Hot Items for Sale Online: A Tour of the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale!

You're doing some spring cleaning. You've finally gotten rid of those chipped plates you used in college and you made room in your cabinets for the Anthropologie plates of your dreams. And guess what. They're on sale! #Adulting.

I hand-selected items from my favorite brands sold at Nordstrom in a few different categories: home decor, women's clothing, shoes and handbags. Click the image to shop and save up to 50% off between now and June 2!

Anthropologie Sale:
Is there anything better than Anthropologie home decor items? I mean, honestly.

Treasure & Bond Sale and Other Home Goods:

Gray Malin Sale:
Gray Malin prints don't go on sale all that often! 

Madewell Sale:
Madewell bags and clothing are timeless classics to have in your wardrobe. Most of their handbags are vegetable tanned leather (which you know is important if you read my Eco-friendly Father's Day Gift Guide! If you haven't read that post yet, you can find it here.)


Eco-friendly Father’s Day Gift Guide

I want to put a little more thought into my Father’s Day gift this year than I usually do.

Perhaps it’s because my thirtieth birthday is looming, so celebrations feel more precious and fleeting, somehow. 

Perhaps it’s because my Dad has given me so much over the years- love, support, encouragement, advice. 

Perhaps it’s a combination of sentimentality and feeling like I want to give more thoughtfully, in general. 

This year, I decided to focus on what really matters. My love for my dad, and his desire to do good and leave the world a better place. 

My father wants me to live on a planet with an abundant and thriving ecosystem. He wants to leave this planet better than he found it, and so do I.

These eco-friendly Father’s Day gift ideas will surely help you on your hunt for a sustainable, consciously chosen gift to give your dad on this special day.

Why shop for eco-friendly and sustainable gifts?
The first known use of the word “eco-friendly” was in 1989. The year Taylor Swift and I were born. 
It seems fateful that as I approach my thirtieth year on this planet I should stop to consider how my purchases may be impacting the environment.  
A quick Google search of “the state of our planet, 2019” results in staggering statistics and heartbreaking articles, with titles like: “Human Society Under Urgent Threat From Loss of Earth’s Natural Life” and “Humans are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented Pace’”. 
These are more than just depressing headlines, however.  
They are a call for us to take action and become conscious consumers.  
The future of this planet is in our hands, and we have the power to make a change.  
And it all starts with how we spend our hard-earned dollars.
What does it mean to be a conscious consumer? 
A conscious consumer is someone who considers the ecological, environmental, social, and political impact of their purchases. Being “conscious” of something means you care about it.
Have you ever stopped to think about where your clothing, shoes or handbags come from?
Truthfully, before I spoke to Alta Andina’s co-founder and Head of Sales, David Gamburd, I hadn’t thought much about where or how my leather goods were made.
“More than 90% of leather in the world is chrome tanned leather, which is a toxic heavy metal that degrades the environment and is dangerous for the end user and the people manufacturing it,” he said in a recent interview.
“It’s more expensive for a company to use vegetable tanned leather because it takes a lot more time. But it’s also a lot better for the environment.”
Part of being a conscious consumer is taking the time to get to know where the products you’re purchasing come from, how they are manufactured, and the impact their production has on the planet.
How do I find sustainable gifts?
Look no further! This entire guide was created with sustainability and conservation in mind. It features products from companies like Alta Andina, a lifestyle brand committed to conserving the environment while sharing the beauty and bounty of the Andes Mountains with the world.
Jord Wood Watches, the world’s top selling premium wood watch brand which uses sustainably sourced wood from around the globe.
Nummyware, makers of plastic-free glass food containers with bamboo tops. (Bamboo is a sustainable crop is it can survive without pesticides, chemicals or fertilizers.)
This gift guide also features products like a Fair Trade Gourmet Himalayan Salt Cooking Block and the Patagonia GUPPYFRIEND washing bag.
Did you know that when you wash your synthetic garments, microfibers detach from your clothing and litter our rivers and oceans? The GUPPYFRIEND bag catches the microfibers which can then be thrown away after your wash. Pretty cool, huh?
When you gift one of these to Dad, explain WHY you made your purchase.
Your enthusiasm may just ignite a fire in him, too, to consider how his purchases are impacting the planet.
Why does this matter? How am I helping the planet by purchasing an eco-friendly gift? I’m just one person.

