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A beginner’s guide to navigating the NSALE

A Beginner's Guide to Shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!Happy NSALE season – the sale is now open for all cardholders!!

As a lifestyle blogger, it’s slightly awkward to admit that I’ve never shopped the NSALE before, but it’s true!  The reason is that previously it was never a place that I regularly shop as I find the prices to be a little outside of my budget, so I was never sure when the sale actually happened. But this year I have been ALL about it. So as an NSALE beginner I’m sharing a beginner’s guide to navigating the NSALE!

First Step!

First and foremost, I saw that if you signed up for the Nordstrom credit card and made a purchase you would get a $60 bonus note, so that was a no brainer. I applied for the card, bought an Adidas pair of leggings I needed/wanted, and received my $60 bonus note to shop the sale (this literally paid for a pair of sneakers I’ve had my eye on forever!). If you’re not already a cardholder then this is well worth it!

Secondly!

Secondly, as with any big sale, there’s a few things that I consider: budget, needs, wants, gifts. What’s my budget? What do I truly NEED if anything and what is just a want? Are there any holidays or special occasions coming up that I should buy a gift for? 

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers advise that if you’re on a tight budget you should stick to only buying staples. I completely understand that rationale, to invest in good quality staples, but I do have a different take. Why not invest in awesome, fun, splurge items that you wouldn’t normally get to splurge on and get whatever staples you may need at Target or even Amazon – because we can all agree that their quality is much better than expected and you can find great deals. And who likes to spend all their budget on blah staples? That’s like buying a new roof, you only do it because you have to. 

If the NSALE isn’t how you want to practice some self care then check out my blog for 5 ways to practice self care for much more affordable options!

Third!

Thirdly, it’s time to build that wishlist! I literally have been adding to my wishlist every day since the sale began and obsessively checking back to see if the items I love are still in stock. I definitely didn’t get everything I wanted due to sell outs and also budget constraints, but I still got some amazing deals! AND don’t let sell outs discourage you – there will be returns and occasional restocks, so definitely set up alerts to get updated if anything comes back in stock!

Breaking down this huge sale by category

If you have been following the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (NSale) or follow any fashion influencers on Instagram, then you may be at the point where you’re tired of hearing about it. It’s a lot! There are so many amazing products in so many categories and everyone has their special way to navigate the sale – it’s hard to even know where to begin. So let me break down a few categories for you and also show you what I actually bought, because let’s be real, my wishlist is extensive 😉 Shop by category for the best way to navigate the NSALE as a beginner!

House Picks

My husband and I just bought a house (woohoo!) and moving from a small condo to a big house means we have a lot of furnishings to purchase. Of course I want to splurge and buy all of the pretty things – so this was a big priority for me in the NSALE. I’m completely obsessed with anything copper because it’s basically rose gold so all of these decanters were a must have for me! They’re on sale for $45 from $75. I may need only buy one for now, but I’ll slowly build the collection. Can’t wait to set up a bar cart!

BAGS!

I do not own a Tory Burch bag YET and this one is so classic and cute, can’t beat the price either. However, I will admit that as much as I wanted it, I’ll have to save it either for next year or my birthday wishlist. While a great price, it was still too much of a splurge for me. Coming from a  beginner’s perspective, I will definitely save up next year to be able to get items like this.

I already own this Longchamp bag and you should too! I take it on EVERY trip. It is the best bag to grab and throw so much stuff in that you may or may not need, but at least you have it! If anyone commutes by train to work a backpack is a must-have and it’s also perfect for the gym.

Fun and Funky Sneakers

Fall is coming and I will literally be wearing a cute pair of sneakers almost every day. I love how versatile they are to be styled dressy or casual. I love booties too, but sneakers are my fave. The first pair in the carousel is the pair I kept making sure was still in stock. Cannot wait to get these delivered! They were my #1 pick from NSALE! But, I definitely wanted all the others. Depending on how much bling you like – there’s an option for everyone!

booties

Everyone needs booties for Fall. It’s definitely a staple to splurge on. I opted for the edgier, more funky versions rather than the classic brown leather bootie. So for that reason I got the first pair in the carousel and I’m so excited. They give me Doc Marten vibes without the price tag, they’re under $50!! I definitely wanted the white pair, but will have to save for later 🙂 The brown booties are so cute and classic and I already own very similar options that are great to pair with jeans or even cute Fall dresses.

