Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!

Okay friends!  The day is here!! The day all of us Nordstrom shoppers look forward too!  The true Christmas in July event!  THE NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE!!! (Insert the sound of sleigh bells and Andy Williams singing and snow falling from the ceiling as if you’re in the audience of The Ellen Show and she’s announcing her Christmas giveaways, because it’s THAT exciting!).

The “early access” sale opened up to cardholders yesterday so if you have a Nordstrom card, run over there now and get shopping!  If not, have no fear, the sale opens to everyone on the 20th (you can add things to your cart in the meantime and then just check out on the 20th).

Also, don’t forget Nordstrom is free shipping and free returns and things sell out fast so if you are on the fence about something or are unsure of a size maybe get two, knowing you can return what doesn’t work.

The sale is filled with so many new fall/winter items not yet released and some great must have classics all up to 40% off.  Sale ends for everyone August 5th.

Okay, I’ll stop talking and lets get to it…..Here are my favorite finds and everything I would have purchased had I won the lottery the night before.  I asked you guys what you wanted to see and the overwhelming response was casual, everyday, affordable staples, so that’s what I have rounded up.  You can click the pictures to check out each item. Also, several items come in different colors than what’s pictured.  When you click on the picture and go to the item you’ll see other color options available.  Happy shopping!

First up……TOPS!

So many great finds with tops this year.  I had such a hard time narrowing it down!  All these pieces are great closest staples in my opinion.  Whether it’s a comfy cardigan (I’m looking at you Barefoot Dreams), an easy tee, or slouchy sweater, any of these would be perfect for wearing around the house on a lazy day, or when you’re out and about and still want to look cute.

My top 3 favorites of the tops:

Barefoot Dreams Cardigan (it was the top seller last year and sold out fast).  Hooded version here.

The TopShop colorblock sweater.

And this BP button up plaid.

Next up…..Bottoms!

The denim this year is on point!  So many great finds whether you want high end jeans or something more affordable.  Also, if you’re looking for great leggings, the Zella live in high waisted leggings are A MUST!  I own them and they are appropriately named because I do live in them all Fall/Winter long!

My top 3 here are:

Zella Live In Leggings (because duh, I just raved about them)

Articles of Society wine colored skinny jeans (these went home with me)

BP washed moto leggings (these have a little texture to them which I love because it just spices up leggings as much as you can.  I have a similar pair and get some many compliments).

Next….Shoes!

I had to reign myself in with the shoes this year!  I kept telling myself, you have enough booties, you have enough booties, stop looking at booties!  Normally the footwear doesn’t really get to me but this year it was my weakness!

Top 3 picks here are:

Blondo ankle boot (I have similar ones to these, but they are another brand, and they are hands down the number one thing I get compliments on over any shoe, outfit, accessory, etc.).  These are showing in black but come in multiple colors.

Tory Burch Marsden flat sandal (comes in black, brown and ivory), and ballet flat (okay technically that’s two items, but anytime Tory Burch footwear is on sale I perk up because it’s not often, and her sandals and flats are the best!  The flats come in blue (pictured) black, and pink.

Vince Camuto over the knee boot.  You had me at over the knee boot, let’s be real, but these are perfection! Comes in black, brown, and gray.

Next…..Handbags!

Handbags are usually my total weakness with this sale, but this year I kept my control. All of these here were my favorites, and again anytime Tory Burch is on sale I run! Normally I’m loyal to Tory, and other brands in her price range don’t tempt me, but this Rebecca Minkoff hobo bag caught my eye this year (and was my birthday gift to myself – thanks to Nordstrom giftcards from family that I hadn’t used), but believe me I almost went with another Tory because can you ever have too many?  The answer to that is yes, but shhh we don’t need that kind of negativity in our lives.

Last up….Accessories!

I’ll be honest, I tend to get so caught up in the clothing that I forget to look at and get any accessories (plus, I tend to wear my same watch and earrings, and I don’t often get too crazy with accessories), BUT here’s a few that caught my eye and are simple every day pieces to jazz up an outfit.

So there you have it!  I’ll be sharing try on sessions on my Instagram (jillkoch620) once my order arrives.  So stay tuned!

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Why I Love Essential Oils

Why I Love Essential Oils

Hi Friends!  In my efforts to lead a cleaner, safer lifestyle, and transition toxic, harmful products out of my life, I have discovered (and fallen in love with) essential oils. And since I’ve been incorporating them into my life, and sharing with others, I have gotten so many questions about them, (how I use them, why I use them, etc.), and I figured a blog post would be the easiest way to answer it all.