I get it. You’re busy. You probably don’t have a lot of time to comb through every product and research its supply chain, or how it’s being made and where.

That’s why it’s helpful when companies are upfront about where their products are sourced and manufactured. 

Look for a note on a company’s website or in the item description to quickly scan if the item was made from recycled or reusable materials, and if it was made with the Earth in mind.

Search for companies who are considering how to use items that may otherwise be thrown away, and who care about reducing their carbon footprint. 

David Gamburd explains: “Leather hides are a byproduct of the meat industry. Unless we turn them into leather products, they are thrown away- completely wasted. Instead of wasting them, Alta Andina uses the natural tannins in pods, fruit or bark from trees in South America to tan their leather. We are taking something that may have been discarded and turning it into a beautiful, usable and safe product.” 

When I first spoke to David, I felt a little bad about myself.

I opened my closet. How many of my shoes, belts, wallets or bags had been treated using chrome and a mix of other toxic chemicals rather than safely by vegetable tanning, the way Alta Andina treats their products? 

David helped me pivot. 

Rather than feeling guilty I could spend my energy learning about the companies and environmentally safe processes I do want to support.

The responsibility of buying safe, environmentally conscious gifts does not just fall on the consumer; it falls on the manufacturers as well. 

When we as consumers educate ourselves about manufacturing processes that are often hidden from the general public, we can make conscious choices to support processes that we agree with, and as a result, create a shift in consumer behavior on a global scale. 

Alta Andina’s vision is to shift consumer demand and industry standards toward responsibly sourced and manufactured products. 

And this is a vision I think we can all agree with. 

I have to brag a little about Alta Andina’s products because I think they’re pretty great.

Their leather goods are handmade – hand stitched and hand burnished using natural beeswax. This means that a real live human is putting together Alta Andina products with their own two hands, receiving fair wages, and working in a factory that provides proper and safe working conditions. 

By purchasing their products, you are supporting the concept of a local supply chain in the Andean region, and you are NOT supporting unfair labor practices or chemical treating that is toxic for the environment and dangerous for the end user.

So the next time you go to purchase a leather good, ask these questions:
  • Is this vegetable tanned leather, or chrome tanned leather?
  • Where was this made?
  • What practices does your company use to reduce its carbon footprint?
By taking baby steps toward becoming a conscious consumer, you are taking part in a global shift toward more sustainable, eco-friendly manufacturing. And that’s something we can all celebrate.

1.      Patagonia Men’s Back Step Shirt
Made of 55% hemp/ 45% organic cotton blend (soft, breathable, provides warm-weather comfort.) Hemp has a low impact on the environment as it doesn’t require synthetic fertilizers. It’s a durable, natural fiber that is harvested and processed by hand. Hemp is a soft, light, airy and breathable fiber. This hemp shirt is blended with organic cotton for your comfort.

2.   Olive Wood Utensils 
Olive wood is hard, strong and durable, and olive trees can live to be as old as one
hundred. This Etsy shop is a family run business that uses olive trees at the end of
their life to create beautiful wooden utensils for your kitchen. The wood is sourced
from Tunisia and finished in Quebec.

3.   GUPPYFRIEND Washing Bag 
As previously mentioned, washing synthetic garments can result in microfibers littering our rivers and oceans. This bag will catch those microfibers so they can be thrown away. It is made of materials that can be fully recycled, and the Patagonia supply chain promotes fair and environmentally responsible labor practices and safe working conditions.

4.   Alta Andina Magnetic Coasters 
These magnetized coasters stick together and to your fridge! Bye Bye clunky
coaster holder, hello stylish bar ware. Grab a beer and a coaster and Mom will
never be mad about a ring on the coffee table again. They’re made with full grain leather and are treated through a 100% natural process. 

Fair trade, handmade, hand-carved in the Himalayan foothills. You are supporting talented artisans and human rights with your purchase as workers are provided a safe working environment, medical care, chilled water and rest breaks. 

6.   JORD Wooden Wrist Watch 
100%  natural, sustainably sourced Walnut wood from Eastern Europe. Genuine
scratch resistant sapphire crystal. The wood color is not stained, dyed, or treated
with harsh chemicals.

7.   Alta Andina Cast Iron Hot Handle Holder 
Add a touch of rustic elegance to your home even Dad will appreciate. This cast
iron hot handle holder is much sturdier than a silicone alternative - so much so
that it even comes with a lifetime warranty. 

The solar power bank can be charged via a power outlet or sunlight. It comes with a flashlight, compass and can charge iPhone XR/ XR MAX/ XS/ X/ 8/ 8plus, Samsung Galaxy S9/S9plus S8/S8plus and all qi-enabled devices.

Plastic free, BPA free, phthalate free, biodegradable and recyclable bamboo lids make this eco-friendly glassware ideal for your cooking needs. The borosilicate glass is oven safe up to 520°F and dishwasher, microwave, and freezer safe. And the bamboo lids can double as cutting boards!

10.         Myrrh Beard Oil
This beard oil is made with certified organic, fair-trade extra virgin Moroccan Argan Oil mixed with organic Myrrh essential oil promotes facial hair growth, moisturizes skin and delays hair graying. Not tested on animals.


Expert Packing Tips for Your Spring Getaway

Packing: the Type A’s dream, the procrastinator’s nightmare. No matter where you fall on the organization spectrum, packing doesn’t have to be painful. Follow these simple tips to make your spring getaway a breeze.

List is king

It sounds obvious, but creating a list is a step people often overlook. When you work from a list you are less likely to forget something important! Create different types of lists in an Excel spreadsheet (i.e. by season, by trip type, etc.) so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you travel.

I’ve created a packing list for a 10 Day Adventure Trip to Hawaii which you can download here!

Check your airline baggage-fee

Most airlines today charge for checked baggage. You’ll want to know what the fee is before you start packing so you can decide if you’re going to carry-on or check a bag for the weekend.

Try your outfits on ahead of time

Another obvious yet often overlooked tip. If you’re pulling out items you haven’t worn in a year, you should probably check to make sure they still fit. Accessorizing and styling an outfit before you go will prevent you from packing nonessential items that will end up unworn on your trip. When you try on your outfits ahead of time, you also end up packing dual-purpose accessories. Rather than packing three belts or hats, you may find you only need one of each.

Photograph your try on session

I always take pictures of my outfits before I go on vacation because it reminds me what looks good and what I want to pair together. You can create an album and reference your outfit photos later to make getting ready much easier.

Roll your clothes

Now that you’ve tried on all your outfits and know what you’re going to wear, roll and pack your clothing by category, i.e. roll and pack your t-shirts in one corner, your shorts in another, etc. Tightly rolled clothing takes up significantly less space than folded items, and they’ll be easier to access when you’re ready for them. Clothes are also less likely to wrinkle when packed this way.

Take something out

If you’re an overpacker like me, it’s usually a good idea to take one or two things out of your suitcase once you think you’re done packing. I usually start with too many clothes and find I don’t miss the one or two items I take out before I zip up my bag.

Carry on wisely

Make sure you’re not squandering valuable real-estate by carrying on a tiny purse. Use a backpack or tote bag to store additional items you need for your trip under your seat or in the over-head compartment.

Pack a spare

Truthfully, I don’t always do this. But if I’m taking a long trip and am checking a bag, I usually make sure to pack a change of clothes in my carryon, in the event my bag gets lost.

Essentials are carried on

Always, always, always carry on valuables and essential items like your laptop, camera, medications, identification, money, jewelry, etc. Don’t tempt fate. Carry on anything super expensive or valuable that could easily be slipped out of your bag.

Invest in minis

It can be a pain to lug around a full set of makeup or hair products. I’ve begun investing in minis of my favorite products to take with me on trips so I don’t have to try to pack an entire shampoo bottle in my luggage. 

Shop the best travel minis here: