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

 

 

 

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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