Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bye Bye 2014

This is my last post of 2014. I didn't think I would be spending NYE in bed with a cold, but at least it's given me time to reflect and think back on what a year it has been. And what a year it has been! 3 jobs, 3 apartments... I crossed some things off that were on my 2014 bucketlist (like earning a belt in martial arts, and learning how to use a slow cooker.) I'm thankful for the lessons learned this year (like renew your car registration on time and make sure the DMV has your most updated mailing address...) So long, 2014. And thanks.

I'm looking forward to what 2015 will bring. I'm grateful for the (few) people who I know follow along with my blog and take the time to read what I have to say, or comment, or say hi on social media. Connecting with each of you means so much to me, and I'm excited for what the new year will bring in terms of deepening friendships and making new ones. I'm excited to continue to be creative, and to let my creativity flow even more. Thank you for being a part of this journey with me and I wish you and your loved ones so much happiness and fulfillment in 2015. May it be a great year!

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant." - Robert Louis Stevenson

Monday, December 29, 2014

Metallic Trim Dress

Happy Monday, everyone! Can you believe that Christmas is over already?! I sure can't. Once Christmas Eve arrives, I feel like life is on fast forward until New Year's Eve... don't you?  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday full of family, friends and good food. 

I like to keep things pretty basic and no-fuss when I get dressed, even during the holidays. I found this dress at Nordstrom and fell in love with the metallic trim around the collar, arms and hem. I might wear this dress on New Year's Eve (if I get over this cold I came down with in time for an evening of festivities.)

The metallic trim is really fun for this time of year. Just because Christmas is over doesn't mean the holiday wear gets put away just yet! This dress is versatile and can pass as a day-time outfit since it's so comfortable and easy to move in, as well as a dressier night-time outfit with the fun trim. I love the material. It's soft and breathable. Just glam up your makeup, add a leather jacket and a cute clutch and you've transformed an easy day-time dress to something evening ready.

While we're on the subject of clothes... do any of you loathe wearing tights? Seriously, I used to hate wearing tights (especially as a child when my mom would suggest I wear them to church or school) but you guys... I've had a revelation. Tights are amazing if you just buy them one size UP from your usual size! I always thought they were so uncomfortable and, well, tight, and the material always stretched too thin across my legs so I didn't get the darker, opaque look that I was going for. Well, low and behold, I bought a size up in these H&M tights and I am singing their praises because they are amazing. I want to wear them with everything. 

And now I will end the saga that is this post. I hope everyone has a great week!

Dress: Soprano from Nordstrom | Bag: Kate Spade | Tights: H&M | Shoes: Unlisted from DSW
(you've seen me wear these shoes here)

A big thanks to Molly for taking these photos!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Holiday Blog Post Round-Up!

Hello friends! It's here... Christmas Eve, can you believe it?! I hope you get to spend some quality time with friends, family, loved ones, furry babies, etc. today and during this holiday season. There is always a lot going on at this time of year but it's almost at its end. Take a step back, relax, breathe and enjoy! Before you know it you'll blink, and Christmas will be over!!

Today I'm sharing with you 5 favorite holiday posts from this year. I've been following all of these bloggers for years and years except for the last, which I just discovered recently.

Because I recently joined the blogging community myself in May of this year, I've been introduced to many more wonderful blogs in the last few months. I hope in 2015 to actually meet some of the people that inspire me every day!

Here are my favorite blogging holiday moments from 2014:

1. Apple Cider Donuts from Emily at Cupcakes and Cashmere.
One of my favorite trips this year was with SH on our vacation to Illinois. While we were there, I went to my very first apple orchard and we ate TONS of apple donuts, so you can imagine my excitement at the idea of recreating these delicious things in my very own home!!! I seriously cannot wait to tackle this recipe. Thanks for sharing, Emily!!

2. When Rachel of Pink Peonies announced that she was pregnant in this post.
Oh my gosh you guys, I just FREAKED out. Partially, because I had this weird feeling that Rachel might be pregnant.. She was posting less pictures of herself and more collages... I just had this weird inkling, you know?! So when this hunch was in fact confirmed, I was ecstatic. Congratulations to this beautiful little family and one of my all time favorite bloggers!! You are such a beautiful mommy!

