It’s Fall! …Kind Of.

80 degrees? Meh.

Blue on Blue - Sarrandipity blog
Similar Glasses: NordstromTarget // Tank: Free People // Bralette: Amazon // Similar Jeans: Neiman Marcus; Nordstrom Rack

It happens every year: Labor Day hits and almost everyone (myself included) immediately transitions into fall mode. Sweaters! Scarves! Boots! Coziness! Halloween Decorations! But here’s the thing: While we can hang all the Halloween decorations we want (and, believe me, I have); here in Chicago, we usually have to wait several weeks after Labor Day before we can break out the fall clothes. Though we’ve had a couple cool-ish days this fall so far, mostly it’s been annoyingly warm—or even hot. In fact, just yesterday it was in the mid-80s. Today, we’re looking at a high of 80. It’s October 6. Listen, I love summer. I love sunshine. I love warmth. But, I also love fall. And being cozy. And wearing sweaters. (Therein lies the beauty of seasons.)

So, what does that mean for my outfits? At this point, despite the heat, I just can’t bring myself to wear shorts anymore. I can’t. Instead, I compromise with my closet; when the temps soar above 75, I throw on a pair of cropped pants to feel kind of fall-ish with a tank top to avoid overheating. This Free People tank was one of my favorites all summer—I’m really into the trend of semi-open sides, and this one is seriously comfortable—and if you’ve read any of my blog posts, you now know I’m obsessed with AG jeans, the crops included.  These pictures were taken during an actual summer day in Boston, but I wore this exact outfit yesterday. If you’re lamenting this too-warm weather like I am, and looking for an in-between type outfit to wait out the heat, I highly recommend a get-up like this one. 

Blue on BlueSimilar Glasses: NordstromTarget // Tank: Free People // Bralette: Amazon // Similar Jeans: Neiman Marcus; Saks Fifth Avenue // Similar (almost the same!) Sandals: 6PM

If you ever want to feel tall, just find an old, tiny door in Boston to stand next to.

Blue on BlueSimilar Bag: Nordstrom; Bloomingdale’s // Bralette: Amazon // Similar (almost the same!) Sandals: 6PM

I’m obsessed with my nylon crossbody bag. It’s so much more lightweight than leather, and it’s seriously durable. This bag has been through the ringer, including multiple rain storms—major point for nylon. Sadly, mine (Marc by Marc Jacobs Natasha, nylon version) is no longer available, but I found a couple similar options, above.

Blue on BlueI shall call this series…Picture-Taking ADD.

Blue on Blue

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This post contains affiliate links. You won’t pay more by using them, but Sarrandipity may receive a (very) small commission if you click on a link and purchase something. Please check out my policies for more info. 

Because It’s Not Labor Day Yet

White pants FTW.

The most classic summer look. - Sarrandipity blog Similar Glasses: NordstromTarget // Similar Jacket: LOFT; Gap // Tank: Old Navy // Similar Tank: Nordstrom Rack; Nordstrom // Similar Jeans: Gap // Similar (almost the same!) Sandals: 6pm

Okay, so the title of this post very clearly makes it seem like I don’t approve of wearing white after Labor Day. In reality, I’m all for it: If you want to wear white, wear white (except to someone else’s wedding, because that’s just rude…unless it’s a whole thing they’re doing where they turn their wedding into a white party and ask all of their guests to wear white, too…but I digress). So what’s up with the title? Well, I thought, “Hey, here’s a cheeky title for this blog post that’s partially about my white jeans,” so I used it. That’s it.

