What I Got For Christmas 2017

First and foremost, this isn’t meant to be a “braggy” post by any means. I love reading this type of post by other people and seeing what people got for Christmas so I thought I’d share mine! This year was a little different with my pregnancy so I didn’t ask for a lot of clothes outside of footwear since most won’t fit me. I actually really liked not getting a lot of clothes because it meant more “useful” gifts I’ll end up utilizing more often than wearing something every few weeks.

I love the calendars Paper Source comes out with every year. The illustrations are beautiful and look nice next to my desk. I don’t write on my calendars and just need to see the date at the glance so this kind is perfect!

Joe and I love snowshoeing and had two pairs that we had gotten from amazon years ago, but the straps are so annoying to get on and off when you’re actually outside in the snow. These L.L. Bean ones have a super simple closure that makes taking them on and off quick, and they are much nicer quality than our old ones.

I work out a lot and needed to replace my old pair of pink Nikes. I only wear cross-trainers and these are so comfortable!

The J Crew Nordic boot was something I wasn’t sure I’d love, but I kept seeing the similar styles out there and love the way these looked. The red laces are so cute, and they are incredibly warm! I’m waiting to waterproof them before wearing them outside.

Even though I have always admired Hunter Boots, I’ve never personally desired a pair for myself. That changed when I saw some red ones styled a few months ago and thought they’d be a fun addition to my wardrobe. To be completely honest – they’re a tad tight on my calves and I’m swapping them out for the “touring” pair that is supposed to be more comfortable and a little shorter. I’m hoping they work out!

I am picky about yoga mats and really like the grip this kind has and that it has a different color on each side so I consistently use the same side. I like to fold the top half I was using in half and then roll up, and the dual color helps keep this straight.

Joe got me a new camera and I couldn’t be happier! My old one had been acting up and even after getting it fixed it continued to give me problems. We love to take photos and with a baby on the way this is a wonderful gift!

I love the jewelry from Kiel James Patrick and am so happy with each of these choices. The bracelet is different than any other ones I have, the necklace is stunning and has gorgeous clasps, and I love the details of the earrings. I’ve been wearing them all week!

I was way too excited to get the Alexa Echo Dot, and two smart plugs that work with both the Alexa and my phone. I already have one smart plug and use it all the time, so I loved adding to my collection! You can set schedules, timers, etc. with it all from the app or by voice. Being pregnant, once I get into bed, I don’t want to get out so this has been handy for turning off lights.

I didn’t ask for many clothes except this sweater and pajamas that I know I’ll be excited to wear next year! I also needed new socks and these J Crew ones are great.

Joe and I saw these L.L. Bean mugs in the store a week before Christmas and I wanted them but Joe said we already have so many mugs (which is true). He later went back that week and got me a set. 🙂

I got a few other little items besides these including Bath & Body Works candles, wall flowers, and the car scents all in my favorite scent – “Winter”. I also got cute beauty items for stocking stuffers, a park pass to our favorite local park, gift cards to places we go, etc.

 

Did you have a good Christmas? What was your favorite gift?

Let me know if you want links to anything above and I’ll find it!

 

 

 

Top Winter Boot Picks

sorel / clarks / ll bean

 

Growing up and residing in Michigan, we have had more than our fair share of winter weather. I rely heavily on my winter boots to get me through the season, and have rounded up what I believe are the best of the best! I’ll go over my pro’s and con’s of each below:

Warmest: Sorel Boots

The pair I’m wearing above isn’t available anymore, but from my research both online and asking friends who own the Joan of Arctic pair, they tend to agree that they are the warmest of the bunch! Whenever I’m going to be outside for a long period of time, but not in snow (think paved sidewalks, etc.), these are my go-to.

Pro’s: Extremely warm and comfortable!

Con’s: Can be bulky, doesn’t transition well to indoor wear.