3. Marianna's handmade card for her friend. SERIOUSLY?! This is so cute, I just die.

4. Julia of Gal Meets Glam's feather top and red lip? Swoon. See the ridiculously beautiful Christmas post here.

5. When Alyssa the Runway Chef posted these amazingly beautiful and delicious looking home-made cranberry poptarts... all of my taste buds exploded longingly from just looking at them

Merry Christmas Eve, blogger friends, readers, family and friends! Thank you for your support! If you enjoy reading my blog and want to give me the bestest Christmas present ever, please follow me on one of my social media channels (or all of them and REALLY give me the bestest Christmas gift ever! It's an honor to share this journey with all of you and I truly appreciate all the love.) 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holiday Pause

The holidays can be such a time of stress and frustration. There's the hustle and bustle of busy and over crowded malls. The never ending to-do lists. Trying to stretch your budget to include everyone on your Christmas list. It can be exhausting! I know that I try to do it all this time of year- all of the shopping, wrapping, drinking hot cocoa, cuddling by the fire, watching Christmas movies, listening to Christmas music, putting up Christmas decorations, mailing Christmas cards, etc.

But in the busyness of it all, it's important to remember what this season means for each of us individually and for our families. Today I would like to challenge you to take a moment to remember what the spirit of Christmas is all about for you. And if you don't celebrate Christmas, perhaps reflect on what this holiday season means and what the new year coming means for you.

Whatever your religious beliefs are, whether you celebrate for the birth of Christ or celebrate without a religious stance, take a deep breath and be still for a moment. Take in the sights, sounds, and smells. Think of all you have accomplished this year. Think of all that you've done. Think of the months that have passed- the moments of sorrow, joy, happiness, peace, contentment, gratitude- that you've lived through.

Around Christmas time I am always surprised at how quickly the new year seems to pop up. I hope for myself and for all of you that we may begin a new year with peace and contentment. That we may be thankful for what we have, while actively reaching toward our goals, hopes and dreams. I hope we can be in awe and appreciation of what we have already accomplished. I hope we can be excited for what is to come. I hope we can rejoice in our friendships and loved ones. I hope we can remember the lessons and hardships that were overcome in this year. And if you are still enduring a time of hardship or need, I hope that the time of healing passes quickly (though usually it doesn't feel like it does.)

From my home to yours, my sincerest wishes for you and your loved ones to have a happy and healthy holiday season. Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Last Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers by lovecoffeetea 

 Good morning everyone and happy Christmas week!! Here are some last minute stocking stuffer ideas for him and her. I put things that I don't always love buying for myself (like hairspray, highlighters or shampoo) but would gladly accept as a gift! :) I also included some fun things for him like mismatched Christmas socks and cooking spices. Happy holidays and let's start this week off right! May we have love in our hearts, Christmas cheer on our minds, and enjoy the last week and a half of 2014!! 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

5 DIY Last minute Christmas gifts that don't suck

Good morning everyone! I don't usually post on Saturdays but let's face it, we're down to the Christmas wire, here. Five days until Christmas and who's (not) counting? There is probably someone on your list that you haven't gotten a gift for yet. That's okay, we all go through the last minute panic at some point in our lives. So, to help you out, I've compiled a list of DIY gifts that don't suck. You can do it in time for Christmas, I know you can!

1. Burlap Christmas Wreath. We've talked about this already, so I'll keep it short and sweet. I loved making these wreaths and you can read more about how to make them in my post here.

2. Hot Cocoa Gift Basket. I had the idea for a s'mores kit, but then it didn't seem very practical with the winter and people probably not camping (unless people wanted to roast them at home in their fireplace... is that a thing?) Anyway so from s'mores I thought "well, what DO people eat at the holidays? Of course! Hot cocoa!" I stumbled upon an adorable basket on this blog and I just LOVE this idea. I think it's adorable how she put the hot cocoa powder in a jar with chocolate chips and peppermint, though I've honestly never put either in my hot chocolate. She also incorporated homemade marshmallows which... ain't nobody got time for that! This is last minute gifting, people! So I would probably use store bought ones (sorry) and they would be equally cute in a jar.