Anyway, onto the goods. True, Labor Day is next weekend, and true, that always makes it feel like summer and its warm temps are DONE, and true, I may be secretly harboring wishes for fall and Halloween, and lighting candles, and dressing cozily inside pretending that it is cool outside…but it’s not. Summer and, more specifically, summer weather, is still here and going strong. Which means outfits that involve things like white pants and tank tops and sandals are totally fair game. This summer, I really went back to basics. Aside from my new favorite graphic tees and tanks, I’ve worn almost exclusively solid colors. This outfit, which I wore on an extended weekend trip to Madeira Beach, Florida earlier this summer (okay, it was in April—I know, I know, it took me forever to post these pictures, bla bla bla), was a perfect storm of some of my favorite basics, old and new. I strongly feel like a good pair of white pants (I’ve had mine from Gap—most similar to these, I imagine—for at least three years), a good jean jacket, and a good pair of sandals that can be dressed up or down, are essential to any summer wardrobe. And this look, I believe, is case in point.

The most classic summer outfit - Sarrandipity

I got these sandals last summer, and they remain one of the best shoe purchases I’ve ever made. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worn them, dressed up, dressed down, and everywhere in between. I can’t find this exact style anywhere now, but these ones (both Steve Madden) are almost exactly the same, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. If you like easy, versatile footwear, girl, get these.

The most classic summer outfit - SarrandipitySimilar Watch: Amazon // Bangles: Nordstrom // Similar Necklace: Nordstrom

I say, why do a boring, awkward, I’m-taking-pictures-for-my-blog pose every time, when you can dance instead?

The most classic summer outfit - Sarrandipity

Really digging split back tanks for a little pizzazz.

The most classic summer outfit - SarrandipityThe most classic summer outfit - SarrandipityThe most classic summer outfit - Sarrandipity

Fun fact: Looking down is a great way to differentiate your outfit photos.

The most classic summer outfit

100% pointing out dolphins. They were really there. And I was obsessed.

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This post contains affiliate links. You won’t pay more by using them, but Sarrandipity may receive a (very) small commission if you click on a link and purchase something. Please check out my policies for more info. 

My Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Shoe Picks

The best sale of the year isn’t over yet.

NSale-Shoe-Finds

 

At this point, we know I love Nordstrom, and I love the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, when all of the brand new fall and winter merchandise is marked down before it goes back up to full price. I already shared my best clothing finds from this year’s sale, and with a few days left to score some serious deals, I figured I may as well share my shoe picks, too, before prices go up on August 8.

When I was at the store, I only shopped for clothes (the shoe tent was far too overwhelming), but I went online and browsed the shoe selection pretty much immediately after I got home. I tried to remain somewhat practical, and shop for things that were missing from my shoe wardrobe, and fortunately (or unfortunately, if we’re talking about my bank account…) found some goooood stuff. Ahead, a few things I snagged, and a few I just lusted after.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Shoe Finds - Sarrandipity

1. Blondo Eden Over the Knee Waterproof Boot $189.90 (After Sale: $285) 
I like Hunter’s rubber rain boots just as much as the next gal, but sometimes it rains when I have to look…not like a cute, urban farmer…and I’d rather have rain boots that I can wear at those times, rather than deal with carrying around an extra pair of shoes. Last year, I bought waterproof Blondo booties, and absolutely love them, so I was fairly confident I’d like these too. It’s been a long time since I bought over-the-knee boots, but these are so comfortable, slim-fitting, and cute. I’m into them. 

2. Sam Edelman Tonia Spike Rand Pointy Toe Pump • $69.90 (After Sale: $120)
Honestly, I don’t wear heels a lot. At all. But, I realized last fall that the only ones I have that I actually like are heeled sandals or boots. So, the few times I did want to wear heels in the colder weather, I had to default to boots. I looked in the anniversary sale for a pair of relatively low pumps, which these are, in a versatile style and color, which these are, with a bit of personality, which these have. (Do you see the spikes? They mean I’m mysterious and dangerous, of course.)

3. Vince Camuto Earina Perforated Flat • $69.90 (After Sale: $110)
I didn’t actually buy these, because I couldn’t quite justify them, but if I could, I would. In the bronze and steel colors.

