3 Workout Outfits That Will Motivate Your New Year’s Resolution

This is definitely a new kind of post for me because I never found a need to show my “gym style.” However, these outfits were just too cute to pass up an opportunity show you. Personally, I don’t really think one needs to dress up for the gym. I still wear the same Nike Frees I bought three years ago… I don’t know if I should be embarrassed or proud. I typically throw my hair up into a bobbled mess, slap a pair of leggings on, and call it a day. But, I admit there is something about wearing a new gym outfit that forces me to try my hardest at the gym. So for moments where your workout needs a little push or you’re dragging yourself to the gym… maybe you should try to add a flare to your workout wardrobe.

Keep your resolution with LuLu Lemon

Reebok | Leggings (Similar)

For trendy, cheap workout tops search TJ Maxx and Marshalls’ racks. 

I love searching TJ Maxx and Marshalls’ racks for everyday clothes and I don’t stop short when it comes to activewear. The only problem with shopping at these lovely stores is that I cannot link the items for you… ugh, the struggle is real. However, these tops are just so cute that I couldn’t not show you. The first and second top are from Reebok and the purple shirt is from a New York City based company called 90 Degree by Reflex. Marshalls’ has been stocking up this brand for quite some time and I hope they don’t stop. 90 Degree by Reflex makes the cutest yoga/pilates clothes that you’ll fall head over heals for. Plus, some of their long sleeves are perfect for lounging around the house in.

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90 Degrees by Reflex| Floral Leggings

Are LuLu Lemon’s worth the hefty price tag?

Short answer: yes. The amount of wears you’re going to get in one pair of LuLu Lemon leggings is going to be worth buying one cheap pair of leggings you’ll only wear five times. I’ve had one of my pairs of leggings for over four years and have no problems with the fabric wearing out or seams ripping. These pants are made out of a thick material that will not slide down when you’re bending over or doing 50 jumping jacks. I normally have a fear of wearing leggings that are see through but have never had a problem with  LuLu Lemon leggings. If you’re going to get a pair I would recommend the high rise because they will allow you to bend further during any physical activities. Also, be on the lookout for leggings with side pockets! They seriously are a gift sent from heaven. The first two pairs have side pockets that can easily hold a cell phone or car keys.

Keep your resolution with LuLu Lemon

Reebok | Leggings ( Similar)

If you’re losing motivation to get out there and work your butt off just drive yourself to the gym. I know that sounds bizarre and way too easy but the hardest part about going to the gym for me is actually getting there. As soon as I’m at the gym, I’m motivated to work out. So next time you’re really dreading going to the gym pick up a new outfit and just drive yourself to the gym. If you really don’t want to go after you drove there… I give you full permission to go get a smoothy.

What is your favorite store to buy work out clothes? What type of work outs do you like to do? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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5 Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

Happy New Year! It’s that time of the year where we see these posts flooding into our feeds. I decided to join the bandwagon and share some of my easy to keep resolutions.

 

Get Outside More

It is so easy to get stuck underneath the covers watching Netflix during these cold months (especially now when there is a bomb cyclone going on). That is why I am trying to force myself to go outside more whether it be taking blog photos, playing with my pups, or simply just taking a walk. Now, if you’re in the New England area you may think I’m insane for even mentioning this because it’s been negative all week and we’re having this crazy snow storm. But it is possible to bundle up and go for a nice walk once the storm has stopped. I was able to do this past weekend in -14°F weather.

Learn How to Balance Social Media and Personal Life

This is definitely something all of us bloggers are very guilty of. I can’t seem to keep my hands off my phone and my eyes off Instagram, Facebook, WordPress and all of the guilty pleasure apps. This year, I’m trying figure out how to balance my time between playing on my phone and actually being a part of the world. It actually helped this past weekend when I was away. I hope to have more weekends where I forget I even have a phone. Simple tricks like leaving your phone upstairs or in your car when you have dinner, putting in on airplane mode, or just shoving it at the bottom of your purse can all help.

