December 17, 2014

My Christmas Wish List

I'm finishing out the Holiday Gift Guide Series by sharing with you what is on my Christmas wish list.  I don't know when it happened, but it seems like each year I find myself wanting less and less.  It may not even be that I want less, but that I really like being surprised by what people come up with for gifts.  I stopped making a list for my mom years ago because I learned she gets me way better gifts than I could have come up with asking for.  With that said, there are always things I have my eye on, and this year is no exception, so without further ado...

1. Sorel Boots.  I've been wanting a pair of boots I can wear during Winter that would be good in the snow and rain.  However, since I live in the south and it doesn't snow all that much I wanted something that would also look cute on a dry cold day.  I've been torn between Sorel boots and glossy red Hunter boots.  I just think both would be so cute with some leggings and tall thick boot socks!

2.  Samsung Tab 4 cover. I realize this is $13 and I should probably just buy it myself, but out of sheer laziness I have not bought one yet and I have 2 scratches on my brand new Nook to prove it!

3. Knife Set. A good knife really is something you can tell a difference in, but man they're expensive! I have a very cheap set from Ikea that was great initially, but now they're so dull, I feel like I need 911 on speed dial when using them, I just know I'm going to chop my finger off. This set is cute and has everything I need

4.  Bar name necklace. I've liked these for a long time now, they're just so simple. I think this would be super cute as an every day necklace, and the best part, you can get whatever you want engraved on it.

5.  Perfume is always a hard one for me because I like so many.  I definitely favor sweet scents like Prada Candy, but I had a sample once of Twirl by Kate Spade and like it a lot too. Also, those bottles are so pretty, they're just as much a decoration piece and as a beauty item. 

So there you have it, a few of the things I've been eyeing as of late.  Feed my curiosity and let me know some things that have made it onto your wish list this year!

December 16, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

I don't know about you, but opening my stocking is one of my favorite things to open on Christmas morning! I can always count on Chap Stick to be in there (which I love!), but I also like seeing what other little things my mom has come up with to stuff in there and how she kind of tailors it specifically to my sister, brother and me!

It baffles me when I see people suggest super expensive stocking stuffers.  In my opinion, just because that $100 Tory Burch wrap bracelet is small enough to fit in a stocking does not make it a stocking stuffer!  Today I've come up with a few fun ideas that I think would make awesome stocking stuffers and most are under $10!

1. Fun comic strip bandages.
2. Gift card to the movies
3. Leopard earbuds. I'm always forgetting mine at home, so extra earbuds are always nice!
4. Cozy wool socks for a guy or festive metallic socks for a girl. Both on sale now!
5. Lotto tickets, possibly the gift that keeps giving! These are always cheap fun to me.
6. It wouldn't be a stocking stuffers gift guide without me recommending my favorite thing to find in my stocking, lip balm! This EOS Trio is super cute and you could even divide it up among multiple stockings.

If you have any ideas for stocking stuffers, leave them in a comment below! I hope you're all having a great week!

December 9, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts For Him

This year I have been knocking out the Christmas shopping early! I'm usually not one to wait until the last minute anyway, but it's December 9th and I only have about 4 more gifts to get! I don't know about you, but I really do have more fun buying for people and watching them as they open something they love rather than opening my own gifts.  It's just so much fun to get something you know someone will be excited about! Today it's time for the second installment in my Holiday Gift Guide and for perhaps some of the hardest to shop for, well for me anyway.  Today I bring you...

1. Is there anyone who doesn't like music? I included three for this first gift idea, because I do truly think Bose is the best when it comes to sound quality, you just get a louder more powerful volume in my opinion, but that's not to say there aren't completely wonderful more affordable options, which is why I included this Phillips iPhone 5 speaker dock (they also make one compatible with the  iPhone 4) Prices vary greatly in the Bose line and this Bose SoundLink Mini would make an excellent luxury gift idea, it's sleek and the sound it puts out is incredible.  Another great mid price option is this Bose SoundLink Color, which as you could have guessed, comes in 5 fun colors! I also love that they all have the option to play without having to be plugged into the wall; the Phillips system will run with 4AA batteries, while the Bose systems have rechargeable batteries.