4. Steve Madden Nylie Chelsea Boot $72.90 (After Sale: $110)
I have a pair of flat, black ankle boots that I’m obsessed with and have worn to death — these Teva waterproof guys (sense a theme with me?) — but, they’re pretty utilitarian-looking. I wanted a pair of flat boots (see above about me not wearing heels often) that could be dressed up a little more; hence, these Steve Maddens.

5. Halogen Owen Pointy Toe Ghillie Flat • $59.90 (After Sale: $90)
love these flats. I got them in the “Blush Nappa” color to take a departure from my standard black and grey ballet flats collection. I’m not usually one for tying things around my legs and ankles, because I feel like they make me look shorter, but since these are practically a nude color, the tie is subtle enough that I think it works. I’m pumped to wear these shoes with cropped jeans (especially of the boyfriend or distressed variety, to contrast the femininity of the flats), basically as soon as it’s too cold to wear sandals but before it’s too cold to need boots.

6. PAJAR Marcie Waterproof Snow Boot • $159.90 (After Sale: $240)
I have, no joke, been on a two-year hunt for new snow boots. I’ve worn my last pair to death, but have yet to find a new pair that works for me. I have a serious problem where my toes are always cold, basically between the months of October and April (really, I’ve been diagnosed), so I will be miserable if I don’t find boots that keep my little piggies warm. I’ve tried some of the well-known boot brands, but they either didn’t fit well (I also have annoyingly narrow feet) or didn’t keep me warm. I have high hopes for these, though, mostly because they’re a Canada brand, and Canadians have to know how to stay warm, right? Though I haven’t stepped out into the Arctic in these yet, I can vouch for their comfort level – they’re insanely lightweight for snow boots and the lining is super soft. 

7. Treasure&Bond Marko Sneaker • $79.90 (After Sale: $120)
I didn’t buy these either, but, ugh, I wish I could justify them. I’d rock these on the regular, for sure.

Did you score any other shoes in the NSale? Do you also have frozen toes? Talk to me.

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This post contains affiliate links. You won’t pay more by using them, but Sarrandipity may receive a (very) small commission if you click on a link and purchase something. Please check out my policies for more info. 

My Top Picks From the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

It’s the best sale of the year.

Nordstrom-Anniversary-Finds---Title

 

You guys, I love the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. It’s basically a holiday to me. And really, what’s not to love? Brand new fall and winter (and honestly, some summer, too) merchandise is discounted before it goes up to full price. The sale officially starts on July 22 (and prices go up August 8), but Nordstrom credit and debit card holders have early access and can shop the sale in stores and online now. So, that’s exactly what I did. My fellow Nordstrom devotees (aka my mom, sister, and our friend) made an appointment with our trusty style expert, Valerie (with whom we have a long-standing, wonderful relationship), and browsed nearly every pre-shop tent in the store.

I focused mostly on clothes (partially because the shoe tent was way too overwhelming, so I decided to browse those online, and partially because by the time we got to the accessories tent, I was hungry and tired), and tried to stick with pieces that are simple, versatile and comfortable (like this workout tank that didn’t make the collage because I initially didn’t think it was that special, but I just wore it and am in love with the fit, the feel, and the cut). Honestly, there were so many temptations, but I had to exercise at least a little restraint. Here’s what I ended up with:

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Clothing Finds - Sarrandipity

1. Two by Vince Camuto Mixed Media V-Neck Tunic $38.90 (After Sale: $59) 
The black panel at the bottom of this shirt is a lightweight, floaty material that falls so nicely and easily, and the grey top-half of the shirt is super soft and comfy. In other words: It’s the perfect, easy basic top. Yes please.

2. Pleione Bell Cuff High/Low Blouse • $44.90 (After Sale: $68)
I have a lot of patterned blouses, but I want to up my monochromatic game and give myself more of an opportunity to wear my favorite necklaces, and have a bit more of a versatile wardrobe. Enter: This shirt, with the cutest bell sleeves at the end.

