The Friday Five | December 2019

Hi there, friends! It’s been so fun bringing the Friday Five back to you guys over the last couple of months [catch up on Octobers’ and Novembers’ here] but there’s always something extra fun about a Friday Five in December. Y’all picked some really great categories this month like 2020 trends, travel bucket list destinations and how to meet new people in a new city! Alright, let’s get started!

Five Christmas Wishlist Items If You Had No Budget

This one was tough for me, to be honest. I think these products are beautiful but I just don’t know that I would ever buy them for myself because they are just way beyond my budget for these types of items OR they just don’t make sense for where I’m at in my life right now.

ANTHROPOLOGIE MIRROR | I’ve been drooling over this mirror for years now. You’ve seen it styled in so many influencers’ homes and, honestly, it always makes me want it even more when I catch those posts, as well. It’s just such a stunning mirror. In my home, I honestly had no place that made sense for it and, now, I also have no reason to invest in one but … I will continue to hold on to hope that maybe one day I can have it grace a nice space in my home. Fingers crossed! If you’ve been on the fence about it, I’d recommend snagging it now for 30% off!

CARTIER WATCH | I remember the first time I saw this watch on Pinterest. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I just adore the style. It’s classic and will look great with any look. This beauty will likely always be a lust list item and that’s quite alright.

GIANVITO ROSSI CAP TOE BOOTIE | This is one my favorite shoes brands. I have quite a few styles from Gianvito Rossi so I know, from experience, that while his price point is quite high, I would get a lot of wear out of them because they’re so comfortable. Not only that but they are two neutral colors that would go with so many outfits within my Fall and Winter wardrobe, where I tend to wear a lot more black than I do in the Spring and Summer. My only setback is just whether or not I actually need them. They’re so chic and classic and I love the idea of having them but do I actually need them enough to buy them? Probably not.

GUCCI BACKPACK | I’ve seen the beautiful Chanel backpacks on some high-end influencers and it has definitely put a beautiful designer backpack on my wishlist. However, if I really weigh whether it’d be a worthy investment, I always end up on the ‘definitely not’ end of the spectrum. I just don’t know that I would get as much use out of it that I would hope to considering how much I’d be spending. But, since this is just a fun list, I thought I’d add it. It’s gorgeous and I think it’d be great to have for travel.

ANINE BING SWEATSHIRT | I have been lusting over this sweatshirt for quite a while but it’s been going in and out of stock and I always seem to miss it. I think it’s perfect for someone like me who loves to travel and loves quite a few places on this list but … the price tag is just a bit much considering how many sweatshirts I already have. So, I just don’t think I can realistically justify but … if money didn’t matter OR I was completely frivolous with all of my spending OR I did need a sweatshirt … I would choose this one, ha!

Five Trends To Expect In 2020

Ohh, this is a fun one! TBH, I don’t spend a *ton* of time researching trends-to-come. I leave that up to fashion designers and brands like Vogue, but obviously I’m interested in it. Over the years, I’ve always found a good mix of my comfort zone + incorporating trends, so it’s fun to look a bit into the future. Here are five that are said to be trending in 2020 and my thoughts on them.

PUFFY SLEEVES: We actually already saw this style in 2019 and the trend is going to continue in a bigger way … literally and figuratively. It’s definitely a nod to the 80s in a more sophisticated way. I’m not totally sold on this one yet. I think the puffy sleeves can be a bit much for my frame and ugh, I don’t know, they feel dated to me. I don’t completely hate this trend though, so I might be swayed if I find the perfect muted option.

bermuda travel diary
This chap was ahead of the trend back in 2017, but I think that’s because he lives in Bermuda!

BERMUDA SHORTS: I did a bunch of research and these are on the list of basically every fashion powerhouse’s 2020 Trends Report. Gotta say, I’m not mad at it. I think they’re a good option for people who don’t love typical shorts yet want to switch it up from a skirt or dress – without the full coverage of pants. I think they look cool paired with an oversized blazer and strappy sandals, though that’s not necessarily MY style. While I don’t currently own a pair, I’m guessing that I will once I get more comfortable with them.

POLKA DOTS: Fun! It’s been a while since polka dots were trending, but at the same time, they’re a classic. I’m always game for a cute print and think polka dots are a fun way to spruce up an otherwise standard outfit. I’m excited to see the updated spin on this timeless print. We’re seeing two trends in one with this dress, what do you think?

