Today I am Thankful

Today I am Thankful.

family photos

Beyond words really.  Or rather, I can't really put it all into words.

I'm the type of person that has to go on and on and on forever because once I start if I forget anything or anyone I'm thankful for then I end up feeling crappy for leaving someone out.  And that seems to ruin the whole point.

So instead, as I sit and wait for my Roasted Sugar Pumpkin Creme Pie to finish baking - adapted from Tom Douglas except I had to wing the crust because I somehow missed the part that I needed to make a freaking pie crust, ugh - to bake in the oven - I thought I'd share our family pictures.

And hopefully tomorrow I will be thankful that I am not eating a costco-bought pumpkin pie, really how is this a phenomenon that so many people love?!  I do not.

Clearly I am crazy thankful, so there's going to be a lot of pictures...scroll as you wish.

family photos on the beach

{shhhh don't tell the docent!  my favorite part is his super dirty jeans, what was i thinking with light gray jeans?!}

give thanks

beach photos

family photo attire

casual family photos
christmas card winner?

In fact, I'm over the moon with these.  The tide pools where these photos are taken is a place we spent a lot of time the last two years, pondering and reflecting, praying and breathing, exploring and laughing, sometimes yelling...getting the boys endless energy out and soaking up our vitamin D.  Originally I loathed, but in the end sand between my toes became therapeutic, the ocean even won me over.

I pray that you all feel true gratitude today in some way big or small.

photos by AngieAndersonPhoto.com, see more of her amazing photos on her website.


follow along on my instagram - thekirstyfiles, and enter my GIVEAWAY - to win 3 pairs of earrings of your choice from my Lucia K. Jewelry Tag Collection.


Online Sale Shopping: Black Friday Prep.

Are you prepped and ready for this week? 

Yes, of courrrrrssse I mean the wonderful meal ahead and the quality time to be spent with those we love. 

But, the other buzz that is beginning is the upcoming shopping craze, and sale madness.

The thing is, it doesn’t have to be craze and madness - except when referring to the deals you scored.   I admit I LOVE a great sale, but I can’t bring myself to participate in black Friday events.  They overwhelm me.  And I like to sleep too much.   But now that online shopping has increased, retailers are offering great deals from the comfort of your couch in your favorite pjs.  Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) and Cyber Week (starting the following Monday) are a GREAT time to save and check your list of well in advance.


So you will have time for things like Advent Calendars, cookie exchanges, time to actually enjoy the holidays and breathe deep. 

I heard a statistic that 48% of people are done with their holiday shopping BEFORE Thanksgiving.  I mean.  How in the world?  So for the 52% of us and the 48 that may have possibly forgotten that they didn't even know they were missing something…

How to keep calm, look great, and prep for online holiday shopping…

First:  Make your lists.

Gifts For Others  - do you know sizes?
Family {have you seen this collection for your Star Wars fanatics}
Hostess gifts
Far away relatives

Your Wishlist.
This is just plain being helpful towards others.  Confession:  A pinterest board for my husband has done wonders for improving our Christmas Morning.  Isn't this a cozy happy coat?  On my list

Home Decor.


Holiday Attire.

Next:  think about the retailers that will have the gifts you are looking for.  Do some pre-shopping on the couch after the kiddos are in bed, put items you are thinking about in your cart.  Then revisit when a sale is announced and make your decisions.  It’s therapy for me. 

Some retailers are announcing their sales in advance, some will wait till Friday...

Nordstrom is offering 20% off of their clearance items on Black Friday.  And I imagine sizes will go quickly.  Also, worth noting, if you have bought anything in the last week or so that is now on sale, Nordstrom will price adjust your item.  Just call!

J. Crew is offering 30% off your entire purchase with code "getshopping"

Anthropologie hasn’t announce a sale yet, but it's almost a guarantee they will on Friday.  They have wonderful Christmas d├ęcor and trim.  Girly gifts like these.  Smashing holiday attire.

Finally:  Check back here first thing on Friday for a full list of retailers and their sales.

Here are a few more tips from a shopping expert:

Only shop retailers you trust. My go-to's include, but are not limited to the following:
(apparel) Nordstrom, Shopbop, Zappos, Bloomingdales, J.Crew
(cosmetics) Sephora, Beauty.com, Nordstrom, Ouidad
(home decor) Anthropologie*, Williams Sonoma*, Target, Sur La Table
(kids) Hanna Andersson*, YoYo, H&M, Gap & Old Navy
*look for "free shipping" offers from these sites.

Free-shipping and returns are a MUST. Around the holidays, extended returns are critical for gift buying. If there are no free returns, ensure that you can return the item(s) to a brick and mortar store. Also, pay attention to estimated delivery dates to ensure timely delivery of your gifts. Keep an eye out for backordered warnings and, as the holidays approach, pay attention to shipping deadlines.

No final sale...EVER. Enough said.

Know your sizing and how brands fit. This is also important as you shop for those on your gift list

Search for coupon codes before purchasing. I always look for an item or enter the retailer's name and "coupon code" or "free shipping" to ensure I haven't missed a great deal.

Tips for Navigating WebsitesWhen shopping large sites, it helps to refine your search. Be as specific as possible. If you know exactly what you're looking for, use the search function. For larger sites, refine by your size, brands you like, color, and/or items (for example, size 8, coats, pink).

"Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" deals seem to have crept in to earlier in the week, so it's worth taking a peek before you sign-out from the office for the holiday. And, don't forget to include your UPS delivery man on your Christmas list. ~Jenn

By being organized for this upcoming sales season, you can be efficient, enjoy your-on-top-of-it-ness, and stick to a budget, it always feels good to save money right?

