Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Winter Coat Cheat Sheet

One of the things I have realized as I've grown older is that not every winter coat is treated the same. Which I'm not just talking about quality and price, but depending on the material different coats are better suited for different types of weather.

I was recently doing a bit of research on the best type of outerwear for my upcoming trip to Amsterdam, as the average highs will be in the 40s and I often fall into the trap of thinking 40 degrees isn't cold. Anyways I was surprised how hard it was to find any information on what types of coats are best suited for different types weather, as you wouldn't wear the same jacket in 0 degree weather as you would in 40 degree weather.

I decided to take it upon myself to do some research on winter coats and create my own guide to winter coats that has all the information you might need in one place. Below I'm going to be focusing on different materials that winter coats are often made out of and the pros and cons of each material as well as the appropriate weather for each type of coat.

This is definitely going to be a functional over fashion post so if you came here in search of finding out the difference between a pea coat and a duffle coat you may want to look else wear. With that being said though I do believe that you can find fashionable pieces for each category, so I've included a few examples of coats at different price points for you to check out!

So if you're in the market for a new coat you have come to the right spot! I know I'm posting this mid-season, but hopefully this will also be a great reference for any future coat purchases.

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Wool
If you know me irl this will come as no surprise to you, but I am a complete wool advocate. Turns out wool isn't just timeless for the look, but the material is incredibly versatile also. Wool is a great insulator while still somehow remaining extremely breathable. It's also naturally water-resistant (note: I said water-resistant and not waterproof), but it naturally wicks away moisture from your body thus keeping you dry and toasty. Hence why wool is such a popular choice in cities like London where it's damp and cold year round. All-in-all I may be a bit biased but I love wool not only for it's classic coat styles but also it's versatility, but one thing you should not about wool is that when the weather drops below freezing wool isn't always the warmest option.

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Down
While down brings back childhood memories of my mom stuffing me into a giant marshmallow coat and sending me off to school, as an adult I am starting to realize how practical down can be and almost necessary depending on your climate. For example if you're living in New York City or further North down is a necessity. Made from goose feathers down is extremely lightweight but extremely insulating and is much warmer than wool. The only downside (sorry I couldn't resist) is that it isn't water-resistant and become basically useless once it gets wet. Though on the bright side you can find waterproof down coats. While down isn't the most stylish option it is most certainly a necessity for surviving harsh winters.

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Synthetic
Recent innovations in fabric technology has made synthetic insulation another practical option in choosing winter coats and definitely something to think about. Combining wool/down with a synthetic material has become increasingly popular. For example adding synthetic technology to down you can create a waterproof down coat or adding synthetic insulation to wool can give you a warmer wool coat. Synthetic is going to be a bit more breathable than down so it definitely is a good option if your going to be active. Synthetic materials is also a good thing to consider if you're concerned about price as synthetic insulation is going to run a bit cheaper than wool and down coats.

Synthetic fibers can be really confusing as they often have more than one name. Most of the brands and companies that have developed these textiles have copyrighted and/or trademarked these fibers so they often aren't referred to as the same thing. But when I'm talking about synthetic I'm not referring to polyester and acrylic (both things you should stay away from when looking for a quality coat), but materials like Thinsulate, Thermoball, and PrimaLoft. These are all extremely technical fabrics that can compete with natural fibers like down and wool.

Now before I sign off I need to finish with the most important thing you should be doing when shopping for a quality winter coat and that is checking the tag and seeing what the coat is really made out off! Definitely check to make sure what your buying is what you think you are paying for. For example wool coats will often say wool blend but when you check the tag is will be only 3% wool, so definitely check the tags!

Hope this helped anyone looking for a winter coat!!

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Links

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I know, I know I just made a Links post not even a week ago but there were just a lot more things that I got excited about, I couldn't not post one! How has your week been? Mine has been kind of slow, I've just been working and watching movies... But I am sorta looking forward to the Grammys this weekend. I'm not super into celebrities and such but award shows just get me, I would rather be watching the Oscars but w/e.... Anyways hope you enjoy some of the links I have to share!

