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Being back in Massachusetts for Thanksgiving reminded me that winter is coming, and it won't be holding off for much longer. It's time to start pulling out all your sweaters and reminding yourself that yes you should throw gloves in your bag as you leave the house (something I never remember to do).

As someone who grew in the Northeast, you'd think a good winter coat would have always been on my essentials list, but it took going to college in the city (and trudging through the worst wind tunnels) for me to realize how important a good coat is. That being said, you'll probably never find me in one of those big puffy parkas. Instead my go-to is the perfect peacoat with a warm layer underneath, like Uniqlo's ultra light down jacket or Patagonia's thinnest coat to keep me extra toasty. 

When J.Crew offered 40% off all their products over the holiday weekend, I jumped at the change to get an amazing deal on one of their peacoats. I've stared longingly at the coats for years and this discount was finally enough for me to hit purchase. I can already tell you this coat is definitely worth the price since not only is it soft and super flattering, but it's actually kept me super warm in these early winter days! Luckily, it's still 30% off here!

I've also linked to a few of my favorite coats (both J.Crew price and cheaper!) below if you're looking into getting a new coat for the season! This one is probably the best deal out there right now!

Peacoat Season

Being back in Massachusetts for Thanksgiving reminded me that winter is coming, and it won't be holding off for much longer. It...
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It's officially Christmas-time, which means it is time for my holiday gift guides! This first one is my favorite to create each year, because I usually have a friend in mind with every gift (and sometimes it's just things I want 😜...). Everyone has a friend who always wants to host dinner or a friend who know what the makeup trend of the week is and hopefully this guide will help you find the perfect gift for those friends without breaking the bank. A few of my favorite gifts are The Magnolia Story book (I'm obsessed with Fixer Uppers), this cozy scarf, and these KIMOJI stickers! You can check out last years version of this guide here

I have a few more gift guides coming out in the coming weeks, but if there's anything you'd like to see or anyone you're stuck trying to buy presents for, let me know and I'll add it too the list! If you're looking for any past gift guides or holiday help, just click on the Holiday category in the navigation bar!

Gifts for Every BFF Under $35

Monday, November 28, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving everyone :) I hope you're all celebrating with family, friends, and plenty of food!

This year's sales are pretty crazy, so I wanted to make sure to get you all the details as soon as possible. Many sales started earlier this week, but you definitely have a few more days to shop before the deals go away. So without further ado here are my favorite sales...

Plus, if you don't have time to look through all these sales don't fear, I've done all the looking for you and picked out my favorite pieces under $100! Now is the time to buy those OTK boots you've been wanting or stock up on your favorite sweater in multiple colors. And PS the sweater I'm wearing in the photo above is only $30!  Scroll to the bottom of this post for links to all the products in the image below!

Best of Black Friday Under $100

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving week everyone! I can already feel the whole of New York fleeing the city for a relaxing holiday week somewhere in the suburbs, and I am SO ready to go with everyone. I've been like a little kid counting down the hours until I get on a bus home (only 31 hours left) since all I have left to do this week is go to a couple classes on Tuesday. 

Luckily, for once I had a pretty empty weekend (no projects or midterms this week woot woot), so I took advantage of the freedom and jumped on all the Christmas activities in New York. Whenever Thanksgiving break is over finals always start kicking my butt and I never have time to do all the Christmas things I want to do. So instead of forcing myself to wait until after Thanksgiving as I usually do, I just embraced my early holiday spirit and went for it. I bought delicious holiday treats at the Bryant Park Winter Village, marveled at the Palace Hotel tree, and even saw the Bergdorf holiday windows. If you're a fashion lover and Christmas spirit obsessed like me, you need to see Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf's. It's all about the making of their Christmas windows and it is amazing!

A quick note about my outfit - I've been living in this combo over cozy button down, booties, and ripped jeans. Plus, this button down is only $20 right now and it's the perfect length and material! I'm honestly thinking about buying it in another color as well! The red plaid version is only $16, so it might just be happening ;)


Gingham Steal

Monday, November 21, 2016

Can you believe Thanksgiving is less than a week away?! There are less than 108 hours and only a few assignment lefts for me to do until I'm on a bus home. Honestly, images of pumpkin pie, sweet potato casserole, and of course my dad's delicious risotto are the only things on my mind. Suffice it to say, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

Thanksgiving with my family is nothing entirely unique or special, but it's our small family traditions that really make it special. From my high school's Thanksgiving football game to eating pumpkin pie the morning after for breakfast, it's just the best time of the year.

Given the casual nature of our Thanksgiving, what to wear isn't really at the top of my mind. My only thought is really what outfit will hide my growing food baby. A jeans and cozy sweater combo is my go-to, with an easy change from sperry boots at the football game to flats for the rest of the day.  This sweater is honestly the best and I can promise you it will hide any hint of a food baby, just make sure to size down (it's very oversized). If you're still looking for your perfect I've found the best cozy sweaters for under $50 and I've linked them below :)

Thanksgiving Outfits

Friday, November 18, 2016

It's widely known that the most wonderful time of the year is even more wonderful in New York City. This city is truly magical around the holiday season with trees lining the sidewalks and lights criss crossing the streets. Last year I made this holiday bucket list for NYC and actually checked off most of the items. If you've never been to New York around the holidays the big tourist activities are seriously a must-do. There's nothing like seeing the Rockefeller tree or the windows down 5th Avenue for the first time.

 However when you live in NYC, sometimes it is just so damn frustrating when every holiday activity is a push your way through hoards of people kind of event (aka anything in Bryant Park, Rockefeller, etc). So this year I've spent hours searching to find some of the best unknown (or at least less known) holiday activities around the city. Seriously, start making time in your calendar right now because these events are perfect for those of us who have been to the Union SQ Christmas Market so many times we can navigate it with our eyes closed.

Ok I freaked out when I found out there's a holiday show at the botanical gardens. This will be the 25th year of their Holiday Train Show in which a model train runs through over 150 recreated landmarks. The event opens on November 19th and runs through mid January, and they suggest making reservations ahead of time. Also, for those of us of age there are Bar Cart nights with ice carving demonstrations, live music, and plenty of holiday drinks :)

When sidewalk Christmas trees just aren't doing it for you anymore head out to Queens for a real Christmas Tree Farm experience. Starting December 1st you'll be able to wander through their tree selection with hot chocolate. Plus, the farm is 47 acres so you'll get some much needed fresh air and can even hang out with their animals. Sign me up!

Just do a quick Google Image search for the Dyker Heights Lights and you'll see why I'm already planning my trip out to Brooklyn. An entire neighborhood sets up crazy Christmas lights to get you in the holiday spirit. All the info I found suggested going in mid-December between dusk and 9pm to get the best experience of the lights. There are guided bus tours though they seem to be crazy expensive, so I'd follow this guide to seeing the lights on foot.

When you finally gotten bored of all the famous holiday markets in Manhattan, head out to Williamsburg for the Bulletin Holiday Market. It's a new market, but from what I've read it's sure to impress and it's only open for 2 weekends ( December 3-4th & 10-11th) so start planning your trip now. The real selling factor for this market - there's a DJ and dance room with a full bar and serious holiday decorations, meaning you're guaranteed to have an amazing time. Also, the spiked hot cocoa is calling me.

On December 17th hundreds of people will gather in Washington Square Park at ___ PM to play Phil Kline's Unsilent Night composition together as they walk through the East Village. The event has been happening for decades and honestly looks like such an interesting holiday experience. The event started in Washington Square in 1992 and now happens in cities all around the world throughout the month of December, pretty cool right? If you're interested you can read more here.

Honestly, holiday markets are the best part of the winter... so I needed to include a few :) This holiday market is only open for the weekend of December 3-4th, but is rumored to have the best gifts you'll find throughout the season.

If you end up going to any of these events let me know :) I'd love to hear about your experience and with any luck I'll find a time to go to each of them! 

Non-Tourisy Christmas Activites in NYC

Monday, November 14, 2016

Honestly, this week has been pretty tough. I'm sure many of you know how I feel, but Wednesday morning and throughout the day it was pretty hard to hold back my tears. This was the first U.S. Presidential Election I've been old enough to vote in, and I couldn't help but feel somewhat defeated by the result. 

However, I was also reminded of the power and importance of this democracy we live in. I've always been proud to be an American, but it took a lot to remind myself that holding these ideals of freedom of speech and choice is important, even in the moments where I wan't to demonize those who don't believe the same things as me.  

I think the key takeaway from this election is that, as a whole, our country needs more love and less hate. It's so easy to hate people that are different than you, but it's so much harder to accept those who are different and, as Ellen always says, be kind to one another. I want to hate those who voted for Trump, but that isn't going to change anything. What will change our country, and hopefully improve the lives of every person, is to keep fighting for acceptance and ensure that every single person living in this country is heard and protected.

I've needed a couple days to wrap my head around things and feel my disappointment, but now I'm trying my hardest to get back up again and do what I can to make this country a more loving and accepting place. As Hillary said in her speech on Wednesday, I will not stop fighting for what I believe in and what is right, but I am going to keep trying not to hate those who believe differently that me in the process. On that note, I hope you all have a lovely weekend and enjoy the last of these perfect fall days :)


Also, these boots are my absolute favorite right now! They're SO comfy and look really adorable dressed up or down.

Getting Back Up

Friday, November 11, 2016

**Note: I woke up this morning completely devastated by last night's events. To know a man who has spread so much hate will be this country's next president is just truly shocking. However, even without a president we can believe in, the people of this country can ensure that love trumps hate, so please this morning keep love in your hearts and remember this isn't the end, we will keep fighting.**

Every morning this week I've woken up thinking crap there's only some-odd number of days until holidays, which usually has less to do with holiday shopping and more about finals... they just creep up so fast! At the same time though, since I'm usually focused on finals I completely forgot about buying presents for family and friends, and end up doing the Christmas Eve trip with all the busy dads to the mall. Definitely not the way to find meaningful gifts for the people you care about.

