Friday, December 11, 2015

Gift Guide: Gifts That Give Back

Hi guys! Long time no talk, oops! How it is already December 11th is beyond me. Wasn't it just Halloween? Not only is it already almost half way through December, it will be 70 degrees in Nashville this weekend! How late is too late to lay out by the pool? 

I didn't want to make it through the holiday season without my favorite post; putting together a gift guide full of gifts that all give back in some way. I love being able to not only buy someone a gift that they will love, but knowing that you are making a small difference while doing it. After all, that's what the holiday season is all about, right?! 

1. S'well Bottle. Not only does S'well partner with UNICEF to provide clean drinking water to children around the world, but for every purchase of their wood collection bottles, a tree is planted. And I can testify, I have a S'well bottle, and I love it. It is so worth it! Shop Now. 

2. Sevenly. This was a new company to me this year and it is so awesome. Every week, they highlight a new cause and have the cutest apparel to go along with it. For every item sold that week, the cause gets $7 or 7% of the proceeds donated. How awesome is that?! They are doing a 7 Days of Christmas right now (we're on day 4!), so be sure to check it out! Shop Now.

3. The Shop Forward. I've talked about #PimpinJoy apparel on the blog before, and The Shop Forward is the online boutique where you can get all of your #PimpinJoy and other apparel in one place! They are constantly launching new products and campaigns benefiting various charities, such as St. Jude and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Shop Now.

4. Baking for Good. What better way to celebrate the holidays than with baked goods?! Baking for Good donates 15% of the proceeds to the organization or charity you choose, and they have so many to choose from! These are the perfect gifts to bring as hostess gifts for your holiday parties, or to just indulge in for yourself (diet starts Jan 1, right??). Shop Now. 

5. Raven + Lilly. This store makes beautiful clothing and accessories by employing impoverished women to improve their lives. They also donate back to the communities where the women are employed from in order to provide healthcare and education. Also, if you're a Pretty Little Liars fan, Shay Mitchell loves Raven + Lilly! I think their bags and home collection are my favorites! Shop Now. 

You can check out last year's round up here for even more ideas! Also, you can shop through Amazon Smile where they donate .5% of proceeds on applicable items to the charity of your choice. As always, I encourage everyone to donate to their local Toys for Tots or toy drive this holiday season as well. Spread the kindness! 

I hope you guys got some inspiration for some thoughtful gifts this holiday season, and if nothing else, to at least remember to be kind. I hope you all have a great weekend! 
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Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday Five

Hello from sunny San Diego! 

I am visiting one of my best friends and college roommates this weekend and cannot be more excited! That being said, this week got away from me (you know, with work, wine....) and didn't plan out a Friday Five. I actually had every intention of writing it while I waited for my flight yesterday. Turns out that's hard to accomplish when you're running through the airport with your shoes in your hand and your name being paged, sweat dripping down your face and security yelling step by step directions on where to go so you don't miss your flight. But, those are just details, really...

 However, I will leave you with the only thing you need to watch/listen to this week below. And if you kind of wish the cameras never moved off of Justin Timberlake, I won't judge you. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend! 
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Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Five

Happy almost Halloween! It may just be me and my dislike of pumpkin flavored things, but Halloween is just not my holiday. A valid excuse to buy candy, finish the bag, and buy more for trick or treaters? Absolutely. Otherwise, let's get on to Thanksgiving. 

This week seemed to be the longest in all of history and I have no idea why, but I'd appreciate next week to pick up the pace a little! I have a half marathon tomorrow which I'm oddly so excited for. Training for it has been so fun for me this time around (and way less blisters and no missing toenails - win!) and I'm hoping to finish with a new PR. 

BFFs. This article made me smile. I can definitely relate after moving a plane ride away from home. 

Devon Baer Tunic. I think I originally saw this tunic from Sydney at Summer Wind, and now I'm getting retargeted by Facebook ads and it's like Facebook is begging me to purchase it! I am obsessed. Now if only the price would drop...

In the News. This weekly installment of "Sh*t You Should Know" on Velvet's Edge has me laughing out loud every week. One of the contributors, Lori, posts it every Wednesday and I look forward to it every time! Lori, I don't know who you are, but I think we would should be best friends. 

Listening: California - Tim McGraw 

I'm pretty positive Tim McGraw hand crafted this song with me personally in mind, but I could be wrong. I can't wait for his album! And this song is pretty fitting for my trip to the Best Coast next week! :) 

Also, I will be listening to this playlist pretty exclusively tomorrow morning for about 2 hours (hopefully under!) during my race. 

Reading: I just finished the sequel of There's Cake in my Future, Keep Calm and Carry a Big Drink, that I mentioned here. I wish there was a third, they are so addicting! I just downloaded A Total Waste of Makeup, by the same author, Kim Gruenenfelder. I can't wait to start it! 

I hope everyone has a great weekend and Halloween! Thanks for reading! 
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Thursday, October 29, 2015

DIY Halloween Costumes (+ #TBT)

If you're anything like me, you have waited until the last minute to plan your Halloween costume. I'm running a half marathon Saturday morning and kept using this as an excuse to put it off/find something in my closet that and call it a day. But then I decided to be somewhat creative and before I knew it I was armed with a hot glue gun and surrounded by fabric last night. I'll be sure to post pictures of the finished product :) 

I thought I would bring back the two costumes I wore last Halloween (yes, two. #overachiever) because they are definitely able to be created between now and Saturday! 

Costume 1: Pineapple

This quite possibly was the easiest costume I've ever worn and was probably the most popular! I even won an in-office contest with it! I happened to already own a bright yellow dress, and all I did was cut out green construction paper in the shape of big leaves and hot-glued them onto a paper towel roll. My genius mom (who definitely was helping me the night before Halloween, nothing like the last minute!) cut slits in the paper towel roll to create tabs that I then bobby-pinned to fasten the pineapple top. Brilliaint! 

Costume 2: Mermaid

This costume was a little more involved, but still pretty easy. I got a cheap strapless bra and hot glued seashells and beads all over for the top. For the bottom, I found a cheap teal stretchy pencil skirt and my mom helped me (no, she did it entirely) sew on some tulle and glittered fabric at the bottom the give an effect of a tail. If you don't want to get as involved as sewing, you can definitely skip that step and just wear a fitted skirt or maxi skirt! This was actually a couples costume, with the guy as a fisherman, which is also an easy last minute solution if you're looking for costumes for two! I'm still kind of mad I got rid of this one... 

What is everyone being for Halloween?? 

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Pumpkin Patch

A few weeks ago, my roommate and I went to a pumpkin patch to be festive and pick up a few pumpkins for our apartment. The pumpkin patch was at a beautiful Botanical Garden called Cheekwood, and they are known for their display of mums in the fall. Well, turns out the second weekend of September is not only 80+ degrees here in Tennessee, but also pre-mum season. Lesson learned for next year! It was still really pretty, though! 

We took these pictures not noticing the shadows from the gazebo I was standing under, so they aren't the greatest, but they will do! These sleeveless sweaters (Sweater vests? How Chandler Bing of me..) have been really great this fall, where it's definitely still warm but my summer clothes just look ridiculous in October! Plus, I'm all about bringing the white and light neutrals into the fall. 

Outfit Details | Sweater (Banana Republic, similar here and here)  | Pants | Sandals (Target, not online) | Bag (Aldo, not online but love this) | Sunglasses | Watch | Bracelet 

I hope you all have a great week and thanks for stopping by! 
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Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Five

Happy Friday! It's been a pretty boring and uneventful week that consisted of working, running and sleeping. Exciting, I know. 

Kate Spade Home. If you missed my post on Wednesday (check it out here), you'll know that I am obsessed with the new home line from Kate Spade. Pink and polka dot furniture?! I'm in. 

Workout Leggings. I'm running a half marathon next weekend, and got these leggings from Old Navy on sale for next to nothing. These are my new favorite leggings to run in. I get 99% of my workout clothes from Old Navy and the other 1% from T.J. Maxx - Lululemon who? This particular pair is awesome quality and so cute, and they are on sale right now! Get. Them. Now. 

This Article. Speaking of Lululemon, you need to read this post. It's no secret that I am mildly obsessed with Nicole from Pumps & Iron and I was laughing out loud reading this. I have this thing against $100+ see-through pants that I will do nothing but sweat through (weird, I know), so I especially enjoyed it. 

Chicwish Skirt. How perfect is this skirt for the holidays? It's currently sitting in my shopping cart. To pull the trigger or not... 

Listening: Green Mountain State - Trevor Hall 

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by! 

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wednesday Wishlist: Kate Spade Home

Has everyone seen that new Kate Spade Home line that launched yesterday?! If you haven't do yourself a favor and check it out here. Or maybe not, because once you've seen it, it's hard to unsee it and not want to buy every single piece. 

Naturally, I immediately decorated my future house with various items in my head since I'm obviously both in the market for a home and Kate Spade decor to fill said home. If I ever get married, that poor man is in trouble. Regardless of my delusion, below are my top picks. And let me tell you, this was hard to narrow down! 

Pink Chair | Blue Sofa | Polka Dot Table | Polka Dot Rug | Chandelier | Vases | Navy Blue Rug | Chest 

What's your favorite piece? 
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Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Five

Happy Friday, people! Somehow this 4-day week seemed to be the longest week ever.

UConn Homecoming. While I may have worn inappropriate shoes and not enough layers to last year's homecoming game, I'm sad I'm going to miss it tomorrow! And, we've actually won games this season, which is new! So, to all my husky homecoming goers tomorrow, have a drink (shotgun a beer - sorry mom) for me! 

