Gift Guide #1: Self-love

Happy December 1st! Can you believe that December 2017 is already here? Like, I’m still trying to get over the fact that 2005 was literally 12 years ago (who’s with me on that?). So, to welcome December with open arms, I’m kicking off the month with a series of themed gift guides for those special people in your life.

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Self-love is something that I take very seriously. I think it’s so important to take time out of each day to do something that fills you with joy, no matter what it is. Too often we forget to love ourselves first, we forget that we’re the only version of us that we’ll ever have. Mentally, physically, and emotionally, it’s critical to fill our souls with good energy. There are many ways to show yourself some good old self-love, I personally like to take time out of each day to decompress from the day and calm my mind. The best part is that, because there are so many ways to relax your body and mind, you’ll never have to fall into a stagnant routine.

One of the best ways to completely relax is to make a date with your favorite, local spa. I’ve had the pleasure of partnering with Mojo Spa in Wicker Park to bring some of the best deals of the holiday season to my readers. Mojo prides itself on their handmade soaps, skincare, and cosmetics that are made in small batches with good-for-you ingredients and formed into fun, creative designs! This Chicago-based beauty company has shared their ideals of merging beauty and comfort with celebrity fans and customers all over the globe. For over ten years they have been manufacturing, developing, and testing their own recipes! I’m all about handmade products that are made with fresh ingredients which makes this collaboration with Mojo a perfect fit!

I received my very own pumpkin pie bath soap, which is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. The time, dedication, and attention to detail is just phenomenal! The best part about this soap is that it has anti-inflammatory benefits and is packed full of antioxidants.

With the holiday season in full swing, Mojo has launched their special Golden Ticket offer with any $200 in-store or online product purchase! A Golden Ticket could be anything from a $25 signature mani/pedi to 30% off products. This offer is only valid until December 24th so jump on this opportunity while you can!

If you’re a Chicagoland local, you can book a nail appointment at Mojo or stop by the store to pick up a few of their products. Gift sets are available for any occasion but especially for the holidays and at such reasonable price points. If you’re not local, no worries! They ship worldwide!

I am so excited to continue this gift guide series and I hope you are too! Other guides you should be on the look-out for include a gift guide for her, a gift guide for him, and a gift guide for the person who has everything! Happy Holidays!

xx, Kaitlyn

 

Guide to Cyber Monday!

Hey hey! I know I love Cyber Monday and I’m sure you do too! I’ve taken the time to find and link some of my favorite sales for you to enjoy. Happy shopping!

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Anthropologie — 20% off full priced items!

Asos — 30% off everything with code EPIC30

Banana Republic — 50% off everything!

Baublebar — 35% off everything with code CYBER35

Express — 50% off everything!

Free People — 50% off select items and an additional 25% off sale items

J.Crew — 40% off your purchase and an additional 10% off with code SHOPFAST

J.Crew Factory — 60% off everything!

Nordstrom — Extra 20% off selected items and up to 40% off designer collections

Red Dress Boutique — $10, $15, $20 Site Buster Deals

Show Me Your Mumu — 50% off selected items with code 50forMU

What are your favorite places to score deals?

 

xx, Kaitlyn

 

Black Friday Steals and Deals

When you think of Black Friday, some words that come to your mind are probably “chaotic” or “crazy, but I’m here to help you navigate some of the best deals you can score this year! Personally, I’m a huge fan of Black Friday. I love the thrill of finding deals, saving money, and buying gifts for others (… and myself, of course)! When I’m Black Friday shopping there are a few places I always, always have to hit up because the deals are usually unreal. I’m going to walk you through three places I know I’ll be headed this Friday.

One of the first places I head to is always Target. Target is amazing all year long, but, Target always has the best Black Friday deals. I’ve compiled a list of some of the items I’m most excited to get my hands on for friends and family this year.

Fitbit Charge 2 – $99.95 which is a savings of $50

Beats Studio2 Wireless headphones – $159.99 which is a savings of $220

iRobot Roomba 614 robotic vacuum – $199.99 which is a savings of $100

Ninja Professional kitchen system – $99.99 which is a savings of $100

Threshold fuzzy blankets – $18 which is a savings of $21.99

Google Home – $79 which is a savings of $50


*** I have a $300 Target giftcard giveaway live on my Instagram right now (ending 11/22/17). Feel free to enter here! ***

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The next store I always head to is Express. I typically stray away from Express just based on the price for the quality but Express always runs a 50% off everything deal during Black Friday. This is a great time to stock up on sweaters and other layering pieces! Here are some of my favorite items included in the sale!

Extreme Circle Hem Cowl Neck Sweater – $34.95 normally $69.90

Editor Pick Cold Shoulder Sweater – $29.95 normally $59.90

Off The Shoulder Balloon Sleeve Sweater Dress – $34.95 normally $69.90

(Minus The) Leather Jacket – $64 normally $128


I’m all about being able to buy gifts for friends that I know they’ll love and Sephora is always on the top of my go-to list, especially during Black Friday. I can find so many small add-ons to gifts that are affordable and practical. A lot of the best deals at Sephora can be found online or on their app which is where I head to avoid crowds and be an efficient shopper. Here are some of the items in my shopping cart!

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream – $15 normally $42

Benefit Bestseller Blowout – $15 normally $43

Bite Beauty Mini Multistick Duo – $15 normally $20


Are you Black Friday shopping? What are some stores on your go-to list? Let me know in the comments.

xx, Kaitlyn

 

Cider Mill SZN

Hey hey! Wow, has it been a minute since I sat down to write a blog post. One of my goals for the end of this year is to be better at managing my work life, social life, personal life, and hobbies (like blogging) so that I’m able to consistently deliver content to all of my incredible followers.

Let’s talk about this for a second, how in the world is it November already? I feel like this fall has flown by quicker than I can blink. October may be over but cider mill season doesn’t have to be. Michigan has no shortage of cider mills, that’s for sure. In fact, there are over 50 well-known cider mills across the state. Naturally, I held my own cider mill show down, just for fun, between three of the top cider mills in Michigan and compared them across three categories; overall atmosphere, cider (or cider slushies), and cinnamon sugar donuts. These categories are all important to the experience of a cider mill, in my opinion. I went to each of these cider mills on the same day, it was a beautiful autumn Saturday here in Michigan. One of those days that makes you so thankful to live in the mitten state, aside from the fact that it was 70 degrees in the middle of October (holy hot!).

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Disclaimer: I do not like donuts but will make an exception for cinnamon sugar donuts in the fall. I brought along my boyfriend, we’ll refer to him as “J”, for a second opinion on the donuts.

Blake’s Cider Mill

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Atmosphere

Blake’s Cider Mill is perfect for a day date or night out with friends. What I love most about Blake’s is the versatility the spacious grounds offer for people of all ages. If you didn’t know, Blake’s has a tasting room for their hard ciders and wines on site which is the perfect way to end (or start) a trip to a cider mill.

Cider Slushies

Perfectly frozen, fresh, sweet. I wish I could have taken the cider slush machine home with me, to be honest.

Cinnamon Sugar Donut

Crisp on the outside yet soft and dense on the inside. The cinnamon flavor was on point and paired very well with the cider slush.

Uncle John’s Cider Mill

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Atmosphere

More kid-friendly than the others and not as spacious as Blake’s but Uncle John’s also has a hard cider tasting room for their phenomenal hard ciders, my favorite is the blueberry hard cider. So delicious! I wouldn’t recommend visiting on a busy day because of the influx of families and crowds which equates to long lines.

Cider Slushies

Tart with sweet after notes. I’m a cider slush lover and wait all year long for them. I wasn’t a huge fan of the apples used to create the cider.

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Not a favorite, actually. These donuts were lacking cinnamon flavor and were slightly dry compared to the others. They reminded me of a powdered donut rather than a cinnamon sugar donuts.

Yate’s Cider Mill

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Atmosphere

Congested on a busy Saturday, but quaint and perfect for a close up touch with nature.

Cider

Great apple flavor with a mix of sweet and tart apples.

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

These donuts were almost like a cake pop. They were so dense and moist all the way through, which I thought was incredible. They had great cinnamon flavor and were super fresh when we received them.


 

Overall Scoring:

Atmosphere

#1 Blake’s Cider Mill

#2 Yate’s Cider Mill

#3 Uncle John’s Cider Mill

Cider

#1 Blake’s Cider Mill

#2 Yate’s Cider Mill

#Uncle John’s Cider Mill

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

#1 Yate’s Cider Mill

#2 Blake’s Cider Mill

#3 Uncle John’s Cider Mill

All in all, these hot spots are incredible for your cider mill needs. Be sure to check them out in person and on social media, of course! Be sure to tag me (@collectivelykaitlyn on Instagram) in your posts if you make your way to any of these fantastic cider mills.

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What’s your favorite fall activity?

xx, Kaitlyn

 

Fallin’ for Marley Lilly

If you’re anything like me, you love summer but you’re more than ready for fall. Fall is my favorite season for a few reasons; the beautiful colors, pumpkin patches, but most importantly, fall fashion. This fall, I’m teaming up with one of my favorite companies, Marley Lilly, to bring you some of the best go-to options to spruce up your fall wardrobe (talk about a dream come true!). When I think of fall, I think of a few staple pieces for my wardrobe that I consider “must haves”. Vests are at the top of that list because you can add a vest to virtually any outfit and it automatically becomes fall appropriate. If you have never heard of Marley Lilly, you’re in luck because in this post I’m showing you the way I style my current favorite piece of fall apparel! In my opinion, Marley Lilly is the best place to shop for all of your monogrammed needs and, not to mention, they are constantly running sales or free gift with purchase offers. Marley Lilly offers a variety of styles and trendy pieces for all seasons but their fall collection this year is on point! From outerwear like Sherpa Pullovers and Rain Jackets to Monogrammed Duck Boots, there’s sure to be something on your fall wardrobe wish list.

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I’m taking this Monogrammed Puffy Vest and pairing it with a simple dress to make the transition from those hot and humid summer days to the cool, calm autumn nights a breeze. What I love most about this type of puffy vest is how light weight it is which makes it the perfect piece for layering.

