The excitement of a bargain, especially when it's something you've had your eye on for a while, is an adrenaline rush of the best kind. I went out with the intention of buying the Baubebar bib necklace and the Zara metallic pleated skirt, unsure whether they would still have my size, be available, or even be on sale for Black Friday, and I am happy to say, I was lucky with all of the above!
Glamorous Night Out
The first outfit, perhaps my favorite, I consider an evening affair. Date night, girls night out, any night out. I love the rock star edginess the Baublebar necklace adds with the leather jacket and the strappy heels. The glitzy shine and the flirty swirl from the Zara pleated skirt adds so much glamour in a retro kind of way.
My lovely husband Brian. I am the luckiest person I know.
My little guy Rigsby, and all my little guys before him, who've lifted my spirits and made me so happy.
My health. There is no greater gift to be thankful for.
My heritage - thankful to be proud.
Living in this beautiful State of Arizona. So much to enjoy.
My friends, all of them, especially this one
The brave men and women who serve this great country to keep us safe every day at home and abroad.
Nordstrom Scottsdale Fashion Square - my day care!
All the amazing and healthy meals my husband makes for me every day.
So very thankful for every day that I get to enjoy this life and to do the things I love.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all
Love Karen xox
Blush and black lace top from Anne Taylor Loft (last years) I also like this one here and here.
Halogen black leather jacket from Nordstrom (old) - similar here.
J.Crew gold silver sparkle ballet flats - this year's super cute version here.
Black twill leggings - similar here.
Black quilted leather cross body bag - similar here.
When it comes to the holidays, I don't always want to spend money on clothes that I can only wear during the festivities. Unless it's for a specific event that requires a very special outfit, I prefer to choose clothes that I can wear throughout the year but will also fit in well around the holidays. This outfit I wore recently to a holiday gathering with girl friends. It also makes a cute Thanksgiving day outfit, and I've worn each piece when it's had nothing to do with the holiday season. That to me, is a savvy wardrobe!
A leather moto jacket is so versatile. When worn with feminine pieces like this blush and lace top and the sparkly shoes, it really turns itself into a "glamour puss", but when paired with jeans and a t-shirt, it takes on a whole new sporty look.
The blouse I wear either with leggings, or black jeans, but I've also paired it with dressy black shorts and studded sandals in the summer which was really fun.
The J.Crew ballet flats are probably the most festive piece of this whole outfit. When they are hit by indoor lighting, they really turn on the bling thing! They're a real eye catcher, and it's hard to stop looking down at them. They're also very comfortable because they're soft and flexible, really great quality, everything you'd expect from J.Crew. I bought these last year around the holiday time, this year they have a new style of sparkle flats which I've linked at the top of this post, equally as festive and they have super cute ankle straps.
My handbag is a Louis Feraud which I've had for almost 30 years. I guess therefore it's a vintage! I made several classic style purchases when I was young, and thank goodness, because I love this bag and use it sooooo much. This bag is my lesson that a classic style never really goes out of fashion, so there you will find a worthy investment.
Have a truly wonderful Thanksgiving
Meet Kim. We've known each other for more than 35 years. We met in London whilst working at The Kensington Palace Hotel, became great friends, and together took an opportunity to work at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dubai, UAE. The adventures we had back then sealed our friendship for all the years since, despite never living in the same country as each other after that.
Now she lives in Vancouver. As often as she can, she comes to visit me to enjoy the beautiful Arizona weather, relax by the pool, hang out with her old buddy (me), and together we party and stay up late just like the good old days!
One of Kim's favorite things to do when she comes to Scottsdale is to shop for bargains, and she's very good at it. As the thriftiest shopper I know, she's taught me a thing or two over the years! This trip was no exception, and we're sharing her bargain outfits from Nordstrom Rack, all of which cost less than $100.
1. Striped Dress $24.97 // 2. Hoodie Sweatshirt $24.97 // 3. Tunic Dress $22.25 // 4. Sweater $26.97
Kim bought these four pieces for a total of $99.16. Each of them can be styled to work in a number of ways to create several different looks. So lets take a peek at how she'll wear them.
1. First up, this heather grey and black striped knit dress by Soprano. It was originally $50, so a saving of 50%. This was probably Kim's favorite of the whole purchase. In Vancouver she'll wear this with black knit tights and either knee high boots or these booties shown here. A leather jacket would look edgy with this dress, and a blanket scarf would add coziness to the look as well as a splash of color.