Buffalo Check Hat. I love buffalo check, and I love a good hat. If I still lived in the north, I would absolutely snatch this guy up, especially for under $35! But I have a feeling it may be a tad aggressive for Tennessee... 

Burberry in AdWeek. Since I work in advertising, I'll scroll through sites like AdWeek to stay current on industry happenings. I love when brands like Burberry pop out at me while I'm browsing titles and headlines, which is exactly what happened a couple of weeks ago when I saw this Burberry scarf ad (an item that has forever, and most likely will forever be on my wishlist..). Not only did it make me realize just how much goes in to this beautiful accessory, it made me miss Ireland so much (yes, I know it was in Scotland)! 

This Quote. One of my favorite bloggers, Kerrie at Rarely Taken Seriously, also happens to be one of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow. When she posted this a few days ago, I laughed out loud, because it is so true. The power of a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie is real... 

Listening: Blaire Hanks - Take It Away 

Be sure to follow me on Spotify (username: Colleen O'Flynn) and check out my constantly updated monthly playlists! 

Reading: There's Cake In My Future - Kim Gruenenfelder I just finished this last night and immediately downloaded the sequel, which I can't wait to start! This is a really easy beach read type of book, but completely addicting! 

Also, the Kate Spade Friends & Family event started today and ends Sunday! Enter INDULGE at checkout for 25% off your purchase! 

I hope everyone has a great weekend and thanks for reading! 

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Five

Happy Friday! In light of today being September 11th, a special shoutout going to all of the first responders across the country. Let's all go a little above and beyond on this Friday and do something nice for someone. 

History of Rap. I. Love. These. So much. I think Jimmy Fallon is one of the funniest guys on TV and I mean, JT, that's self explanatory (bragging rights: my sister took me to a JT concert when I was a teenager and we got to meet him!). This duo never fails to disappoint. 

Plaid on Plaid. Call me basic, but I love everything and anything plaid. Even if it is reminiscent of my uniform days of grade school (said uniforms are also the reason I don't think I will be able to get on board with the turtleneck trend this fall. #traumatized.. I should really talk to someone...). When I saw the plaid kitchenware line (I think it's Threshold brand) at Target, I stood there for about 10 minutes figuring out how I could incorporate every piece into my life. I haven't figured that out yet, but I will! If I had all of the money in the world, and did things like hosted dinner parties, I would absolutely buy every piece. I cannot find the line anywhere online, but you need to run to your closest Target and look (aka drool) at them! 

Downtown. This song is pretty much all I've listened to for the past 2 weeks. Well, that and the new Justin Bieber song (insert monkey covering eyes emoji). They are both below for a Friday musical snack (name that movie!). 

Suede. I picked up this suede skirt at Nordstrom Rack last weekend and I cannot wait to wear it. I'm still unsure of the whole 70's trend happening this fall, although it totally justifies the flare jeans I never got rid of... from high school, but I can get down with some suede pieces. Tops, shoes, skirts.. I'll take it! 

Foam Roller. So, this is not new, trendy or innovative in any way, but I finally decided to buy a foam roller at T.J. Maxx a couple of weeks ago and I wish I bought one years ago. I'm training for a half marathon in October and my body has been a giant knot lately. This thing has been a life saver. But, boy, do I miss going to my chiropractor back home... 
I hope everyone has a great weekend! Thanks for reading!

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Football Ready

In honor of the start of September and UConn's season opener football game tomorrow (humor me and pretend like UConn football is good), I thought it would be fun to put together a game day look. No, I am not a huge football fan, but yes, I love tailgating and live sporting events, even if I have no idea what is going on. I will honestly miss going to UConn tailgates so much this fall. But, I can only assume that football season in the south will not disappoint; I'm actually going to my first Titans game tomorrow night! In reality, I'm lucky I even know what the team is here in Tennessee.... 

Outfit Details: Hat | Shirt | Jeans (old, similar) | Sandals | Bag (old, similar) | Watch (50% off!) | Necklace (similar) | Sunglasses

While I do love sporting a branded t-shirt with the team/school name or logo, I love having the logo on the hat and just wearing a plain loose tee to be comfortable. Luckily UConn's colors are navy blue and white, so that's pretty easy to accommodate for! But it's super easy to recreate for any color combo. And let's be honest, I will definitely trade in these jeans for some jean shorts in the 90+ degree weather. And, full disclosure, the zipper was down on my jeans this entire shoot, haha! :) 

Also, I know I need a haircut more than anything, but I am so afraid to go to a new place and coming out with a mullet (not only because I'm in the south, but because that has actually happened to me before!!) So, if anyone has some good hair stylist suggestions in the Nashville area, let a girl know! 

Are you excited for football/tailgating season?! Thanks for reading! 
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