6 Money Saving Tips


Sweater / Custom Chair

A few months ago, my accountant Brittany, shared her accounting tips for bloggers and small business owners. That content was super helpful, but many of you aren’t bloggers or small business owners, so I asked her if she could give us some insight into one of the scariest things about being an adult… saving. It’s scary for me anyway. I’m constantly wondering if I’m saving enough, or if I’m doing it the right way.

I have a strong belief that all college students should have to take a personal finance course before they graduate, but as for most people, that wasn’t the case for me. I felt as if I was thrown into adulthood blindly, and it took me three years before I realized that I even needed a savings account! After that, I became insane about saving, and because of it, was able to buy a house at a pretty young age.

That being said, Anel and I aren’t the most frugal of couples, so I’m always trying to learn a thing or two. Without further ado, I’ll let Brittany take it away.

Hi Everyone! I’m so excited to be here again today sharing information about something that I’m even more passionate about than accounting: saving. Saving is incredibly important. I hate to say it, but if the thought of not having enough money in retirement doesn’t scare you, it should! Not to worry, though… These six tips will get you there in no time.

1: Harness the power of “compound interest”
Compound interest is basically the 8th Wonder of the World. But what is it? Well, we all know that savings earn interest. But “compound interest” means that your interest also earns interest. Compound interest is more powerful over a longer time, which is why it’s so important to save anything you can, as early as possible.

For example, take two cases of putting aside money every week until you’re 65. All things being equal, if you save $200 a week, starting at age 25, you will have $413,867 more in retirement than if you save $400 a week starting at age 35. In the world of compound interest, time is worth more than money.

I suggest Googling “Retirement Calculator” and playing around with the numbers. You will be amazed at how much it matters to start saving as early as possible.

My favorite retirement calculator online is this one.

2: Start saving now
The most important thing you can do, then, is to start saving now to take advantage of that that compound interest. I remember how I felt when I was young. Even though I was broke, I felt invincible: retirement seemed so far away and having an emergency fund didn’t even cross my mind. Plus, even if I wanted to save, I just didn’t feel like I could.

I was also scared to save, thinking I would be missing out on things in life if I put money aside. But the funny thing is, now I feel like I was missing out before I started saving. You know the feeling you get when you buy a new cute outfit, or splurge on that bag you really wanted? Saving makes me feel like that every day.

What we all need is a nudge. Mine came when a relative posted the “52-Week Challenge” on Facebook: you save $1 in week one, $2 in week two, etc., until you save $52 in the fifty-second week and end up with over $1,000 saved. I thought to myself, I can do that. Seems easy enough. The funny thing is, I never finished the challenge! But what it did for me was get me into the habit of saving and I haven’t looked back. So, think of a way to nudge yourself in the right direction.

My only regret is not beginning sooner . . . I missed out on several years of compound interest.

If you have a difficult time not dipping into your savings account, I suggest keeping your savings in a separate bank to limit the instant transfers between savings and checking.

3: Save for emergencies
You should have some money set aside in your savings account for emergencies, which should be “liquid” (meaning you can get to it fast). There are different schools of thought regarding how many months of living expenses people should have in their emergency fund – but if you have none, I would try to save up at least one month of expenses, with three months worth being my sweet spot.

Where to put your savings? Even though bank interest rates are pretty low these days, search the internet for a bank that offers the highest interest rates. BankRate.com is great for this. You can use either a regular savings/money market account or another low-risk mutual fund, but be prepared to lose money if the market dips.

4: Start a retirement account
So, you’ve decided you need to start saving, like yesterday, but when you go to open up a retirement account or sign-up for your job’s 401k, you have literally no idea what they’re talking about. No problem. Here’s what you need to know:

IRA (Individual Retirement Account): Open an IRA if you’re self-employed or if you don’t like your employer’s 401k. Look into the many different individual retirement accounts out there and even more for those who are self-employed with various pros and cons to them.

401k (Employer Retirement Account): If you have a job, and your company matches your contributions, I highly suggest opening a 401k retirement account through your company so you get double the savings. The only downside to opening up one through your job is that they can sometimes come with hefty administrative fees. Inquire about these fees and make sure they’re less than the match you’re receiving. Self-employed individuals can open a 401k as well, known as a Solo 401k.

The main difference between IRAs and 401ks is the amount of money you save, tax deferred, per year.

Once you’ve decided on an account, let’s talk about the difference between Traditional vs. Roth.