3. Chelsea28 Victoriana Lace Detail Tank • $45.90 (After Sale: $69)
I’m not normally one for high-necks (If they’re too tight, I kind of get a choking sensation and end up constantly trying to pull the material away), but this one is just loose enough, and I literally fell in love with it the second I put it on. I tried it on with the ripped AG Jeans I also bought (see #8), and it was basically the perfect outfit.

4. Vince Camuto Zip Pocket Drape Front Blazer $92.90 (After Sale: $139)
I’m on a constant hunt for a blazer that’s more structured than a cardigan, but not so structured that it’s super “worky.” I love that this one is an open front, and will hang nicely over basically all of the shirts I also bought.

5. Alo Sunny Strappy Soft Cup Bralette • $28.90 (After Sale: $54)
I mean, the back of this bra sells the whole thing.

6. Sandra Two-Pocket Boyfriend Tunic • $51.90 (After Sale: $78)
This is one of my favorite kind of casual looks in the fall and winter: the long, button-down tunic that I can wear with jeans or leggings and be super comfy but still look kind of put together. I’d wear this shirt right now if it wasn’t 90 degrees outside. But, you better believe as soon as fall temps hit, I’ll be putting this puppy on.

7. Halogen Belted Short Sleeve Top • $49.90 (After Sale: $78)
Guys, I have a confession: I bought this shirt in two colors. I grabbed it in a solid, forest green because, you know, all that stuff I said about monochromatic clothes, but I couldn’t resist this black and white pattern either.

8. AG ‘The Legging’ Ankle Jeans (10 Years Recreation) • $163.90 (After Sale: $245)
Ugh, really, I didn’t plan to buy any jeans this year. I feel like I have a decent collection (basically all AGs, because I discovered a couple years ago that they are the best. jeans. ever.), but of course, I wore shorts to the store and needed to grab some jeans to try shirts on with. The rest, as they say, is history.

9. Leith Twist Front Jumpsuit • $48.90 (After Sale: $72)
I have one jumpsuit, that I bought at a T.J. Maxx in Utah a good two years ago, and I’m obsessed with it and wear it all the time. You’d think it would be easy finding another one I like, given jumpsuits are everywhere these days, but I didn’t…until now. I love the cutout, the color, and the fit of this one.

10. Zella ‘Ready or Not’ Crop Pullover Top • $44.90 (After Sale: $68)
Simple: It’s super soft, super comfy, and I see myself wearing it basically nonstop.

11. Caslon Long Sleeve Denim Shirt • $39.90 (After Sale: $69)
Sure, I already have a couple chambray and denim shirts in the same vain as this one, but none of them are as nice as this one. It is insanely soft, the fabric is a perfect mid weight, and the prospect of wearing it all fall and winter makes me very happy.

12. Vince Camuto Short Sleeve Chiffon Top  • $51.90 (After Sale: $79)
I actually didn’t see this one in the store, but I ordered it online after I got home, because, again, it looks super versatile, and I’m a big fan of the sheer sleeves. Simple.

13. Calvin Klein Modern Micro Racerback Bralette  • $17.90 (After Sale: $28)
Well, in the three days that I’ve owned this bralette, I’ve worn it…three times. It’s unbelievably comfortable, and perfect with open-side tanks, which I’m a huge proponent of this summer.

Find anything in the anniversary sale that I missed? Let me know/enable my Nordstrom habit in the comments below.

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This post contains affiliate links. You won’t pay more by using them, but Sarrandipity may receive a (very) small commission if you click on a link and purchase something. Please check out my policies for more info. 

PSA: Browning Butter Is Super Easy, And Also Life-Changing

It’s so good, I almost wish I never learned.

How to Brown Butter For Any Recipe - Sarrandipity Blog

When I go to a restaurant, if there’s a menu item that incorporates “brown butter” (i.e. “brown butter butternut squash ravioli,” or something to that effect), there’s an extremely strong chance I’ll order it. I know I love the taste of brown butter-enhanced foods, but I always kind of assumed brown butter was some fancy chef secret, and that only fancy chef types could concoct something that incorporates it. Until now. Yesterday, I was browsing Pinterest, looking for something to bake (because it was a lazy Sunday, and it was cold and rainy outside, so…of course), and I came across some brown butter cookie recipes. Typically, my thought process would be, “Oh, I don’t know how to do brown butter, that sounds complicated; next!” But for some reason, my curiosity was piqued enough to look up how to make brown butter, and thanks to the kitchn, I discovered it’s ridiculously easy.

So, I made some brown butter—which, by the way, smells SO GOOD—and then used it in my go-to cookie recipe (Thank you, Neslée Toulousé) to see if I could taste a difference. Truthfully, the difference was more noticeable in the dough before I added the dry ingredients (obviously I tasted the dough at every stage of the baking process), but it definitely still upped the overall flavor factor, and now I basically want to use brown butter in every recipe I make…that includes butter. Anyway, yada yada yada, below are the very simple instructions for how to brown butter, and a picture of the cookies (and cookie bars) I made with it. They look exactly the same as cookies made with regular butter, but I needed some more imagery for this post because browning butter is that easy, so just go with me here.

How to Brown Butter - Sarrandipity

How to Brown Butter:

  • Put butter in a light-colored pan (so you can see the color change), over medium heat. Stir the butter or swirl the pan occasionally to make sure it cooks evenly.
  • As it’s cooking, the butter may or may not make a strange gurgling noise like mine did (see below Snapchat video, and btw feel free to follow me @emz713); don’t worry about that, but also don’t let it boil over the top of the pan. Keep stirring.

  • The butter will gradually start foaming, and the liquid will eventually turn brown. I didn’t notice the changing color of the liquid underneath the foamy surface, so be sure to check regularly, because it doesn’t take very long.
  • Once the butter is brown, take it off the stove and pour it into a heat-proof bowl, using a mesh strainer (or cheese cloth) to keep the solids out.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - Sarrandipity

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It May Or May Not Be Spring In Chicago

And while the city decides, this is what I’ll be wearing.

casual sweatshirt, boyfriend jeans, & waterproof booties - sarrandipity blog
                        Sweatshirt: Singer 22 (Another Option: Revolve) // Jeans: Nordstrom Rack // (Waterproof!) Boots: Nordstrom 

Five days ago, it was 85 degrees in Chicago. Yesterday, it was 47. I’m not kidding. But I’m not surprised either—there is no norm as far as temperatures go anymore. Which brings me back to this outfit, which I photographed back when it was technically winter, didn’t get around to posting it, and figured I was done with it now that it’s almost May. Nope. I wore it yesterday. When the temperatures are in the 40s-50s, this is my go-to outfit. I found the sweatshirt in a boutique on Abbot Kinney in LA and was almost giddy with excitement over it. I had been on a long hunt to find a suitable replacement for a well-loved, super soft SoulCycle pullover I wore to death (Okay, I still wear it, just to bed and the gym instead of, well, everywhere else), and this was perfect. It is ridiculously soft—ridiculously. I wear it every chance I get. (I also became obsessed with pretty much all of Sundry’s clothing, though I’ve held myself back from buying it all…so far.) I bought the jeans in last year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and despite my hesitancy to pull the trigger on boyfriend jeans, they quickly became my favorites. (And BTW, I swear by AG Jeans. They’re worth every penny.) And the boots, oohhh the boots. You guys, they’re waterproof. They’re cute, suede booties that are waterproof. As a Chicago resident, they are one of the most valuable purchases I’ve ever made. So, yes, my go-to outfit. Can you blame me? 

casual & comfy - sarrandipity

cozy sweatshirt & boyfriend jeans - sarrandipity

rise and shine with this casual & comfy outfit - sarrandipity

Rising and Shining, all day, everyday.

