OOTD: Thanksgiving Travel Edition

November 25, 2014

I have a long day ahead of me. First, a shuttle to the airport, followed by security lines and a last-minute attempt to make an earlier flight home.  This in mind, I'm keeping my outfit chic and comfortable, with plenty of layers to adjust to the always bipolar airplane climate. Have a blessed Thanksgiving, everyone!

Chambray Shirt, Camp Socks and Quilted Vest: J. Crew Factory; Boots: L.L. Bean; Striped Shirt: TJ Maxx; Tote: Marley Lilly; Pearl Chunky Necklace: Forever 21; Pink Scarf: Amazon

3 Books to Read Before the New Year

November 23, 2014

I'm writing this post with the hope that if I publish a list of books I want to read on a public forum, I will actually own up to my words and read them.  As the New Year quickly approaches, I thought I'd share what's on my "to-read" list these days.

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

"They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose..."

If that tagline doesn't make you wanna jump in bed with a cup of hot cocoa and a pair of fuzzy socks, I don't know what will. My friend has been raving about this book forever and I think it's about time I read it!

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

"In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls."

I am a huge fan of The Office. And Kelly Kapoor wrote this book. Therefore I must read it. 

Nice is Just a Place in France: How to Win at Basically Everything by The Betches

"We didn’t come up with these life lessons. We’re just the ones who wrote it all down. This is not self-help. Self-help is for fat people and divorcées. This is how to deal with your problems when you have no problems. You’re welcome."

If you're not about that sarcasm life, this book's probably not for you. This book comes from the same fabulous people behind Betches Love This. I'm sure its a quick read so I'm hoping to read it on my flight home for the holidays.

Have you read any of these titles? Any suggestions?

Letting Go & Moving On

November 21, 2014

We've all been there: failed friendships, tragic breakups.  Sometimes relationships aren't meant to work out.  In the wise words of my mom: "People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime."

This statement, while poetic, is not always easy to accept.  It can be heartbreaking to lose someone you are close to after a falling out or a dispute.  I have suffered a few of these losses in my life, but only recently have I been able to say that I have allowed myself to let go and move on.

My senior year of high school, I had a pretty big fight with two of my closest friends.  Long story short, our four year friendship ended badly and bitterly.  I went through a variety of confusing stages before finally reaching where I am now.

At first, I felt betrayed, angry and most of all, hurt.  I couldn't believe what had happened, nor did I want to accept it.  Out of defense, I let my emotions get the best of me, leading me to say things I didn't mean, many of which caused me a tremendous sense of guilt and regret in the months following.

The summer came and went, and all the while, I felt lonely and still very upset by everything that went down.  I lost sleep over the situation and often felt nauseous at the thought of the whole thing. With much self-reflection and advice from other friends and family members, and after exchanging heartfelt apology notes and good wishes with these former friends, I can finally say I am at peace. 

If you had told me I'd be writing this post when the fight first happened, I would deny it.   I didn't ever want to be content with the way things ended because, competitive person I am, I felt as though accepting the outcome would mean I lost the battle.  However, I can now tell you after going through various emotional stages in the past five months, that when you open yourself up to forgiveness and moving on, you'll be overwhelmed by the sense of calm you feel.

To clarify, I don't think we will ever be friends again. Depressing as this may sound,  I have learned that the end of a friendship is not always a bad thing. These girls were in my life for a reason but our friendship unfortunately evolved into one that was toxic and would no longer serve a good purpose in my life in its current stage.

I am a living example of the fact that, as sad and confusing as losing a friend (or even a boyfriend) can be, things will become clear in time. I am so beyond thankful for the good memories I have with these high school friends and all the positives we contributed to each others' lives, but I am confident in my decision to let them go. Maybe one day we'll meet for lunch and laugh the same way we did as giddy girls at a Sweet Sixteen, but for now, I am content with saying that I am letting go and moving on...and it couldn't feel anymore refreshing.


November 19, 2014

I hate turkey. I can eat chicken till the cows chickens (?) come home, but for whatever reason, the thought of turkey grosses me out. I can't seem to get the image of feathers and a gobble out of my head. I'm weird like that about a lot of foods...you can judge me. One might think that not liking turkey could pose an "Achilles' Heel" of sorts when it comes to Thanksgiving, but despite my quirky distaste, Thanksgiving remains one of my favorite holidays.

This Thanksgiving in particular will be a special one for me. It's my first time going home and the first time I'll see my brother and sister since August, when I moved into college! They say distance makes the heart grow fonder (cheesy, I know), and I have found this to be really true when it comes to being away from my family at school. It's kind of poetic that I've spent this extended time away from them and our reunion will be on the holiday when you recognize and appreciate all you're thankful for. I am also super excited to be spending Thanksgiving with my cousins this year. A couple of my cousins are also freshmen in college, so it'll be so fun to hang out and exchange stories from the semester.
Me and some of the best people on earth (aka the sibs)
Traditions are also one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving. Most of my family's Thanksgiving traditions revolve around food. No matter what time of year it is, my mouth is sure to water at the thought of my Aunt Merry's twice-baked potatoes or my family's generations-old stuffing pie recipe (sounds weird, but its to-die-for). I am a big baker so I am definitely looking forward to trying out one or two of the 3,736 (and counting) recipes I've collected on my Pinterest recipe board.

