Hannah Drake


Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales

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Black Friday is upon us, my friends! I’ve searched the internet to find some of the best sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday for you. Check them out below!

Don’t forget about Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday, when you have the opportunity to support local businesses and invest in your community!

Alo Black Friday Sale

Get up to 70% off sale items and 30% off full price items. A portion of the proceeds will go to supporting Alo’s goal of bringing yoga to 2 million schoolkids.

Enjoy free global shipping.

Anthropologie Black Friday Sale

Get 30% off everything!

Amazon Instant Pot Black Friday Sale

Get huge savings on an Instant Pot on Amazon.

Amazon Kitchen Aid Mixer Black Friday Deal

Get huge savings on an Kitchen Aid Mixer on Amazon.

ASOS Black Friday Sale

Get 20% off sitewide, with 25% off clothes and accessories through November 27th.

Audible Black Friday Deal

New customers get 50% off the first 4 months of Audible, paying just $3.99/month, instead of the regular $7.99/month.

The Body Shop Black Friday Sale

40% off storewide and 25% off gift sets. Exclusions apply.

Use the code 19805 when you check out.

Gap Black Friday Sale

Get 40% off full priced items and take an additional 25% off sale items through November 24th. No exclusions.

Use the code BFGAP when you check out.

J.Crew Black Friday Sale

Get 50% off your entire purchase with the code TGIF.

Levi's Black Friday Sale

Get 40% off sitewide and free shipping through November 26th.

Use the code INDIGO when you check out.

Macy's Black Friday Sale

Get 20% off your purchase from November 25th through November 28th, plus enjoy free shipping when you spend $25.

Use the code CYBER when you check out.

Madewell Black Friday Sale

Take 25% off your purchase.

Use the code DEALWITHIT when you check out.

Minted Black Friday Sale

Get 20% off all artwork and home decor at Minted.

Get 15% off all other orders, including wedding invitations and holiday cards.

Use the code BF2018 on November 23rd only.

Nordstrom Black Friday Sale

Get up to 60% off sitewide through November 26th.

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One day only, get 50% off your entire purchase. Plus 1000’s of styles from $5.

Oliver Bonas Black Friday Sale

Take 25% off selected items from today through November 26th.

Shopbop Black Friday Sale

Get up to 25% off full-priced items and up to 75% off sale items. The more you buy, the more you save.

Use the code MORE18 when you check out.

Topshop Black Friday Sale

UK shoppers can enjoy 50% off the entire store.

US shoppers will find selected lines 50% off

Shop through November 26th, enjoy free worldwide delivery, and stack it with a 10% student discount!

Urban Outfitters Black Friday Sale

BOGO 50% off the entire site today only.

West Elm Black Friday Sale

20% off your everything, including sale items.

Use the code FRIYAY when you check out.

This post contains affiliate links, so I may make a commission off any purchase you make through the link.

The Expat Diaries, Vol. 13

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So much of my expat life in the last two months has been political. I think every single day for the last few months, I’ve considered scrounging up a few (hundred) quid to fly back to Colorado for a few days and be politically active ahead of the midterm elections. Needless to say, it didn’t happen, but assuming we’re still abroad in 2020, I will consider planning a trip back to the States in the fall so that I can participate in our democracy (and maybe catch a Buffs game or two.)

But before you click away for fear I’m about to be political about Tuesday’s elections, I won’t. Instead, I want to talk about what it’s been like to be away from my country during election season.

It’s been a long few months leading into this year’s midterms and it’s been tough to watch from on the other side of the pond. Democracy works when we participate in it and every day I would log into Twitter and read tweets about how tweeting isn’t enough. You have to call your representatives, canvass, get your friends and family registered to vote. I wasn’t able to do any of that so I often just felt like I was screaming into a void. Retweets and @ing Congressmen on Twitter already didn’t felt like enough and it was tough to be reminded every day of that. I didn’t really have a choice though.

After talking to my mom one day in September, I realised I could at least use my social media platform and online presence to remind people to register to vote. I started sharing reminders every Tuesday leading up to the election and did research on voter registration deadlines in each state to share on Facebook with my friends who were scattered across the country. That brought a little peace of mind, thankfully. One day, I helped my brother get his absentee ballot sorted with Colorado and a few weeks before the election, a friend said she registered to vote thanks to my constant reminders. It was a bit of solace amidst a sea of helplessness and anxiety. Later, a friend tagged me in a post about a campaign called Influence the Election, so I shared the post and tagged some people on Instagram as well. Some big accounts I follow reposted their own because I had tagged them. That was awesome!

I voted by absentee ballot from Colorado in October. I’ve actually only ever voted by mail, so I’ve never gotten an “I Voted” sticker. This year, I ordered a six pack of “VOTE” buttons from Etsy so I could wear one to drop off my ballot and on Election Day, even though I'm in England.

I also took Wednesday, the 7th off from work. I figured I’d either stay up super late or wake up super early to watch the results come in from across the pond. It’s not easy with the seven hour time difference, but I didn’t want to be dragging my feet at work all day and I had the time to take off anyway. Thank goodness I did because Luke woke me up around 1AM and I was glued to my phone watching the returns until 5AM. My hand still hurts from holding my phone. Yikes.

Speaking of the time difference, we had Daylight Saving a week before the States did. So for seven days we were eight hours ahead instead of the usual seven. I remember those weeks when Luke and I were long distance and the time difference was slightly off. Somehow, even if were only six hours, it was the worst. We had just gotten so accustom to the seven hour difference and it worked out really well because how our work and sleep schedules were at the time. On the usual schedule, we were able to talk to each other almost every day before and after work for both of us and before falling asleep and after waking up for both of us.