2.  Both this Mark & Graham Leather Valet and Pottery Barn Catchall would look really nice on any guy's side table to corral all of the things usually strung about; keys, wallet, watch, and if you're my boyfriend, chap stick.  I love the idea of monogramming it also with either just their first initial or all three. And remember, guys don't follow the first, last, middle monogramming order like women do, theirs is in the regular first initial, middle initial, last initial order!

3.  I love these Kiehl's sets, and one may be finding its way under my tree for my boyfriend. I can't tell you how much it pains me to see him slather whatever lotion is laying around all over his face as a moisturizer. Sweet Cinnamon Bakery Cookie Dough? Yep, that'll work. My skin freaks out just watching. These sets are awesome because this larger Ultimate Man Refueling Set comes with a face wash, shave cream, moisturizer, lip balm, body scrub bar soap, and hand cream, everything he'd need and more! While this Essential For Him set is just that, the essentials, smaller versions of everything from the first set minus the lip balm and hand cream.

4.  Fitness watches are booming in popularity right now and there seem to be a thousand to choose from. This New Balance LifeTrainer is awesome because it tracks you steps throughout the day as well as total distance, but what's really cool is it also tracks the calories burned throughout the entire day and automatically resets at midnight. For a more intense fitness watch I love the Polar RC3 and right now Amazon has an amazing deal on it.  It has GPS, so it will track you mileage outdoors or other places you run/walk where you otherwise wouldn't be able to track that. This watch also comes with a "back to start" feature in which the GPS directs you back to your start point; this watch also has a rechargeable battery!

5. To me, slippers are one of those gifts I never really think to ask for or buy myself, yet when I have them, I love them! I love the inner fur lining of these super luxe Ted Baker Slippers, while I also like how these Old Navy Moccasin Slippers lean more towards looking like real shoes, they also come in four other colors.

6.  I'll admit I'm late to the Patagonia bandwagon, but I'm in love with these Pullovers and may be putting one on my Christmas list this year! The fleece is incredibly soft and warm and they too come in an array of color combinations.  Over at Amazon you can find this half zip pullover which I think would look equally as good worn out for date night or dressed down going to the dog park on a chilly day.

And there you have it! I have a few on these in the back of my mind to gift to people this year and hope that I was able to help some of you get over the hump that is shopping for guys!  As always, be sure to share your own ideas below, let's help each other out!

December 2, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: For Her

I am so excited to be doing another Christmas Gift Guide Series this year! Last year's was so much fun for me to do and I hope they helped some of you! This year, however, I am doing them a little bit different.  The Stocking Stuffers part will remain the same, and be gifts under $20, however the segments designated to "Him" and "Her" will be different, here's how...

I am always very honest when recommending something, be it on my blog or in real life. I don't suggest things based on how expensive they are or how popular they are at the moment, I always recommend things I truly believe in.  However, that being said, you will see that I rarely recommend extremely expensive things, as I don't have the budget to typically spend money like that and honestly believe a lot of the time you can find wonderful, comparable products for much less. I'm a nanny, and while I'd love to be able to drop $1,000 on a handbag, it isn't realistic!  When the holidays roll around everyone has their own budget and if I'm able, I like to splurge a bit more on the gifts I give.  This year I will be showing you extra special gift ideas for when you want to spend a little more, along with an equally wonderful more affordable option! I hope you enjoy the new twist this year!

First up...

1. L'Occitane Hand Cream and Soap & Glory Hand Cream-  I like to gift people things they may not normally buy for themselves, but that doesn't necessarily mean expensive.  It's easy to toss a $3 do-it-all body lotion in our grocery cart the rest of the year, which makes little luxuries like rich hand cream a nice treat to receive.

2.  Chic Daily Planner and Erin Condren Life Planner-  It doesn't matter how many times I put dates and appointments in my phone, I am 10 times more likely to remember important dates if I write them down.  The Target planner is chic and simple, perfect for a school agenda whereas the Erin Condren life planner is just that, there's a spot for everything (meal plans, goals, to-do lists, etc!) and they're cmpletely customizable and able to be personalized! Don't like the teal cover on the one shown? There are about 50 other options to choose from including a personal photo collage cover!

3.  Tea for One Set and Loose Leaf Tea Cup-  It seems tea has blown up in popularity lately and either of these would make a cute gift to the tea lover in your life.  Not a tea fan? You could easily rework this idea with a coffee mug and seasonal bag of coffee, or my personal favorite coffee accessory, a reusable k-cup. I got mine for about $4 at my grocery store in the coffee aisle.

4.  Sephora Fragrance Sampler and Sephora Rollerball Sampler-  I was given the fragrance sampler as a gift one year and it is in the top 2-3 gifts I've ever been given, I loved it! With both sets you get mini samples of some of Sephora's best selling perfumes as well as a voucher for either a free full size bottle or a rollerball, depending on which set you get. It's a lot of fun testing out each perfume and how it wears with you, the mini sizes are also really convenient for travelling.

5.  Initial Necklace and Personalized Necklace-  One of these two may make an appearance on my wishlist this year, I love how simple and dainty they are, perfect for wearing alone or layering with other jewelry. And while I think these would be great for new moms (my mom got my sister one with the first initial of her new baby's name) I also think it would be cute engraved with a special date, a sweet affirmation ("have faith"), bible verse ("Psalm139:14"), or simply the recipients name, which is what I have my eye on.    A bit of advice though, order early if you're wanting anything embroidered, engraved or personalized otherwise, it usually takes 2-3 weeks and turn around times get even longer during the holidays.

6.  Urban Decay Naked Basics and Urban Decay Naked-  Any makeup lover, any age would love either of these neutral palettes.  I have the Naked Basics and use it in some form every single time I put on eye makeup, it's perfect for travel and with only 6 shadows can surprisingly do multiple eye looks.  The original Naked palette is a beauty cult favorite and for good reason, with more shimmery but still neutral colors, it's easy to get really versatile looks that works with any skin tone.

I hope these ideas were able to help and spark some ideas of your own. Let me know below what you plan on giving this year! Next in the Gift Guide Series will be "Gifts for Him", be on the look out!

December 1, 2014

November Favorites

I don't have too many favorites for you this month, but the ones I do have I've really been enjoying, so I thought I'd share them with you! Don't forget to leave a comment with what you've been loving lately as well!

1. Biotin.  I have the worst hair for growth.  Seriously, I can't even remember the last time I had a real legit trim, usually every 3rd or 4th trip to the salon my hairdresser will finally say "how about I just dust the ends off".   My hair isn't the healthiest, and I know it; I've gotten it colored (all over and/or highlights) for the past ten years and while I rarely blow dry it and straighten it 2 times a week at most, up until recently I never used a heat protector.  I've tried to give my hair a little more tlc by using coconut oil masks and It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product, but what really has been helping with the growth is Biotin. I've taken it before, but never regularly, whereas this past month I've made it my mission to take it each morning and I haven;t been the only one noticing a change in my hair.  I'm going to continue taking this for now, but if any of you have tips for growing your hair or damaged hair in general, please let me know!

2. Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water. This stuff is great at removing all of my makeup without drying my skin or burning my eyes. The woman who sold it to me at Sephora said she uses this as her only face cleanser and while I don't do that, it certainly does do a good job at removing excess oils and dirt as well. I start with this and follow up with my usually face cleansing and skincare routine.

3.  Crown Brush Double Sided Blender. This brush is fantastic for travel as it's double sided and takes up less space. I use this a lot when I go out of town for the Clemson games because it's all I need for a super simple makeup application; the larger side can pack shadow on the lid, while the smaller pointed side can get in the inner corner and right under the brow bone.

4.  Urban Decay Perversion Mascara. This mascara gives my lashes such volume! I love it and will definitely be buying the full size when this tube is empty.

5.  Clinqique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief. This stuff completely saved my skin last month.  I have very dry skin and should have known better than to use an acne spot treatment on a few minor pimples I tend to get right before my period. I haven't used any medication of that sort in years and was reminded why; my skin completely freaked out and got severely dry, flaky and irritated. I was given a few samples sizes of this gel moisturizer and it has been wonderful for my skin, it's very moisturizing and I will definitely be asking for some for Christmas if I don't run out and buy a new one before then!

Those are all of my beauty favorites, but I also wanted to include random favorites this month!

Favorite Song(s) of the Month: "Begging For Thread" by Banks, "Blank Space" T. Swizzle, & "Rather Be" Clean Bandit
Favorite Show(s): House Hunters (I watch it every day while I'm at the gym!), Scandal & Dancing With the Stars (Val & Janel, oh my!)

So those are it, my favorites of the month. Let me know in a comment below some of your favorite things from November!