Thursday, November 15, 2018

Lately


What. A. Week. Can I have a glass of wine, yet?! I am honestly proud of myself because I got so much work done! This time of year is just nuts for bloggers because of the holiday season (it follows a somewhat similar schedule to retail). Because of that, Thanksgiving can be a time filled with pressure and that is not what Thanksgiving is about! Soooo, I work ahead as much as I possibly can which means working 10-12 hour days (not complaining!). So I'm able to spend the time with the people I love (my sister is coming into town tomorrow for 10 days!!) and not behind my computer screen. I am thankful to have such a flexible schedule.

Tomorrow, I'm having 15 people to my apartment because it is light up night downtown (it's definitely going to be a tight squeeze in 850 sq. feet)! I'm hosting for drinks and heavy apps, so it will be lots of fun (I am going to share the entire hosting process on my instastory if you want to follow along!). Afterward, we will go see the lights and then probably out for drinks and food! Meaning- I am spending a large chunk of tonight DEEP cleaning absolutely everything and tomorrow stocking the refrigerator. I love hosting people and living downtown during this time of year is really fun and special.

My mom is also hosting family (and friend) dinners every night starting Saturday-Tuesday. I'm excited not to have to do any grocery shopping next week, ha! And excited for an excuse to wear a cute, festive outfit each evening! My mom, sister, and I are also getting mani/pedi's next week- one of our favorite things to do together! And then, next Friday it is my high school's 10-year reunion. Lots and lots of fun ahead.

It is crazy to me that Thanksgiving is just one week away. The holiday season is really upon us and I'm so excited to be in celebration mode!

Wearing: This sweatshirt is on sale for just $24. I've been behind my computer a ton lately, so I'm constantly in comfortable clothes like this sweatshirt.

Recommending: To hear of the fires out in California is heart-breaking I can't even imagine the devastation and so close to the holidays, too. This is a reputable article that includes ways we can all help those affected. I made a donation to the Humane  Society of Ventura County to help the animals displaced in the fires as well as a donation to the American Red Cross (you can specifically choose the California wildfires when you donate).

Eating: Oh my goodness, if you are a Trader Joe fan like me, you need to get their apple blossoms which are like mini, individual apple pies (in the dessert freezer section). You heat them up in the microwave and they are SO good. 

Drinking: I shared this on Instastories the other night, but I really like Tom Gore's Cabernet Sauvignon. It's really inexpensive and easy to drink but it tastes like it is much pricier! 

Sale-ing: The Sephora sale starts tomorrow for all of you who are Beauty Insider members! You can see my post with my favorites, here.

Sale-ing II: Club Monaco is offering an extra 30% off sale items (no code needed). This is the time when I tend to shop Club Monaco. Their pieces are super high quality but also have a high price tag so it is really nice when you can score pieces on major sale! 

Watching:
 I spent the weekend mostly working but did end up getting sucked into The Bodyguard on Netflix. It's a BBC series with only 6 episodes. I finished the entire series within 3 days. It's SO good. It's like Homeland in England and has an interesting twist in the last episode. Definitely worth the watch and easy to binge! 

Listening: I'm pretty old-school when it comes to Christmas music, however, I just love Leslie Odom Jr.'s Christmas album! My two favorites are 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' and 'The Christmas Song'. His voice is so calming and soothing. 


Loving: Did you guys see this floating around the internet/social media? I thought it was hilarious so I texted my mom and her responses had me crying laughing. I have zero skill when it comes to cooking and also don't really have much interest in cooking or baking. So clearly this question did not phase my mom at all, ha!!! 

Wanting: I haven't really been wanting but I have been scouting gifts for everyone on my list and to share with all of you. So here are some things lately! And if you haven't yet seen, I've already published a few gift guides and there are many more to come! Gift Guides live right now: PajamasThe best at SephoraStocking Stuffers. Coming soon: holiday dresses, gifts for the pup, gifts for the coworker, under $100... and more! 

Pittsburgh-ing: Light Up Night is tomorrow night. Who else is excited? You can see all of the events and a map of events, here

Smelling: Did you guys hear that Aldi is now selling candles that are basically $7 versions of $65 Jo Malone candles? I don't shop at Aldi often, but I'm going to check it out! I love Jo Malone candles and apparently these smell exactly the same. I'll report back! 

Traveling: My next trip is to New York City with my family in two weeks! Right after that, I am headed straight from New York to Florida! 

