The Twelve Best Tote Bags

The Twelve Best Tote Bags

I’ve recently been on the hunt for a black tote bag for myself, and I have stumbled across so many great options I had to share. I put together a little something for everyone - black, navy, red, under $50, leather, canvas, vegan leather, zip top, open top, you get the idea!

One - I love the unique shape of this On Purpose Shopper Tote by Kate Spade. Plus, it has a bow!

Two - Cuyana makes beautiful, classic pieces and I love their Trapeze Satchel. You can snap the sides or keep them loose, and it fits all of your daily essentials. It also has a much more structured look than most totes, which makes it great for the office.

Three - Longchamp Le Pliage tote. This tote is a classic. I have it in red, and despite the fact that it is years old it still looks new. It fits a lot of items without looking bulky, and it folds up when you want to store it. It also comes in lots of colors so you can find the perfect tote for everyone you’re shopping for (including yourself).

Four - Cuyana classic leather tote. This tote is long which allows it to fit a lot of items, and it is made from soft leather. I have their laptop case in the same leather, and it hasn’t shown any wear or tear after a year.

Five - Goyard tote. This tote is on the expensive side, but it is such a classic! I love that it incorporates brown and black, and the resale value is really high which makes it seem like an actual “investment piece.”

Six - These canvas Tory Burch Gemini Link totes are on major sale right now - down to $132.66 from $198.

Seven - The Large Isabella Item tote can be found at Tuckernuck. I love the fact that it has a top closure that isn’t a zipper, so it looks a little more formal. It also has a zip-fastening internal pocket for all your valuables.

Eight - The L.L.Bean boat tote is such a classic. It comes in multiple styles and colors, and you can add a monogram. The large is the perfect size for traveling, and the medium is a great size for an every day bag. My mom has had one for almost a decade and it looks brand new too!

Nine - This zip top canvas tote by Kate Spade, The Watson Lane Maya, is a timeless classic as well as a workhorse. It will fit everything you need for the day and the zipper keeps it secure and dry. It also comes in black. You can also find it in a smaller size here.

Ten - This suede tote by Neely & Chloe has a very unique braiding detailing. This suede texture also makes it a unique piece if you are looking for a blue tote but already have a leather one.

Eleven - The Tory Burch Robinson tote is such a classic. It comes in a number of shapes and sizes, and fits everything you need for work. Plus, it has pockets which helps you stay organized.

Twelve - I really love these vegan leather totes by Mark & Graham. You can monogram them, and there is a matching cosmetic case to help keep the tote organized. It fits a lot of stuff, and closes on the top with a bow, which I think makes it unique even though it is a common shape.

What’s your favorite? Tell me in the comments!

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The Secret To A Long Lasting At Home Manicure

the secret to a long lasting at home manicure

I love doing my nails at home. It allows me to slow down and relax while all of the coats dry, and watch a tv show or read a book. I also enjoy the fact that it is so much cheaper than getting them done at a salon. After years of these diy manicures I’ve found that my nails last just as long, if not longer, than when I have them done in a salon. While practice makes perfect when it comes to doing your right hand (or left hand in my case #leftie), a long lasting finish can be achieved by anyone if you keep in mind the four steps -

First, make sure you use a base coat on dry nails. Do not soak them ahead of time, that actually makes them chip faster. I really love the Orly Bonder base coat; I don’t know how many bottles I’ve gone through at this point.

Two, use at least two coats of a high quality nail polish with a thick brush. I really like Essie, OPI and Butter London. The quality is great, and the price isn’t high especially since you can use a coupon on the polishes at Ulta or at CVS.

Three, use a top coat. Make sure the top coat has a thick consistency and a high shine. I like the OPI one a lot, and have also had good luck with the ones by Butter London and Orly.

Finally, make sure you let your nails dry in between coats! I wait at least five minutes in between every coat. I also finish off the manicure with drying drops by OPI. Even with the drying drops, however, be careful with what you touch and don’t put on gloves for a few hours.

What are your favorite nail polish colors right now? Tips for using your own nails?

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A Day In Colonial Williamsburg

A day in Colonial Williamsburg
A day in Colonial Williamsburg

My husband treated me to a weekend in Colonial Williamsburg and I had the best time. I’ve always loved history, and Colonial Williamsburg makes all the books I’ve read truly come alive. What also made it fun for me on a personal level was that I had the Felicity American Girl Doll (whose story takes place in colonial Virginia) so I spend a good portion of the weekend saying, “It looks just like Felicity’s [fill in the blank]!”

