Let’s face it, a love of shopping can get expensive. Especially if you are into trends!

The thing is though, it doesn’t have to be. I am ALL about some bargain shopping- T.J. Maxx, thrift stores, consignment shops, Poshmark, you name it. If I can find something I love for a cheaper price, I 100% will take it.

Here are the latest bargains I’ve scooped up for fall, mimicking some much higher-price pieces. I would love to do one of these every season, because I am sure I can find enough! Happy shopping!

Walmart Golden Goose dupes: I have tried sooooo many GG dupes over the past few weeks because, let’s be real, I’m not spending hundreds of dollars on dirty tennis shoes. For some reason all the ones I ordered— which looked great online— fit super small! On a random Walmart trip I happened to go by the shoe section and noticed they had some of the BEST dupes for $16! They had a black pair with glitter and a silver star & a plain silver pair. I got the black, and later went back and bought a white pair with a leopard stripe. These shoes are so cute, totally on trend, affordable, and SO comfortable. They have a memory foam sole and if that’s not heaven, I don’t want to go.

Old Navy funnel-neck tan coat: This coat ya’ll- it’s so good. I have always wanted a nice camel coat, especially after my mom last year got the cutest one from Madewell. That one was pretty pricey (we can’t share coats unfortunately because she’s super tiny) so I didn’t buy it, but I knew I wanted something similar. Enter this new coat Old Navy just came out with. It’s great quality and has such a classic cut you will wear it for years. And Old Navy is always having sales! It’s regularly $69 but I got mine for $35 during one of their weekend blowouts. Just keep an eye on the site and order at the right time. I got a medium and its perfect for wearing thicker sweaters or tops under.

photo credit: Old Navy

Amazon Colorfulkoala leggings: These leggings are incredible. They are basically like butter! And they have the little pockets like the Lululemon ones that are a million dollars. I am pretty picky about leggings but these are amazing- I can wear them to the gym or just running around doing errands, and I’m not constantly pulling at them or making sure they don’t bunch up in the wrong places. 100% worth $25 because that’s basically what I pay for not-so-great leggings anyway! 

Target Sugarfix earrings: Target’s Baublebar line is gold, and their latest earrings are too! They have so many fun, glitzy earrings for the holidays— which if you buy at a department store or boutique can really cost you. Because I have zero self control, I bought two pairs the other day for the upcoming season, one blue and one red pair, both beaded (which also makes them expensive usually). They probably won’t last for years and years, but they are pretty decent quality and they’re just $12.99. Count me in! 

Sugarfix earrings

This post was not sponsored; all opinions are my own

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year— boot season! I love a good boot or bootie paired with just about anything. They’re flattering, comfortable, and usually easy to walk in. They are also practical, which is something that definitely factors in for me!

Things on my list for boots this season: Western style and neutral colors.

Graphic of eight boots for fall 2019

1. American Rag western booties: These are a Macy’s exclusive, so head there before they sell out! I love the western style– it can be dressed up or down so easily.

2. Seychelles Coastal River boot: While these don’t totally fall into my western theme, I think these are so classic and the seams do give a little interest and texture. This brand is also so underrated!

3. Dolce Vita Solei boots: Obssssssessed with these babies but they are definitely a splurge. They come in brown and gray but I am in love with this color and with the western dip at the top, which brings me to…

4. Crown Vintage Windy cowboy boot: These boots are total dupes! The only thing is I wish the toe was pointy, like the DV ones, but for the price difference it’s completely worth it. And, the color is nearly identical. These will go with everything this fall/winter and I’ve already ordered from DSW!

5. Ugg Tania boots: I haven’t bought a new pair of Uggs… ever actually. I have the same ones I got for Christmas in early high school and they are definitely in need of a replacement! I love the height of these ones and also the fur detail on the top.

6. Sam Edelman leopard booties: I love the pattern and the buckle detail. There’s something about a printed bootie that gets me every time.

7. Sam Edelman Hiltin tall boots: These are another splurge, but Nordstrom has them on sale right now if you’re interested. I love the color of these too and also the structured, classic look. Right before posting this though, I found another dupe! This one from Target, and I ordered as soon as I saw them. Hurry, they won’t last long.