Most Waterproof: L.L. Bean

It’s no secret I love L.L. Bean – especially the Bean Boots! I own the thinsulate 8″ pair, and find they’re great for 3 season use (fall-spring). I use the L.L. Bean boot guard to waterproof the leather at the beginning of every season and they’ve held up fantastic over the past three years of pretty regular use and abuse. I don’t think they’re the warmest choice since the thinsulate option really means it insulates the bottom portion only, but with thick socks they’re not bad. L.L. Bean does make Bean Boots that are notoriously warm such as the Wicked Good Bean Boot and the Shearling Lined Bean Boot, but they’d be way too warm for use in the fall, spring, or indoors. I bet the Shearling Lined version would be a contender for “best overall”.

Pro’s: Attractive, very waterproof, guaranteed by the company, can be worn 6 months out of the year and transitions easily to being worn indoors without being too warm.

Con’s: Not the warmest option if you’re outside for longer periods of time, thinsulate only insulates the bottom and not the rest of the foot.

Best Overall: Clark’s Mazlyn Arctic

When the weather gets its roughest both in freezing temperatures and lots of snow, these are my go-to pair! I’ve own them for five years and they still look brand new even though I’ve put a lot of miles on them. When I go snowshoeing or long walks in the snow, I always opt for these because they are the best of both worlds. Being both extremely warm and waterproof, they’ve served me well. I wouldn’t opt for any other boot for being outdoors for long periods of time and being able to keep my feet warm and dry. The red laces are a pretty nice touch too!

Pro’s: Warm, waterproof, the top part can be folded down for a different look, high enough to be a great choice in deep snow, traction on the bottom of the boot for slick areas

Con’s: Not many, but they seem to fit a little too snug when I wear thicker socks. Thankfully I don’t need too thick of socks with these.

 

Do you have a winter boot you love? I’d love to know!

Ten Holiday Outfits To Copy

I’ve seen a few people do similar posts, and I’ve enjoyed them because it’s nice to get outfit inspiration especially this time of year. I love seeing how other people put together outfits to help inspire my own creativity in my closet. I pulled ten of my favorite holiday outfits from the past few years, please check them out and let me know your favorite in the comments!

How to Give a Thoughtful Gift

photo via extrapetite

The Christmas season is upon us and the time has come to finish your Christmas shopping. Buying gifts for others can be tricky, even if you know the person really well. Instead of putting together a list of general gift ideas, I put together tips to help you think of a gift that goes beyond the basic gift realm. Remember, putting the time and effort into getting someone a gift that fits their personality is part of what makes the gift special.

1. Brainstorm: Take a pen and paper and write down things you know about this person. It can be personality traits, likes/dislikes, hobbies, or their favorite possessions. This will give you a good place to jump start from and work off of as you think of that great gift. Use those keywords you wrote down later on in step #4.

2. “Snoop”: One of the best ways to figure out what a person might really want is to check out their social media. Pinterest and Instagram are great places to look for a common theme of things they may like. For example, if someone keeps pinning pretty hair clips, maybe they’d like to add one to their collection.

3. Look for Clues: Do they complain about something in particular? Find a gift that fixes their problem. (e.g. Your aunt complains how cold her house is therefore a heated blanket might be a great solution). Does the person rave about a particular product, place, or a person such as a celebrity? Write it down in your phone notes so you don’t forget. It may be a good clue for what to get them.

4. Research: Using all the tools above, find a common trend and start doing research. Look at various sites to find products reviews.  This is very important as the will help guide you on what product is best. If you’re looking for a unique gift, I highly recommend Etsy. You can type in any keyword and it will show you many different products both vintage or handmade that could make for a fantastic gift. Some of the best gifts I have given (and received) were from Etsy.

5. Wrapping: While it’s not necessary to wrap a gift nicely, a well wrapped gift shows thoughtfulness and attention to detail. It’s worth it to go the extra mile to finish off your gift with a well executed wrap job.

Do you have any other gift buying tips?

Christmas Dress

Today I wanted to show you my Christmas dresses through the years as well as this year’s. I don’t necessarily buy a new one every year, but I do have a dress I will designate for fancier Christmas parties.

This dress is from Modcloth many years ago. I don’t think they carry it anymore, but at that time “off the shoulder” dresses were impossible to find so I was happy to find this one. I love the neckline on it because it reminds me of something from the late 50’s/ early 60’s.

This dress is from Shabby Apple and one of my all time favorites. The material makes it pretty fancy, and I love the bows on the sleeves. It’s still on their website in light pink, but I bet a quick Ebay/Poshmark search would shows some results. It’s called “The Nutcracker Dress”.

 

This dress is from Camilyn Beth – a brand that always has lovely pieces in their collection. It’s hard to tell in the photo but there are small bows on the sleeves of this dress. I really like the silhouette because it’s really not something you see too often these days. I wore it on our Christmas card last year.

This dress is by Eliza J – a brand I’ve loved for years (even pre-Instagram). I used Eliza J dresses as my bridesmaid dresses and also have great luck with the fit of them. This dress has such a pretty, subtle pattern and lovely neckline. It’s one of my favorite dresses I own and I feel wonderful when wearing it. This dress is very similar. 

This year’s dress is a little different since I’m expecting, and I had limited options. I ended up finding this one on Ebay, and was pretty happy with it. I’m hoping I can wear it again for a Valentine’s Day date (if it still fits!).

Do you find a Christmas dress every year? What’s your favorite one from above?

 

A Little Creative Layering

Being 27 weeks into this pregnancy, I’m fitting into less of my “regular” clothes and having to take a more creative approach to dressing. I still want to put an effort into what I wear because I really feel my best when I do. I love this flannel, but unfortunately it does not button anymore, so I wore it over a maternity dress my sister-in-law loaned me and belted it above the belly. Incorporating my regular clothes into my maternity wardrobe takes a little bit of creativity and will help create more looks. I was pleasantly surprised how it turned out and became a nice and easy holiday outfit.

This necklace is a few years old from J Crew Factory, and I still love the way it looks layered underneath a button down to dress up the outfit a little bit. Paired with a red lip and my one of my favorite Dooney’s, I look and feel like myself. 🙂

Winter Knits

pom hat c/o pink pineapple shop / signature birdseye sweater c/o L.L. Bean / legging pants – uniqlo (mine are from their maternity line but I linked the regular ones) / bison bean boots – L.L. Bean

Winter is approaching, and now is a great time to stock up on the essentials you’ll be wearing all season. Although winter is really the same length as any other season, it seems the longest. In Michigan we get hit with cold weather from mid-November to early March, so I can justify having a wide array of sweaters, boots, and other cold weather accessories.

I was recently sent this birds-eye sweater shown above by L.L. Bean. The sweater and pattern are a 1912 L.L. Bean iconic style, shown in an updated silhouette in their signature collection. From the second I tried it on, I was in love. The whole look and feel of the sweater is so classic (and warm), and the length is great for wearing with leggings. I really like the neckline as it’s like a mock turtleneck and very flattering. The sweater runs pretty large – I am wearing a small and am pregnant. If you go down two sizes and you will be extremely happy with this piece! It’s something I will reach for for years to come.

I was also sent this Icelandic wool hat from the Pink Pineapple Shop. If you are in the market for a beanie, this shop has tons in different colors and styles (even some with anchors on it). I love the cream as it goes with my winter wardrobe so easily. I prefer my beanies more fitted than “droopy” so I folded the brim up on this hat and love the way it looks. I’ll be wearing this style til the snow melts.

Have you been stocking up on items for winter? This year is a little different for me being pregnant, but I did ask for a few clothing items for Christmas knowing they won’t fit until the following Christmas. I appreciate that I’ll be able to wear this forgiving L.L. Bean sweater for awhile longer. 🙂

A Tip for Watch Owners

If you’re someone who owns a lot of watches, you may find yourself only wearing some of your watches seasonally. I have a few watches I wear more in the colder months, and don’t wear them at all in the summer months. They’re usually bulkier/darker ones that I tend not to choose in the summertime.

A great way to save your watch battery is to take the watches you aren’t wearing regularly and pull out the side knob so that the time stops. If it’s not running, it will help conserve your battery and give you double the use out of timepiece.

My mom gave me this tip recently as I brought a few of my favorite watches in to get the battery changed. I only wear them in the winter and wish I would have known this tip before. Hope this can help someone else!

1 2 3 4 35