Friday, December 8, 2017

Under $25 Gift Guide

Yay! I'm back with my next installment of my gift guide series! In case you couldn't tell by the title this one is for gifts under $25! This guide is full of super fun and super cute trinket-y things! All of these are great gifts on their own, fun to mix and match, or as special stocking stuffers! I have a little bit of everything from these adorable notepads, this subtle (or not so subtle) Stranger Things reference, and the cutest coziest looking hat.

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda


Monday, December 4, 2017

Gift Guide for the Traveler

So I debated a bit over whether or not I wanted to post any gift guides this year. For as much as I enjoy looking at them I never actually find them very useful, until I realized that's because I actually enjoy spending hours searching the internet and shops for that perfect gift and perhaps not everyone has that same joy. Long story short I came to conclusion that because I enjoy finding cute things why not do something useful with it and perhaps help others in the gift search! I did make one gift guide last year, but I want to switch things up a bit this year and do a few. So I'm kicking the series off with a little gift guide for the traveler in your life! These are all gorgeous gifts for someone who loves travel and/or travels a lot. I've included everything from the oh so covetable Away luggage to an HP Sprocket that's adorable, portable, and handy for printing pictures on the go. Also Anthropologie has some of the cutest passport cases and luggages tags at the moment and Rifle Paper Co is the perfect place for buying prints of your person's favorite city!
 

Honorable mentions:

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Fall Trends 2017

Being a lover of all things fall fashion I 100% wanted to make a post on some of my current favorite fashion trends this year. I am hesitant to call these things trends as I'm not so sure how many of these are trends verses just things that I am loving. But, I have been very excited about the things I have been seeing in shops this season and wanted to share my excitement with everyone else. So without further ado here are a few of my favorite "trends" of this year.
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Loafers
Being a lover of ugly cute things I am loving the loafer trend and thanks to Gucci loafers have been everywhere this autumn and I am loving it. I know slides are the big thing, but to be honest I am not as big a fan of the slides as I am just the shoes but none-the-less here are some of my favorites on the market right now!
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Space
I'm not too sure what exactly to call this trend but I've been seeing space things everywhere and have been kind of loving it. This is different than that horrible galaxy trend from a few years ago, this is more like stars and moons and maybe some planets and I have just been loving everything that I have been seeing.

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Shearling
Shearling, sherpa, fuzzy things, again I'm not too sure what to call this trend but I have been loving it. I have automatically been drawn to any and everything fuzzy, teddy bear coats, shearling moto jackets, I want it all.
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Mesh
As a self-professed prude this one is kind of out of character for me. For some reason I've been drawn to mesh tops and mesh dresses especially if they're embroidered and/or sparkly. While I can't say I would just wear a bralette with a mesh top, I do love the idea of a mesh top underneath a dress or a mesh dress over a black slip or here's another super cute idea of how to layer mesh.
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Chenille Sweaters
Last but not least I have been loving chenille sweaters and they have been everywhere this season. I don't know what it is about them, as I think they are borderline tacky but for some reason everytime I see them in I store I am drawn to it. I'm telling any and everything fuzzy I automatically want.

What are some of your favorite trends for fall and winter?

xox,
Amanda


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Favorite Autumn Lip and Nail Colors

Yay! Today I wanted to share a few beauty faves! While I can't say I am the biggest make-up person, i.e. I basically do the same stuff everyday and I am not that good at doing make-up either, I do enjoy me a bit of make-up every now and again. I did discover this whole blogging world through watching beauty videos on YouTube eons ago after all. With all of that being said one thing that I do enjoy changing up are nail and lip colors. I find that they are the easiest products to be quite seasonal with and I enjoy finding hues that go with the current season and I have just fallen in love with lip and nail products over the years.
Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick by Kate Moss in 107
NYX Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in Exotic
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen
NYX Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in Bedtime Flirt
Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Color in Warm Me Up

Starting off with lips! I made sure to include a good mix of bold and neutrals to suit anyone's fancy, as well as one that is kind of in between! These are all drugstore so yay for affordable makeup!

First off we have one of my all time faves, the Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick by Kate Moss in color number 107. This is my favorite red lipstick, which it's not even a true red. It's a darker berry toned red which I think is just more flattering on my skin tone and also makes it a great color for this time of year.

I didn't mean to include so many NYX products but I just find that NYX as a rule thumb is just a reliable drugstore brand, especially for lip products. I do have two of the Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipsticks. I find these are great drugstore liquid lipsticks that are both pigmented and long lasting. The one in Exotic is a really nice toned down and muted red. I find it's a great color if you want something a little bit darker but not quite as vampy as say the Rimmel Kate Moss one. The other color in Bedtime Flirt is just a good everyday nude shade that isn't too nude because no one wants mannequin lips.

The next NYX product is the Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen, these lip products are super cool because they are kind of a like a whipped liquid lipstick and are way lighter on the lips than liquid lipsticks. I love this color too, it's just a fun deep berry color and is not as scary on the lips as it may look.

Last I have the Maybelline lipstick. This is the only none matte shade of the bunch, which I didn't intend to do. But this is just a great neutral "my lips but better" color and a super easy shade to slap on, on the go.

Ciate in Mistress
Essie in After School Boy Blazer
Butter London in Wallis
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Cinna-snap
Nails Inc in The Thames

First I have this Ciate red, which can we talk about the bottle real quick? It's so cute!! Ciate nail polishes are great because they are all so pigmented and creamy and apply so evenly and this red is gorgeous. The only thing I am not a fan of is the price, so I knew I had to pick this up when I spotted it at TJ Maxx.

Essie is always a classic and this navy color does not disappoint. Definitely the perfect creamy navy if you are on the market for one.

I'm so bummed Butter London discontinued this color, as it may be one of my all time favorite nail polishes shades. It's such an odd mixture of gold, green, and grey but they somehow look gorgeous all shining and sparkling together.

Next is the Sally Hansen color, this is definitely the cheapest of the bunch but that doesn't make me love it any less. While the name, Cinna-snap, makes me cringe a bit it's a gorgeous deep maroon that is perfect for fall. It also doesn't hurt that it's fast drying.

Last I couldn't do a Fall nail polish post without mentioning a gray so I decided to include my Nails Inc polish in The Thames, which is also named after the river in the fave city (London!!). Again I couldn't find a link for this polish which is such a shame because it honestly is such a pretty shade.

What are some of your favorite lip and nail colors for this time of year?

xox,
Amanda

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Links

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What?! Another links post two weeks in a row?! I know I make these a lot but it's because I feel like I am constantly finding things that I think are exciting and want to share! Hope everyone had a good week, I want to say mine was slow but looking back it doesn't seem like it was acually all that slow. None-the-less I am glad it's the weekend and am happy to have nothing to do for the next two days. Which I plan on spending either re-watching Stranger Things season 2, binging 80s movies, and possibly going to an Icelandic Bazaar in DC. In the meantime I have a lot of fun and lighter posts to share with you and I actually have several videos so buckle down and get excited!

This interview between Meryl Streep and Anna Wintour.

I know I am a bit late on sharing this due to watching it late, but if you have not seen Sam Smith's carpool karaoke you must! He is honestly the most adorable human.

While I'm on James Corden I am literally dying over this video of the Stranger Things boys singing Motown. It's literally the best thing ever, again if you haven't seen this watch it. Never did I think I would have so much appreciation for teenage boys...

In love with this sweater and this shirt  and these socks from Oliver Bonas.

Back to Stranger Things, if you've seen the new season you probably fell in love with Steve Harrington and if not here's why you should.

Read this if you want to join me in feeling old, lol.

Um, make your own Crunchwrap Supreme, um yes please.

Two of my faves, Ben & Jerry's and The Tonight Show, are launching another collab flavor!!

Last but not least this work space in Paris is to die for.

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Friday, November 3, 2017

Links

Happy November! Hope everyone had a good week out there and a Happy Halloween! My week was full of work and appointments. I also finally started Stranger Things season 2 and it is so. good. I only have two episodes left and I don't want it to end!! Anyways I have an exciting links post to share with you all today that includes a lot of shopping news and exciting collaborations, which I mean I'm not complaining about.

H&M x Erdem is officially out, while perhaps some of it is still a little out of my price range definitely worth checking out!

Speaking of exciting collaborations the Magnolia and Target collab, Hearth & Hand, drops on Sunday!! Check out the website to plan what you want to buy!

What?! Another exciting collab!! Williams Sonoma just debuted a Harry Potter collection!

Definitely check out the Nordstrom sale! Some of my favorites: this plethora of Topshop jeans, these adorable loafers, this perfect blush jacket, this adorable Barbour, these flats, this cross body, and these boots.

