January Favorite Five

I can’t believe how quickly January flew by! I had planned to drop a new blog post each week this month, but am realizing now this is only my second post of 2020. I dedicated the month of January to planning and organizing my year at a glance. I’ve spent a lot of time setting short term and long term goals and mapping out how to achieve these goals. During this time, I came up with some future blog post ideas and am very excited to have a routine posting schedule!

In the past, I would make these favorites posts of five things that made my month, whether it be an event, food, product, tv show, etc. I always enjoy reflecting on my month and decided to continue this series on my blog. With that said, here are some of my favorites from January 2020.

My January Favorite Five:

  1. My Goal Planner: Before every school year, I purchase a planner and use it maybe the first few months before abandoning it in the bottom of my bag. Since graduating in December, it felt weird to not be going back to school in January. I decided to purchase this goals planner from Michaels to keep me motivated towards my goals. I’ve been making daily to-do lists and keeping an organized schedule for each week.

2. Garnier SkinActive Rose Water Day/Night Cream: With the winter comes dry skin. I have always struggled with finding a good face moisturizer. I prefer a glowy, natural look, but want to avoid looking greasy. However, the moisturizers I used in the past would leave my skin feeling dry. This moisturizer is a thick formula, but leaves my skin feeling hydrated, without the greasy finish. Added bonus: the rose water scent is very light, and fresh!

3. Seeing the sunrise: Okay, I can’t lie. With no classes to wake for, I have been catching my Z’s. However, when a bestie asked if I’d wake up early and see the sunrise at the beach one morning, I could not say no. Despite the lack of sleep, I felt energized throughout the day from starting my morning on such a beautiful note. 10/10 recommend.

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Rise and shine ☀️

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4. Frobie’s Matcha Latte: If you’ve been keeping up with this series, you might remember my love for Pressed Cafe’s Matcha Latte. Well Pressed, you MAY have met your match-a (haha puns). This latte was added to the menu recently and I had to try. It’s delicious hot or cold. I get mine with almond milk and agave.

5. My Pearl Bag: This bag was gifted to me by a friend for Christmas and I haven’t put it down since. Anyone who knows me, knows my love for pearls. This bag pairs well with every outfit and is such a fun accessory.

I hope some of my favorites can provide you with some inspiration or product recommendations. I look forward to see what I’ll be featuring next month in my February favorites!

What were some of your favorites this month? Comment below or on this post on my Facebook page.

Best,

Hayley

My Venture into Videography

Over the past year, I’ve rediscovered an interest in filmmaking. My passion for video began around the age of 6 or 7 when my parents bought my sisters and I a video camera that you could plug into your television and see what you were filming onscreen. All the while, what you filmed was recorded on a VHS tape. This brought a VHS tape filled with self-written comedy sketches and talent shows.

Years past and the Flip video replaced our VHS recording camera. This brought multiple music videos, films, and home video into the scene. Soon the Flip video was replaced by iPhone videos and my first Nikon DSLR, where I began filming fashion and makeup YouTube videos. However, around my sophomore year of high school, kids at school were discovering people’s YouTube channels and mocking them. Quick to avoid humiliation, I deleted my videos and stopped filming for a long time.

College came around and as I tried to find a minor to support my Theatre major, I stumbled upon the Digital Media major which had courses in everything from blogging to video production to screenwriting. It wasn’t until the end of my sophomore year and beginning of my junior year that I picked up the camera once again.

I am rusty and inexperienced, but I am learning. Not every shot will be perfect and every video will only continue to grow in quality. In school, I’ve filmed promotional videos for non profits, interviews, and even got to film a couple fictional pieces of my own writing. Now, to further experiment with editing, I’ve began to film vlog-styled home videos.

Growing up, we tried to capture a home video for all of the family events: Christmas, birthday parties, random occasions, etc. A couple weekends ago, we had a family reunion on my dad’s side in Casco, Maine that I decided to film. I thought about writing about the trip in today’s post, but instead I will share with you the link to the video. I plan to share my journey with videography on this blog so that I may look back and track progress. Here is my imperfectly perfect first vlog:

Enjoy,

Hayley

My Disney Vacation Highlights

Last week I returned from my family vacation in Walt Disney World in Florida. Florida’s in June are hot, humid, and stormy. However, despite the weather, and slipping down stairs due to rain. There were some highlights of the trip I wanted to share with you all. There were some rides, attractions, memories, and meals that I tried for the first time that made this trip special.

