Monday Moments & A Sneak Peek

Over-the-Knee Boots

{A Sneak Peek!}

Happy Monday, friends! If you are counting down to Christmas you still have 18 days to go, and for those celebrating Hanukkah, happy Hanukkah. After stopping at the mall on Friday to pick up the wrapped feather ring I mentioned here from Anthropologie and another initial mug (this time in gold), I may be rethinking the whole going-to-the-store-to-shop thing. I couldn’t believe how crowded the stores were at 2 pm during the week. Let’s not mention the parking lot! I guess my plan of shopping while everyone was still at work isn’t going to work out after all. That leaves me with shopping early in the morning (I don’t do mornings), online (but what if it doesn’t fit?), or gifting everyone something I crafted from a DIY tutorial (do boxed Ghirardelli brownies count?).

On another note, I celebrated a birthday with a good friend over the weekend, and given my mall experience, I remembered why shopping local is the best option. I had no luck trying to find the perfect gift in a busy store, so I headed into a small boutique that created custom fragrances. I must have passed the store hundreds of times over the years, and despite being intrigued, I never ventured in. Once inside I was transfixed by the aroma and all of the kitschy gifts they offered. Why had I not thought of this before? Luckily, my friend had found the store way before me and had a custom fragrance selected and under her account — which made the whole gift buying process even easier.

This story is a reminder to check out small boutiques and local establishments this season. It’s a great way to support businesses in your community and you can avoid the hassle of the malls and big box stores.

And lastly, I had to share a sneak peek from my photo shoot the other day. Do you remember that I promised you a part II of a recent post? Stay tuned — it will be coming to the blog on Friday!

Photography by Vlad Polchaninoff



  1. First, I LOVE your grey sweater and purse; you look so chic, Vanessa! You know, that’s such a great suggestion, to shop at local businesses and boutiques. Not only do you often avoid the huge lines and all, but you can really find some unique pieces in those shops you’d never find in larger stores and malls, great suggestion-thank you!

    I hope you have a wonderful day and week ahead, beautiful!



    1. Thanks, Jalisa! I’ll be sharing more photos from this shoot and all of the outfit details on Friday. I always find the best gifts at small, local boutiques! I’m glad you enjoyed this post and I hope you have a great week!

    1. I was pretty surprised by the crowds, too! I wouldn’t think it would be as bad during the week. I like helping small businesses, and I always find unique gifts in some of the local shops. I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

  2. Your outfit is absolutely amazing! Love your sweater with your coat and otk boots! Definitely one of my favorite looks on you, Vanessa!

    I completely agree with you about small boutiques. I often just walk by them but whenever I do check them out I wish I went in earlier because they’re so much cuter than the big retail stores! They often have items you simply cannot find anywhere else. It’s one of my city goals to check out all the local boutiques and support small business 🙂

    1. Thanks, Shveta! Look for details and more photos of this outfit on Friday. I love small boutiques. They always have the most unique items. And once I find a store I like, I tend to go back again and again.

    1. Thanks, Dara! After spending ten minutes in the mall, I’m all about small boutiques this season. I usually stop in a few during the holidays, but this year I plan on doing most of my shopping locally.

    1. Thanks, Krisztina! More photos from this shoot and outfit details will be on the blog Friday. I’m going to be doing a lot of my shopping in local boutiques this season. I love being able to gift someone something unique…and I don’t have to brave the crowds in the mall.

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