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If you have ever shopped the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale before, you probably know that it is the best sale of the year (and my absolute favorite!) If you haven’t ever heard of it, check out my post here all about how the sale works and when you are able to shop!

I always feel like a kid on Christmas when my package from the sale arrives! This year, I am loving a lot of pieces! I tried to stick to neutral tones and basic pieces that can be mixed and matched for multiple outfits!

Oatmeal Thermal and Madewell Jeans
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Something Navy Topper
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Leith Pullover, Madewell Jeans and Sperry Sneakers
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Something Navy Utility Blouse
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Oatmeal Tunic
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Something Navy Skirt, BP Long Sleeve Tee & SARTO Flats
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BP Button Blouse, Madewell Jeans & Wedge Sneakers
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Ugg Booties
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The post 2019 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Try-On appeared first on Madison Fichtl.

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If you have ever shopped the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale before, you probably know that it is the best sale of the year (and my absolute favorite!) If you haven’t ever heard of it, check out my post here all about how the sale works and when you are able to shop!

Below I have laid out all the different items that I hope to get my hands on during the sale! Things tend to sell out REALLY fast so I will do my best! And once I get everything, I will be sure to do a try-on session for all of you!

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What did you see that caught your eye?!

The post What I Hope To Get At The 2019 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale appeared first on Madison Fichtl.

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Manuel and I have gone on many trips – both short and long distance. Plus after moving across the world multiple times, I feel like I am a pretty excellent packer! One of the frequent questions that I get from readers, is how to organize a suitcase.

There are many different methods and tips available but the ones that I am going to share below worked the best for me. I love how organized and easily accessible everything is!

Start with a high quality suitcase

Hear me out on this one.

If you plan on traveling multiple times in your life, do yourself a favor and invest in a high quality suitcase. I know that it is financially a lot of money, but if you buy one expensive suitcase and it lasts you 20 years, I promise that it is cheaper than having to buy a cheaper suitcase over and over again.

In addition to that, I promise you that it’s no fun to have a suitcase break open in the middle of an airport, in front of everyone (speaking from experience.)

These are the absolute best suitcases! I love that they are hard so that everything is protected inside.

Roll your clothes

If you roll your clothes, it makes them smaller and it also helps avoid wrinkles. I also love that when using the packing cubes shown below, you are easily able to see everything inside them when your clothes are rolled.

Use Packing Cubes

This was a game changer for me when I found these packing cubes.

These are super inexpensive and they make long trips so much easier to organize for. All the cubes are different sizes and I like to organize mine by category. I use one for tops, one for bottoms, one for intimates… you get the idea.

They make it so easy to quickly find what you are looking for once you make it to your location. They also are small enough that you can pull them out of the suitcase and store the bulky suitcase somewhere more convenient than sprawled out on the floor. And then stack the cubes until you need something.

I also love the laundry bag that comes with them. Although it is small, I still am able to store any small dirty item (socks, underwear, etc) and keep it away from everything else.

Hopefully these tips show you how to organize a suitcase so that you are ready for your next trip! And you can spend more time enjoying the location and less time trying to find something you packed!

And if you need some travel inspiration, click here!

The post How to Organize a Suitcase appeared first on Madison Fichtl.

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Manuel and I have been trying to get better at budgeting (scratch that – Manuel is great at budgeting, I have been trying to get better!) When we sat down in May to review everything we had spent the past month, one thing was clear that we could cut back on… going to coffee shops for coffee.

Since I work from home, typically I drink my Cameron’s Coffee first thing in the morning. I always drink it at home and it is always delicious. What gets me is when I am running errands in the afternoon or going to meetings – and I need a caffeine pick-me-up.

Related Post: Cameron’s Coffee Review

I decided that from May 15th to June 15th I would attempt to not go to coffee shops for coffee.

Instead, I would do a little bit of planning and bring my trusty smooth Cameron’s Coffee along with me. After all, it always tastes better and it would certainly be great for our budget!

