Monday, November 30, 2015

Cyber Monday Sales and Picks

Hello everyone! The holidays are now in full swing and today is Cyber Monday! I don't really like fighting the crowds (and parking) so this is the perfect day to do a little online shopping because there are some amazing deals. Here are a few of my favorite sales going on today and a few of my favorite items as well!
Photo Credit: Pinterest

The Shadee Palm- One of my favorite boutiques! 30% off your purchase with the code 'CYBERM15'

Lucca Lane- another boutique I adore and 30% off the entire site with the code ' HOLIDAY30'  I think this grey poncho looks super cozy. This Home Alone inspired tee and this rose gold sequined jacket have already secured a spot in my closet!

The Happy Goose Shop- Tons of super cute holiday ready options including this Ivory Fur Vest, I love this Black Bombshell Dress and how cute are these hats? Love the yellow floppy knit one! 10% off all orders (CYBER10), 15% off all orders $100 or more (CYBER15), 20% off all orders $150 or more (CYBER20) and 25% off all orders $200 or more (CYBER25)

Lilly Pulitzer- FREE HOURLY PRESENT each hour! There are also several gifts with purchase depending on how much you spend. Southern girls love their Lilly and it is possible to get your hands on some without breaking the bank. I like the under $100 items, I mean how cute are these sunglasses? Also, there is no spending limit to receive the free hourly present! Which means you can get the present each hour by buying one of the less expensive options such as a candle. If you really want the free gifts but don't want to spend all your money check out the under $50 suggestions!

Nordstrom: Nordstrom always has a really good sale and their cyber Monday is no exception. Lots of designers, options and price ranges!

Kate Spade: 30% off in-store and online with the code ' SHINE ' I love, love, love this carry-on for traveling! Definitely on my wish list!

Forever 21- sales up to 70% off! Also, today only 21% off when you spend $21 or more with the code ' CYBER21'

H&M- 20% off purchase over $25 with code ' 2020 ', 30% off purchase over $50 with code ' 3030 ', and 40% off already reduced items with code ' 4040 '

WILDFOX COUTURE- I love this brand! Cute, quirky and unique is the best way to describe the tees, sweatshirts, and dresses. Look at their new Martian, space collection plus they have a super cute holiday collection titled Pink Christmas which is also adorable. 30% off non-sale items and 60% off sale items with the code ' NEBULA '

Vineyard Vines- 25% off fully-priced styles and 40% off sale items with the code ' THANKS2015 '

Those are my picks for the best sales but be sure to check your personal favorites to see what deals they have going on today! Remember that most if not all of these sales will end tonight at midnight so get the savings while you can.

May the shopping odds be ever in your favor! (sorry I had to say it)

Happy Cyber Monday!


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pre-Black Friday Sales and Picks

It's the day before Thanksgiving and if you are feeling a little stressed with cooking dinner, safely traveling home for the holidays or just researching the best Black Friday sales you can get a head start on some of the biggest sales of the year! Things are going fast and there are lots of great items, here are a few of my favorites.

5 Fashion Quotes to Live By, Courtesy of Carrie Bradshaw:
Photo credit: Pop Sugar and Pinterest

Nordstrom: This sale always has some good finds and it was hard to pick just a few but here they are! I love this golden Free People Swing Dress($86), BP. Striped High/Low tee ($11!), this BP. super cozy cardigan ($29), a perfect, casual everyday dress ($36), a tie-front shift dress ($45), this tough yet chic pink moto jacket ($83), a collarless vest  in black or pink($32) and my personal favorite this pale pink double breasted boucle cutaway coat ($180)!

For accessories I like this plum colored Rebecca Minkoff bucket bag ($195), an adorable owl covered Kate Spade crossbody ($86), Gold/Blue Michael Kors watch ($150), this rose colored fuzzy scarf ($13!), and these Dolce Vita over the knee boots ($200) I wear every other day!

They also have some really cute and stylish home d├ęcor and items on sale which are great for your own home or perfect for Christmas, hostess gifts, and more!

