Saturday, October 30, 2021

Saturday Shopping

Friday, October 29, 2021

Under $50 and $100 Gift Ideas for Her

Under $50 gift Idea for Her
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Total Cost for Two: $95
Total Cost for Each: $47.50

I was sent these adorable cosmetic bags from Sea Marie, which is a cute small business that you can shop online. This is what really inspired this entire post for the day! You know those people who can be really hard to shop for? Maybe they have everything or they are really picky or you don't know them well enough to get them something super personal or know what's on their wish list. These are some gift ideas I Have come up with. All are under $100 and most are under $50! 

These bags are not only cute but functional because they are lined with a wipeable material so it's great for bath or makeup products! 

They come in a set of two so it got me thinking... the set is $40, making each bag $20. One bag with some goodies inside would make for the cutest gift. I put together what I would fill the bags with! The total cost for one is $47.50. The catch is that you do have to buy the sets of items and the set of bags so really, you are spending about $95, but that's for two people then! 

When I talk about gifts, I talk a lot about how gift sets are great because you can break them up and this is the perfect example of what I am talking about. So let's say you have two teen nieces or a sister-in-law or maybe it's someone you don't know well. I made sure to include all items that don't have any color to them so it's not like you have to match them to someone's complexion. These are all items I have tried and love myself. 

So what you would do is fill the cosmetic cases with tissue paper to get them looking full and then drop some of the items in! You'd actually end up having one hand cream leftover that you could pop into someone's stocking or toss in your handbag! 

If you want to lessen the cost even further, you could do it in an even less costly pouch like this, and to make it a little more personal, add a monogram decal on the pouch!

Under $100
Shop the Items:
Total Cost(when full price): $88 
(travel jewelry case sometimes goes on sale, though!)

This is another good one for under $100! Again, I have both of these items and absolutely love them. The diamond studs are just as good as the ones from Nordstrom (and they are less $ than the Nordstrom version) and look exactly like my real diamond studs. I have worn them to swim and shower and they look good as new. Great for travel when you don't want to wear the real thing or just for someone who does not want to invest in real diamond studs! The travel jewelry case is such beautiful quality and has really come in hand when I travel!   

Another good sister-in-law, teen niece, best girlfriend, etc. gift idea! I wanted to make sure that with these gift ideas, you don't need to know someone's size or their makeup colors or anything. It's more of a 'one size fits most' situation! 

Under $50
Total Cost: $48
I'm not really into fake plants at all. I get their appeal, however, if you can find dried branches or flowers, I think this is such a nicer option! You can get this beautifully preserved boxwood bundle and a blue and white vase and you have a beautiful piece of home decor that you can give a blue and white lover! It's also a great idea as a host/hostess gift or a thank you to send over for having you stay overnight during the holiday season. That way, no one has to fuss with getting the flowers in water or anything like that and they can enjoy for months to come! I'd suggest tying a ribbon around the neck of the vase! 

Total Cost: $44

French Cade Lavender is SUCH a good scent. It's fresh and light and has a great throw. It even smells wonderful when it is not lit! Candles as gifts are not original by any means, however, I think when you add accessories with the candle, it becomes more thoughtful and more interesting! 

Total Cost: $100
This is another really nice gift to give to someone if you are being hosted in their home overnight. It's personalized and I don't know what it is about a fresh wreath, but I just LOVE them! 

I truly think when you do something like this- put things into a 'set' or a 'theme' it feels a bit more personal and like you really took the time and effort to get a great gift for someone! 

Let me know if you all enjoy posts like this and if they are helpful! This is kind of 'newer' for me, so I won't take offense if you don't like this!

Thursday, October 28, 2021


Tartan Top// Skirt// Dior Pumps, Similar

Are you all having a nice week? Monday marks November which is wild because that means we are just 2 months from 2022. Time FLIES. I think about how quickly time goes by almost daily. It just blows my mind! 

This week was a lot of computer work as I wanted to work ahead so I coul fully unplug for our Boston trip this weekend. We are visiting one of my husband's best friends and his wife who live there! We love them and have so much fun with them so it'll be a great time! 

Wearing: I shared this Skirt on Instastories ther other day. It is GORGEOUS. The photo really does not do it justice as the size I had ordered was too big on me! I am going to exchange it for a small and hoping it works out because it is the perfect holiday skirt. I think I'll end up wearing it to the Nutcracker! 

