My Manchester, Vermont Travel Guide

Long time, no blog? I always says this, but it’s been way too long since I’ve posted content on here. There’s been a lot of changes the last few months, and I finally feel like I’m getting into a new routine and new mindset! I’ll explain those changes soon, but I first wanted to share my recent weekend getaway with you all!

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I ventured up to Manchester, Vermont for a little weekend getaway. It was MUCH needed after the week I had. I couldn’t wait to see the foliage and feel the crisp fall air, since it hasn’t gotten that cold here in MA yet. I had first heard about the area from another blogger, Caitlin Covington, and took some inspiration from where she stayed, ate etc!

First thing I noticed when booking a place to stay is that the hotels were PRICEY. So we decided to check out Airbnb and found what I think is the cutest place we have ever stayed. We were 10 minutes from downtown Manchester in our quaint A-Frame for the weekend! Our hosts were fantastic, and you can actually find them on Instagram with the handle @thevermontaframe. The home was cozy, convenient to the area and had everything we needed, including a wood burning stove. Not to mention it was aesthetically pleasing and perfect for that Instagram photo-op.

On our first and real full day, we packed in a lot! I’m usually not one to get up early, but I wanted to get in everything we could. We first enjoyed breakfast at Up for Breakfast, which was delicious. It is small so I recommend going before 10! We arrived at 9 and only had to wait 15 minutes. After, we drove to Equinox Pond. We picked the perfect day to go with clear skies and the sun illuminating the mountains and foliage. THIS IS THE ULTIMATE PHOTO DESTINATION. If you’re staying at the Equinox Resort, it is a quick walk up from behind the hotel, but since we had a car and weren’t staying there, we just drove up one of the dirt roads.

We then decided to check out the designer outlets. There are several that line the main road in the center of town. From Theory to Kate Spade, Michael Kors and more, it was definitely worth checking out. I also recommend stopping in the country stores! Those are always my favorite, and you can buy little nips of Vermont maple syrup! Yum!

After our shopping, I was in the mood to change, so we headed back for a quick break. Once we returned to town, we visited Zoey’s Deli for a late lunch. The line was out the door, but for a good reason. The sandwiches and chips are so good. I got the Granny Smith, which I could have easily split with my boyfriend, but my eyes were bigger than my stomach that day. Their chips are homemade, crispy and still soft like a potato.

We really didn’t have many plans after that, so we decided to check out the Orvis outlet and flagship store. Everything in Manchester is extremely dog friendly and Orvis was no different. I don’t shop for outdoor items, so I secretly went in just to see all the pups. The flagship store does have several ponds in the back where you can feed the fish and take a nice stroll. Fly fishing is also a big activity up there, and they also have a school for it next door to the store.

Before dinner, we grabbed drinks at Seasons. I think next time I want to try them for dinner, as their drinks were just okay. For dinner we ate at Ye Olde Tavern, which I recommend 100%. The restaurant is in an old historical home and you get to enjoy your meal by candlelight. This felt like a multi course meal. We first started with fritters, then I split the Brie with my boyfriend, we both had salads and bread, then our entree and I of course couldn’t pass up pumpkin pie for dessert! It was probably my favorite meal while we visited.

After a cozy night in the A-frame, it was time to enjoy our final morning and head home. Since it was Sunday, brunch was a must. I had seen a lot of reviews for the Copper Grouse and had to check it out. Located in the Kimpton Taconic Hotel, the restaurant serves, brunch, lunch and dinner. We sat next to the fireplace and in classic brunch fashion, tried to order everything! I got the basic breakfast and my boyfriend enjoyed the pastrami smoked salmon. We also split the blueberry pancakes because they were calling my name. I definitely recommend splitting the pancakes and also making sure to order the home fries.

This was probably one of the best getaway weekends I’ve had in a long time. It was perfect, cozy and filled with yummy food.

I’m hoping to post more come the next few weeks and share an update on where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to.

Until next time!

Celebrating My Birthday with Paperless Post!

