Life + Links

Holiday Gift Guides, Reading Picks // Pearl Girl

Y’all, life lately has been insane. Over Thanksgiving week, I spent an absolutely incredible six days in the Cotswolds in England and in Scotland for work. It was a seriously unforgettable trip filled with amazing moments — like visiting the Cheltenham Racecourse, pictured above.

I’ve had a week at home since then, which turned out to be an incredibly busy one due to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement!! I’m so excited for a royal wedding and a royal baby in the same year! Speaking of, I also started watching Suits and I’m really into it! It’s a good show and it’s cool to see Meghan in action. I also had a chance to check out the Downton Abbey exhibition in NYC. If you’re a fan of the show, you must see it! The attention to detail is really incredible. There’s intricate set replicas as well as tons of costumes and other tidbits from the show.

Today I’m off again, this time, on my biggest trip of the year: Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, with my family. I’m so so so grateful for the opportunities to travel, and things just sort of worked out this way this year, but remind me not to do quite so many international vacations basically back-to-back next year. As amazing as it is, it gets exhausting! I have no idea how bloggers who are constantly on-the-go handle it.

I’ve somehow still managed to crank out a few blog posts while I’ve been away, including a few gift guides! I’ve done gifts for an acquaintance, gifts I’d like to receive and gifts for the homebody. I’m hoping to post a few more in the weeks before Christmas, which are quickly dwindling!

Hope you have a lovely weekend, and wish me luck as I embark on this 16-hour flight to Hong Kong (where I’m meeting up with my family, before we fly to Vietnam the next day!)

What I’m Reading

I’m a constant clothing reseller, so I enjoyed this article about the embarrassment of reselling your clothes. It is a little shameful to walk into a Crossroads with a bag of stuff and walk out with everything!

Love this: Single women are the fastest growing group of home buyers!

Jenna Lyons’s new home tour is just as envious as her last one!

As a fellow single lady myself, I adored Grace’s post on how to be single. Single or not, it’s a MUST read.

I adored reading about Mackenzie’s Nantucket wedding. It seemed like the perfect weekend!

I need to get better about sticking to a consistent workout schedule, so will be trying some of Julia’s tips in the new year!

Aspiring pet owners should read Jess’s post about adopting a pet. Great tips.

Loving Jess’s (another one!) capsule wardrobe remix series.

What I’m Shopping

Kicking myself for not getting this Fair Isle turtleneck over Black Friday and hoping it comes back in stock in my size!

I also hope this white sweater comes back in stock in my size too!

Call me crazy, but Abercrombie has some seriously cute sweaters.

So happy these blackwatch plaid pants are back! I love love love them!

I love this Burberry bag — and it’s on sale!

What I’m Writing

Gifts for the homebody.

How I spent a weekend with friends in London.

Gifts I want.

Gifts for the acquaintance.

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Gift Guide: For the Homebody

ONE Cozy Cable Knit Sweater
TWO Striped Socks
THREE Navy Joggers
FOUR Cashmere Wrap
FIVE Ginger Bubble Bath
SIX Silk Sleep Eye Mask
SEVEN Lake Pajamas
EIGHT Oversized Mug
ELEVEN Cable Knit Throw
NINE Candle Set
TEN Funnelneck Sweatshirt
TWELVE Amazon Kindle
THIRTEEN Holiday Scented Diffuser

(You can click on the collage to see each product, too!)

As I’ve gotten older (I know, I’m not old), I’ve really started to appreciate the value of a cozy night in. Especially one where you have the apartment (or house!) to yourself to watch a movie, order in takeout and go to bed early. It’s funny the things that feel luxurious when you’re a full-time working adult, but I’ve been looking forward to those solo nights in more and more lately. They are just so dang relaxing.

I know I’m not alone in my love of a quiet night on the couch with a good movie. So I thought a gift guide for the “homebody,” or really, anyone who appreciates the cozy things in life, would be one that would check off several people on everyone’s to-give lists. What’s included? To name a few, soft outfits to wear while lounging around the house, like these pants with this sweatshirt, the best way to spend a night in, and how to make your place smell great while you’re hanging out. One thing I missed? These slippers. I’ve had my own pair for a long, long time, and they’re just as comfortable as the day I bought them. Especially in an apartment with spotty heating (like mine!), a good pair of slippers is so necessary!

And now I’m craving a quiet night in. Seriously, not to sound like a complete grandma, but they are the best!

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How I Spent a Weekend (With Friends!) in London

A Weekend in London Guide, Three Days in London Travel Guide // Pearl Girl

If you know me, you know London is my absolute favorite place on earth. I even feel like my love of London is something I’ve become synonymous with — after all, there’s a giant Union Jack flag hanging in my room. And my Instagram bio reads “A Brit trapped in an American’s body.”

So when any excuse to visit London comes up, I take it. And one of my best friends moving there to get her Masters definitely qualified. As fate (and luck!) would have it, two of my other close friends would be in Europe at the same time: One is working in Paris for six months and the other just finished her two years of service in the Peace Corps in Namibia and was doing some European traveling before heading back stateside. The timing worked out perfectly for us to all congregate in London for an amazing weekend together.