Oscar nominations were released this week! Despite not being the biggest movie buff I love the Oscars... Which if your like me and have only seen a couple of the nominated movies here's how you can change that.

I think we can collectively agree that Millie Bobby Brown was the cutest on the red carpet at the SAG Awards.

Urban has the best graphic tees rn. omg. I love this one, this one, this sweatshirt, and I have of course been eyeing this tee for months.

While we're "shopping" I saw this swimsuit the other day in Target and am obsessed, it's so cute.

As I've mentioned I loved The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, so of course loved this super cute little clip of Rachel Brosnahan.

An interesting, and quick read, of what it's like being an immigrant in the US. These eight statements are all voices that need to be heard and are important in the conversation about immigration.

This great article about the 5 love languages you never knew about, my personal faves would be quiet time and gifs.

I'm loving Aerie's newest campaign, of course.

Last but not least if you have some extra money to spend the Diptyque Valentine's collection is to die for.

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Beauty Haul

So I feel like I have to preface this post by saying I'm definitely not the biggest beauty person. I feel like I was more into make-up when I was in high school, but it just turned into something I didn't want to spend heaps of money on. With that being said I recently bought some new make-up things and I wanted to share them because I am actually super excited about it! It has been a minute since I've bought new make-up that wasn't just replacing something I've run out of and I've forgotten how fun it can be! Being a long time watcher of YouTube, I have watched many of hauls so I figured if people can post videos of things they bought why can't I make a blog post of some things that I have recently bought.


To start this haul off a few weeks back I randomly decided to place an order from ColourPop. ColourPop is a brand that I have heard about for years but never actually used any of their products until now and I have to say I might be hooked. I  of course picked up 3 of their infamous matte liquid lipsticks, a highlighter, and an eyeshadow. 


The first lip color I picked up is in Aquarius 2 which is kind of one of those trendy browny/pinky nudes that are super in right now. It's described on the website as being mauvey griege which I think is pretty accurate, as it is definitely a cooler toned nude. I definitely love this color but I just always have a hard time with nudes, my lips are super rosy so I often feel like they just look odd on me. But one day I will hopefully have the guts to wear this out because I do really like it.


I love this color, it is seriously my perfect "nude"/neutral shade. It's not to brown and it's not to pink, I highly recommend this if you have the same problem as me of finding nude shades that suit you.


The last Ultra Matte Lip I picked up is from their super adorable My Little Pony collection and again I am obsessed with this color. The website describes it as being a blackened plum and I think that is a perfectly accurate description. I'm always a big fan of a good berry-toned lip and this is definitely no exception. I've been wanting a super deep berry color for ages and this has definitely filled that void. Btw isn't it funny how I am perfectly comfortable wearing this but the nude shade scares me?...

Before I continue on I just want to add a quick note on the Ultra Matte Lips. I'm super happy with these and impressed with the quality. They're super creamy to apply and they are really pigmented, like the color in the tube is what you get. They are also extremely long lasting, which I think is partially due to them being matte, as they basically dry on your lips and the color will be there all day. The only con of that is that they do tend to dry out your lips, but again I think that's just the nature of matte products.


This are super cool! I picked this up to use as highlight/eyeshadow. I have to admit when I first opened this I was like, well maybe I'll just be using this as an eyeshadow as I didn't realize how dark the color was. But don't let the color in the picture scare you, as these actually blend out like a dream and I'm pale af. While I'm saving to use this as a highlight for summer, I have been using it as eyeshadow and it's the perfect light golden-y shimmer. The formula of this is super cool too, it's like kind of bouncy and a cross between a cream and powder product.


So I couldn't resist the freaking adorable My Little Pony collection and had to pick up another product. So I bought this product thinking it would just be a pretty shimmery pink-y champagne (aka my kinda shadow). Which the color is a really pretty pink-y champagne but what I didn't realize is that this wasn't just going to be shimmer-y but also glittery. I'm generally not super into glitter but I also am kinda into this product. While this might not be in my everyday circulation it's definitely great for a day when I'm feeling spunky or a night out. The formulation of this eyeshadow is kind of similar to the highlight too, where it's not quite a cream or a powder but some cool halfway point.


