Each month during 2018 I shared the monthly top ten selling items purchased by all of you! This information is super helpful to me so I can plan out future content based on what you all are liking and buying and on the other hand what you don’t care for. Looking back at the top selling items from 2018, I think it’s safe to say you girls LOVE your designer dupes. Part of me thinks I should devote 100% of my time in 2019 to finding designer dupes because they are always the most requested from you ladies! See below for our favorite dupes and the top ten from 2018!
10. SIDE SLIT TEE
Tee linked HERE. Very similar option with more sizing availability linked HERE.
9. FUNNEL NECK TOP
Comes in 4 colors and linked HERE. Great basic, work appropriate top.
8. TIE WAIST WORK PANTS
All of my working ladies LOVED these. They are currently BOGO 50% off.
7. PAJAMA SET
One of the top purchases all year plus these Target pajamas make the perfect gift. Size up! They also come in a short set HERE. I found the short set ran true to size.
6. OVER THE KNEE BOOTS
Tan // Grey // Black I am normally a size 7.5 and went with a size 38 in all 3 colors! Use the sizing chart online. They are currently 30% off if you buy 2 pairs.
5. BLANKNYC SUEDE SKIRT
4. SUNDAY RILEY UFO FACE OIL
This Sunday Riley oil that I swear by for hormonal acne has been a favorite of mine since 2017! I couldn’t believe y’all sold out Anthropologie’s stock a few weeks ago, placing it in the top 10 for the entire year! If you are just wanting to try the oil out, they have their smallest size bottle for just $40 here. It also comes in a trial kit here with 2 of my other favorite products (cleanser & lactic acid) if you are looking for an entire skincare system.
3. BLANKNYC SUEDE MOTO JACKET
2. HERMÉS & DAVID YURMAN BRACELET DUPES
1. GUCCI BELT DUPES
The number one seller every single month are these Gucci dupe belts. They are getting harder and harder to come by as Amazon is cracking down on dupes. I’ve linked all above that are currently working. For size reference, the real belts come in two sizes, 0.8″ and 1.5″, so I suggest getting a dupe similar to those dimensions.
Top Ten Blog Posts
I spend a lot of time creating content for the blog and it’s always one of my favorite things to do at the end of the year to see which posts you ladies liked the most especially since it’s always eye opening to see how the analytics compare to how much time I spent on the posts. Sometimes they correlate and others they don’t. Sometimes I spend hours and hours on a post thinking you ladies will love it and then it’s a total flop. My goal for 2019 is to create more content that you ladies actually want to see by devoting my time creating the content that you request. You can bet to see a lot more dupes, try on sessions, and budget friendly finds! If there is anything else you want to see, let me know in the comments!
10. WEDDING DRESS CODES & STYLE GUIDE
Everything that you need to know about wedding dress codes and options to wear. Read post HERE.
9. MY SURGERY DIARIES
In 2017 I had two PAO hip surgeries. Read the post HERE.
8. LET’S TALK LASHES
I tried a new lash serum to grow my natural lashes! Read the post HERE.
7. MINI DONUT RECIPE
This post is from 2016 but still one of my most visited! Read the post HERE.
6. FRIENDSGIVING: WHAT TO WEAR, HOW TO DECORATE, & HOSTESS GIFTS
My third year of New York Fashion Week is officially in the books! This year was fast and furious to say the least since it was smack dab in between two other trips. I had two full days in the city and I tried to make the most of every minute! There were lot’s of meetings, new friends, and rooftops and very little sleep but I wouldn’t change it for the world because I feel so blessed to have these opportunities do be doing what I love! Life motto lately: “You can sleep when you’re dead”.
I only RSVP’d for one fashion show as my focus was more so on brand meetings and connections this year. Sadly, due to rain I didn’t even make the one show I was really looking forward to going to, Nicole Miller. Thankfully I still was able to make it to almost all of my other events and meetings. Some of my favorites this year included the Liketoknow.it party, Lulu’s party, Shopbop party, and OK Magazine party. No, I did not just party my little heart away during fashion week but due to privacy reasons I am not able to disclose several of the brand meetings that I had so that’s why you get a long list of parties instead 😉
DO YOU HAVE TO BE INVITED?
Heck no! My first year that I went, I booked a plane ticket and hotel room and told myself that even if I didn’t get invited, it would be the trip of a lifetime to go to NYC during fashion week. No matter how small you are, if you do the work to pitch brands for fashion events, you will have at least a few events to go to. Even if you just go to meet with other fashion influencers and brands, it is 100% worth it! Getting invited to shows, showrooms, brand meetings, parties, etc are all the same. Most are not going to reach out to you unless you’ve already gone in years past. YOU have to do the work. This means sending out hundreds of emails. Read more about how to get invited to events here. And for the record, my first year that I attended NYFW, I had less than 5k followers and guess what? I still got invited to fashion shows:)
HOW DO YOU GET TO MEET WITH BRANDS?
