Thursday, September 24, 2020


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I think we have had the most beautiful weather ever this week and it keeps going and going!!! Yesterday I was even able to work outside as it was mildly warm and beautifully sunny and I was soaking up every second of it before we have to retreat inside for the winter. 

I have a girlfriend coming in to stay with us for the weekend and I am so excited. Our guest room has literally not been used since February and I have not seen her since December! My fiancé is going to grill out for us tomorrow night with something yummy and we are DEFINITELY going to watch the Father of the Bride Reunion (see more below) can't wait!

Other than that, it's the same old same old around here. I can't believe we only have one week of September left. Time is flying by. 

Wearing: I'm always asked about the white jeans you see in the above photos. They are one of my very favorite pairs and unfortunately, Ralph Lauren sold them for one season and I haven't seen them again. So, I wanted to highlight a pair that looks pretty darn similar! In the fall, I wear them ALL the time and especially with camel like you see in the photos above. 
Eating: Yesterday's post with the best chili recipe you will ever make. Seriously, it is INCREDIBLE! 

Reading: We are almost to October (which is crazy to me) and I've been really reading up and researching what's going on with holiday shopping this year. It's a super busy time of year for me business-wise and because this year is different than any other, I knew the holidays would be, too. This article is super helpful to break it down so you know what to expect in terms of buying gifts for people and all of the things that come with the holiday season. At the bottom of the article, it has shipping deadlines for each carrier. I'm someone that shops for gifts all year long but I know that isn't for everyone! I'll plan to start my gift guides in late October to better serve you (and make sure you are getting sale prices). I know that sounds crazy early, but this article confirms what I was suspecting. If there is anything in particular you'd love to see in terms of holiday/gifts/etc. let me know and I'll do my best to accommodate! 

Sale: I ordered this crewneck sweater for my fiancé on a whim and it arrived and I was blown away at the quality for the price. It's so pretty and classic and he loves it!

Watching: Netflix announced a Father of the Bride 'reunion' that is premiering tomorrow at 6pm EST and I CANNOT WAIT!!!! 

Listening: I love the new Bieber and Chance song!!

Loving: One of my favorite brands, Dudley Stephens, created a blanket out of their incredibly soft and warm fleece fabric. 100% of the money from these blankets will go directly to St. Jude. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. My sister was a Tri Delta in college and their philanthropy is St. Jude so she was always telling us all of the great things that St. Jude does for children. My fiancé's brother died from cancer when they were children so this (unfortunately) hits close to home. You get a beautiful and cozy blanket for the cold months ahead, and $98 is donated to St. Jude. It's certainly a win-win! I ordered one to send to my future mother-in-law in Ryan's memory. These blankets would also make really nice holiday gifts. 
Loving II: I shared this on stories yesterday, but I got this $12 workout tank and LOVE it. I only bought it in the first place because I needed to spend a little more to get free shipping and I can't believe what a stroke of luck! It's beyond soft and kind of feels like a cross between a soft cotton tank and a sweat-wicking workout fabric. The hem dips slightly lower in the back and it is just an all-around great basic to workout in. I accidentally ordered a size xs, but that ended up being a good thing, so size down one size! 
Wanting: Lots of cozy items on my radar this week! 

Smelling: My sister got me this perfume rollerball and I LOVE it. It's the perfect fall scent and it makes me so happy. 

Quoting: 'I love you. You're probably thinking "you don't even know me". But if people can hate for no reason, I can love.'// See more of my favorites, here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Best Fall Chili Recipe

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The first day of fall was yesterday! Fall is definitely my favorite season and so I was pleasantly surprised that cooler weather arrived last week. Here in Pittsburgh, September can be a toss-up. Sometimes it is sweltering, sometimes it's freezing, so this year we definitely have been getting lucky with the weather. 

This past weekend we went to a local pumpkin patch and then finished off the weekend with Sunday chili which we made with ingredients we ordered using our new Walmart+ membership! We made chili often last year and it is not only a great Sunday meal, but since it is just the two of us, it makes a lot for the rest of the week! 

This is seriously the BEST chili recipe I have found. It's meat-heavy and so incredibly flavorful. We follow the recipe without making any edits of our own. This recipe makes a TON of servings too, so you could cut it in half if you wanted but we never do because we love love love the leftovers and there are so many different things you can do with leftover chili. We like to bake a sweet potato and put chili on top. SO good! 

We keep shredded cheese and sour cream on hand as my fiancé likes to add that to his bowl, but I just eat mine plain. It's so flavorful that you don't need to add anything! 

We ordered all of the ingredients we needed from Walmart and had them delivered. Walmart+ just launched on September 15th and I signed up that day! It's $98/year and you can sign up for a free 15-day trial before committing. You can select a monthly plan for $12.95/month. With the one year subscription, rather than the monthly subscription, you save $57.40/year in membership fees. You get free unlimited delivery (including groceries, $35 minimum, restrictions apply) and everyday low prices on the items. Most items arrive as fast as the same-day or next-day and this benefit includes more than 160,000 items from tech to household essentials and groceries.

If you have ordered groceries from Walmart in the past, then you know they usually charge a delivery fee. So even if you order twice per once per month, it's worth the yearly membership fee and you'll actually end up saving money (based on the $7.95 delivery fee).  Membership benefits of Walmart+ are dependent on location, so check out their site to see what benefits are in your area!

I truly think this will be a game-changer when the holiday season arrives. Shipping from some stores can be majorly delayed during the holiday season so having access to next-day delivery is going to make it so easy for ordering certain gifts and even little things like wrapping materials, stuff to decorate the tree (I can't tell you how many times we ran out of ornament hooks last year!!), and more. 

Just to give you an example of things you can get free unlimited delivery ($35 minimum, restrictions apply) on:
- Advil/Ibuprofen/other medicines 
- Dishwasher or washing machine pods
- Toilet paper
- Beauty/skincare
- Dog food/pet products
- Coffee pods/grounds/etc. 
- Light bulbs 

These are all of the items I can think of off the top of my head that are things that you can easily run out of and then need to replace pretty quickly! Thank you to Walmart for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Holy Grail Hydrating Skincare Product: Obagi Hydro Drops

You all know I love trying skincare products and while I try soooo many different ones, I often go back to tried and true favorites. However, this is a product that I have recently discovered, and had to write an entire blog post about it as it is now one of my most favorite products that I have ever used. 

What Does It Do?
It's a gel-like serum that is first and foremost aimed at hydrating the skin. The hydration is unlike any other serum I have used as I truly feel like it hydrates as much, if not more than a traditional moisturizer. It has vitamin b3 in it which is a skin super vitamin that helps to prevent/soften wrinkles and hydrate. 

What does it feel like on the skin?
It is totally lightweight on the skin and yet deeply hydrating. It is a 'gel' substance when you are putting it on, but once it goes onto your skin, it sinks in quickly and leaves a hydrated, almost oily feel. The little yellow 'balls' that you see burst as you are patting it into your skin. Once it's fully absorbed, it doesn't leave you looking oily at all, just nice and glowy! It truly keeps my skin hydrated ALL DAY. 
How does it dispense?
I am big on how skincare products come out of their bottle/tub/etc. I loathe tubs because I feel that it is not the most hygienic way to store skincare. In true serum fashion, this has a dropper applicator so you can just drop it right out onto your hands. 

When do you use it?
You can use it day and night but I use a pretty heavy moisturizer (that I love) at night, so to conserve the product (since it is not cheap) I only use it in the morning. I first rinse off my face (I don't often use a cleanser in the mornings) and then I apply my Vitamin C serum and then the Hydro Drop and then anything else I might want to add. 

Can I apply makeup over top? 
Yep, I have no problems with this. Makeup goes right on as usual. 

Does it have a scent?
Yes. Normally I don't love scented skincare products and some products I have used (and even still use) smell downright bad, but this one is the best smelling skincare product I have ever used. If they made it into a perfume I would buy it in a heartbeat. With that said, it doesn't smell 'perfumey' or strong, it's just this lovely, light, floral fresh scent. 

Is it worth the price?
It's certainly not cheap at right under $100, but it is 100% worth it in my opinion. Obagi is a solid brand- I have only ever tried this product and I swear by their Vitamin C, but it's a high-quality well-respected skincare brand. Normally, I don't spend a ton on products that just hydrate. I prefer to really spend on products with actives such as Vitamin C or glycolic acid. I feel like a good moisturizer is a dime a dozen these days (at all price ranges), but this one is truly next-level amazing. The results are instant- my face is plump and hydrated and I feel like these results truly last all day.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Which Christmas Card Should We Do?

Dogwood hill holiday cards 2020
I realize we still have a solid 3 months until Christmas, however, I prefer to send mine out right after Thanksgiving as it takes that off my plate and I'm able to focus on the season and the people and the joy! 

Because of that, I like to get the photo done in late October and then get everything ordered by early November so I have plenty of time to get it all ready to mail. 

There is nothing more that I love than sending cards and Christmas cards, in particular, make me SO happy! I used to send them out for Summer Wind (which I still will do) but once Andrew and I are engaged, I was so excited to send out a Christmas card from the two of us (and Henry, of course) to our family and friends. This will be the second year we've done cards as a family. I think it will be so special to look back on each year's photo as time goes on. 

I was truly planning all along to use a wedding photo, but obviously, that's not going to happen. So we are going to have to orchestrate a photo! 

Here's a link to my post that shares what we did for last year's card. We dressed up in festive attire and the card design was simple and clean. I love them so much. 

So for this year, I've been brainstorming and I think I want to go a little more casual in terms of attire (TBD, though). For the card, I think I want to do something more decorative and festive. Basically, I just want it to be very different from last year's card! 

We are doing our cards with Dogwood Hill (who is also doing all of our wedding paper items). They are FABULOUS to work with and create the most beautiful things. They have SO many holiday designs and I truly can't decide. I've polled Andrew, my parents, and grammie and so far, everyone loves them all, too! 

Dogwood hill holiday cards 2020
The twelve at the top are my favorites and then I was able to narrow it down to the five above. With Dogwood Hill, you can customize the cards to say whatever you'd like, so you are not necessarily locked in on exactly what you see with the sample. I thought it would be fun to have you all let me know which is your favorite! I think once we pick the card, that will help to dictate our outfits. Whereas last year, we took the photos and then chose the card. Either way works!

Are you already starting to think about your holiday card?! I am so excited and I don't even care if it is 'too early'. 2020 has been a real bummer (to say the least) and I fully plan on immersing myself in any little thing that truly brings me joy! 

Now to get to planning those outfits... 

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