Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Gift Guide: For the Lilly Pulitzer Lover and My Christmas Dress

Lilly Pulitzer Marquette Shift Dress

white and warren cashmere travel wrap and chanel bag

Lilly Pulitzer Marquette shift dress in metallic leaf jacquard

lilly pulitzer christmas 2016

how to style a Lilly Pulitzer shift dress

chanel chocolate bar bag in black

rebecca de ravenel les bonbons

how to style a cashmere travel wrap

llilly pulitzer gift guide 2016

Now that we've covered Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday, we can return to the regularly scheduled programming... phew! This guide is for the girl who's always in a sunshine state of mind, loves bright colors, and is always dressing like there's a party happening! Heck, life's a party, dress like it...Lilly said that herself, right?! That's my kind of gal if you ask me! Upon writing this, it also has me researching fun warm weather getaways to sneak away from the cold this winter-- any recommendations?!

In the meantime, I'm sharing my absolute favorite Lilly piece of the season which is this gorgeous metallic jacquard shift with fringe! Is this not stunning? When it arrived I literally gasped because of how stunning the fabric is. This is going to by my Christmas dress! I am planning on wearing it while in D.C. in a few weeks for a family Christmas trip and then also on Christmas Eve to Mass /our big family party! It's the absolute perfect thing. I'll also probably be sporting it for New Year's Eve because I can't get enough. I also love that you can really wear this year-round! 

The shift runs true to size and if anything, a little big. I am wearing a small and I probably should have sized down to the XS. I am going to have it taken in a little at the tailor for a perfect fit, though! I also love how wonderfully it pairs with my cream cashmere wrap. I've written about these wraps time and time again and they really work for everything. In this case, the cream pairs perfectly and looks like it was made to go with the dress! Lilly Pulitzer also came out with a gorgeous wrap that would look great with it, too! 
This gift guide was sooooo easy to make because I either have the item myself (I actually have 10 out of the 18 items!) or it's on my wish list! I chose a bunch of different things at all different Price Points. I wanted to call out a few items:

Wet Brush// I had been using a wet brush for years now, however, I was sent this exact brush a few months ago and I think it's the best version of a wet brush anywhere (it's under $6!). The fact that it has the hook at the handle is my favorite part. I actually keep it in my shower at all times and when it comes time to condition my hair, I put the conditioner in my hair and then brush it through while in the shower. In turn, it makes me use less conditioner and really makes sure it coats every strand! Such a great stocking stuffer. 

Tortoise Sunglasses// One of my absolute favorite brands, J.McLaughlin, just released sunglasses (see my insta, here!)!!!! They have several styles and all are truly classic.

Monogrammed Tea Towels// I have these tea towels and they're beautiful. I think they make such a lovely gift because of the personalization but they are inexpensive! 

Sleep Mask// I always sleep with a sleep mask. The one I use, you can find, here. However, I didn't include it because it is back ordered until 12/31, so I found a very similar one! Sleeping on silk can prevent wrinkles and acne and can help prevent hair damage. Now that I have eyelash extensions, I try not to sleep with a mask as often as I'd like, but the silk is much easier on the extensions, too!

Lilly Pulitzer Pajamas// (come in shorts, too!) I got a sneak peek of the Lilly pajamas and they're awesome! They're under $55, so it's a nice gifting price point. They're lightweight and fit very comfortably. I am wearing a size small and they are roomy without being 'big'. I want the other two prints now! Also, the tank that I am wearing with the pajamas is the softest tank ever. It has a really cute back, so I think I'll actually wear it as a top, too! My favorite thing about these pajamas is that being from Pittsburgh, I kind of have to put my colorful Lilly shifts into hibernation during the winter months (unless I'm taking a trip!), so it's really fun to be able to wear a little Lilly in the dead of winter while I'm cozied up in my bed!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Your Guide to Giving Tuesday: The best ways to give this holiday season

ways to donate and give in Pittsburgh this holiday season
Now that we've surpassed Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it's time to talk about something much more important-- and really what the entire holiday season is about and that is giving. I posted this last year, and it is still very relevant. I really think that this day should come before Black Friday and Cyber Monday because it's truly more important, in my opinion. I'ved updated all of the information as well as added a lot more content to this post! 

Giving Tuesday is a day dedicated to giving. Give your time, your money, your love--whatever you have to give. It shouldn't just be today, but it's a worldwide effort to remind people to be generous. 

