know. I am just so grateful that I can make memories with the girls and don't take one minute of it for granted.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

4th of July Style Inspo!

I can't believe 4th of July is already around the corner! The first few years of my life the 4th of July meant a huge party at my house that was a shared birthday party for my aunt and I.  Now I almost feel like the 4th of July is the start of the end of summer. Soon school supplies will be back on shelves and fall clothes will be hitting the racks. Nordstrom sale will be on every blogger's mind. Summer seems to fly after the 4th!

I bought this cute dress a while ago with the plans to shoot it as the weather warmed up and link, but of course by the time the weather has warmed up it is now sold out. I have scoured the internet for other cute USA pieces, some of which I own and others that I just think are really cute.

I have a similar pair of red flat sandals from last year that I loved to pair with my USA sweatshirt and to add a pop of color to other outfits. This year Target came out with a wedge pair and I had to have them. I will almost always buy a wedge over a flat because I am so short and last year it wasn't an option.

I am going to link below a bunch of cute 4th of July options and the pieces that I am wearing that are still in stock!