Passing Notes: Back to school shopping at The Outlets at Orange

imageOne of my favorite back to school traditions is picking out my first day of school dress. I was starting to think this was going to be the year that I didn’t have something to new to wear :(. However, I solved the problem by heading to The Outlets at Orange for a quick shopping trip. It is always best to hit an outlet mall on a holiday weekend, because stores usually offer extra discounts and incentives.

My first stop is always the Banana Republic outlet. I was greeted with huge signs that read “50% off entire store.” Music to my ears! And, I also had $20 worth of reward coupons. I ended up buying three dresses, a leopard wrap dress for $19.99, a navy shift with a lemon and lime pattern, and a navy blue fit and flare dress. I will be wearing these new frocks during the first week of school. Dresses are so easy! One piece, add a necklace, and you are ready to go! I also found three lightweight sweaters, gray with yellow polka dots, a leopard pattern, and a black and ivory striped “ciao” sweater. They look good on their own, but look even better layered with a denim work shirt. I also found two cute tank tops that will be great to layer with, one black with white hearts and the other is hot pink with a tiny bee print. They will be perfect with a pencil skirt and cardigan. Three dresses, three sweaters and two tops totaled $200. Now I need it to cool down so I can start wearing sweaters!

Next, I stopped by the Old Navy outlet. I am in love with all their graphic t-shirts. I wanted to buy them all, but settled on the black “j’adore” and white “holy chic” shirts.

My last stop was at the Ann Taylor factory store. They had the same deal as Banana, 50% off everything. I found this adorable black dress with tan polka dots for $20 and multi-strand pink necklace.

I really wanted to go to the Nordstrom Rack, as I have $200 in Nordstrom Notes, but I was all shopped out! Next time!

Homework: What is your favorite back to school tradition?

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Lesson Planning: Attractive storage and organization

Organization makes me happy! I love searching Pinterest for organization inspiration. Here are a few ideas I have recreated in my bathroom and bedroom:
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I reused some Kate Spade gift boxes to store my hair clips and baubles. They are so pretty. I bought this mini cake stand at the Nordstrom Rack and it is a great way to add a level of prominence to the items it holds. My Tiffany mug looks great with my makeup brushes inside. A small glass heart holds all my perfume samples.
image I found this tiered jewelry holder at Hobby Lobby and it’s great for organizing earrings and bracelets. I also have several small dishes for separating rings and small earrings.
imageWine bottles are a creative way to display and stack bracelets. I also used a split of champagne and an empty candle holder. 
image This mini compote dish matches the cake stand and was also purchased at Nordstrom Rack. It holds my Miracle Blur, Bobbi Brown serum and SPF moisturizer. It makes my everyday products look special.

imageA silver tray quickly organizers products on my bathroom counter. I also used an over-sized martini glass to store all my nail polishes and a glass candy jar to hold cotton pads. 

Pinterest is a great source for organization inspiration. I have a Pinterest board called Organization Makes Me Happy. Click here to see my pins.

Homework: What is your favorite organization tip?

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: Flowy skirt Friday

imageSometimes during a heat wave, the only thing to keep you cool is a flowy maxi skirt. I created this outfit around the skirt because I knew it was going to be a hot day. I found this black and white striped chiffon maxi skirt at the Nordstrom Rack. I added a fun, white ruffled tank top and a coral short-sleeved cardigan, both from Ann Taylor Loft. I needed to add some texture and shine to the ensemble, so I wore my black patent/grey snakeskin Tory Burch Reva’s. Not only was this outfit cool on a really warm day, but it was comfortable and cute 🙂

Homework: How do you handle professional dressing on a really hot day?

Dress Code: On Wednesday’s we wear studs and stripes!

imageToday’s outfit was a quick and simple one. I found this fun pink and black striped skirt for $11 at the Nordstrom Rack. The horizontal stripes were actually flattering because they were different sizes and off centered. I paired the skirt with a black, gold-studded Michael Kors t-shirt I bought at the Michael Kors outlet in Carlsbad. I only added my usual bracelets since the outfit seemed sort of busy. The two pieces were simple, but I think they made quite an impact together! Pink and black has always been one of my favorite color combinations 🙂

Homework: What is your favorite color combination?

Dress Code: On Wednesday’s we Wear Pink and Black

imageClearly, pink is my signature color! I especially love to combine pink and black, so I was excited when I found this cute printed Halogen top at the Nordstrom Rack for $17. I decided to go basic with my favorite black pencil skirt, also from Nordstrom, and then added a fabulous pink ombré necklace from Target that was a gift. It’s so nice that my friends know me so well! The Kate Spade pink bow bracelet was also a gift and matches the necklace perfectly.  I just bought a pink and black tweed skirt that I will pair with this top next time I wear it. Mixing patterns can be a bit scary, but when you stick to the same color palette, it’s all good. This outfit makes me think of Good N Plenty candy!

Homework: What is your signature color?