Friday Favorites: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

In case you forgot – the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is happening right NOW. I’m sure you’re starting to get sick of hearing about it, but there are some really great pieces included in the sale that must be shared. Some years are better than others. And I have to say, this year’s sale is a hit. I suggest sticking with the basics and there’s no reason to buy designer. Some of my favorite brands included in the sale are Halogen and KUT. Here are my top 5 picks:

KUT from the Kloth Connie Step Hem Ankle Jeans
I already bought these. They are comfortable and I love the color. The step hem gives them the perfect edge.

Gibson Tie Front Cozy Fleece Pullover
The name says it all.

Halogen Textured Elbow Sleeve Tunic Dress
Picked this one up to wear to work and meetings. It’s basically a sweatshirt and super cozy.

Halogen Side Tie Cashmere Sweater
My favorite piece I bought. I’ve never owned a cashmere sweater. This one is perfect. It’s on the longer side (which I love) and the ties on the side give it a little something extra.

Halogen Modal Jersey V-Neck Tee
A staple. And for only $22, get more than one. I have a hard time finding tees that are the right length and this one hits right at the top of my thigh (I’m 5′ 8″). And it’s sooo soft!

 

 

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Spring Picks // Loft

I know every woman and their sister (and mom, and BFF, and cousin, and coworker) shops at Loft. There’s a reason (well, a lot of reasons). They have a great selection of clothes for work, casual weekends, lounging, vacation and even some dressier occasions. Sometimes they have the reputation of being bland and conservative, but they actually have a lot of great trendier pieces right now (see off the shoulder everything and lots of rompers). I bought a few things when they had a sale last week. Here’s what I bought and a few more of my favorite picks.

In My Closet

I sized down and bought this in tall

I plan on using this for both work and play

Using this on vacation!!!

Going to style these with a tucked in tee

Going to syle this with distressed boyfriend jeans

On My List

Get the Look // Pink Blazer for Spring

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We had some unusually warm weather in February here in Chicago. We even had a couple of 70 degree days! Even though it’s winter again – it dipped back into the 20s over the weekend – I’ve still been thinking about warmer weather ever since we got a little taste of spring. I came across the above photo from Jess Ann Kirby on Pinterest, and immediately wanted to re-create the look. I have a great blush blazer from Loft that I bought a few years ago – I don’t use it nearly enough, but I’m inspired to pull it out this spring! Her post is from last April, but I rounded up some great pieces that are available now.

Pink Blazer
Forever 21 Contemporary Longline Blazer | Topshop George Open Jersey Boyfriend Blazer | Ann Taylor Cotten Sateen One Button Blazer | Chic Wish Passionate Peach Oversized Blazer

Striped Tee
Madewell Sound Ribbed Crewneck Tee in Kramer Stripe
| Old Navy Relaxed Boat-Neck Tee | J.Crew Factory Striped Artist T-Shirt

Distressed Boyfriend Jeans
American Eagle Vintage Hi-Rise Jean | Boyfriend Straight Jeans | KUT Catherine Distressed Boyfriend Jeans (also available in plus here)

Strappy Pink Heels
Ann Taylor Eliza Suede Round Toe Pump | Dune London Ghillie Lace Up Block Heel Sandal | Steve Madden Shays Lace-Up Sandal

Perforated Tote Bag
Emilie M. La Mar Perforated Tote | Sonoma Kari Tote | Roberto Pancani Large Rose Leather Tote | Old Navy Laser-Cut Tote

Recipe // Updated Taco Salad

Do you remember that taco salad from childhood? You know, the one with Catalina salad dressing? Taco meat, cheese, tortilla chips, ice burg lettuce. Mm, mm. I especially remember it at volleyball tournaments in high school. I still make it from time to time, but with some upgrades to kick it up a notch. I also ditch the Catalina salad dressing (it surprisingly has a lot of fat and calories in it). It’s a pretty easy recipe and makes excellent leftovers. (It’s great for work lunches!)


Ingredients:

1 Ib ground turkey (94% or 99% fat free)
2 Tbs chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or more, if you like heat)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup water
1 Roma tomato, diced
1 small avocado, sliced
2 heads of romaine, chopped
Tortilla chips
Mexican blend shredded cheese
Fresh cilantro
Taco sauce or salsa

Brown the ground turkey in a skillet. Once cooked through (no more pink pieces), drain any fat. Add the spices and water. Heat through for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can use the taco meat hot or cold in the salad. If using later, remove from heat and let it cool before putting it in a container. Cover before putting in the fridge.

To assemble, I use a big handful of the chopped romain lettuce, about 6-8 tortilla chips (crushed with my hands), 1/2 cup taco meat, tablespoon of shredded cheese, and top with diced tomatoes, 1/4 of the diced avocado and cilantro to taste. I love to use a drizzle of taco sauce as the “dressing” for an extra kick. Salsa works great, too.

To pack for lunch or to store leftovers, keep all parts of the salad separate until you are ready to eat. This keeps the lettuce and chips from getting soggy.

The tomatoes, cilantro, tortilla chips, etc., are all suggestions. This is what I like to use. Adapt to what you like on your tacos. Black beans or corn would be awesome in this recipe. (Now that I think about it, I’m going try them next time!). You can stick to the Catalina dressing if you like the added sweetness. I sometimes add green onions if I have them on hand. The combinations are endless!

