Cyber Monday

online-shopping-girl.jpgHappy Cyber Monday, everyone! This is the one day a year I give myself free reign (within reason, of course) to fill those online carts and ACTUALLY go through with submitting my credit card info.

Did I say the one day? Maybe I meant one of many days. Whatever. 😉

Since I’m getting a later start on my Cyber Monday shenanigans than I had hoped, I’m not going to round up the best sales for you all. Sorry, but it’s every woman for herself today!

I willlll, however, share a blog post I wrote last year that divulges my online shopping secrets: Secrets of a Serial Spender.

The post will help you far beyond Cyber Monday – we’re talking tips and tricks to use all year long!

Happy shopping, ladies and gents! Don’t say I never gave you anything.

Colorfully Yours,

Haley

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Colorful Friday (and Saturday!)

Black Friday is so overrated. I know – I’m one of the world’s worst shopaholics and I don’t shop on Black Friday. My high school girlfriends and I used to, but we went more for something to do than for the supposedly amazing sales. We would get together for coffee and saunter over to the mall in the late morning. I’ll admit that the late start was mostly because of me…I’ve never been a morning person.

In my experience, the Black Friday sales are never anything to write home about. If you’re in the market for a 7000 inch flat screen TV, maybe it’s worth it. But for clothing? Don’t bother.

I am much more of a Cyber Monday gal myself, but I’ll get to that in my next post.

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The Colorful Details:

Vest J.Crew Factory // Shirt J.Crew // Jeans Macy’s (old) // Boots DSW (old)  // Photography by Katie McLean

Yesterday, I spent my “Black Friday” in a neon orange vest, white jeans (gasp!) and a chambray shirt. The weather was perfect for a stroll outside, so my friend Katie and I headed to downtown Lowell to pay a visit to our friend Ani, the owner of Humanity Boutique in Lowell. That brings me to my next order of business: Small Business Saturday!

While today is specifically dedicated to small businesses, I am all about small businesses all year long. You may think I’m biased because I work for two boutiques in downtown Andover, but I’ve actually always been a loyal local shopper! There’s nothing like grabbing an iced coffee with your best friend and wandering in and out of cute boutiques where the employees know you and remember your last purchase. Ok, well that part is good and bad. 😉

I decided I’d round up some of my favorite small shops in downtown Andover, MA because that is where I spend 90% of my time. But don’t forget that small businesses in every town keep communities thriving! Show your support to hardworking local folks this season instead of ordering everything on Amazon. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the experience!

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Chic Consignment: I can’t even tell you how many amazing, unique finds I’ve gotten here over the years. Chic is a high end yet affordable consignment shop right on Main Street. Some of my favorite purchases over the years include a pair of sparkly Tory Burch flats, a silk Equipment top, and a sequin All Saints crop top, just to name a few. It’s always a fun treasure hunt experience here.

Irresistibles: Ok, so I work here. But I promise I’m not plugging it for that reason. Working here actually opened my eyes to some of the awesome lines carried in this store. I get most of my Vineyard Vines apparel here, I got my favorite quilted Joules jacket here last winter, and my most complimented monogrammed clutch is from here as well!

dresscode: Yup, I also work here as the social media gal, but I’ve known the owner, Amy, for years. She is one of the coolest, chicest people you’ll ever meet, and her mission is to make every shopper feel like family. It works! My favorite Citizens of Humanity boyfriend jeans were on the summer sale rack here for $30…I know.

Izzy’s: Izzy’s has always been an Andover staple. Whether you want a trendy top, a tailored pair of jeans or a fresh new pair of Frye boots, they’ve got you covered here. The best part is they always give me their honest opinions about how everything looks. That is crucial!

Bobbles and Lace: I’ve spent more money than I’d care to disclose at Bobbles this fall. They have the perfect youthful, trendy tops, dresses, shoes and jewelry for your night out. In fact, two upcoming blog posts feature items from the Andover store. Stay tuned!

SoleAmour: Need some chic shoes and accessories? SoleAmour has everything from heels and boots to flats and flip flops. This summer I got a pair of Sam Edelman espadrilles on sale for crazy cheap. I also got my life-changing Yosi Samra flats here.

Don’t forget to refuel at Ultimate Perk, Perfecto’s and La Rosa while you’re downtown. Three of my favorites! Fashion + food? I’m always in.

Colorfully Yours,

Haley

The Liebster Award

Trying to get your blog recognized and expand readership is a lot more difficult than you might think, especially because of how many other bloggers are out there. The great thing, though, is that the blogging community is very supportive – and I’ve recently been trying to join that community.

Liebster-Award-2-1-1024x512I was nominated for the Liebster Award, an award given to newer bloggers by other bloggers as a way to support each other in our journey to growing and building our blogs.
Thank you so much to Bobbi of 1FUNGRL Travels (click to check out her site!) for nominating me for this award!