Eating: Have you all had Oh Snap pickles? I just had their spicy flavor and they are AMAZING! 

Gifting: I am thinking about our matching Christmas pajamas that my mom, sister, and I do each year and these have been top of mind! Nothing really holiday about them, but they are so cute and I love the fabric. They would be such a great holiday gift! 

Sale: My aunt got my husband these dog rocks glasses for his birthday last year and they are so cute!!! He loves them and uses them often. Right now they are on sale with an extra 20% off! They come out to be about $32 for the set of 4! 

 This video of Spanx founder, Sara Blakely, letting her employees know that she is giving each one of them 2 first-class round trip tickets to anywhere in the world and $10k to celebrate selling the majority stake- their reactions of pure joy and surprise will put a smile on your face. It's always nice to be recognized and/or rewarded for hard work! 

Loving: Animal Friends is a wonderful no-kill shelter that also is a big advocate for spaying/neutering here in Pittsburgh and they have an Amazon wishlist. I love to check out our local shelters wish lists whenever they post them as it's fun to donate things here and there! If you are feeling generous, check it out, I just did!! They say on their Facebook page 'We are in need of some more Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy and Milk Bones for our resident dogs. Choice Cuts are a favorite among our pups and when mixed with their kibble, it provides a tasty and healthy meal! Milk Bones reward our dogs for being on their best behavior (and, just because!) so why not help us treat them? If you are able, please donate!'
Wanting: These pinecone glasses are stunning!!! I have wanted this sweatshirt for so long but have not purchased it because it was almost $200! It's finally on sale and I'm still trying to hold off since I don't need any sweatshirts, but I just LOVE it. 
Pittsburgh: We went out for my mom's birthday last week and had a very full day! We went to the Van Gogh immersive experience which was pretty cool- a little overhyped, but a fun experience nonetheless. Then we went to the newly opened Monterey Pub. It has been closed for so long and we were so glad to be back. I was glad to know they still have good martinis! Then off to the William Penn which has the prettiest lobby and dinner at my favorite place in all of Pittsburgh, Pusadee's Garden! Lots of fun celebrating! 

Quoting: 'It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not.' // See more of my favorites, here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Casual Thanksgiving Outfit Idea

Gifted from J. McLaughlin
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So today I wanted to share another possible Thanksgiving outfit idea and one I will likely wear if it is really cold outside! It's dressy-casual. You're going to want to head over to Instagram today as I will be posting a giveaway with J.McLaughlin for a $500 gift card (you cannot enter via this blog post). This blog post is not sponsored, however, I was gifted this outfit to style!

This outfit is featuring their Arlette turtleneck which comes in different colors and patterns. This turtleneck is the perfect piece for layering. It's a cotton/modal blend so you have the breathability of cotton and the modal strengthens the fabric for longevity. Plus, a tiny bit of spandex to give you a nice stretch. It's super versatile and I especially love the button detail at the cuffs. The Arlette turtleneck runs true to size, I am wearing a size small! You'll be able to see how some other gorgeous ladies style this turtleneck: Mary, Sarah, and Abby

Also, these jeans are incredible. I swear they make my legs look SO much longer than they are. They are incredibly comfortable, too. I personally don't care for belts with logos, so I love J.McLaughlin belts. They are high quality and classic and I love that the way they are designed is that you don't end up with an extra long 'tail' and it is reversible so it is versatile- like two belts in one

The piece de resistance is this Wool Camel Cardigan. Do you all remember me chatting about the show The Outer Banks and in season 2 there is a character called Carla Limbrey and she has the most beautiful long camel cardigan? Anyway, I have been searching for something similar for months and this is SUCH a good cardigan to match her's from the show!!! It's long and elegant and cozy! Wear it over your pajamas in the morning and then over an outfit like this in the afternoon and then over a slip dress in the evening. It's so versatile!

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Faux Suede Dress for Fall

Faux Suede Dress in the color bone, wearing size small

So yesterday we were doing Christmas, and today we are back to being seasonally appropriate! We haven't made it to an actual pumpkin patch or apple orchard this year as we have not really had any free time to do so, but we have stopped at the Simmons Farm market a few times to get some pumpkins, mums, apples, etc! 