Currently Craving: One-Piece Bathing Suits

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How adorable is that swimsuit?! I’m in love. In the past I had a hard time finding cute one-piece swimsuits. But over the last couple of years the options for fun, colorful one-pieces have really grown. One-piece does not have to equate to boring and frumpy – there are so many great options this season. Below is a round up of some of my favorites. And they’re all under $100!

Monki Polka Dot Frill Swimsuit

Tommy Bahama Ruched Triangle Top One-Piece (available in over 10 colors)

City Chic Floral Underwired Swimsuit (Plus)

Peek & Beau Gingham Frill One Shoulder Swimsuit

Scallop High Neck One Piece Swimsuit

Mesh Inset One Piece

H&M Swimsuit with Bow

Vintage Floral Halter Maillot One Piece Swimsuit Coral (Plus)

J.Crew Factory One-Piece Swimsuit (a classic, rouched swimsuit)

Seafolly Tidal Wave Highneck Maillot One-Piece

Reading Lately

Ever since I read The Girl on the Train, I’ve been obsessed with mystery and psychological thrillers. Here’s what I’m reading now and what’s next in my que:

41utkxcbsolWhile You Were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft

I’m in the middle of reading this one. So far, I love it. It reminds me a little of The Girl on the Train because the story involves neighbors – including slowly learning more and more about the past and how the characters are intertwined.

51ytbg5le-l-_sx329_bo1204203200_All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

From Amazon: Twenty-eight-year-old Nicolette Farrell returns to Cooley Ridge, North Carolina, ten years after her best friend Corinne disappeared without a trace. Nic plans to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, but she is soon plunged into a new drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds that have not healed.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

I’m really excited to start this one. The story unravels backwards – when Annaleise goes missing, Nic starts to unravel the truth about what really happened to Corinne ten years ago.

51hiyzaxdal-_sx331_bo1204203200_Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I bought this book a while back, but haven’t read it yet. Now that the HBO limited series based on the book is coming out this month, I’m eager to start reading it. The book follows three women who are brought together because of their same-aged children. You’ll find secrets, lies, wives, husbands, children, exes, abuse, deception…all wrapped around a mysterious murder.

Get the Look

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I’m all about comfort. On the weekends I’m usually in jeans, flats and a cozy top. Lately my cozy tops have been sweatshirts. A lot of fun and embellished sweatshirts (think florals, lace, ruffles) have been popping up in stores. Throw on a structured jacket for a more sophisticated look. This is perfect for transitioning into spring.

The exact sweatshirt from the image above can be found here.

This is how I’d recreate the look:

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1 | Gap Embellished Star Pullover
2 | Gap Water-Resistant Short Hooded Trench
3 | 1822 Denim Ankle Skinny Jeans
4 | Rebecca Minkoff Small Love Leather Crossbody Bag
5 | ASOS DEA Star Lace Up Sneakers

More fun sweatshirts:
ASOS Sweatshirt In Polka Dot
Old Navy Relaxed French-Terry Sweatshirt
Fire Ruffle Front Sweatshirt
Gap Eyelet Logo Pullover Sweatshirt

Simple Week Night Dinners // 05

Chicken & Sweet Potato Mex Bowls

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This recipe comes together fast and is fulfilling with two proteins (chicken and black beans). I love creating “bowls” for dinner. You can use whatever you have in your fridge and pantry. I usually end up with a lot of different layers and texture. The key is to include some sort of fresh herb to keep it balanced. Here we use cilantro.

1 Tbs olive oil
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 skinless boneless chicken breast, sliced thin
2 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
16 oz can black beans, rinsed
1 lime, halved
Green Giant® Riced Cauliflower, prepared
Fresh cilantro
Lime
Hot sauce

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the sweet potatoes. Sautée until soft and golden brown (this will take about 10 minutes). Meanwhile, season all sides of the sliced chicken breast with the chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Once the sweet potatoes are soft, add the seasoned chicken to the skillet. Sautée chicken for about 5 minutes, flipping frequently. Once the chicken is cooked through, add the black beans and juice from half of the lime. Cook for a couple of more minutes, just until the black beans are heated through. If the mixture seems dry, add a couple of tablespoons of water.

To serve: In a bowl, add 1 cup of the prepared Green Giant® Riced Cauliflower and a scoop of the sweet potato and chicken mixture. Top with fresh cilantro, lime juice and hot sauce, as desired.

This recipe makes two generous servings. Note, the Green Giant® Riced Cauliflower has four servings and each serving is a cup.

WOMEN WOMEN WOMEN

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I cannot stop looking at photos and watching videos of the amazing women, men and children marching around the world yesterday. These photos give me chills! I am so happy to hear the marches were peaceful and everyone stayed safe. I believe (no matter your political party or feelings about the new president) it’s important to stand up and fight for human equality. I’m proud to be an American and a women.

Check out the simple, but powerful, posters from by For All Womankind. All the proceeds go to the Center for Reproductive Rights and Emily’s List, two not-for-profit organizations. I love the one I shared above.