Friday, November 27, 2015

Wandering the Web: Happy shopping!

best Black Friday sales 2015

Happy Black Friday, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday! Many of you have probably already started your Black Friday shopping by this point. I may or may not be late in posting this because I was doing a little shopping of my own this morning... ;) There are lots of great sales to hit up today, so don't miss out if you're planning to do some Christmas shopping! Hope you all have a great weekend, and here are some of the sales I'll be shopping...

1. ASOS — 30% off with code BLESSED.

2. Baublebar — 30% off with code THX.

3. Express — 50% off and free shipping.

4. Nordstrom — 25% off select items.

5. Loft — 40% off with code BF40

6. Aerie — 40% off plus free shipping, and buy one get one free PJ pants.

7. Sole Society — 30% off all shoes and select accessories.

8. J. Crew — 30-40% off using code HOLIDAY.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

tips for your first holiday with your SO’s family

I think most people can agree that meeting the parents is a little stressful. I’ve always dreaded it, even though I’ve never had a particularly bad experience. It just makes me nervous and a little uncomfortable — basically the same as meeting anyone new when you’re an introvert, ha! But seriously, meeting the parents can be intimidating, especially if it’s during the holidays, which is typical for new couples. If you’re planning to meet your S.O.’s parents during the holidays this year, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

gift guide: for her

gifts for all the women in your life, in every price range

Another gift guide is here, and this one is for the ladies! I've gathered up some of my favorite gift ideas for sisters, best friends, moms, boyfriend's girlfriends and all the other women you know! I found a lot of goodies this year, but I think my favorite is definitely the the Kate Spade wine stopper and cork screw! How adorable, right?

I also love the passport holder, perfect for the girl on the go. It's also customizable, which is great if you're looking to add a personal touch! And of course, you can't go wrong with a cute coffee mug or the perfect dish and organizer to display your favorite baubles.

What's on your Christmas wish list this year? 

P.S. the perfect gift guide for him

Friday, November 20, 2015

Wandering the Web: have a healthy weekend.

A perfect holiday gift guide, tips for throwing a dinner party and why our culture romanticizes stress

Happy Friday, friends! How has your week been? I have been sick for most of it, and Adam had to fly to New York unexpectedly for work, so the majority of my week has been spent in bed and watching Friends. Fun stuff, this whole almost-winter thing, right?! Ha. Anyway, I'm looking forward to a better weekend and Thanksgiving (!) next week. I can't believe it's time for Thanksgiving already, but here we are! Soon you-know-what will be here... ;)

Anyway, I hope you all have a fun (and healthy) weekend, and here are some good links from this week:

1. This dad's beautiful explanation of the Paris attacks to his son with break your heart. (Buzzfeed)

2. Which college majors lead to moving back in with Mom and Dad. (Time)

3. Expert tips for throwing a fabulous dinner party. (Cup of Jo)

4. Have you seen Krista's online holiday gift guide? It's absolutely amazing! (Covering the Bases)

5. Will you watch Jessica Jones? It looks intriguing... (Vulture)

6. This long-distance couple had a great idea for staying close on Instagram. (Cosmopolitan)

7. Why do we romanticize stress? (The Everygirl)

8. "Romantic freedom was his principle, and yet I was the only one out there living it." (NYT Modern Love)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

gift guide: for him

gifts for every man in your life

It's that time of year again... the gift guides are out! I love picking out gifts, and this year I found a bunch of great stuff for all the men in your life. For the fashion-forward, the cocktail lovers and the techies, I've rounded up some of my favorite items in every price range. Picking out the perfect gift can be stressful, so I tried to find things that could appeal to most guys — every guy needs a watch and underwear, right?

What is your method for picking out the perfect gift? 

P.S. Last year's gift guide for him and for her

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thanksgiving-inspired table settings

I’ve never really had the desire to host my own Thanksgiving, but now that I’m starting to be a grownup — you know, living in my own place, setting budgets and baking pies and whatnot — I suddenly have the urge to play hostess. It’s not in the cards for this year, though, as I’m usually too busy to even remember to buy groceries once a week so preparing a whole meal just isn’t going to happen. But hopefully by next year I can start to think about at least throwing a Friendsgiving, which would be so fun.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

(faux) leather skater skirt

A date night outfit to break out of the jeans-and-sweater rut.

A date night outfit to break out of the jeans-and-sweater rut.

A date night outfit to break out of the jeans-and-sweater rut.

A date night outfit to break out of the jeans-and-sweater rut.

A date night outfit to break out of the jeans-and-sweater rut.

A date night outfit to break out of the jeans-and-sweater rut.

A date night outfit to break out of the jeans-and-sweater rut.

