Must-have shoes for Italy in the fall

Whether you’re the form over function type or vice versa, I’ve noticed a really awesome trend among Italians (and Europeans, really) lately. You’re going to see a few stilettos on cobblestones (eek!) but most people–especially¬†the most chic–are opting for lower-heeled or flat shoes and boots. I’m not sure if it’s an extension of NORMCORE or if people are just tired of twisting their ankles but I’ll just say it’s a win for both comfort and style. I’m calling four major styles as your best bets when packing shoes for Italy, especially in fall and winter.¬† Continue reading

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2014 (AKA: the most wonderful time of the year)

So I’m conflicted. I live in arguably the most beautiful country in Europe but I’m pretty jealous of everyone who can shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Since times immemorial, I have religiously made a pilgrimage to my nearest Nordstrom store (sometimes a state or two away–not kidding one bit) to catch the start of pre-sale or sale. This year, international travel to physically step into a store just isn’t in the cards. Thankfully the pre-sale started online yesterday for Nordstrom card holders. As you may or may not know, we use a credit card and pay it off each month (debt is a no-no in our house) so as per my usual, I restrained myself more than I would’ve liked. Still, there is a level ton of cool stuff I could totally glut myself on. Because everyone likes a voyeuristic view of what others have bought or what they’d like to buy (right?), here are my top Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2014 picks.

What I bought (plus I had Nordstrom Notes on top of the sale!):
nordstrom anniversary sale 2014Longchamp Le Pilage Expandable Bag, sale price $127
The Bilbery purple that I bought appears to be sold out now. Navy and Slate are really pretty.

Barefoot Dreams Bamboo Chic Drape-Front Cardigan, sale price $60
Although it is sold as a robe, this cardigan is good to go as clothing. The reviews are phenomenal. I plan to wear it with leggings this winter since it’s long enough to cover my tush.

What I probably will order:
nike and zellaNike Free TR Connect 2 Training Shoe, sale price $73
So I’m a sucker for animal print, plus in-your-face sneakers are so in right now. The 10.5 is sold out already, so I may have to try the 10 and 11.

Zella Live In Leggings, sale price $34
Another item with glowing reviews. Zella is known for being opaque, comfortable, and durable. I need to see what the hype is all about.

Splurge-worthy styles:
collage one

Rag & Bone Newbury Bootie, sale price $360
I mean, really. I love Rag & Bone. I love booties (wow, that sounds funny). This are gorgeous. If I had my great pre-kids job, these would go in my cart without a second thought.

Rag & Bone Zip Detail Skinny Jeans, sale price $160
I won’t need skinny jeans until 2026 but these are pretty divine. The dark wash and the zippers are a fresh take on last season’s moto skinnies.

Kate Spade Lottie Pumps, sale price $220
Animal print again. Notice a pattern with me? Just wait until the leather picks start.

collage twoHalogen Zip-Detail Leather Mini Skirt, sale price $150
This is actually a great price for a leather mini. I’m thinking pulverized, slobbery animal crackers would look lovely on it…not.

Halogen Leather and Knit Mixed Media Top, sale price $98
Great price, great top. If this sticks around long enough to go on clearance, I may snatch it up later. It requires professional leather cleaning, which won’t happen around my house.

3.1 Philip Lim Pashli, sale price $599
I’ve wanted a Pashli for about a year. The medium is probably a better size for me, but the large looks so roomy and perfect for carrying the girls’ stuff around.

Have you shopped the pre-sale yet? What did you get? Stop by my Case of Consumption Facebook page and let’s chat.

Buy now, save later: The Stella and Dot promo Dot Dollars is back

stella and dot promo code

It’s a new month, which means it’s time for a new set of Stella and Dot promotions. While the monthly promos are always good, this month the deal is exceptional. Dot Dollars are back when you shop through my Stella and Dot stylist site or through a trunk show! Throughout the month, you’ll receive a $25 credit for use in July for every $50 you spend in June. This credit is delivered to your inbox around July 8th via a Stella and Dot promo code. It’s a great way to update your summer jewelry collection or to do some gift shopping.

If you’re interested in hosting or attending a trunk show, the June Trunk Show Exclusives are fantastic, too. I’m not living in the U.S. right now, but a book or social media show (think Facebook or Instagram) is easy. Just contact me for details.

stella and dot june trunk show exclusivesLastly, there are two new products launching this month. I’ve been a huge fan of the Elodie necklace in gold and I’m even more excited about its arrival in silver, blue and chartreuse. The super popular Cleopatra pyramid studs in gold are also launching in silver. If you are interested in either, let me know. I hope to have samples to show off soon.

new stella and dot

On constant rotation: the Stella and Dot Sahara Necklace

stella and dot sahara necklace

I’ll be honest: comfort has trumped fashion more often than not since we began living out of suitcases. No, I’m not running around in flip-flops (ha, isn’t it a Freudian slip that I just typed “flip-slops” first?!) and yoga pants, but I’m not bedecking myself in heels and statement necklaces either. My Splendid harem pants, Sam Edelman Gigi sandals, a J. Crew zip-back tee, and my J. Crew Toothpick jeans are my go-tos practically every day.

Last Friday, I just felt a little blah wearing the jeans and tee, so I slapped on my Stella and Dot Sahara pendant necklace on my way out the door. I caught my reflection in the hotel closet mirror and was pretty stoked by how the addition of the simple necklace pulled everything together. Much like a mathematical formula, I’ve been adding the necklace the rest of the time with most of my other ensembles to add a little zest. Yes, Harper does grab at it a bit, but the length makes it possible to swing backwards when I’m out playing with the girls on the playground. And, really, she hasn’t done any damage to it, which attests to its quality.

