Thursday, November 26, 2015

More Than the Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans!  And to all you other lovely people! 
For some, this day is symbolic of merely the food.  Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and corn.  But for many others, today is the day of thanks.  Today is the day where we raise our glasses not to the sweet smell of pumpkin pie baking in the oven, but for the people, places, and memories that have impacted our lives.  Okay, well maybe we do toast to the food set on the dinner table because we are fortunate enough to have access to the food we do.  However, the tradition of this holiday is for recognizing the things we are grateful for.  So here's a few of mine.

Firstly, I am thankful for my life. You're probably saying, "Well, duh!"  But I say this because without my life, I simply could not list everything else I am grateful for.  I am thankful for my family.  The people who never cease to support me and lend me a hand in every tough situation.  I am thankful for my friends.  Now while I can't say I have a close knit group of friends at the moment, I am thankful for my amazing friends that I've had throughout my life and the blossoming friendships to come.

Moving past the obvious people that I am incredibly appreciative of, I am also thankful for everyone I follow on social media.  Yes, I am thankful for social media.  Now I know there had been a lot of controversy recently about social media being 'fake', but the people I choose to follow on social media have inspired me in so many ways.  For example, all the amazing bloggers that I follow inspired me to finally start on my own blogging journey after not having the courage to do so before.  The YouTubers and vloggers I watch daily have inspired me to get out, try new things, and be adventurous with my own self.

 Before this list gets too long, (because trust me I could go on for days), I am thankful for the five boys who have helped me through so many bumps in my life and have brought me so much happiness in dark times. The boys who never fail to put a smile on my face or make me laugh until I cry.  The boys who taught me that hard work reaps success and to surround yourself with people who understand you.  The boys who provided me with friendships with people in my own town and even people all around the world.  I am thankful for Louis, Liam, Niall, Harry, and Zayn.  (Disclaimer: I apologize to the people who don't care for them as I've written a whole paragraph about them, but I mean every word.  They really have helped me in more ways I thought five boys who don't even know I exist could.)

 Alright, enough of the sappy stuff. Let's move on to the outfit.  This Thanksgiving I went for a gorgeous tartan dress from Forever 21 (I've searched high and low for the link; but a similar one is here) paired with sheer black tights to help brace me in the cold.  My black ankle boots are from H&M and have quickly become a staple in my wardrobe.  This stunning black pea coat is a hand-me-down, but you can find a similar one here. 

This was quite a different post for me as I wanted the focus to be more on my writing because I feel so strongly about today's content. I wish everyone a lovely Thanksgiving or Thursday afternoon and be sure to let me know what YOU are thankful for.
Much love,
Gabriella xx

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Effortlessly Chic

Some days, casual is just the way to go.  Whether you sleep through your alarm or just aren't feeling the whole heeled-ankle-boots-and-blouse thing, all you want to do is throw on something comfortable.  Now I don't know about you, but I'm not the type of person who can go out in public wearing leggings and a sweatshirt.  If that's you, than by all means keep rocking that look; but I just can't.  I feel like if I do, that will be the one day that some super hot boy bumps into me on the street (or maybe that's just my ridiculous thinking).  Nevertheless, the way I take on the effortless and comfortable look is typically comprised of three main pieces: leather, denim, and sneakers. 

These are always my go-to because they scream "comfortable but stylish".  I went for a leather jacket rather than leather pants because let's be honest, leather pants are not comfortable.  Denim jackets can feel too bulky or you may feel like you are restricted when trying to move around.  Leather jackets are usually on the thinner side, perfect for layering in the colder weather and can easily be taken off without feeling like you are lugging around a heavy jacket.  Denim jeans are the epitome of casual and to add to the comfort, I always go for ones that are super stretchy.  Underneath my jacket, I just have a simply olive green colored blouse that I think goes really well with the "earth toned" color scheme of this outfit. 

