Winter Coats You Need

Ready or not, winter is officially here. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve really learned to appreciate a beautiful, warm coat. I grew up in the northeast but spend four years at college in South Carolina, so coats were a thing of the past. However, I was in for a rude awakening when I moved back and since then, I have been collecting winter coats. Unfortunately, winter is quite a long season here in Massachusetts so I don’t feel bad about spending a little more on a coat since I know I’ll get so much use out of it. Since I have a few, I rounded up my favorite styles below. Which one is your favorite?!

  1. Teddy Coat: I have a moto style one from H&M that I got last year that I couldn’t be more obsessed with. Trend or not, these are warm and cozy which is everything I want all winter long.
  2. Puffer Coat: If you live anywhere north of the Mason Dixon line and do not own one of these, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR! Honestly, I used to kind of hate them because they remind me of the Michelin man but I can’t possibly live without one. Now there are so many cute and affordable options. I like ones with a belt to cinch my waist in so I don’t feel like a puffer fish. Plus this one has a faux fur collar which you can’t go wrong with (obviously).
  3. Shearling Aviator Coat: I’m obsessed with these coats. I got a Topshop one last year (not available anymore) that I LIVE in when it’s above 30 degrees. Below freezing and it’s puffer always but these shearling coats are insanely warm and stylish. Win, win.
  4. Long Wool Coat: Perfect for nights out, business meetings or other events that might require you to be warm but also still look put together.
  5. Ski Jacket: For those of you who ski or snowboard, or just want an extra warm coat for those below freezing days, having another warm coat in your arsenal can never hurt.
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I got a nose job.

Yup. That’s why I was MIA on stories for about 10 days. BUT let me tell you, tomorrow marks two weeks into my recovery and I’m SO HAPPY I finally went through with it. I spent YEARS of my life on this decision. I’ve always hated my nose. From middle school until now, it has always bothered me. In my photos, you’ll notice you never see a side/profile view. You never see a side part. You never see a slicked back hairdo. I am methodical and do this on purpose because all of those things draw attention to my (old) large nose. It might sound crazy, but we all have insecurities. My nose in particular was one that just has always gnawed at me and since it can be fixed, why wouldn’t I fix it? I always wanted to do it, but for years there were two things that stopped me: fear and money.

Oh fear. Something we all relate to, all have and all joke about. I’m afraid of snakes, spiders, car accidents, etc. But how many people talk about real life fears like I’m afraid to have a kid because what if I’m a terrible mother? Or I’m afraid to get surgery because what if I don’t wake up? I went through worst case scenarios of what if I don’t wake up? Am I proud of my 28 years on this Earth? Would I wish I had said done/said something to anyone? Told them I loved them one more time? (FYI anesthesia is pretty safe and you have to get a blood test prior to surgery to show you are healthy enough to go under) When people are forced into surgery, like open heart or an ACL tear, they don’t say I’m not going to do it because I’m afraid. They do it because their doctor told them they had to. And we all trust (most) doctors don’t we? And if they told us we needed to get a certain surgery to fix something, we would, wouldn’t we? This, along with the many success stories from others about their surgeries for a plethora of ailments, have helped me confront this fear. Would I really let fear get in the way of this? Do you want to know what else helped? Skydiving. I’m not even kidding. It was a bucket list item of mine that I never thought I would actually do because I am (was?) afraid of heights. However, my future sister-in-law found a place in Oahu that we could go to and I knew I couldn’t back out. Skydiving in Hawaii?! I mean, it doesn’t get any cooler than that. So I did it. I told her she couldn’t let me back out. I wanted to kill her the hours leading up to it and the entire plane ride. But, now I owe her a thanks. I conquered a HUGE fear of mine. And guess what, it’s all in our heads. Mind over matter. It’s always your mind that tricks you into these fears and it’s your mind that will get you out of them. Trust yourself.

Also another FYI I am squeamish AF. Like I-fainted-in-my-consultation-with-my-doctor kind of squeamish. I was nervous about the blood work for months because I knew I had to get it. I hate needles, I have a terrible pain tolerance and I was so anxious the day before that I could barely eat and fainted at work. So again, if I can do it, TRUST ME, you can. No joke, my family and friends were laughing that I actually went through with it because they know how squeamish I am. So yeah, there’s that.

Next up: another fun topic that everyone loves to talk about LOL money. We all have it, we all need it and we all want more of it (no? just me?). Rhinoplasty (nose job) is a cosmetic procedure for me since I don’t have a deviated septum or need it to be fixed after breaking it. Aka I need to pay for all of it with zero help from insurance. So how was I supposed to come up with the $7,500 I got quoted for? It wasn’t going to be easy, but with some budgeting, spending cuts and a vision of my new nose in my head, I did it. (Spoiler alert). I’m good with money thank goodness and was able to save all of it over 6 months. I paid the bill on October 30th for my November 21st surgery date. And not only was it a big relief, it was a proud moment. I was proud of myself that I was making this happen after years and years of thinking about it. And I would never go back. I would do it 100 times over.