Quoting: 'Your life isn't yours if you constantly care what others think.' // See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Berlin Woods Treehouses Review


Berlin Woods Treehouses Review
Today I'm sharing my trip to Berlin Woods Treehouses, which is located in Millersburg, Ohio! This post is very photo-heavy so scroll down to the bottom to read more! 
Berlin Woods Treehouses Review

Berlin Woods Treehouses Review
Mug/// Ugg Boots (also here)

Berlin Woods Treehouses Review

Berlin Woods Treehouses Review

Berlin Woods Treehouses Review

Berlin Woods Treehouses Review

Berlin Woods Treehouses Review

Berlin Woods Treehouses Review

Berlin Woods Treehouses Review

Berlin Woods Treehouses Review

Berlin Woods Treehouses Review

Berlin Woods Treehouses Review

Berlin Woods Treehouses Review

Berlin Woods Treehouses Review

Berlin Woods Treehouses Review

Berlin Woods Treehouses Review

A few weekends ago, I packed up the car and headed to Berlin Woods Treehouses. It's located just a little over 2 hours west of Pittsburgh. I had never heard of it until I stumbled upon it in a Google search one day back in July! 

The cabins are considered treehouses because they are on 'stilts' that situate the cabin 30 feet off the ground. The effect is pretty cool because you feel like you are up in the trees. At some points, we could actually feel the slight movement of the treehouse! 

There are a total of 6 treehouses that all sit next to each other in a row (but plenty of space in between). We booked Treehouse #1. Treehouses 1-3 are the big treehouses that sleep up to 6. Treehouses 4-6 are smaller. Quite honestly, I think I would only ever book treehouses 1-3 because they were far cooler in design and architecture than the other 3.  The other 3 looked like a cabin you could find almost anywhere. 

It had 3 decks! The first level deck wrapped entirely around the cabin, the upper deck was just off of the back and the coolest deck was off of the 'crow's nest' at the highest point of the cabin. There was a full eat-in kitchen, 2-full baths, 2 king beds, and 2 single beds. You should know that there are no separate bedrooms. Everything is totally in the open with the exception of doors on the bathrooms. 

Everything was made out of wood which was really cool- it was luxurious and high quality! I think this type of trip would make for a fun getaway. Pretty good for all ages but with children, you'd have to keep a close eye on them considering you are so high off of the ground! 

The area is an Amish town with a few cute general-type stores. We stopped in a few as we were leaving the area and got some cheese (they're known for their cheese) and it was Heavenly! Otherwise, there isn't too much to do in the area, so I wouldn't really recommend an extended stay- a weekend would be perfect! 

It was amazing because we were there the weekend that was peak leaf peeping! But I also think it would be fun during the summertime when you could enjoy the outdoors a bit more. It's pretty affordable, too. For one night it was about $400! 

It was totally different than any cabin experience I have ever had. We watched movies, cooked dinner, and enjoyed coffee on the decks! The TV was great because it was equipped with Netflix, Amazon Video, etc. so you could pretty much watch anything you wanted! Plus, the TV was right by the fire so bring a bottle of bubbly, cozy up by the fire and watch a good movie! 

Since it has a full kitchen, you can bring your own food. I suggest doing this because there aren't too many places to go out for a meal- plus it was fun to cook a meal in the cabin! The kitchen is equipped with everything you need to cook. We ended up making a big Caesar salad and crab stuffed salmon filets. It was delicious. 

There was also ample space for cars at each cabin. You could have easily parked 4 cars in a nicely paved and lit area! The only (small) suggestion I would have would be to bring your own coffee machine. The coffee machine that is in the cabin made horrible coffee and there weren't really any coffee shops close by. Not a huge deal, but if you are a coffee-lover like me, then you'll understand! 

Overall, it was such a fun experience and I totally recommend it to anyone and everyone, especially Pittsburghers or Clevelanders because it's a quick and easy drive!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Olay Whips Fragrance-Free Review


Olay Whips Fragrance-Free Review

Olay Whips Fragrance-Free Review

Olay Whips Fragrance-Free Review

Olay Whips Fragrance-Free Review

Olay Whips Fragrance-Free Review

Olay Whips Fragrance-Free Review

Olay Whips Fragrance-Free Review

In August, I had the privilege of visiting Olay's research and development labs at the Procter & Gamble headquarters in Cincinnati, OH. Being a blogger, I get to experience a lot of really cool things but this experience tops the list. 

We spent a full day with the Olay team and Dr. Frauke Neuser, Olay's principal scientist. The skincare knowledge that I gained during that day was truly incredible. I have always been a fan and a believer of the Olay brand, but I can confidently say that Olay is one of the best skincare brands on the market. I say that not only because I have learned so much about the brand, but also simply from my use of Olay products over the years! 

I'm 28-years old and my biggest concern is preventing signs of aging such as sun spots, fine lines, and ultimately wrinkles. I've been using Olay Regenerist Whip with SPF 25 for over a year now. I use it every morning. It protects my skin from sun damage as well as dries quickly and creates a smooth base for makeup. Even if I'm not wearing makeup that day, it makes my skin have a matte finish!