Currently lusting over this shirt.

An article that every women should read.

The most perfect (grammar? lol) Halloween costume.

This kind of funny story of how Trump's Twitter got deactivated for 11 minutes last night.

Maybe a slightly morbid but interesting read of what happens when you donate your body to science.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween

I thought I'd pop-in and wish you all a Happy Halloween! Hope you all have fun plans today to celebrate! After work and the eye doctor (fun) my plans are to cozy-up at home, make some chili, and watch Halloween movies. To celebrate on here I thought I would share some fun photos from Halloweens past!
Classic Pikachu back in 1999

A flapper my freshmen year of college.

School girls sophomore year.

Junior year: Frat guys

Last year: zombies but "basic" girls before their coffee.

Happy Halloween!!
Thanks for reading!
xox,
Amanda







Monday, October 30, 2017

Tasty Pumpkin Bread

I know I am not alone in loving everything pumpkin during this time of year and since Halloween is tomorrow I figured what better timing than to share a pumpkin bread recipe! I had so much fun making this bread and let me tell you this recipe is delicious. While not quite the healthiest recipe it will definitely make your taste buds sing. This bread has the perfect amount of pumpkin and spices and it is so moist and light and fluffy and delicious. I also took the liberty to add some pumpkin spiced pumpkin seeds to the top and they just added the perfect crunch. Also this makes a lot of bread, two loaf pans to be exact, so you will be having pumpkin bread for days. If you are looking for a delicious pumpkin bread recipe to make this autumn then look no further!



Pumpkin Bread

3 1/2 cups flour
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon each cinnamon, salt, nutmeg
4 eggs
2 cups pumpkin puree (or 1 16oz can)
1 cup cooking oil
2/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
*Optional
    1 cup nuts
    handful of pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl mix flour, baking soda, sugar, and spices together. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add pumpkin, eggs, oil, and water. Mix until smooth, add vanilla and optional nuts. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans, garnish with pumpkin seeds and bake for 1 hour.


Happy Halloween!
Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Friday, September 29, 2017

Links

Hey you guys so life has been crazy lately. I've been thinking recently how weird it is that my life always seems to pick back up in the fall. I always assumed was just because of school but I am no longer in school yet my weekends are quickly filling up, which is actually hard this year because I also work retail and have to work most weekends too. Anyways I want to make a life update post soon and fill you all in on the exciting things that have been happening in my life. Note: none of these are really exciting life changing things, just fun things that I have been up to. Anyways hope you all had a great first official week of fall. I don't know about you all but I am so ready for fall, but the highs have been in the upper 80s, which is sad. I just want to wear jeans and sweaters and boots and cozy things.

Ah! I did a thing and wrote a guest blog post!! Check it out here!! I was featured on the lovely Rebecca's blog known as Bloomly where I talked about self-worth and comparison and all of that jazz.

An enlightening article every college freshmen or soon to be college freshmen should read, life does not begin and end with college.

One of my fave bloggers (who I talk about nonstop) just redid her blog and it is beautiful, definitely check it out!!

Can I just say Madewell has been killing it recently and I am obsessed with this dress (and everything else they have with this print) and this shirt omg.

I know I'm not the only one who's been loving round mirrors, so here are some helpful tips on how to style them.

Can we just have a moment for these Anthro mugs, actually dying.

Who else is already getting excited about Halloween? I'm typically not a big Halloween person but for some reason this year I have been getting in the Halloween mood, so here are some super adorable 90's costume ideas!!

I've been loving these "Look What You Made Me Do" behind the scenes clips. My one complaint, they're not long enough.

More on some of my favorite bloggers, Half Baked Harvest has been killing it with fall recipes recently and everything looks so. good. Like this, these, and this.

Um, the cutest fall bucket list.

Noooo!!! With all that being said these two really deserve a break.

October is Sunday!! That means it's time to check out what's coming out on Netflix!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!! I am super excited to be heading out of town for a quick "getaway" for the weekend, which I will update more on later!

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Friday, September 1, 2017

Links

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Yay!! Finally another links post! I know I have been kind of absent but my life has slightly picked up a bit recently. Anyways hope everyone's week went well!! If you are gearing up to go back to school, or have just started I'll let you know I'm 100% jealous. I so wish I was going back to school, never did I ever think I would be saying that. Anyways I recently started a new job, which has been an adjustment. I am working at a Kate Spade store, so my hours are all over the place. It's definitely been nice to have something to do and to be making money, but I am already miss being in school (never did I think I would say that). Anyways enough complaining about school, here are a few of my favorite things I have stumbled across last week!!