Traditional (pay tax later): With a traditional account, you get a tax deduction the year you invest, and pay tax after retirement, when you withdraw the money. This is to your advantage if you think you are in a higher tax bracket now than you will be after you retire.

Roth (pay tax now): With a Roth, you do not get a tax deduction the year you invest, but you pay no tax later when you withdraw the funds. This is to your advantage if you think you will be in a higher tax bracket after you retire than you are in now. Also, you will pay zero tax on all of that compound interest, your investments will grow tax free.

If you don’t know which tax bracket you will be in when you retire, invest half and half in both kinds of accounts.

5: Start an investment account
Once you’ve established your retirement account, it’s time to start an investment account. Personally, I think mutual funds from Vanguard are the best place to start. Mutual funds (1) tend to be safer investments (with smaller gains and losses) compared to trading stocks and (2) allow you to diversify your portfolio even if you’re working with a relatively small amount of money. I prefer buying shares of a mutual fund that tracks the S&P 500 (the top 500 stocks in the S&P Index).

6: Deal with debt
A lot of people think that if they have debt, they shouldn’t save. This is not always the case! I cannot stress this enough. There are different types of debt.

Pay off high-interest credit card debt immediately. High-interest credit card debt should definitely be paid down or moved to a 0% interest rate card. With credit cards, the interest rates are much higher than the interest you could earn through investing. Try to pay off your credit card debt immediately to avoid being charged the compound interest we discussed earlier. If you can’t afford to pay down all of the credit card debt immediately, do not wait to start saving until this is accomplished.

Pay down student loan debt monthly. Student loans, on the other hand, have low, fixed interest rates. You pay the same amount each month and that’s it. Pay off your student loans monthly, and don’t wait to start saving until your student loans are paid off.

Here’s a neat calculator I like to use that tells me what the best choice is between either paying off debt or investing the money instead.

Want to read more posts about money? Read my thoughts on money now that I’m in my 30’s, and my personal steps to regaining control over your finances.

Napa Travel Guide

Napa Travel Guide

I’m going to give you my recommendations based on my experiences in Napa, but note that my friend Victoria is far better versed in the area and has the best Napa guide ever! Check it out here for a lot more options. One of my favorite things about her post is the simple map she created (below) to make it easy to understand where you are. Silverado Trail, to the East, and Highway 29, to the west, create the outside of the ladder that is Napa Valley. I always felt so confused as to where I was until I saw it laid out this way! The perks of being friends with a graphic designer, am I right?

Napa Valley Map

Where to stay:
I’ve only ever stayed at two spots in Napa, but my favorite of the two was definitely this weekend, a smaller bed and breakfast that way over-delivered, Black Rock Inn. Jeff, the owner, keeps the place immaculate, and perfectly, elegantly decorated. Every morning for breakfast, he would whip us up a feast that rivals the best brunch spots in NYC. He knew that two of us were dairy and gluten-free so he made us GF, DF dark chocolate chip banana bread one morning that knocked my socks right off!

I seriously can’t wait to go back to Napa just to stay here again. And I know Anel will love it! Again, Victoria has a lot of other hotel/inn recs on her guide, but now that I stayed at Black Rock, I don’t think I’d ever stay anywhere else.

Where to drink wine:
It’s pretty hard to go wrong for wine tastings in Napa Valley. I went to one vineyard, once, that I really didn’t like but that’s it! It really just depends what you’re up for… A picnic outside with sparkling wine? Tasting a variety of rare blends in a beautiful space? A history of wine making? My list will have you covered.

Ma(i)sonry This weekend marked my second time at Ma(i)sonry, a small tasting room in Yountville that has an incredible selection of rare, small-batch varietals that will make you think differently about the way you drink wine. I remembered the caramel-forward Perpetuity blend from Rivera Vineyards that I had tasted a year earlier and made sure to pick up a bottle this time around! The space here is super cool, because it also functions as an art gallery. They sell quirky statues and gorgeous oil paintings. If it’s nice out, be sure to set up your tasting by the oversized stone fire pits.

Domaine Chandon One of my favorite moments from last weekend was spent here. We picked up a few bottles of sparkling rose and sat outside as the sun finally came out to shine down on six girlfriends, catching up over some bubbly. The property is great for picnics and outdoor drinking, but the inside space is nothing to write home about.

Peju Anel, my sister, and I went here last November and loved it. It’s a bit crowded/touristy but the space is really cool/modern and the wine is amazing. It’s kind of more of an upbeat vibe. They also have these unusal/gorgeous trees out front. You can see them in my post here.

