Friday, October 28, 2016

How and Why I Shop at Nordstrom

1) BP LEOPARD BEANIE only $15 and sells out fast!

Hello Friends and Happy Friday!
Today I wanted to take some time to talk a little about how and why I shop at Nordstrom.  If you haven't done so yet, you should create an account with them.  This allows you to shop items and "save them for later."  Many times I will add things to my cart from my iPad, iPhone or Laptop (all of which are signed into my account at all times) and go back later to either purchase them or save them for a later time.  If you are anything like me, you will see something that you absolutely love, but know that you need to wait a little while before you buy.  The items above are all things that are literally saved to my bag right now.  EXCEPT THE BEANIE, I just bought that today because it was restocked and sells out so fast!  I love the "save for later" feature because it allows me to check in on my items every few days to see if they are on sale or restocked in my size.  Let's be honest, we all love a good deal and we all know that typically within 6-8 weeks things go on sale after they are "new" so I always keep an eye on them :)

The other reason I love Nordstrom and started shopping them more often over the past 2 years is because shipping is always free, on every item, all the time!  Returns are also free and can be taken back to the store.  There is no hassle and no guilt.  They have products to fit most budgets big and small and are a one stop shop for head to toe looks.  They price match and will always price adjust within 2 weeks of a purchase if it drops in price.  They are wonderful to their employees and it shows when you shop with them in store.  I really could go on and on about why I love them and I swear this is not a sponsored post!  (I need wayyyyy more followers for that to happen!)

Any who, I thought it would be fun to give you a look at some of the items that I really do have my eye on currently.  I have never owned a leather jacket, so I want to start with a faux on first to see if I will wear it enough to justify an more expensive one some day.  This one by BlankNYC has caught my eye several times.  I also need more dresses for Florida and this floral one is adorable!  I am thinking about buying the off the shoulder dress to wear to mass on Christmas Eve (and yes I am already starting to outfit plan for my Christmas in PA, DON'T Judge Me!)

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Work Wear Wednesday: Layering a Knit Dress

Similar DRESS: here love this one from Express  TURTLENECK: mine is old from Old Navy but love these Gap Outlet ones  SHOES: also old from Aldo but tried on an d love these snake print ones, similar styles herehere and here NECKLACE: similar here LIPSTICK: MAC Flat Out Fabulous HANDBAG: love this Michael Kors tote option

Hey there and Happy Wednesday!  This weeks "Work Wear Wednesday" edition is all about layering a simple dress to make it more fun for work and warmer for fall temperatures.  As usual, most of the items I am wearing are "old" but I found some cute options for you linked above and below in the widgets.  (yes that's what we bloggers call those little images on the bottom of each post!)  Can we talk about how easy this look really is to achieve?  And it doesn't have to be a form fitting dress it can be one thats fitted at the top and A-lines out.  It can be one that already has a loose cowl neck at the top and you do a double turtleneck type look.  As long as the turtleneck is thin and fitted that you layer underneath, it will work great under a lot of dress styles!  I added a fun necklace because the neckline is a little lower here and needed some personality.  I also love adding necklaces to work outfits because it instantly gives any outfit some pizazz.  Even if I don't wear a ton of statement pieces with my casual clothes as much these days, I will still always love them for work looks.  

Here is a little life update for those who care :)  

 I got back in from North Carolina late Monday afternoon and quite honestly the trip left me exhausted.  The reason I was in NC is because I am the former program director of an All Star Cheerleading Program called Cheer Extreme Hampton Roads. It is one of 10 locations in the US and each year they do a Showcase for their friends and family in Winston-Salem.  It's a way to get together and support one another and debut each routine before the competition season officially kicks off.  It is a lot of fun and quite honestly I miss the crap out of my coach friends, athletes and even the parents. I spent a lot of time, love, energy, sweat, tears and hard work there.  I put so much of me into that little gym and I didn't want to walk away from that.  It was hands down the hardest part about having to leave VA after 6 years.  This time away from them has opened my eyes to just how much being a coach means to me and that I wish I would have savored more of those moments when I had the chance.  I was making positive impacts on the lives of children each day which is priceless considering the world we are living in these days.  And maybe, just maybe after seeing the excitement on their faces when they saw me this past weekend, maybe I'm even convinced that I will be an okay mom one day after all.  I only got them for a few hours a week and I was stressed about them throughout my days.  I can't even fathom that feeling once you actually have your own!   And random side note but this dress was actually bought to wear to one of their awards banquets a few years back because their colors are teal, black and white :) I think it is pretty appropriate for todays post and how I am feeling about my time I spent with them recently.  

