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The holidays are upon us! More than upon us…it’s only five days until Christmas! *insert shocked emoji*
Seriously this month is FLYING by for me. I’ve done so much and had so much fun, it hardly feels like I’ve been able to keep it all in one month. December is usually stressful for me with everything going on, but this year it’s felt exciting and fun.
What better way to ring in the holidays than with a delicious Starbucks drink in their holiday cups? I love the design this year. My go-to holiday drink from Starbucks is the gingerbread latte. I absolutey love it! I usually get it in a tall, but sometimes I’ll spoil myself with a grande if it’s going to be a really hectic day. In the picture above we were on our way to pick out our Christmas tree at a local tree farm, a family tradition since I was a child. One of my least favorite things about living in an apartment is that we can’t have a real tree. I’ll have a house of my own some day, lol!
Christmas tree day was a ton of fun. My dad moved a few years back and his new home has super tall ceilings, so we can pick out any tree we want without worrying about height. The one pictured here isn’t what we went with, but was the lighting not perfect for the photo? I’ve been super extra this year with photos. Ever since I bought the iPhone 8 plus, I’ve kind of been crazy about taking pictures. The quality is just so good for a cell phone! I love love love it. It’s so fun!
One thing I thought was pretty cute were all the pine cones clustered around the tops of some of the trees. It just made the trees feel so rustic! The tree we picked didn’t have any I don’t believe, but it’s still perfect anyway.
Ever since starting my photography business earlier this year, I’ve really been keen on supporting smaller and local businesses. I purchased these super unique ornaments from an acquaintance of mine. She runs an Etsy shop called TheMintyOwlCreations, and she does a lot of custom vinyl work. I especially love the holographic detail on the matte black of these bulbs. Definitely some of my favorite ornaments!
Along with trees and seasonal decor, there are always so many parties during the holidays. So far I’ve attended three! My company Christmas party was first. Trust me when I say that party is a bit of a whirlwind! We get out of work around 4 pm to head over to dinner. This year I was smart and got a hotel room to stay in downtown. Even though I only live 30 minutes away, we had seen quite a bit of snow that week. Better to be safe than sorry!
Literally three days later we had my dad’s Christmas party, and on the EXACT SAME DAY was Cameron’s family party. It was a bit exhausting after the crazy work week, but it was so wonderful to see so much family in one day. I’m thankful to have such a large family! At my dad’s party we built a fire and strung lights up between the trees to create a festive atmosphere. And by “we” I mean my dad and my brother. They did a great job, it was so fun standing outside and being warm and surrounded by Christmas lights! There was food galore, and the ever-enjoyable White Elephant gift exchange. I won a hanging shoe rack this year, which I’m genuinely excited about. I keep meaning to hang that up, but I’ll get there eventually.
I know this post has been mostly a photo dump with some rambling, but I promise I’m almost done. One thing I’m really proud of this year is my venture into wearing lipstick more often. Actually, into wearing lipstick period. I’ve never been one for makeup, not nearly as much as my sister. In fact, earlier this year there would be days upon days that I’d go without wearing more than maybe some eyeliner or mascara. And here I am at the end of the year and I do the whole thing! Foundation, contour, lipstick, setting spray…the works! Even though I’ll do the same eye makeup every day (no joke, my sister hates me for it. “do something fun!” she says, and yet I stick to this comfort zone of nude shades lol), I’ve begun to enjoy switching up my lipstick colors.
My favorite go-to brands and shades are all pictured below. I gravitate towards easy, low-maintenance formulas. Especially velvety matte shades! Those are my ultimate fave.
Such a bright fun red! I like to wear this when I’m wearing a lot of black. It gives my look a fun pop of color!
This color is pretty dark, but I wore it the other day and received a lot of compliments! It dries a soft deep burgundy/brown, and I really enjoyed it.
This is probably my favorite red right now. It’s the one I’m wearing in the photo in this post! It dries such a lovely, soft red and really compliments my skin tone.
So the great news about all of these options are less than $10! The Maybelline SuperStay collection is actually a steal of a price, and it really does last as long as they say it does. Not even kidding, I fell asleep without taking my makeup off once (whoops!) and it was still there in the morning. Truly wonderful stuff.
And for the holidays, the NYX colors I mentioned here are available as a set for $15 ($9 on sale at Ulta during the time of this post!). They normally run $6.99 a piece, which is still a great price. I only have to reapply the lipstick once after eating lunch and I’m good for the rest of the day!
