The Grand Opening of H&M at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara

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?

First Impressions:

  • 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

Second Impressions:

  • 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 ūüôā

*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

Happy 4th of July from Rusterior and I

Happy fourth of July everyone! I hope you’re enjoying some dazzling fireworks and delicious cookout foods, while staying cool. A heat wave has hit the greater Niagara area, resulting in close to triple digit temperatures -not exactly what we’re known for! I was surprised to learn that it hasn’t ever hit 100 degrees in Buffalo according to many local news channels. I can recall it exceeding 100F at least once in Central New York, but it’s still a very foreign concept. I don’t know how people deal with such exceedingly hot weather, sometimes for days or weeks at a time, out west and down south. At least with the cold you can add another layer or plug in another heater… Remind me of this when I inevitably whine about snow in November :).

I don’t really know how to shop for a season that doesn’t involve layers. On a typical June/July day I am still almost guaranteed to be sporting a cardigan or denim jacket, even if it’s just to combat the arctic tundra (AC) at work. The super comfortable and patriotic top¬† I received courtesy of Rusterior *¬†was perfect for a dress down day at work and afterwards I was happy to throw on some denim cutoffs and make it work for a cooler summer evening. The fabric is breathable and breezy, ideal for layering under a flannel or over a tank. Can’t you just picture sitting around a bonfire, spreading the buffa-love in this tee?

I’m heading to Gilbert Lake this weekend, about an hour from my hometown/original CNY stomping grounds, to go camping with friends. I’m looking forward to swimming, snacking and lounging, while disconnecting from the 9-5ish hustle of the work week. This seems like the perfect way to celebrate America and the first week of July!

*Thank you Rusterior for collaborating with me as a brand rep! They are offering CPN readers 10% off their order with code Rfriends10 on etsy -check them out! #sponsored

The Third Street Art Alley

Last Tuesday, my friend Jess (owner of Main Street Printing Company) and I decided to explore the Third Street Art Alley in downtown Niagara Falls. The bright colors and impressive artwork seemed like the perfect backdrop for a photo shoot.

I had just received 3 new Tobi tops in the mail and was thrilled to be able to showcase these looks in such a fun environment. I did my best to ignore the baby sized snow piles and 40 degree weather. New clothes and new places always make my think of spring!

third street, tobi, shoptobi, niagara falls, art alley, street art

This first top is the Back to Back Black and White Striped Tee. It’s a simple 3/4 top and I love the hint of nautical style that it provides.

Like blogger The College Prepster, Carly, said in one of her latest¬†posts, “There is not one striped shirt in my closet… there are many”. You can’t go wrong with them, they’re classic! And I am happy to add this one to my collection.¬†The material is a cotton and spandex blend, not too clingy and quite¬†flattering.

Previously on my blog I’ve posted about my love for versatile¬†pieces; I believe this Tobi top¬†is a great example. In the warmer weather I will pair it with a pair of coral or white shorts, but it also works really well with any pair of jeans.


Next up, I styled my new Tobi Twist Around Top. I can’t come up with a better way to describe this heather grey long sleeve other than¬†“business in the front, party in the back”.

It’s unsuspecting, and an easy way¬†to show off your favorite new bralette. I also plan on using this shirt to transition an¬†outfit from the gym to elsewhere, while still allowing my¬†sports bra to play peek-a-boo.




This last look that Jess shot featured the Tobi Isabella Bell Sleeve Top in Wine. This could be completely in my head, but I like to think that the voluminous bell sleeves balance out my curvaceous hips.

I believe this top would be good for a business casual look or for going to happy hour.. plus when I spill red wine on myself it would probably be less noticeable in a top with its namesake color! Two birds, one stone.


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Although I don’t own them yet,¬†I also have this¬†Cute Blush Blouse¬†and the¬†Edie Wine Shirt on my Tobi wishlist… If this is your first time shopping with them you can get 50% off of your first order on regularly priced items, with some brand exclusions. All of the tops I wore during the art alley shoot retail for less than $50 on Tobi’s¬†site, but with the “new member promotion” they would be even cheaper!

Check out Tobi, here! Which tops caught your eye?


*This post was part of a brand collaboration. Please review the Work With Me tab for further details about my disclosure policy.