Cath Kidston (one of my fave brands) is launching a Peter Pan collection (one of my fave Disney movies) and I could not be more excited!!!

Shauna Neiquist's article for Darling on not having a plan. Having just been dumped out into the "real-world" and not knowing where my life will be in 6-months makes me so unbelievably uncomfortable, so this article couldn't be more timely.

A PSA for PSL.

Target's new brand, A New Day, is to die for!! I must say too, I went and tried a few things on the other day and was pleasantly surprised at how nice everything fit.

Okay I know I talk about Liv 24/7 but I love her and this outfit is to die for.

I enjoyed this Glamour podcast with Charli XCX where she talked about video for "Boys." Which if you haven't seen it, here watch, because it might be the best thing to ever happen.

The future is here. Cool new changes coming from some of your favorite brands and services, such as Netflix, Apple, and Amazon.

The VMA's were this past weekend and here were some of the best dressed on the red carpet. I mean Lorde's dress is to die for.

Why are student council presidents are women, but are politicians are not. I took a class last year on women in politics, so I of course found this article really intriguing.

dodie (one of my faves) dropped a new EP a few weeks ago and it is to die for.

What?! Frankfurt is being evacuated Sunday because a WWII bomb was just found underneath the city!

Also Labor Day is this weekend, so here are some sales you might want to keep track of.

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda


Friday, August 25, 2017

Graphic Tees

In case you weren't aware I have been obsessed with graphic tees lately. With that being said I have always been drawn to them but could just never figure out how to wear them, so I just always ignored that urge to get that cute tee. BUT! In the past year or so I have started figuring out different ways to style them that made them actually look cute. If you want ideas on how to style a graphic tee Liv, from What Olivia Did, is literally the queen of graphic tees. Or my go-to is throw it on with a pair of jeans and flannel for a super easy, casual outfit!

Besides the actual graphic (which I am quite picky about), the biggest key to a good graphic tee is the fit. I definitely prefer something that is boxier and not too fitted, otherwise I feel like they look like they came out of the juniors department at Kohl's. Anyways I keep stumbling across the cutest graphic tees that I am literally drooling over. The most economical way to satiate my thirst for graphic tees was to do a round-up post on here of some of my faves! Enjoy!
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Some of these tees are a bit pricier but, this is more of a tee-aspiration (wut) post. Which, all of these brands/websites have a great selection of graphic tees too, so don't be afraid to check them out! I've been loving Ban.do's tees, but my current fave might be the Taylor Swift tee.... I don't know why I love it so much, because it's ridiculous, but I love it.

As far as a few other tees I love:
Alexa Chung's t-shirts, while $$$, are to die for.
This tee is too cute.
And this is a great subtle Friends reference.

Have you seen any graphic tees recently that you are dying over?
Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Super Simple Banana Bread!

Can we talk about how, as a rule of thumb, banana flavored things always sound so repulsive? But all of sudden you add bread to it and suddenly everyone wants a bite, anyways just something that has been going through my head recently.

Banana bread is always the perfect remedy to any situation, and really one of the most versatile breads (if you could even call it a bread). I mean you can eat the stuff for breakfast or dessert! Or want a mid-morning snack? Banana bread! Mid-afternoon snack? Banana bread! I've had a few old bananas that have been in the freezer waiting to be whipped up into banana bread and I figured the sooner the better!
My mom and I have a go-to banana bread recipe that makes really delicious banana bread, but I decided to try something new! I am always up for trying new recipes, especially if they're less fess. So I used this recipe from Liv, aka one of my fave bloggers, and it turned out beautifully! This recipe was really easy to whip up in about 15 minutes! I have also recently started to love using European recipes because they use metric measurements which make throwing it all together 1000x easier, and honestly weighing things is 1000x more accurate.

Ingredients:
225g self raising flour
175g caster sugar
1tsp baking powder
2 eggs
2tbs milk
100g unsalted butter
chocolate chips, nuts, or anything else you may prefer!