Today's also our 4th Wedding Anniversary but Drew's currently in Africa and has no access to phone or internet today so sadly I won't get to talk to him.  BUT I will give him a little shout out because I am sure he will see this once he gets back to land on Friday.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY boo boo, I will see you soon!  <3

As always thanks for stopping by and if you have any questions or want to send me some love, feel free to comment below!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Styling for Warmer Fall Weather

JEANS: mine are old, I want this pair and also like these  VEST:  also older, but these two are similar and both under $35 here and here TANK: similar style here  BOOTIES: mine are Coach from a few years ago, but this Sole Society pair is really similar  SUNNIES: Michael Kors  HANDBAG: Kate Spade (similar) NECKLACE: similar PA option WATCH: Michael Kors BRACELETS: here and here  LIP COLOR: MAC Flat out Fabulous

Hello Friends and Happy Monday!

Today I wanted to show how you can still layer for fall even if you live in warmer climates like me :) It's one of my biggest adjustments here because my mind says "hey its October 24th where are your sweaters and boots?" but the reality is it's just too darn warm for that.   I've only ever lived in areas with all 4 season and I am still in the pouty phase because there are no fall leaves to be found.  While I am still no expert on how you should be dressing for a warmer fall I will fill you in on my take thus far!

Layer on a Vest
If you want to layer, do it with tanks and vests like I did.  Booties are still a good compromise to wanting to wear a boot but anything too high is just too warm.  

Wear Plaid
Plaid shirts are a cute way to feel like you are participating in fall.  Wear them with your favorite denim shorts with booties or distressed jeans with a wedge.  OR wear it open with a tank or tee underneath to create another layered option 

Add a touch of Suede
A suede tank with jeans and booties is so cute and makes you think you are "falling" even in 85 degree weather!  Suede skirts are also so cute right now with a lighter blouse (think about one with bell sleeves) 

Lightweight Scarves
Since it is subzero everywhere you go indoors, think about wearing a lightweight scarf with your favorite jeans or shorts and t-shirts.  It is a simple look that's so easy to achieve and a scarf is easy to take off and throw in your bag if it gets too hot

Sleeveless Sweaters
This one has become my new favorite look and I am currently stocking up!  Wear them with shorts and booties or jeans and cute lace up suede sandals.  It's easy, timeless and they are great pieces to layer once it gets cooler under chunkier cardigans

Add a Light Jacket
You can't always do this during the day but at night you can add your favorite utility jacket over a tank or a leather/suede jacket over your favorite dress with your go to heel

There are so many options to try for those of you who are living in places with warmer temperatures. I will continue to post looks that are full on fall and winter outfits because I know that a lot of you are up north and I want to continue to inspire you on what you can wear.  But for my southern friends, don't worry, I will be adding more looks for you too!  

It's called compromise :)  

Thanks as always for stopping by and go out there and have a fantastic week!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Work Wear Wednesday: The Bow Blouse

BOW BLOUSE: Michael Kors (mine is from spring, this is the fall version) more options hereherehere,  herehere and LOVE this one  SWEATER: (mine is old) Similar here and here  PANTS: The Limited also like this cut here  PUMPS: similar Christian Louboutin affordable version here  HANDBAG: MK Miranda (old) cute option for $60 here WATCH: Michael Kors

Hello Friends and Happy Hump Day!
Today is the second edition of Work Wear Wednesday and I absolutely adore this bow blouse!  This is a look that I have created many times in many different ways over the past few years.  The specific blouse I'm wearing is Michael Kors from the spring, but I linked this season's adorable leopard print version!  The bow, in my opinion, is like a woman's version of a tie (but just so much cuter!)  Don't be afraid to experiment with this look.   I love wearing it solo tucked into a pencil skirt or layered with a tight knit sweater or cardigan.  It is also so so so cute underneath a jacket.

Most of the items I am wearing are not current (you know that whole I don't have anywhere to wear them thing) but I linked some really great and affordable options above.  I also have to admit it has been fun to dig into my closet and pull out clothes I haven't touched in a while.  I might be one of those rare commodities that loves buying and wearing work clothes.  It brings out a different confidence for me when I wear them.  Any who,  I hope this helped some of you feel inspired!  I can't wait to see what you all put together.  Send me your bow outfits ladies!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tutorial Tuesday: My Everyday Make Up Routine

Hello Lovelies!  Happy Tutorial Tuesday!  This week I opted to show you how I actually apply my make up for my everyday (less then 10 minutes I swear) routine.  When I posted this BLOG POST a few weeks back I had a bunch of messages come my way.  I think the easiest way to answer some of  your questions is by simply showing you how it is I use these products.  I am no make up expert and would never, ever claim to be.  BUT I have watched my fair share of tutorials throughout the years and have practiced more then I would be willing to admit.

