Saturday, January 30, 2021

Saturday Shopping

Happy weekend, friends! It is COLD here so we are staying warm inside, that's for sure! I browsed a bunch this week so I was able to find some pretty cute things! Enjoy!

Friday, January 29, 2021

Levain Copycat Cookies for Valentine's Day

Levain Copycat Cookies for Valentine's Day

This year for Valentine's Day, we are planning on cooking! We are still brainstorming, but I think we will try out homemade lobster rolls! We have never made them before but my fiancé is a really great cook so I think he will pull it off with flying colors. It's hard to find a really good lobster roll in Pittsburgh and it is one of our very favorite foods so I am excited! 

For my contribution to our Valentine's meal, I wanted to make dessert. I have never baked anything except for boxed brownies and break and bake cookies. I'm not really good in the kitchen at all but my sister made these incredible chocolate chocolate chip cookies around Christmas and I have not been able to stop thinking about them since. 
Levain Copycat Cookies for Valentine's Day

Levain Copycat Cookies for Valentine's Day
They are SO GOOD. They're a copycat recipe for the incredible Levain cookies (a bakery in New York City). They are so rich and chocolatey. The recipe is from scratch so I really didn't think I had the talent to pull it off on my own, ha!! So, my mom came over one afternoon and we made the recipe as a 'practice run' so I could learn. 
Levain Copycat Cookies for Valentine's Day
So today I'm partnering with Walmart to share that I was able to order all of the ingredients for the cookies from Walmart using my Walmart+ membership. Walmart+ launched in September, so I've been able to use the membership for the past several months and love it. It's $98/year and you can sign up for a free 15-day trial before committing. You can also select a monthly plan for $12.95/month. With the one year option, rather than the monthly option, you save $57.40/year in membership fees.

If you have ordered grocery delivery in the past then you know these services usually come with a delivery fee. If you place two orders for free delivery from your store ($35 minimum, restrictions apply) each month the membership pays for itself every month (based on the $7.95 non-member delivery fee). Membership benefits of Walmart+ are dependent on location, so check out their site to see what benefits are in your area!

Besides groceries, Walmart+ has the benefit of Walmart+ free shipping from Walmart.com with no order minimum on items from Walmart.com (excludes freight & Marketplace items).  I needed a silicone baking mat, mixing bowls, and a mixer for these cookies so it was easy to order all that I needed from Walmart.com and it was shipped to me in just 2 days! 

Delivery and shipping from Walmart+ has been quick and reliable and it was so nice to be able to order this all online in the comfort of my pajamas! 

Baking these cookies really wasn't hard at all and that's really saying something coming from me!! I feel like now that I have done it, I will have no problem making them again in the future.

Levain Copycat Cookies for Valentine's Day

Levain Copycat Cookies for Valentine's Day

Levain Copycat Cookies for Valentine's Day

Levain Copycat Cookies for Valentine's Day

Levain Copycat Cookies for Valentine's Day


My recipe notes (this is the advice from my sister that I followed):

- We didn't weigh the cookie dough like it suggests, but rather just eyeballed it and it worked out just fine. The cookies are meant to be just like Levain (which are huge) and we prefer smaller cookies, so we made them about half the size that the recipe suggests. We ended up being able to get 12 on a tray each and they yielded about 2 dozen cookies total with the way we sized them. We baked them for 10 minutes and they turned out perfectly. 

- The high-quality cocoa powder makes all the difference! 

- The directions suggest using a stand mixer. I don't have one (and really don't want one), so I got a hand mixer, and it worked out just fine!

- The directions say to use a silicone baking mat. I only had one silicone mat but two trays of cookies, so we used parchment paper with the other batch and it worked perfectly, too.

- Next time I think I'd add more chocolate chunks to the dough, especially because we made the cookies smaller.

Thank you to Walmart for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Lately

Hope you are having a great week thus far. I feel like I started the week off on a 'wrong foot' because I was LAZY on Monday and Tuesday and didn't accomplish all that much. I turned things around on Wednesday after I basically gave myself a kick in the boots! Thankfully Wednesday was much better and now we are nearing the weekend! 

We don't have anything planned this weekend (shocker). It has been cold this week with lows in the teens which is pretty typical January weather here in Pittsburgh but I am always hoping for a sneaky 35/40 degree day here and there so I can enjoy being outside for a while! 

I've been on the hunt for a dining room table... for almost 2 years, ha!!! My aunt and uncle lent us an extra table that they had and I am using cane chairs (that I couldn't pass up- but they aren't for dining room) around the table. It's been like this for a year+ and it's fine but ultimately not what I want as the end product. I've been looking since I moved in, but not looking 'hard' until the last 2 or 3 months as I'm just ready to have the dining area finished.  I haven't found much I like. I have a VERY specific table in mind. I like antiques and there really hasn't been too much in our area lately and not much even if I were to extend my search into other states. A little frustrating, but my patience always pays off, so I know to just keep looking! It has been fun to browse, I prefer looking with a purpose rather than just browsing because it makes things easier! 

