Hi there, friends!
I don’t know about y’all but this month has flown by! Fully embracing the opportunity to unplug, whether it be with my family in the mountains of North Carolina, college girlfriends in Jacksonville Beach, or one of my best friends in Spain, this month has been nothing short of a blessing … and all because of a conscious choice to let my people trump productivity and ‘doing it all’. While I love what I do, it can be easy to let the fusion that exists between my personal and professional life cause me to get too caught up in capturing the moments with people I love rather than fully being present in them. I have come to realize that I have been robbing myself of ‘rest’ when I try and capture everything. So, although I love sharing, and I am certainly a natural sharer, I’ve found a lot of joy in keeping some moments to myself …
What was it about this month that gave YOU life? Be sure to share in the comments below. One random commenter will receive a surprise gift from me. The winner will be announced on Instagram stories on Monday!
Okay, let’s get this edition of the Friday Five started! At the end of the post, I linked ALL of my outfit details from my recent trip to Spain. If you had questions about ANY outfit from my trip, it is linked in this post!
5 Items I’m Buying From The Sephora Rouge Sale
Beauty products can get really expensive … am I right? One of the reasons why I love shopping at Sephora is because the more I invest in making my beauty product purchases there, the more I am able to save when the Sephora Rouge and VIB sales come around a couple of times a year! Their Rouge sale begins today for Rouge members and VIB members get to enjoy the savings next week!
What are you purchasing?? I feel like it’s important for us to share our lists with each other because there are just SO many goods on Sephora’s website. It’s hard to be in the know on EVERYTHING, hah! So, share in the comments what you’re buying and what I might want to consider!
A lot of what I’m considering are skincare products because those are so much more of an investment than any other beauty product. In my opinion, they’re far more important than any other beauty product. So, take advantage of the savings by investing in some of the skincare products you’ve been needing refill’s of or you’ve been tempting to try! Here’s my list:
In my pursuit of being a consumer of clean and cruelty-free beauty products, it’s been hard to miss the buzz surrounding Drunk Elephant. I am so happy with the skincare products I have already invested in and use daily, as they also fit the bill as being either clean or cruelty-free. For that reason, I have been a little hesitant to check out Drunk Elephant but, I figured there couldn’t be a better time than now to give them a try to see if I’d like to incorporate any of their products into my routine as an addition or replacement. I decided to start with this eight mini product set called The Littles. It has a value of $123 but is sold at Sephora for $90, however, with the sale is $72 so that’s an over $50 savings in value! I’d say that’s a pretty good deal for EIGHT products!
Vitamin C is necessary for collagen production and maintenance. If you’re new to skincare, collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is what gives structure to your hair, skin and nails. It’s important for your skincare products to promote the production of collagen as it will help improve your skin’s youthful elasticity. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals in the skin and, ultimately, helps to soften fine lines and wrinkles and prevent new ones. My old Vitamin C cream was by a brand that was not cruelty-free so I had to part ways with it and have been keeping me eyes open for a new one. I have been looking at this one by OleHenriksen, which is a natural skincare brand based in Los Angeles, California. It’s sold at Sephora and if you peruse the list of products available to try, it’s easy to see how many of them have almost a full five stars. Today, I am picking up this C-Rush Brightening Gel Creme [if you prefer serums, they have this Vitamin C serum] and their cleansing cloth wipes. I know makeup removing wipes aren’t great but I do like getting the initial layer of makeup off with them before starting my full skincare routine. I’m also looking at trying their daily moisturizer and their cold pore mask!
I have been using this liquid eyeliner by Model Co. + Karl Lagerfeld and I absolutely love it! However, it is a little pricey and I have been looking for one that stands up to it in terms of quality but is a little easier on the bank account. I am going to try out this Stila Liquid Eyeliner. The sale price of the Stila eyeliner is $12 less than the Model Co. one, which is considerably less! So, I will report back and let you know if it’s a comparable product to the one I’ve been raving about!
I absolutely love Kate Somerville products, especially her exfoliator treatment, and have been looking to see how I can incorporate more of her products into my daily skincare regimen. I don’t have many things that I need, to be honest, but an acne spot treatment is something that I don’t currently have due to having to discard some of my products with the transition to cruelty-free. So, I’m excited to give this product a try. Have you tried it? Or have you tried this one by her? Let me know if you prefer one over the other!