Before you watch the video, here are a few good things to know:

1) my skin type is combo.  Oily in my T-zone but occasion dry skin on my cheeks

I have been using IT Cosmetics CC Cream for over 2 years now and it is hands down my favorite skin product.  Decent coverage without feeling heavy.  HOWEVER now that I am here in Florida I have noticed that it is slightly more hydrating then I realized.  I might need to start looking into some other options to help combat my constant oily T-Zone (insert frown face)  If any of you have recommendations on a good medium(ish) coverage that will help fight the oil, let me know!

2) My face is not as dark of the rest of my body.  I bronze more then usual because I am trying to make my face match the rest of me :)  You might need a lighter color bronzer then I am using if you are fair

3) EYEBROWS- a good friend once told me that your brows are sisters, not twins!  They do not need to be so perfectly identical and quite frankly they will look silly.  Work with the shape of each and don't fret if they don't match 100% perfectly.

4)  If doing this routine in the morning, follow your normal routine.  I apply an eye cream in an effort to hydrate my under eyes to prepare for my concealer.  Be sure to let everything soak in completely before starting your make up.

5)  I talk about NEULASH in this tutorial.  I started using this product at the end of August and I have seen a change to my lashes.  They are longer for sure!  There is a noticeable difference when I am wearing mascara as well.  I feel it was worth the money, but I have friends who use Latisse and swear thats even better.

As always if you have any questions at all please don't hesitate to ask!  I look forward to your feedback and what you think about this weeks tutorial.

IT COSMETICS 115 (used to apply cc cream)
IT COSMETICS 201 (used to apply under eye)
MAC BLUSH BRUSH 129 (mine is so old, this one is current version)

NARS LAGUNA (bronzer)

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Instagram Round Up!

Hello Friends and Happy Monday!  I have rounded up my looks from my instagram over the past 3 weeks!

 DRESS: Socialite similar here SCARF: BP  BOOTIES: sold out, love these 25% off! BAG: Kate Spade Outlet, similar here 

 JOGGERS: Nike (have in several colors) TANK: old, Cute Henley Here SNEAKERS:  Adidas SIZE DOWN! I went down 1 full size

 SWEATER: Target  JEANS: Articles of Society SHOES: Christian Louboutin  CROSSBODY: old, similar here

 SWEATER: old, similar style here SHORTS: Target RAINBOOTS: Hunter

FLANNEL SHIRT:  Old Navy DENIM: AG HANDBAG: Tory Burch (similar) WATCH: Michael Kors

TOP: BP (similar)  BOOTIES: old, similar here  RUG: Rugs USA COUCH: West Elm DINING CHAIRS: Wayfair CHANDELIER: West Elm  DINING TABLE: West Elm (obsessed) AMERICAN FLAG: Heritage Flag Co  (the best Xmas Gift to Drew yet!) 

PILLOW: West Elm CHAIR: Crate & Barrel   TABLE: ZGallerie  FLOWERS: Homegoods COASTERS: Homegoods THROW: Pier1 (old)

JACKET: sold out, love this one SHIRT: only $10 BP LEGGINGS: Zella $38 at the rack, i paid twice as much last season! SUNGLASSES: Ray-Ban 

SWEATER: SHEIN (under $20) DENIM: AE years ago, similar here  OUTDOOR SET: Costco  PILLOWS: Potterybarn (not online)

The reason I put together instagram round ups is to provide you all with direct links to the exact items that I feature on my IG account. If it is an older item I will always try my best to find something similar or that I love just as much!  This also includes furniture and decor so make sure you check those items out too!  I have gotten several questions on where my couch is from as well as the rug in my living room.  Those are now all up above for you to click on and refer back to if need be.  Also a quick side note,  I absolutely love these Adidas Sneakers!  If you have been eyeing them make sure you order a full size down.  I thought this was crazy but it's 100% true.  I am a size 7.5 and bought these in a 6.5.  From what I have read from other bloggers, they too have had to size down a full size.

