November 24, 2017


     Here we go! It's one of my favorite days of the year! Whether you're out and about at the malls today, or shopping from the comforts of your own home, I wish that the shopping odds ever be in your favor! Read on to find my biggest round-up ever of Black Friday sales, and some of my favorite items in my closet that are currently marked down:

Photo by Deeana Kourtney Photography

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*Black Friday Sales 2017 

     *Ann Taylor - 50% off everything. Use code THANKFUL. Ends 11/24. 

     *ASOS - 20% off everything. Use code WIN20. Ends 11/30.

     *Charming Charlie - BOGO everything and free shipping. No code. Ends 11/24. 

     *Chicwish - Extra 15% off orders $70+. Use code BLK15. Ends 11/25.

     *DIFF - Save between 30-50% off your sunglass purchases. No code. Ends 11/27.

     *Express - Take 50% off everything + free shipping. No code. Ends 11/24.

     *Franco Sarto - Take 25% off + free shipping. Use code FRANCOBFRIDAY25. Ends 11/26.

     *J. Crew - Take 40% off everything. Use code THANKU. Ends 11/26.

     *J. Crew Factory - Take 50-60% off everything. No code. Ends 11/26. 

     *Lauren James - Select items between 70-80% off. No code. Ends 11/24. 

     *Lilly Pulitzer - Free gifts with purchase! While supplies last.

     *LOFT - Take 50% off everything.

     *Nordstrom - Extra 20% off selected sale items. No code. Ends 11/26.

     *Tory Burch - Take 30% off orders $250+. Use code THANKS. Ends 11/27. 


      I'm keeping today's sale round-up very short and sweet- I'll be back with a more detailed blog post in a couple days for Cyber Monday with even more deals, discount codes, my favorite picks and sharing some of my weekend purchases!! 

     Happy Black Friday! 

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 

November 23, 2017

My Thanksgiving Un-Traditions.

      Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! (Or as I think we should all say, Happy Black Friday Eve!) I wanted to share a different type of post on the holiday this year, and talk a little bit about what I call my Thanksgiving "Un-Traditions." 

My Thanksgiving Un-Traditions

     #NoShameinMyGame: I'm actually pretty vocal about the fact that Thanksgiving isn't one of my favorite holidays. It has nothing to do with the meaning behind the day- I'm all about showing thankfulness and gratitude, and I do like the reminder that the holiday provides everyone with! My disliking it has more has to do with the traditions. I'm in the big minority of poeple in that minus stuffing (which I only like in small amounts), I really kind of hate all traditional Thanksgiving foods! I always feel awful and ungrateful and most Thanksgiving dinners since I barely eat anything... especially since it's a day all about being thankful for food! Haha. But it's true- I'm just not into traditional Thanksgiving foods. I'm also not a fan of football, and so many Thanksgiving celebrations revolve around watching "the big game." And lastly, November is one of my least favorite months of the year. Everything outdoors is dried up and dying, and it's usually very cold, especially here in New England. And Thanksgiving travel... don't even get me started on it! Thanksgiving weekend consistently seems to rank as the busiest time of the year for air and road travel, even beating out Christmas and Memorial Day weekends. No thanks!!!

      Now that I've shared everything that I don't like about Thanksgiving, of course there are a few things that I do like as well. In college, Thanksgiving was always a much needed long weekend during the fall semester! (This year in the working world it's just one day off and not a full long weekend, but still, a random Thursday off!) It is the day before Black Friday, which is one of my FAVORITE days of the year, and the month of November's saving grace. Thanksgiving also symbolizes the true start of the Christmas season! And of course, it is a great reminder to take some time and reflect on all the things in life to be thankful for- the real reason for the day!

