Tuesday, December 22, 2015

LAST MINUTE HOLIDAY GIFTS AT NORDSTROM

Last Minute Holiday Gifts at Nordstrom
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There's nothing I enjoy more than picking out the perfect gift for someone, especially during the Christmas season. But because the past two weeks have been pretty darn close to utter chaos with back-to-back work events, I decided it may be a good idea to start my holiday shopping today. I know I'm not the only one who made this mistake, so I've gathered a few gift-worthy items from Nordstrom to help make the last-minute shopping a little bit easier.

Why shop Nordstrom? Well, during today's online shopping frenzy, I found out that Nordstrom is offering free rush shipping until noon on December 23rd (aka TOMORROW) with a guarantee that the gift will arrive on or before Christmas Eve (aka in 2 DAYS). So, since Nordstrom saved my butt this holiday, I figured I'd help save yours. You're welcome!

Let's not make this mistake again...

Saturday, November 21, 2015

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA: ROCKSBOX

You know when you heart screams, 'yes! I want that gorgeous statement necklace with all the rhinestones and beads!' (looking at you J.Crew) but your wallet says, 'ha, you're crazy and you know that necklace is $100 over your budget.' Oh, the struggle! Well, Rocksbox may just do the trick to feed your jewelry obsession without having to pay the price.

Rocksbox gives members unlimited access to rent from a rotating closet of designer jewelry. This means literally endless jewelry to pick from! Simply become a Style Insider, take a quick style survey where you choose the types of jewelry you prefer--bold or delicate pieces, silver or gold, etc, and choose a few accessories for your 'wish list.' A couple weeks later, an adorable little box wrapped in pink ribbon will arrive at your doorstep, and you'll receive three hand-selected pieces based on your preferences to test out for an unlimited time.
Packaging on point.

Once you receive your first Rocksbox, you can return your jewelry set at any time as frequently as you'd like. So, if you're not loving the edgy, studded necklace you wanted to try, just send it back with the other two pieces in return for a new set. If you decide you love your new studded necklace, you have the option to purchase it. When you return the set, just keep the piece you want to buy, and Rocksbox will charge your account.

For my first Rocksbox, I received a Gorjana gold bar necklace (retailed at $60, Rocksbox price $48), Sophie Harper stacked ring (retailed at $38, Rocksbox price $30) and Perry Street statement earrings (retailed at $50, Rocksbox price $40). I love the necklace and wear the ring all the time. The earrings are very costume-y, so I'm waiting for the right occasion to wear them. I was definitely pleased with my first set and thought the packaging was almost too pretty to open. 

Benefits to being a Style Insider:

  • $19/month for unlimited jewelry rentals from top designer brands including Kendra ScottGorjana and more
  • $10 monthly Shine Spend to apply towards a jewelry purchase
  • Free, prepaid shipping both ways for your Rocksbox sets



The other option is to give your friend, daughter, sister, mother the gift of Rocksbox this holiday season! Right now Rocksbox is offering 1-month, 3-month and 6-month memberships on their Gifts page.

Luckily for those reading, you can set up a Rocksbox account and receive a free month of Rocksbox using my code: alsgillettexoxo! So sign up and start flaunting some new jewels!
Sponsored by Rocksbox

Sunday, October 18, 2015

SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY

Nashville may have been a couple months ago (Remember Nashville Scenes?), but better late than never to relive the delicious food and cocktails we noshed on, right? I didn't think of Nashville as being a city known for its food, but numerous restaurants line the streets with interesting twists on Southern staples, most with outdoor seating and strands of lights to set the scene. The first restaurant we ate at was Whiskey Kitchen, a hotspot that epitomizes "tavern chic"and serves up everything from pub classics and wood-fired pizzas to Southern BBQ, as well as an extensive craft cocktail list.
 moonshine mules & whiskey flights
 bourbon BBQ chicken poppers & sweet potato fries
 shrimp 'n grits

I opted for the Moonshine Mule, a mix of American Born Moonshine, lemon, lime and ginger beer, which was the most refreshing and perfect way to kick off a weekend of whiskey (literally, that's almost all they serve). We also shared the bourbon BBQ chicken poppers, shrimp 'n grits, fried green tomatoes and wedge salad, which were all yummmmy.