FEATHERS: Definitely saw this trend showing face while browsing for Holiday and NYE options. It seemed like every other dress had some sort of feather element, whether on the neckline or bottom hem of a dress and lots of tops with the detail, too. While it’s a bit extra for everyday wear, I do think this trend is fun for a night out or maybe an event dress. It’s to be determined how this trend shows up on more everyday items, if at all, but I am tempted to give the trend a try with this cutie.

SUSTAINABILITY: OK, friends … I actually have a lot to say here, so bear with me. It’s really no secret that our world is in danger and it’s thanks to a lot of things that we could all collectively help slow down by simply being more intentional and aware of the ways we are poisoning it. One of the contributing factors, among many, is the fast fashion industry. While it’s a hard pill to swallow, buying more at a lower price point has been the hottest commodity in the fashion industry over the last couple of years. But, while we save monetary dollars in buying into that whole industry [myself included; this isn’t me preaching], we are opting for lower quality goods that we are getting rid of quicker and are made of materials that emit chemicals into the air in landfills and pollute the atmosphere as well as water supplies around the world. Again, it’s not the only thing contributing to the issue but, I encourage you to watch The True Cost to really see the negative impact. I know, ignorance is bliss but we all do really … need to wake up. We need to be more intentional about our purchases, buy based on our needs, and ask questions about the quality of the material the items we are buying are made of. When I say quality materials … I mean, sustainable … long-lasting and made with more ecological integrity. I know. This is a lot and that’s okay. I’m happy to at least introduce you to the issue. I think 2020 will be a year where the need for us to be making more sustainable fashion choices becomes more widely understood. I do not think this is something that will be welcomed with open arms by all consumers and by all brands BUT … I do think it’s going to be a louder conversation heard by more people in 2020 and hopefully, over time, more people will realize the responsibility we have and how important this is. I will certainly be aiming to do my part to make more intentional purchases in 2020 and aiming to reduce my single-use plastic use. It’s definitely going to be tough but I do think it’s important to make an effort!

Weigh in on how you feel about these trends in the comments below!

Five Ways To Meet New People In A New City

It’s been a while since I had to meet new people in a new city, but I do consider London a place where I’m ALWAYS trying to extend my network. While I have a few solid friendships across the pond, growing my friend group is definitely something that I’ll need to do once I move. Especially since I don’t want to rely on John as one of my only sources of social entertainment [and I think it’s important for us each to have our own friends, among some of the same]. Here are some things to keep in mind:

GET OUT OF THE HOUSE: Believe me, I totally get the awkwardness of sitting solo at a restaurant or introducing yourself to someone out and about. But it’s one of the best ways to not only meet people but to not feel lonely. Even being around others will make the adjustment easier, I think, and you’ll feel more part of a community. The more you do this, the easier it gets as well.

JOIN GROUP FUNCTIONS: If you’re someone who likes to work out alone in your house or doesn’t engage in too many group social activities, I’d suggest switching it up. Whether it’s a fitness class, a cooking class, a sports league, something within a church etc., it’s a great way to meet likeminded people. Try to go to one event a week so that it’s not overwhelming and it’s also challenging at the same time.

SAY HELLO: I’ve always been the first to say hello to someone and though it can be intimidating at first, I can’t tell you how many avenues it’s opened up for me. Sometimes it leads to a friendship, most of the time just a friendly conversation, but overall, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone here. People respond well to people being friendly, no matter where you live. I’d suggest trying to say hello to one stranger a day and see where it leads you. If you feel awkward with a straight “hi,” then throw out a genuine compliment.

VOLUNTEER: This is one of my favorite ways to meet people in a new town or one you’ve lived in forever. Most of the time, you’re going to find kind people when volunteering and I’m always drawn to people with big hearts. Who knows, you might find yourself making it a regular thing and getting more involved with a charity. A win, win! Find something you’re passionate about and start there.

PUT THE JUDGEMENT ASIDE: I think that one of the toughest parts about moving to a new city is that it feels different. The weather, the food, the vibe, the people … it all might be very different from where you were before. And with that usually comes judgment [I’ve been guilty, for sure]. If you’re truly looking to make connections, throw that out the window. People might look different or have a different style or whatever, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to connect. I like the keep the age-old “don’t judge a book by its cover” in the back of my mind whenever I’m traveling, as I find it serves me well. Some of your best friends in life might be a lot different, and I think that’s beautiful.

