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All Things Thanksgiving

I am getting all sorts of excited for Thanksgiving and this coming weekend! For once, I already have my outfit planned & have left plenty of room for all the food! We normally bring out all the holiday decor right after Thanksgiving and spend a morning decorating and listening to holiday jams! Before any of that though we're celebrating Thanksgiving with Gary's family this year because it's his parents' wedding anniversary, a big one! It's a very special day and I'm excited that the holiday is going to be extra special this year! While I'm not making any of the "big" pieces of the meal, I have been thinking of a few different appetizers and sides I could make. Our niece requested buffalo chicken dip which was a huge dip a few years ago, so I'm hoping I can make it as well as my sister-in-law did! I also wanted to keep the gift guides going with one for Hostess Gifts under $30! 
I'm making a variation of this little appetizer. I bought a mixed goat cheese and cranberry spread from Trader Joe's & I'm going to divide it evenly into phyllo shells, then bake for a little just to get them crispy. I have no clue how this will turn out, but it's cheese and dough, there are worse things to eat! 
This was especially requested by multiple people, so I'm going to attempt the all recipes version

With two bags of cranberries purchased on a whim, I'm trying to find something different to make. My sister makes incredible scones, so I think attempting cranberry ones would be fun. I also found this cranberry cheese concoction that doesn't look too intimidating! If you hadn't figured it out yet, I really like cheese! 
And now a few ideas on what to bring for the hostess as you start heading to all the holiday parties! 
what to get for a hostess, what to bring to someones house, best gifts for a hostess
  • A pretty and multitasking product like this kitchen essentials kit with hand soap, dish soap and a counter top spray is something that would be used right away! 
  • You can't go wrong with a festive candle - especially since nice candles are something rarely bought for yourself
  • I'm such a fan of Sugarfina candy boxes, but I just recently found out they make candy bars now, with those same delicious gummy bears! 
  • My sister bought us this book for the holiday's last year and I'm always looking to see a fun and delicious appetizer I can whip together for a party
  • This would be a really thoughtful gift to get if you're planning on spending the night for the holidays. A bedside carafe with glass that can be used for their guests for years to come. 
  • Do you have a mini succulent yet?! I have one in our entry way and because I can't keep a plant alive to save my life, these little ones are the best - you can even get fake ones that look super real! 
  • A bottle of wine is always safe and appreciated - dressing it up in a cute tote or this mini furry one that can be used by the host later is a fun touch. 
  • Flowers are my go to, even more so than wine. If your friend is hosting a girls night for the holidays this would be the cutest vase to bring with your flowers. 

Are you making anything for Thanksgiving? What's your favorite hostess gift to give / get? Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!! 

Getting Cozy | Weekending Outfits

Happy Monday friends!! I'm so excited that it's almost Thanksgiving - probably one of my favorite weeks of the year! My parents flew in on Saturday so it was great to spend a couple of days with them ahead of the holiday! Gary and I were able to take them to our favorite sushi restaurant, my mom cooked us so much food and then we walked it off on Sunday after the rain cleared out! They have been coming to Boston for way longer than I've lived here but in all their visits they haven't made it to the Boston Public Library and I was excited to show them what our Eataly had to offer! 

Do you ever have a weekend where you are just really happy with your outfits?! Maybe it's the weather we're having or maybe it's a few of my new pieces, either way - I'm a fan of everything in my closet right now! 
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I mentioned this sweater last week, but it is seriously one of the softest sweaters I own! Whoever is responsible for deciding Target's new fashion lines - well done because I love them so much I feel like I need to own every style it comes in!
 Sweater (under $20!) || Reversible Belt || OTK Boots (similar) || Purse 
And because I think my parents are adorable - I snuck a photo in before we went to dinner! 
This is the time of year that I feel so confused when getting dressed - it started out at 60 degrees in the morning on Sunday and then by the afternoon we were down in the 40's with the wind making it feel like it was in the 30's. Needless to say, I was trying to figure out the best layers. Probably wore my trench coat for the last time this season, but this new scarf was amazing - it's so warm! 
Trench Coat Via Spiga old (similar) || Lace Up Sweater || Scarf || Wedge boots old (similar) || Sugarfix by BaubleBar Earrings 
I think I've found a few ways to rework some of my older closet staples with newer items ever since my closet redesign - I'm seeing everything I have and feeling a lot more inspired. What are you getting most excited for this week? Hope you have a great start to the holiday week! 