  • June 13th, Disney Springs: After an early flight, we settled into our hotel and waited for our rooms to be available around 2 PM. Then, we went took a bus down to Disney Springs for a dinner reservation at Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming. This restaurant is very known for their Southern comfort food. While a majority of my family ordered the famous fried chicken and doughnuts, I ordered the fried chicken with mashed potatoes, and a cheddar drop biscuit. Paired with a white peach sangria, the food was to die for. However, the portion I had was very large and could definitely be two meals. chefartsmiths.jpg
  • June 14th, Magic Kingdom: This was the first time my family used a Disney base ticket. With this ticket, you can do only one park a day, but are allowed to break and come back to that same park as many times as you want. So on that Friday, we went to Magic Kingdom for early magic hours at 8 AM stayed til 1 PM, took a break, and returned later in the evening. For breakfast, we stopped at Gaston’s Tavern in Fantasyland for one of their famous large cinnamon rolls. Then, for lunch, we took the monorail for the first time to Polynesian Resort for a lunch. Their hawaiian sandwich, which features pulled pork, cole slaw, and sliced cucumbers, is so good birds were swarming my sister and I to get a bite. Another highlight of the night was the new Happily Ever After fireworks and castle projections. They seemed to include every Disney film you could ask for.cinnabun.jpg
  • June 15th, Animal Kingdom: Potentially one of the hottest days was the day we went to Animal Kingdom. We went on some rides and grabbed a bite to eat for lunch and then took a break in the afternoon. We returned in the evening to go on Expedition Everest (which had been closed earlier in the morning). We got dinner at Pizzafari, which has amazing personal pizzas and a very refreshing Mandarin Orange Vodka Lemonade. The highlight of that night was the Rivers of Light show that features beautiful music, projections, and water floats that light up the pond in Animal Kingdom. River of Lights
  • June 16th, Hollywood Studios: On Father’s Day, we had breakfast at the resort and then went to Hollywood Studios in the morning and evening. Some of my favorite things to do at Hollywood Studios is go on the Rockin’ Rollercoaster and see the Beauty and the Beast show, both of which we did in the morning. We also saw the Incredible’s Dance Party at Pixar Place. Later in the evening we got to see Toy Story Land. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip because it felt like I was reliving my childhood. Toy Story Land is a toy land, the characters are all over this new part of the park, and the Slinky Dog roller coaster is really fun. At the peak of the ride, you can catch a view of the new Star Wars land, which is opening later this year. 64588099_2314537388605513_1565077952289308672_n.jpg
  • June 17th, Magic Kingdom: We returned to Magic Kingdom on Monday for a character breakfast with Winnie the Pooh at Crystal Palace. The buffet was delicious and my mom and I tried an amazing white sangria made with sauvignon blanc, pineapple juice, and peaches and raspberries. Aside from the amazing breakfast, we went on more rides, shopped, found the famous purple wall and got some much needed ice cream at Edy’s Ice Cream Parlor. IMG_355964553186_2314537225272196_900011573697839104_n.jpg64323602_2314537248605527_7522904002292350976_n.jpg
  • Tuesday, June 18th- Epcot: On our last full day, we went to Epcot. In the morning, we rode Frozen, Test Track, and grabbed brunch in France. I had a croissant sandwich with ham and cheese and a mimosa (which I spilled on myself so my dad kindly bought me another.) It poured throughout most of the day and evening on Tuesday, so we tried to make the best out of our time there. For dinner, we went to La Cantina de San Angel in World Showcase Mexico, which overlooks the lagoon. I ate empanadas con queso with a cole slaw and tried a frozen mango margarita, which was delicious. 64560395_2317439094982009_4252247816107196416_n.jpg
  • The Evolution of the Finger Guns: The TRUE highlight of the trip began at Magic Kingdom on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and trended throughout the trip. You may know that Disney has a photopass service that will take pictures of you on most rides and send them straight to your mydisneyexperience app. My dad decided in every picture we took he was going to point finger guns at the camera. This slowly evolved into my entire family trying to do it and the results are pretty hilarious. Enjoy.