8. Marc Fisher Rental 2 Chelsea: I have had a fling with white booties this year, and these are no exception. I have a plain, smooth pair from Forever 21 but I adore the texture of these! And, again with the pointy toe. Definitely a pattern here- the point makes your legs look longer and thinner.

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It’s funny, I had planned to write a Meghan Markle post for the past few months and just never got around to it… but with the latest news that the couple is suing over some downright awful media coverage, I thought this was the perfect time to share.

I have loved Meghan for years, especially beginning when my friend who loved Suits got me into her. At the time I got into her and found her blog The Tig, it was rumored she was dating Prince Harry. Thank god that was true, and look at her now! 

But that’s not my point. I loved her and her blog for so many reasons, and I still do. On The Tig, she talked about sustainability, beauty, fashion, prayer/meditation, food, wine, and basically all things lifestyle. One thing we learned through The Tig is that Meghan is just a generally cool, ordinary yet inspirational person. She shops at H&M and Madewell, she loved Eat, Pray, Love just like the rest of us, and she is fine with being a home body.

I think that is the PERFECT person to be a royal and set the standard for how people should act. 

The fact is that she’s a cool person, and 100000% gorgeous. She’s mixed, American, not from insane wealth… literally everything the royal family needs. Maybe that’s exactly the reason why the British press won’t leave her alone… because she is different. She’s setting a new standard, one that’s different than the traditional one. And, some people don’t like change.

While The Tig was shut down shortly before her engagement, you can still find some of her posts online (because, as we know, the internet never forgets). One of my favorite posts is still bookmarked on my laptop, because every so often I need a reminder. I think it is so inspirational and can give a few tips to all of us on how to act like a decent human being.

Here’s the link to that piece, and I think everyone should take 5 minutes to read it.

It’s called “How to be Both” and I think it– weirdly enough, as this was written years ago— proves she can be herself and still be the Duchess. The two things are not mutually exclusive.

You CAN be different than the norm, no matter what situation you’re in. Personally, I hope I can have a daughter I teach to look up to people like her for these exact reasons.

Basically everyone needs to just leave Meghan alone. The end.

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One of my favorite styles is dainty jewelry. I definitely am a “more is more” type of gal when it comes to jewelry, and small delicate necklaces are the perfect way to follow that philosophy.

How to style dainty necklaces

The key to pairing multiple dainty necklaces together is to get the right lengths. You can’t have three necklaces all the exact same length- they’ll tangle and also people won’t be able to see what’s on each one. I like to wear one choker/semi-choker, one just slightly longer that hits my collarbone, and one a little longer to my chest. If you’re just doing two necklaces, just take one of those lengths out of the equation.

For example, here are some of my favorite ways to wear two necklaces. 

And three! 

How to style dainty necklaces
How to style dainty necklaces

My favorite layering necklaces have adjustable chains, too. That means you don’t have to be as precise about the lengths- just pull out the necklaces you want to wear and pick which one you want to be shorter! 

I usually go with either this choker from Etsy or this necklace from The Sis Kiss as my first layer. The Sis Kiss has such adorable pieces, I could wear a whole set just from them! You can customize any necklace with your name or any word and chose if you want crystals, the metal, and all kinds of different things. The choices are endless for you to create a fun and unique piece! 

Then I wear my Arabic necklace, which says my name in Arabic. This was a gift from my husband that was purchased overseas so I can’t tell you exactly where I got mine, but Etsy has similar ones in Arabic and I’m sure in other languages, too.

I also like to pair these with some of my other favorite chains, like my hummingbird necklace from TJ Maxx (here’s a similar one) or my Melanie Auld gold bar chain.

How to style dainty necklaces

Don’t be afraid to mix metals- I think a combo of materials makes your style more interesting! I also like to wear a beaded necklace sometimes to break things up. Kristalize is one of my favorite places to scoop up fun and trendy jewelry, and the owner Krista is a total doll.

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If you live in the deep South like I do, then you know just because its *fall* doesn’t mean it actually FEELS anything like fall. It’s still atrociously hot and while I am definitely sick of it, mother Nature hasn’t listened to me and I know it’s going to be a hot minute before the crisp, fall air gets to Birmingham.

Button down worn in the summer

But, that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped fall shopping. No, that waits for no one. The trick to buying cute fall finds now is to make purchases that you can wear to transition into fall, but still wear when the temperatures drop. Sort of a “buy now, wear now and later” kind of deal.

This top is a recent LOFT purchase and I love it! It’s so soft, and its got the cutest striped and polka dot detail, without being an in-your-face print. I love this top paired with cut off shorts and espadrilles as a late summer look!

Button down worn in the summer
Shirt | Shorts (similar) | Purse | Leopard espadrilles (similar)

It keeps your arms warm in cold restaurants at night, but it’s cool enough to wear to a ball game and not die of a heat stroke. And, I think it looks pretty darn cute.

For fall, I paired this top with some old jeans of mine and a pair of nude mule booties. The color of these shoes make your legs go on for days! I also paired it with a precious wool hat, which is in my opinion an Amazon dupe for those pricey Brixton hats. 

Button down styled for fall
Shirt | Hat | AG Jeans (similar) | Mule booties | Purse (similar)
Button down styled for fall

Seriously, this hat is such amazing quality for $16! Get yours before they sell out. There are several colors, but this one is the camel color and is a great neutral.

These booties are Nordstrom Rack and still in stock, but probably won’t be long. They are so versatile- I’ve been wearing them with rompers and denim shorts to make them work for the warm weather right now.

I hope this helps you get a start on your fall shopping, and gives you an excuse to break out those purchases now! 

Button down styled for fall
Button down styled for fall
pictures by my wonderful husband Mitri Shatara

This post was not sponsored; all opinions are my own.

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I love reading posts about people’s Amazon purchases- especially the clothes and accessories they’ve scooped up. There’s so much on Amazon sometimes it’s hard to know what is going to be good quality, and what’s going to look like doll clothes from Asia.

Here are my recent Amazon purchases that I think are totally worth the money. Let me know what you think!

PS remember when you shop on Amazon, make sure to use “smile.amazon.com” to donate a percentage of your purchase to a charity of your choice.

1. Maxi print-wrap dress: This has been a hot seller on Amazon for a while and I finally caved and bought the red one. While I totally love it, beware this is a “true” wrap dress and isn’t sewn together! You might want to wear shorts or a slip under for coverage. I ended up returning mine because it didn’t fit, but I think the quality is good and the style is precious if you’re in the market for a cute maxi.

2. Beaded earrings: I’ve had these for a while, and love them so much. I actually am sitting here wondering why I haven’t worn them more. They come in a million colors and are identical to boutique versions that cost more than double. And they’re not too heavy!

3. David Yurman dupe: The BEST David Yurman dupe I have ever seen! All of this brand’s bracelets are around $20 and look so much like DY, I even got a compliment saying just that the other day. I don’t know how the longterm quality of these are because I haven’t had mine too long, but I have definitely been wearing mine daily for two weeks or so. I’m ordering another as we speak. (No, I have no real DYs. This is good enough for me)

4. SoundBot aux cord: My Jeep aux input is very finicky, and a co-worker told me this product is great for inputs like mine. I bought it and LOVE it. It has a bluetooth connection so if you’ve got an more basic car like me without connectivity, you can listen to your music/podcasts/phone conversations through your car radio without having to have your phone actually plugged in. It just connects when you get in the car! There are also extra ports for charging and a dial to control volume. While I still think I need to get my input replaced, this works better than any I’ve tried.

5. Pearl and velvet headband: The headband trend isn’t going anywhere, and these pearly ones are the latest blogger obsession. For good reason! They’re comfortable, perfect for fall, and the pearl detail makes it a little dressier than the average headband. I’m digging it and bought the nude color, but I can’t promise I won’t buy another.

6. Dolly Parton t-shirt: Dolly Parton, the queen herself, opened an Amazon store recently and I immediately knew it was going to take all my money. This “Vote Dolly” shirt was my first purchase and won’t be my last. My only regret is I should have bought a large (I got a men’s medium, because I hate the ‘women’s cut’ in t-shirts)

7. Wool wide-brim hat: Another dupe for the pricey Brixton hats from Nordstrom. I ordered the camel color and haven’t gotten it yet, but I have high hopes.

8. Golden Goose dupes: GG shoes are everywhere right now and I have to say that I am completely on that bandwagon. I think they’re adorable, but I also do not have $550 to drop on tennis shoes. I have tried a lot of dupes, including these– spoiler: I loveeeee them but couldn’t get the right size. I think my feet are just too wide unfortunately. But I still recommend them– just size up.

