Friday, January 19, 2018

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Him

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Him
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On Wednesday, I shared my favorite gifts for 'her' for Valentine's Day! Today I'm talking about some gift ideas for the guys. 

I'm old fashion in that I feel like, in a traditional relationship, Valentine's Day is more for the guy to impress the woman, but I can't resist giving a great gift... it's really fun to give, isn't it?! Do you give your boyfriend/husband/fiance a gift or just a card/candy? 

Just like my 'for her' guide, I've included small gifts like this travel shoe cleaning kit, but also pricier gifts such as this cashmere 1/4 zip and this duffle backpack

One thing I always share in gift giving guides is that I like to be 'extra'. So for example, if I gave my boyfriend a Yeti mug, I would also gift him a pound of his favorite coffee... like a 'set'. Or if I gave him a Quip toothbrush, I'd give him a tube of his favorite toothpaste. Typically, the 'extras' are little and not costly, which is great, and I really think it adds something special to a gift!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Lately 1/18/2018

Top// Shorts (currently 40% off, neutrals here)// Sneakers 

This week was, thankfully, a lot better than last week! On Monday, I went over to my Grammie's for lunch. I always love spending time with her! Then, I headed to my parent's for dinner- my mom was making my favorite: steak!

We got a ton of snow this week and it has (still) been frigid. Being outdoors is basically miserable because it's freezing but you also have that gross gray sludge to worry about, so you can't really wear any cute shoes.

This week I was also excited to start working on the board of PRSA. I met with my predecessor who showed me the ropes. If you aren't a member of PRSA and are in the PR/Marketing world in Pittsburgh, I really urge you to join!  It is a really great networking opportunity and they host events that can really benefit you!

And lastly, I'm really glad to report that I have been really good at sticking with my cooking during the week goal! I've also been really good at hitting the gym almost every single day. I already feel so much better!

Wearing: Since I've been good about getting a workout in every day, I have been treating myself to a few new pieces of activewear. I typically look for pieces that I can wear while sweating or while running errands. Because of this, the pieces have to be a little more put together than a loose/frumpy tank. I found these two pieces on sale, so I snagged them! The shorts are still available, but my top is sold out in the color I am wearing but is full-price in neutral colors. It's a really great top! The shorts are THE BEST (under $35). They're super high waisted (which I love) and just overall really easy to move in.

Eating: One of the things I made recently was orzo with turkey meatballs. I actually bought the meatballs pre-made (but fresh/refrigerated) at Whole Foods, so I cheated a bit. I also bought a pack of the beef, too. I didn't really love either. They both really lacked flavor... wondering if any of you have any great turkey meatball recipes?!

Eating II: Did you guys catch my guacamole recipe? It is SO good. 

Drinking: I tried a medicine ball from Starbucks late last week. It seems the social media world has been going crazy over this drink, so I was intrigued. Overall, it was very sweet and lemony. I drink both my coffee and tea 'black'.. aka no sugar, cream, milk, honey, etc. I think I just prefer a simpler drink. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad, but it just wasn't my cup of tea... ha ha ha. 

Reading: Superbowl commercials are starting to roll in. I saw Matt Damon being interviewed on one of the morning shows about his Stella Artois spot and I really liked the fact that it incorporates philanthropy into a commercial. More companies should do that!

 I just finished Mindhunter and it was pretty good. Not bingeable, but one or two episodes a day was good. I couldn't get into Marvelous Mrs. Maisel... too show-tuney for me. So, I need a new show to watch. Any good recommendations? I feel like I've already watched everything that is popular (ie. Stranger Things, Elizabeth Smart docs, Scientology docs, Westworld, Handmaid's Tale, etc. etc.). 

Listening: I've been going back to my February 2016 playlist a lot lately. It has a ton of really good, upbeat songs that are perfect for working out!

Wanting: I'm a bit bored of my closet right now. I think once spring hits and I need to switch over my clothes, I am going to do a big purge. I do this often, but I'm really looking forward to it. I think this is in most part because all I wear are heavy sweaters because it's really too cold to wear anything else! See the items I'm loving in the widget above! 

Pittsburgh-ing: The Steelers lost (sigh), but I wanted to share with you the cutest little doggy jersey I got for Henry! I don't really plan on dressing him in things, but this was too cute to pass up. I also ordered him a coat (which he actually needs). He doesn't seem to mind wearing the jersey at all. I call him a little yinzer dog when he wears it, ha! I would assume they make jerseys for all different teams, so check it out and see if they have your favorite team for your pup!

Traveling: Next up, I'm headed to the Caribbean on a mother-daughter trip! I can't wait. Do you have any travel plans coming up?

Quoting: 'If you're helping someone and expecting something in return, you're doing business, not kindness.'// See more of my favorites, here

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas For Her

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We are just about a month away from Valentine's Day! I feel like I change my opinion on the day every year. I always welcome a reason to celebrate, but I also feel like you should appreciate and show your love every day.

I don't know why, but I feel like the overpriced prix fixe dinners and a dozen red roses are just so cliche and boring, so that's not something I look forward to. But, giving your bestie a cute little gift to remind her how special she is to you is something I can get behind.

Or guys, letting your girlfriend know you haven't forgotten this special day is also important! I compiled a group of gifts that would be appropriate to give any girl in your life. Whether you are having a Galentine's party, a dad looking for a cute gift to give his daughter, or a boyfriend/husband/fiance looking to surprise the one he loves, these gifts are great ideas.