Anytime that I knew I would be out and about in the afternoons, I brewed a coffee before I left home so that I had it in my car. It was great to have this on-the-go mug because it keeps coffee hot for so long, it didn’t matter when I drank it, it would still be warm.

And on days when it was too hot outside for hot coffee, I used this mug to keep my Cameron’s Coffee cold brew cold!

In addition to making sure that I had coffee with me, I also got creative with scheduling my in-person meetings.

Normally, I would just hold these at different coffee shops. Instead, I decided to have them at our gorgeous community room in our building. That way, I could bring the coffee with me and we had so much more privacy and space to work!

Each time that I either brought coffee with me, or skipped visiting a coffee shop, I kept track. Then I took my standard order cost and multiplied it by all the times I skipped grabbing coffee. Ready to find out how much I saved?!

Over just one month of not stopping at afternoon coffee shops a few times a week, I saved $112.46!!

Seeing that number kind of blew my mind! Especially when you look at it as a yearly savings – it is $1,350 per year!

Now, I know I will be taking my Cameron’s Coffee with me everywhere I go! It will not only save tons of money, but it tastes better too! Make sure to check out Cameron’s Coffee here. Or find out where you can purchase them locally here.

Are you ready to save some money? Take this challenge with me, and let’s save together!

The post How Much Money I Saved By Skipping the Coffee Shop appeared first on Madison Fichtl.

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It’s almost time for my favorite sale of the year! Normally, I don’t go crazy over a sale but trust me… this one is one of the best out there! The 2019 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is known for offering crazy deals on both summer and fall everything!

Below I have compiled everything you need to know about the sale in order to be prepared. Things WILL SELL OUT! Typically things go sooooo fast and then people are bummed they missed out. I don’t want that to happen to you, so let’s get prepared, shall we?

Why is this sale such a big deal?

The crazy thing about this sale is that new merchandise is deeply discounted. We aren’t talking about items that have been for sale that no one else wanted. Everything is new and perfect for Fall and Winter. Plus, after the sale, prices will go back up so it’s a great time to stock up!

When is the 2019 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale?

The sale will run from Friday, July 19th – Sunday, August 4th. Early Access will start on Thursday, July 12th.

How do I get early access to the sale?

If you want early access to the sale, and first choice of everything, then you need to be a Nordstrom Card Holder. I am one and I love the perks that come with it! You can easily sign up here. AND now through July 10th, they are giving you a $60 bonus note just for signing up!

Can I see what is going on sale in advance?

Luckily for us, Nordstrom offers a catalog that we can browse through a few of the items that will be on sale during the 2019 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Check it out here!

Now that we are prepared, make sure to stop back by my blog as I will be covering the sale!

The post 2019 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Details appeared first on Madison Fichtl.

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You know that feeling you get when enjoying something truly special? It’s the best! Whenever I get to enjoy a Thelma’s Ice Cream Sandwich, I not only know that my taste buds will be in heaven, but I also know that it was handmade by a locally owned family business (which makes me so happy!)

About a week ago, I was able to see just how “handmade” these delicious treats actually are. The cookies really are Grandma Thelma’s recipe and they are each inspected, measured by hand for the perfect size, and then filled to the brim with the richest, creamiest, ice cream you can imagine. All truly by hand in Des Moines, IA!

Thelma’s Story:

When Dereck (son) and Lana (mom) started selling handmade ice cream sandwiches from a little pushcart at the Des Moines Farmer’s Market, they ran out before they knew it: customers couldn’t keep their hands off the sweet treats. From a small start to a rapid rise, we now spread the love all across the country. Using our 108-year-old Great-Grandma Thelma’s original snickerdoodle recipe, we have grown leaps and bounds to serve hundreds of stores. And customers still can’t get enough. Check out more of their story here!

In my work, I get to meet a lot of different companies, so when I say that this family owned company is one to stand behind – I mean it. The entire family still works daily in the business. Making sure that we get to enjoy these tasty treats all over the Midwest and Texas.