So the second portion of this haul is a couple Asian beauty products that I just picked up last week! I have been super interested in Asian beauty things for years now, ever since "beauty gurus" started talking about them on YouTube. They definitely can be hard to find and get a hold of in the US but I've recently discovered that Amazon actually carries a plethora of different products, which is where I picked all of these things up from. But another great resource that I have used in the past is Pretty & Cute

I have been using the BB Cream for years, this is actually the only thing in this haul that I have used in the past. But this is a product that I often find myself turning to every winter as it just feels really nourishing on the skin. I don't like super thick or heavy foundations but I do like some coverage and this is the perfect product. It's interesting because it does have really good coverage and the product is pretty thick and moisturizing, but once you apply it, it doesn't feel heavy or sticky on the skin at all. Before I used this I was also worried about the color, as I'm pale af and it does only come in one shade. But it actually comes out with a slight gray-cast and the color oxidizes and adjusts to your skin tone, crazy right?

This is a Japanese product I've heard people rave about for years and I am finally trying it! I've only used it once but so far really like it. It's a super dark black color and it's super easy to make super fine lines or thicker lines and it hasn't smudged yet!


I had to insert another picture of this product because it is just so cute! So this is another Korean product and I love it too. Again I've only used this once so far but so far so good. It's a really pretty bright coral pink color, it's really pigmented but, again, blends out like a dream. The formulation of this too is also a squishy in between of a powder/cream product.

What beauty things are you loving right now?

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Monday, January 22, 2018

Links

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I admit I meant to post this yesterday and completely forgot, oops. With that being said I need to figure out a consistent day that I post these posts, but until I do that I guess these "Links" posts will turn up on random days including Monday... *insert no-see-evil monkey emoji*.

Now that, that's out of the way I hope you all had an amazing weekend, and that it was refreshing and left you ready to tackle this week. My weekend was not the most exciting, most of it was spent sitting on the couch watching the Olympic channel... random, I know. Anyways I had some fun links that I wanted to share, obvi, and hopefully this will be something fun for you to look at one a Monday morning!

A peek inside of Anna Bond's gorgeous house. If you didn't know Anna Bond is the brains behind one of my ultimate favorite brands, Rifle Paper Co, so this is must to check out.

Tasty Japan. For some reason I've been super into Japanese things recently and this Instagram is no exception. While I can't read anything, it still makes me want to try more Japanese dishes.

Airbnb's you need to put on your travel bucket list.

I recently picked up these shoes, in the green (although the pink is so cute too) and I am in love with them.

Perhaps not the most uplifting post but I highly recommend watching Aly Raisman's personal statements against Larry Nassar. While the whole situation is sickening, Aly's statement is empowering as she calls out not only Larry Nassar, but also USA gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee.

12 Things I Wish I Knew Before Moving to New York City. As someone who wants to move to NYC I was super intrigued in this article thinking it was probably going to be like "12 things that suck about NYC", but it was actually kind of an inspiring read.

I like food and I'm not scared of cooking, but the one thing that does scare me is meals. Nine times out ten I tend to choose what I'm going to cook based on the ingredients I have instead of figuring out a recipe and going to get the ingredients, so this stir fry guide is super handy for creating your own healthy concoction based off what you already own.

Last if you want something new or cozy to watch check out some of my favorite cozy shows!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Cozy Shows


As we are all well aware we are stuck in the midst of winter, with countless cold days ahead of us it can be difficult to remember there was ever a world where warm weather existed. While winter is easy to despise, the cold weather creates the perfect excuse for cozying up indoors and binging on some shows.