9. Full maxi skirt: Dede at Dress Up Buttercup wore this skirt all summer and I knew I had to have it. While they were sold out of her color, I bought the pink and I can’t wait for it to come in! I’m probably going to steal her look and pair it with a good graphic tee (like my Dolly one above) and some GG dupes. This skirt is also perfect in the fall with an off the shoulder sweater and booties!

This post was not sponsored; all opinions are my own.

XOXO

ivana

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Not long ago I heard one of my favorite bloggers (Shelby at Glitter & Gingham) talk about what fills her up and how she’s really tried to live lately around those things.

That phrase got me. How trite, I know, but I couldn’t help but use that moment to think, “what fills ME up?” and “Am I doing enough of that?”

I know some things that totally fill me up; others not so much. And my goal for the rest of the year is to really identify those things and concentrate on only those things that fill me with joy and fuel, and give me purpose. Of course, that means also doing less of the things that DON’T fill me up.

What I mean are the things that remind me why I wake up every day and work by butt off to enjoy. I thought it would be helpful to make a list that reminds me of what fills me up:

  • Dogs, in any form or fashion
  • Family time
  • My husband
  • Writing
  • Lunch with a friend & dinner with the girls
  • Being kind to a stranger
  • Good cup of coffee
  • A WWII novel
  • Reality television

OK, OK I know some of these are silly (but not untrue) and I swear I have a more extensive list, but you get the jist.

I know this is probably some life message I am way late to the game on, but I thought I should share anyway. Because there’s got to me at least one other goon like me who hasn’t thought of things this way.

A good night with the hubs always fills me up
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Makeup changes with the season, and it’s almost that time of year!

Here are a few things I want to pick up for the fall, but also a peek at some of the products I’ve been loving lately as evidenced by an obnoxious number of selfies.

Links to the products I am loving are in the photo captions, while the links for everything else is in the text below.

Makeup products I've been loving lately and ones I'm buying for fall
Colourpop Brow Boss | Loreal Coral Berry lipstick | Revlon Volumazing mascara

Kylie Cosmetics KoKo palette, lipsticks, and liner: You can get these separately, all together, or in separate bundles (for example, here’s the lipsticks and liner bundle). I am so obsessed with these colors! I am also a Kardashian fan, so that definitely doesn’t hurt my love for these products.

I am currently searching for dupes for these products (especially the palette) so I will keep ya’ll updated! I’ve never had a Kylie eyeshadow so I’m not sure about the quality, but I also feel like if it was awful that would be plastered all over the internet. Say what you want about the Kardashians, but these ladies know how to build a brand.

Here’s an awesome, genuine video of Khloe using her collection from Vogue’s YouTube channel! I definitely am stealing her eyeshadow technique, even though I don’t have the palette.

Revolution Pro New Neutrals palette: YALL. This. Palette. It’s totally a ABH dupe of like three of their palettes. I am a little confused on the Revolution Pro/Makeup Revolution difference, but whatevs. This is a beautiful product thats only twenty bucks and has 18 shades. It’s an Ulta exclusive, but again, $20 and also Ulta usually has a coupon and is on Ebates!

Elta MD facial sunscreen: I have heard amazing things about this sunscreen, particularly about how well it lays under makeup. I am always trying to be better to my skin, particularly my face and neck area, and SPF is a HUGE part of that. I try to only wear bb creams and foundations with SPF in it, but I would love to use this underneath and be double covered. I also would love to use this on my chest and neck area… I heard someone say one time that’s the area where women show their age, and it’s SO true. I want to go ahead and protect my skin so I can look 30 when I’m 50, you know what I mean?

This stuff is pricey but again, if its good enough for the Kardashians it’s good enough for me. Here’s the clear version that’s specifically for your face, too.

Elizabeth Arden x Reese Witherspoon lipstick: I’m not usually a fan of this bright pink color on my skin tone, but is REESE’S. No. Explanation. Needed. Also, the product supports UN Women and that’s enough for me. For $26 I can get a Reese approved lip and support women? I’m in.

