Friday, July 21, 2017

What I Purchased From The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

I hope your Friday morning started with a big cup of coffee and your excitement for fall and winter clothing at too good to be true prices at an all time high. I'm also so excited that you've stopped by to get the inside scoop on what I was able to find on the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale with hopes that you'll share what you chose to purchase as well!

So, here are my purchases from the sale!

And to add even more insight to this post, here is what Nell is planning to purchase!

I'm sure you'll be seeing lots of sale posts today (and have in the past few days as well) and hopefully you're not too overwhelmed! It's my goal to be helpful and not obnoxious when it comes to sharing that details with y'all. I wouldn't be sharing it if I didn't love it and shop it as well. Since I've already shared a number of Nordstrom Sale posts already (found here) I wanted to highlight some of the posts that may help you most when maneuvering through all the merchandise. I've included my guides and 10 different outfit ideas to help you out!





silver MICHELE watch // two toned MICHELE watch // rose gold bracelet // tory burch leather double wrap watch // tory burch two tone watch


grey v neck // white loose sleeve // grey ruffle sleeve // pink open cardigan // navy poncho // grey open cardigan // color block grey // burnt orange pullover sweater // layered grey and white

Athletic Wear:

















Do you have any overlapping purchases with Nell and I? I'd love to hear which items you've been most excited about and what you purchased!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Items I Own and Love Available During the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Today is like Christmas Eve for all non-cardholders in regard to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! Since the sale starts first thing tomorrow morning I thought now would be the best time to share some items I own and adore that are offered doing the sale. While some of the items differ slightly in the style and color for the most part they are items hanging in my closet or sitting on my counter that I reach for constantly and that you should have the inside scoop on. I've also added a couple more categories to my NSale guides in this post so if you're in the market for the cutest home decor or are shopping for guys you'll find that there as well. 

I received the square version of this silver watch for graduation and have worn it most days since. I never really saw myself as a watch person but once I started wearing it I realized it feels weird on days when I don't. I love the classic style offered by MICHELE watches and while they are a bit of a splurge I know mine is a piece I'll wear for years to come. 

I purchased last year's version of this jacket in December of last year and to this day reach for it constantly (I'm actually wearing it currently). It's meant to be a little oversized and even with that looks really cute and flattering on. I often throw it on over a t-shirt and even with that underneath it sits well and is incredible soft. I have mine in a size medium but definitely could have worn a small. 

My brother gave me an engraved one of these bracelets for graduation this past May. I hadn't heard of the brand until I got that in the mail and was pretty impressed with his discovery (although I think his girlfriend probably played a big part in picking it out). These bracelets come in a variety of colors and can be customized! They look great stacked with my watch and David Yurman bracelets. 

The style offered in the Nordstrom Sale this year is a bit different than my classic Melissa Button Boots from Frye. Regardless, investing in a good pair of riding boots is worth it in the long run as I wore mine all through college and they are still kicking (I think I'm too funny with these puns...). I have had to get them resoled but the leather has held up beautifully and looks better with age. 

Why do women's jeans have to be so pricey? During the sale is the perfect time to stock up on a couple of pairs for fall and winter and AG and Kut from the Kloth are two of my favorite brands. I'm pretty picky about wanting my jeans to be soft and both of these brands make the cut!

I've said this before but one of the best gifts I ever received was my Barbour Jacket. I got it freshman year and have worn it nonstop in the fall and winter ever since. I need to get it re-waxed to keep it protected but everyone I know who is older and has one has mentioned just how durable these jackets are. When I was in London after sophomore year I purchased a vest that zips into my jacket for added warmth and like the vest above it looks equally as cute styled on it's own as it does under the jacket. 

If you're in the market for a durable and spacious leather tote this Madewell one is the perfect pick. I got mine at the beginning of senior year and used it as my teaching tote this past year. I was always shocked by just how much I could fit in it and how well it has held up. This would be perfect for work or school. 

I am all about comfort in the winter and jackets like these are constantly reached for. While the brand of my fuzzy jacket is different than that offered in the sale the Nordstrom sale option is much less expensive while looking equally as cute (they look nearly identical). Think of it as an acceptable way to wear a blanket in public. The Patagonia Pullover above is a quilted version of a pullover I got back in high school. I would recommend sizing up in Patagonia jackets like this since they run a little bit small. 

