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Saturday, May 23, 2015

MEMORIAL WEEKEND DEALS / INSTAGRAM ROUNDUP



I love Memorial Day weekend! Ours will be full of yard work (how "adult" does that make me sound?!) a morning at the beach and a BBQ with family. I'm also going to sneak in some online shopping. This weekend is bursting with some fantastic sales! Everything at leannebarlow.com  is on sale (no code needed). Our Take A Bow skirts are 30% off and our Great Lengths Maxi's are 50% off! We have also added a few more sizes of skirts that don't include the bow for sale as well.

Here are a few that I plan on checking out...

 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: 40% of tons of items. You can check out all of my top picks here.
J. Crew Factory: 50% off online!
Anthropologie: 20% off sale items with code GONEFISHING
ASOS: 20 % off with code LONGWKND
J. Crew: 25% off
Gap: 40% off with code SUMMER

1. The I've picked up a few things already from the  Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (like this blush top and these wedges), but I might pick up a few things for Garrett for Fathers Day. Their wrinkle free shirts are on sale for only $38! 

2. White swiss dot flutter sleeve shift dress. Holy heart eyes.

3. This dress in ivory is making me long for my waistline again..

4. I think this top would be perfect for 4th of July. It comes in navy or red stripes. 

5. I can't get enough of the embroidered trend and this top is especially adorable. 

6. The perfect beach bag. Even more perfect at 40% off. 






Friday, May 22, 2015

CASUAL FRIDAY

BUTTON UP: NORDSTROM | TOP: SIMILAR | PANTS: ASOS | BOOTIES: SOLE SOCIETY | BAG: LILY JADE (SIMILAR) | NECKLACE: SIMILAR | SUNGLASSES: KAREN WALKER VIA DITTO (get access to designer sunglasses for $19 a month + first month free here!)



Thursday, May 21, 2015

NORDSTROM HALF YEARLY SALE (+ 3 TIPS FOR SHOPPING IT SMARTER)


one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine / ten / eleven / twelve 
(Hover over the images for clickable links to each sale item)


The Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale is here! It's the perfect time to grab that blush pink spring handbag, or some cute summer sandals (I picked up these ones last night. Such a fantastic price!) I also posted on my instagram last night that my favorite (non maternity) top is on sale and works great with my bump. I had to grab a few more! While I get so excited to shop their sale each year, last night I was a little overwhelmed. So I sat down and wrote out a few tips to shopping the Nordstrom sale this time that should make you shopping experience smooth and easy. 

1. Shop online. I shopped it at the store last night and it was a little overwhelming. It's hard to find the racks with clothing included in the sale and so much of it was picked over (after just the first day!). There is way more selection online, and you can just filter right to the sale items and scroll through that way. Plus, with free shipping and free returns, why not shop it from home?!


2. Shop early. I ordered this clutch yesterday morning in pink and it was completely sold out by 8pm! The worker at Nordstrom yesterday told me that the sale lasts a few weeks, but most of the good items sell out in the first 2-3 days. So get your shopping done right away, because things disappear quickly around here! (again...free shipping/free returns. So you can always make up your mind once you have it at home)

3. Shop smart. When you browse through Nordstrom's website, they have literally thousands of items. Shop it with an idea of what you are looking for. You can filter to just their sale section, or get even more specific, to just sale shoes or sale handbags. This will save you so much more time right from the start to keep you from having to weed things out. Also, they usually keep the items that have more sizes in stock toward the beginning of the pages. 

You can scroll through a few more of my favorites from the sale below...

MY TOP CLOTHING PICKS




MY TOP ACCESSORY PICKS





Tuesday, May 19, 2015

DRESSING THE BUMP SERIES: WHAT TO WEAR DURING YOUR SECOND TRIMESTER


Hover over this image for clickable links to each piece I am wearing! You can also view a complete roundup of my maternity looks here.

I am so excited to dive into all of the ins and outs of dressing during your second trimester of pregnancy in my Dressing the Bump Series. (You can view all of my picks for what to wear during your first trimester here) The other day someone said to me, "So you're going to have the baby in what? Two and a half months?" There is no way. Right?? Oh my goodness, I am into my third trimester and I feel like this pregnancy is flying by right now. I did not feel like this with my first pregnancy. I don't know if I am relieved and excited or nervous and not ready!

So the second trimester. That bump is definitely out there, and you no longer look like you just ate too big of a lunch. It's most definitely a baby and that is what makes the second trimester my favorite stage of pregnancy to dress. That pouch now becomes an accessory you get to style! I spent a lot of time these past few weeks pouring through websites and in stores actually trying on clothing to pick my very favorite items. Some of these pieces I have worn during all three pregnancies, and some pieces are newly discovered this time around.

Here are my favorite things to wear during the second trimester of pregnancy:

FITTED STRETCHY DRESSES:



I put these first because they are absolutely my favorite thing to wear. They accentuate your bump and they look adorable. The key to fitted dresses are stretch and ruching on the sides (the bunching up on the sides of the dress, allowing enough fabric to stretch over your bump, like this dress and this dress have). If you are a little self conscious about something so fitted over your bum and thighs (I swear, my butt gets just as pregnant as my stomach), I would highly recommend these pregnancy spanx (I will reference them below too) They work wonders with dresses like these. 