Here are a few other sales I would recommend checking out:

Forever 21: huge sale some items as low as $4!

Kate Spade: up to 75% going on NOW for their surprise sale!

Old Navy: use code 'EARLYBIRD'

J.Crew: use code 'HOLIDAY'

Topshop: up to 70% off sale items!

I hope everyone has a fabulous Thanksgiving and a little fun shopping!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 23, 2015

Be Thankful and Be Cozy

Hello all! Can you guys believe it is already Thanksgiving week!? I am trying to grasp the fact that the year is almost over but I do love the holiday season! Thanksgiving pretty much kicks off the official festive season and I have several looks to get you ready for it all!

While my favorite for the holidays tend to be on the more sparkly side, that's really more of a Christmas and New Year's Eve vibe. Thanksgiving is all about being comfy and cozy. My family always has lunch then we catch a movie that night together, so this look is perfect for daytime festivities! It's also appropriate but still stylish.

Piko Olive Green Dress: Love my Piko's! These tops and dresses are so comfortable and they feel just like pajamas! These are especially great to dress up with jewelry, vests and other statement pieces. Bonus, the are very price friendly at $36!

Faux Shearling Vest: Ok, I wasn't sure about this trend because I was worried I might look like a sheep herder and yes, that is entirely possible but I found that when you mix with solids like beige, navy, olive and other fall colors the vest looks so cute! I also would love to try it with neutral stripes and I have worn with plaid also. This vest is almost sold out but here is another super similar one!

Free People Suede Over the Knee Boots: These were a splurge for me but I knew once I saw them that I would wear them all the time! They have not disappointed and I love the fact that they are flats so they are very easy to wear pretty much anywhere. Warning they are suede so they stretch BUT they are very tight at first! I was worried they wouldn't zip but after you get them on, they loosen up and fit perfectly.

The Burberry bag was a Christmas present years ago and I still use it all the time! For this look, I would pair a suede bag like this one (under $50) or how cute is this foxy shoulder bag (under $35)?

I just paired a long necklace with this casual look to add some sparkle, the one I'm wearing is from a local boutique a few seasons ago but you can pretty much add whatever your favorite necklace is for a little extra shimmer!

Happy Shopping and more new posts coming this week so stay tuned!



Thursday, November 19, 2015

Avengers Half-Marathon 2015 Recap

Yes, I will say I am an expert of the 24 hour trip. Ever since I've started running, it is not uncommon for me (and several of my friends) to take a quick drive or plane trip to do a race then come back within a 24 hour window. It can be a little hard but in my opinion, worth it. While it would be more ideal to spend more time on a "racecation" with work, school and life it just isn't realistic. But that doesn't mean it can't be fun! Plus, it can be more doable on a budget than a longer trip. The adventure started early Saturday morning!

I highly recommend flying into the John Wayne/ Orange County Airport as opposed to LAX if you are traveling to Disneyland. John Wayne is much smaller and less crowded plus it is only 15-20 minutes away from Anaheim. LAX can take good hour (sometimes close to two hours in rush hour) to arrive in Disneyland. We soon arrived at Paradise Pier Hotel for the one night stay. Paradise Pier is the more "budget friendly" option of the three onsite hotels. It is super convenient and perfect for race weekends!

Making a quick stop over at the expo to pick up my bib and do a little browsing. Yes, I have an Infinity Gauntlet Challenge bib but decided not to do the challenge this year. I almost always do the challenges if the option is offered but my knee has been giving me trouble so as hard it was to make the decision (I love the extra bling!) so I opted out of the 10k and "only" did the half. Packet pick-up was smooth and effective, the expo had tons of vendors and if you love the Avengers you would have been in Heaven!

We spent the rest of the day exploring California Adventure and Disneyland. My absolute favorite thing was the Haunted Mansion which had been turned into The Nightmare Before Christmas, it is amazing! They sadly don't offer this option at the Florida theme park so it's a real treat to experience the fun at Disneyland!

