I want to start off today’s post by saying how much I miss writing my monthly recap posts. I kept saying “I’m going to do a monthly favorites post” and then all the sudden it’s the first of the month and I’m like “well, shoot, I missed it again.”
I love sharing monthly favorites because it’s a great way to recap the month and share some items, events, and links I love with you. I also personally love reading other people’s monthly favorites, and maybe that’s why I love writing them so much, too. I think I need to add “do your monthly favorites every month” to my list of New Year’s Resolutions.
Actually, let’s not kid ourselves I never make resolutions.
Even though I’m a little late and not posting this on December 1st, I still wanted to round up the things I loved in November with you.
1. Nantucket Vacation
At the beginning of November, Michael and I took a trip to Nantucket for the week. Not exactly the time of year most because flock to an island known for its beautiful summers and beaches. But, we were looking for a relaxing vacation. Something that would FORCE us to sleep in, be lazy, and just relax. And, seeing as neither of us are beach people, it didn’t matter to us if it was bathing suit weather. So, we rented the cutest little VRBO a block from downtown, threw the dogs into the Subaru, and off we went!
It was really nice to have a week to unplug. Life has been so busy and hectic lately between work, blogging, YouTube, and other personal life events. An entire week with literally nothing to do and nowhere to go was amazing. (Ok, fine, maybe I worked A LITTLE. I can’t help it I love the hustle.) We slept in, watched awful Showtime movies, cooked elaborate meals, did a puzzle. (well…attempted a puzzle. I seemed to overestimate how quickly we could complete a 1,000 piece puzzle.)
I’m in the process of writing a post about how/why to travel offseason, so more about that later. But, it definitely allowed us to see so much of the town and island without dealing with the crowds. We walked the dogs into downtown Nantucket and got coffee most afternoons (the Handlebar Cafe was our personal favorite). Most nights we stayed in but ventured out on a few to check out the scene. Our two favorite spots were Station 21 and Oran Mor.
2. This Dress
I’m obsessed with this floral dress c/o Charming Charlie. It’s super comfortable stretchy material and has fun bell sleeve and a flattering fit-n-flare shape.
In winter my one and only fashion goal is to find as many excuses as I can to wear leggings and/or fleece-lined tights. This dress does that AND still makes me feel adorable and put together.
(click any image to view gallery)
3. My First Ever Caffeinate and Conquer Event
As part of Caffeinate and Conquer, I’ve started doing some work with local businesses. In general, 2017 has been a big year for becoming more “local” in everything I do. I’ve been positioning my brand more locally, connecting with the local news stations, and connecting with other local influencers in my area. As part of this, I hosted my first ever influencer event at Conspiracy in Middletown, CT.
Conspiracy is a craft cocktail bar that gets a ton of its inspiration from Pre-Prohibition classics. The bar itself oozes ambiance and owners Mark and Jen know their stuff when it comes to cocktails. I thought it was the perfect spot to get together with some local influencers to help spread the word about this amazing bar. Plus, it’s always fun to network and talk “shop” about blogging. I had Alycia from @CTEatsOut join us to talk about food photography tips. Then, Conspiracy owners gave us a seriously awesome lesson about pre-prohibition cocktails and whipped us all up a few of their classics (like a smokey old fashion that literally made my life.) We also enjoyed goodie bags courtesy of It Cosmetics.
It was a lot of fun to finally host an event with local influencers and I already have more up my sleeve. I don’t talk about that business here on BFC all the often, so if you want to keep tabs on that, make sure you’re following along at @CaffeinateandConquer and @GetSeenCT
FINNNEEEEEE! I finally got Lightroom.
Everyone and their mom has been telling me I need it. And, I’ve been putting it off because the thought of learning a new tool actually made me want to cry. But, I knew it was just time. So, I’m forcing myself to learn it. I’ve gotten the hang of the basics, but I hate that I don’t know everything already. Impatient much, I know.