During our visit to the Olay labs, we got to learn our skin's age. Mine was 26 which made me really please and also confirmed that my skincare regimen is truly working and shows that a regimen is worth it! 

Olay just launched my favorite moisturizing and anti-aging product, Olay Regenerist Whips, but now it is available in fragrance-free. This is a great option for those who might be sensitive to scent. That includes me- I am so sensitive to every scent so skincare products without scents are always welcomed in my regimen. According to Olay's research, 40% of women look for products that are fragrance-free! 

Olay Regenerist Whips fragrance-free is very hydrating, it is lightweight, dries quickly on skin, and diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. One of the 'hero' ingredients is niacinamide (B3). The benefits of choosing a product with niacinamide are amazing. It improves the appearance of pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines, and more. It's like the 'do all' in the skincare world. One jar of Olay Regenerist Whip fragrance-free contains as much niacinamide as 50 cups of kale! On top of everything, you get the protection of SPF 25 (UVA/UVB protection) from their Total Effects formula

As the holiday season is upon us, I think this would make such a great thing to pick up for yourself to help your skin look its best this season. I also think it would make such a great gift/stocking stuffer. I have now given Olay Total Effects with SPF 25 fragrance-free to several of my girlfriends, my mom, my grammie, and they all have loved it. 

You can find Olay products and specifically Olay Regenerist Whips with SPF 25 fragrance-free at a Walgreens near you!  Thank you to Olay for sponsoring this post an thank you for supporting the brands that I truly love and believe in. All opinions are my own!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Gift Guide: Pajama Lover


Gift Guide: Pajama Lover
I might be the biggest lover of pajamas ever. Even better when they match. They're a little luxury and for me, they make me feel put together even when I'm lounging. They're also great if you are on a trip where you are lounging with others so you don't look so sloppy. 

Every year on Christmas Eve, my mom, sister, and I wear matching pajamas (last year's pic!). I'm not sure how long it has been a tradition but it has been for a very long time. It's actually really fun because each pajama set reminds us of a certain Christmas. This year, we are also doing a family trip to New York City, so we are going to wear our pajamas then, too!

Besides that, I think pajama sets make a great gift for anyone on your list. You can really never have enough pajamas and I think a lot of people don't buy themselves nice pajamas so it's a bit of a luxury! 
christmas pajamas

This year I am rounding up a ton of pajamas. I've included all price points and lots of different retailers. I tried to keep most sets under $100! This year, we are leaning toward this gorgeous blackwatch plaid set! And I think we want my dad to match, too, in these pajama bottoms!

Is this something you do with your family? It's a really easy tradition and great for families or any ages and great for big or small families! 

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Saturday Shopping




For today's Saturday Shopping, I am sharing some holiday pieces that you can wear now and throughout this season. But I am also sharing some things that make great gifts! 

I just started shopping for gifts as of yesterday. I've already taken care of most of my list! I also ordered my holiday cards and booked all of my travel for the rest of the year so it feels really good to have everything in order! 

This weekend I had no set plans. Last night I stayed in to work. I ended up working until 1am and it felt good. Today I need to run some errands and then do some blog photos. I was supposed to take them yesterday but it was dark and rainy all day. This evening, I'm hoping I'll be able to get together with one of my besties from high school who is in town and Sunday I have brunch plans with my parents and will shoot again and hopefully find some time to clean! After all the travel I have been doing, this type of weekend is just what I needed!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Sephora Favorites on Sale

Sephora Favorites on Sale
is about as good as it gets from Sephora! I love that they are offering this sale right now so you can shop weeks before Black Friday (when everything inevitably sells out).

There will be two windows of time (dates below) where VIB members and Beauty Insider members can shop with a discount. I'm a VIB member and I'm excited to receive 20% off. Not only do I find Sephora to have wonderful gift sets to give as gifts around the holiday season but I also use this type of sale as a time to stock up on favorites for myself, and therefore, I rarely ever pay full price for my beauty products (this post is not sponsored!!).

Important Dates:
November 9–12
VIB Members can shop holiday event products at 20% off with code VIBBONUS.

November 16–19
Beauty Insider Members will be able to shop the holiday event at 15% off with code BIBONUS.

I wanted to share my absolute favorites!

Truth on the Glow Cleansing Cloths// These have been my favorite and go-to for the past year. I use these when I travel as well as at home. They're great for a quick cleanse and perfect for right after you get off the plane. I get the pack of 100 for at home and then the pack of 10 for travel.

Facial Radiance Pads// I love these pads! They are round pads that are soaked with glycolic acid, lactic acid, lemon peel, and Indian gooseberry. These pads will smooth and clear your skin- they really work. This product is, in my opinion, very similar to the Dr. Dennis Gross daily peel pads (not to be confused with the extra strength peel pads, that I personally think only need to be used once or twice a week, that are worth the expensive price) that cost WAY more. They are safe to use daily. I use them every night.

