Thursday, September 28, 2023


The leaves are already starting to change!

Whole Foods mini-run

Tis the season for Henry to want to be under the blanket! 

Dress I tried on earlier this week. Love!

This has been a busy week! The week started off hectic because we had workers outside of our house all day using a jackhammer to rip up our sidewalks and put new ones in. It is great to have a beautiful new sidewalk, but let me tell you, the sound of a jackhammer all day long was maddening! 

It has also become busy work-wise because we are just days away from Q4, which is 'busy season.' I love it, but it can be a lot. I struggle with balancing actually creating content, which is, first and foremost, my job, but there is SO much behind the scenes that takes place; it gets harder to prioritize and balance when things get busy. I am so thankful to have my husband and parents help SO much. I literally could not do it without them!

I hope to stay in tomorrow and order Chinese takeout (I have been craving Jade Grill!!) and go to bed early. Boring, I know, but I just feel like I NEED it, especially since we are traveling next weekend. On Sunday, I hope to take our Christmas card photo, but that is weather dependent! We have a lot going on next week before we leave for our Boston trip, so I'm trying to fit in work whenever I can, even if it means working into the wee hours so I'm able to enjoy Boston!

Wearing: These are the best leggings from Amazon! They are just like Lulu for much less! If you are ever wondering where something is from, I keep my LTK page up to date at all times; you can also access all of my posts, here, if you don't use LTK! 

Eating: I made my chicken taco soup recipe this past weekend, and it is SO good. The perfect thing for a fall evening!

Reading: This article lists the Top Christmas towns... which one do you want to visit? For me, it's Nantucket. I have never been during stroll but would love to! I went to Martha's Vineyard a few years ago in December, and it was so charming! 

Sale: Sunday is the last day to shop the Saks friends and family sale! You get 25% off select new arrivals. Brands like Demellier are included, with the chicest designer-looking bags for a lot less, Mother Denim, which has high-quality and comfortable jeans, Agolde, another great denim brand; and more. I'm considering this cocktail dress for a late-October wedding (I would have the cutout closed up), I've been eyeing these leather Manolos (I have a few pairs of these but not the leather, yet!), and some Barbour is on sale!

Sale II: It's also Bloomingdale's Friends and Family, so if something you are eyeing is sold out on Saks, head over to Bloomingdale's to check or vice versa. Their sale runs through 10/2. I like to shop at Bloomingdale's because I have a Loyalist account, and during the sale, they have a promo where you get $25 for every $100 you spend. I bought my husband a nice watch via Bloomingdale's once when this promo was going on. The watch was pricey, so I got a big gift card to spend, which was a real perk! My favorite gold wedges are on sale, and my platform wedges, Wedgwood Nantucket Basket is included, and some Juliska is included. Do not sleep on Bloomingdale's fine jewelry, either. When it goes on sale, their prices are very competitive. This pearl station necklace, similar to the one I often wear, is under $300 on sale. My husband loves these jeans, and they are on sale (the dark Miller wash). I've been eyeing these black pull-on boots

 I just finished Dear Child on Netflix, a German drama/thriller series, so it is dubbed in English, which is a bit annoying, but the show is good, albeit disturbing. There has definitely been a lack of good TV, so I'm blaming that on the reason why I kind of want to tune into the premiere of The Golden Bachelor. 

Listening: I'm into Olivia Rodrigo's latest album- her song Get Him Back is soooo catchy!
Loving: I truly think J.Crew is killing it lately. I was weary for a bit, but ever since 2021, I've really seen an improvement, and I have fallen in love with the brand all over again. I think they're delivering quality pieces that are classic but also offer on-trend pieces at very fair prices. These are some of their newest arrivals that I love! 

Loving II: Have you all seen this Wicker Creek tableware collection? LOVE! Reminds me a bit of Nantucket Basket, which I have, but this is even more detailed. 

Body Blur// Body Moisturizer (use code SYDNEY)

Loving III: Remember when I wore this dress for a rehearsal dinner a few weeks ago? I love the dress so much but almost didn't wear it because I had SO many bug bites on my legs; I thought I should maybe go for a maxi dress to hide my legs. I really wanted to wear the green dress, so I whipped out my go-to body blur. I don't use it often because it feels a bit high maintenance, even for me, but it's like tinted moisturizer for your body. It's almost like the Instagram Paris filter, so it just smooths everything out, but it has a touch of color to blend everything evenly. It's not a self-tanner, but think of it more like makeup that washes off. It doesn't rub off onto clothes or anything, but I prefer to rinse it off at the end of the night. It's the kind of thing celebrities use, and you always wonder how their body looks so perfect. But it really works. It helped hide all the bug bites, making me much more comfortable in my dress! I cut it with moisturizer for less color/more natural look, but you don't have to. 

