The Friday Five | October 2019

Alright, friends, super pumped to be sharing today’s post because it’s a series I haven’t done in WAY too long. If you’ve been hanging out here for a while [thank you!], you may remember the crowd-favorite Friday Five. It’s literally been over a year and I have to apologize for the lag because I know you guys liked it. Somewhere between traveling, the holidays last year, doing research and compiling paperwork for my UK Visa, falling in love, and … you know how it goes … it slipped through my editorial calendar. With a little organization help from my team [I’m finally delegating … yasss!], it’s back on my radar! You can expect to see a new Friday Five once a month, and if you want to get involved, I’ll be sharing a question box once a month on IG Stories. I’d love to have you weigh in on topics for me to cover there!

And, real quick, if you’re new around here, I’ll do a quick explanation of how The Friday Five works. Basically, y’all send me different topics to cover [I’m game for anything from relationships to blogging to shopping to travel and even pretty personal stuff]. Example: 5 Lessons You’ve Learned in Your 30’s, which I’m covering today. I choose five topics to cover and I provide five answers per topic – hence the Friday Five.

Today, I’m talking about travel essentials, major lessons from this decades, expensive items I wish I passed on, Fall basics and more! Keep reading for the first Friday Five of 2019 and stay tuned for one a month here on out!

Five Things You Wish You Would Have SAVED On vs. SPLURGING On

Nothing is more irritating than realizing that you spent money on something you once marveled at and ‘had’ to have … only to find that you don’t use it as much as you thought and / or it wasn’t as great as you thought it would be. Here are some of those items for me:

ribbed sleeveless turtleneck sweater, sleeveless sweater, black sleeveless sweater, bp. sleeveless sweater, celine sunglasses, baublebar statement earrings, kristin cavallari black wedges, topshop distressed denim skinny jeans, black distressed denim, distressed denim skinny jeans, black skinny jeans, black distressed skinny jeans, celine handbag, celine tote, celine satchel

CELINE LUGGAGE TOTE [also here]: This was actually my first ever designer handbag purchase. I got it in Paris during a New Years’ Eve trip and ended up selling it last year. While it was absolutely stunning, it was simply too big and a bit too heavy for me. I styled it here and here on the blog during that first year but, I honestly, just didn’t end up wearing it very often. Over time, I just kind of realized that, for me, it lacked practicality and, if I’m going to invest that much money into a luxury handbag, I’d like for it to offer that a little more.

CASHMERE JOGGERS: If I’m honest, cashmere is a weakness of mine. I love how soft it is. I love how warm it keeps me. I think a few cashmere pieces is a nice wardrobe investment if you’re someone who is always cold. However, I would advise against cashmere joggers. I purchased a pair last year during the Shopbop Sale only to realize that they get freaking H O T. I wear joggers out and about sometimes but, if it’s freezing outside, I would more than likely wear either weather-resistant items or fleece lined leggings, not cashmere. After wearing them around the house, I just realized that I don’t need something that high-quality to keep me warm in the house because central heating does that just fine, ha!

GUCCI LOAFERS: This is actually an item I didn’t purchase because I found the Sam Edelman slides and loafers [also here] to be a satisfactory alternative in price, quality, and style. Before going ahead with such an expensive purchase, I wanted to make sure I was going to get my money’s worth out of them. So, I purchased the white patent leather loafers and the cognac loafers and I have worn the crap out of both of them. My white ones are disgusting and needed replacing because I wore them on so many of this Spring and Summers’ travels. I debated getting the exact same pair or investing in the Gucci’s and, even though I did end up purchasing the Gucci mules, I remember thinking how amazing the Sam Edelman’s are and that I was glad that I started with those because it helped me validate such a big decision. So, I think if you’re trying to validate a large purchase … sometimes, opting for a dupe FIRST … even maybe while you’re still saving … is a great way to see if you’re going to get your money’s worth if you really, really want the designer version! But, as it pertains to this category, I think it’s TOTALLY understandable to buy the Sam Edelman slides and loafers [also here] over the Gucci ones because they are just as cute and comfortable and SO much more affordable.