So this year I'm following a couple easy steps to help ensure I don't end up scrambling last minute.

1) Write out a list of who you want to buy gifts for. This is SO easy to do, but how often do any of us actually do this? I always end up forgetting one or two people and buying a gift that I barely put any thought into. Think about any parties you're going to, family members you'll be seeing over the holiday, and friends who deserve a special thank you and write out a list so that you can't forget anyone!

2) Think about what makes each personal smile. I can't even  tell you how many times I've bought my sister a sweater for Christmas... and most of the time it's because I know she'll like it and I have no idea what else to get her. By planning early and spending even just 10 minutes thinking about what your friends will really love, you'll find gifts that won't end up in a trash bin before spring flowers are blooming. Pro Tip: Do a little back stalking of your friends on social media. You'll be surprised how much present inspiration you'll find on your best friend's Pinterest page!

3) Don't wait for Black Friday sales! While Black Friday might seem like the best deal you're going to get on gifs throughout the holiday season, countless studies have shown this isn't actually true. So instead of waiting until after Thanksgiving for those perceived deals, start taking advntage of every sale you see! For example, Nordstrom is having their fall sale through November 13th with so many amazing pieces, and you can be sure this is as good of a deal as you'll get on Black Friday.

4) Order everything online. I'm sure you waste hours every work browsing your favorite stores online... So, turn that mindless shopping into effective holiday shopping! Almost everywhere has free shipping and free returns, so take advantage of it and order presents, even if you think it's possible you might need to return them later on! Better early and safe, then sorry later ;)

5) Have back-up hostess and secret santa gifts! No matter the number of lists you write, you're bound to forget about some party that you need a little gift for. Instead of having to run out to find a crappy cheap gift, you'll be patting yourself on the back when you've already perused the gifts section of sites like Urban Outfitters and Nordstrom for the cutest small gifts! A few of my favorite go-to gifts under $20 are this mug, this beauty set, and this beauty dish.

While I'm trying to get ahead on all my gift shopping I am still finishing up my holiday content plan up until Christmas, so if there is a post you'd like to see please let me know in the comments!

Getting Ahead on Holiday Shopping

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Fall for me is really all about classics. Yes, I love to try out a trendy coat shape or a new material (hey suede), but I always go back to the classics. There are a few pieces in my wardrobe that I come back to year after year when the temperatures drop, but until now I've never actually been able to get all 4 into one outfit. So here we go...

1. The Casual Blazer: Ya'll have seen this blazer more times than you probably remember on this blog. I bought it while studying abroad 2 years ago and I still can't stop wearing it. Whether with jeans or over a dress, a casual blazer will just make every outfit feel more pulled together. Past outfits with it on the blog include this, this and this

2. A Plaid Piece: I mean seriously, plaid is a fall staple. Plaid button downs fill probably half my closet in chilly months, and whenever I find unique plaid pieces like this skirt (which is only $30!) I can't help but bring them home with me. A few of my favorite past plaid looks include this and this.  

3. The Fisherman Sweater: I have been looking for a fisherman sweater for years that is cozy and cute, but not too bulky. Since I got this one (under $40 on sale right now), I honestly haven't taken it off. It's truly a timeless piece that can look new england preppy or trendy depending on how you style it. If you don't believe me, just take a look at this Pinterest search.

4. Over The Knee Boots: I've said it before, but OTK boots are a new classic that you must get! This year there are plenty of under $100 options out there (these are my favorite). Whether leather or suede this boots truly give you mile long legs and look good with any outfit. Plus, they'll keep you legs extra warm in the winter.

 Photography: Reed Bryant & Emily Byrski

Four Fall Classics

Monday, November 7, 2016

As much as I love fall in New York, it can never compare to Boston in October. After realizing I had a pretty free weekend I called up one of my best friends and spontaneously booked a trip to Boston. After arriving late Friday night we woke up early the next morning for a delicious brunch (donut holes were involved, I was freaking out!). 

For the rest of the afternoon we wandered around Beacon Hill, because the only way to really find all the cutest alley ways is to get lost. I don't think I've ever actually found Acorn St (the famous Beacon Hill street) when I've actually been looking for it. I'll let the photos really speak for themselves, but the brownstones paired with pumpkins and changing leaves were truly perfect. By the time 4pm hit we were all pretty exhausted, so we plopped ourselves at Tatte with iced coffees and pastries. Unlike New York, Boston keeps outdoor seating open until snow is literally falling, and we took plenty of advantage of the outdoor tables since the temperatures were in the 60s! If you're looking for an insta-worthy cafe Tatte is definitely your spot in Boston, plus their own Instagram is perfection. 

Also, I apologize in advance for the photo overload below ;) Plus, to see more of my Boston & NYC adventures follow along on Instagram.

Spontaneous Boston Weekend

Thursday, November 3, 2016
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