Mission Accomplished.  



3 Cheers for an Expandable Waistline

how to wear a tulle skirt

tulle skirt and sweater

Let's talk about what never to do on Turkey day...Never ever wear a belt on Thanksgiving, or skinny jeans while we're at it.  Why make yourself aware of the amount amazing wonderful memory filled nostalgic calories you are consuming.

Enter the Tulle Skirt.

Consider this your alternative to buffet pants or sweatpants.  You can look like you care and are committed to the presentation of this Holiday without sacrificing what it's really about - eating and comfort.

Not sure tulle is your thing?  I get it.  It's a lot of fabric.  Sheer wonderful the stuff fairytales are made of fabric.  Clearly I have only boys.  But Seriously, tulle is having some major sticking power.

Think of a tulle skirt just as a full skirt, forget the tulle part.  Expect that you may find yourself unexpectedly twirling.  And be prepared, you will most definitely receive compliments on your style.

Faryl Robin Clog Booties

clog booties and full skirt

how to layer bracelets and rings

skirt - Queen Anne Dispatch.  old, similar here.
bracelets (guitar strings) - Queen Anne Dispatch (call, they will ship!)
 bracelet (beaded) - 31 Bits
ring - Gorjana c/o.  find here
shoes - Faryl Robin c/o.  Coming soon to Anthropologie.
necklace - Lucia K. Jewelry

And if I can't convince you that this is perfect for your Thanksgiving Feast, at the very least consider it for upcoming holiday soirees.  Please look here for further inspiration.  I want all of them.

And consider a full skirt for Thursday.  Get a little girly already.

What is your favorite food on the Thanksgiving table?  Please share.

Photos by Angie.  Tomorrow - how to prep for the online sale madness, so please check back.  Hold me to it!



Fringe Benefits

So clearly I am having a poncho moment this fall.  The thing is I'm just so darn cold.

broken record.

Recently I discovered Uniqlo.  It was cozy love.  I found my boys the best light weight but warm parkas (see them in action here.) and I have a mild obsession with this one, definitely on my Christmas wishlist.

This is also where I happened upon this wonderful poncho.  I fell for the color-blocking and fringe, it's crazy soft and it's dress-up or dress-down capabilities...

But really you had me at fringe.  

and then the price...hook, link & sold.

fringe poncho

shirt - Forever 21, old
poncho - Uniqlo
jeans - Gap
shoes - Dolce Vita, Nordstrom, more sizes here, also here.
earrings - Lucia K. Jewelry
bracelets (guitar strings) - Queen Anne Dispatch (call, they will ship!)
 bracelet (beaded) - 31 Bits
bracelet (turquoise) - old

photos by Angie.

I am gearing up for lots of posting...think gift guides and DIYs and outfits oh my.  Please come back soon!

Wishing you a wonderful warm and cozy weekend.


follow along on my instagram at thekirstyfiles


My statement piece for fall.

oversized poncho with jeans

how to layer stripes and plaid for fall

free people coat

fall style

This fall has been one full of change for me, this is reflected in my wardrobe as I add more and more layers and sweaters and jackets, as I simultaneously store away my shorts and swimsuits for the fall/winter - oh my.  

Can you say winter storm warning.  Careful what you wish for.

The other part of my wardrobe, and life, that is reflecting change is the need to be more budget conscience.  But just because I am on a tighter clothing budget, I don't want to lose the life in my wardrobe.  

I still want fun pieces that make me happy that are also functional that I can wear in a multitude of ways.  And this is possible people.  One such piece is the poncho that I have been wearing almost everyday.  

And now it just so happens to be on major sale in black, or in gray.  (and so are the clogs, can't forget those babies)

What I wanted to show here was that this poncho doesn't just have to be worn only with solid colors, you can treat this gray stripe as a neutral.  I even wore it on the airplane with a tee, track pants, and sneakers.  Bonus:  blanket for your airplane nap.  If you're that lucky.

When you are drawn to a piece but think it's possibilities are too limited, think outside the box a little...can you treat it as a neutral, or wear it with complimentary colors, can it serve multiple functions in your closet, does it have the ability to be dressed up or down...

lots of gold rings

how to style a flannel shirt

flare jeans for fall

how to wear an oversized jacket
Flannel Shirt - J. Crew Factory, old
Poncho - Free People, Macy's. on sale.  Also avail at Nordstrom in black, on sale.
Jeans - Mavi, Queen Anne Dispatch.  Also at Nordstrom. 
Clogs - Dolce Vita, Nordstrom on sale.  Also avail at Shopbop in black or saddle color, on sale.
Earrings - Lucia K. Jewelry
Lips - Nars in Pop Life, Nordstrom

photos by Angie - check out her new website!


like what you see, follow my daily adventures and outfits on instagram, thekirstyfiles...


My Picks from the Nordstrom Clearance Sale

Some of my favorite fall pieces are currently on sale at Nordstrom during the Clearance Sale.  If you follow me on instagram, you know this poncho and these clogs are on repeat, and now currently on sale.  

If you've been eying anything for fall now is the time to check out the sale, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Here are some of my favorite picks.  I typically search for certain styles or brands to keep from being overwhelmed.  My faves:  Dolce Vita, Free People, Top Shop, Sam Edelman.  Also faux fur, 3/4 or long-sleeve dresses, turtleneck sweaters

Happy Monday!