One of my favorite parts about the holiday season is picking a real Christmas tree. It’s festive and traditional, and the pine scent it leaves around home instantly makes me happy. There are plenty of places around the Philadelphia region where you can pick up live trees and wreaths, but I stumbled upon this perfect lot at the Lemon Hill Mansion. From the sprawling hilltop, you can see the Philadelphia skyline on one side, the Schuylkill River on another, and the historic mansion built in 1799.
Other great options include:
–Linvilla Orchards | Media, PA (also my favorite place to pick apples in the fall)
–Bustard’s Christmas Trees | Lansdale, PA
–Marsh Creek Tree Farms | Elverson, PA
–Willard Family Christmas Trees | Newtown, PA – Washington Crossing, PA – Columbus, NJ – Hamilton, NJ
–Terrain | Glen Mills, PA (for baby tabletop firs, garlands, wreaths)
This year has been an especially challenging one for me personally: a lengthy season of change, growth, healing. I committed the year to self-reflection and to an intense laser-like pursuit of my passions. At the end of it, the biggest gift I gave myself in 2017 was self-respect. It sounds silly, but for someone who seems almost hard-wired to want to make everyone happy, it was quite a difficult but powerful lesson. I stopped settling —- in all aspects of my life. I threw away the idea that valuing your own peace, even if it requires walking away from certain opportunities or certain people, is selfish; it’s necessary.
It’s been a year of toiling, essentially. I feel like a gardener who had to pull out the weeds growing in my life and get muddied up in order to make room for what belongs. But planting a seed has no instant gratification. You have to water it with intentionality and with trust — that it’s going to bloom beautifully in due time and that what is meant for your life will arrive there.
I’ve also challenged myself every day this year to intentionally practice gratitude, as in, wake up or go to bed each day reminding myself of at least three things I’m thankful for. I am so blessed to have a small but fierce circle of compassionate, genuine, and truly kind souls, and I feel so happy to have a career that allows me to meet so many interesting characters and tell important stories in a city that’s really captured my heart.
The quote that kept floating in my mind this year: “And still, I rise.”
Searching for and putting up holiday decor is such a happiness-inducing activity for me. These are just a few of the festive details I added to brighten up my space. I especially love the holiday throw pillows and glittery garlands.
While I love real Christmas trees, my space is so small, so I decided to add a faux baby spruce tree with mini ornaments instead. I’m very detail-oriented, so I like every piece on my tree to have a specific story. For example, if you know me, you know I drink everything out of Mason jars. I picked up this mini Mason jar ornament at a craft show when I was living and working in Georgia; it’s so darling and is a great tribute to my time there and memories created. I also took the initially black monogram letters and spray-painted them gold to add an accent to the gallery wall in the main walkway.
Right now, there are SEVEN (!) festive candles on rotation in my home. I’m very much a scent person, and whenever I am at home, there is guaranteed to be at least one candle lit. What are your favorite holiday pieces? Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season!
This marigold beauty is perfect for Thanksgiving. It’s cute with a great price point but more importantly, it’s loose around the waist, so you can eat to your heart’s content. I paired it with leather booties and a leather jacket to edge up the look, but you can also wear it with simple heels to make the ruffle neckline the focal point. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday!
I’ve rounded up my top picks under $200 from the Nordstrom Fall Sale for every occasion. I chose items that are simple but have a unique quality to them. For example, these Topshop beaded mom jeans have a relaxed fit and wash but the gorgeous embellishment adds a little extra flair. All of these items can be dressed up or down. If there’s something specific you’re looking for, feel free to message me and I’ll send you my suggestions!
Free People Chamomile Cardigan: $78 | Adelyn Rae Lace Sheath Dress $59 | Halogen Ruffle Hem Top $35 | Blondo Olivia Waterproof Knee High Boot $169 | Street Level Velvet Backpack $29 | Le Specs Cat Eye Sunglasses $47 | Lauren Lorraine Ruby Embellished Half D’Orsay Pump $59 | Vince Camuto Down Fill Parka $199 | Topshop Beaded Mom Jeans $144
‘Tis the season for chunky knits; if there’s only one you add to your wardrobe this fall, make it the Free People Park City pullover. It comes in ivory, terracotta, turquoise, and wine, and this waffle-knit is the perfect piece to layer over stripes and under a coat. Instead of buying a ton of cheaper pieces and replacing them every year, I like to collect investment items that I adore and know will stay with me for a while.
Photography: Caleb Church
Joggers are one of my closet staples because of their versatility; they look equally as good dressed up or dressed down. Wear them with sneakers for a casual weekend look or with heels and a dressy top for the workday.
1701 Locust Street, Rittenhouse Square
What I Got: Avocado Smash Toast, Brekkie Board, Golden Latte (Tumeric blend with almond milk topped with cinnamon)
What I Thought: This Aussie-launched cafe is like stepping into a beachy locale. Its blue hues and bright whites create a welcoming aura, the perfect place to meet up with friends or enjoy a quiet cup of coffee in solitude. The food and coffee are both excellent. They also have a variety of cold-pressed juices.
What I Want: Wellness Flight (tumeric latte, matcha latte, beetroot latte)