as many of you know, i am a newly inducted army wife. and one of my welcoming gifts was a move across the world to south korea. thank you army, you’re too kind.
the challenges one faces when adapting to moving in with your spouse for the first time were only heightened with challenges faced in a new country, where i didn’t know the language and had no familiarity.
not to mention, had no idea where to shop. as newlyweds, we sold off most of our belongings so we could start fresh together. south korea threw us for quite the curveball when we showed up to an empty apartment, empty handed.
through trial and sometimes tribulation i found some of the best american comforts to shop from that yes, deliver to APO/FPO/DPO. for all those that don’t know what APO/FPO/DPO is [ i know i didn’t until it magically appeared in my address,] you can disregard the mumbo jumbo and still find some of my favorite retailers below. if any of you that are locked into an APO/FPO/DPO address have a positive experience with any retailers not found below, please add them to the comments and i will continue to update this list. ps, if the writing is in pink, you can click on it to shop that retailer directly.
you can always keep up with sales and promotions for these retailers and many others by joining our facebook community here. this is a safe space to talk all things fashion and beauty as well as a great one stop shop to keep up with the latest promotions and discount codes.
nordstrom is having their save up to 40% off fall sale and the timing could not be more perfect! now is the best time to stock up on amazing sweaters, layers and winter clothes before the heart of winter rolls in. View Post
one of my favorite sales of the year just started and will continue through 09/29/17. you can save 20-25% off on tons of affordable and designer pieces at shopbop. some of these are brands that never go on sale, so take full advantage if there’s something you’ve had your eye on.
for orders under $500 use code EOTS17 at checkout to take 20% off. for orders over $500, use the same code, ETOS17 to take 25% off.
this tuesday i’m bringing you a trend that i am so excited about, fall florals. my style has always had a girly flair mixed with a boho vibe. let’s just say florals go with my style like peanut butter goes with jelly. so consider me on board with this trend!
basics. you can never go wrong with the simplicity of basics. in fact, i’m pretty sure 90% of the time i live in basics. they’re the easiest to style, and are incredibly versatile. you can style a plain white tee with cut off shorts and sneakers for a casual look or kick it up a notch with jeans, a blazer, pumps and a statement necklace. and viola, date night ready!
i’ve picked out some of my favorite fall basics all under $100. they’re the perfect pieces to grab when you’re in a rush, not feeling it or are opting for a comfy kind of day… or opting for any kind of day, really. best of all, you can mix and match just about all of these to get tons of outfits out of just a few pieces.
i tend to shop for basics in neutral colors so i can wear them in multiple ways and multiple times. aka… over and over again. some pieces are worth investing and others are worth saving on. basics do not have to break the bank. in fact, you can find some that are at a steal of a price. i like to have a few of both. i splurged on a couple of james perse basic shirts a few years ago and practically lived in them throughout my first year out of college. i still have them and still go to them every single summer. others i spent no more than $9 on and still wear and love. you just have to find the basics that fit you and your style best!
shop short sleeved tops
[short sleeves and tanks are great for layering underneath jackets and sweaters]
with 30% off regular priced tops and jeans + an extra 40% off sale prices, this sale was too good not to share. no code is needed and best part, you can buy online and pick up your pieces in store. talk about ease of shopping!
below are my favorite picks. hope you snag some goodies!
as for a south korea life update, i attended my first women’s bible study today and let me tell ya… boy have i been missing community. if you don’t have a group of girls that you’re able to just throw everything on the table with, without fear of judgement knowing that the advice given will steer you towards the way of the Lord, then i recommend finding one! find your local church and get plugged in. the feeling you get from knowing you are loved and you are great and forgiven no matter what, is unexplainable. there are no words that do it justice. every girl in the world should know how that feels. [okay i’ll end my soap box here 🙂 ] everything has been great! south korea is finally starting to feel like home. [not texas home, but home ;)]
don’t forget, there’s still time to enter the giveaway below!
xox | jasmine
Now…it’s time for a fabulous giveaway!
