September 25, 2017

Top 5 Fall Fashion Essentials.

      The weekend welcomed the fall season, and also officially welcomed all of the beloved fall fashion trends which return each year at this time! (Well "unofficially" welcomed here in Vermont... this weekend and today brought record breaking high temperatures to the Champlain Valley... today is in the high 80s and this girl is NOT complaining! But alas, back to regularly scheduled fall blog programming. 😉) It shouldn't be too much of a surprise based on my love of color and the trends that I gravitate towards that spring and summer fashion as my personal favorites, however living back in New England, I've decided to fully embrace fall style this year!

     In today's blog post, I wanted to share my five personal favorite fall trends with y'all! There are examples of how I've styled these trends from past blog posts. Some pictures are from this year/last year, and some from a few years ago! I thought it would be fun to take a little peak back down blog memory lane, and many of these fall items are still staples in my closet, which goes to show  and current items are linked so that you can shop similar versions that are in stock now!

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1. Riding Boots 

     Most definitely my #1 fall wardrobe favorite- riding boots! Specifically Tory Burch riding boots- which really are a preppy essential. Y'all know that I am very much about affordable fashion on this blog, and there aren't a lot of things that I splurge on. However, Tory Burch riding boots are an absolute splurge! There's just nothing like them. I currently have two pairs, and the pair above I've had since summer 2014, and this past spring (before I moved) they were looking a bit well loved. I brought them to a cobbler in Charlotte to have them touched up, paid about $50... and it was like I had a brand new pair of boots!! All set now for fall in Vermont. If you're able to get a pair of these and invest in them every couple of years, they will last and last and last! So worth it. However, if you aren't quite ready to make the TB investment, I have a few other more affordable pairs linked as well!

2. Ponchos / Capes

     Fun story about how I fell in love with ponchos and capes! So some of you might remember that I worked in retail back home in Maine over summers and holiday breaks every year of college. One Christmas break that I worked at the store, it was exceptionally chilly at work everyday. I get cold very easily, and despite wearing sweaters to work I was still cold. One of my coworkers had this super soft and cozy black cape that she kept in the work closet, and she leant it to me to wear everyday that I had shifts that week. I fell in love with it- not only for the warmth factor, but also because I thought it looked so chic! This was about a year before ponchos and capes really started popping up again as a fashion trend, but I was so excited when they did! I now own a few and love wearing them as an easy addition to wall and winter outfits. Some are linked below, I really love this one and this one

3. Floppy Hats 

     As a little girl, I loved wearing all sorts of crazy hats and headbands. My childhood bestie, Katie, and I have a running joke that it's impossible to find a photo of us as kids where I'm not wearing something interesting on my head! (In one of the best photos of us as little girls, I'm wearing a 1700's style pilgrim bonnet from a history museum gift shop with my capri pants and sparkly t-shirt...? Who would have guessed I'd become a fashion blogger someday?!) Anyways, I think my hat obsession as a younger kid scared me away from them in high school, and I was pretty anti-hats for many years. 
     But then in college, my love for them returned in full force, and I'm so glad it did (just not for the pilgrim bonnets)! I think a nice floppy hat for fall looks so chic and can easily elevate even a casual outfit. I buy most of my fall hats at Forever 21. They have a wide variety every season, they're priced very well, and the quality isn't bad at all! Sadly there aren't any F21's near Vermont, but luckily for me I have a ton of fall hats from previous seasons. 😉 I've linked many of my current favorites from there and other stores below: 

4. Fall Statement Earrings

     First off- I just realized the above photo is from a past summer blog post instead of fall-oops. Clearly I need to get better about taking close-up pictures of the statement earrings that I wear, haha! Anyways, hot summer days sometimes makes it hard to break out heavy jewelry, so as the weather gets cooler again, it gets easier to be bolder with accessories! I absolutely love wearing fun and bold statement earrings. Sadly it's harder for me to wear them to work, as heavy earrings and radio headphones don't match too well as far as earlobe pressure goes, but I love wearing them outside of work, and it's even more of a win when I can find a lightweight pair that doesn't bother me with headphones on! For this fall, I'm really loving these and these.

5. Puffer Vest 

     Another throwback SBIT post right here!! (#TBT to my little digital camera... it was a good two year run together for blog photos!) Anyways, this is a closet essential of mine that I don't wear too much in my blog outfits, hence why I had to dig back three years for a photo! But nonetheless, I do often wear throughout the fall and winter in everyday or athleisure looks. A good puffer vest is great to have for layering and warmth purposes! These days they come in so many colors and patterns, and they can add a fun touch. I purchased this really cute one for this season, and I'm hardcore crushing on this pink vest

     Now I want to hear from you! Year after year, what are your favorite fall trends that you keep wearing? Do we share any in common? 

     Hope you're having a great Monday! Even though today's post was all about fall fashion, today I'm feeling late summer vibes! This morning before work I'm headed to the lake with a friend to enjoy the warmth and sunshine and I CAN'T WAIT! 

     God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese (aka Charlotte XO on-air!)

September 21, 2017

FALL TV IS BACK!! My 2017 Fall TV Guide.

     Next Monday begins the thing that I was most excited for about this fall season... FALL.TV.IS.BACK!!! I have never been a big movie buff- TV has always been more my thing! Ever since I was a little girl, I've always had "my shows" that I get very loyal to. Funny story- up until when I was in high school, my parents only had the most basic cable package, so we only got about 20 channels (just the networks, public access, and a few shopping channels). For years, I used to get so frustrated that I couldn't watch all of the cable shows that my friends were, and I would beg my parents to upgrade our cable package. My wish finally came true during Christmas 2009! On Christmas Eve day, a cable guy showed up at our door holding a brand new cable box. I was the one who opened the door for him, and when I saw what he was holding I started screaming and crying. I think I scared the poor guy- I don't think he usually had a reaction like that when he arrived to houses! 😉 Anyways- that was one of my favorite Christmases that I can ever remember. 

     Needless to say, I'm a TV girl through and through, but with that said, I can be picky about the types of shows that I get hooked on. Minus the Bachelor/ette, I don't really watch reality TV as I think most of it is kind of mindless. The shows that I do fall in love with I generally stay very loyal to. So I'm excited to day to bring you my first (annual?) Fall TV Guide! Sharing my favorite returning shows, and new ones that I'm interested to watch. Most of these shows are just on the major networks as that's the majority of what I watch now (my early high school cable obsessed self would be quite disappointed with me- ha!), but perhaps at some point I'll share some cable picks as well. 

     I decided to organize this post by first writing in a bit of detail about the shows that I'm excited to watch that are both returning and new, and then sharing when they're on with a schedule graphic!

Returning Shows:

     The Big Bang Theory (CBS): Not at all ashamed to admit that my love for this show is endless. I've seen every single episode, and it's a rare show that I can watch endless reruns for, and never get sick of. This year the show is returning for Season 11, and amazingly I don't think that it has "jumped the shark" yet! While the earlier seasons hold a special place in my heart, many of my personal favorite episodes are from later seasons.
     If you're unfamiliar with the premise of The Big Bang Theory, the show originally centered around two scientist roommates, Sheldon and Leonard, and their interactions with their next-door neighbor Penny, who was a new California transplant pursuing a career in acting. The show has definitely seen some changes since Season 1 and also introduced great new characters, but thankfully for comedic purposes Sheldon's eccentric personality and sense of humor has remained the same!

     Great News (NBC): This was a new show on NBC that debuted in Winter 2017 for a short season, and I was delighted to see that it was renewed for Season 2! This quirky comedy is produced by Tina Fey, and now that I've started watching 30 Rock on Netflix I can see some similarities in the humor between the two shows. Great News focuses on Katie Wendelson, who is a news producer for an evening news program in New Jersey. Her mother is going back to school and ends up taking an interest in communications, and takes an internship at Katie's station. The other news people that Katie works with are quite the characters to begin with, and all in all this is a very cute comedy. I especially get a kick out of it since I went to broadcasting school last year, and a lot of the curriculum was focused on TV news, so I feel like while the situations that the characters are in during the show are exaggerated for comedic affect, the way that the newsroom functions in the show is actually quite accurate and brings back some broadcasting school memories!

     Jane the Virgin: (The CW): Normally I can tell pretty quickly if I like or dislike a TV show. Jane was quite an exception to my normal viewing habits, and I'm so happy that I gave it a second try! I finished the first season on Netflix a couple years ago and actually didn't like it. I liked the idea behind the show, but I found the plot twists to be too hard to follow and weirdly unrealistic. However, I gave Season 2 a try... and fell in love!! Season 3 was just as good, and now it's one of my favorite shows!
     As you can probably guess from the title, Jane the Virgin follows the life of a young woman named Jane, who has chosen to wait until she's married to have sex (and I love seeing a character on a network TV show in 2017 with these beliefs!). In the first episode of the show, due to an extreme medical mishap she becomes artificially inseminated. In short, the show follows Jane's journey to motherhood... but also the crazy drama between the baby's father's family, Jane's love life, her family, and also a whole crime mystery plot with other characters as well!

      Star (Fox): I think this is probably the most underrated show on TV right now, and if I can do anything to change this I absolutely will! Like Great News, this show premiered midseason last year. Star follows three young women who move to Atlanta to pursue their dreams of making it in the music industry as a girl group (think a modern-day TLC). The show might sound a bit fluffy from its basic description, but that couldn't be further from the truth! Star is extremely raw and gritty, and tackles a lot of issues head-on such as rape, racial tensions, poverty, LGBTQ issues, drug addiction, and much, much more! The lead actresses in this show are also very gifted musically, and I think they do an incredible job with the songs featured in the show (I've added many of them to my Spotify playlists!).
     I think this show does a great job of portraying serious issues that are affecting our culture today, while also keeping viewers' interest with the underlying theme of the girls trying to succeed and break into the music industry. I'm so happy that Star got a second season, and I hope it'll be just as good as the first!

