GIFT GUIDE: Thanksgiving hosts

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I’m rounding up a few options for gifts to bring for this year’s hosts. This year is my first year of spending Thanksgiving with (soon-to-be) family, and I’m trying my best to get creative within the constraints. Since Thanksgiving dinner will require hopping on a plane, all of my gift recommendations are TSA-friendly and small enough to fit within a carry on-sized roller suitcase.
thanksgiving host gift guide ideas

1 // L’Occitane Holiday Crackers Trio ($28): These are so cute! L’Occitane is one of my faovurite brands to pamper myself with, and the contents of the holiday crackers are some of the all-time best sellers! With all products being 1.1 fl oz or less, these are perfect for taking on a plane. The beautiful bold colours and packaging are also heart-eyes-emoji worthy.

2 // Bissinger’s chocolate bars & gummy bears ($5-6 each): If you’ve been following along on IG Stories or Snapchat, you’ll know I’ve been snacking on these Bissinger’s chocolates all month. The Dulce de Leche chocolate bars are my personal favourite, but there are so many other luxe flavours, like fig balsamic truffle or banana pecan caramel, to choose from. Not to mention, the gummy bears are so tasty! My plan is to put together a small Bissinger’s mix of chocolate bars and gummies to gift!

3 // Sephora Mask it! All Over set ($25): As someone who currently obsessed with face masks, I couldn’t leave this set off the gift guide list. If one of my girlfriends were to host Friendsgiving this year, this would’ve been the #1 gift I’d bring for the host.

4 // Apolis custom city market bag ($58): As the priciest item on this gift guide, it’s also the most personalize-able. I’ve seen these city market bags being toted at every weekend farmer’s market and I get tote bag envy so badly. While I can’t justify the cost of buying one for myself, I would love to gift a little bit of Seattle to someone else. The Seattle, WA or Seattle neighbourhood-specific bags are lovely. If you’re also traveling to a different city or state for Thanksgiving, this market bag would make a great gift!

Finding balance

One of the many things I love about the Seattle blogging community is how inspiring each and every one of the women are. Majority of the bloggers (that I know of) in this city somehow manage to juggle a full time job on top of writing for their blog, managing their social media platforms, and maintaining a personal and social life. With a blog taking almost as much time to style, write, and copy edit for (not counting the numerous hours a day to handle social media), I don’t know how some people manage to do it daily!

minimalist cowl neck outfit
minimalist cowl neck outfit ft J.Jil and Zara Basics
outfit details:
cowl neck tunic: c/o J.Jill (exact)
textured leggings: Zara (similar)
Gee’WaWa short booties: c/o J.Jill (exact)
glasses: Warby Parker (exact)

monochrome, minimalist weekend outfit ideas

Over the last 6 years of running this lil ‘ol blog, I’ve learned a lot of things. One of the biggest lessons is learning to set boundaries and to find balance. This means finding balance between how much time is spent working on the blog vs living life to the fullest.

There are definitely days that I feel like my outfits are not blog worthy. While today’s outfit may have originally felt non-blog worthy with my intentions of holing up in a coffee shop reading in this outfit, I look at these photos now and think how true to my personal style this outfit really is. Much like finding balance in time, I’ve been working hard to find balance in style. My wardrobe now represents my life of easy-to-wear pieces that work for the office, weekend coffee dates, and lounging.

The cowl neck tunic, specifically, is a piece that I think exemplifies balance when it comes to clothing. The luxe tencel fabric is so comfy, but it still works for the office. The cut of the tunic is an updated, modern take with the subtle high-low. Versatility in a piece makes finding the balance a lot easier, and that’s what I’ll continue to strive for, always.

If you’re a fellow blogger, where do you find yourself striving for balance?

REVIEW: Fujifilm Instax printer

fujifilm instax printer review

They say the best camera is the one you have on you. For me, this would be the camera on my phone. The days of carrying around a DSLR have been rare, as I stopped carrying a purse most days and there is not enough space in my jean pockets for anything more than keys, a wallet, and phone.

I do all of my photo editing on my phone during my commute to and from work. This means having piles of photos just sitting around in the digital space. As someone who loves tangible photos to thumb through, I started making an effort to print and sort my photos after every trip. Since many of the photos I take on my phone aren’t high enough resolution to make quality 4×6 prints, I bought myself a Fujifilm Instax printer (SP-1 edition).

Back when I bought this printer a year ago, it was the only one in the market. There is a newer version available now (SP-2), where most of the reviews online cite the main differences being print speed and a rechargeable battery through USB. With the SP-1‘s current price already starting at $145, I’m personally in the camp of being more than happy to wait a couple extra seconds for a photo instead of spending an extra $40 on the SP-2. That being said, the gold version of the SP-2 is quite pretty!

fujifilm instax mini

Why buy a printer instead of an Instax camera?

Before the printer was released, I bought an Instax camera (the original version of the Instax Wide). I personally picked the wide as my first Instax camera because of the fact that I love the landscape layout. Now with phones being the most common camera and portrait photos highly celebrated, the Instax Mini camera would seem like a better option.

Although cameras are fun and make for spontaneous photos, the biggest pro for using the Instax printer vs a camera is the fact that photos can be printed by anyone who has a smartphone with the Instax Share app installed. Gone are the days of having to carry around an extra camera just for Instax prints! Phones connect to the printer through wifi, which makes the printer awesome to have at parties where all friends can print their favourite photos from the night! Of course, you can lock the wifi connection down with a password in case you’re worried about random people in near proximity printing off your printer. ;)

What if I already own an Instax Mini camera? Should I still get a printer?

One great thing about the Instax printer is the fact that it uses the same film as the line of Instax Mini cameras. If you like having both the spontaneous and perfectly edited photos, the printer can be a great complimentary device to the camera.

As someone who has owned both an Instax camera and printer together for more than a year now, I can honestly say that I stopped using the camera as much as I used to once the SP-1 printer came into my life. I like them for different reasons, but if I could only have one to use for the rest of time, I would pick the printer over and over again.

If you’ve been on the fence for Instax cameras or a printer over the last little while, I’d highly recommend putting one on the wish list this holiday season. Maybe even adding to your shopping list in preparation for the upcoming Black Friday deals!

P.S. This post is not sponsored. I love my Fujifilm Instax printer so much that I will vouch for it time and time again.

Adventures on the road: Europe edition

Ever since switching jobs and becoming engrossed in the industry of e-commerce, I’ve grown to be more aware of the cycles of the industry. Busy seasons for shoppers have such a big impact on scheduling for retailers of every kind, and online business is no exception. With the last quarter of the year being the busiest for shoppers, I got a special dose of what it’s like to prep for this season, being on the other side of the shopping experience. Aside from getting to learn about the industry, one of the biggest perks of my current job is getting to see how the industry runs on a global scale. I always feel so lucky to get to experience business first hand in markets outside of North America, which is how I spent just under half the month of October in Europe.

Last month, a few of my coworkers and I spent a healthy dose of 12-18 hours every day – for almost half the month – together on the road. Going from London to Munich to Milano and everywhere in between, we had jam-packed days of meetings. In whatever downtime we could find (usually in between meetings as we were driving from one city to the next), we tried to squeeze in as many touristy attractions as possible. The pit stop at the London Eye and Big Ben during golden hour being one of my top 3 most memorable stops.

My absolutely favourite top stop was in Chur, Switzerland. We never intended to even be in Switzerland, but as luck would have it, the trip was rerouted and required a 5 hour trip in the car from Munich to Milan. In that single drive alone, we drove through 5 countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and ending in Italy), stopping only for gas and coffee.

On the quite Sunday morning (while mass was still in session), we found the one and only coffee shop open in this quaint town. I wish we had more time to explore every nook and cranny of this small town, but from the limited interactions with the coffee shop owners paired with the picture perfect weather and quiet streets, it was the perfect pit stop for a mid-day reflection, counting our lucky stars for the experiences so far.

Everything about being on the road makes me really happy! Aside from getting to visit new countries and experience life from a different perspective, being away from home for weeks at a time gives me a whole new appreciation for the life that I have in Seattle.

Fall, I’m so into you

With the red and gold-toned leaves scattered all over the sidewalks, I can’t help but feel like a little kid this season. Kicking leaves at every intersection is one of my absolute favourite things to do! Unless they’re soggy from the night before’s downpour… then not so much.

helly-hansen-kara-parka
outfit details:
waterproof parka: c/o Helly Hansen (exact)
skinny jeans: Joe’s Jeans (similar)
booties: All Saints (similar)
oversized pom pom beanie: Uniqlo (similar)

HH-kara-parka-fall
HH-kara-parka

Having just returned from a week and a half of fast-paced travel in Europe (more on that next week), I’m grateful for the slower paced weekends that allow for strolls around the nieghbourhood. This Helly Hansen Kara parka, which is the newest addition to the closet, is my current season go-to. With the wet and chilly winter days on the way, this piece offers warmth and shelter from the rain in a lightweight coat.

I traveled with this coat exclusively when in Europe. Bringing only a carry-on backpack as luggage, I had to strategically pick a coat that would be light enough to travel with, but also provide the warmth and waterproof shell for the rainy nights in London.

Having ordered a size small in this coat, I think the size, fit, and silhouette is perfect. There’s a bit of room in the body (which can be adjusted by snap buttons on the sides for a cinched waist), which is great for laying sweaters under. This is key for any transitional Fall/Winter jacket! I’m excited to take this coat to the east coast over the winter holidays, avoiding having separate jackets for Fall and Winter seasons.

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