Wearing:
 There are few things more classic than a Lacoste polo. I just got this one on sale and I love the  relaxed fit! I am wearing a size small. I wish were were more colors available, I would have seriously bought them all. A polo paired with shorts or white jeans or even a skirt/skort is a really easy and put together outfit for the warmer months! 

Eating: Do you guys remember the burrata and roasted tomato pasta I shared this summer? I was craving that flavor the other night but didn't feel like pasta so I marinated chicken in an Italian marinade and grilled it and then topped it with the roasted tomatoes from the recipe and instead of burrata, I used fresh mozzarella. It's definitely a summery dish, but oh my goodness on top of chicken it was AMAZING. It was also the biggest chicken breast ever so I got to eat it for lunch the following two days and put it on top of mixed greens (roasted tomatoes and all) and that was also fantastic! But so easy and so wonderful. 

Drinking: This is VERY random, but I went to Target the other day for eggs (you know how that goes) and in the soup aisle, I saw Swanson Bone Broth (chicken with ginger and turmeric). It was in those drinkable cups that you just put in the microwave and then drink from. I was intrigued so I figured why not try it. It has no sugar, the ingredients are clean, it has 9 grams of protein, and it's only 45 calories for the entire 11oz. It was delicious to have as an afternoon 'snack'- almost like having a cup of tea! I know it's really popular right now to drink bone broth, and I am pretty sure you are supposed to drink 'fresh' bone broth for the best health benefits, but this was a good foray into the whole bone broth thing, especially because this was flavored with ginger and turmeric- I think the ginger was the key for getting it to taste delicious! 

Watching:
 I'm currently in a show rut. I have only been watching the OC. I was rewatching it a while ago and got bored of it so I stopped. I picked back up and I'm so into it again. It's such a great show from the early 2000s and brings back some of the more questionable style choices I made back then, ha! 

Listening: There's not a ton on my winter playlist right now, but it's off to a good start! The overall vibe is very upbeat and happy! 

Loving: I saw this Retinol body wash the other day and was very intrigued. I've showered with it once so far, so it's a stretch to say it's a miracle worker but it smells great and worked nicely as a regular bodywash. I'll be curious to see if this improves my body's skin as it has both retinol and b3 in it which are typically face skincare ingredients. 
Wanting: Love this sherpa vest so much! I found quite a few cute things this week... are you all ready to shop spring or are you still shopping for lounge sweats and sweaters? I can't wait until I can wear lightweight sweatshirts, easy shorts, and breezy dresses! 

Smelling: Target has some new candles and I really liked Moss and Ivy, Honey Bergamot, and Salt. All three were obviously different scents but they had a similar 'freshness' to it that felt very spring. 

Quoting: 'Be faithful to your own taste, because nothing you really like is ever out of style.' -Billy Baldwin// See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

What To Wear Skiing

This is the most comprehensive guide to everything you need for skiing that I have ever done. This post has certainly been a labor of love, so bear with me! 

The day I could walk was basically the day my parents had me skiing. My dad had skied all his life and when my parents were dating, he taught my mom how to ski. A lot of my extended family and friends ski- it's popular here as we have quick access to slopes.

My grandparents had a ski house at Seven Springs so growing up, we spent many weekends skiing. In middle and high school, we had something called 'ski bus' where each Friday we would go up to Seven Springs with our classmates. All that said, I LOVE to ski. Love.  

I really think skiing/snowboarding is something you have to truly love to make it worth it, though. It's pretty high maintenance, it's cold, and time-consuming. If I wasn't passionate about skiing, there is no way I'd put on all of those layers, sit on a cold lift, wait in lift lines, etc. 

It's a great workout, a really fun way to spend time outside in the winter, and overall a really great social sport. 

Whenever I share that I ski, I get DM's asking what to bring/wear. I would say if it is your first time, don't invest in a ton because you want to make sure you truly love it. You need a lot of stuff as you can see in the list below. But I think if it's your first time, you can get by with less. Then, if you try it and love it, you can invest in more gear! 

Skiing can be pricey but if you buy quality things (I don't mean expensive, just quality!), they'll hold up for many years and you won't have to be continually replacing things.

The stuff you need also depends on where you are skiing and the conditions, so keep that in mind, too! I'm linking to exactly what I own as best as I can and will also give some recommendations of other things I love at the bottom of this post. 

I've broken it all into categories as I think it helps to visualize it all. It's all very wordy, but I wanted to be as thorough as possible because I want to be able to refer people to this whenever I am asked about skiing! A lot of it is also personal preference, so this is just what I have and what I do, but you might prefer differently! 
Base

Base Layer Thermal Top// I LOVE this top as a base layer. It's thin but incredibly soft and great with moisture wicking. It is warm, but not heavy. There are a million and one different brands out there for base layers and all different weights for different levels of warmth. I usually wear the base layer that I am linking as I layer and accomplish different warmth levels that way, but if you are in arctic conditions, then you might need something heavier. I am not sure that I'd go any lighter than the one I linked but that's just a personal preference. My ONE tip with ski clothing is do not wear cotton. It doesn't provide much warmth, but also, if you sweat, you'll be sitting in your sweat all day as cotton does not wick away moisture when cold. You need either a synthetic material specifically made for heat retention/warmth that is sweat-wicking OR wool OR silk. I am usually all about natural fibers, but I really do prefer a synthetic base to wool or silk when it comes to a skiing base layer. I find that they hold up better, are easiest to care for, and are just as warm if not warmer. Another thing about base layers- I don't like my clothing tight or clingy, but you want this base layer tight. I know leggings are self explanatory, but my top base layer is as tight as my leggings are. The tight fit makes room for more layers and helps you to stay warm when the fabric is right up against your skin. 

Base Layer Leggings// These are my favorite. They're thicker than typical sports leggings and have a nice fleece lining but still flattering and not bulky looking or feeling. If it's a warmer day, these are usually too much. We rarely have 'warm days' of skiing here in Pittsburgh so I wear these leggings every time. The other day I was skiing and it was 'warm' and I probably could have gone with a lighterweight but also didn't overheat too badly in these. Again, these are synthetic and I find that they hold up nicely and wash easily. 

Socks// Always Smartwool socks, they are the best. They make socks specifically for skiing, which I also wear, but I actually prefer their hiking socks. They have different weights, light, medium, heavy and if you plan on skiing a lot, you probably want all of those different weights in your arsenal. The heavy are WAY too heavy for me unless it's single digits. I wear the medium weight most. I sometimes wear the light if I'm mostly doing daytime skiing with a lot of sun to keep me warm. The skiing socks are pretty light and I never need them to go all the way up my calf. You can also get sock liners if your feet tend to get really cold. My ski boots are heavenly, so I never really have an issue with cold feet, but I know a lot of people do sock liners. I always bring an extra pair of socks in case I want to switch them out during the day. 
Layers
* This is all like choose your own adventure once you have a base. It's all dependent upon weather from here so here are few items that I have and love to use as layers over my base. Sometimes I do just one layer, sometimes 2, sometimes even 3. These all also depend on what 'outer layer' you choose... aka your ski jacket. 

Better Sweater Pullover// I wear this mostly when I ski but it looks great with leggings pre/post workout. It looks and feels like a sweater on the outside and on the inside it's fleece. If I were lounging around the house in this, I'd prefer it in a medium for something a little roomier. However, I like the small in this for skiing purposes because it's a bit more fitted so it can fit under other layers. this is what I wear most often over my base layer. This one from Lands End looks similar (I have not seen it in person) but is a much more budget-friendly option. 

Down Vest// I put this over the better sweater if it is extra cold! It is down insulated so this is a warm option. I wear this under other coats (even when not skiing) or just over a sweatshirt when I'm walking Henry in the fall/spring! If you get cold easily, focus on heating your core and then your head, feet, and hands. This down vest is pretty puffy, so it's not really slim. It has slim/flattering lines to it, but I only wear this if it's necessary. There's a slimmer version of this vest with synthetic insulation. I don't have it, but it's a good option, too! Here's another similar and more affordable option from Lands End. L.L. Bean also makes pretty much the same items that I have listed here, too, and most things I have from L.L. Bean are high quality and very comparable. The same for brands like North Face, too! 

Nano Puff Jacket// My sister wears this as her winter coat in North Carolina. This is a fall/spring coat for here in Pittsburgh. It's casual and filled with synethic insulation. This is pretty thin but still nice and warm. There's also the Down Sweater, which is a down filled jacket similar in style to the Nano puff. The down sweater is bulkier and if you wear a base, the down sweater and a ski jacket shell, that should be plenty for cold temperatures. The downside to the down sweater is that it's pretty bulky. I don't know if I would ski in just the down sweater, but you could, I guess as the fabric is slightly waterproof.

Fleece Quarter Zip// Love this fleece pullover. It's just very basic. I wear it a lot over my workout clothes. It is so soft and warm. I have yet to wear it skiing. I have a small and it is roomy so I'd probably size down to wear it for skiing purposes! Really great quality for $20ish! 

Outer Layer
Ski Pants// Mine are very old by Rossignol, but I love them and have yet had to replace them. However, whenever I have to replace them, I'll likely order the ones I have linked. I really like to wear black as a base and then use my ski jacket as the 'style' part. Black pretty much goes with anything and doesn't show stains as easily. 

Ski Jacket// I have a few that I rotate around. I don't think you need a few, I've just amassed them over the years. The yellow one you see in the photos is super old, Roxy, it's actually my mom's coat because I couldn't find my ski jackets. I linked the black and white one, which is a shell jacket. You'll see shell, systems, and softshell/down. This all depends on your preference. I prefer a shell, personally, just becauese I like to be in control with layering. I usually go one size up in ski jackets (the outermost layer) to accomodate layering, especially if it is a shell. You can literally wear any winter jacket to ski in, but there are some nice functionalities of a jacket made specifically for skiing like pit zips, a hood big enough for a helmet, powder skirt, etc. I don't wear these jackets outside of skiing because I much prefer just a down puffer if it's just everday life. 
Accessories

Helmet// With my helmet, I don't wear anything else on my head. My helmet is super comfortable and much warmer than a hat/headband. 

Hat/Headband// I wear this before/after skiing because I have my helmet when I am actually skiing. 

Goggles// I have no loyalty to any goggles. We have SO many pairs of goggles between the 4 people in the Carver family that I usually just grab whatever I see first.

Sunglasses// I prefer sunglasses to goggles when I can get away with it! If it's snowy or too cold, I use the goggles but if it is just sunny and beautiful, sunglasses are the way to go. Again, a personal preference. 

Neckwarmer/Face Mask// It's crazy how cold your face can get- I prefer the turtlefur because it's warm and soft against my skin. My face gets irritated really easily with certain fabrics and this is one of the few that I have found that doesn't break me out, plus it is long enough that I can pull it all the way up to sit right under my eyes.

Mittens// I wear these outside of skiing if I am walking Henry or whatnot. They're warm and waterproof and they have held up for years. The key with these is that they have a thing that attaches to your wrists so you can take your glove off without using it. SO helpful on the lift if I want to pull out my phone. Some people like liners, too, I personally don't. I'm also a mitten person vs. gloves, but again, just a personal preference.

Hand Warmers// I always have them on hand, sometimes I use them, sometimes I don't, it just depends on the weather.

Gear
Ski Boots// I have the head dream 100 boots. I LOVE them. Ski brands often change up boots and skis and all of that each year so there is likely something very similar that's being sold today. I LOVE my boots. I think my last pair of boots were Rossignol and they were nice, but these are much better. Love love love. These are the most comfortable ski boots I have ever put on my foot. I would recommend going into a ski store and figuring this all out with someone that really knows their stuff. Plus, they are often running sales and sometimes will sell skis, boots, and bindings all in one bundle. 

Skis + Bindings// I have the Head total joy skis and I love them. Easy to ski in. Again you want to go to a ski shop (Willi's here in Pittsburgh is great) and they can make sure you get the right length of skis for your heigh and ability. 

Poles// Mine are k2, they're fine, nothing special! 

Boot Bag// This is my boot bag. I just got a new one. I find that they wear over the years and I have to replace mine quite a bit. I don't mind as most of them are usually under $100. I prefer the backpack style as that's easiest to get around with. Schlepping all the gear is my least favorite part of skiing. I really like the design of this one. So maybe when this one wears out, I'll try this! 

Ski Bag// I like that this is padded so I know my skis are safe. 

Misc.
Towel// Any old random towel will do but you need to wipe off the snow and water from your boots and skis and poles before stowing away. That way you prevent rust and corrossion. 

Lip Balm// I really love this lip balm and have used it for well over 10 years. It's moisturizing and not too goopy when you put it on. For skiing, speficially, I love that this has SPF 15. 

Sunscreen// This is what I have been using and I LOVE it. I don't use it day-to-day but love it for beach/pool and skiing. It's both a physical and chemical sunscreen and I think it works wonderfully- I have never burned when wearing it. It has a slight tint to it, but it is very light and doesn't look like makeup when you put it on, it just gives you a glowy look that I really like. 

Hair Ties// I usually wear my hair in two braids. It's most comfortable with the helmet and then I don't have hair whipping me in the face as I'm going down the run. Sometimes I do a low pony, it just kind of depends on what I'm feeling. I've done my hair all down before, but it's honestly just a pain. 

Heavy Face Lotion// My face gets so dry! I always bring the Cetaphil Rich cream and it works wonders. 

Extras// I usually bring extra socks, extra turtle fur, etc. Thing get wet or sweaty and gross and it's always great to have backups. 

Misc.// I don't wax or sharpen my own skis, I leave that to the pros, but I know a lot of people wax their own skis, so you might want to have some on hand if you plan to DIY. 

Aprés Ski

Sweater (similar)// I just tweak what I'm already wearing from skiing... which is what you can see in the photo above. I left my base layer on and put this sweater on overtop. I also have a few of my dad's vintage wool sweaters that are fair isle and fisherman knit. They're oversized on me and pair nicely with leggings and a turtlneck and have that vintage ski cabin vibe to them. I also like to do a cashmere turtlneck and a faux fur vest. I find more fun ski sweaters (like fair isle knits) in the men's section than the women's! This would change if I were at a resort, but right now, it's just day skiing an hour outside of Pittsburgh.

Leggings// In the photo above, I kept my leggings on from skiing, so usually I just take off my snow pants and wear the fleece-lined leggings. Sometimes I will change into something a little 'nicer' like these velvet pants.  

Snow Boots// I have several pairs of snowboots which is more out of necessity than my desire to wear them. I refer to the boots I am wearing in the photo as 'prettier Uggs' as they have the same fit and feel (shearling) as Uggs but just look nicer. Although no hate to Uggs, I love them!! I also could not do Pittsburgh winters without my Bean Boots. Mine have the goretex and thinsulate lining which keep my feet toasty warm and I also have the shearling inserts

Vest// I was wearing the vest that day as a 3rd layer, so I just rewore it here. I often wear this faux fur vest with a black cashmere turtleneck which looks dressier than the down vest! 

Socks// I didn't change out of my ski socks in the photo above, but usually I do. I like pops of red and socks are easy to do that with. This red snowflake design just feels classic! 

Yacht Tote// I've shared these totes many times before. For skiing I use them for a change of clothes, snacks, water bottles, etc.

Hat// I usually have some sort of hat or ear warmers. This hat I am wearing in the photo is old but I do love the ones with pompoms on top! The one I linked has pearls on it and I am sooo here for it!! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Tuckernuck Online Sample Sale

Tuckernuck Online Sample Sale

Tuckernuck usually does a sample sale in DC each year around this time. Due to the pandemic, they have decided to move everything online,  and today is the day that the sale goes live! It ends tomorrow 1/27 at midnight. You can see all of the details in this post, here

Everything is final sale so I hope this helps you out with sizing and quality questions, I will be as thorough and share as many items as I have that are included in the sale as possible! 

I'll be on stories with a try-on so definitely check that out! 

If you are waiting in line, keep waiting, I got in pretty quickly and was able to check out but I know that hasn't been the case for others! This is their first sale so there's bound to be kinks, but remember they are going to add more items tomorrow, so if you don't snag something today, it may be worth checking out tomorrow once the popularity has died down a bit!! 

These are just things and at the end of the day, it's a bummer, but also, just things!! 

Tuckernuck Online Sample Sale


Tuckernuck Online Sample Sale
Sizing/Fit: I'm wearing a size small, so I would say it is true to size. The top portion of the dress is fitted, and the bottom half is very roomy/flowy. 

Quality: This is a great quality dress. There is not much stretch at all to the fabric, it's a true crisp poplin type material that is lightweight so it is perfect for the hotter months! Since it is cotton, you can dress it down, but also dress it up quite a bit as I have done in the photos above with some statement earrings and heeled sandals. The waist is fitted and also has a tie so it gives the dress shape and is not at all frumpy! 

Tuckernuck Online Sample Sale
Sizing/Fit: I'm wearing a size 4. I'm usually a size 2 or 4 in dresses and went with a 4 in this as it is very fitted. There is no stretch to the material, so I would say order up if between sizes and you can always get it taken in if need be. I'd say to especially size up if you have a larger bust. 

Quality: This dress is STUNNING. The fabric is high quality and very dressy. I think this works as a year-round cocktail dress. Normally I'd say the floral makes it early spring-early fall, but since it is black I really think you could wear it whenever. I don't really think you can 'dress it down' as it's a true cocktail dress! 
Tuckernuck Online Sample Sale
Sizing/Fit: I am wearing a size small, which is my true size. I prefer roomy things and don't mind the slightly oversized fit of this top. It has a swing fit to it so there's lots of room, especially at the waist. If you like something a little more fitted or are in between two sizes, definitely size down. The V neckline is not low/revealing. 

Quality: This is such a beautifully made top. It's a thick tweed fabric that looks a bit dressy but could also easily be paired with jeans and sneakers, too. It's a winter top as it's quite thick and the shimmer in the tweed is lovely. The fringe at the hem and sleeve hem is not sloppy so it really looks nice. The 

 I did an entire blog post about the Easton top that highlights fit and quality that you can find here. It's one of my very favorite tops ever. 

Sizing/Fit: These boots fit true to size and are roomy in the calf but don't fall down. They have a stretch at the back so you get a nice secure fit. 

Quality: Such high quality! The selling point of these for me is that they are waterproof. So I can wear them in the snow/slush during the winter months and they look way cuter than a more casual/traditional snow boot. 
More Favorites
 

Monday, January 25, 2021

What Music I Listen To While Working

What Music I Listen To While Working

I originally posted this in March of 2020, but wanted to update it as this is a topic I am asked about every single week! 

Music is a huge part of my life. It has so much power and I feel that it enriches my life in so many ways. I love all music and I seriously think I could go on a music-based game show and potentially win with all of my knowledge, ha!

With the times we are in now I think music is more important than ever. I think it can be a respite from the worrying and fear and can be a way to uplift our souls. 