I wanted to share this Faux Suede Dress with you all as I think it could be the perfect thing to wear for a casual Thanksgiving dinner! I will likely wear this if we have milder temps! I will start to share some more Thanksgiving outfit ideas with you all as I have some cute ideas and I know with Thanksgiving, you kind of have to play it by ear when it comes to the weather. We don't really do anything outside, but if it's wet and cold I usually prefer to be in a long dress and tights or a dressy pant outfit.

My parents host Thanksgiving every year and we don't get crazy dressed up, just something 'nice' so basically this dress is perfect. I'm curious, do you all get dressed up for Thanksgiving? Also, do you all eat early or later? I always see people eating their Thanksgiving meal at like 2pm! We have always eaten around 7pm-ish!

Ok so back to the dress! The fabric of this dress is the same super soft fabric that one of my all-time favorite tops is made from! It runs true to size,  I'm wearing a size small. I'm 5'6" so I would say if you are taller than that, it may be a bit short on you but there is about a full inch that you could let out if needed.

I've actually worn this a ton in the past two months. As it gets colder, I think I'm going to try styling it with tall boots and/or a vest!

Monday, October 25, 2021

Decorating My Office for the Holidays

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So I have this thing for mini Christmas trees and I am not really sure why that is, but, each year I seem to acquire one more small tree.  This year, I decided to buy a second mini Pre-lit 4' Tree. I already have this same tree and I put it outside of our front door. One day I'd like to flank our front door with two of these trees, but currently cannot because in our home our door is not centered. 

Anyway, the tree is from Walmart, under $30, and you can't beat it. It's pre-lit and comes in two pieces so it's not only easy to put up but it's easy to store, too. I put this tree in my office! Now that I have this chair in here (I didn't last year), I felt like this spot would look SO cozy with a tree next to it. Once I set it up I was so glad I ordered one. It just gives my office such a nice vibe with the lights on the tree. Love it and it was so easy to do. 
I have this photo of my parents framed on my desk. I can see it as I type this post. I just LOVE this photo of them. It's from when they were first married and lived in an apartment. You can see to the left that they have this mini tree and I just find it to be so charming. So, one more mini tree was added to our home, in inspiration from my parents from the '80s. Also, this Tree would be the perfect apartment tree if you don't have the space for a full-size tree! 

As a total side note, in the photo, I spy a gold photo frame that they still have sitting out. And the nativity under the tree is the same nativity they still use to this day. My mom made it in a pottery class. Also, the angel on the top of the tree is also one they still have to this day. I just love the tradition of the holiday season!! 

Walmart has so many good seasonal decor options on its site! I really like the Packed Party items that are fun and colorful! Like how about this Nutcracker? Darling! I also love to tie ornaments on gifts as a cute way to 'garnish' the package! This ornament is adorable!!! And I'm really getting ahead of myself with this one, but these party horns and these tinsel headbands are SO cute for a New Year's Eve party!

Thank you to Walmart for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Saturday Shopping

Friday, October 22, 2021

Amazon Finds

Amazon Finds

Nail Concealer// This is a really neat nail polish. It's almost clear but it just makes your nails look nicer! If I don't have time to go to the salon for a manicure but need my nails to look polished in a pinch, this is the best stuff! 

Green Bag// Ok how cute it this? It's under $30 and a fun bag to carry with a cocktail dress. I feel like this bag is trendy so I would not want to spend more than that anyway! 

Wool and Cashmere Shampoo// I just repurchased a bottle of this. A little goes a long way so a bottle lasts a long time. This is what I use on all of my cashmere! It smells wonderful and is very gentle. 

Napkin Set// I thought these were pretty for a fall tablescape! 

Sunglasses// Love these sunglasses. They are probably the most inexpensive sunglasses I own and I have been wearing them more than any other pair lately! Make sure you get the Amber tortoise/brown option as I think those have the best lenses. 

Cream Velvet Headband// These headbands come in a bunch of colors and are a classic, basic headband, which is surprisingly hard to find these days! No puffing, not knots, no embellishments. Well-made, too, and doesn't hurt my head after hours of wear. 

Portable Hard Drive// This is what I use to backup all of my photos. I also use the cloud but I like to have a hard copy of everything, too! Great if you have wedding photos and want to make sure you have a copy of these on hand forever. 

Ginger Jar Ornaments// You all already know about these but they are still in stock as of writing this, so snag them while you can. 

