12 Days of Christmas | Day 10- Christmas Tag | 2019

Happy Day 10!! We’re getting there…just a few more days until my absolute favorite day of the year. Today’s post is my annual Christmas Tag, one of my favorite posts to do every year. So let’s jump right into it. Hope you have as much fun reading this as I did writing it. Enjoy and I’ll see you for Day 11!

What’s your favorite holiday movie? SO hard to choose just one, but a few of my favorites are Love, Actually, The Holiday, Home Alone and Christmas With The Kranks.

What’s your favorite Christmas color? Anything glittery, especially red and gold.

Do you like to stay in your PJs or dress up for Christmas? Ugly Christmas sweaters for opening presents and dressed up for the rest of the day.

Favorite Christmas smell? Anything Christmas tree or pine scented, especially candles!

Favorite Christmas treat? Literally anything with peppermint or candy canes.

What’s your favorite holiday drink? Christmas cookie martinis (recipe here) or the a Starbucks peppermint mocha.

Candy cane or gingerbread men? Candy canes!! Weirdly they’re my favorite candy.

What’s your favorite Christmas song? I don’t know how I can pick just one. Mariah Carey, Michael Buble, Pentatonix, Kelly Clarkson, Straight No Chaser- my favorites during the holidays.

Have you ever made a snowman? No! And fun fact, I’ve only ever seen snow once.

What is at the top of your list this Christmas? Probably the Carolina Herrera Good Girl or 212 Rose Gold perfume.

What is the best present you’ve ever received? A plane ticket home to see my family ❤

When do you start getting excited about Christmas? December 26th? Just kidding- but pretty early. I’d say around October.

Do you use advent calendars? Yes! Chocolate ones every year and I love making them for my friends and family as well.

Recite one line from your favorite Christmas/Holiday movie. ‘Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.” -Hugh Grant in Love, Actually

Share a funny Christmas memory. We went to church on Christmas morning one year but it was so crowded and so hot (we had to sit outside in the Singapore heat) so we left and found a Krispy Kreme instead.

Pictures with Santa…yay or nay? YAY!

Favorite winter nail polish? Red glitter.

Favorite winter lip product? MAC Frost Lipstick in “0”.

Favorite scarf? Kate Spade Manhattan Map Oblong Scarf.

Have you ever had a White Christmas? No, but a white Christmas in NYC is my absolute dream.

Do you start your Christmas shopping on Black Friday or wait until the last minute? Black Friday?? I start making my shopping list in September and start shopping soon after that. Anything to draw out the Christmas season!!

If you could be in any Christmas movie what would it be? Oooo… I would love to be Cameron Diaz in The Holiday (or any rom-com for that matter). But being in A Bad Moms Christmas would just be so much fun.

When does your family put up your Christmas tree and who decorates it? It’s a family affair! Even now that I’m in college, they FaceTime me in.

Peeking at gifts or be surprised? I hate ruining surprises and I hate when a surprise for me is ruined, so be surprised!!

Show us your ugly Christmas sweater if you have one.

Does your family have a special holiday recipe you like to help make? Yes, so many family holiday cookie recipes. But they’re within the family!

Are you a pro-present wrapper, or do you fail miserably? Up until this year I’d failed miserably and then suddenly this year I was blessed with semi-decent wrapping skills.

Have you ever gone Christmas caroling? No, but it’s up there on my Christmas bucket list.

What tops your tree? A star that we’ve used ever since I was a little girl.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you stick to them? Instead of resolutions, I make vows to myself. Things I promise I’ll do for myself and for no one else. It’s such a positive way for me to be reflective about the year that had passed and be optimistic about the year ahead, even if there are things I’m nervous, anxious or worried about.

 

12 Days of Christmas | Day 9- Festive Treats | 2019

Day 9 is going to be super super SWEET! We’re back with 12 Days and today is three of my absolute favorite festive treats. During the holidays, I love spending evenings in the kitchen whipping up something sweet and festive either to give away as a gift, to serve at a holiday party or dinner or simply just to have on hand for those after dinner sweets. Today I’m sharing three new recipes that I’ve found and modified that have quickly become some of the most delicious things I’ve made during the holidays. So read on, enjoy and hope you have the sweetest of days (okay, I’ll stop with the puns now).

Santa’s Trash Cookies

Ingredients:

♣ 1/2 cup white sugar

♣ 1/2 cup brown sugar

♣ 3/4 cup baking margarine (or butter)

♣ 1 egg

♣ 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla or almond extract

♣ 2 cups all-purpose flour

♣ 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

♣ 3/4 cup crushed potato chips

♣ 1/2 cup crushed Pocky

♣ 1/2 cup chopped colorful chocolates (like M&Ms)

♣ 1/4 cup butterscotch chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 360º and line your baking sheets. Cream the sugar and margarine together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla/almond and continue to beat on medium for 1 minute.

2. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and continue to mix until smooth and fully incorporated.

3. Add the potato chips, Pocky, chocolate pieces and butterscotch chips and fold into the dough.

4. Roll into small balls (will expand) and place on a lined baking sheet.

5. Bake for 8-9 minutes and let cool for 10 minutes before eating.

 

Christmas Cookie Martini

Inspired by: Delish

Ingredients: For 2 servings

♣ 1/2 cup Baileys

♣ 1/4 cup Amaretto or other almond liquor

♣ 1/4 Vodka

♣ 1/3 cup milk

♣ Splash of whipping cream

Directions:

1. Run two martini glasses under water and stick in freezer to frost.

2. Fill a cocktail shaker with a glass-full of ice. Add all the ingredients and shake vigorously for 2 minutes (cream should make it a bit frothy).

3. Pour into frosted glasses and garnish with a spiced holiday cookie (recipe below). Serve immediately to make some people very happy.

Spiced Holiday Cookies

Ingredients:

♣ 3/4 cup baking margarine (or butter); softened

♣ 3/4 cup brown/dark sugar

♣ 3/4 cup molasses or dark agave

♣ 1 egg

♣ 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

♣ 3 cups all-purpose flour

♣ 1 teaspoon baking soda or baking powder

♣ 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

♣ 1 teaspoons ground nutmeg

♣ 1 teaspoons all-spice

♣ 1/2 teaspoons clove

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 360º and line your baking sheets. Cream the sugar and margarine together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and molasses and continue to beat on medium for 1 minute.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, all-spice and clove into the bowl and continue to mix until smooth and fully incorporated.

4. Form into large flattened circle and wrap in cling film. Leave to chill for up to 3 hours (between 2-3 hours will work).

5. Once firm, roll out until 1/4 inch in thickness. Use festive cookie cutters to cut into shapes and place on a lined baking tray.

6. Bake for 9 minutes and leave to cool on cooling rack before serving.

 

12 Days of Christmas | Day 8- Holiday Style | 2019

It’s Day 8, and today we’re talk all about looking chic and fabulous all season long. Growing up in the tropics, there weren’t many days where I wasn’t in flip flops, a tank top and shorts, so getting to dress for fall and winter has actually been super fun (minus the part where it’s super cold and I constantly feel like my fingers are getting frostbite). So for today’s post, I wanted to share all the pieces I’ve been loving and wearing a ton this season. I love playing with different looks and switching it up every done. I’ve found some really fun new pieces lately while thrifting, so I won’t be able to link everything but I’ll look for similar pieces. Enjoy and I’ll see you for Day 9!

Olive Green Longsleeve Crop Top (Similar linked- $13.99)

Uniqlo Heattech Crew Neck Tshirt ($29.99)

Uniqlo Turtleneck in Black ($14.90)

Cotton On Graphic Crewneck (Similar linked- $20)

Sonoma Midrise Leggings in Black ($20)

Dusty Rose Leggings (Similar linked- $32.99)

Express Mid Rise Black Jean Leggings ($79.90)

H&M Super Skinny Jeggings ($19.99)

Long White Coat (Similar linked- $31.67)

Black Leather Jacket with Embroidered Flowers (Similar linked- $393)

Oversized White Knit Sweater (Similar linked- $36.99)

Rose Gold Skinny Sunglasses (Similar linked- $16.50)

Quay Vivienne Aviators in Black ($60)

Calvin Klein Hayden Saffiano Tote in White ($168)

Louis Vuitton Monogram Crossbody (Discontinued, similar linked- $1,020)

Louis Vuitton White Damier Neverfull MM with Rose Lining ($1,390)

Adidas VL Court in Aero Pink ($60)

Adidas Sleek in Periwinkle ($80)

Steve Madden Leopard Slip-ons (Used- $35)

Steve Madden Gills Grey Suede ($84)

12 Days of Christmas | Day 7- Under $20 Stocking Stuffers | 2019

Hello everyone and welcome back to 12 Days! I’ve been in gift and present overload these last few days buying and wrapping gifts for all my family and friends. There’s nothing I love more than a day out shopping, looking for all the perfect little bits and bobs to give them. Today’s post is my Under $20 Stocking Stuffers, all the little things you need ti complete your Christmas Gifting for 2019. As much fun as it is finding bigger items to gift to people, I also love finding cute little things that make perfect stocking stuffers. So if you’re trying to finish up your holiday shopping by finding some small items, you’re in the right place. So read on, enjoy and I’ll talk to you soon! xx

Champagne Bottle Ornament from Anthropology ($16)

Shea Hydrating Lip Mask from Sephora ($3)

Bawdy Flaunt It Butt Sheet Mask from Sephora ($8; on sale now for $4)