It’s birthday season, baby! I turn 24 next month, and I couldn’t be more excited. Not excited to be another year older per say, but very excited to celebrate! However, every year I struggle with the same thing when planning my birthday and that’s the process of inviting friends to celebrate. I always end up finding myself in multiple group chats and relying on others to relay important info. This makes it hard to keep track of who is coming and who is not. That’s why I am teaming up with Paperless Post to make planning my 24th birthday celebration a breeze!

Paperless Post is a provider of customizable online invitations and stationary. From birthdays, to weddings, parties and more, Paperless Post has all the designs and styles you are looking for for your next celebration. They have partnered with several world-famous designers and lifestyle brands, including Kate Spade New York, Oscar de la Renta, Jonathan Adler, and my personal favorite Rifle Paper Co.

The easy to use website allows you to customize any invite. Each invitation is purchased via the website’s coin system and allows you to control your budget when creating a custom invitation. Coins can be purchased once your account is created and do not expire.

Once an invitation is selected, you will be able to choose the background in which your guests will view the invite and update the text with the details of your celebration!

After a lot of consideration, I chose this Rifle Paper Co. design! I am so obsessed with their floral designs that I had to have it! Once the invite was updated, I created an ‘event page’ where my guests can get in touch with me, view updated event details, and share their party photos. If you’re creating a wedding invite, it’s the perfect place to add a gift registry for your guests to shop. From there, you enter your guests emails and names, and at the touch of a button, your invites are sent!

This is what the preview of my birthday invite looks like! I am obsessed with the design and think I may create another one too. Paperless Post also has the new option to create flyers. These free, casual invites include gifs and stickers and are easily customizable on your mobile devices. They collect email RSVPs on the spot and track email opens and bounces.

With so many options to choose from, there is something for everyone! Paperless Post will be my new go-to for every invite or stationary need. Check out their selection and get started on your next invitation today!

XO Courtney

 

Memorial Day Weekend Outfit Guide

This weekend is the official kick-off to summer! That means pulling out the sandals and attending plenty of cookouts. Unsure what to wear? Below are two outfit options for your Memorial Day weekend plans.

From left to right-

Outfit One:

Outfit Two:

I’m obsessed with the easy-breezy nature of both outfits and how simple each color palette is. When breaking out your summer whites and denim, it is all about adding pops of color or texture. Each outfit mixes both of those elements and makes it easy to layer, as well.

And if the weather is not cooperating (you never know in New England), switch out the white shorts for some white or light blue denim and add a cardigan or light jacket over the dress. Each outfit is versatile depending on the weather or your mood.

Hope everyone has a very happy long weekend!

-XOXO Courtney

Travel Guide: Savannah, Georgia

A few weeks ago, I traveled down to beautiful Savannah, Georgia! It was my first time visiting, and after just one weekend, I fell in love.

My mom, sister and I decided to venture down for 3 days (Friday-Monday), which was the perfect amount of time to explore. We stayed at the Mansion on Forsyth Park, which was a beautiful hotel and in a great location. It was away from the bustle of the downtown area, yet close enough to walk everywhere. On our first day, we actually decided to make the walk from our hotel all the way down to the river. We passed so many quaint shops and eateries, getting a feel for how the city is designed. Overall, navigating the area was simple, since most blocks are separated by different squares!

 

We first checked out the riverfront, which tends to be very touristy. Lined with cobblestones, the riverfront is filled with plenty of souvenir shops and bars. While it wasn’t my favorite, it was nice to see on our first day.

On the second day, we opted to take the Old Savannah Trolley Tour. This is a must! The tour guides were fantastic, and the trolley made it so you could hop on and off at several stops. The tour gave us a taste of the city’s history, while also allowing us to map out what we wanted to see and visit. A must to see while in Savannah is Chippewa Square. If this doesn’t ring a bell, then please go and watch Forrest Gump. The movie’s famous line “life is like a box of chocolates” was said in that very park. While the actual bench is no longer there, you can still grab some chocolate from the local store and enjoy it. You never know who you’re going to see while you’re there!

