2016 recap + favorites

i'm so looking forward to hitting the refresh button on this blog! 2016 was... definitely not my best blogging year. there were some highs (hey there, new blog design!), but overall i felt burnt out and uninspired. i constantly found myself comparing my content to that of other bloggers, and although i love instagram, that turned into just another outlet for me to constantly be pinning myself up against others. so unhealthy.

but there were also some good reasons why things were so quiet around here. my content creation work really picked up AND i got a job as the social media manager at a local startup. both of these things bring me so much joy and happiness!

even though my blog ended up taking the hit towards the second half of 2016, i'm in a much better state of mind. i certainly hope to post more than i did last year, and i hope i can get back into the instagram groove as well.

to end this post on a lighter note, i'm going to share some of my favorite purchases of 2016. a few of these pieces have been featured numerous times (like this striped tee), others are newer fall purchases that i never got around to sharing. maybe you've got a few extra holiday gift cards lying around and are looking to treat yourself? 😉 most of these items are on sale!

lastly, thanks for reading. here's to a fresh start!


ABERCROMBIE & FITCH WOOL COAT
oh, i know. abercrombie & fitch? is she joking? the last time i stepped into an abercrombie & fitch store i was a senior in high school. i saw a handful of bloggers wearing this coat on instagram and i had to have it. i was pretty shocked and surprised when i found out where it was from! it's perfectly oversized and so warm.

MADEWELL LEATHER JACKET
this jacket has been at the top of my wish list for years. in my eyes, it's the most perfect leather jacket. i–rather impulsively–snatched it up during a shopbop sale last fall. i layered it over sweaters and blouses this fall, and i can't wait to pair it with dresses during the spring.

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GAP SKINNY JEANS
these are my favorite pair of blue skinny jeans right now. the wash is just right and they taper around the ankles perfectly. i'm considering buying a backup pair for when these wear out.

LEVI'S JEANS
i'd say that i'm a big fan of boyfriend/mom-style jeans. they're comfortable, casual, and can be easily offset with a feminine blouse. i recently picked up the levi's wedgie icon jeans and have been wearing them non-stop. a sizing tip: go up one size. there is absolutely no stretch in this particular pair!

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MADEWELL CHAMBRAY STRIPED TOP
this top was in heavy rotation throughout the end of summer and early fall. now i like to layer it with a long oversized cardigan.

ANTHROPOLOGIE TANK
i absolutely live for beautiful lace-detailed tops! i don't like to wear a lot of color, but i love the muted lilac shade of this top. this actually might be the only colorful thing i bought this year. at least it's a good one!

J.CREW FACTORY STRIPED TEE
i won't dwell on this tee for too long since i've shared it on here a few times before. but really, it's the best striped tee.

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MADEWELL CARDIGAN
i'd say that 2016 was the year of the long oversized cardigan for me. this one is so soft and cozy (i'd recommend going down a size, it runs large in my opinion!). i recently picked up a gray long cardigan from old navy, but unfortunately i wasn't able to find it online.

MADEWELL PULLOVER SWEATER
a cream-colored sweater is one of my wardrobe staples, so of course i had to add another one to my already growing collection. i've been wearing this weekly!

ABERCROMBIE & FITCH MOCK NECK SWEATER
yes, another abercrombie & fitch gem! this one is so soft and i love the mock neck style. sometimes i feel as if turtlenecks just completely swallow me up, even though they are so warm. this one is just right!

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LOEFFLER RANDALL SUEDE FLATS
i've been looking for a perfect pair of black suede flats and i think i found them. i'll admit that they haven't been the easiest to break in, but i love them nonetheless!

FRYE COMBAT BOOTS
although i love my hunters and bean boots, i'm all about wearing combat boots during lousy winter weather. i found this pair from frye that has a shearling lining and they are everything. i swear, no other boots keep my feet as warm as these. plus! they have rubber soles that give you plenty of traction over icy sidewalks.

LOEFFLER RANDALL SANDALS
these were another longtime wish list item that i pulled the trigger on during a sale this summer. they are so much fun! they automatically put me in a good mood whenever i wear them.

of course i have to mention a few beauty favorites, too! my skin was pretty rough on me this year, and it's something i'm still struggling with, but all of these products get 2 thumbs up from me!


MARIO BADESCU FACE SPRAY
face sprays are one of my favorite pick-me-ups. just a few spritzes and i feel completely refreshed. this one is usually priced around $7 and it smells delightful!

MARIO BADESCU EYE CREAM
this eye cream is super lightweight. it's hydrating and absorbs into the skin so easily.

MAKE UP FOR EVER FOUNDATION
this is the first foundation i've ever bought but it's a good one. it blends out so evenly with a damp beauty blender. it provides plenty of coverage, but never looks cakey by the end of the day.

GLOSSIER CONCEALER
i prefer to use this as an under eye concealer, since it doesn't provide much coverage. thankfully i don't deal with too much darkness under my eyes, but this concealer blends out seamlessly and really brightens up the area.

FRESH FACE OIL
i've dealt with slick, oily skin all of my life. a co-worker mentioned that switching over to facial oils completely changed her skin for the better. i was hesitant about adding even more oil to my already oily skin, but it totally balanced everything out. i actually purchased this particular product on eBay because i wanted to find it at a cheaper price point.

BOBBI BROWN CREAM EYESHADOW
this cream eyeshadow in stone is a beautiful brown/gray color. it's super creamy and easy to apply. i'm not the biggest fan of eyeshadows (i don't have the patience to blend them out), so this is perfect for me!

TEA TREE OIL
this has become my holy grail spot treatment for breakouts. salicylic acid never did much for my skin, and i found benzoyl peroxide really drying. it's not a miracle overnight worker, but it works so much better than any topical treatment i've ever used!

GLOSSIER LIPSTICK
i initially liked the wash of color from the original formulation of this lipstick, but the new formula is much better. it's not quite as drying, and the packaging is a big improvement as well.