3. Chalkboard Sign. Take an old frame or buy one at Marshall's for $4, paint the glass with chalkboard paint and BOOM. Tres Chic. See here and here for inspiration and tips.

4. Teacup Light a la Martha Stewart. See her instructions here.

5. Movie Night Gift Basket. Head to Target, buy a $5 flick (or get fancy with a blu ray,) a box of popcorn, a candy (Twizzlers, Kit Kat, and Pretzel M&Ms being some of my favorites,) a bottle of soda, put it in a cute basket or box and you're good to go!

How cute are these ideas, you guys?! I almost wish all of my Christmas shopping/ gift making wasn't done so that I'd have an excuse to make these.

Runner Up Gift Idea:

Money in a Tissue Box. If you know you're giving someone money for Christmas, (a niece or nephew, perhaps?) Why not make it fun and cutesy? This money in a tissue box idea is RAD. Kids will love it!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tips & Tricks: 5 Lovely Links

As someone who is trying to navigate her twenties with (some) semblance of grace, I appreciate articles that give me tips and tricks on just... living life! Because let's face it, we all need a little bit of help from seasoned veterans from time to time.  So, I've compiled a short list of articles I thought you all might appreciate. (Note, most of these links were sent to me at some point by my dad, who loves to flood my inbox with cute puppy pics and articles on business and space. Thanks, Dad!)

1. 15 Things Successful People Do In Their 20s by Richard Feloni
 Because I love lists, and this one happens to be very on point.

2. Quit Your Job by Derek Thompson 

And I quote, "Jumping between jobs in your 20s, which strikes many people as wayward and noncommittal, improves the chance that you'll find more satisfying—and higher paying—work in your 30s and 40s." Sweet.

3. The Case for Delayed Adulthood by Laurence Steinberg 

Because brain plasticity is a thing.

4. 6 Things the Most Productive People Do Every Day  by Eric Barker

(You might be surprised at number 2.)

5. 26 Time Management Hacks I Wish I'd Known at 20 by Etienne Garbugli 

I think number 8 is my favorite. 

Do you have any articles you want to share that might help make life easier, better, or more fulfilling? I'd love to know! Feel free to email me at or share on twitter @mapleandmint

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Glitter Cards DIY

Good morning everyone, and happy Wednesday! Today we're talking handmade glitter cards. 

Emily Schuman, author of Cupcakes and Cashmere and one of my favorite bloggers, has done a couple of posts on how to make handmade cards, i.e the one here, which inspired today's blog post. 

I love the idea of using glitter to make a festive card, and what better timing than now with Christmas and New Year's around the corner? Below are some of the cards I made using glue and glitter.
(There is also a very large reject pile... Writing with glue is NOT easy!!)

I purchased two packs of A2 cards, one in white and one in ivory, Studio Gold Tape by Teresa Collins (which I LOVE,) Scotch Super Glue, and Turbo Tacky Glue at JoAnn Fabrics. Then I drew on the cards with glue and sprinkled glitter on top. I found the tacky glue was easier to use than the super glue, at least once I got the hang out it. Drawing or writing with glue is kind of what I imagine cake decorating to be like. Once I loosened up a bit, and squeezed the tube high enough above the card that the glue didn't clump together, the process became much easier. Once they dry they're ready for sending or even just framing to put around the house. 

This one is my favorite:

A close second:
I found I really like the way that mixing the glitter together looks!!

Here's all of the cards I made together:

These two would be cute for New Year's:

Anyway it was a fun and fairly simple project although I definitely need to order a fine glue pen so the writing is prettier and easier. I also recommend having a trash bag handy so you can spill the glitter onto it.

Next time I will have a fine glue pen. Then I may make a 12-pack to actually package for a friend and give as a cute stationery gift. 

