Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lilly Sale Mayhem!

I started drafting this post last week and am just now getting it up! As many of y'all know, last Monday (August 19) was the much anticipated Lilly Pulitzer Online Endless Summer Sale. It was ultimate chaos for sure, but I am happy I ended up with at least a few things I really wanted, so I can't complain at all! Anyways, the sale was supposed to begin at 8:00am EST and I, like many others, logged on and had difficulties with the site moving extremely slowly and then crashing. Once it was back up a few hours later I could select color and size for the Pink Polka Dot Cassie dress I really wanted, but it wouldn't go into my tote. Finally once it was in my tote it took lots of refreshing the page before I was able to successfully check out. I then went back hoping to get some Cassie and Somerset dresses in additional colors. I was able to add a Carolina Blue Cassie one to my cart, but when I selected other colors in my size that were supposedly available they wouldn't go into my cart. It turned out they were selling out so fast the online inventory couldn't keep up! I managed to check out successfully with my Carolina blue Cassie, as well as a Chin Chin cooler that was a GWP back in the Spring that I missed out on. So even though it was frustrating with the website issues, I am extremely happy with my purchases and can't wait to get them. As of last Tuesday night (Aug 20) everything I ordered on Monday (Aug 19) had already shipped out, even though Lilly had warned it might take up to two weeks for order processing due to high volume of the sale. As of Thursday I have received all of the purchases I made on Monday!
I was able to check out around lunchtime on Monday. Even though I didn't get everything I wanted and had to deal with inconvenience of site crashing, I feel very fortunate to have gotten a few really great things! Some people were still having problems with shopping the online sale late Monday afternoon and into Monday evening. One of my good friends eventually gave up. After I was able to successfully make my purchases the website still wouldn't cooperate for her. She finally said "perhaps this is God's way of telling me I don't need any more dresses!"
Based on comments on social media, Lilly Lovers seemed much more agitated with the website issues this year than in years past, because it has happened so many times. I have a feeling there will be some major talks at the Pink Palace on what might be a better approach to online sales in the future. As I alluded to earlier, a major issue was not just that the website crashed, but that as they were fixing things some people were able to access them sooner than others, and thus people were not getting a fair shot at merchandise. I saw multiple comments where people were upset because everything they wanted was sold out by the time they were able to get through. (For some reason, the New Years Cheer online sales always seem to have fewer issues with the website crashing. This year during the New Years Sale I was able to get on at 8:00am and make several purchases before I had to leave for work.)

Here are some of my suggestions on how Lilly online sales could be run more smoothly in the future. I have seen variations of these ideas on social media comments and other blogs:

-Instead of having mega online blowout sales twice a year, add a sale section to the Lilly Pulitzer website and add merchandise to it periodically throughout the year. Then have limited periods where sale items are an additional 25-40% off with a checkout code. Both Kate Spade and Tory Burch use this approach, and they would be considered more premier designers than Lilly Pulitzer. J.Crew does this as well. Lilly Pulitzer corporate stores as well as independently owned boutiques run their sales like this throughout the year, so it makes sense that the Lilly corporate website follow suit!

-Have Surprise Sales every 2-3 months with merchandise up to 75% off, advertised to Facebook fans and email subscribers. Kate Spade does this, and I've never had any issues with accessing their surprise sales.

-If Lilly insists on sticking with the two major online sales per year, then have it set up where they replenish online inventory each day, rather than putting everything up for grabs at the initial rush on the first day.

-If the website crashes, completely close the sale so that no one can shop until it is back up and running, so everyone has a fair chance at merchandise.

Also, in the future if you are having issues with the Lilly website during online sale time, be sure to check out some of the participating independently owned signature stores who are doing online sales. They often have different inventory and sometimes even better prices than lillypulitzer.com. Many of them even have free shipping with a minimum purchase. Plus you are supporting a small business! For instance, I got the Tango Orange Cassie Dress I had been wanting for about 66% off from C.Orrico during the sale. This was still full price on the Lilly site!

I hope y'all were successful in getting at least something you wanted during last week's Lilly sale madness! How was your shopping experience, and what suggestions do y'all have for Lilly Pulitzer to improve their online sales in the future?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Five!

Sorry I've been so slack with blogging lately. (I know I've said that multiple times this summer!) Anyways, I'm back with another Friday Five (at the last minute) and am linking up with A. Liz Adventures for Five on Friday again. In honor of this week's Lilly Pulitzer Endless Summer Sale Madness, this week's five is devoted to some of my latest Lilly loves. I know the sale was a source of frustration for many, but I was  happy to get a few great things! I will have a post coming soon with more details about my Lilly online sale experience and some suggestions for making it smoother in the future, so stay tuned!

1. Lilly Pulitzer Cooler in Multi Chin Chin
If you have been following my blog for any period of time then you know that I am obsessed with Lilly's Chin Chin print from Spring 2013! I just can't get enough of it! I was super thrilled to get this cooler during the Endless Summer Sale that had previously only been offered as a Gift With Purchase.

2. Lilly Pulitzer Cassie Dress in Pretty Pink Dot Dot Dot
I was hoping to get some Cassie dresses during the sale, and I scored this adorable pink polka dot one for just $29! 

3. Lilly Pulitzer Cassie Dress in Tango Orange from C. Orrico
This orange Cassie Dress had been on my wish list for awhile, and it was not included in the Lilly Pulitzer Endless Summer Sale. However, C. Orrico (a Lilly signature store) had it included in their sale so I was super happy!

4. Lilly Pulitzer Murfee Scarf in Tusk In Sun
I had a coupon from my Lilly agenda purchase earlier in the summer, so last weekend when I was visiting my favorite Lilly signature store I got this beautiful Tusk In Sun Murfee. As y'all know, I'm obsessed with elephants and was bummed I missed out on this print last fall when it came in a top and a Cassie Dress. So when Lilly reintroduced the print this fall in a Murfee scarf I knew I had to take advantage before it sold out!

5. Lilly Pulitzer Consignment Store Deals
Last weekend I was also in a consignment store that had a great selection of Lilly and found this precious patchwork skort for just $20 and a new with tags pajama top for $15!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Cassie: One Dress, Many Looks!

I love the Cassie Dress by Lilly Pulitzer! This simple 3/4 sleeve cotton slub jersey dress is so incredibly comfortable! One of the best things about it is it's versatility! The styling opportunities are endless and you can create completely different looks with the same dress depending on what shoes, jewelry, and accessories you wear! This post is long with lots of pictures, but it will be worth it if you read all the way through, I promise! I have paired the Cassie Dress in New Green (no longer available on Lilly's website in this particular color, but it might reappear during the Endless Summer Sale) with different necklaces, shoes, and belts to illustrate the variety of looks that can come from one basic dress! 

Starting off:
 Plain Cassie Dress

Look 1:
With Lilly Pulitzer Shorely Blue Chin Chin Murfette Scarf and Bronze Jack Rogers

Look 2:
With Lilly Pulitzer Hotty Pink First Impression Murfette Scarf and Tory Burch Tan Reva flats

Look 3:
With Lilly Pulitzer Shell Yeah Necklace and Banana Republic Outlet Espradille wedges

Look 4:
With J.Crew Factory Orange Bubble necklace, Lilly Pulitzer Sullivan Belt, and Gold Jack Rogers

Look 5:
With J.Crew Factory Yellow Bubble Necklace and Gold Jack Rogers

Look 6:
With Lilly Pulitzer Amani Children's Foundation Murfee Scarf and Ariat Cowgirl boots

Look 7:
With J.Crew Factory Purple Elephant Necklace and Tory Burch Tan Reva flats
close-up of elephant charm 

Look 8:
With basic pearls and Merona by Target Nude Patent Peep-toe heels

Look 9:
With basic pearls, pink Banana Republic Outlet belt, and Bronze Jack Rogers

Look 10:
With basic pearls, Lilly Pulitzer Navy Thinny charm belt, and Tory Burch Tan Reva flats

Look 11:
With pink faux pearl necklace and Merona by Target Nude Patent Peep-toe heels

Look 12:
With Towne & Reese Blue Long Necklace and Ariat Cowgirl boots

Look 13:
With basic pearls, Lilly Pulitzer printed sash (came with one of my dresses), and Silver Jack Rogers

I've created 13 different looks with just one dress, and there are so many more possibilities by mixing and matching the different shoes, necklaces/scarves, and belts! Plus you can add even more variety depending on what bracelets and earrings you wear!

Do you have a Lilly Pulitzer Cassie Dress? How do you like to style yours? Also, do you usually get your normal size or size up? I can wear my normal size but sometimes like to size up for a looser fit around the thighs and butt. I'm hoping there will be some Cassie for great prices on Lilly's upcoming Endless Summer Sale!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Happy World Elephant Day!

August 12 is World Elephant Day, and in honor of the occasion here are a few things from my elephant collection!
Lilly Pulitzer Chin Chin Skort

Lilly Pulitzer Chin Chin Murfette Scarf

J.Crew Factory Elephant Critter Necklace


Lilly Pulitzer Amani Children's Foundation Murfee Scarf

Milly for Banana Republic Elephant Scarf

Lilly Pulitzer Tusk In Sun Agenda

Lilly Pulitzer Chin Chin Koozie

Stella & Dot Elephant Weekender Bag

Wooden carved elephant figurine my best friend got me in Jamaica!

Banana Republic Outlet Elephant Critter Belt

Lilly Pulitzer Chin Chin Shoreline Tote

As y'all can see I'm just a bit obsessed with elephants and have a hard time resisting anything elephant related! But most importantly, I'm thankful that World Elephant Day raises awareness of these majestic animals and their need to be protected via conservation efforts. It breaks my heart that anyone would kill them for their tusks! 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Five

Happy Friday y'all! Hope you've had a great week! For this week's Friday Five I am linking up with A. Liz Adventures for Five on Friday! I've never done a link-up before, so thought it would be fun.
1. Lilly Pulitzer Cassie Dress in Lagoon Green Stripe
This week my purchase from last week's Lilly Pulitzer sale on Rue La La came! I got this gorgeous striped Cassie Dress! I adore Lilly's knit dresses because they're so easy and comfortable so I'm thrilled to add this one to my collection. This particular Cassie can be worn year-round- with Jacks now and then with tights and boots when it gets cold (which I don't even want to think about right now). Plus the Cassie is so versatile with multiple options for accessorizing. Stay tuned for a post real soon about the endless styling possibilities of the Lilly Pulitzer Cassie Dress! Also for those of y'all that have the Cassie: I'm curious as to whether you buy your normal size or size up. I go back and forth. I ordered my normal size in this one and it works, but I have also bought one size up for a looser fit. 

2. Stella & Dot Elephant Pouf
This week I also received a package with the elephant print cosmetic pouf I got as a bonus gift with the weekender bag I ordered during July. The shape of this cosmetic bag enables it to hold a lot, and I actually plan to use mine to store jewelry. You can order the pouf by itself on the Stella & Dot website. My stylist Sarah is awesome!

3. Royal Birth Commemorative Souvenir Edition of The Times
One of my good friends was visiting London at the time of the royal birth. Before she left I had told her how jealous I was that she would be there during all the hoopla. So she was sweet enough to bring home a special edition copy of the UK newspaper commemorating the royal birth!

4. Silver Elephant Charm Necklace
I recently found this simple silver elephant charm necklace at Target recently, and couldn't resist getting it. I like how the chain is long, but the pendant is still small and elegant. 

5. Ending of Dumbo
Image via
All the cute elephant stuff I've gotten lately has reminded me of my favorite fictional elephant, Dumbo. When I was a kid, I don't think I watched Dumbo as much as some of the other Disney movies. I was obsessed with the Dumbo ride at Disney World though, and would make my parents wait in long lines to ride it with me. While there are some really sad, and even downright disturbing parts in Dumbo, the ending is absolutely precious! It might be my favorite happy ending of a classic Disney movie. Dumbo triumphs and he is reunited with his mother for good in their own private circus train car. I am not ashamed to admit I collect the Disney classics on DVD when they come out of the vault, and I definitely have Dumbo. You're never too old to appreciate an adorable animated baby elephant!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Preppy Summer Work Outfits

Here are two favorite preppy outfits I've worn to work recently. The first outfit includes a classic Lilly Pulitzer skirt with a white top. I also wore a white cardigan with this outfit but forgot I had taken it off when I took these pictures:

Skirt: Lilly Pulitzer Roslyn Skirt in Lilly's Pink Big Squeeze (love the adorable koalas in this print!); Top: Banana Republic Outlet; Earrings: Kate Spade; Pearls: Honora; Bracelets: Kate Spade "Hot To Trot" and "Tickle The Ivories" Idiom Bangles; Ring: Kate Spade; Shoes: Jack Rogers
Not Pictured: J.Crew Factory White Cardigan

The second outfit includes super comfortable cotton knit dress from the Banana Republic Outlet, dressed up with a cardigan and heels. And I love how my colorblocked bangle adds a pop of pink to the navy and white palette:

Dress: Banana Republic Outlet; Cardigan: J.Crew Factory; Necklace: Lilly Pulitzer; Bangle: J.Crew Factory; Earrings and Cocktail Ring: Kate Spade; Shoes: Merona for Target


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Featured Recipe: Broccoli Salad

I haven't posted a recipe in forever, and last week I made a delicious broccoli salad to take to a potluck lunch at work. The recipe is quick and simple and would be great to take to barbeques and picnics during the remainder of summer, and then to tailgates in the fall! I used this recipe as a guide when I made my broccoli salad, mainly so I would know how much broccoli to use and how to make the dressing. I altered the extra ingredients from the original recipe- I didn't have any cheddar cheese on hand so I omitted it this time. I also used sunflower kernels instead of onion and I added raisins. Next time I make it I will probably add some cheddar cheese into the mixture.

4 crowns broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup sunflower kernels
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup crumbled bacon (I used Hormel bacon bits-found in pizza toppings section)
1 cup light mayo
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1. Chop broccoli and place in large bowl. Add sunflower kernels, raisins, and bacon; then set aside.
2. In a separate small bowl mix together mayo, sugar, and apple cider vinegar to make dressing.
3. Pour dressing over the broccoli mixture, and stir with a spatula until broccoli etc. is evenly coated.
4. Cover bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve. (This is best made at least a few hours in advance so that broccoli and other ingredients can soak up the dressing.)


Monday, August 5, 2013

Summer Essentials: Best Beach Bags of 2013

There's still plenty of time to squeeze in trips to the beach and pool during this last month of summer, and if you're in the market for a new pool/beach bag here are some great options!

I have this bag and actually use it as just a regular tote bag, but Lilly markets it as a beach bag. The inside wipes clean easily and there is an interior zip pocket for keeping iPhones and such dry and sand-free.

Lilly Pulitzer's insulated cooler bags are actually my top choice for a beach bag. I have the Limeade Floaters print from two years ago that I still use and it has held up well! You can fit a decent amount of stuff in it and it zips across the top. As an added bonus it comes with a pink Lilly Pulitzer bottle opener! (I have this cooler bag in Chin Chin as well, that I use as a multi-purpose bag.) 

I don't have these next few bags so can't speak from personal experience of their usefulness as beach/pool totes, but they are all adorable and appear very functional as well:
My Stella & Dot Stylist Sarah highly recommends this tote as a beach bag. Multiple interior pockets, including a water bottle holder, make it easy to stay organized!

This nylon tote from Vineyard Vines also has multiple interior pockets and would be a great beach tote.

This monogrammed tote from Marley Lilly comes in multiple color options!

This woven tote has a beachy vibe!

What have been your "go-to" bags for trips to the beach and pool this summer?