Here are the RULES:

1) Post the award to your blog
2) Answer the questions you were given by the person who nominated you
3) Nominate a small group of bloggers you have discovered
4) Create 10 new questions for the nominees
5) Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog

And now for my answers to Bobbi’s creative (and difficult!) questions:

1) What are the pros and cons of being a blogger?

 Pros:

  • I get to express myself and use my creativity on a daily basis.
  • I am my own boss! I get to represent myself as my own brand, which is very cool.
  • I have a platform to bring awareness to causes and stories that are important to me.
  • My eyes have been opened to a whole new community of people who all have their own stories to tell.
  • I have an excuse to buy lots of clothes! 😉

Cons:

  • Running your own blog is a LOT of work. I don’t think people realize how much blood, sweat and tears goes into it.
  • Sometimes it feels like nobody is reading your posts, which certainly stinks when you’ve spent so much time and energy on something.
  • It’s hard to gain readership and followers in a natural way!
  • The market is very saturated, so it’s hard not to feel insignificant sometimes…

But at the end of the day, I always try to remember I’m doing this for me!

2) Pick 5 people, dead or alive, you’d want to have a dinner party with!

This question gives me the same amount of anxiety it gave Blair Waldorf when the Dean of Admissions at Yale asked her.

I started overthinking it and trying to decide which influential people from which centuries I should invite…

But then I remembered it’s a party.

These individuals are in no particular order and this doesn’t mean they are my top five people in life or anything so keep calm. But seriously, how quirky and amazing would this dinner party be?!

  1. Iris Apfel
  2. Diane von Furstenberg
  3. Andy Cohen
  4. Emma Watson
  5. Zooey Deschanel

Bonus: Lily Collins’ eyebrow lady

3) If you were stranded on an island, but had all of the necessary supplies to LIVE, name 3 other things you would you want.

  1. My Kindle! As much as I love the smell and feel of a ‘real’ book, having an endless supply of novels at my fingertips would keep me content on my island for a long while.
  2. A lifetime supply of peanut butter and chocolate. I’m counting these as one thing because they are meant to be together!
  3. My bed. It is the comfiest thing in the world and I find it difficult to part with just for the day, let alone indefinitely.

4) What are your other passions in life? 

I have to say that my blog encompasses most of my passions in life: writing, fashion, baking, reading, and bringing awareness to chronic/invisible illnesses like Type 1 diabetes. If I had to choose an ‘overall’ passion, I would say it’s bringing color into people’s lives. No, I don’t just mean literally, although I do think my bright clothes can elevate a mood! Through the above topics and many more, I love to put a smile on someone’s face and let them forget their troubles for a minute.

5) Name one of the funniest moments you’ve ever had happen.  

This is another tough one! Is it sad that all the moments that come to mind were actually embarrassing or horrifying at the time but funny to relive later?

I guess the one that I’ll go with that makes me laugh in retrospect was during my senior year of college. My brother, Colin, and his girlfriend, Katie, took me to the Patriots game with them in Miami. Another couple they were friends with came along, so I was fifth wheeling it.

If you don’t really know me, I’ll give you a quick disclaimer before I continue. I am just about the least competitive person on earth, I have essentially no interest in sports, and I am “afraid of my own shadow” as my family would say.

That's me on the right at the infamous game. Super intimidating, aren't I?

That’s me on the right at the infamous game. Super intimidating, aren’t I?

Yet at this game, I overheard my brother jokingly engaging in some smack talk with a Dolphin’s fan who was probably in his thirties. I stood by at first, thinking it was typical of my hothead brother. Something the guy said to him must have struck a nerve with me, though. While my brother maintained his cool, I went off on this grown man. I must say that I have a way with words, though, so I can hold a darn good argument – I just don’t do so often! When my sarcastic digs didn’t seem to even register with the guy, our voices both escalated – and his girlfriend/wife got in my face! Since we were in enemy territory, and our team was losing, I realized that we probably shouldn’t wait the last quarter out. I had to round up my brother’s girlfriend and the other couple and make them leave early so we wouldn’t be attacked.

So yes, my non-confrontational five-foot-two, fishtail-braided self with a Vineyard Vines hat and huge nerd glasses on had to leave a football game early because of smack talking.

Oops!

6) What do you think makes you unique?

I think what makes me unique is that I have such a yin and yang within myself. Some days I dress super preppy, some days I go with an edgy look. Sometimes I’m scarily outgoing, sometimes I’m shy. Sometimes I can be a pushover, and sometimes I can get in fights with grown men.

While I am a very even-keeled person overall, small, different aspects of my life tend to go from one extreme to the other.

I swear it all has something to do with being a Libra.

Hey, at least there’s never a dull moment, right?

7) What are your top 5 websites you visit most often?