Today's post is all about the music that I listen to while I'm working (during the 'regular'/non-holiday season). I cannot work in silence so I either have to have the TV on or music playing, but typically it's the latter.

Honestly, there is likely some music playing during 60%+ of my waking hours. I love cooking dinner to music, cleaning, working out, driving, etc. If you're looking for the types of things I listen to while doing things like that, you can find a great blog post of my top favorite Spotify playlists that I have created myself! 

I do a mix of my own Spotify playlists, Spotify radio, Pandora Radio, and the actual radio. You can find some of my favorite playlists that I have created, here, and I'm linking to some more in this post. 

Cocktail Jazz (Spotify)- This is a new-to-me playlist and I love it. It's just very easy to listen to and pleasant-sounding. 

Dinner Party (Spotify)- This is my own created playlist that features big band classics. It's feel-good but mellow all at the same time. 

Ballet and Beyond (Spotify)- This playlist has so many Classical pieces that you might find familiar. It's great because it's one of those 'set it and forget it' playlists where you won't have to skip around a ton. 

Scores (Spotify)- This is a playlist I made of all of my favorite scores from movies! There are no words in any of the songs and I would say it skews pretty mellow but this is really a hodgepodge of songs. Think Nicholas Hooper, John Williams, James Horner, etc. 

Wynton Marsalis Radio (Pandora)- A jazzy favorite on Pandora. I would just die to see him live. 

London Philharmonic (Pandora)- This is popular symphony music that the general public is likely to know by the tune. 

Dave Brubeck (Pandora)- One of my favorite jazz artists. 

Ahmad Jamal (Pandora)- Another jazz favorite and a Pittsburgher himself! His Pittsburgh Album from 1989 is one of my favorites. 

Kenny G (Pandora)- Some think of it as elevator music, but I love it. It's easy listening at its finest and what I prefer to listen to if I really need to concentrate on something. I love the sound of a saxophone in general. *Some other options with a good smooth jazz vibe and havy sax are: Dave Grusin, David Sandborn, Dave Koz. On both Spotify and Pandora, you can just put in the artist's name and they usually have a 'station' or a greatest hits type playlist. 

Miles Davis (Pandora)- Another jazz favorite. Is it clear I love jazz?!

Nancy Meyer's Kitchen (Spotify)- This user-generated playlist has almost 300 songs on it and I definitely don't love them all, so I skip a lot but this is a fun playlist. It has songs with words, so this is not for when you need to be concentrating a lot. Nancy Meyers is basically my idol and I think this playlist really encapsulates her work. 

Harry Potter Soundtracks (Spotify)- This is a playlist with almost 200 scores from all of the Harry Potter movies. I love the HP soundtracks and I love that this playlist has them all in one place. It's also fun to listen to because I think there is a clear distinction in each composer's work. You get to know the composer better and learn the differences between their music. 

Classical Playlist (Spotify)- This is my personal classical playlist that I created myself that contains many better-known pieces although it really ranges when it comes to composers. I have everything from more contemporary composers like Philip Glass and Steve Reich to historical composers like Vivaldi and Mozart. I used to dislike minimal composers, but I took a class in college focused on them and found a new appreciation for their music. My favorite piece of note within the playlist is the Appalachian Spring Suite by Aaron Copland which is over 25 minutes long (this is his Pulitzer-winning piece). It's an incredible piece and you'll likely recognize the 7th movement as that is one of the most recognizable melodies, in my opinion. I am particularly fond as the piece was inspired by Western Pennsylvania (a different time period, obviously), which is where I call home. Whenever I feel overly stressed or anxious, sometimes I'll put the entire suite on, close my eyes and just listen. 

Father of the Bride Soundtrack (Spotify)- One of my favorite movies of all time and this soundtrack lives up to the movie. It has phenomenal scores but also some great big band classics by Steve Tyrell.  

This is Van Morrison (Spotify)- So much love for Van Morrison and this playlist has all his top hits. This is not a playlist to listen to when you need to concentrate because there are obviously words and a lot of the songs make you want to get up and dance. 

John Mayer Any Given Thursday Album Live (Spotify)- This is my all-time favorite John Mayer album and has my all-time favorite version of Covered Rain (one of my all-time favorite songs ever) on it. Again, not something to listen to when you need to concentrate, but it's easy to listen to and mostly upbeat. John Mayer is so darn talented! 

For the holiday season, I have a post similar to this that you can find, here

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Saturday Shopping

We are off skiing today! It's really cold, so probably not the best idea but I'm always looking for excuses to get outside! At least we are going to get some sun, though! Here are some of the items I am loving from this week! 

Friday, January 22, 2021

Valentine's Day Tablescape Inspiration

Valentine's Day Tablescape Inspiration
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With not having much on the calendar, I've been finding myself getting even more excited about holidays- even the 'little' ones. I'm not a huge 'Valentine's person' but this year, I'm a little more excited and willing to embrace the festive red and pink colors and hearts everywhere. It's something to look forward to!