Pomander Candle// This is one of my favorite holiday scents. I buy it in both the candle and the diffuser. It smells SO similar to the Nest Holiday candle for a fraction of the price!

Dior Lip Glow// This sale could not have come at a better time. I recently just finished both of my tubes. My two favorites are the pink and the berry shades. I have been recommending this product for a while now because it is one of my must-have products. It is so hydrating and so natural looking. This would make a nice, luxe gift for any gal! I am stocking up on a few again since I finish these in a matter of months!

Blackberry and Bay Scent// This has quickly become one of my favorite scents. It is pricey so I only wear it on special occasions but it's nice and light but has a musky/manly note about it, too! The scent is also available as a candle and comes in the beautiful striped limited edition packaging!

Filmstar Bronze and Glow// I seriously thank Charlotte Tilbury makeup is the best. The prices are really high for anyone's standards but in my opinion, the formulas, colors, and quality is leaps and bounds better than even the nicest makeup brands. This bronzer and highlighting palette is one I swear by. The pressed powder is super fine and looks so natural. I find all of the Charlotte Tilbury products that I have ever tried to just enhance in such a soft way. I just recently started using the bronzer since I have started to lose my summer tan and it is also beautiful. It never makes you look 'muddy' and just gives you a warm, healthy glow.

Pillow Talk Lip Liner// I don't wear lip liner in a traditional sense to just line your lips. With this liner in pillow talk, I fill in my lips entirely. The color is just very natural and simply enhances what you already have. It's matte so I like to top it with the lip glow! This is another must-have daily-use product for me. I highly recommend!

Lip Sleeping Mask// This is one of my most recent beauty purchases but I've been using it for a few months now. This is like a thick lip balm that isn't sticky or oily. It stays on nicely and I truly do notice much softer lips in the morning. A must for the winter months.

Lip Crush Lipstick// This is one of my go-to lipsticks. It's matte but really creamy so your lips never feel dried out. It also lasts a long time. I can eat and drink and the color will stay on (although it does start to fade). I swear by the shade 'babe' that is a good color for everyday wear. It's like a dusty pink with hints of berry. This is one of those neutral shades that would work with many skin tones. I have been regularly using one tube for the past year and have so much left so this is well worth the price.

Concealer// This is the best of the best. I've been using it for years. It's creamy, easily blendable, comes in so many shades so you are sure to find a great color for your tone and it stays on all day long. I have tried so many others and always come back to this one.

Black Tea Mask// This mask is so different than any other mask I've used. This is hydrating but a lot of hydrating masks that I have tried in the past feel like heavy moisturizer or gel. This has a totally different texture- it's thicker and silky almost like a primer. I usually use a chemical exfoliating mask and follow up with this. It is so calming and soothing. It provides me with instant gratification because when I remove the mask, I truly notice a difference in how soft and calm/ hydrated my skin is!

The Littles Skincare Set// I use this set when I travel. Some of the products are really good and others are just OK but it's nice to have a small bottle of absolutely every skincare product you could need while traveling.

Bum Bum Cream// This is more of a summertime item for me but it's So good. It's moisturizing lotion that claims to firm your skin. I honestly don't know if it actually does anything firming to my skin but the creamy summery scent is so wonderful. The cream is really thick but isn't sticky or greasy and dries quickly. It has the most subtle shimmer to it so when you are in a bathing suit, your skin shines/glows. I also use this whenever I am in a cocktail dress- it really makes your legs look better.

Liquid Foundation// This might forever be my favorite. I always try different ones and come back to this. The texture feels like a moisturizer but it's a full coverage liquid foundation. It's SO easy to blend and just wears beautifully. I never look cakey and it doesn't fade after long wear. There are SO many shades to choose from that you are sure to be able to find a shade that works for your skin.

Invisibobble Slim// I am such a fan of these coiled hair ties. I really think this brand is superior to all others. I have tried to get away with the cheap ones at places like Walgreens but these just work so much better. I have also tried the extra strength invisibobble ties because I have so much hair and I really liked them but I actually prefer the slims the most. I think because the coils are so skinny and are able to hold lots of your hair. I'm linking to a set of 9. They usually come in sets of 3 for $8, but you end up saving $6 by buying this set... plus you get the 20% off if you are a VIB member! Such a good deal!

Chanel Chance// This is one of my all-time favorite scents. It's so light and fresh and overall ladylike. I especially love the format in which they are selling this! The spray bottle is a travel size and comes with refills. I always appreciate travel-sized anything since I am always on-the-go!