Photos by Meghan Residori

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This post contains affiliate links. You won’t pay more by using them, but Sarrandipity may receive a (very) small commission if you click on a link and purchase something. Please check out my policies for more info. 

35 Small But Important Facts I Learned In 30 Years

Unsolicited wisdom, from me to you.

35 Small But Important Facts I Learned In 30 Years - Sarrandipity

Photo: Josselyn Imhoff

I’ve seen more than my fair share of articles spouting profound realizations shared by people who just celebrated milestone birthdays. This is not that. For one, I turned 30 six months ago. (Bonus fact: Procrastination may forever be my greatest vice—I wrote this list back then, and am just getting around to posting it now.) And the wisdom I’m about to share with you probably can’t be categorized as profound…but I’ll let you make that call. Here, some of the most important facts I’ve learned in my 30 (.5) years on this here Earth.

  1. Crockpots really are magical.
  2. You can pull off leather leggings if you put your mind to it. (Same goes for boyfriend jeans; just be prepared to then want to wear them every. single. day.)
  3. Sometimes Pinterest failing is more fun than Pinterest succeeding.
  4. It’s okay to download multiple Kindle books at once, but you should probably cut yourself off around number 5. (Once you read one, though, you can buy 5 more.)
  5. Packing light is overrated.
  6. Capsule wardrobes aren’t for everyone.
  7. Neither are sky-high stilettos. Or medium-high heels, for that matter.
  8. Naps get better with age.
  9. And naps in the sun and/or on a beach are the best kind.35 Small But Important Facts I Learned in 30 Years - Sarrandipity
  10. There’s no “easy way” to clean a litter box.
  11. And the self-cleaning, fancy litter boxes are basically bullshit.
  12. Goat cheese cheddar exists, and it’s every bit as magical as it sounds.
  13. There is a delicious beer out there for those who hate beer, and it’s called Not Your Father’s Root Beer.
  14. I may never really learn about wine.
  15. I may also never learn that just because I love a shirt, doesn’t mean I need to buy it in every color.
  16. Moon cheese is a gift from God.
  17. Sometimes you just need to pass out on the couch while watching TV and let yourself stay there all night.
  18. Wake-up lights are worth every penny, but they’re not magic.
  19. It’s okay to drink champagne when you’re not at a wedding, or celebrating something. In fact, it’s encouraged.35 Small But Important Facts I Learned in 30 Years - Sarrandipity
  20. My limit for number of days in a week I can eat pizza is 5. Mexican food: 4. Cheese: unlimited.
  21. The Nordstrom anniversary sale is the best sale of the year. Period.
  22. Being among mountains never ceases to be and feel amazing.
  23. A too-short haircut is never a reason to be devastated.
  24. And when you find a good hairstylist who gets you, you should hold on to her for dear life.
  25. Not having an assigned seat on an airplane is modern travel’s version of torture.
  26. Hawaii doesn’t get the love it deserves from millennial travelers and honeymooners. It’s goddamn paradise.
  27. It’s perfectly okay to never want to advance beyond the blue squares on the ski slopes.35 Small But Important Facts I Learned in 30 Years - Sarrandipity
  28. Just because you keep your head down while swinging a golf club doesn’t mean the ball will go where you want it to.
  29. When you’re feeling down in the dumps, all you need is a cat to head butt you, purr in your face, or fall asleep in your lap to feel validated and loved and alive.
  30. Polar vortexes never get easier. Neither do humid heat waves.
  31. Candles bring happiness to every room.
  32. Self-serve froyo was one of the greatest inventions of this decade.
  33. I don’t know what to call this decade. 10s?
  34. Noodle kugel is the greatest comfort food of all time.
  35. Sometimes you set out to make a list of 30 things and end up with 35.

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