As of right now, we are cooking at home. We have had way too many crazy mishaps in the past few years with going out to dinner (and even with takeout)... so many, it's at the point of comical!!! So we have learned our lesson and will be cooking. I *think* we are going to attempt making lobster rolls. I'm not sure what we will have as our sides, but for dessert, I'm going to make the copycat Levain cookies that my sister made over Christmas. I'm actually doing a trial run today because I literally have never baked a day in my life. My mom is going to help me, haha!! 

Anyway, we are just about 3 weeks away from the holiday and I have started brainstorming fun tablescape ideas! I've mentioned this before, but setting a table is a fun creative outlet for me. It's really relaxing, there is no pressure, and overall, it's just something I really enjoy. 

I've been browsing around the internet for inspiration so I thought I would pull a few things together in case you are decorating a Valentine's Day table, too! 

My one tip for holidays like these is that you truly do not have to buy all new plates or really anything to create something festive. We registered for the plain white Wedgwood Nantucket basket dinner plates because they are a blank canvas. I find them SO easy to decorate around. Because they are bone china, they still feel 'fancier', but the basketweave texture lends a casual feel, too. I like that they do not have any metallic on them so they are both dishwasher and microwave-safe.

So with that said, I'm going to design a table around the Nantucket Basket dinner plates! That way, if you have mostly white plates, you can use this as inspiration! I always think meals look best on white plates, too, as the food really pops (but still can't resist printed dishware, too). 

I'm also focusing mostly on pastel pink because you can use pink items a lot outside of Valentine's Day! It works really nicely all spring/summer and even in fall. This floral tablecloth is the perfect example, you can definitely style it for Valentine's Day but use it all spring/summer long, too!

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Lately


Hope you are all having a lovely week!! Mine has been low-key just doing lots of email catch-up, which is always a bit tedious! It was nice and sunny several days this week which is always welcome and puts me in a good mood. I took Henry on several long walks and it always feels so great just to get outside, even if it is cold!! 

I'm planning on going skiing again this weekend. It's supposed to be pretty cold, but it's a good reason to be outside soaking up some vitamin D! 

I'm also planning on baking... WHO AM I?! But my sister made these incredible chocolate chip cookies over Christmas and they were so good, I am going to try and make them. Wish me luck because I'm going to need it. I've never baked anything in my life other than break and bake cookies and boxed brownies, ha!! 

Wearing: I am so glad that J.Crew brought this Sweater back! It's really more of a spring sweater because it is loosely woven and lightweight but the neutral color is my favorite, especially when paired with white jeans! It runs true to size, I am wearing a size small! 

Eating: Trader Joe's has an antipasto salad that is SO good. It's salami, artichokes, olives, red onion, cucumber, and Italian dressing. It is so flavorful and kind of tastes like an Italian hoagie without the bun. YUM! 

Reading: I read this article on the order that you are supposed to apply your makeup. I was so surprised to see eye makeup BEFORE foundation... do any of you do that? I always do foundation first before mascara or anything else! 

Sale: Lots of new markdowns on Nordstrom's website. Quite a few pairs of classic Ugg's on sale... thinking about getting another pair, they're usually what I throw on to walk Henry during the winter months! 

Watching:
We watched American Murder which is just one long documentary and it was really good. I had never heard about it so I had no idea who did it. It is on Netflix and definitely worth the watch if you like murder mystery docs.

Listening: Kenny G radio on Pandora has been my go-to. It's definitely 'elevator music', but it's just so easy to listen to and very calming! I love it while I work! 

Loving: These are truly one of my most favorite lounge pants ever. I bought one pair this summer on sale and I have since been waiting for them to come back in stock. They are extremely soft, wash well (and easily), and are inexpensive. They don't shrink at all and run pretty true to size. They are very thin, not in a poor quality way but just lighter weight than most of my lounge items so if you are always cold, these will be better when the temps warm up a bit. I have them in navy and white stripe but they now come in this really pretty light blue color. 
Wanting: I didn't find too much this week. We are in that 'awkward' period between after Christmas sales and 'not quite spring'. I do love some of the fun Valentine's stuff I have been seeing, though! 

Smelling: Did you catch yesterday's post where I rounded up some of my favorite candles that I burn year-round

Quoting: 'Be wary of people who constantly keep an eye on what you're doing but never support you.' // See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Candles I Love To Burn Year Round

I typically burn fall candles and then go right into winter candles September-December. When January rolls around, I retire my seasonal candles and tend to go with more 'seasonless' scents that can be burned year-round. 

I've talked about this before but I am really picky with candles. Everyone's scent preferences are different so this is all so subjective, but I do think this could help for those of you who like a similar scent profile as I do! I wish there were a scratch and sniff option, ha!! 

