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.

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.

2017 Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales

Happy Black Friday! It’s time to recover from Thanksgiving and kick off Black Friday shopping, whether you plan to do so in-store or from the comfort of your couch. It’s crazy how Black Friday and Cyber Monday have now morphed into a week-long shopping occasion that starts even before Thanksgiving! My cousin and I made a tradition out of outlet shopping on Black Friday several years ago (we go later in the day once the crowds die down!) so that’s where I’ll be headed in a bit, but in the meantime there are so many online sales to shop!

I’m rounding up the best sales below, along with my favorite picks for both gifts for others (or yourself) and everyday style finds to add to your wardrobe while prices are low. All you have to do is scroll through the widgets below and click through to buy. Happy shopping – and hope you’re all enjoying the long weekend with your loved ones.



Black Friday & Cyber Monday Gift & Style Finds

Abercrombie — 50% off everything

Gift Ideas:

Style Finds:

American Eagle/Aerie — 40% off everything

Gift Ideas:

Style Finds:

ASOS — 30% off with EPIC30 (thru 11/28)

Style Finds:

Gap — 50% off with BLKFRIDAY (thru 11/25)

Gift Ideas:

Style Finds:

J.Crew — 40% off with THANKU (thru 11/26)

Gift Ideas:

Style Finds:

J.Crew Factory — 50% off, no code needed

Gift Ideas:

Style Finds:

LC Lauren Conrad — everything already on sale, plus 15% off with SAVEBIG15 (thru 11/24)

Gift Ideas:

Style Finds:

LL Bean — 25% off Bean Boots with FRIDAY25 (thru 11/24); 20% off with THANKS20 (thru 11/28)

Gift Ideas & Style Picks:

LOFT — 50% off with THANKS

Gift Ideas:

Style Finds:

Lord & Taylor — 20% off with FRIDAY; $20 off $175+ with PURCHASE; extra 50% off newly-reduced women’s apparel

Gift Ideas:

Style Finds:

Madewell — 25% off with DONTSTRESS (thru 11/26)

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Style Finds:

Old Navy — 50% off everything

Gift Ideas:

Style Finds:

Book Reviews – Volume 1

I’ve always loved reading, but for some reason since graduating college I became a magazine girl. I subscribe to basically every magazine on the planet and read them front-to-back, tearing out or bookmarking pages I want to save for later, like recipes or good shopping finds. With print magazines closing down more and more, my mag supply has dwindled, and earlier this year I let a few of my remaining subscriptions expire (aside from Us Weekly and People StyleWatch – need my celeb gossip and style finds!).

And that brings me to my new book review series. I read a couple books on a vacation back in April and remembered my love for reading. So from there, I’ve been mainly reading books, with magazines scattered here and there on my commutes or on vacation. In addition to my work book club and friends, I’ve been getting great recommendations from reading other bloggers’ book reviews, so I decided to start doing my own to help other people find suggestions.

Book Reviews Volume 1

While I’d love to make this a monthly thing, I know my schedule and it’s not always easy for me to find time to get into a good book. So I’ve added a section of the blog HERE and I’ll be adding posts there whenever I get through a good chunk of books like I did here.

Volume 1 includes six books that I loved – most of which are pretty different from one another. Read on for my thoughts on each and click through the links to view them on Amazon so you can read more and download/purchase as you wish! With the help of Amazon Prime, books arrive on my doorstep within a couple of days (yes, I prefer paperback – at least right now because my Nook is old!).

I’d love to hear which books you recommend – please leave comments with books you loved below and I’ll add them to my list!




Before the Fall: Before the Fall takes place off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard (not sure if it’s because I’m from New England, but I’m always drawn to books that take place here or on Nantucket).. Eleven people, all but one of which are quite wealthy, and their private jet crash just minutes into a flight taking off from the island. Sadly, there are only two survivors: a painter, who was a last-minute oddball addition to the flight, and a four-year-old child who is the son of a powerful man that died on the flight. This is a page-turning thriller – you won’t see any signs of what caused the crash until it was revealed toward the end of the book. Aside from looking for answers on what caused the crash, the book takes you through the lives of each of the people on that flight and how they were ultimately bound together. My only critique was that I didn’t love the ending, but I also can’t think of any better way to end it and think the author, Noah Hawley, ended it the way he did for a reason. One last note: the author of this book also wrote Fargo, which the TV show is based off of. I’ve never seen it before but it’s supposed to be good!

