Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Deals

Oh, how I love the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! 

Spectacularly sad but true, I look forward to this event with no small amount of anticipation every year.

The Beauty Exclusives are particularly hard to resist.

Yesterday I got my hair done at a salon that happens to be a mere 10 minutes away from the only Nordstrom around, and mysteriously my car navigated there on my way home.

This year did not disappoint.

First up, this Kate Somerville set.

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While this set is still pricey ($98), it’s worth $191, making it one of the best deals of the sale. The Age Arrest Anti-Wrinkle cream is worth $90 alone. And if you haven’t tried it, the ExfoliKate treatment is one of the line’s star products. 

Next, AERIN Beauty’s ‘Lilac Path’ perfume:

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This was a wild-card that I did not anticipate purchasing (and also not an official Beauty Exclusive), but I got swept up in the scent and had to have it. There are five fragrances in this line, and it was difficult to pick out the one I liked best. I was waffling between this one and two others, ‘Ikat Jasmine’ and ‘Evening Rose.’ They were all really sophisticated and a little more perfume-y than what I normally wear (either Bobbi Brown or Jo Malone). This picture doesn’t do the bottle justice; the cap has a lovely lilac stone on top.

With the AERIN perfume, I received an Estee Lauder gift with purchase. I chose the cool colors for the lipstick and eyeshadows. You also could select a moisturizer in a generous sample size. The other items were a cleanser, mascara and serum, all packed in a navy blue bag.

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These Voluspa candles were a steal! I bought two sets, one for myself and one for gifting. I’m not sure if I’ll keep them together or break them up, since they make such great hostess gifts and are easy to wrap in colorful fabric, furoshiki-style.

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The last thing I purchased was a bit of a beauty risk, at least for me.

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Since I’ve been maintaining my fake eyelashes, I’ve been wearing almost no eye makeup, which means my lips need a little more attention lest I look completely washed out. 

Once again, I’m late to the party, but I love the modern look of a nude eye and bright, matte lip. Except up to now, not on me.

This M.A.C. set came in pink, coral or nude. It still feels outside of my comfort zone, but I went for the pink. Bright, shocking pink.

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Besides the gloss and lipstick, there’s a brown eyeliner (full-size) and eyeshadow trio with two champagne-y colors and one that is a sparkly plum. All are pretty.

Here’s me trying out the lipstick:

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Still not sure if I’m ready to go out like this. Baby steps.

In the end, I got another bag of beauty samples, which I love to save and use for traveling.

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The blue bag is the Estee Lauder one from the gift with purchase, and the purple nylon one contained the samples above. There were two Jo Malone perfumes (score!), plus samples from Kiehl’s, Lancome and Laura Mercier.

I was embarrassingly excited over this haul. 











Workout Recovery

Last Thursday  night after work, I was feeling pretty strong and decided to run my own half-marathon.

Good news: I came in first place!

Bad news: I also came in last place!

And on Friday morning, I was plenty sore.

I should rely on these strategies more often, but here’s what I’ve found helpful for muscle recovery. foam roller

  • Foam rolling. Oh, it hurts so good. This exquisite torture is worth the myofascial release on the other side, but it really, really kills! One of my friends told me she had to drink two beers every night before getting on the roller. This compact foam roller targets trigger points and gets the job done.


  • Legs up the wall. I always forget to do this! But it’s great for recovery. Hold as long as you can, ideally several minutes. This is a legit yoga pose; learn the fine points here. 


  • Aveda active composition. This blend of wintergreen and menthol smells like a Wint-O-Green Life Saver and is a much classier version of Ben Gay.


  • The Stick. I first saw – and purchased – one of these at the Expo for my first marathon, waaaay back in 2006. It’s a rolling massager for the legs, and it is really helpful to work out lower extremity knots. If only I could find mine! Argh.


  • Elemis Musclease Active oil mixed with Instant Refreshing Gel. A recipe for heaven. Get them here.


  • Natural Patches of Vermont Arnica Patches. These were a recent discovery, but they seem to be helpful. They apply like a Band-Aid and can be worn for up to 24 hours. They also have several different essential oil blends for other concerns, like headaches and stress.

I hope these ideas are helpful! Drinking lots of water is also a key to recovery.  

Dizzy Water

Last weekend, my darling friend W. and I went out to dinner at this place, and yes, the cocktails were insane.


Welcome, Dizzy Water.


  • 1 part Limoncello
  • 2 parts ginger beer
  • Add ice

Garnish with this. 

Seriously, these Luxardo cherries are out of this world.

No more than that.

The bartender told me that the cherries are $100 wholesale in the size they order and they have to be hidden from staff.


P.S. Find them here.




Mind Your Meetings Manners


While I love my job, it – like many others – has its share of meetings to attend.

Meetings that can, on occasion, skew from slightly to obscenely boring.

I recently saw this great set of tips to make meetings better, whether you’re just an attendee or running the show.

  1. Be on time. This is obvious, but I am guilty of not always being 100% punctual. Particularly if you’re the organizer of the meeting, it’s disrespectful to attendees if you show up late. Being a few minutes early shows that the meeting is worthwhile.
  2. Have a plan and stick to it. Make an agenda. Be specific. Follow it. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for discussion of hot-off-the-press topics, but if you don’t really have something to say, cancel the meeting.
  3. Only meet when necessary. It’s ok to cancel regularly scheduled meetings once in a while if there are no agenda items.
  4. Don’t meet to discuss meeting! It’s laughable to think that there will be a meeting to discuss another meeting, but it’s happened, trust me.
  5. End on time, but also don’t be afraid to call it quits once you’re done. Agenda ended 15 minutes early? I can guarantee no one will complain about getting some bonus time during the day. Don’t fill the rest of the allotted time with garbage because you think you need to use every minute. Running long? Table items until next time. Seriously, do this.
  6. Ditch the smartphone. I’m guilty of this, too, but someone called me out on it last year and now I try to be 100% present in meetings instead of idly checking my e-mail. It’s so irritating to have someone in the meeting paying 10% attention, tapping away on his/her phone, and then to have the same person interrupt the meeting a few minutes later to ask a question that had already been answered. You would have known that if you hadn’t just spent the last ten minutes liking cat videos on YouTube.  

Weekend Getaway

I’m finally off this weekend to my friend MA’s wedding in Vail, Colorado!


I haven’t been to the mountains in the summer in ages, really since I lived in Colorado nearly a decade ago, so I’m super excited about it all.

This is strictly a girls-only weekend for me, since Ever Patient Spouse is graciously staying behind to watch the kids and nurse his broken arm, the result of a 4th of July jogging incident gone awry.

I’m also jazzed to stay at this beautiful hotel with my friend K:


And, as always, when I attend a wedding, I’m going to find a way to obtain a second piece of cake.