Charlotte Tilbury Blush// This is a relatively new product for me but I am in love. The powder blends wonderfully and I love the two tones. The outer ring is for your cheekbones and the inner circle is for the apples of your cheeks but you can also just blend both together for a bronzey-pink flush. It's the best blush I have ever tried (take that with a grain of salt because I haven't tried a ton of blushes, though).

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Lately



Holy moly, Thursday snuck up on me!!! This week has not been that notable. A lot of behind-the-computer stuff and getting everything organized, which is never really fun but always feels so good after you do it.

I did, however, get the chance to speak on a panel last night at Chatham University. I love panels because not only do I love sharing my knowledge but I love learning from the other panelists. It's the best of both worlds!

I also took Henry to his yearly vet appointment this week. I was so pleasantly surprised when the vet estimated Henry to be 2.5 years old. When I got him, they said he was between 2 and 3 years old, but more likely on the older side. It's nice to know he is on the younger side! He is also in great health. He had to get 3 shots and didn't even need to be held down- I was shocked. I thought for sure he would freak out- he was calmer than I was!

Tonight I'm going to the Steelers game with Peyton (who I went to Paris with!). This weekend I'm not going ANYWHERE! I'm so excited. I have 0 set plans. I hope to be able to get some sleep. I have been working a lot and with that, I've been up early every single morning. I am NOT a morning person so to be able to sleep in will be such a luxury. I also plan on hanging out with my friend Eugenia who will be in town and I will hopefully deep clean my apartment at some point, too.

Wearing: If you ever take only one piece of advice from me, then please let it be to get these sweatpants. I love a good pair of sweatpants. I sometimes feel like I have tried them all. However, these are the softest pants I have ever felt. They are SO insanely comfortable. They're warm but lightweight, they have pockets and are actually decently flattering so you could wear them out in public if you wanted. I loved them so much, I went back to order the gray and the black. They run big. I'm wearing a small but they're super roomy. I sometimes size up to a medium in sweats for a more roomy fit, but you don't need to size up with these. These will make anyone on your gifting list SO happy. 

Eating: I did a Trader Joe's haul this week on instastories and one of the new items I tried from Trader Joe's is their Salad Palette Turkey Harvest. Oh my goodness is it good! It tastes like Thanksgiving but has a lighter/fresher feel since it is on a bed of kale and spinach. It's not exactly the most healthy thing, but it is soooo worth it.  

Reading: This is the most random article that I found from Pinterest, but it has some really good pointers (others are a little odd- like putting silver contact paper on your refrigerator- I actually laughed aloud at some of the suggestions). I love the idea of putting your soaps from the shower into nice bottles that all match. 

Watching: I'm Leon Bridges obsessed so this is a really fun Gap Kids holiday ad that he did! 

Listening: If you were ever a Hanson fan, then you will LOVE this. I'm such a Hanson fan and love this set to a symphony. It is epic. Also, it brings me back to my insane crush over Zac Hanson. He was an older man to me and I was IN LOVE. It also reminds me of the time my parents surprised my sister and me with tickets to their concert in Atlanta. I remember crying from being so happy and my dad got us t-shirts and Callie's tee shirt was literally a dress on her she was so little! I must have been 7 and Callie was probably 3 because that is when Middle of Nowhere came out (we had the cassette, ha!). Can we also discuss the photo of Taylor Hanson? He looks pretty much the exact same- I wonder what his skincare regimen is!! 

Loving: Barbour is giving away 5 custom Holiday jackets! All you have to do is enter your info on their website-so fun! I just entered to win a jacket for Henry! Finger's crossed!

Wanting: I think this coat concept is brilliant. It's a beautiful cream puffer coat but, it actually turns into a vest! You can get a lot more wear with the 2-in-1 design and I love the gold buttons. 

Pittsburgh-ing: This week I met my girlfriend, Aly, for dinner at Christo's. It's a Mediterranean restaurant downtown! Aly had read that the owner, Christo, made Jackie O's wedding cake when she married Aristotle. He also worked on their yacht as the chef. We got to meet Christo and his son and they were so kind and it was fun to hear stories! I had never heard of Christo's before and you'd miss it if you were walking past! The food was ok, but we were really there for the cake that he made for Jackie. It was light and topped with cinnamon. Different, but very good!

Pittsburgh-ing II: I don't frequent Sienna Mercato that much, but they have brought their Turkey balls back this month and they are my favorite. It's turkey meatballs (made with stuffing and cranberries) over cheddar mashed potatoes, sweet corn, and topped with gravy. SO. Good. 

Quoting: 'What comes easy won't last, what lasts won't come easy.' // See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Gift Guide 2018: Stocking Stuffers

Gift Guide 2018: Stocking Stuffers
Hooray for the first gift guide of the season! I typically start off with gifts for the host/hostess, but I have been finding WAY too many great stocking stuffers that I just had to share. I'm actually going to do a few stocking stuffer gift guides because I have so many great things to include! 