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What are your favorite, go-to pieces for fall? Let me know in the comments!

xx, Kaitlyn

 

NASH-ing!

Hey hey! Before I get into the blog for today, I wanted to touch on something I think is so important. I took a little time away from my blog to focus on some self-love. I think unplugging and removing yourself from the internet is so incredibly important especially if being online all the time (social media included) is a huge part of your job and one of your favorite hobbies. It’s perfectly okay to take a step back whenever you feel the urge to because there’s only one of you and you need to take care of yourself! One of my favorite self-love books to read when I’m trying to detox from the chaos of the internet is Light is the New Black. I linked it for ya, so feel free to check it out!


Okay, on into the goods. One of the things I love most about traveling is experiencing the sense of community a new city has to offer. I adore the feeling of being surrounded by people who just absolutely enjoy the place in which they live. It’s empowering! Recently, you all know I visited Nashville and I saw these adorable NASH hats at a boutique in The Gulch. I absolutely needed one! In addition to hats, there were tees and tanks with the words NASH or VILLE on them, cute right?. These simple yet oh so chic items won me over immediately. I had to learn more about this brand and that’s when I knew I needed to know more about how this company blossomed.

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The Nash Collection was started based on the lack of non-cheesey, chic, souvenir-type apparel items in Nashville. Aside from pleasing the tourists, there was a serious need for locals to feel a sense of identity with their city. I was so lucky to have the opportunity to talk one on one with Laci, the founder of The Nash Collection. Before launching The Nash Collection, Laci was able to do some recon through a boutique called Revv in Nashville to determine just how strong the demand was and, because of that, was able to deliver the products so many customers were dying to have. Their first round of NASH hats hit the shelves at Revv in July 2016 and it’s been a booming market ever since! One of the coolest aspects about The Nash Collection is most of their items are unisex so it’s not geared towards one specific gender.

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While I’m not a local to the Nashville area, I do feel at “home” when I’m there. Is that weird? Do you ever have that feeling like you’re just supposed to be somewhere? Nashville is truly such an inviting city with so many quirks and a whole lot of spunk. Not to mention tons (literally because they’re building so many new buildings with tons of metal, haha) and tons of new developments popping up all over the city. Nashville is an emerging, growing city with thousands of individuals and families moving to the area each month. Talk about an awesome influx!

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So, maybe you’re not in Nashville and maybe you have no desire to move there. Well, have no fear because The Nash Collection has expanded beyond Nashville and has plans in the future to keep expanding their brand. The best thing about this collection is the fact that you can sport these pieces literally any time of the day. If it’s at the gym, pool side, or throwing a VILLE tank on with a cardigan to run errands – there’s something for everyone! Be sure to check them out online and see what cities they’ve already expanded to. The Nash Collection didn’t just create a brand, they created a lifestyle!

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xx, Kaitlyn

 

Amelia’s Flower Truck

Hey, hey! Long time no chat. I’m back from my spontaneous trip to Nashville and I must say, I already miss it. Whenever I visit a city I like to get the local’s perspective paired with a few touristy things (peep my #WhatLiftsYou picture on my Instagram, for example). One of the items that was on my list of things to do was to visit Amelia’s Flower Truck. I’ve seen Amelia’s all over Instagram and I had heard about it from a few friends so I knew I had to experience this ultra cute flower truck myself.

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First, I had to figure out which part of Nashville Amelia’s was going to be in on the day I went. I originally thought this was going to be slightly challenging but Amelia’s website makes finding the truck locations so incredibly easy with an interactive calendar of events. A fun fact about Amelia’s is that each flower truck has a name; Amy, Melody, and Rory. Adorable, right?!

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Image above from Amelia’s Flower Truck

Upon arriving, it started to down pour. Like, I’m talking literal buckets of rain were falling from the sky. None the less, I was blown away by the line of people waiting for their opportunity to pick a bouquet of flowers even in the rain. Once I got up to the truck, I saw one singular sunflower left and I immediately grabbed it. Sunflowers are my all-time favorite flower so I knew I had to have it in my DIY bouquet. I arrived a little later in the day so the selection of flowers had dwindled a bit but I took that as a good sign of how much locals and visitors absolutely love to support Amelia’s.

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The owner was super sweet and offered help if I needed any assistance crafting my perfect bundle of flowers. The prices were marked per stem and were all more than reasonably priced. Once I had my goodies, they were trimmed and wrapped up for me in the most simple, yet boho chic way.

Honestly, I was so impressed. I loved the bouquet I picked because it was completely unique which is something that has always been important to me when it comes to flowers. I’ve never been the typical, “I want red roses”, girl and Amelia’s was the perfect place for me to be able to express my creativity by creating my own bouquet.

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The best part? These beauties were troopers and even made it 8 hours in the car all the way back to Michigan with me! If you’re ever in Nashville, I highly recommend checking out Amelia’s and getting yourself or your loved ones a special, unique-to-you bouquet. I know I’ll be back during my next visit!

What’s your favorite part about visiting a different city? 

xx, Kaitlyn