How I Feel About This Year’s Nordstrom Sale

Every year around this time, I normally do a post on the items I purchased from the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. This year, however, I will not be. Instead, I want to give you my honest opinion and feelings about the sale.

Whenever the anniversary sale rolls around in mid July, I make an effort to purchase quite a few pieces for the fall. It is probably the one sale that I take seriously as a shopper. This year’s sale, however, was not like the one’s in the past. As a shopper and loyal customer, I was a bit disappointed.

I am not a Nordstrom card holder, and will probably not be one until later on in life. In the past, I always had to shop once the sale went public, but I would never have a problem purchasing pieces I saw in advance. This year, I did not have much luck in store and online. I was able to purchase a pair of booties I saw in store, but even then, I dove right into that purchase for fear of missing out.

This year, their inventory for me was not up to par. The pieces were pretty blasé and not really anything that felt worth spending on. Not to mention their restocking of the pieces felt so all over the place. I am not sure if they purchased less inventory this year, but keeping track of restocked sizes was nearly impossible. I would see a jacket I liked, and within an instant, it would disappear. I know what you’re going to tell me, Courtney, that’s what happens with sales. Things sell out fast. But I am honestly telling you, I have never experienced this shopping the sale before in my life.

I stopped by my local store one day to see if I could get even a pair of jeans, but there was NOTHING left. I have never seen the store so empty during the public portion of the anniversary sale. It was practically bare. Last year around this time, I got a Theory leather jacket in my size and several pairs of jeans and sweaters. This year, I found none of that.

I talked to several other people that have shopped and browsed the sale, and they also agreed that the sale had nothing to offer and even that the items were poor quality. I am not sure what changes were made this year from last year’s, but it was a big disappointment as a shopper.

At this point, I gave up on the sale and am planning on looking for staple items once September hits. I love Nordstrom and will continue to shop there, but I had to give you all my honest opinion as a blogger and customer of the sale.

My hope is that next year, they will make changes and restore the Nordstrom Anniversary sale back to the way it was.

-XOXO Courtney

 

 

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Greece Travel Diary

If you have been keeping up with my social for the last week and a half, you would have noticed that I was traveling all around Greece. It had been a long time since I’d traveled to Europe, but I fell in love with the country and its islands and wanted to share my experience with you, in case you are also planning a trip!

If you know anything about Greece, then you know that it is made up of some incredible and absolutely beautiful islands. My family and I narrowed it down to visit Athens, Naxos, and Santorini. Don’t be fooled, even from the east coast the flight was long. We broke it up with a stop over in London and then finally made it to Athens, where we settled in for our first day. We stayed at the Electra Palace, which was a very nice hotel in the area of Plaka. The hotel had a beautiful rooftop view of the Acropolis, which is of course a must see! We spent one whole day in Athens, which was plenty. We hiked up to the Acropolis, which do not be intimidated, it was an easy walk up, and I did it in a dress. The view from above is breathtaking. You can see the whole city as far out as the mountains. My tip is to go in the morning right when they open. We went at around 10am, and it was perfect, but as we exited an hour and a half later, it was packed with tour groups. I also want to note that May is the perfect time to go. Several locals told us peak season is June, July, and August, and much of the area is crammed with cruise ships and plenty of tourists. They all recommended May or even September as the best time to visit. While it was crowded at times, it wasn’t as bad as it usually gets. After the Acropolis, we visited the museum down the road, as well as grabbed lunch and shopped. While Athens was a great experience, it was definitely not my favorite. It was the type of city where people try to lure you into shops, and there is this feeling of constant harassment to buy something. After that one day, I was ready to head to the islands.

