Black Friday Sales!

Last year on Black Friday I witnessed a police officer tackle a man right in front of me...no joke.  Therefore, I think it's best that I do the majority of my shopping online this year.  You know, to avoid getting put in the hospital or anything.  I'm guessing you've already seen a billion blog posts about Black Friday already, but if there is one thing I'm good at...it's finding good deals!  Sometimes I can be cheap to a fault, but I can't help that I love saving money!  Anyway, here are some of my favorite finds:

1. Kohls

This is always my favorite place to shop for Black Friday deals.  They have great discounts on clothes, jewelry, toys, home decor...pretty much everything!  You also earn $15 in Kohls Cash for every $50 you spend, to be used toward a future purchase.  AND get 15% off your entire order by using promo code BLACKFRI from now through 3pm (CST) on Friday.

2. Anthropologie

Rumor has it that everything will be 20% off and that there will be an additional 50% off of sale items!  If that's the case, there are some great deals to be found.  It might just be in the store, but I'll update this as soon as I find out! Update: everything is 20% off, but it looks like the extra 50% off is only in stores.

3. J.Crew

This is one of those places that I ONLY shop if there is a good sale going on.  Right now they have a good selection of sale items and then you can use the code HOLIDAY to save 30% off your purchase, from now through 12/1.  The coupon code is also valid for the regular priced items...but I'm cheap, remember?


There are currently so many great dresses and festive apparel at LOFT!  Save 40% off of your purchase by using the code ENJOY from now through 12/1.

5. Express

Every single item at Express is 50% off until noon on Friday!  Their clothes aren't usually my style, but I actually found a lot of great items that I would love to have in my closet!

6. JCPenney

There will be a lot of great deals on Thanksgiving day.  You will also be able to use the code BLKDEALS to receive an additional 15% off only on 11/29.  See that pretty Citizen watch below?  That will be on sale for only $99.99! And trust me...that's not the only good sale item!

7. Madewell

This is another one of those places that I would only be able to afford when there is a good deal going on...but their clothes are so nice! You can get 25% off your entire purchase with the code FEAST25. Good from now through 12/2.

8. Macy's

The Black Friday sale at Macy's will begin on Thanksgiving day.  It looks like they will be having some good deals on shoes, kitchen items and bedding...definitely a good place to find gifts!  Use code THANKS to get an extra 10 or 15% off from 11/28 through 11/30.

9. Shopbop

If you are looking for more high-end designer pieces, make sure to check out the Shopbop Black Friday sale.  They are doing a "Spend More, Save More" event that runs from now through 12/2.  Spend $250+ and save 15%, spend $500+ and save 20%, or spend $1000+ and save 30%.  Just use code BIGEVENT13.  Sooo many things that are on my Christmas list...haha.

I will try to update/add to this list over the next couple days.  I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving and please have lots of fun shopping!


Switzerland, Day Three.

Our third (and final) full day in Switzerland was spent in the beautiful city of Zurich.  We really enjoyed just walking around this old city and soaking up the culture and history of it all.  

There was a pedestrian bridge with hundreds of "love locks" attached to the sides.  Couples are supposed to put their initials on the lock, attach it to the bridge and then throw the key into the river.  We saw one of these bridges in Paris, which we plan on returning to (and bringing a lock with us)!

I loved all the narrow cobblestone streets in Zurich.  I honestly don't know how anyone is able to drive down some of those streets, but most people just walk or take public transit anyway!

The pictures above are of the Grossmünster church.  The construction of this gorgeous building began in 1100.  The interior is surprisingly simple, but apparently this is due to changes made during the Reformation in the 1500s.

This is the Fraumünster church.  It started out as a convent in 853, but the current church dates from around 1150.  I love the tall blue spire and gold clock face.  It also has beautiful stained glass windows, which were added in 1970 by artist Marc Chagall.

Unfortunately I didn't get a better photo of St. Peter's Church, but it has the largest clock face in Europe...the circumference is 28.5 feet!

Just a short walk up some stairs led us to this great viewpoint, called the Lindenhof.  It is the site of a Roman fort, dating all the way back to the 4th century. 