What DIY projects do you love? 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Burlap Wreath

Today I'm going to share with you how to make a burlap wreath in two tones, with a bow! My roommate taught me how to make these and they are so cute to make and give as gifts for the holidays. Here's what the final result looks like:

What you'll need:
Wreath frame
Burlap ribbon in two colors
Glue gun
Glue for the glue gun
Ribbon or twine (for hanging the final product)

To start:
Hook the end of the red burlap ribbon around the top of the wire frame. Make a loop through the top and the bottom of the frame. Hold in place. Then hook the end of the brown burlap ribbon on the wire frame and make a loop through the middle. You will continue to make loops (red loops through the top and bottom, brown burlap through the middle) and squish them close together as you go.

It should start to look like this:

Once you get in the groove of making loops and squishing them together as you go, you should be able to make a wreath in about 20 minutes.

To make the bow:
There are a number of ways you can do this. I took a smaller piece of red burlap and made two loops together. I then took a skinnier piece of burlap to wrap around and secure the middle of the bow. Super glue these pieces together and allow them to dry. Then glue the bow to the wreath.

Finally, super glue a piece of ribbon or twine to the back of the wreath so you can hang it. Allow time for it to dry, and then you have the finished product!

I hope you have fun making these great gifts!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Wardrobe Staples: Christmas List Edition

Are you stumped on what to ask Santa for Christmas? Has your mom, significant other, or bestie been asking what's on your Christmas list, and you simply don't know where to start? I've compiled a list of wardrobe staples to help inspire your wish list (or maybe your gift giving) this year, and the best part is, they never go out of style. They range in price from $7 up to $250. Here they are in no particular order:

1. A Classic Trench. I got mine on sale at Nordstrom a couple years back. Ideas here, here (40% off if you use the code BRSANTA! Offer ends 12/14) and here.

2. Ballet Flats. I'm completely in love with Sam Edelman ballet flats... They are so comfortable, I basically live in them and want them in every color.

3. Plaid Pajamas. I love Victoria's Secret pjs. Especially these: 12, and 3. You can also find cute pajamas at Nordstrom Rack or Marshalls at this time of year.

4. A Go-To Scent. Mine is Chanel Chance. I also love Marc Jacobs Daisy and Marc Jacobs Lola. It looks like you can get Daisy at Target which I didn't know! Other retailers include Amazon, Sephora and Nordstrom.

5. Leopard Scarf. Mine is from J.Crew, similar here (30% off with code: GIVETHIS) 

6. Striped Tee. Ideas here (30% off with code: GIVETHIS), here (this one is only $7!) and here.

7. Slimming Pants. My favorites are Joe's Jeans and H&M pants. I randomly found the best pair of work pants I've ever owned for $5 on sale at H&M once.

8. The Right Bra. I'm a die hard Victoria's Secret fan. Go get yourself measured!

9. Lip Stick/ Lip Gloss. Ideas here, here and here.

10. An every day watch. I love Marc Jacobs watches like these: 1, 2 and 3. And SH bought me a Citizen watch which I LOVE and wear everyday.

Other Christmas wishlist/gift giving ideas include:

  • A Cozy Mug (check out Anthropologie's adorable gold initial mugs here
  • A Good Read (favorite books of mine include The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-time, Harry Potter series, Ender's Game)
  • A Favorite Movie on DVD or TV Show Series (I'm hoping Santa brings me Live, Die, Repeat and The Hobbit)

Happy Holidays everyone! Don't get too stressed out and try to stay within your spending budgets! It's easy to get carried away at this time of year. I'll do a post on hand-made gifts soon :)

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

LA Favorites: Date Night

Hello, everyone! Happy Tuesday! I had a very busy weekend of moving into my new apartment (!!!) and I'm so excited to share pictures with you very soon. I hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Today I want to share with you date spots that SH and I love here in LA. There are so many wonderful things to do in LA, and many of these things are great if you have family or friends visiting, too. Here they are in no particular order:

1. Fritto Misto (locations in Santa Monica and Hermosa)
    I love the food at Fritto Misto, plain and simple. I like both locations, though they have different vibes. The Santa Monica restaurant feels more hip and trendy, whereas in Hermosa it feels more family friendly. Both are great options for a date, however, because both are small enough in size that the meal has an intimate and romantic feel. You may want to avoid going at peak times because there's usually a wait. The Atomic Pasta is a favorite dish of ours.