  1. Facebook. Cut me some slack people – I work in social media!
  2. Netflix. I can binge watch with the best of ‘em.
  3. Pinterest. Oh, I have to wake up in five hours? I’ll just pin for three more.
  4. Shopstyle. You can find anything and everything on this site. It makes the life of a shopping addict too easy.
  5. Refinery29. I love their mix of articles.

8) Would you view yourself as extroverted, introverted, or somewhere along the spectrum?

I am such a mix of the two that it’s honestly confusing! I suppose it depends on the situation, my mood, and the people I’m around. I tend to be freakishly friendly in the tasks of my daily life – coffee shops, sidewalks, etc. I even work in retail, so I am always starting conversations with strangers. Oddly enough, though, I am super introverted behind the scenes. I think only my closest friends and family know this about me. I’d rather curl up by myself with a book in my bed than go to a bar any day of the week!

9) What’s your Myers Briggs personality assessment type? Do you think it’s fitting? 

In true Haley fashion, I don’t fit into just one of the Myers Briggs personality types. When taking the test several times over my years of schooling, I have been assessed as both INFJ and ENFJ. Those stand for Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging, aka the Protector, and Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging, aka the Giver.

So, the last three are the same (NFJ for both) which makes sense. I am definitely intuitive versus sensing, feeling versus thinking, and judging versus perceiving. However, just as I mentioned in #8 before thinking about Myers Briggs, I am neither a true introvert nor a true extrovert! Libra combo for the win again…

10) Name 3 books or movies that had a profound impact on you.  

  1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. – it’s been so long since I’ve read it so the details are murky, but it’s just one of those books that puts your ‘problems’ into perspective. Read my review here.
  2. Iris and Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me – yes I am cheating and including two documentaries in one, but these two fabulous old ladies have taught me a lot about being yourself and not apologizing for it. Read about them here and here.
  3. Perks of Being a Wallflower – both book and movie. I cry Every. Damn. Time.

Now for the lovely ladies I am nominating:

Justine from Chi City Chic

Amanda from Anchored to Sunshine

Hannah from The Sunny Side of Things

Chelsea from Pretty Pink and Proper

Questions for my fellow bloggers:

  1. If you had to choose three words to describe yourself, what would they be?
  2. If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
  3. What kind of impact has blogging made on your life?
  4. What are your top three style must-haves this season?
  5. What did you think you wanted to be when you “grew up?” How about now?
  6. If you could only eat two things for the rest of your life, what would they be?
  7. What do you wish people realized about blogging?
  8. What is your favorite book?
  9. What are you currently binge-watching?
  10. Where is the next destination you’d like to travel to?

Colorfully Yours,

Haley

Pajama Party

Wearing bright colors isn’t the only thing I’m known for in the clothing department. In fact, this other “thing” is more of a hot topic.

It’s true: I wear matching pajama sets. Every night.

I’m not sure when it started, but I’ve been obsessed with coordinating PJs for a looong time now. My mom and grandmother started buying them for me for holidays and birthdays, so my collection is quite extensive by now. I have everything from fleece to jersey, nightgowns to button downs, cheetah print to catchphrases.

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One of my most recent pajama set purchases. Fleece, covered in pandas, with “I Love Naps” written across the front. The trifecta.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times my pajama-set-wearing has been the butt of jokes among my friends and family, but what I can tell you is that there is no shame in my pajama game. The cornier and fuzzier the ensemble, the better.

My brother, Colin, constantly refers to my sleepwear as my “onesies.” None of them are actually one piece, but since they all match, it apparently looks like it. When he’s home, I am greeted every morning by “Nice onesie!” Siblings.

I didn’t know this wardrobe choice of mine was unusual until I got to college. Communal quarters reveal a lot about how the other half lives. I, apparently, am the matching-pajama-wearing minority. But I know that every time someone pokes fun at my grandma sleepwear, they’re secretly jealous…right?

As my annual pajama receiving time of year approaches, I thought I’d round up some of my budget-friendly favorites. Some of these are on sale, so don’t waste time! You don’t want to be stuck wearing a ratty t-shirt and threadbare bottoms to bed, do you?

Whether you’re shopping for yourself or others, take my advice – buy some cute, dorky pajamas. Give the gift of a cozy sleep and macaron-filled dreams (you’ll see what I mean). You never know who you’re going to meet in your dreams, after all.

Here’s hoping whoever I meet in mine appreciates my quirky sleepwear. But if they don’t, I probably don’t want to meet them, anyway.

Sweet dreams, readers!

COZY

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Every time I babysit, I find myself getting jealous of the kids’ fluffy bathrobes with animal ears. I’ve always wanted one in adult size. Well, my wish has been granted! Stay cozy with these fuzzy ensembles inspired by the animal kingdom.