One thing that is hard is ALL THE SNACKS at the park! I want to try everything but know you have to limit your consumption. While you do have a race coming up, don't just eat tons of empty calories and junk food. It does not make for a fun race experience. However, you can still enjoy some treats at the park, it's only natural to do so! Pace yourself and add balance to your pre-race meals. Also, hydrate! Especially if you are out at the parks all day, you will need the hydration and energy!

After a long, fun-filled day at the parks, it was time for bed and an early wake-up call would soon follow. Staying at one of the onsite or nearby hotels is such a timesaver and you can't beat the convenience. The start line is literally right down the street! Anticipation and excitement always fill the runDisney corrals and start area, it's always fun to see all the costumes, characters and the spectacle of the pre-race.

Soon the race clock was counting down and then Corral B was off! This course is interesting since there are only two miles or so in the actual parks while the rest of the course takes place in the streets of Anaheim as well as a run inside Angels Stadium.

Seeing the Christmas decorations and Cars Land lit up was so magical! It's the moments like this that make me keep running in Disney. The scenery and on course entertainment are always there to entertain runners. I also love that I get to see my favorite West Coast running buddy! My friend Laurie and several other serious hard-core runners were running the Avengers Half then flying or driving to Vegas for the half or full marathon that night! It's always fun to have running friends and even though we only get to see each other at races throughout the year, it's like no time has passed since we last saw each other.

There were lots of Avengers character stops, my advice for those who want pics: run to the parks then take your time once you are inside, once you leave the park that is it for official park characters so make the best of your time in there. Don't let lines scare you, they have always gone very fast for me and the cast members do an excellent job to keep the line moving!


I wish now I had waited to get the Thor picture but he was a Chris Hemsworth look-a-like! Here is a albeit blurry idea of how the character stops look and work. Sorry I was running while taking several of these pictures!

Once you get out of the parks, this particular course does contain the shortest times in the park, it looks very similar to this for much of the race. Disney does do their best and has high school bands, dancers, and for this race, non-official characters! What that means is there was a long row of Marvel and other types of superheroes and while they are not officially part of Disneyland (think people dressed up that you see along Hollywood Blvd) some of them had legit costumes and the look down to a T!

Soon we were running into Angels Stadium and almost done with the race. This comes at like mile 9 or 10 of the race so it was a welcome change of scenery! Making your way around the stadium and hearing all the cheers provided a much needed boost.

Exiting the stadium, runners were welcomed to a scene that looked straight out of Captain America circa WWII. I loved seeing the dance floor! All of it just looked so classic and glamorous at the same time. Even though we weren't in the parks through most of the race, the magic was still there!

Also, special shout-out to the AMAZING volunteers and spectators! They always have the most creative signs, snacks and whenever a runner needs that extra spark with a cheer or clap so THANK YOU! Before I knew it, I was crossing the finish! I was pretty bummed I didn't get to take the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge Medal (the Captain America 10k looked pretty awesome too) but my knee felt great during the race and I was able to stop for plenty of pictures and characters. All in all I would call it a success!

As always runDisney always delivers a fun and well-organized race! If you want more information on the Avengers Half-Marathon Weekend find out more here! Or if you want to find your own race experience perfect for you, check out the official runDisney site for races in Walt Disney World, Disneyland and the Disneyland Paris resort. These events sell out fast so be sure to register early!

Happy Running!


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tuesday Tidbits and Five Favorite Things

Hey guys! Hope everyone had a beautiful weekend! First off, I just want to send out my thoughts and prayers for all of those affected by the Paris Attack. I was shocked watching it unfold on TV and so deeply saddened. Everyone be careful out there and keep the city, victims and their families in your thoughts. 

To keep things a little more lighthearted, here are a few of my favorite things this week. I will have some new fashion posts coming soon, hopefully the weather will corporate and I can shoot some new looks this weekend, yay! In the meantime let's get to my five favorite things right now.