A date night outfit to break out of the jeans-and-sweater rut.

A date night outfit to break out of the jeans-and-sweater rut.

faux leather skater skirt / cropped sweater (old, similar here and here — also love this one!) / black tights / black booties (old, similar here and here) / chain clutch / Versona sunglasses (similar here) / NARS lipstick in "Scarlet Empress" 

I'm usually a jeans-and-sweater type girl when it comes to the colder months, but lately I've been trying to break out of that sartorial box and challenge myself to create some looks that involve a little more effort. Because let's be honest: jeans and a sweater is pretty much the go-to for those freezing days in January. That's why I donned the tights and a chic faux leather skirt to add some spice to this cropped sweater.

With regular jeans, this cropped sweater tends to look a little blah, with the shorter hem getting lost in all the denim. With the sweater, I think it plays dual roles as both the statement piece and the blank canvas. The leather skirt draws the eye, so the plain sweater doesn't draw too much attention from it, yet the shorter cut makes it really pop (if that makes sense!). I love how the all-black from my skirt to my boots allows the dark wine color of the sweater to stand out, but it still keeps a sophisticated look perfect for a date night. I got this leather skirt last year, and let me tell you: If you don't have a leather skirt in your closet, head to the nearest mall because you need one! It is so versatile and easy to dress up and down.

What's your substitute for the jeans-and-sweater monotony of fall/winter? I could use more ideas! ;)

P.S. A wine-inspired wish list, my fall wish list and my favorite cardigan

Friday, November 13, 2015

Wandering the Web: Have an amazing weekend!

Coloring books for grownups, first impressions and a rewrite of an iconic song.

Happy Friday, everyone! Is it just me, or did this week creep by at a major snail-like pace? Oh well, I'm just happy the weekend is within reach now! Tomorrow Adam and I are going to a Beer, Wine and Food Expo for the first time and we're both really excited. Then, after such a busy week, we're hoping to take it easy and relax on Sunday, maybe watch a little football.

What are your plans this weekend? Anything exciting? Here are some links from this week, and I hope you have a great one!

1. This app turns watching Netflix into a group game, and it sounds awesome! (Business Insider)

2. What we assume when we first meet someone new. (Time)

3. Ten best websites for women leaders. (Daily Worth)

4. "Almost everything you see is an idealized version of someone's life." (Cupcakes and Cashmere)

5. What do you think of adult coloring books? I really want one! (Refinery 29)

6. Are you following Twitter Polls? It's hilarious. (Twitter)

7. James Corden's update of "Ironic" with Alanis Morissette is TOO FUNNY. (Rolling Stone)

8. The psychology of logo color in business. (Inc)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

My Travel Guide to Des Moines

My favorite bars, restaurants, shops and things to do in Des Moines, Iowa.

Today I am very excited to share with all of you one of the projects I've been working on for the past couple months! When the lovely Susannah of Feast + West asked me to prepare a travel guide for Des Moines as part of her Hidden Gems series, I practically jumped for joy. Partially because I love writing guest posts and working with fellow bloggers, but also because I just love the city of Des Moines so much.

I had a lot of fun writing the post, which you can read in full here, but the hardest part was narrowing down the list of places to go. There are just so many things to recommend here! And there are even more that I haven't had the chance to do yet.

Des Moines may not be the biggest city, but it has so much to offer. I hope you enjoy my travel guide — it includes some of my favorite bars, restaurants local shopping and other things to do — and if you're ever in the area, look me up! :)

Have you ever been to Des Moines If you're from the area, what would you put on a travel guide? I'd love to hear! 

P.S. Another guest post: The Tipsy Traveler

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Do you like casual dating?

A few thoughts on casual dating in the real world vs. TV

I love romantic comedies. So, naturally, many of my favorite movies and TV shows revolve around people dating other people. Friends, New Girl, Seinfeld and Will and Grace are just a few shows where a group of people are constantly dating new people in search of “the one.” And while I wouldn't trade my current relationship for anything, watching the ups and downs of those TV dating lives always makes me feel just a little left out, because I’ve never really had similar experience in that sort of dating, where you might see a person a few times and then break it off. 

I’ve gone on “dates,” obviously, but I’ve never been a "casual" dater. Most dates I’ve had have led to relationships, whether they lasted a month or a year. But I can count on one hand the number of guys I’ve had less than five dates with and then never spoke to again. I think that’s why watching this type of show is so interesting to me, because it’s such a normal experience — a rite of passage for young adults. It's something I came to expect out of adulthood when I was younger, but I still can't actually relate to it. 