I plan to snap a photo soon of it on, but for now, take a look at it on the Stella and Dot model. Truthfully, I was iffy when I bought it; now I’m totally sold. For $49, it’s an affordable, fairly classic addition for a jewelry wardrobe.

Do you have the Stella and Dot Sahara? What have you been wearing it with?

stella and dot sahara pendant

Current Cravings: Cork Footbed Sandals

So let’s just get this out of the way. Ugly shoes. I’m craving ugly shoes. Now let’s move on, shall we? Mmmkay. Last fall while caring for a new baby and chasing after Zoey (’nuff said), I did catch bits and pieces of fashion week. I sat there shaking my head at the Birkenstocks that went down the runway not because I was thinking “ohhellno” but because I knew I was going to cave on them when spring rolled around. (I know my strange ‘want’ proclivities, if nothing else.) True to my prognostication, I’m officially craving cork footbed sandals.

Now before you bounce right off the page (you’re still here, right?), I have some rules. To keep the look edgy and not crunchy, they absolutely have to be black, white, or metallic, and since I don’t do white shoes personally, they have to be black or silver. The easy and inexpensive route has to be the Birkenstock Gizeh sandals. They really are classics that can be worn outside of the ugly shoes cork footbed sandals trend. That being said, just look at those Rebecca Minkoff Tristen sandals.

What do you think? Are they like Cabbage Patch Kids (so ugly they’re cute)? Or are you laying off this trend?

cork footbed sandalsLeft to right:
Rebecca Minkoff Tristen, $225 at rebeccaminkoff.com
Birkenstock Gizeh, $90 at nordstrom.com
Coach Sunny Sandal, $148 at coach.com

Stella and Dot Rory is Here

rory1After our short Central Texas ice storm yesterday, I assumed UPS would be running late, if at all. Not so. My order showed up on time. There were oodles of cool jewelry pieces in there, and I’ll certainly show them off soon, but the Stella and Dot Rory necklace was my most anticipated piece. I was happy to see that it is truly more of a medium-size statement necklace style. It’s a spring/summer piece, after all. I can’t stand huge necklaces when the temperature reaches into the 100s down here. This is doable for now and later.

As a general rule, I’m never a huge fan of goldtoned jewelry. That being said, the Rory’s metal is almost an antique finish. It isn’t bright, gleaming, polished gold. As you will see below, I went totally against my usual style today and wore a chambray shirt. Between the three colors of stones, it plays really well with denim. I’ll be more excited to try pairing it with something more “me” (ie: a black sweater, a Breton striped top, or a modern, lacy ivory or white top). Oh, and I would be remiss to forget mentioning it’s price: $59. It’s not pocket change, but it isn’t staggering either. It’s a spring and summer must-have in my book.

What do you think? Love it, like it, or not really your style?

rory2

Stella and Dot Rory Necklace and Sardinia Bracelet

Stella & Dot Rory Necklace

Stella & Dot Rory Necklace

I did the unthinkable (at least for me) last month: I became an independent stylist for Stella and Dot. I don’t generally order home business-based items, I haven’t had a party since that total failure of a Pampered Chef party I had back in 1998, and I certainly didn’t think I would ever join one. Stella and Dot, however, kind of changed my mind. I’m not pushing products on my friends and families, so I guess you could say it’s more for me right now. That 50% off stylist discount was a big attraction…won’t lie about that one. I have a personal site up and going, and you’re welcome to visit it here: www.stelladot.com/courtneystrimel

The new early spring line of jewelry went live for stylists to sample this morning. It’s good if Mediterranean blue is your cup of tea (and it is mine). The Rory necklace (above) is so vibrant and Deco-inspired. I’m imagining myself wearing it heavily once we get to Italy. (Yes, at this point the whole idea of moving to Italy is full of romantic visions of walking down gorgeous streets in Vicenza. The culture shock should shake it out of me in a few months.) The Sardinia bracelet in blue (below) is also on my must-have list. I already own it in coral and have worn it ceaselessly since it arrived. I believe these items, as well as a few others, go live for the rest of the world mid-March. If you’re interested in a heads up when you can order them, visit my site or leave a comment. I don’t mind to let you know when they’re up.

Stella & Dot Sardinia in Blue

Stella & Dot Sardinia in Blue

Current Cravings and Indulgences: iPad Mini and other Shopping Finds

ipad mini

I’m officially one of “those” moms that people on Facebook bemoan. I bought myself an iPad mini this week solely because I’m tired of sharing my first gen iPad with my 4-year-old. Yep, that’s right. My pre-schooler now has her very own iPad. I’ve made up other excuses, like that I needed an update with a camera and that I needed something smaller and that it’ll be easier to take to the hospital in June. Really, though, it’s all because I’m not good at sharing. Pfft.

So all that being said, I love it! I chose the white 16 GB wi-fi style. I just need to buy my case from Pencil Shavings Studio, my absolute go-to for tech cases, and I’ll be set.

As you can tell from the picture, I also did a little more shopping over the past few weeks. The necklace is the J. Crew Fan Fringe. A splurge, yes, but I’ve been wearing it non-stop with everything from t-shirts to dresses. If you can catch it on sale (like I did), I would totally recommend the necklace. You really don’t need anything else accessory-wise when you are wearing this eye-catching bauble.

As for the sandals and Revlon lippie…$20 at Target. I really love the whole tribal motif that has been popular for the past few seasons. For around $15, the sandals were a no-brainer, especially since they have a pancake heel. One word of warning: the fit of the sandals in this Target collection is craa-zy. I had to try on 3 pairs of the same size in this style to get one narrow enough. In other colorways of the same collection, I never found a good fit despite several tries. I recommend buying in the store since it may take a few tries. Oh, and the lip crayon is the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey. These are cheap, moisturizing, and practically foolproof.