Left to Right: Plush Polar Bear Hooded Nightdress, $24.90, Forever 21; Cozy Zoe Animal Ear Hooded Robe, $48.00, Nordstrom; Faux Sherpa Top and Jogger Sleep Set, $24.99, Target; Plush Panda PJ Set, $29.90, Forever 21

CLASSIC

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You cannot go wrong with a classic two-piece flannel number. It’s the quintessential pajama set. If you don’t have at least one set of these in your pajama drawer, you are doing it wrong.

Clockwise from Left: Daizie Polka Dot Flannel PJ Set, $24.99, Target; Flannel Pajama Set, $44.00, J.Crew Factory; Striped PJ Set, $29.94, Old Navy; PJ Couture Velour Pajama Set, $29.99, JCPenney

CHEEKY

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I live for a sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek saying. Plaster it on a nightgown and it is quite literally a dream come true. Oh, and there are those macarons I mentioned! ‘Sweet dreams’ is right.

Left to Right: Hibernate Graphic Nightdress, $12.90, Forever 21; New Look Hangover Pajama Set, $27.00, ASOS; Topshop Brunch Club Long Tee, $38.00, Nordstrom; BP Undercover Thermal Sleep Set, $14.97, Nordstrom Rack; Adolescent Clothing Designer Bags Nightshirt, $38.00, ASOS

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

Let me start off by clarifying that I do not follow a paleo diet. I love food too much. Food makes me happy. If that’s wrong, then I don’t want to be right.IMG_6469

That being said, if food can be made to taste good while being comprised of all natural, readily available ingredients, then I’m all in. That’s why when I came across this recipe for Paleo Pumpkin Muffins from Empowered Sustenance on Pinterest, I was in – pumpkin PLUS minimal ingredients, minimal steps, and minimal dishes to clean up? Yes please.

This recipe only required one bowl and a few measuring tools. The cleanup took me five minutes. Also, there was no need for an electric mixer, a whisk, or anything remotely involved – just one simple spoon to stir all the ingredients together! Now that’s my kind of recipe.

I’ll tell you which ingredients I used when the recipe gave an option: coconut oil instead of butter or lard, pumpkin puree instead of other veggies, raw honey instead of maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon.

I baked the muffins until the tops were golden brown, just as the recipe instructed. When I cut into one, it looked as if it was slightly underdone but I didn’t want to dry them out so I left them as is. I’m glad I did, because by the next morning they were a great consistency.

IMG_7040The taste of the muffins is definitely more subdued than I’m used to, but the good thing is that I don’t think anyone on earth has a more intense sweet tooth than me. My mom, for example, loves desserts and thought these were perfectly sweet. For me, they may not make the perfect bedtime snack for my cravings, but they do make the perfect breakfast! They filled me up while keeping me feeling light and ready to start my day. I would absolutely make them again!

The moral of this post? Don’t knock paleo treats ’til you try ’em. The cavemen weren’t totally stupid. 😉

 

 

 

10 Under 10: Winter Hats

Last week, I witnessed a woman pay $89 for a simple winter hat. It was knit, black, and had a pom-pom on it – that’s it. While it was very cute, it would have been just as cute with a $10 price tag. I wanted to yell out to the woman that she could find a hat just like that one for 1/8 of the cost! But I kept my mouth shut.

I can’t let my readers make that same mistake, though. That’s why I’ve compiled a selection of ten cute winter hats UNDER $10. That’s right – not $89, not $50, not even $25. TEN. DOLLARS. You’re welcome. Oh, and by the way? Most of them are significantly under ten. Call me a magician.

And since you’ve realized by now that I have several personalities when it comes to my outfits, I’ve separated my finds into categories. You’ve got classic, cute, and cool hats to keep you warm and trendy this winter. Take your pick! Just click the text of each hat and you can purchase straight from there. Could I have made it any easier? Gosh, I should be getting paid for this.

Happy hat hunting, ladies!

CLASSIC
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Left to right: H&M Knit Hat, $5.99; Forever 21 Fuzzy Pom Pom Beanie, $9.90; Steve Madden Polar Vortex Knit Beanie, $9.97

CUTE

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Left to right: Forever 21 Felt Wool-Blend Beret, $9.90; BCBGeneration Colorful and Cozy Pom Beanie, $6.30; Lands’ End Dot Hat, $5.99

COOL

cool hats

Clockwise from left: Boohoo Cara Bad Hair Day Slogan Beanie, $7.00; H&M Hat with Ears, $9.99; 14th & Union Waffle Slouchy Beanie, $9.97; Betsey Johnson Jeweled Beanie, $9.97

#CurrentMood {11.12}

Mood Board 11-12

I thought it would be cool to create a mood board of things that I’m into/inspired by/generally feeling at the moment. I’m thinking this will be the first of many – let me know what you think! All images via Pinterest.

Colorfully Yours,

Haley