St. Tropez Self Tanning Bronzing Mousse: I am FakeBake girl, because I like it better than any other tanning product I’ve tried and also because it’s affordable. But, I have always heard wonders about St. Tropez! Especially in the fall when I’m white as an oxford shirt, I need a good fake tan. One of these days I’m going to splurge and try this! (PS here is what I normally use)

Makeup products I've been loving lately and ones I'm buying for fall
Essie gel polish in Matter of Fiction | Dry Bar Triple Sec texture spray
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By now you know, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is here. If you are a cardholder, you’re shopping now or you’ve already stocked up. If you are not that fancy (AKA me), our time is coming.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about or you live under a rock, or both, the Nordstrom sale is a huge deal in the fashion world because you get early access to new fall pieces for sale prices. It’s pretty legit, and you can make out with some really good buys for a price you won’t get again this year! 

I feel like you have to have a plan going into this sale, like you have to do for Black Friday. While you will inevitably see things you want for a good price, you need to keep in mind what you need and go searching for those things— not get distracted by things you don’t need, already own, or will never actually wear even though its a good price.

Like on Black Friday, I make a wishlist of things I want/need before even approaching the site. While some things might be sold out by the time I can shop on Friday, I will at least have an idea of what I’m looking for and can hopefully find something similar.

I hope this wishlist inspires you for what to stock up on for fall, whether its N-Sale or not! 

My picks for the 2019 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

1 Brown teddy jacket: I have a fuzzy teddy jacket that I adore and have worn a million times, but it’s a little more casual than this one. I know this is something I already reach for in the winter, so I would definitely be okay with spending money on a similar one that’s more formal.

2 Leopard tennis shoes: Leopard is still a thing, and I am here for it. I am a comfy over cute kind of gal always and tennis shoes are some of my favorite things. A cute pair (over my nasty gym pair) means I can wear them to work or on a date and not feel like a slob.

3 Sam Edelman knee-high boots: Knee-high boots are a staple, and I always tend to go for brown over black boots. I could wear these to work or out and pair them with any color jeans!

4 Steve Madden snakeskin booties: Booties are my favorite thing and something I wear year round. These snakeskin ones would be so edgy with denim shorts and a sweater during transition weather, and with black jeans and a hat in the fall.

5 Wool hat: The Brixton one I wanted was totally sold out by day two of early access shopping, which is a bummer, but this one is similar and I am loving the color! This is another good transition piece that can be worn with shorts or jeans and a tank while it’s still hot out.

6 Plaid shirt: You can’t live in the south without a plaid shirt. I never pay more than $20 for one, but I also can see the point of a more expensive one for better quality and softer materials.

7 Ugg slippers: I have wanted a pair of these FOREVER and I think it’s finally time for me to pull the trigger!

8 Cashmere ruana: During the cool weather, I usually opt for things like this over thick sweaters. I would rather wear several layers of soft, thin material than wear one big cable-knit one. I get hot easily and the thought of not being able to shed a layer when I walk into a heated building is terrifying to me.

9 White flats: To me, there’s a fine line in white shoes to make them not look like nurses shoes. But, I love the pointed toes on these! I think these flats would be perfect work shoes– either with nice dresses or pants. While I don’t own one pair of closed toe flats, I would be fine with these being the first.

10 Fringe striped scarf: Again, this goes back to my layering thing. I love the fringe detail and the color blocking. I know I would use this as a wrap more than a scarf, though!

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Ya’ll, my hiatus is over! I finally got my computer back. If you don’t know, most 15 inch Macbook Pros between 2012-2015 have been recalled for a fire hazard in the battery (you can check your serial number on the Apple website here). I took it to the Apple Store and they had to ship it off to install a new battery.

Long story short, I finally have my laptop back and can catch up on my life! Since I missed the week of July 4th, I wanted to share some pictures from my family trip to the Exumas! 

Linking my outfit details (or similar options where the stuff isn’t new) in the caption underneath each folder. PS I got my soon to be sister-in-law hooked on Red Dress! Linking her precious white romper too.

Top/ Earrings / Shorts / Slides (and Jessie’s romper)
The cutest little local shop with jewelry, shells, and baskets

FYI if you want trip details, we stayed at the Sandals Emerald Bay in the Exumas (a chain of islands in the Bahamas). I can give you more info if you leave me a comment about what you want to know!

I hope ya’ll had an awesome holiday too!

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