Favorite Lace Midi Dress (& Lots of Similar Styles!)

Ever since our wedding, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect blue dress, similar to the color my bridesmaids wore. I found exactly that last summer – this lace midi dress, which was under $90. It’s a near-exact dupe for the popular Self Portrait Azaelea dress, minus over $200. I was tempted to grab another color when they launched fall colors… and now it’s back again with new colors for spring. They finally have the periwinkle color I’m wearing below back in stock, along with white (great for brides!), black and several new colors, eggplant, lilac, mint, navy and red.

This dress tends to sell out in various colors and sizes, but just keep checking back on Nordstrom until what you’re looking for is there. I’ve found that they are continually restocked and it just takes a bit of patience if you have a specific color in mind. But if you see the one you want, grab it before it’s gone! They are constantly launching and replacing colors, so you don’t want to miss your chance. I recommend you size up if you’re between sizes (I’m 5′ 8″ and got a medium). If you’re unsure of your size, you can easily order two thanks to Nordstrom’s free shipping & returns.

While I personally think the cut of this dress is flattering on anyone, if it’s not for you, try this one. It’s the same brand, same price, but an off-shoulder ruffle style that comes in pale yellow and white. It’s a strong contender for an early summer wedding I’m attending! Along with that dress, I also tracked down lots of similar options to shop via the links and widget below. Click through the links because many of them have several color options available and are at pretty low price points. If you find any others, leave them in the comments for everyone to see!

Lace Midi Dress - Wedding Style

Shop the Look:

DressBag / Sandals

**& lots of similar versions below!**

Lace Midi Dress - Wedding Season

Shop the Dresses:

Top: Navy / Yellow / Black / White

Bottom: Blue / Burgundy / Light Blue / Pink

**note that most of these come in lots of colors!**

Lace Midi Dress - Wedding Style

Spring Target Shoes Under $35

After brunching with some girlfriends today, I decided to take a trip over to Target to see if they had a pair of shoes I saw online. I actually had a different post planned for today, but after I checked out the shoe section, I had to share what I found instead! Target is oftentimes the best place to find less expensive versions of trendy shoes, but I find that you have to try them on because they vary when it comes to comfort. All of the spring shoes I found were comfortable and so affordable!

You can find links to my favorite picks below – use the links to shop my top 15 – and if you keep scrolling down you can find even more in the shoppable widget. They are all under $35 and most are around $20. Andddd most of these Target shoes come in lots of colors and patterns, so click through to see what your options are. I’m so ready for spring… now I just need the weather to go back to being warm (snowstorm coming Wednesday… ugh!!).

Spring Target Shoes Under $35

Shop the Shoes:

Row 1: Left / Center / Right

Row 2: Left / Center / Right

Row 3: Left / Center / Right

Row 4: Left / Center / Right

Row 5: Left / Center / Right

Floral Tank in Palm Springs

A few weeks ago, I was out in Palm Springs celebrating my mom’s birthday. We had a great long weekend exploring – hiking, eating and relaxing – away from the cold New England weather. More to come on my Palm Springs recommendations in an upcoming travel post, but in the meantime, I wanted to share an outfit I wore while I was there – mainly because I love the tank top and it’s on sale for $9.99 and available in all sizes. We got a taste of warm weather for two days last week and I cannot wait for spring to finally be here to stay!

This floral tank top is nice and lightweight and perfect for either wearing on its own with shorts or jeans or using as a layer underneath something like a jean or leather jacket. I love how flowy it is because it’s a loose-fitting top while still being flattering. I also picked up these sunglasses and cross body bag before the trip and they’ll both be staples in my spring wardrobe (& beyond!).

Floral Tank Top in Palm Springs

Shop the Look:

Tank Top ($9.99!)Similar Shorts ($35!)