Be Healthier

It’s so easy to add to your New Year’s resolution to lose weight or to fit into a certain size but it’s a self-damaging task. What really matters if you’re healthy and you feel good in your own skin. Which is why I’m this year I plan on working on my self-love and bringing that into perspective with who I want to be. I plan on not only working on my physical health but my mental health as well. I think pilates is something that really helps me with both so I plan on doing more pilates this year.

 

Find More Socially Sustainable/Eco-friendly Companies

You may have noticed that I’m slowly getting more and more into socially sustainable and eco-friendly companies. Companies like feed, the giving keys, and Half United have been some of my favorite companies of 2017. I hope to find more companies that I love and share them with you. One thing you can do for your New Year’s resolution is to buy more locally produced goods that will help your own community.

 

Be More Positive

I’m naturally a pretty positive person, but I’ve noticed my attitude can go a little south when I’m hungry or tired… I mean who doesn’t? This year I’m trying to be more positive by coming up with something to be positive every single morning. You can do the same by jotting down one thing that you’re positive about when you wake up and again before you go to bed. I used to do this when I was in high school and I love looking back on all the things that made me happy.

Bonus Resolution: Grow my blogging community.

This one is definitely one for the bloggers out there. In 2017 I nearly doubled my engagement and followers and I want to continue that trend in 2018. That is why this year I plan on writing more engaging content and engaging with more bloggers. In December, I went to my first blogger conference with 85 Connecticut based bloggers. It was so interesting and rewarding to hear what works and doesn’t work for them. This year I want to go to more events and meet with more bloggers to expand my knowledge. I also want to engage with more of your blogs and Instagrams to see what you have to say. Lastly, I would like to grow my audience on both this page and on my Instagram page.

What is your New Year’s Resolution? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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The Ultimate Styling Tricks to Staying Warm in Below Zero Weather

This past weekend, I endured the cold and ventured out the Skytop, Pennsylvania for every winter activity you can think of. I’m not one to go outside when it is actually cold out (bless your heart if you’re a cold weather lover), I’m more of a girl that runs from building to building when it is super cold. Instead of dodging the cold, I embraced the cold during tubing, hiking, and ice skating with Robert and his family. Each morning excursion was greeted by his family members teaching me how to prepare for the frigid, cold weather. I learned that neck warmers and fleece-lined leggings are my best friend. Here are some of the tips I learned on the way.

Diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend… layers are.

Layers were my best friend this past weekend. I wore three pants, five shirts, a coat, and two pairs of socks all at once… and boy, was I warm. If you want to be a stuffed warm burrito like me pile up those clothes like it’s no one’s business. Underneath these green pants, I’m actually wearing fleece tights and the thickest smart wool socks you can imagine. Underneath my stripe turtleneck sweater, I’m wearing a fleece turtleneck long sleeve. Bundle up if you want to stay warm.

Winter boots may not be the cutest thing but sometimes you have to sacrifice style for survival.

This weather is brutal and it will knock you right off your bum into a blubbering, cold idiot. To make sure that doesn’t happen to you invest in a pair of boots that will keep your little piggies warm. These Sorel boots were actually borrowed for the weekend and they kept me so warm that I’m thinking about buying the same exact pair. The nice part about these boots is that they have a ton of room to stuff thick socks in and they’re waterproof. Plus, they’re probably the cutest, durable winter boots you’ll find. Going with one of my new years resolutions Sorel is a sustainable company that cares about who is working for them. You can read more about Sorel’s social responsibility here.

 

Stay warm by protecting your noggin and your ears from the brittle cold. 

The best part about being a girl is that our winter accessories are super cute. Throw on a big pompom hat to protect your ears and your head. If you don’t wear a hat you’re losing 95% of your body heat. If you’re going to wear an accessory definitely find a big knit hat like this one. Hats with fleece or wool lining will keep you the most warm in this insane cold weather.

Mittens will keep you warmer than gloves.

This isn’t something I knew until I was thrown into the cold with dazed eyes. Mittens keep your fingers together which lets them huddle together to stay warm. The best part about these mittens is that they have a strap where you can tighten them on your wrists to prevent cold air from reaching your hands. Here are a similar pair that has extra straps to block out the cold air.