2. A super soft and snuggly hoodie sweatshirt by Harlowe and Graham. Who doesn't need cozy sweatshirts to throw on at the end of the day when it comes time to baton down the hatches and curl up with a glass of vino? This also looks great with shorts, joggers, and leggings.
3. The ivory tunic dress by Hinge was on clearance so Kim made a killing with a 75% saving reduced from $89. With it's flirty pin tuck pleats and decorative hemstitch detail it's already got it's work cut out for next spring and summer, but Kim has already figured out how to winterize it so she can wear it now! She's layering it over a black camisole and leggings with her favorite booties and "voila", super cute!
4. RDI gunmetal twist sweater with tan elbow patches in faux suede and high low hemline. Kim was very pleased with this purchase, as she not only made a 70% saving on it's original price of $90, but knows she will make so much use of it. Smart enough to wear to work, easy enough for the weekends, and it pairs well with all her existing outfits, leggings, jeans, even white jeans as shown here.
So if Kim had purchased these pieces at their full price, it would have cost her $277. Instead she paid $99.16. Of course most things go quickly at Nordstrom Rack. But one thing I've learnt from Kim over the years when it comes to bargain shopping is that you must have patience in order to rummage and find what works for you. It's tempting to buy things just because they're discounted, but can you really make use of it? That is the question you must ask yourself, as well as does it fit you well - that's my biggest pet peeve. So if you love it, and it fits well - wear it!
Hope you enjoyed our blog post!
Lots of love
Kim and Karen xox
Blanket scarf similar // Sweater // AG Jeans (currently 30% off) // Similar satchel bag // Booties (currently 40% off) // Watch
Happy Friday lovelies! I'm particularly happy today because one of my best friends, Kim, who I've known for 35 years is coming to visit me tomorrow, flying in from Vancouver and staying for a week (my poor husband!). Because I've been so busy with my new blog and building the website, I'm completely unprepared for her stay, but I know she won't mind a bit. No doubt you'll meet her next week!
Today I'm sharing an outfit that I put together with something I purchased from Nordstrom a couple of weeks ago for an absolute steal - the blanket scarf. It was the last one, and was about to be shipped off to Nordstrom's Rack (like an unwanted puppy being sent to the shelter), but this little puppy went home - with me - for $10 - yessurree! I was so thrilled because I already had a bright red Rebecca Minkoff handbag that picks up the red in the scarf, but a neutral bag would look awesome too.
Although sweater weather is normally brief in Arizona, this one is definitely going to see some action since it's light weight and loose fitting, so it's wearability will extend beyond the cold weather months. For example, those cooler evenings we often have in the fall and spring, as well as being a great sweater for travel because it's not bulky to pack.
I have fallen victim to repeat wear on these Via Spiga booties, but can you blame me? The warm neutral shade and the wedge heel, not to mention how comfortable they are, they shout at me every day to put them on! They are currently on major discount at Nordstrom.
I might even wear this outfit to pick Kim up from Sky Harbour Airport tomorrow, she should be able to spot me easily with that pop of red!
Have a lovely weekend lovelies!
Sunrise Trail is one of my favorite hikes close to where I live in Scottsdale. The trail itself is quite steep and rugged, but beautiful from start to finish and the scenery is stunning - majestic saguaro cactus, giant boulders, desert foliage, and amazing look out points to enjoy the view over the Phoenix valley. This particular shoot was done in the late afternoon, so we were fortunate enough to catch the start of sunset.
Lululemon Leggings // Lululemon Sport Bra // Lululemon Tank similar // Ironman Timex Watch // Ray Ban Aviator Sunnies // New Balance Trail Running Shoes
The blood gets flowing from the get go on this hike so it really is a work out. About a one and a half to two hours round trip if you go all the way up to the top, Sunrise Peak. My exercise app says I burn more than 700 calories doing this hike, so along with the enjoyment of the activity it's a no-brainer for me and an extra glass of well deserved wine!