Nail Strengthener// I get gel manicures and it really does take a toll on my nails. In between manicures, I use this and I really do think it helps. It dries SO fast. 

Little Black Dress// I ordered this and when it arrived, it was kind of wrinkly and didn't look promising. I gave it a chance and after steaming it, it turned out to be SUCH a winner. A great option for a more casual wedding or upcoming holiday event! I sized up to a medium. 

Black Velvet Headband// I ordered this thinking it might be a fail because it's less than $5 but it's so nice!! A classic black velvet headband. I wish they made more colors, I would have bought them all!

Pouch Set// My sister turned me on to these pouches. One set and you'll be forever organized!!

Sunglasses// These are stylish and fun. I really liked the color so that's what made me purchase them! I wear them quite a bit as I feel like they look good with my coloring! 

Leggings// Do you know I have held off on buying Amazon leggings for years even after I have seen so many people rave about them. I felt like there was NO WAY they could even come close to brands like Lululemon, Athleta, etc. I finally caved. I had to know. I ordered this exact pair and lo and behold, they are SO much like my lululemon Wunder under. I think the Lulu pairs are like 1% better, but for the savings, these are just truly a great choice. I am converted and now I really do understand why people are talking about them so much.

Thursday, October 21, 2021


First of all, I have to wish my beautiful mother a very happy birthday! It will be so much fun celebrating her today! We are going to the immersive VanGogh event and then out for drinks and dinner at one of my very favorite spots! In the photos above, my mom is wearing this fleece and these jeans

This week has felt go-go-go both with work and social activities. I'm actually OK with it. As backward as this may sound, I actually feel like I am more on my A-game whenever I am busier!!! This weekend we have an Octoberfest party at our family friend's home which will be lots of fun. Then I will likely be doing some work Saturday/Sunday as our following weekends for the next 3 weeks will be packed!!!

We've also had gorgeous fall weather here this week and I have really been trying to take advantage of the sunshine and mild temperatures by taking Henry on longer walks. And speaking of being active, I've been ordering and returning athletic shoes like crazy. I can't seem to find any that I am crazy about right now but when I find the perfect pair I will let you all know! 
Wearing: This past weekend I worked a lot but we also went to a beautiful wedding here in Pittsburgh! It was so much fun!!! I wore this Marchesa Notte dress that I purchased in April of 2020 when all of the fancy dresses went on major sale. Sadly it is no longer available. I was SO happy to have this cashmere wrap as it got chilly as the sun went down. It's one of the most used items in my closet! 

Eating: I made the TikTok salmon bowl last night for dinner and it was delicious. I put my own twists on it, but overall SO easy!!! 

Gifting: These Dennis Gross peel pads are a favorite splurge-worthy skincare item for me. This gift set is SUCH a good deal. 
Sale: Tuckernuck Sport launched new items and not surprisingly, they are as cute as can be!!!! I don't know where this code came from but it has been working for a long time now- if you enter YOUROCK at checkout you get 20% off. I am just waiting for this to no longer work one day because it's almost too good to be true! 

 Have you all watched anything good lately? We are due for a new show for my husband and I to watch together!! I feel like we have seen it all! 

Loving: I have always loved vintage Christmas stuff. That includes seeing tinsel on Christmas trees. I feel like it's something you don't really see anymore. Do you all put tinsel on your tree? I want to SO badly but I really worry for Henry's sake (in case some fall off and he eats it) so it's just something I don't think I'd ever do, but my goodness, I love the look. 
Loving II: We babysat my parent's pup, Buddy Wednesday-Sunday last week and let me tell you- our vacuum has never worked harder, haha!! Two pups that shed like crazy and I was vacuuming daily. It was crazy! But Buddy is so cute and the sweetest. Henry and Buddy get along so well!
Wanting: I finally ordered myself a new Macbook. Merry Christmas to me. I literally pre-ordered it on Monday the second it was announced and became available. I had been waiting on this for years as I held out with my 2013 model. I could not bring myself to update my computer until they brought back the magnetic charging port and all of the other ports like SD and USB and I did not want that touch bar at all that they had been putting on the newer models in recent years. I am SO glad I waited it out and so so so excited to finally have a new computer that I have really needed to do my job (sans touch bar and with ports). I knew eventually Apple would listen to its customers and bring back the ports!!! 
Pittsburgh: We tried the buffalo chicken pizza from Driftwood Oven for the first time and oh my goodness, it was SO good. It was easily the best buffalo chicken pizza I have ever eaten! 

