The Hidden Gems of Walmart, Vol. II

I've been meaning to do this for awhile, but my usual desire to slip in and out of Walmart as quickly and elusively as possible has deterred my aspirations. However, Walmart's clothing department has been really impressing me of late. During my last jaunt into the fray of bargain shopping, I was so astounded by the offerings in the womenswear department that I just had to whip out my phone and bring you...THE HIDDEN GEMS OF WALMART, VOL 2! 

1. THESE FLANNELS! 

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But really...THESE FLANNELS! Here we have a rack full of closet staples for fall. The black one looks just like a Rails button-down I've been eyeing. The green with the embroidery is spot on. The real test for me--the softness factor. These passed with flying colors...SO SOFT!! One thing with these, as with many Walmart items, the sizing is weird. For these shirts you will want to SIZE THE F**K UP if you want it oversized at all. 

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Does this one-piece even need an explanation? Love the side cut-outs, the ribbed fabric and the color. This one could totally be worn as a bodysuit into the fall once the pool closes. 

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I don't usually go for patterns, but this jumpsuit caught my eye for the bandana-inspired print and color! Upon closer inspection, the fabric was extremely soft with a linen feel. I have a black jumpsuit (not from WM) in this spaghetti strap, straight neck, wide leg cut and I wear it ALL the time. This one would be a fun addition to any closet (hello Labor Day weekend outfit??). 

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I think I may have featured this find in my last hidden gems post, but it is still available and still prevalent. This $9 bag is a very close rendition of a $100+ style by Rebecca Minkoff. If you want a bag that looks high end, but you don't have the cash--this is your find. 

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Here are the shorts you'll live in to lounge around the house, go to the gym and even run errands. They are so comfy, but the heathered fabric and cut of these doesn't look super sloppy. At only $4, you will want every color...and be able to afford them, too! 

As I mentioned in the first Hidden Gems of Walmart post, these images aren't linked to shop online because finding a specific item is nearly impossible in the behemoth that is the Walmart shopping website. Plus, hidden gems should always be the fruits of an adventure; and going to Walmart is ALWAYS an adventure. Happy bargain shopping! 

Five Finds | Cute Slide Sandals Perfect for Summer!

Simplicity and comfort--two essential elements that I look for when buying new additions for my closet. When it comes to summer footwear, nothing fits that bar better than slide sandals. Don't get me wrong, I love a cool, strappy gladiator sandal; but there's just nothing more wearable than an easy slide-on choice. When buying sandals this summer, prioritize purchasing a slide and see your investment have a MAJOR return on number of wears! 

Shop five of my favorite slides for summer below, just click the image! Bonus--all under $100! 

1. Matisse Moody Sandal 

Grab these while they are still available in tons of sizes at an AMAZING sale price! I'm a sucker for neutrals and animal prints. Love the black mixed in to ensure these guys will go with everything from denim to a little black dress. You guys might be seeing these pop up in a styled blog shoot soon... *adds to cart.* 

2. Melissa Cosmic Slide Sandal 

While I have never heard of the brand Melissa before, I am glad I ran across these slides while browsing Nordstrom Rack! I love the juxtaposition of the sport tread and black rubber composition with the traditionally preppy tortoise shell. Since these are rubberized, it makes them perfect to head from a day at the beach or pool right into your night time look. 

3. Bueno Shore Thing Slide Sandal

I picked these slides by Bueno up in the camel color the other day at Free People, so I can personally attest to how fantastic these sandals are. I was looking for a standard natural leather slide and these fit the bill to a T. The color is spot on, the leather is super soft and the sole is comfy. Nailed it! 

4. Soludos Embroidered Tassel Leather Slides

To break up the black and neutral tan theme I was getting into with the previous picks, this slide by Soludos is a great way to add some color to your footwear, yet remain versatile. I can see this pair teamed with nearly any summer look--beachwear, white jeans and a black tank, or a romper. At 50% off, you can't find anything wrong with these beauties! 

5. Dolce Vita Pacey Studded Slide Sandal

Jumping right back into black color options, I had to include this amazing pair of slides by Dolce Vita. If something is studded, chances are I am going to be quite into it. Black studded sandals are one of my top joys in life. Dolce Vita is one of my favorite brands of shoes, so these are bound to be high quality. The studs will instantly elevate any outfit! 

The New Essentials | Current Favorites | Beauty + Travel

Lately, I've given in to the temptations of Sephora a bit more than I probably should. Between full-size products I've purchased, samples included in orders and even products I've randomly grabbed at the drugstore, I've found some new gems that have been on high rotation in my beauty routine. Since my life is always chaos more or less living out of my FJ Cruiser caravan with how much I am on the road for work or traveling on vacation, many of these products are geared towards packability, making this post a perfect fit to consider as we enter summer vacation season. Pro tip: click the pictures to shop! Enjoy! 

Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask by Glow Recipe

Glow Recipe's Watermelon Sleeping Mask first came to me as a Sephora sample. I thought it would be a gimmick. My stupidly hydrated (and yes glowing) skin the next day told me I was wrong about that. Long story short, you need Watermelon Glow in your life. If you are living that carry-on-only life like me, you'll be happy to know there is a travel size to bust that post-flight dry dullness. 

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Radiance 

This post could alternatively be titled the glow edit. For me, I gravitate towards lighter weight, products in the spring and summer to achieve that natural dewy look. This Laura Mercier Radiance primer does just that. It has a slight tint and provides a natural glow plus offers outstanding lasting power for foundation. I wear this primer both layered under foundation as well as on its own as it provides a lovely boost to my natural skin. Multi-functional, quick makeup products are a must when I travel--Laura Mercier Radiance goes in the bag every time! 

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat 

To be honest, I am not completely sold on YSL Touche Eclat as the "holy grail" cult classic that some swear by. However, I do find myself reaching for it a lot for two reasons. First, convenience and travel. The packaging is sleek, easy to use, and not messy (since the product is all contained), making it perfect for purses or TSA approved zip-loc bags. Second, it is subtle and lightweight. As I mentioned before, I do not like wearing heavy makeup during the warmer months--particularly concealer. Touche Eclat provides a light, glowing (I know, I know) coverage. Maybe it will reach cult classic status for me after all. 

Pravana The Perfect Brunette 

As the more observant amongst you may have noticed, I am no longer a blonde! I've gone back to my roots (sorry for the oldest pun in the well-worn book), and am now trapped in that sometimes awkward phase of the blonde to brunette process where the newly darkened locks can be a bit unpredictable. For me, this manifested in a horrifying red, brassy tone starting to come through about a week after the initial dye job. Luckily I found Pravana Perfect Brunette products. Just like blondes can use purple toned products to keep their shade icy, brunettes can avoid that uncomfortable orangey red from sneaking in by applying the teal-toned Pravana suite of products. I have the shampoo, conditioner and hair mask. I only use the mask once a week because this stuff REALLY works! I already have broken my own carry-on lifestyle rule to bring these products with me on vacay, they are that good. 

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Sheet Mask

I grabbed this Garnier Moisture Bomb mask while cruising through Wal-Mart picking up last minute supplies for my trip to LA. "Moisture bomb, hmm...I could use a bomb of hydration on my face after a morning of travel," I thought to myself. Impulsively, I threw the mask in the cart, and subsequently into my suitcase. Cue me the next day, on my balcony overlooking Hollywood Hills enjoying an instant skin refresh. Garnier Moisture Bomb masks are a traveler's best friend. The mask is refreshingly cool on the face, and the clean up is easy--simply remove the sheet and massage any remaining product into your skin. Another pro-tip: apply mask in your Uber while en route from airport, and freak out your driver, bf, or anyone around you. 

FYI, if you are interested in my ESSENTIAL PRODUCTS OF ALL TIME click here for that (obviously) still relevant list! 

#TravelTuesday | Eat + Drink In Dallas

In April, we made a quick weekend trip to Dallas. The weekend was centered on celebration (one of Johnny's friends got engaged), so the majority of the weekend was spent with a group of friends eating and drinking. I can't review the city of Dallas as a whole since we didn't spend enough time, but I can give you a quick rundown of some top spots to relax and savor. Also, I apologize for lack of personal pictures on this post--I really didn't take many this trip! All photos below are linked to source.

1. Katy Trail Ice House

 Outdoor drinking heaven at Katy Trail Ice House // Image via  katyicehouse.com

Outdoor drinking heaven at Katy Trail Ice House // Image via  katyicehouse.com

Huge margaritas, even bigger outdoor seating area, dogs galore. Do I need to say more? Go here for afternoon cocktails. 

2. Boulevardier

 Charcuterie Board at Boulevardier // Image via Reddit 

Charcuterie Board at Boulevardier // Image via Reddit 

A more upscale restaurant in an intimate setting--aka, the perfect spot for a romantic dinner. The wine selection is great, and the rustic French food is delicious. I liked the charcuterie board! After dinner, take a stroll through the cute Bishop Arts District. 

3. Velvet Taco

 Tacos at Velvet Taco // Image via CultureMapAustin.com

Tacos at Velvet Taco // Image via CultureMapAustin.com

Holy S^&t. That's all I have to say about these tacos. There is usually a line out the door of this small taco joint, and it is worth the wait. My favorite taco was the Barbacoa, mostly because the tortilla had crispy, melty cheese baked onto it. The loaded tots and elote corn were also faves. Plus, there's always red velvet cake for sale. This place is a must for lunch! 

4. The Old Monk

 Cozy tavern atmosphere at The Old Monk // Image via 10best.com

Cozy tavern atmosphere at The Old Monk // Image via 10best.com

Right around the corner from Velvet Taco is a really cute area called Old East Dallas. It's filled with shops and fun restaurants and bars (I'm still sad we didn't have time to go into the Planet Blue shop). If you are a trappist beer lover like I am, the Old Monk is perfect since it offers a wide selection of Belgian beers. 

5. HG Supply Co. 

 The rooftop at HG Supply Co // Image via Travel + Leisure

The rooftop at HG Supply Co // Image via Travel + Leisure

HG Supply Co. is the quintessential 20-something bar. Trendy decor, fun drinks (try the frozen Moscow Mule) and a rooftop deck. The setting was great for a fun day with friends, and the scene was lively. Lots of dogs here too--10/10 recommend! 

All in all, I was really surprised with Dallas. I wasn't expecting much, but the city was really trendy and aimed toward people in my age group (late 20s). I would definitely travel back for another weekend trip--the Velvet Taco may or may not play heavily into that ruling! 

Five Finds | The Hidden Gems of Walmart

The other day I was unfortunately in Walmart, waiting for my prescription which should take a couple minutes to grab off the shelf and hand to me, but took an inconceivable 45 minutes to fill. During this time, I sleuthed around Walmart, going where most people haven't gone before and I was surprised at what I found. I apologize for the quality of the below photos--they are live action stealth shots. ;) Also, I didn't link any of these finds to the online site because 1) that site is enormously overwhelming and 2) in encouragement of your going out on a Walmart fashion excursion of your own. 

1. Plaid Button Downs

A plaid button down is a fall and winter staple. In today's world of overpriced flannel shirts, Walmart takes a share in the running with these $13.88 gems. I found a variety of cute color combos and the material was pretty soft! Walmart doesn't oversize their clothes, so if you want a baggier look, you will have to size way up on this. Only downside: the material is pretty thin, so this is for style not warmth. 

2. Blanket Scarves 

The scarves of Walmart...surprisingly good! Here I have to relate back to this post I shared last month wearing a scarf from Walmart. So good. The quality is great and the prints are on point. There is no drawback on these, go to Walmart now and get one (or five for the price of one scarf at the mall). 

3. This Soft and Cozy Fleece

For under $10, you can be so warm and cute in this tribal print fleece. I recommend sizing up as much as possible for extra cozy factor. 

4. Faux Leather Backpacks

These backpacks are actually great. No, they aren't real leather, but the lines of the style are on point, and the simple hardware is elegant. This would be a great item to pick up if you've never used a backpack purse before and want to try it out before splurging. It would also be perfect for a vacation where you don't want to haul around an expensive bag but DO want to haul around all your stuff. These guys were $19.97, I believe--literally a bargain bag. 

5. Any Athletic Gear

I love Walmart's athletic ranges! They have so many fun colors and prints. Almost all of my sports bras are from Walmart. I used to only buy Nike, but then I discovered the offerings of Walmart are more comfortable and MUCH easier to take off (you ladies with Nike sports bras know what I'm talking about). The only downfall for me (with my stick legs) is that these items tend to run a little large, especially the leggings in the calf area. 

I saved the best for last...

I had to go over my traditional five finds because....VELVET CHOKERS!! These are so trendy right now. While I have loved the style ever since I saw it hitting the trends, I never owned one for the sole reason that I couldn't justify spending $20+ on a tiny piece of fabric. Walmart just came in and changed my life. Earlier this fall, I also found the ubiquitous leather string bolo chokers at Walmart. Some of these chokers are admittedly a little gaudy (I'm not a fan of the blingy ones), but since they come in sets, you can pick and choose to find the perfect one. If you love the choker trend, but can't stomach the Vanessa Mooney prices, Walmart has made your Christmas wishes come true with these babies. 

Hopefully this post has inspired you to be open minded about fashion, Walmart and life in general. If anything, perhaps it will make going into Walmart during the Christmas rush a little less terrifying since you can go on your own treasure hunt now. :) 

Not Just Another Gift Guide

I follow a lot of fashion bloggers like myself, so I have seen an abundance of gift guides pop up on my feeds lately. There are so many guides out there, and I feel like they are all giving the same kind of presentation. To be honest, I've been a little annoyed with the "gift guide" posts. However, in the spirit of the season, I feel obliged to post some sort of seasonal tidbit. Hopefully these tips will guide you in a more creative direction than the typical for "Mom, Boyfriend, BFF, etc." lists that abound since I will be breaking it down by unique store instead of person. 

Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods has been my go-to for unique gifts for quite some time. This online shop has so many cool products, you will be able to find something perfect and unique for anyone on your list from the beer lover to the map enthusiast. Uncommon Goods will impress your gift recipient as they'll think you took hours finding such a perfect gift--not only are these products super unique, they are also gorgeous pieces that are in most cases handcrafted by small-shop artisans! My favorite of the bunch: The pair of long-distance touch lamps shown above, handcrafted in Kansas! 

Artifact Uprising 

Photos are one of my favorite gifts to give. There is something so unexpected and personal about getting a nice print made as a gift--it's all about presentation. Artifact Uprising takes presentation of photos to a whole new level with their elevated designs. I especially love the clean look of Artifact Uprising's photo books (gifting hack, they offer a photo book formatted for Instagram which syncs directly to your feed!). Every year I get a nice print for my dad of an image taken on our yearly Colorado climbing trip. This year I had the image mounted in the Float Frame, pictured above. 

Candy Club

Candy. Club. The name itself pretty much says it all in why this is a hands down great gift. It's like the jelly of the month club except quite a lot better, because it's candy. Arriving at your doorstep. All year long. Aside from gummies (which I'm obviously partial to), the boxes can contain a range of candy from chocolates to caramel corn. Candy Club offers several levels of plans, so you're sure to find something to satisfy the sweet tooth on your holiday shopping list. 

Mou Footwear

Step aside Ugg boots (pun intended)--Mou Footwear is giving the puffy boot a fresh look. Mou offers men's and children's shoes as well as women's, so you will be able to find unique slippers or boots for everyone on your list. I guarantee once you browse the Mou site, you'll want to put these bad boys on your own Christmas list too! 

ColourPop Cosmetics

These eyeshadows from ColourPop Cosmetics should be on everyone's Christmas list--for beauty junkie friends as well as in your own makeup bag. Not only are the shades gorgeous, but they are for a great cause. ALL proceeds go to No-Kill Los Angeles, an organization that helps homeless pets avoid euthanasia. Since population of homeless animals in LA is so high, pets in shelters have as little as 24 hours before they are put to sleep. NKLA and ColourPop are trying to help these poor little guys buy more time and get homes. This is the best gift of all--gifting AND gifting back! 

Bonus--Gift for Medical Professionals

Not only do I live and love with a doctor, I also have several friends and family who work in the medical field. I have not read "When Breath Becomes Air" (yet), but Kalanithi writes about mortality from the perspective of a neurosurgeon in this nonfiction selection. Mortality weighs heavy on those in the medical field, and learning to live with it is one of the daily challenges. Perhaps this book will convey insight to the medical professional on your gift list. Additionally, I 100% recommend giving books in this sad era of non-readers! 

That does it for my gift guide! I hope it stood out just a little from the crowd. Comment below and let me know what you thought! What is on your Christmas list this year? Make sure to follow me on Instagram and like my Facebook page so you don't miss a thing here on LunaElise--exciting stuff coming soon! ;)