Yankee Swap Gifts People Actually Want

fifty shades of chicken book | chambong | awkward moment game | passport cover | portable charger | 36 hours in USA & Canada book | smartphone projector | airbnb gift card | lightup box | wireless headphones | uber giftcard | swell bottle | tile slim finder 

I’ve shared my gift guide for the sparkle lover but today I want to talk about that hard to think of yankee swap gift {you might also hear it as white elephant}. Yankee swap and white elephant are both gift exchange games the emphasis of white elephant is to “steal” gifts rather than to swap them. When shopping for gifts every year the yankee swap gift I need to buy for my family’s Christmas party is always the hardest to come up with fun ideas. Our swap gets pretty ridiculous with joke gifts thanks for my brother and cousins and one person will end up with a big container of laundry detergent hah. Call me crazy but I personally like to give gifts that people actually want!

Some other ideas that come to mind:

-gas gift card

-lottery tickets

-movie tickets 

-coffee gift cards

Do you do a white elephant or yankee swap and do you give a funny gift or something people would actually want?

Thanks so much for stopping by!

xx, Tess

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5 Ways To Get Motivated When You’re Feeling Lazy

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SWEATER DRESS: Nordstrom | OTK BOOTS:Marc Fisher | SUNGLASSES: Jet | SCARF:Amazon | EARRINGS: ASOS {$6!} | NAIL COLOR:OPI {big apple red}

Hi friends! It’s about to get real up in here..about motivation. I’m not sure about you but there are times in my life when I have little to no motivated to do much of anything, even the things I’m most passionate about. I’m the first one to admit that my biggest weaknesses and largest opportunity for growth is consistency, in several aspects of my life: sticking to a consistent blog schedule, having a regular workout routine, etc. Since I’ve recently gotten myself out of a stretch of lack of inspiration and motivation I wanted to share the 5 ways that helped me get back on my game!

I first want to give you a little backstory on me because I know these methods will not work for everyone but are what I found work best for me. I work best under a tight deadline, I’m a visual learner and I’m very results driven. If I have a goal where I can see numbers increase that’s a huge driver for me.

1. Start your day with an inspiring podcast/book/quote: I try to listen to a podcast, audio book or YouTube video while getting ready in the morning. It will give you that extra ump to go after what you want and is a good reminder that there are millions of people out there who never stop hustling. Some of my favorites include Gary Vaynerchuck, Tony Robbins, The Influencer Podcast and The Goal Digger Podcast. For books I’m currently reading Why Now is the Time to Crush It and I’m loving it! Also check out my Pinterest board for some killer inspo 🙂

2. Surround yourself with like minded people: Find a crew with common goals and interests to surround yourself with who are kicking some major butt! I love to be around people who work harder than me because I’m driven by performance and FOMO {fear of missing out}. To get your motivation back up set up a coffee with someone you admire and get a hold of that energy! As Kathleen Barnes of Carrie Bradshaw Lied says, “you attract your tribe!” { she is also one of the funniest human beings alive so go follow her Instastories, you will not be disappointed.}

I’m also lucky enough to live with Greg who is the biggest ball of inspiration and most motivated human. He catches on quickly when I’m in a lazy mode and has no shame calling me out on it-which I appreciate. So share your motivations with others and have them hold you to the standards you set for yourself! It’s so much more fun to dream together.

3. Write out your affirmations & gratitudes and read them often: This is a hard habit to get into it but it really helps. First, write out the things you’re grateful for { you can read some of mine HERE} and a few affirmations about yourself {ex. ” I trust myself”..}. This will help to take some time to reflect and be grateful that you’ve already had the motivation to get as far as you’ve already come rather than focusing on how it’s been hard to get and stay motivated.

4. To do lists: Going back to how I’m visual, I find so much satisfaction by crossing things off my to do list but the key with a list is to prioritize and start with the largest and most daunting task first!! I also like to separate mine into blog to-dos, errands, personal tasks, etc. By focusing on one big task to start off typically helps me ignite the motivation to tackle the rest because you can sometimes forget how amazing it feelings to start and finish a project in one sitting. Make sure to take a quick break in between to keep the momentum up.