BOSE HEADPHONES: Okay, are Airpods not the most amazing invention ever? I think so. I regret ever spending just as much on something as bulky as the Bose Headphones. I have a small head, too, so I always felt like they were just a bit overwhelming on, ha!

BURBERRY VINTAGE CASHMERE SCARF: While I absolutely love Burberry, the brand and many of their products, I remember purchasing this product online, opening it up and being disappointed at how small it was. I thought ‘oh, well, I can wear it in the Fall and Spring and it’ll be fine …’ but, it’s almost just a fashion statement rather than something useful that keeps you warm. I’m not saying I would never invest in Burberry again. I absolutely love this scarf option and this cape is to-die-for! But, the vintage cashmere scarf was disappointed to me, personally.

Five lessons you’ve learned so far in your 30’s

YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BE FOR EVERYONE: I’ve always loved the quote “you can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world but there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t love peaches”. I mean, could that not be more true? As you get older, and as I’ve gotten into my 30’s, I’ve realized that it’s okay if certain people don’t click with me or understand my personality or like my point of view. If you struggle with this, look at how lucky you are to have the few who do get you because, honestly, it matters more to have few than many. Which leads me to …

KEEP YOUR CIRCLE SMALL: I don’t think you can believe the above and then also have 10 best friends. I think it’s important to be friendly and be curious. I think it’s important to keep your heart open to new people who could play an important and valuable role in your life but, I do think it’s important to keep your circle small. Quality over quantity!

IT’S NOT BRAVE UNLESS YOU’RE SCARED: The things that we want the most in life will always spark a little bit of fear. And, personally, I think we should be leaning into those desires that scare us. I’ve always loved the saying ‘it’s not brave unless you’re scared’. I used it to encourage myself to say goodbye to my nursing career years ago and I’m using it now as I apply to live in another country. I think it’s those things that scare us that actually guide us to the life that the Lord wants for us. What do you think?

DELEGATE: This is for business owners who constantly feel overwhelmed. I recently hired someone that I never thought I would because this person handles tasks that I always thought should be mine … and, oh my gosh, I cannot tell you how life changing it has been to let that shit go! Excuse my language .. but, seriously. We are still ironing out little wrinkles and kinks but … delegating is so important when you own a business and, while I feel like I do it well sometimes, I think it takes constant re-learning when you work for yourself and as things shift and change.

TURN YOUR PHONE OFF: When you work in a social media, you can become obsessed with being on your phone because that’s what you think it takes to be successful. But, I’ve found that, I think you focus better and can actually do a better job when you’ve allowed yourself some time to not be so connected to everything and everyone ‘out there’. Your people deserve your undivided time and attention and I think we, as individuals, deserve it, too. It gives you time to spend with yourself to check-in with and assess how you’re feeling and doing mentally and physically. It also helps you recharge, which we all need, despite how much we resist it to get things done. I’ve learned that it’s okay to slow down. It doesn’t make you unsuccessful and it’s not lazy but, rather it’s important and will only make you more successful when you get back to it.

Five Things I Never Travel Without

Before I get into my answer(s), if you’re completely new to the blog, take a look at the toolbar underneath my blog’s logo. If you hover over the word TRAVEL, a drop-down menu with lots of calls-to-action are provided to help you find what you’re looking for. The Travel Tips section and the Travel Guides section probably have the MOST helpful content for you to reference.

And, now, here are the five things I never travel without 

outfit details linked in THIS post!

Small White Anker Portable Charger: There’s nothing more annoying than a delayed flight or sitting on the tarmac when your phone dies, right? Okay, so maybe that’s dramatic but I’m always prepared with the ability to charge [and to share a charge with those next to me if needed]. This charger is affordable, small & light, and efficient.

AirPods: Speaking of devices, these are my travel headphones of choice [as mentioned above!]. I understand the idea of the large noise-canceling ones, but those take up so much space! I prefer AirPods for the sound, size, and the ease of everything. I’m always listening to music or a podcast while traveling.