If you’re a longtime follower, you know my love for eyeshadow palettes and that, when I wear makeup, I typically have my eyes done up! Truth is, putting on eye makeup in the morning is a really fun way for me to just zone out before the day begins. I have this palette and this palette by Violet Voss and they are two of my most used. Their eyeshadow palettes offer a variety of shades that are highly pigmented and blendable. I need another eyeshadow palette like I need a hole in my head, but I am tempted by this palette made up of very basic, traditional shades that I think are perfect for everyday eyeshadow combinations, especially with the Fall season creeping up, where we’re more inclined to wear deep berry, lavendar, burnt oranges, and browns. What do you think? Work with what I’ve got or indulge??
5 Safety Tips for Traveling Solo Like A Pro
Look up the route to your destination ahead of time and familiarize yourself with it before leaving your current location.
There’s nothing wrong with having an app help you get to where you’re going but doing this will help you not look so much like a tourist, constantly looking down at the route and trying to figure out what street to turn on.
You can easily stand out as a tourist in some destinations but I find that if you act like you know where you’re going you can really fool people into thinking you’ve been here awhile. When I’m in London, walking confidently comes very natural to me because I am so familiar and comfortable in the city. People stop me to ask me how to get places all the time. I definitely think that when you look confident and competent in the place you’re in, people will see you as that, as well, and therefore, might not mark you as a target.
Keep in touch with one person at home consistently while you’re on your trip.
Touch base with this person every morning and every evening, always keeping them up to date on your plans for the day and when you arrive safely back at your place of accommodation. This will be helpful in identifying whether there were any issues throughout your day that someone might otherwise not know about. If you don’t have a great international plan, you can always use Facebook. I personally use What’sApp but there is Viber available to use, as well.
Leave the flashy stuff at home.
You never want to draw too much attention to yourself when you’re traveling solo so as to not give anyone who might be looking for an easy target to guess maybe you’re not from the area and you’re traveling by yourself. So, leave any nice jewelry or designer items at home. When I’m walking around London by myself, with no photoshoots planned, I wear basics like skinny jeans and a tee, maybe a jean jacket, and very simple makeup … foundation, concealer, powder and mascara.
Don’t stay out too late and don’t drink too much.
When you’re traveling alone, it’s important to keep an eye on your surroundings at all times and that can be hard to do at night, in an unfamiliar place when you’ve maybe had one too many cocktails. Drinking could also potentially cause you to become Chatty Kathy at the bar and disclose to the wrong person that you are traveling by yourself. I think it’s fun to meet new people when you’re traveling but I do think you need to pick the times and places that you disclose that information very carefully when you’re by yourself!
Five Pre-Fall Items To Buy Now
I’m such a sucker for a pointed-toe bootie, or just shoe in general. There are a lot of new booties coming out with Western influences, whether it’s a stitched design within the leather or metal adages, like this one has. I’m thinking about giving these [seen left] a try when I get home as they are a little different than the other bootie styles I already own and I have been gravitating toward suede shoes for the Fall the last few seasons. These are a little pricey, but here are some other suede bootie options that are a little more affordable:
A wool hat is the one Fall accessory that I feel completes your outfit. The great thing about this accessory is that they are typically very affordable! Here are three that I think are super cute and versatile! Two are under $100 and another is a little higher quality, which I find to have better shape:
Simply tap the hat you want to shop to be taken to the product page!
A suede moto jacket is to Fall what a fitted blazer is to Spring. It’s a great way to elevate any basic Fall outfit. I got this jacket in a deep purple color last year and couldn’t justify the price when I knew I wouldn’t wear it that often. After returning it, I missed out on my chance at a neutral color in my size so decided to wait to purchase it this year. I should be getting this one in the next couple of days and I’ll be sure to review it for you guys on Instastories!
I got an XS because I do remember that it runs true to size, which is a rarity in outerwear, in my opinion! So, opt for your usual size! Also, the quality of this jacket is top notch for under $200!
Blanket scarves are essentially just large scarves that make you feel like you’ve wrapped yourself in the warmest blanket you own. They are a fun accessory to throw on to add a little personality to your outfit! Now is a good time to pick up a really affordable one before they’re all picked over! If none of these fit your fancy, be sure to check out a retailer like ASOS a few times a week to see their new arrivals. They always have really great, affordable blanket scarf options!
Basics are going to be the most worn items in your closet this season. Basics range from striped tees that go with cardigans and jackets to skinny jeans that go perfectly underneath your favorite over-the-knee boots! These are items that you will see bloggers style continuously and later in the season, you’ll wish you had bought them earlier because they’re sold out of your size! Buy these items now! I promise. You will thank me later!