If you know any great tutorials or classes for Lightroom, let me know in the comments!
5. New Phone
Believe it or not, but I had been living with a phone that had a broken camera for about 2 months. Listen, sounds like a small problem but think of all the food I ate without posting it to my Instagram story. I know. It’s tragic. Think of all the pictures of my hand holding coffee I missed. All the snaps of my dogs. THINK OF ALL THE SELFIES I DIDN’T TAKE.
But, I was holding out for the newest iPhone and so I had to wait for it to be available for order and then the dreaded 2 weeks of waiting for it to ship. But, now I have a phone with a camera back and I feel like a whole new woman. Things bloggers say am I right? I missed sharing things on my Instagram Story and I’m not sorry about it, ok? Also, new phone means I’m going to honestly and truly attempt to get back into monthly vlogging again. Wish me luck.
6. My Mini Christmas tree
IT’S HERE! The most wonderful month of all the months!
I spent way too long scratching my head thinking about where the heck was I gunna put a Christmas tree in my small living room. That’s when I finally decided a mini tree would do just fine. I do miss the grandeur of a full-size tree but can we talk about how much easier a little tree like this one is? It was easy to bring home, easy to bring in the house, simple to decorate AND when Christmas is over I can plant it in the ground. I kinda dig it I have to be honest.
Oh, and yes, I did get my Christmas tree before Thanksgiving. Go ahead. Judge me.
7. The Essex
Michael and I were invited to visit The Essex Restaurant in Essex, CT by the owner and Chef Colt Taylor. The Essex is a new restaurant and we’d been wanting to spot by so this was the perfect excuse to finally make the time to do it. Taylor is a top-notch chef and we were in for a night of some of the best food we’ve enjoyed in a long time. He treated us to salmon poke that was so good I could have had about 100 more. We also had a pasta dish made with a beet and butter sauce that honestly changed my life. Girlfriend loves beets, and this dish literally changed the game. Taylor says they start by juicing the beets and then using that cooked down with butter to make the sauce. It was the perfect combo of buttery and sweet and earthy. We also had fried oyster ramen, apple pie pork belly, braised short ribs, and so much more! If you’re a Connecticut resident reading this you should definitely take the time to check out The Essex Restaurant.
8. Hosting Thanksgiving
This year we hosted Thanksgiving again. I love having Thanksgiving at my house. I love to entertain so hosting Thanksgiving is always a blast for me. It doesn’t hurt that I have a low-key family so it’s not like if I mess something up anyone would care. I never understood why people stressed so much about hosting Thanksgiving. But I guess if you have some judgemental family members it can get dicey.
We had a fun little “grab bag” group as I call it. Michael and I, my mom, my best friend, and my uncle and aunt. It was a perfect little group (and the most people who could honestly fit at my table).
9. Staple Sweaters
2017 is the year I finally figured out how to master my closet. I was SO tired of having a cluttered closet and still feeling like I had NOTHING to wear. THE STRUGGLE. So, last March in an effort to downsize and save money, I did a huge purge of my closet and instated a new “one thing in, one thing out” rule. This means for every new item that comes into my closet, one item needs to go out. I did the same with shoes.
It’s completely changed the way I shop. I don’t buy items unless I lovelovelove them and know I’ll wear them a lot. Because I know I have to get rid of something to add something new, I no longer buy items that are unreasonable, too trendy, or don’t work for my style. It’s honestly helped me narrow down the pieces of clothing I love to have in my closet as well as shop smarter for items I need vs. want. This year I was in desperate need of staple winter items and so I chose what I got carefully. I actually used Instagram A LOT to shop for items. I love using Instagram because you can really see what the item looks like and get tips and insights on size/fit. Plus, I know someone get is getting an affilate sale on whatever I buy so, win/win right?
A few of the staple sweaters I snagged this year
I wanna know what you loved in November! Let me know in the comments.
Also, for real on those Lightroom tips – tell me your secrets.