Friday, November 17, 2017

A Classic Christmas Playlist

A Classic Christmas Playlist
Today I'm sharing one of the most requested topics from my holiday survey a few weeks ago and that is my Christmas/Holiday playlist! I created this playlist on Spotify 4 seasons ago and have been continuously adding to it.

In Paris, everything is already beautifully decorated for Christmas... I'm not going to lie, I started listening to Christmas music earlier this month so I am in full-on Christmas-mode.

You'll notice that my playlist is filled with almost all old-school classics. You'll find no Justin Bieber here. I just love this time of year and I think the music is one of my favorite aspects of celebrating the holiday season. I love all of the crooners, the old school movies like White Christmas, and all of the nostalgia from vintage Christmas cards.

I'm sure you can all agree with me when I say that Christmas music holds so many memories, but certain songs hold more memories than others. I thought I would share some of these memories with all of you! Christmas has always been such a warm and wonderful time in my family and I really think the music makes all the difference!

Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi
This entire soundtrack holds so many memories and specifically reminds me of my dad. This is an album that has been played throughout our house forever and specifically when my parents would host holiday parties. To this day, I can just listen to this album over and over and can't help but to feel so cheery!

A GRP Christmas (one//two//three)
To me, this brings me right back to being young and getting so excited for Christmas. I specifically remember all three of these albums from my parent's Christmas CD collection. We used to have a big binder filled with Christmas music and the GRP's were always mine and Callie's favorite. It's so funny because I had songs off of the album on a playlist but I started to listen to the full albums (they are from the late 1980's and you can really tell when you listen hahah) and it's really interesting to me that the first song off of their album reminds me of a timeline during a party my parent's would host. For example, The Little Drummer Boy is one of the first songs on the album and as soon as I listened to it, it makes me think of the period of time we would be setting up the house just before guests arrived for our incredible Christmas Eve party. Callie and I LOVED the Feliz Navidad song and would go crazy in the living room dancing around. We eventually ended up choreographing a dance to Go Tell It On The Mountain and I am sure if I asked Callie to do it with me right now, she would still be able to do some of the opening moves. 

I honestly think you might not all love these albums as much as I do because they sound a bit dated. But for me, I think my children will grow up knowing all of these because they just hold so many wonderful memories for me.

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland 
This song is not only in Meet Me In St. Louis (which is such a classic) but it's also in one of my favorite movies of all time: The Family Stone. The scene when this song plays always makes me cry. Always.

The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole
This reminds me of Christmases in high school. I was obsessed with this song and would always find it on random burned CDs. It specifically reminds me of one night driving to cheer our high school basketball game which was the last one right before the holidays my junior year of high school.

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams 
This song reminds me of my grammie and grandpa. For some reason, Andy Williams overall does, but I can just picture my grandpa having this play on the radio. And what a classic, right?

Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow by Lena Horn
My mom would always pick us up from high school- you know that feeling of being outside in the freezing cold but getting into a wonderfully warm car? It was the best feeling ever and she would often play this song around the holidays.

Rocking Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee
When I hear this song, I think of nothing but this awful dancing Santa that my mom has. You press a button and he shakes around to this song. My cousins and sister will know exactly the Santa I am referring to. It's on YouTube... I'm warning you. You can't unsee it once you've seen it.

Sleigh Ride by Ferrante and Teicher
We played this song in the orchestra in high school (I played violin) and I was SO excited we got to do a holiday song. I just remember the guy who was playing the clapper had to do it over and over to get the timing right, ha!

I could go on and on and on with songs and memories but I'll leave it here for now! What are your favorite Christmas songs and do you have any attached to vivid memories?! Here's to creating even more amazing holiday memories! 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Lately 11/16/2017

Sweater (comes in 4 other colors)// Jeans

As you are reading this, I am in LONDON! This is still going to be your typical 'Lately' post, but just know it's not going to be as up to the moment as it usually is since I had to write it ahead of time!

Wearing: I have been wearing this oatmeal cabled sweater on repeat lately. It's SO soft, cozy and great for lazy days when I have no idea what to throw on. It comes in 4 other colors (including a gorgeous navy blue) and it's under $60! It runs true to size. I am wearing a size small for reference.

Wearing II: If you have been wondering what I am wearing in my Instagrams while traveling and you are not subscribed to Like to Know It, I have created a widget in the right sidebar labeled 'EUROPE' with many of the pieces. You can also go to the top of (aka this page) and click on 'Shop My Outfits'. There, you just click on the photo and the products pop right up! No need to sign up for anything or receive an e-mail. It's immediate! Scroll through the above widget to see some of the items I packed!

Eating: Another Trader Joe's Thanksgiving favorite: cauliflower rice 'stuffing'. You guys, it's SO good and has a great stuffing flavor but without the guilt! I like to add chicken for a complete meal. 

Drinking: As the holiday's approach (I can't believe Thanksgiving is just ONE week away), I wanted to link back to the champagne tasting post that I did this summer at the lake. Definitely, check it out if you also like to serve a little bubbly at your gatherings!

Reading: I love being in Pittsburgh and seeing what Uber is up to... If you are unfamiliar, Pittsburgh has Uber offices here and they have been testing self-driving cars here in Pittsburgh for a while. It's fun to spot one, knowing that no one is actually driving it! Crazy, right? Now it's cool to read that they're pairing up with Nasa for FLYING cars! Crazy!

Reading II: Have you guys seen the new addition to Tiffany's flagship store? It's called Blue Box Cafe and let me tell you- it looks incredible! I will definitely be adding this to my list next time I'm in Manhattan. 

Sale-ing: We have about one week away from all of the major sales that will be happening. Even though there are some good sales right now, if you can, hold off for the best sales of the year. I'll be sure to have a full guide to everything. 

 I thought I'd share some of my favorite holiday movies with you: The Family Stone, The Holiday, Home Alone, Eloise at Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, and The Grinch (animated version). 

Listening: Tomorrow I'm sharing the ultimate Christmas playlist. Stay tuned!

Loving: I just got this lip color. I've mentioned it on Summer Wind before, and I finally found the color I had been looking for: babe. I think if you only own one lip color it should be this. It's the most perfect shade, it's hydrating, and you don't need a mirror to put it on. Plus, it stays on for a while. You can also control how dark you want it by applying a coat or more coats. Seriously my newest favorite lipstick.

Gifting: You guys, if you are stumped as to what to get someone for the holidays, this steamer is the best steamer I've ever used (even better than full-size steamers). It's great for any age and both men and women! It's under $70!
Wanting: Absolutely loving this equestrian-inspired belt. Belts are having a moment, I find this one to be even prettier than all of the logo'd belts! Scroll through the above widget to see more of my favorites!

Pittsburgh-ing: Tomorrow is light up night in Pittsburgh. I'm sad to be missing it, but it will be so fun to return to my favorite city and see it all dressed up for the holidays! 

Quoting: 'Every experience holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.'// See more of my favorites, here

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

What's In My Carry On To Europe

What's In My Carry On To Europe

I've been counting down the days until I got to Paris and I can't believe I'm already a few days into my trip! More on that in posts to follow, but for now, please join me on Instagram!

I wanted to let you all know that I will not be answering reader e-mails this week or the week of Thanksgiving unless they are urgent (put Urgent in the subject!) but I promise I will get back to you the week after Thanksgiving. If you are looking for a super quick response, I'm pretty good with my Instagram direct messages, so feel free to reach out there! I hope you can understand and have a little patience with me while I take my first trip to Paris with two of my best girlfriends! I want to take the time to shut some things down and really soak up being in France! But definitely, follow along on Instagram and Instastories. I'll also have content up here on Summer Wind as usual- some really good posts, in my opinion! So keep coming back as you normally would! 

I also wanted to let you know that you can expect some Paris content starting after Thanksgiving and interspersed through December! On Thanksgiving, I have a REALLY fun giveaway I've put together. It's something really different/special, so I think you guys will really enjoy it!

Now onto today's post- I love reading people's 'What's In My Bag' posts... but they're a dime a dozen. So I thought it would be different to share a few items that I am bringing in my carry-on but also what I've done to prepare for my trip to Europe. So below are details about the items I'm bringing in my carry-on and then if you make it even farther (this is a very long post) you can see more information on how I've prepared!
What's In My Carry On To Europe
iPhone Portable Power Bank// There aren't power outlets on our plane, so I brought several of these portable power banks. This Ventev one is one of my favorites. It's high quality and I love that it has the cable already attached. It charges 20 hours of video or 100 hours of audio on your phone. It's small and compact!

Book// I hope to sleep, but if I can't, this will be my go-to.

Compression Socks// Someone recommended these, so I got them. They're ugly, but I figured, I might as well!

Face Wipes// I just got these face wipes. I've been obsessed with vitamin C products lately and these face wips have that in them. I will use this when I need a refresher.

Mini Skincare Products// I brought so many mini items that I got from Sephora. I'm going to bring them with me if I feel like I need a pick me up. SO excited to try out Sunday Riley and Drunk Elephant. Two brands I have heard so much about.

Sleep Mask// I love this sleep mask. It has anti-aging properties. I use it nightly. Hopefully, this will help to get some shut-eye!

Neck Pillow// I even take this on short flights. I get so uncomfortable and this helps to support my neck and is also great for sleep.

Cashmere Travel Wrap// I take at least one of these everywhere. They are the BEST cashmere wraps ever. Basically, like the best blanket that can double as a beautiful scarf. I'm also bringing the Lilly Pulitzer gift with purchase travel blanket/pillow (that was available this past weekend). I get extra cold and it would be SO miserable should I be freezing for a 6+ hour flight.

Change of Clothes// We can't check into our Airbnb until 3pm... we land at 7am. So basically, we are going to have to get ready in the airport bathroom. That will be interesting.

It was hard to find the information that is below on the internet so I thought this was a much-needed post! I'm also one of those people who are well-prepared in most situations... like I carry an umbrella even when it's sunny. To be honest, with all the terrorism happening, it leaves me a bit unsettled and feeling well prepared helps to ease my angst. 

Data/Cell Service
I have Verizon and they offer an international plan for just $10/day. This way I'm able to use my phone as I normally would while out of the country. I know some people rely on WiFi but I wanted to be able to access maps and Google as we were traveling! 

Copies of Important Documents
I made copies of my passport, credit cards, etc. and gave them to my parents. God forbid my wallet or passport is stolen, I'll have all the credit card info so I'm able to quickly cancel them and I'll have copies of my Passport should I need to do something about that. 

RFID Blocking
I'm one of those people who'd rather be safe than sorry. RFID Blocking sleeves make it so that thieves cannot steal your credit card info/identity from afar using a scanner. The RFID blocking sleeves are really inexpensive on Amazon, so I figured why not? 

My insurance agent said that this wasn't something she saw often, but for under $20, I was able to insure my camera/lenses as well as my Macbook. Not that I think anything will happen (knock on wood), but it was really inexpensive- so it was another 'why not'? 

US to European Plug Adapters
I ordered a bunch and also made sure my items were able to be converted according to the voltage requirements in Europe. My hairdryer was not, so I got this one!

Check With Your Airline
There are back and forth rules about bringing a laptop in your carry-on on international flights. I really didn't think my flight would be affected, but I still made sure my exact flights were allowing laptops in carry-ons (they are). I also made a full backup of my computer should something happen while it is going through security and made sure any sensitive information was encrypted should it get into the wrong hands. I also (I mean maybe I'm way over preparing here) got a new portable hard drive. I'd hate for my current hard drive to be compromised/stolen in any way so a fresh hard drive is coming with me. I won't be getting much use of it because I don't plan on doing a ton of work but I just want to be able to dump photos from my camera to my hard drive to back them up and then be able to edit them on the flight home. It will be nice that I'll have a backup hard drive at home after my trip, too.

Another thing I looked into is if we would have screens for our flight for in-flight entertainment (to see if I would need to load stuff onto my iPad or computer). Get this- no personal screens, no wi-fi (I'm not kidding) and the 'outlets' to charge things are cigarette lighter style (WTF).. and no outlets whatsoever in economy. Luckily, I upgraded so I at least get a cigarette lighter outlet (pure sarcasm, right there). Somehow we got stuck on an American Airlines plane from like 1987. Anyway- me being crazy and looking into all of this made me bring several backup batteries to charge devices while on the flight and I also made sure to download some shows/movies/books in case I end up not being able to sleep. On domestic flights, I never check things like this- which I realize I should now... because who thought there would be an outlet-less, wi-fi-less, screen-less plane in 2017?!

Prep for the Weather
I mean this is a big 'duh' but I made sure I packed an umbrella, shoes I don't care about potentially ruining in the rain (November is the rainy season). I also made sure I packed plenty of layers and cold weather accessories like scarves, tights, gloves, etc. just in case. No one wants to be miserable while walking! I didn't put too much pressure on this, though, because anything I forget, I can always get while I'm there.

Reservations and Tickets
We didn't make many reservations for this trip. We want to be able to wander and not have to stick to a schedule. But, we made reservations at popular places like Angelina. We also pre-purchased our Eurostar tickets because we are going to London one day and wanted to make sure we got the times we wanted!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

My Favorites from the LL Bean Sale

My Favorites from the LL Bean Sale
If you didn't know, LL Bean is having a 25% off sale right now. It ends tonight at 11:59pm! LL Bean is one of my favorite brands, particularly for outerwear and boots. I love their fleeces, coats, boots, and more because they are always such high quality for the price. 

Today I'm sharing my favorite picks from the sale. LL Bean doesn't have a sale often, and usually, it's only 10% off. So this sale is big and really a great time to take advantage!

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