Let me first just say that if you don’t know much about oils (like I didn’t in the beginning), then you probably have many of the thoughts I did….

“Aren’t oils a crunchy/granola/hippie thing?”

“What the heck are oils good for?”

“Do they work?”

“Aren’t they expensive?”

“If you use oils, does that mean you don’t believe in modern medicine?  You’re a nurse!”

“I have no idea what I’m doing.”

 

….and the list goes on.  So let me just address these thoughts/questions to 1). debunk any oil myths or confusion and 2). express my love for them because, you guys, they truly are SO GOOD, have so many uses, have completely changed my opinion of oils, have helped me ditch soooo many toxic products, and have made me a believer – an “oily” as we are sometimes called.  I’m obsessed and could talk about them all day long.

Okay, first, “aren’t oils a crunchy/granola/hippie thing?” – You guys, this was what I always thought too.  But then I realized that in my efforts to go green/clean/safer, I AM a little crunchy and granola.  Not a lot, but some aspects of my life are that way.  But hey, if that’s the label I’m granted by ridding my life of harmful, toxic crap (like chemicals that cause hormone disruption, cancer, skin irritation, organ toxicity, etc.), then so be it.  But to answer your question….No, oils are not just for the crunchy.  They are for anyone looking to have safer alternatives in their life.

“What the heck are oils good for?” – Okay, so this is the one that has surprised me the most.  A few years ago, I got my first starter kit as a gift and at the time all I knew to do with the oils was diffuse them.  So I used like two of the oils out of the 11 in the kit. It made the room smell good, and that was it.  Much of the starter kit sat unused and untapped into.  Then, fast forward to when I had Leyton and I got serious about starting to live a cleaner lifestyle.  I went back to those oils and started doing some research and WOW was I blown away at how many uses, aside from diffusing, these oils have!  I broke the starter kit back out and haven’t turned back since.  I have made face serums, bug spray, anti-itch rollers, swapped all my cleaners to homemade natural, safe versions, added oils to my drinks and food, diffused them to help with sleep, to help me wake up, to help me ward off a cold, to feel better, and the best part is, I’m still finding new uses!  The little saying by oil lovers is always, “there’s an oil for that!”  And friends, there is….for everything.  So just to give you an idea of what all oils are good for….. Health and wellness, natural remedies, weight loss, stress, sleep, cleaning, cooking, household uses like laundry, hand soap, dish soap, toothpaste, shower products, disinfectant wipes, jewelry cleaning, immune support/boost, gut health, skin care, anti-aging, relaxation, travel, and of course amazing smells (goodbye toxic candles)!  The list goes on and on, which leads to the next point…..

“Do they really work?” – Well, it’s safe to say I wouldn’t be shouting from the rooftops and dedicating an entire blog post to them if they didn’t, but just to be clear, yes they work, and they work great!  I definitely was skeptical at first.  I for sure thought there’s no way the Thieves cleaner (Thieves is the mother ship of essential oils) is going to perform like my Clorox cleaners do, or adding peppermint oil to alcohol and vinegar is going to clean my glass/mirrors like Windex, or that diffusing oils while sleeping can help me fight a cold or get great sleep like over the counter stuff does, and yet here I am, eating a big ole slice of humble pie, hearing “I told you so” by all my oils (okay they don’t talk to me….the one thing they can’t do I swear haha).  But yes, they work.  Now, I’m not going to sit here and say I sprayed my shower with my all natural oil cleaner and it took up the soap scum just like my Kaboom cleaner did.  No.  I’ll be honest, it took a little more elbow grease.  But was I lightheaded afterwards and exposed to toxic fumes the entire time like I am with chemical cleaners?  No.  Was I comfortable using them around Leyton? Yes.  And for that I am happy to maybe have to scrub a little harder or wipe the shower doors down twice.  But that’s not everything and overall the majority of things I’ve swapped for oils have measured up or surpassed what I was using.  And this leads into the next question….