I've been celebrating Christmas since Halloween ended, but Thanksgiving definitely marks the official start of the holiday season. It's when Christmas songs start playing on the radio, and it becomes socially acceptable to order daily peppermint mochas from Starbucks (however, social norms have not stopped me from doing this for the past three weeks)! One of the things I'm most looking forward to this year is a tradition my brother, sister and I started a few years back of watching Elf on Thanksgiving night to mark the start of the Christmas season. I'm all about living in the moment and appreciating one holiday at time, but there's a reason the last float on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is Santa Claus every year.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (on Thanksgiving)!

Do y'all have any unique Thanksgiving traditions?  Anyone wanna make me feel more normal and confess to having turkey problems too? No? Okay, that's cool. I get it. I'm an odd one...

Puppy Christmas

In case you didn't overdose on adorableness from my last post, I bring you the ever-festive "Puppy Christmas." You're welcome.

The Most Heartwarming Videos on the Web

November 17, 2014

WARNING: The following videos will ruin your mascara.

I'm a sucker for a heartwarming YouTube video. Generally speaking, I'm not a crier but a cute proposal or a military homecoming is guaranteed to have me reaching for the Kleenex box. Here's a collection of some of my favorites.  

"Seeing my dog the day I got back from Afghanistan"
An oldie but a goodie, this has got to be one of my top military homecoming videos. If you're a dog person (or any kind of person) this video is sure to make your day.

"Epic proposal from 26 countries, 4 years in the making"
I don't know of a single girl who wouldn't dream of a proposal like this. This guy is awesome.

"Little Girl's Heart-melting Reaction to Soldier Daddy's Surprise Homecoming"
This is a definite sob-inducer.

"Greatest Marriage Proposal EVER!!!"
Not only is this proposal adorable, but it's also super impressive. Such a cool concept for a proposal.

"Soldier Surprises Daughter in Class"
This one makes me cry every time. Her face is priceless.

Budweiser Clydesdales Commercial
Granted, this is a commercial and not as genuine as the rest of the videos in this post, but its still just as heartwarming in effect.

If you got through this post without shedding a tear, you are not human.

15 under 15

November 16, 2014

Whether you're Christmas shopping for friends or you're just a total impulse buyer (I openly admit to latter of the two), it's always fun to treat yourself (or a friend) to a little gift. Here are my current obsessions  under $15!

NYX Lip Butter in Creme Brûlée
I love a good lip gloss and this one is the perfect shade (and the perfect price)! I got mine from ULTA but NYX is a brand generally available at most drugstores and Target.

Starbucks Skinny Peppermint Mochas
Pretty sure I haven't gone a day without a SKPM since Starbucks holiday drinks were released a few weeks ago. And in case you were wondering, I am one of those people who begins celebrating Christmas the second Halloween ends. While unfortunately online Starbucks ordering has yet to be invented, you can (temporarily) satisfy your SKPM craving by browsing these festive instagrams.

Essie Russian Roulette Nail Polish
Who doesn't love red nail polish! It's the epitome of classic - bold without any obnoxiousness. And this gorgeous shade by Essie also just so happens to be seasonally appropriate.

Benefit Cosmetics You Go Gals! Set
Currently on sale, this set is the definition of a steal. I've tried these products individually and they're all amazing for skin perfecting.

J. Crew Factory Camp Socks
I swear by these socks. They're super warm...I would equate them to insulation for your feet which is a necessity as the temperatures outside continue to drop (much to my dismay)!

Swoozie's Stadium Cups
Swoozie's is the cutest store on earth and they sell these plastic reusable stadium cups with adorable sayings. I picked up a set with "I sometimes have mixed drinks about feelings" written on them and everyone who seems them always gets a huge kick out of them!

Soap & Glory Hand Food
This lotion is a life-saver when the winter air starts to dry out your skin. Not only does it smell fantastic, but it's sold in mini tubes which would fit perfectly in a clutch or small purse.

Scotch Washi Tape
Washi tape is so convenient (especially in dorm rooms) because you can tape it on surfaces and remove it without causing any damage. Scotch has a line of washi tape with the most adorable patterns. (Pro tip: I use it to organize/decorate my Lilly agenda!)

LuEl's Boutique Wire-Wrapped Rings 
Wire-wrapped bracelets are a huge trend right now, but the rings are equally as cute. LuEl's boutique offers a large selection of rings and bracelets at super-affordable prices.

Meyer's Room Spray
Living in a musty college dorm room, room spray is not negotiable. Meyer's has a very fresh and clean scent which at least provides the illusion of a fresh and clean room.