I know I am always someone who is on the hunt for a new show to watch so I've created a list of my some of my favorite shows to cozy-up on the couch to. The majority of these shows aren't new, but these are for sure my go-tos for cozy days. So instead of hating the cold embrace hygge and light your candles, grab a mug of hot chocolate, and a fuzzy blanket and settle down for a cozy night in with a good show.
Gilmore Girls | I'm pretty sure I've droned on about Gilmore Girls before, but I just love this show! It's literally the perfect feel good, cozy show. While the new reboot A Year in the Life left much to be desired, the original show never fails (particularly seasons 2-3, or any episode with Jess). The show takes place in the adorable tiny town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut focusing on the best mother-daughter duo, Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Between the adorable New England setting and the mother-daughter dynamic makes for the perfect cozy show.  Unpopular opinion: I am kind of obsessed with Rory Gilmore, like I just love her (probably because I feel like I relate to her a lot).
Call the Midwife | This show took me forever to get into, it probably took me at least a year to watch the first episode. But once I sat down and watched a few more episodes I was hooked. The premise of this show is centered around a group of midwives living and working in a poverty-stricken neighborhood in London. While this show can often be an emotional roller coaster, each episode ends with such optimism that just makes you feel so good. I've also never been someone who's interested in medical stuff, but this show has made me more interested in medical stuff. It makes me want to be a nurse until reality hits and I realize I could never be a nurse.
Friends | Again another show that I’m sure I have droned on about in the past but I just had to include Friends. This is by far my favorite sit-com and it never gets old (the amount of episodes probably helps that). It’s also a show that I find myself relating to a lot too, as it’s centered around the lives of a group of twenty-something (eventually 30) friends living in New York City and learning how to be an adult. I just love the friendship aspect of this show and seeing how they all became each others family. The characters are also not only really well developed but none of them are depicted as "perfect" either, throughout the seasons you get to watch each one go through their own highs and lows which makes it super relatable too. Long story short you need to seriously watch friends if you haven't.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel | I have to admit before starting this show I was skeptical mostly because it's made by Amazon Prime, but after hearing that it had been nominated for several Golden Globes I decided to give it a chance. I'm so glad I did because oh my goodness it's so good! The show takes place during the 1950s and Midge Maisel (Mrs. Maisel) has dedicated her life to being the perfect housewife up until her world comes crashing around her. This show is actually really empowering because you get to watch Midge Maisel re-build her life and become her own person after dedicated so many years to her husband and her parents. I also love the fashion in this too, Midge always looks fab.
Sherlock | Now I know this show seems a bit random out of the bunch but it is honestly one of my all time favorite cozy-time shows. Out of all these shows this one just screams to be watched by the fire with a fresh mug of tea. Long story short it's a modern take on Sherlock Holmes set in London, of course. This show just has everything for captivating and mysterious plots, a little bit of humor (and a lot a bit of dry humor), quirky characters, and a tiny bit of romance all in one. Which I now want to go watch Sherlock after talking about it.

What are some of your favorite shows to cozy up to?

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Friday, January 12, 2018

I'm Going to Amsterdam!


If you follow me on Instagram you probably already know this but, surprise! I'm going to Amsterdam!! Y'all I can't even begin to explain how excited I am!! I have been dying to go to Amsterdam for years, and the time is getting closer with each passing second!! This is a super exciting trip because not only am I going to Amsterdam, but I am also going with some of my very closest friends! It's all a bit surreal. With that I keep getting nervous that a blizzard or something is going to pop-up and force us to cancel our plans, so cross your fingers y'all!

In celebration of my exciting plans I made a fun little bucket list of things that I want to be sure to do while we are in the city that I wanted to share! So this is perfect if you happen to have any upcoming plans to visit Amsterdam or if you just want to know more about the city and what all is there!

1. Visit the Anne Frank House

I feel like this one is a little self-explanatory. I mean you can't visit Amsterdam and not visit the Anne Frank House. Growing up I was always enamored by her story and have always wanted to visit the Secret Annex ever since I found out that you could visit it.

2. Take pictures at the I Amsterdam sign

Again I bit self-explanatory, but it's the classic tourist thing to do.

3. Eat Dutch food

Being a self-professed foodie I can't visit somewhere and not want to eat their food. While I'm not 100% sold on pickled herring, I mean I would definitely try it. I am completely down for some pofferjes, bitterballen, stoopwafels, and gouda cheese.

