Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Accessories to Freshen Up My Wardrobe

I’m not easily swayed by sales as I plan most of my purchases for a long time and try to only buy items that I truly love and know I’ll own for a long time. But I do believe in freshening up my look with accessories, and the Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale is a great time to pick up items on my wish list. Plus, I keep my accessories for years. Many of my scarves and necklaces are 15+ years old, and I always enjoy wearing them as they can really change up an outfit.

One of my favorite scarves* is part of the sale, and I just ordered one to give as a gift to a friend who always comments that she loves the scarf when I wear it.

Statement Scarf 01

There are several other scarves and wraps that I’m tempted to pick up: 

During last year’s Nordstrom’s Half Yearly Sale, I picked up one of my favorite bags - a light pink Rebecca Minkoff MAB bag (similar) -  for just over $100. I later realized that the bag was truly a steal - a great price, and I know I’ll own and love it for years.
Rebecca Minkoff Pink MAB bag
This Rebecca Minkoff bag, which is part of the sale, is very nice, too. But what I’m really looking for is a brown(ish) crossbody (saddle)bag so that I can alternate between a brown bag and my black Rebecca Minkoff Dog Clip Saddle bag (bought during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale in July). I use the black bag almost every day and would like to give it a break once in a while. There are several brown bags part of the sale that are very nice:

Questions: Are you planning on buying anything during the Nordstrom HalfYearly Sale or other sales? If so, what do you have your eye on?

Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I’m linking up with.

Be well,

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, and may benefit from actions taken on the links.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Starting 2017 To Feel My Best

Longtime readers will know that I’ve been doing the Conscious Cleanse for a number of years - four to be exact. I did my first Conscious Cleanse* in January 2013, and it isn’t an exaggeration to say that it changed my life for the better.

A Conscious Cleanse to Feel My Best

Many are skeptical when they hear the word “cleanse.” It evokes images of deprivation, crash diet, and short term fixes. But that’s not what the Conscious Cleanse is about as it is a food-based cleanse. During the cleanse, you eat food, and plenty of it. Second, the changes you make are not meant to be short term. Yes, you will go back to some of the things you cut out, but the main point is to learn how different foods affect your body and which foods make you feel your best. And that’s priceless to me.



What I Learned from Doing the Conscious Cleanse

I have done numerous cleanses over the years, and I learn something new every time I do a Conscious Cleanse*. Here are some of the things I learned about myself and my body (obviously, this is different for everyone):
  • I cannot process gluten correctly. When I eat it, I get stomach pains, gas, joint pain, a “foggy” feeling, irritability, and “puffiness.” - This discovery was HUGE. It truly changed my life. And, yes, there are many who are skeptical when I say I’m sensitive to gluten. My husband always says to feed me some gluten and spend a few days with me; he is certain that everyone will believe me after that...
  • Preparation is everything. The Conscious Cleanse is a food-based cleanse. In an ideal world, the way I eat on the cleanse is how I would eat every day - plenty of delicious vegetables and fruits with some fish, chicken (meat and fish are optional on the cleanse) and grains added here and there. But without preparation, it is really hard to eat that way. There is a plethora of delicious recipes that come with the Conscious Cleanse, and if I spend some time a few days a week making the recipes ahead of time, the cleanse will go much better. This is of course also true for “real life.” Whenever I spend some time on food prep, we eat better. And many of the recipes that I make while doing the Conscious Cleanse have become a regular part of our rotating menu. 
  • Self care is very important. The Conscious Cleanse is about so much more than “just food.” It is about taking care of yourself - food, body, and soul. One of my favorite parts of the cleanse is daily journaling first thing in the morning. 
  • Support makes all the difference. There is lots of support when you do the Conscious Cleanse, and it really makes a difference as it gently guides you in the right direction when you feel discouraged or run into difficulties, uncertainties and questions. A team of health coaches is on call to answer questions during the cleanse. You also get daily emails that highlight what you should focus on that day - I love opening my Conscious Cleanse emails; they are just the affirmation I need to start each day of the cleanse. Plus, there are five live tele seminars where you can ask questions (the seminars are also recorded for your convenience). Finally, there is a private Facebook group where current cleansers support each other and the health coaches answer questions. 

The Conscious Cleanse in a Nutshell

  • You will start every day with warm lemon water and a green smoothie (or another cleanse-approved breakfast).
  • You will eat lots of vegetables throughout the day - there are plans for vegans as well as meat eaters, and you will add grains or an animal or vegetable protein. 
  • Five days before the cleanse, an optional transition period begins where you make one change a day. I find this period very helpful to gear up for the cleanse; my husband, however, prefers to just “jump” in on day one of the cleanse. 
  • The cleanse lasts 14 days; at the end of the cleanse, you will reintroduce foods you cut out during the cleanse (such as dairy, sugar, gluten, alcohol, and coffee) to test how your body reacts to them and how you feel if you ingest them. You can then make the decision whether to include them in your diet or keep them off your plate/out of your glass. 