Redmon This winery is tiny and off the beaten path, which is awesome. We were lucky enough to do a tasting with the owner, Lisa, who walked us through her family history with the land and their wine-making process, and had an intimate tasting there as well. They only make 250 cases/year so this wine can only be found at their property which is pretty cool! It’s fun to buy a bottle and then impress your wine-o friends at a dinner party later. The best part? All of their blends have been rated 90 or above… which is a really big deal.

Girard One of Hallie’s readers sent us to Girard on Friday afternoon. We checked it out on a whim and loved it! Scott, who did our tasting, was super nice and made it a fun process. The location is right in downtown Yountville so it’s great if you’re walking around town.

Cakebread Cellars Fun fact, Anel and I took our Christmas card photo here last year. It’s such a gorgeous property. I also love their wines and they do great tours and teach you a lot about the process of making their wines if you’re interested.

Rombauer Ok so I’ve never actually been tasting here but Rombauer wines are hands down my favorite of all time. I live for the chardonnay in the summer and the Cab is to die for in the winter. The vineyard was right near our inn, but we didn’t have time to make it over. Next time, I’m hitting it up for sure!

Odette I went to an event here last year and just fell in love with the space. Their cab reserve blend was also one of the best wines I’ve ever tasted in Napa, ever. It’s so beautiful and modern here, which makes sense because it’s run by all women!

Where to eat:
The food in Napa rivals the wine… seriously! There are so many amazing restaurants, and I’ve literally never once been disappointed.

Oxbow Public MarketVictoria took me here on our way out of town for a tea and green juice. It was a big space with tons of vendors selling everything from smoothies to soaps to artisan olive oils. It was fun to poke around and meet some local vendors. I’d love to come back for a full on breakfast or lunch next time.

Pacific Blues CafeThis lunch spot is no frills but always hits the spot. It’s mostly burgers and sandwiches, so if you need to soak up some of that wine from the night before, this is the place to do it. Plus you can always walk across the street to Bouchon Bakery for dessert!

Boon Fly CafeWe stopped here for brunch on the way into town. When we walked in, the amazing smell of food hit us and we knew we were in for a treat. The spicy bacon bloody mary was a hit and the chilequiles were so incredible. Everyone was happy with their meal, and it had a cute, farmy, bright vibe that is great for lunch or brunch.

Tacos GarciaThis apparently infamous taco truck parks in Yountville, minutes away from a bunch of the wineries I mentioned above. After a few bottles at Ma(i)sonry, Hallie and I walked over to pick up some tacos for the group. There was nothing fancy about it, but boy did those tacos hit the spot. It made me remember how much I miss good Mexican food on the East Coast! Definitely a must if you’re in town, even if just for a snack.

BottegaWe had the most fun dinner maybe ever at Bottega on Friday night. The Italian-inspired farm fresh menu was great and the drinks were even better.

FarmsteadWe ate at this giant converted barn on Saturday night, and it was so nice to finally eat something green! The kale salad and turkey chili were two of our favorite hits, and the oysters were wonderful as well. Definitely a good representation of California fare.

Rutherford GrillLast winter, my family and I enjoyed a delicious hearty dinner at Rutherford. As a big Hillstone fan, I knew this spot, in the same restaurant group, wouldn’t disappoint with their selection of American comfort food mixed with an obviously incredible wine list. It didn’t!

Bouchon BakeryThomas Keller’s famed Yountville bakery is a tourist trap but well worth it. You will probably wait in line, but once you bite into that chocolate bouchon, you’ll understand why.

Goose & GanderOn Saturday night, a few of us split off after dinner to grab a drink. We happened upon Goose & Gander, which is a restaurant upstairs, and a bar downstairs. The drinks and vibe at the downstairs bar were super cool. It’s a great spot to hit up late-night or if you’re sick of wine :)

Where to spa:
Spa Solage– On one of the mornings, Victoria and I split off from the group to get the famous mudslide treatment at Spa Solage. It sounded pretty alright on paper, but was magical in person. It’s a three-part detoxifying treatment (we needed it after all the wine!) that includes “the mud”, “the waters”, and “the rest”. You get to pick a customized pure essential oil to mix in with mineral-enriched mud and warm geo-thermal mineral waters from the hot spring there. They mix that all up and you apply it to your body in a hot, dry sauna. The sauna lasts 20 minutes so the mud can really bake in.

