Happy Thanksgiving + The Best Thanksgiving Reads

Happy Thanksgiving friends! I hope you are all feeling full of cheer and turkey with the ones you love. My husband and I are in Florida with my in-laws, and we can’t wait to catch up with family and friends. I think there are some epic rounds of Rummy 500 in our future, along with a good movie and some good books.

Since I equate the holidays with reading by the fire or snuggling on a family couch (or time in an airport), I thought instead of just posting turkey pictures I’d put together some great books to read over the next few days. I hope you all also have time to relax and delve into a good book!

The first two rows are feel good books, and the last row are some books that will keep you on your toes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Gifts $25 and Under for Her and Him

The holidays are here! Have you started on your shopping lists yet? I’ve made a small dent, and I’m hoping to get most of it done this week with the great Black Friday sales. I say this every year though…so we’ll see, haha. Most of my list consists of gifts that are under $25, and I’ve been scouring the internet looking for the best gifts under $25 for her and him to share with all of you. I feel like a lot of bloggers made gift guides full of cute, but over priced items so I tried really hard to find great items that are reasonably priced and that people will actually use. Let me know if there are any other types of gift guides you’d like to see, or present ideas for people who are hard to shop for (looking at you dad!)

Gifts $25 and Under for the Ladies

The Best Gifts for $25 and Under
  1. “Life Happens Coffee Helps” mug - So cute and so true!

  2. Quality sweater de-piller - It looks chic so it’s luxurious, but people will actually use it. Plus, it’s a good yankee swap.

  3. Sugarfina candy - The candy is delicious and I think everyone gets excited by the sight of the clear cube. Also a great yankee swap gift.

  4. PJ shorts - I think everyone loves pajamas!

  5. The best cozy socks ever - These are my all time favorite!

  6. Bow hair elastics - Bows are very on trend right now, and these look both cute and luxurious. Perfect as a stocking stuffer or a small gift to a girlfriend. You could even break up the pack and add them to goody bags for several people!

  7. L’Occitane Shea gift set - You can’t go wrong with luxury skincare, especially not at this price. The small sizes make the items great for people who travel a lot too.

  8. J.Crew velvet hair tie - These are so popular! They are 40% off at J.Crew right now, and I bet all the ladies you know secretly want one (or not so secretly)

  9. Sparkly statement necklace - J.Crew Factory has such a great assortment this year, and they have a major Black Friday sale going on.

  10. Satin hair bow - I know, another bow. But I just love them, and I think it’s the perfect gift- something a person wants but isn’t likely to buy for themselves.

  11. Binge Watching Beauty Kit - This kit contains a sofa yoga guide, face mask, toe separators, lip balm, dental floss, fuzzy socks, decision coin, hand cleaner, facial tissue, snack clip, hair tie, hand lotion, breath drops, coasters, facial cleanser, nail buffer block. It’s cute, full of stuff people will use, and I think it will be a popular yankee swap gift.

  12. Handbag rain coat - Silly? perhaps. Perfect for the handbag lover in your life? yes.

  13. Nailpolish - I love this red color!

  14. Bobbi Brown Lipstick set - You get Sandwash Pink and Brownie, both of which are gorgeous shades.

  15. Bite Beauty set - Bite beauty makes the best lip mask, which is included in this kit along with some other new products.

  16. Minimergency kit - I love these. It’s so nice to know you have everything you could need in your purse, and they don’t take up much room. Great for a yankee swap too.

  17. Rose Gold Frame - I think the shape is lovely and it looks more expensive than it is.

  18. Board Games - My family loves getting board games over the holidays so we can all play together. They are inexpensive and make wonderful memories that can be created year after year.

  19. L.L.Bean Boat Tote - The small size is under $25, and I think it makes a really quality gift that everyone will appreciate and use for years.

Gifts $25 and Under For Gents

Best Gifts $25 and under for guys
  1. Electronic football game - this vintage game looks so fun. Plus it makes a good yankee swap gift.

  2. Corona Sugarfina - beer candy. Sugarfina is a marketing genius.

  3. Socks - My husband loves getting socks for the holidays. He always needs them and he never wants to buy them for himself.

  4. Baseball cap - Most of the men in my life are getting Red Sox hats this year, and I think that all guys love a good cap!

  5. Key Multi-tool - Isn’t this cool? It’s a box opener, bottle opener, and multiple hex keys.

  6. Candy - Peppermint bark. You can’t go wrong! Plus it’s great for yankee swap.

Happy holiday shopping! I hope this was useful for everyone.

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Skincare Tips for Traveling

Skincare Tips for Traveling

I don’t know about you but my skin gets out of shape when we travel, especially when said travel involves airplanes. I don’t know if it’s the re-circulated air, the altitude, or the general disruption to my routine, but my skin gets dry and flaky. When this happens I like to give my face some extra TLC, which helps to get it back in shape much quicker than it would otherwise. Since I’m sure Thanksgiving, and the rest of the Christmas month, means a lot more travel than usual I wanted to share my TLC tips with everyone. I hope they help! And safe travels!