2. Urth Caffe
     This is where SH and I had our first date! There are a number of locations, but the Santa Monica location is special to us. Grab a coffee and hit the beach for a unique twist on a regular ol' coffee date.

3. The Second City 
     I took Improv I and II here so it's special to me, but it's also a great place to let loose and have a few laughs on a date! Check their schedule for funny shows playing in Hollywood. Parking is kind of a nightmare so leave enough time to park before the show. Also, bring quarters (it's mostly metered parking.)

4. Griffith Observatory 
     Griffith should definitely be high on your list of places to go if you're visiting LA and into doing the tourist thing. It's also a great spot for a date because it can be very romantic going in the evening and looking at the stars. It's also nice to just sit in the grass with a picnic and admire the Hollywood sign!

5. The Greek Theater
     Definitely a must see when you're in LA. Probably for a more special occasion or event since tickets can be pricey, but if you find an artist or show you want to see, it's definitely worth every penny. Parking can be a bear though, so bring your patience and deep breathing techniques with you. SH and I saw Prairie Home Companion here and it was a blast. Honestly, I don't think there are any bad seats in this place.

6. The California Science Center
     Science! I've seen the Endeavor I think 4 times now? Everyone who comes to visit me in LA wants to see it. It's also a fun date spot if you want to let loose and run around like a kid for a couple of hours, playing with gadgets and pressing buttons.

7. The Beach Cities
     Favorite date spots include Manhattan Beach Creamery (the cookie sandwiches are to die for!) Pitfire Pizza, and just walking along the strand or the various piers (Hermosa if you want a rowdier crowd and a few beers, Manhattan if you want to take a nice stroll by the water. Watch the hills though, the main street in Manhattan is basically a San Francisco sized hill.)

8. The Stinking Rose
     SH and I went here for our anniversary last year. It's uber romantic and the food is divine. We told them it was our anniversary and they brought out garlic clove hats and took our picture, too. So fun! A little $$ so I recommend it for a special occasion.

9. The Misfit
     Dimly lit, with a prohibition vibe (don't you think??) This is one of my favorite bars in LA. It can get loud and packed, but I love the decor and the food ain't so bad either. The surf and turf nik nik is my favorite.

10. Point Vicente Lighthouse 
     Check out some photos we snapped here. Go at sunset because the view is breathtaking.

11. USC for the LA Times Festival of Books
     Live music, dancing, books, author readings, book signings, comedy, radio, what more could you ask for? Go early before all the parking is gone.

12. The Movies
     Watching movies is a favorite pastime, so basically I'm always down to eat popcorn and watch something.

13. Picnic in the Park (any park near you!)
     'Nuff said!

14. Night In
     Sometimes you just need to take it easy and relax. Making tea, reading a book and laying on the couch are other great ways to spend time together and have a date night in.

15. PF Changs
     I have to laugh because this is a huge chain, but SH loooves the food here! He will request it sometimes when it's my turn to treat.

Runner Up:
The Phoenix 
     We don't go to bars that often (more like, we never go to bars) but we met friends here for happy hour once and it was just a cool spot. Very cool vibe. Hipster-y. I liked the decor. I would go back.

Thanks as always, for reading! Follow me on social media! Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter handle: Mapleandmint

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tips & Tricks: The Art of Moving

Moving is a stressful life event. I have had 3 apartments in 2014 alone. Three apartments!!!

Backstory to prove I am not an unstable person: The first apartment I had in LA I lived in for two years. Great. The second apartment I had I lived in for one year. Also great. (I moved out in June 2014 to be closer to the beach.) I moved in to my third fabulous apartment in June, and have been there for 6 months. Great! But, my roommate and her man are moving in together, so it became time for me to look for my FOURTH place in 3 and a half years of living in this crazy town ;) I now have a place that I am moving in to on Sunday, and I could not be more excited.