The Daily Edited Leather Passport Travel Wallet: Again, it’s all about practical items that make travel easy, like this cutie. It’s a bit of investment but I’ve had mine for years and I know it’ll last forever. It’s simple and chic and I never pass up a monogram moment. This is a great present for any fellow travelers, too!

Sanitizing Wipes & Anti-Bacterial Gel: Yep, I’m totally that girl. Before sitting down, I wipe down the entire airplane seat, armrests, and tray table. We all know traveling comes with germs and I like to protect myself as much as possible. If y’all want to get serious about disinfecting things, you might like this article.

Toothbrush & Toothpaste: More sanitary stuff over here! I’m kinda cray about my hygiene and feel much better about myself when everything’s fresh if ya know what I mean. I usually sneak away to the plane’s bathroom [with bottled water, of course!] before landing to brush. I’m easily lulled to sleep on an airplane and I hate waking up feeling like I might knock someone out with some rank breath. I’m also known to shower the second I get to my destination … anyone else?!

For more insight on all my must-haves for travel, especially international, head right here!

Five Affordable Fall Finds You’ll Get Your Money’s Worth On

This is an interesting category as I feel like usually when you’re referencing getting your money’s worth, you’re saying it to justify a larger purchase. So, I think my choices and my approach to this might be different. In my mind, I need to address two things before sharing my list:

[1] What is considered affordable to each of us is completely objective. So, I may not ‘nail’ this list in everyone’s mind.

[2] I don’t feel right about sharing a bunch of cute, cheap Fall clothes and telling you you WILL get your money’s worth when I actually don’t know that for a fact. There are certain times in the year when I get really weird about quality over quantity and we’re in that season right now. Everyone needs to save somewhere … I know that … but, for my own conscience and for the sake of answering the category in a way that is actually beneficial to you, I wanted this list to consist of quality items, even if maybe you wouldn’t think to spend the following on these items. So, keep an open mind and remember that I’m recommending them because, from experience, I know they are worthier investments than putting that same amount of money toward a sweater that may fall apart by December.

With all that in mind, let’s get to it:

CASHMERE SOCKS: If you want some fancy feet, get yourself cashmere socks. They might seem a little much for a pair of socks up front, but they will last you YEARS and provide you with nice, warm feet … so much moreso than the $12 cashmere blend that you see this time of year.

LANIEGE LIP BALM: This is the time of year where we start to experience dry skin and cracked lips. While this product isn’t cruelty-free and, therefore, I personally opt to not purchase it for myself [wah!], I used to use it all the time, especially in the Winter and when I would travel. Not only does it work so well, it lasts a REALLY long time so, the money that you spend on it does go pretty far and it’s $20.

UTILITY JACKET: A utility jacket is one of those items that you will wear over and over again, year after year. I have one from Old Navy [ in a beige color ] that I got in 2014 that has [updated version here], honestly, stood the test of time and, while I wear my green utility jacket [from a more expensive retailer] a lot more .. I definitely think that’s an item you’ll get a ton of use out of!

PATAGONIA RE-TOOL PULLOVER: Okay, hear me out on this … I know it’s a little pricey but y’all … I bought my black Patagonia re-tool pullover in 2011 [!!!] and it is still prime condition! This thing will LAST and keep you super, super warm! I love this vest made of the same material, as well, and have gotten a lot of use out of it over the years [styled here and here].

BLANKET SCARF: I won’t lie, I don’t think there’s anything better than a quality cashmere scarf, but if you’re looking to spend less, Free People makes an awesome substitute. It’s timeless, plush, and I appreciate that you can wear it for several months of the year because of its warmth. For under $50, I actually think it’s perfect for this question because quality doesn’t suffer. I have the beige but it comes in black, gray, navy and blush as well. I am also majorly crushing on this plush leopard print one from Sole Society.

Five Basics You Need For A Bomb Fall Wardrobe

I’m a basics girl, meaning that the majority of my closet is filled with versatile pieces I’d consider a basic. I’m always prioritizing solid basics in my closet. Now, Fall can look quite different depending on where you live, but since I’m publishing this mid-October, I’m going at it with the latter, cooler part of Fall top of mind. I think the five items mentioned in the above category ones you can strongly consider to help you build a strong Fall wardrobe foundation, as well as these:

outfit details for this look can be found in this post from 2018!