Sunglasses (under $100)

Bag (also black, blush & blue; larger version here)

Sandals (also black & similar in gold)

Floral Tank Top in Palm Springs

Floral Tank Top in Palm Springs

Empty Bottle Diaries – Vol. 1

I’ll be sharing details on my everyday skincare and beauty routines in the coming months, which I’ll update and re-share periodically, but I also wanted to start up a new series: Empty Bottle Diaries. I know not all products are the kind that you use up entirely, but I’ve been trying to do exactly that whenever I’m trying – and liking – a product.

I’ve learned over the past year or two that you can’t really tell it a product is working unless you try it out for a few months. And once I like a beauty product, there’s no point in changing it up until I try something I like something better. So, with that, today I’m sharing a few products that I’ve stuck with and have actually repurchased after they were gone.

Empty Bottle Diaries Vol 1

Shop the Products:

Urban Decay Mascara

Burt’s Bees Eye Makeup Remover Pads

Rodan + Fields Unblemish Sulfur Wash

Tula Volume Defense Wrinkle Serum

My thoughts on each:

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara: I got a taste of this mascara when I got a sample at Sephora and have been hooked ever since. I’m not the type to be loyal to one mascara (I tend to switch it up depending on if I’m going to work or out for the night/a special occasion – or I layer different types), but once I have a good experience with a mascara, I usually go back to it and buy again. Urban Decay is probably most known for their Naked eye palettes (which I also love!), but this mascara was actually the first product I tried from the brand.

I think this is the perfect everyday mascara because it’s the perfect blend of volumizing and lengthening. I like to put on one coat before work or when I’m being casual (paired with my Lash Boost that I apply each night for longer, fuller lashes) and I’m good to go. My lashes are very blonde, so I look asleep with zero mascara! I’ll add another coat and sometimes another mascara before or after if I’m going somewhere else.

Burt’s Bees Eye Makeup Remover PadsFinding a good eye makeup remover has been a struggle for me for years. Either they’re not good enough and I end up scrubbing so much that I lose an eyelash or they’re way too oily. With these, you get a natural, gentle wash that still removes the makeup, even waterproof (just need a little more patience). Extra bonus: they have no added fragrance and are free of parabens, phthalates, SLS and petrolatum. And they don’t leave behind an oily residue that makes it so you have to wash again after the makeup is gone. But even with the best eye makeup removers, be gentle to your lashes, eyelids and under your eyes! That skin under and around your eyes is so thin and sensitive.

Rodan + Fields Unblemish Sulfur Wash: I went through a phase a couple of years ago where, after not having acne for my entire life, I suddenly started getting it here and there. I guess this is what happens when you hit 30, but I was not a fan. I wasn’t ready to fully commit to a full acne skincare regimen, so I decided to try out a face wash first. Ever since then, I haven’t turned back. I use this once a day – and 2-3 times a week, I use my Microdermabrasion Paste as an exfoliator (I put it on before I get in the shower then rinse off) and then this face wash as a mask for 5-10 minutes afterwards. I have several friends (and customers – I’m a R+F consultant) who also swear by this stuff as well. I’m not writing this to sell anything, but if you do want to learn more, try it out and save 20%, shoot me an email at katy@dailykaty.com – always happy to help!

Tula Volume Defense Wrinkle Serum: Keeping your skin hydrating is so important. If you do that, you’re one step closer to staying wrinkle-free. But if you need a little help, this serum is a great place to start. It’s a milky, concentrated serum that uses natural probiotics with retinol and Vitamin C to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. I applied a thin layer on my face after the above face wash and then use a day or night moisturizer afterwards depending on the time of day. I love how this serum is hydrating but also sinks into your skin pretty quickly so you don’t have to wait too long to apply moisturizer.

Tula is a brand I love because their products are not only clean and safe, but they’re also effective and actually work. I have a hard time actually sticking with better-for-you beauty products when they don’t work – and that is not the case with Tula. Next on my list to try from Tula is their Kefir Ultimate Moisture 3pc Collection, which features all three of their full-sized Kefir Products – Kefir Replenishing Cleansing OilMoisture Repair Pressed Serum + new Ultimate Recovery Mask. The bundle is only $65 for the month of February – and it’s worth $153!

Tula Skincare on QVC

Thank you to Urban Decay, Burt’s Bees and Tula for providing samples for me to try out. I am a Rodan + Fields consultant and this post also contains affiliate links, which means that if you click the links and make a purchase, I’ll earn commissions. As always, all opinions are my own.

Weekend Reading – February 18, 2018

This has been a great long weekend and it’s not even over yet. We flew out to San Fran on Wednesday night and have been staying with our friends who live north of the city. It’s been the perfect mix of exploring and relaxing with friends we don’t get to see very often, which included a 1st birthday party for their little one. On Thursday, we took the ferry into the city, grabbed lunch and checked out a few spots we hadn’t been to on past trips, such as the Painted Ladies. Another day was spent in Sonoma at a few vineyards and lunch.

I’m definitely not looking forward to trekking back home tomorrow – but hope you were all able to relax and enjoy the long weekend. On the positive side, it looks like it’s going to be 60 degrees back home for a couple days this week. Before we close out the weekend, here’s some weekend reading with some of my favorite links, shopping picks and sale finds.

Weekend Reading

Links I Love:

  • I’ve been considering trying acupuncture because I have carpal tunnel in my wrist and have heard it can be good for lots of other things too. This post breaks it all down and made me even more into it. We’ll see if I can get over my fear of needles and actually try it out.
  • How cool is Chloe Kim?! I have a slight obsession with the Olympics and have been loving the snowboarders. This article made me even more excited for her big win.
  • This post about how to re-energize yourself at work talks about everything from organization to finding your community at work. The suggestions are all simple, but also important.
  • I started my blog about a month after our wedding and really didn’t put much thought into the layout. This post about how to choose the right template for your website or blog is helpful and made me start thinking about changing mine up in the future.

Shopping Finds:

  • I love a good thermal shirt (two of my favorites here & here). This one is next on my list – it comes in lots of colors and looks super cozy and like it will be great for layering or wearing on its own, dressed up or down.
  • These fun tassel earrings also come in a bunch of colors and look like they are also pretty lightweight. I love big earrings but not when they feel heavy. I might need to grab these in white for spring.
  • I’m into a good leopard print as a neutral and have my eye on these slide sneakers. I think they’d be so cute with jeans for work with a cute top, or with yoga pants for running errands. I also like these, which are on super sale in some colors/sizes.
  • Cozy sweatshirts that don’t look one bit like my old college hoodie that I wear around the house have been on repeat for me lately. This one has a twist hem in front that gives it the look of being perfectly tucked in. I’m into the pink but it also comes in a nice gray – and it’s only $45.

Sale Picks:

  • Last week I posted about this straw bag that would be perfect for summer. I just found a similar black crossbody bag that’s on sale for $24! This one is even more similar – not on sale, but under $100.
  • This leather backpack is on super sale for $115, down from almost $400! I have another bag from this brand and it’s great quality. Their bags are good staple items that will last.
  • Two of my go-to lightweight jackets (that I also wear over t-shirts) are on sale right now. Here is the faux leather jacket and here is another that’s a very soft faux suede.
  • I got these Loeffler Randall heels last year that are perfect for wedding season, but I just spotted very similar sandals that are on sale for just $48. I love that they’re cognac and will go with lots of dresses and other outfits.

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide… for You!

I made it through my 31st birthday this weekend and now its onto Valentine’s Day. We’ll be heading out to San Fran to visit friends after work for the holiday – we typically prefer travel over gifts. But I do think Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to treat yourself to something fun you’ve had your eye on.

So today I’m sharing my Valentine’s Day gift guide… for you, all of which you can shop using the links below! You can’t go wrong with a nice pair of PJs, fun earrings or a good candle. I went ahead and grabbed the faux suede jacket below when I spotted it 40% off, so stay tuned for that! How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day?

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Shop the Post:

 PJ Set / Earrings / iPhone Case 

Jacket (also in black, both 40% off!)

Underwear Set / Candy Set

Heart Sweater / Lip Set / Robe

Sneakers / Candle

Bag / Earrings 1 / Earrings 2

Healthy Bagel Recipe

Bagels definitely top my favorite foods list – if only they were better for you, I’d eat one every day… maybe two. When I started seeing a healthy bagel recipe popping up all over Facebook from one of my favorite blogs for recipes, Skinnytaste, I was skeptical. But I also knew that I’m very rarely disappointed with Skinnytaste recipes, so I went for it. Verdict: A+.

Healthy Bagel Recipe via Skinnytaste

The best thing about this recipe is that there are just 5 ingredients – flour, baking powder, salt, Greek yogurt and egg white – and I usually have all of them in my fridge, so I can whip these up anytime. I’m not kidding when I say that this recipe is a matter of mixing up these ingredients, kneading the dough, rolling them out and sprinkling with your favorite topping. For me, that means Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning, but you can use anything like sesame seeds, dried onion flakes or poppy seeds.

Healthy Bagel Recipe via Skinnytaste

This weekend was my second time making them and I am definitely getting the hang of the shape better than I did my first try. I will say that they have the best texture when they’re fresh out of the oven, but I still loved them as an easy at-my-desk breakfast topped with cream cheese throughout the week. Just throw them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh. I haven’t tried this yet, but Gina from Skinnytaste also says you can slice then freeze them if you want to make them in bulk for later.

Head over to Skinnytaste for the recipe – let me know how it goes!

Healthy Bagel Recipe via Skinnytaste

Healthy Bagel Recipe via Skinnytaste

Weekend Reading – February 4, 2018

When I first started this blog, I had a Friday Faves series where I shared a quick four links of favorite things I saw over the week. For this year, I’m going with an updated version of that, complete with articles I loved, shopping picks and awesome sale finds. If you have any recommendations for links or items to include in my next Weekend Reading post, comment below or message me!

Hope everyone had a great weekend and are getting together with friends or family for the Super Bowl… go Pats! Hank is showing his team pride in today’s pic. :)

Weekend Reading - February 4, 2018

Links I Love:

Shopping Finds:

  • Loving this gold metal mirror (on sale!) with this table for our work-in-progress updated entryway. Made a huge difference already! Shop similar mirrors here, here & here (this one pretty similar to the one I bought but way less $!). If you like this style table, they also have it in a coffee table, night stand, dresser and even bed!
  • The coziest thermal that’s all over Instagram is a must-buy. I’ve been stalking trying to grab it in the lilac color – right now I have gray.
  • Having a serious debate with myself over whether or not this straw crossbody bag is worth the price tag (also comes in a smaller version here)… Remember that other bag that was all over Insta last summer? There’s now a near-perfect dupe for under $45 on Amazon.
  • I’ve been bringing back my high ponytail here and there and need to get these velvet bow hair ties. But I’m also thinking I could make them myself for way less money…

Sale Picks:

  • This flowy floral tank that I wore in Palm Springs. Perfect with jean shorts or regular jeans.
  • My go-to oversized sweater from last year, shown in the pic in this post.
  • The best faux leather jacket/sweatshirt combo. I wear it all the time and also have it in off-white.
  • A sherpa pullover that looks like the coziest thing ever. Can’t wait for this to arrive! I got it in light pink and it also comes in white.

2018 Goals

Like most people, I’m not into resolutions. But I do want to be better about setting goals, so I’m going to put them all out here in writing so I can hold myself accountable. I’d love to hear your goals for the year! Maybe next year I’ll get to these before we’re halfway through January… better late than never!

2018 Goals

1. Progress, not perfection. My favorite book of 2017 was the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (more on that here). This is one of her mottos and one that has stuck with me – so I’m making it my main 2018 goal. I tend to have lofty goals and then get overwhelmed and don’t follow through on things. With the blog, I have a great idea for a blog post but then I start and don’t finish it for some reason. Or at home, I’ll avoid doing a closet clean out because I know it will be an all-day project and I don’t want to make an even bigger mess if I don’t finish what I set out to do. So this year, I want to take baby steps and when I have an idea, do a little bit at a time until I get there. The end result might not be perfect, but I’ll be taking steps in the right direction.

2. Put more focus on the blog. I upped my Insta game this year but admittedly didn’t blog as much as I wanted to. With Instagram (& Facebook) constantly changing their algorithm – and the potential that social networks could disappear/change and be replaced with new ones any day – I’m realizing that my blog is the only thing I can truly control. I also noticed that it’s where I see the most success with readers clicking through to items I’m recommending. I’m setting a goal of 100 posts in 2018. And with that, I need to do more sale and product roundups next year! Another goal within this is to pay more attention to my blog and social stats to get a better understanding of what my readers and followers like best. I also plan to continue contributing to other outlets whenever I can.

3. Hit publish on travel content. This goes back to that progress, not perfection thing. I have SO many travel posts halfway completed. I keep wanting to edit photos, add more recommendations, etc. Travel guides take a while for me to get through, but once they’re done, they’re the posts I’m most excited about and proud of. It’s my passion area – I wish I could travel all the time and focus on this topic even more! The goal for 2018 is to dig through my photos and trip notes (yes, I actually take notes on my phone while traveling so I remember all of my favorite parts!) and pull together posts for Italy, Ireland, Hawaii, Portugal and a few stateside locations. I can always update a travel guide with even more recommendations down the road – that mentality may help me get these up on the site!

4. Learn a few new skills. I loved taking photography classes back in 2016 and while I continued practicing and learning on my own last year, I didn’t necessarily learn anything new. I’d love to learn more about indoor photography – it’s just too cold to get outside whenever I want to take pics in the winter! On a similar note, I know I have lots to learn when it comes to editing – I’ve taught myself enough to get by in Lightroom, but I know there are lots of tips and tricks that would make that process easier and more effective. Last year was really the year of me playing around with graphic design, which led to the relaunch of my Etsy shop, Katy Roll Designs! I have so much fun with this and want to continue learning so I can make lots of fun things for the shop. And lastly, I loved taking a calligraphy class recently and would love to take a few more classes (either in-person or online) on this and/or hand lettering. If that fails, maybe I’ll try watercolor…

5. Grow my Etsy shop. I’ve had so much fun starting my Etsy shop back up this year (several years ago I sold handmade necklaces). Graphic design is so fun to me and I love creating new prints or other things for friends and random strangers on Etsy. It’s so rewarding when I get an email saying someone has placed an order! And framed prints make for great gifts. One of my favorite creations this year was a custom design for my sister-in-law where I created a print with her wedding vows to hang on a wall next to a photo from her wedding. I have lots of creations done but not yet uploaded, so I need to follow through on that!

6. Read more. This is an easy one – or at least it should be. I’ve always been a magazine person (I blame working in PR, but it really goes way back to pre-working girl years), but with many of them shutting down print versions, I’ve gone back to reading. I’ve always been a reader, but it was more of something that I did on vacation rather than in my everyday life. I just got this new Kindle for Christmas (no more glare when I’m reading outside!), so I’m setting a goal of 12 books this year – about 1 a month. And with that will come quarterly book reviews!

7. Declutter. I already started tackling a few drawers and rooms and so far so good on the decluttering piece of this, but I have a long way to go. I need to chip away a little at a time so I don’t get overwhelmed. I’ve been trying to list a few things each week on a consignment app, tossing anything that looks worn in a big giant Goodwill bag and throwing away anything that’s just plain old and unnecessary.