I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers
to give YOU a chance to win:
a $600 Nordstrom Gift Card, just in time for some fall shopping!
Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter.
You’ll receive one entry per completion.
This giveaway is open internationally and runs until 9/20.
Winner will be announced here. Good Luck!
dressing in boracay is rather simple. pack light, and pack anything that will keep you cool. i always travel with a carry-on or medium sized suitcase and a backpack so i can keep all valuable goods on me at all times. my suitcase consisted of swimsuits, coverups, shorts, tanks and a couple of sundresses that would double as date night outfits. it’s rare, but i opted to forego packing any heels or wedges. i often don’t go without a good pair of wedges, but have come to realize that beach destinations are better off with sandals. nobody wants to be the girl walking in wedges in the sand. i mean killer calf workout, but spare yourself and go comfy with a pair of cute flats that won’t get destroyed by a little water and/or sand.
my birkenstocks are my beach go-to sandals because they’re comfortable and i can pair them with just about anything. i always pack my tory burch sandals for when i want to feel fancy for a date night dinner.
i typically try to pack cover ups that can double as an outfit for day excursions or beach lunch breaks. because summer is coming to an end, most of my favorites are on sale [hip hip hooray!] buying pieces at the end of the season always guarantees getting great deals. so, stock up for spring or any beachy getaways you have coming up.
as for colors, i try to stick with anything that is either really light or really dark. the beach is a wonderful place, but it can get hot and humid. the last thing you want to worry about is sweat stains. you can avoid them by sticking with a more neutral color palette [avoiding light greys] and/or by wearing breathable material.
beach trips should be relaxing and fun, so don’t sweat the small stuff and remember to have fun and leave a little space for souvenirs. 🙂
shop vacation outfits
shop vacation shoes
shop cover ups
shop travel luggage
xo | jasmine elias
don’t forget to enter the nordstrom gift card giveaway below. if you win, you can stock up on many of these pieces. 🙂
now…it’s time for a fabulous giveaway!
i’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers
to give YOU a chance to win:
a $600 nordstrom gift card, just in time for some fall shopping!
simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter.
you’ll receive one entry per completion.
this giveaway is open internationally and runs until 9/20.
winner will be announced here. good luck!
we had our first cool day in south korea, so you better believe i took full advantage of it! i sure do love summer and soaking up the sun, but fall has to be my favorite season. i love comfortable and oversized clothing like this free people plaid shirt. it’s loose enough to keep you cool, but paired with a great pair of faux leather leggings and over the knee boots and you have yourself a stylish outfit without sacrificing any comforts.
this oversized plaid top can be worn loosely as shown, or if you look closely, there are buttons on the side of the shirt. you can unbutton the sides and tie a cute little front knot to pair this top with jeans and show off your waist line.
now let’s talk about these leggings. i have basically been living in them. i just wore them on a 14+ hour travel day and still cannot say enough good things about them. aside from the fact that they hug you in all the right places and are extremely flattering, they are incredibly comfortable as well! i love the metallic shine. they give an all black look a little pizzazz, and who doesn’t love a little pizzazz! they are a little bit of a splurge, but worth every single penny.
when it comes to boots, i’m as picky as they get. they have to fit just right, can’t be too tight or too loose and have to have the perfect heel height. not to mention, they must be comfortable. this pair of vince camuto over the knee boots checks everything off the list. they come in multiple colors, but i know this pair of black boots will be a fall wardrobe staple of mine.
shop similar items
be sure to check below for a fun giveaway just in time for a fall wardrobe update!
xo | jasmine
this week i decided to team up with some of my favorite bloggers and bring you an amazing giveaway. one lucky reader will win a $650 gift card to amazon.
use the widget below to enter the giveaway. the more “tasks” you complete, the more entries you will receive. the giveaway is open internationally. the winner will be announced (on the widget only) up to 2 weeks after the giveaway has ended. it can take time to select, verify, and get in contact with the winner, so please do not privately message any of the hosts. if you have any questions about the giveaway process, feel free to e-mail email@example.com.
