Black Friday Sales 2016: The Complete Roundup

Nordstrom

        Extra 20% off all sale items + free shipping!

Express

         50% off everything in store and sitewide + free shipping

J. Crew

         40% off your purchase in store or online; code: HOLIDAY

Shopbop

        Spend $200+, get 15% off; Spend $500+, get 20% off; Spend $800+, get 25% off

Asos

         30% sitewide and in store with code: THANKFUL30

Topshop

         Up to 50% off select items 

HM

         Up to 60% off Outdoor, Shoes, and more! + Free shipping!

Madewell

         Extra 25% off your entire purchase; code: THATSALE

Gap / Baby Gap

         50% off EVERYTHING! Code: TGIF50

BaubleBar

         30% off with code: THANKS30 // 35% off two items or more with code: SAVE35

Target: 30-50% off of select items!

Cole Haan: 50% off select Grand and boot styles and 30% off additional styles

Dolce Vita: Up to 60% off all items and 20% off all sale items with code: BLACK20

A Pea In A Pod: Up to 30% off designer maternity styles

All Saints: 30% off storewide with code: CYBER

Banana Republic: 50% off 5 regular priced items sitewide 

French Connection: 40% off everything in store and sitewide + free shipping; Code: F40BLF

LOFT: 40% off sitewide

Macy's: 20% off sitewide; code: FEAST

Neiman Marcus: Up to 40% off + free shipping

Urban Outfitters: Buy one get one 50% off ALL apparel

Ann Taylor: 50% off sitewide and in store; Code: celebrate

 

The best shopping day of the year is finally here! Black Friday is the perfect day complete your holiday shopping AND to get everything on your own wish list! Check out the best deals below and stay tuned as I will be updating this page as more sales pop up! Also, check out my "holiday gift guide for the homebody," "stocking stuffers for her," and "holiday style picks" for some added inspiration!

xx,  Ashley

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Sandals!

I'm totally ready to bring out my sandals and store away the boots ... just waiting on this weather to cooperate! One day its in the 60's, the next day it's snowing, seriously, mother nature MAKE UP YOUR MIND! Regardless, my sandal game needs a reboot (see what I did there?) and I can't wait to get my hands on some of my personal faves below!

1. Topshop "Holly" Lace-up Sandals - Love the color & only $35!

2. BC Footwear 'Wee' Slide Sandal - Because let's be honest...sometimes we don't have 25 minutes to spend lacing up our gladiators. Ok? We just DON'T.

3. Forever 21 Faux Leather Sandals - Two-for-one deal...these are both cute & comfortable!

4. ASOS FOR LOVE Leather Lace Up Sandals - Major favorite of mine for Spring.

5. ASOS FLORENCE Embellished Leather Sandals - So dainty and sweet ... and can go with most anything (added bonus)

6. Braided Leather Flat Sandals by Zara - Yes. SO MUCH YES.

7. H&M Sandals with Fringe - A little pop of color for Spring!

8. H&M Flats with Ankle Strap - Another color that I just love ... not to mention the style!

9. Black Laced Sandals H&M - Suede with long lacing around the ankle...LOVE.

 

 

 

INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY!

I've partnered up with Little Beans Clothing to give my Instagram followers a chance to win a $25 shop credit to snag some of the cutest mommy & baby apparel!

To enter, here's what you do:

>  Follow @AshleyMarkwood & @LittleBeans_Co

>  Like the photo posted with the giveaway

*Please tag some friends who you think would like to enter! The giveaway closes in 48 hours!

 

Why I'm totally #TeamLittleBeans:

I love meeting fellow mommy's that are so inspirational and motivate me to chase my dreams! Stephanie, the owner/creator, it not only extremely talented - she's also super sweet!  I'm all about graphic tee's that are witty and just REAL ... so when I came across this company, it was a match made in heaven. Her designs are unique and there's something for everyone; moms, dads, boys, girls, toddlers & babies ... I love the variety!

