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Moments from 2020


For the past 5-ish years, I have been recapping my year by sharing the highlights from each month. However, this year it feels inappropriate to talk about all of the highlights in my personal life when so many people had a year of loneliness, loss, financial struggles... the list could go on. For many, this year didn't have many highlights. This was a year flooded with struggles, sadness, and uncertainty. But, this year also brought hope, love, compassion, togetherness, and taught us what is truly important as human beings. So, here are my highlights, lowlights, and mostly just moments from 2020 that stuck out from all of the rest (because let's be honest, a lot of the days looked the same...)


Disclaimer: I have never had Covid, for which I am incredibly grateful. I have been taking the virus seriously from the moment I got home from spring break. I am incredibly grateful for my health and have always tried to make the right decisions for myself and for the greater community to not spread the virus... which you don't always see online. Of course, I have made mistakes along the way, but I promise I have been trying my best and will continue to do so.


Thank you to everyone who has supported me this year and followed along. I love this community and those of you who have been nothing but kind to me are truly the reason I continue to blog and share my life online. So, thank you, you know who you are. I appreciate you. Happy New Year!


Without further adieu: here are some of my memorable 2020 moments:

This Week's Top 10: Good Random Holiday Vibes


1. I am SO OBSESSED with this photo. I found it on Pinterest and had to do a little digging because... omg... the flufff!!!! The rabbit's name is Balou, he was one year old at the time of this photograph, and he is a French lop rabbit. Of course he's French... hahaha. I adore him. The photo was taken by a photographer named Isabella Rozendaal. It's amazing what you can discover from a Pinterest photo if you just take a few minutes to dig.



2. Anyway, LOL, hellooo and Happy Friday! Tonight I am super excited because Joe and I are making this bolognese recipe for dinner! I have oddly been craving bolognese so I hope it turns out well (I already know it will because he is a great cook!). We are going to the local Italian grocery store after work to get everything we need, including fresh homemade pasta! We actually sent each other this recipe link at the exact same time over text, just out of coincidence. Crazyy. I laughed so hard at this review that I had to screenshot and share:


3. Speaking of Joe-- here is the small business where he ordered my Christmas gift! In case you missed my IG stories, he got me the most thoughtful gift ever: a custom-designed record with our two favorite songs on it! It was so sweet and such a great idea.

Gift Guide: My Christmas List


Hellooo! I am excited to share my personal Christmas list with you today! It's a little bit of a cop-out because I am not actually asking for anything this year, but ~if I were~, these would be the items on my list. A few I actually own and love so much I had to include them, but the majority are gifts I think would be wonderful to discover under the tree!

December Moodboard (Desktop Wallpaper!)


Guess what day it is!!! Monthly mood board day!!! The last mood board of the year is here and I love it. I realized shortly after I completed it that I didn't include any champagne, which is both off-brand and a big miss... not only are Christmas and other religious holidays among us, but New Year's Eve is a part of December, too! Like, duh, what was I thinking?! Anyway, I am sure you get the vibe. 

This Week's Top 10:

ireland fran acciardo cliffs of moher

photo via Jess Ann Kirby

1. Hard to believe it's December and Christmas is only three weeks away! If you are looking for any gift ideas, you can find all of my gift guides here.

2. Yesterday on my IG stories I shared some of my recent purchases! I can't get enough of this men's henley, my new boots, or this coat...

3. This little ring is under $40 and so pretty.

November Favorites


Happy December, everyone!! November was all a blur... I honestly had to look back through my camera roll to even remember what I did, which (shocker!) wasn't much. Besides the election and Thanksgiving, what even happened? Couldn't tell you! So, this month's favorites will be short and sweet because I don't know what's going on these days!!

A Few Small Business Cyber Monday Sales


Hello everyone and happy Cyber Monday! I didn't end up shopping any Black Friday sales as I just wasn't on my computer much this weekend, but I am excited to see so many sales happening today. So many people shared their favorite small businesses this weekend and I am excited to share a few new-to-me small businesses that are having great sales today!

This Week's Top 10: Black Friday Sales + Small Businesses


Happy Black Friday, everyone! I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday. The weather here in Charleston hit 80 degrees and I was loving it. Anyway, for this week's top 10, I am going to share both a list of my top 10 Black Friday sales going on today and then a list of 10 small businesses that you could support this holiday season. While shopping the big sales today is fun, I am also going to try to support smaller businesses because they need it the most. 