the number one topic i get questions about is travel. i started writing this post and realized it quickly became information overload. so, i pumped the breaks and found a way to break my top travel hacks into segments. i hope this helps you save a buck or two on your next european extravaganza, or gives you a little tip on how to make the most of your trip. so, here it is… travel hacks, europe edition.
booking your flight
book your flight at least 2 weeks in advance. 3 months is ideal, but get any closer than 2 weeks and you can expect to front a little extra cash to get to where you want to go. this could also be the complete opposite. if an airline has tons of seats left, you may be able to score an incredible deal at the very last minute. however, chances of that are slim to none and i do not advise you leave an international trip to chance unless you have ample amount of time off and are great with spontaneity . [kudos if that’s you].
booking your flights early can not only save you money, but also allow you to choose a seat next to whomever you will be traveling with. this will make your flight so much more enjoyable. it also helps with the prevention of getting stuck next to a chatter box who does not get the hint after you plug in head phones and pretend to be sleeping. [we’ve all been there].
another perk to having your flights booked ahead of time is that it also frees up your time prior to your trip so you can properly plan for your actual stay.
flight hack: if you are traveling overseas, take a look at layover locations. london, germany, and prague are just a few of the most common layovers. if you want to get see an extra city, take the flight with the longer layover. this flight is usually the cheaper option and you can check your bags at the airport and go and experience the new city/country with enough time to hit some of the major hotspots. think of it as a bonus day.
if it’s a city/country you want to spend extra time in, you can typically search for a “multi-city” flight and there would be no additional cost for extra time. for example NYC to London to Paris to NYC would be the same cost as NYC to Paris to NYC because london is a natural layover destination. in other words, if you can expect to have a layover in that city regardless of whether or not you want to spend a little extra time there, you can typically add that city into your itinerary at no extra cost. this will not be the case with every city, and every time, but leave yourself a little time to play around with ticket searches so you can choose the flight that suits you best.
to save money, you can also look to fly out of a major city such as New York, Houston or Dallas. this does add time to your travel day, however if money is a constraint, look into domestic flights to a major city from your home and then international tickets from the major city. my husband and i have done this numerous times [while using southwest companion pass] and saved over $600 on our tickets, as well as snuck in a little new york visit. weigh the cost of extra travel time. if it’s a $50 difference, scrap it. also pay close attention to boarding times. international flights require additional time for check-in and if the major city has multiple airports, make sure you are domestically flying into the correct one, or have a method of transportation. [most airports have shuttles to and from, but confirm this before taking this route].
don’t plan it down to the wire, but have a general idea of where you want to be and what you want to do. i typically make a list of the things i want to see and do in order of priority. then, i pull out a calendar and try to fit as much as i can on there. europe can be explored in two ways. you can spend all of your time in 2-3 cities and really explore them or you could see 4-5 while there on one single trip. if you choose staying in 2-3 cities you are allowing yourself more time to really enjoy the culture and see all that the city has to offer. if you choose to ambitiously see 4-5 cities during your trip, know that you will have to choose the highlights of each city.
when i travel, i always opt for seeing as many cities as possible. this can be exhausting, but i always say, i can sleep when i get home. 🙂
activity hack: let me introduce you to my friend named rick steves. he’s quirky, informative, tries to be funny and will save you a bundle. i recommend purchasing his corresponding book for every city you plan on traveling to. even better, save yourself some money and check them out from your local library. his books will act as your personal tour guide and give you incredibly detailed tips and information on where to go and how to get there. where to eat, where to stay, what to see and what to do. seriously, cannot recommend these books enough. ideally, it’s best to snag the book prior to your trip and skim through and see what interests you most in each city. that way you know exactly what you want to do when you get there. david and i would read up on the places we were going to visit during our train rides to and from cities. it made the time fly and we felt much more knowledgable about what we were looking at and experiencing in each city.