8. Make small updates around the house. We’ve been in our condo for almost 6 years and while I still love it, I think we’re due for a refresh. I’m not talking anything major – just maybe some new throw pillows, artwork on the walls, new coffee table, that sort of a thing. This isn’t our forever home due to space, but we also don’t plan to move anytime soon. We’re in the process of revamping the entryway and it will be nice to come home to when it’s done.

9. Be present & mindful. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to completely disconnect from my phone, but I want to try to cut back on the constant mindless scrolling. I bought this 5-year daily journal and have kept on track with it so far – all you have to do is write one line a day. You write on the same page on the same date each year so you can reflect back on where you were previously. I also started a gratitude journal where I’ve been taking a similar approach and just writing one quick thought a day. We’ll see if I keep up with either or both! I’ve also heard great things about the app Headspace for meditation. I’ll try that out at some point.

10. Tackle the little things. After reading the Happiness Project and starting a bit of my own daily checklist for January (and I tested it out last year), I quickly realized that not letting little things linger is hugely helpful for me. A few examples: making a to do list for the next day before the day ends while it’s fresh in my mind, picking out an outfit to wear the day before, or putting things away right away instead of doing lots of cleanup at once. This also applies to work, especially emails. I can’t figure out why, but sometimes it’s the emails that are so quick to respond to that I take the longest to get back to.

Ornament Gifts for the Last-Minute Shopper

How crazy is it that Christmas is less than a week away! I was so organized and had most of my gifts purchased before December event started… and then I had a big lull and need to finish up this week. Ornaments are such a good last-minute gift idea – and this year you can take that idea up a notch with all of the beauty, skincare and even home-themed ornaments that come with presents in them! The packaging is so fun and you can either gift them as-is by hanging them on the tree or give them as stocking stuffers.

Last-Minute Holiday Gifts - Ornament Gifts

I’m sharing details on some of my favorites below – and you can shop even more at the bottom of this post by scrolling and clicking on the ornaments in the widget. Grab an ornament gift online or at stores like Sephora, Ulta or Target. What are your favorite stocking stuffers or low-cost gift ideas that come in cute packaging?


Ornament Gifts


1. Nest Candle: You can’t go wrong with a candle from this brand. They’ll make your house smell like a luxurious spa. The ornaments come in the best holiday scents that will make you want to go back for a bigger version.

2. IT Cosmetics CC Cream: I tried this out for the first time last week and have been loving it! It’s lightweight yet still gives you nice coverage that actually stays put. Extra bonus is the SPF 50.

3. amika Dry Shampoo: I’ve always heard great things about this but have yet to try it out. Might have to grab this ornament to try it out as a travel size and take it on my next trip!

4. Too Faced Mascara: This has been one of my go-to mascaras for years (I tend to switch them up and layer depending on where I’m heading). It gives you lots of volume and people are obsessed with it.

5. BeautyBlender: Almost New Year, so probably time to either replace yours or grab one for the first time – it’s a game changer when it comes to applying things like CC cream or foundation. I just learned the best way to use it is by running under water first so it doesn’t absorb all of your makeup!

6. Clinique Merry Moisture Set: This comes with their popular moisturizing lip balm crayon and face lotion. These products are a pretty safe bet for anyone who likes to at least wear a little lip color.

7. thisworks sleep tight: This is perfect for a new mom or someone who needs a good night’s sleep. It comes with 3 essential oil products – 2 pillow sprays (one to help you fall asleep, another to keep you asleep) and a de-stressing aromatherapeutic rollerball that will relax you for bedtime.

8. Philosophy Bubble Bath, Shower Gel & Face Washes: You can’t go wrong with any of these – they smell so good. They also have some of their popular face lotions in ornament packaging.

9. Buxom Full-On Lip Polish: I always come back to this brand for lip gloss – and this one will give you a nice gloss that also works over your favorite lip color.

Shop more options below:

Thanks to Nest, IT Cosmetics, Buxom and thisworks for sending samples to try out! This post contains affiliate links.