Now all I need to know is how to fix my super dry hands… if you have any ideas please let me know in the comments down below. Also, let me know how you stay warm in this insane cold. It’s supposed to be -16°F on Saturday and I’m not sure if I’m going to make it…

Shout out to Robert who actually took pictures of me in the -14° weather. He really is a trooper. 

As always,

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Best of 2017

How is almost 2018? Honestly, I’m super excited because I hate sevens with a passion. Bring on lucky 18! Before I dive into thinking of resolutions and all that hocus pocus, I figured I’d reflect on all the madness that happened this year. After all, I graduated and become a “functioning” adult. Without further ado, here are my top six posts from 2017 that sum up how 2017 went.

 

 

What I’ll Remember Most About Siena College

Obviously, I had to get overly sappy when graduation was all over my mind. Now I’m eight months out of college and still miss it daily. Everything I talk in this tear-jerking post remains true eight months later. So… Siena College, can I go back now?

 

How to Make a Crop Top Appropriate 

It was so awkwardly hot and cold throughout this entire summer that I had no idea what to wear half the time. Luckily, a crop top and a suede jacket were able to save the day. This post has become one of my most read fashion advice posts and I totally get why. If you think you can’t pull off a crop top… definitely check out this post. You can rock anything, girlfriend.

 

DIY Blake Lively Jeans

This outfit was definitely my most risky outfit of all of 2017, and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. This was my most visited post from Pinterest (hellooooooo DIYs). Check out how you can recreate these pants and awkwardly put them in the oven like I did. I am definitely planning some more possible DIYs for 2018.

 

What to Wear to a Summer Barn Wedding

My cousin got married this past summer and it was an amazing ceremony. Seriously, go check out this post just to see the decorations. I fell in love with this dress so much that I bought a similar one in blue. Hey, if it’s working don’t fix it!

 

The Ultimate Styling Trick to Stay Warm

This post is definitely something I need to revisit in 2018. Hello, it’s going to be -7°F on Saturday. I’m literally crazy enough to agree to go skiing for my first time Saturday… wish me luck! I’m definitely revisiting this post and coming up with some new tips for the negative degree weather. Also, I’m obsessed with this sweater. It’s like wearing a statement necklace without having to think about putting one on.

 

How I Maintain My Sanity During My Daily Commute

After graduating, I was able to land an awesome job that is an hour commute. I decided to share some of my best tricks to maintain my sanity (hint: podcasts are key). Check out podcasts and audiobooks I love so you can keep sane too.

What types of posts did you like in 2017 and what types of posts would you like to see in 2018? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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Don’t forget to add me on Instagram to get updates on blog posts. Plus, I’m slightly obsessed with the app so I want to check out your life as well… is that weird?

12 Fall Outfits to Get Inspiration From

Happy first day of winter! I’m always so sad to say goodbye to fall because it is my favorite time of the year. Regardless, I’ll open my arms up wide for a little bit of snow. Before I do all that, let me recap my favorite outfits of this fall season. After all, a good outfit should be seen more than once hehe.

I finally got daring this year and purchased my first leather jacket. The quirky studs drew me into this jacket but the warm, buttery texture made me fall hard. This fall I loved pairing it with different patterns such as this striped outfit and this floral outfit. This jacket was finally one thing that really pushed me out of my style comfort zone. Check out more on that here.

Every day I commute an hour to and from work. I’ve figured out how to keep sane on my daily commute… and trust me it’s hard! Find out more about what podcasts and audiobooks I listen to keep alert on my drive here.  

Camouflage is such an underrated pattern and I want to drastically change that. Find out about the history of this awesome pattern and how you can include it in your outfits here. This is definitely a pattern that can be used for the winter season too!

Do you have a ton of items in your closet that you totally forgot about or just don’t know how to style? That is literally the definition of my life. I’ve decided to conjure up some of those items and create an outfit and tips that you can finally use some of those items. You can find out more about that here. 

Running for Rescues contacted me to write a review on their incredible non-profit. As an animal lover, I was thrilled to have the opportunity. Find out how you can help our furry friends by purchasing apparel or running for this great cause.

Embroidered pants were all the rage this past summer and it dipped into the fall season for me. These pants are currently my favorite pants to wear because I always feel like a bad ass in them. Something about the girly flowers paired with the studs makes a long-lasting impression on people. Check out more about this outfit here. 