I hope you all enter this Instagram  giveaway for a chance to win! Below are some of my favorite pieces from the online shop!

xx,

Ashley

 

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

Mother's Day is such a special holiday! I might be biased, but I think I have the best Mom on the planet - so I don't feel like I can ever do enough to show her just how much I care.  I've scoured Pinterest, Etsy, and lots of other sites and here are some of my favorite gift ideas / ways to shower your Mom next week! 
1. Beautiful floral stationary she can use and think of you!
2. A place for her to store her memories.
3. Rose-smelling bath "bomb" to make her feel pampered.
4. A sparkling wine with crisp, fresh flavors to celebrate.
5. Cute and comfy "mami" tee.
6. Spring flower arrangement she's sure to love.
7. Personalized gold initial necklace.
8. A water repellent bag to bring her tablet or Ipad to the beach this summer.
9. Feed her green thumb with this seed kit.
10. The perfect spring/summer floral earrings.

Friday Five

Is it Friday already? This week has gone by in the flash, but I'm not complaining. It's been a week of discovery for me as I learn to adapt to my growing body and work out the kinks in classes like prenatal yoga and coconut oil massages. I also started reading a new book "Bringing Up Bebe" and I'm finding it rather entertaining. I hope you all had an amazingly fulfilled week! XX!

 

One // ILY Couture "donut tee"

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Two // Multi layer necklaces...Wildflower Shop

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Three // Wood prints...*swoon*
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Four // Cinnamon bun pancake cravings...

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Five // My new read...

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Travel Essentials!

The past two weeks have been quite the whirlwind in terms of travel - and there are a few things I just cannot live without when I'm on the road! A mixture of beauty and fashion...here are my "must haves" for all of you jet setters out there!
One // Fresh pair of Nike's
There's nothing cute about running  through the airport in heels, so instead rock some black leggings with some fresh Nike's; you'll be comfortable AND have everyone envious of your casual style! (Thanks to my awesome hubby and NU being sponsored by Nike, I get to be the receiver of some pretty sweet shoes!)

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Two // Batiste dry shampoo...travel size
I swear by this dry shampoo and the best part is that it's super affordable (I can get a 3-pack for under $10)! 

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Three // Burt's Bees Facial Towelettes
I keep these in my purse when I'm traveling...especially for long flights! When you can't wash your face, these are the next best thing. They leave your skin feeling fresh and smelling like grapefruit (which I love!) I also use them to remove my eye makeup - works fab!

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Four // Leather Jacket
I always bring a staple leather jacket on trips with me. It pairs with lots of different outfits - good for a night out or a casual airport look with those cute black Nike's! The one below is from Forever 21...I LOVE their jackets because you don't have to sell your soul to own one!

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Five // EOS Lip Balm
I don't know about you, but when I fly the dry air really does a number on my skin and LIPS! The EOS lip balm is my absolute favorite and I never leave home without it!
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Fashion Finds For Less!

Lush Cosmetics: Fresh Face Masks

As a little follow up to my previous post, "Caring For Your Face"  I am happy to say that I tried a face mask last night for the first time in a LONG time...like, wayyy to long. My friend was visiting from out of town, and she had read about the fresh face masks from Lush in a beauty magazine. While shopping on Newbury Street yesterday, we happened to pass Lush and decided to check them out! Disclaimer: Be prepared to be overwhelmed (understatement) with smells when you walk in the door...it's a little ridic. These vegan face masks are kept in a cooler in the back of the store, and sold in 2oz containers - only meant for use up to 7 days. There are so many different kinds, each made specially for certain skin types.

Personally, I'm dealing with blemishes and have really sensitive (already oily) skin, so I was looking for something calming and somewhat drying. The mask that I chose, "Catastrophe Cosmetic." is packed with blueberries, which are a great source of antioxidants, and soothing calamine blue oil that specifically calms redness. A few of the other ingredients include: wild orange oil, irish moss, talc, chamomile, and lime. So last night, I removed my make up and spread the mask all over. After about 10 minutes I rinsed my face with warm water and applied my toner and moisturizer. My face felt AMAZING. It was so smooth and bright! This morning, I was happy to see that a few of my blemishes were dried up! I will definitely be using this mask every night this week - and will probably go back for more! 

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Caring For Your Face!