Traveling: We are going back to the Finger Lakes soon!! I am so excited. After visiting for the first time last year, we loved it so much we made sure to plan a trip again for this year!

Quoting: 'The whole world is a series of miracles, but we're so used to them we call them ordinary things.' - Hans Chrstian Andersen// See more of my favorites, here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Gift Guide 2021: Under $200 For Her

Gift Guide: Under $200 For Her

Today's gift guide focuses on items that are between $100-$200 for her! This was such an easy one for me to do as I own everything on this list and absolutely 10/10 would recommend every single thing on this list. These are all tried and true items I use day in and day out. 

Some Items of Note...
Nautical Wood Board// This wood board is from my collaboration with WREN! You can use code SYDNEY20 for 20% off your purchase! 

Striped Top// This is one of my very favorite tops. I wrote a full blog post about it, here

Hairbrush// I treated myself to this hairbrush. It's ridiculously expensive for a brush but my hairstylist, Courtney, who did my hair for our wedding, used it on my hair and so I ordered one. I really thought I would think it was just like any other hairbrush, but I was wrong. It makes my hair feel SO soft. The rubber pad that the bristles sit in is apparently patented and I now understand why. Whenever you brush your hair, it feels almost cushioned on your scalp... hard to explain until you try it! They also say Mason Pearson hairbrushes last a lifetime. I replace hairbrushes every year or two so this could be really good news for me. This is something that makes a great gift because it's frivolous and a small dose of luxury that you might purchase for yourself. 

Ugg Mini Boots// Team Ugg boots forever. They're not the prettiest but my goodness they are SO warm and comfortable. This is typically what I walk Henry in the winter months or what I wear to/from Orange Theory classes or running quick errands where I am in and out of the car a lot. These are the mini and I've been wanting to try this height as they have become quite popular! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Jewelry Travel Set (great gift idea)

Pottery Barn Quinn Travel Jewelry

Pottery Barn Quinn Travel Jewelry

Pottery Barn Quinn Travel Jewelry
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I have a lot of storage pouches that I have amassed over the years. However, nothing is structured like the items you see above! Most of the pouches I have are soft, which is fine for just a few things, but I worry some of the items could get crushed or somehow messed up!

We went to The Greenbrier on our minimoon and I had a bedside table and after getting married, I had gotten a few more pieces of jewelry that I would take off when I slept or showered. I realized I didn't really have anywhere to put them- no home base in our room. So that had me on the hunt for a little valet tray that I could put all my items on the nightstand- jewelry, hand cream, lip balm, etc. I ended up ordering this. It was inexpensive and would do the trick! I got it in and it was just so cheapy feeling. 

So I decided I would actually spend a little more money to get what I really wanted and landed on this! And lucky for you all, it's on MAJOR sale. I cannot believe the price! It's so high quality, large, and beautiful. The snaps can be undone and it lays flat in my suitcase or tote bag. I used it recently at my bedside at the Inn at Perry Cabin and it was seriously the perfect thing. You can just put it right into the safe when you leave your room, so easy. 

As a side note, these would all make terrific holiday gifts! 
Pottery Barn Quinn Travel Jewelry
I also ended up ordering the matching Small Travel Case and Large Travel Case. The small case is perfect for weekend trips and the large is better for several nights or longer! I actually did a lot of research on the cases from all different brands. I wanted something high quality and simple and I wanted these cases to be somewhat slim. When I travel by plane, I always carry on my jewelry so it was important to me that this could all fit in my tote or carry-on. They're not tiny by any means, but they are compact enough that I can definitely carry them on! 

I also didn't plan this or realize it until they arrived, but all three of the items I have happened to match my Jewelry Box! Mark and Graham and Pottery Barn are under the same umbrella so it makes sense! I love that it all matches- it oddly makes me feel very put together! For the jewelry box, I had also done a lot of browsing. I wanted something high-quality that wasn't tiered. I also wanted it to have a clear top. That was hard to find and I stumbled across this unicorn of a Jewelry Box that checked all my boxes. I put my fine jewelry in the jewelry box and then store costume jewelry in lucite containers out of sight. You can see how I store my costume earrings, here.

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