Adorn Pyramid Bath Bomb (scent: Matcha Detox) from Urban Outfitters ($8; now on sale for $6)

6 Piece Exfoliating Sugar Scrub Cubes from Macy’s ($12)

Damn Girl! Mascara Ornament from Too Faced ($13; on sale now for $10)

Opalite Crystal Skincare Tool Duo from Urban Outfitters ($20)

Let It Snow Shimmer Bar from Lush ($8.95)

Urban Renewal Heart Twist Accessory Set from Urban Outfitters ($5)

Lele Pons x Tarte Tartist Pro Lashes from Tarte ($12)

California Love Eyeshadow Palette from Ulta ($18)

Velvet Hair Scrunchie Set from Urban Outfitters ($12)

Wave Hair Travel Spray from Ouai ($12)

Best Wishes Gift Set from Lush ($19.95)

3 1/2″ Mini Skillet from Amazon ($4.99)

Rapid Ramen Cooker from Amazon ($7.99)

Reindeer Picture Frame from Crate and Barrel ($19.95; on sale now for $12.97)

Stainless Steel Straws, Set of 4 from Crate and Barrel ($6.95)

Good as Gold, Basil Citron Candle from Macy’s ($19)

Champagne Toast Single Wick Candle from Bath and Body Works ($14.50)

Rose Quartz Crystal Stones from Urban Outfitters ($12)

Gingerbread Ground Coffee from World Market ($8.99; on sale now for $4.49)

Ahmad Rea Bauble Collection Gift from World Market ($12.99; on sale now for $6.49)

Champagne Bears Cube from Sugarfina ($8.95)

Pink Chocolate Baby Rose Chocolate Bar from Sugarfina ($9.95)

Bistro Monogram Mug from Nordstrom ($12; on sale now for $8)

Monogram Agate Coaster from Nordstrom ($16; on sale now for $11.20)

NEST Fragrances Votive Candle from Nordstrom ($16)

LED Light Up Marquee Initial Ornaments from Macy’s ($16; on sale now for $4.99)

 

 

12 Days of Christmas | Day 6- The Out-of-the-Ordinary Gift Guide | 2019

Hello hello, and welcome to Day 6 of 12 Days! Today I’m back with a super fun, super different post for you all. It’s my Out-of-the-Ordinary Gift Guide for 2019. Now don’t get confused, this isn’t the same as my 2019 Gift Guide that I did for Day 1, this is different. Getting to open a present that’s wrapped in a perfect box or bag under the tree is always so much fun, but that’s not always for everyone. Or maybe you’re looking to do something different or more impactful this year for your friends and family. This post is filled with all the gifts you could give to make this Christmas one to remember. So read on, enjoy and I’ll see you for Day 7!

FabFitFun is my absolute favorite subscription box ever (you probably know because I literally talk about this in every single post). It costs $49.99 for a single box or $179.99 for a one year subscription (four boxes). The seasonal boxes are filled with everything related to beauty, skincare, fitness and all the essential for a fab lifestyle. Each box is worth between $250-$300, even though you only pay max $50 for it. This would be such a fun gift to give, and will make Christmas come four times a year!

◊ If you’re looking for a smaller, less pricey beauty subscription box, Ipsy is another one of my favorites. It’s the first subscription I ever got for myself, and costs $10 a month or $110 a year. Their small bags are filled with 5 mini makeup and beauty products, so it’s great for testing out new products before purchasing the full-size one (and to be honest, the mini sizes actually last quite a while). Each month also comes in a newly designed pouch that is perfect for different uses. Such a cute gift idea, especially for a college girl!

◊ The Allure Beauty Box is another great beauty-themed subscription gift for a loved one. It costs $15/month, $39.95/3 months or $150/year. This award winning box is filled with items picked out by the Allure staff, so they must all be great, right? Duh! It’s a great idea for something into high fashion and beauty who you just don’t know how to shop for. And if you purchase a subscription right now, you get a free started box as well!

◊ Finally, Boxycharm is another amazing subscription service. At $25/month (or less for longer subscriptions), you get four full-sized makeup, beauty or skincare products that are worth over $125. With products from brands like Tarte, First Aid Beauty, GlamGlow and Natasha Denona, this box will have your loved one feeling oh-so glam all year round. Another perfect and fun subscription box as a Christmas gift!

Donations: Maybe you’re looking for a gift for someone who isn’t really into things, but would appreciate a donation made in their name. Here are some of my favorite organizations that do such amazing work in this world, and who could use a little extra support around the holidays. A donation in your loved one’s name can make such a meaningful gift for someone on Christmas.