If you have never tried a Thelma’s Ice Cream Sandwich… make sure to head over to their brand new website to check out their store finder and see where you can get them! I suggest starting with the Signature Snickerdoodle because it is my absolute favorite! Click here to check out some of the other delicious flavors they offer!

The post Thelma’s Ice Cream Sandwich appeared first on Madison Fichtl.

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I hate shopping for swimsuits. Since our new place has a pool, I knew I needed to get a few more for summer though! The best way to shop (in my opinion) is by ordering online and being able to try on everything at home.

I searched Amazon for the best swimsuits for summer and here is what I came up with for this Amazon Swimsuit Try-On!

Lemon and Black Swimsuit

I thought this one was so cute! The top can be worn so many different ways and it is super flattering with the high waist bottoms!

Black Lace Swimsuit

This was one of my favorites! It is an awesome price but still really great quality! I love the black lace and the high waisted bottoms are so cute! Plus the top actually feels like it is holding everything in. Click here to check it out!

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Tropical Swimsuit

This swimsuit was probably my least favorite of the bunch. It did have a lot of fabric on the top so I felt like it made me look bigger than I am. The bottoms were absolutely amazing though (I wanted to keep it just for them!) It does come in a ton of different colors/patterns and if you are wanting a two piece that looks like a one piece, this would be the suit for you!

Neon Swimsuit

When I ordered this one, I wasn’t sure about the neon. I tend to stick to neutral colors, but I was so surprised! I actually loved the bright color – it is perfect for summer! I have worn it a few times and I got so many compliments on it!

Related Post: 10 Summer Must Have Items

Swimsuit Coverups

This lace coverup is so fun! It is a great price and you can wear it as a swimsuit coverup or over top any outfit!

Same thing with this kimono – I love getting pieces like this that have multiple purposes!

What do you think? Which one was your favorite from this Amazon Swimsuit Try-On?

The post Amazon Swimsuit Try-On appeared first on Madison Fichtl.

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Yesterday Manuel and I got to go try out the June Chef’s Table at Fleming’s in Des Moines. We had such an incredible experience in March that we were dying to get back!

The Chef’s Table menu changes with the season and it is different at each of the Fleming’s locations. The Chef Partner works to create a menu that highlights the best features and local produce available at that location. I love that the Chef Partners are able to showcase their creativity and skill throughout these menus!

Drinks

Manuel’s Selection – The Manhattan

Madison’s Selection – Hemingway V&T

If you know me, you know that vodka tonics are my go-to drink. I love that the Fleming’s menu is constantly changing so that I can still get my classic drink – with a bit of a twist. This one had notes of grapefruit and herbs and was the perfect hot summer nights drink!

Manuel loves anything with whiskey and were both super excited to try the black cherries that were in his drink (luckily he shared with me!) It was sweet and delicious!

Appetizer

Shared Selection – Filet Tartare

This appetizer was incredible. I love tartare, but not many places serve it in the Midwest so I was so excited to see it featured on the June Chef’s Table Menu.

It was topped with an egg that made it super rich and creamy and the crunchy sourdough crostini was the perfect utensil to scoop everything up.

Entrees

Manuel’s Selection – Sweet Corn Crusted Halibut

Madison’s Selection – Wagyu Filet

Manuel was in love with this fish. It is now his new favorite thing from Fleming’s (although, I think that is a pretty hard choice to make!) The bacon orzo risotto that it was served on was delightful. And the crust that the fish had was so tasty! Plus, can we just pause a moment to appreciate how gorgeous the presentation of the dish was?!

I do have to say that I thought that the Wagyu Filet was even better than his fish. It was so tender that I hardly needed a knife to cut through it. The portobello mushrooms it was topped with were the perfect compliment to an amazing piece of meat. I am almost drooling just thinking about it again!

Sides

Manuel’s Selection – Signature Onion Rings

Madison’s Selection – Crispy Brussels Sprouts & Bacon

We couldn’t wait to try two new sides this time either. We had seen the huge onion ring tower last time we were at Fleming’s and so we had to give it a try this time. And let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint. It had the perfect ratio of onion to panko-crust.

