November Favorites

Wow, I have managed to keep a blog series going for 2 months! At the end of last month, I posted my October favorites, and today, I want to share the things I have fallen in love with this month. There are so many interesting/lovely things I have come across, whether it be a new book or an insightful article. I also have a few new clothing favorites, and I want to share my long-time beauty favorites with you that I re-fell in love with this month.

Favorite book this month: The Woman in Cabin 10
I read this on the flight home for Thanksgiving and I really liked it because it was a thrilling, easy read and it was one of those novels you don't put down start to finish because you're so drawn in.

Favorite blog post this month: "First Job Advice," Carly the Prepster
Well, this post was not published this month, but it is one that I really wanted to share with you guys because all of Carly's points are so true. A ton of you guys have been asking me for first job advice, especially since I started my job at the beginning of October, and every time someone emails me to ask, I point them in the direction of this post. Carly has always given great advice on her blog, which is why it will always be one of my favorites that I check weekly. She is like a big sister! One of the biggest things from her post that I want to reiterate is that in your first job, nothing is beneath you. Do everything you can to show that you're there to work hard and prove yourself–– it shows you really appreciate the job you have. Also, find a work buddy. I found mine, and she's as obsessed with chocolate chip cookies and the TV show Riverdale as I am. It'll make your day that much better!

My current Spotify playlist: Fall 2017 (best when shuffled)

Favorite shoes/clothing purchases:

Favorite hair/beauty products:

2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts Under $10

This specific gift guide was highly requested, and I can understand why–– there are many reasons one might not want to shell out an exorbitant amount of money on a gift, whether it be for a white elephant exchange, a co-worker you feel obligated to get something for, or you're just a #broke college kid who still wants to buy something cute for her friends. All of those reasons totally make sense, but affordable items have been underrepresented in blogger gift guides I have seen so far. I had fun picking these out, and they are all gifts I would not mind receiving. I like them because they don't look like they are all under $10, but they totally are!

Also, all of these gifts would make amazing stocking stuffers. I love receiving small yet thoughtful gifts in my stocking and travel sized products definitely do the trick. Burt's Bees? Yes please!


2017 Holiday Gift Guide: For Mom

Getting the perfect gift for your mom does not have to be hard. My mom always loves luxurious makeups and lotions, a new tote, or comfy sneakers. All of these gift ideas are great because they are thoughtful and will make your mother think that you put a lot of effort into getting her the perfect thing! My wildcard pick was the cheese board because I would probably never get my own mother that, but I kind of want one for myself (mom at heart, here) and this one is perfect–– marble and gold... what else could ya want? Also, how cute are those stackable rings? They are delicate but still make a statement.


2017 Holiday Gift Guide: For the BFF

I was gonna hold off on posting this gift guide until the end of the week, but I had to post it early because most of this stuff is on sale since it's Cyber Monday! To me, all of the gifts above would be perfect to give to your best friend (or even your sister). All of these items are super affordable (the DryBar set is a splurge, but really on sale right now) and most are pretty practical and can be worn or used for years!


2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Cozy Gifts

I have gotten a great response from the gift guides I have posted so far, so I thought I would continue to put them out! Today's is dedicated to cozy items for days when being by the fireplace is necessary. I have a few of these items (the red striped sleep leggings, both candles, the OnePiece onesie, the Barefoot Dreams throw, and a Nespresso machine where I work) so I can definitely say these are 100% Isabella Darden approved! Most of these items are also on sale today since it's Cyber Monday, so pull out those credit cards and get them while you can!


All Black Almost Everything

My "power outfit" (the outfit that makes me feel badass) lately is all black. It's super slimming, easy to throw together, and dressing in a monochromatic manner is super in right now. This exact outfit is one of my favorites because it looks like a lot of effort was put into it, but it could not be more effortless and comfortable. It's like chic pajamas!

Let's talk about these faux leather Spanx leggings–– they are on sale right now via the Anthropologie website, and they are unreal. I had heard so many good things about them and didn't want to buy into the hype because they are kind of expensive, but I got them last week and I am totally in love with them. They are worth the $100 (but seriously they are 30% off right now so get them while you can).

Also, if you haven't noticed, one of my favorite ways to dress up an outfit is a neck scarf. I picked this one up over the summer, and then my mom got me the same one accidentally a few months later. Rather than return it, we have decided to give it away to one of you guys! Keep your eyes peeled for my Instagram to see how you can score this same one–– I'll be posting a mini giveaway later!


New York City Room Update

One of my favorite things about living in this city is being able to come home after a long day of work to my cozy room. In my last apartment, I had bright gallery walls and chaoticness in a way that made me never feel truly relaxed and calm in my own space. This time around, I decided to stick to a muted color palette and cozy materials (my favorite cotton sheets, a linen duvet cover, and velvet pillow). Having a linen duvet means it's always wrinkled, but it's seriously so comfortable that I don't care. I also love that most apartments in NYC come with hardwood or laminate floors–– I hate carpet, and I love having the choice of putting down whatever rug I want. Since my room is super rectangular and rather small, it was hard to take wide-angle photos of the space.

I tried to link to the products that I thought would be the most popular, but if you want to know where anything else is from let me know. I also explained where certain things are from and provided more detail in the video so I would recommend watching that before asking questions! My storage bed is from Ikea but for some reason, it won't link. I managed to decorate this room while spending as little money as possible. I think the most expensive thing was my mattress, which I got from here. My full mattress was only $625 and for being one of those mattresses that comes in a box, it's so so comfortable. I think it's better than the Casper mattresses!! My actual storage bed frame cost less, and my nightstand was under $200!

I am not done with decorating my room, so this probably won't be my final post–– I still want to find a colorful art piece to hang behind my TV, and I think some details could be added here and there. I wanted to go ahead and share photos of it anyway because I am not sure what the timeline of me being fully done is–– working 10 hours almost every day leaves little time to design!


What I'm Thankful For

A ton of bloggers tend to focus on Black Friday sales the day of Thanksgiving, and while that's totally fine, I would rather reflect on what I already have and hold near and dear. I think a ton of people tend to go through the motions of Thanksgiving without actually thinking of what they are really thankful for. Because of that, I'm forcing myself to make time to be thankful today! Here are five things that I'm grateful to have because they mean a lot to me.

  1. Parents that support me no matter what–– My parents were all for me moving to NYC, and they supported me every step of the way. It's amazing to have a support system that you can count on no matter what, and it means the world when they tell me they are proud of me.
  2. My new life in New York City–– A year ago, I would have never thought I would actually move to New York. I was so, so lost, and I had no clue what I would do after graduation. I'm glad I had the summer off to travel and think about what I truly wanted for myself. I love where I am at now, and I love my job. I am so glad I moved out of my comfort zone (literally) and that I get to experience so many new things.
  3. My health–– I know people say they are thankful for this all the time, but it's not something I take lightly. I am in good health. I can run, bike, swim, or do whatever else I want. I have both legs and both arms. I get to go the gym anytime I want, and I can eat whatever healthy food I want. Not everyone has access to these things that we do every day and take for granted.
  4. My livelihood–– I get to hang out with friends, go to cycling class, and do the other things that keep me sane whenever I want. I can do this because I am financially stable, and my god, am I thankful for that. I have shelter and sustenance and I can afford healthcare, which is so much more than others around the world have. I am glad that I can give back to the community when I want, and I love that my job encourages us to volunteer.
  5. The rest of my family, friends, and my dog–– I have an amazing best friend and our friendship can survive long distance, I have an awesome brother, and my dog Gus is as cute as ever. Gus seriously gets cuter with age–– he's almost 14, but still acts like a puppy!

2017 Holiday Gift Guide: For Him

Shopping for guys is terribly difficult, at least in my opinion. It seems like my brother and father have everything in the world they could possibly need and want! You'd think it would be easier because guys are fairly simple, but this simplicity actually makes things harder. In the past, I have consulted guy friends to see what would be on their "ideal Christmas list," but this year, I did things differently. I played the "if I were a boy" game and made the list based on what I would want if I were a guy. I thought about all of the things that I loved and then found different versions of them that I could definitely see my brother or dad loving.

For example, I borrowed my roommate's Patagonia rolling duffel a few months ago and fell in love with it. I think the red version is super cool, and even the most clueless guy would have trouble losing such bright colored luggage. I am all for wallet phone cases, and I love the version above. It's something I would probably even buy for myself! Another cool item is the water-resistant Bose speaker. I have been wanting a good speaker for so long, and I am sure I will cave soon enough and get one. This one would be amazing for tailgates or long days at the beach when it warms back up.


Update: I went back and asked two of my guy friends to send me 10 products that they would ideally love to receive for Christmas. I thought this would help you all see a wide range of ideas–– both friends have different styles, so hopefully you guys will get more ideas from this. Here are John and Alex's lists!



And I'm Home

I had been counting down the days until I got to come home for Thanksgiving, and I'm so glad I am finally in Savannah. It's nice to have a relaxing couple of days away from New York City because it's the perfect opportunity to recharge and refresh. My parents also just moved out of my childhood home into a new home, so it's also been nice to get a complete change of scenery but at the same time, it's been kind of weird. I had the same bedroom my whole life and now my walls are a different color, but I keep reminding myself that change is good.

Speaking of change, can we talk about how good J. Crew's new arrivals are? I hadn't purchased anything from J. Crew in over a year, but their new sweaters and turtleneck tees are amazing and comfortable and appropriately priced. I picked up this turtleneck sweater in both gray and black and they were 40% off. The sale is still going on through November 26, so I definitely suggest that you check it out!

Lastly, a ton of you have been asking about these jeans. You guys, they are like 5 years old and they are from J Brand and I cannot find a similar pair anywhere. They have ripped even more over the years, and I really wish I could find them because I would love to replace them with a fresh pair. #helpme but really if anyone can find them in this wash I will love you forever.