Bunny’s Buddies is run by an American couple who saves dogs from meat trucks and kill shelters in South Korea and China. Once these dogs are rescued, they match them with their perfect adopted parents in the US and give them a lifelong home. You can donate through their donation link on their website, purchase items for them through their Amazon wish list or (the easiest) donate through their Venmo @bunnysbuddies. Give the gift of saving dogs!

◊ The National Eating Disorder Association does so much to help fight the stigma against this mental illness. They also offer a 24/7 support hotline for those in need. They have created a community for those who don’t feel like they have anyone to support them. If someone you know has struggled with an ED or has been personally impacted in some way by this illness, a donation to NEDA would be so meaningful.

The Colton Underwood Legacy Foundation was founded by the former Bachelor, Colton Underwood, in the fight against Cystic Fibrosis. Inspired by his young cousin, his foundation raises money to gift CF ‘vests’ to young individuals in need around the country. So if you’re looking for a gift for someone who love The Bachelor and also wants to do something more meaningful during the holidays, a donation to this foundation would be perfect.

This one was short and sweet, but there’s lot’s more to come!! So thanks for reading, stay tuned and I’ll see you for Day 7! xx

12 Days of Christmas | Day 3- Holiday Movie Night | 2019

There’s nothing more cozy about the winter and holiday season than cuddling up on the couch on a cold evening with a Christmas movie playing. Today’s post is going to be the ultimate holiday movie night, filled with movies, treats and everything else that will make you feel oh-so Christmassy.

I’m such a sucker for classic Christmas movies, but I also love all the lovey dovey, romantic holiday movies. There’s nothing more magical than a feel-good movie on to get you in the holiday mood. In years past I’ve done posts fully dedicated to my favorite holiday movies, and for the most part they haven’t changed. But here are my go-to holiday favorites that I will watch year after year without ever getting bored…

♦ Santa Clause (1, 2, and 3)

♦ Home Alone (1 and 2)

♦ A Christmas Prince (and the sequels)

♦ The Holiday

♦ Deck the Halls

♦ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

♦ Let It Snow

♦ Love Actually

♦ Christmas with the Kranks

♦ New Year’s Eve (not exactly Christmas, but close enough)

♦ Serendipity

♦ Bad Moms Christmas

♦ Bad Santa

♦ Elf

And what’s a holiday movie night without Christmassy treats to go along with it? I always have to have a mug of hot chocolate, complete with peppermint whipped cream and a candy cane. I know it’s kind of a cheat, but my go-to is always the Swiss Miss instant packets with the little marshmallows. They’re super handy and easy to use in a dorm room. And for the peppermint whipped cream, I always get the one from Target ($4.29). Or if I’m in the mood for something a little more, the Jolly G. Boots spiked eggnog (I found this bottle at CVS) is SOOO good. If I’m feeling super super lazy, I’ll pick up a peppermint hot chocolate or the caramel brûlée latte (one of my all-time favorite holiday Starbucks drinks) from Starbucks to bring back for my festive movie night.

To go along with the festive drinks, I love splurging on those really awful frosted sugar cookies that are weirdly delicious. And the Pillsbury Christmas tree sugar cookies that you can just stick in the oven (or dorm hack: you can microwave them) are never a bad idea. I always have to have candy canes (which are legitimately one of my all time favorite candies, no joke) on hand during a movie night or just any time during the holiday season. Another treat that I found at Target and absolutely love are the white chocolate, peppermint pretzel sticks. They’re deliciously creamy and minty and so unbelievable easy to eat.

That’s all for Day 3. Hope you get all the cozy movie nights in you’re hoping for this season, see you for Day 4! xx

12 Days of Christmas | Day 2- Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide | 2019

Welcome to Day 2 of 12 Days! This is my third year of Blogmas, and each year one of my favorite posts to share is my gift guide. One of my favorite parts about the holiday season is shopping for gifts and presents for my family and friends. There’s nothing that makes me more happy than starting my shopping list to find things that I hope everybody will love. I’ve already found a bunch of amazing gifts for my family (won’t share them all/too specifically because I don’t want to spoil any surprises) and have found so many other fun present ideas along the way. So if you’re still working on your list for this year, you’re in the right place! Enjoy, happy shopping and see you for Day 3 xx

For the beauty guru…

♥ The Carolina Herrera Good Girl Set ($122) will never disappoint as a gift. The set includes an 80mL bottle of the Good Girl perfume and a 100mL bottle of her scented leg shimmer oil. With a beautifully chic scent, the fragrance is perfect for a winter night out. The shimmer oil will add a sheer glow to any part of your body during the cold winter days or out int he sun during the summer.

♥ The Urban Decay Honey Naked Palette ($49) was released fairly recently and is a must-have for any makeup junkie’s collection. Filled with a combination of matte and glitter golds and yellows, it’s the perfect palette to pop into for a fun holiday look. You can also go for the Honey Pot Set ($59), which includes the mini honey palette, eyeshadow primer, their 24/7 eye pencil and a mini setting spray, or the Honey Drop Vault ($115) if you really want to spoil a loved one, which includes the full palette, eyeshadow primer, lip plumper, sparkling body powder and the all night setting spray.