Fashion week (or honestly any trip to New York) is a great time to reach out to brands and PR companies that you have already worked with in the past. If you’ve never looked at the signature line of brands you’ve been emailing, you should start 🙂 Most are headquartered in NYC! There is nothing like putting a face to a name, especially when these brands work with hundreds if not thousands of other influencers. Anything you an do to make youreself stand out is going to put you ahead in this industry! Before fashion week each year, I will make a point to look through my collaborations over the past year and reach out to some of the brands that I have yet to meet with. I will just shoot them an email letting them know I am in town for fashion week and that I’d love to meet face to face. Some brands I’ve simply gone to their office, others I’ve met for coffee and then some already have scheduled events or showrooms during fashion week and will invite you to those!
HOW DO YOU DRESS THAT FAB ON A BUDGET?
Not going to lie, it’s hard. If you want to go to fashion week and not spend a ton of money on outfits the best ways to look baller on a budget are to rent, borrow or be gifted clothes. This definitely takes some time and effort but can be done several different ways. 1) Reach out to local shops before your trip and ask if they will let you pull some clothes to showcase during fashion week. Most places do this regularly for photoshoots or other events so they should be used to it. Mention you will tag them in all social posts giving them credit and they should be more than happy for the trade of services. 2) Reach out to PR companies or brands in NYC that have showrooms or might want to dress you for the week. Again, many brands do this so asking is not weird at all especially if you’ve worked with them in the past! They will appreciate the exposure opportunity. 3) Many PR brands have gifting suites during fashion week which means FREE CLOTHES. This is where it’s at ladies.
WANTING TO ATTEND NYFW?
Have you thought about going to fashion week but not sure where to start, how to get invited, who to reach out to, etc? The posts below from years past should be helpful when thinking and planning to attend next season! If you have any other questions, I’m more than happy to answer them in the comments below!
The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has officially started! I’m sharing what I purchased along with all of my initial favorite picks. Keep in mind that new items will be added daily but these first items may or may not be restocked! Things are already flying off the shelves and the sale hasn’t even been live for 24 hours so if you see something you want, don’t hesitate on clicking that purchase button. Nordstrom has free shipping and free returns so if something doesn’t work out, you can just send it back! Better to be safe than sorry as leaving something in your basket for more than a few minutes can mean you miss out!
I personally opted to pick up the majority of my purchases. This means that Nordstrom will pull all of the items that you purchased and have them waiting for you at the customer service desk for you to pick up. Literally within a couple of hours! This is by far a better option than fighting the crows. I went before the sale started yesterday and it was already a madhouse! Also, there is almost double the selection online as there is in store as many of these items are “online only”.
Every year I stock up on “basics” meaning cotton tees, denim, cardigans, and leggings as these are the most worn pieces in my closet and truly are the most versatile. I love these $18 long sleeve teesfor layering when it starting to get a little cooler. The striped ones are always so cute peaking out from underneath a sweater! Last year I purchased this suede moto jacket and got way more use out of it than I thought! It goes with everything: jeans, sundresses, you name it! Grab it while it’s almost $60 off. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of these and I highly suggest getting them in multiple colors.
Happy shopping friends and may the sale God’s be ever in your favor 😉
Get ready friends! The big kahuna of sales is just two weeks away! I can assure you this sale is a marathon not a sprint so knowing how to prepare for it is MONEY! Literally, figuratively, emotionally. All of the above because if you don’t know how to shop it, I can assure you that it can be overwhelming. After three years of doing this, I know how to find the hidden gems before everyone else and I’m sharing all of it with all of YOU!
WHAT IS THE “NSALE”?
If you have been around here long enough, you know I haunt sales like it’s my job. Unlike other sales that mark down old or last season’s trends, the Nordstrom Anniversary Salehas BRAND NEW items (both Summer and Fall finds) discounted by up to 70% from brands like Tory Burch, Top Shop, MAC, Stuart Weitzman, Free People, Rebecca Minkoff and SO many more! The sale runs for 3.5 weeks with new items added each day and at the end of the sale, everything goes back to full price. You can view some of the first items that will go on sale here.
WHEN DOES THE NSALE START?
Early Access: Thursday, July 12 – Thursday, July 19
Public Event: Friday, July 20 – Sunday, August 5
HOW SHOULD I PREP?