5. Turn off all distractions: One of my old boxing instructors always said “you can do anything for 30 seconds”. That has really stuck with me for different aspects of my life whether if be when I want to die in a plank at the gym or trying to finish a blog post at 1am. With this quote playing in my head I turn my phone on silent, leave it across the room, turn off my email and really focus on one task for 30 minutes. You’ll be shocked at how much you can accomplish in 30 minutes with complete focus and no distractions. Work really hard for those 30 minutes/ 30 seconds, whatever the time might be and then reward yourself for 5-10 minutes with something mindless and do it all again. 

On top of that, I’ve created a few immediate fixes that work for me. I like to take a shower and imagine that I’m washing away the laziness and leaving the shower a new, motivated person. For me, showering and driving are the places where I have the least distraction and where I do my best thinking and idea plotting.

I’ve also created a “pump up” Spotify playlist. Some of my favorites include “All Star“, “Don’t Look Down” and anything Backstreet Boys hah.

Woof, that was a lot but I hope it helps! Have you ever experienced a time where you felt unmotivated? What methods helped you get going again?

Thanks so much for stopping by!

xx, Tess

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How to Style Liquid Leggings

how-to-style-liquid-leggings

how-to-style-liquid-leggings how-to-style-liquid-leggings how-to-style-liquid-leggings how-to-style-liquid-leggings how-to-style-liquid-leggings how-to-style-liquid-leggings how-to-style-liquid-leggings how-to-style-liquid-leggings

PEARL SWEATER: Shein {only $22!} | LIQUID LEGGINGS: Shein {the best $13 you’ll ever spend!} | BOW PUMPS: Choies | SUNGLASSES: Diff Eyewear {c/o} | HANDBAG: old,similar here | EARRINGS: old, similar here 

Happy Wednesday, hope everyone is having a great week so far! Last night I booked a spontaneous trip to Atlanta for mid- December. I’ve never been before and wondering if anyone has any suggestions on where to stay, eat, shop, and must do’s! I’ve already hunted down all the amazing murals they have around the city but if you have any recommendations I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

Now let’s talk about these liquid leggings, shall we? Every time I style leggings it always makes me think of my very first blog post when I wore sequin leggings. I also just realized this entire outfit {minus the bag and sunglasses} costs less than $70! I’m always here to show off a good deal 😉 Now I know these leggings aren’t for everyone, they are quite extra but that’s what I personally love about them. I love the glossy look to this $13 pair in particular, it’s a great alternative to your traditional legging and very versatile. The best part is they’re super high wasted and so so comfortable with a thin fleece lining so you’re not freezing your buns off in the colder weather! I always like to go up one size to ensure I’m comfortable and they’re not too tight.

Oh and everyone needs these red bow pumps for the holidays! I try to wear them at least once every year around this time, see how I styled them 2 years ago here.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

xx, Tess

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Best of Cyber Monday Sales + What’s In My Cart

Hi friends! I hope everyone had an amazing long Thanksgiving weekend! Mine was filled with family + Greg time, shopping, Christmas decorating and nonstop carbs 😉 Today I’m sharing a roundup of the best Cyber Monday sales going on right now to help kick off your holiday shopping. Whether you’re checking everyone off your list, shopping for yourself or a little bit of both I’ve also included a few products that have caught my eye broken down by different retailers. Did you do a lot of Black Friday shopping over the weekend? If so, I’d love to hear about what you bought!

best of cyber monday sales

Let’s get shopping!!

ASOS || 30% off everything with code EPIC30

NORDSTROM || extra 20% off selected sale items 

REVOLVE || Extra 20% off with code CYBER20 + 75% off markdowns 

BAUBLEBAR || 35% off everything with code CYBER35

BANANA REPUBLIC || 50% off everything 

BAREMINERALS || 25% off everything + free shipping {I’m stocking up on this cleanser, it’s the best!!}

WAITING ON MARTHA || 30% off everything + free shipping with code CYBER30 {I’m ordered this print}

SAKS OFF FIFTH || 50% off select styles with code 24HOURS + free shipping with code SHIP4FREE {best men’s white dress shirt– Greg owns 2 in several colors}

URBAN OUTFITTERS || $50 off purchase of $150 + free shipping

J.CREW FACTORY || 50%-60% off everything + extra 50% off clearance  + free shipping with code CYBER

FRANCESCA’S || 30% off everything + free shipping 

LOFT || 50% off everything with code CLICK  

ETSY || save on something created by someone {can never go wrong with a monogram necklace!} 

EXPRESS || 50% off everything + free shipping

NASTY GAL || 50% off everything

MODCLOTH || 30% off + free shipping with code CYBER

TOPSHOP || Up to 50% off everything + free shipping

SOLE SOCIETY || 30% off everything { my favorite silver glitter flats are on sale for $49!}

NORDSTROM RACK || 30% off clearance + free shipping

NEIMAN MARCUS LAST CALL || 40%-80% off everything +free shipping with code CYBER

SHEIN || $10 off order of $79+ with code LIS10

BOOHOO || 60% off everything 

KIEHLS || $20 off $65+ with code JINGLE

MISSGUIDED50% off everything with code FETCH50

H&M || 30% off everything + free shipping

WAYFAIR || up to 80% {this bar cart is a must have!}

ZAZZLE || 20% off everything, 60% off unique business cards with code ZAZZLESALE60 {check my sequin cards here}

Thanks so much for stopping by!

xx, Tess

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What I’m Most Thankful For

what-im-thankful-forwhat-im-thankful-for what-im-thankful-for what-im-thankful-for what-im-thankful-for what-im-thankful-for what-im-thankful-for what-im-thankful-for what-im-thankful-for what-im-thankful-for

DRESS: ASOS {50% off!} also here| LEOPARD JACKET: Forever 21 {also here} |BOOTIES: ASOS |CLUTCH: Revolve |EARRINGS: Touchstone Crystal {such a staple piece!}

After reading The Secret and You Are a Badass, both which I  highly recommend, I’ve incorporated writing out and reading what I’m most thankful for into my everyday routine. I’m a true believer that what you focus on you create more of and seeing all the beautiful blessing in your life make it easier to pass through the hard times. Today I wanted to share a few of the many things I’m most thankful for!

1. I’m thankful that my family is healthy. There was a time this year when my mom wasn’t in her best health. After 14 years in remission, her breast cancer came back and she underwent a lumpectomy and radiation {you can read how awesome she is here}! She is doing so well now but being positive in those types of situations needs to be the main focus. 

2. I’m thankful for my good health. I’m so grateful that I have the ability to work out and the means to eat healthy. In the last few years I’ve really started to recognize that good health is the biggest gift of all! 

3. I’m thankful for my relationship with my boyfriend, Greg and that it continues to grow. He is hardest working person I know, he pushes me to be the best versus of myself, we laugh everyday and I’m so lucky to have him as my life partner. 

4. I’m thankful for all my beautiful friends, new and old! They are my support system, my travel buddies, my soundboard, my judgement free zone- I never imagined having the quality of friends that I have! It’s amazing.   

5. I’m thankful that I’m a confident person with a positive outlook on life. I’m a true believer that everything happens for a reason and seeing the good opportunities in every situation. 

6. I’m thankful to have the ability to travel and see the world. Looking back at this year and all the amazing places I visited it had me thinking how fortunate I am to be able to leave work for that long, be able to support myself and see such beautiful places! 

7. I’m thankful for my home and that I have the opportunity to share it with my love.

What are you most thankful for this year??