After our day in Athens, we packed up and headed back to the airport where we flew to Naxos. The flight was barely even 20 minutes in the air. We landed to beautiful blue skies and crisp white homes. The airport was its own kind of treasure. It was probably the tiniest airport I have ever been to. It takes one flight at a time and baggage claim is a tiny room with a barely there conveyer belt. We chose to fly as opposed to the ferry because the ferry from Athens to Naxos was around 6 hours, and my dad and sister tend to get sea sick. When we arrived, we arranged a cab with a wonderful woman named Ireney, who actually ended up taking us around the island a few days later. Naxos is like nothing I have ever experienced. The island is small and has very few tourists. The downtown is right on the water and filled with cafes and shops that line one main street. There, we stayed at the Nissaki Beach Hotel. It was right on the water and had a lovely pool, as well. Not to mention the food! We ate at the hotel restaurant the first night, and it was impeccable! The people at the hotel were also so lovely. Because it was small, you often encountered the same people working during the day at night. We spent the first few hours lounging on the beach trying to get a tan and just relaxing after our hectic day in Athens. The next day, we ventured more into the downtown area where we shopped and visited the Temple of Apollo. The temple sat at the top of a secluded peninsula and looked out over the ocean and town. We also visited the castle in Naxos, which was more of a hidden gem. The castle, which still fully stood, was surrounded and swallowed by homes and a small village that was built around it over the years. Exploring that area felt like typical Greece. It was filled with winding paths, homes, and hidden restaurants. There was almost a sense that if you stumbled on a quaint cafe in there once, you may not be able to find it again. One of our favorite lunch places to hit in Naxos was called Yasouvlaki. If you go to Greece and don’t try a gyro, what are you doing?! They had the best gyros, and we even went there twice because nothing could compare. We also ate at a restaurant called Strofili. Again, the food was so good! All of the fish is so fresh there, and they combine traditional mediterranean ingredients with cool twists.The next day we had our taxi driver from the airport, Ireney, drive us around to see the sites outside of the area of Naxos that we were staying in. She took us deeper in the mountains. We stopped at the Temple of Demeter, which overlooked the countryside. While I loved the beach in Naxos, the winding mountainous roads were breathtaking. The view from the cliffs overlooked far and beyond. There was a church at the very top of a rocky mountain that once a year people walk, take donkeys, and more modern, drive up to to celebrate its existence. It was at the very point where it almost looked as though it would tumble over. We ventured into smaller villages where the locals didn’t speak English. It was such an experience to see outside of touristy Greece. We visited a distillery where they had once produced the local popular liquor of the country. I gave it a try, but I couldn’t do it. I’m more of a sweet alcohol type of girl. That day, I also saw my first donkey! Greece is known for their donkeys for transportation and carrying of goods. I of course got a picture and the man guiding the donkey even got in it!

The day we left Naxos was bittersweet for me. I fell in love with it, and to this day, it’s one of my favorite places. I was sad to leave Ireney who was such an amazing person! She showed us around the island, and it’s people like her that you meet on trips that make it memorable. We were headed to Santorini that day, which was our final stop. We chose to take the ferry because it was only a 45 minute ride. This is a warning if you will be choosing to use the ferry system in Greece: they are never on time. Our ferry was very late, which wasn’t a big deal to us because we didn’t have anything planned for the first day. However, the ferries have a tendency to run late, but then rush you off and on the boat, as if it will save them the time they lost. Honestly, when I go back to Greece in the future, I will not be taking a ferry again. And this is not just the company we used, this seems to be all of them. As soon as we hopped on (which was rushed), we left our baggage below and headed up to the top deck. I don’t get sea sick, but I felt nauseous that moment. The ferry, as big as it was, rocked back and forth. It felt like it was going to tip over. I literally fell into a woman’s lap with my bags. Not to mention, the inside smelled awful. We spent the ride outside on the deck, which was more peaceful. However, as soon as it came time to get off the ferry, they herded us like cattle. They get everyone down to the below section to grab their bags and then stand there until you are forced up against others and rushed off the boat. It was horrible and definitely not an experience I want again. But as soon as we got off, we found our taxi and headed off to our hotel. We stayed in Oia, which is the point of the island. Santorini isn’t just one island, but is made up of a group of 5 or 6 all together. The one we stayed on was with the main tourism, while several others in its vicinity are either tourist free or not inhabited at all. We stayed at the Canaves Suites, which was the perfect location. We traveled down several cobblestone steps, and it overlooked the ocean. Our room had a balcony that we ate breakfast on every morning, and it was a dream. The hotel overall was stunning. Like the rest of Oia, it was built onto the side of the cliff and was on several different levels. It had a very relaxing pool area and again was the perfect location to the downtown area with all of the shops. In case you plan on traveling to Santorini, please note that the tap water there is not drinkable. The first day we got there we freaked out because I have traveled with my mom to a place where you couldn’t drink the water, and we both got sick. But the water in Santorini isn’t dangerous and does not contain bacteria. The reason the locals say it isn’t drinkable is because it goes through a process of desalinization, but does not fully clear their water source of salt. So if you drink it, you can clearly feel the salty grit. It is safe for bathing and brushing teeth. We did not have a problem when we were there. For someone with a super sensitive stomach like me, nothing happened. It is essentially just really salty and not appetizing to drink. So note, bottled water is a must.