Four Years of Blogging | What I've Learned

Happy Friday friends! Four years ago I started this little space of mine!! Four years worth of looking back on my weekends, seeing photos of things we've done around Boston, the places we've traveled to, the meals I've made and everything in between all wrapped up in a nice little bow here! If you would have told me that this "creative outlet" would lead to starting my own business and meeting some of my very best friends, I would have laughed - not because the thought is outrageous. although it really was. I would have honestly laughed because one of my first questions to Gary was, "who on earth would even care what I have to say, let alone read it!" Here were are, 4 years, 800 posts, thousands of words, endless amount of friends from practically every corner of the world and I'm so so happy to still enjoy coming to this space and writing! I thought I would share some of my musings from these four years because as I looked back on my three year anniversary post, I did manage to hit most of the little milestones I set for myself! I am by no means a professional, but these are just the observations that I've made and what I say to people when they ask me how to start a blog! 
  • It's okay that I won't be a full time blogger || Amanda actually captured my feelings perfectly in this  post! On some level it would be so incredibly amazing to get to run this space full time, but the reality is that I have a full time job that I absolutely love and I know how lucky I am to feel that way.  I also know my personality and having to rely on sponsored posts, collaborations & making sales would bring me too much anxiety. I like consistency! I love that I am able to come to this space and have a fun time sharing things I'm interested in and I never want it to feel like a job!
  • Friendships made this worthwhile || Hands down the best thing about blogging has been all of the friendships! From blog friends that turned into in real life friends that turned into travel partners who have turned into some of my best friends - it has been amazing! I have a friend in practically every corner of the United States and even some that live internationally. I have met more of you coming to Boston than I ever thought possible and I hope you will all continue to visit because my favorite thing is to show you a little bit of this city! I'm simply amazed by this community that rallies together for everything - you guys are my sounding board for products, the best advice givers out there and the fiercest people I know! 
  • Everything you see, eat or do has the opportunity to be a blog post || I think we all have a sort of love/hate relationship with social media. The plus side for me is that I look at everything from a different perspective - I see buildings that I would have otherwise walked by without a second glance, I see a tree with colorful leaves and need to take a picture, I have a great meal and need to document it because what if someone wants to try the restaurant when they visit? There have been countless moments when I'm getting ready in the morning and an idea of a post will just hit me, running to my notebook to jot it down makes me oddly happy! Everything has the potential to spark your creativity and before blogging I was certainly lacking that passion! 
  • You get what you put into the space || Perhaps this is a no brainer, but it's not possible to build anything successful and just hope someone stumbles upon it. You have to put in the time building relationships with other bloggers so that you become avid readers of each others content. The amount of time I have spent on my couch writing posts is something I don't want to add up. Editing pictures, writing posts, sharing the posts and so on and so on, it can sometimes feel never ending.  Having some consistency in the schedule is important. Even if you blog only once a week, as long as your readers know when to expect that one post it will work in your favor! You can have the prettiest pictures with the best blog out there, but if people aren't coming to your site then you aren't really putting that much into creating the social aspect of blogging! Burn out is real and sometimes it can feel like homework that I have to get a blog post ready to go live the next day. Sometimes I feel like I don't have anything "new" to share that hasn't already been shared. The flip side to that - a topic may have already been covered, but the voice I give to it is completely different than that of another blogger. 
  • Wordpress vs. Blogger vs. the others || I've hosted my blog on blogger since day one. Blogger is owned by Google meaning you don't technically own your blog - you can own your blog domain (the .com) but everything that is written isn't technically yours, meaning if Google decides it wants to shut down tomorrow you're sort of up a creek without a paddle, if you will! With Wordpress and other hosting sites you the writer / blogger own your space. With that comes all the maintenance, back end work (you could have a developer if you want) and coding that comes along with owning a blog. Is one better than the other - well it depends on who you talk to. For me, nicely curated photos, a clean layout and an easy way for people to comment on your blog is more important than how it's hosted. Will I ever switch to Wordpress - I'm not sure but I don't see it happening anytime soon. I have taught myself more about HTML and coding than I ever thought possible and to know that I've installed themes and backend stuff on my own blog makes me feel a little less nervous about one day making the switch.  At the end of the day, you'll be watching youtube videos and reading tutorials on how to fix something regardless of what platform you're on! 
  • There is space for everyone || If you are on instagram then the majority of your feed is probably content creators and influencers. You'll notice there are a hundreds of thousands of people doing this! The good news, there is space for everyone! Blogging is not going anywhere - meaning there will always be someone sharing their opinion about a restaurant or sharing a travel guide and you don't have to even find your niche to stand out - you are unique because your voice is your own! 
Cheers to you friends! 
Huge thank you to everyone that I've "met" along the way and I'm excited to continue with this space - hopefully seeing it grow even more this next year! Special shout out to my husband for being my first proofreader, first coder & blog designer, for putting up with me when I say "give me just one second, I'm hashtagging" and or my "just one more" photo requests!! Thank you all for reading and hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