Wanting: This vest
is adorable and an easy way to add color and texture to any outfit. I do not like the Toteme scarf jacket that was wildly popular last year, but this has a similar look but is much more polished; I love it, not to mention that it's a lot easier on the wallet. This Halloween doormat is cute, festive, and as tasteful as possible for inexpensive Halloween decor. 

Amazon Rec: I ordered the iPhone 15 Pro Max and await its arrival! I have always used a glass protective screen and just ordered the same brand I have always used for my new phone! You can find more of my Amazon favorites, here on my Amazon page, where I am constantly updating it with all my finds and top picks from home, beauty, fashion, and more!

Traveling: We are off to Boston soon; I'm so excited to see our friends and enjoy fall in New England! We were in Boston on Halloween a few years ago, and I snapped this doorstep in Beacon Hill. SO charming!

Quoting: "When it is time to die, let us not discover that we never lived.” - Thoreau //See more of my favorites, here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

First Day of Autumn at the Pumpkin

Trax Farms Pumpkin Patch Outfit Ideas

Trax Farms Pumpkin Patch Outfit Ideas

Rain Boots// Similar Skirt (another good one here)

I ushered in autumn this past weekend with a trip to our local Pumpkin patch. For those in Pittsburgh, we went to Trax Farms in the South Hills. It was an overcast, chilly day, which felt on par with the season. I wore a skirt and left my jacket in the car because I was worried I may be warm but I wish I would have brought my jacket, it was truly chilly! I am someone that wears my Rain Boots when necessary and/or appropriate, not just for fashion, though they are cute. It was supposed to rain that day, and luckily we made it home just before it started but I also knew it would be muddy/dusty. I don't wear my Rain Boots often, but they are one of those things I am so glad to have when I really need them! As much as I love the Hunter brand boots that I have (they are classic, the shade of green is perfect, and they are functional) I think now, I'd go for the Le Chameau brand for it's lack of ubiquity. 

Trax had such a cute fall festival going on. There was live music, food trucks, lots of games, and things for children, and they had a big market to shop around and browse. I grabbed some gourds and vastly underestimated how many I would need to fill the bowl on our coffee table, so I am hunting this weekend to find more! I also snagged some apple fritters. My husband and I agreed they were the best we have ever had! 

Fall is my favorite season so I am really trying to take advantage of the season and get out and about as much as possible. The pumpkin patch/farm visit is one thing I never miss out on!

For local Pittsburghers, we had lunch at Trax from one of the food trucks, R+G Smokehouse. I'm not sure it is there every weekend as I think they have rotating food trucks, but it's worth looking into. It was some of the best BBQ I have ever eaten in Pittsburgh. That is saying something because we, surprisingly, have quite a few good BBQ options here! My husband and I shared the ribs, pork mac n cheese, and fries and the spicy slaw. I'm still thinking about this meal! 

It was such a fun Pittsburgh morning and afternoon. I've started to make a somewhat random list of things I want to do in the next few weeks/months that are local to Pittsburgh... 

- Top Golf
- Drive In Movie 
- Tour Fallingwater/lunch in Ohiopyle 
- Go indoor rock climbing 
- A night at the symphony
- Visit some specialty food spots: Chantal's cheese shop, Gussy's Bagels, Fat Butcher
- Bowling 
- Puttshack
- Counting down until Novo Asian food hall opens
- Trivia Night at OTB
- Lunch or dinner at Kaya (it's been too long!)

What more should I add to the list?! Happy fall, all! 

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Halloween Costume Idea: Eloise At The Plaza

Halloween Costume Idea: Eloise At The Plaza

Halloween Costume Idea: Eloise At The Plaza

With Halloween a little more than a month away, I thought I would re-share this rawther fabulous Halloween costume idea I put together last year! You can see my fun little video here

I posted this a bit late last year, so I wanted to give you a full month ahead if you want to recreate this for yourself! I got all of the stuff for this costume from Amazon (I already had the pajamas) so it was quick and easy to get it all together. 

My mostly companion, Henry, claimed Skiperdee Turtle as his own, and he is now long gone! If you click on Skiperdee, you can see all sorts of plush Eloise toys and even Weenie! I would have died over all of that as a kid, so if you're looking for a girly gift for a child for the holidays or a birthday, this might be a great idea! 

If you want to get an Eloise-something for yourself, I have this 'ultimate' book, which is all of the Eloise books in one big book that makes a great coffee table book! I always give this board book as a shower gift if someone is having a girl! 

A note about the Skirt. It's a children's skirt, but it fits me like a size small or size 4 skirt would fit, ha! I ordered it on a whim, hoping it might fit- it's really stretchy and plenty long enough on me. If that doesn't work for you, you could just order a plain black skirt and use black ribbon for the suspender portion. They also have stretchy suspenders on Amazon, but I think the ribbon would look more 'authentic.' 

The red bow is just ribbon I tied onto a headband, but if you want an actual headband, this looks like it could be a good option! 