The Happiness Project: 2017 isn’t quite over, but I’ll go ahead and say that this is my favorite book of the year. I don’t normally read books that technically fall within the “self help” category, but this is a must-read that I recommend to everyone. Gretchen Rubin takes you step-by-step through her year of “trying to sing in the morning, clean [her] closets, fight right, read Aristotle, and generally have more fun.” Rubin is honest, refreshing and real – and the book is all backed in tons of research that she did on the topic of happiness, which is applied to her own life. The best part is that while everyone’s happiness journey is (and should be) different, you’ll close the book with actionable steps to apply to your own life, whether you start your own Happiness Project or analyze yourself in a new way. I did try to do my own Happiness Project and while I didn’t make it very far, I took tons of her tips and started implementing them in my everyday life. I would love to pick up my Happiness Project next year… we shall see! Thinking about getting her Happiness Project daily calendar for 2018…

The Husband’s Secret: Liane Moriarty, who also wrote the popular book-turned-TV-series Big Little Lies, does it again with this book. Much like Big Little Lies, this story is told from the perspective of several different characters, all of which are intertwined in one way or another. The thread that weaves each of their lives together is that one of the women, Cecilia Fitzpatrick, discovers her husband has a secret that will ultimately weigh over all of them. She finds a letter addressed to her, which has instructions to open after her husband’s death… but he’s still very much alive. Once that letter is opened, there’s no going back – and the plot takes you through how this secret impacts so many lives of people who barely knew each other before. I actually didn’t read Big Little Lies but binge watched the entire season of the show, and after that I was excited to read this book. It’s an incredibly well-written mystery that I breezed through despite it being almost 500 pages. Highly recommended!

It Ends With Us: I borrowed this book from a friend and didn’t even know what it was about when I began reading. I was immediately drawn in – the only way I can explain it is that it’s a powerful love story that dives into a sensitive subject matter. This quote from Kirkus from STARRED REVIEW says it well: It Ends with Us tackles [a] difficult subject…with romantic tenderness and emotional heft. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.” I can’t go into any more detail than that without ruining it, but just read this book!

The Couple Next Door: I was really into all of these books, but I would say this was the one that I read the fastest. The suspense was killing me and I just had to get to the whodunit part! As the title implies, this is a story about a couple – Anne and Marco Conti – who seem picture perfect on the outside. Then while they are next door at a dinner party, a crime takes place and that starts the complicated storyline of figuring out exactly what happened and who is to blame. Both Anne and Marco have secrets – as do each of the other characters – and this all unfolds leading up to the last twist where the truth comes out.

Luckiest Girl Alive: This one is recommended for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train and while I haven’t yet read the second, I was sold after loving Gone Girl. This is another one where I can’t say too much without giving it all away. Ani FaNelli is a high schooler who seems to have a perfect life – but she’s really hiding something from her past that has significantly impacted her life since then. You won’t see what’s coming as the plot twists in different directions. I couldn’t put this one down!

Shop all of these books here:

Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide 2016

The pre-holiday season got the best of me and admittedly I am WAY behind on my gift guide content that I had originally planned (sorry!!). The holidays are now here, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who hasn’t quite checked everyone off the gift list yet. One of my favorite things on Christmas morning when I was little was opening up my stocking – my mom wrapped every little thing in it so it took forever!

So today I’m sharing lots of last-minute stocking stuffers from either stores you probably have nearby or good old Amazon Prime. Bought all your gifts already? Pick some of these up for yourself – especially the gift sets that are only available at this time of year and are usually great value! Shop everything via the links and images below, where you’ll find even more options in each category.

Happy Holidays, everyone! Hope you all get to disconnect and spend time with family and friends.

Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide 2017

Shop the Gifts:

May Designs Desk Calendar / Kate Spade Planner

Tarte Amazonian Clay Eyeshadow Palette / Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette

Deborah Lippman Nail Polish Set / BaubleBar Choker / Kendra Scott Earrings

Tory Burch Keychain / PopSugar Must Have Box Ring Dish

Lavanila Cozy Comforts Mini Deodorant Trio / Rodan + Fields Lash Boost Set

Maria Shireen Hair Tie Bracelet / bareMinerals BARE HAVEN Moisturizing Soft Cream

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick / Korres Greek Nights Volcanic Twist Shadow Collection

Curel Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer / Avon Skin So Soft Triple Phase Oil

Masque Bar Oxygen Bubble Sheet MaskExfoliating Foot Mask / Target Copper Bar Tools

Jonathan Adler CandleLL Bean Slipper Socks / Target Mittens

 bkr Water Bottle / J.Crew Hat / Maybelline The Colossal Big Shot Mascara


[Read more…]

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that some people love and others couldn’t care less about. I fall somewhere i the middle. The holiday comes four days after my birthday, so those two occasions combined always give my husband and I a great excuse to go out for a nice dinner. Over the years we’ve opted for vacations over big gifts, but because many of you out there are likely getting or receiving gifts to loved ones or even friends, I wanted to share a very pink gift guide with items I’m loving right now.

Shop the gifts using the links below – hope you all have a great long weekend and Valentine’s Day! XOXO

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Shop the Gifts:

PJ Set / Water Bottle / c/o Lauren B. Nail Polishes

Necklace / Ring / Sunglasses / Earrings / Sweatshirt

Lipstick / Watch / iPhone Case / Bag / Flats / Sneakers

2015 Year in Review & Nordstrom, iPad Giveaway

It’s hard to believe I actually started this blog just over two years ago. This morning I scrolled through every single one of my posts from 2015 and it dawned on me how far I’ve come this year. Not only have I experimented with new types of posts (#ootd, monthly beauty finds), but I focused on paying attention to what was resonating with you, my readers, and tried to up my photography game to bring you lots of visual content. As a result, my blog readership and Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter followings doubled! Today’s post includes my favorite from each month this year – and scroll down to the bottom for a big Nordstrom & iPad giveaway!

Aside from the blog, 2015 was another incredible year spent with friends and family. I adventured to Ireland and Hawaii for big trips in summer and fall, and traveled to other new destinations, such as Portland, ME & OR, for work and play in between. Throughout the year three out of eight of our group of college besties welcomed beautiful babies, one got married and we even managed to successfully get all of us out to San Fran for a long weekend. And here at home, our mini bulldog, Hank, keeps us happy as ever.

My husband and I are headed into the city for dinner and drinks tonight and tomorrow we’ll meet up with our friends to kick off 2016 at the beach for the third annual PJ brunch party. I hope you all take some time to reflect on the ups and downs of 2015 – and cheers to a happy and healthy 2016!



2015 Year in Review

  • January: Healthy Mini Quiches Recipe (will be updating photography on this one, but they’ve been my go-to make-ahead breakfast all year!)

And now onto the giveaway…


Prize: $500 Nordstrom Gift Card + Gold Mini iPad

Co-hosts: Jenns Blah Blah Blog // Lavender’s Blush // Krystal’s Kitsch // Life is Poppin’ // The Mommyhood Mentor® // Beautiful Touches // Style Vanity // MommaDJane // A Good Hue // A Labour of Life // It’s Kristin

Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck! (Please email becky@ohmygoshbeck.com with any questions.)

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 1/15 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!


All that Glitters Gift Guide

I can’t be the only one with a minor obsession with all things gold, so today I’m sharing a gift guide with all things glitter and gold. My current iPhone case is glittery and everything about it makes me happy, and I need to get my hands on these glitter sneakers. Also, gold works for pretty much anything around the house since it goes with browns, blacks and other neutral colors.

In particular, right now I’m loving the Sephora Formula X Bottle Service nail polish set. I’m wearing “Ignite” in the second pic below and it’s the perfect deep red for winter and the holidays. The set comes with 10 different mini nail polishes and the festive champagne bottle packaging makes it an easy, fun gift. Just throw a ribbon around it and you’re good to go! Bonus points if you also give it with a real bottle of champagne.

All of the items below would make great gifts for a friend, coworker, yankee swap or for yourself! Shop them all using the links below.

All that Glitters Gift Guide

Shop the Gifts:

Earrings / iPhone Case / Water Bottle

Sneakers / FitBit Bracelet / Coasters

Pineapple Tumbler / Wine Bag / Blazer

Sephora Formula X Bottle Service Nail Set (c/o)

Champagne Flute / Bag / Notebook

Tray / Coffee Mug / Eyeshadow Palette

 All that Glitters Gift Guide

Office Gifts & Decor

If you’re like me, then you love a good desk accessory. Turns out, with so many in fun colors and patterns now available, they also make for great gifts for coworkers or any friend with a love for desk or home decor. Because really, why wouldn’t someone want to brighten up their work space?

Today I’m sharing lots of great gift options. I personally have a slight obsession with all things pink, gold and white, but I threw in some other fun picks as well to mix things up. As a Chi Omega, I love when I come across anything with an owl on it like these gold push pins (under $4 for the set!). And since I make about 100 to-do lists a day, these dry erase coasters that look like notepads would be perfect for me, along with this to-do list booklet.

Shop all of the items shown here using the links below – and feel free to grab some for yourself too! For even more of my picks, follow along on Insta (@dailykatyblog). Just sign up for ShopStyle.it, like my pics and you’ll get a shoppable email delivered right to your inbox. Enjoy!


Office Gifts & Decor

Shop the Post:

Desk / Desk Calendar / Mugs

Stapler / Coasters / Notebook Set

To-Do Notebook / iPhone Case / Vase

Floral Charger / Dry Erase Coasters

Notecards / Owl Push PinsEarbuds

Cyber Monday Sales

Happy Cyber Monday! I’ll keep this short and sweet since it is Monday morning… use the list and links below to shop lots of sales today – enjoy!

Cyber Monday Sale Roundup

  • American Eagle40% off holiday collection, no code needed
  • Ann Taylor50% off with “EVERYTHING”
  • Anthropologie25% off sale with “XTRAGOOD”
  • Athleta20% off with “WORKIT”
  • ASOS: 20% off everything with “CYBER”
  • Banana Republic40% off with “BESTCYBER”
  • BaubleBar35% off 2+ items with “GOGIFT35″ and 25% off 1+ item with “GOGIFT25″
  • Bloomingdales25% off regular and sale items
  • Frye40% off select styles
  • Gap: 40% off with “BESTCYBER”
  • GiltExtra 40% off with “GOLD40″ ($100 discount max)
  • Gilt CityExtra 20% off with “GOLD20″
  • J.Crew40% off 500+ items and 30% off everything else with
  • J.Crew Factory50% off with “TODAYONLY”
  • Kate Spade30% off with “SHINE”
  • Kendra Scott15% off with “SALE15″
  • Loft50% off with “CYBER50″
  • Lord & TaylorExtra 25% off with “CYBER”
  • Lucy40% off favorite pants, discount taken at checkout
  • Macy’sExtra 25% off with “CYBER0
  • Minted20% off holiday cards and 25% off everything else with “CM2015″
  • Neiman MarcusEarn up to $500 gift card with “GC4YOU” – spend $200, get $50 (and upward from there)
  • NordstromUp to 40% off designer brands
  • Nordstrom RackExtra 30% off clearance items, no code needed
  • Old Navy40% off with “BESTCYBER”
  • Saks Off FifthUp to 70% off
  • SephoraLimited-edition, limited-quantity gift sets
  • Snapfish70% off orders $200+ with “MERRY70″; 60% off everything else with “MERRY60″
  • Sole Society30% off, no code needed
  • Saks Fifth AvenueEarn gift card up to $700 with purchase with “NOV15,” plus lots of other deals
  • Tobi50% off with “THANKFUL50″
  • TopshopUp to 50% off