The other part of it is that I don’t really know many people who have casually dated a lot either. Many of my friends have similar situations to me, where the majority of their dating experiences have led to relationships. Maybe it’s my age group, or maybe it’s more of a location thing, and people here just don’t do as much casual dating? I can’t say for sure one way or the other, but I feel pretty confident in saying that the dating scene around Iowa is definitely not close to the ones shown in the aforementioned TV shows.

So I’m curious — what do you think of the concept of casual dating? Is it more normal for you? Do you know people who have dated a lot? I’d love to know…

P.S. How to make your relationship feel new and how to fight successfully

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Grandma's homemade apple pie

The best apple pie you'll ever make.

Last weekend, I spent my Saturday learning how to make my favorite thing in the world: my grandma's homemade apple pie. Let me just start out by saying, my grandma makes THE BEST apple pie in the entire world. At 84 years old, she's had a lot of time to perfect the recipe. But the funny part? She doesn't actually have a recipe. Which is what I learned when I asked her to teach me how to make it.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Wandering the Web: Have a fun weekend!

The perfect leggings for the holidays, what it's really like to donate your eggs, and Jenna Lyons and the watermelon skirt that changed her life.

Happy Friday, everyone! How was your week? Mine was okay, but I'm so looking forward to the next few days because I have the whole weekend off, which never happens. Tonight I'm planning on cocktails, tomorrow I'm going to my grandma's to make my first apple pie (!) and Sunday I'll be doing a little shopping for my NYE dress — can you believe it's already time to start thinking about New Year's?! I can't pretend I'm upset about it though...this is still my favorite time of year :)

I hope you all have an amazing, fun-filled weekend, and here are some fun things I clicked this week...

1. This dad packs the coolest lunches ever. (My Modern Met)

2. What do you think about Twitter’s new heart button? I'm not a fan. (Time)

3. What it’s really like to donate your eggs. (Cosmopolitan)

4. One commonality among Rolling Stone covers — made me laugh. (The Cut)

5. Jenna Lyons and the watermelon skirt that changed her life. (Lenny)

6. This apple cocktail would be perfect for Thanksgiving. (Glitter Guide)

7. Crushing on these sequin leggings for the holiday season — only $40! (Viva La Jewels)

8. This would make a fun table setting for fall. (Pinterest)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Thoughts on Body Image

All the positive hashtags in the world won't change the fact that mean people exist.

Ahh, body image. Kind of a hot-button issue in the fashion and girl worlds, isn’t it? Just Google the words and you can find thousands of articles written on the subject from just about every side. The big “trend” as of late is to stop shaming people (especially girls) for being overweight, underweight, ugly and even pretty. Because all of that happens. We live in a world where no matter what you look like, there is someone out there ready to make you feel bad for it. I grew up in the middle of this social pressure just like the rest of you. I went through phases where I thought I was ugly, thought I was too fat, thought my hair was too straight and thought my clothes weren’t good enough because they didn’t have the right labels. I think most of you have probably been through the same struggles. Growing up is hard, and societal pressure to fit a certain mold does not make it any easier.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Color Coded: Wine

A monochrome wish list for the truly devoted wine-lovers.

Have you ever met anyone or heard of those people who wear exclusively one color? Like everything they own (or at least the majority) is a shade of that one color. I read a cool story about it a long time ago by Joanna Goddard of A Cup of Jo and then when I was ringing up a woman at Versona last weekend she was buying a pile of cobalt blue items. She told me she wears it all the time because it brings out her blue eyes. Well, if I had to choose one color to dress in (besides black ;), I'm pretty sure it would be wine/oxblood.

It’s my favorite hue for fall/winter, but I also love it in the summer because it's a little bit unexpected for the season of brights. It’s such a versatile color, yet it still makes a statement. The wine color was everywhere last year, and the trend doesn't look like it will slow down this year. You can find it on everything from clothes and hats to lipstick and tableware, and I love all of it. Which is why I had to put together a color-specific sort of wish list of everything I love in the wine shade — including, of course, wine ;)

Would you ever dress exclusively in one shade? What color would you wear if you had to pick one? I don't think I could restrict myself, but there's something I love the concept of a monochrome wardrobe!

P.S. My fall wish list, my fall uniform and a beautiful cobalt dress 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Instagram Roundup No. 9

The perfect boyfriend blazer

Happy November my beautiful friends! A new month means another Instagram recap, and I've got some fun ones to share! So I’ve recently realized just how amazing blazers are for elevating a simple outfit, especially this longer boyfriend style. I love that it can instantly take an outfit from casual to chic. This is my favorite style because it doesn’t have lapels, which I find a little too business-formal sometimes. Plus, the longer length looks great with longer tops like this blush one. I bought this blazer several years ago, but I found a similar style for you here.

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