Another standout restaurant was Adele's, where we had brunch on our last day. The restaurant was built from an old car tire shop, so two of the walls are actually garage doors that can be opened during the warmer months. The vibe of this little eatery was by far my favorite of the weekend--it's airy and bright, friendly service (true Southern hospitality, I suppose), and a killer playlist of Head and the Heart, The Civil Wars. The food and drinks were just as great as the atmosphere. I started with a perfectly spiced Bloody Mary, then munched on a skillet frittata with roasted poblanos topped with arugula and flakes of cheddar cheese.
 sunday frittata fun day
We went to a couple other places throughout the weekend, but unfortunately I didn't take any photos. I can't be that obnoxious person taking food pics everywhereee! For breakfast, we had to try Pancake Pantry. There's usually a line wrapping around the corner to get in, but they have tons of different pancake flavors--I picked the banana bread pancakes. We also went to another BBQ restaurant, but I can't remember the name!! I was in too much of a pulled pork food coma to remember.

 On that note, time to go back?!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

NASHVILLE SCENES

rainy flight out of BOS
hillsboro village
one thing Nashville and I can agree on
reunited at the Grand Ole Opry!
farmer's market
farmer's market--please note the attractive veggie vendor
broadway a.k.a nashvegas
cowboy boots galore
nashvegas
the Parthenon (the nashville version)
This past weekend my college friends and I reunited, after three looong months since graduation, in Nashville for a quick 48-hour whirlwind trip. Ever since traveling to different cities on the weekends while I was in Europe, I think I've mastered the art of squeezing all things cultural and fun in 48 hours or less when visiting a new place. Luckily, Nashville isn't that big. And, to be honest, there's not a whole lot to see in terms of tourist-y things. Good food, drinks and friends were the main focus of the trip, which I am not complaining about.

When we weren't sipping on moonshine margaritas and noshing on pulled pork (don't worry, a round-up of Nashville restaurants and favorite dishes is in the works), we spent the majority of our days exploring the farmer's markets, seeing the Grand Ole Opry and the Parthenon, and poking through the little boutiques around Vanderbilt. Here's a list of Nashville must-sees that can be done in 48 hours or less:
  • Hillsboro Village - a little downtown street near Vanderbilt that's home to a line of boutiques, cafes and a famous pancake joint, The Pancake Pantry.
    • Boutiques: 
      • Tennessee Chic (where I found the "What doesn't kill you makes you blonder" quote) - a bright and cheerful shop with decorative homemade quotes lining the walls and colorful clothing.
      • Pangaea - embrace your inner hippie/bohemian side with this boutique's offering of eclectic jewelry, clothing, folk art, felt hats and home goods.
      • Native Nomad - a more upscale boutique that features local casual and contemporary designer clothing and accessories. Think neutral colors, locally-made delicate jewelry, modern apparel with a nomadic flair.
  • Grand Ole Opry - the most famous country music venue; however, the building shown above in the group photo is actually not the historical version. We made that mistake and took an Uber all the way there to a strip mall! The original, called the Ryman, is just downtown off of Broadway.
  • Farmer's Markets - one for food and one for vintage goods.
    • Nashville Farmer's Market - a food and flower market that sells locally-sourced produce and baked goods. The Market House also has 16 restaurant vendors that serve BBQ, pizza, ice cream, Asian and Mexican cuisine. It's truly a food-lover's paradise.
    • Fairgrounds Flea Market - a goldmine of vintage goods, including that amazing leather jacket in my photo above. We're talking antique records, silverware, art and other trinkets. It's definitely worth wandering through but it is hot in the sun. Pick up a freshly-squeezed lemonade as you explore.
  • Broadway - the main strip of downtown Nashville that's crawling with bachelor/bachelorette parties, Pedal Taverns and Party Barges. At all hours, you can walk down Broadway and hear live country bands performing in multilevel bars with happy hours specials everywhere. There's a reason why they call it Nashvegas.
  • Parthenon - a full-scale replica of the actual Parthenon in Greece that was originally built for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in 1897. Located in Centennial Park, the monument is pretty to look at, especially while sitting by the pond nearby. In other words, this makes a good scenic rest area.
Though the days are packed, and I'm sure we didn't get to everything, especially the local spots, I think we were able to fully experience Nashville. I must say, I don't think I've ever seen so many bachelorette parties, colorful clothing, rhinestones and blondes in one place. Needless to say, I put aside my dislike for country music and embraced the Southern hospitality. 
Stay tuned for a recap of the other version of Southern hospitality:
moonshine & BBQ.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