but wait, there’s more. rick steves has an app that will act as your very own personal tour guide while visiting all of the hotspots. you can purchase audio tour guides [in english] or hire your own tour guide [that speaks english] in most locations while in europe. it does not cost much, but it all adds up. $10 here and $25 there will come out to hundreds before you know it. and best of all, you don’t need to spend any of that. download the rick steves app [it’s free] before and pre-download the audio tour of your choice. rick has it down to where he even gives you walking directions while in the museum/landmark. seriously, amazing.
if you forgot to download the audio tours while having free roam to wifi, you can download the audio tours using free wifi on trains, or find your nearest mcdonalds and connect there. when my husband and i travel we carry a headphone splitter and headphones for this exact reason. we will use the headphone splitter to plug in both headphones to one phone so it’s as if we’re taking the tour together. it’s cheesy, but it works for us :). *do bring a powerstick with you so you don’t drain your cell phone battery throughout the day.
shop rick steves’ books
shop headphones and headphone splitters
this is where the bulk of your travel cost comes into play. you can opt to stay at a very nice and fancy hotel that you will enjoy all the amenities at. for some, this is what a vacation is all about. consider the extra cost for amenities as an additional cost for activities. or you can find a highly rated hotel that may not include a spa and nice restaurants, but is still clean and comfortable. then there is always the airbnb/vrbo option.
personally, when i know my planned travel is ambitious, i spend very little time in my actual hotel room. i like to be on the go so for the most part, i am okay if my hotel does not make the top 10 in travel + leisure [bonus points if it does].
for me, the biggest question comes when choosing hotel vs airbnb/vrbo. if you choose to be in the same hotel for 2-3 nights minimum then airbnb/vrbo can typically save you on cost. especially when you are in a group. do keep in mind, when choosing this route you will have to meet up with the owner to get keys, or find the apartment on your own. hotels are a little easier to find because they are more well known within a city, whereas someone’s personal home may have you on a hunt. not to mention, if you don’t have access to wifi then calling, texting and searching for directions can become a real challenge. so if you’ll only be in a city for a short time, consider the amount of time it will take out of your day to locate the home and gain access into it. most have specific hours for check-in as well and add additional costs for checking in late. you will come across owners that enforce this and others that are extremely accommodating and will coordinate and adjust to your travel schedule. again, this is hit or miss. and if you have limited time to explore a city, you do not want to spend half of your day just trying to get into contact with a home owner while you have a new city to explore.
directions hack: load google maps whenever you have wifi access and put the starting point as your drop off point and the ending point as your hotel or accommodation. hit start and let the directions load. google maps will work offline so once you lose your wifi connection, you will still have a way to find where you are going. you can do this when walking to a site, or anywhere really. as a back up, screenshot the directions as well as the map just in case.
the train system in italy in particular is absolutely incredible. each city and country varies a little bit on this one, but if you have 4+ people renting a car is probably the most cost efficient. however, this is not the most time efficient. also, using public transportation also means you don’t have to navigate through a foreign country.
weigh your options. think about how long you will be in each location, whether or not public transportation is safe/reliable, whether or not it is a walking city and the costs of additional plane tickets/car rentals. every european location has options, you will just have to choose what is best for you.
sorry- no hacks here.
this can go one of two ways. if you are a big foodie and the highlight of your vacation is trying the best local cuisine, you want to budget your top notch meals under activities. also, consider making reservations ahead of time so you don’t waste hours waiting for a meal when that time could be spent exploring.
i personally plan meals around activities and look for restaurants near the activity of the moment. some switch this around and plan activities around meals. [one way is not better than the other, it comes down to complete personal preference].
meals hack: to save on one meal of the day, find a hotel or bed and breakfast that serves complimentary breakfast. also, if visiting italy, try the house wine! it’s fabulous just about anywhere you go. splurge on a glass or two here and there because, you are in italy! but don’t feel like you have to at every meal. every house wine i tried was spectacular!
most importantly… remember you’re on vacation and ENJOY IT!
this little number has comfy written all over it. at an under $40 price point this pink dress [that also comes in green and grey] is an absolute must.