We really started our Santorini adventure the next day when we ventured into the downtown area. There are a lot of small shops for souvenirs, as well as designer boutiques, essentially catering to the tourist crowd. I recommend getting up earlier and heading into the shopping area at around 10/10:30. That was the time before many of the buses and cruise ships settled into the area and let groups of people off. In Santorini fashion, I of course wore a flowing white dress and sunhat, which was much needed because the Santorini sun is HOT. That day we ate lunch at a place called Lotza. Walking by, it smelled of rich foods and oregano. The food was delicious. And of course while in Greece, I tried a fish pedicure from Kissingfish. I first heard about it on an episode of the Kardashians when they had their Greek vacation, and I of course had to copy. It actually wasn’t as ticklish as I thought. It felt like a foot massage, and surprisingly left my feet feeling so soft and smooth!

 

Our dinner that night was right on Amoudi Bay, as we ate at the Ammoudi Fish Tavern. The dinner was not only fantastic, but they also let you pick the fish you want. Once you sit down to eat, they bring you over to show you the fresh catches. You can have any fish prepared either grilled with pasta etc., and you choose the amount you want! From the distance, you can see hundreds of steps up to the top of the island and the donkeys that settle there to bring people up.

On our last full day, we ventured onto a catamaran to check out the other surrounding islands and beaches. It was quite chilly and very rocky that day, as the wind was SO strong. Being able to see the islands and be on the boat was relaxing, but it is not the same kind of experience you will get being on a catamaran on a tropical island. We had been on quite a few before that were fantastic, and this one was just okay. We never settled on an actual beach and spent very short amounts of time at each location. One thing I found so interesting though was the danger of the Red Beach. Much of Santorini’s beaches were formed because of the island’s volcanic history. The Red Beach has been having issues with rocks from the island falling. It had closed, but many people ignored it and continued to use it. One of the workers on our boat told us that two weeks prior, rocks had fallen on a several beach chairs. You could see from a distance several old chairs pushed up against rocks and buried. So be warned, do not go on the Red Beach. If you can, definitely charter a boat and see it from a distance, along with several other of the islands and the Caldera. They are breathtaking.

Our final night for dinner, we had an amazing view of the island and enjoyed our last Greek meal at Ambrosia. Again, the food was fantastic. If you go, try the salmon tartare for an appetizer. You cannot go wrong!

My Greece trip will be something I’ll forever remember. I hope these tips and my travel diary help you plan your future Greek getaway. It is a beautiful country and one that I will definitely be returning to in the future!

P.S. I took some video footage with my GoPro, which I will edit and get up as soon as I can!

-XO Courtney

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Holiday Gift Guide for Her

It’s finally here! The most wonderful time of the year! Cue Christmas music and all the holiday decor! I love putting my holiday gift guides together because it gives me a chance to compile the top items for you to choose from for that special someone! Here is my holiday gift guide for her! All links are below! Stay tuned for several others coming up this week on the blog!

  1. Chloe Medium Marcie Leather Satchel 
  2. Sugarfina Champagne Bears Large Candy Cube 
  3. BaubleBar Piñata Tassel Earrings
  4. Lulu DK Love Letters Spinning Initial Necklace 
  5. Make + Model Snow Day Graphic Pajamas 
  6. Drunk Elephant Come C About Me Set
  7. Topshop Wide Sleeve Sweater
  8. Kate Spade New York Grosgrain Bow Knit Beanie 
  9. Nike Juvenate Sneaker (Women) 
  10. Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphone
  11. S’ip by S’well 15oz Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle
  12. Ugg Fleece Lined Socks
  13. Maple Holistics Argan Oil Shampoo

-XOXO Courtney

 

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My 22nd Birthday Recap!