Zurich is such a vibrant and historical city.  I loved having the opportunity to explore a little bit of what it has to offer and I think we might have to come back someday!

Oh, and one more thing...

Because who can resist a sleeping swan?


Switzerland, Day Two.

Our second day in Switzerland was spent exploring Lucerne in the daytime.  This city is so incredibly beautiful, even with the cloudy weather.  Instead of taking the bus into the city center, we decided to walk along the lake...which I highly recommend!

I'm so glad we visited before all of the leaves fell off the trees, because they were gorgeous.  I would love to see what they looked like just a couple weeks earlier!

Once in town, we made a stop at the Lion Monument (Löwendenkmal).  This large sculpture was carved out of a rock wall (which was part of an old sandstone quarry) in 1820-21.  It was created in memory of over 700 fallen Swiss soldiers, who were massacred during the French Revolution in 1792.  You can't tell how big the monument is by looking at these pictures, but it's 10 meters long and 6 meters high!  It was such a peaceful place and I'm so glad we were able to find it...the lion sculpture was Emery's favorite part of the trip (he's a big history guy)!

This city is full of beautiful buildings, bridges and lots of cute little restaurants.  Unfortunately, we couldn't afford to eat at the restaurants...Switzerland is REALLY expensive.  If the kids wouldn't have been with us, I'm sure we would've tried a few places out!

The Jesuit Church (Jesuitenkirche) was my favorite church we visited on our trip.  I loved the Baroque architecture of this building, which was built in 1666, as well as the beautiful artwork on the church interior.

Next, we dragged the kids up some hills to get to an old fortification wall, complete with watchtowers!  It was so fun to walk along this giant stone wall and imagine what it would be like back in the 13th century, when the fortifications were built.  I mean, just thinking about how a WALL could be such a huge type of defense blows my mind. They had no planes, no technology, no guns...just swords and other medieval weapons!  It's crazy thinking about how advanced we have become and it really makes me wonder how things will be in another few hundred years!

We needed a chocolate break before heading back to the hotel.  I certainly won't argue about a chocolate break, especially when it's Swiss chocolate...my goodness, that stuff is good.

Day 3 of our Switzerland trip will be coming soon! 


Switzerland, Day One.

Last week were able to take advantage of the biggest perk of my job...we flew to Switzerland!  It was the first time we have taken the kids on a long trans-oceanic flight, so we were a little nervous about how they would do.  They really surprised us with how awesome they handled it...my children are becoming quite the little travelers!  We arrived in Zurich, then took a train down to the dreamiest little Swiss city: Lucerne.

We stayed at a hotel right on the lake, called the Seehotel Hermitage.  I still can't get that incredible view out of my head.  It was so relaxing to gaze out the floor-to-ceiling windows, taking in the beautiful scenery, while lounging in our room.  I was kind of bummed that it was cloudy while we were there, because on clear days you can also see the Swiss Alps right out the window.  Oh well, maybe next time!  Oh, and our hotel didn't skimp on the toiletries...we were spoiled with L'OCCITANE products, which I LOVED!

Unfortunately, we wasted most of our first day sleeping.  When we woke up and realized it was dark (I was so mad at myself), we decided to make the best of the situation and take a walk into town.  The buildings looked beautiful at night, especially the churches.  The photos above were taken at the Hof Church, which was built in the early 1600s and is now the main cathedral for the city.

We really enjoyed looking around at the gorgeous art and architecture.  The kids even found some things they loved...like these elephant statues!

My favorite part of Lucerne at night was the Chapel Bridge.  This covered footbridge crosses the Reuss River and was originally built as a fortification to protect the city from attacks.  It was constructed in the 1300s, making it the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe!  17th century paintings can be found along the interior of the bridge, depicting Catholic saints and some of Lucerne's history.  A 1993 fire caused a lot of damage, but the bridge and some of the artwork was restored by the city.  The tower actually served as a prison at one time...pretty interesting, right?!

Swans were definitely in abundance here.  Who doesn't love swans?!  More Switzerland pictures to come...so stay tuned!