Now, I don't know how many moves it takes to call yourself an expert, but I am definitely not an LA move noob, so I thought I'd share some of my tips and tricks on the art of moving here with you today:

1. Keep a list of things you want close to you during your move, and pack them up accordingly. Example: I never let my jewelry get on a moving truck. It's just my personal preference to pack it myself and put it in my car. That way I know exactly where my valuables are and if anything gets lost or misplaced, it's on me. You may also want to separate important documents like lease information or your passport . Keep these valuables on your radar and write down where you have put them.

2. Lay out your "personal" essentials and pack them in a weekend bag. Example: Toothbrush, tooth paste, hairbrush, deodorant, medication, other toiletries like shampoo and soap, toilet paper (!) etc. I also make sure to have a few changes of clothes (work clothes, pajamas, sweatshirt, workout clothes, undergarments, socks, shoes, etc.) handy.

3. Pack the home essentials in a neat, accessible way. Some of my must haves include: trash bags, cleaning supplies, paper towels, paper plates, disposable forks and knives, dish soap, a sponge, Brita filter, my computer and computer charger, phone charger, pen and paper, etc. These are things I want to have on hand and not misplace / have to go out and buy again. I would also add hammer and wall hanging hooks/nails to that list, It may help to make a list of all the things that are essential to your home that you want accessible on your first night in your new place. I know that personally I wash all of my dishes once they come out of a moving box, so I try to keep a disposable cup  to drink out of and dishwasher detergent, on hand.

3. Pack things by category and label your boxes. It sounds basic, but why throw in your christmas decorations with your tupperware? If you get tired and decide you don't want to unpack some boxes, they may end up getting shoved in a closet somewhere. This is just the reality of moving. You don't want to mismatch items. You'll be left wondering where all your tupperware is until December rolls around, and it all appears.

4. Put your clothes in a box and be done with it. I've moved clothes in a number of ways - kept them on their hangers and packed them in trash bags (I liked that strategy, too,) but at the end of the day throwing my dirty laundry into a box, and laying my clothes neatly in another box, just simplified the hassle of trying to make everything perfect. If you have clothes that are dry clean only and must be hung, you may want to consider putting them in a separate, special container (i.e. they have sweater boxes at  places like The Container Store, or a hanging wardrobe.)  It just so happens all of my dry clean only items are already in a trash bag needing to be taken to the dry cleaners... so I just tossed that in a box. For my beloved purses I packed them delicately into a larger tote bag so they wouldn't get smushed.

5. Lastly, keep bath towels, dishtowels, and sheets out to help wrap up delicate items like pictures or wall hangings. (Don't forget to leave one set of clean towels to use and clean sheets for sleeping on! Or have your sleeping bag handy ;))

I hope this helps! What are your favorite moving tips and tricks?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Comfy Sweater

Sweater: Free People (got it on sale!) | Jeans: Forever 21 | Shoes: Unlisted bought at DSW, find them here | Bag: Longchamp | Lip: Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in Smitten

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Big Basin

SH and I took a day trip to Big Basin over the holiday weekend. It was beautiful, and COLD! I love the mushroom picture that he took, isn't it cool?


Shirt: J. Crew | Jeans: Joe's Jeans, last seen here | Vest: Dublin (old) | Earmuffs: Burberry | Mittens: J. Crew (old) | Jacket: Abercrombie (old) | Boots: Uggs | Lip: Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in Smitten

Monday, December 1, 2014


Dress: H&M (old) | Tee: Solemio (old, bought at a small boutique in Tucson) | Leggings: Gap | Boots: Dirty Laundry, bought at DSW | Scarf: (old) | Bag: Chanel (borrowed from mom) | Lips: Giorgio Armani 'Lip Maestro' Lip Stain in Hollywood ordered from Nordstrom

Notice that many of the items I'm wearing today are "old"! You don't have to be constantly buying to vamp up your wardrobe, ladies! If you buy quality items, take care of your things and follow wash/dry instructions, you may find you can keep things in your closet for years and years! I think I've had this scarf since high school, and the dress and tee I've had since early grad school. I'm all for buying smart and rotating favorites so your wardrobe feels fresh and new. What's better than going shopping in your own closet?