SHAKE THAT TASSEL TASSEL

SHAKE THAT TASSEL TASSEL
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One of my favorite summer trends that will take us straight into fall is tassel accessories. Whether featured on a long beaded necklace or used as a statement earring to frame the face, these colorful fringe additions will create movement for a fun, effortless look. This trend has cool, beach-y surfer girl vibes written all over it...

Yes, they feel a bit bohemian, especially when dangling from a wooden beaded necklace (pair one with your favorite bikini and cut-offs and hellooo beach chic). BUT the tassel trend can also be worn by the sophisticated (or beach-less) folk. For those who aren't so keen on bright colors and beads, try a leather tassel statement necklace or earrings for an edgier and more muted look to be paired with a tailored blazer or motorcycle jacket. Or, opt for small, delicate tassels in either silver or gold with a touch of color to accessorize a basic tee or sweater.

Despite tassel accessories' casual feel, the price points on these pieces can get pretty steep. Luckily, there are a bunch of Etsy shops selling them for reasonable prices, such as Bright New Penny, TTassel and Erro Studios. If you're willing to pay a higher price to make a statement, Bauble Bar and Gold & Gray have impressive selections of tassel necklaces and earrings from brightly-colored beads to subtle fringe.

Ready to shake your tassel tassel?
I know I am.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

BEACH-Y BLUES

Dress: H&M (similar) | Hat: Roxy (similar)

Hello again! It's been way too long since I've last posted. In the last few months I've graduated college, started working full-time at my current job, moved to a new apartment and occasionally gone to the beach in between. Though there's been a lot  of change, I'm ready to come back here full-swing, starting with some beach-y blues. Yes, it's nearing the end of swimwear season, but luckily that means SALES. Time to stock up on white bathing suit tops (why must they get worn out so easilyyy), coverups and bottoms. Victoria's Secret, Nordstrom and Target all have good deals right now, so get shopping--after hitting the beach, duh.

No easy, breezy beach look is complete without a good cover-up. Though I love a good pair of cut-offs and a tank, sometimes it's just way too hot for even that much clothing. I like to stick to light dresses or long tops. Light and flowy fabrics are key. Add a floppy sun hat for a bit of drama and glam, and you'll be turning heads on the sand. For beach cover-up inspo, check out my fave sundresses below!
What's your go-to beach outfit?

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

TROPICAL PARADISE

Tropical Paradise
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All who are ready for this snow to melt say, "Ay!" Seriously though. My eyes have grown so comfortable seeing seas of black down jackets that whenever I see someone wearing a bright color, I want to run up and hug them. Anyway, since I am hopping on a plane on Sunday morning for a spring break Miami trip, I wanted to get inspired with some bright colors and tropical prints in my own round up of clothing meant for tropical paradise.