Last Wednesday was my 22nd birthday, and it was the best one yet! I spent the week enjoying time with friends and family and doing some pretty exciting things! Below is a recap of my birth week!

I enjoyed a Red Sox game on a beautiful night, tasted local wines at Nashoba Valley Winery, sipped on rose at my birthday dinner at Yvonne’s in Boston, created a masterpiece at Muse Paint Bar, and got my game on at Dave and Busters!

The entire week was filled with such fun and love, and I couldn’t ask for anything more!  Stay tuned for more on my Instagram and an exciting trip that I will be going on soon!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!

-XOXO Courtney

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My Must Have Skincare Right Now

Skincare has become my new favorite obsession (along with makeup still of course!) I have tested out and acquired quite a few favorites, which I love sharing! Here are my must have skincare products of right now!

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  1. The Pearlessence Cucumber Water Mist was an interesting find! I found it at TJ Maxx and seems to be some sort of unknown, indie skincare brand, that takes a lot of inspiration from the brand Herbivore. The scent is light, and the mist adds a refreshing feel to you skin. If you are in any of the TJ Maxx or Marshalls stores, see if they carry any of their items! They are hidden gems.
  2. The Tarte Brightening Eye Cream has been an absolute savior for my poor undereyes. I have continuously gone back to using this product after finding that other drug store eye creams were burning/not doing anything for the area. Even though it is pricey for the size, it does wonders with its thick and creamy formula.
  3. The Purity Made Simple has been my go to for removing makeup. I got my mom hooked on this as well for its gentle and fresh smelling formula. You can buy it in large bottles to save money and it lasts you for months. I can’t say enough good things about this product.
  4. Sephora has changed the game with their sheet masks. I love the rose one for its hydrating and plumping abilities, but they all are great. The mask is thin, and although you may look like Freddie or Jason, your skin looks noticeably better just after taking it off.
  5. Exfoliating is always my number one problem. The Peter Thomas Roth FirmX Peeling Gel is a gentle way to get rid of dead skin. The gel goes on dry and pushes away rolls of dead skin in an instant. It sounds gross, but is actually very satisfying and does the job well.
  6. The Murad Clarifying Mask is an overnight pimple saver. With just one dot, the mask dries out any existence of a pimple and leaves you with smooth looking skin. I like to use it as a spot treatment, but it can be applied as a full mask too.
  7. The Fresh Soy Face Cleanser has been my go to and has changed my skin for the better! It has helped to reduce over-drying and has faded impurities. It is also gentle enough for even the most sensitive and acne prone skin.

I hope you will take some of my must haves and try them for yourself! Obviously, not everyone is going to like everything, but that is the beauty of trying new skincare.

-XOXO Courtney

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Spruce Up Your Space With Furniture.com

Since the holidays have been over, I’ve been dying to give my place a fresher look. I’ve been rapidly burning all of my Christmas candles and switching from snowmen to vases and flowers. However, it can get tricky trying to decide what to switch out and even find the items you are looking for, but I have the solution for you!

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When it comes to freshening up your space for a new season, I am all about switching up home décor and certain furnishings to add a new feel. Decorative pillows and blankets are an easy way to make a space feel fresh and like a new home. They are fairly inexpensive and can be changed as you go. I also will go and buy fresh lavender candles in bulk because the scent is so clean and will go perfectly at any time (even if it still looks like winter out.) Add a fresh new rug with vibrant colors or soft neutrals, a few large glass pieces, new bedding, and even accent tables, and your home will feel brand new!

The only problem is that I can never find everything in one place. I always have to travel all over to find exactly what I am looking for, but now I have finally found the solution. Furniture.com offers you the ability to find everything you need to spruce up your home for the new season in one place. Browse the type of room you’re looking to decorate, the mattress tab, and even my favorite, the home décor tab, to find items that you’ll need. Furniture.com will redirect you to the website to place your order, and you are on your way!

If you are looking for a bargain, like I always am, their new find local sales finder will locate stores in your area that are currently having a sale in what you’re looking for! It’s an easy and fast way to purchase everything you need to redecorate in one place and at home from the comfort of your own couch!

