How early is too early to celebrate Christmas? I’ve never had a strong opinion on the subject, but this year I am ready NOW (November 11th). I have “Christmas fever”. As soon as the clocks changed back for Daylight Savings last weekend my mood was immediately altered. I hate the dark and feeling like I should go to bed at 6pm, it sucks the energy out of me. I crave Christmas cookies and covering everything in tinsel when the chilly weather arrives! It reminds me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
My sister and I decorated my tree at my apartment this weekend, embracing the Christmas fever. I’ve never had a full size tree that was all mine, decorated exactly how I like it, maybe that has contributed to my early festive spirits? This has been one of the more fun parts of adulting.
I decided to go with a winter wonderland blue theme for my tree -because it’s not the traditional red and green I think it really feels as though it’s okay to have it set up so early. We also got our first sprinkling of snow this week, which I wasn’t thrilled to see, but that’s a sign to decorate right?!
At my parents’ house we always cut down the tree ourselves or bought a real one from the boy scouts about 2 weeks before the holiday. It seemed like too long to wait in my opinion and they still wanted it down by New Years Day -___- Real trees can have a lot of maintenance with the watering and shedding of needles, but they smell so good! This year I’m using an evergreen candle, but that’s okay. By using a fake tree with flocking (aka fake snow allllll over it) I can keep it up for as long as I want with little thought. Last year at work I may have gone a little overboard with my tiny fake pink tree at work -I decorated it for Valentines Day, St. Patricks Day, Easter and Spring just because I could.
Christmas means there are a surplus of blog posts on gift guides and festive outfits out there, yet I still seem to struggle with what to get people! I know I need to start buying and planning now since I want to give thoughtful presents.. this time of year just goes by so quickly! I can’t believe it’s less than two weeks to Thanksgiving. Do you ask people directly for gift ideas for themselves? It takes some of the fun out of it for me if I ask, but it’s better to get someone something they will actually appreciate rather than another “knick knack” I guess. Time to curl up with a cappuccino, put on my elf hat and plan! The tree is up and Christmas fever definitely came early for me this year.
My love for carbs and cheese is pretty obvious, I talk about it all the time. I went on a date the other day and we spent at least 30 minutes talking about how it’s great that I’m not a vegan or vegetarian, just a carbovore. I decided to trade in pasta and bread for some of the world’s best Chicken Wings/Buffalo Wings* on Sunday, for research.
(From left to right) remnants of the Peach BBQ wing, the Chicken French wing and the Sticky wing
I partnered with #WingFest18 at Coca Cola Field in Buffalo and tried several “out of the box” wing flavors including..
- Peach BBQ from Windjammers-there were giant chunks of sugar crystals on top of the bbq peach sauce, eliminating some of the heat. The perfect end of summer wing! It’s officially peach season here and I could go for another helping of these… BONUS -it was a flat wing, which I never really realized I prefer, until now.
- Chicken French from Windjammers– lemon, butter and white wine on almost ANYTHING is going to be amazing, but on a fried chicken wing, it’s next level. My fellow blogger Briana aka BJMagg went back for a second Chicken French wing here, which with so many wing options in one place, really means this was a winner.
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s from Boneheads Wing Bar– who would’ve thought you could find a wing with the iconic 1961 Audrey Hepburn film as the clear inspiration? Well you can’t get them in New York, but if you find yourself in Warwick, RI check out Boneheads. They had several funky flavor combinations (pepper and mountain dew, what?!) and a trophy on their front table recognizing their successes as a crowd favorite. I liked how for this particular wing tasted like maple bacon and was clearly acceptable to eat for breakfast, hence the title. Holy Golightly would approve.
- Butterscotch BBQ from Quaker Steak and Lube -they had such a great range of wing flavor options at the QSL booth, but I didn’t feel like this particular wing was anything too extraordinary. I would compare it to a mellow BBQ, but I didn’t really pick up on the butterscotch like I had hoped. If someone had these at a Bills party I would eat them, but I would be a few drinks in.