From there, you move to a private room with a luxurious soaking tub that is full of the hot spring waters and a bowl of sea salt mixed with the same oil that you choose for the mud.

That was all great and lovely, and our skin felt amazing, but the best part of the whole thing was “the rest”, which consisted of us relaxing in zero-gravity meditation chairs, wrapped in a cocoon of duvets, and covered in a cold eye mask and headphones playing harmonic music.. The coolest part? The music works with the chair to pulse healing vibrations throughout your body which promotes an intensely deep relaxation. It was insane and so amazing. My skin still feels so soft and smooth!

Wine Tasting in Napa

What to wear in Napa

I’ve been to Napa plenty of times, but going for a girls trip made it an entirely new (amazing) experience. My friend Victoria spends a lot of time there so she planned out every detail of the trip, leaving my usual type-A self to just relax and enjoy the ride. With six girls, five of us bloggers, it could have been a disaster, but it was the opposite of that. There were times for relaxation and times for long belly laughs.

I’ll give a full recap of the trip tomorrow when I have some time to sit down and write it all out, but I’ll give you my highlights now: Our mudslide treatment at Spa Solage was incredible. It included a 20-minute zero gravity meditation that was out of this world and rejuvenated me in a way I didn’t know I needed. Also just connecting with my friends over way too many bottles of delicious wine and meals was so wonderful.

On Saturday, I wanted to keep my look super simple and comfy to take me from wine tastings all day to dinner that night. Luckily everything in Napa is pretty casual so this look flew even for a night out. I threw on this sweater, that I’ve been seeing some of my favorite bloggers and friends wearing, and was so happy I did. It is literally my ideal sweater… from the fabric to the weight of it, to the cut, to the stripes. I also love the tortoise button detail on the shoulders!

I picked up these booties before I left because I needed a classic brown leather pair for fall anyway, and knew we would be walking around a lot so comfort was a must. The price doesn’t suck either.


Vineyard Vines Striped Sweater

Lemon Stripes Napa Valley

The best striped sweater

Striped Sweater

Sweater / Jeans / Bag c/o / Barbour / Booties

Photos by Jessica Sturdy.

Weekly Meal Planning

Weekly Meal Planning

One of the things that I’m most proud of as an adult, is my ability to plan and cook great, homemade meals every week. Not only do I plan for dinners, but I try to make sure that Anel and I both have a home-cooked lunch at least three days per week (his coworkers get pretty jealous). This is both cost effective and a healthier option, as it’s easy to stock up on extra junky food when buying lunch on the fly.

My yet-to-be-patented meal-planning system seems complicated, but once you break it down, it’s really not! It takes dedication and a bit of time, but in the long run, you’ll be so happy eating healthier meals and spending less on food, I promise. I used this same system when I was working a full time job and blogging, and the only difference in my plan is that now I make recipes that are a bit more complex.

I use a three-step method for the least amount of stress during a week. It includes: Planning, shopping, and prepping. Let me explain…

On Sundays, I’ll go through some recipes that I’ve bookmarked throughout the week and decide what I’m going to make for dinners the following week. I write out the ingredients for each dinner and am sure to make at least four servings so we can have leftovers for lunch the following day. I’ll go over the list with Anel to make sure he’s down with what’s on the docket.

Based on the plan we come up with for meals, I’ll create a shopping list. I hate all the fancy shopping apps, so I always do it in the Notes app on my iPhone. I divide the list into produce, meat, frozen, and other, so that I can easily navigate my list while navigating the store. Usually I do this shopping on Sunday afternoon/evening, but if we’re traveling over the weekend, which is fairly often, I push it to Monday

I try to always prepare the following dishes/sides on Sunday nights to have options for the week to come. Having these in tupperware (Always glass, we’re a BPA-free house! I love this set.) when I go to start making dinner, makes everything so much easier and less stressful.

Because I work from home, this also helps me take speedier lunch breaks, if I’m not going out with a friend or for a meeting. The entire process of prepping everything below takes about an hour, which might seem annoying that night, but I promise it pays off every time. Pop a bottle of wine, play your favorite tunes, and make it a thing. Do it with a roommate or partner to make it go by faster!

Brown rice:
I try to always make 4 cups (cooked) of brown rice for stir-fries throughout the week. I always use it all, even if not for meals. A great snack is to heat it up with a little bit of butter and cinnamon!