Five Places Still On Your Travel Bucket List

alberta canada travel diary


This destination was one that I was actually supposed to tick off last December. I fell in love with Canada back in 2017 when Whitney and I went to Banff, Lake Louise, and Whistler. It is so beautiful and there are so many stunning places across the country but, I’ve specifically wanted to go to Quebec City since college when my friend, Christen, went with her Dad and said it was magical, especially during the holiday season! From old cobblestoned streets to cozying up by a fire with some fresh French onion soup, I was really looking forward to this Winter escape. Sadly, I had to cancel my trip because … I had too much going on during the holiday season last year. I just knew I’d be biting off more than I could chew if I went so, it’s still on the list and I’m hoping to be able to swing it in a year or so! I definitely want to go in November or December because it just looks so magical!


As y’all can probably tell, I am such a huge animal lover so, I’ve been wanting to go on a safari in Africa for a long time. I think I’ve held off because I want to do it right. I feel like because I care about animals so much, I really want to spend quite a bit of time ensuring that the hosts I go with and where I stay are ethically run. I also want to partner with some amazing animal activist groups with any conservation work that they need help with, as well. So, obviously, it will be quite an undertaking to research and plan such a trip, therefore, it might be a couple of years before I make it happen as life is a bit too hectic to take on that task at the moment. But, I do believe it’d be a trip of a lifetime! If you have done a safari and have great recommendations, please leave your suggestions in the comments below!


Everyone that I know that has gone to Japan has come back RAVING about it. It looks SO incredibly different than anywhere I’ve ever been and, from what I’ve heard about their culture, I feel like I will really appreciate and enjoy the people and my time there. The fall season looks absolutely stunning in Japan so I’d love to go during the time of year but, of course, Japan is famously known to have the most beautiful cherry blossom season, as well. That makes it a bit hard to choose but, either way, I’m sure I’d have an amazing time.


This has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. It looks absolutely stunning in every way. I almost went a couple of years ago with a friend but the timing just didn’t work out. I was honestly kind of glad because [I told myself] I really, really want to save it to experience with my person. At the time, I didn’t know who that was but I just thought it would be so romantic and special to share such a beautiful place with someone you love so much. Hopefully it’s a place I can check out very soon. 🙂


This might seem like a strange place to pick but Jordan has been on my bucket list for a couple of years now thanks to Instagram. Petra is one of the modern wonders of the world and it just takes me breath away just looking at a photo of it. I think going to a country I don’t know that much about would be incredible, to stretch and challenge my comfort zone and open myself up to learning about their culture. That’s what I love the most about travel so, yeah, Jordan is definitely on the list!

Five Amazon Buys You Can No Longer Live Without


These microfiber headbands are so perfect for keeping your hair out of your face while you are taking your makeup off in the evening. I put my hair up, throw one of these on and do my entire skincare routine without getting my hair wet. It’s so glorious, hah! They come in a pack of two and have a few different color options, I believe. These would be a great stocking stuffer if you are still looking for ideas.


So, I actually have the actual designer pair but I have ordered these dupes and they literally look identical to mine. I highly recommend them. I’ve had these for about five years now so the investment I’ve made has been SO worth it but, y’all are getting such a better deal considering how much you’ll wear them so snag them if you’ve been needing a good pair of black sunnies!


This wireless phone charger has been at my bedside all year and I seriously hope I can find it by the same brand in the UK because I love it that much. It is so easy to just set my phone down and let it charge for awhile. I know it seems a bit silly. It doesn’t save THAT much time. I just love that setting down my phone is all it takes to charge it. It’s like a little guilty pleasure. Highly recommend this guy if you don’t have one! They’re under $25 right now on prime! You save 50%!


This fabric shaver is a lifesaver if you’ve invested in some nice wool and / or cashmere sweaters or coats. They will naturally pill and bauble up and you have to be really careful when pulling them off. This fabric shaver does it for you very gently and gets your garments looking good as new! It’s such an affordable investment to keep your wardrobe looking better for longer! Remember how I talked about sustainability in the trends section? This is one of the ways you can sustain your wardrobe. We all need to take a concerted effort to do so and while it might not be convenient, it is our responsibility when you we purchase certain garments made of certain delicate fabrics.


I bought this cosmetic travel case in January and have brought it on every trip I’ve taken this year. I love how you can move the little sections around to fit your cosmetics’ space needs. It does get a bit heavy if you overfill it but I think it’s great for space saving if you also want to use it for skincare products, as well. It’s a really great purchase for only $20!

See more of my favorites from Amazon in this post and this post I put together earlier this year!

And, that does it, friends! I hope you enjoyed this edition of the Friday Five! Do you have any suggestions for January’s Friday Five? I’d love to hear them! Leave them in a comment below! Have a great weekend! xo.