What are some of your favorite lipsticks? Let me know in the comments below!
Ah, yes. The Nordstrom Half Annual Sale. Where hard earned money goes to be spent on things you don’t need, but for some reason just have to have. Luckily I’m getting a little better at not blowing all my cash so quickly. While shopping the site, I was definitely tempted to start throwing things in my cart. So far I’ve been able to resist, but I guess we’ll see how long that lasts. While I haven’t yet personally taken advantage of the sale, here is a round-up of some of my favorite items available, by category, all under $150 (most under $100)!
[from left to right]
Vince Camuto Cranita Perforated Bootie in Grey // Dr.Scholls ‘Original Collection Wiley’ Wedge in Bone Fabric // Louis Et Cie Mirin Wedge Sandal in Neutral Nubuck // Sam Edelmen ‘Thea’ Strappy Pump in Primrose Suede
I’m a sucker for neutral toned shoes. Block heels are trending right now, and for good reason. These shoes give that added height that legs (and short girls like me) love, while remaining comfortable enough for all-day wear. Wedges will always be may favorite go-to. I can imagine the Dr. Scholls pair are pretty easy on the feet!
[from left to right, starting page 1]
Chelsea28 Lace Trim Off the Shoulder Top in Ivory // Cupcakes and Cashmere Kerrine Embroidered Maxi Dress // Chelsea28 Lace Fit & Flare Dress // Caslon Print Detail Pocket Sweatshirt in Pink Blush
I’m definitely leaning more towards lighter neutrals here as well. I wear a lot of dark, rich colors in the fall and winter so I really take advantage of the more muted and light tones in the spring and summer months. As much as I would love to buy up all of this and throw it in my closet, I really need to work on narrowing it down and picking a few versatile pieces that I can mix and match all season long.
Athleisure is my all time favorite. I have an entire dresser in my closet dedicated specifically to athletic gear, not even joking. I can’t help it! Everything is so cute now. When I first started working out in high school I was just fine with my cheap cotton leggings and cotton t-shirts. Now, I swear by anything sweat-wicking, cool/dry/heat technology, pretty prints, and so much more. This adidas top is so cute because it has a bit of that see-through look in polka dot form, without baring too much. And the Zella Flash leggings have the CUTEST mesh cutouts up the thigh. I adore them.
you may be interested in Trunk Club Review: Athleisure Edit
Somehow I manage to pick much more expensive accessories than clothes when I shop these sales. I fell in love with all of the watches that were available, especially the too-cute and wino-approved Wine and Dine watch by Kate Spade New York. Absolutely love that one! Definitely seemed to stick with a pattern of lighter neutral colors for the most part here as well. I definitely have a certain aesthetic I’m trying to attain for summer, apparently!
If you’ve been here for a while, you know that back in February I tried a no-spend challenge. And I did pretty good! Unfortunately since then, I have not done so good. I’ve done bad. So I’m really working on curbing my spending habits. My purchases right now revolve around food, coffee, and books. I really try to wait on clothes until it feels like an absolute necessity (ie. I bought new work pants because mine were old and the clasp was coming off, and I bought some new blouses because mine were all dark fall/winter prints). As much as I would love to buy up everything I’ve listed above (and then some), I’m going to be holding back.
Until next time!
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Okay. So shopping is my thing. You know it, I know it, my dad knows it, EVERYONE knows it. I love refreshing my closet or adding new accessories to my rotation, especially during season changes. Unfortunately, I also fall out of love with a lot of pieces in my closet. Faster than I’d like to admit, in fact. And we’ve all been there! That sweater is staring you down at the store that you just HAVE TO HAVE IT. But then a few months go by, and the sweater was only worn once, or maybe shrank from a medium to a small in the dryer (did it say lay flat to dry? whoops). Or hey, maybe your style changed and it simply doesn’t belong. That’s okay! I’ll be the first to admit that I have a constant pile of clothes next to my dresser that I have every intention to donate. Granted, I always wait ’till it’s a little large to take it to the local thrift store. But my intentions are good!
I had such a stack growing for some time when my friend sent me a Facebook invite to a clothing swap. Intrigued, I checked out the info. My friend is a very environmentally friendly person. She makes the constant effort to do her best to maintain a level of sustainability most of us will never achieve. She is the person who has encouraged me to never have paper plates, cups, or plastic-ware in the house. I grab a dish rag faster than a paper towel when going to clean up a mess. I recycle anything I do use (as long as it is recyclable!) and try my best to cut down on my own personal waste. But I never EVER thought to do something along the lines of a clothing swap.