4. Explore the neighborhoods

Upon doing research I've read a lot about Amsterdam's different neighborhoods, especially when deciding where to stay. This is most specifically pointed at the Jordaan as this is supposedly a neighborhood area full of pretty houses, totally up my alley (pun intended). But with that in mind, I would also love to get a feel for all of the different neighborhoods too.  

5. Visit the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum

I have to admit I haven't done a whole lot of research as to what all is housed in the Rijksmuseum but I have seen pictures of the library and that is a good enough reason to go in my book (sorry I couldn't resist). Also the Van Gogh Museum because I love me some Van Gogh and 19th-century impressionism.

6. See the Fault in Our Stars bench

I mean.... *insert information desk* (may or may not have googled to find what that emoji was called)

7. Go shopping!

Um because why wouldn't I go shopping in a new city?!

8. Cycle along the canals

I have admit that I am not sure if this is a thing that I actually want to do. The idea of biking in cities actually is borderline terrifying. But everyone rides bikes in Amsterdam and I mostly just added it because it was a touristy thing to put on here.

9. Drink coffee

So I actually read that coffee was first introduced to Europe through the ports in Amsterdam. So even though I want to drink coffee everywhere I go, I need to drink it in the place where it was introduced to the Western world! Also in a place where coffee has been a tradition for so long it has to be good right?! *Also this is not to be confused with visiting coffee shops. Apparently coffee shops in Amsterdam are where you go to buy marijuana. I don't want drugs, I just want actual coffee.

10. Walk through Dam Square

Again just another classic touristy thing that you have to see while you are in the city.

Yay! I am so excited to have finally shared this news with you all! Now that this trip is all out in the open I definitely have some fun and informative travel related content to come! This is my first time planning a trip on my own and I have to say I have already learned a lot and will probably continue to learn more. I am super excited to take you all along on this journey!

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Friday, January 5, 2018

Links

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What better way to start off the new year than with a Links post! The end of the holidays is always a bit sad, returning back to normal life with the bleak realization that winter has only just begun. Even though this wasn't a full work week for me it was still hard getting back into the swing of things. To say the least, I'm glad the weekend is here! I'm off on a fun little getaway to Philly this weekend to visit my bro who is going to school there. I have to say I am equally excited and dreading due to the fact that the high on Saturday is 16 degrees... ouch... In the meantime here are some fun things for you to browse through this weekend!

This trivial but entertaining list of 17 things that happened in 2017 that you completely forgot about.

With the bleak realization that winter has only just begun here are some tips on how to embrace hygge to make the cold a bit more bearable.

Anna made this beautiful post on how to bullet journal, while I can't say I'm starting a bullet journal anytime soon my inner stationary-lover loves to just look at it.

I have totally been eying these sneakers and might bite the bullet when they come back in stock.

Obsessing over this sweater and telling myself I don't need it.

If you are looking to invest in some knitwear (and I mean invest) The Knitter has the most gorgeous sweaters that I have drooling over.

The most exciting news from Chip and Joanna Gaines!!

Five ways to be more creative this year.

Looking for a new blog to obsess over, I recently found Life of a Lady Bear and am in love with her! Not only is Michaela super cute but she's an Irish girl living in NYC and working for Teen Vogue, actually obsessed with her.

If it's cold and snowy where you are and you aren't planning on leaving the house all weekend here's a roundup of 19 Rom-Coms for you to watch on Netflix!

So this last link is a tad cheeky, but w/e. I saw Star Wars The Last Jedi and may have developed a small interest in Adam Driver, which if you can relate you may enjoy this. (sry I couldn't resist).

Thanks for reading!! Stay warm this weekend!!
xox,
Amanda

Monday, January 1, 2018

What I Did in 2017

I was umming aand ahhing over whether or not I wanted to write this post. But I really want to put more effort into blogging this year, so as an attempt to blog more I decided to bite the bullet and do it. Honestly the biggest reason why I couldn't decide if I wanted to make this post or not is because I so often feel like my life isn't exciting enough and/or I didn't achieve enough to be worthy of a post like this, which is all just silly talk. Before sitting down to write this and reflecting on my year I honestly thought that I would be struggling to come up with cool things that went on throughout the year.