If you saw my Autumn Wish List post, you probably would have seen that these babies right above were on there, and I can finally say that this girl is a proud owner of my very own Adidas Superstars.  I know, I know, everyone seems to have them these days.  But come on!  They are beautiful (and not to mention ridiculously comfortable).  Plus, the pop of gold on the tongue of the shoe adds to the neutral color scheme. 
As for accessories, I'll never feel complete without them.  This ear cuff is my newest obsession and to tie in the both silver and gold accents of the outfit, the braided necklace from Forever 21 (including both gold and silver chains) adds the perfect touch to the look.
And there you have it.  Comfortable, stylish, and you didn't even have to think too hard about it!  I hope you liked this post and let me know what you think of my new blog template!  Thanks for reading!

Much love,

Gabriella xx


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Healthy Butternut Squash 'Fries'

It would bean understatement if I said that ever since I've transitioned into a healthier lifestyle that I never crave the taste of crispy on the outside, soft on the inside french fries.  I mean, who doesn't like fries?  Unfortunately, this fried, greasy food isn't the healthiest option even though they taste amazing (anyone else wonder why most delicious tasting foods are usually unhealthy?).
That being said, my new addiction (and when I say addiction, I'm not kidding) is roasted butternut squash "fries".  When sprinkled with cinnamon and baked in the over, this sweet winter squash is the perfect healthy alternative to your typical greasy french fry.  I usually whip up a batch of these on Sunday night and store them in the fridge so that they are readily available when the craving hits.  This recipe is super simple as you need very few ingredients and once it's in the oven, you don't need to watch over it.  Let's dive in.
You'll need your butternut squash (obviously!),  a peeler, knife, cinnamon (or any other seasoning you'd like), your oven, an oven pan, and either your favorite oil or non-stick spray.

Start by pre-heating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (approx. 200 degrees Celsius).  Next you'll want to peel the skin off your butternut squash.

Next, cut your butternut squash length wise.  This will make it much easier to scoop out the seeds, which you'll see next.

Take your knife or spoon and cut/scoop out the seeds from the squash.  Careful, they're quite slippery if you drop them on the floor!

Next, cut the butternut squash to your preference.  This can be in long strips, like a typical french fry, or in cubes, like I prefer.

After you've cut up all your butternut squash, you'll want to either drizzle your oil on your oven pay or spray a non-stick spray.  Be generous as it is a pain when they stick to the pan!  Spread out the cut up squash.  Make sure they aren't too close to one another or else they won't bake as well!  Sprinkle your seasonings of choice and pop them in your pre-heated over for 50 minutes.  Half way through, go ahead and move the squash around so that they can cook evenly.
After your 50 or so minutes are up, depending on how crispy you like them, try not to eat them right away as they will be steaming.  This is always the hardest part for me because I just want to eat them right then and there!  Allow them to completely cool before storing them in a container in the fridge ready to be eaten whenever you so please!

I hope you've all enjoyed this different post!  I explained that health and fitness is also a huge passion of mine and I want to incorporate these types of posts into my blog as well.  Give this recipe a try, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.  Let me know if you do decide to try this recipe and let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!
Much love,
Gabriella xx

Adjusting to Shortcomings

There is always something good that comes out of every bad situation. Whether that'd be a lesson learned, a mistake you know not to make again, or a person you agree not to trust again.
With the intention to use my tripod to capture today's outfit photos, I was disappointed to find that it flat-out sucks.  For some reason, the platform does not want to stay upright (does this make sense?)  Even if you don't know what I'm talking about, the point is that my photo shoot didn't go the way I anticipated.  But you know what?  There was nothing I could do to change the situation as that tripod is over 10 years old.  Instead of packing up my things and getting frustrated at this situation, I found an alternative.  As I looked around my surroundings, I noticed all the different trees with their many branches.  Hmmm.  Do you know where I'm going with this?

I marched my freezing butt over to the best looking tree and propped my camera on the brand where a destroyed bird's nest once was.  I adjusted my camera to get my body in the frame, and snapped away.

Moral of this post is that you can't let shortcomings make you give up or quit.  Find a different alternative or option.  We are only human and we can't control everything (although I know most of us wish we could).  Certain things are out of our reach to control and we have to accept that.  Life will so much less stressful if we just learn to let some of control go, something I'm still learning myself.

October surely flew by fast and I'm welcoming November and the holiday season with open arms.  Happy November from my beautiful dog and I!

Sweater Weather

I woke up this morning to the most chilly weather we've had so far since summer ended.  October is surely bringing its cool temperatures and chilly winds.  And for any fashion lover like myself, that means it is time to dust off my sweaters because it's sweater weather.

