Friday Faves: December 9, 2022

TGIF everyone! I am so happy that it is the weekend, because it has been a week. I hopefully will get some downtime this weekend, and hope to do some blogging and decluttering. That said, before we get into the weekend, let’s look back at this week’s favorites:

Lululemon All Night Festival Bag: This bag has been in my closet for a while, and I just recently decided to dig it out and start using it. Let me tell you, I am obsessed. What I love about this bag is that it looks like it’s the tiniest bag in the world, but it packs a huge punch. It fits all of my daily essentials — including my e reader — with no issues. I highly recommend this bag to anyone who is about to do some traveling, because it makes it oh so easy.

Window Shopping by Tessa Bailey: This is my second holiday read of the Christmas season, and I am so happy that I decided to pick this up. It tells the story of Stella, who just got out of prison and is spotted criticizing a huge Macy’s style department store window. Turns out, she was discussing this with the own of the store, and was offered a job. Of course, the owner is handsome and the two fall madly in love. However, I just loved reading this steamy romance that definitely has been keeping me warm on a winter night.

Madewell Sydney Crossbody Bag: This was a Black Friday purchase, as Madewell never marks down their handbags. I got this, along with a few other styles. I love this bag because it gives the appearance of a small bag, but it packs a punch. It can be worn crossbody, and it can be worn as a shoulder bag. Great everyday bag, as well.

12 Date Night Ideas For The Holiday Season

It’s the most wonderful time of year! And, if you’re looking for some unique date night ideas, this time of year has so many things that you can do together to create memories with your special someone. That being said, what is great about the holiday season is to have a special date night doesn’t always mean a fancy night on the town. There are so many simple, low-cost options as well that couples can do together. Here are some great date night ideas to make this holiday season memorable for both of you as a couple:

1. Holiday Shopping: Anyone else still not done with their holiday shopping yet? Well, by doing some shopping together, that not only gets the shopping done, but also allows you to spend some quality time! Two birds in one stone.

2. Going to Christmas Lights Displays: Whether you’re driving around to see homes brightly lit up with festive lights or driving to one of the many light displays around the state of CT (or elsewhere), there are so many different light displays for people to drive through. So, grab a hot cocoa and just sit back and enjoy the lights!

3. Going to Christmas Markets: I have yet to go to one of these, but there are so many different Christmas markets with unique vendors and decorations. This is the perfect thing to explore together.

4. A Date Night In Watching Christmas Movies: From A Christmas Story to Love Actually, there are so many holiday movies out there to cuddle up and watch. So, bake some cookies, and set the mood with a cozy fire to make a relaxing date night in.

5. Decorate a Gingerbread House: Break out your creativity with creating a gingerbread house. Simple, but super fun!

6. Bake Cookies: Holiday baking is a source of stress for many. Why not do it together?

7. Wrap Gifts: Another task that you can do together to not only be productive, but also get some quality time! Set the mood with some Christmas cookies and Christmas music playing in the background.

8. Decorating the House: There is nothing more special than decorating together, especially if it’s your first home together.

9. Go Ice Skating: Whether you’ve taken lessons your entire life, or never even touched the ice, ice skating is definitely a fun way to be a little more active together during the winter season.

10. Plan a Holiday Photo Shoot: Christmas card photo shoots are so, so fun! Every other year, we try to get creative with our Christmas cards, especially with our dog. What I also love about Christmas photos is that they are so much fun to look back on in the years to come.

11. Go to a Christmas Tree Farm: Of course, this is a great place to go when you’re looking to cut down a tree. However, it’s always fun to walk around in a farm, and it’s a great place to get some photos together as well.

12. Go to New York City for the day: If you’re near the New York City area, I highly recommend visiting NYC for the day because there is just so much to see. The Rockettes. The decorations all around the city. The broadway plays. And, so much more. It seems like New York City is always decorated for Christmas, and it’s definitely worth seeing once in a lifetime.

Move Over, Everywhere Belt Bag: Lululemon’s All Night Festival Bag Deserves Its Own Round of Applause

The Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag is definitely one of the brand’s most popular bags, and is almost always sold out in stores and online. I am a huge fan of the bag myself, and it is one of my most worn pieces to date. However, while the Everywhere Belt Bag is a great bag to have on hand, it is not a good bag to bring to work due to its size and casual athleisure style. Enter the All Night Festival Bag.