 

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I hope some of these highlights will help you on your own visit to Disney World! Looking forward to sharing some more of my summer vacation with you all.

Happy Summer,

Hayley

My Favorite Five: March

I can’t believe it’s already April. I’m already dreaming of warm weather and May flowers. Anyone else in the Northeast sick of the cold? March had many chilly days but it also brought a lot of new things that made the temps more bearable (I guess).

Here are five of my favorite things from this month:

1. Fezziwig’s Food and Fountain: This place was featured in my Girl’s Trip post from March, and there’s no surprise it made my monthly favorites. This cute restaurant has walls of tea cups, seasonal decor, and a menu full of items ranging from tea to scones to poutine. It’s a must-visit.

2. The Body Shop Mandarin Energizing Face Mist: When I discovered this on the shelf at a local TJMaxx, I decided to give it a whirl because of the success of my Body Shop Setting Spray. This did not disappoint! Like the bottle says, it hydrates and energizes your skin with mandarin, vitamin E, and some caffeine to give you a refreshing wake up call.

TJMaxx Stores $4.99, The Body Shop $10.00

3. Ben and Jerry’s Non-Dairy Pints: Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE ice cream. Last summer, I discovered that my body cannot tolerate a lot of dairy. Discovering these non-dairy pints, made with almond milk, has saved my sweet tooth. I’ve tried Chocolate Fudge Brownie, PB&Cookies, and Chocolate Caramel Cluster and they’re all delicious. 10/10 recommend.

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4. Hulu’s The Act: For a while, I’ve been trying to find a series to replace The People vs O.J. Simpson, which was the first season of American Crime Story that my sister and I Netflix binged a couple years back. True story dramatizations are either hit or miss, in my opinion. So when I stumbled across the trailer for The Act, starring Joey King, I was very curious. My sister and I have not been disappointing. Every episode is creepy and the storyline follows the case of Gypsy Rose Blanchard and her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard’s murder. Here is the trailer for anyone interested. I definitely recommend.

5. DailyBible.app: This app popped up in my Pinterest recommended feed. For a little spiritual motivation, you can schedule a time in the day to be sent daily bible quotes. When you open the app, it asks you what time of the day you need a little motivation. Just select a time, and expect to receive 3 quotes from the Bible at this time every day. I scheduled mine for 10 AM everyday and it’s been a great pick-me-up during my mornings.

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Let’s hope this month brings warmer weather and new favorites to share come May.

Happy spring!

Hayley

 

 

 

Visits: Girl’s Trip to Portsmouth

I am not one to travel during spring break. It can be very costly and I prefer to spend the week relaxing and saving my money where I can. This break, my need for adventure was fulfilled with a day trip to Portsmouth with my best friends.

During the school year, it had been difficult to experiment with photography in different places just because I was preoccupied with school assignments and work. My two friends, Amanda and Alex, are very into photo-taking, as well, so making the plan to spend the day sight-seeing a local place, taking pictures, and eating good food was a done deal for us.

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Here are two perfect photo spots I found on my trip:

  1. The Beach: The beach we stopped at was Hampton Beach, on the ride to Portsmouth. However, I’ve discovered the beach is generally a beautiful spot for photography. It’s very scenic! The sand, water, sky, and rocks are all beautiful (the bigger, flat, rocks are also great to sit on). Secondly, the lighting can almost never go wrong. Unless it is very sunny, which can create very high exposure, pictures are always very bright and crisp. We chose to do our day trip on a very overcast day, which made the lighting ideal for picture-taking. Overall, it was lovely.