Skincare Tips for Traveling

First, detox your skin with a face mask that is supposed to remove impurities and dry out acne. I really like the Galaxy Greens mask from Glossier. I always see upcoming zits immediately reduced when I use it, along with a nice glow.

Next, use a hydrating face mask. I really like the Peach & Lily sheet masks, which are currently at J.Crew (which means you can apply a discount code!). I also like these black pearl ones, and I’ve heard great things about this sheet mask that’s a dupe for SKI-II, and also the Jet Lag mask. I haven’t tried that one yet, but I hope to as soon as my other products run out.

Skincare Tips for Traveling

Afterwards, apply a hydrating vitamin c product. I’m currently using Prism by Herbivore and I love it. After a few weeks I’ve seen a noticeable reduction in the dry/uneven patches on my skin and a general brightening of my skin as well. I’ve also heard the Kiehls product is great. Also add a hydrating moisturizer. My secret weapon when my skin is very dry is the Yube skin cream; it’s truly a miracle worker!

Skincare Tips for Traveling

Don’t forget to add some extra love to your lips too. If they are anything like mine they are super chapped after traveling. I love the Sara Happ The Lip Slip, as well as Bite Beauty’s lip mask and Dr. Lipp is quite nice too.

Finish everything off with a nice moisturizer, plenty of water and a good night’s rest.

Do you have any travel skincare tips? Please share!

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The Most Glamorous Turtleneck Sweater

J.Crew balloon sleeve sweater

One off my favorite purchases this fall is the J.Crew balloon-sleeve turtleneck sweater. It is comfortable and warm (but not too warm) and the balloon sleeves add a bit of glam to your every day turtleneck. Plus, it is currently on sale.

J.Crew balloon sleeve sweater

The sweater fits true to size, but if you are in between sizes I would size down. The length of the sweater fits your belt loops, but is not a tunic length. The sleeves taper dramatically at the wrist, which makes your hands look long and delicate. Finally, the turtleneck part is loose without being floppy.

J.Crew balloon sleeve sweater

I have loved pairing it with both a dramatic statement earring and my vintage looking multi-color stud earrings (similar). I know I’ve mentioned these earrings before, but a dramatic pair of earrings that match a lot of outfits are a wardrobe staple. They make everything seem just a little more fancy.

J.Crew balloon sleeve sweater

Sweater (on sale!) / Earrings (similar) / Jeans / Boots

Finally, I love that it can be dressed up or down. I wore it to a nicer restaurant and to walk outside around Colonial Williamsburg and felt comfortable and appropriate in both locations.

What’s your go-to outfit this fall?

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Sunday Morning Coffee Reading

Anthropologie Tile Mug

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend so far! Here are some things across the web that caught my eye. I hope you enjoy!

The diamond ring that just sold for over $50 million

These monogrammed wool scarves are so lovely

The Tuckernuck holiday guide has so much outfit inspiration

I think this is the perfect stocking stuffer for the men in your life

Some cozy rom coms to catch up on

Great looking apps to check out

Dermatologists’ takes on skin care myths

A great holiday dress guide

If you are still deciding what to make for thanksgiving these all look delicious!

This sheet mask is a dupe for the SKI-II one (which will cost you around $40 a mask)

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Happy Friday

Happy Friday everyone! As I write this it is currently snowing outside my window and I am over the moon. I feel about snow the way that Lorelei did on Gilmore Girls - remember the episodes where she could smell snow coming and new that something wonderful was about to happen? That’s how I feel - waking up to the flakes falling outside our window was just the best surprise! I can’t wait to see what the rest of winter has in store for us in this new place. Love you D.C.!

Upside down Snowman

Here’s other things I’ve been loving this week -

1) Kate Middleton wore these lovely pearl earrings recently and I found these at Lisi Lerch for a fraction of the price!

2) We had hot cocoa at Williamsburg and it was so delicious. It include anise, and orange and cinnamon and chili pepper and was such an amazing combination of flavors; I can’t wait to make it at home. If you are looking for a winter treat that isn’t as sweet I found this recipe (though I wouldn’t add the sugar) that I can’t wait to make.

3) I think that this nude pink shade, Bobbi Brown in Bobbi, looks like the perfect lip color for winter. I can’t wait to wear it with everything. Plus, it also comes in a little holiday set at Sephora for less!

4) The new Harry Potter, or rather Fantastic Beasts, movie comes out this weekend. Is anyone else excited to see it?

5) Old Navy has the cutest Christmas pajamas! I love all of them, but if I had to pick a favorite it would be these.

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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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