♥ Another smaller, fun gift (and would also make a great stocking stuffer) is the InnisFree Lip Balm Party Trio ($24). It’s a set of three lightweight lip balms coming in small squeezy tubes. They come in the shades wild hibiscus, very berry tea and wedding peach tea, so will have you covered for any occasion or look.

♥ The Kate Somerville ExfoliKate ($75, $85 and $175 options) is one of my all-time favorite face cleansers/exfoliators. It’s been deemed Hollywood’s best two-minute facial, and I would vouch for that completely. But since it’s on the pricier side, it makes it hard to buy for yourself. Anyone who appreciates a good skincare routine would absolutely die to unwrap this on Christmas!

♥ Too Faced always makes the most adorable (and yummy smelling) products for the holidays. As a makeup lover myself (and someone who has received a few of these holiday products as a gift) these make the perfect Christmas present. This year, their Hot Buttered Rum mini palette ($25), the Christmas Cookie House Party set ($58) and the Let It Snow, Girl! set ($49) stood out as their best products this season, all of which would make a perfect gift or stocking stuffer. I also LOVE their Gingerbread Extra Spicy palette ($49), and all of their products smell heavenly.

For the fashion queen…

♥ Since it’s winter, and a fashion lover can never have too many scarves, the Kate Spade Manhattan Map scarf ($88) would made a darling gift. It has black ends with baby pink as the main color so can be worn day or night. The printed map of Manhattan would also make a beautiful hanging tapestry, it’s basically a 2-in-1. A beautiful gift that any lovely lady would be over the moon for on Christmas morning.

♥ For anyone who loves fashion and all that comes with it, a coffee table book to put all for all their guests to flip through. Vanity Fair 100 Years ($64.89), Louis Vuitton: The Birth of Modern Luxury ($47.81) and Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style ($90) are would all make for a really fun Christmas gift for the fashion guru you love so much.

♥ This would definitely constitute as a luxury gift, but anyone who loves fashion would be ecstatic to receive the Louis Vuitton Damier Azur Neverfull ($1,470). It’s an absolutely iconic bag and is such a beautiful piece to add to any outfit. There’s also something so special about getting your first Louis Vuitton or designer bag, it just makes you feel so grown up. So if you’re shopping for someone close to you who you’re really wanting to spoil, the class LV Neverfull will always be a showstopping gift.

Jet Set Candy is one of my absolute favorite jewelry brands. They take airport tags, travel quotes and the landmarks of cities/countries all around the world and turn them into bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings that are beyond beautiful. I’ve gotten a couple of their pieces as gifts and they’re always so meaningful. This would be a perfect gift for someone who loves wearing small statement pieces and has found passion and love in jetting off.

♥ Everything in the Becca Tilley x Bar III Macy’s collection is absolutely stunning and so much fun. Their pieces range from everyday to a night out and a NYE party. Any of those pieces would make such a great gift for someone who loves dressing up and playing with new, fun and unique pieces with pops of color. The Double-Breasted Duster Jacket ($129.50) is one of my favorite pieces from the line (definitely on my Christmas list) and would make such a fun gift. It’s a beautiful pink coat with a red lining that will make you stand out in the winter crowd.

For the chef…

♥ Food 52’s Marble Mortar & Pestle ($90, $135 and $170 options) will add a sophisticated pop to any chef’s kitchen. Made from white Italian marble and black granite, this mortar and pestle can be used to grind spices and herbs or to make sauces and butters. It’s a beautiful piece to add to the kitchen who will have your loved one feeling chic AF.

♥ This Gourmet Oil Dipping Spice Kit ($38) from Uncommon Goods would make a super fun gift for your foodie friend. Coming with 15 different herbs and spices, it’s a great way for the chef to play around with new and different flavors. It comes in a large tin storage container with 15 individual tins of flavor.

♥ There’s nothing that would make a chef feel more special than a Personalized Cutting Board ($44.99) from Etsy. It comes in a variety of sizes so you can pick the perfect size for your loved one. Whether they use it as an actual cutting board or just as a decorative piece in their kitchen or dining room, it’s such a fun representation of their love for cooking and the kitchen. No chef wouldn’t love this as a Christmas gift.

♥ David Chang’s Momofuku: A Cookbook ($27.99) is the perfect gift for someone who loves bringing the New York food scene right to their own home. Filled with some of Momofuku’s most popular and famous recipes, it gives the reader’s a little insight into the mind of chef David Chang. And if you’re shopping for someone who’s more of a baker, then the Momofuku Milk Bar: A Cookbook ($17.99) by Christina Tosi would also make a great gift, and make you drool uncontrollably.