For Thanksgiving, I wanted an outfit where I can eat and eat and eat and not worry about how big my stomach grew. That’s why I picked a large scarf to cover my food baby. A sweater dress is one of my go tos for the colder months because it makes you look put together even though you feel like you’re wearing a big blanket. Check out more about this outfit here. 

One of my favorite purchases this year was this necklace from Half United. For each purchase they donate seven meals to a child in need. Find out more about their awesome company here and find out more about this outfit and shoes here.

Ever wonder why I blog? Wonder no more, I talk about it in this post while wearing some pretty awesome camo pants. Let me know why you blog on this post. I’m very curious to hear your reasoning.

Something about borrowing your mom’s flannel without telling her feels so rebellious… and that is exactly what I did in this outfit. Find out how I styled it in this post… it might help you come up with some interesting layered outfits.

Lastly, my favorite outfit from the fall season. I’m obsessed with this skirt I found on sale in the summer. Ugh, can you blame me? I can hear my childhood self cringing at the fact that I’m wearing a turtleneck but who cares! Find out more about this outfit and some of my family traditions here.

What is your favorite outfit out of all these? What was your favorite outfit you wore this fall? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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9 Traditions My Family Celebrates During the Christmas Season

Christmas is less than one week away and I couldn’t be more excited! My family is big on Christmas… and that is an understatement. As soon as hits mid-November… yes, before Thanksgiving… my mother plops up all four of our Christmas trees and starts blaring the Christmas tunes. Personally, it is my favorite time of the year because it’s an excuse for the whole family to get together. Plus, it helps that everyone is in a great mood.

Metallic Skirt for the HolidaysIMG_6147

Skirt (Similar), Turtleneck, Shoes (Similar Style)

Setting up Christmas trees

You would think setting up four Christmas trees would be very time consuming, but my mother does it very quickly. Each tree and decorations has a labeled box that we store in our attic and bomb shelter. When November comes around those boxes fly into their assigned rooms and the Christmas music starts to blare. Depending on the year, the trees go up one day at a time or sometimes multiple in one day. Each tree has a theme ranging from Snowman, Antique, Family, and Folk Art. There are two tiny trees one with mini ornaments and another with cardinals. We also have had an animal tree and a Disney tree in the past. The Snowman tree has a very special place in my heart.

Christmas tunes

Speaking of Christmas tunes… they are nonstop playing during this time of the year. If my mother is home the tunes are on. Doesn’t matter if she is downstairs watching a Christmas Hallmark movie… the tunes are on. It is the first thing that wakes everyone up on Christmas day.

Oplatek

On Christmas Eve, each family member is given a wafer called an oplatek. Each person goes up to a family member, breaks off a piece of that person’s oplatek, wishes them something for the new year, and then eats the other person’s piece of oplatek. The idea is to wish everyone something for the next year. It’s a great time way to tell your loved ones how much you love and care about them.

Wigilia – Meatless Christmas Eve Dinner

On Christmas Eve, we always have fish and the meal is typically a white meal. This meal usually includes handmade pierogies, swordfish, crab, rolls, and some add-ons. We tend to keep this meal very white, unlike Christmas day. On Christmas day we usually have ham, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, broccoli casserole, gravy, and some add-ons. After these two days are over, we’re stuffed to the max and can barely wabble into our new clothes.

PJs

Before Christmas mass, everyone opens up their Christmas eve/day PJs. We typically wear these PJs all the way into the afternoon on Christmas day. We are a very casual family on Christmas day because all we do is eat and play games. Last year, my brothers and I all received matching PJ shirts.

Midnight Mass

On Christmas Eve, my mother, brothers, and I go to Midnight mass at a Franciscan Catholic church. My dad is Protestant so he goes to his church around the same time. Some years he comes with us but he usually does sound for his Church. My favorite part of this mass is how cheerful everyone is. The last song sung on Christmas Eve is usually Joy to the World and we all sing it at the tops of our lungs. I’ll be wearing this outfit for Christmas Eve. I think the metallic skirt is perfect for fitting in with the cheerful music and bight poinsettias.