Just as every year 2017 certainly had its ups and downs. But for the sake of this post I'm going to be focusing on the positives of this year, which I was horribly bad a blogging this year so I think anyone out there who reads my blog deserves an update on my life! So without further ado here are some of my favorite things to have happened in the year 2017.

1. Started off the year in Baltimore
I kicked off 2017 in Baltimore with some of my favorite people at Cru's Winter Conference and what better way of kicking off the year than with a dance party and worship?!

2. Made an effort to enjoy my last semester of college
Entering my final semester of college my roommates and I all decided that we wanted to make sure to do all the things that we have been talking about doing for the past four years. So we made sure to go on hikes and do all of the exploring we had been meaning to do.

3. Turned 22
What better way than to ring in my 22nd year than with brunch and mimosas with my favorite people?! Feelin' 22 this whole year. I don't think Taylor Swift could've put it better when she said, "We're happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time." Which I don't think are feelings that are exclusive to being 22, but I'm just starting to realize that I don't think I'm ever going to feel like my life is together which is equally scary and freeing.

4. Went to New York City
While most people take off to the beach over spring break my roommates and I decided to go up to NYC, which it was freezing and snowy but we still had a blast! It also replanted to seed of wanting to move there one day!

5. Graduated!
Perhaps my biggest accomplishment of this year was graduating college!! Graduating was an emotional roller coaster that I feel like I'm still not completely off year and I still can't believe that I am done with school. While I'm not opposed to going back to school in the future, the fact that at this moment I am done with school is still crazy to me!

6. Went to Italy
To celebrate my graduation my family took a "little" trip to Italy. Which I feel so blessed to be able to have done! We got explore Venice, Florence, Rome, and Positano and it was honestly a trip of a lifetime as I have been dreaming of going to Italy for as long as I can remember. Which I must say Italy is exactly as beautiful as it looks and the food is just as good as you think it would be!

7. Went to the beach
Went to the beach with friends a few times over the summer which was so much fun! Not only to I go back to Bethany Beach, where my family has a beach house, but I also got to go to the Outer Banks for the first time!

8. Got my first job!
I am employed! Right now I am working retail at Kate Spade which I can't say this is my dream job. But I have a job and I am making money and technically working in the industry I want my career in, which is fashion not retail. So while my career is not ideal at the moment,  I am definitely saving money and working my way to hopefully be living and working in NYC. Plus in a way I feel like I am paying my dues, I feel like people in the fashion industry like to see retail on your resume.

9. Went to some concerts
Had some crazy concert experiences this year, mostly revolving around a band called Frenship! So I went to see Bastille back in late August which was so good!! They were playing near where one of my friends lives so I went down to visit her and go to the concert, which Dan Smith (the lead singer) walked through the crowd during the show and he literally walked right past us. Anyways Frenship opened for them and we got to meet them and get our picture with them after the show which was cool! Anyways later that week we realized they were playing near where I live but it was sold out, long story short they got us into their sold out show and we meet them for a second time! Which was the craziest experience.

10. Volunteered at Fall Retreat
Went back down to school and volunteered at Cru's Fall Retreat. Every year Radford Cru has Fall Retreat at this Boy Scout camp that is nearby, the grounds are super beautiful as it is in the middle of nowhere in the mountains. But it was kind of cool going back as not a student but as a volunteer and it was also just a really relaxing, refreshing, and renewing weekend away.

11. Saw Les Mis
To finish off the year I saw Les Mis the other day in DC with my family and that show never gets old. This is my second time seeing it and I have to say I appreciated it way more this time around than the first, which I suppose knowing the story definitely helps. The story is just such a tragic and beautiful tale of redemption and on top of that the music never fails to give me goosebumps.

To anyone out there reading this thank you so much for tuning in!! Here's to welcoming in a new year together and lets us all make this year even better than the last!! Happy New Year!!

xox,
Amanda