♥ Any true chef knows the importance of having a good knife set. The Global 7 Piece Ikasu Knife Set ($299.95) would make a really meaningful gift. This Japanese-made set includes 6 knives and a bamboo knife block with acrylic sides for safety. These knives made of high carbon stainless steel are just what a chef needs for all of their prep needs.

For the active one…

♥ Anyone who works out or loves to be active NEEDS a good water bottle to keep with them. Hydroflasks are my absolute favorite water bottles, and I’ve really never met someone who doesn’t like it. All of their products would make great gifts, but their 21oz standard mouth ($35.99) models are so compact while holding a lot of liquids and is easy to take with you anywhere. The perfect, practical gift for the sporty one.

♥ If you’re shopping for someone who loves starting or ending their day with a run, then a cute pair of running shoes would make a perfect gift for them. The APL TechLoom Bliss sneakers ($200) in dusty rose are the most elegant pair of running shoes. These are lace-less sneakers with a satin elastic strap that makes these super easy to slip on and off. Any woman who loves looking fashionable while they run will love this as a gift.

♥ To help your friend stay warm and cozy on their morning trips to their gym or workout friend, the Adidas Half-Zip Sweatshirt ($70) in black will do just the trick. This classic piece can be worn during workouts or just on a day-to-day basis if your loved one is into that athleisure vibe. If you’re looking for more of a pop of color, this also comes in red, navy and a dusty rose.

♥ The TRX Home2 System ($165.95) is a great gift for someone who loves to stay active and fit but barely has any free time, or someone who loves to get in their quick workouts from home. The TRX can be suspended from any stable anchor in the house. This set comes with the suspension trainer, a door and suspension anchor, a mesh carry bag and a one-year subscription to the TRX app to make their workouts just that much easier.

♥ If your loved one loves making a smoothie or protein shake after their workouts, the NutriBullet ($59.99) would make for a great gift. It’s fairly small and portable so doesn’t take up much counter or storage space. It also comes with a 24oz and 18ox cup attachments that fit right on to the blender to make their life super easy.

For the entertainer…

♥ If you’re finding a gift for someone who loves to entertain, have people over or throw dinner parties, the Crosley Cruiser Record Player ($99) from West Elm would make an amazing gift. Coming in a tweed and navy color, it’s the perfect addition to any get together. It has a suitcase-like case that makes it portable and easy to move around and makes for a great conversation starter.

♥ What better way to impress your guests than concocting some funky cocktails for happy hour. The Kate Spade Nolita Cocktail set ($100) paired with the Nolita Cocktail Shaker ($50) will allow you to whip up a drink while looking as chic as ever. It’s a four piece set that comes with an acrylic stand and, in true Kate Spade fashion, has beautifully crafted dual-toned handles. It’s the perfect gift for the leading lady who wants to impress.

♥ To go along with the cocktail set (or just as its own gift), the Spade Clover Stemless Flute set ($100) is another darling gift to give someone. This set of four glasses is perfect for a casual champagne toast or to cheers your cocktail creations. Decorated with little spades, these flutes made with European crystal will add a classy little pop to your dinners, get-togethers and parties.

♥ If your shopping for someone who loves to go over-the-top for their guests, then the Crate and Barrel French Kitchen Marble 2-Tier Server ($59.95) would make a lovely present. This elevated, marble server will make your dinner table feel oh-so luxurious and will have guests oo-ing and ah-ing. So if your loved one loves going all in for their guests, this would be the perfect gift for them to serve their appetizers, canapés and desserts on.

♥ There’s no better way to end a dinner party than with a chocolate fountain. So why not gift this Koolatron 3 Tier Chocolate Fountain (now on sale for $62.99) to your favorite hostess (and hopefully you’ll reap some rewards from it as well). I don’t know about you, but if I had people over for dinner or a party, I would feel so incredibly cool pulling out a beautiful chocolate fountain at the end of the evening, and I’m sure any entertainer would too.

For the homebody…

♥ If you’re shopping for someone who loves a good face mask, or maybe a good variety of face masks, then the Peter Thomas Roth Mix, Mask & Hydrate 6-piece set ($75) will do just the trick. PTR’s face masks are amazing and this set has everything from hydrating to purifying and clarifying to cellular repair. This set gives you 6 50mL full-size containers of their best and most popular masks. Perfect for a night at home in the tub.

♥ One of my friends recently got the Google Home Mini ($49) and absolutely loves it. You can connect it to your phone and control so many things from your music to your lighting from your device. If you’re gifting for someone who loves their cozy home time, this would make for such a fun Christmas present. If you’re looking for a step up, the Google Home ($99) is their other range of smart devices that has even more features and will help your loved one stay organized throughout their day at home.