In Liv's video she just threw everything into a mixer and just mixed it all together, I tend to be a bit more meticulous. First I preheated my oven to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then to start off I stirred together the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl.  Then I creamed the butter and sugar together in the mixer. I then added the eggs and 2tbs of milk and made sure that was properly mixed. I last slowly added the flour mixture until everything was just blended. It's always important not to over-mix the batter once you add flour because that can make your baked goods turn tough and chewy. I finally added some chocolate chips and stirred those in by hand! I greased and floured a bread tin and slapped my batter in and popped it in the oven for about an hour!

This loaf turned out great, it wasn't overly sweet and it had a great banana-y flavor. I am, of course, always partial to a generous handful of chocolate chips as well. To quote a friend, "Any slice of banana bread is a good slice because that means I am eating banana bread." Okay she might've been referring to pizza, but I think it works the just same with banana bread!

Hope you enjoy!
Thanks for reading!
xox,
Amanda

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Florence

As our stay in Venice quickly came to an end the next stop on our journey was the beautiful city of Florence. Coming to Florence from Venice, Florence made Venice seem like a sleepy city. Venice is a city made of windy paths and canals, there are no cars. We arrived in Florence to traffic, bikes, and pedestrians, but with that being said Florence is still a small quaint city.

Italy is a country that is not lacking in rich history and that is more than evident in the city of Florence. After dropping our bags off at the hotel we ventured into the city and went off in search of the Duomo. A quick trot from our hotel, we turned the corner and were all shocked at how enormous and beautiful it was in real life. I'm sure we've all seen pictures of the Duomo and the Cathedral of Santa Maria but nothing compares to seeing it in real life, it is easily one of the prettiest churches I have ever seen. I actually embarrassingly don't really have many pictures of the church just because I knew that I picture wouldn't capture the beauty of the building.

Our time in Florence was spent eating delicious meals and oogling at all of the history that is easily found all throughout the city.
As I've mentioned a lot of our time in Florence was spent learning about the city's rich history. We spent a lot of time in museums too, which if you go to Florence you cannot miss the Accademia Gallery or the Uffizi Gallery both of these galleries are full of famous masterpieces that have been studied for hundreds of years. Again, I embarrassing don't have many pictures from either of these places as I feel like pictures don't do any of the pieces justice.



Things We Did:
Accademia Gallery- As I have just mentioned you cannot go to Florence without a visit to the Accademia. Housing some of the worlds most famous artwork like Michelangelo's "David" which is simply ginormous and breathtaking in real life.

Uffizi Gallery- Again another museum you cannot miss in the city. This gallery is packed to the gill with famous Renaissance artwork and houses every from work by Botticelli, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, and again Michelangelo; just to name a few.
Boboli Gardens- These historic gardens aren't only a beautiful place to take a stroll. But offer gorgeous views of the city. At the top of the hill in one direction you will see the gorgeous rolling hills of Tuscany and the opposite offers a beautiful view of the city full of red roofs.
Top of the Duomo- I mean the Duomo is one of the most iconic sights in Florence how can you not visit the top?!
Basilica di San Lorenzo- Out of all the churches in Florence this one was super cool. My favorite thing was that from the outside it looks super boring and not very fancy, but then you walk in and it's a gorgeous church on the inside.
Cathedral of Santa Maria and the Baptistry- I mean just as iconic as the Duomo itself you cannot go to Florence and not see these sights.

Where We Ate
Yay! The "Where We Ate" Florence is going to be much more exciting than the Venice one I promise!!

Pepo- This little restaurant was literally a block from our hotel and we ate here twice! The food is delicious and they serve you a glass of Prosecco to enjoy while browsing the menu, so I mean....
La Menagere- Literally the cutest trendiest restaurant in the city. This place is funny because it's  like a cafe, restaurant, and bar all in one. We went here one morning for breakfast, coffee and croissants, and the cappuccinos and pastries did not disappoint.

Mercato Centrale- A giant indoor food market that is an excellent stop for lunch. My whole family got lunch from a mozzarella place and it did not disappoint.
Amorino- Onto the gelato. Fun fact: my family cannot go to a city with Amorino without going to there. It's a must.

Edoardo- This might have been my favorite gelato of the trip. I got chocolate hazelnut and cinnamon and it was the best decision I have ever made. I decided to go on a whim and get cinnamon and was magical, it was like eating Christmas.

Gelateria dei Neri- Okay not going to lie this gelato was delish too. I don't recall what I ordered but it was good.
This was the birth place of Mona Lisa!


Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda