Friday Feels

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TGIF!  I wish I could say I was going to be off enjoying this gorgeous weekend…instead I will be at work…in the air conditioning!

I have started thinking about a revamping of the blog and (finally) creating a custom logo and layout…in the process I am spending more hours than I care to admit on Pinterest pulling together images that appeal to me.  As I was adding to the blog board I realized I should do a quick post to share with you guys what I am feeling.  I would love to hear any thoughts or feedback on what you like or would like to see so send me an email or comment on this post!

Have an amazing weekend!

XO, Niki

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Slim Aarons “La Concha Beach Club”

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Keepin’ It Real: Round 3

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Tank // Shorts // Sandals // Bag (similar) // Hat // Tassel Bracelets // Watch // Bangles // Sunnies (similar)

Location: Joshua Tree, CA

Happy Hump Day!  I don’t know about you but I am really feeling the lull and exhaustion that comes with the heat of Summer.  I am looking forward to a few days of rest and relaxation at the end of the month to catch up on some of my favorite shows (more on that below…) and a nap or two.

I started a monthly “Q&A” type post at the end of last year (read those HERE and HERE) and really enjoyed responding to questions from all of you about my life, style, Palm Springs, travel, whatever!  I’m not really sure why I haven’t been keeping up on a monthly post like that…other than I find myself responding directly to each of you on my various channels.  So, I am officially putting this out to you: I commit to a monthly Q&A post so send me those questions!!!

What is your go to nail polish brand?

I am obsessed with Essie.  I have dozens of colors (sometimes two or more of the same shade, oops!) and it’s a go to even at the salon.  My favorite shades are Blanc Sand Tropez, East Hampton Cottage, and Ballet Slippers (because I’m basic AF). For the past few months I have been opting for Gel Manicures which last almost 3 weeks (for me) without chipping but I am really missing being able to change the color easily.

What was your first designer handbag?

Ooooh!  I love this question!  When I was 22 I was in love with Kate Spade (before Kate Spade was super trendy) and saved up to purchase the original nylon shoulder bag.  I remember going to Nordstrom all the time to “visit” with my bag before I made the purchase…haha!  Once I finally had the money I went to Nordstrom and bought my baby.  I carried that bag ALL the time and definitely got my moneys worth.  I then graduated to Coach (like every girl in the early 2000s) and over the years have been into Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Cole Haan, Chanel, Goyard, Rebecca Minkoff, and Burberry.  Currently I am crushing a Mansur bucket bag, a Chloe Drew bag, and a Bottega Veneta Olimpia bag…

What is your go to brand for heels?

I have a couple of favorites for comfortable and chic heels.  I have always loved Steve Madden.  They do a great designer inspired look (like this pair inspired by the YSL Tributes) for WAAAAAY less which is great when looking for something trendy that isn’t a classic silhouette.  I have so many pair and feel they are super comfortable (unless you go for sky-high, Vegas platform styles…then all bets are off).  I also love Michael Kors for heels.  Even before I worked for the accessories & footwear division of the brand I would buy the Carla platforms heels and wear them out!  They are easy to walk in all day and Michael does an amazing job of using memory foam in the bed of the shoe.  If we are talking designer I love Stuart Weitzman…they are timeless and elegant.  Plus, for my money they run slightly wider than most designer brands (which is great since most European brands use a narrow cut that even an average foot doesn’t fit in) and are less expensive than say, Loubs or Choos.

What are some of your favorite shows?

I am a sucker for some good reality TV…sorry not sorry!  I watch Real Housewives of OC, Vanderpump Rules, Keeping Up with the Kardashians (insert embarrased emoji here), and am into The Bachelorette right now.  Judge away.  I also am really into political drams and watch Madam Secretary, Scandal, and House of Cards.  A few Summers ago I was bored and binged the entire season of West Wing which was amazing and I am thinking about revisiting it.  What else?  HGTV (especially Fixer Upper) is a go to for me when I have nothing else going on or Food Network…

I’m planning  a trip to Palm Springs, what should I do?

I hear you guys on this one!  This is HANDS DOWN the question I am asked most often.  I am working on an all inclusive “Palm Springs Travel Guide” to share here on the blog.  I promise to have the post up in the next few weeks…to be sure you don’t miss it be sure to SUBSCRIBE to the blog!

How do you have time to work and blog?  

Good question!  Honestly, I’m not sure…lol!  I work 40 hours a week and it takes me about 25 minutes each way so I am busy close to 9 hours a day.  I will typically work on posts in the evening or on my days off and get things scheduled for the days I’m too busy with the store.  I will schedule shoots on days off or have Chris shoot me before we go out to dinner or on the way out the door for work (he’s the best).  I also use time on the elliptical at the gym to respond to emails or post to social media.  It’s a balance but I love my blog and really want to make it so much more than it is now.  I NEVER thought anyone would read what I had to say…let alone follow me on social media!  It’s very surreal:)

Thanks for reading, you guys!

XO, Niki

#NSale Essentials

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NSale Must Haves

Happy Monday, darlings! If you follow me on Snapchat (@darlingnikiblog) you probably saw my Sunday adventures in Joshua Tree.  It’s officially the time of year where it’s too hot to do anything in Palm Springs other than laying on the couch or being IN a pool.  We decided to flee for “cooler” weather yesterday afternoon and had lunch at The Saloon.  On our way home we stopped by the Ice Cream & Shop(pe) for a little dessert in honor of #NationalIceCreamDay…it was heaven!

Since I am officially over the 110+ temps and longing for cooler days I have rounded up some of my #NSale essentials.  I always look forward to Fall shopping but find my Southern California life doesn’t really lend itself to boots and coats, so this year I am trying to remind myself of that and opt for lighter jackets or vests and booties or flats that can easily be incorporated into my desert life.

Skirts and dresses become easy pieces for me and right now I am really into denim pencil skirts and cotton midi skirts.  I have stocked up on a few of the cotton skirts (thanks James) but love this Articles of Society denim skirt as a more structured alternative.

Since the days are still pretty warm even into November (hello 80s) I tend to gravitate towards cute tanks that I can layer with a jacket in the evening or comfy, light long sleeve tees.  I am on a Brenton stripe kick (again) and love this black & white version paired with shorts, skinny jeans, skirts, or leggings year round.  These 2 tanks are so feminine and pretty which is a little departure from my typical boho/casual style.

Okay, I know I said boots make zero sense in California but I am a sucker for Hunter boots.  I have had a pair of the classic Wellies for about 4 years and LOVE them.  Last year for my birthday Chris got me a pair of the red Huntress boots that are a touch lower and ideal for our climate but I am crushing on these higher shaft boots…maybe we will have to escape to cooler weather more often this Fall/Winter…

Obviously I have about 5 dozen more “essentials” on my wish list but us budget minded gals need to shop with a mission: notice how everything can be mixed/matched for a variety of looks for every occasion?  My favorite is dressing up the ribbed skirt with the Peplum tank, leather jacket, and stacked heels…comfy for a dinner date andthat still looks chic…win/win!

So, now that you are up to speed on my essentials, what are some of yours?

XO, Niki

Jeans // Denim Pencil Skirt // Black Jeans // Ribbed Pencil Skirt // Peplum Blouse // Striped Sweater // Lace Tank // Striped Long Sleeve T // Utility Vest // Coat // Denim Jacket // Leather Jacket // Flats // Hunter Boots // Stack Heels // Booties

Must Haves from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Happy Saturday!  I am so excited to share a few of my must haves from the NSale.  Like I mentioned before the sale started, be sure to shop early for the best selection (if you don’t already have a Nordstrom card you can get one HERE) of new Fall arrivals on serious sale.  I am excited for some cool weather pieces (although I won’t be able to wear them here in Palm Springs for months…)like the plaid scarf and cute booties linked below.  I am definitely feeling the boho vibes and “model off duty” feel this season…what about you?

XO, Niki

AG Jeans //Rebecca Minkoff Black Bag // Adidas Sneakers // Vince Coat // Current/Elliott Jacket // Earrings // Joie Heels //  Cupcakes & Cashmere Dress // Scarf // Rag & Bone Hat //  Vince Camuto Booties // Chambray Dress

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

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nordstrom sale

You guys, I am almost as excited as I get for Christmas.  The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is about to start!  You all must know by now that I am a ride or die Nordstrom girl and their Anniversary Sale is seriously THE BEST SALE of the year.  It’s the ideal time to shop the new Fall arrivals at discounted prices and snag great back to school pieces for the kiddos.  I am already longing for cooler weather and this Vince cardigan….

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The sale starts Friday July 22nd and runs thru  Monday August 7th.  Want to shop the sale early?  Nordstrom Cardholders get early access starting tomorrow (July 14th)!  Not a cardholder?  Sign up HERE.  Seriously, I have a Nordys card and am constantly getting rewards just for shopping the things I already love plus early access to the sales is a HUGE perk.

I will be sharing some of my top picks over the next few days.  Remember, the sale is so big inventory goes quickly, if you see something you love snag it quickly before it’s gone!

XO and happy shopping!

Niki

*Images via the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Catalog

Cold Shoulder

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I have been drooling over the effortless & boho off the shoulder trend since early Spring.  What is it about that throwback vibe that just feels so chic?  Anyway, I was on the hunt for an easy dress to throw on and wear all Summer long but didn’t want to pay a fortune (sorry to all you mega bloggers who can afford $200-$300 for a dress).  I was wandering through H&M on my lunch break and saw this chartreuse number under $30!  Full disclosure: the dress actually has little ties at the shoulders but I have been tucking them inside for the look I really wanted.

I wore the dress loose with nude wedges for dinner (last seen HERE) but love the juxtaposition of the edgy black belt and suede chocker with such a girly silhouette.  What do you think?

XO, NIKI

Dress // Heels // Belt (vintage but similar HERE) // Sunnies // Bag // Choker c/o

PS – Check out some of my favorite bloggers in their off the shoulder numbers.  If you don’t already follow these ladies, you should!

Poor Little It Girl

Hello Fashion Blog

Living In Color Print

Style Cusp

Oh So Glam

Gal Meets Glam

Travel Diary: 4th of July Lake Arrowhead

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Happy Tuesday, guys!  I hope you all had a fun and memorable 4th of July!  I am on vacation this week (yay!!!) so the post holiday blues haven’t set in for me just yet.  As I mentioned last week we spent our 4th in my hometown of Lake Arrowhead, about 90 minutes from Palm Springs.  I have shared a few photos on my Instagram (@thedarlingniki) and if you follow me on Snapchat you no doubt saw the amazing fireworks over the lake.  Today I’m sharing a full round up of the trip plus a few photos that haven’t made it to social media…yet!

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A few weeks ago I noticed on Instagram that a new store opened in Arrowhead in one of my FAVORITE buildings that has been empty for years.  Shop Road Trip is the cutest mix of gifts, vintage, and home decor that feels so fresh and inviting.  I have been eager to check out the shop since it opened and finally made a stop on Saturday, let me tell you, I was NOT disappointed!  We picked up a cool vintage inspired slingshot for the boys to play with, cool postcards, and a grapefruit soy candle from P.F. Candle Co. that smells like heaven.  It also has an equally as fantastic sister store, Shop Summer Camp, located in Ojai, CA.

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On Sunday we met up with a group of friends on a rather infamous boat on Arrowhead, The Double Decker.  No, you cannot Google this boat nor can you rent it but if you’ve been on the lake in the last 4 Summers there is a good chance you’ve seen it.  It’s a 2 story pontoon boat complete with BBQ and a water slide…amazing.  We were spent a few hours getting some sun and came back for the annual fireworks over the lake.

Bikini (old but similar HERE and HERE) // Sunnies (similar HERE)

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We took a boat break and went to Papagayo’s Patio for Clyde’s Pink Margaritas and shrimp street tacos before heading to the Bee Gee’s cover band concert.

Dress (seen HERE and HERE, currently sold out but also love THIS ONE) // Sunnies (similar HERE) // Sandals (similar HERE) // Bag // Bandanna // Tassel Bracelets

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My Jacket (similar HERE)

Chris: Shirt // Jacket // Backpack // Hat (similar HERE)

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One last stop in the Village for lunch at Woody’s Boathouse before we came back to the Desert.

Romper (similar HERE and HERE) // Birkenstocks

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Technically this wasn’t taken in Arrowhead but it was the end of the July 4th weekend and the tee is SO cute I had to share….

Shorts // Tee // Bracelets (use code NICOLEBOWEN20 for 20% off your next order!)

XO, Niki

July 4th Packing List

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July 4th Packing List
Hey guys!  Spending the morning packing for our trip to the lake since we leave first thing tomorrow.  Here’s a little sneak peak of what I’m planning to take along.  You can follow along on Snapchat (@darlingnikiblog) to see what else ends up in my suitcase!
Where are you all headed for the weekend?
XO, Niki
Necklace // Dress // Hat // Ring // Bikini Top & Bottoms // Jacket // Nail Polish // Birkenstocks // Shorts // Sunnies // Tank // Sneakers // Bracelets // Tote (similar HERE)

4th of July – Lake Days

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4th of July - Lake Days
Hey guys!  I hope you are all having an amazing Tuesday so far, I know I am!  Yesterday I shared a cute look for any of you headed to a 4th of July pool party or BBQ, you can check it out HERE if you missed it, so today I am all about the casual look for a lake day.  Whether your will be spending your lake day on the shore or on the boat this look is perfection.  Honestly, I feel like the lake is the only place to fully rock the stars & stripes bikini look, maybe it’s the abundance of Coors Light and country music but I’m not mad at it.  Since I am all about the balance I love a chic off the shoulder top paired with classic denim shorts and red gladiators.  The bandana is totally on point for the season, as is the round beach towel (i just got one an they are AMAZING!).
What is your go to July 4th look?
XO, Niki

July 4th – Pool Party

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July 4th - Pool Party

 

You guys, I cannot believe 4th of July is a week away!  Where has the Summer gone???  I have been a busy little bee planning what to pack for our weekend in Lake Arrowhead and getting ready for my vacay from work (hooray!!!).  I am always a sucker for a tried and true Patriotic look for the 4th, whether it’s an obvious choice like a stars & stripes tee or something a bit more subtle like this adorable chambray ruffle dress and red bikini.  Oh, and in case you missed the memo, a straw tote with pom pom or tassel details is a Summer Season Must Have!  I have linked a few of my favorites HERE, HERE, and HERE.

To see what I am packing for my holiday weekend be sure to follow me on Snapchat (@darlingnikiblog).

XO, Niki

PS – don’t forget to shop this exact look using the links below!

Scallop Bikini Top // Scallop Bikini Bottoms // Wrap Bracelet // Chambray Dress // Pendant // Tote // Espadrilles

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