SO – my secret is out. Do you guys have questions? What was recovery like? What did I look like? How scary was I? Should I do a post on saving money? Budgeting? I’m happy to be an open book. As someone who was freaking out and so nervous, the more I knew (in certain instances, like what recovery would be like NOT like what they are doing when I’m asleep), was SO helpful. Also I’m less than two weeks from the surgery so I can give you a complete play-by-play on what I was feeling and looking like each day afterwards. Plus give you tips on how to help the swelling (thanks to Lauryn Evarts of TSC).

Thank you, thank you for reading. Below is the simulated photo of the before and after and my doctor says he got it to look exactly like the after picture. It’s still swollen, so it will be a little bit before it looks exactly like that, but I’m thrilled with how it looks so far. And if you’re local to the NJ area, I have the most amazing, amazing, doctor rec for you. Dr. Zubowski and his team has been nothing short of amazing. I would recommend them 10000000x over.

Talk soon,

A

Bold Suiting

Hi guys,

I know, I know but don’t say I didn’t warn you. The red blazer is back…again. I can’t help myself! I’m actually obsessed with it. You can wear it with basically everything – what’s not to love? Now when it comes to a suit, I’ve always been a bit intimidated. I’ve always loved the look of them especially when Rachel Zoe wears them. She can rock a suit like no other. So when I realized that I had red pants in my closet and could wear them with my red blazer, I was intrigued. I put them on together with a pair of heels (Something Navy sock booties) I felt like a rockstar. There’s nothing more bold and powerful than a red suit on a woman. What do you guys think? Would you rock one? If you’re nervous and feel like it’s too bold, start with a neutral color. You can always do black or baby to begin. To make it more modern and avoid that god awful 80s style suit (you know what I’m talking about), pick a slim fit jacket that’s tapered at the waist, slim fit pants, flared pants or a boxy oversized blazer. Go either oversize on top with slim bottoms or the opposite. And always, always, amp it up with shoes, jewels and an amazing bag.

Gift Guide – Amazon Faves for All

Hi guys,

It’s been awhile! I don’t want to bore you with back to back wedding posts so figured I’d start on a holiday gift guide. Trying to get ahead of my holiday shopping this year – anyone else? Now let me preface this by saying if you’ve seen other blogger gift guides, they are all beautiful. I am not a photoshop/indesign/illustrator designer nor do I even know how to use any of those. So I apologize in advance for the lack of aesthetic here but figure you’d want the links, so here we are. If you’re a millennial like me, chances are you love Amazon (does anyone not?) and who doesn’t want to get their holiday gifts online with free two day shipping? The answer is no one. Everyone wants instant gratification #guilty and wants to make holiday shopping easier. So, since I’m an #AmazonAddict, I figured what better way to kick off my gift guides then with all my favorites you can get in one place: Amazon.

  1. <a href=”http://“>Clear Cross Body Bag: For the fashionista, sports lover or bff in your life – this bag is perfection. The quality is pretty good especially for the price. I love this bag and have already gotten so much use out if it, not to mention someone thought it was Chanel. Yup. You read that right. I have an IG post all about it here. Obsessed.
  2. <a href=”http://“>AirSpun Loose Finishing Powder: If you’ve seen my IG stories, you know my skin is oily AF. Like by noon, my makeup is sliding off my face. Not cute. So I bought a new primer and this finishing powder in hopes of desgreasing my face and keeping my makeup on. Let me tell you – this powder has 3,000 (!) reviews on Amazon – and it’s pretty amazing. Plus it’s less than $6. If you like makeup or know anyone who does, you need to get this for them (or you).
  3. <a href=”http://“>Blue Light Blocker Glasses: For the workaholic or glued-to-screen friend. A must, must, must. I got these because I got headaches at work and they are LIFE-CHANGING. Also very affordable. I wear them every single day at the office and have no more headaches and I have the lucite ones which are super cute.
  4. <a href=”http://“>Apple Watch Bands: Amazon is the best place for the most affordable watch bands. I have ordered a few and this one (in the black) is next on my list. They have feminine and masculine ones so whether it’s your marathon-running brother or your steps-counting girl friend, you can pick the perfect one.
  5. <a href=”http://“>Marble Side Table: This is going on my registry ASAP. If you know me, you know I live for marble + gold everything and would like my house to look like West Elm, preferably without the price tag. Enter this beauty. It’s a great side table or best side table option for the interior design-loving lady (or guy!) in your life. If anyone wants to get it for me, please feel free to do so 😉
  6. <a href=”http://“>Ugly Christmas Sweater: For that friend with the best sense of humor. I hate cats but this sweater is freaking hilarious and if you have a cat-loving person in your life, you must get this for them. Thank me later.
  7. <a href=”http://“>Wireless Headphones: I linked the Apple Airpods because I have them and my god am I obsessed with them. Ask my fiancĂ©. Can’t live without them. Get them for your dad, brother, cousin, aunt, sister-in-law – you name it, they need them.
  8. <a href=”http://“>Set of 2 Candles: Got a holiday party to go to? Now you have the perfect hostess gift! Maybe even add a bottle of wine. I’m a candle addict and have them in every room in my house and can always use more. This one has beautiful packaging and perfect winter scents.

These are some of my favorites from the Amazon that I think will make amazing gifts. Most I’ve tried and loved myself and know whoever you gift them to will feel the same. I hope you guys liked my first gift guide! As I continue to create more, do you have any suggestions? Any people you have a hard time buying for and need some ideas? Sound off below or on my IG post. Looking forward to hearing from you guys!

Why I Dislike Wedding Planning Pt 1.

Unpopular opinion (or so it seems): I kind of hate wedding planning. Let’s start here. There are two important things you need to know about me: I am a true Pisces and an introvert. Some key Pisces characteristics for those of you who don’t know are the following: sensitive, emotional, indecisive and present. One of the reasons why wedding planning is so difficult for me is because I’m spending 11 months of my life planning one day, that is months from now. I got engaged in May and am getting married in May 2019. As someone who very much lives in the now and doesn’t plan all that far ahead, it’s difficult for me to wrap my head around spending so much of my current day-to-day planning that far in advance. Does anyone feel like this, Pisces or not? Not to mention, there’s a lot going on in my every day life, outside of the wedding. I work a full-time job, get up at 6am to workout, get home by 5:30 to plan dinner, catch up my fiancĂ© and get in bed at a reasonable hour to do it all again the next day. We spend most weekends away from our home, usually visiting friends and family. Because of this, I try to focus on where I’m at and what I’m doing that very day.

Ok let’s dive into the indecisiveness because that trait plus wedding planning equals major stress. From the minute you get engaged, there is a never ending stream of questions and decisions that come your way IMMEDIATELY. Now, for some people, they thrive with this, especially those who have dreamt of their wedding for years. I am not that girl. Quite the opposite actually. While I know my wedding day is an important day in my life, I have never dreamt about it or thought about it until now – when I’ve been forced to. My biggest priority on my wedding day is to have fun. It’s a party after all! Who remembers what the flowers or the table linens look like? No one. I’ve been to multiple weddings and have four more next year. The memories I have from friends and family’s weddings are beautiful visions of the happy bride and groom and everyone getting down on the dance floor. That’s the stuff you talk about the morning after and years down the line. THOSE are the things I want my friends and family to remember. That they had a great time at my wedding. After all, it’s basically a giant family reunion. The decisions range from everything like choosing a venue, guest list and food options to deciding on table linens, plates and silverware. As someone who’s focused on the big picture, worrying about what the silverware looks like seems a bit frivolous to me. What makes it more difficult is not having a vision. Oh man, I could writing 10 blog posts on this along but I will spare you. When you don’t have a vision, the deciding process is seemingly more difficult.

So, to all you indecisive current or future brides like me who are struggling with this, what advice can I offer? First of all, focus on what’s most important to you. If it’s the big things or the small things, focus on that stuff first. Once you have your most important things done and checked off, then move on to the other things. Secondly, find a good stress reliever for you. Whether its fitness, meditation, or just venting to your fiancĂ©, do something that will let out the stress and make you feel better. For me, it’s been all of those things. They allow me to get it out of my system so I can move on. Lastly, remember this: your wedding is about you and your fiancĂ© and your choices are most important. It can be VERY difficult, I know this, to stand up for yourself when everyone else tells you what you should be doing. You are the ones who are proclaiming your love to each other and celebrating that day. The focus should be on you and you are allowed to make this day about you. Don’t forget that.

This post went much longer than I expected so I’ll explain how me being an introvert is another way that makes wedding planning difficult in another wedding related post.

What do you guys think? Anyone else feel like this? Have good advice? Sound off below. xo A

Winter Neutrals

Happy Friday! It’s that time again. The stress from the work week melts away while the excitement of weekend plans take over. What’s on your agenda this weekend? I’m spending some time in Boston with my best friend while Brian is in Phili for work. He gets home Sunday which is his birthday and we’re headed to the North End for an Italian dinner and a surprise 😉

Now on to my outfit… these jeans are pretty tight so I like to wear them to work with something big on top. I found this Wildfox sweater at TJMaxx and it’s amazing. So cozy and I love it with the all white look! It’s screams winter to me. I was feeling the pastels so I added these velvet blue booties that I scored from Poshmark. All about budget friendly finds! Linking similar below.

White jeans (similar)

White long sleeve (similar)

Sweater (similar)

Booties (similar)

Black and White

Hi there! When I shot this look over the weekend, I couldn’t wait to wear it. I’m such a sucker for black and white (and stripes, clearly). There’s just something so classic and easy about it. You can’t ever go wrong with black and white, plus it makes it easy to mix prints. Do you guys feel the same way about black and white? Let me know in the comments!

Black Pants (similar)

Stripe Turtleneck

Houndstooth Jacket (similar)

Black booties