A Weekend in London Guide, Three Days in London Travel Guide // Pearl Girl

Wearing this leather jacket in front of the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe.

Now, I’ve been to London six times, and one of those was my study abroad experience, where I lived in the city for four months. So though I’m not a true Londoner, I’m definitely more in the know than your average tourist. So this weekend, I was more focused on spending time with my friends and walking through my favorite neighborhoods than hit up museums and the Tower of London. That being said, I like to be always on the go when I’m there, walking around and soaking up as much of the city as I can (to hold me over until next time!)

I landed around 11 on Friday morning and hit the ground running, taking the Tube into the city. I transferred at South Kensington to Victoria station, where I stored my bags for the next few hours. Highly recommend doing this if you need a place to stash your stuff for a few hours in London. I just did it on my last trip to the UK, this past week, when I had a few hours to kill before meeting up with my travel group, too.

Though I’ve always taken the Tube into the city when I’m on my own dime, but those days may be over. I just took the Heathrow Express for the first time on my most recent trip, and OMG, my life is changed. The Tube can take about an hour, and that’s just to get into South Kensington. Heathrow Express takes 15 minutes to get to Paddington station. It’s a bit pricier, but if you are running on limited time, it’s really incredible.

I left Victoria station and walked over to Peggy Porschen Cakes, an incredibly Instagrammable spot that I’d had on my to-visit list for quite some time. The decor definitely lived up to the hype: Metallic pumpkins and ornaments lining the doorway, and cute pastel plates and cups. I ordered a slice of cake and a cup of tea — the perfect warm welcome to London.

The rest of the afternoon I went on a long, long walk through London. Over to Sloane Square, down King’s Road in Chelsea, then up through Chelsea into South Kensington. Then up to Kensington Gardens, where I went to Kensington Palace. I’ve been through the interior rooms of the palace a few times, but they currently have a new exhibition going on — Diana: A Fashion Story — with tons of Princess Diana’s most iconic outfits on display. If you’re in London while the exhibition is going on, I highly recommend checking it out. Even if you’re not a huge royal fan, it’s just an incredible display of gorgeous clothes.

It was the most beautiful fall day. At that point, the leaves hadn’t really changed yet in New York, so it was so nice to see all the yellow and orange in London! I left KP and headed up to Notting Hill, and then walked back around down through Kensington. I caught the tube at High Street Kensington, went to pick up my bags at Victoria station, and then headed to London Bridge area, where my friend’s dorm is. We all met up there and then headed to dinner at O Ver, a really delicious Italian restaurant nearby. We got drinks at a pub afterwards, the perfect London nightcap.

The next day it was off to Granger & Co. for breakfast. If you’ve never been, put it on your to eat list in London! They have the fluffiest pancakes, and they’re the must-order item on the menu. They have several locations throughout the city, but we went to the one in Clerkenwell, right near where I used to live in London when I was studying abroad. We walked down Gray’s Inn Road over to Primark, which is the least expensive store on the face of the planet. I grabbed a cheap beanie (which I ended up using a TON over the course of the entire trip.) We then headed down to Trafalgar Square, and finally, over to Covent Garden.

A Weekend in London Guide, Three Days in London Travel Guide // Pearl Girl

I convinced the group to go to drinks at Bob Bob Ricard, a swanky restaurant in Soho with the cutest “Press for Champagne” buttons equipped at every table. Though I didn’t actually press it (we were only going to order one drink, and I didn’t know if pressing it would actually bring out a bottle of Moet or something?! Haha.) Our cocktails, however, were delicious! The food is all Russian-inspired, so if you want to have dinner there, that’s what’s you’re in for!

We, on the other hand, were looking for something a bit more affordable. So we hopped in an Uber and shot over to East London for dinner on Brick Lane, a street that’s famous for its wide variety of Indian restaurants. Our restaurant was called Jasmine and it was delicious, but I don’t really think you can go wrong on Brick Lane. It also had the funniest illustrations on the wall. There were all these really sexual pictures of men and women in like, intense warrior gear. And then there’s one of Princess Diana. It was actually hilarious, and I couldn’t resist taking a photo with it.

The next day we headed to North London to the Camden Markets. This area of London has a totally different vibe than say, Kensington. It feels very punk, very Hot Topic, almost (but not in a suburban mall way!) — but is so cool! There are tons of stalls, stands and markets, from food to t-shirts to jewelry. I picked up a tiny gold knot ring that I haven’t taken off since, as well as a pair of earrings and a donut.

We then walked along the canals over to Primrose Hill, one of my favorite parks in London. It’s set on top of a hill (as the name suggests!) and gives you a really gorgeous view of the city. It’s right on top of the better known Regent’s Park.

A Weekend in London Guide, Three Days in London Travel Guide // Pearl Girl

Primrose Hill is right near a really gorgeous area in London, so we walked around for a bit before sitting down at a pub for an afternoon drink. Such a lovely and perfectly London-esque way to spend the afternoon.