A day in Colonial Williamsburg
A day in Colonial Williamsburg
A day in Colonial Williamsburg

The place contains both original and recreated homes, shops and government buildings from 1770s Virginia, as well as museums. What is truly special however is that the staff are walking around in authentic dress, playing the part of Williamsburg’s colonial residents. They answer questions and lead tours through the buildings, and are also making things in all of the shops. For instance, in the blacksmith shop people are there working as blacksmiths, and most of the things that they make are used to renovate all of the buildings. Even the staff member’s wigs are made by hand just like they did in colonial times!

A day in Colonial Williamsburg
A day in Colonial Williamsburg

Since it was my birthday my husband treated me and we stayed in a colonial home. It was right on the main street, and it’s believed that Thomas Jefferson stayed there. The room had a modern bathroom, but other than that it was basically a life sized version of Felicity’s room. I was in heaven, haha.

A day in Colonial Williamsburg

It was pretty cold out all weekend, so I bundled up in my wax finish fall coat and my favorite sweatshirt, the Cape Cod one by KJP. It’s so cozy and I love that font is a stylish, as opposed to touristy like most sweatshirts. I also pulled out my L.L.Bean boots for the first time since the streets were wet. I’ve never owned Bean boots before and I was pleasantly surprised with how comfortable the sole was. They kept my feet dry, of course, and relatively warm (though I will wear wool socks with them once it gets colder).

We can’t wait to go back and see all the sites we missed, and also visit Jamestown and Yorktown. All in all it was a magical and relaxing weekend, a birthday I will always cherish.

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Monday Morning Coffee

Anthropologie Initial Mug

I feel so relaxed and refreshed after a wonderful weekend! I can’t wait to share all of our photos from Williamsburg with you. In the mean time, here are some other things I’ve loved around the web all weekend -

I’m in love with my new mug, above

Wonderful hot cocoa recipes

I love the idea of the giving plate

Martha Stewart’s gorgeous pies

Meghan Markle’s effect on sustainable fashion

L.L.Bean is 25% off! I suggest snagging some slippers

The queen horseback riding at 92. No big deal

Kate has the best tutorials

Fun holiday book recommendations from Ashley Brooke

Thanksgiving craft ideas

Joanna Gaines’s Family Farmhouse

Happy Monday!

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Happy Friday

Colonial Williamsburg in the fall

Happy Friday! We are going to Colonial Williamsburg this weekend am I am so excited. I went as a kid and remember as a history wonderland. I’m so excited to share it with my husband and learn something new about colonial America. Plus we are staying in an authentic tavern room which is my definition of dreamy luxury :)

The Sephora sale is underway! VIB’s get 20% off starting today, and Beauty Insiders get 15% off starting November 16. It’s free to join too, so join now to get the discount! I always take advantage of the November sale to pick up Christmas presents for people, especially since the holiday sets are still in stock. Here’s everything I have my eye on:

Bath & Body Works re-stocked my all time favorite cozy socks! I love giving (and receiving) their Shea socks so much. They are literally the coziest socks I have ever put on my feet. This year’s patterns are really cute too.  

I’m going to try and make candles this year for all my female relatives, with this scent I think. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!

Robert Galbraith (i.e. J.K. Rowling) relaxed the newest books in her mystery series, Lethal White. I’m not typically a reader of mysteries, but I love these. Rowling is just so good at telling a story and creating captivating characters. 

I’m all about all things cozy right now, and these drinks sound lovely! Cocoa or tea anyone?

Do you have any fun weekend plans? How are you enjoying fall? 

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Where To Find the Best Makeup Reviews

Where to find the best makeup reviews

With recent news on how unreliable beauty product reviews on sites like Sephora can be (see here) I thought it would be helpful to share some of the great non-retailer sites to find good predict reviews on. I use these resources for almost every product I buy, and find them super helpful.  

1- Makeup Alley. This is a site with tons of reviews for basically any product you can imagine. The reviews tend to be matter of fact and honest, and reviewers even post updates sometimes.

2- Temptalia. This is a beauty blog with the most comprehensive swatch gallery and product dupe list I have ever seen. Her product reviews are honest, and often list products that are similar. 

3- Beautypedia. This site is run by Paula Begoun and it is full of straight forward, often brutal, reviews that focus on the efficacy of products and whether they cause irritation. Reviews on this site have often made me think twice before I buy a product, especially skin care. Finally, I like that this site reviews drugstore and expansive brands, and the top rated products contain a broad range of price points.

4- EWG Skin Deep. This site doesn’t have traditional reviews, instead it outlines the toxicity level of beauty products and/or the j gradients found in products. I like to give it a glance before I buy skincare.

Finally, you can also use the rule of averages when looking at reviews on sites like Sephora. If thousands of people have given a product is glowing review over a long period of time, it seems likely that a number of them are authentic. 

If you are looking for some new beauty products at the Sephora sale you can find all my favorite products here.

