Honor Roll: The Dry Bar

imageIf you have never been to a blow dry bar, you need to treat yourself! The Dry Bar at Fashion Island is my favorite. I’ve been a couple of times before a big event and it is completely worth the $40. I received a Dry Bar gift card a few months ago (I drove some friends to the airport), and saved it for my next special occasion. In this case, it’s an annual trip to Las Vegas.

Please note that my “before” picture, on the top left, was taken after two boot camp and one spin class. I was a hot mess! I selected the Manhattan style, for sleek, straight hair, and I was really happy with the results. With a bit of dry shampoo and few flat iron touch ups, I can make this blow out last for at least three days. I really don’t like to wash my hair when I travel. My hair is super thick and washing and drying it just wastes time. Vacations are for fun!

The Dry Bar is the original blow dry bar, but there are other options out there. The Nordstrom at Fashion Island has a style bar. They do blow outs and also dry styles. If you go in with clean, dry hair, they will straighten or curl it for $20. It’s a great way to prep for a fun night out. A style bar called Blow Out OC recently opened in Aliso Viejo. I haven’t tried it, yet, but I bought my niece a gift card to get a blow out there. Think about a blow out gift card next time you need a gift. It’s a great gift. I have received two Dry Bar gift cards and they have been by far two of my favorite presents. Everyone deserves to be pampered.

Homework: Have you been to a blow dry bar?

Passing Notes: Rediscovering Ross, Dress for Less!

Recently, I had a few extra minutes between meetings and a Ross, Dress for Less was close by. I hadn’t been in one in years, so I thought it would be fun to pop in and see what they had. Well, $60 later…
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I found these great storage bins to use in my closet. I swear all I do is wash and fold work out clothes. I just wear them again right away, so I decided to switch to bins for easy access. Plus, I don’t have to be super careful about folding everything. I can just dump the clean clothes in the bins. The best part of the bins is that they say Paris, London, and New York on them. All cities where I have run marathons. The big bin was $11.99 and the small one was $6.99. Organization makes me happy!

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I also found these great lap desks for $6.99 each. I bought one for me and one for my mom. I play on my IPad while in bed or on the couch and sometimes it gets really hot on my legs. This cute lap desk will solve that problem and make it easy to write notes and cards in bed. It was an added bonus that mine matches my bedspread.

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My last purchase was this adorable tank top for $11.99. How could I resist a bedazzled bike shirt that says, “Live your dreams,” on it! This will be great to throw on after spin class.

All in all it was a productive trip. The home goods section had a ton of great deals. Lots of fun things for summer entertaining. I didn’t need anything, but I will definitely go back the next time I throw a party.

Homework: What is your favorite discount store?

Passing Notes: Summer prep at Costco

imageMy summer officially starts this afternoon and I can’t wait! In order to get ready I took a trip to Costco. I canceled my Costco membership about a year ago because buying in bulk wasn’t really working for this single girl. I really didn’t
miss my monthly Costco runs until I went to help a friend prep his beach house for the summer. There were so many fun things to buy! I am ridiculously excited about my new Tommy Bahama backpack chair. It has cup holders and a pillow! Now I can ride my beach cruiser and I will be able to take my chair with me. It will also be great for Movie Monday nights and outdoor concerts 🙂 I was also able to buy a two-pack of my favorite sunscreen, Neutrogena’s Beach Defense. I wrote a whole Honor Roll post about this sunscreen that I lovingly call the “force field.” It was a great deal and I am stocked up for the summer. I was very responsible with my shopping. I bought the chair, sunscreen, and two big bags of frozen fruit, $65 total. It would have been easy to get carried away. I’m not going to lie, I was tempted to buy a stand up paddle board, wagon, and beach tent!

Homework: What do you need to prepare for summer?

Lesson Planning: The 7 P’s and the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!

imageA while back I shared an organizational strategy I use called the 7 P’s. Proper Prior Planning really does Prevent Piss Poor Performance! Well, this is an important time of year and I need to be ready for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! I use this sale to stock up on basics, shoes, and accessories for the school year. Many of the items you see me wearing on a regular basis are Anniversary Sale purchases.

Last year, I never received a hard copy of the Anniversary Sale catalog. The Nordstrom customer service agent told me I could access the catalog online and didn’t seem to understand why I was so upset. I tried to explain that part of my “proper prior planning” involved Post It notes and highlighters. She still didn’t get it and I never got a real catalog. As a result, I was a little frazzled while shopping and not as “on point” as I usually am.

