Top 15 Moments of 2015

December 31, 2015

Since it's New Years Eve, I figured it was a good time to reflect on the past year. I've had so many great experiences that were fun to look back on!

Holiday Festivities

December 30, 2015

This time of year between Christmas and New Years' is always a little strange, but I've been staying busy and making the most of it!

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2015

Hope you all have a very merry Christmas!

Favorite Christmas Movies

December 23, 2015

One of the best ways to get into the Christmas spirit is cozying up with a classic holiday movie.

Continue reading to see my favorites...

Home for the Holidays

December 21, 2015

It's great to be home for the holidays. I've been loving getting in the Christmas spirit and spending time with family.

Of course my mom and sister and I had to start off our winter break together with brunch at our favorite place.

We then met up with my dad to cut down our Christmas tree! We had a little flurry of snow just as we were at the Christmas tree farm... pretty perfect if you ask me! It didn't last long, but I'll take it.

We decorated the tree that night. I also got a little holiday manicure a few days before and I'm loving it.

My mom and I went on a calm little nature walk. I love living near so many beautiful places like this nature preserve by the river.

Then I cozied up on the couch near the tree and watched classic Christmas movies. I grew up watching old movies but have never seen "It's A Wonderful Life," the Christmas classic. I watched it with my dad and loved it! Such an uplifting story and sweet setting.

How are you getting into the holiday spirit?

Weekend Reading

December 18, 2015

It's bittersweet to be home for winter break! It was sad to say goodbye to my school and all of my friends knowing I won't be back in January since I'm studying abroad. I'm planning on getting together with my roommates over break so at least I didn't have to say those goodbyes quite yet!

My goal for the week is to get into the holiday spirit and relax after such a busy semester!

Here are some interesting links I liked this week...

1. Good time management tips from a personal assistant.
{ via Domaine }

2. A fun little history about an intriguing pink house.
{ via New York Times }

3. Love this story about a kind Portsmouth, NH police officer and the generosity of people all over the world.
{ via Seacoast Online }

4. How one ballet troupe entertained themselves in airport after a delayed flight...
{ via Buzzfeed }

5. Planning on taking a look at this Ted Talk on "environmental folklore" this weekend.
{ via Ted Talk }

Sophomore Year Reflections

December 17, 2015

Today, I arrived back home for winter break. It was an especially hard goodbye leaving school this time, since I had to completely move out and won't be back until next fall, because I'm studying abroad for spring semester.

I had the best semester. So many new friends and opportunities came my way and I couldn't be more thankful. I'm so happy to have such an amazing school to return to in a few months!

Warby Parker Gift Cards

December 16, 2015

I'm heading off to Spain next month for my semester abroad, and wanted to order some backup glasses in case I misplace my current ones. I wear both contacts and glasses, but lately I've been reaching for my glasses more and more. It's important to have an extra pair in case you lose your frames, like I did a few months ago! 

When buying glasses, I always turn to Warby Parker. I've written about Warby Parker before, and I remain a huge fan! They're an online retailer, but they make finding the right frames super easy. I love their Home Try-On Program, where you pick five frames to try on, and they're shipped right to your house. It's completely free, including shipping and returns, so you can't beat it. 

My friends and I have so much fun trying on the different pairs. Since I'm picking out a backup pair this time around, I ordered some unusual frames I wouldn't normally try.

As you can see, I gravitated towards the tortoiseshell frames! I think I've settled on the Welty pair in Whiskey Tortoise. This will be my third pair of Warby Parker glasses.  The frames are as inexpensive as $95 including your lenses which is seriously unbeatable.

I continue to be impressed by the quality of the frames as well as the amazing customer service. Every little detail is thought out! I got this cute sheet of stickers with my recent Home Try-on order.

I think it would be a really unique and fun idea to give someone a gift card to Warby Parker.

A lot of people I talk to still don't know about Warby Parker and are always shocked at what a great deal it is. You could slip a gift card to a friend to help offset the cost of new frames or even treat your mom or dad to a new pair on you! This would be a unique gift idea that you know would be put to good use.

This post was written in partnership with the Warby Parker affiliate program. I did not receive payment in any form, but I may receive a small amount of compensation from sales generated through the links included in this post. This is a business that I truly love and wanted to share!

Christmas in Portsmouth

December 14, 2015

I had a busy but fun weekend! I had a dance performance on Friday night to end the semester, decorated a gingerbread house with friends on Saturday, and spent the day with my parents in Portsmouth yesterday.

We've had such nice mild weather lately, so it was the perfect day to stroll around Portsmouth. The historic homes were all decorated for the holidays and it was so pretty.

I think this little city gets prettier with every passing season.

Weekend Reading

December 11, 2015

I can't believe this was my last week of classes! Next week I have a few projects and finals to wrap up and then I'm headed home for winter break. It's hard to believe that I won't be back to campus until next fall! I'll miss it so much while abroad.

I've been wanting to be in the holiday spirit so badly but the lack of snow and general atmosphere of school just isn't doing it for me! I've been reminiscing on last holiday season, especially this fun manicure that I had last Christmas.

Here are some links from the week:

1. A tip to fall asleep quickly.
{ via Byrdie }

2. How amazing is Humans of New York's series on Syrian refugees?! This one in particular gave me chills, but you can't beat President Obama commenting.
{ via Humans of New York }

3. Interesting to look through this list of the best companies to work for.
{ via Glassdoor }

4. These yearly mashups of the most popular songs are always cool.
{ via YouTube }

5. 19 maps of America each describing a different phenomena. Hadn't seen most of these before!
{ via Onlyinyourstate }

Decorating Christmas Cookies

December 8, 2015

Decorating Christmas cookies is one of my favorite things to do around the holidays. My mom and I got really into it last year. This year, I met up with my parents, cousin, and sister in Boston on Saturday, and my mom surprised the three of us college kids with a bag full of freshly baked cookies and all the decorating supplies. Isn't that the cutest thing?!

She had filled two holiday tins with an assortment of sprinkles and plain christmas cookies of all different shapes. She also gave us plain homemade frosting and food coloring.

My roommates were so excited when I showed them everything! We spent Saturday night listening to Christmas music and decorating cookies.

It was so much fun!

December Day in Boston

December 7, 2015

My goal this weekend was to get more into the holiday spirit. I still don't feel 100% ready for Christmas, but I'm getting there!

On Saturday, I headed into Boston to meet up with my parents, sister, and cousin.

We went to the Boston Opera House to see Boston Ballet's "The Nutcracker."

The Opera House is so beautiful and was all decorated for the holidays.

Seeing "The Nutcracker" is a must for me during the holiday season. I danced in it for so many years so it just doesn't feel right not to have it be a part of my holidays in some way. It's definitely different being an audience member than participating in it, but it's equally as magical both ways!

The Boston Ballet did an amazing job. The artistic director, Mikko Nissinen, does some of my favorite stagings of classical ballets (his take on "Swan Lake" is a must-see). The dancers were incredible. I highly recommend going to this particular "Nutcracker" if you're in New England!

After the show, my cousin, sister, and I went to Primark, the huge European department store that just opened in the US, and it was amazing.

I sometimes get bored of Boston but my last few trips I have really loved it. Seeing "The Nutcracker" was especially amazing this trip, and definitely helped me get into the holiday spirit.

Weekend Reading

December 4, 2015

This week went by so quickly. I'm trying to savor the days here at school since I'll be abroad next semester!

I've been too busy to even think about the holiday season, but my friends and I did decorate gingerbread cookies at the dining hall this week, so that was fun!

Tomorrow, I'm meeting my family in Boston to see the Boston Ballet's Nutcracker. This show never gets old, even having danced in it for years in a row. I think it will definitely help to get in the holiday spirit.

Here are some links I loved this week...

1. 49 thoughts you have every time you watch HGTV's Fixer Upper... a friend sent me this and it's too funny!
{ via Buzzfeed }

2. These 11 signs you're from Maine are so true!
{ via The Odyssey }

3. Good piece from The Washington Post on the soda industry's pervasive marketing techniques.
{ via The Washington Post }

4. Such a nice gesture for Mark Zuckerberg to set aside most of his wealth for charity.
{ via The Huffington Post }

5. Kind of intrigued by Amazon's new Dash Button. Have you heard of it?
{ via Amazon }

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