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!

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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.

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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.

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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?

Allison

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

Boston on a Budget


It’s no secret that I love to travel. I actually think that it is one of the first things that people gather from getting to know me.

#travelholics back together again 🌎🌍🌏

A photo posted by Allison Clearing Preppy’s Name (@preppylogic15) on

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This past weekend I was able to quench my everlasting thirst for travel and visit some of my friends, Michaela and Clara, from when I studied abroad in England. I had been budgeting since my last trip, to Florida, where I visited another study abroad friend, Tess, in April.

I found that an impromptu trip to Boston was completely realistic thanks to an early summer JetBlue flight sale, taking only a carry on bag and personal item, and having a fantastic friend who allowed me to crash on her couch.

These are the realities of being a post-college twenty something, and that is okay.

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  1. Price compare in advance and don’t spend more than you absolutely need to on flights.

I booked my roundtrip tickets almost exactly 2 months before my trip. It was a Thursday, but to be completely honest I am not one of those people who think the day of the week matters all that much. My direct flights were just under $100 and I am still pretty proud of that fact.

At the same time that I booked my tickets, I signed up for a True Blue rewards account. When I have traveled in the past I have made an account for SouthWest, but to be completely honest I haven’t really accumulated anything of significance because I have never been loyal to just one airline; I tend to just fly whatever is least expensive. My lack of loyalty may change now that I have found out that I can take surveys at www.pointsforsurveys.com  and accumulate free flights through JetBlue. I already have plans in the making for a trip to NYC in the fall and due to my 4,500 points I’ve acquired since June, I may only have to pay one for a one way ticket. That’s $60 or less… CHA CHING!

JetBlue now has baggage options you can pay for when you purchase tickets. It’s still cheaper than American Airlines and Delta, but nothing compares to SouthWest’s 2 free checked bags. With that in mind I bought the 0 bag basic fair through JetBlue, as my trip was only 4-5 days long, and crammed everything I needed into a duffle and tote.

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2. Go on the vacation that fits YOUR lifestyle. Adapt accordingly.

Since I have visited Boston many times before, I decided that I did not want to have the traditional historical visit. I’ve seen Freedom Trail and it is cool. Same thing for the Boston aquarium. But I am a young millennial woman on the hunt for fun cheap Instagram opportunities and delicious food/booze -in case I haven’t made that clear.

And so with that in mind I made 1 goal for each day of my trip.

  • On Saturday I would find a giant booze-shake from Boston Burger Company. ($10)
  • On Sunday I would go on a Boston Harbor boat cruise through Boston Green Cruises, thanks to Living Social -because I’m cheap. ($11)
  • On Monday I would swim in a rooftop pool on top of the Colonnade Hotel near the Prudential Center. ($10)

I accomplished all of my goals with Clara. I spent a total of $300 on vacation, less than one night at the aforementioned hotel that we swam at (which is priced at approximately $450-600 a night).

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3. Get over yourself and take public transportation.

I spent $22 on a 7 day CharlieCard pass, so that I could take the public bus and subway as many times as I wanted. This easily paid for itself, as I know I took both modes of transportation at least 20 times. Individually with a ticket each trip would be $2.75, $2.25 on a Charlie Card. I have spent $22 on Uber rides in the DC metro area.. even more on cabs in NYC.. therefore this is definitely the cheapest form of getting around, besides walking.

4. Don’t eat out every night if you don’t have to.

We made the classic poor man’s pasta dish for dinner on Sunday night: shell pasta, olive oil, garlic and parm cheese. I spent $15 on random breakfast fruits, ingredients for dinner, pre-packaged lunches and non-alcoholic beverages for during my stay. By eliminating the cost of dinner one night, as well as having breakfast options and lunch covered one day, this was definitely a solid investment.

5. Talk to the locals.

On our first in Jamaica Plain, the particular neighborhood Clara resides in, we talked to the bartender about places to go. What tourist traps should we avoid? If you were here for 4 days where would you make it a point to visit? Not only will you get a better feel for the town, but you may also get to witness a fantastic Bostonian AHHHcent.

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I know that I am lucky to be able to explore such amazing places and visit incredible people, but I am a firm believer that luck actually has very little to do with it. Do your research, know your restrictions and take the world on without hesitation.

Thé de l’après-midi (otherwise known as afternoon tea)


For those of you that don’t know, two short weeks ago I was visiting Ivory Avenue blogger, Natalie, in Montreal, QC.  My experience traveling outside of the United States has only been to Toronto, ON this past November and it was interesting to see how the other provinces compared.  It’s nice to leave Western New York and see how the other side of the border lives, eh?

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My friend Natalie is of English and Canadian descent.  This makes her family and their traditions that much more unique!  One of the most delightful things we did while I visited this past week was have afternoon tea.  I enjoy herbal teas quite a bit and recently felt that I was moving up in the world by purchasing white chocolate peppermint loose leaf tea from Teavana… but nothing compared to the Peach Ginger tea at Madam Clifford’s and Angels Falls tea at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier.

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The experience at Madam Clifford’s was very personalized.  It began with picking out your favorite tea cup, among their incredible selection. I enjoyed my meal of tuna-cucumber tea sandwiches immensely.  There were so many delicious treats this past week, it was difficult deciding which to put on instagram.

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Walking into the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, one passes photos of the famous people that once visited the beautiful hotel.  Both former President Bill Clinton and his wife were among them.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was certainly happy that I dressed up.  Natalie and I went to a cute second hand store where I discovered a gray plaid jumper, black turtle neck, pearls, and martini glasses all for under $20! Try to beat that Macklemore.

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The elegant Canadian Tea started with your choice of tea and in our case Ice Wine (if you desired) and then came the tiers of delicacies.  On the second level were four distinct sandwiches: salmon, cucumber, chicken, and roast beef.  Words could not do this presentation justice.  Next was a blueberry scone and a plain scone.  The table held small dishes of cream (not to be mistaken with cream cheese) and jam.  The final desserts were a maple tart, banana cake, and berries.  It was incredible way to spend the day, from our table we could see parliament.

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Returning back to the states I have already determined I need to find a tea-room of some sorts.  I am sure this is more of an English tradition than Canadian, but it was delightful to not have to cross the “pond” to experience it. I spent nearly 10 hours on a bus, but that hasn’t taken away my travel bug.  Last week I went to Boston and enjoyed everything another North Eastern state had to offer. School is back in session on Monday and fully prepared to interrupt my travel schedule though.

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My view of the Eaton Center in Toronto at dinner, on my way home.