New Shows:

     Young Sheldon (CBS): I love The Big Bang Theory so much that I was absolute delighted to hear that it was getting a PREQUEL for the 2017/2018 season! Ahh!! Young Sheldon will follow the adventures of Sheldon Cooper as a child genius growing up in small-town Texas. On The Big Bang Theory, we've been given little insights into Sheldon's childhood over the seasons, so as an enthusiastic fan of the main show, I can't wait to go "all-in" in the spin-off! I hope that it will be just as funny and entertaining. The first episode premieres next week, but the second won't air until November, when The Big Bang Theory moves to its normal Thursday time slot!

     The Mayor (ABC): This is a new comedy which I'm excited about! A struggling small-town hip hop artists decides to run for mayor to promote his latest mixtape... which seems like a great promotion strategy until he wins the election! I was a big Parks and Rec fan after watching that on Netflix last year, so I hope The Mayor will deliver similar small town political laughs! (Plus- just reading the words "small town hip hop artist" brings back memories of that one aspiring rapper from my high school.... wonder how his career turned out? 😉)

     9JKL (CBS): This comedy will follow a newly divorced actor, who moves home to New York City, and into an apartment that's next-door to both his parents, and his brother's family. I obviously love The Big Bang Theory which is a CBS comedy, and I am also a huge How I Met Your Mother fan, which aired on the same network, so I'm willing to give this new CBS comedy a try for a few episodes!


     Now I want to hear from you! Which new or returning TV shows are you excited for this fall? Do we share any TV loves in common? I'd also love to hear if you love a TV show that I'm not watching!! In addition to my own TV favorites, I read a lot online about TV to talk about on the radio, so this is a subject that I love to discuss. 😊 If y'all enjoyed this blog post, I'm happy to do a Midseason TV Guide type post when some new shows premiere in early 2018!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese (or Charlotte XO on-air!)



September 20, 2017

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Wishlist.

{Throwback to a favorite fall shoot from last year with Deeana Kourtney Photography! Follow me on social media @miss_alk!}

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  • Weekend recap: It has been such a blessing to have my work hours recently switch from Mondays off to instead working half days Saturday and then having Sundays off! I finally feel like I am able to enjoy weekends, and also make plans with new friends, which is helping me to feel a little more settled in Vermont. This weekend was filled the perfect balance of relaxation and fun, and also lots of sunshine. The weather was a whopping 80 degrees and sunny both days (which was warmer than it was for a lot of the summer!), and I tried my best to enjoy it! I stopped by a local apple orchard after work on Saturday to pick up fresh apples from the farm store, and baked apple muffins with them for breakfast on Sunday. I also went to the movies to see the new Reese Witherspoon movie (which was SO cute!), and enjoyed time at the lake with some people in my bible study on Sunday afternoon. Bible study starts back up this week after a two month break, and I'm really looking forward to that.
  • Back to reading: Reading is one of my favorite pastimes, and after moving to Vermont I started reading for fun again a lot more! With an unexpectedly busy month at work in August, reading and some of my other favorite home hobbies had to be put on the back burner, as most nights that I was getting home I was too tired to do anything (and too busy to make library trips!). Luckily this month, I've been able to start reading again! Not quite at the ferocious pace that I was reading at earlier this summer, but I've been reading a couple chapters of something every night before bed, and it's a wonderful way to relax. I think this will be a permanent addition to my bedtime routine on weeknights! 
  • Ultimate One Hit Wonders list: One of my musical guilty pleasures are 90s and early 2000s one hit wonders. This list from Buzzfeed is quite the round-up of them- some musical gems on here!! Take a listen to some of these songs if you need a little #tbt action this week! 

  • No fun purchases again this week, minus getting my nails done! However I do have some packages arriving soon for October's fashion collaborations on the blog which I'm so excited to receive! And I just saw today that my After Party Sale purchases have finally charged to my card- so they should be shipping soon. I swear I've never had to wait this many weeks to receive an APS package before! 

  • These block heels are in such a fun and unexpected color that would pop against fall outfits!
  • How funny is this travel mug? Would be perfect for those rough mornings at work- ha!
  • Some very chic over-the-knee boots that come in three colors, and are under $100!!
  • Y'all know I'm not the biggest fan of rompers but HOW CUTE is this one? (FYI it's an online exclusive!) I love the pattern and it looks pretty modest as far as rompers go!
  • One thing that I want to keep adding to my closet to survive winter in Vermont are brightly colored sweaters! I love color in my wardrobe and don't want to lose sight of that during the long winter. This cute sweater comes in several colors (I love the hot pink!)

On the blog this week:

     Hope you're having a wonderful Wednesday! I'm extra excited about tomorrow's blog post- I'm diving into one of my favorite things here on the blog!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese (aka Charlotte XO on-air!)