♥ What better way to stay cozy at home than with a giant Arm Knitting Blanket (on sale for $69 right now) to snuggle up with on your couch. This big pink (also comes in other colors) throw comes in multiple sizes, ranging from 50×50 cm to 100×100 cm. There’s nothing more comforting than bundling up on the couch on a cold or snowy winter day under a big knit blanket with a Christmas movie on and a mug of hot chocolate. A homebody’s dream.

♥ If you’re looking for a gift for someone who works from home (we love that #girlboss life), the Sherpa Superstudy Lapdesk (now on sale for $55) would make such a cute and useful gift. It comes in light pink, baby blue and grey colors with a white wood top and a soft, plushy bottom. It’ll make working from the couch so much easier, cuter and comfier.

♥ The Herbivore Calm relaxing spa gift set ($120) is the perfect gift for someone who loves a good pamper session at home. It comes with a pink bkr water bottle, a bottle of bath salts, a pink clay cleansing bar, a body scrub, the cutest candle and a container of little matches. There’s nothing that this gift set doesn’t have that anyone would need for the perfect spa night (except for maybe a bottle of wine…).

12 Days of Christmas|Day 12- The Perfect Christmas |2018

So here we are, Merry Christmas! Can’t believe how fast December has gone, actually can’t believe how fast the year has gone. It’s the last day of 12 Days and I couldn’t think of a better way to end it than to share with you all how to have the perfect Christmas. And when I say perfect, I really mean imperfect because I believe perfection lies in the imperfections of everyday. I’ve put together all my recipes, tips and tricks to having the most magical day ever.

The Perfect Christmas Morning:

You know that quote, “I’m only a morning person on Christmas”, well that could not be more accurate. Ever since my sister and I were tiny humans, we would run into each others rooms early on Christmas morning and then run downstairs to see what Santa had left us in our stockings. Our excitement would eventually wake our parents and grandparents up and we would sit around the living room by the tree opening our stockings. After that, we all head into the kitchen to make our Christmas breakfast, pancakes, fruit, hot chocolate and egg nog. Once the dishes have been cleared and washed, we’ll go back to the tree and open all of our presents while sipping on more egg nog and listening to Christmas music. It’s always the most chill, relaxed but exciting morning of the year.

Christmas Traditions:

Each family always has their own Christmas traditions, and I think that carrying those for generations hold so much meaning. But I also think that coming up with new traditions to pass on to your kids and grandkids are so special. Every year for Christmas my grandma made her special ‘holiday nugget’ cookies (our family recipe), and as I got older I began to carry on that tradition as well. My family has all the little things we do on Christmas that we’ve pretty much done my whole life, and carrying on those traditions no matter where we are always makes the day extra special. Traditions are rooted in family, remember to be thankful to have been blessed with your family, Christmas is rooted in family.

Fun Things To Do On Christmas Day:

  1. Play a big board game with your family
  2. Watch a Christmas movie (Santa Clause and Love Actually are always SO GOOD on Christmas day) and cuddle up with Christmas cookies and peppermint hot chocolate
  3. Play with all your new presents. I know this sounds like something kids do, but I promise everyone wants to sit there and try/check out all their new goodies
  4. Go look at all the Christmas lights and decorations around your neighborhood (or wherever you are)
  5. Shop!! I know this sounds crazy, but post-Christmas sales are the real deal
  6. Cook dinner…and try out a new recipe while you’re at it (festive recipes down below:)
  7. Festive crafts and DIYS- make paper snowflakes, homemade ornaments or DIY decorations… and you’ll be getting a start for next year
  8. Build a gingerbread house, bake some Christmas cookies, get your sweet tooth ready
  9. Lounge around all day in your Christmas PJs or ugly Christmas sweaters… you deserve it!

Festive Recipes:

The Perfect Cheese Platter: 

Is there any other way to start a Christmas meal than with an over-the-top cheese platter?! To start off, grab a large board. Pick out 3-4 cheese of your choosing. My motto when it comes to cheese is the stinkier the better, but to each their own. Get different kinds of crackers or slices of a baguette and lay out on the board. Now arrange the blocks of cheese in the center. Fill up the open spaces with slices of fruit, bunches of grapes, jams or honeys and nuts. Always have a sweet and salty element on your board. And of course… serve with wine:)

Tapas Varieties:

One thing my family has started doing over the past few years is different kinds of tapas during festive meals. Tapas is the Spanish word for small plate/appetizer. Usually, we do these on slices of baguette or simply on crackers. Our go-to is a thin slice of baguette, garlic yoghurt, caramelized onions, grilled red peppers, prosciutto, a slice of camembert with sugar and bruleed with a blow torch (absolutely to die for). Others we have done are a slice of chorizo with asparagus and aioli, crab salad with avocado and caviar, as well as prosciutto, blue cheese, pear, honey and black pepper. These are so easy to make ahead of time and in bulk and are always the first to go at any dinner or gathering.