Lululemon gear is my all round sports wear. The pieces I have cross over from the gym to the trail, from the tennis court to running as well as bicycling and just hanging out! I love that besides being sport practical they also make you feel and look good. I've tried a lot of different sport bras over the years, and this Energy Bra is my all time favorite. It's comfortable, I can get it on and off without being a contortionist and it works for me across all my activities. If you're better endowed than me, you may want to go for more support like this one. The leggings are another all purpose sport essential. I love the high waisted style that Lululemon have started doing because they totally stay right where you left them, never have to hitch them up because they feel they're falling down.
So go take a hike - burn up some calories, enjoy the outdoors, get the blood flowing, and enjoy that extra glass of wine - it's all good for you!
Stay healthy my friends
The hoodie cardigan is an old fave originally from Topshop at Nordstrom but sadly no longer available. I found this one here and this one that are similar and look equally as adorable. I've worn this cardigan to death, I also give it the nickname "Car Cardi", because I take it everywhere with me in the car - just in case! It's super soft and cozy and an absolute wardrobe staple.
This outfit is my go to dress down look when I don't want to wear jeans. The black pants are from Splendid, sort of like smart joggers, with rouching on the ankles to taper the leg, and a gray knit waistband. They currently have them on sale for $64 in the olive green color. The t-shirt is also Splendid. They have great t-shirts that fit well and are super soft and comfy. The shoes are Halogen from Nordstrom, last years, but this style of shoe is still going strong and the gray snake print and black combo adds a playful twist to loads of casual outfits. This quilted style flat is also super cute and on sale at Nordstrom.
The bag... I even surprised myself how much I would end up using this bag and not just for it's original purpose. It's from Lululemon, just a simple black nylon utility cross body called The Essentials Bag with a comfy adjustable wide strap, lots of pockets and compartments, and also doubles as a fanny pack if you're out on some sporting activity. This is probably the only bag that I can find my phone or keys in immediately! The sporting activities are what I had originally planned for this little cutie, that and road trips, but now I use it for every day errands and the like. It was only about $60 and I can't believe they no longer have it, but I did find this Tory Burch one at Nordstroms, although a bit more expensive, and this one. Of course I couldn't resist adding the fur pom pom, always have to add my little girl touch!
Have a very happy week
This is one of my favorite on trend pieces this season. I never thought I would be wearing a bomber jacket at 55 years old, but I love it!
The moderate winter climate in Southern Arizona means very little time bundling up with heavy layers. Instead, light weight coats, jackets and cardigans are the go to essentials.
Bomber jacket // Splendid t-shirt // AG jeans // Vince Camuto clutch similar here // Betsy Johnson shoes // Monogram necklace // Sunglasses
This khaki green bomber with it's glossy fabric, set off against the black knit waist, collar and cuffs, and the gold zipper detail is too cute! It's from Zara at just $40, and they have plenty of other colors and variations to choose from. It looks good with jeans or pants. I paired it with skinny jeans here, but I also like it with boyfriend jeans. It looks really striking with white jeans, plus with heels... I'm a sucker for sporty and sexy combos!
This particular jacket is unlined so it's very light, plus it doesn't make you look bulky like the Michelin man. It's great worn casually, I mean... who can resist black velvet flats with fur pom poms? But I've also included a picture where I dressed it up for a night out with the hubby. See how we match - that was not deliberate!
Thank you for reading my blog, I'm really enjoying sharing my outfits with you. How would you pair a bomber jacket, and what color would you go for? I would love to hear your ideas.
This amazing property is referred to as the "Jewel of the Desert" situated in the heart of Phoenix, AZ. Since 1929, accommodating U.S. presidents and legendary film stars, the luxury resort currently boasts eight swimming pools and two championship golf courses amid 39 acres. It's stunning architecture was designed by the famous American architect Frank LLoyd Wright.
The Biltmore "Sprites". These original architecture sculptures were designed by Frank LLoyd Wright in 1914 to stand guard over Chicago's Midway Gardens. These same Sprites, meaning fairy or elf, now grace the grounds of the Arizona Biltmore Resort.
Having spent many years working in the hotel industry, I have a passionate curiosity for interesting properties around the world. The Arizona Biltmore Resort is no exception. We enjoyed a lazy afternoon, sipping wine, overlooking the lush gardens of the hotel, watching their guests come and go, and the scenic beauty of the Camelback Mountain Range beyond the golf course. It was idyllic.