To help you out, I have rounded up a few of my favorite basics below:
Five Things I Want To Accomplish Before the End of the Year
READ SIX BOOKS
I didn’t share my New Years Resolutions with you all but one of them was to read one book a month and, well, I’ve failed miserably at this. I started reading again while I was in Spain and am now a few chapters deep in two different books: The Londoners by Craig Taylor and Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. I read so many books when I lived in London because I always had my Kindle with me and would always read on the tube because I never had service down there. I pumped the breaks a bit when I got back and wish I hadn’t. It’s hard to start again but after getting started on those two, I really am energized to keep going. Here’s my list of books that I want to read and am challenging myself to finish six of them by the end of the year:
CATCH UP ON ALL THE TRAVEL DIARIES I OWE Y’ALL
Travel diaries are some of the most time intensive blog posts that I put together for AlysonHaley.com and, while they are also one of my favorite posts to put together, I simply am not able to get them all done in as timely of a manner as I would like. This is often because, when I return from my trips, I am juggling so many other projects and investing time in other posts that also take quite a bit of time, like Friday Five’s or Beauty reviews, for example. So, before the end of the year, I’d really like to finish the travel diaries for Curaçao, Paris, Boston, Amsterdam, Positano, Lisbon, Porto and Spain. I also want to do a post on Procida, Italy and the four little fairytale towns I went to in France last year. Will it happen? Honestly, probably not. Those are going to take awhile and the busiest season of the year [for bloggers] is on its way! So, I will absolutely work hard to get the ones that I can to you but, just so I know, which of these three do you want to see? Fill in your choices HERE.
GET BACK INTO THE GYM WITH MY TRAINER
Last year, I worked out with my friend and trainer, Troy, and shared it with y’all in a couple of posts. After my travels started really picking up toward the end of the year, I was really bad about scheduling myself to get back into the gym. It was a crazy time of year for me and I just told myself that I didn’t have the time to do it. I also moved so that didn’t help. The truth is, you have time for what you make time for and I should be investing more in my health and wellness. After having knee surgery in April and going through a few rehab appointments, it was really clear to me how much weaker my right knee and thigh muscles are compared to my left. I’ve definitely been working it out with all the walking I’ve been doing in Italy, Portugal and Spain but I really need to work on strengthening. So, I’ve been thinking about calling up Troy and seeing if he’ll take me back 🙂
REDECORATE MY LIVING ROOM
I absolutely love all of the cool tones and romantic feel of my living room but I am thinking about making some changes this Fall. I am talking with my friend, Vonna Kelly, who is a local interior designer, about some ideas and I’m really excited to see what we come up with! I’ll have to introduce her to y’all. She’s super sweet and so good at what she does!
FINISH DOING THE RESEARCH THAT I NEED TO DO FOR …
So, I shared in a Travel Q&A that I did on my IG stories with Whitney that I have been talking with an immigration lawyer based in London to explore the possibility of moving there. It’s a huge decision and it would likely change / impact my business greatly. My Dad always told me that you can have all the ideas that you want but, before going after any of them, doing your research could potentially benefit the implementation of those ideas greatly. So, I’m in a research phase right now. I have the blessing and support of my family if I do want to do it. They know how much I love it there and, although they don’t want me to be that far, they would help any way they can to help me see it happen. However, I still have a few people I need / would like to speak with before making any final decisions. This is something that likely wouldn’t happen until 2020, if I’m honest, so let’s not all get ahead of ourselves, hah! There are some other things I want to do before making a move like that but I’ll be keeping those to myself for now but essentially they are things that would put me in a better position while I’m over there.
Five Spain Outfits With Earrings On Sale
Baublebar is hosting a huge 20-30% off sale right now and I styled so many of my favorites while I was in Spain. I rounded up ALL of my Spain outfits below, for your convenience, but five of them include earrings that are included in the sale!
I love these turquoise earrings so much! They are so fun paired with this top! Snag them now for up to 30% off! And, don’t miss this top, either! It comes in three other color / pattern color combinations!
These adorable statement earrings are currently on sale for up to 30% off!
I got so many sweet compliments on my jumpsuit! It is super sassy and perfect for a date night or fun night out with your girlfriends! Whit and I’s espadrille wedges were both handmade in Spain so cannot be linked.
My floral cami is actually a body suit and currently on MAJOR sale. It also comes in three other color / print options!
These adorable statement earrings are currently on sale for up to 30% off!
Everything I’m wearing, except my sunnies, is under $75!
Thanks for stopping by, lovelies! I hope y’all have a great weekend and thank you for showing my friends who took over the blog while I was away all the love! You guys flocked to all of their posts and I know they appreciate it, as do I! 🙂 xo.