I included little things like chocolate, but also bigger items like this bracelet that I wear every day. So, there should be a price point that fits every budget! This year, on Valentine's Day, I'll be in the Caribbean with my mom! I'm so excited! We've planned a mother-daughter trip (Callie sadly can't make it due to her very limited vacation days... we are so sad!!!). But, I'll be celebrating once I'm back in Pittsburgh!

I think these cards are SO cute, and a really great way to share your love across the country/world! I'll be back on Friday with gift ideas for guys, so stay tuned!

If you are looking for a more experiential gift idea, check out this guide I posted 2 years ago. There are some really great, out-of-the-box ideas!

How do you celebrate Valentine's Day? Do you have a tradition? Typically, my family cooks a 'fancy'/indulgent meal together at home (friends and dates, welcome, too!)... in the past years, we have been favoring beef wellington.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

1 Month With Henry

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It's been exactly one month since I've had Henry. I can't believe it's been a month and yet I can't imagine my life without him.

I thought I'd do an update, one, so I can look back on it and remember this time, but also to let you all know about having a new dog if you are considering it yourself! This is a long post, so keep scrolling! 

I knew he would be a lot of responsibility, but it's been surprisingly less than I thought. I really thought taking him out would be such a chore (especially in an apartment and many floors up), but it hasn't been annoying at all... even with the freezing cold temps. I enjoy it and he's so cute getting up in the morning and getting excited to go outside! The one thing that is annoying is that he hates the cold (don't we all), so taking him on a long walk in 0 degrees is a no-go. Last week, when it was warm, we went on the longest walk ever, and it seemed like he had so much fun. I can't wait until it warms up a bit and we can do that daily.

I will say the only thing that is annoying is that he sheds. I have to vacuum every 2 days (sometimes every day). It's annoying but feels so good afterward. It's a vicious cycle, but well worth it. 

Henry has finally figured out his 'home', aka my apartment. It was hard at first because I was taking him everywhere with me over the holidays. From my parents to my grammies, to my aunts, etc. it was hard for me to establish a routine with him. Now that the holidays have quieted down, he's already in a great routine and loves my apartment. He doesn't like when other people come to visit for the first few minutes, but I am trying to teach him it's ok. He is slowly but surely learning. He is, however, great at going to anyone else's home. He loves hanging out at my parent's house, hanging at Grammie's, and visiting Stuart (my cousin's dog). 

I also love that I don't have to crate him. He's fine being in my apartment/my parent's house while I'm gone. He mostly just lays around or plays with his toys and he's really great at not getting into anything he shouldn't/doesn't chew on anything he shouldn't. When I'm gone, I leave my Echo on for him with soft jazz, ha! I love that he gets SO excited when I get home. It's the best welcome ever. 

I'm not fully sure of his past, but he's afraid of noises and people at first. He's just overall skittish and timid. It seems like he might have been on his own in the wild for a bit of time. He's already gotten a TON better with both of these things, but we are still working on it. He eventually warms up to people after just a few minutes. On Christmas Eve we have sooo many people at my parent's for a huge party and he had absolutely no issue with anyone, so that was great. 

I left Henry with my parent's for 5 days while in Arizona and they said he was great! He is now best friends with my parents and is obsessed with my mom. Whenever I bring him to my parent's he gets so excited to see her... it's adorable. 

Other Dogs
Henry gets along with other dogs really well for the most part. Mac and Henry are best friends. They love hanging out together at my parent's. We think Henry is keeping Mac 'young', ha! However, if a dog is wild/super high energy wanting to play every second and jumping all over the place, Henry is not a fan. Before I adopted him, he lived with 6 other dogs, so he's well socialized, but he needs to be more patient with puppy energy. 

The way Henry's foster mom described him was 'velcro' and it's literally the only appropriate word to use. Henry is at my side 24/7. Even when I'm trying to take photos/Instagrams, he is right there- it's not me trying to get him in the shot! With outfit photos, I have to try and get him away from me just to get a few shots without him. 

When I'm sitting at my desk, he is literally laying on my feet. When I'm in the living room on the couch, he is cuddled up right next to me (he has to be touching me). When I go to bed, he sleeps right up against me. It's beyond cute. He's so loving and so kind, he makes my heart melt. 

He's really motivated by food, and I've been able to teach him to sit and lay down. Now we are working on 'paw'. He's very smart and seems to learn things very quickly. Mac loved tug of war, but Henry isn't into that. He LOVES to chew on toys and toys that squeak and also loves to play fetch. 

My Thoughts
Henry is by far one of the best decisions I have ever made in my entire life. I wholeheartedly recommend adopting a sweet boy or girl! He fills me with joy, happiness, and love. I can only hope he feels the same. 

I've noticed Henry/having a dog, in general, is making me a little more relaxed. Like if my apartment isn't vacuumed perfectly each day, I let it roll off my shoulders. 

Another thing I've noticed is that Henry has brought out 'maternal' behavior in me. I actually didn't notice this myself. One of my friends mentioned it to me and now I definitely agree. I have never had a very strong maternal desire. I've also never had much interaction with kids (no one in my family has children, I'm the oldest, so I'm just never around kids at all). I noticed I'm protective over him and care for him as if he was my own child (which sounds ridiculous, but if you have a pet, I feel you might understand what I mean by that). So, I love that this is giving me a taste of caring for someone else. I'm glad I find joy in caring for him, too... it doesn't feel like a chore or annoyance at all!!

I wanted to quickly let you all know about these pajamas.  I love RRR pajamas, and I was intrigued by these because they are 'jersey' material. I was thinking they might be similar to my favorite, Lake pajamas.  And, I was right. They're SO comfortable. The jersey material is so soft. They are roomy but also flattering. I loved the bright print becuase while you can definitely wear them in the winter, they make you happy with the beautiful colors! 

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