I like to add quinoa to salads, soups, and stir-fried with veggies as a side. Having this pre-made makes it a breeze.

Roasted vegetables:
This is more of a fall addition, but ’tis the season so I’ll include it in my list. I’ll cut up a yellow onion, sweet potatoes, squash, shallots, carrots, and garlic and roast them with salt, pepper, and olive oil. It’s so simple and a great addition to any salad or as a side.

Roasted chicken breast:
I will roast one or two chicken breasts and then slice them up to put on salads towards the beginning of the week. Sometimes I’ll heat them up with some of the roasted veggies for a dinner on Tuesday or Wednesday if I have a particularly busy day.

Slow cooker chili:
Ok so it doesn’t have to be chili, but on Sundays, during the colder months, I try to always cook a soup or stew in the crock pot. I love my turkey chili, but have been playing around with some new recipes lately too. I made a white bean/kale/quinoa soup last week that was to die for. I’ll share that recipe soon! I cook enough for dinner on Sunday as well as leftovers for both of us for lunch the next day. That way, even if I don’t get to any of the other items on my list, Monday lunch is taken care of.

Breakfast prep:
In addition to prepping dinners/lunches, I like to get ahead of the breakfast game, mostly for Anel. He leaves the house at 6am for work so easy breakfasts on-the-go are a must. I make 6 hardboiled eggs for his breakfast for the next three days (if you make them too far in advance, they get kind of gross). I pre-boil the eggs and pack them up so he’s set through Wednesday. I then do this again on Wednesday nights for Thursday-Friday.

I also make us each a smoothie for Monday morning which we both usually end up drinking for a mid-morning snack. Because Mondays can be hectic, I like to have this pre-made so I don’t have to think about anything. I’m always so grateful when I find it in my fridge at around 10:30am.

Want more healthy eating tips? My friend Amanda just launched an awesome (totally free!) video series that looks at dieting and how you eat in a fresh, exciting new way. Join me and sign up here!

Plaid Poncho

Lemon Stripes in a plaid poncho

Pumpkin-everything month is in full effect like woah. I went into Trader Joe’s the other day and they had an entire aisle…an entire aisle… dedicated to pumpkin flavored products. Including pumpkin-spice pumpkin seeds. Aren’t pumpkin seeds, by definition, pumpkin-spiced? I was curious so ended up buying them… and I hate to admit that were delicious, but they were.

It all feels a little over the top, doesn’t it? That being said, a good pumpkin display really gets me.

There’s a nursery in Greenwich that always has the most beautiful seasonal displays. I was on the hunt for a white pumpkin for our stoop so stopped by to pick one up and snap these shots. It was freezing the morning that we went, so I threw on the coziest plaid poncho. If I could wear a blanket outside on chilly days without looking insane, I totally would. This is just as good… plus it has a hood! The navy ended up matching my turtleneck (which is great for layering btw) perfectly.

In other news, my mom left today after two nights and three days at my house. It was so nice to spend some time alone with her, but I did take a little step back which is why there was no post yesterday! We were lucky to have two beautiful sunny days to explore and go for walks, but they were pretty cold so this poncho was worn (by both of us!) more than once.

Tomorrow I’m heading to Napa with some girlfriends for a long weekend, so today is going to be a scramble to fit in a ton of work, packing, and organizing the house for when I’m gone. My friends and I have been planning this trip for almost a year, so when we found out there is rain in the forecast, we were all a little bummed, but we’re going to make the best of it and have an incredible time catching up, getting some mud baths (so excited!), and drinking wine (obviously).

Be sure to follow my Napa adventures on Instagram and Snapchat! I also have a post coming up, that I’ve been working on for a while, about how I plan my meals for the week so check back tomorrow for that.

Plaid hooded poncho

Plaid Poncho

Mini Pumpkins

Lands End Plaid Poncho

Poncho c/o / Jeans (similar for $59) / Leopard Flats / Turleneck

How to Tie a Blanket Scarf

Fall Neutrals

There are a ton of ways that you could tie an oversized scarf, but this is my go-to style because it keeps me warm and looks less like wearing a blanket, and more like wearing a scarf. Every time I post a photo or Snapchat wearing one this way, I get questions about how to tie it, so I’m giving you the patented Lemon Stripes guide to tying a blanket scarf. Are you ready for it? I included step-by-step photos and instructions so there’s no room for error!