Taylor Swift's 1989
This album has been on constant replay. T Swift has done it again, and I think this is her best pop album yet. The songs are fun and extremely unique compared to anything she's done in the past. I highly recommend it!

Laura Ashley Slippers
I wasn't a slipper girl until I got to college because I can't stand walking on the cold (often dusty) linoleum floors in my bare feet. I personally love Laura Ashley slippers because they're comfortable and pretty!

Trader Joe's Peppermint Pretzel Slims
While I stand firm in my belief that you can't go wrong with any Trader Joe's purchase, I think I died and went to heaven the first time I tried the Peppermint Pretzel Slims. They are dangerously delicious. If you don't have a store near by and are desperate enough to pay 3x the price for Amazon (which would be entirely understandable given their addictive quality), you can order them here.

Activated Charcoal Tablets
The true Pinterest person I am, I had to see what the craze was all about. I kid you not, my teeth were visibly whiter after the first time I brushed them with charcoal. I've been brushing every day for a week and I may as well have gotten them professionally whitened. Definitely worth a try!

Born Free, Now I'm Expensive Mug
This mug basically defines me, so naturally I had to purchase it on a whim at SteinMart. While SteinMart doesn't offer the mug online, you can always try to track it down at a store near you!

Leavin' On A Jet Plane

November 12, 2014

As a relatively adventurous person (at least where travel is concerned), you could probably guess that I have a pretty long list of places I want to visit. I've traveled out of the country a few times, with trips to Costa Rica and Ireland being some of the coolest experiences of my life. I can't wait to study abroad in a few years and my honeymoon destination is already set in stone (sorry future husband). But until then, here are my top 10 destinations!

10. Morocco
I mean, how amazing would it be to ride a camel?! Morocco is such a unique place. I'd love to have the chance to visit someday.

 9. The British Virgin Islands
I have heard nothing but amazing things about BVI. Between the beautiful green mountains and deep blue oceans, what's not to love?

 8. Bora Bora
Pretty sure this is a no-brainer. I have yet to meet a person who doesn't fantasize about staying in one of those little tiki huts in Bora Bora.

 7. Maui

I've never been to Hawaii but I've heard amazing things about Maui. Plus I'm pretty sure Ashley Tisdale named her dog Maui so that has to be a good sign.

6. Venice
Venice is just one of those places I think everyone should see once in their life. The pictures I've seen are breathtaking so I can only imagine how amazing it is in person. Now all I need is a beautiful European guy who will bring me on a gondola...

5. Paris
Croissants, macarons, baguettes, oh my! In addition to the delicious and fancy cuisine, the Paris shopping scene is to-die-for. I've been dreaming of taking the trip there since Mary Kate & Ashley starred in Passport to Paris (undeniably the best film of the 20th century).

4. Ghana
Ghana is a little more unique than some of my other bucket list destinations. Something has always drawn me to Africa, but I am super intrigued with the culture of Ghana in particular.  Going on a service trip to Costa Rica has gotten me really into service abroad and its a goal of mine to do a mission trip somewhere in Ghana. 

3. London
I could totally see myself studying abroad in London. I could spend days admiring British accents and [window] shopping in Harrods. Or pretending to be Kate Middleton.

2. Sydney
Sydney seems like such a cool city. Another place full of people with awesome accents. Among my top sights to see in Sydney are definitely the Opera House and P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way.

1. Greece
I have been dying to go to Greece for as long as I can remember. I'm not sure if the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants has anything to do with it, but regardless, it is one of the most beautiful, romantic places on earth, which is why I have deemed it my official honeymoon location. Who says you need to know the groom before planning every last detail of the wedding on Pinterest and picking out your honeymoon destination?!

Did I miss anywhere? Where is the most interesting/beautiful/fun place you've travelled or would like to visit?

My Bargain Hunting Secret

November 9, 2014

If you haven't heard of 6pm.com yet, read on- you won't regret it. If you have heard of 6pm, why are you wasting your time on this post? Go browse!! While its main focus is selling discount shoes, 6pm has broadened its horizons to clothing and accessories as well. I'll admit, the site can be overwhelming at times, but if you have something specific in mind you're shopping for, it'll be a lot easier to navigate. One of the most exciting discoveries I have made regarding 6pm is the amazing (unexpected) variety of designers carried (Ahem, Lilly Pulitzer anyone?)! You can find Lilly dresses, tops, pants, etc. at half price (sometimes even more than half price)! In addition to Lilly, you'll find Sperry Topsider, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, and more. I've actually discovered brands I had never heard of before on 6pm at great prices such as Brigitte Bailey and Gabriella Rocha.  A few words of caution regarding the site: one of the reasons they are able to offer such great discounts has to do with the limited sizes available. Too many times I have fallen in love with a photo of a beautiful dress or pair of shoes, only to click on it and see they are only offered one or two random sizes. That being said, 6pm is a bargain hunter's paradise and is definitely worth a look--especially if you're in the market for something pricy or brand-name.

Disclaimer: The opinions in the post are mine. I have not been paid or sponsored in any way to promote 6pm.com.