In terms of history, all three of us decided to visit the Sorrel Weed House. I am a BIG fan of historical homes. I absolutely love being able to see everything as it once was and learning about the families that once lived there. This particular tour was very interesting, but also very sad. For years, Savannah didn’t have laws against destroying historical landmarks, so the Sorrel Weed House went through decades of transformation, from a department store to apartments and now finally back to its original state. They are continuing to restore the home, so don’t expect to see it in its original condition.

Savannah is also considered one of the most haunted cities in America, so what better than to check out a ghost tour! We were sadly disappointed. For Savannah having such a rich and haunted history, the ghost tour just wasn’t impressive. Not only were we stuck in a large group, but our tour guide continued to laugh while telling the haunted history of Savannah. We ended up leaving mid-way through because it was not worth finishing.

In addition to seeing the historic sites, we also shopped… a lot! Broughton Street was our next stop on the trip. Titled the ‘Newbury Street of the south,’  the area offered several local and chain stores. One of my favorites was The Paris Market Cafe. Not only could you sip on a coffee and enjoy some macarons, but the shop also offered gifts and home decor for every style. If you are looking for even more shopping, City Market has several stores and eateries to enjoy.

Another thing I really appreciated about Savannah was how much the city values art. Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) plays a central part in the city’s culture and vibe. Everywhere you’d go there’d be galleries or art shops, and I really took a liking to the role art plays in the city’s personality.

And now for my favorite part… food!! Below are a few of the top places we ate at, while in Savannah

  1. The Collins Quarter – This restaurant had the BEST brunch! The wait time wasn’t that long. I think we waited ten minutes max. I definitely recommend the avocado toast! So good! 
  2. Circa 1875 – The dinner here was incredible! I love French food, and this restaurant impressed. Not only did they have my favorite Aperol Spritz, but the cuisine was delicious! The muscles and charcuterie board are a must if you order anything!
  3. Goose Feathers Cafe – For a quick and super yummy breakfast, this is your spot! Don’t be scared by the line outside. The cafe has you order first then sit, so you are guaranteed a table!
  4. 45 Bistro – All I can say is wow! Not only was our waiter fantastic, but the food was amazing! The seafood pasta is the way to go at this restaurant! 
  5. Leopold’s – The line was down the street, but the ice cream was worth the wait! I ordered their vegan vanilla (since I unfortunately cannot eat regular ice cream), but it was delicious. If you don’t want to wait in the line, at least take a picture of the sign. The shop still has an old school ice cream parlor look. 
  6. Gryphon Tea Room – For the most delicious brunch or afternoon tea, Gryphon is your stop! The restaurant is a part of SCAD and has some of the most delicious bites! I forgot how good tea sandwiches are. And it also looks like an old school library inside.

Savannah’s open container law is non-existent, so don’t be surprised if you are asked to enjoy your cocktail on the go. Not going to lie, this is definitely a highlight of the city, especially if you are with friends or on a girls trip like I was. For a unique drink spot, check out Jen’s and Friends. The tiny bar offers every martini imaginable. From rice crispy treats to straight up chocolate, it doesn’t disappoint. Plus the inside smells of sugar!

Savannah was a blast, and I was so sad to leave. I hope this guide helps you plan your trip to the beautiful city! Until next time!

-XOXO Courtney

 

I Tried Blue Light Glasses And This Is What Happened

Staring at a computer screen from 8am-5pm has been painful for my eyes and body. Recently, I have noticed that at the end of each work day I have excruciating headaches, dry and burning eyes, and am overall extremely tired. I was told to check out blue light glasses to reduce the pain and protect my eyes from the computer screen. I decided to try them and this is what happened.

For those of you wondering what I am even talking about, blue light glasses are clear lens glasses that block HEV blue light emitted by digital screens. If you have experienced dry and tired eyes after looking at a computer or even your phone for long periods of time, then you may have experienced the effects of blue light.

There are so many brands that sell blue light glasses. Some even offer the ability to add on blue light lenses to a prescription pair. For me, however, I was just looking for a pair that could ultimately eliminate my eye strain and headaches, while still looking cute (obviously the most important part!)

I purchased a pair from Quay Australia, and after doing some research, found that these were the best price and had amazing reviews. I also wanted a pair that had a stylish flair and could be worn with anything. When I initially got the glasses in the mail, I was a little uncertain by my choice. I am not used to wearing glasses everyday and was unsure how I felt about the frames and the fit. I decided to give them a try, and the next day, I wore them while online shopping and was obsessed! Not going to lie, it takes some time getting used to them and feeling comfortable.

I kept a mini diary throughout the week to share my experience day by day:

Monday, March 18, 2019

My first full day was definitely an adjustment! They felt funny and were very noticeable to me. I did still feel the tiniest headache at the end of the day, but overall it wasn’t anything painful. I also found myself fiddling with them, trying to find the most comfortable spot on my face.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

By the third day, I did not have a headache. My eyes still felt dry at work, but I also think that is dependent on how dry the air is in the office and allergies. One lesson I did learn on day three was that I need to apply more powder to my face, or the glasses will remove all of my makeup!

Friday, March 22, 2019

On Friday, I worked from home and started to notice such a difference when I would take my glasses off. The lenses have a bit of a yellow tint to contrast the blue light. I didn’t realize how noticeable it was until I started removing them frequently throughout the day. My eyes were not dry, and I did not have any headaches!

By the second week of wearing the glasses, I felt great! Not only did I really love the look of them, but I was so pleased with how they eliminated all of my symptoms. By the time I would make my commute home, I was no longer suffering through uncomfortable headaches and eye pain. Of note, my glasses did start to become uncomfortable sitting behind my ears (almost like the pain I’d get when wearing those hard headbands as a kid. LOL let me know if you can relate!) I’m thinking a slight adjustment to the fit will make that all better!

Overall, I definitely recommend blue light glasses. I will never use a computer at work or home without them. I don’t think people need to pay over hundreds of dollars for a pair. The ones I purchased were reasonable and very sturdy. I recommend doing some research and even checking on Amazon for a deal.

If you are curious if you may be exposing your eyes to blue light and its effects, definitely check out PreventBlindness.org. They were one of the first websites I checked out when I was researching the harmful effects and wanted to learn more on how I could protect my eyes.

Remember, you only have one set of eyes! If wearing a pair of glasses could protect the harmful effects of using digital devices, then it is worth it!

-XOXO Courtney

Podcasts I’m Currently Listening To: Part 1

Many of you know that I love everything true crime. It is my go to genre when it comes to books, TV, movies, and of course podcasts. Lately, I have been getting a lot of questions on what podcasts I am currently listening to and which ones I recommend. I have a long commute to and from work, so podcasts are essential to my life. That is why I am starting a series on my blog where I share the true crime/investigative podcasts that I am currently listening to! Here is part 1!

‘Over My Dead Body’

Let me just start out by saying that Wondery makes some of the BEST podcasts! From ‘Dr. Death’ to ‘Dirty John’ and ‘Gladiator,’ Wondery has a knack for telling stories so powerful and captivating. They recently came out with the podcast ‘Over My Dead Body,’ which looks into relationships gone wrong and the lengths people will go to get what they want. The first season, titled ‘Tally,’ focuses on Dan and Wendi a ‘perfect’ couple whose relationship leads to a bad breakup, a terrible divorce, and a murder case involving high-priced lawyers and unexpected co-conspirators. This podcast has Lifetime Movie Network written all over it and keeps me on my toes every episode. I got my mom hooked to this podcast. She isn’t always into the crime genre, but immediately loved it!

‘The Dropout’

From ABC Radio, ‘The Dropout’ brings you the story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. Disclaimer: this is not a true crime podcast, but is still just as fascinating. The podcast takes an investigative look into how one young, female billionaire, inspired by Steve Jobs (more like obsessed), deceived the world and lost everything in the process. This podcast reminds me so much of the Fyre Festival documentary, bringing to light the culture of ‘get rich’ no matter what it takes. Not to mention it is also being made into a movie! Definitely recommend!

‘Up and Vanished: Season One The Trial Series’

‘Up and Vanished’ will always have a special place in my heart because it was one of the first true crime podcasts I ever listened to. I also saw Payne live in Boston when he went on tour, so I am somewhat biased, but this really is a fantastic podcast! The team is diving back into season one and documenting the trial and case of Tara Grinstead. If you don’t know what I am talking about, go back and listen to the first season all the way through. I just started on the new episodes, so I will keep everyone posted on what I think. (Without trying to spoil it for the newbies.)

Up Next: ‘To Live and Die in LA’

I have been seeing this advertised all over the place, and it is the next one on my list. ‘To Live and Die in LA’ tells the story of 25 year old Adea Shabani, an aspiring actress and model who vanished without a trace from her apartment complex near Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. The podcast comes from the makers of ‘Up and Vanished’ and dives into the police investigation and what happened to Adea. Downloading these episodes right now, as we speak!

I hope this inspired you to start listening and diving into the world of true crime podcasts. Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon!

-XOXO Courtney

 

 

Life Update: Relieving Stress

Wow, has it been a while since I’ve given a little life update! I’ve been so busy with work and providing you with new products and giveaways that I haven’t shared what has been going on with me.

I guess if I had one word to describe it, I’d say BUSY. I have been definitely feeling the effects of working long days and commuting. It’s exhausting and honestly has taken a toll on me the last few weeks. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve been very tired and a little extra stressed. Plus my anxiety has been more active, bringing about the worst combination ever.

Thinking about it, it’s been a hard past few weeks since January. I’ve been extremely hard on myself, and it seems like I’ve had more bad days than good. I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself to the point where I’m in this non-stop competition and stress cycle. I’ve also been struggling with my social life and friendships, feeling like I am back in middle school. And to be honest, at 23, that is the last thing I need.

As you can tell, there have been a lot of different stresses floating in and out of my mind, making it hard to even concentrate at times. However, I have found even more comfort in the gym, giving me an outlet to sweat out the bad and indulge in my current Netflix obsessions. I’ve also found that my passion for blogging has increased even more with me wanting to continue to share my life and my love for travel, beauty, and fashion.

While the weeks have been tough, I am so excited for spring and upcoming trips headed my way. I’m starting to make more of an effort in my everyday life to take some ‘me’ time to reduce stress and any anxiety floating around.

I have a really exciting post coming this week that I know you all will love! In the meantime, I challenge you to think of ways you can take a little extra time during the week to reset and refocus.

Xoxo Courtney

My Haircare Journey with Formulate

I’ve always had an up and down relationship with my hair. One day it will feel silky and soft, and the next day I’m frustrated with how dry it is. But I have finally found the solution for me and that is with Formulate.

Formulate makes top tier quality haircare products customized specifically for you. With a quick online survey, I was able to share my current hair profile and my goals to achieving my perfect hair. Those who know me know I am constantly styling my hair. I use a lot of heat and a lot of product, so at the end of the day, I want my hair to stay hydrated, healthy, shiny, and voluminized. I was able to share all of that in my online survey and pick a custom scent.

I was very excited when I received my customized shampoo and conditioner. The packaging was so sleek and came with pumps, which is a necessity to me. A pamphlet also came with the bottles and included the details to my survey, along with my hair profile, goals, scent, and ingredients. The formulas are always sulfate-free, paraben-free, sodium-free, and cruelty-free, which means no harsh chemicals. They put in natural and naturally derived materials, while still keeping the product fresh and smelling amazing!

When I first started using, I noticed my hair wasn’t getting its usual ‘clean’ like it used to. Since it is a non-stripping formula, I was relieved to learn that it takes around 5 uses for my scalp and hair to adjust because I was going from a sulfate-based product to sulfate-free. After several uses, I noticed my hair felt softer, the oil subsided, and it looked super silky.

While using my new shampoo and conditioner, I continued to use heat and additional product. My ends didn’t feel as dry, and my hair had amazing body that lasted all day without any extra teasing.