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for all your support <3

xx, Tess

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Holiday Gift Guide For The Sparkle Lover

clutch | glitter watch | cell phone case | black sequin booties | mirrored jewelry box | liquid eyeshadow | gold water bottle | gold glitter flats | glitter belt | rain boots | earbuds | drop earrings | pillow

Happy Tuesday! It’s gift guide season and I thought it would only be appropriate to start it off with my holiday gift guide for the sparkle lover in your life! We all have that one friend who is obsessed with sparkle, glitter or rhinestones so I’ve rounded up every sparkly gift I could find to make your friend shine like a diamond all day long.

I love these sequin booties so much I might have to buy them for myself 😉

Thanks so much for stopping by!

xx, Tess

 

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Bali Travel Guide

bali travel guide

BALI! Oh my gosh, my new favorite place in the world! This was a trip of a lifetime and I’m so happy to be able to share my travel guide with you! The 27 hour flight from Boston was beyond worth it and the hours flew by with all the good tv selections on Qatar Airlines..highly recommend. The reason I went to Bali in the first place was to visit my friend Hali who is doing a remote work experience with 40 other people from around the world. It was a joke the entire trip that we were on our honeymoon because everything was so beautiful and romantic- and I rode on the back of her scooter everyday 🙂

What I loved most about Bali is how different each part of the island was, yet everything was max 2 hours away from each other. Even though I was only there for 8 full days it felt as though I took 5 separate vacations with the amount of activities we jammed in. With the combination of black sand beaches, temples/ spiritual grounds, white sand beaches, the jungle, and mountains/ volcanos, each spot was completely different from the others in the best way possible.

Another awesome thing to love is Indonesia’s currency, the Rupiah and how rich it makes you feel. For example, 1 USD = 13,000 Rupiahs, we get so much for your money there! To put into perspective how inexpensive Bali was, a massive bottle of water was 39 cents, smoothie bowls were $4, and most of the bungalows/hotels we stay in were between $20-$40/person and were all so gorgeous! I highly recommend it for honeymooners who are looking for the tropical vibes without the Fiji prices..It’s the perfect location to BALLL out!

As for the vibes in Bali…all I can say is it was absolute paradise everyday. I didn’t wear makeup at all and my hair was crazy but I loved every second! Watermelon juice was a way of life, the locals were so sweet, the food was incredibly fresh and all of the restaurants and cafes were so beautifully decorated, so instaworthy! The villas everyone stayed in had an open air outdoor living area except for the bedrooms that had doors and AC..it was so special to live like a local!

*Canggu: My home base where I was staying with Hali. Canggu is about a 40 minute drive from the airport and is a great mixture of hip, brightly colored cafes, beaches and rice fields.

Where we ate:

Milu by Nook:Great dinner spot located right on the rice fields. It had almost a chic jungle feeling to it and the pad thai was amazing!

Peloton Supershop: This was the first and best green smoothie bowl I had the whole trip (and I had about 9). Still dreaming about it now!

bali travel guide

What we did:

Surfing at Echo Beach:I haven’t surfed in about 15 years so I was in need of a lesson. To put into perspective how inexpensive Bali is, my 1 hour lesson and board rental was $20..insane.

bali travel guide

Tanah Lot Temple It was a lot more touristy here than we expected due to the market you have to walk through in order to get to the temple entrance. Tanah Lot is known for their sunsets, which was gorgeous but we wished we went for sunrise to beat the crowds.

bali travel guide

Finn’s Beach Club

The Lawn

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BalibowlsAnother one of my favorite smoothie bowls. The colorful unicorn avocado toast is a must try!

bali travel guide

*Ubud: My favorite part of Bali! 1.5 hours away from Canggu, we hired a private driver to pick us up and stop at a few stops along the way. Ubud is a rice field and temple heaven- it had such a spiritual and tranquil vibe that I’ll never forget.

Where we stayed: Villa Alam Biru Only $83 per night for 2 bedrooms including a staff who cooks you breakfast, daybeds and a pool {flamingo float included} 

What we did:

Tegalalang Rice Fields: Even though it rained while we were there, the rice fields were where I felt most like I was in SouthEast Asia. Make sure you have cash with you because they will stop you along the way up for “donations”. 

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Bejal Outdoor Spa: This spa was recommended to us from someone who stumbled across it and went 5 times since because it was that good! It’s not the most luxurious from the outside and you have to walk down a long alleyway to get there but there is nothing like getting a facial while being outside with rose petals in the bathtub next to you. Pure heaven.

Bali Art Market: Feel like your true Julia Roberts self and check out the market featured in Eat Pray Love. This is the best place to pick up traditional Balinese souvenirs. 

Tegenungan Waterfall

Bali Swing: Bali has swings everywhere and for good reason! The Bali swing was seriously one of the coolest experiences! You really feel like you’re flying over the rice fields.

bali travel guide

Luwak Coffee Farm: Luwak coffee is considered the smoothest and most expensive coffee in the world. If you can get past the way  it’s made you have to try it! It’s only in Bali so it was part of the overall experience and actually tastes really good!

bali travel guide

Monkey Forest: I’m ashamed to say I was too afraid of the monkeys crawling on me to feed one but the monkeys were fascinating to watch and see how they interact.

bali travel guide

*Nusa Lembongan: White sandy beach Island off the coast about an hour drive from Canguu with a 45 minute ferry ride. While you’re there definitely rent a scooter to drive over the yellow bridge to explore the entire island. 

Where we stayed: Dream Beach Cottages I bet you would never believe me if I told you this dreamy place only cost $18/person, it was incredible!!

bali travel guide

What we did:

Dream Beach Huts: Gorgeous spot for lunch overlooking the beach

Snorkeling Trip: We took a full day snorkeling trip where we swam with manta rays, saw dolphins and jammed to what sounds like Kid’s Pop versions of all our top 40 hits { I don’t think they have access to our version of music}. The underwater views were great, lots of coral reefs!

bali travel guide

*Seminyak: The best way I can describe Seminyak is as the “Vegas of Bali” in terms of the pool and beach club scene.

Potato Head Beach Club

bali travel guide

Palm Leaf Tassel Bikini: Choies

Mrs. Sippy Pool Club: Another really cool pool club. What makes this place awesome is their high diving board and 2 for 1 massive frozen drinks after 4pm.

Knyd Community: I was so excited to check this place out after seeing all their amazing smoothie bowls with “Bali” spelt out in a pineapple and was so sad when we got there 5 minutes after it closed! Still had to get a photo in front of their famous mural of course 🙂

bali travel guide

La Plantar: This Moroccan theme beach bar which was a great spot to watch the sunset with a watermelon tequila cocktail.

bali travel guide

*South Kuta: For my last night in Bali I wanted to go south to be closer to the airport and check out the gorgeous beaches South Kuta had to offer. 

Where we stayed: La Joya Resort

bali travel guide

Ayana ResortOne of the most beautiful resorts I’ve ever been to! Check out the popsicle shop for desert- of course I went for the watermelon.

 RockBar at AyanaThis hip, upbeat restaurant/ bar was like any other and the perfect spot to soak in my last Bali sunset. The coolest part was that you had to take an elevator down the side of the cliff to get down there and the restaurant was built into the natural rock formations.

Have you ever been to Bali? I would love to hear your favorite parts/ things to do there in the comment section!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

xx, Tess

Check out my other travel guides:

Germany & Austria

If You Buy 12 Things This Fall, Make It These Pieces (All Under $40!)

