A weekend trip to Chicago

Earlier this month, I took my first flight since the beginning of the pandemic and went home to Chicago to see my mom for the first time in a year and a half—the longest I've gone without seeing her in my entire life. For those of you who haven't flown anywhere yet, the plane trip felt completely safe and drama-free, and seeing my family and friends after so long felt amazingly good. It felt strangely normal to be home, possibly because Chicago felt very "What Covid?!" to me, which was equally refreshing and alarming. So after a few days of quality family time in the 'burbs, we headed downtown for a couple nights in the city. We were happy to see that Michigan Avenue was packed, restaurants and bars were crowded (but not overwhelmingly so), and all weekend long, people were dressed up—maybe that roaring '20s thing is indeed happening. Here's what we did on our weekend in Chicago.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale top 10 2021

Lots of people have been pooping on the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year, and I can kind of see why. As blogger/influencers, we often feel a lot of pressure to cover it, although I do so because there are actually some amazing deals to be had, as I mentioned in my post last week. I do agree, however, that the sale selection has gotten "safer" over the last few years, with an emphasis on more classic, tried-and-true basics versus more adventurous, fashion-y pieces. But I'd argue that those are exactly what you should be buying during the sale—I've found it's a great time to stock up on wardrobe workhorses, specifically in three major categories: jeans, leggings, and sweaters. Here are 10 must-haves that are currently part of the Nordstrom sale (and still available). 

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale picks 2021

I've often referred to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale as Christmas in July; for years, it's been an ingenious way to stock up on fall clothes & shoes early, at a rare pre-season discount. In the last few years, influencers and bloggers have really hyped up the event, and yes, I am totally guilty of that, but in my case at least, it's coming from a genuine place. So while I'm being honest, last year's Nordstrom Anniversary Sale kind of sucked. Due to the pandemic, it happened a month later than normal; due to conservative planning on Nordstrom's part, they sold out of a lot of the best items on the first day, before most of its customers were able to shop. For my part, I bought one pair of slippers—I had to do curbside pickup because my local Nordstrom was still closed to customers—that I ended up returning because the sole was so flimsy. Major fail. But I am feeling much more optimistic about this year's sale. The highest tier of Nordy Club members began shopping on Monday and, as of the time I'm writing this post, all of the items I wanted to feature are still in stock, which is a good sign. No, there aren't as many designer pieces as in years past (this seems to be a year-over-year trend). But there are some great finds, plus Nordstrom has pumped up its home offerings so much that I had to create a new category this year—I guess I'm not the only one investing in my home lately! So without further ado, here are my Anniversary Sale clothing, shoes & accessories, beauty, and home picks for this year. 

The first pair of shorts I bought in 20 years

I have never been a big shorts person, although I did wear them a bit more when I was younger. It has always seemed just as easy to wear a dress, which has the added benefit of making it look like you tried  a bit harder. But the main reason I tend to stay away from shorts is that they tend to fit me oddly and get all bunched up in front. I blame this on my body's perplexing combination of narrow hips and meaty thighs, which feel more or less equalized in a full or A-line skirt. But in the last few years, I've noticed more and more of my summertime Instagram feed filling up with all manner of shorts but primarily those of the cutoff denim variety. Add in one very long, very casual-izing pandemic plus a summer that's already been ridiculously hot and now it seems like literally everyone is in shorts. But there's more to it than an "everyone else is doing it, so I will too" mindset—I think that in this unprecedented (and welcome) age of body positivity, people are caring less about having "perfect" legs and instead focusing on wearing whatever they want, for whatever reason they want. So that's what convinced me to buy my first pair of shorts in 20 years. Here's how I wore them in Chicago last weekend.