Thursday, November 30, 2017

Hostess Gifts: Holiday

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With the holiday season in full effect that means there are lots of holiday fêtes to attend!  My Mom always taught me that when you attend a party bringing a gift to the hostess to show your appreciation is a must and I feel like it's especially important this time of year.  To help you out I've rounded up fifteen gifts that any hostess would be thrilled to receive!  I personally prefer to bring something that can be used multiple times instead of a bottle of wine because it's unique and lasting.  You can go very holiday themed like this Hanukkah platter or these Christmas dish towels.  Or you can go more all year with this cookbook, this decanter, or these coasters.  I've got you covered no matter what you're looking to gift and everything on the list is under $40 except for this gorgeous cheese plate, which is a worthy splurge for a special someone.  Like with my Thanksgiving Hostess Gifts you can even pair a few items together to create the perfect present, like this with these or this with this.  No matter what you decide on though any hostess is sure to love any gift on this list!



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Recipe: Holiday Dinner Dog Treats

You guys loved my last dog treat recipe so much that I decided to create another one!  I wanted to make something for the holidays for Lucy and was inspired by a classic holiday dinner.  I figured why should only humans get to enjoy food this time of year?  Our sweet pups deserve to too!  We also had a doggie family member coming for Thanksgiving so I decided to make these so that both dogs would get something special.  Let me tell you these were a HUGE hit!  Both dogs were completely obsessed with them and could not get enough.  Needless to say these didn't stick around for long since every dog I gave them to loved them!  These treats will be great all year long, but it's especially fun to spoil your pup around the holidays with treats inspired by what we're eating.  My first batch of these are already gone and I'm planning to make another next week since Lucy enjoys them so much.  This recipe is easy, healthy, and sure to make your pup(s) very happy this holiday season!

-1 cup pureéd pumpkin
-1/2 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato*
-1 10 oz can white chunk chicken breast, shreaded
-1 egg
-1 1/2 cups gluten free flour**
*I cooked two small sweet potatoes in the microwave for about 10 minutes, scraped them out of their skins, and allowed to cool.
**I used rice flour.

-Mix pumpkin and sweet potato until combined.
-Add chicken, egg, and flour mixing between the addition of each ingredient.
-Mix until fully combined.
-Shape dough into 1/2 teaspoon balls and place on cookie sheet.
-Using a fork, flatten the treats (you can press the fork into the dough just once, like I did, or twice and create a criss cross design).
-Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
-Transfer from cookie sheet onto wire cooling rack.
-Allow to completely cool before giving to your pup.
-Store in an airtight container.

{This yields 90 1/2 teaspoon cookies, you can freeze both the dough and baked treats to use later and keep fresh longer.}


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Gift Guide: Guys

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If you're like me then gift shopping for guys is not always the easiest task.  However, I've done some research and spent a lot of time putting together a list of options for the men on your shopping list!  There's something for every guy from your boyfriend to your father to your best friend and everything on the list is under $100 except for this and this, which are splurge items.  I've got everything here from stocking stuffers, like this and this, to travel essentials like this, to cold weather necessities like these and more.  I hope that this list can help you with any of the guys you need to shop for and even give you some inspiration or other gifts throughout the year!



Friday, November 24, 2017

Holiday Skincare Tips

Who doesn't love the holiday season?!  I mean they call it the most wonderful time of the year for a reason!  There's so many fun events to attend from family gatherings to office parties to getting together with friends and more, we're all running from place to place all season long.  One thing to keep in mind is that all of this running around, partying, drinking, and indulging in sweets can definitely take a toll on our skin.  However, there's a few simple things you can do to keep your skin looking its best through the new year.  Below I've got my ten best tips for getting your best skin during the holiday season so it's the perfect accessory to any of your holiday looks!

1. Drink lots of water.
It's always important to drink water, but especially during the holidays because it is such an indulgent time.  During the holiday season a typical person eats more sugar, drinks more alcohol, and has more caffeine than usual.  I mean who can turn down all the amazing desserts, cocktails, and holiday coffees/teas that are available this time of year?  While being indulgent is fun, it's important to know that it does take a toll on your skin (sugar can cause breakouts and both alcohol and caffeine are very drying to your skin).  Drinking water helps to flush out toxins and keep everything hydrated.  Aim to drink at least eight 8 ounce glasses (64 ounces) of water a day and make sure to increase that on a day when you're a little extra indulgent (especially with the alcohol).

2. Always take off your makeup.
Another thing that's important to do all year long.  If you only do one thing for you skin please make it is this.  This is especially important during the holidays because you're more prone to sleeping in your makeup after a holiday party.  Leaving your makeup on clogs your pores, ages you, irritates your skin, and overall just makes you feel gross.  Do yourself the favor and take off your makeup no matter what, even if you just use a makeup removing wipe and don't wash the rest of your face (not that I am recommending this, but it's better than leaving your makeup on), your skin will thank you.

3. Put together a quick and simplified skincare routine for late nights.
For those late nights at holiday parties, family get togethers, etc. put together a paired down skincare routine that you can quickly do before climbing into bed.  Take off your makeup with a wipe, wash your face with gentle cleanser, and apply a moisturizer or treatment (depending on what your skin needs).  By doing this you'll save valuable time and get in bed earlier without sacrificing your skin's needs.