The words I would use to describe my scent preferences would be woodsy, manly, woody, smokey, warm, musky, fresh, light, sandalwood, citrus, rain. I don't like overly floral scents (I don't love rose, but I do love lavender,) I don't like sweet scents, I don't like anything that smells 'fake' or anything where the scent is so overpowering. 

Instead of trying to describe the scents myself, I figure you all can just click over to the scent to check it out because I am SO bad at describing them. Just know that if they are coming from my recommendation, they have my personal stamp of approval.

Candles I Love To Burn Year Round
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Honorable Mentions:

I shared a Target candle in my roundup, but I am always seeing my favorites go in and out of stock and some of them are never brought back! I typically think Hearth and Hand candles are great, though! It seems like our Target has been really low in stock/picked over entirely in the candle section since March, so it's been slim pickings! 

So many of you recommended Bath and Bodyworks candles to me back in August when I was chatting about fall candles, and I am sad to report that I didn't love any of them. 

I really love Voluspa for another good trusty candle brand. If I'm splurging it's usually Diptyque or Jo Malone. The Wood Sage and Sea salt is one of my most favorite scents of all time. I wear the perfume almost daily, even if I am in sweats or pajamas. It smells incredible and truly so luxurious.

Homegoods is another great spot for candles. My local Homegoods seem to be picked over when it comes to candles, too (similar to Target). But pre-March 2020, they always had the best candles. The thing is, if you find one you love, grab multiples if they have it because I rarely see the same ones again! 

What are your go-to scents that work year round?!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Tuckernuck Online Sample Sale

Tuckernuck Online Sample Sale
Tuckernuck usually does a sample sale in DC each year around this time. Due to the pandemic, they have decided to move everything online, which is SO exciting. I had always heard the sample sale is amazing, so it's awesome that people across the country will all have access to it. 

This post is not sponsored, Tuckernuck gave me a preview of the details and a sneak peek of the items that will be included in the sale and said I could share with you all! I thought it would be helpful to my fellow Tuckernuck lovers out there to share the details! 

When is the sale?
The sale will begin at 8am on Tuesday, January 26th. It will end at midnight on 1/27. You can enter your phone number for text updates (I did that) because those who are on the text list will get a link to shop at 8am, vs. it will be live for everyone else at 9am! 

Will new styles be added on day 2?
Yep! They will be adding new styles on the second day of the sale (1/27). 

Will there be a lot of items to choose from?
Over 1000 things! I only previewed a small selection of items so I haven't seen everything, but what I did see was awesome! 

What will prices be like?
50-85% off. 

Will there be varied sizes?
Yes, but there will be limited quantities of things so if you want to act fast if you have your eye on something because things will sell out quickly. 

Are things final sale?
Yep. All sales final. Whenever a brand is doing final sale, I tend to order the larger of my two sizes, so that way, even if it is a little big, I can always get it tailored to fit. It's harder to get something to fit when it is too small as you never know if the item will have enough fabric to let out. 

Will you be doing try-ons or sharing your picks?
That's the plan! The set up will be similar to how I do the Lilly Pulitzer sales. I will share items I have and love and try some things on Instastories as well and talk about sizing/quality here on my website. I get access when you all do, so I will be updating it in real-time, so just keep that in mind! 

And if you can't wait, there is a TON on sale right now, too! 

Are you shopping for anything in particular?
Yes! For the past few months, I have been keeping my eyes out for dresses- cocktail dresses, evening gowns, etc. Once the world opens back up again and things start to get back to more normal times, we have SO many weddings and events on our calendar- things that got postponed and new things that are kind of just hanging there waiting. I honestly don't know how we will manage it all, but I can't wait. Anyway, I have been trying to wait for sales to snag some gorgeous dresses to have on hand when the time comes! Let me know if you are shopping for anything particular and I will keep an eye out for it and share it/include it in the roundup! I know someone DM'd me and shared that they are hoping for a specific faux fur vest! 
Current Tuckernuck Favorites:

Monday, January 18, 2021

Pajama Sets I Love







Do you wear matching pajama sets to bed? If you have been reading here, even a short period of time, it is probably no surprise that I love PJ sets! I've always had several sets of high-quality pajamas that I rotate through throughout the week, but since March, I have started quite the collection. 

With not a lot going on, I'm often in my pajamas by 6pm (especially right now that it is winter). So, I personally prefer cute sets that are comfortable but also still feel put together! 

Sail to Sable just launched Pajamas and I was SO excited to receive a pair. They are SO soft. They are Pima cotton and just beautiful and so well made. I got the palm leaf print but they also have an adorable navy and white striped set, too! They also offer children's pajamas. 

I got a size medium as I prefer my pajamas roomy in the first place but also because the washing instructions are to hand wash cold and lay flat to dry. I plan on washing mine and drying them on 'low'. The medium is pretty roomy on me, so if you plan on following the washing directions then you're probably going to want to order your usual size rather than sizing up! 

Shop more pajamas I love:
 

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