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!

My Fall Weekend in NYC

Fall is one of my favorite times of year and what a better way to spend it than in New York City. Below is a recap of last weekend and outfit details!

The main reason I was in NYC was for the Bite Beauty Lip Lab. My mom and I had an appointment to make our very own Bite Beauty lipstick. It was such a cool experience, and I recommend it to any makeup lover or anyone looking for a custom lip color. I of course chose a nude shade, but got to try and leave with a neon purple one!

It wouldn’t be a trip to NYC if I didn’t eat… a lot! I ate so good this trip, but nothing was better than visiting Laduree for the first time. The brunch was amazing and the macarons were so magical. I need to go back asap! I am still dreaming of the rose croissant I enjoyed.

My family and I spent our time mainly in the Soho area, which is definitely the spot to be. We used to always visit Times Square, but after a while, I just couldn’t stand the crazy crowds. The streets were mainly residential with plenty of shopping and cafes.


Now to the favorite part… my outfit!

I have such an obsession with these hats! I call them train conductor hats, but they are more formally known as baker boy hats. The one I am wearing is from Nordstrom Rack and was such a steal for only $12.95! I paired it will a plain cotton long sleeve, high-waisted Topshop boyfriend jeans, white Adidas, a tan cardigan over the shoulder, and my Rebecca Minkoff crossbody. Outfit links are below!

Hat: Nordstrom Rack (Similar)   Shirt: Nordstrom Rack (Similar)   Jeans: Topshop

Shoes: Adidas            Sweater: Nordstrom           Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

I cannot wait to plan my next weekend getaway and share it with you!

-XOXO Courtney

My Must Have Pieces for Fall

Bring on the pumpkin spice please! Now that it is the end of September, it finally feels like fall! Fall is by far one of my favorite seasons. From cozy sweaters to chic booties, below are a few of my must haves for the season!

  1. Madewell Patch Pocket Pullover Sweater
  2. Madewell Starry Night Chenille Scarf
  3. Gorjana Laguna Adjustable Lariat Necklace
  4. Jo Malone London Wood Sage and Sea Salt Cologne
  5. Brixton Fiddler Cap
  6. Marc Fisher Yale Chelsea Boot
  7. Topshop Sallie Tortoiseshell Handle Tote
  8. Topshop Black Ripped Jamie Jeans

For fall, I always tend to lean towards copper and pumpkin colored sweaters. They pair well with the crisp weather and are extremely flattering on all skin tones. Another major staple in my closet for fall is black denim. I prefer if they are ripped because it adds an edgier feel, but the pair goes with nearly anything.

For accessories, I am absolutely obsessed with hats. The fiddler hat pairs perfect with every outfit for every occasion. But it wouldn’t be the season without comfy scarves and fun booties. I am in love with this star one from Madewell, which adds the perfect pop of color and pattern. I am also obsessed with these Marc Fisher booties. The pointed toe with a metal embellishment is a modern take on a classic style. This mustard color Topshop bag also caught my eye! It’s so chic, but has a unique twist with the turtle handle and side strap. Large totes are a must for the season to carry all of your necessities, and this one does the trick perfectly. Finish off any fall look with a long lariat necklace and a spritz of your favorite warm fragrance, and you are fall ready!

I hope these pieces inspire you to break out your fall wardrobe and enjoy a pumpkin spice latte!

-XOXO Courtney

 

How I Feel About This Year’s Nordstrom Sale

Every year around this time, I normally do a post on the items I purchased from the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. This year, however, I will not be. Instead, I want to give you my honest opinion and feelings about the sale.

Whenever the anniversary sale rolls around in mid July, I make an effort to purchase quite a few pieces for the fall. It is probably the one sale that I take seriously as a shopper. This year’s sale, however, was not like the one’s in the past. As a shopper and loyal customer, I was a bit disappointed.

I am not a Nordstrom card holder, and will probably not be one until later on in life. In the past, I always had to shop once the sale went public, but I would never have a problem purchasing pieces I saw in advance. This year, I did not have much luck in store and online. I was able to purchase a pair of booties I saw in store, but even then, I dove right into that purchase for fear of missing out.

This year, their inventory for me was not up to par. The pieces were pretty blasé and not really anything that felt worth spending on. Not to mention their restocking of the pieces felt so all over the place. I am not sure if they purchased less inventory this year, but keeping track of restocked sizes was nearly impossible. I would see a jacket I liked, and within an instant, it would disappear. I know what you’re going to tell me, Courtney, that’s what happens with sales. Things sell out fast. But I am honestly telling you, I have never experienced this shopping the sale before in my life.

I stopped by my local store one day to see if I could get even a pair of jeans, but there was NOTHING left. I have never seen the store so empty during the public portion of the anniversary sale. It was practically bare. Last year around this time, I got a Theory leather jacket in my size and several pairs of jeans and sweaters. This year, I found none of that.

I talked to several other people that have shopped and browsed the sale, and they also agreed that the sale had nothing to offer and even that the items were poor quality. I am not sure what changes were made this year from last year’s, but it was a big disappointment as a shopper.

At this point, I gave up on the sale and am planning on looking for staple items once September hits. I love Nordstrom and will continue to shop there, but I had to give you all my honest opinion as a blogger and customer of the sale.

My hope is that next year, they will make changes and restore the Nordstrom Anniversary sale back to the way it was.

-XOXO Courtney

 

 

Transition Fall To Winter In Your Wardrobe

While it is still technically fall in New England, this past weekend felt like winter! I had to pull out my winter jacket and quickly transition my wardrobe for the cold weather. I found the perfect combination of pieces in my closet that could easily be made into a winter outfit.

Photo Credit: Courtney MacDougall (Link to photography page is below!)


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Hat: Primark (Similar)      Shirt: Gap          Vest: London boutique (Similar here or here)

Jeans: Joe’s Jeans             Shoes: Adidas

Cranberry is a color that I love in the fall, but have realized looks beautiful in the winter months too. I paired this light, long-sleeve sweater under a fuzzy, black faux-fur vest. I wore a simple pair of stretch, crop denim with my Adidas. I also added this cranberry pom-pom hat for warmth and to match my shirt. In my opinion, I think this color is gorgeous and should be a staple in everyone’s closet and can be paired together for a monochromatic look too. My absolute favorite part of this look happened to be my furry vest. Vests are also a a huge portion of my closet and perfect for the transition from fall to winter. I love taking a simple shirt, like the cranberry one above, and throwing on a fuzzy vest to make the look more complete. I find that it can be perfect for a night out or a casual look for everyday. They are also easy to pair under a winter or wool coat.

A special thanks to Courtney MacDougall for being my amazing photographer! Check out her photography page With My Soul Photography on Facebook and Instagram!

-XOXO Courtney

Weekend Recap: Fall Getaway

This past weekend, I got away from the craziness of the city and enjoyed the foliage of New Hampshire. I was able to enjoy a beautiful scenic train ride with lunch, shopping, and plenty of beautiful photos!

Fall is my favorite time of year, so this getaway was much needed for me! It was the perfect weather. If you have not visited New Hampshire, definitely take time to do so! It is so beautiful during the fall and winter months!

We were able to shop at Zebb’s, visit Nestlenook for the beautiful scenery, and more! I couldn’t have asked for a better time! Definitely a perfect place for couples and families!

I definitely plan on visiting again soon, and I hope you get to too!

-XOXO Courtney

My Current Favorites

Lately, I have been obsessing over some amazing products! Plenty of skincare and a little bit of hair too, these products have improved the look, feel, and overall appearance within the last few weeks!

Tea Tree Oil Shampoo

Maple Holistics was kind enough to send me their Tea Tree Oil Shampoo to try out, and I have been in love ever since. The scent is subtle, and I have found that it improves the hair, scalp, and hair growth. It’s also all natural, which is something I have been wanting to explore in the cosmetic industry!

If you’re interested in trying out their Tea Tree Oil Shampoo or any of their other products, they are offering a free samples program that I think you’ll love!

Gourmand EDP Fragrance The Matcha

 

This is by far my favorite perfume of the moment. The scent is fresh, sweet, and perfect for every season! The bottle is clean and classic and looks great on a vanity too! And it won’t break the budget.

Hot Vegan Probiotic & Spice Rehab Mask

This is by far the BEST mask I have ever used. It clears up blemishes and the skin, relieving stress and leaving a natural glow. I have already gone through one bottle and need to repurchase ASAP! It’s gentle enough to use daily for the best results! 10/10 recommend!

Fresh Vitamin Nectar Moisture Glow Face Cream

This face cream smells like citrus and feels like silk. I have never used a moisturizer more nourishing. It blends into the skin perfectly and actually gives that after facial glow.

Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Face Wash

I was in need of a good daily exfoliator, and once I found this one from Philosophy, my life has changed. I use it everyday without causing irritation, and it has smoothed out my skin tremendously, leaving it with zero dry patches or dullness.

These items are so good! I recommend trying them out if you are looking for something new!

-XOXO Courtney

My DressLily Wishlist

Lately, I’ve been discovering new websites with some amazing fall pieces. I recently found DressLily, an online shop offering the best of women’s and men’s fashion! They have some must-have fall pieces, like the best sweater dresses for sale, comfy tops, and cute denim. Below are a few pieces on my Dresslily wishlist!

Velvet Floral Patter Short Boot

I’m in love with vibrant, patterned boots, and these floral short boots are sexy and can add a pop to any outfit. I’d pair it with a pair of cropped denim and a black turtleneck for an easy-going look.

Color Block Whipstitch Crossbody Bag

I’m obsessed with how this bag is neutral, yet has dramatic detailing when it comes to the thick stitching. It’s the perfect accessory to pop any basic outfit. If you can’t tell already, I’m in love with accessories that take a simple look to the next level.

Striped Embroidery High Low Hem Shirt

Embroidered dress shirts are such a trend this fall! It takes a classic business look and transforms it to everyday chic. Pair it with dark denim and loafers, and you have a mix of everyday and the office.

Flounce Cutout Long Sleeve Plaid Blouse

Gingham isn’t just a pattern for summertime and picnics! It’s perfect pairing the classic pattern with dark denim and flats for an easy weekend or night out for dinner in the fall.

Tribal Print Chain PU Leather Crossbody Bag

Another perfect pop to a basic outfit! This tribal print crossbody can spice up any look. I’d wear it with black leggings and a super long, cream cardigan!

Dresslily has everything and more for fall and your closet! Check them out! My wishlist will definitely become a reality soon enough!

-XOXO Courtney

 

 

 

Going Back-To-School With Zaful

Back-to-school has officially begun, and that means a new year, new style, and new you! I teamed up with Zaful to show you how you can wear some of their cute fall pieces for an awesome back-to-school look!

Top: Zaful         Pants: Joe’s Jeans      Shoes: Steve Madden    Necklace: Zaful      Bag: Tory Burch

This was my first time wearing anything of Zaful’s, and I fell in love instantly. Their Loose One Shoulder Sweater falls gracefully off the shoulder and fits slightly baggy to add comfort. I paired it with a pair of plain, cropped dark denim, slides, and their Copper Sequin Choker Necklace. The choker can fit snug or loose around the neck and is durable enough to wear everyday. (It’s also a mock of the Lana Jewelry found at Nordstrom!)

Top: Zaful           Pants: Joe’s Jeans         Shoes: Halogen

I’m in love with ruffle blouses, and when I saw the Dip Hem Ruffle Stripe Blouse from Zaful, I was so excited. The blouse fits true to size and has two silver button detailing on the shoulder. The ruffles fall perfectly over the chest and goes great with my cropped, dark denim and these black slide loafers. It was an easy, but sophisticated outfit.

I hope this inspired you to check out Zaful for the best back-to-school looks!

-XOXO Courtney

 

My Fall Zaful Wishlist

Back to school and fall is almost here, and it’s time to face reality, and not only prep my life, but also my closet for the chillier months. I’m in need of some major fall fashion staples, and there is no better place than Zaful to get them! I have been a huge fan of Zaful, ever since I first spotted their swimsuits. They are a one-stop-shop for everything fashion and accessories! Now that summer is over, I’ve been eyeing some of their warmer pieces, like bright yellow sweatshirts, perfect for back to school. Below are a few of my favorites currently on my Zaful wishlist!

Flare Sleeve Plain Bowtie Blouse

This piece is perfect to dress up or down! Not to mention the color is the perfect pop as a fall staple, without it being too bright.

Shawl Lapel Belted Wrap Coat

Everyone needs a wrap coat in their collection. It’s not only warm, but can transform any outfit. Pair it with sneakers and your favorite pair of leggings or heels and a pair of cropped denim to up the look.

Short Sleeve Ruffle Hem T-Shirt

I pick these shirts over other basic tees any day. It goes perfect by itself or under your favorite cardigan. It’s also great for layering and can be worn all year round.

V Neck Ribbed Choker Sweater

Sweaters are my go to! If I’m lazy or even feeling glam, I love grabbing a cute sweater to wear. The choker detailing makes the outfit effortless.

Metal Bar Black Frame Sunglasses

Sunglasses aren’t necessarily a necessity for fall, but paired with a chic outfit, all black shades finish a look and are an easy accessory to throw in your bag if you’re on the go.

With so many pieces to choose from, Zaful is currently offering a Back to School, Back to Savings promotion! If you like any of these items I have on my wishlist or any on their site, take advantage of this great offer!

I am so excited to grow my fall wardrobe with cute and comfortable pieces, especially from Zaful!

-XOXO Courtney

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