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My Nordstrom Anniversary Sale picks + $500 giveaway

There are many amazing things that happen in July: Independence Day, Bastille Day...and the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, or, as I like to call it, Christmas in July. Most of the bloggers you follow are probably losing their minds over it, and that's because it's one of the only sales in which seasonal product gets marked down at the beginning of the season, rather than at the end. In other words, it's the perfect opportunity to score fall staples like coats, boots, and jeans at sale prices. If you are a Nordstrom cardmember, you get to shop the sale starting Thursday, July 12; otherwise, it opens to the public on the 20th. Here are my top 10 sale picks, and keep scrolling all the way to the end for your chance to win a $500 Nordstrom gift card! Let's do this!

Get the look: white eyelet dress

It's high summer—and still Dress Month here at Cheryl Shops—so what better thing to wear than a little white dress? This highly-pinned look from my Outfit Ideas for Ageless Style Pinterest board revolves around a white eyelet dress that looks so fresh and cool to me, I can see why it's been so popular. So without further ado, let's put it together.

What to wear with a peasant dress

And what is a peasant dress, exactly? Good question. They're usually inspired by traditional, folkloric dresses, and have embroidery, tassels, and/or full sleeves. They're very boho in feel, and thus perfect for summer, especially when they're made in more lightweight fabrics like cotton and linen. One of my go-to brands for a boho, summery look is Loveshackfancy—I really love how they modernize these summer staples (they make a good little white dress too). They made this dress, which I bought  many months ago and which has appeared several times on my Instagram, but never here. Seeing as how it's Dress Month here at Cheryl Shops, I thought it was finally time to give it a proper outfit post.

Button-front dresses under $150

Every summer, there's a trending dress silhouette that I absolutely must have, and this year it's the button-front dress. It's not a shirtdress—there's no collar involved, and this style is definitely more feminine by design. It can be belted or not, with a defined waist or not, and with sleeves or without. In other words, there's pretty much something for everyone, which is why I find the button-front dress so appealing (and why I decided to feature it here). The best part: all of the dresses below are under $150, with half under $100. That way you can get more than one!

What to wear with a green dress

In most of the country, it's hotter than, well, July right now, and while it's a not-so-balmy 59 degrees in San Francisco today, I do remember what it's like to live in a climate that's so hot, all you can think of doing is jumping into a pool of ice water, or a meat locker, or a cryogenic tank. I also know that when it's that hot, the best thing to wear is a dress, preferably something lightweight enough so that if there is actually a breeze, it might circulate to your skin. So in honor of those of you suffering from Actual Summer, I'm officially declaring July Dress Month here at Cheryl Shops. There will be dress outfits, dress shopping guides, and simply so many dresses, you will be begging me for pants by August. But in the meantime, here's a dress!

Get the look: white tee and pleated linen pants

Lately, the most saved looks on my Outfit Ideas for Ageless Style Pinterest board have been dresses, so I was somewhat surprised to see that this week's most popular look involves pants. That said, it's one of my favorites thus far, and it's totally perfect for summer—it's chic, it's timeless, it's neutral, and it's minimalist. Putting it together was oddly a bit of a challenge, but I'm really happy with how it turned out. Let's break it down.

What to wear with an embroidered top

I don't know what it is about warm weather that possesses me to ditch my usual polished, tailored pieces for a more boho look, but as soon as summer comes around, I'm all about embroidery, tassels, and drawstrings. Much like my vacation alter ego, it's my summer alter ego—she has the same taste in clothing. This alter ego especially loves peasant tops, and considering summer in San Francisco has a very small window, I end up wearing them as much as I can in a very short period of time. Of course, while there's something youthful and carefree about a peasant top, you don't want to look like you're trying too hard to be young and carefree. It's all about a mix of casual and classic.

An honest review of the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Remember the scene in Father of the Bride where the fiancĂ© buys Annie a blender and she freaks out? That's not quite what happened with me, but my boyfriend did buy me a Dyson hair dryer for my birthday a few months ago. Once I got over my initial shock (I thought he was getting me a dog, maybe) and overthink (Does he think my hair looks bad? Has our relationship lost all of its romance and now we just buy each other appliances?), I realized what a thoughtful and generous gift it was. I had this dryer on my wish list at Sephora for awhile, and I openly debated buying it last fall during the VIB 20% off period, but ultimately decided that $400 for a hair dryer was too indulgent. Which is why it was the perfect thing to receive as a gift—it was something I truly wanted but couldn't justify buying for myself. After three months of using it, here's how I feel about it.

What to wear in Pebble Beach

This post could also be titled What NOT to wear in Pebble Beach, because—full disclosure—it was FREEZING when we took these photos, but such is life in Northern California in June. To back up a bit, I spent an awesome weekend at an AirBnB in Pebble Beach with a bunch of friends, and if you've never been there, it's one of the most beautiful places in California. (I know I say that about every place I go in California, but there's something really magical and special about Pebble Beach.) The trees are draped with this mystical-looking moss, the beaches have blindingly white sand, and the coastline can be rocky and rugged in some places, soft and lush in others. The challenge is that the weather can be all over the place—50 degrees and foggy one day, 75 and sunny the next. So the key to dressing for Pebble Beach weather can be summarized in one word: layers.

Get the look: pink slip dress and round bag

It's been a minute since I've done a Get the Look post, and I'm glad I took a little break, because now the most-saved looks from my Outfit Ideas for Ageless Style board on Pinterest are totally summer-focused. It's a lot of pretty summer dresses and strappy sandals, and who doesn't love that stuff? This week's most-repinned look has both of those things, plus a very of-the-moment round bag. It's getting hot outside, so let's get to it!

How to dress down a little black dress

You probably know how to dress up a little black dress: slip into some heels, grab a clutch, throw on a sparkly necklace, and call it a day (or night, as it were). Dressing one down is a bit more of a challenge—after all, there's something inherently dressy about an LBD. I love to wear one on the weekend though, because I feel somewhat pulled together but also comfy. It's all about the push-pull between fancy and casual, and it's a little unexpected too. But in all honesty, I just wanted to build an outfit around my new shoes (more on those later).

Mendocino travel diary

If you don't live in Northern California, chances are you haven't heard of Mendocino. It's tiny—population 894—on the coast, and a three-hour drive from San Francisco. But this adorable little town is also an artists' colony, and has some of the most spectacular views along the west coast. There are also quite a few small inns and B&Bs, so it's a great place for a long-weekend getaway. The whole vibe feels very New England, and my boyfriend and I remarked that we felt like we were in an episode of Murder She Wrote all weekend—turns out, a bunch of episodes were actually filmed there! Thankfully, however, no actual murders took place during our trip.

What to wear with a white lace dress

In my professional career, I've written a lot of "the little white dress is the summer version of the little black dress" copy. It's clichĂ©, but it's true: the LWD is just a classic. Plus, the lighter color keeps you cooler when things start to heat up. So I'm kicking off summer with one of my personal favorite dresses—it's white, it's lacy, and it's the type of thing you want to live in all season long. Because, let's face it, it's too hot to wear pants.

Spring trends: round bags

Congratulations, you've made it to my last spring trend post of the season! I'm ending with bags, because while I love a good handbag, it's probably the last thing I think about when I'm getting dressed. But that's not to say it's the least important. In many cases, a bag is the first thing I notice on a person (particularly if the rest of their outfit is rather lackluster), and while I gravitate toward more minimal styles, this season's round bags tend to be both simple and striking at the same time. I already own two round bags but have my eye on all of these too.