If you don't know of Eloise, it is a children's story written and illustrated by Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight in the late 1950s. Eloise is a 6-year-old girl living in the Plaza Hotel with her nanny, a turtle named Skiperdee, and a pug named Weenie. The stories follow all of Eloise's misadventures in the Plaza Hotel. 

The movie came out in the early 2000s, and I ate it all up! I love Eloise's wild and free spirit, the doses of pink in the illustrations, and the fabulous lifestyle of a mere 6-year-old! It's all fun and whimsical, and I always say she is my 'spirit animal.' As an adult, I think Eloise would eat Taco Bell off of Herend china, just like me.

Honestly, the outfit she wears is pretty darn easy to recreate! As a grown woman, I look quite silly in it, but I think that is half the fun of Halloween! I've never been into dressing up in anything scary or anything too out of my personality, so this just felt right! You can check out this post, which is now 4 years old, for some major throwback photos of other things I have dressed up in Halloween past! 

Halloween Costume Idea: Eloise At The Plaza
Pink Striped Pajamas (old)
Similar Pajamas:

Monday, September 25, 2023

Something I Learned From My Parents: On Being A Good Friend

There is a children's song that goes a little something like... 

'Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold.

A circle is round,
it has no end.
That's how long,
I will be your friend.'

Just as children learn to make friends in their early years, friendships could not be more important as you get older, especially as you move into adulthood. It's a bit harder to make new friends once you graduate from college and no longer have sports, sororities, or activities, not to mention people moving around the country and even the globe. We all are busy with work and family and the upkeep of a home, aging parents, etc. 

I also think some friendships are born out of a time and place in your life, and they don't carry as strongly onto another phase, and that's perfectly OK. Some friendships blossom out of convenience. Some friendships can be ended/fade away, and while that can always be a tough situation, I think, in hindsight, it is often for the best. 

I believe in 'the more the merrier,' but I also believe in quality over quantity. I think both can coexist when it comes to friendships. 

There are a myriad of friendships- friends from work, family friends, college, high school, summer camps, sports, childhood, sorority/fraternity, neighbors, etc. There are also different 'levels' of friendship, but I'm more focused on the kind of friend that is truly deep down in their soul rooting for you and loves you. Not friends who may be more acquaintances or friends who may be prone to drama, gossip, jealousy, competition, social climbing, etc. 

You are certainly lucky if you have even just one true friend, and it is an honor to have someone describe you as a true, good friend. Those are hard to come by, and I think they are worth cherishing. 

At the end of the day, friendship is important and vital to a life well-lived. You don't have to take my word for it. If you read some scientific studies about friendship, most will say that friendship benefits health, happiness, wellness, success, and more. 

My parents just had their 39th wedding anniversary this month. While I am so thankful to have a front-row seat to their loving marriage, I was reminded of something else as we attended the wedding of some family friends a few weekends ago, where I was honored to be a bridesmaid. Our dads went to high school together. My dad has a group of friends from high school, all of whom still keep in touch, get together, vacation together, and more. I would share a photo of this big group, but I believe everyone has a right to their privacy, so a photo of my family will have to do from this past weekend! 

These friends are there to celebrate and to mourn and everything in between.

My grammie tells stories of them from 'back in the day,' and the group of now well over 20 people often refer to her as Grammie. As my parent's daughter, it's funny to think that my dad knew these guys before he knew my mom! It's hard to conceptualize 30+ years from now regarding my own life!

When my parents had children, they continued to get together, and all the kids became friends. Because it got confusing how to tell my school friends who these other friends were, I would often just call them my cousins. My memories of hanging out with 'the kids' are strong. We swam on our country club's swim team together, we had 4th of July firework nights together, we went on vacations together, celebrated Christmas Eve together; and the list goes on. 

A few weeks ago, when I went whitewater rafting, it was for another 'cousin' and her bachelorette. She had a photo of our parents together doing the same rafting trip probably 35 years before us. 

We have another wedding at the end of October for another 'cousin' and another one in early 2024. There are many wonderful reasons to get together and celebrate, but these occasions remind me of how everything came to our parents setting an example of being good friends. I'm proud to have parents who are good friends to others and fortunate that they are surrounded by wonderful people who I know are also good to them and, in turn, to me. 

Now that I am older, I feel lucky to have friends I have known since I was young, along with these 'cousins' that I have also grown with. It's a hodgepodge of people throughout my life, but I wouldn't have it any other way. 

I think one of my biggest hopes/ life goals is to be as good a friend to them as I have watched my parents be to others and their friends be to them. 

Like all relationships, friendship often takes work and is built on trust and vulnerability. I think it makes things harder when geography is not on your side. But in the end, it's always worth the effort. 

So today's moral of the story is to let your friends know that you are thankful for them, and if you haven't talked to some of your friends in a minute, it's never too late to reach out and catch up or get together. Moreover, if you want to make friends, let your circle know! Everyone needs a true, good friend, and I hope this post makes you think of someone special! 

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