Travel Mirror// I am including this because I don't have it and want it. I cannot tell you how many times I apply makeup on-the-go. This would be such a great thing to keep in my bag and perfect for any other gal (or guy) who is constantly traveling!  

Pompon Socks// These are just too cute. Everyone always needs a new pair of socks and these are a little different than your average athletic socks! 

Monogrammed Travel Jewelry Holder// Love love love this classic travel jewelry holder. I think it would make a great gift for a woman of any age but especially for a college gal that is always back and forth from school! They also have matching packing cubes, too!

Real Techniques Brush Set// This is my favorite inexpensive makeup brush brand. They do such a good job and the prices are so low. 

Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk// This is one of my all-time favorite products. I think giving color cosmetics to someone is hard because getting a shade that will work on someone else's skin tone is not exactly the easiest! However, this lip pencil in the shade 'pillow talk' is a cult favorite and for good reason! It's a matte formula and instead of using it to line your lips, you line them but fill them in entirely, too. So it looks like you are wearing the most natural and subtle lip color. It really just enhances what you already have! 

Champagne Flute Storage// This is for the gal who is short on space and big on champagne! I love these storage bins because you don't have to take up valuable cabinet space and only pull out the flutes when you need them! 

The Laundress x Le Labo// The best thing you will ever smell. Pricey for what it is but it's a little luxury which is always fun to give. I also love this on-the-go spot kit

Boot Socks// I love these because they remind me of a classic sock monkey! I also think everyone is always in need of a quality pair of boot socks. These are great for wearing with Bean Boots or Hunter boots! 

Invisibobble Hairties// This is a really good deal because you save $6 by buying the set of 9 rather than a set of 3. I have tried the cheaper versions and I swear these work so much better. I have also tried the regular, extra strength, and the slim and I prefer the slim. I have tons of super thick hair and the slim ones, surprisingly, hold it best! The Sephora sale starts Friday for those of you who are VIB- you'll get 20% off. I'm including them in a blog post on Friday to remind you, too! 

Diptyque Set// This one is a good find because if you have a lot of stockings to fill you can break this down into either 3 or 6 different gifts. If you break it down into three gifts, it would come out to $24 per 1 candle + 1 scent. If you only give a scent or a candle, it comes out to be $12. It's a nice little luxury that actually ends up being affordable once you break it down! This Jo Malone gift set is another good example of a good gift set to break up!

Honey Stirrers// These are fun! I love tea and honey can be annoyingly messy. These stirrers are beautiful!

Hot Tools Holder// I have had one of these for over 10 years- the same one. I use it every single time I travel and it still looks brand new. I love it and think it is such a good gift, not only around the holidays but for birthdays, etc. !

Clear Stadium Bag// This might seem unnecessary but let me explain. This summer, I was in Nashville and my friend Lisa and I were going to the Taylor Swift concert at Nissan Stadium. We realized at the last minute we had absolutely nothing clear to take into the stadium so we ended up having to hold our phones and cards all night. This would all have been remedied had one of us had a clear stadium bag! They're super inexpensive and there are so many fun options to choose from.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Splurge vs. Save

Splurge vs. Save
Shop the Items:

I wanted to share so many great items that I am loving lately that are available at two very different price points. I am loving these pieces because they are neutral and classic and both the splurge and save options are high quality. 

So many times, I find splurge vs. save articles where the 'save' options are cheaply made. But every once in a while, I'll find a gem that looks like the pricier version and is still high quality.  

I'm honestly one that likes to splurge here and there and I think investing in fewer, higher quality pieces is always better. But I think the earrings at the bottom of the image are a great example of something I wouldn't usually splurge on. While I think both pairs of earrings are just beautiful, they are too trendy for me to justify spending such a big chunk of change! I really only ever wear statement earrings for dressy events so I just wouldn't get enough wear out of them to justify the price. However, at a lower price, I can still get a similar (and in this case, almost exact) look!

Do you have any good splurge vs. save finds? I always love to find really good ones. They're so exciting and like finding a needle in a haystack!

Monday, November 5, 2018

It's a Wonderful Life

A Wonderful Life Quote
2018 Update: I rarely re-post old blog posts. I'm all about fresh, new content. But this, I feel, needs to be re-posted yearly. This is a post I originally posted in 2014, and I like to bring it back the first week in November before we jump into the Most Wonderful Time of The Year. This will be the 5th time I have posted it and I hope it always serves as a fresh reminder to be your best self, today and always! 

So here's the post from 2014...

I've felt compelled to write this blog post for a few weeks now as the holiday season quickly approaches. I'm the holiday season's biggest fan. Christmas music (so much Frank Sinatra), holiday movies (Eloise and Home Alone), advent calendars,  shopping, parties, food, cocktails (ahem, all the champs), so much plaid, bows, twinkle lights, party dresses, etc. To me, it really is the most wonderful time of the year!

