Tag Archives: what to buy

The Best Souvenirs

Now that summer is coming to an end, and all the travel that goes along with it, I’d love to know…Did you pick up any fun souvenirs on vacations this year? 

When I was a kid, souvenirs felt like SUCH a necessity. Visiting kitschy shops at beaches, amusement parks, and roadside attractions felt like a cruel joke if I didn’t at least get to select ONE item to come home with me. The allure of some magnet with my name on it or a toy representative of the past day’s adventure too difficult to resist whining about.

Nowadays, souvenirs fall into that careful balance of knowing I don’t need any additional tchochkes cluttering my home, but also wanting to take out an insurance policy on fleeting travel memories. With that in mind, I’ve developed a few categories of purchases I employ when looking to commemorate a trip…

Little things to tuck in a memory box, like a postcard or patch, are a go-to of mine. Not a huge investment, so I feel ok that it’s only going to be admired in those days I’m feeling extra nostalgic and pull down the box to sift through my collection of random ephemera.

But I don’t mind splurging on a high-quality consumable. A bottle of wine local to the area that can be uncorked months later. A lotion with a scent to transport me back to our travels. A candle from a sweet seaside shop or a box of local chocolate from the corner store.

And speaking of chocolate, let’s go ahead and put cooking ingredients in a category all their own. Something like a beautiful bottle of local olive oil, whole bean coffee from a cafe you fell in love with, or a couple teeny tiny jars of spices that easily tuck in your backpack. I also love this as an option if you’re tasked with bringing back a goodie for a co-worker or family member. A friend of mine gifted me a little tin of paprika she bought on a trip to Hungary and I thought about her and her adventure every time I sprinkled it in a dish for months to come.

Finally, there’s what I consider the daily item. These I reserve for truly special trips. I want to be transported to those memories frequently, so something like a piece of jewelry or a scarf fits the bill. For a lower budget option, I would go for something like a coffee mug or a small print I can transport carefully home and frame. Basically an item that I can seamlessly incorporate into my daily life…not one that is emblazoned with the city or attraction I visited. Those seem like a good idea in the moment, but then get shoved to the back of a closet.

Which of these categories do you normally go for? Have your own strategy when it comes to souvenirs? Let me know in the comments below! xoxo

P.S. This would be a fun way to commemorate your trip once you’ve returned home!

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H&M Style Updates for Fall – Basics

Back to Basics with H&M
Let’s talk Fall wardrobe updates! While the season doesn’t officially change until later this month, with back-to-school chatter and the return of the prodigal Pumpkin Spice Latte,
today seems like a fine time to discuss. Just for fun, I thought I’d fill you in on the pieces I would choose for a sartorial refresh of the autumnal variety! I went with H&M because it’s a little more realistic for the ol’ pocketbook. With the fresh start feeling Fall offers (maybe that’s a holdover from school days), this season is a great time to get back to basics wardrobe-wise. Here are the 8 wardrobe essentials I’m loving for Autumn…
1. Crepe blouse. I love the flowy, easy-to-wear cut of this shirt. Dressed up or dressed down, it’s gonna be a comfortable addition to your closet. These are the type of shirts I find myself reaching for again and again because they look effortlessly put together no matter what you pair them with. ($14.99)
2. Monochrome tees. Go for these basics in a little larger size and look adorable on your jeans and t-shirt days with a casual front tuck and messy braid. These will be awesome for layering once the weather turns enough for you to pull on a jacket before heading out the door. And nothing makes a piece of statement jewelry pop like a simple white or black tee. ($5.99)
3. Patterned sleeveless blouses. For something a little more academic-looking, I’m a big fan of collared shirts paired with a cute cardigan. Not so big a fan of sweating because it’s still TOO hot for cardigans in September. (Especially in Florida, haha, but it definitely was in Kentucky as well!) Solution: sleeveless! I love the geometric pattern on the black & white and the gorgeous stars on the blue. Either would surely look adorbz with any existing cardigan collection you’ve been itchin’ to crack out. ($5.99)
4. Super slim black pants. Now I know 70’s flares are “in” this Fall in a major way, and if that’s your jam by all means, go for it! But I just think there’s something so badass about a pair of tight black trousers. And Lord knows it’s too hot for these bad boys in the Summer months. This pair is a tad high-waisted so your legs will look as though they stretch for miles! ($19.99)
5. Boyfriend jeans. Who doesn’t love a trend that involves making sloppy look sexy? These are the perfect thing to pull on for long weekend afternoons spent picking apples or raking leaves or enjoying football games…you get the idea. All those quintessential, cozy Fall activities! Plus, the cute little cuffs allow you to show off new kicks! ($39.99)  
6. LBD. You probably already have a go-to black dress in your repertoire. But if you don’t let me urge you to rectify that situation. They make a fantastic base for building an outfit, especially as the temperatures begin to plummet. Scarves, sweaters, jackets, tights, boots…the LBD is your blank canvas. This one is pretty casual and comfy just the way Fall SHOULD be! ($12.95)
7. Leopard print slip-ons. Slip-on sneakers, unlike bulkier lace-up kicks, look absolutely amazing with jeans. The fun print provides a little more pizzazz to your wardrobe color palette. Perfect for running errands or running late to class. ($29.99)
8. Loafers. I’ve seen several bloggers refer to loafers as the “nerdy glasses” of this season. They’re sophisticated and smart and give you that “I just came from the library!” look. Plus, I can see them being work OR brunch approps. Which is a win in my book! ($14.99)
P.S. Looking for accessories to pair with these digs? For jewelry I love this cocktail ring (opal!), the long and layered look of this necklace, and this aztec collar for when you’re REALLY going for it. For bags, if it’s in your budget, my pick would most definitely be this beauty!  
Thoughts? What will you be wearing this Fall? When do you buy your wardrobe basics? I’d love to know…

Tech Gifts: For the Music Lover

In honor of Black Friday, I thought I’d kick off a series of guest posts by Chet! He’ll be sharing some great tech gift ideas that may be the perfect purchase for someone on your list. First up, a little info on headphones…

Tech Gifts: music lovers

 

Still using those earbuds that came with your phone? It might be time an upgrade. Buying headphones can be a pretty overwhelming experience. Beats by Dre have really caused an explosion in headphone sales, not to mention driving up the cost of a pair (though not necessarily the quality). Protip: Beats aren’t very good headphones for the price. 200-300 dollars can get you a mighty fine pair of headphones for the audiophile in your life, like these gorgeous AKG 701s that will blow a pair of beats out of the water in sound, comfort, and performance.

You also don’t have to spend a lot of money on quality headphones. For instance, the Audio Technica m30x is a great pair of headphones for a good price. My headphones travel everywhere with me, and they tend to take a beating from being tossed around, so I don’t typically pay top dollar for a pair of cans. Luckily, there are still a few great choices for the budget buyer. These Panasonic Over-ear Monitors have great sound for the price (can’t beat the looks, either!). An oldie but goodie, the Koss Portapro also delivers fantastic performance for the price, though the style may turn some people off (Fun Fact: these headphones debuted in the 1980s and were so highly reviewed that Koss decided to stick with the design to this day).

So what do you think? Who is getting a pair of headphones for Christmas? Thanks so much, Chet!