Thank you, Diane von Furstenberg for inventing the wrap dress. The feminine silhouette was created to be flattering on all body types, and it is certainly one of my favorite looks. This silhouette reminds me of one of my all-time favorite dresses, so I’m on board for a dainty floral and breezy flutter sleeve for summer. I recently got a sneak peek of some fantastic new arrivals at Lily & Sparrow, so be sure to check them out!
Last month we celebrated our second wedding anniversary. It’s hard to believe we’ve already been together that long. Here are some things that we have learned in our second year of marriage over our first/whole two years:
The Communication – We’ve always seemed to communicate well, but it just gets better as we basically become extensions of the other and know what the other is thinking before even discussing it. This also means giving them the opportunity to say what’s on their mind and not filling in the blank.
The Callback – We learned in a marriage conference at our church to practice “the callback.” When a comedian is performing, they’ll tell a joke, and a story, and then another story and end with a punch line that references the initial joke. This is referred to as a callback. When we have an argument or disagreement, it is fun (after time has passed) to make a joke of it. We honestly can’t take ourselves too seriously, we love all of our inside jokes, and some of them truly come from making light of an initially frustrating situation. To callback on the communication for example, we were both interjecting without the other finishing their thoughts, and one of us got frustrated that the other was frustrated and said “there was a lull!” Since we’re both easily excitable and feed off each other, now when we cut the other person off we jump in with “there was a lull!” and it always inevitably makes ourselves laugh.
The Finances – One of the biggest things we’ve learned, and are still learning, is actually how to communicate about money. Everyone says finances are one of the biggest challenges going into marriage, and we felt pretty confident we were on the same page but weren’t quite prepared for the difficulties it would entail. What we realized is we are most certainly on the same page about the big things, which is incredibly helpful. It’s the small things we’ve had to learn to discuss. Sitting down at the beginning of the year and making a habit of going over every nickel and dime coming in and going out for a couple months has allowed us both to be much more comfortable, and we’ve been able to save so much more. Looking at the budget together really helped us both to see the big picture, prioritize our personal needs, and become much more of a proactive team. We’re most certainly still learning and growing, but we both are super encouraged about where we sit now as opposed to where we were at the end of the year, which is fantastic to see just how much six months can do. This is also evidence of how much God has blessed us with our giving and being responsible with what He’s blessed us to manage. We continue to see financial blessings and favor for giving and managing well.
The Love Languages – If you haven’t taken the test to see what your love languages are, we highly recommend doing so. Everyone needs all five types of love to feel loved, but one or two of yours are higher than the others, which means you need more of this to be fulfilled. This is something we make an effort to focus on, and it really does help hit all the touchpoints. One of my top two is quality time, and while we spend a lot of time together, not all of it is quality. Setting a priority to have time just the two of us, electronics put away, to just be in conversation and fellowship with each other makes us feel much more connected. Cassidy appreciates words of affirmation, so I intentionally make a point to praise him whenever I think about how wonderful he is and try not to let the moment pass. Knowing each others' needs and expectations is the only way to meet them.
We by no means have it all figured out. We have been married for two years, which is definitely not a lifetime. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and we are learning every day. There is absolutely nobody else I would rather be on this journey with and I love living happily Ever After Emery with you, Cassidy Ryan.
Depending on how long you’ve been following by blogger journey, you may know that I used to be a Nordstrom personal stylist a few years back. With the insider knowledge I learned, I wanted to share some strategies for working the #nsale to your advantage.
Decide what’s most important. Are you wanting to find some key Fall trends before the season hits? Do you want to invest in a few designer pieces to add to your collection? Maybe beauty is your thing. Do you need to restock on some staples like workout gear or undergarments that are never on sale? Are you wanting a little bit of everything? Figure out what is most important to you, and prioritize that first over everything else because there’s a limited budget (at least for most of us) and inventory does sell out, especially those designer pieces.
Form a relationship with a stylist and keep it. If you are a regular Nordstrom shopper, even if it’s for beauty items, find your person and remain loyal. This is a relationship, which means it’s a two-way street. And remember them throughout the year. If there are MAC, Free People, or Madewell items they carry at Nordstrom, get them there with your stylist. Not only does this work to your advantage for points on your card (yes you need the Nordstrom card, if for nothing else than to get Early Access before everything is sold out. Just be responsible and pay it off right away, ok?), but they will also remind you about triple points weekends, Mascara Madness, etc. When it comes time for the Nordy sale, make an appointment. They may even be able to help you get that item that’s only left at one store that you really really want (a zigga zig ah).
Speaking of points, use your personal triple points day. This is also the time to work your budget to stock up on things you use regularly like beauty, skincare, undergarments or workout gear.
Review early and make a list. Prioritize, pick the items you really want, and be strategic. Allow a little wiggle room to also shop the store and walk through the tents to see what peeks your interest, but refer back to point number one. There is a lot going on, so it can be really overwhelming, but if you make a list, you'll be more likely to stick to your priorities, and again, the earlier you shop the better.
Don’t forget beauty. You’re already using a triple points day, so take the opportunity to try something new or invest in something you’ve had your eye on, i.e. that DryBar styling wand, the Trish planner, a PMD, or find an anniversary deal for a spendy perfume in a pen spray like this one). Again, also stock up on your everyday items and look for special deals on things you already use or with brands you love.
After the sale has cycled through the first couple weeks, come back later before it ends for some items you may have missed or that are less likely to sell out like Zella leggings, undergarments, or accessories. This can also be a good time to buy beauty staples if you have multiple triple points days to use and you feel more comfortable spreading the love on your wallet. You may even already have notes if you shopped early to come back and spend later (but don't use those in conjunction with a triple points day -- it totally defeats the purpose).
Have fun! No other retailers put their best Fall product on sale before it goes to full price. This is a special time to treat yourself a little, and take advantage of the great deals for the best fashion of the year!
Below I am sharing some of my must-haves I picked up or highly recommend, but over the next couple weeks I will be featuring top picks for different classes, so be sure to check back!
Nothing says summer quite like gingham, and this top from Lily & Sparrow checks all the boxes. The swing crop with just-enough-length-for-my-age is super flattering, and it’s finished with the incredibly on-trend statement ruffle sleeve.
Denim is back in a big way and in all ways, but did it really ever leave? This destroyed skirt is just the right amount of 90s babe. Or is it 80s? See, it never left. Destruction seems to go in and out, but both are in, so do as you please and please do!
I love these Target sandals so much and they were such a steal, I ended up going back for the same pair in black. If you’re in need of a killer slide, these fit the bill, and your wallet. I feel like I can really beat shoes up in the summer traveling and spending more time outdoors in the warm weather. Finding an affordable pair like this I can wear out is always ideal.
As a dog person, there was a surprise accessory added to my shoot, but he didn't see too camera shy.
Yesterday I posted a subtle nod to the stars and stripes, and today I’m showing another great summer romper. Easy enough, a fun blue pop of color on the nails with a classic eyelet romper, finished with a bold red earring, make the red, white, and blue unforgettable for the rest of summer.
Since I linked all of the similar Anthropologie accessories in yesterday's post, today I've included some other fun summer picks below.