I have already found pieces of wall décor and decorative pillows I am ready to purchase, so I can make my apartment feel like spring, even if it is only mid-winter.

Check out Furniture.com today to find items and sales that you have been looking for!

Happy home shopping!

-XOXO Courtney

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Snowy Days and Kate Spade

I’m wishing this weather was on Christmas, but the snow is finally falling, and it’s time to pull out my favorite hat and gloves for the occasion. I am so extremely picky with hats. If they don’t fit comfortably, make my head look odd, or are itchy, I will refuse to wear them. But this year, I have finally found a hat that works for me.

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Hat: Kate Spade   Gloves: Kate Spade (Similar)   Scarf: Lord and Taylor (Similar)

Sweater: Forever 21 (Similar)    Jacket: Patagonia    Leggings: Nordstrom

Boots: Hunter

To say that I am obsessed with this hat is an understatement! It’s everything: warm, soft, and oh so cute. Paired with any sweater and scarf, and of course a warm jacket, the look is complete! Also, these boots are so crucial for wet snow! Your feet stay warm, and they look perfect with a simple pair of black leggings!

Enjoy this snowy weather and stay cozy!

-XOXO Courtney

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The Perfect Christmas PJ’s At Nordstrom

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The holidays are almost here! Whether it’s a gift or for yourself, holiday pajamas are key for this season! Finding the perfect set can be hard, but I’ve found that Nordstrom has the best selection of pj’s for your holiday and Christmas morning!

Make + Model Deck The Halls Pajamas

PJ Salvage Polar Fleece Shorts

Betsey Johnson Plush Sweater

Wildfox Baggy Beach Jumper-Winter Wonderland Pullover

PJ Salvage Print Flannel Pajamas

Ugg Raven Plaid Cotton Pajamas

Cozy Zoe Critter One-Piece Pajamas

Nordstrom Lingerie Sleepyhead Thermal Nightshirt

Linked above are some of my faves! Happy shopping!

-XOXO Courtney

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The Turtleneck and Moto Leggings That Will Save Your Cold Day

When the weekend hit with a 29 degree temperature and a wind that was cold enough to cut through your skin, I knew it was about time to break out my trusty turtleneck collection. But on a day spent holiday shopping and bracing the cold, I knew I also needed a trusty pair of leggings to ease my flexibility.

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My turtleneck is from Primark, which for all my fellow Massachusetts folks, are located in Boston and the Burlington Mall. My leggings are a worn black pair of moto leggings from Nordstrom with ribbed detail-in the thigh and calf. Shoes are from Steve Madden and are my favorite (and the comfiest).

On a day like today, this was a perfect outfit. It was easy and a great way to layer a scarf, heavy jacket, even another sweater, while trying to welcome the cold with open arms!

-XOXO Courtney

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Product of the Moment | Sephora Sheet Masks

I have officially found my favorite face masks, and they are the Sephora Sheet Masks. I am so incredibly behind on the obsession, but my love for these are real.

I was actually very nervous to try these the first time around because I am always fearful that new products will break me out. My skin is on the sensitive side at times, and I didn’t feel like having to deal with the consequences if things didn’t go as planned. However, I took the plunge and boy, was I glad I did.

The first mask I tried was the pearl eye mask. I had been running off of a busy twelve hour day with makeup that was slowly melting off of my face. I hopped in the shower, cleansed, toned, and placed these babies underneath my eyes and was ready for the magic to happen. I left them on for the required amount of time, and when I went to remove them, my under eyes felt so hydrated and refreshed. I patted in the rest of the liquid heaven under my eyes and went to sleep to wake up to diminished dryness and puffiness.

I decided to try the orchid face mask a few days later and was equally pleased. Even though I looked like a character out of the film Halloween, I was in love with the outcome. The next day my skin was no longer dry or peeling, and it felt softer than before.

These masks range from $5-$6 and are an affordable way to enjoy the luxury of a sheet mask.

Sephora Sheet Masks

Definitely try these masks out! They can be found at all Sephora retailers in store and online. They are the perfect gift and stocking stuffer for this holiday!

-XOXO Courtney Kaner

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