One designer who epitomizes paradise for me is Mara Hoffman, maker of the patterned dress shown above. All of her pieces, though pricey, are fun and vibrant, perfect for a beach getaway vacation. She makes adorable bikinis and one-pieces, as well as mini and maxi dresses meant for the sun. Lucky for us, Mara Hoffman pieces are part of Shopbop's Big Event Sale! At checkout, use the code BIGEVENT15 to receive 25% off your purchase.

Which tropical pieces do you like best?
P.S. Shopbop's menswear section East Dane is holding a tiered sale: spend $250+ save 15%, spend $500+ save 20%, spend $1000+ save 25%. Get shopping gents!

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

5 Valentine's Day Date Ideas [& a Sunset]

With Valentine's Day this weekend, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite date ideas for you and your loved one (even if that's your BFF). The photos above are from my 22nd birthday when we did a winter beach trip and dinner in Newburyport at the The Black Cow, one of my favorite spots. This past weekend Drew and I were trying to decide what restaurant we would try for Valentine's Day, only to realize that almost every place we looked at was completely booked. We make this mistake every year, but really, why do so many people take V-Day so seriously?

For those of you who still couldn't get a dinner reservation or simply don't want to do the whole dinner date thing like every other couple, these ideas may be helpful:
  1. Cook your own three-course meal and set the table! This is a fun idea, especially when you can't get a reservation anywhere else, because you can cook exactly what you want to eat while enjoying an intimate dining experience…in your own dining room. Cooking up your own appetizer, entree and dessert is also fun when you have an assistant in the kitchen.
  2. Visit the beach or a park. Of course, this is more of a day-time or early evening activity, but if it's not too bitterly cold outside, it can be fun to stroll the beach or park and enjoy the winter sights without lots of people milling around you. 
  3. Go for a dessert date. Skip dinner or opt for date idea #1 then go out for a gourmet dessert! Many of the leftover reservation options for Boston restaurants were for late at night, so might as well cook your own dinner before and snag the reservation for a decadent dessert date afterward (with bubbly, of course).
  4. Visit a museum. Opt for a day-date to one of your favorite museums. For a fun, interactive day, visit the Aquarium or Museum of Science, or to get cultured, visit the Museum of Fine Arts (for this naked scavenger hunt?), Isabella Steward Gardner museum or ICA. Usually these museums have new exhibits going on or are just pleasant to walk through and enjoy the views. They're also free or offer a discount with a college ID #budgetfriendly.
  5. Watch a flick with chocolate and wine. My personal favorite. The New York Times recently posted an article with the best wine pairings for chocolate. Might as well reach for the expensive bottle of port when you don't have to pay a dinner bill, right? Pick up some chocolate truffles and a few favorite movies, and you have a perfect Valentine's Day evening.
With these V-Day date ideas, there's no need to stress not getting a dinner reservation or having to pay a large dinner bill. These ideas are just as fun (for couples and BFFs alike), plus you won't be bothered by PDA across the restaurant.
What do you think? Do you have any Valentine's Day plans?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

BUFFALO CHECK

Madewell Flannel | J.Crew Turtleneck | Madewell Jeans | Zara Coat (similar) | Nine West Boots (similar) | Black Poppy Hat (similar)
Photos by: Drew McLoon

Nothing says winter like a little flannel and plaid here and there. In this case, I'm going with a bold buffalo check print. This Madewell flannel is one of the coziest shirts I own, and I've worn it a ton since I got it for Christmas. I paired the buffalo check shirt with a black lightweight turtleneck layer for a little extra warmth and classic style inspired by my mother circa 1980s.

These photos were taken just before and after Drew and I saw Wild with Reese Witherspoon at the little movie theatre in downtown Lexington--our fav. I loved the movie and seeing Reese play a different role than usual. Not to mention, Cheryl Strayed is amazing, and she almost motivated me to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (maybe part of it…maybe). We finished off the snowy evening with dinner at il Casale with delicious Italian food. And this is just one buffalo check shirt adventure of the season…

Thanks for reading!

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