1. Cozy Sweaters

With cooler weather on the horizon, you can't go wrong with an oversized, cozy sweater. I just ordered this one in a blush color, and it's only $28! I also love this Aztec print cardigan (only $31!) to pair with tanks and graphic tees and this comfy sweater for only $26!

Dreamers by Debut Cowl Neck Sweater
Dreamers by Debut
2. Stephen King's The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

It's no secret that Stephen King is my favorite author. I am so ready to crack open this book of short stories that was just released. Short stories are excellent if you don't have time to get invested in a long novel, this is perfect for me and can't wait to see what Mr. King has in store!

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

3. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Like all franchises, The Hunger Games is coming to a close. I am going to miss J. Law as the "girl on fire" and obviously Liam Hemsworth (I mean really, have you seen him?) but this last film is sure to be a blockbuster and pull out all the stops. Just a little bit of advice, get your tickets before the hit the theater! You don't want to be left outside with your popcorn at a packed movie theater, do you?. To get you ready check out the trailer here!

4. Kate Spade Holiday Collection 2015

Kate Spade's collection is always filled with whimsy and flirty fun so her 2015 holiday collection is no exception. I especially love this phone case, ornament clutch, and make-up case. Get your holiday wish list ready!

champagne bottle clutch by kate spade new york
Champagne Bottle Clutch
5. Draped Coats

There is just something about this drapey look for winter that looks so sophisticated and timeless. A little Audrey Hepburn if you will. I really like this Vince blush colored option which is currently on sale but if that is a little out of your price budget then I suggest this beautiful (under $60!) pick!
Vince Drape Front Wool Coat (Nordstrom Exclusive)
Vince Draped Wool Coat

Hope you enjoyed the list! More new posts are coming this week so keep following along!

Happy Tuesday!


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

2015 Wine and Dine (Almost) Half-Marathon Recap

Hello all! So by now if you are a runner, specifically a runner who likes to runDisney, then you heard about the events that unfolded at last Saturday's Wine and Dine Half-Marathon. In summary, the course was shortened after a delayed time due to lightning and inclement weather in the area. I will give you a recap of the race and my thoughts on how the matter was handled. First, we need to go to the beginning aka Saturday morning as we were making our quick flight down to O-Town (also do y'all remember that band of the same name? Ashley Angel for those of you who do!).

I love that Birmingham is only a little over hour flight time to arrive in Orlando because after a nap, you have arrived! We took a cab ride over to the Polynesian Village Resort and luckily our room was ready at 8am, which was so nice to be able to get our stuff in the room and change into park clothes. We were debating on whether to go to the race expo first....

or make a quick trip over to the Magic Kingdom! Obviously since we were there so early and had some time to spare before going to the expo, a trip to see the castle was in order. Also, we really wanted snacks. My friends and I all love the dole whip float, it is basically pineapple soft serve served in pineapple juice. It is a must-have of the snack choices in Disney and can be found in Adeventureland!

One really cool thing about going to Wine and Dine is that all the Christmas decorations are already up in the parks. Even if it is only November and what feels like 90 degrees out, it still brings out that Winter Wonderland vibe.

One last snack then it was time for the expo and if you are going to snack (hey, you have a race to run and you need those carbs, right?) I suggest the Nutella and Fruit Waffle Sandwich over in Liberty Square at Sleepy Hollow. At least this is a little healthy, it has lots of fruit!

Upon arriving at the expo, this was seen. Yay another race in the heat! Seriously if I am involved with a race, there will be some sort of weather condition and most likely it will be unusually high temperatures. But they also means it's normally sunny and good weather for other parts of the trip. Looking at things with the glass half-full here!

Here is a picture of the expo. I have said this before in other recaps but after doing so many races, the expo is fun but there is never anything I really have to have anymore. At first, you want one of each thing but as the years progress you can usually find an item or two (if that) but these are great if you happen to leave something at home! At least you know you can always pick something up. Expo to the rescue.