In the blogging world, I especially love seeing blogger's gift guides and the fabulous holiday outfits on so many different blogs. All of these amazing women (and men) are offering up some really great ideas and inspiration.

I have some really fun things planned on Summer Wind for the holiday season, too, and hope you'll follow along as I share. A handful of gift guides, some holiday party outfit inspiration, my favorite holiday traditions, etc. But before I get into fully embracing the season (it's not even Thanksgiving, yet!!), I want to pause and reflect. 
This is a sweeping generalization, but blogging, over the years, has become much less of a personal diary. But, I believe, it's for good reason. I personally try to stay away from overly personal posts because I register that my audience encompasses, old bosses, co-workers, grandparents, old teachers, etc. As well as it is best for my safety to leave some personal information off of the internet.

I get a lot of questions from those who read my blog about how I am always 'so optimistic'. Often, I am asked how I 'have it all together'. It's truly flattering. And truth be told, I really am a happy person. But at the same time, I certainly do not have it all together.

With the holiday season approaching, it can be easy to compare yourselves to others and get caught up in the gift guides, how to make the perfect holiday cookies, what to wear to your next holiday soiree or where to fly off to ring in the New Year. 

Regardless of your religious beliefs, the overall season is supposed to bring people together and unite those in happiness, love, and celebration... as cliche as that sounds. 

I know, personally, having all of my beloved friends and families close makes me feel so 'full' of love. It's cheesy but true. So when people ask me how I am always so happy? Here's how: I let the gift guides fall to the wayside, I eat my imperfect holiday cookies and I wear my uggs around my house with my cocktail dress before throwing on my heels to go to the party (#guilty). 

I also spend time with my loved ones. When I see strangers on the street, I give them an extra big smile-- I make a conscientious effort to try and brighten every single person's day because that is what this season is all about. Let others know how important they are to you and how much they mean to you.
The holiday season is also a time for those who feel lonely, to feel even lonelier. It can also be a time of increased stress for many, too. It's important to acknowledge that and keep those who may be hurting or struggling in your thoughts and make them feel welcome and special, too. 
Years from now, you will not remember the gifts or the cocktails or the perfect table settings. You will remember the people you spent your time with. You will remember those you helped and those who helped you. 

Your life is only wonderful if you choose to acknowledge that it is. One of my goals with Summer Wind is to bring happiness to others, so I hope no matter what your situation this holiday season, you can join me and find a reason to believe it really is a Wonderful Life

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Saturday Shopping


Happy weekend! I'm currently in Ohio for a fun little trip- you can see more on Instastories! This week I'm sharing some of the things I came across that I loved- a lot of them are Holiday themed because we are just weeks away now!! 

I'll have gift guides starting next week but in the meantime, check out my guides from years past! There are a lot of classics that are back and in stock this year!

Gift Guides:
- Host/Hostess
- Under $100
- My Wish List
- Last Minute Gift Ideas (on Amazon Prime)
- Gifts for Him
- My Wishlist 2016
- Cyber Monday
- Black Friday
- Plaid Picks 2016
- Gifts for Her
- Host/Hostess 2016
- Beach Babe

More Holiday Content:
- Gift Wrapping for the Holidays
- Christmas Playlist
- Holiday Decor
- My Christmas Card Outfit
- Hay Adams at Christmastime (and what to do for Christmas in DC)

Friday, November 2, 2018

October Favorites


Pink Wool Coat// I'm not a 'color' girl when it comes to outerwear but the amount of wear I have gotten out of this pink coat is amazing. It surprisingly goes with so much and I love that the cut is so ladylike. PS. can Henry be in my favorites every month?! Ha! 

Fillit Pocket// This is literally a game-changer for travel or even if you just move around a house or office a lot with your computer. The pocket is removable and reusable. It doesn't leave any 

Down Coat// I featured this down coat in my January favorites and I'm bringing it back for October because it is on sale right now and it is seriously that good! It's well under $100, has no branding on it and is just a great, warm, basic black puffer coat. 

Haunting of Hill House// I'm not normally one for scary movies or shows but this Netflix series is scarily addicting! It's not cheesy either so you will really get into it! 

White Claw// These are alcoholic sparkling water drinks and I love them. They are kind of hard to find in Pittsburgh so I always stock up whenever I am traveling and see them! They are so light and taste similar to La Croix. It's almost dangerous because you can't taste the alcohol! 

If I Go, I'm Going-Gregory Alan Isakov// Goodness gracious is this song GOOD. You need to turn it up and just listen. I can't believe it is so old and I'm just finding out about it now. I have loved Big Black Car for years and this is another great song from Gregory Alan Isakov!

