Friday Faves: January 27, 2023

TGIF! Welcome to the first Friday Faves of the year. I’ve been dealing with some health stuff going on, so curating my list of favorites has been a little tricky these days. However, I have so many different favorites that I want to share with you. So here are this week’s favorites:

1. Ariana Grande Cloud Perfume: TikTok made me do this. I went to Ulta and tried it on and knew I needed to walk out with it. And, I’ve already have used it almost everyday since I purchased it. I’m obsessed with the smell, and it lasts all day. If you’re considering this purchase, I highly recommend, because it is definitely worth the hype.

2. That 90s Show: I am a huge fan of That 70s Show. I used to watch it daily after school, and it was a show that I honestly just enjoy. So, when the reboot happened, I came in with skeptical eyes. But, then I watched it and became obsessed. It is on Netflix, and it is a show that you can easily binge watch. The show is about Eric and Donna’s daughter, Leia, who stays in Point Place over the summer with her grandparents, Red and Kitty. She meets a gang of friends, all with characteristics that the original share. It’s definitely worth the watch.

3. Anthropologie Luna Crossbody: I love this Luna bag so much that I went back and got it in brown. The bag is a great crossbody, and it super secure. It is slouchy, and it fits a ton of things, including my Barnes and Noble Nook. It is made out of vegan leather and is really study. It is a great bag to bring on day trips and goes with any outfit.

4. Twisted series by Ana Hoang: I became obsessed with this series, and devoured it within a week. Yes, I read four books within a week. It tells the story of four college roommates as they find love. Of course, these are steamy and I could not put them down.

5. Gemstone Lavender Roller: I got this last week from Scorp Zone, and I have become obsessed with using this during the day whenever I feel anxious or stressed. What I like about this is that this has amethyst infused in it, and it always manages to work.

My 5 Snow Day Essentials

It is winter in the Nutmeg State, and I’m like most of us out there by just staying in during these cold months. This year, we’ve been really fortunate with the lack of snow days, but there is nothing like a cozy snow day where you can stay in and just hunker down. For me, it’s the ultimate form of self care.

To achieve the ultimate snow day, here’s some things that are a must for me:

1. Something to bake.

Cookies, cake, cupcakes, brownies, oh my! Having a treat to bake is my favorite thing to do during a snowy winter day. I have a sweet tooth, so this is perfect. But, there is nothing better than the smell of cookies in the oven while snow is falling gently outside.

2. Books.

It is no secret that I love reading. Therefore, there is something so cozy about curling up with a hot beverage, book, and fireplace (or YouTube fireplace for those who do not have one IRL) with a physical or ebook.

3. Craft.

I have a lot of hobbies, and having a snow day means that you get some free time. For me, that means that I can work on a craft that I have been putting off. One of the most relaxing things that I do is knit/crochet with a TV show playing in the background. While I knit, there is so many other crafts to do. Painting. Jewelry making. Cricut Crafter. The limits do not exist.

4. Binging TV.

Binging TV shows/movies is a must during a snow day. Whether it’s that show that you desperately need to catch up on or an old favorite, there is nothing better than snuggling under a blanket with a cup of something warm. At least I think so.

5. Working Out At Home.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, the biggest thing is that you don’t need to go to the gym in order to get a work out in. Whether it’s Peloton, a free YouTube video or even just walking on a treadmill, there is no better feeling than a post workout feeling.

What are your snowy day essentials? Let me know in the comments below.

An Honest Review of the Sydney Squad and Sydney Cummings Workouts

Fitness is probably one of those things that feels like it’s so intimidating, that doesn’t have to be. And, as many of us have made it our 2023 resolution to get into shape, it can be hard to stay motivated in both fitness or nutrition.

Enter the Sydney Squad.

The Sydney Squad, a group that is run by trainer Sydney Cummings Houdyshell, is a group that has a workout schedule, helps plan your macros, and has so much content for the price of $29.99 with an option to go annual and save. The squad is a group comprised of men and women who all share the same goals of staying in shape. I’ve been a member of the Squad since March 2022, and I am so glad that I’ve joined it.

Sydney Cummings Houdyshell is a coach, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and a fitness nutritionist specialist with over a million subscribers on YouTube. She posts new workouts everyday, which are available even if you are not a member of the Squad. This is something that I truly love about her. She is more committed to making fitness completely accessible to everyone, whether or not they can afford the membership. Furthermore, Sydney focuses on the health aspect of fitness rather than the numbers. That is something that I truly love about her as well.

The workouts are strength and HIIT (high intensity interval training) based, and focus on building strength and stamina. What I like about her workouts is that you can join if it’s your first workout or your 100th. She had modifications, which I really enjoy. While she has these modifications, she also truly pushes those who are working out so that you can grow.

As I mentioned earlier, being a member of the Squad gets way more than your money’s worth. The biggest value in my opinion, is the community. A health journey can be one of the most isolating things. The group consists of people all throughout the world, all doing the same Sydney workout video that you are doing. There is something that is so incredible about that.

In addition to the community, you get a macro calculator, tons of lives with Sydney herself, discounts, and so much more.

I am going to be honest with you all. I have tried a few different workout programs in the past, and they just didn’t work for me. This one is the one that I honestly love the most. I do not do the full five days of the workouts. On an average week, I do three days of running and three days of HIIT, with one day of active rest, and I feel like that is a good combo for me.

I also just really love Sydney’s vibe. She is one of the most positive people that I’ve met. Sure, I’ve cursed her at the end of the workout when she proposed burpees. But, she’s someone that is truly passionate about the work that she does, and that energy is contagious. This motivates me to actually press play even on my sorest days, because if you know, you know. Just getting started is half the struggle.

And, she makes working out so easy — you can work out from home whenever works for you. No excuses, just work.

I am not sure what my results are, but I can tell you that I’ve grown stronger, and these workouts have been helpful in growing my skills in running. It also is just easy to workout at home versus getting in your car at the gym. So, if you’re looking for a great tool to help you reach your goals, I highly recommend checking out the Sydney Squad.

3 of my Favorite Bride Accessories To Add To Your Jewelry Box

If you’ve been around the Nutmeg Millennial for a while, you know that I love a good stack. So as my wedding draws closer and closer, I have been adding a few bridal pieces here and there to my collection. All of these are pieces that have been in my collection for the past year and I’ve been loving.

Little Words Project Bride Bracelet: I think this bracelet is so so fun! They also have a Mrs. one that I have yet to pick up, but I love this bracelet. I also got everyone in my wedding party ones that either said Maid of Honor and Bridesmaid. These are so dainty and can be stacked with any other bracelet you already have in your collection.

T Jazelle Bride Charm Bracelet: My fiancé got me this when this came out last year and I’ve been loving it. It is not only a special gift that he gave me that I will be wearing long after my wedding dress is put away, but it is something that is a fun way to accessorize as well! It comes in a variety of stones, so it’s perfect for any bride.

Little Words Project Custom Bracelets: I recently got two of these: One that says Mrs. Urbo (which will be my new last name) and the other with my wedding date. Since these are about $30 to $40 and always have a sale, they are definitely worth picking up. They also make great gifts for the bride to be as well!

2022 Favorites

In honor of it being the last Friday of 2022, I am sharing my favorites. Some of these were favorites that continued from last year. Others included some new ones. All of which are still my favorite things that make me happy.

Electric Tea Kettle: I got this at the end of last year, and it’s something that has been used at least once a day since. My mother in law to be even enjoys using this. It is so much easier than making hot water on the stove or the Keurig. If you love tea, this is something that I highly recommend purchasing.

Barnes and Noble White Special Edition Nook: 2022 is the year of the Nook if you were curious. I have over 300 books in my Barnes and Noble library. That said, I always wanted to have a white ereader, so that’s when I got this. I am so happy with this purchase, and although I love a good physical book, I just love how easy it is to take my books everywhere I go.

Louis Vuitton Mini Pochette: This is probably one of my most used Louis Vuitton pieces. It got to the point where I actually got another one. I used this as a wristlet, and a makeup bag to hold lipgloss and hand sanitizer. I love how versatile this piece is, but I hate the current price on the Louis Vuitton website. The second one I got was in fact preloved, and I have no regrets.

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Pandora Beads and Pave: I love this bracelet. I wear it in so many different ways, and it’s been a favorite for the last few years. I wear it with bangles, and other chain bracelets.

Tiffany Beaded Bracelet: I love stacking these with the Beads and Pave bracelet. I wear these almost all of the time too, and they are bracelets that I wear almost all the time. Over the last few years, I’ve stacked them with so many different bracelets and I have collected quite a few different colors. These are my favorite bracelets of all time.

Tiffany Bean Necklace: This is one of my favorite necklaces. I got it over three years ago, and I’ve worn it consistently since. I love layering it, I love wearing it on it’s own. It’s one of those things that I can wear with pretty much everything, and I am so happy I got it before Tiffany jewelry became so expensive.

2022 Reading Wrap Up

With two days left in the new year, it’s safe to say that I am likely going to hit my Goodreads goal of reading 100 books, since I only have one book to finish between now and Saturday. That said, I wanted to take the time to look over the past year of reading.

In 2022, I read 99 books. This equaled 32,053 pages read throughout the year. The ranges of books is from romance to fantasy to fiction.

Looking back, my reading year in 2022 was very hot and cold. Some days, I am tearing through my TBR pile, while others I am only reading a few pages a day.

Some of the best books I read this year were:

Every Summer by Carley Fortune: I remember being glued to this book while lying in the pool and just reading. I love these types of books where someone goes back to their childhood summer romance. This tells the story of Percy, whose family goes to the lake every summer where Sam’s family lives. Percy and Sam are drawn to each other, and date in their teens, but break up when Sam goes to college. Suddenly, Percy is back to pay her respects after the death of Sam’s mom. This book was the perfect romance, and I loved every minute of it.

Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score: Okay this one started out so slow, and I was so mad at TikTok, because this was a book that vent viral this year. Then, it picked up and I couldn’t put it down. This tells the story of Naomi, who is forced to take care of her niece that she did not tell anyone about after her sister leaves town. She’s a runaway bride, so she is not interested in any kind of romance. But, she cannot resist the charm of Knox. This romance was steamy, and addictive.

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Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering: I was addicted to this book. It tells the story of Lucy and Stephen, a relationship that was both on and off. It is told in both past and present tense, and I was addicted to their romance, and the fact that it had a bit of a thriller element.

Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid: Remember Carrie Soto in Malibu Rising? Well, she gets a book of her own, and I could not put this book down. This tells the story of Carrie Soto, a tennis star who is about to come out of retirement. I loved this character. Carrie was the character that everyone hated in Malibu Rising, but this book gave me a whole new perspective of her.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig: I do not recommend that someone who is dealing with loss to read this book. This tells the story of Nora, who is somewhere between life and death, and is in the library of the books of what if. What if she stayed with that person? What if she followed that career? I loved reading this book, and it definitely was worth the read.

Meant to Be by Emily Giffin: Emily Giffin is one of my favorite authors, and it is not surprising that this is one my favorite books of the year. This tells the story of Cate and Joe. Joe is a Kingsley, which is a family that is similar to the Kennedys, and Cate is a model. The two meet and fall in love – against all odds. I could not put this book down, and I absolutely loved this book. Out of all of these books, this is the one that I highly recommend you reading.

Are Women Really the Ones To Blame?

While watching the Harry and Meghan documentary a few weeks ago, Meghan Markle brought up a point that was very thought provoking in my mind — that when a man starts seeing a woman — and nonetheless stops seeing the guy as much, the woman is seen as someone who took the guy away from them.

I 100 percent agree with this. In fact, the same can be said about women. I’ve been in a relationship since 2017 (and have friends that are either married/or in serious committed relationships), and have noticed that same thing with myself or friends so it’s not just something that it’s related to men alone.

I feel that when someone says something along the lines is one of a few things. The first is that they are jealous of that new person’s relationship. The second is that they could be threatened in the sense that they don’t know their place in that person’s life. The third, is that they just are afraid of change.

That said, I don’t agree with the thought that since he/she started dating so and so, they’ve essentially taken this person away. First and foremost, that person has the choice. I always have agreed with the saying that if they wanted to, they would. Meaning that if they want to make plans, they would make the efforts to do so. While friends have to share the the spotlight, they should still have their time to shine. Stemming off of that, I also think that if a partner is actually telling you not to see someone, but then again, that’s its own issue.

Additionally, I would like to bring up the point that things do change during the course of life. For example, when you’re single and in your high school/college years, chances are you have the most free time to spend with your friends. And, many of those friends happen to be right there. As we get older, responsibilities do change. I have lived with my fiancé since 2020, and of course, we’re saddled with the whole planning a wedding thing that is super time consuming. During high school and college, those things are far away from thought. And of course, as adults we all pretty much work full time that consumes a lot of our energy.

In Harry and Meghan’s case, it was because when all of the stuff that happened with them and the Royal Family, Harry stood up to them, which is something that they didn’t care for. However, this is an argument and statement that has existed for many years, and will continue to.

Honestly, that is something that is not on the couple, rather than the person who is making the statement. Therefore, to answer my question, women are not the ones to blame for taking a friend from the group away. It’s just a matter of a changing dynamic.

Merry Christmas! Here Is My Favorite Christmas Playlist

Merry Christmas to all! In honor of it being Christmas Day, I wanted to share my Christmas Spotify Playlist that is filled with all of my favorite songs. Some of them are classics, and I just honestly can’t get enough of the Celine Dion Christmas album. . .

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas Day!

Trader Joe’s Christmas Charcuterie Board Ideas

Merry Christmas all! Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite places to get snacks, and this year, I did not feel like baking Christmas cookies this year. So, I decided to create this board instead. I also would like to thank my future mother in law for the design assistance.

  • Yogurt Pretzels
  • Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
  • Chocolatey Coated Chocolate Chip Cookie Dunkers
  • Peppermint Joe Joe Cookies
  • Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies

There are so many different options out there, but this is definitely something that is so easy to do but it still is pretty fun.

Designer Bags to Purchase Vintage and Save

It is no secret that the luxury market has become more and more inflated. Prices at Louis Vuitton and Chanel have skyrocketed, making them more and more not worth the price. However, one of my favorite ways to get the “look for less” is through designer consignment. Over the past year, I’ve purchased so many of the hot designer bags for a fraction of their new price. Some of these bags honestly may not be the exact same as their new counterparts, but they are definitely a close comparison. And, with the quality going down, I can honestly say that my vintage bags are definitely a lot better made than the ones I’ve purchased new. So, without further a due, here are some vintage bags to check out before adding the new ones to your cart.

1. Louis Vuitton Odeon:

I loved the Louis Vuitton Odeon and came this close to purchasing it at the Louis Vuitton store. I am so glad I didn’t because I ended up getting a Louis Vuitton Bloomsbury, which was a much better purchase compared to the Odeon because I paid less than half of the current retail price for it. I will note that it was so hard to find a bag in good condition for a price I was willing to pay, so I recommend checking everywhere for it.

2. Gucci Crossbody:

I fell in love with the Gucci Crossbody a while ago and almost bought it on Fashionphile. However, I waited too long and the bag was sold by the time I was ready to add it to my cart. I then searched for it on Poshmark and found one for about half of the Fashionphile price, but in good vintage condition. I will note that this one is not the crossbody bag, but the rather the shoulder one, however, it is still worth the price difference if you ask me.

3. Fendi Bageutte:

“It’s not a bag, it’s a baguette!” Thank you Carrie Bradshaw for making this bag oh so popular. This bag has made a huge comeback, including the Fendi Mama Zucca one. I have both a smaller and a larger one, both of which are vintage. The new ones are on the Fendi website, and let me tell you, those bags are over $3,200. I paid less than $1,000 for my two. For these, I would check out sites like Poshmark, the RealReal and Fashionphile, as well as local consignment stores. I love this bag because it does fit a lot, and I am so happy that I got these.

4. Gucci Jackie

This is probably the only bag that I do not actually own on this list, but it’s one that I think is definitely worth checking out. The new Jackie retails for $2,400 to $3,600 depending on what size you’re looking for. However, if you go looking on the vintage websites, you can find many under $500. Definitely worth looking into if you ask me.

5. Prada Nylon Bag:

The re-edition of this bag has been popular for the last few years. On Prada’s website, it’s $1250 for the shoulder bag. I’ve found mine for $200 at a local consignment shop. These bags are perfect for summer, and so easy to use. I highly recommend checking out sites like Fashionphile, and Poshmark for a vintage one, because you get the Prada quality for a lot less.