This post is going to be informative for you (I hope), but also pretty therapeutic for me. I'm super self-indulgent like that. I have been STRUGGLING with my skin lately. I know, I know - most of you will be thinking "you're pregnant, it's the hormones!" and I wish I could blame it on that, trust me...but I've been dealing with full on blemishes since last summer. Every fall, post sunshine and a tan, I notice a drastic change in my skin. The oils are flowing, blemishes start small and before I know it, I've got full on deep cystic spots on my cheeks and chin. It's something I never dealt with until my mid-twenties, and I'm not sure I handled it correctly at first, but I'm trying to make a concerted effort now. If you're struggling now or have ever struggled with proper skin care, or are just frustrated (as I am) with it all, I hope this post helps a little!
Here are my tips to caring for your face...

1. Wear Sunscreen.

I am a sun worshiper! I grew up watching my beautiful Italian mother lather her skin with baby oil, and bake outside in the sun. (Disclaimer: My mother was, and still is, the best ever) Naturally, I took a liking to the sun and getting as bronzed as possible every summer. Thankfully, I've only suffered a few bad sunburns in my day, thanks to my skin tone, but it wasn't until recently that I started wearing sunscreen - mainly on my face and chest. I now use at least 15-30 SPF at all times when out in the sun. As I get ready to enter into my 30's, it's important that I'm proactive in the prevention of wrinkles and dark spots. It's never too late to protect your skin!

2. Sleep On Your Back.

YOU GUYS! I'm definitely a stomach and side sleeper, so I really need to make an effort to flip to my back! Otherwise, I'll develop lovely wrinkles around my nose and eyes. Think of how many hours a night we're sleeping...if your face is smooshed into your pillow for 8 straight hours, it's no wonder you wake up with deep lines on your face! I know it's hard to do, but maybe try to START by sleeping on your back...begin to train your body to do what YOU want it to do.

3. Don't Pick.

(I am so bad at this) My mother always yells at me when she sees my hands around my face. It's SO tempting to squeeze pimples TO DEATH but it's not worth the scars afterwards. I'm dealing with that now. Without a tan, you can definitely see the dark spots from the past few years of picking and popping. Get a great concealer for daytime, and for night time get spot treatment. Our bodies repair overnight, so this is a great time to let your night cream or acne spot treatment do the work!

4. Consult With a Doctor.

Last fall, I made the decision to talk to my doctor about what was happening with my skin. I had tried LOTS of skin care lines and acne treatments...but nothing seemed to be working. I was prescribed Retin-A to use 2-3x/weekly. My doctor told me to give it a solid 3 months, and I should start to see results. It definitely helped my skin A LOT. I was having a lot of luck with it and using it consistently, right up until I found out I was pregnant. I can't use it during pregnancy or while I breastfeed, but after that you better believe I'll pick right up with it! Highly recommend consulting a doctor...don't suffer through it, you have options!

5. Remove Your Makeup At Night.

This is one thing I am surprisingly solid at. I hate going to bed with make up on only to wake up with my eyes sealed shut or bloodshot from mascara. Gross! Has it happened before? Yes, but certainly not often. As I mentioned previously, overnight our bodies do a lot of repairing and regenerating...so it is prior to bedtime that we should be washing our faces, using a toner, applying night cream, eye cream and spot treatment if needed. 

 

 

Scents That Make Sense!

Chris is always the one to buy my perfume...and I must say he has impeccable taste.  He usually goes by how pretty the bottle is, and never goes wrong! That must be the secret! :)

There are two main things I look for in a perfume. First, it has to be light and fresh and second, very feminine. I don't want anything too spicy or masculine smelling - I'm more on the fruity side! I'm going to share with you 5 of my favorite perfumes! 

In no particular order...

1. Marc Jacobs "Daisy"

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2. Prada "Candy"

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3. Miss Dior Cherie

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4. Dolce & Gabbana "Dolce"

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5. Estee Lauder "Beautiful" - My mother has worn this for as long as I can remember, so it's an emotional pick for me :)

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Best Dressed: American Music Awards!