PS. I am absolutely obsessed with this red lip stain. I stumbled upon it because Julia Engel from Gal Meets Glam mentioned it on her blog. Totally worth the money. I highly recommend it for the holidays!! It really makes your lips pop and it goes on so smooth. It's like painting your face. It's awesome. And fun. I am going to try to find a compatible lip liner to go with it to keep everything in the lines.

Thanks as always for stopping by!! :) Happy December!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Picks

Happy Black Friday, everyone! There are lots of ways to enjoy the perks of Black Friday from the comfort of your own home (aka online shopping.) I've rounded up my 5 favorite black Friday sales this season. Many of them give back to the community, and what better way to get in the holiday spirit than to support a great cause?

1. Sackcloth and Ashes - 20% off your order through Monday with the code: HOOKMEUP
They donate a blanket to your local homeless shelter for every blanket you purchase. Read more about their story here.

2. The Shine Project 30% off almost everything on their site with the code : blackfriday30
Your purchase employs inner city American youth as they make the bracelets and are paid a fair wage for their work. Read more about their story here.

3. Alex and Ani - 15% off plus free ground shipping (no code needed)
I chose to purchase a Prints of Love Charm Bangle. Alex and Ani will donate 20% of the purchase price from this bangle to ASPCA, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Click here for more information.

4. J. Crew - 30% off full-price styles and 40% off sale with the code : HOLIDAY

5. Nordstrom - all sorts of black Friday deals (no code needed)  

Happy shopping! :*

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you all have a happy day full of love, food, family and friends. May we reflect today on what we are grateful for, and carry with us in our hearts grateful thoughts throughout the year.

I am especially thankful for my family and the love in my life this Thanksgiving.

Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

25 Things for 25 Years: Part 2

13. Love is one of the most powerful forces in the world.

14. Infatuation is not love.

15. Paths have uncanny ways of unfolding. Don't lose hope. Your struggle is worth it. Keep on going.

16. Your pain will teach you something.

17. Forgiveness is more difficult than hating.

18. Tune out the excess noise when you find yourself getting lost.

19. It's okay to ask for help. Learn to differentiate between the times you need to ask others for help and the times you need to help yourself.

20. Recognize the strength within you. Keep conquering small challenges so you continue to grow your confidence and mastery.

21. Don't give up on the people or things that you truly love. Hold on to them and stand up for them when someone threatens them.

22. Have a hero, whether fictional, alive, or dead.

23. The combination of steps in your path are likely unique, but the steps you are taking are often not.  You're not as alone as you think.

24. Examine what it is that makes you trust or distrust someone.

25. Don't forget to renew your car registration, update your address with the DMV, and pay your parking tickets and bills on time ;)

To see the first half of this list, read 25 Things for 25 Years: Part 1 here. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Eve ;) Thanks as always for reading!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday Wishlist: Home

I'm moving again, and I can't wait to get started on decorating. Here are some things I am wishing for as I'm thinking of decorating my new space. 

Wednesday Wishlist: Home

Monday, November 17, 2014

25 things for 25 years: Part 1

I turned 25 in July. When you're a kid, 25 sounds so old. Like, you'll have your life figured out, be married, have a great career, maybe have your first kid and definitely a dog- figured out. Ha! What a wake up call it was to turn 25, have a roommate, have changed jobs twice in the last year, kids and dogs no where near on the horizon... money tight, closet small- not exactly where I thought I'd be, at 25!

That being said, I've learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way, and I want to share them here with you today. Here is the first half of my list (stay tuned for the second half.)

1. You know the saying, "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer"? I disagree. How about, "Keep your friends close and keep your enemies and frenemies far, far away." Don't waste your time on people who bring you down, make you feel bad about yourself, or suck up all your energy and happiness. Life is short, don't waste it on poor friendships that don't nurture you.

2. What you are seeking from a man/romantic partner, you probably just need to do for yourself. You want more attention, love, praise? Give those things to yourself. If you are seeking more attention and love from your partner you probably need to start by giving those things to yourself, first.