The brussel sprouts were crispy and covered in bacon – I believe that is what dreams are made of! They were so good!

Dessert

Shared Selection – Scotcharoo Cheesecake

Normally, I am not a huge fan of cheesecake. Manuel loves it though, so we decided to give the scotcharoo cheesecake a try. And it was the best end to a perfect dinner. Dare I say that it was the best cheesecake that I have ever had? I am pretty positive it was! There was crispy rice throughout which made it feel light and airy. Pair that with a strawberry puree and we were in love!

Overall Impressions

Yet again, we had a perfect meal with the Chef’s Table at Fleming’s. This restaurant is just on an entirely different level from anything else in the area. The wait staff are incredible, the menu’s are constantly changing so you can always have something unique. And the quality never falters so you know that when you go to Fleming’s, you are going to have an amazing meal! It is the PERFECT date night, family gathering, business meeting, anything spot!

So, needless to say, if you haven’t checked out Fleming’s in Des Moines make sure that you get there to try Chef Matt’s Table and all of their other amazing dishes. Make sure to visit https://www.flemingssteakhouse.com/locations/ia/west-des-moines to check out the newest dishes exclusively available on their Chef Table menu. You can find them here: 150 South Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines, IA 50266

The post June Chef’s Table at Fleming’s in Des Moines appeared first on Madison Fichtl.

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Summer is finally here! With the change of seasons, it’s time to prepare for the heat and sunshine! Below are my favorite 10 Summer Must Have Items!

And at the end of the post, I have teamed up with a group of bloggers to bring you all things summer! Make sure to check out their posts!

DERMA-E Sun Protection Mineral Powder 

The perfect face sunscreen in mineral powder form! It is translucent so it is great for all skin types. And it is much less expensive than some other popular powdered sunscreens. Check it out here!

Fun summer skirts!

I am a huge fan of skirts! You can dress them up or down depending on the top and I love how comfortable they are! Currently, I am obsessed with this printed midi wrap skirt – and it’s on sale!

Great sunglasses (on sale, of course!)

One of the essentials of summer are great sunglasses! I love designer ones, but I hate paying the price! I found two RayBan sunglasses on sale below that are a great deal and perfect for summer!

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Gradual Tanning Lotion (body)

If you are anything like me, I don’t tan well in the sun (unless red is the look you’re going for). And since I certainly don’t want to higher my chances of skin cancer, I prefer to get a sun-kissed glow through gradual tanning lotion. This one is the perfect lotion – it doesn’t turn orange, doesn’t have a smell and it looks super natural! It is well worth the cost!

Gradual Tanning Lotion (face)

Going along with the above, I love using this for my face! You can mix it in with the moisturizer that you are already using! And you can customize the darkness based on how many drops you apply.

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Platform sandals

If you haven’t jumped on the platform sandal trend yet, you need to! I don’t know why I waited so long to do so. I love how comfortable they are, and they give me height without having to struggle in traditional heels. These are super comfortable and on sale – get them while you still can!

Tattoo Studio Eye Liner

Delivering smooth strokes and intense color, this waterproof eyeliner glides on seamlessly for super long-lasting wear! It seriously doesn’t budge so it’s perfect for those hot, humid days or jumping in the pool!

A sun hat

Whenever I am lounging by the pool or on the beach, I need a hat! This sun hat is under $10 and it won’t last long!

Cold Brew Coffee

If you know me at all, you know that I have to have my daily coffee. In the summer, when it is hot, I prefer to drink cold brew. It is super easy to make at home with this pitcher. And this is my favorite cold brew coffee blend!

A great summer bag

Adding a fun bag can instantly improve any outfit! I love the look of straw bags for summer and this one has the cutest tassel detail!