12 fall pieces to buy right now

1.Pompom Mules

2.Grey Backpack

3. Tassel Earrings

4. Blue Bow Sweater

5. Flower Embroidery Dress 

6. Metallic Tassel Earrings  (similar here )

7. Moon Pendant Necklace 

8. Fuzzy Sweater 

9. Fur Lined Mules 

10. Pearl Sliders 

11. Wrap Skirt 

 12.Hat

Anyone who’s ever been to Shein knows it can be overwhelming at times with the massive amount of options they have. That’s why today I’m saying if you buy 12 things this fall, make it these pieces.. best part of all is they’re all UNDER $40!! If you know me well at all then you know how OBSESSED I am with everything Shein and most of the outfits I get compliments on are from there. A few of the questions I get asked most is about Shein’s quality, the delivery time and fit so I figured this would be a great time to wrap it all up in one post. 

Insider Tips on SheIn from an addict: 

*My favorite things to buy from Shein would have to be jewelry. There are so many Baublebar dupes for 1/5 the price. This $5 Shein pair vs this $48 Baublebar pair is the perfect example! Their jewelry might not last forever, but when it comes to fun,trendy jewelry I love quantity over quality. 

*Shein’s shoes are pretty good quality and fit well. For reference, I’m a 8.5 or 9 and when ordering from Shein I typically order EUR39 or 40. I would recommend going up one size if possible just to be safe. I bought these mules last winter and I loved them so much I ordered this glitter pair. I can’t wait for them to be delivered because well, glitter!!  They’re so comfortable, warm, go with almost everything and are really easy to slide on when you’re feeling lazy in the morning hah. Definitely avoid wearing them on any day it might rain/snow because the back fur gets really nasty.  

*For my tall girls (I’m 5′ 8”), always go up 1-2 sizes when ordering a short dress or mini skirt.

*The more you spend typically helps with faster delivery time. For example if I place a $100 order I typically receive it 1.5-2 weeks later but a $40 order could take up to 3. I tell everyone that if you’re buying something for a certain occasion, make sure you order well in advance.

*If you wear a small in tops, than the One Size pieces will fit you well.

*When you make a return your refund will go to your “wallet”, meaning store credit. To get your refund back on you original form of payment, go to your account and transfer the money out of your wallet.

I would love to hear if you’ve ordered from Shein as much as I do and what your favorite fall pieces are!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

xx,Tess

Late Summer Polka Dots

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TOP: American Eagle SHORTS: American Eagle | CLUTCH: Similar 

Happy Friday! I can NOT believe Labor Day Weekend crept up on us so quickly! With the long weekend of beach weather ( fingers crossed) and BBQs, I’m sharing one last super summer polka dots look. I always tend to get sad when the weather starts to change but at this point I’m pretty sick of my summer wardrobe, anyone else!?

This weekend we are staying in the city for a wedding Saturday night then heading down to the Cape with the crew right afterwards. Speaking of weddings!! If you’re anything like me, you can get lost watching 25 YouTube marriage proposals straight, then you MUST watch thisSeriously this is one of the sweetest proposals I’ve seen and I’m officially obsessed with their channel. 

What are your big plans for the long weekend?

Thanks so much for stopping by! 

xx, Tess

What I Wore in Bermuda

Hi long lost friends! It feels good to write a blog post after taking over a month off. Hope everyone’s summer has been a blast so far!

Today I’m sharing what I wore on a cruise to Bermuda last month with my family, Greg, and Jackie (one of my besties and my brother’s girlfriend). I’m totally obsessed with Bermuda and I now see what all the hype is about! It’s so beautiful, clean, and everyone is so friendly. We rented scooters and scooted all around the island jumping from one beach to the next. Since the island is only 22 miles long, we easily covered of all the places we wanted to see in 2.5 days.

what I wore in Bermuda

 Palm Print One Piece {only $11!} / Mirrored Sunnies 

Red Ruffle Bikini {only $12!} / Black & White Striped Hat

One Shoulder Tropical Dress / White Tassel Earrings

Beach Backpack 

Pom Pom Skirt /Choker / Bodysuit 

Watermelon Bikini {similar}

 Tassel Straw Beach Bag {on sale for $20!} Yellow OTS Dress

 Romper Dress / Straw Clutch White Lace-Up Sandals Yellow Tassel Earrings

Thanks so much for stopping by!

xx, Tess