I've rounded up quick and easy ways (and not so quick and easy ways) to spread holiday love and cheer. How will you give this holiday season (and all year long)? Here are just a few ideas to get you started! 
Spread Love and Happiness:
  • Pay for someone's coffee or toll ticket behind you. My dad always pays for the person's toll behind us-- I've always loved that and do it myself now! 
  • Order a huge Chik Fil A platter, hoagies,  pizza, bottled water, etc. and hand them out to the homeless. Blankets/hats/gloves are other great items to hand out, too.
  • Volunteer to clean an elderly person's home. It can be challenging for the elderly to get around and many don't have the money for the help. You can also volunteer to drive them around so they are able to do their holiday shopping. Many don't/can't drive so even something as simple as this can be very helpful.. bonus points if you take them out to lunch, too.
  • Tip your waiter/waitress your full bill amount. Servers are often people who work the hardest, show them your appreciation this holiday season. 
  • Hosting a holiday party? Most people bring small gifts for the host/hostess. In lieu of that, let everyone know that donations to ______ charity will be raised in honor of the holiday season! 
  • Do you know someone going through a rough time? Send them a surprise that you know they would personally like to help them through their rough patch. Whether it's homemade dinner and a movie or even just a bouquet of flowers, simple gestures like this show you care and remind them that you are there for them.
  • Say a prayer. Regardless of your religion or faith, saying a prayer for someone else. It is free and can help so much.
  • Take baked goods/hot coffee/hot chocolate to your local hospital/police/fire station on Christmas Eve/Christmas day. Nurses, doctors, firefighters, and police are some of the most important people in every community because they keep loved ones healthy and safe and many don't get to take the holidays off. Show your appreciation with this small gesture. 
  • Instead of mass printed photo cards, think about sending out hand written notes to your loved ones letting them know why you are so happy to have them in your life. It's time-consuming and extra work, but hand written letters mean so much! 
  • If you have an Amazon account, remember to shop through Amazon Smile which automatically donates to the charity/cause of your choice. 
  • Recognize those who help you on a day-to-day basis. For example, the valet guys in my building are great and help me daily. I like to bring them snacks, etc. to let them know they're appreciated! 
  • Help businesses you love in your community by going online and reviewing them... whether it be on Yelp or Facebook, etc. It helps a lot and will support your local economy! Plus it only takes about 5 minutes of your time. 
  • Be a mentor to someone. Whether it's professionally or personally, be someone that can help a person pursue their goals and dreams and guide them in the right direction. I have so many great mentors in my life and am so lucky to have them. 
  • Do you know a family who just had a baby? Offer to babysit (for free) so that they can get their errands done and have some adult time (or even just so they can take a nap!).  
  • Take on an in-kind project. For example, if you are a web designer and have some extra time, help design a struggling startup's website. Or if you're an accountant and know a family that is struggling, offer to help them create a great budget. 
Give to Organizations:
Me, Dani, Kassy, Aly, and Will volunteering at Ronald McDonald
Ronald McDonald House
I volunteered here this fall and will continue to do so (read about my experience, here). The goal is to provide families who have sick children in the hospital a place to stay for an extended period of time. This is so they can keep their other worries to a minimum so that they can focus on their child's health. At the house, meals are served daily, there are common rooms/playrooms for children, as well as each family gets their own private bedroom.

My friend Michael just launched this app and it's awesome. Just download it on your phone via the app store. You can watch up to 10 video ads per day that align with your interests (it never takes longer than 5 minutes!). Then AdWap gives a substantial amount of the ad revenue per video watched to the charity of your choosing! It's a super quick and easy way to give back daily!


There are a lot of amazing consignment stores in Pittsburgh and around the country. Many of them offer things like coveted Chanel bags, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, etc. And many of them donate a portion of their proceeds to charities. Rue Des Archives, located in Bakery Square, is the newest one in Pittsburgh (great article, here) and donates 10% of everything to charity! Shopping at places like this is also a way to promote sustainable fashion. I bought my Chanel bag from a consignment store (The Real Real) and love it!

Headbands of Hope
For every headband purchased, one is given to a child with cancer. Jess has donated to every Children's hospital in the United States! There are so many to choose from and would make a great Christmas gift.

I am a huge supporter of anything that provides warmth to those less fortunate. There is nothing worse than being cold during the winter and in Pittsburgh, the cold is unbearable at times. No one should ever have to be freezing. Another great idea is to bring your gently used outerwear to homeless shelters or places like Goodwill, so those less fortunate can be warm this winter. Another great idea is to help a family less fortunate than you pay for their electric/gas bill in the winter months.

Shriners Hospitals for Children
The organization raises money for children's Shriner hospitals around the country who provide care to children with no cost to the families, specifically burn care, orthopedics, cleft lip and palate and spinal cord injury treatment and care. My dad and grandfather are both Shriners! They've helped over one million children in need.

Pittsburgh Food Bank
You'd be shocked to learn how many people in your own city are hungry. A super simple donation of items such as cereal, canned tuna, canned fruits, vegetables, beans, etc. can save lives. Just throw in a few extra cans the next time you are at the grocery store and drop off at any of these locations. There's even a grocery list print out to help you with the items they are most in need of! For international donations, Lauren Bush Lauren's foundation, FEED, helps those in need in other countries.

Washington Area Humane Society
This is a no-kill 501(c)(3) animal shelter and where we saved Mac, our Australian Cattle Dog and best friend in the entire world. I'm a huge dog person. If I could adopt all the dogs in the world and give them safe, warm, happy homes, I would. Since I can't, and most can't do that, adopting just one dog can help! If a dog is not for you, you can also donate your time or money to help! Another shelter in the Pittsburgh area is Animal Friends, which is also no-kill.

Meals on Wheels
This serves older Pittsburghers and those who are unable to prepare nutritious meals for themselves. It's a great organization and you can help by donating your time, money or in-kind donations such as food and/or kitchen supplies. Do you have elderly people in your life who could use the extra help when it comes to preparing meals? Cooking things like casseroles, pastas, etc. in big batches and separating them out into individual portions with cooking instructions on top can be a major help to those who are unable to provide for themselves.

I am constantly donating gently used clothing to Goodwill. There are many locations in Pittsburgh and Goodwill makes it very easy to donate. There are so many people out there who need warm clothing during the winter, and this is a great way to help your local community.

Children's Hospital
One of the worst things is having something happen to one of your loved ones. It's truly heartbreaking. If you are a Pittsburgher, consider donating to Children's Hospital. There are Children's Hospitals all over the country, so be sure to look up one near you if you are not in the Pittsburgh area.

American Red Cross 
They're always there when disaster strikes. Donate your time, money, blood, food, anything you can to help.

Dress for Success
This is one of my favorite charities that promotes economic independence of disadvantaged women. You can donate money, clothing or volunteer your time. You can drop off clothing at 650 Smithfield Street Suite 1810 in downtown Pittsburgh (that's the Centre City Tower aka the building with the Hungtington Bank Sign).

United Way
There are so many ways that you can help the United Way of Allegheny County and there are so many ways that the United Way helps so many of the people in your local community. From children to adults to senior citizens, there are programs that support every member of the community.

Donate Your Old Smartphone
The Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh collects old cell phones that can help women who have been victims of intimate partner violence. Your old phone is probably sitting in a drawer somewhere and could be a big help to someone in need! Check out the Pittsburgh drop-off locations here.

Toys for Tots
Looking back on Christmases growing up, my sister and I were so fortunate to always wake up to gifts from Santa under our tree. Many are not that fortunate. Toys for Tots provides gifts for kids that may not have otherwise received any gifts for Christmas. I participated in this in college. One day I got to go pick up a child from his elementary school, and take him out for lunch and to shop! We went to Target and picked up all sorts of things that he wanted. When I found out he had a brother, we had fun picking out surprises for his brother, too! It was such a fun day and so enjoyable to see how excited he was!

If you are part of a charity or hold a specific philanthropic organization near and dear to your heart, leave the details in the comments so others can see and learn more! 

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Best of Cyber Monday Sales 2016

Sweater (under $35!)// Moose Sweater// Plaid Pajama Pants (under $25!)
Slippers (under $60)
Get Ready for  HUGE photo-heavy post with all sorts of deals. I've pulled my favorite from many of the retailers, so you'll definitely want to check those out! 
Abercrombie// 50% off entire store
Amazon// Tons of great deals 
Ann Taylor// 50% off everything, code: CYBER50
Anthropologie// 20% off full price items, code: STACKS... I stocked up on my favorite candles!
ASOS// 30% off everything, code:THANKFUL30
Banana Republic// 50% off everything, automatically applied at checkout, This cashmere scarf is such a deal! 
Bauble Bar// 35% off two or more items, code: SAVE35, get les bonbons look-alikes
Bergdorfs// 40% off Designer Sale, additional 20% off 5F specials 
Bloomingdales// 25% off for up to 60% off 
Club Monaco// 25% off $150, 30% off $250, 34% off $400, Extra 30% off sale, code: THANKSAGAIN (check out my favorites in this post!)
Gap// 50% off everything, code: CYBMON
Kate Spade// 30% off your entire purchase, code: WIRED
Houndstooth Pants (they have an elastic waist!)// Sunglasses ($45 off!!)
J.Crew// 40% off your entire purchase, code: MONDAY
Swing Dress (under $100)
J.McLaughlin// Fall sale, up to 40% off 
Lilly Pulitzer// YOU GUYS. Lilly has PAJAMAS! I got a sneak peek and they're amazing! Would make an amazing present. They fit true to size (I'm wearing a size small) and come in three different prints! They also have PJ shorts! For Cyber FUNday, they are doing a notebook with any purchase and then a waterbottle at $200 spend and a jewelry box at $500 spend! They also just released New Arrivals! 
LOFT// 50% off everything, code: CYBERMONDAY
Macy's// Extra 20% off, code: CYBER
Bucket Bag ($70 off!!!)
Mark and Graham// Extra 35% off sale, code: EXTRA35, major deals on specific items! 
ModCloth// 30% off everything, code: CYBERSUNDAY
Moon and Lola// 30% off sitewide, code: MERRY30, order monograms by Dec. 1st! Their new tortoise calypso collection is so pretty! 
Neiman Marcus// Designer Sale up to 40% off 

Hunter Boots (Under $115!!)
Nordstrom// Extra 20% off select items. 
Tee// Denim (runs TTS)
Old Navy// 50% off everything, code: CYBMON, now is the time to stock up on my favorite tees and some of my favorite denim!
Pottery Barn// Major deals on specific items. The bedding that I have and love is one of the items! Also love this bar cart that is $300 off!
Saks// Designer sale up to 40% off
Dress (under $100)// Sunglasses 
Shopbop// Up to 25% off your entire purchase, code: GOBIG16
Talbots// 50% off one item, 40% off entire purchase, no code needed
The Outnet// Extra 15% off orders of $150 or more, code: CYBER15, I'm eyeing this navy and white striped cashmere sweater
Topshop// Up to 50% off select items
Tory Burch// 30% off your purchase of $250 or more, code: THANKS, up to 60% off sale items
Tuckernuck// 20% off everything, 25% off $500, 30% off $1000, code: GIVE20, GIVE25, GIVE30!
Victorias Secret// $20 off $125, free slippers with pajama purchase-- my mom, sister, and I ordered our Christmas PJ's with this sale-- we ended up getting 3 sets of PJs and 3 pairs of slippers for under $110, now that's a deal! 
Veuve Clicquot Cocktail Napkin Holder (you can kind of see it on the left!)
Waiting On Martha// 30% off everything, code: CYBERMONDAY

Items in this post:

Friday, November 25, 2016

My Favorite Things On Sale

So many pairs on sale... I have the Tour (so they are packable) and sized up to a 9 because they are whole sizes only! *Sale Ends 11/27 at midnight

You saw earlier today's post rounding up all of the best Cyber Weekend Sales, and today I'm diving a little deeper and sharing exact pieces I own and love. The best part? They're all part of a sale! 

Fits TTS, if between sizes, size down, Sale Ends 11/25 midnight

They come in so many colors and are definitely the best things in my closet! I use them as wraps over dresses, scarves with coats, blankets on planes, the list goes on! Definitely the best quality I've ever come across, too. *Sale ends 11/28 at Midnight

This makes coffee and espresso and doesn't take up a bunch of counter space. I use mine daily!

Available in 3 neutral colors (I have them all), this is the best sweater for throwing on at work when it's freezing or over your pajamas as a robe. It also looks great dressed up like I have done in the photo above. Runs true to size! *Sale ends 11/27 at midnight

I love this coat! My mom and I switch on and off because she has the black and I have the gray. I love that the faux fur is removable, too! It has a great easy-to-wear shape. I think it runs slightly big. I am wearing a size 2. *Sale Ends 11/27 at midnight

My favorite travel bag of all time. The quality is top-notch and I always feel so chic carrying it through the airport. I also love the subtle gold monogram. 

These are 30% off but pairs are selling out FAST. To get the discount, you need to be signed in and it will be applied at checkout. A really, really good deal if you can snag a pair! They run true to size, I am a size 38. *Sale ends 11/25 at midnight 

My Diamond Necklace is from a jeweler, but this one is identical and very inexpensive! Also, order your monogram ASAP, December 1st is the cutoff for Christmas delivery!

I wear one of these at least once a week, probably more like 3-4 times a week in the winter months. Best wardrobe staple ever. *sale ends 11/27 at midnight

Best. Jeans. Ever. I swear by these. I own about 6 pairs and they are my go-to's! They run true to size, I'm wearing a size 27. They feel like a jegging but wear like 'regular pants'. They come in tons of different washes, but the black pearl is my favorite! *sale ends 11/27 at midnight 


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