Well, I received my catalog on Tuesday and I spent some time on Wednesday doing my initial look-through. I’ve marked items I’m interested in and now I’m ready to compile a list organized by department. I also need to check out the additional on-line options. So far, I’m loving the work outfit options. I’m a little disappointed in the shoe selection, but hoping the online options are better. I’m excited to try on several leather skirts, boots, some lace trimmed items, and a few amazing coats.

I will document all my purchases and keep you updated on how I incorporate them in my ever-evolving wardrobe.

Homework: How do you prepare for an annual sale?

Dress Code: On Wednesday’s we wear pink pants and polka dots!

imageI love my pink pants from Banana Republic, and it just makes sense to wear them on Wednesday’s! They have a light diamond pattern and are just plain fun. Since this was going to be a long day, I needed a shirt and shoes that would move easily as I set up things for our big awards night. This black and white polka dot tunic from Ann Taylor was perfect, as it added another pattern to the textured pants. I’m still trying to master the half-tuck look… tucked in the front and hanging out in the back. I think I’m almost there 🙂 My black patent leather with grey snakeskin Tory Burch ballet flats and my C. Wonder “H” necklace completed the look. I felt professional and polished in this outfit, and I logged 20,000 steps on my Fitbit while wearing it.

Homework: What is your favorite thing to wear on Wednesday’s?

Dress Code: These are a few of my favorite things… leather, leopard, hot pink, and studs!

imageI scored these amazing leopard Tory Burch shoes off the sale rack at Nordstrom. I wasn’t looking for new leopard pumps, but I had to have them! I don’t want to focus on how much they cost, instead, I will focus on how much I saved! I actually saved more then I spent 🙂 I planned my whole outfit around these shoes and added all things I love. I started with my leather Anthropology skirt that cost $49. What a deal! The front is leather and the back is jersey, so it’s super comfortable. My gold studded Michael Kors t-shirt and hot pink Kendra Scott tassel necklace were the obvious finishing touches.

It’s fun to wear a combination of all things that you love!

Homework: If you wore all the things you love, what would that outfit look like?

Dress Code: Hot pink and pearls… again!

imageWhat’s my go-to, favorite fashion combination? Hot pink and pearls, of course! Today, I combined my highlighter pink J. Crew cardigan with a sleeveless, patterned Maggie London dress from the clearance rounder at The Nordstrom Rack. I added my favorite pearl and gold collar necklace from Ann Taylor, some
stretchy pearl bracelets from Forever 21, and my black patent leather and snakeskin Tory Burch Reva’s to complete the look.

FYI… The Rack is an awesome resource when you have time to search through their rounders. The best part of shopping at The Rack these days is that you don’t have to wait in line. They have mini pay stations all over the store and employees carry IPhones, so they can ring you up without having to stand in a long line.

Dress Code: The tiara necklace!

imageThe last time I wore this necklace, the receptionist at the district office told me it looked like a tiara for my neck, so now I call it the tiara necklace. It makes such a huge statement that I can’t wear it very often, but when I do, I get tons of compliments. This necklace was another Banana Republic super sale find for less than $25. Since the necklace is so bold, I wore my favorite Tory Burch logo earrings to keep the focus on my “tiara.” The rest of the outfit is also from Banana Republic. I found the belted black sheath dress at the Banana factory store for $20 and the royal blue blazer was a sale rack find for less than $20. All together, it looks like a million bucks!

Homework: How would you wear such a bold statement necklace?

Dress Code: On Wednesday’s we wear mixed metals!

imageThis mixed metal statement necklace was a steal… only $10.50 at Banana Republic! Remember to always look through the sale box of jewelry whenever you stop by Banana. I always come up with gem of a deal! This necklace makes such a bold statement, that the rest of the outfit needed to be simple. Of course the perfect base was a simple LBD. This one is from Anthropology. It’s one of my favorites and I wear it often. It is the ideal backdrop for all my fun necklaces. I added some fun bracelets and a soft pink headband and I was ready for the day.

Homework: How would you style this stately necklace!

Dress Code: Leather, coral, and hot pink!

imageIn a previous post, I told you to get used to seeing my new Kendra Scott hot pink necklace. Well, here it is again! In my family, when you buy something new and wear it all the time, we call it your marathon item, as in, you are wearing it so often, you could practically run a marathon in it! This is my marathon necklace!

Today, I wore it with a black leather topped tank that I just bought on sale at Banana Republic for $35 and a simple black pencil skirt from Nordstrom. To add contrast, I topped the shell with a coral cardigan from Gap that was a steal at $10. I loved the coral and hot pink together! Color wheel, what? For some texture, I accessorized with my usual bling and my new $10 leopard wrap bracelet from Charming Charlie. This was a great day to evening look, as the outfit looked even better without the cardigan!

Homework: What is your go-to accessory of the moment?