3. Be well read. Take in news from multiple sources. To be a good conversationalist you generally have to be well read and knowledgeable on a variety of topics.

4. Learn how to make at least 5 delicious and basic meals. Once you have 5 under your belt, the repertoire will just keep growing.

5. Keep going for your goals even if no one else notices, cares, or supports you in pursuing them. You know what they say, "the time will pass anyway."

6. You know your friends' advice, "If he doesn't text you back, he doesn't like you." That's all good and fine, but I'm here to ask you, why are you even wondering why he didn't text you back?? I'm sure you have a million other more interesting and pressing things going on in your life than a guy who may or may not even like you. Move on. Train your brain to think about something else besides text messages. It's a cat and mouse game. Don't play it. Plus, you are fabulous, and he isn't.

7. Keep a running list of things you hope to do. Most people have some form of a to-do list at work, right? Make one for your life so you can keep track of your goals (even goals as small as wanting to try the new coffee shop down the street.) It'll keep you accountable and that way you have everything written down in one place. And how good does it feel to get one crossed off that list?

8. Be grateful. Not only that, I challenge you to regularly write down things you are grateful for so any time you are having a crap day and need a reminder, you have something to read and a specific place to find it.

9. Don't underestimate the power and intuition of a child. Children might be small people, but they are often treated in small ways and they just don't deserve it. Listen to them. Treat them with respect as you would any other person. Children are more intuitive than we like to give them credit for. They notice things adults fail to even see.

10. Stay curious. I know I'm not feeling well when the world seems to revolve around me and my own problems/life. As soon as I'm out of my funk, the whole world seems interesting again. Do your best to stay curious about anything- whether it's science, nature, music, movies, your neighbors- stay invested in how things work, where they come from, and what they do.

11. Keep track of who you are. Everybody has a story to tell. Some people are gifted storytellers, and can captivate an audience with their words and gestures. Others get a story across better by writing it down. Find your medium and share your story. You don't have to start on a grand scale- maybe start by sharing what your favorite restaurant is each month or what book you're currently reading. You'll find it fun to look back on later and it gives you a peek into how you're growing and changing.

12. Don't give up on your hobbies. It's easy to let life get in the way and to be overcome with work, housekeeping, bills and the like. Don't forget to keep your passions alive by remaining engaged and invested. They will give back ten times over.

Stay tuned for the next 13! Thanks as always for reading!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Christmas Wishlist

Hello friends, I have been sick in bed with the flu for the past three days :( I am finally feeling a bit better today and hope to go back to work tomorrow. I am going to have a lot to work to catch up on :( On a happier note, here are the top ten things I am wishing for this Christmas! I honestly don't have room in my apartment closet for more clothes, shoes or handbags, so unless I am magically granted a larger closet for Christmas, ;) I am wishing for compact things that I can still really enjoy, like these cosmetics, books and movies! I also plan to do a closet clean out soon, so stay tuned for that.

Christmas Wishlist

1. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan. I've heard the Heroes of Olympus series is good for someone like me who loves Harry Potter and the fantasy genre in general. I also love a good series because what better way to become attached to the characters when there's a string of novels to read in a row? (Ahem, Harry Potter, Divergent, Hunger Games, etc.)
2. Blogger Lauren of was wearing this awesome red lipstick in one of her insta photos so I commented on it, and she shared that it was her favorite go to red lipstick, Red Lizard by Nars. Seriously weird name, but the shade looked awesome on her. Hope it looks as good on me!
3. This Zara scarf. So perfect. 
4. My go to foundation. To read more about my beauty routine, see my post here.
5. Divergent series!!!! Obsessed. Can't wait to read the third book.
6. Again, go to lipgloss.
7. I want to read more about blogging, I'm still super new to it and could use as many tips and I can get.
8. I am obsessed with this movie. I saw it in theaters two days in a row.
9. Also loved this movie and would love to watch it again.
10. Love Alex & Ani. So far I only have the charm bracelets, none of the bigger, chunkier ones.

Thanks for reading :)

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