it’s perfect for the summer to fall transition. the dress it self is made of a thicker and warmer material, yet is still lightweight and incredibly comfortable with pockets. dresses + pockets are always a win. and can we talk about the ruffle on the sleeve? it’s definitely my favorite part. it’s flirty and fun but not overbearing. basically the perfect combo.
i paired this dress with a light weight scarf and booties to welcome the fall transitional weather. if you’re somewhere where the temps are still hitting the 90’s and above [bless you], swap out the booties and scarf for some fun kicks like these and viola, you’re weather appropriate. the dress fits tts, however i would recommend ordering a size up if you are on the taller side and don’t care to have your backside peeking out when bending/sitting.
this scarf is another must-have. it’s long in length which allows for multiple ways to wrap it and create new and fun looks. one of my biggest pet peeves is short scarf that you can’t even tie around your neck. i mean, what’s the point?!
this clare v. clutch goes just about everywhere with me. it is an investment piece and does cost a pretty penny. however, you know i love finding a good dupe and y’all, i found the perfect copy cat! it’s incredible affordable and looks great! [see “shop the post” below].
in other news, i’ve been trying to keep true to my new years resolution this year and pay it forward with compliments. ever realize the only time you pick up a phone to call a company to “speak to the manager” is to complain? how about we call to brag on an employee for giving great customer service. or compliment a stranger because you like the scarf their wearing [don’t be creepy though…] you never know what kind of impact you could have on someone’s day or even life. a little kindness goes a long way. so let’s flood the lives of others with kindness and love!
so encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing | 1 thessalonians 5:11
have at least one day a week where you don’t apply any heat to your hair. [you can do this every other week if once a week is just too much]. every 3-4 weeks [on your heat free day] apply a deep conditioner and really give your hair some TLC.
you can also use a moroccan oil or something equivalent to provide your hair with much needed nutrients on your heat free days.
shop deep conditioners and oils
2. dry shampoo
dry shampoo is life. the best way to apply is by sectioning off the top portion of your hair. secure the bottom portion with a hair tie. let the top half fall with your part showing. then start with one side of your part. using a comb [or your fingers] separate the top layer of hair and apply the dry shampoo at the root of the hair. [ you never want to apply dry shampoo on the very top layer of your hair.]
once you apply the dry shampoo shake your fingers through your hair to disperse it thoroughly. for extra volume, move your fingers in a circular motion to create a tease in your hair.
if you are a warm sleeper, or know you will be working out/going to be outside in the morning, use dry shampoo before bed. i specifically apply dry shampoo to the bottom layers of my hair [always at the root] before bed when i’m in between washes. this helps my hair stay clean while i sleep.
shop dry shampoos
3. use a blow dryer
if you plan on styling your hair and making it last, use a blow dryer. it’s no myth that washing your hair every day isn’t the best for it. if you have a mane like mine [lots of thick, curly hair with a mind of its’own], washing your hair every day isn’t practical because #ittakesavillage [am i right!?].
one of the most effective ways to make the most out of your wash day and keep your hair looking fresh and grease free for a few extra days, is to use your blow dryer. alwaysalwaysalways use a heat protector prior, but do give yourself a mini blowout. this helps to get rid of some of the natural oils in your hair that tend to weigh it down and give it that greasy and dirty look.
i personally blow dry my hair, then use a flat iron to straighten and style. using a flat iron brings back some of those oils, so as a final touch up, i will blow dry my hair just at the crown to get rid of some of those excess oils. this not only gives ample volume, but keeps your hair looking cleaner, longer.
shop blow dryers
4. sleep with a silk pillow case
bed head is real and it is avoidable. try swapping your pillow case out for a silk one. [some of my favorites are below]. your every day pillow case can cause friction with your hair, resulting in the dreaded split ends and for me, a hot tangled mess. the silk proteins are more gentle on your hair, so you wake up with that “i woke up like this” hair. ladies, we flawless. [ i had to ].