Grilled Garlic Prawns:

Ingredients:

Large/tiger prawns

6 cloves garlic

Flat-leaf parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Carefully split the prawns in half, you can leave the head on or you can remove it and use it to make a prawn head oil.
  2. Season with salt, pepper and any other desired herbs.
  3. In a large pan, heat butter and garlic on high heat until butter bubbles. Put prawns in the hot pan (meat side down). Cook 2 minutes, flip, and cook another two minutes.
  4. Serve hot with fresh parsley to garnish.

Roasts:

Roasts are always the perfect center piece for a festive meal. Whether it’s turkey, chicken, pork belly or ribs, theres always a way to make it a little more Christmassy. Try spices like clove, all-spice, ginger, star anise, nutmeg and cinnamon as your dry rub. If you have access to it, using fresh spices (like whole cinnamon sticks) can do wonders. Adding a little bit of sweetness using oranges or cranberries is another way to amp up your roast.

Easiest-Ever Tiramisu:

One of the desserts I made this year was a tiramisu. I always thought that it was a technical and difficult dessert to make, but it couldn’t be easier. This boozy, creamy dessert will be a hit!

Ingredients:

Lady fingers or pound cake

1 1/2 cups strong coffee

1/3 cup Kahlua (coffee liquer)

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup marscapone

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Cocoa powder, for dusting

Directions:

  1. Start by whipping the cream with the powdered sugar and a dash of vanilla essence. Once soft peaks are formed, fold in the marscapone. Set aside.
  2. Mix coffee and Kahlua in a shallow tin. If you’re using pound cake, cut into strips the size of your container.
  3. To assemble: Start with a thin layer of the cream at the bottom of a clear class container.
  4. Dip your cake or lady fingers in the coffee mixture and form one layer.
  5. Add cream on top and spread evenly. Repeat this process until you’re done.
  6. Refrigerate for a few hours or over night. Before serving, dust with cocoa powder.

Brandy Snap Canoli (A take on Jamie Oliver’s recipe):

Ingredients:

1/2 cup brown sugar

5 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup Hennessy (brandy)

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup marscapone

1/4 cup dark chocolate

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup candied nuts (pecans or walnuts work best)

Orange, to zest

Directions:

  1. To make the shells of the canoli, bring the brown sugar, butter and syrup to boil in a pan (until it becomes a silky caramel).
  2. Pour the caramel into a mixture of flour and baking soda. Mix until well combined. Add brandy and mix it in.
  3. Scoop spoon full of the mixture onto a baking sheet (with lot’s of space in between) and bake at 375 degrees for 7 1/2 minutes.
  4. Once baked, leaved to cool for exactly 90 seconds, then shape around a wooden spoon or rolling pin until set.
  5. Set the shells aside until ready to fill and eat.
  6. For the filling, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Then add marscapone and gently fold in.
  7. Add chopped chocolate, cranberries and nuts to the mixture and grate in half of the orange zest. Gently mixed.
  8. Right before eating, put the filling in a piping bag and fill the shells.
  9. Serve topped with powdered sugar and orange zest.

And with that I’m signing off for 2018. Thank you for an amazing year, can’t wait to see all the next has to offer.

Happy new year and I’ll see you in 2019!! xx

12 Days of Christmas|Day 11- Winter Favorites |2018

Hi lovelies! Can you believe we’re already at day 11 and that it’s almost Christmas…CRAZY! For the second to last day of 12 Days, I thought I’d put together my winter favorites, everything I’ve been loving this season. These are all things that have gotten me through this crazy (but super fun!!) holiday season. Enjoy!! xx

 

Favorite NEW product- Jade Roller from Sherrie Matthews

Favorite clothing item- Reindeer Ugly Christmas Sweater from Amazon

Favorite store- Cotton On, H&M and Forever 21 have been my go-to’s for all my winter clothes

Favorite nail polish color- Glittery gold!

Favorite accessory- Kate Spade ‘Glitter Is My Favorite Color’ bracelet

Favorite beauty product- Doucce Beauty Luscious Lip Stain in Dark Lust

Favorite haircare product- Marrakesh Oil from Marrakesh

Favorite skincare product- Tarte’s Maracuja Oil has been my skin’s saving grace

Favorite scent- Daisy by Marc Jacobs

Favorite movie- Love Actually

Favorite TV show- Fuller House (season 5!)

Favorite song- ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ by Pentatonix

Favorite app- Head Space and Recovery Record

Favorite drink- White peppermint hot chocolate or Matcha latte from Starbucks

Favorite food- Christmas cookies!!

 

See you on Day 12 (how crazy is that…)!!