How to tie a blanket scarf

Make a triangle– Open the scarf all the way and fold it into a big ole’ triangle.
Point down– Pull it up around your neck with the point of the triangle facing down.
Criss cross– Behind your neck, criss cross the two ends of the triangle and pull them down towards your chest.
Tie a knot– Lift up the front of the triangle, and tie a loose knot with the ends under it.
Finito– Play around with it until it looks and feels perfect and voila!

See? It’s a lot easier than you think. I wore a white and grey windowpane (also love this one) for this post, as it’s my current favorite. Speaking of favorites… this sweater is everything. I linked to it in my fall wish list last week and it’s the absolute best… so cozy and comes in 10 colors!

How to tie a blanket scarf


Oversized Scarf (available here on sale) c/o / Sweater / Jeans / Flats / Bag c/o

My favorite blanket scarves

Fall Work Outfit


Happy Friday, friends! Over the summer, I shared two work looks. That seemed to resonate so I thought I’d create another one for fall. When Brooks Brothers asked me to style one of their non-iron shirts for their magazine, I knew this would be the perfect time for it. I don’t do a lot of office inspiration now that I’m not in one every day but I plan to make this a seasonal thing.

Blazers are kind of my thing. I love the way they look, the way they can be worn inside as a part of your outfit and outside as a part of your outerwear, and I love the way they keep me warm in these transitional months. This fall, a ton of plaid blazers are popping up, and I’m just loving them.

The one in this post is a great, thick wool option that will be perfect for the holidays. I also picked up this one for a great price and saw this houndstooth version for under $30. I can’t speak to the quality of that last one, as I haven’t seen it in person.

I adore this double-breasted jacket and if I had $500 to spend on a blazer, you better believe I would be dropping it on this one. My favorite of the bunch, however, is this Helene Berman blazer that happens to be on sale right now! There are still a few sizes left.

I paired mine with flats and simple black pants. I’ve talked about these pants before because they’re a perma-hit in my life (last seen here and here). This season I picked them up in navy too. They are leggings but have a button and pockets so look like tailored pants (kind of). Honestly, they’re the most comfortable pants I own if you don’t count yoga pants, and I’m not throwing around that superlative lightly.

I used to wear them to the office with flats, boots, booties, or even heels for important meetings. Most often, I pair them with this tunic, which I have in five colors. That’s kind of my fall go-to. Not exciting, but always looks good and feels comfy.

Anyway, enough about work outfits and plaid blazers. Let’s all have a great weekend, shall we?





Blazer, Shirt, Non-Iron Collared Shirt c/o Brooks Brothers / Pants / Bag / Flats c/o

More Plaid Blazers…

Fall Wish List


Fall is in full effect over here and I’m finally ok with it. I’m getting used to putting on a coat or vest every time I leave the house, and I’m embracing cozy sweaters like it’s nobody’s business. I thought I’d share my fall wish list, including some pieces that I’ve already picked up, and some that I still hope to buy in the coming weeks.

I’ll start with plaid shirts. My collection is already insane so my rule this year is to only by classic versions that I know I’ll wear year after year. I started with this classic Stewart plaid from J.Crew (worn earlier this week) and then hit up LL Bean for this red plaid flannel (in the Prince Charles Edward option) that I’ve wanted for a few winters now. And that’s it! Unless something insanely good comes along for winter, I’m all plaid-shirted out. Although if I didn’t already have this pattern, I would snap up this shirt which will be perfect for the holidays.

Now onto sweaters… Now that I work from home, I’m opting for oversized, thick cozy sweaters as opposed to the more structure, professional ones I was drawn to for the office. This turnleneck sweater, hands down, is my favorite so far this season. I have it in light grey, but it comes in 10 colors, so there is something for everyone. It’s a great price too! I find myself reaching for it almost every day and have to stop myself. I also love this tunic sweater that is the crew neck version of the v-neck I wore in yesterday’s post (no longer available). It comes in five colors and is only 39!

I have a lot of outerwear already so didn’t really need to stock up this year but have had my eye on this plush fleece vest after seeing a few of my friends wear it. I picked up a new Barbour during the Nordstrom sale last month (sold out now) but love the selection here. Barbour coats are classic and you’ll own them forever. I’ve had my olive one for almost 10 years now! While I love my Hunters, I have been looking for a pair of rain booties. They feel like less of a commitment and make less of an aggressive statement. I found this pair that comes in three colors and will look quite chic with leggings or dark jeans. Note: I just heard from a reader that Sam Edelman has a similar pair on sale for $39.

Speaking of outerwear, everything at J.Crew Factory is 50% off today and their City Coat is identical to the classic J.Crew Cocoon one and only $119!

As far as accessories go, I added this leather-handled version of a classic tote to my list after seeing it in Carly’s post earlier this week. I’ve been wearing a lot of baseball caps lately, especially for dog walks. I got this needlepoint hat over the summer, and am looking to pick it up in red for fall.

Grey Turtleneck Sweater / Plaid Scarf / Leopard Flats / Barbour Jacket / Jeans / Plaid Shirt / Vest / Tote / Rain Booties / Red Hat / Bell Sleeve Shirt


Grey Turtleneck Sweater / Plaid Scarf / Leopard Flats / Barbour Jacket / Jeans / Plaid Shirt / Vest / Tote / Rain Booties / Red Hat / Bell Sleeve Shirt

Pink Thread


Let’s talk about something a little different today- shopping for a good cause. October, as you probably know, is breast cancer awareness month, and a lot of my favorite brands are creating campaigns to help the cause. It’s amazing to see so many companies doing this, especially at a time when the country feels so divided over the election and horrifying current events. While we see a lot of the bad, it makes me so happy to see brands, big and small, doing some good.

For the second year, Lands’ End is kicking off the Pink Thread Project, a campaign created to help raise both awareness and funding for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The Pink Thread Project is a simple way to raise funds for breast cancer research by adding any monogram or embroidered icon using pink thread (see what they did there??) to any Lands’ End apparel, accessories, or home goods.

I have a few Lands’ End classic tote bags (in all sizes at this point) with my monogram, and use them for everything from carrying laundry downstairs to grocery shopping to carry ons. Now is the time to buy one, especially with a pink monogram, because $4.50 of the $6 monogram fee will be donated to the BCRF through the end of October.

On top of that, the brand has created a whole line of accessories (including this scarf!) that they created just for this campaign. I’ve been drawn to purple lately, a color that I never really loved in the past. Ever since they sent me this scarf, I’ve had it draped on my office chair, and throw it around my shoulders when I’m cold during the workday. If I worked in a “real” office, it would be perfect there too! If purple paisley isn’t your thing, they also have it in a simple blush pink.





Thank you to Lands’ End for sponsoring this post.

My 15 Go-To Healthy Snacks

Go-To Healthy Snacks

One of the questions that I get asked most often is, “What are your favorite healthy snacks?”. I left it out of my Q&A post because I wanted to dedicate a full post on this topic… I take my snacking very seriously. One might even call me a professional snacker. Or one might not. My last job was at a snack start-up, so for a few years there, snacking was literally part of my career!

In all of my jobs, I was always that person in the office who had the stacked snack drawer full of everything from healthy options (like nuts and fruit) to healthier junk food for those rough days (like chewy ginger candies and chocolate-covered almonds). Now that I work from home, I keep my kitchen stocked up for the inevitable breaks in my day that require a bite or two… or three.

I mentioned a few of these in my food diary but in this post, I’m going to go over my favorite sweet and salty snacks in detail. The best part? They’re all gluten and dairy free. I’d love to hear more about what you snack on. I’m always on the hunt to expand my options!

Salty Snacks

Hummus- This is my go-to number one all time favorite snack. I buy 2-3 flavors each week and eat it on top of salads at lunch, but mostly in between meals with either gluten free crackers, tortilla chips, or baby carrots. My favorite brand of hummus is Roots, one that I discovered recently and now see popping up everywhere. The Mango-Sriracha flavor is amazing and the Roasted Garlic is like comfort food to me. I also love the Whole Foods brand and Abrahams Traditional Style hummus.

Chips + Salsa/Guacamole- Despite my long list below of sweet snacks, I promise I’m more of a salty person than a sweet one. I’d much rather binge on a bag of tortilla chips than cookies any day. Chips and guac is probably my biggest downfall. This is one of those snacks where, once I start, it’s very hard to stop. Sometimes I sub in carrots for the chips, but let’s be real, it’s not even close to as good.

Pesto- Ok this is the last of the dips I promise! But I’m a dip kinda girl, what can I say. I make boatloads of my vegan basil pesto in the summer and then sub in arugula or spinach in the fall/winter. I’ll dip crackers, bread, or veggies for another favorite.

Nori Sesame Popcorn- I randomly picked up a bag of Pop Art’s Nori Sesame flavor once on a whym, and it became one of my favorite snacks! It’s salty with a dash of sweetness and packs a superfood punch with sesame seeds and seaweed. So addictive. Now I need to try all of the other flavors. Thai Coconut Curry and Rosemary Truffle are at the top of my list.

Salted Cashews- I use roasted, lightly salted cashews in a lot of my creamy sauces (vegan pesto, vegan Caesar dressing, etc) so I always have them on hand in a big glass jar. When I’m looking for a quick hit of protein, I’ll grab a handful, often on my way out to walk the dog or run errands.

Avocado Toast- It doesn’t have to be for breakfast folks! Avocado toast makes a great mid-day snack too. I’ll top gluten-free toasted bread with butter or olive oil, avocado, and chia seeds. Sometimes I’ll drizzle it with honey or add hot sauce/red pepper flakes depending on my mood. If I’m extra hungry and dinner is not in my near future, I’ll top it with an over-easy or soft-boiled egg.

Bone Broth- Ok maybe this doesn’t count as a snack for most but, because I try to drink it daily, I find that after a mug of bone broth, I feel satiated and don’t always need more food at my usual snack times. I’ve been buying the Pacific individual portions and splitting each one over two days. They’re pretty good! Sometimes I make my own which is infinitely better, and yes, I’m sharing my recipe soon.

Leftovers- While I love snack foods, sometimes I really just want “real food” but in a snack-sized portion. Like an appetizer I guess. I always make extra of whatever dinner I cook for lunches but also end up grazing on them throughout the day. Hot food keeps me fuller longer for whatever reason.

Sweet Snacks

Apple + Nut Butter- I pretty much eat an apple a day all year-round but in the fall that can turn into two or even three. In the afternoon, when I’m craving something sweet, I’ll cut up an apple and put a spoonful of peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter in a tiny bowl, and dip the slices in. The protein from the nut butter fills me up and the sweetness of the apple satisfies my sweet cravings.

Dark Chocolate Chips– When I was working at Nourish Snacks, I sat next to my friend Jessica, the company’s nutritionist, who would, after lunch every day, pour herself a shot glass of dark chocolate chips. Finally I bit (pun intended!) and asked her what that was all about. She told me that she is a chocolaholic, but about 1 oz of dark chocolate each day can actually be good for you. To measure that out and not over-indulge, she used a shot glass. Genius! Now I do that at home and it works wonders. I’ll bring the shot glass full of chocolate to my office, and if I want more after I finished, I’m less likely to get up and go to the kitchen to refill than if the bag were right next to me. Guittard extra dark chocolate chips are the best (make sure you get the red bag). Trust me on this one! Sometimes I mix them with a spoonful of peanut butter for a make-shift Reese’s type of snack.

Licorice- I have an odd and deep-rooted obsession with licorice. I try not to eat overly sugary candy, but when it’s that time of the month I literally cannot stop myself. I keep Australia soft chewing black licorice, sweetened with molasses, on hand for days like this. It’s a love it or hate it flavor so this one might be polarizing for some of you. For example, every time my sister tries a piece, she literally gags. I’m convinced there is something seriously wrong with her!

Pomegranate Seeds- Just kall me Kylie… If you don’t follow the youngest Jenner sister on Snapchat, you probably don’t know that she eats an insane amount of pomegranate seeds. I’m not at that level, but I love a few spoonfuls for a sweet/tart pick-me up.

Paleo Cookies- These are my sweet weakness! I bake them with only a handful of ingredients: Almond butter, cashew butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, eggs, baking soda, salt, and dark chocolate chips. I really need to do a post on them but I change up the recipe a little every time so it’s hard. I promise to write it down next time I do it though.

Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds- I buy them in bulk at Whole Foods and they are a dream. It’s hard to eat only a few so I have to take “the shot glass approach” again and just bring a handful to my office or I’d eat a gallon of them in one sitting. True story!

Banana “Ice Cream”- I make this quite often and it’s great for dessert or snack when you’re craving ice cream. I take a frozen banana, about 1/4 cup of almond milk, 1/4 tspn vanilla extract, and a spoonful of peanut or cashew butter, and blend it all up in my Vitamix. You’ll have to play around with amounts depending on the size of the banana and your blender, but it should be thicker than a smoothie, obviously. I then add chia seeds, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, or berries for a seemingly indulgent, but not unhealthy treat.

So there you have it. My 15 favorite healthy (and a few not-s0-healthy) snacks. I’d love to hear what you snack on at home and on the go!