The transition into fall is a slow process in Arizona, so I wore an off the shoulder blouse by Topshop from Nordstrom. It had the feel of fall with it's autumnal floral colors on a black background, bell sleeves and a light-weight silky feel. The black coated skinny jeans are by Citizans of Humanity, (similar here) and the clutch bag is Vince Camuto. (Similar here). I love this bag, because it's big enough to fit a substantial amount of girl stuff, and when you need to be hands free, it has a handy gold link chain shoulder strap, plus it has the leather coated bear claw charm giving it an edgy feel. The booties are Via Spiga and are my favorite new purchase this fall, they just seem to go with everything, plus they're "walk all day" comfy to boot!
On our way to happy hour, my girlfriends were agonizing over which sneakers to buy. They wanted a trendy pair to go with their skinny jeans or shorts. They'd had no luck finding anything that didn't make their feet look big, weird, felt uncomfortable, or that their teenage kids weren't wearing.
I've never had this dilemma because I've been wearing the same brand my whole adult life, and I love them just as much today as I ever did. There is nothing more classic than jeans, t-shirt and a good pair of sneakers. It's a cute look that is both ageless and timeless, so long as it's the right pair of sneakers!
My forever go to brand is SUPERGA. I've always had them in white, the 2750 Cotu Classic sneaker. They normally retail around $65, but you can often find them on sale at different stores if you check the internet. They have tons of other great colors, and I love that they're Italian designed, the shape is stylish and they don't make your feet look big or weird. The bonus is you can throw them in the washing machine when they get dirty, so you never have to worry about falling victim to the grunge look. I wear them with Nike no show socks which work well because the tacky blob at the back of the heel keeps them in place. The SUPERGAs look super cute with shorts, leggings, any sports wear, casual mini dresses, crop pants, even long skirts and jeans of course. I would not be without a pair of these essential kicks, and I wear them with all of the above!
Because they're Italian, you may want to check out the European shoe size conversion table on my Fashion Tools page. I normally wear an American size 9, so I have the sneakers in European size 39.5.
For this outfit, I paired distressed boyfriend jeans from The Gap, and this darling lace cami from H&M which is a sexy contrast to the otherwise sporty look. I also like to wear an over-sized chunky knit cardigan over this outfit when the weather turns cooler. In keeping with the overall sporty look, I wore Ray Ban's blue gradient lens aviators. I felt totally hip and had quite the spring in my step!
Thank you for reading
This year I wanted to do something that wasn't store bought and would feel more original. I searched online for some ideas, and my favorite was an easy step by step, inexpensive idea from Caitlin Covington of Southern Curls and Pearls. It was cute, girly and fun, and I couldn't wait to make it. Here is the link to her blog post where she explains what you will need, and how to do it.
I did make a few changes of my own. I went to Nordstroms Rack to find the slip she uses as the dress. I didn't like how they fit on me, and felt a little too exposed! Instead, I picked a T-shirt dress from the clearance rack for $20 which went all the way up to the neck finishing with a loose collar, but this made for a more secure base for the whipped cream ruffle.
Instead of using glue, I hand sewed together my felt circles first, creating a bunch of different shapes. All it takes is a couple of slip stitches through the point of the felt where they are joined together. Then I made tiny marks on the dress where they would be attached. Again, instead of using glue, I stitched the felt to the dress. I find glue difficult to use, plus I (MrsLastMinute.Com) had left all this rather late and the glue would not have had enough time to cure! In addition, I sewed the whipped cream to the head band.
I used very strong strips of sticky back velcro to attach the straw to the inside of the whipped cream. I placed the strips on both the straw and the felt. I loved this little brain wave, because it meant I could take the straw on and off making it easy to get in and out of the dress, or if you're driving, or in some other difficult predicament!
Lastly, I laminated the Starbucks logo at the Kinkos store so that it wouldn't bend or get trashed. This also gives it a nice polished finish.
I already had these Baublebar earings and they happened to match the dress perfectly, plus they made very good droplets of Frappuccino! Overall, I would say I had the most fun with this costume. So much so, I not only wore it to the Halloween party we went to on Sunday evening, but also all the next day - Halloween day itself. Lots of people stopped and asked if they could take their photo with me, I had an absolute blast!
Karen Serino is a life and style blogger, sharing fashion, fitness and fun for youthful women in their forties, fifties and beyond.
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Click the picture below to see my interview with the lovely Jonet Wooten from Fabulously Chic Over 50