Where do you go for beauty reviews? 

 

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New Glossier Generation G

Generation G is one of my favorite lipsticks and today I am so excited to announce that Glossier has re-released it’s Generation G lipstick with a whole new formula and packaging. Glossier Generation G lipstick “gives the look and finish of just-blotted lipstick without the blot.”

Glossier Generation G Lipstick

I love Generation G because the colors are lovely, it isn’t drying, it’s easy to layer so you get as much color pay off as you want, and the finish is beautiful. Matte lipstick is very popular right now, but I think it can look a little dead. Generation G doesn’t have that effect, I think it just has that perfect just blotted look of a satin lipstick. You can see that they changed the packaging and added am metal tube.

Glossier Generation G Lipstick
Glossier Generation G Lipstick

My favorite shades for fall are Leo, the perfect nude brown, and Zip, a gorgeous red that looks good on everyone since you layer on as much color as you want. In the spring and summer I love Crush and wear it almost every day; it’s a dark pink color that adds a perfect pop to every outfit. I also love Like and Cake for every day nude looks, and wear them all the time. I haven’t tried Jam yet, but I can’t wait to add it to my collection!

The Glossier lipstick comes in 6 shades and is $18 (though you can always get 10% off your first purchase with my rep link!)

Have you tried Generation G before? What’s your favorite shade?

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Monday Coffee Reading

Fall leaves in Washington DC

Did everyone have a nice weekend? We had a great one! We relaxed, did a little pre-holiday shopping, and got all cozy with good food and leftover Halloween candy to watch college football and The Spy Who Dumped Me. It was pretty funny! I love Kate McKinnon, she cracks me up all the time with her antics, especially in the new Ghostbusters.

I found a number of great articles, and some good shopping over the weekend, here are some of my favorites -

Meghan Markle’s Cuyana bag is back in stock!

I also love their bow bag, the shape is so unexpected

According to this article, all fashion is athleisure

Ever wondered what happened to all the Russian royal jewels, here’s an answer

This black tote looks like the perfect Christmas gift for my mom

I’m in love with these crystal and flower dangle earrings

How to dress like Rory Gilmore for fall

I love all of Carly’s Paris outfits, I’m going to have to re-create some!

Some great tips on how to pair lipstick with your outfit

A fun interview on the wardrobe of Fran Fine on the Nanny

The makeup routine of Janet from The Good Place

Happy Monday everyone!

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Happy Friday

Fall Foliage in Washington D.C.

Another week, another weekend. How was yours? It was good here, I got a lot done so we can relax this weekend and get ready for a busy November. We are going out of town for my birthday (!) and for Thanksgiving, so it will be nice to take a breathe and have some quality time with my husband for a few days. I’m thinking coffee, sitting by the fire on the roof and enjoying the gorgeous foliage everywhere. What about you?

This week I am really excited about -

I’m almost done Lilac Girls and can’t recommend it enough. It’s not a light read, but it is so good, I couldn’t put it down.

Isn’t this fluffy jacket so cool and cozy looking? I love the pink color, and it’s under $30!

I love a turtleneck, how about you? I can’t chose between this striped one (on sale) and this solid one (less than $15)

My love of statement earrings has only grown, and I can’t stop thinking about these.

Old Navy has the cutest Christmas pajamas for the whole family. I think they will sell out fast, so I think I’ll pull the trigger now.

I hope you all have a fun and relaxing weekend!

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The Fall Shoe Edit

I have a,ways loved shoes, especially fall shoes. They are so cute and so cozy, and I love how a good shoe truly finish’s an outfit. Today I’ve put together all my favorite boots, flats and party shoes. I have pairs three and four, but I’m finding it hard not to pull the trigger on all of them! 

The Fall Shoe Edit

 

1. Nordic boots - Don’t these just look so adorable and cozy? Plus they come with red laces.

2.  Loafers - You can’t go wrong with classic penny loafers.

3.  Leah cap toe flats - These look so much like Chanel and they are comfortable. 

4.  McKay boots - I love these Ugs. They are perhaps the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. 

5.  Plad loafers - I love black watch plaid for fall and winter.

6.  Chelsea boots - Isn’t suede always lovely in the fall? It adds so much texture to an outfit

7.  Ugg Aureo boots - These Ugg boots are extra sturdy and have a good tread for walking in the ice. 

8.  Plaid bow flats - With the holidays coming up how can you say no to Christmas plaid flats?

9.  Velvet flats - It seems the velvet trend is here to stay, and these are a great price.

Tell me, what’s your favorite?Tell me, what’s your favorite?

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Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween

Boo!

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Halloween! We’ll be nestled up at home carving pumpkins and watching some Halloween movies. What about you?  

 

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