Cowl neck sweaters are my absolute favorite, especially for the colder weather.  There's nothing that warms my heart (and my neck) more than a cozy material preventing the wind from chilling my bones.  This one is from Forever 21 from a year ago but I'm sure you can find a sweater similar to this anywhere!  Jeans are always a must, so I'm wearing these high-waisted ones from Love Culture (not sure if they have these everywhere because they don't have them in PA- I got them when I lived in NJ!).

My black patent leather, pointed oxfords from Forever 21 surely get a lot of wear in the fall time because they go with literally every outfit.  Tip: when you don't have a lot of cash to spend on your wardrobe, versatile pieces are your go-to.  This includes many simple and minimalistic pieces that you can pair with multiple outfits.

Last, but certainly not least is my red, patent leather handbag from, you guessed it, Forever 21.  I adore the structure and size of this bag because it's not too bulky.  It's the perfect size and I'll never get over how insanely gorgeous the color is.

And there you have it; my complete sweater weather outfit for those chilly autumn days.  What are your favorite outfits for this type of weather?

Autumn Wishlist on a Budget

The colder weather means a whole new wardrobe (for me at least!). That means it is time to put away the shorts, sandals, and tank tops and bring out the sweaters, jeans, and ankle boots.
But if you're anything like me, when you look into your closet, you may be thinking "Okay, why in the world did I buy that?" (Again, maybe this is just me) That being said, I can't help but create a wish list for the upcoming season.
The first wardrobe essential that I've been itching to get my paws on are boyfriend jeans. I know, you're probably thinking "Gabby, boyfriend jeans have been popular for so long and you're just wanting them now?"  Well, it's not that I never wanted to own a pair before, it's more that I could never find a pair that fit me correctly.  Every pair I've tried on were either too baggy or too tight.  I've been eyeing this pair in particular from Forever 21.  They are perfectly destroyed and only $30!

My next autumn essential has got to be Adidas Superstars.  Ever since I saw Sarah Ashcroft wear them in one of her recent Instagram pictures, I just knew I had to get myself a pair.  They're stylish and comfortable.  What more could you ask for?

Alright, next on my list is yet another pair of shoes.  I'm obsessed with these black ankle boots from Miss Selfridge.  Aren't these aren't the most beautiful boots you have ever seen?  I especially love the faux croc detailing on the back of the shoe and the gold zipper and buckle are to die for.

Lastly, before I let myself get too carried away here, are these adorable Nike Juvenate sneakers.  The fitness-lover in me just had to put these on the list.  These sneakers are ones that can be worn to kill it in the gym, but look super sporty chic while running errands as well.  Plus, look at that gorgeous color!

As soon as my wallet says it's all good, you bet I'll be purchasing these items.  What I love most about everything on my list is that they are all super versatile.  Every item can be worn with multiple outfits which is perfect when you don't have a lot of cash, yet still want to look stylish.
That's a main concept of my blog.  None of these items I wear or purchase are designer or high-end products.  I'm only in high school and don't yet have enough money to be able to purchase crazy expensive items.  I want to show others that you can still have a great sense of style without breaking the bank.  I hope you enjoyed this post and be sure to let me know what your autumn essentials are!

Transitioning into Autumn

The air is getting crisper (at least here in Pennsylvania!) and the mornings usually require a jacket.  But the afternoons still sometimes bring that warm breeze that reminds us that the summer weather is coming to an end.  In order to combat those summer weather blues while still saying a warm hello to autumn, this outfit is the perfect balance between the two.

 The unique orange color of this ribbed turtleneck crop top from Forever 21 is the perfect color for the autumn season while the skirt still screams, "Summer, don't leave me!"  I paired them with my favorite tall boots, also from Forever 21.  For accessories, a gold watch is always a must for any season and you can never go wrong with a rusted gold statement necklace.  All in all, summer is coming to an end and there's nothing we can do about the changing weather.

Nevertheless, autumn is my favorite season in terms of my fashion wardrobe because it's the time where I can really experiment with my outfits through layering and different color palettes.  What about you?  Are you dreading the chillier weather or are you embracing it?
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