Confession time...I think I own 4 or 5 different Longchamp bags. Judge me all you want but when you find something good you need it in multiple sizes and colors right? My favorite is my navy large le pliage tote as it is perfect for travel and toting around all my stuff. The sale offers both leather and expandable nylon versions and I would highly recommend looking into these. 

Tomorrow I'll be back to share my top picks and purchases from the sale with you and I can't wait. As always, you can shop all things Nordstrom Sale using the Nsale 2017 tab at the top of the blog or using the label in the sidebar! For those of you who have already shopped I'd love to hear what you purchased. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Recruitment Outfit Ideas {Dress Guide}

Anyone else feel like it should definitely be Thursday already? While it definitely feels that way to me I also wouldn't mind summer slowing down a bit. As scary and exciting as it is, the school season will be here before we know it and for many of you heading off to college for the first time recruitment (rush) will be starting as well. Around this time of year I always get requests to share my ideas of what to wear during recruitment. This is really fun for me since I never did recruitment in the fall and instead had to rely on more muted winter tones and clothes that provided a bit of warmth as I went through recruitment at my school in January.

For those of you who are questioning my authority on knowing what to wear after that last statement that is completely valid although nearly all of my friends went to schools participating in fall recruitment so I've seen the rounds (no pun intended) of dresses to wear. In case you're new around here, I went to Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina (it's a small, private liberal arts school). I graduated in May of this year and pledged Kappa Delta my freshman year. It was definitely one of the best decisions I made in college and I was so lucky to have the opportunity to take on leadership roles during that time. I served as Vice President of Public Relations my sophomore and junior year and then as Chapter President the second half of junior year and into senior year. I also held smaller positions leading up to that and would say KD was where I invested most of my time and energy in college. 

Furman had what is called deferred recruitment so we didn't join our organizations until January. While that may be very different than the schedule of the school you are going to it is important to remember that each school does recruitment differently. The rounds are called different things, your recruitment counselors have different names, and the chapters vary from school to school. With that in mind, I based the names on these images on what Furman does but that's not to say these dresses wouldn't be perfect for a different round at your respective school. Third round at Furman is the round before Preference Tea (pref). It's a little bit more formal but not a full on cocktail dress. For that reason I included fun, casual dresses that would be cute for the occasion. Pref tea is the last round of recruitment and I'm pretty sure all schools call this round that. This is the most formal of the rounds of recruitment where a cocktail dress is definitely most appropriate. Heels or wedges are also worn on this day but remember to pack a change of shoes for between rounds if you opt for heels so that you can move from place to place without your feet aching. 

Some basic things to remember when dressing for recruitment: 
1. Dress in what you find to be comfortable and make you confident. 
2. Avoid overly short dresses, provocatively placed cut outs, and low cut styles. You are dressing for yourself and other girls so wearing revealing clothes that would be better suited in a fraternity house basement is definitely not the best idea.
3.Think about the weather. At most schools it will be insanely hot during recruitment. Keep this in mind when you are picking out what to wear and opt for looser silhouettes and short sleeves. 

I'm sure there are some tips for dressing that I am missing so feel free to add them in the comments to help everyone out! I've also made a number of other posts about recruitment and my experience in Kappa Delta that can all be found under the "Sorority" label on my blogs side bar. I'll link a couple of especially relevant ones at the bottom for y'all but thats the best place to go for the full scoop. 

pink ruffle sleeves (splurge but love it!) // pink lace // bow sleeves // peplum

So many cute options to choose from! I'd love to hear a couple of things from y'all in the comments: If you are in a sorority which organization are you a part of? Feel free to share any of your outfit advice or recruitment tips in the comments as well! And if you're looking for the post I did featuring my tips for recruitment as well as information about my experience you can find that here

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

How To Be Productive In The Summer

I've mentioned this before but this is the first time I've ever done something school related in the summer. The closest I've gotten is doing a May Study-Abroad trip but since I did that right after finishing my sophomore year it didn't entirely feel like I was on summer break at that point so I don't fully count it. Come the end of senior year once my student teaching practicum I felt like I was so far removed from school and productivity since I didn't have any finals that getting back into the routine of doing that now is a bit of a rude awakening. 

Over the past couple of months I have started to learn how to be more productive in the summer (despite wishing I didn't have to). 

top (similar) // earrings (c/o but you'll get a discount with the code prepinyourstep

While I'm sure there are so many ways to help you stay on task and be productive here are my top five:

Get Dressed

I love being able to do work in my pajamas. It seems like such a luxury but when I wake up early in the morning to get stuff done before class I tend to be in no rush to leave my bed and pajamas after grabbing my cup of coffee (key point is that I already have my coffee). However, getting dressed and ready for my day definitely puts me into a more focused mindset and is worth it in the long run. While there is no way I'm putting on a pencil skirt and heels to look professional office ready putting on a cute outfit or even just taking the time to do my makeup makes a big difference. This makes me treat whatever I have to do with a bit of a more serious attitude which helps me to better tackle the task at hand. 

Create a Routine

If you didn't see last week's post about What It's Like To Be Friends With A Blogger then you amy not have picked up on the subtle jab from my friends about how early I was up (and sometimes how late I stay up but I'm working on that). This summer I have forced myself into making an early wake up a part of my routine. I know that I am most productive in the morning and I do my very best to take advantage of that. I know that I'll have about an hour and a half of solid work time before class to get things done which has certainly helped with my productivity. Knowing when you work best will definitely help you to be more productive as you can hopefully structure your schedule (which will eventually become your routine) around that! 

Have a Dedicated Workspace

Hi my name is Dorothy and when I wake up at 5:00 I usually let myself do work in bed until 6:00...So now that we've established that I am a walking contradiction do as you please with this knowledge. The one thing I wanted in my new apartment was to be able to have a desk in my room and I can't begin to reiterate how much more productive I am at that designated workspace than in our living room (or in my bed). Having everything I need within arms reach eliminates distractions and better helps me to crank out work. Be sure that wherever your workspace may be that you are able to eliminate distracting things from your reach to capitalize on the time you have there. 

Time Yourself

Starting a project that you know is going to take a while to complete can be very overwhelming. As much as I'd love to be able to sit down and knock it all out at once sometimes I just don't have that luxury. While I don't necessarily work best under pressure I've found that I am more productive when I know how long I'll be doing something. With that in mind I've learned to time myself for about 30 minutes at a time with no distraction to attempt to get as much done as I can within that time frame. The key to this is making sure that you're working nonstop from the time you set your alarm to when it goes off and rewarding yourself with a quick brain break afterwards! 

Allow Yourself to Take Breaks

It is summer after all, you deserve a break just for having to be productive in the summer! Whether it's a workout to clear your mind, a snack break with friends, or even a drive to a different location breaks are essential. If you go from start to finish without breaks you won't have time to really think through different aspects of things you're looking to accomplish meaning that your work may not be of the highest quality. By stepping away you are giving your brain a chance to regroup and process your ideas which will hopefully help you to be more productive the next time you sit down to get work done. 

I'd love to hear your tips on being productive in the summer! 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Step Into My Week

How is it already mid-July? When I was reading by the pool this weekend I heard a little girl tell her dad just how much she loves summer to which he told her that this coming Friday she only has a month left. Talk about dream crushing. I seemed a bit more distraught than her though considering there is so much to do in that month to get myself and my classroom ready for a bunch of fourth graders. 

There is nothing too exciting to report from the past week aside from surviving my first full week of classes. It's crazy to think that we are a the midterm of this session of grad school. With some assignments and quizzes this week it definitely felt like it picked up a bit. Fortunately for us though we were able to escape from the school work during our lunch break to shop Amazon Prime Day and the Nordstrom Sale. 

I was definitely tired towards the end of the week from early (and some very early) wake ups but I slept so much this weekend that I sure hope that I made up for that. Friday we only had our morning class so I was able to grab lunch with a friend who also blogs (her blog is Strikes of Luck) at Up on the Roof. I had been there the previous weekend for drinks with friends and am already desperate to go back since their food menu was incredible. I got the honey soy chicken lettuce wraps and ate every single one, they were that good! Afterwards I went to one of my favorite coffee places, Caviar & Bananas to respond to emails and work through some blog stuff. When I am doing some of the monotonous stuff related to my blog I like to treat myself to a cup of coffee some place other than my apartment since it definitely helps to motivate me to get it done. 


The rest of this weekend I mainly laid low. A number of my friends were out of town so I watched some movies and Netflix while working on content. Definitely a quiet weekend. I did however, start shopping for my classroom. I went to a place called School Spot and was able to get some borders for the bulletin boards and found some great organizational bins to use from Dollar Tree. I think finding books to fill my classroom library is what I am most concerned about now although there is so much stuff in general that will need to be purchased in order to outfit my classroom. If you have any suggestions of where to find cheap books (I have a number of sets that seem like a good deal in my eBay cart) then definitely let me know and if you would like to donate to my classroom I've made a go fund me here: Support Miss Walton's First Classroom.

Also, I've started to do Instagram Stories and was surprised by how many of y'all messaged me to tell me that you'd love to see more of those so be sure to follow me on Instagram (@prepinyourstep) as I begin to do more of those for y'all! Lately I know it has been Nordstrom Sale heavy but I promise it won't always be that way! I wore this shirt in the instagram story I did last week and so many of y'all asked about it that I thought it would be easiest to put the link of where to find it here! I have discovered that is is currently sold out but fingers crossed they re-stock it in both blue and white

Posts From This Past Week:

I hope that your Monday is a good one! 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

10 Outfit Ideas Featuring Items From The Nordstrom Sale

I should probably start by giving a shoutout to all of the people out there already styling their NSale purchases and posting outfit photos. I don't know about y'all but I don't live near a Nordstrom and I also don't know of any magic shipping companies that would deliver the items to me stat. So here I am today with the next best things, outfit inspiration via collages. I make collages of this nature for just about everything: how I'm going to design my room, will this pair of shoes look cute with a dress, or even when setting up class projects. As I was going back through the sale I had so much fun putting these outfits together and hope y'all enjoy looking through them! 











I'd love to hear which outfit is your favorite! 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Novels With Nell - Lunch in Paris

A bit of a different day for Novels with Nell but I wanted to make sure to keep y'all up to date with all things sale related so we moved things around and Novels with Nell is live today! It turned out to be a beautiful day in Greenville after a storm last night and this seems like the perfect poolside read to enjoy this weather in! 

One of my friends was reading this over spring break, and the cute cover and title caught my eye. Now that I’m reading more regularly, I finally made it around to picking up Lunch in Paris (from the library of course)! I have to admit, it wasn’t seriously grabbing me at the beginning but at some point along the way as the story developed, I got into it and was sad to see it end. The book is a memoir (another week of the “Novels with Nell” title being deceptive) of an American woman’s journey of meeting her Parisian husband and the progression of their relationship. She tells stories about their life in Paris and comments on the differences between French and American culture. There are recipes at the end of each chapter that relate to the stories just told. I really like that addition of the recipes, because not only does it add to your recipe collection, but it shows the way food is such an important part of a culture, and how food itself becomes part of people’s stories.
Thankfully, I don’t have to say goodbye to Elizabeth just yet because there is a sequel, Picnic in Provence, that it sitting on my dresser to be picked up after my current read, and I know it will be just as charming as Lunch in Paris!

Was it love at first sight? Or was it the way her knife slid effortlessly through her pavé au poivre, the steak's pink juices puddling into the buttery pepper sauce?  Lunch in Paris is a memoir about a young American woman caught up in two passionate love affairs--one with her new beau, Gwendal, the other with French cuisine. Packing her bags for a new life in the world's most romantic city, Elizabeth is plunged into a world of bustling open-air markets, hipster bistros, and size 2 femmes fatales. She learns to gut her first fish (with a little help from Jane Austen), soothe pangs of homesickness (with the rise of a chocolate soufflé), and develops a crush on her local butcher (who bears a striking resemblance to Matt Dillon). Elizabeth finds that the deeper she immerses herself in the world of French cuisine, the more Paris itself begins to translate. French culture, she discovers, is not unlike a well-ripened cheese--there may be a crusty exterior, until you cut through to the melting, piquant heart.

Peppered with mouth-watering recipes for summer ratatouille, swordfish tartare and molten chocolate cakes, Lunch in Paris is a story of falling in love, redefining success and discovering what it truly means to be at home. In the delicious tradition of memoirs like A Year in Provence and Under the Tuscan Sun,this book is the perfect treat for anyone who has dreamed that lunch in Paris could change their life.”

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