Priced at $78, this bag is small but mighty. I will be honest, I almost passed it up because I thought it was too small for me. However, this bag fits way more than it holds due to it’s many compartments. It holds my mini pochette, my recto verso, my six ring key holder, my zippy wallet, my Nook Glowlight, and my AirPods with ease. And, there is still room for more if I truly wanted to.

What I love about this bag is that it has so many different sections. The bag clasps open, which reveals a small amount. Then, there is a zipper compartment as well. This is where the bulk of the bag is, and holds several daily essentials with absolutely no problem. This, in my opinion, makes this bag a perfect bag to take while traveling, especially since it’s perfect crossbody.

The bag comes in several different colors to match your style. I have the black, gray sage and I just recently scored a pink from the We Made Too Much Section. Like the Everywhere Belt Bag, the bag is made out of a nylon material perfect for deflecting rain.

This is a great bag for anyone who is on the go, and makes a great gift because it’s less than $100. And, like the leggings, the quality is definitely there. I have had the belt bag for about a year now, and it still looks like the day I got it.

Overall, the All Night Festival Bag is definitely worth the investment, and I highly recommend stalking the Lululemon website to snag one of these. Trust me, you’ll love it.

Longtime Bridgeport Hospital Milford Campus Tradition Continues With A Virtual Twist

Christmas trees have decked the halls of Yale’s Bridgeport Hospital Milford campus. The annual Celebration of Trees raffle is fully underway, however, this year, there is a virtual twist. Tickets can now be purchased online by going here for the price of $2 per ticket. The drawing will be held at noon on December 12, 2022.

From December 2 to December 11, the trees, wreaths, and baskets will be on display for you to view. There are currently 74 to bid on, and all proceeds will benefit the Bridgeport Hospital Auxiliary. From their names to the way they are displayed, the creativity really shines in these baskets. There are so many fun themes, and creativity really shines through. Prizes vary from Apple products to gift cards and everything in between. You can view the complete list on the website, but trust me you want to see these in person.

Even if you think you are the unluckiest person in the world, I’d say that this is definitely worth the walk through. Trees can be viewed daily on the dates listed from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

My Top Five Pandora Picks That Are Perfect For Everyone On Your List — Including Yourself

Pandora is one of my top jewelry brands. I’ve had a Pandora charm bracelet since I was in eighth grade, and my collection has flourished ever since. Now my collection consists of so much more than charms, and that is perfectly okay. I love Pandora pieces because the quality is incredible and sturdy for everyday wear. So, here are my top pieces that I recommend for anyone on your life. And, these are all pieces I have in my collection. For simplicity sake, these pieces are currently still available online.

1. Beads and Pave Bracelet: This is one of my favorite pieces that I own because I wear it in so many different ways. I wear it stacked with my beaded Tiffany and Co bracelets, but I also wear it alone, or with a few other dainty pieces. This is a top piece for me to gift because it can be worn in so many different ways. I also recently got the rose gold version and I love stacking the two together.

2. Sparking Tennis Slider Bracelet: Another great piece to either gift or get in your collection. This is a great gift because this bracelet can be adjusted to the size of any wrist. So, if you don’t know their size this is perfect. And, this bracelet is a classic style. I stack it with my beads and pave one, and I love it.

3. Hamsa Charm: I have two of these, and I love it. I’ve been wearing hamsa pieces for years. I have one on a bracelet, and the other I wear by itself on a chain. I think this is at a great price point for gifts. Furthermore, I think the meaning of a hamsa (protection) is perfect for anyone on your list.

4. Elevated Heart Necklace: I received this necklace as a gift, and I absolutely love this piece. It is simple, but leaves a lot of sparkle. I dress it both up and down.

5. Pave Heart Hoop Earrings: These are my favorite pairs of earrings of all time, because they are so lightweight and go with everything. I wear them in both of my piercings, and they are so comfortable. These are a definite classic and I highly recommend.

Madewell’s Perfect Vintage Jeans Are Literally the Perfect Pair of Jeans

Sorry, Gen Z. Call me cheugy, but I am still going to be rocking my skinny jeans with pride. For me, they are the style that fits the best with my body shape, and I still shudder at the bootcut styles that I wore in back in my freshman year of high school. And, as of today, I have yet to find the perfect pair of mom jeans that everyone is coveting that fit my body in all the right places.

However, Madewell’s Perfect Vintage Jeans offers a combination of skinny jeans and the oh so trendy mom jeans. They are pretty much the mom jeans but a little more fitted.

And, they are perfect.

I got my first pair at the end of last year, and thanks to the Black Friday sales, I added another pair to my rotation. I love these jeans, I wear them with sweatshirts, crews, and sweaters. They are so comfy and definitely a pair that I will be wearing right into the holiday season. After all, who doesn’t want a pair of comfy jeans in the holidays that still looked like you’re trying? I don’t think so.

The one thing about these jeans is that you need to size up. I usually am a 30 in Madewell jeans, and they were too small. The 31, on the other hand, fit like a glove. Madewell offers a ton of colors, but I really enjoy the lighter washes of these jeans.

In this outfit, I am wearing an Aerie waffle knit crew neck shirt, light wash jeans, and a pair of my Ugg Taisman slippers that I pretty much wear 24/7 when I’m not in the office. These are comfy enough to wear lounging and while running a few errands. The high waist makes my waist look good as well, since your girl has a little bit of a tummy

Overall, these jeans from Madewell are definitely worth grabbing a pair of. Trust me, they are worth adding into the rotation. Madewell is definitely one of those brands while they can be pricey, they are definitely worth the investment (which is why you gotta catch them on a sale). These jeans are no exception.

Why I Stopped Labelling Food as Good and Bad

Picture this: you decided to treat yourself and grab a sugar cookie latte from Starbucks. Note, this is not a daily occurrence for you, rather a once in a while treat. The person next to you turns around and says “that coffee is so full of sugar, it’s so bad for you.” Or, you’re eating lunch from Panera, which contains a salad and sandwich (which have a lot of veggies in them), and you decide to get a cookie because that 99 cent cookie during the time of inflation is just too good to pass up. You come back with your confection, only to be told that the cookie is so bad for you.

For me, there is nothing more toxic than labelling food as either “good” or “bad.” By doing this, it turns food into something more than just something for us to enjoy and nourish our bodies.

You might be wondering: what kind of food that is labelled good or bad?

Well, ‘good’ food is basically something that is low in calories, and ‘bad’ food is something that is high in calories, sugar, carbs, and fat.

Let’s just be real here: as humans, we are not perfect in the slightest. Therefore, we should not be expected to eat 100 percent healthy meals 100 percent of the time. This is especially true during the holiday season, where holiday treats are all around, and many of us indulge in Christmas cookies way more than any other time of year.

And, that is perfectly okay.

According to an article on the Intuitive Nutritionist entitled Why You Should Stop Labelling Food Good or Bad, this mindset can lead to quite a few negative outcomes. These include: developing stress over eating, food having no moral outcomes, creates a restrictive mindset, stops you from enjoying the foods you love, and makes you fear food. Instead, the article proposes on just “nourishing your body with abundance.”

I couldn’t agree more with this article, because it is so true. In reality, food is not black or white. At the end of the day, the function of food is nourish our body to make sure that it has to proper nutrients. Of course, then we add the cultural aspects of food, especially when it comes to holiday confections.

And, why should we feel guilty about enjoying foods that we look forward to for 11 months out of the year? In fact, why should we feel guilty about enjoying food in general.

By adding this label, this creates a mindset of guilt every time that we even eat, and causes us to overthink what we are eating before it even touches our mouths. In fact, I do not understand why we should feel guilty in the first place for simply enjoying a meal that brings us joy. After all, food is meant to be enjoyed.

For example, when I went on vacation this past summer, I was eating foods that were a little different than my average routine, such as bagels for breakfast, and higher calorie foods that were cooked very well in the area we were in. At the end of the first day, I felt so guilty for indulging. It was then I realized that I was feeling guilty just because I was enjoying something on my vacation. Which is stupid, because I am on vacation, and paid for this getaway so I can enjoy myself.

In that moment, I learned the importance of balance. Balance is more important than just making sure you hit your calorie goal 100 percent of the time. Enjoying your food is way more fun than eating something you hate just because it’s a good food. I am no longer going to label food good or bad. Instead, I am just going to try to create balanced meals for myself. So, I’ll continue getting a latte on Fridays, savor a treat after dinner, and make sure I’m eating enough proteins and other things.

Which is okay, if you ask me.