EVERYDAY COGNAC BOOTIES: Y’all, choosing one shoe is HARD for me! To stick with the rules, though, these beauties would be my choice. An everyday bootie that’s versatile enough to wear day or night and comfy, too. This style is pretty timeless since it’s a mix between a round and a pointed toe. In my closet, I’d go with cognac to match the warm shades I’m drawn too but you obviously can’t go wrong with black if that’s more your thing! If you’re wanting to spice things up a bit, I did share all my Fall shoe picks [plus TONS of Fall style inspo] here for more perusing.

THIN SWEATER: Not all sweaters layer equally and if I was choosing one, I’d focus on that for sure. Something you can wear on its own and also under a coat when things get chilly. This cowl-neck turtleneck is thermal so it’ll keep you warm and it’s also that ideal light material to layer. It’s cute tucked into jeans or worn long with leggings, and yep, it’s pretty dang perfect! I’d say go for cream or black for a versatile basic. I’d also recommend a thin striped top like this turtleneck or this crewneck longer tee to wear under jackets and sweaters.

outfit details for this look can be found in this post from 2017!

WIDE BRIM HAT: You can witness my love for hats in Fall here, here … and I’ll stop here. You might not necessarily think of a hat as a basic, but to me it is. It’s that final accessory to elevate a Fall outfit and something you can have for years. This rag & bone wool fedora is amazing quality and the color is versatile with Fall hues. I also recommend this one [there’s a waitlist a the moment] or this one for a lighter shade of brown.

HIGH RISE JEANS: You know you gotta have a good pair of denim! I live for the tall button detail on this comfy pair. Something about the buttons feels very Fall to me and it goes well with tucked-in shirts and sweaters. The hem is amazing for booties or sneakers and they’re skinny enough to tuck into taller boots too. SO good y’all! If you need black denim, I recommend this high-waisted pair.

WOOL / WARM COAT: Okay, so since I’m thinking about later Fall wardrobe pieces, I think recommending something a little heavier is understandable. My favorite wool coat is a great option and, while it is a bit of an investment, you will wear it for years and it’s currently 40% off! If you love things that are neutral but a little more sassy or fun, I recommend this teddy bear option that is also currently 40% off! Use code GOBIG at checkout! If you want some options that are a little more affordable, consider this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one … although none of those are wool.

Alright, loves, that concludes this Friday Five but I’ll see you back on the blog tomorrow for the weekly roundup. Thanks again for your participation in this Friday Five and for sticking with me even as I forget about series for a whole year [face palm!]. Appreciate you! xo.




  1. Nicole wrote:

    So much good content in this post!! I totally agree with the cognac booties too ?

    Published 10.11.19 · Reply
  2. Kari Green wrote:

    Thanks for all the great recommendations. I love a good fall hat and find layering tees my fall my must haves. Might I recommend Cocokind “mymatcha” stick as an amazing replacement lip balm. It’s honestly the most amazing product I’ve tried and keep multiple around…bathroom, side table, bag and car, can’t live without it! You can get it online, but Target recently began carrying it too!

    Published 10.11.19 · Reply
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      Thank you for that!! Can’t wait to look it up!

      Published 10.11.19 ·
  3. Elizabeth wrote:

    I loved this post and can tell so much work went into it. Have a great weekend!

    Published 10.11.19 · Reply
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      Thanks, sweet girl! xo.

      Published 10.11.19 ·
  4. Erin P wrote:

    So glad these are back, I’ve missed them!!

    Published 10.11.19 · Reply
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      This just made me smile! So happy you’re happy they’re back! 🙂

      Published 10.11.19 ·
  5. Kate B wrote:

    Oh gosh this just made my day! Love love love this, thank you!!

    Published 10.11.19 · Reply
  6. Dana wrote:

    Can you share where the pink puffer coat is from? Thanks!

    Published 10.12.19 · Reply
  7. Britany Bluske wrote:

    Love everything on this week’s post!

    Published 10.14.19 · Reply