Happy Shopping!

What I'm Thankful For...


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This year in particular, I have so much for which I am thankful. (I am trying to use prepositions less at the end of my sentences... I think of my high school English teacher (shoutout Mr. Grandy!) and just know if I started this post with "I have so much that I am thankful for," he would send me a virtual side-eye...)


Anyway, I am especially thankful for my health, my new job, and my family this year. It has been an emotional year for our family... from my gramma on my dad's side being very sick, to my mom and dog moving to Charleston last month... so many changes. I am so grateful to have such a fabulous, loving, wonderful family whom I cherish so much, and to personally be very healthy right now, as I know so many people in our country are suffering from the pandemic.

Gift Guide: Best Friend


Oooh I am so excited to share a Best Friend gift guide today! I have never made this particular gift guide before but it was requested by many of you on IG and I had fun putting it together. I asked a handful of my best friends for their suggestions and I think you will definitely find something worth gifting your BFF in here.

My Friendsgiving


Yesterday afternoon I hosted a small Friendsgiving at my house for five of my close girlfriends. Everyone was COVID tested a few days beforehand, so we all felt safe getting together to celebrate. I spent the last few weeks running around gathering things for the tablescape and the party, and I am so pleased with how everything turned out. I am excited to share the photos and recap it for all of you today!

Insane Mango Sale


OMG. You know there's a good sale if I'm posting twice in one day!! I just discovered that Mango is having a sale this weekend offering 40% off orders of $150+, or 30% off orders of $100+... (use code EXTRA40 at checkout) WHAT! That's so good!! Linking all of my current faves from their site below... aka, basically everything...

This Week's Top 10

fran acciardo this week's top 10 minimalist style grey cardigan white button-down black jeans chic style simple outifit blonde girl
photo via Pinterest

1. Happy Friday!!! This week was by far my busiest yet with work. I love being busy and having so many challenging things to work on, but wow it is such an adjustment... I am really looking forward to this weekend because I am hosting a small Friendsgiving with my best friends.


2.  My favorite faux-leather puffer from last winter is back in stock this season and it comes in two additional colorways from the saddle (which I have) and black from last year. I adore the olive green.


3. I can't believe Thanksgiving is already next week. This no-bake pumpkin pie recipe is super simple and looks delicious.


Gift Guides for the College Gal + Recent Grad


Happy Monday! I hope you all had a nice, relaxing weekend. My weekend was very laid back, which was quite lovely. It is officially chilly here now after the little hot streak last week, so I was kind of happy to stay inside and be all cozy. I worked on these gift guides all day yesterday and I am super excited to share a gift guide for the college gal and another for a recent grad today! Hope you find some inspiration if you're gifting to any college/post-college aged gals this season!

This Week's Top 10: Recent Purchases + MKE Eats


This Week's Top 10 is a fun one!! I am sharing a handful of things I purchased this week, and then some of the Milwaukee spots I ate from this week! Some new to me, some old favorites... very excited to share because this is something I wish I posted about more often! 

3 Gift Guides for Guys: Dad, Boyfriend + Brother

Hellooo and welcome back to another gift guide! Today I am sharing a gift guide each for Dads, Brothers, and Boyfriends, who are arguably three of the hardest people to shop for. I have my gifting down to a science when it comes to these three-- I have included so many gifts on these guides that I have personally gifted successfully in the past, so I think you will find them super helpful! Some of the gifts can be interchangeable between these three types of guys, but you're sure to find something gift-able here.

Self-Care Goals for 2021



It is crazy to me that 2021 is just around the corner! I mean really, where did the time go in 2020? While we still have the holidays on the way, I’ve already started to think about setting goals for next year, especially when it comes to self-care.

This Week's Top 10: The Big Distraction


We made it to Friday (with no Presidential announcement, but still...) and I am sure by now you all have discovered your favorite resource to keep up with any and all updates on the election as you wish. That said, in this week's installment of This Week's Top 10, I am bringing you a big list of my favorite distractions from this week!!! We had the most beautiful (record-breaking for November!) weather this week and it really boosted my mood. It was so nice to get out, go for walks, and feel the sun again!