Last night, my mother, sister and I watched the AMA's and couldn't help but notice the fashion choices of course! Quickly, in terms of performances, I really LOVED Nicki Minaj and Skylar Grey's "Bed of Lies!" I wish Nicki did EVERY song like that - I think it's beautiful and she looked great last night. Obviously, I'll join the entire universe is praising Taylor Swift because I LOVE her new album, especially the song "Blank Space" which she opened the show with last night. The performance was super quirky and fun, and I just love seeing this new side of Taylor! Yes, I still think she's super awkward on stage, but it's kind of endearing - she doesn't take herself too seriously and I like that.

Now for the FASHION! 

1. Selena Gomez - She wore my favorite look of the night with this classic black Armani dress that clung to her body in all the right places. I thought she looked stunning!

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2. Rita Ora - This was a great overall look. From her trendy "top-knot" hairstyle to the bright yellow Zac Posen and fresh makeup - she delivered it flawlessly.

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3. Kate Beckinsale - She's timeless. I have a soft spot for white gowns, and I thought she was a showstopper in this one! Her necklace was perfect for this dress - I'm not usually one for the big, gawdy jewels but this really accented the look beautifully!

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4. Julianne Hough - She presented last night, which is where I first spotted her dress, and it looked SO great on her. The color was amazing, and her blonde hair slicked back and away from her face was perfect!

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5. Jhene Aiko - I totally wasn't expecting this from her, so I think that's why I was really taken by it. I think it's classic and sweet - the accented collar is beautiful and I really liked the color for this time of year. 

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DIY Holiday Body Scrub!

With the holidays fast approaching, I've been researching some DIY projects I can create and give as gifts to my loved ones. Of course, Pinterest is my favorite website to find ideas...there are THOUSANDS! I came across this festive gingerbread body scrub and thought I would give it a try at home before giving as a gift. I was really happy with how it came out, the consistency was perfect and the smell - DIVINE! Who doesn't love gingerbread? All you'll need is a mason jar, red ribbon to tie around the lid, and a label (which you can create right on the computer!) You will probably have a lot of the ingredients needed for this scrub, already in your kitchen! This recipe makes about 2.5 cups of sugar scrub - so probably good for just about 3 jars!

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup almond oil

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp all spice

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Directions: In a medium sized bowl, mix all ingredients together except the oils. Gradually add the oils until scrub reaches desired consistency. Scoop gingerbread scrub into a mason jar and add a bow and label!

 

 

 

FABLETICS!

Kate Hudson has started an athletic apparel line that is SO cute and affordable, called Fabletics! She chooses her favorite outfits each month and shares them with us, and we also take a style quiz of our own to pinpoint our favorite looks! Once you take the quiz, outfits are actually put together for you...sports bra, shirt, leggings, etc...and they're pretty spot on! I loved the outfits that were chosen for me...totally meshed with my style! Another cool perk...you can become a VIP member, and get mega discounts each month! Highly suggest checking the site out!  
Here are a few of my favorites!

Hottest Nail Colors Of The Season!

When September hits, I tend to do away with the bright hues and lean more toward neutral undertones. Currently, I'm wearing a darker grey color and I've gotten lots of compliments on it! Here are my favorite Fall nail colors, all from OPI!

 

Fall Makeup Trends!

Bold brows. Dark lips. Smokey Eyes. When September hits (now, almost October!) it's time to rock the Fall makeup trends! So...I guess I'm a little late to the party - but better late than never right?
1. Bold Brows - Benefit cosmetics "Gimme Brow" comes in two colors, and a wand to brush on the gel. The gel clings to each hair to create the illusion of thicker and darker brows. Another perk...it's water resistant!
2. Jewel-tone Lips - I love to experiment with bold lip colors and I'm a big fan of lip stain, specifically, Sephora Collection's Cream Lip Stain.  "Everlasting Burgundy" is a perfect color for this season! It's bold, long-lasting, and will definitely make the statement you're looking for! 
3. Smokey Eyes - This was a staple look at this year's New York Fashion Week! We saw lots of brown smokey eyes on the runway, and it was gorgeous. So now I share with you the best palette ever created...Naked3 by Urban Decay. There are 12 difference hues, ranging from rose to deep brown/black...some with glittery finishes and others creating a matte look. Highly recommend this purchase...it will last you for a LONG time!