I will be so busy the next few days trying to shoot as many photos as I can before Drew leaves for Africa.  Luckily it is only for 11 days, but he is my go to photog .  Without him I'm left taking outfit selfies and mirror selfies (insert sad face)  I will be working on a make up tutorial of my everyday routine as well as more work wear outfits.  I also have a few more ideas in the pipeline that hopefully you all will enjoy!

And for those of you that are familiar with the effects of king tides, I feel you!  We had no idea this was even a real thing until this past week.  Each morning and evening during high tide our road fills with 6-12 inches of water.  It is absolutely terrible and lasts for 3-4 hours.  If you have seen my snapchat (@rachsomp) then you know what I am talking about.

Any who, nothing too new or exciting has been happening at the Somp Residence.  We laid low this weekend renting movies, watching football and keep it simple.  I hope you all had a great weekend too and an even better week!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Work Wear Wednesday & Getting a Little Personal

SIMILAR SWEATER VESTS: here and only $21, here, someone please get this one, another option here and here  oh and I'm buying this one for only $20 with code YESPLEASE / BLOUSE: The Limited / PENCIL PANTS: The Limited more colors here / LEOPARD PUMPS: DSW  / NECKLACE: BaubleBar (mine is old) / HANDBAG: Michael Kors / LIPCOLOR: Mac Rebel and Mac Dark Out

Hello Friends!  In addition to adding tutorials to my blog, I will also be adding work wear!  The struggle is always so real when trying to find cute, stylish outfits to wear to work.  I spent years trying to build a wardrobe of items that I could wear to work and also on the weekends.  This shell top is just that kind of item.  Pair it with leggings and boots, jeans and booties for a cute weekend look.  Add a simple blouse underneath and it magically transforms into a business appropriate top.  These skinny pants from The Limited are a staple piece for me and I have them in a bunch of colors (along with the sateen pencil pants) Oh and these leopard pumps were recently added back to the DSW website and a serious must have item!

While some of you might know a great deal about my life, I am sure a lot of you have no real idea what it is "I do" for a living.  So here is a very open and honest answer to this question as well as a little bit of background.

I moved from the Philadelphia area in 2010 to be with my then boyfriend (now husband) Drew.  At the time I was working for Comcast Business as an inside sales rep.  I then worked briefly for Yellowbook when I moved to VA to get a steady stream of income quickly,  but left a few months later for a better opportunity with a government contracting company doing inside sales.  I was laid off almost two years later and I think this is when I slowly started to lose  faith in corporate America.  I went on to be sales support for a year followed by sales for a year at Cox Media.  I made the tough decision to leave for multiple reasons, but 9 months later I went back to the sales support team part time to help out one of my favorite bosses ever :)   In addition to that I was the Program Director of an All Star cheerleading gym and worked as a sales associate for Michael Kors. At one point I was working full time, spending 20+ hours a week at the cheer gym and 6-12 hours a week at the store.  

Drew has always been really great about supporting me in whatever it is I want to do.  And yes I am fortunate that I get to explore new possibilities because I have him to lean on and count on but I struggled immensely with that fact for a really, really long time.  I've always had some sort of job since I was 14 years old.  I worked more than my friends growing up and prided myself on my "independence" and work ethic. But quite honestly my career just wasn't adding up and being a military spouse with all the uncertainly that comes with it was taking its toll.  Now that we are in Florida I am trying to figure out what my next steps will be.  I am taking this time to collect my thoughts, work on my blog and figure it out.  I want my life to have purpose and meaning and if it means I take a step back to figure it all out, then I am perfectly okay with that.   

The older I get the more I believe that you have to find things that make you passionate.  You are way more successful doing the things you love then staying stuck doing something you hate.  And who knows, maybe this little blog of mine (with a ton of hard work that no one really sees) will open more doors than I ever imagined. Maybe, just maybe it will bring me opportunities that would not have been there had I not finally taken this leap of faith.  

Thank you for stopping by and for letting me open up a bit.   I hope you all have a great Wednesday!
PS- I literally wrote this post Tuesday morning and within a few hours I had a company reach out to me regarding a potential opportunity AND I inquired with another one about an opportunity part time that thrills me to death!  Who knows what will happen but I think it was fate that I wrote this post and within a few hours things sort of took a shift for me in some really positive and exciting directions!   Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tutorial Tuesday: The Half Up Top Knot

Hello Lovelies and Happy Tuesday!  I am so excited to announce a new addition each week to the blog titled, Tutorial Tuesday.  Okay there is a solid chance I won't be able to get tutorials up every week so it could be every other, but none the less, tutorials are here to stay on Sandy Toes & Stilettos! Last week I posted my first ever tutorial on how I create my beauty waves seen here.  The response was pretty amazing if I can be honest with you all.  I was not expecting you to like it as much as you did.  Some of you mentioned buying the products and even trying this new technique and having some success.  It is those moments and those reasons that I created this little blog to begin with.  To connect with women, to share stories, tips and inspirations.  If I can help just one of you with each post then I feel that this is all so worth it. 

There are a few things I want to mention because I kind of left a few things out while trying to spare you from a 20 minute video.  

1) How I actually pull my hair up- I've noticed through photos that I initially used to use less hair and honestly I think I like that approach better.  I am not sure where along the way I started pulling more up so I suggest trying a few ways to see what works best for you!

2) My hair was 4 days unwashed in this video which is why some of the teasing went so well.  Make sure you watch the first part of my wavy hair tutorial if you haven't already.  It talks about some of the products I use to prep and prime my hair

3) I probably shouldn't really call this a top knot.  It is pretty bun like but lets just leave the wording out of it :)

4) Practice, Practice, Practice-  it really does make perfect!

As always, thank you for stopping by.  If you don't already, make sure you like my Facebook Page.  I always post there and will be using that more and more to talk about sales.  You can also go ahead and share my tutorials there.  Comments and Thumbs up on you tube are also welcome!

Friday, October 7, 2016

How to Style a Denim Dress for Fall

DRESS: (old) similar styles here here and here / SCARF: (seriously had this forever) cute styles here love this style also here and here / BOOTIES: (last season) almost identical also love these and these / HANDBAG: (also older style) similar here and here SUPER AFFORDABLE version here / LIPCOLOR: Nars Cruella MK Watch

I am jumping right into this one today because I absolutely LOVE this dress.  I got it this past spring when I worked at MK and we sold out of it pretty quickly (especially once it went on sale).  It is one of the most versatile dresses I own and everyone should have one of these cuties in their closet!  I wore it a ton this past summer with the sleeves rolled up and cute gladiator sandals.  For this shoot I opted to keep it fairly simple by adding just a touch of leopard.  Leopard after all equates to any and all things fall right?!   The scarf is H&M from like 6 years ago but I still love it.  I highly suggest adding a leopard scarf to your fall collection because they never actually go out of style.  

Instead of typing out additional ways to style this dress to make it fall appropriate, I opted to just show you!  And please don't mind the mirror selfies! I decided last minute to do this so rather than make it a huge production, I grabbed my mirror, moved it to the best lighting in the house and started snapping away :))


 TURTLENECK: mine is Old Navy from last year, similar option here / BOOTS: Similar Steve Madden here

OPTION 2)  Add your favorite VEST

VEST: old style, newer version here / BOOTIES: Louise et Cie / TURTLENECK: similar here
(Sonoma absolutely refused to move. She's lucky she's so cute!)

OPTION 3) Add a PLAID SHIRT with a Belt

PLAID SHIRT: old style, similar here and here / BELT: Target another option here

OPTION 4) add your favorite Long CARDIGAN

CARDIGAN: Exact here (color sold out) similar color option here / BOOTIES: Vince Camuto
(totally had to shift the mirror because I was chasing the sun setting, lol) 

I had a lot of fun making this post and need to do more like it.  It't fun taking one piece you love and styling it a bunch of ways.  I have a feeling it will be helpful to a lot of you!  Also a sidetone about this dress.  I did wear it to work back in VA.  It was still chilly and since the dress is a tad short I added thick tights and heeled bootie. I layer a blouse underneath and a chunky necklace.  My work environment was fairly casual so I could get away with it.  When I worked in an office setting I constantly wanted to buy things that I could wear to work and on the weekends.  

An update here in Broward County on Hurricane Matthew:  I would say overall we were very lucky. We had some intermittent strong winds and rain but nothing that wasn't manageable.  I am saying my prayers for those along the central and northern shores of Florida however because I have a feeling that that they will not be as lucky.  It is currently 8:00pm on Thursday night and the storm is quickly approaching them.  We have not yet lost power (thank you thank you thank you) and our road has not flooded at this time.  And THANK YOU SO MUCH to all of you who have reached out to check on us.  We greatly appreciate and love you all!   

Thanks for stopping by and be safe friends!

ps I also have a feeling that I might get some home decor/furnishing questions.  Comment below if you have any questions on where I bought certain things ;)