another great tip, if you sleep with your hair tied up try a scrunchie. yup, a good ‘ole 80’s style scrunchie. the scrunchie is softer on your hair and prevents the crease that a normal hair tie creates.
shop pillow cases and scrunchies
5. condition then shampoo
this little swap-a-roo makes a surprising difference. conditioner is wonderful for your hair, but it also weighs it down and leaves it moisture-rich [which is not technically a bad thing]. if you have healthy hair, try conditioning first, then apply the shampoo. this will add a little extra volume and give you an extra day in between washes.
my hair tends to dry out on the ends, so i condition just the ends of my hair after shampooing to add back the necessary moisture.
if you’re over hearing about it, this is your moment to rejoice. if you have been eyeing an item, this is your moment to pull the trigger. with free shipping + free returns, now is your chance because the beloved nordstrom sale ends in just 3 days.
this years’ sale had tons of great items at killer prices but let’s be real, you had to be on stalker status with the nordstrom page or your favorite bloggers insta stories to grab your favorites in the right size if you wanted any chance at getting some of those hot ticket items. just about all sale items popped back up throughout the sale, but even then… they were gone again within minutes. at times i enjoyed the game of cat and mouse. but those times were rare.
although many items have been sold out, there still are some great pieces that have been restocked [can’t promise they will stay in stock] but they’re available right now, so if you’re reading this, don’t walk… run!
below you will find my top 5 picks in each category. all are products i have purchased, already have, or brands that i stand behind because of quality and comfort. the bobbi brown lipstick found in my top 5 beauty products is actually the color i wore on my wedding day. loved it then and love it now. the rag and bone jeans were life changing for me. i never felt comfortable in jeans [no idea why] but these jeans were a game changer. they made me mix up my leggings and an oversized tee uniform with joy.
if you’re on the fence about something, go ahead and order it before prices go up. if you don’t like it, send it right back. [if you do this, decide whether you will be keeping the item the day you get it. if the answer is no, send it back before the week is over and check that off your to-do list as soon as you can]. but if you love it, then you congrats– you found a great nordstrom anniversary sale deal 🙂
below is a breakdown of some of my favorite nordstrom shoes that are on major sale. all of these are currently in stock, but sizes are flying off the shelves and most will not last. however, nordstrom is doing a great job of restocking items throughout the sale. with almost 2 weeks left, i am certain you can expect many more restocks to come, so if your favorite is out of stock in your size, keep checking back. [woohoo!]
booties and boots are two of my favorite items to stock up on during the sale. i shop the shoe sale by finding my favorite pair of shoes in each category. booties and/or boots first, then sneakers [because it’s important to workout in a good pair of shoes so they can serve their purpose — check your sneakers to make sure they aren’t too worn down!], then i look at slides and flats. i always find a pair of flats that i absolutely fall in love with. this year, it’s this pair. these vince flats are the perfect shade of blue and i cannot wait to pair them with white jeans for the fall. you heard that correctly, white after labor day is a-okay in my book. white jeans can make for a perfect winter look.
this pair of vince camuto booties was my top pick in the bootie category. they’ve sold out numerous times and i can easily see why. they match just about everything. i’ve styled them with dresses, jeans and even shorts with light sweaters for a good transitional piece [see here for reference]. they have the perfect amount of height and are comfortable enough to walk the town in. no wonder they’ve been a huge hit this year!
as for sneakers, this was quite a toss up for me. for traveling, and city walking, this pair of nikes wins hands down. however, if i’m being honest… i don’t like running in nikes. most of their fashionable sneakers are not meant for long distance running, and i really do enjoy running and running a good distance. it’s therapeutic for me. so, i don’t want my feet aching and ruining my runs. i learned this lesson the hard way after spontaneously running a half marathon in nike free’s. i will never make that mistake again. but i do love wearing nikes while traveling and on days i know i will be doing lots of walking. [still have love for my nikes.] for running, these asics win by a landslide. they provide excellent support, are comfortable, look great and best of all hold up during long runs.
if you find a pair you like, try them out. nordstrom has free ship + free return, so you have nothing to lose!