“Aren’t oils expensive?” – My answers to this is….yes and no. Sure, when you first look at the Thieves dish soap for example and see that it’s almost $19, your initial reaction (like mine) is “for dish soap! No thanks.”  Until you realize that that one bottle is actually meant to be divided into 3 (because it’s highly concentrated more than regular dish soap) so now it’s roughly $6 a bottle.  Still slightly pricier than Dawn, but it also doesn’t have fragrance and other harmful chemicals like store bought soaps do. So as I always say, pay now or pay later.  Overall, the oils last such a long time and have so many uses that if you were to break down the cost between things you can make with them versus things you’d buy at the store that are the equivalent, then no, they aren’t expensive.  Plus, since making my own cleaners, face products, etc. with oils my trips to Target have cut down immensely (which we all know means a lot more money stays in my wallet, as I’m not there getting tempted by a ton of things I don’t need) but also, I’m not spending on oils in addition to all the things I usually buy.  I’m buying oils IN PLACE OF all the products I used to buy.  So it all evens out.

Now, are there some oils that are $99 plus?  Yes.  Do I buy those?  I haven’t yet and don’t foresee ever doing that (but with enough product credit built up some day who’s to say I won’t gladly use points to get a free one), but my point is, the majority of oils that I use on the regular aren’t expensive.  Example:  I could probably make 30 bottles of my glass cleaner with one bottle of peppermint essential oil.  In the long run, that’s going to be MUCH cheaper than buying 30 bottles of Windex.  Lastly, I should add that tons of plants are needed to produce oils. For example – it takes 4000 pounds of roses to get 1 pound of oil which is why rose essential oil is one of the more pricey ones.  But, lavender for example only takes about 100 pounds of plants to produce 1 pound of oil, thus making it a less expensive oil.

Next question….”If you use essential oils, does that mean you don’t believe in modern medicine?” – This is a common misconception (again probably due to the thought that oils make you an instant hippie), but by no means do I claim or assume that oils are a cure all or that they can fully take the place of medicine.  Modern medicine still very much has a place in this world, but I will tell you that for most every day ailments, colds, upset stomach, headaches, etc.  I will reach for oils first.  I would rather try an all natural remedy first, and if that doesn’t work/isn’t enough then I will most certainly use medication.

Some of examples of this:

♥ For headaches, I’ll try peppermint oil on my temples before Advil.

♥ For an upset stomach, I’ll try rolling DiGize on my stomach before reaching for Imodium or Pepto.

♥ For colds, I’ll try diffusing Thieves while I sleep or making a wellness tea with thieves and lemon oils before taking Nyquil or Tylenol Cold and Sinus.

♥ For aching muscles/joints,  I’ll try rolling PanAway on them before using Bengay.

…and the list goes on.  I am a nurse.  I most definitely know there are instances where medicine is absolutely needed, but again if I think all natural might work, I try that first.

And last question….“I have no idea what I’m doing!” – Friends, this was me 100%.  I had no clue how to use oils, how to dilute in instances that require dilution, how to incorporate them into uses other than diffusing, and it overwhelmed me.  But then I found resources (there’s soooo many resources out there to help and you always have me to help answer questions, and give recipes and tips).  There’s books you can buy, Pinterest has so many great tips, there’s apps for your phone and most of all I have found the best community of people that have helped me a ton along the way.  Just have fun with them!  And what’s so cool/crazy to me is that now, I’m answering questions and giving tips and sharing because I love learning all about these powerful, awesome oils and I love sharing that with others.  So if you ever want to know more about oils, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.  I could talk about them all day long (clearly) and would be happy to answer any and all questions you may have.

Oh and one little disclaimer I should point out….I only use YoungLiving essential oils.  If you do the research (although I have so you don’t have to) they are the best, most trustworthy ones out there.  They have all their own farms and grow their own plants. They have the “seed to seal” promise which is their way of saying their oils go right from plant to processing to bottle.  They are all-natural with no fragrance or other harmful ingredients added.  You will find there are many essential oils out there (many of which are very cheap, thus their appeal), but the majority have added synthetic ingredients making them not pure and natural, and therefore not good quality.  So those oils you see at the store…yeah, no good.

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So to sum up this loooong post….why I love oils is because they have truly transformed the way I do things.  They (along with a few other safe products I have found) have allowed this desire of mine to live cleaner a reality.  I’ve been able to rid my home of seriously probably 90% of toxic junk, and I have such peace of mind that what I’m using in my environment and Eric, Leyton, and even the dog’s environment is safe.  Plus, I have become part of such a fun community along the way.  I’m hooked you guys.  And have no plans of turning back.  So check them out.  Make some safe swaps.  But beware, they are awesome, and addictive, and you’ll become obsessed.  But honestly, there’s probably an oil for that too.

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