As we enter the holiday season, instead of fearing foods and labelling them ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ let’s just savor the taste of the treat and enjoy. And of course, make sure that there is a healthy balance.

Friday Faves: December 2, 2022

TGIF! I honestly can not believe it is December and I am on the second day of Blogmas. It’s been a while since I’ve done a Friday Faves post, so I am happy to jump back in and share some of my favorites over the last few days.

Pinterest: I have had a Pinterest since 2014, but lately one of my favorite things to do is to go on Pinterest at night. I was able to find so many different outfit styling ideas, as well as fun new ways to stack bracelets. I am obsessed with it, because I enjoy using it as a way to use my existing pieces in new ways.

Cape Cod Necklace: I am such a huge fan of the Cape Cod bracelet. I have purchased quite a few of variations when I went there over the summer. I purchased the necklace from a retailer and I have yet to take it off. It is safe to say that it’s become my go to necklace, and for good reason. It’s comfortable and goes with everything.

Too Faced Pumpkin Spice Eyeshadow Palette: I usually add one new palette once a year. I decided to add the Too Faced one, and I am so glad that I did. It has so many different colors — some that have glitter which is perfect for the holidays, while others are more neutral for everyday wear. I love the colors, and I highly recommend it.

Happy Blogmas! Here are 21 Post Ideas to Get You Through The Month!

Happy blogmas everyone! Blogmas is here and I am signing on yet to do another blogging challenge because why not? So, we are kicking off this challenge with a list of post ideas. You know, in case you ever get writer’s block. Like I do every year, if I am going to be honest. Or, these posts also make great winter/end of rear content as well.

1. 2022 Wrapup.

2. Holiday Book Recommendations.

3. 2023 resolutions.

4. 2022 reading wrapup

5. Holiday party outfit ideas.

6. Winter style essentials.

7. Post about a local holiday event.

8. How to practice self care during this time of year.

9. Gift ideas.

10. Share your holiday decorations.

11. Christmas playlist.

12. Pet holiday photos.

13. Tips to deal with grief during the holidays.

14. How to survive seasonal depression.

15. Book/album/movie review

16. Christmas wishlist.

17. Review on holiday menus at various places.

18. Recipe.

19. 2023 reading goals.

20. Posts about your family traditions during the holidays.

21. Review on a handbag/clothing item.

Is the Madewell Transport Tote Worth It?

With designer prices continue to sky rocket, the Louis Vuitton Neverfull is now in the 2,000 range, which is insane to think about. However, Madewell has a great tote bag that is less than a tenth of the price (and at the time of writing this, is currently 60 percent off due to Cyber Monday).

That is the Transport Tote, a bag that I have had for over two years at this point. The tote often comes in seasonal colors, but the three basics are English Saddle (a gorgeous caramel brown color that goes with absolutely everything), black, and black brown.

The price point for such a great staple is amazing as well. It is currently priced at $178. However, a little hack is to wait for one of Madewell’s amazing sales, Black Friday/Cyber Monday or a birthday coupon. For a leather bag that is going to last, I think that is amazing. I did not baby mine and it still looks as good as the day I bought it home. With many luxury brands having more and more quality issues, I think paying that price — even at full retail price — isn’t a bad deal for something that you are going to reach for frequently.

I also own the Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM and I do say that this guy is much bigger and holds so much more. This bag is perfect for work and travel, as I was able to fit a Stoney Clover small pouch, my iPad Pro, my Nook and a folio with so much room to spare. However, this is also a good everyday bag to have as well. When I did read physical books, this guy held it with no problems. Same with water bottles, and my MacBook Air. The only bad thing I will say, is that the more that you load into the purse, the heavier it gets. However, this is the same with pretty much every purse.

I currently have the English Saddle, which is my favorite color leather that Madewell currently offers. What I love about the English Saddle is that it just goes with everything. I wear a lot of neutrals so it goes perfectly. However, it even looks great when I wear all black as well.

This was my first bag in the Madewell Transport collection. Since then, I’ve added the Large Transport Camera Bag, and the Crossbody. I do eventually plan to get the transport crossbody in English Saddle, because I just am obsessed with the color.

Overall, if you’re looking for a tote bag that you know will last you for a while and is less than $200, than seriously take a look at the Transport Tote. And, if you do decide to invest in one, also get a bandanna. It is a game changer for sure.