Style

It’s the holidays already, which is crazy… but that’s another conversation.

Today I want to talk about how I save money and shop smart during the Christmas season! There are so many ways you can save when buying all those gifts on your list, and keep track of what you’re spending and what you have purchased/ still need to buy. I figured everyone knew about these shopping hacks but after multiple conversations with friends and family, ya’ll need the money-saving tips! 

Here are my favorite hacks for shopping this season.

Me, thinking about all the money I'm about to save this holiday season
Me thinking about all the money I’m about to save

Ebates, now called Rakuten: Ya’ll listen. This is not a scam, even though it sounds like it is. You just go to the Rakuten website and then click on whatever website you want to go to through the Rakuten site. That’s it, that’s the whole process. Each site has a different cash back deal and it’s different every week. For example, say Ulta is doing 10 percent cash back. You go to Ulta’s site through Rakuten, shop, and check out. Then in a day or two you will get 10 percent of that purchase credited to your Rakuten account. You get a check every few months, or you can request it whenever you want. You can also use the mobile app or install the Chrome browser extension so you don’t ever miss a site that has cash back going on (that’s what I do!)

If you want to download, go here and you’ll get $10 to kickstart your account. 

https://www.rakuten.com/r/IVANAS122?eeid=28187

Retail Me Not: This is a website and app for your phone that gives you all the coupons and lets you know what sales are happening. Just type in the store you’re at, and then the site/app gives you all the coupons, sales, and deals at the store both in-store and online. Sometimes the older coupons towards the bottom don’t work (they’re expired and the page hasn’t been updated) but it’s still worth checking. You can also get the app to monitor your location and alert you when you’re near a store with deals or coupons. That way you don’t forget!

Santa’s Bag app: Ya’ll I love this app. If you’re Christmas/holiday obsessed like me, and buy a lot of gifts, you need it. You can set a budget and then log how much each gift you buy is, and the calculator will keep you on track and let you know anytime how much you’ve spent on gifts and how much you have left from the budget you set. You also can log each gift and its specific person, so you don’t ever lost track of what’s under the tree! I love this app so much.

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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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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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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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Summer is here and you know what that means- outfit ideas are revolving around the least restrictive, breeziest thing possible. Dresses usually fit that bill best!

I love a little black dress for all occasions, so this super casual number from H&M totally hits the mark. It’s loose fitting, which is a must for an Alabama summer, and has the cutest button detailing down the front to give it a little more pizazz. Best part is that it’s just $10!

Since the dress is so basic, it’s great to pair with fun summer accessories. I’m always and forever a hoops girl, but I’ve been loving these thick gold hoops this season. I’m also obsessed with the headband trend and this pink satin band was perfect with the basic dress and chunky earrings! 

I also paired this with one of my favorite dainty necklaces from The Sis Kiss and some simple slides from SheIn. 

I always love simple pieces paired with fun accessories— hence my forever white tee and jeans combo. It is so much simpler and cost efficient to invest in good basic pieces and then incorporate trendy details with each season. 

DRESS (SIMILAR) | HOOPS | NECKLACE| HEADBAND | SHOES (SIMILAR)

This is definitely a dress I’m taking on my vacay next week- I have a new adorable pink kimono from Sole Society that I think would be so cute with this dress for dinner, paired with leopard wedges!

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I hate it when you see these bloggers in totally amazing bathing suits and then when you click on them, they’re usually over $150. While I might be in love, I have a really hard time convincing myself to spend what could be a nice night out on a bathing suit that covers literally 12% of my body.

So after a little internet sleuthing (that’s what I’m here for, right?) I have found a whole bunch of cute & similar styles to the ones all the it girls are wearing, all for under $50. Yes, both pieces of two-piece sets are under fifty TOTAL. 

It’s time to stop spending an insane amount of money for a cute piece of spandex you wear for three months, amiright? 

Let me know if you buy any of these and what you think! 

1 AF seersucker one piece

2 Forever 21 chain and floral bikini

3 Target black one piece with cutout (buy this in your bra size for $49)

4 Amazon pom pom high-waisted bikini

5 Forever 21 watercolor bikini (comes as a set for $27)

6 Red Dress ruffle bikini (comes in black too!)

7 AF leopard one piece

PS: TJ Maxx is a great place to find well-made, department store bikinis for around $30 max. The stores have way more of a variety than online, so head there asap. One of the only stores I go to in person anymore!

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