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2. Fezziwig’s Food and Fountain Portsmouth: THIS. IS. THE. CUTEST. PLACE. EVER. My friend Alex recommended we try this little place for an afternoon snack, and boy, am I glad she did. Everyone who knows me, knows I am a fan of tea. This place has ALL the tea. It has a tea selection, including a deal for “tea for two”, plus a variety of scones, muffins, mousses, cupcakes, and crêpes. The menu also includes meal items, like sandwiches and poutine, the classic french fry and gravy Canadian dish. I had a red pepper and cheddar scone and a mug of their green tea. Then, we took pictures of the cute interior of the shop. There were teacup-lined walls, mirrors and ceiling decoration, as well as a beautiful grand piano. A very photogenic, and delicious, spot. Not to mention a very friendly staff! Our waitress offered to take pictures of the three of us. 10/10 recommend.

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After walking around downtown and taking more pictures, we ended the day with a picture-free dinner at the local diner. The day was spent with good weather (despite the chilly breeze), good food, good times, and good company.

Note to self: plan more day trips.

Happy Post-break Monday,

Hayley

 

My Favorite Five: January 2019

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far away I made a post called My Favorite Five where I posted five of my favorite books, products, hobbies, etc. from the month. I really enjoyed writing this post because it helped me remember some of my favorite things and it inspired some of my readers to try out something new! Because of this, I’ve decided my last post of every month will be part of a series called “My Favorite Five”.

Here’s my favorite five of January:

  1. Book Lovers’ Soy Candle: My sister, Ashley, gifted me this candle for Christmas called “Sherlock’s Study.” I’m a big fan of the Sherlock Holmes’ stories and this candle is inspired by the famous detective’s study. It smells like cherrywood, tobacco, and rain and is the perfect scent for a cozy, winter read. These candles are sold by Frostbeard Studio on Etsy.

  2. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote: Speaking of cozy, winter reads, I’d been dying to read the short story that one of my favorite Audrey Hepburn films is based off of and it did NOT disappoint. Turns out the film is very accurate to the story, aside from a few changes here or there. 10/10 recommend for fans of the film.

  3. The Body Shop Makeup Setting Spray: For people who want their makeup to last from morning to evening, a setting spray is what you need. This one by The Body Shop was gifted to me and it might just beat my go-to Milani Make It Last Setting Spray. It’s a refreshing, light, all-over mist and my makeup stays all day. I definitely recommend!!

  4. Room Essential Oil Diffuser: I had heard and seen so many people using these, that I wanted to see what all the rage was about. I was not disappointed. Diffusers make my room smell great and certain oil combinations can aid sleep, digestion, and improve your overall mood. The wonderful work of aromatherapy! (Hint: 2 drops Lavender, 2 drops Lemongrass, and 2 drops Eucalyptus help you breathe when you have a cold 🤧).

  5. Pressed Cafe Matcha Latte: I love green tea, but had a hard time with green tea lattes. I found most of them bitter and Starbuck’s matcha latte was too strong. Then I decided to try Pressed Cafe’s (a little cafe in Nashua and Burlington with a large menu) and my mind changed forever. I don’t know what it is, but their latte is just the right amount of matcha and is blended so smoothly with vanilla almond milk. Warning: Once you have one, there’s no going back. (Oh, and their avocado toast is to DIE for). img_2461

These are just five of my favorite things from January. Stay tuned for next month’s favorites.

February, here we come!

Hayley

The Ball: A Little Story with a Huge Message

One of my favorite quotes from The Office was said by Pam in the finale. When reflecting on her years working at the paper company, she sums it up by saying “There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that the point?”. I think about this quote a lot in my daily life. I’ve learned that when you take a moment out of your day to just find something good, and hold onto it, then you can never truly have a bad day.

This week has been a heat wave and my family has been at camp all week. We’ve been spending the days at the lake, exhausted by the sun, but soaking up the most of our vacation. Fourth of July has always been a very special day in my family. We traditionally spent the day at our camp, and have been doing so since my mom was growing up and camping with my grandparents. So it’s no surprise that we tried our best to ignore the excruciating heat and just focused on spending the holiday surrounded by the people we love.

Sunset at Winnisquam Lake

And then the day after the Fourth happens and everyone is tired from the heat and the late nights. The excitement of the previous day has died down and the lake day seems quiet. I look out into the water and see an autistic boy, who was playing ball with his sister, has thrown the ball over the line separating the swimming area from the boating area. I see his sister try to swim over to it, but the wind keeps carrying the ball further and further away. Two other members of his party dive in and start to swim out towards the ball- a very dangerous mission since many boats were out. I look around, the entire beach is watching. They need to swim back in. They’re going to get hurt. Just let the ball go and get him a new one.