MATERNITY PANTS:



I dreaded these so much in my first pregnancy that I didn't buy any. I bought a few pairs in my second pregnancy, but was still reluctant so I bought cheap pairs that I didn't love. And because I didn't love them, I would buy another cheap pair. In the end I spent about the same amount on 4 or 5 cheap pairs of poorly fitting maternity jeans, when what I should have done was just invest in one well-made pair. This time around, I invested in these AG jeans and I love them. I wear them about 4 times a week. They stay up and they are a great fit. (I want to get the same exact pair of these non maternity after the baby too!). Also, don't be afraid to start wearing them early on. I bought mine 2 sizes larger than my pre-pregnancy size, and started wearing them at the end of my first trimester.

MAXI DRESSES:



Cant stop won't stop with maxi dresses. They are great when not pregnant and amazing when pregnant. If the dress is more of a loose caftan, try belting right above your bump (like I did here and here). It will keep you from feeling like a tent, and accentuate your bump. 

SWIMWEAR



Let's face it. If you are pregnant during any point of a summer, you are going to need a bathing suit. While wearing a bathing suit when pregnant isn't my most favorite thing to do, the right one can make all the difference. I have this one and this one and would highly recommend them!

WORKOUT CLOTHING:



I wrote a whole post about my favorite ways to stay healthy and active during pregnancy here. Don't risk stretching out your nice expensive workout pants trying to fit into them during your whole pregnancy. These pants are my very very favorite. I can't even describe how soft they are. They are about as much as my Lululemon non maternity workout pants, and I love them just as much. I will probably wear them after the baby too. And invest in a good sports bra! Your old ones won't fit those growing hoots at this point. I would recommend one that zips in the front like this one that making nursing so much easier after the baby comes. I got mine when I was nursing Cash and I still love it!

TOPS:



For the second trimester I started to drift away from loose flowy tops. I wore them like crazy in the first trimester, but now that the bump has made an appearance, a big top can now just make you look....bigger. I have this top in a few different colors and it isn't even maternity (and currently on sale!). It is ruched on the sides and is great for accentuating the bump.

SHIFT DRESSES:



These can be a little tricky with a growing bump. I mentioned earlier that loose tops with a bump can make you look even bigger than you are, and the same is true with shift dresses. So look for ones with a great drape that hang really nicely like this one. They will still be loose and comfortable, but form a little more to your curves, which will help keep you from looking like you are wearing a potato sack.


EXTRA NECESSITIES:



I have a separate love affair for each of these items. To me, these are must haves for the second trimester. A good bra is crucial! I have this one and its great. You are going to need a lot of support for your girls and a bra that fits correctly makes a world of difference. I talked about prego Spanx earlier in this post and cross-my-heart-hope-to-die, they are a lifesaver on Sundays.


If you haven't yet, make sure you check out my Dressing The Bump Series post for the first trimester here. And follow me over on instagram as I tackle dressing for the third trimester!


Monday, May 18, 2015

BLOOMING BRIGHTS

TOP: ISABELLA OLIVER | PANTS: AG (NON MATERNITY HERE) | SHOES: NORDSTROM | BAG: SIMILAR | NECKLACE: STELLA & DOT | SUNGLASSES: SIMILAR

I have been in love with this top since the moment I saw it. It is a thick stretch knit and such a beautiful shade of citrus. It is maternity, but would work no problem with non-maternity as well. The cut is super flattering. 

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! I spent lots of time hanging out with my boys, which is just how I like to spend my weekends. We went on a family hike, and spent a night at the Santa Monica Pier eating all the frozen custard we could. Such a great weekend!


Friday, May 15, 2015

A JEWELRY BRUNCH WITH SIMON G.

DRESS: MADE BY ME (TUTORIAL COMING SOON), PATTERNED EXACTLY AFTER THIS DRESS | BLAZER: SOLD OUT, SIMILAR | SHOES: NORDSTROM | NECKLACE: SIMON G JEWELRY C/O | CLUTCH: HOBO



Last week I got to participate in am amazing bunch with Marie Claire and Simon G. Jewelry. The brunch was held at the Simon G. headquarters, and they showed us every step of how they create their beautiful jewelry, from heating the metals, to hand carving wax molds, to setting the stones by hand. It was so interesting to see and I really got a feel for the time and artistry that goes into each piece of jewelry from Simon G. 

The table setting alone was absolutely breathtaking! We were definitely treated like royalty. 

These were just our appetizers. Can you even handle this?! I might have piled a bunch on a giant napkin as we were leaving to head home...
This is a tree mold. The gold/silver is poured into these molds to create the ring.
This is the file cabinet with molds of every single ring that Simon G. has ever made. It was right next to a giant vault that housed all of their precious gems. 
When you order a ring from Simon G, they make a custom wax mold of the ring, so you can see exactly what it will look like, and allow you to make any adjustments. 
One of the beautiful diamond rings we saw being set. Each one of those tiny pave diamonds is hand set, and goes through a thorough testing process to make sure every one is secure. 

All photos from the brunch taken by Duke Photography 

This post was created in partnership with Marie Claire. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


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