- Captain’s Candy Apple from Scallywag’s Grub & Spirits– sweet and spicy, but in a cinnamon-y way! It would probably be the basic white girl option, if we weren’t talking about chicken wings. I was so confused by this non-traditional dessert combo, but I really enjoyed it. Not sure I would eat with pizza though… Vanilla bean ice cream seems like a better accompaniment, but these are still wings we’re talking about ?!
- The Sticky Wings, the Queens Choice – this saturated strawberry sauce chicken wing was from a booth with Queen Elizabeth and Meghan Markle photos abound. It was DELICIOUS. Although I can’t picture the Queen of England in a fascinator and matching gloves, elegantly diving into a bowl of sticky wings, I certainly would. We’d both probably wear pearls, in traditional preppy fashion.
I had a blast being a #wingfestpartner this weekend. What better all-American way to celebrate the end of summer than going to the National Buffalo Wing Festival?
*gasp, in case you’re from somewhere outside New York
I’d guess that most people aren’t especially excited about Thursdays. Sure, it’s not Monday, but it’s not Friday and most of the time I am also indifferent about a Thursday.. but Thursday August 2, 2018 was the grand opening of the H&M at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara and it wasn’t just your ordinary Thursday!
One of the local marketing groups reached out to a select group of WNY bloggers and influencers to come 2 hours before the official opening of the new store at noon, to check it out and shop around. They supplied us with a gift card and discount card, making the offer difficult to refuse! I’ve become a loyal Old Navy, TJ Maxx and Amazon customer, so I was also interested in exploring H&M just to see how they have or haven’t changed since ~2012. After all, isn’t every news article claiming malls are on their way out?
- They picked a great location in the Niagara Outlets, the store is in the newest wing super close to Forever 21. H&M knows their audience.
- IT’S SO CLEAN. Going into an untouched and undisturbed retail store, when you have worked in the chaotic, high energy overwhelming industry, is especially impressive. The group of us who were invited to the store early had the chance to duck under the red ribbon, dive into all of the racks and see how flawlessly organized and impeccably marketed the store can really be.
- H&M knows how to keep up with trends. The semi off the shoulder tops, wide legged jumpsuits and flowy pieces were plentiful. I appreciated this part about fast cheap fashion in highschool, stores like H&M make it easy to keep up
- I’m too big for nearly half of their clothing. I felt this way in highschool, 50 pound ago, and the same holds true today. The difference is that I am much more similarly sized to the average American woman now, so what the hell is that about? I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to work with H&M and the Fashion Outlets, but it would be dishonest to not acknowledge that a majority of the bottoms in this location only went up to a size 10 when your girl is a comfortable 14. Also worth noting that one of my best friends wears a size 4-6 and was grabbing 8-10s.
- They have expanded their target market and are catering to more styles than I remember! The business casual area was a pleasant surprise with multiple midi dresses and dressy flats/sandals. I immediately think of H&M as catering to a youthful festival attending/boho audience so this rather unexpected. With companies like The Limited eliminating brick and mortar locations it’s great to find other options!
- This particular location has an entire room just for their sale section. $2 dress pants, $5 rompers and $8 sweaters were plentiful. There were a lot of unique pieces, perfect for dressing up at a drastic discount. Take the time to rifle through this room with deals for anyone (they carry clothes for men, women and children), as they can really cater to people on a budget.
I left the store with 2 jackets, 1 pair of dress capris, 3 sweaters and 1 tank for $120 today. I’ll be honest, I didn’t stick to the sale section, I went with what grabbed my attention the most and what I thought I would get the most use out of! I am completely aware of how impulsive I can be in a less expensive store, in highschool I blew every paycheck I had on fast fashion. I feel that thinking through my purchases now is a sign of growth. H&M is a great store for basics and versatile pieces, that’s how I would describe everything I bought! Check out my instagram story for my first ever unveiling of my purchases -and don’t judge too harshly it’s so ~awk~ to talk to the mirror in 10 second increments 🙂
*Thank you to Fashion Outlets of Niagara and H&M for sponsoring my instagram posts. As always my opinions are my own and not influenced by sponsorship. For more information on collaborating click the Work With Me tab or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.