I hope you all had a relaxing, delicious and Happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones yesterday! Now that Turkey Day has ended, I can officially start talking about Christmas! While I'm not the hugest fan of the greed and selfishness that Black Friday can create, it is a great opportunity to get your holiday shopping done at low prices. If you're like me and get stressed out by crowds, you are in luck! Many of the in-store deals are now available online. Check out my favorite online deals from the Black Friday below. Happy holiday shopping!
Rocky Mountain Oils
Rocky Mountain Oils is my go-to essential oils brand. You don't have to join as a member and place an order each month like other essential oil brands. You can just order as you need it, plus earn rewards points with each purchase. Their oils are great!! I use them every day in my home. Right now, they are offering 30% off singles, kits and roll-ons and 20% off diffusers, no code needed. This is a great gift for a friend or family member who loves yoga (great for diffusing while practicing) or natural wellness. Click HERE to shop their sale. If you place an order, make sure to create an Oil'ty account - you'll earn points towards coupons!
Disclosure: I am a Rocky Mountain Oils affiliate, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you click the link above and make a purchase. I use Rocky Mountain Oils in my home and endorse them because I believe in their products . The opinions expressed here are my own.
United by Blue
One of my favorite online shops is United By Blue. I tend to check them out every year when I'm shopping for my outdoorsy dad (I also have a travel bag from them that is amazing). Their products are always responsibly and durably made, and they are committed to removing a pound of trash from the earth's waterways for every product sold. Their employees participate in clean-ups throughout the year! So amazing. Right now, their site is offering 20% off your order plus free shipping, no code needed.
One of my favorite gift items from their site are these enamel mug candles. They are these super cute, outdoors-inspired mugs filled with a hand-poured, scented soy candle. The candle has a 40-hour burn time, but once the candle is gone the mug can be used for coffee, soup, or tea! I love that it is multi-purpose. The mug is also campfire and stovetop safe, making it great for camping!! Click HERE to shop their sale.
Loft is one of my go-to places for work outfits and right now everything on their site is 50% off with code friyay! They have tons of cute sweaters and accessories, perfect gifts for your mom, sister or friend. My favorite item right now is their Shimmer Stripe Sweater. The balloon sleeves are so on trend and the colors are so pretty for winter! With the discount code it's only $40. Click HERE to shop the Loft sale.
With my busy work schedule, I don't always have the time or energy to run to Target for apartment essentials. So, I tend to place orders on their website. Right now, if you place an online order over $50, they'll email you a coupon for 20% off your next purchase. I placed an order for some things I'd been needing, and now the next time we're low on paper towels and dish soap I'll get 20% off! They also have some super cute holiday decoratations! My favorite is this little artificial tree - perfect for adding a festive touch to an table or shelf. Click HERE to shop the tree.
Last year for Christmas, I bought my boyfriend this timeless denim jacket from Gap. He loved it and wears it all the time! He even jazzes it up with some pins on the lapel. Right now, everything on Gap's website is 50% off - making this denim jacket only $40!! Such a great deal! They have tons of other great gifts for kids, babies and women too. Click HERE to shop the Icon Denim Jacket.
Over the weekend a friend and I spent the day at American Field, a pop-up market full of up and coming, made in America brands. American Field organizes these markets all over the country (click HERE for more info), and we visited at Industry City in Brooklyn. Entry is free and it's so worth the trip! We got to sample yummy beer from Blue Point (I love their Toasted Lager), cheese from Cabot, and amazing bourbon barrel aged maple syrup from Dorset Maple Reserve. We also had so much fun visiting each vendor's booth and checking out their products. You could find everything from handmade dog collars and natural tea blends to flannel shirts and canvas totes. Check out three of my favorite products from the market below - great holiday gift ideas!!:
Handmade Lip Balm from SallyeAnder
Family owned since 1982, SallyeAnder is a soap company based in Beacon, NY (read more about our summer trip to Beacon HERE). They had a gorgeous booth at the show, full of colorful, handmade, all-natural soaps that were so much fun to explore. There were so many scents that my friend and I spent a good 20 minutes just smelling all of them.
As much as I loved all of the scents, I'm not a big bar soap user, so I ended up purchasing three handmade lip balms instead! I definitely need a good lip balm in the colder months, but most of the drug store balms just don't cut it. I decided to give these a try and they are so great! I love that the ingredients are so simple: just beeswax, olive oil and essential oils. No synthetic ingredients or chemicals (yay!). They smell delicious and feel so great on my lips, and they are so affordable ($4.95 each). Perfect stocking stuffers!! Check out their website HERE or their Instagram @sallyeander.
Braided Wrist Wraps from Visco Designs
How cute are these little bracelets? They're called wrist wraps and they are from an NYC based design studio called Visco Designs. I spotted the woman running the booth wearing a bunch on her wrist and they looked so cute that I ended up buying a few. They are hand braided vegan leather with magnetic closures and are meant for layering and stacking on the wrist. I bought three: one thin gold, one thin rose gold, and one thick silver. They are super affordable and would make a great gift or stocking stuffer ($14-20 a bracelet). I have been wearing them every day since I got them - they go with everything, and the magnetic clasp really stays put! I love that they are handcrafted in NYC too! I feel like I'm going to end up collecting these in different colors until I have a nice big stack on my wrist. This company also sells beautiful beaded bracelets as well! Check them out HERE or on Instagram @viscodesigns.
Holiday Sea Grass Throw from Lime & Leaf
There was a table at American Field covered in beautiful coastal inspired blankets and pillows, and as I was passing by they asked if I'd like to be entered in a drawing to win a holiday throw. I put my name in the drawing, never thinking that I would win... and a few days later I received an email that I was the winner!! I couldn't believe it! I was able to select a Lime & Leaf holiday throw of my choice and I selected the Holiday Sea Grass style. It is so beautiful and cozy, and it's handmade in America! The quality is amazing! I can picture this blanket being a part of our home for the rest of our lives. It looks so beautiful draped over our couch and it's definitely a keepsake item you can pass down over time. Check out Lime & Leaf HERE or on Instagram @limeandleaf.
I know a lot of people have moved onto Christmas talk already, but I'm trying to make fall last as long as I can. And nothing says fall quite like pumpkins! If you live in the New York City or Hudson Valley area and want to get in the fall mood, you have to check out The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson!!
Adam and I visited this weekend and it was such a unique experience! Just about an hour's MetroNorth ride from NYC's Grand Central Station to the Croton-Harmon station, and then a five minute cab ride from the station to the event, it's a super accessible, beautiful activity that lasts all October and November each year.
Basically, The Blaze is located on the property surrounding a historic 18th century building called Van Cortlandt Manor. There is a winding path through the woods next to the home, and they fill it with amazing sculptures made of thousands of hand carved Jack O'Lanterns. The pictures below don't do it justice - it really felt magical, and a tiny bit spooky, walking along the candlelit path to view all of the different displays. We walked across "The Pumpkin Zee Bridge," saw a beautiful pumpkin dragon surrounded by pumpkin fish, walked under a sky of pumpkin stars at the "Pumpkin Planetarium," and even saw our two favorite animals (alpacas and sloths) in pumpkin form at the "Pumpkin Zoo." There was a field of pumpkin sunflowers, a Thanksgiving turkey made of pumpkins, and even a pumpkin "Jurassic Park" full of pumpkin dinosaurs. Each display had its own themed music, perfectly setting the mood, and some of the displays even moved!
We had a lot of fun walking through the exhibit (although it only takes about 35-40 minutes to complete unless you really take your time, so if you're traveling far it might be worth it to make a day of it and explore other things in the area), and even had some nice fall beers in the refreshments area before our tour started - they also sell classic fall treats like donuts, hot cider, pumpkin flavored coffees, and pumpkin pie. This is a great fall activity for families with kids, or even a date night for couples! We had a great time strolling through the pumpkins together! : )
If you decide to make the trip, here are some pointers:
-Dress warmly if it's chilly outside. We brought hand warmers, scarves and lots of layers. The entire event is outdoors and it's more enjoyable if you aren't shivering the entire time. Haha!
-Wear boots or sturdy sneakers. The walking path is mostly dirt.
-Bring cash! The food vendors do not accept credit cards. You'll also need about $7 for each cab ride to and from the train station (there is free parking at the event if you decide to drive).
-Don't arrive too early. You cannot enter the actual exhibit until the exact time listed on your ticket. You can, however, hang out in the gift shop and refreshments area until it is your time to enter.
-Buy your tickets early!! This event is so popular that it sells out extremely quickly. If you plan on going next year, check for tickets in September. Click HERE for the event's website.
How is it already November?! This fall has flown by but I'm so excited for November because that means it's almost my favorite holiday... Thanksgiving!! I can't wait to visit my family, relax and eat delicious food. I was daydreaming during that afternoon slump at work last week and came up with this simple craft that captures the spirit of the season. One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is the reminder to be thankful for all that we have. I created this Thankfulness Cork Board over the weekend as a way to display what we are thankful for. It's a simple, seasonal decoration that can be left out in your home all month long. It would even be great to display at a Thanksgiving dinner. Just place a pad of paper, some pens and pencils, and a mini mason jar full of pushpins next to the board. Then invite your guests or family members to jot down something they feel thankful for and place it on the board. Check out how to make this super simple craft below:
Supplies You'll Need:
-A square cork board (I used THIS one from Target)
-Alphabet Stencils ( I used THESE)
-Paint (I used a dark brown shade)
-A foam brush
-Paper and pencils
1) Carefully arrange the stencils spelling the word 'thankful' at the very top of the cork board. Make sure that the tops of the stencils are at the very edge of the board so that the word looks even. Then tape down the stencils so that they stay put as you complete the next step.
2) Using a foam brush, brush a layer of paint evenly over the stencils, being careful the stencils do not move or pull up off of the board. If needed, go over with a second coat (I only used one coat). Let dry.
3) After the paint has completely dried, carefully remove the taped down stencils.
4) All done! So simple and easy - this project took me about 40 minutes to complete - and the materials only cost about $20. Now it's time to arrange the thankfulness board in your home!
My name is Abby Formella and I'm a 27 year-old working girl living in the lovely borough of Brooklyn, New York.