The First Gift Guide! Thoughtful Gifts Under $50


I am writing this post in advance and very excited to finally start sharing some of my gift guides. Hopefully, this provides you both holiday inspiration and a positive distraction from the election! I know I am looking forward to getting in the holiday spirit, and one of my favorite ways to do that each year is by creating these gift guides for you. I put so much thought, time, and energy into these each year because it is not only a fun and creative project, but I feel these guides can be really helpful for anyone needing gift inspiration. Honestly, I take pride in being a pretty good gift-giver, so this is like my good deed for the season (lol, I'm kidding... kinda ;) 



This year I have planned for close to ten gift guides, from brothers and boyfriends, to parents, best friends, and of course, the infamous Fran Acciardo "girl who has everything" annual gift guide!! Without further adieu, I am kicking off my 2020 gift guides with thoughtful gifts at a thoughtful price point: under $50!


A SPECIAL NOTE

This year in lieu of COVID-19 and just trying to be a more mindful person, I have made the decision to include gifts from small businesses, when I could find them, and limit any links to Amazon. I chose smaller retailers wherever possible in hopes of supporting small this season!

November Moodboard (Desktop Wallpaper!)


Hellooooo and happy (?) election day. Wow, I just can't believe it's actually November 2nd. If you have not yet voted, check out this website to find where you're supposed to go today! Half the time I feel like it's still March or April, but at the same time this summer feels like 10 years ago... either way, it's finally November and the most important thing you can do is VOTE! 

October Favorites


Happy Monday and happy November! 

October was such a lovely month here... I always love the crisp fall weather and seeing the leaves change every year, and this October was no exception! This past weekend was probably the most chill Halloween weekend I've ever had, but I kind of loved it. It was nice to just soak up one last fall weekend before it inevitably gets cold here soon. This October I really loved quite a few things, so I am particularly excited about this installment of monthly favorites!

This Week's Top 10: Halloween Weekend!


1. I voted early this week!!! Have you made a plan to vote yet? I found my polling place and voting hours soo easily on this website


2. Happy Halloween weekend!!! I know it probably isn't as exciting for many of us as past Halloweens, but I hope you're at least planning on doing something fun or relaxing! Tonight my boyfriend and I are making bucatini with my family's famous homemade meatball recipe! 


3. I decided this week to host a small friendsgiving in a few weeks! I am so excited and already thinking about how I want to set the table. These napkins are the cutest ever. Definitely considering this centerpiece, this simple tablecloth, these cute plates, and these.... place cards.... so chic

The Best Book I've Read Recently


I originally planned to wait until I read a few more books to write my typical round-up of recent reads, but I finished this a month ago and don't want to wait any longer to share. It's the perfect time to read this book as we round the corner into winter, and it's such a great one that a stand-alone post on it is well-justified. So, let's talk about The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah.

17+ Casual Chic Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas


oversized camel sweater // pink pants


When I think of Thanksgiving outfits I immediately think of the Gossip Girl scene where Nate is playing football with his family and they are all wearing bougie little sweaters. I love the classic vibe that comes with not only the food and activities of Thanksgiving but the outfits as well. This year, even though we are all probably tempted to stay in the lounge sets we've been collecting throughout quarantine, it's kind of fun to have an excuse to actually get dressed up. I, for one, plan to get dressed this Thanksgiving! In what? Not sure yet. Hopefully, this post will help you as much as it's helping me get inspiration for Thanksgiving outfit ideas.

This Week's Top 10


1. Happy Friday! My week went by pretty quickly again, and with every day it feels less like fall and more like winter in Wisconsin... crossing my fingers the snow at least holds off until November 1st!


2. This week on the blog I shared my WFH schedule and explained a bit about my job / what I do! I am so excited because last night I signed onto my first official consulting project, which starts Monday! I am a little nervous but really looking forward to diving into my job.


3. Last night I made my favorite recipe: healthy avgolemono soup! It makes a ton so I'll be eating it throughout the week and I am hyped about it. It's so delicious and perfect for the cooler days we are having now... speaking of soup, if you follow along with my IG stories, you know I have been obsessed with grilled cheese + tomato soup for lunch this week. Really, is there anything better?

A Day in my WFH Life


The most requested response from my IG poll of blog post suggestions last week had something to do with a job update, WFH life, balancing work with blogging/social life/working out, etc. I'm glad many of you are curious about this, and I am excited to share my daily routine with you today. It has been quite an adjustment and I am so excited to share!

This Week's Top 10


1. Happy Friday! This week really flew by... I didn't do much but I'm happy the weekend is already here again. One thing I did do, however: watched Emily in Paris... and I have some thoughts.

Shopbop's Sitewide Sale

fall fashion sweater blazer winter whites

Now that I'm a ~working adult,~ I want to stop shopping for quantity and instead focus on quality pieces that I will have forever. One of the best places, in my opinion, to find fabulous, high-quality clothing is Shopbop! In college, I rarely placed orders at Shopbop for everyday clothing because it was just too expensive and too nice for outfits that I'd end up wearing to class. Now that I am planning a move to NYC and clearing out my closet, I want to fill my closet with nice pieces and their sitewide sale is a great opportunity to grab pieces that rarely get discounted!

Easy Fall Transition Outfit

Although it's mid-October, the weather is still pretty warm here in Wisconsin. I'm so happy not to be wrapped up in a puffer quite yet, but I have had to get a little creative dressing for these warmer fall temps. I'm so used to it already being fifty below this time of year! Introducing: an easy, seasonally appropriate fall outfit idea: sweater + shorts.



Fall Home Decor

This post has been in my drafts for weeks now and I am excited to finally hit publish today. It's crazy to think that just a few months ago I still planned to move to NYC for the start of my job last month. As grateful as I am to be home with my mom who does seriously everything for me, there are a lot of things I enjoyed about apartment living in college. I really look forward to the day I can finally make it out to the city and have my own space, and I know when I get there it will have been well worth the wait. Until then, I am loving all of the Halloween and fall decorations in my house and wanted to share a roundup of some fun fall decor that maybe will inspire you to spruce up your own current environment.

Professional Growth Advice (From a Special Guest!)


Professional growth topics are something I have been wanting to make more prevalent on this blog for a while now. Career fair season is here for many of you college gals, and post-grads around my age are either job hunting or just starting a new job like I am, so what better time to chat about all things career-focused? 

This Week's Top 10: Mostly Random Things I Bought


photo via pinterest


1. Happy Friday!!! I am so excited for this weekend. Tonight my boyfriend and I are trying a cute Italian restaurant in my neighborhood, and then tomorrow I am heading to Chicago to hang out with my best friend from high school and my brother! They went to college together so they are good friends as well. I am excited for the three of us to hang out together again!


2. THANK YOU all for your love on the apple photos on Instagram!! This one is now my most liked photo of 2020 (so far!)


3. My friend Lucy's Instagram (formerly daily dose of prep) was hacked this week and she lost everything! I am so sad for her. Please consider following her new account here

Girls' Night: Apple Picking Recap


On Tuesday night, three of my best high school friends and I went apple picking after work and had the best time. We picked apples, took photos (duh), and got tacos + margs after for dinner! I am so excited to share these photos with you -- it was such a fun night and I love how we captured it!


Expanding My Self-Care Routine


You guys know I love a self-care moment. Whether I’m going for a morning walk, trying new skincare products, or painting my nails, I love to practice a variety of self care, and today I’m excited to partner with RepHresh Products to share some new ways you can expand your self-care repertoire!

Fall Weekend Recap

 


This weekend went by quickly, but it was still really fun! Between dinner with girlfriends on Friday, a fall adventure on Saturday, and watching football + field hockey on TV on Sunday, it was both relaxing and full of activities. Does it get better than that?!

This Week's Top 10


1. Who watched the Presidential debate this week? I did, but I couldn't get through the whole thing... it was appalling and honestly, it just hurt my ears. This is a great article (in my opinion) from the New York Times (aka the most unbiased news source in journalism these days) that recaps the event.


(breaking news! President Trump and the First Lady just announced they tested positive for COVID)


2. On the topic of the election, I found this article to be really helpful when trying to determine the difference between facts and media baises surrounding this election. It provides a variety of resources and information to make you a more informed voter, and less of an "influenced" voter.


3. Wednesday night my mom and I watched The Glorias, which is available on Amazon Prime video here. I found it fascinating as I previously did not know much about the story of Gloria Steinem. Especially after Ruth Bader Ginsburg's recent passing, this was a great watch because it really highlights the power of women and how fortunate we are as women to have the rights we currently do... but also where there is still room for improvement.


Speaking of RBG, Jess shared this obituary written a friend of RBG. I am looking forward to reading it today.


Okay, that is more than enough political talk for me. Moving on!

October Moodboard (Desktop Wallpaper!)


Happy October! I truly love Octobers and I feel particularly excited for the month ahead. Now that I've started my job, I feel really settled and present in the current moment. 


I have no plans for the month, and especially not for moving. I'm not worried, I'm just enjoying where I'm at and will figure it out when the time comes. This weekend I'm hoping to kick off the month with (more) apple cider donuts and maybe some sort of cute fall activity... other than that, the rest of the month is going to be a fun fall surprise! How about you?


 I love making these mood boards every month... I think it's so fun to set them as my desktop background, as you can see below! They just give me such good vibes for the month. If you do the same, tag me and show me, I'd love to see it! 


(To set this as your desktop wallpaper on a Mac, right-click on the image at the top of this post -- it's higher res than the one below -- "save image as..." to your desktop, then go to your desktop, right-click the image, and "set desktop wallpaper" !)



xoxo

September Favorites


September went by incredibly fast, as all months have seemed to this year, but for once I actually feel pretty good about what I accomplished this month. Now that I've started work, I feel like I can actually live in the moment instead of waiting and waiting for something... It feels good no longer having "starting my first job!" looming over my head as it has been for the last nine months.

Every year at school, October was the best month. Game days, fall weather, sweaters... I'm still excited about this fall though because it's the first time I get to spend an entire fall in Milwaukee since high school! I forgot how beautiful it is here (...although it will get cold soon). I just love Octobers and feel so good about the month ahead. Anyway, here's everything I loved in September:

Camel Sweaters (Under $100!)


I shared this post on Instagram yesterday featuring my new favorite camel sweater! The one I am wearing in these photos is pretty fun and unique with ruffled sleeves, but if that's not your vibe, below I am rounding up a variety of styles all under $100. A camel sweater is such a fall essential in my opinion; it goes with everything, and it'll never go out of style. Wear to work or to class (if you have the luxury of going anywhere these days!) or just to get coffee on the weekends or attend a zoom call. 

This Week's Top 10


Wow... a lot happened this week. Let's recap the important stuff first before moving onto the fluff.


1. It would be amiss not to mention the Breonna Taylor ruling this week. The decision made by the court, in my opinion, is inconsequential and unacceptable. It sets a disturbing precedent for other inevitable Black trials in the future, and it makes me feel both frustrated and sad for her family, loved ones, and the Black community.


2. I also want to mention the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I was not nearly as familiar with her and her impact before she passed last weekend, and found this podcast episode both informative and interesting-- it went through her entire life, explaining the highlights and what she did for women in our country.


3. This week also included voter registration day on Tuesday. Are you registered to vote? I had to update my address but it only took a minute! You can check your status here

I Don't Get Dressed, But I Still Want to Shop


Now that I've started work and don't leave my desk from 8-4 all week, I've finally realized how unnecessary it is for me to be shopping right now. I don't need work outfits or anything for going out, but this doesn't mean I don't still want to shop. In fact, because I'm actually a salaried, working adult now, I want to shop more? (shocker) And, admittedly, I still am doing some lowkey things on the weekends and grabbing the occasional weeknight drink... so, like, I have an excuse... right? Either way, below I've rounded up the pieces I'm loving right now and a few on my wishlist, even though I really don't have anywhere to go:


This Week's Top 10


 1. Happy Friday! I hope you all had a great week. I finished my first week of work (just training, but still!), so I'm feeling pretty accomplished. Next week is another onboarding week but after that, I'll hopefully get to start on a project!


2. O.M.G. Carly is the original blogger in my opinion (the first blog I ever read!) and I couldn't be happier for her regarding her wedding a couple weekends ago!!! It was so intimate and beautiful, held right in her backyard, with no detail forgotten. I just love everything about it.


3.  I ordered this pack of fall masks and I'm so excited about them. I can't believe what a deal they are!