Most of the last two months were business as usual. That is, other than our 10 day trip to Italy. Were in Italy—in Naples, on the Amalfi Coast, and in Rome—for the second half of September and it was lovely! I intended to blog about the whole trip last month, but I’ve been having computer issues, which made it really difficult to edit the 6,000+ photos I took on our trip! Also, I simply didn’t leave myself enough time to get all of the posts together to the level of thoroughness I wanted. I promise they’re coming.

I participated in my first Bonfire Night celebrations last Thursday when I went to our friends’ house for drinks and a BBQ around the fire pit before walking over the university for the fireworks display. I was imaging something like the Fourth of July but in November, but it wasn’t quite. Nobody sat down. The area on campus where everyone watching the display was packed with people shoulder-to-shoulder. If you didn’t show up with someone, there was hardly any chance of finding them. They also had a little carnival set up with rides and concessions. I’ve only seen that at one fireworks display I’ve been to in the States. But I’ve never seen Americans do fireworks set to music. That was pretty cool!

We’ve been working hard to plan our second Thanksgiving—technically Friendsgiving. I’m really excited to host again, but I’m also already looking forward to Thanksgiving 2019 when we hopefully have a bigger dining room so it’s not so cramped. We’re also planning our trip back to Colorado for Christmas, but this time we’re scheduling in some free time so it doesn’t feel as busy and chaotic as it did in July! It’s been a crazy few months trying to soak up every minute of fall, but also already looking ahead to the holidays.

In the meantime, we’ve started a cleanse this week that was recommended by our friends. It’s similar to the Whole 30 I think, but re-introduces more foods throughout the 28 days, with the first four days being the most restrictive. We do have Thanksgiving in the time frame, but we’re going to do our best. Our goal is to eat along the lines of Whole 30 (focusing mostly on meat and veg) at home throughout the holidays. In the new year, we’ll probably do this cleanse again and make sure we don’t have anything coming up to interrupt it.

This post contains affiliate links, so I may make a commission off any purchase you make through the link.

Halloween 2018

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Two years makes an annual tradition, right?

Neither Luke and I are that crazy for Halloween, so this year and last year, we just had a quiet night at home, hiding from trick-or-treaters. Both years, we watched “Halloween” movies, ate chili, and this year sipped on a seasonal cocktail from my 25 Fall Cocktails to Try This Season list.

Last year, we had one group of trick-or-treaters come to our door early in the evening. We hadn’t bought any candy to pass out, but the mom told Luke they came to the house because of the pumpkins outside. We brought our pumpkins in, turned off the lights in the front of the house, and watched Practical Magic and Bewitched. Yesterday, I read on Instagram that in the UK putting a pumpkin outside usually marks your house as trick-or-treater friendly.

This year, we carved pumpkins, but it was really for our own enjoyment. We lit the tea lights inside of our Harry Potter themed pumpkins and put them by our back door so we could see them, but we once again wouldn’t attract any trick-or-treaters. Are we the worst?! Ha!

Halloween is definitely the best day of the year to enjoy a nice big bowl of hot chili, but we’ve got months ahead of good chili weather. There are just so many different ways to make it! Everyone seems to have a preference or their own secret ingredient. At our house, Luke is the chili master, but the main ingredients are ground turkey (sometimes ground beef), black beans, and red kidney beans. Since I’m not a food blogger or a talented food photographer, I thought I’d share some recipes from around the web from people who are far more talented than I am.

Fire and Ice Chili How Sweet Eats

Fire & Ice Chili

From How Sweet Eats

Why You Should Make It: Her secret ingredient is rich, dark chocolate ice cream! She says you can’t taste it, but it adds a depth of flavour that you simply can’t replicate with just cocoa powder.

Game Day Beer Chili How Sweet Eats

Game Day Beer Chili

From How Sweet Eats

Why You Should Make It: It’s got two different meats, a can of your favourite beer, AND maple syrup! Now that sounds like an explosion of flavour!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili How Sweet Eats

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili

From How Sweet Eats

Why You Should Make It: It’s buffalo chicken soup! Like chicken wings in a bowl and it will definitely make your house smell like heaven.

Cornbread Topped Skillet Chili Sally's Baking Addiction

Cornbread Topped Skillet Chili

From Sally’s Baking Addiction

Why You Should Make It: Cornbread and chili belong together and we all know it. Why not combine them from the start?

Slow Cooker Taco Spice Chili Sally's Baking Addiction

Slow Cooker Taco Spice Chili

From Sally’s Baking Addiction

Why You Should Make It: Think of all the Taco Tuesdays coming up that are going to be FREEZING.

Slow Cooker Hatch Green Chile Verde Foodie Crush

Slow Cooker Hatch Green Chili Verde

From Foodie Crush

Why You Should Make It: Green chili is DELICIOUS and you can eat this over rice or as tacos.

One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese Damn Delicious

One Pot Mac & Cheese Chili

From Damn Delicious

Why You Should Make It: Everybody loves a good one pot dinner. And combining mac & cheese and chili just make sense! These other soups may be hearty, but they have nothing on this dish!

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili Damn Delicious

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili

From Damn Delicious

Why You Should Make It: A delicious chili loaded with seasonal vegetables is about the most fall thing you can eat.

5 Ingredient White Chicken Chili Damn Delicious

5 Ingredient White Chicken Chili

From Damn Delicious

Why You Should Make It: Mix up your usual chili dinner with some chicken and salsa verde—plus just three other ingredients!

Vegan Sweet Potato and Lentil Chili Damn Delicious

Vegan Sweet Potato & Lentil Chili

From Damn Delicious

Why You Should Make It: Skip the meat for an evening, but still enjoy a hearty bowl of chili that will definitely warm you through.