     My most favorite holiday is Easter, and second of course would be Christmas. These are the holidays that I like the celebrate the most, and Christmas is the one that I always *have* to celebrate with my parents, as I'm sure many of you as well feel you must celebrate with your family! Since I went to college out-of-state, Thanksgiving unintentionally became "my" holiday starting back in 2012. Since then, I've only gone home to Maine for one Thanksgiving, and quite honestly, I don't ever plan to do so again in the near future at least! I've actually started to become a little bit fond of Thanksgiving because of the experiences that I've been able to create for myself on the holiday during the past few years. Each year has brought a totally new type of celebration that keeps things interesting, and although I still don't enjoy eating Thanksgiving turkey... I now sort of look forward to Thanksgiving as my own special holiday, where new friends temporarily become family, and the tradition is not to have a tradition. 😊

     2012: High Point, NC, with a friend from my freshman year of college at my first university. Black Friday: Hanes Mall in Winston Salem, NC

     2013: Home to Maine. Black Friday: The Maine Mall, South Portland, ME

     2014: Thanksgiving breakfast at IHOP, and Thanksgiving dinner and a bible trivia tournament in Charlotte with a college classmate and her family. Black Friday: SouthPark Mall and Concord Mills, Charlotte, NC

     2015: Pennsylvania for the long weekend with a former college roommate. Black Friday: Philadelphia Premium Outlets and King of Prussia Mall.

     2016: Attended Charlotte's Thanksgiving parade, and then had Thanksgiving dinner with my roommate Ciera's extended family that live outside of the city. I was still working in retail at this time last year, so I had to work on Thanksgiving night! Black Friday: SouthPark Mall, Charlotte NC.


      As you can see, I've gotten the chance to do some very different things over the last five years! I'm always grateful for those who have opened their homes to me back in Charlotte and elsewhere and let me spend Thanksgiving day with their families. I do think it's very fun to get to see how other families celebrate the day, and be exposed to new traditions! 

     Today, I'm dog-sitting for a coworker over all weekend, so I'll begin my day with Skippy. Then I'm looking forward to having Thanksgiving dinner with some people in my bible study at church! My friend Anna and I both aren't traveling home this year, so it was so nice of other members of our bible study to invite us for the holiday! After dinner, the agenda is to have a night of holiday crafting and DIYs planned, so I'm really looking forward to that! Anna and I both have to work tomorrow, so we decided to go shopping together on Black Friday night instead of early that morning (like I have in most years past!). I'm not too worried about it- as long as I hit a mall at some point on Black Friday- that's good enough for me this year in Vermont! Haha. 

     Someday, when I have a larger apartment or home of my own, I would love to host a Friendsgiving dinner on Thanksgiving for people like me who live and work out-of-state and aren't able to get home for the holiday! My fun twist on it is that each year I'd like to take a different type of ethnic cuisine, and make that the culinary theme of the year, since I don't like most of the traditional Thanksgiving foods. Like do Mexican one year, Indian the next, then Chinese... etc etc. Wouldn't that be fun?! I think so at least! 😊

     Thanks so much for reading about my Thanksgiving "Un-Traditions!" Are you big on spending the day with family and doing annual traditions, or are you like me and do you try different things each year for Thanksgiving? I'd love to hear!

     Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale posts are on the way- starting tomorrow! Stay tuned!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese

November 22, 2017

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Wishlist.

{One of my favorite looks from Instagram recently! Follow me on social media @miss_alk}

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  • We're back: I took last week off from Midweek Ramblings, to share my latest Radio 101 blog post. I also didn't have a lot of exciting things happen last week to share about (lol), and most importantly, I wanted to take a week off to reformat how I do these posts a bit. I can't believe that I've been writing Midweek Ramblings for over two years now, and every time that I do some sort of reader survey or feedback, y'all always say that you still really enjoy these simple little posts!! It felt time to give it a refresh again though, so I've added a couple new features: recipe of the week and song of the week. I cook all the time in my free time and I am always trying new recipes, and I work in radio so obviously I listen to a lot of new music at work. I think adding these features will give Midweek Ramblings a little bit of needed spice- haha! 
  • Getting out there: Be proud of me y'all- I actually went out this weekend, and really made an effort with making new friends!! If you've been reading my post-move updates and the recent post that I wrote about making friends after an out-of-state move, you know that it hasn't been the easiest for me here in Vermont. November is month seven for me here, and at the start of the month I honestly felt like not much had changed since my first few weeks here! But in the last couple weeks, I was introduced to a big friend group that one of my girlfriends from church knows, and I've now hung out with them a few times! It feels so great to be meeting more people and starting to have a small social life again. Making friends in a new place definitely isn't an instant process, but I'm excited to see if things continue to get better this winter! 
  • Thanksgiving weekend: I'm here in Burlington this weekend! I only am off on Thanksgiving Day, so that wasn't enough time to travel home to Maine (or to anywhere really). I have a fun post planned for tomorrow all about what I'm doing for Thanksgiving this year and what I've done in past years, but as for the rest of the weekend, I'm actually kind of looking forward to having a normal, mellow weekend! December is a BUSY month for me this year- filled with lots of travel and holiday fun, so I'm kind of excited to embrace the "calm before the storm"! I'm also dog-sitting for a coworker starting today, so that should be fun!
  • Vermont Black Friday: If you've been reading here awhile, you know that Black Friday is one of my favorite days of the year. This is actually my 10th (!!!) year in a row of Black Friday shopping. It will also be the most mellow year in a long time! I have to work in the morning and afternoon on that day, so I won't be shopping until that night. Vermont's shopping options are also pretty limited (more about that in this post), so honestly there aren't that many stores that I have to hit this year. It will definitely be more of a Cyber Monday year for me this year, but of course I still have to shop somewhat on Black Friday for tradition's sake! 

  • I always take a couple weeks off from personal purchases in the beginning of November, to get my bank account ready for Black Friday! The only thing that I've bought lately is a new teasing brush for my hair, but so far I like it more than the comb that I was using before.

  • Hoping to stock up on lots of Bath and Body Works candles on Black Friday!! I don't have any specific scents that I look for- part of the joy of that shopping experience is smelling *ALL* the candles about 10 times before making my selections.
  • This chenille sweater is really cute and comes in a few colors (I LOVE the green for the holidays!). It's from a retailer that we actually do have in Vermont, and I'm hoping it will be nicely marked down on Friday! 
  • I had a skirt similar to this a few years ago which unfortunately doesn't fit anymore, but I loved the style of it!! This skirt looks almost identical, and is so classy for winter. 
  • I'm running low on my new favorite bronzer, so I need to purchase some more for sure! (The big debate of course is whether I order online from Ulta, the beauty store I prefer, or purchase in-store on Black Friday from Vermont's little Sephora in JC Penney. Hmmmm.)
  • I bought OTK boots from this retailer two years ago on Black Friday for just $20! I still have them and for $20 boots, they've held up well. This is this year's version, and if they're in stock and on sale this weekend, I might get another pair! 
  • This is such a good basic item to have on hand for winter, and I can almost guarantee it will be marked down for a great sale this weekend!

Recipe of the week:
  • Red Lobster Copycat Garlic Cheddar Biscuits from Pinterest! SO good!!! I love Red Lobster, and of course their biscuits make the restaurant experience. However, their biscuits can be a bit salty/greasy. This recipe was so easy to make, is lower in salt, and is completely homemade, so you know everything that's in it! I added minced garlic cloves instead of garlic powder for extra flavor. 

Song of the week:
  • Bomba by Aggro Santos. He's a Brazilian rapper and this song is starting to get airplay on a few rhythmic leaning stations here in the US, the main station that I work for in Vermont being one of them! I am so happy that Latin pop is making a comeback this year, thanks to the success of Despacito. Bomba is a super fun song- you can't hear it and not want to start dancing! (Warning: the music video I linked is a bit on the racy side. I couldn't find a lyrics-only video for the song. But it's a great song and I recommend adding it on Spotify for sure!)

On the blog this week:

     Thanks so much for reading. Enjoy the start of the long weekend! (Or normal weekend if you're working some of it like I am!)

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese