goodbye 2014, hello 2015.

i know it is now the 5th day of 2015, but i still felt like i needed to say my goodbyes to the past year. i put off this post, thinking that by the time i would write it i would have a new blogging schedule ready for this year and everything would be in its place for a perfect new year. but that is unrealistic. i made a list of 15 things to do in 2015 and a few of them had to do with my blog. now i have to remind myself that it was something to complete this year, not by the end of day one of the new year.

ending the new year // spring rolls + confetti cake with my favorites.

but anyway.. 2014 was an interesting year. it started off like most other years. i felt ready to conquer it all and finally get organized and lose weight and all that. being that is was 2014, i put even more pressure on the year. 14 is my number, as well as my birthdate, so to me this meant this had to be the big year for me. it ended up being anything but.

a quick recap of the year:
i worked a lot. my job was physical and stressful and man, was i always tired. i had injuries that caused me pain. everyday. then i got in a car accident which didn't make any of that pain better. i stopped working out and tried to eat well, but put too much pressure on it and didn't stick to anything. i stopped blogging and taking outfit photos and doing the things that were fun to me. and again, put too much pressure on what i wasn't doing and took away the fun.

in the summer, my sister got married. it was amazing. planning the bridal shower and going away for a weekend with her to new york were really great experiences. her wedding was amazing. terry's sister also had a beautiful baby girl, stella. these were definitely highlights of the past year.

also in the summer, there was talk of leaving boston and moving back to maine. in the fall, it actually happened. i quit my job. just quit. no new job lined up. no real plan besides leaving boston. it was scary and sad to leave the people i had become so close with. but let me tell you, it was kind of exhilarating. in a way, i was free. moving back to portland and finding a job was an adventure in and of itself, but one i happy i took.

2014 may not have been the year i had wanted it so badly to be. but it was the year that helped me make decisions that will help me be happier this year.

as for 2015, i'm starting a new job. it is full of all the things i love.. merchandising, managing, buying, some social media, and surprisingly, baby clothes! i also am going to open my online store. this was another thing on my list of 15 that i have the year to complete. this is something that has been on my list for at least 5 years and i am more ready to finally do it than ever.

and i guess the biggest thing that is going to happen this year happens in 9 days. i turn 30. i have spent the last year and a half worrying and planning for it that now i am ready to take it on. i want to embrace 30 and whatever it has to bring. i want to start my 30s as my best self and for me, among many things, this means getting healthy. i want to learn to take care of myself, so i can take on all the things i want to do and feel good doing them.

okay. there is it is. this year is going to be so much better than the last year. taking care of myself and treating myself well is going to be number one. so.. what are you planning for 2015?

the nivea creme challenge.

with winter upon us, the nivea 'get more for a dollar' challenge couldn't have come at a better time. living life on a budget, i was excited to see how far this $1 tin of creme could go and more importantly, what it could do for my skin.

over the past week, i have used the nivea creme for everything. i used it on my hands and around my nails and cuticles. i used it on my face at night. i used it on my elbows and knees to keep them soft during the time of year when that is oh so hard. i used to on my drying legs and i used it on my feet.

here's what i thought:

- my hands were super soft and smooth. the tiny tin fit in my purse so i was able to use it all day long. the first time i tried it, i thought it was going to be a bit oily, but it actually rubbed in smooth.

- my nails and cuticles were soft and cleared up some little cuts on my hands.

- after shaving, the skin on my legs gets pretty dry. every morning, i used the lotion and the flakes were gone.

- the lotion is light, but really thick and absorbs well. this also makes the tiny tin go really far.

- the best part of the lotion is what it did for my feet. as much as i don't want to talk about it, my heels crack very easily. i have used so many different kinds of foot lotions and nothing, and i am being serious, has worked as well as this creme. after only a few days of putting it on my heels, the cracks were mostly gone. by the end of the week, they were!

so all-in-all, the $1 tin of nivea creme is worth far more. the 1oz tin has lasted me the whole challenge with even more to use. if you are looking to keep your skin hydrated and soft all winter long with an unscented, thick creme, this one is a great pick.

buy local, portland.

this weekend is all about shopping for most of us. here are a few of the ways you can support you local favorites this weekend:

friday just got a little prettier in portland with plaid friday! plaid friday is the new black friday, putting the focus on portland's favorite local businesses. you can check out the full list of participants on the buy local website, but i am most excited about sampling sweetgrass's holiday gin cocktail and the portland flea-for-all being open on a friday (plus having refreshments while you shop!). the best part of the day.. wearing plaid!

take a photo while you are out shopping local today (and throughout december) and use #happylocalshopper to be entered to win a gift cards to your favorite portland buy local store!

and the other best part of the day, the tree lighting tonight in monument square at 5:30. you won't want to miss this because my favorite childhood musician, rick charette will be there. oh, nostalgia..

let's not forget about saturday! small business saturday is tomorrow. these days, there is no way you can't find everything you are looking for from a local business. to participate, you may not even have to leave your house. there are so many online local small business to shop right from your computer. but if you want to get out and get in the stores, portland is full of them.

here are a few of my suggestions for shopping small this weekend..

for the ladies:
bliss boutique

for the men:
portland trading co
portland general store
portland dry goods

for the home:
angela adams
more & co
folly 101

portland flea-for-all
material objects
moody lords

coffee by design

these are only a few of my many favorite portland stores. get out there and get shopping. remember to shop small this weekend!

holiday gift giving with h&m conscious foundation.

we are just a few days away from thanksgiving. for many that means getting together with people you love and eating a lot. but for many more, it has turned into a day about sales and shopping. while i am not all that interested in the likes of black friday deals and steals, i do acknowledge that after thanksgiving is over, the closer to christmas it is. and that is where i get excited. the hustle and bustle, the shopping, the warm drinks, the parties, and of course, the lists. 

to kick off the list part of the season, here are a few essentials for everyone you are shopping for this year. if you have someone who is hard to shop for, these items are the perfect piece to fit into anyone's wardrobe this season. and to top it off, these things are all affordable from h&m

for the babes:

for the ladies:

for the fellas: 

for the home:

not only am i obsessed with this h&m faux fur throw, it is a totally hit with my cats as well!

and while you are out shopping, make sure to stop into h&m to pick up a package or two of their super cute gift tags. for less than $2, you can support CARE international. h&m will double the purchase price of all the tags sold. since you know you have to do some wrapping and will need gift tags, make it one that gives back this time of year. check out the CARE website to find out how they are helping to strengthen women around the world.

it's official, we are residents of portland.

this past week has been full of moving boxes, unpacking boxes, and trying to set up our new apartment to feel like home. it has been a lot more work than i expected, but i guess thats what you get when you put detailed-oriented and ocd people together. everything is still a work in progress, but this is the first apartment in the past few years that i want to make my home. so if you were wondering what i have been up to over the past week, this is it. that, and well, taking pictures of my cats. like hundred of them...

alexander wang x h&m.

as you may have heard by now, alexander wang is the latest designer to team up with h&m. this collection is true street-chic. it is activewear, complete with design and function. it can be worn in the gym, on the streets, or out at night. the pieces are constructed with fabrics and technologies, like wicking and compression, that make them just as functional as they are fashionable. 

if this collection doesn't make you feel like hitting up the boxing ring (no pun intended!), they sure as hell will make you feel sexy. you better get in line early because when this collection hits stores (and online) on november 6th, i have a feeling it is going to go fast.

here are some of my favorite looks and pieces from the collection. i really love the embossing and foam-injected tops. and really, who doesn't love bike shorts.