Sweatpants// These sweatpants are truly the best I have ever had. They are pricey but worth every penny and then some. They are INSANELY soft but still thick. They are the perfect weight for fall into winter. They run big. I will often size up to a medium in sweats, but the small fits with plenty of room for comfort. If you are between sizes, I suggest sizing down. I have the navy but am going to also order the gray and the black. They're that good, I promise you!


Trader Joe's Harvest Grilled Chicken Salad// This is my all-time favorite Trader Joe's premade salad. It is kind of a weird combo of items: grape tomatoes, green beans, corn, hard-boiled egg, and white cheddar cheese. It's topped with a dijon dressing that is tangy and out of this world delicious. I actually take out the chicken because I don't like prepackaged chicken but other than that, it is so satisfying!

Favorites from Previous Months:
January
February
March 
April
May
June
July
August
- September

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Lately





Hello November! I mean, can you believe it?! Did everyone have a good Halloween? I went over to my parents to see all of the cute trick or treaters and dressed Henry up in his Dino costume! He hated the costume but it was his first Halloween with me so I just had to dress him up- even if only for 5 minutes, ha!

Right now, as you are reading this, I am headed on a fun trip. It's only about 2.5 hours away from Pittsburgh. I have never been and also don't know anyone who has been so, I hope it's as cool as it is in the photos I have seen online!

Because I had a 3-day week, I had to work ahead. This has been the theme of my fall: working ahead. On top of that Henry got sick! If I shared what was wrong with him, it would be TMI for this blog, but it wasn't pretty. I was really worried about him so I took him to the emergency vet. They did some tests and all of them came back negative, phew! So, they just gave him a one-time dose that will 'cure' him and he should be back to normal! He's in good hands with my parents all weekend!

Wearing: This past weekend, I was in Lexington, KY with family and friends! We went to a basketball game on Friday and then to Keeneland on Saturday. It was cold and rainy but we still had a great time! You can see in the photos above what I chose to wear. It was hard to choose a cute outfit that would still be weather appropriate. I keep turning to this amazing Sail to Sable dress. It's not only gorgeous with the textured fabric and leather details around the sleeve cuffs and neckline, but the fabric is warm and the long sleeves make it a little more casual so I am able to wear it often!
Eating: For my mom's birthday dinner, she requested that we go to Legends of the North Shore. I had never been but she and my dad go often. It's Italian and kind of a hole-in-the-wall type place. It's BYOB, which I always appreciate. The food was wonderful! Classic Italian dishes but they also have some unique and interesting specials! I definitely recommend checking it out. 

Drinking: This weekend, we drank Keeneland Breezes. I'm not much of a bourbon person... in fact I don't really like it at all. But, I do enjoy a Keeneland Breeze. It's a good fall/winter drink! 

Reading: James Madison University students created this Buzzfeed article and asked if I would share it. It's fun to see some of my favorite spots from my college days and I love that they are trying to win a 'contest' for a class! The contest is for who's page can get the most views so go check it out!

Sale-ing: Tis the season for ALL of the sales. I'll be sure to share when my favorite retailers have their sales. Like last year, I think we will see major sales starting to roll out. The Black Friday sales are still great, but I've noticed retailers launching just as good sales earlier so keep your eyes out for that! Right now, Bergdorf's has 300 pages of sale items. I'd suggest sorting by your size and price range. You can score some gorgeous designer dresses for more than half off! Neiman Marcus is having a sale 25-50% off items. They carry a lot of items that both Nordstrom and Shopbop have, so if you see something full price on either of those websites, check Neimans to see if they are offering it on sale! 

Watching:
 This video from the Pittsburgh Penguins. So good. 

Listening: This is premature, but here is a link to my Spotify Christmas playlist. Every once in a while I start to play a song here and there in the month of November. I get too excited, I can't help myself! 

Loving: This stretchy pocket sticks to your computer and you can easily store your external hard drive. I travel so much and work pretty much anywhere, so having this pocket is SO helpful. I recommend it to anyone who is constantly annoyed by the external hard drive cord!

Wanting: I didn't have time to do much browsing this week but have already started doing a gift search. It's my goal this year to create gift guides with items that I personally own and love as well as unique, quality items! They are coming very soon and I can't wait! 

Pittsburgh-ing: If you are local to Pittsburgh and are around November 8-11, check out a consignment event, Designer Days, that benefits the National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh Section. You can save up to 80% on designers like Gucci, Eileen Fisher, etc. All of the information is available on their website

Traveling: I am somewhere very cool right now and I will share more about it once I am back! Check out my instastories to see where!

Quoting: 'Always be kinder than you feel. // See more of my favorites, here. 
 

© Summer Wind Blog 2017 / site design by kiki and co. / disclosure