Gift Guide for the Ladies

Gift guides are always fun for me to both read and put together! I love seeing what other people find & I put together ideas that I know the people in my life have either expressed an interest in or things I wouldn't mind getting myself! This gift guide is all for the ladies - I think it has a little bit of everything and all for a reasonable cost! 
What to buy for Christmas, Christmas presents for women

  • She Believed She Could, So She Did Bangle || Love this bangle so much and added it to my wishlist this year after getting one for my mom! 
  • Leopard Print Scarf || After seeing the ladies from Peaches in a Pod wearing this scarf I quickly placed my order (only$26) for this adorable scarf. I think everyone needs a little animal print to liven up an outfit! 
  • Signature scent - Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue || It doesn't have to be a big bottle of perfume because those seem to take forever to get through, but a roller ball of a scent you know they love is always a good idea. 
  • Colorful eye shadow palette || A palette that has every color needed to create day & night looks without being bulky. Perfect for the ladies on the go! 
  • Sugarfina Bento Box || The perfect hostess gift, gift for a boss or even your bestie that lives in another state! 
  • Cord Holder || Practical and cute! I feel like my headphones get tied up every single day - I spend a good 2 minutes untangling them, so I can't be the only one with this headache! 
  • Card Holder || As purses continue to get smaller and smaller, the need to carry all the things goes away! I love a chic card holder and use my small Louis Vuitton one to save space in my small bags! 
  • Tea tasting set || I went to the Tea Forté pop up shop event a couple weeks ago and was blown away by the packaging and taste of these teas! As a tea lover I can never have enough tea! 
  • Echo Dot || This is actually a dual gift in the sense that everyone would benefit from it! While we have blue tooth speakers for our TV, we don't have anything that would have the functionality of the Echo Dot! It's small & portable, what's not to like! 
  • Makeup Eraser || So many people have raved about this makeup eraser being the best at removing, you guessed it ALL your makeup! Wouldn't mind finding this in my stocking! 
  • Small Handheld Blender || We just don't have the space for the kitchen aide mixer of my dreams, so I've been dropping not so subtle hints that I really want a smaller version!

What's on your wish list? Are you more of a one big gift fan or do you like to get more little gifts?

Weekending | Target Finds, Closet Renovation and OTK boots

Happy Monday friends! We had a bit of a cold snap this weekend so that left plenty of time to get stuff situated around the house and bust out my favorite OTK boots! The biggest part of my weekend was having my new closet installed & if you follow me on Instagram then you saw a bit of the progress, but I have a full post planned detailing what pieces I chose and how everything is organized! Also, any weekend with two Target runs is a good weekend to me! I couldn't help myself at Target on Sunday and picked up three new sweatshirts - they are so soft and cozy - I'll be wearing them all the time! 
This post contains affiliate links. Meaning that any clicks/purchases may result in a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Probably the softest sweatshirt I own
Truer words have never been written
I have a feeling I'll be wearing this sweatshirt a lot this winter 
We made it out for what feels like the first time in forever on Saturday night and I got to meet Shannon while she was visiting for her birthday! Sorry for the instastories photo, but I forgot to save the photo before posting!
Turtle Neck found at TJ Maxx (similar) || OTK boots old (similar & on sale) || Jeans 
I always think curling my hair will take too much time, but then I'm so happy with how it looks and it lasts two days, so I think this season I'm going to make it a point to do more than just wear my hair straight! 

Managed to take advantage of the Sephora VIB sale this weekend, multiple times! That's the beauty of this sale - you can shop it more than once using the same discount. After my fall eyeshadow looks post, I decided I needed a few more colors I picked up some from the Sephora collection. These foot masks are the best, especially if you aren't a fan of having pedicures because you're ticklish...hopefully that's not just me! Also, I stocked up on sheet masks! This is also when I get a few "sets" for the holiday's and little stocking stuffers

Did you do anything fun this weekend? Did you shop the Sephora Sale? Link up below to share your weekends with us!