I do wish I had opted to go stronger with the fragrance, since I love the citrus smell, but that is the beauty of Formulate. If you are not satisfied with your customized shampoo or conditioner, Formulate will take your feedback and adjust it for you! They also have an app, which allows users to make these changes, as well as adjustments to scents, hair goals, and chat with the support team. They want you to achieve your best hair, and I love it for that!

Right now, I am hosting a giveaway with Formulate! One lucky winner will be selected to receive a free set of customized shampoo and conditioner! Giveaway ends February 14th! To enter, click here. You will also be able to get a peak at my hair profile, in case you feel you struggle with the same haircare needs.

Thanks to Formulate for partnering with me and allowing me to achieve my haircare goals!

-XOXO Courtney

How I Keep My Smile Bright and White

A bright smile is a staple! Your teeth are one of the first things people see when they talk to you, so I am always conscious of keeping my smile clean and white. Unfortunately, I have super sensitive teeth, so whitening strips are not an option for me. I rely on an electric toothbrush to keep my smile up to par, and I have finally found one that does just that and more!

I teamed up with Smile Brilliant to try their cariPro Ultrasonic electric toothbrush!

I have used electric toothbrushes for as long as I can remember. The most recent one I used was old, had one speed, and utilized those small circular heads. While it brushed my teeth, I felt like it wasn’t giving me the bright smile I deserved.

Being someone who loves to indulge in hot cups of tea or an occasional latte in this freezing winter, I am in need of a good brush that will clean, polish, and whiten my teeth. My old toothbrush did none of that. No matter how much I brushed, my dentist would always comment on the stain. I was frustrated because I couldn’t enjoy a hot beverage or even wine without worrying what it is doing to my teeth. I even almost resorted to the straw method, but who wants to drink hot tea with a straw?! Not me!

Using the cariPro Ultrasonic electric toothbrush is a game changer! In the box came the base, two replaceable heads, and a charging port. There was also an in depth pamphlet, which gave a rundown of every setting and how the brush works!

I was so excited when I saw they had a sensitive setting and whitening setting. Not only does it clean, but the brush has the ability to polish the teeth, massage the gums and clean along the gumline, and brush at a softer pace. Each brushing mode is designed to operate for two minutes with brief pauses between each 30 second burst. That brief pause tells you to move to a different quadrant of the mouth. I never thought I needed a massage setting, but now I cannot stop using it. Not only does my smile look whiter and free of stain, but my teeth feel smooth and gums look extremely healthy.

And it’s AFFORDABLE! I don’t have the time or money to search through expensive toothbrushes, so this was perfect for me!

Right now, Smile Brilliant is offering my viewers a coupon code for 20% off and a giveaway! Use the code courtneykaner20 for 20% off cariPRO Ultrasonic electric toothbrushes. To enter my giveaway to win a cariPro Ultrasonic electric toothbrush, click the link here.

Since using my new Smile Brilliant toothbrush, I have not stopped indulging in my favorite hot teas or lattes. If anything, I am more inclined to drink them knowing my smile will continue to be radiant.

 

electric toothbrush reviews

Holiday Gift Guide for Him

It can be hard to figure out what to get those men in your life for the holidays. Whether they are casual or into the finer things, below you will find the top items of the season that I think he will love!

  1. Cathy’s Concepts Monogram Watch Box (Similar linked!)
  2. The Tie Bar 3-Pack Red Tie Gift Set (Similar linked!)
  3. Jord Meridian Watch (Click here to enter my Giveaway!! And check out my blog all about it here!)
  4. Zachary Prell Lemke Corduroy Plaid Shirt
  5. Cole Haan Original Grand Stitchlite Wingtip Oxford
  6. The North Face Bridgeton Chukka Boot
  7. Old Navy Patterned Flannel Pajama Set
  8. Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover
  9. Jack Black The Grand Tour Set
  10. Nordstrom Men’s Shop Holiday Staghead Socks (Similar linked!)
  11. Bose Soundlink Around-Ear Headphones II

Happy shopping!

-XO Courtney

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