Jewelry picks

For whatever reason, I always think of jewellery as a splurge item rather than a staple even though some very classic/expensive pieces are absolutely staples. If I’m at a checkout line and need to cut down on my total, I always get rid of the jewellery first. So for that reason I really wanted to get some nice jewellery pieces in the NSALE. They had so many awesome pics, but these were my favourites.

Edgy outfit pics for fall

I usually opt for an edgier vibe in the Fall – I have no explanation for this lol. The NSALE had some great options to go with my edgy Fall vibe. I got the black wide leg jeans and the cheetah sweater. I had my eye on some oversized flannel, but sadly it sold out 🙁 So, I’m making sure to check back later to see if there were any returns. If you’re shopping the NSALE as a beginner, definitely think FALL! Because it’s right around the corner 🙂

Sunnies!

My first experience with QUAY was via a FabFitFun box and they are truly great quality sunnies. I have an aviator version, but I’m loving these cat eye styles! $35.00 for a quality pair of sunnies is quite a steal. It’s not a need to have, but a nice to have (arguably), but that’s the whole point of this beginner’s guide to navigating the NSALE!

Best of Loungewear

This starry set was also a must-have for me. I rarely treat myself to fun pjs, but these are so darn cute and will be perfect for winter! This set flew out of stock so I had to order larger sizes than I’d prefer, but it may just make them extra cosy! They still have other prints available too!

Treat yourself to a cozy loungewear set – especially during #stayathome!

cute coats

You could argue that coats are a staple for sure, but statement coats are a little more of a splurge. Regardless, it’s a great time to invest in winter coat and save! I LOVE this powder blue wool coat and it’s still in stock! If my closet was big enough I’d buy all of these, but for now I will just admire and hope you might be able to snag at least one!

Sweaters!

This color block fleece sold out like crazy, but there are still a few sizes left, and I’m hoping it gets restocked because I’m obsessed. I’d even buy this full price! I am totally here for animal prints, they’re not a staple, but they’re so fun and I really hope the trend stays in style!

bras!

A good bra is always a good investment so this is a little stray from my method behind this beginner’s guide to navigating the NSALE! but still! Even if you already have a closet full of great bras, you can always splurge on another good one! I especially am loving this black spanx bra that could be worn to the gym or just an ordinary occasion.

Adidas Picks

If you’ve been following along with me for awhile, you know I LOVE ADIDAS. So of course I had to scope out the best Adidas picks. I think these leggings are fierce and edgy – which I love and they’re under $30! The sweatshirt just looks so sweet and cosy. And of course who doesn’t need a classic pair of black kicks? 

what i ended up buying at the NSALE!

True to my plan for navigating the NSALE as a beginner, I ended up purchasing basically one splurge item from every category. I wish I could have purchased every single thing on my wishlist, but I’m so excited to receive what I did buy! I’m also keeping an eye out for a few things to potentially come back into stock, but if not it wasn’t meant to be! I hope you like some of these items or are inspired by them. Don’t feel any pressure, just have fun!

What I bought at the NSALE

What I’m Shopping for on LTKday

So many sales, so little time!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!! LTK day is here! If you’re new to LIKEtoKNOW.it and LTK day then check out below for a brief introduction to the best shopping  app! I’m also recapping all the  goodies I’m snagging during the LTKday sale!

[THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. IF YOU MAKE A PURCHASE I MAY RECEIVE A COMMISSION AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT IN THIS WAY!]

 

How to use the liketoknow.it shopping app

  1. Download the LIKEtoKNOW.it shopping app from the app store
  2. Create your profile to instantly shop all your favourite brands, influencers, trends, and looks – whatever you’re looking to shop from style to beauty to home – everything!
  3. Find and follow your favourite influencers, like me!
  4. Create collections to save your favourite looks so that you can come back and shop them. 
  5. Click on the product photo and select “Shop now” to be taken straight to the site where you can make your purchase!

shop the ltkday sale!

Now that you’re all set up in the app – it’s time to shop! There are so many great brands participating in this year’s LTKday sale. Check out the sales I’m shopping for this LTKday!

Participating LTKday brands

Tarte Cosmetics picks

I am of course stocking up on my faves: Shape Tape Concealer, Lights Camera Lashes Mascara, and Finishing Spray! But I am also taking this opportunity to try some products I’ve had my eye on like the Shape Tape Powder Foundation, Good Vibes Makeup Brushes, and this Belt Bag that I just thought was too cute!

If you’d like to know more about my makeup must-haves for a fresh-faced look check out my latest blog post!

Abercrombie Picks

I’m very much easing back in to Abercrombie after a decade hiatus. I used to think of the brand as the clothes all the popular rich kids wore at my high school. I think that stereotype is really outdated though! Abercrombie has made a lot of strides to be a much more inclusive brand and I’m super excited to try out their Curve Love denim line! Being 5’2″ and very hippy, it is SO hard to find jeans I love – but I have really high hopes for these and can’t wait to get them. I also already purchased the high rise super skinny daisy print jeans and I’m OBSESSED! They are so soft, fit perfectly (I got the 31S), and the embroidered daisy print is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

I was so pleasantly surprised by this satin subtle cheetah print dress. It’s just perfect! I paired it with an oversized denim jacket from Forever21 and also a grandpa cardi from Abercrombie, love both options!

I bought everything in the carousel below and they are all TTS (I wear size 31 in jeans and L in tops for reference).

Forever21 Picks

Forever21 has always been a little hit or miss for me as midsize gal, but when it hits it hits big! As mentioned above, this oversized bf denim jacket will be a fall staple for me – it’s so cute and goes with so many things! I can’t wait to explore different pairings 🙂 I picked up a few graphic tees and was pleasantly surprised that they do fit TTS and love the prints. I also snagged a couple pairs of shorts and unfortunately they are way too small for these hips, which is such a bummer because they’re so cute. Last, but not least, LOVING all of their jewellery  stacks especially the beaded options – perfect for summer! I say if you see things you like, definitely give them a shot, you can always return them if they don’t work out for you 🙂

murad skincare picks

When your bestie is a dermatologist you quickly learn to invest in your skin at a young age so that you stay looking young! Also, SUNSCREEN 😉 I actually got this Murad Rapid Collagen Infusion in a FabFitFun box earlier this year. I started using it at night and within a month noticed a huge difference in the look and feel of my skin. It’s much more firm and glowing and it also sort of lifted my cheeks, which is an added bonus. My bestie highly recommends this brand as well since it was created by a physician! It’s a little pricey, but well worth the investment. One bottle will last you at least 3-4 months and you’ll love the results, I promise!

Since this is a sale and now’s the time to shop (hello 25% off!) I’m going to also try the Retinol creams below. I’ll report back soon!

The styled collection picks!

Confession: The Styled Collection is new to me and I’ve never shopped their products before. I am so excited to try this adorable choker – love a good choker. I’m also loving these statement earrings. But what I’m most excited about is this little louis vuitton-ish dog keychain!!! How cute is this?! And 10% of the proceeds goes to animal rescues 🙂 Definitely keep in mind that all jewellery and accessories are final sale – so be sure you love what you add to your cart when checking out.

 

jockey picks

One of my all time favourite brands for undies and leisure-wear. All of these items were already in my closet, but you should definitely go shop them now! Great quality and so classic. I usually size down one.

Academy Sports & Outdoor

Last but not least are these finds on the Academy Sports & Outdoor site. I have been looking for the perfect slim can koozie for so long and finally found this YETI version – so cute! I’m also loving this YETI wine glass. If you’re like me and prone to spilling/breaking wine glasses then I think this will be perfect 😉 But I’m also obsessed with these Nike’s –  you know I’m an Adidas girl, but these are too cute so I’m branching out a bit!

 

Happy shopping everyone! Please let me know if you shop the sale and if you find any goodies you love. Also, always find my latest looks and favourite items by following me in the LIKEtoKNOW.it app!

xx, Ashley

How to Distress and Acid Wash a T-Shirt

Street style with acid wash
My first acid wash T!

Learn how to distress and acid wash a t-shirt with me!

Who here went through a low-key, Avril Lavigne, punk rocker-ish phase back in high school? I definitely did and I never left it 100% in the past! My personal style never has and never will have a category or label. I bounce around from extremely preppy, to euro-chic, to grunge/punk, to whatever we’d classify Zooey Deschanel (love you Zooey!). I’ve never fallen into one category, it’s just too limiting for me. I can’t predict what my mood or a certain occasion will inspire and that’s what makes fashion so fun! You can be whoever you want to be, whenever you want to be. The only drawback is that being versatile requires a very large closet. 😉

Like so many of us, I’m loving the tie-dye trend and really can’t get enough. However, since I’m trying to limit spending during these uncertain times, I didn’t want to invest in a tie-dye kit and fresh white clothing. So, I decided to embrace my edgy high school days and try my hand at distressing and acid washing shirts that I already had in my closet. I’ve always loved the distressed acid wash look, but buying those pieces can get pricey! If you prefer to buy rather than DIY here are a few cool options that I found: this one and this one. But if you’re up for a little DIY project then let me tell you how to distress and acid wash a t-shirt!

You will need

  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Spray Bottle
  • Plastic Garbage Bag or Table Cloth
  • Q-tips
  • Scissors
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Rubber Bands (optional)

get prepped

Pinpoint a few items from your closet that you’d be willing to totally redesign. (I chose this rep T-Shirt that I bought to wear to Taylor Swift’s Reputation tour – best concert ever). I recommend finding items with bold colours because then you’ll really be able to see the acid wash magic. Keep in mind that black items won’t necessarily bleach to white, they tend to go a bit peachy/orange no matter how much bleach you pour (see mine as an example).

  1. Once you’ve decided on the item/s you want to distress and acid wash you will need to set up your DIY area. Since this project requires A LOT of bleach you’ll need to make sure you’re working somewhere that won’t be destroyed by the chemicals. I chose my kitchen counter and laid down some garbage bags as an extra precaution to protect the countertops.
  2. Now it’s time to prepare the solution. I used an old spray bottle and mixed one part Clorox bleach with one part water. You can also use pure bleach, but I found that you get similar results both ways so why not save some of your chemicals for cleaning.  🙂

How to distress the fabric

Distressed Details
Its a lewk!

You can absolutely skip the distressing and go straight to the acid wash in Step 5, but if you want an even more grungy aesthetic then I recommend trying out this step. Distressing the fabric just means that you are creating tiny holes, rips, and tears to get a more vintage vibe. It’s actually a lot easier than you’d think!  I did most of the distressing around the collar, the chest/shoulders, and toward the bottom of the shirt. I also scraped the “rep” letters to make sure the distressing looked cohesive. I also cut off the hems of my sleeves to get an even edgier look, I thought they just seemed too perfect otherwise. There are two ways to do this, I went with Option 2 because it was quicker, but you do you!

    1. Pinch the fabric and cut tiny little holes wherever you desire. The bigger the pinched fabric, the bigger the hole. *This method is more calculated, but also takes a lot longer. If you want to make your tiny holes bigger you can simply wiggle your finger in the hole and spread it out. I watched this video for some extra help!
    2. The scraping method is so much quicker, but much less predictable. Open your scissors as wide as possible and then press the blade against the fabric and begin scraping the fabric with the sharp edge with a pulling down motion. You will quickly see the tears and tiny holes. Watch your fingers! Just remember that you can always go back and add more holes or more bleach, so start with less and work your way up from there. 

How to acid wash the fabric

Double Spiral
Double Spiral

Once you’re happy with the distressing you can move on to the acid wash. Be sure to put on your rubber gloves before bleach so that your hands don’t stink afterwards. 🙂 There are a few ways to do the acid washing, it all just depends on what look you have in mind. You can do the traditional spiral that you would do with rubber bands when tie-dying or you can do more of a splatter look (like mine). Personally, I think the splatter look is best with distressing and acid wash. Simply lay your t-shirt flat and then mist in various spots with your spray bottle. I sprayed closer to the fabric in places that I wanted to be more saturated with bleach. The bleach will change the fabric’s color almost instantly so you’ll easily be able to see what design you’re creating and where you need more of the solution. For more dots and drag dots you can dip your q-tip into the solution and place where desired. I also flicked the q-tip to create a splatter look. Don’t forget to do the back too! Some of the solution will soak through to both sides, but you’ll still need to go over it to improve the design.

Finishing touches

  1. When you love your new design, rinse the t-shirt (or whatever you’re acid washing) with water to remove any excess bleach.
  2. Wash and dry your t-shirt by itself for the first wash or two to make sure you don’t bleach any of your other clothes.
  3. Style your shirt with a pair of distressed jeans or jean shorts and some fun jewellery for the perfect, edgy look!

Now you’ve successfully learned how to distress and acid wash a t-shirt! If you try this method be sure to let me know how it went in the comments! Any other DIY projects you’d like to see? Let me know and happy DIYing!

xx,

Ashley

Target Must-Have Styles for Spring & Summer


Scroll down for Spring and Summer style at Target!

Picture this: it’s a day ending in “-day”, you wake up, brush your teeth, maybe brush your hair, put on some tie-dye lounge-wear, do a a little bit of work, maybe a run if you’re feeling sassy, eat copious amounts of snacks, and browse the internet until you fall asleep. THEN you wake up and do the exact same thing. We are all living the same day on repeat and while many places are starting to reopen, Chicago is not one of them. Before I continue, I do want to note that I am in no way insensitive to the immense hardships many people are facing. My family has been hit both financially and physically, it’s a very difficult time and my heart goes out to all of you. I just hope this article adds a little levity to your day.

There are so many things that I miss being able to do and I know I’m not alone in this, which is actually really and strangely comforting, that we aren’t alone. [Whoever you are, wherever you are – please know you are not alone! We’re in this together. xx] I’ve realized that the things I miss most aren’t necessarily what I would have guessed, but are much more the little every day things that I take for granted. The Italian in me just wants to hug literally everyone at all times (more about me)! I really miss that human touch. I miss my family, my besties, that little Indian restaurant around the corner, and so much more…. like shopping! Yeah, yeah I know I can go online, but there’s something about browsing a store, finding hidden gems I didn’t even know I needed ;), that I really miss!

SO MANY GOOD SALES

In this uncertain economic climate my brain knows that I should be saving, BUT EVERYTHING IS ON SALE!  I’ve truly found some absolute gems and amazing deals. I’m realizing that perusing the liketoknow.it app, following influencer stories, and scrolling through  favorite store’s website has become a solid replacement for browsing in a real store. It’s definitely a welcome escape and I get so excited when the packages arrive. It’s like the opposite of instant gratification, but it makes the joy last even longer and I love that.

TARGET DRESSES

I ordered these affordable Spring dresses from Target during their sale about two weeks ago. I’m wearing the camo t-shirt dress in a large. The dress is extremely comfy and could definitely be dressed up with some nude/tan wedges and a tan moto jacket, cute sandals and a jean jacket, or even dressed down as a beach cover up! It runs a little large, I could have gone with a medium. For reference, I’m 5’2″, 38D, large booty!  It’s currently $20.00!

This lilac midi dress comes in blue, green, burgundy, and white. I nearly got white, but I’m really happy with this fun color. It looks pink on the Target website, but is much more lavender in person. I recommend sizing down as it’s a bit over-sized. It’s super floaty and soft, I can’t wait to wear this to a thousand places, a thousand different ways. It’s currently $34.99, but I purchased it on sale – so keep an eye out! One thing I love about Target is that you can set alerts for sales and even to get notified when your favorite styles come back into stock.

THE CUTEST EYELET TOP  YOUR CLOSET CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT

Spring and Summer style isn’t complete without the perfect white tee. I bought these daisy jeans recently from abercrombie and I knew I wanted to pair them with a plain white tee, but then I came across this gorgeous eyelit long sleeve t-shirt from Target and had to have it. The sleeves are so beautifully structured with a slight poof at the shoulder. The body of the top is light and flexible. I want one in every color! It comes in red and rust, TTS, only $19.99. I think this compliments my new, fave jeans so well and is perfect for Spring when there’s still a slight chill in the air.

GRAPHIC T-SHIRTS AND DISTRESSED SHORTS

Your Spring and Summer wardrobe isn’t complete without a few classic graphic tees. I cannot say this loudly enough: Target’s graphic t-shirt selection was amazing even before it was trendy. THEN they came out with this Taylor Swift Lover t-shirt. I swear I’d buy multiple just because I know I’m going to wear this one so much it’ll be tattered one day, and that day will be a very sad day. I bought this in an XL because I wanted it to be over-sized and it’s perfect. I think I’ve worn it three days this week #sorrynotsorry. Then I found this Guns N’ Roses t-shirt that I’ve seen circulating Instagram and it’s also fabulous, I’m wearing a L. Both were only $14.99, you really can’t beat it. 

The distressed shorts with the Taylor Swift T are super stretchy and have a lot of give, which is great if you overindulge at a summer bbq. I really like the longer inseam because I can’t stand when my shorts ride up between my legs. This pair is a size 12, but I would’ve preferred a 10, unfortunately they were out of stock and I needed something quickly. I’ll make them work!

Thanks for checking out my favorite recent Target purchases. So affordable, great quality, and extremely versatile which is everything I look for in my clothes. I hope this helps your future Target run! Happy shopping 🙂

xx,

Ashley