The invite was super exciting, too: she would be making quiche and providing mimosas to the group as well. Her quiche is to die for and, well, who could say no to a mimosa on a sunny Sunday afternoon? I found myself driving to her place a few weeks later with a duffel bag of old clothes and accessories.
The event was a total success. A few people went home with some previously loved pieces of mine, and I raked in a handful of perfect pieces to add to my closet as well! Even better, some of them are items I’ve been trying to keep an eye out for in stores but haven’t had the courage to fork over the dough (ie. a simple white and black stripe plaid shirt, mock neck knit sweater, and a few cute dresses perfect for spring and summer). I was even lucky enough to snag a few Calvin Klein pieces! Even though we were browsing used items, the shopping experience was a ton of fun. Everyone showed up in yoga pants and white camis for easy try-ons. The compliments were flying, people were finding clothes that fit them and their style better than the old items they had brought along. The atmosphere was bubbly and light, and the energy was positive and exciting. The experience itself was worth the trip, let alone the loot!
I’ll be sharing some of my looks in the next few weeks over on my Instagram. My goal this week is to wear outfits comprising at least one new item from the swap each day. So far, so good! Here are the outfits I’ve created thus far:
This maxi dress won my heart. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but it’s a navy blue color and slightly cinched at the waste. I wore this to work with a simple white cardigan and my braided Minnetonka Santorini sandals (these are last season’s style, so it was hard to find you a pair but I linked one on sale at Cabela’s!). I adore the high-low cut of the dress. It’s overall very flattering on me, and probably my favorite casual dress right now. The tag says it’s a Merona dress, so definitely a Target find. Of course, who would have thought I’d like something from Target?
Apparently I didn’t take a photo of Tuesday’s outfit, but it was a cute L.L.Bean Grey Cable Knit sweater (similar here, plus some cute beading!), layered over a Gap white and black plaid button up. Follow my Instagram to see more of the looks I create with these previously-loved pieces!
If you and your friends are similar sizes and have un-worn, previously loved clothing in your closets I HIGHLY recommened setting up a group clothing and accessory swap. Throw some shoes in the mix if you can! It was so much fun revamping my closet knowing that I was spending no money, and probably bringing joy to someone who used to love the clothes I took home! Bonus points if you follow in my friend’s footsteps: she was able to donate five bags full of clothes to a local, fair trade thrift store! It feels good that on top of the shopping, mimosas, and delicious quiche, we were helping a cause near and dear to her heart.
**I paid for my items and styling fees, and receive no benefits from this review. I simply wanted to share my finds with you! Enjoy! **
My addiction to shopping knows no bounds. I love every bit of it: the stores, the browsing (normally with coffee in hand), and the excitement of finding the next “perfect thing”. I’m always on the hunt for a particular piece. Bonus points if it’s on sale! Due to this love of the entire experience, I shocked myself when I decided to subscribe to a clothing box. You’ve all heard of them: Stitch Fix, Le Tote, Trunk Club. You pay them a styling fee and after taking a quiz they put together some pieces for you and send them along! For Trunk Club, the fee is $25, and this amount will be credited off any items you decide to keep from the box. Everything else is sent back with the provided shipping stickers within five business days of receiving the box. This gives you five days to really decide whether or not to keep an item.
I decided to try the Athleisure box. I live in athletic wear outside of work hours, so I was really excited to see what new styles my stylist would have me try. Via the app or website you can see the original 10 items your stylist has selected for you. I go through each one and decide what I definitely want to try, and what doesn’t quite look like my style (or, normally, what’s out of my price range). They will replace any items you decided against preliminarily, and then your box is sent! My stylist so far has been GREAT with finding me dupes and replacements. On my first ever box I nixxed a pair of jeans that were $120, and she sent me a very similar pair that rang in around $70 but are easily the MOST comfortable jeans ever. Definitely kept them. I’ve had really good luck with Trunks before (check out this sweet jacket, for example!) so I was bouncing on the balls of my feet when I got the notifcation that my Trunk had been delivered!
My trunk came with these items:
1. Nike Free RN Flyknit 2 Running Shoe ($120)
2. Nike Dry Training Tank ($40)
3. Nike Roshe Two FlyKnit Sneaker ($130) [[currently on sale on Nike’s website for $89.97 in seven different colors!]] 4. Coast Capris by Alo Yoga ($94)
5. Nike ‘Element’ Dri-FIT Half Zip Performance Top ($65)
6. Flex Sports Bra by Zella Body ($39)
7. 24/7 Racerback Tank by Zella ($39)
8. Recharge Keyhole Bralette by Zella Body ($23.40 on sale!)
9. Heartbeat LS Tee by Zella ($49)
10. Nike Flex Dri-FIT Training Jacket ($90, on sale for $69.96!)
I really wanted to like everything. Due to budget constraints, I was only willling to spend anywhere from $50-$150. So I tried on everything for a good long while to really get a feel for it.
The Nike jacket was neat. Pretty comfortable, an interesting matte-looking black color, a slight hi-lo cut, and really cute mesh on the upper back of the jacket that was only the slightest bit see-through. I really wanted to love this item! Unfortunately, I feel like where the jacket hit on my hips was a little too high. I have a small torso, and tops that draw attention to that are usually a no-no for me. It went back in the box.
The 24/7 Racerback Tank was one that I really thought I was going to keep (worn here with the Alo Yoga leggings). I actually really enjoyed the fit of this. It was a little tight in the tummy, but still super comfortable. The only reason I decided to send this back? While it looks a cute faded pink in the photo, it’s actually really thin pink and white stripes. I’m not the biggest fan of little stripes unfortunately. With athletic clothes I stick to plain colors or some modest graphics, but that’s about it. So, sadly, this went back. I do have it favorited though in case I feel like purchasing in a different color in the future!
I will say I adored the Element Half Zip. This thing was unbelievably comfortable. The color is identical to a McDonald’s Shamrock shake, which actually really liked about it. I don’t own anything this color! If this were maybe $45, I probably would have kept it. But due to my budget constraints (and the item I had my eye on), this ended up going back.
I loved combining the Flex Sports Bra by Zella and the Nike Dry Training Tank. I see this look on a lot of fitness bloggers and I love how cute and simple it is. I unfortunately did not keep either of these items either: the tank was too tight and I would never wear it out of the house. The sports bra was cute, but didn’t have the support that I prefer. Even though I’m a B, I still prefer feeling secure in my sports bras. Both of these went back.
“Gee, did she keep anything?!” you ask? Yes. I did. We’re getting there I promise!
These. These were cute. The mesh cutouts were large but still felt secure. I always worry about mesh snagging, and I felt like these were thick enough that it wouldn’t be a concern. I’ve always wanted to try a pair of Alo leggings. I have to say, while they were pretty comfortable I wouldn’t say they were more comfortable than my favorite pair of Forever 21 leggings. Is that horrible? I do have a few Alo leggings on my wishlist. I adore the moto-style ones. If I would have received a pair of those, I probably would have kept them! These, unfortunately, as I’m sure you can already guess, went back to my stylist.
As I’m sure you’re starting to guess, it came down to the shoes. Of course, the shoes. Why wouldn’t it be the shoes? I have a shoe ADDICTION. And I’ve really been itching for a new pair of Nikes. The last time I owned good Nike shoes were my Free Run 2.0 back four or five years ago, simple black and white. I wore them until my toes wore holes into the fabric on the side. I wore them running, training, walking, hiking, to school, to work, EVERYWHERE. I’m shocked they lasted as long as they did. So getting to try on these two cute pairs of shoes was a lot of fun, and I just knew I was going to end up keeping one of them.
Honestly, I thought it was going to be a more difficult decision. I tried on the Roshe’s, and they were nice. Decently comfortable, probably a good walking shoe. When I first saw the shoes I would be getting in my trunk I was convinced these were the ones I would be getting. I liked the colors in the photo, and loved the half black half white sole. Unfortuntely I didn’t like the shoe as much ON. I felt like I noticed more of the dark blue, less of the mint. And if anything, I preferred the mint.
I didn’t think I was going to enjoy the Free Run Flyknit shoes. I never thought I’d like the Flyknit, although I’ve only ever heard good things. I thought it would feel to flimsy, to awkward with socks, not sturdy enough for my wants and needs. Boy was I WRONG. These shoes are the most comfortable shoes I own. It’s almost as if someone just took the sole and attached it to my foot. I feel like I’m wearing nothing, but still have tons of support. They’re great for running (for me! always learn more about your running style and cushioning needs before going out and buyihg a running shoe!) and training and walking. I haven’t worn them outside yet because of all the rain. My other pair of running shoes are grey and pink and have a HUGE brown mud stain on them. I’ve learned that lesson. Indoors only for a while.