A Weekend in London Guide, Three Days in London Travel Guide // Pearl Girl

We also had so much fun playing around with Portrait mode. I swear, some of the photos are better than the ones on my SLR! The candy-colored houses made for a pretty stunning backdrop, too.

My friend lives right near Borough Market, so I also made a point to try the famed grilled cheese. Oh my gosh, y’all, IT LIVES UP TO THE HYPE. Seriously one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my life. The stand isn’t actually inside the market, it’s like a little storefront RIGHT outside. If you can’t find it, just ask someone for directions. Everyone knows!

That night we went to dinner at Oldroyd, which has British foods but serves small plates. We had already eaten quite a bit that day, so splitting smaller dishes was just right for us. The restaurant is in Angel, a fun area in London with a lot of shops and restaurants. It’s also right near Kings Cross, which was convenient for the two who were heading to Paris that night. I caught one myself, to Brussels — my next post! — the next morning.

It was such a special weekend, to share time in my favorite city with three of my favorite people. And it was just the start of an incredible trip!

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Sales to Shop on Black Friday

Everlane Beach Tee Dress, Mansur Gavriel Lady Bag, Superga Cotu Sneakers // Pearl Girl

It’s here!!! The biggest shopping day of the year. As I said in my last post, I’ve spent the past week in England and Scotland, and was surprised to see a fair number of “Black Friday” advertisements at stores on this side of the pond. I had no idea it was a thing in the U.K., too!

Rounding up a few of my favorite sales below. I’m not sure how much shopping I’m going to do myself — sadly, the sweater I was hoping to snag for 40% off at Ralph Lauren is sold out in the color I want! I’ll do some more serious browsing after I land back stateside.

The deals are plentiful, but here are a select few all in the same place — I personally find it help to have a big list (especially for things like a Barbour jacket, which is on sale at multiple locations) and I hope you will too!

Amazon

Tons of deals throughout the site!

My pick? An Echo! Should I finally pull the trigger? The dot is only $30!

J.Crew

40% off everything with the code THANKU.

My pick? Velvet pants!!! In black or pink.

Nordstrom

Extra 20% off sale items.

My pick? This Pendleton raincoat I’ve been living in this (rainy) week across the pond!

Tuckernuck

20% off everything and you can get up to 30% off if you spend more! (Hint: Go in with your friends!)

My pick? My favorite fall jacket, the Olive Barbour.

Shopbop

Up to 30% off with the code MORE17

My pick? This Self Portrait style dress at a fraction of the price. (Would be great for a wedding!)

Ralph Lauren

40% off orders over $125 with code THANKS40

My pick? This gorgeous cable-knit cashmere sweater.

Tory Burch

30% off orders over $250 with code THANKS.

My pick? The T Satchel, a really beautiful everyday bag.

Kate Spade

30% off with the code GIVEJOY.

My pick? This pretty blush/taupe-ish satchel.

Ann Taylor

50% off with the code THANKFUL.

My pick? Love this black sheer polka dot blouse.

LOFT

50% everything with the code FRIYAY.

My pick? This goes-with-everything velvet halter.

Macy’s

Extra 20% off plus tons of other deals.

My pick? These rose gold slip-on sneakers.

Lord & Taylor

50% off tons of women’s apparel and 20% off full-priced items.

My pick? Again, a waxed Barbour Beadnell. These rarely go on sale so it’s a good time to buy!

 

 

 

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Gift Guide: What I Want

ONE Tan Coat
Diamond Stud Earrings
THREE Fleece Pullover
FOUR Leather Tote
FIVE Fir Candle
SIX Pink Pajama Set
SEVEN Hunter Boots
EIGHT Drybar Gift Set
NINE Velvet Blazer
TEN Blush Hobo Bag
ELEVEN Camera Lens

 

Happy Thanksgiving! If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve been in England and Scotland for the past few days on an incredible work trip. The trip fell over Thanksgiving, so for the first time, I’m spending the holiday away from my family. However, I couldn’t imagine anywhere else I’d want to be right now! I love the U.K. and I haven’t been to Scotland in four years, since I studied abroad in college. It is seriously the most naturally beautiful, magical place. If you haven’t visited, move it straight to the topic of your bucket list.

With Thanksgiving today, Black Friday starts tomorrow and you know what that means — lots and lots of sales and shopping. A few notable deals? J.Crew is 40% off everything, a great time to pick up staple pieces. (Last year I got a blazer.) Everything is on sale at Tuckernuck and L.L. Bean, too, and there are lots of deals at Nordstrom and Amazon. Like, if you’ve ever wanted an Echo, now is the time!

I’ve seen a few bloggers post about the gifts they’re hoping to receive this year, and loved the idea, so I thought I’d follow suit. Honestly, at this point in life, most things I want I can just buy on my own (or they’re so pricey I’d never ask someone else to buy them for me — think Gucci loafers or a Chanel bag!) However, I do always have a running list of items that have caught my eye, so that’s a collection of what’s here. Some, are, admittedly, a dream item I’ll likely end up checking off my to-buy list a few years in the future when I hit some sort of milestone, while others are just a replacement for a well-loved part of my closet.

Hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving, wherever in the world you’re celebrating!

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