1. GET THE NORDSTROM CREDIT CARD
Only Nordstrom cardholders will gain access on July 12th- a full week before the rest of the world. The reason this matters is because most of the good stuff WILL sell out before public access even opens. It happens every year. I finally bit the bullet this year and applied for the credit card because after two years of not having it, I know better. For those that are weary about owning another credit card, keep in mind you don’t even have to shop the early access sale with it, you just have to own it. I plan on using my usual credit card to pay for my Nordstrom Sale purchases so I don’t have to pay off more than one credit card! If you want to shop the sale early, APPLY ASAP so you can be approved before early access starts. Apply here.
2. MAKE A LIST OF WHAT YOU NEED
The sale will bring out new items geared for Fall/Winter but there will also be items that you can wear now! While you might not be ready just yet to think about cold weather clothing, the deals that you will score now are well worth it later on. In years past my favorite items to shop for were leather boots, lightweight jackets, designer purses, jeans, everyday tops and beauty items. I highly suggest going through your closet now to see what items you actually need verses making impulse decisions when the sale comes.
I suggest looking at some of my popular posts from last year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale to see what type of items you might be able to score this year. Here are a few popular blog posts from last year where you can see what items were on sale and also this should give you an idea of similar blog posts that I plan on doing for the sale this year.
If you want to share what items you are shopping for this year, please do! Comment below and let me know what type of items you are looking for. I will be making a list and shopping those items as soon as the sale goes live (usually around 2 am CST). While the Nordstrom Sale will have literally hundreds of pages of sale items, it is my job to shop for what you ladies want. So send me your lists and let me do the hard part for you! I will also be checking as popular items come back in stock so once the sale starts, feel free to send me items you might have missed out on because items do get returned within the 3.5 week sale period!
Keep in mind that I will be shopping the sale in real time and will update you on the blog and social media with all of the best items including those that I think will sell out super fast. Make sure to follow along on my Instagram and Facebook as this is where I will be sharing sizing guides, favorite items, styling tips and giveaways before they make it to the blog!
Blog wise, you can expect to see similar blog posts to those last year as well as a shop tab (located in the drop down menu at the top of my blog) where I will have categories such as work wear, athletic wear, men’s, shoes, etc.
POPULAR ITEMS LAST YEAR
MY FAVORITE ITEMS FROM YEARS PAST
Don’t forget to check out the 2018 catalog and let me know what you ladies are shopping for! I’ll see y’all back here and on Instagram July 12th at 2 am with all of the best steals and deals so rest up until then 🙂
2017 was the year of growth for this blog but I want 2018 to be the year of community and connection. I’ve started to realize that I don’t care one bit what the follower count says anymore, I care about connecting with the ones I already have because it is SO fulfilling and I already have everything I need right here.
I am so happy that you are a part of the IACTM community and I am excited to make IACTM an even better outlet this year! It wasn’t until the very end of 2017, my “you only live once” phase that I just didn’t care what I put out there- the good,bad, the ugly. And you know what? Y’all seemed to really love it. I thought I had hit rock bottom but y’all loved it. Not the rock bottom part per say but the “screw everything, this is the real me, take it or leave it” part of rock bottom. And it made my rock bottom seem just the opposite. I realized I thrived at rock bottom. I realized what it meant to have and be a part of a community. So that’s exactly what 2018 is all about.
Things Happening in 2018
You all loved my 12 Days of Christmas giveaways so much that Santa Shelbi is coming out of retirement to bring you giveaways until you say “NO MORE!”. Since I want to get you more engaged and build this community, the giveaways will involve getting to know you better. That being said, as long as you follow along on Instagram and Instagram stories these are going to be EASY. You won’t have to follow any other bloggers or tag a million friends. The winner for the week will be chosen every Sunday evening.
The way it works: the first 100 comments on every Instagram post will be entered to win. This means you might want to have post notifications turned on or check Instagram each day. I usually post around 12 pm and 8 pm CST but that’s not always the case. The key is you will have to watch my Instagram stories each day to know how to enter. I will ask a question on my stories and you will then have to answer the question in a comment on the most recent Instagram post. I will also occasionally give fun ways for extra entries that might involve a secret emoji or something else simple and ultimately FUN!
How the winner is chosen: at the end of the week I will add up how many Instagram posts I did and generate two random numbers. The first random number will select which Instagram post, the second will select a number 1-100. That will be the number of the comment on that specific Instagram post aka the winner! I will do the drawing during the Instagram Live each week so that y’all can get the hang of how it works and be able to see who wins at the same time that I do!
Weekly Instagram Lives (“Chic Chats”)
So many of you want to see more real life shenanigans so from now on, I’m going to host a quick (30 minutes TOPS) Instagram Live every week. The majority of you picked Sunday nights at 8 CST/9 EST so that is what we are going to start off with for now but if I get enough people that want them on a different day I might trade off each week. For each live session there will be a topic of YOUR choosing. For ex: how to start a blog, best jeans under $100, spring trends, etc. I’ll have you guys send me your suggestions each week and then I will announce the topic the day of the live. This way you can decide if you want to tune in or not. I plan on giving away a $5 gift card to the most engaged person EVERY single week so it will help to tune into the live even though it will be saved for 24 hours.
After many requests to shop my closet, I finally figured out a way to make it happen! Every Tuesday (or that’s what I’m aiming for) I will be selling 10 brand new or like new items from my closet at a MAJOR discount. This does not necessarily mean all clothes. It could be skin care, make up, fitness items, purses, shoes, vacuums (yes I get random stuff!), etc. While the clothes will primarily be my size (Top: XS/S // Bottoms: 25 or 0), this is not always going to be the case. I do get sent stuff sometimes that is not my size! I will host the sale every Tuesday evening on my Instagram stories at 8 pm CST. This will be first come, first serve. If you are interested in an item, you will email firstname.lastname@example.org to claim it. I will give each person an hour to pay before someone else will get a shot. I will put prices on each item and there will be a standard $10 shipping.
So many of you are either bloggers yourself or just want to know more about how all of this blogging stuff works. You asked, so I am answering. I am going to start doing blog tips twice a month! Everything from how to start a blog, beginner photography, how to grow on social media, how to make gift guides/collages, etc. If you have topics you want me to talk about, please send them my way!
Styling/Business Coaching Services
I’ve been trying to figure out for the past year how I could connect more with you guys and bring my passion for fashion and building your own business to life. I love blogging but I’m also behind a computer all day. I am so much of a people person and find so much joy from sharing what I love best with others, I just haven’t known how. *Insert blog here* The blog has connected me to all of you and in 2018 I will be offering personal styling sessions as well as business coaching for beginner bloggers/entrepreneurs both locally in person and virtually. Stay tuned for more information on this 🙂
Frequently Asked Questions
How old are you?
I am 26 years young! I have 2 younger sisters and we are all within 4 years of each other.
What was your full time job?
I was a supply analyst for a retail power (electricity) company. My job in a nutshell consisted of forecasting power usage, buying/selling power, hedging our exposure, data analytics and lots of excel spreadsheets.
Why did you quit?
Ultimately I quit because of timing and I knew it was not what I wanted to be doing long term. Between my two hip surgeries, moving home, travel opportunities, and a burning passion to give the blog my all, I decided it was the right time for me to quit. Granted this would have never been possible if I was not living at home and the fact that I built my savings up over the last 3 years.
How did you manage your full time job with the blog?
Long story short – not very well. I would keep my blog email open at work so that I could star important emails and answer any time sensitive ones. I would write posts and answer emails after work. I would take pictures every other weekend, usually Saturday mornings where I would shoot 4-8 looks at one time with my photographer which would give me enough content for about 2 weeks. I didn’t have much of a social life between working 2 jobs but I didn’t mind at the time.
Do you plan on going back to work?
Yes! I am starting to look for work now and am hoping to go back to work in March or so. I still don’t really know what I want to be doing but I’m thinking something along the lines of marketing, public relations, social media, or event management. If you have a job that you love, I’d absolutely love to hear!
What surgeries did you have?
I had two PAO surgeries to correct hip dysplasia. I had the left side done in March and the right side done in October. Each were about a 2 month recovery. You can read all about it here.
How did you rehab after?
Yes, but not like I should have. After the first one I only went to physical therapy for a month because I was in so much pain. I don’t think the place I was going was very attentive to what my body needed and instead of finding a new place, I just quit. This go around has been harder because now I have 2 bad hips instead of just 1 so we are working both sides in physical therapy. I also have had 2 falls since my last surgery which have not been good for my hips. On top of that, I had to get my own health insurance and it’s been a constant battle so I am currently not doing physical therapy but desperately need to be!
Where did you go to college/what was your major?
I went to Texas A&M University and graduated with a Finance major and International Business minor. I actually studied abroad my sophmore year all over Europe – London, Paris, Nice, Monaco, Austria, Venice, and more!
Instagram Live Winners
Please contact me to claim your prize! And if you didn’t win this time, I will be doing it every week!
2017 Feedback Survey
Thank you so much for making 2017 such a great year. I am so happy that you are a part of the IACTM community and thank you for answering these quick questions that aim to make IACTM an even better outlet! Remember these are anonymous and your HONEST feedback helps me the most! Thanks in advance for your response and taking the time to make IACTM a community – I am so glad that you are here!
*You can answer the questions below + submit the survey directly below!*