My heart warmed as I saw an older gentleman grab one of his own beach balls and bring it over to the boy. As we watched the scene unfold, my aunt and I somehow knew that, as kind as that offer was, the boy wanted his ball back. At this time, the two members of his family started to swim back in. The ball was too far out for them to retrieve it. They all sat on the dock disappointed.

Time passed when a couple on a jet ski drove by our camp, carrying a large beach ball in their arms. They threw it out to the dock. Is this anyone’s? We found it out there. The entire camp beach cheered as we watched the boy tread through the water towards the ball, smile illuminating his face. “My BALL! Did you see??? They found my BALL!!”

Maybe it was the exhaustion of the day, but my eyes began to tear up. But I don’t think it was exhaustion. There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that the point?

My Favorite Five

One of my favorite video series to watch on YouTube is people’s monthly favorites. It’s always so interesting to see what products people recommend, what shows people are watching, or what music people are listening to. I decided to do the same series and, maybe not every month but every few months or so, post five of my favorite products or trends or shows or apps or music I am listening to. Leave a comment below if you want to see more of these posts!

(Cue Julie Andrews) These are a few of my favorite things:

  1. Favorite Makeup Palette: California Dreaming Palette by Lorac. I first saw this eye shadow palette at Kohl’s and thought it was so aesthetically pleasing, I couldn’t pass it up the next time I saw it. At $30 it is a bit of a splurge, but the quality is so worth it. The palette is inspired by California in the late winter/early spring and features soft neutrals and sandy tones, as well as pastels and beachy colors, both in shimmery shades and matte. Lorac’s eye shadows are so pigmented and last the entire day without budging; it’s been my go-to since I purchased it.img_4479
  2. Favorite Nail Color: OPI’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s Collection in “Apartment for Two.” My favorite color from a collection inspired by one of my favorite movies? It was a no brainer that this ended up on my Christmas list. This hot pink was perfect for Valentine’s Day and coincidentally matches one of my favorite lip colors, Covergirl’s Watermelon Twist lip crayon. 57e4fd2b-05d2-4b2a-a5dc-fea861794531
  3. Favorite Trend: Monochromatic Makeup. I am a lazy college student with barely any time to do her makeup in the morning. I would always rush around trying to blend multiple eye shadows and do a full face look, until I found the solution (thanks Pinterest). An easy way to save time and look like you put forth your best effort is by applying one color to your eyes, lips, and cheeks. My current favorite is an all-over peach look created by applying Benefit’s “Coralista” blush to my cheeks, Lorac’s eye shadow in “Starfish” to my lids, and matching it with Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipstick in the shade “Chocolate Honey”. It takes little time and looks effortlessly chic. img_4463
  4. Favorite Snack: Smoothie. I always go for chocolate, and starting today, I have given it up for Lent. But recently, I’ve learned how to use a blender and have been making better-for-you smoothies, like this strawberry one. This one is a blend of Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt, 4 fresh strawberries, some low-fat milk, and a quarter of a spoon of Stawberry  Whey Protein Powder. This smoothie is packed with protein, under 200 calories, and tastes like a dessert. Yum.4ac5bf74-7238-409d-a439-b92469591652
  5. Favorite TV Show: The Vampire Diaries. For those of you that know me, I have been a die hard Vampire Diaries fan since it began its first season when I was in middle school. Well, I have followed the series all the way through to its current eighth season, and am sad to know the show is ending in a mere two weeks (Prepare for a goodbye post for this show in the near future). As sad as I am to say goodbye, the farewell is bittersweet- bitter because it’s the end, but sweet because the show has really upped its game connecting the last season to the first with several parallels and bringing back older characters from the previous seasons. The story line has always been good but I’m happy to see the creators and writers put the effort in to ensure the show ends with a mic drop. I definitely recommend this for a good binge-watch.img_4445

That’s all of my favorites for the past couple months. I would love to know yours. Leave a comment below of some of your favorite things and let me know if you’d like to see more of these posts!

Have a lovely night,

Hayley