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Stockings

Personally, stocking are my favorite presents to open. There is always such random goodies in there. When we were little, Santa used to bring use Beanie Babies and stick them out of the tops of the sock along with sweets and random toys. We usually open these stockings before we have breakfast. After breakfast, we continue opening presents under our family tree. Even though we have multiple trees, we Santa only puts the presents under the family tree. We usually open presents in the order of oldest to youngest or vice versa.

French Toast 

Every year, my mother decides that she has found the “winning” french toast recipe. This usually ends up with some kind of messed up version of french toast. We’ve probably have had every french toast recipe known to man and every year it ends up being terrible. My dad then picks a spatula and starts frying french toast the old fashion way. This year mom is making a creme brûlée recipe…. wish us luck.

Pinochle

After we unwrap presents, we break out the Pinochle cards and play for hours. Pinochle is a game I was taught when I was little from my Babci and Dziadzui (Polish Grandmother and Grandfather). They would constantly throw signs out left and right and my cousins and I would just learn by watching. This game has thus trickled down and my family plays it every Christmas. The teams are usually girls vs. boys and they’re pretty even.  However, my mom is a card shark so we tend to win a little bit more often than the boys, but they’ll never admit it.

Metallic Skirt for the Holidays

How do you celebrate the holidays? Do you have any family traditions? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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How to Rock a Sleeveless Dress During the Fall Season

Before I start talking about this fun, warm combo… these pictures were taken before it snowed and dropped to temperatures more suitable for the Arctic (blogger problems). So with that in mind… to make this outfit winterized just add some tights, a thick black jacket, and maybe some over the knee boots.

If you live in a southern area where the weather might be a little bit warmer and you still want to rock your dresses… boy, do I have the opportunity for you. Since it isn’t officially winter yet (December 21), I can still rock my fall apparel on this blog.

Flannel LayersFlannel Layers

Cuff your sleeves so that you don’t have so much fabric up top. 

Whenever I have a button up, 9 out of 10 times I will roll up the sleeves. It adds the perfect amount of dimension to any outfit. This particular dress is more formal than a normal summer dress. It can easily be dressed up or down. To make this dress seem more casual the rolled up sleeves on this flannel do a fantastic job.

Don’t be afraid to mix black and blue

Growing up it used to be a huge taboo to wear black and navy together. I still have no idea why. They’re both neutrals and they’re often found together in nature. Hello, black and blue eyes are an actual thing. So why can’t I wear these colors together? Frankly, this is a rule I break quite frequently and have no intention to stop (fight me, fashion police). So if you want to be a rule breaker with me, rock what your mamma gave you and fight the power.

Flannel LayersFlannel LayersFlannel Layers

Don’t worry about adding too many layers in the fall/winter seasons. 

It’s better to be warm than fashionable. So throw on those puffy jackets, thick warm flannels, and over the knee socks. You could easily wear this outfit with thick tights, over the knee socks and boots, a long coat, and a hat. Winter and fall are my favorite times to try out new combinations because you’re always fighting to stay warm. Don’t be afraid to try out new combinations. After all, you might end up loving the look.

Play around with necklines when incorporating bold undershirts.

The best part about style is you can try out anything. This outfit isn’t something I would traditionally wear but it’s something I’m able to have fun with. After all, shouldn’t every day feel like you’re playing dress up? To switch up this look I would love to play with lower neckline dresses and different flannel patterns. The contrasting textures make an interesting look.

Flannel LayersFlannel Layers

What do you think about adding a flannel to an otherwise warm dress? Do you ever mix black and navy blue together? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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November Recap 2017

I cannot believe the year is almost over and 2018 is just around the corner. Do you just lose all sense of time once you become an “adult”? Seriously, I feel like I just graduated and I’ve already been six months out of college. Please make it slow down!

November was very good to me this year. I was able to travel to Boston with my friend, travel New York City for work, visit Robert in Long Island, and I even went all the way up to Albany for Thanksgiving. During the busy month, I picked up a few favorites…

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Favorite Makeup Product: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara

Marc Jacobs by Marc Jacobs designed by Marc Jacobs and advertised by Marc Jacobs is fantastic. (Hopefully, you caught my sarcasm with the name). But for real, I’ve been falling hard for this mascara because of how full it makes my eyelashes. For someone who has little eyes, mascara is the best item to make an impact. I’ve noticed I can’t really cheap out on mascaras because of how easily it flakes off my eyelashes. Thus, I splurged a little bit more and picked up this mascara. I usually put on two coats on both my top and bottom eyelashes and call it a day.

Scents: Comfort from Bath and Body Works

If you read this post, you know I’m actually obsessed with this scent. Patchouli is now my favorite smell in all the world. I’m currently fighting my desire to buy all of Bath and Body Work’s comfort products. Trust me, it’s harder than it looks. Right now their candles are 50% off so make sure you pick up this comfort candle… you won’t regret it!

Favorite Purchases this Month: Earrings from Francescas 

1st top (sold out), 2nd top, 1st Bottom, 2nd Bottom.

These four earrings were part of my Cyber Monday purchases. I was able to score the first two earrings for $5 each and received 30% off the bottom two earrings. Since I received them in the mail, I’ve been wearing the bottom two nonstop. They add the perfect amount of pizzaz to any outfit. I also purchased a dress from Francescas… be sure to be on the look out for that. It’s defintiely not what you’re expecting.

Outfit I’ve been loving: Thanksgiving Day Outfit

Something about this oversized scarf paired with this lacy dress gives me all the feels. Plus, it does help that my favorite color is the accent piece in this look. If you’re ever nervous about wearing a tighter dress just throw on a giant scarf… you won’t even be able to notice if the dress is tight or not.

Favorite Place I visited: Bryant Park in New York City

When I traveled to New York City for a copywriter’s conference, I had free time before my friend finished her day of work. I decided to wander into Bryant Park because I knew that they had their annual Christmas market going on. The market is comprised of little glass huts filled with all sorts of goodies. I ended up buying a handmade ornament, churros, and an empanada.

Best Food I Consumed this Month: Bagelworld Bagels in Brooklyn and Union Square Donuts in Boston. 

There is this bizarre feud between New Jersey and New York City when it comes to bagels. Both places love to tell me that their bagels are the best, so I decided to find out for myself. After eating countless bagels in New Jersey when staying with friends, I decided to try out a Brooklyn bagel. Sorry, New Jersey, but Brooklyn understands bagels. I’m still thinking about the delicious everything bagel I had.

As for Union Square Donuts, if you’re in the Boston area you need to go venture out to this donut shop. Usually, I really only like the frosting part of the donut but the actual donut was out of this world. It was this doughy masterpiece coated with dark chocolate. *Insert Homer Simpson drooling*

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Favorite View I’ve seen: Sunset in Long Island.

When I visited Robert in the beginning of the month, he took me to see this beautiful sunset. There were two children and one man fishing while we watched the sun dip below the clouds. I could watch sunsets on the beach every day and not get sick of it.

AudioBooks I’m Loving: Tales from the Back Row by Amy Odell and Over-Dressed The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline. 

Amy Odell is a pure genius. She is whimsical, alluring, and I seriously want to be her best friend. She talks about high fashion and the fashion world in such a pure and genuine way. It would be hard not to fall in love with her. She talks about bloggers that have made it big in the world, how to get seen in fashion week, and all of the struggles associated with the high fashion scene. If you love fashion and one day want to see New York Fashion week in all it’s glory (or chaos) this is definitely an audiobook you should listen to.

I was hesitant to Elizabeth’s book on here because I still have about two hours left in the book. However, I’ve been hanging on Elizabeth’s words like an elastic waistband clinging to your skin. The research she has put into this book discussing the actual economic, social, and political cost associated with fast fashion is intense. I’m not even finished with the book yet and she has changed my entire thought process when it comes to fashion. If you’re someone who loves trends but wants to start investing in real, high-quality pieces this is the book for you.

Favorite Quote of the Month: “A strong woman accepts both compliments and criticism graciously, knowing that it takes both sunshine and rain for a flower to grow,” Mandy Hale. 

What were your favorites for the month of November? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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Why I Blog

I hope your day is going better than expected on a Tuesday. Tuesdays sometimes just seem to drag on like a bad punchline. Hopefully, your Tuesday feels more like a Friday night than a Monday morning if you get what I mean.

Now that I’ve been blogging for a little over four years, I’ve started to get used to being asked why I blog. This question still confuses me because it isn’t something that really ever crossed my mind. Even before I started my blog four years ago, I loved reading blogs. I loved reading them on Tumblr and then I found the mystical world of WordPress where I was able to consume many, many blogs at once. I love hearing different people’s opinions on fashion from all over the world. I can read blogs from Italy, Africa, Japan… you name a country, I can find the country.

After reading so many different blogs, I decided to get brave enough to share my own thoughts, feelings, and opinions with the world. Now, I’m not going to lie to you… I was terrified of what people were going to think. Would they think it’s weird? Would they understand my thoughts? Would people actually read it? Were all thoughts that ran through my mind as I clicked that first bight blue “published” button. I hid my blog for about a year until I figured I put on my big girl pants and share it with the world. To my surprise, people responded like crazy. My blog now reaches over 128 different countries and I just surpassed my 200th post. I have no intention of stopping anytime soon. But to answer the question that has been asked again and again…

How to Style Camouflage PantsHow to Style Camouflage Pants

Jacket (Similar), Necklace (Similar), Camo Pants (Similar), Shoes

Blogging forces me to get outside my comfort zone and do things that I wouldn’t have otherwise. 

During college, it’s very easy to stay inside a little bubble and not venture far outside of the town or city you’re in. This blog forced me to venture out into the surrounding cities to take pictures, eat interesting food, and experience different ways of living. Even this past weekend, I wandered the streets of Yale to take pictures. Something I would have never of done if it wasn’t for this blog. I love blogging because it allows me opportunities to get outside my comfort zone.

Blogging has made me a more creative person in both my style and writing.

Let’s face it, if you met me four years ago I wouldn’t have been seen in camouflage, turtlenecks, or a leather jacket. This blog helped me experiment with different style pieces and open up my mind to what I like and don’t like in fashion. Something I would have never done if it wasn’t for this blog. As for writing, each new post has helped me think outside the box by creating different posts. I think of what is relevant to you and what you might actually enjoy reading. As a result of this blog, I’ve developed a better sense of my audience and who I’m trying to communicate with.

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I love the community of blogging and value each and every interaction I’ve had over the years. 

There are so many lovely people I’ve been able to interact with thanks to this blog. I love reaching out to you and hearing what you have to say. Thanks to you, I’ve been able to find out awesome podcasts to listen to on my daily commute, how you stayed positive after the outcome of the 2016 election, what shows to watch on Netflix, and you’ve even been there when I removed negative influences from my life. Your influences have impacted me drastically. I wouldn’t have close blogger friends who live in Germany, Canada, Texas, and so forth if it wasn’t for this blog.

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This blog has allowed me new opportunities to network and meet new people. 

December 18th, I’m going to my first blogging event where amazing bloggers like Rachel from Pinterest Plans, Alycia from CT Eats Out, Kallie from But First Coffee, and Sandra from The Rustic Life are speaking. I’m so excited (and nervous) to yet again, get outside my comfort zone thanks to this blog.

If you’re always enjoyed reading blogs but have never bit the bullet to create one, now is the time to do so. If you’re looking for a sign… here it is. My advice is to sign up for a WordPress account and just start typing away. You’ll be shocked how many opportunities come your way.

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Why do you blog? What is your favorite thing about blogging? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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Gift Guide for the Socially Conscious (Part One)

The holiday season is by far my favorite time of the year because of how kind and genuine people are. On Tuesday, I was amazed by how many people were donating to amazing causes. With that in mind, I decided to come up with 20 of my favorite companies that support causes that are near and dear to my heart. There is something so special and personal when you know more about the company you’re buying from. Every day I wear some of these items and I get this warm, fuzzy feeling that I’m making some kind of difference. The best part about all these companies is that they create unique, one of kind items that will instantly create a conversation about not only the item but the cause you’re supporting.

Let us start this big conversation with my first ten companies:

Feed

Cost: $$

With every purchase from Feed meals are built into the item. When you buy each item you know how many meals you are giving to a child in need. Sometimes that number is even stamped on the vegan leather. Feed provides sustainable livelihoods to underserved populations in Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Kenya, El Salvador, and Peru. I’ve been saving up to get the first bag pictured. I also will buy this tassel when I do. This is the perfect gift for the fashionista who wants to make a statement while giving back. Plus, the middle clutch is perfect for the Girl Boss in your life.

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Half United 

Cost: $

The idea behind Half United is that customers are doing their half by uniting together to make a lasting change in children’s lives. Each product has seven meals built into the cost. These meals go to children in the USA, Haiti, Fiji, and Cambodia. After every three months, Half United divides the funds into four charity partners. I own the first necklace and have been wearing it constantly as seen in this post. Half United is perfect for someone who likes to style edgy, masculine pieces.

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United by Blue

Cost: $-$$$

United by Blue is a new store that has just started to catch my eye. I found them on Instagram a few months ago and fell in love with their adventure lifestyle. For each product sold United by Blue removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways. Some of the items are sustainably made out of that trash. They also have a men’s line that I’ve been eyeing for gifts.

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The Giving Keys

Cost: $

This is by far the most worn item in my life. I currently wear the small necklace in the middle almost every single day. It serves as a reminder to keep my head up and dream as big as I can. The Giving Keys is my favorite company because of how they affected the Los Angeles community they are based in. The company hires homeless people to give them an opportunity to change their lives. They give people a second chance. These necklaces are perfect for any person who needs that extra reminder to love, laugh, dream, believe, hope, be brave, let go, be fearless, inspire, have strength, create, and breathe.

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Bombas

Cost: $-$$

Okay, socks may sound like the lamest of lame gifts (unless your my mother or dog but that is another story), but socks make perfect stocking stuffers. Yes, stuff your socks with some more socks. This company is near and dear to my heart because for every sock you buy the company donates a pair do a homeless person. One of the most requested item in homeless shelters are socks. Plus, they have such fun, colorful pairs.

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FashionABLE

Cost: $-$$

As a strong woman, I get this intense feeling of hope when a company goes out of their way to change the lives of women. FashionAble is a brand that employees women directly in communities that they wish to impact by creating jobs and ending the cycle of charity dependency. Instead of donating to communities that need help, FashionABLE is trying to create a system where women can drastically change their lives for the better. Through working with women, FashionABLE is moving one step closer to the end of generational poverty. These high-quality pieces will fit in well in a feminist’s home who aims to help women overcome extraordinary circumstances.

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Serenge Tee

Cost: $

Don’t be fooled by this simple tee, it has a huge impact.  Serenge Tee supports 32 different causes ranging from education to ending sex trafficking. Each shirt comes with a different pattern that is linked to a specific cause. This is perfect for someone who is very outspoken about a particular cause. Chances are Serenge tee has a shirt for them.

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Krochet Kids

$-$$

Krochet Kids employees women in vulnerable environments so that they are able to care for their families and send their children to higher levels of educations. Each item that Krochet Kids produces hand signed by the person who created the item. On their website, you can visit each employee’s online profile to learn more about her and her family. This unique idea of connecting the consumer to the actual person making the garment is something that has been lost in the rise of fast fashion. Gifts from Krochet Kids is perfect for anyone who wants to know more about what goes into their item.

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Noonday Collection

Cost: $

Noonday sells handmade products from all around the world giving artisans opportunities to make a livelihood off the products they create. By connecting artisan businesses to a growing market for their goods, Noonday Collection enables them to create more jobs for people in their communities who need them. The products sold by Noonday are perfect for anyone who wants a unique, eye-catching statement piece.

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Cause Box

Cost: $$

Cause Box is a subscription service I’ve been wanting to do for the longest time. The boxes are around $50-55 depending on which subscription you pick and they come with $150 with of socially conscious products. Cause Box comes out with a new box every season with all brand new items. Some of the items on this list have been featured in these boxes in path months. This would be a perfect gift for anyone who loves giving back and getting mystery items in the mail.

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What do you think about these companies? Have you ever purchased from them or will you in the future? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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