4. Listen to your skin.
Pay attention to what your skin needs and use products to target that.  Your skin might be behaving differently based on what you're indulging in this time of year and also your skin may be affected by the weather too.  If your skin is dry from alcohol and caffeine add a more hydrating moisturizer, if your skin is breaking out from sugar use a product with salicylic acid, and so on.  In order to keep your skin looking its best you need to be able to see what it needs and treat any issues that arise.

5. Use a sleeping mask for a quick fix.
An overnight mask is great way to quickly fix any issues your skin may be having.  Sleeping masks are gentle treatments that are meant to be left on the skin for long periods of time and therefore they do not contain any harsh ingredients.  They can treat a variety of issues from dryness to dullness to acne and more, you can find one for pretty much whatever your skin needs.  Cleanse your face like normal and then smooth on a thick layer of a sleeping mask, allow it to soak in for about ten minutes before getting it bed, and wash off in the morning.

6. Use a face mask once a week.
To keep your skin in tip-top shape it's important to do a face mask once a week, especially this time of year.  A face mask is a way to treat your skin more intensely than you have been during the rest of the week and therefore address any issues you may have noticed.  Face masks can be used to deeply clean skin, exfoliate, deliver intense hydration, and more.  If you want to get fancy you can also multi-mask to treat multiple skin issues, you can learn more about multi-masking here and here.

7. Always wear a good lip balm to sleep.
This is the time of year when lips get super chapped and crack, which is not fun or cute.  You want smooth, hydrated lips for comfort and for optimal lipstick application (especially for matte lipsticks).  Putting on a rich lip balm or mask every night before bed is a great way to show your lips some TLC and prep them for any holiday makeup looks.  My all time favorite nighttime lip balm is this, and I also love this super hydrating lip mask.

8. Use a sheet mask after a long flight or drive.
This time of year a lot of people are traveling whether to see family or take a vacation and it's really important to remember to take extra precautions for your skin to keep it looking its best.  My skin gets insanely dry when I fly so my trick is to take off my makeup and do a hydrating sheet mask as soon as I get to my hotel room (or someone's house if that's where I'm staying).  By doing this I replenish all the moisture my skin loses during the flight and help it to recover better.  If you're driving to your destination it's also a good idea to use a sheet mask once you get to your destination to give your skin a boost of hydration and deal with any stresses your skin encountered during the drive.

9. Make eye cream and under eye masks your besties.
There are lots of late nights during the holiday season, which can result in puffy, tired looking eyes.  A good eye cream and eye masks can both help to prevent and treat tired eyes.  For prevention make sure to use a hydrating eye cream at night before bed (even in that paired down routine I talked about in #3); I love this and this.  In the morning using an eye gel to cool and treat puffiness is also important, something with caffeine is great to make you look more awake, try this or a roller like this to massage the eye area.  For a more intense treatment use an eye sheet mask, I recommend using these at least once a week and then when you need a quick fix.  These are my absolute favorite eye masks and then I really want to try these too.

10. Use an illuminating primer.
If all else fails an illuminating primer can go a long way.  I love this one from Erborian because it hydrates skin, while giving it a subtle glow that blurs imperfections.  The illumination in the primer distracts from any issues you may be having and gives your skin that coveted glowy look.  Even if your skin is looking amazing from all your prep an illuminating primer is still a great product to use to make your skin look even better.

What are your best tips for getting your skin ready for the holiday season?


Today I'm linking up with Friday Favorites, and Fab Favorites.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tuesday Twenty: Gifts Under $25

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Looking for a gift under $25?  I've got you covered here with twenty adorable presents that any lady in your life is sure to love!  These are great for coworkers, friends, or anyone else you want to give a little something special to.  They are a sweet way to show your love and appreciation without spending a ton of money.  You can also pair a few of these items together for a bigger gift or even add something small to an item, like filling this with a package of the recipient's favorite coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.  I personally love all of these gifts, but I need these slippers in my life (my feet are always cold!), I'm obsessed with these earrings, and this lip balm is my absolute favorite.  No matter which ones you pick any of these will make for a fun gift and are sure to make a big hit!



Monday, November 20, 2017

Ruffles and a Pom Pom

Sweater: Ann Taylor  |  Jeans: Paige  |  Boots: Sole Society (similar here)  |  Handbag: Louis Vuitton  |  Hat: Similar here  |  Necklace: c/o Bip & Bop  |  Bracelet: Kendra Scott

Ruffles and pom pom hats are both huge for fall/winter fashion this year.  I'm a big fan of both trends and decided to combine them for this look, which is perfect for the holidays.  I'm really loving this sweet sweater from Ann Taylor and if you're looking for something more colorful it also comes in blue grey and chartreuse.  I also think that everyone needs a pair of over the knee boots for the season and while this crazy comfortable pair is from last year I found a similar pair from the same brand here.  This look works for a variety of occasions and I will definitely be wearing a few times!

I shot these pictures when I was in New York City this past weekend with a friend, which was so much fun.  I have a post coming up next week all about our trip so make sure to keep an eye out for that!  In the meantime checkout Instagram to get a sneak peek at what we did.  How was your weekend?


Today I'm linking up with #HowIFall, Hello Monday, and Weekending.