Ready for more summer inspired posts? I have teamed up with a group of bloggers to bring you everything summer! Check them out below!
  1. Summer Work Outfits – Jenna LeeAnn
  2. Summer Trend: The Little White Dress – Jennifer with Pretty Little Details
  3. Affordable Summer Dresses You Need from Amazon – Jessica with Miss Moore Style
  4. Playfully & Sophisticated: Self-Portrait | Night Out/Formal Dress – Athena with Attire Studios
  5. 10 Affordable Summer Maxi Dresses – Lee with LegalLee Blonde
  6. Here Are the Colors You’ll Want to Add to Your Closet This Summer – Alex with Chapter Fifteen
  7. Summer Date Outfits For Every Occasion – Alex with Chasing Daisies
  8. 3 Ways to Style A Kimono – Courtney with A Byers Guide
  9. My 5 Summer Must Haves – Courtney with The Finishing Touch
  10. Transitioning to Summer with Flowy Floral Dresses – Elizabeth with Lizzie in Lace

The post 10 Summer Must Have Items appeared first on Madison Fichtl.

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When we were apartment hunting, I wanted to find at least a 2 bedroom, possibly a 3. However, we ended up in a 1 bedroom with a den. The high ceilings and private entrance were just too good to pass up on the apartment that we got. Which meant that I needed to figure out how I was going to turn this den into an office/storage space/closet.

Because I honestly had no idea where to even begin with decorating my office, I recruited Jen of Texturious Designs to come in and help me plan out the space.

I had a few things on my wish list for her when she came in, those included:
  1. I had to keep my desk that we thrifted and repainted. It’s a massively heavy desk so this was no easy feat in a small room.
  2. I needed a space for my full length mirror. Preferably with something pretty behind it so that when I took mirror selfies, you guys didn’t think I was a total slob.
  3. The space needed to be functional, not just look nice. We were downsizing a ton and I needed space to store a variety of things – including my purses and hats.
Jen was up for the challenge and after coming to take a look at my space, she told me exactly where to place the major furniture pieces.

I never would have placed my desk off center, in the middle of the room but it looks incredible and it made the space really open up! Plus she gave me ideas on what type of storage solutions we could implement. And she even picked out the amazing (fake) cow hide rug with gold flecks in it. My decor pretty much all revolved around this rug:

As soon as Jen left, I was ready to get this room done!

I immediately hoped on Target’s website and searched for different shelving units. Much to my surprise, I found some that I loved AND they were in stock at a nearby store.

I recruited Manuel (OK, I didn’t really give him an option) and we headed to Target to grab the shelves and a few other accessories for the room. By the time we got home, it was already 9pm.

So I did what any sane person would do at 9pm – I started building the shelves.

I was itching to finish decorating my office so that I could finally get back to concentrating on my work (and not how ugly the room’s current state was).

Combining the two shelving units into one created the perfect length and look to fill up the space.

I put baskets on various shelves so that I could store everything I need to. For me, these baskets weren’t the most gorgeous thing I had ever seen. But they were such a good price, I couldn’t justify spending $60+ on each basket (which is what West Elm wanted for theirs). Maybe eventually I will upgrade, but for now, these work just fine.

The artwork is probably my favorite part of the room.

I had been eyeing Laurie Duncan’s art for a while now, and so I couldn’t wait to get a few pieces into the office! Everyday, I love looking at her paintings, she is so incredibly talented!

The rest of the decor was either stuff that I had, or deals I found at Target and World Market.

One tip that I got from my sister was that, in order to make decor look cohesive, pick one main color and stick to it. For me, this was all about gold. The flecks in the rug inspired this and I knew Laurie’s art would look fantastic framed in gold!

Finally, I tried to find a plant that could fill up some of the blank space and add a living feature to the room.

If you are local to Des Moines, you have to check out Art Terrarium – they were super helpful in finding this plant for me and explaining how to take care of it. It has now been about a month and I haven’t killed it! WOOHOO!

I love getting to work in this space everyday – it always brings a smile to my face and gets my creative juices flowing! I would love to hear your thoughts – what do you think of how decorating my office turned out?

The post Decorating My Office appeared first on Madison Fichtl.

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