So, I kept the Nike Free Run shoes, and everything else went back.
I had a lot of fun with the Athleisure Box. I definitely think I’ll try one again in the future. For now, I’ll stick to everyday wear. I should probably start working out more regularly before spending more money on athletic gear!
Do you participate in a style-box service? Which one do you use? What have been some of your favorite pieces? Tell me all about it in the comments below!
Good Morning everyone!
I’ve been MIA for far to long! I promise I’m trying harder to remember to blog. I always write it down in my planner to include it in my day but studying for a second portion of the CPA exam is already taking up most of my free time. I have quite a bit to catch you all up on, as well as a few posts in the works for throughout this week and next. I’m going to try to plan a few “themed day” posts that I can follow each week, which hopefully will help make content creation a little more fluid. I have a bag review coming up for you guys, a clothing box subscription to share, a huge life update, and a recap of a super fun weekend I had in Boston attending the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) gaming tradeshow. A little bit of fashion, a little bit of lifestyle, and a little bit of nerd. I’m excited to get more of a schedule down and really start putting out some more content. I really do love writing these posts, taking photos and editing the media for them, and in general flexing the few creative muscles I do have to come up with these. I’m excited to get back into it!
I apologize for being so dormant the past few weeks. It’s been hard squeezing in any free time while I’ve been studying before I sit for the first section of the CPA exam next week! I’ve been spending almost all of my free time studying and sleeping. I don’t have the highest of hopes for this first sitting. I’m pretty sure I rushed it a little honestly. But I’m going to go through with it for the experience of taking it and move forward from there.
In light of that, my life has been as low-key and low-maintenance as possible. I’ve been skipping makeup some days and dressing down more often. I’m fortunate to work in a place with a casual dress code, so I can get in and out of work and straight home to studying without fussing with changing into more comfortable attire.
One of my big go-to’s and most convenience pieces continues to be my slip-on sneakers. I adore the convenience and the sporty look they lend to a casual outfit! Plus, you may be able to find the perfect pair that is both cute AND comfortable. Functionality at its finest! Which is exactly what I need in the final days of preparing for this exam. Needless to say, I was unbelievably excited when InStyle magazine mentioned that the lace-less shoe will be an oncoming Spring trend! As if I needed an excuse to find or buy more shoes. Here is a roundup of some of my favorite slip on shoes:
1. PUMA FENTY by Rihanna in rose gold. These go for about $100 and also come in quite a few other colors at different price points. I particularly enjoy these black ones also! Both are on my wish list! I’m totally in love.
2. ‘Ecentrcq’ Sneaker by Steve Madden. I’m in love with the quilted look to these. Adding texture to any piece on an outfit helps give it dimension and make it look a little more put together. These come at a pretty decent price point of about $60.
3. Okay, these Salvatore Ferragmo Giolly slip-ons may be a bit on the flashy side but I could totally see myself wearing them. Unfortunately my wallet says no: with a price point of $795 these shoes unfortunately will never make their way into my collection. But they’re fun to look at for sure!
4. Michael Kors does it again for me with these super cute embellished Keaton slip-ons. I have a serious thing for gem embellishments, as long as they aren’t overdone. These shoes would go perfectly with my favorite embellished hat from The Limited (see below!).
5. Alright, so far my list has been a bit pricey. Number 5 comes in at a great price point of $19.99 from Target! These Lydia Canvas slip ons have been a go-to for me for years. I have both the taupe and black, and need to seriously consider purchasing newer pairs soon. Mine are finally wearing down after almost non-stop use for four years! Yikes! Totally worth the $20.
6. If you’re looking for the quilted look of the Steve Madden shoes in #1 but hoping for a lower price point, Target delivers again with these super cute quilted-look Reese slip-on sneakers. I love the crisp look of the white on these, but they’re on trend in pretty olive and blush colors as well! Ringing up at only $24.99 a pair, they are a great alternative to pricier styles.
7. These Monnie slip ons from Target (Mossimo) are a newer addition to my closet. I bought them as a convenient shoe for running quick errands while still maintaining a simple sporty look. They definitely do the job, and are a lot more comfortable than I had anticipated! And I get quite a few compliments on them, which is an added bonus. Highly considering purchasing them in black as well.
I hope you enjoyed the post! Did I miss any great shoes that you would recommend? If so, leave a comment below!
Thanks for stopping by!