At Disney the time passes so fast! Even though the race had a 10pm start time, you needed to be on the bus to take you over to the start line no later than 8pm. After a nap and stressful college football watching, it was time to start getting ready for the race!

If you have read my other race recaps, you know I love to run in costume! I put together this costume the day before, with some pieces I already had. Since I didn't have much time, I went with a classic princess! Introducing...Snow White! Again, I like to thank my friends who are willing to take blogger pics for me even in a crowded hotel lobby. I really liked my costume, the wig perfectly tied it together but as I would find out later it was HOT.  

The weather had been pretty sunny and very warm all day but as we walked outside, it had the "feel" like it could storm. During the bus ride over, there was so much traffic, we were taken a different route to try and avoid some of it. The weather was drizzly but it didn't look too bad, until we pulled into the area where they drop us off. Then we saw lightning. There was a herd of people walking towards the complex and our bus got word that the start line and course were being evacuated due to the weather. People were worried, complaining, sad, some seemed unfazed, others completely fine. RunDisney gave updates as we all sat and wondered what was going on. Then a little after 10pm we got word to head back to the corrals.

There were rumors online through several running groups that the race would actually be a "half of a half" and that was soon confirmed through runDisney's twitter account. Several roadways and Animal Kingdom would be omitted meaning the course would be reduced to about 7.1 miles. I was honestly, a little happy. It was very warm outside, still signs of lightning and the race would not be starting till almost 11pm. Some people were NOT happy, I heard complaining in the corral and yes, I understand that if you traveled, first Disney race or your first half, I would be upset too. But you have to realize that ALL races have this in their waivers, they can not risk someone getting struck by lightning or getting caught in a storm. Most people seemed fine given the circumstances and were just ready to run. After all the delays, it was time! 

Like I mentioned earlier, it was very humid and I felt soaked after the first mile or two, my head was especially warm from the wig. But I did get lots of compliments on my costume that made it all worth it! I have run Wine and Dine the past 4 years and I will tell any of you first-timers, this race had all the best parts. The Osborne Lights in Hollywood Studios are one of the main reasons I love this race and I'm so sad this is their last year in the park. The lights will surely be missed, they really are spectacular!

This course essentially took you from the Wide World of Sports to Hollywood Studios to the Boardwalk and Epcot before you arrived at the finish. The weather was humid but luckily no rain as opposed to last year when it poured and was cold. It was miserable and I would have taken this shortened course to the experience last year any day. I thought runDisney did an excellent job of handling the situation, some might not have been happy but you can't please everyone. I would have much rather had the shortened course as opposed to just cancelling the race all together. They made the right call in my opinion.

Now I fully understand how some people may have gotten upset, these races aren't cheap and especially if you traveled from across the county, another country, first half etc.. then yes, it would be very disappointing to not run the full 13.1 miles that you thought you would run. As they say "you can't predict the weather" it is just like having an outdoor wedding or event, there is always that chance but you hope for the best. The course may have been shortened but the magic was still there. I saw plenty of character stops and on-course entertainment in addition to the parks and was really happy they made the best out of a bad situation.
I nor my friends personally experienced anything negative but I have seen comments online about people being particularly rude at this race. I'm going to tell you right now, if you are looking for a race course to PR or you are legit running for time, Disney is not the race for you. Yes, the course will be crowded. Yes, there will be people walking. Yes, you will have to navigate around people and they stop unexpectedly to take pictures. And it's Florida so the weather is always up in the air. But guess what? This is a DISNEY RACE, it isn't Boston, New York or Chicago, it's Disney. Calm down, adjust your pace, take some pictures, and go with the flow. You are running a race at Disney World, enjoy yourself!

We stayed at the after-party for a bit, did a few rides with no wait and had some snacks from the Food and Wine Festival in Epcot then it was time for a shower and bed! We left the next morning and had a great 24 hour trip. Even after the slight modification, the Wine and Dine is still one of my favorite races! Check out details here on how to register for 2016 and check the runDisney official website for races in Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.
Hope you enjoyed my recap!

Happy Wining and Dining!