  1. Nicole wrote:

    I’m totally with you on the sustainability trend in terms of fashion and everyday life items. I’m going to try harder in 2020 as well! Also want to visit Quebec City, maybe next winter so I can see all the Christmas decorations 🙂

    Published 12.13.19 · Reply
  2. Sara wrote:

    Absolutely enjoyed this Friday five! I agree about sustainability in fashion. I’m trying to be more aware and intentional with my purchases since I’m now living in a much smaller home. Also, meeting new people and putting myself out there is something I’ve really struggled with since moving to NYC. It’s just so much easier said than done, but I’m working on it.

    Published 12.13.19 · Reply
  3. Susan wrote:

    I totally agree with your sustainability concerns. I’m not sure how to correctly determine what higher priced labels are sustainable. I have read about this and it almost seems like “sustainable” is in the same category as “all natural” – there are no definite measurable standards or criteria to achieve that. Many foods labeled “all natural” have harmful ingredients added. I’m afraid “sustainable” will follow the same path and become a marketing ploy and be deceptive. It’s sad!!

    Published 12.13.19 · Reply
  4. Mattie wrote:

    We just got back from a safari in Kenya over Thanksgiving. I can’t recommend Angama Mara enough. The views were incredible. The staff was wonderful and so welcoming. And the quantity of animals you see is insane. The lodge itself was so well done and thought through and they do a lot for the communities around them, from people to animals and conservation. And Kenya doesn’t allow any hunting. Highly recommend Angama Mara when you go!

    Published 12.13.19 · Reply
  5. Judy wrote:

    Yay, I’m glad to see that there more people are starting to be more award about the sustainability in fashion and life things in general. Alyson you inspired me to buy cruelty
    free cosmetics and watch what kind of soaps and detergents I use. I would like to travel to Canada as well. Jordan would interesting to go to as well.

    Published 12.13.19 · Reply
  6. Emma wrote:

    I love the Friday Five! A few thoughts about the trends, lol…. One, I love fun sleeves, like bell sleeves, or sleeves with ruffles on them, I think it helps spice up a plain shirt. When I first read your comment about puffy sleeve trend, I was hesitant, but then I saw the examples to shop and I have to say I actually liker what I see for today’s take on the puffy sleeve. Two, I am just now getting on the sustainability in fashion bandwagon and am trying new things out for new wardrobe additions such as I went to my first clothing swap/exchange that was hosted by some friends, made my first purchase on Thred Up and then I am going to try out rent the runway for my NYE outfit, instead of buying something very sparkly that I will only wear once or twice a year. I am excited to see what other sustainable clothing options are out there! Thanks for your hard work with the Friday Five 🙂

    Published 12.13.19 · Reply
  7. Christine wrote:

    Your Friday Five blog post is my favorite post out of any blog I read (and I read quite a few!). I always grab a coffee at 5 A.M. before my toddler wakes up and sit down to enjoy! I know they take a lot of time to put together so thank you for your hard work and continuing this! I loooved the trend report question (bermuda shorts, who knew?!) and learned a bunch from your sustainability question (I hope you share more on this in the future). Thanks for being such a bright light in the fashion/travel blogging world. I have been following along since the beginning and rooting you on. Merry Christmas to you and John!

    Published 12.14.19 · Reply
  8. Katie wrote:

    Wow! The part about sustainability really resonates with me. I don’t know if it is getting older or learning more about the environmental impact but I the last few years I have really been working at being more selective about what I buy- is it something I will use often? is it something that will last for a long time? Sometimes this does mean spending more, but I find myself buying less so I feel like I am spending about the same overall.

    Published 12.14.19 · Reply
  9. Jenny wrote:

    While you are dreaming of Africa, think about adopting an elephant being cared for at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi. It is an amazing organization that rescues orphaned baby elephants and helps them eventually rejoin a wild herd. They also support other conservation work in Kenya in conjunction with the Kenya Wildlife Service.

    Published 12.15.19 · Reply
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      I shared them on my IG stories a few weeks ago! I’ve been a long time fan of what they do for the elephants! Thank you for sharing so others can check it out, as well!

      Published 12.15.19 ·
  10. Lisa Thompson (@mamelle55) wrote:

    I appreciated the tips for networking! I am an online instructor, and I tend to be a homebody most of the time. I want to be more conscious of getting out of the house as you suggested. Thanks for the motivation!

    Published 12.15.19 · Reply
  11. Laura wrote:

    Just bought the Truffle pouch based on your rec! But I can’t remember what exactly you said you keep in it other than headphones and chargers..!

    Published 12.17.19 · Reply