Conscious Cleanse8
I have written about the Conscious Cleanse* for the past four years. Here are some of my previous posts that you may want to check out:

Veggies  Avocado

If you feel you haven’t taken care of your body the way you should have - food, movement, and spirit - I think the Conscious Cleanse* is an amazing way to reset everything and allow yourself to feel your best. It’s truly a gift to yourself. It’s a gift I’m going to give to myself.

The January 2017 Conscious Cleanse* starts on January 4 with a five day optional transition period. Click here* for more information about the Conscious Cleanse and to register. If you have any questions about my experiences with the Conscious Cleanse, leave them in the comments or send me an email at andreaswellnessnotes[at]

Updated on 12/29/16: I just confirmed that my readers can get $25 off with code AND25.

Questions: What will you do to feel your best in 2017? Have you ever done a (food-based) cleanse? If so, what were your experiences? Are you interested in doing a (food-based) cleanse? Why or why not? Leave any questions you may have about my experiences with the cleanse in the comments.

Be well,

*Disclosure: I’m a Conscious Cleanse ambassador, and I will earn a commission if you sign up for the cleanse using one of my links in this post. As always, all opinions in this post are my own.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Powder Blue and Pink

Pantone Colors of the Year 2016

Pink and powder blue are some of my favorite colors. These colors also proved popular this past year as rose quartz and serenity were Pantone’s colors of the year 2016.

In January I bought a light pink Rebecca Minkoff medium MAB bag*, and I love it. The medium MAB bag is a great size, and the color is gorgeous.

Powder Blue and Pink 1

I appreciate that the 2016 colors of the year reminded me how well pale blue and pale pink go together. It also means that these colors (or slight variations of them) showed up more in stores, and it was a good time to stock up on items in these colors.

Powder Blue and Pink 4

So it was only natural that I thought of carrying my pink MAB bag with my powder blue toggle coat that I previously received from Chadwicks of Boston (see my previous review post for the coat here)*. I also wore my pink neck scarf that I bought earlier this year from Jacket Society 

Powder Blue and Pink 3

If you are in the market for a new coat (or other clothes), check out Chadwicks of Boston as they have many different colors and designs at affordable prices.

Chadwicks of Boston 20% Discount Code: CH64087


And don’t forget that my readers can get 20% off at Chadwicks of Boston with Code CH64087 (the code is good until January 15, 2017).

Pantone Color of the Year 2017

Pantone’s color of the year 2017 is greenery - an intense, medium colored green. Green has never been one of my favorite colors, but I have a green jacket in a color quite similar to “greenery” that I can see myself wearing again.

Plus, sometimes I find that I enjoy wearing accessories - scarves, necklaces, watches, shoes, bags - in a color I had previously dismissed. Regardless, I don’t think I’ll be adding a lot of greenery to my wardrobe. But then again, you never know...

Questions: Did you like the 2016 colors of the year? How about the 2017 color of the year - greenery? What’s your favorite color?

Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I'm linking up with

Be Well,

* Disclosure: I was previously provided the powder blue toggle coat free of charge from Chadwicks of Boston as part of a paid campaign. This post contains affiliate links, and may benefit from actions taken on the links.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Gifts that Bring Joy

By now many of you have probably seen 1000+ gift guides. I didn’t intend to put together a gift guide this year, but then I thought about why we give gifts. Gifts are supposed to bring joy - to both the giver and the receiver. It’s wonderful for the giver to see the joy on the receiver’s face. I actually think giving the “perfect” gift is more satisfying and brings more joy than receiving gifts.

So when I select gifts for loved ones, I try to think of things that bring them joy - things they wouldn’t necessarily splurge on for themselves.


I love giving beautiful orchids as gifts. Orchids are surprisingly easy to care for and in my opinion transform a room. Plus, they last for a long time and therefore bring joy for many, many weeks. And, if you are lucky enough to get them to bloom multiple times, they bring joy for many years.

Since we live in a mild climate, we are lucky to be able to keep orchids outside. My mom bought me two big orchid plants when the kid was an infant - nine years ago - and they have faithfully bloomed every February. It’s a wonderful reminder of her visit and the time we spent together.


I’ve also had good experiences with flower delivery services - both as a sender and as a recipient. It’s nice to open the door and be surprised with a beautiful bouquet of flowers! Several of my friends and family members are going to be surprised by a holiday flower delivery next week!


Quality candles truly can transform a room with both the light and the wonderful scent they emit. It’s something I don’t always splurge on for myself but enjoy giving as a gift (I also love receiving them!). Plus, a bigger candle also lasts for quite some time, so the recipient gets to enjoy it for an extended period of time.


Cashmere is a classic fabric that never goes out of style. Plus, it feels divine against the skin. I always have at least one cashmere sweater in my closet. If you don’t want to worry about sizing, a cashmere scarf makes a great gift.

Tea Flowers & Glass Tea Pot 

Last year, I gave glass tea pots to several family members and friends. I accompanied the pots with tea flowers. This year, I sent everyone who got a glass tea pot last year more tea flowers. This glass tea pot and flowering tea bulbs gift set looks wonderful.

Questions: What are your go-to gifts? 

Be well,

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, and may benefit from actions taken on the links.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

High Waisted Flares

I recently bought some high waisted flares in plum*, and I love them. The high rise is so comfortable and doesn’t create unflattering bulges. Everything is nicely held in…

When I wore the flares for the first time, I wore them with my white and black plaid coat that I bought last year before my Germany trip at Banana Republic for 70% off. The coat is a classic that I’ll have for many years. The flares (I bought them in tall) skim the floor as they should, but I think I may have them hemmed just a tiny bit so that they won't completely clean every surface I walk on...

High Waisted Flares 2
High Waisted Flares 3
 Outfit Details:  High Waisted FlaresBlack/White Plaid Coat (I like this one),  Black/White Plaid Boyfriend shirt, Grey Sweater (similar), Rebecca Minkoff Dog Clip Saddle Bag, White Rimmed Sunglasses (similar)

Questions: Do you have any high waisted pants? If so, do you like them? Do you have flares?  
Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I’m linking up with.

Be well,

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, and may benefit from actions taken on the links.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Perfect Wool Toggle Coat

Many years ago, I bought a wool toggle coat, which I loved. Unfortunately, it’s been past its prime for a while now, and I had been wanting to get another toggle coat for over a year. I was therefore very happy when Chadwicks of Boston provided me with this Powder Blue Wool Toggle Coat.*

Chadwicks Wool Toggle Coat 3

I love the color of the coat. The light blue is very pretty with the brown toggles, and the material is beautiful. I know I’ll enjoy wearing the coat for many years.

We took these photos on Thanksgiving during our annual Thanksgiving morning walk. I very much like the combination of light blue, brown and white/off white, and I decided to wear white skinny jeans, an off-white sweater, and my brown boots with the coat.

Chadwicks Wool Toggle Coat 2

Since I’m tall (almost 5’11”), I appreciate that Chadwicks of Boston offers tall sizes. I ordered the coat in tall, and it’s the perfect length. Oftentimes when I order regular sizes, they just don’t look and feel right. The length of the sleeves is often the first place I notice, but a regular coat is also usually just a bit too short and also often doesn’t quite fit in the arm opening.

Chadwicks of Boston 20% Discount Code

Besides tall sizes, Chadwicks of Boston offers petite and plus sizes, all in the same place and very easy to select and order. If you are in the market for a new winter coat or other clothes, check out Chadwicks of Boston as they have a wide selection of beautiful winter coats and other clothing in different sizes, colors and styles at affordable prices. Plus, my readers can get 20% off their order from Chadwicks of Boston with Code CH64087 (the code is good until January 15, 2017).  

Chadwicks Wool Toggle Coat 4 
Chadwicks Wool Toggle Coat 1

And here we are walking/jump roping around the park…

Chadwicks Wool Toggle Coat 5
Questions: What’s your favorite winter coat? What coat/jacket would you like to add to your closet? 

If you are in the market for a new winter coat or other clothing, remember to check out Chadwicks of Boston as they have many stylish options at affordable prices. It’s a great place to shop for yourself or to pick out gifts for others. I’m thinking of giving the boiled wool capelet and this faux shearling vest to a couple special people in my life.

Again, if you decide to shop at Chadwicks of Boston, don't forget to use the special discount code for my readers (good until January 15, 2017):

20% Chadwicks of Boston Discount Code: CH64087

Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I'm linking up with

Be Well,

* Disclosure: I am participating in a compensated campaign with this brand. The styling and the written words are my own. #ad

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Plaid Poncho

Last year I bought a reversible plaid poncho from Jacket Society, and I wore it quite a few times last year, at the beginning of this year as well as in the last few weeks.

Jacket Society Plaid Poncho 3

Last time I wore the poncho, I did a bit of pattern mixing with my animal print jeans. 

Jacket Society Plaid Poncho 4

Jacket Society Plaid Poncho 1

Jacket Society Plaid Poncho 2

Here are some ponchos, wraps and capes that recently caught my eye*:

Question: Do you like wearing ponchos, capes and wraps? I have come to love wearing wraps and capes, and I think they also make great gifts, especially neutral colored ones that go with “everything.” The fact that many ponchos, capes and wraps are one size can also make giving them as gifts easier than other items of clothing.

Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I’m linking up with.

Be well,

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, and may benefit from actions taken on the links.