Tag Archives: christmas presents

Santa Baby Beauty.


I have mixed feelings about Gift Guides this time of year. On one hand, I love them because I truly have found great things to buy for family and friends or to add to my own list.

They also work for me because my family treats Christmas presents as a gift registry. You make a list and then a single person is designated to give people the correct gift that fits in with their price range and to make sure there are no duplicates. For example, my mom is that person (on both sides of my family) for me and my brother. My stepmom does it for my little sister. And on it goes. So in many ways, gift guides are perfect to help me “register.”

On the other hand, it’s that time of year again when everyone is doing gift guides. I mean, they are starting to slowly trickle in but after Thanksgiving there will be a flood. But I cannot ignore the Sephora VIB sale which starts on Friday. Plus, this week has been heavy with Monday’s Do I have it out for Men? post and yesterday’s Veteran’s Day post. And then there is still discussion about last week’s The Only Way I Can Keep Blogging post that still has great discussion going.

So here we go with some beauty, babes.

One place that does not disappoint is Sephora with their Holiday Beauty Bundles (PLUS, can I say AGAIN, if you are a VIB member, you get 20% off starting Friday!). If you love make up at all, if you are frugal but like nice things, if you have any other females to buy for, these beauty sets are where it is at. They are worth waiting all year for because of the price for the quality and quantity cannot be matched.

You can click on the boxes below or the links. In fairness, I always let you know when/if a few cents of your purchase is fed back into the blog. That’s the case here but it’s at NO cost to you. Zero.

These are my picks and I’ll tell you why. I give you, Santa Baby Beauty:

These crazy pretty brushes are probably the only thing on the list that I added because they are pretty. I am a sucker for both rose gold colored things (who isn’t these days?) and leopard.

Tata Harper does amazing, natural skincare. A friend of a friend works for Tata (she’s a real person!) and I’ve seen the instagram pics on her farm in Vermont to prove how “down to earth” these products are. I’ve also used them and they are fab. The downside is the price. Isn’t it always? But you can’t beat their complete skin care system and mask for this price.

This–Urban Decay Setting Spray–isn’t a beauty bundle but it’s supposedly on sale for Christmas. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews on this. Honestly, I am going to go into the store to try it out before I add this to my “official” Christmas List (trust me, we have a “maybe list” and the “official list). If it lives up to its hype, I’ll actually be saving money in the long run because it sets everything so well. But for the price I need to know it works.

I love this Living Proof Hair Set. It’s such a great brand for any type of hair and this set is perfect for your toiletries. Sure, when I am hope I have special shampoos and conditioners for my curly hair but I do love this brand and what it stands for. And I do love that I don’t need to think about if I can check my luggage based on hair products.

Stila is an awesome all around brand and this is a price you cannot beat for what you get. I’ve bought Stila packs like this before and I love them still. If ever there was a time to purchase, it’s now because have I mentioned the holiday deals that Sephora has?

The same goes for Tarte. A few years ago, I got a version of this and it was/is amazing. You get so much for the money, it’s insane. I happen to love Tarte as a brand. It’s a great place to start if you want you want to move up a level from drugstore make up. No hate for drugstore make up!  It’s just the brand I recommend when my friends say, “I have no clue about make up but I want something nice.”

So this Dry Bar set…If the day should ever come, when my Chi hair dryer dies (just discovered that my baby is on major sale at Ulta right now), I believe I would replace it with this (honestly, that sentence was so hard for me to even write…my blow dryer is almost ten years old–eeep–and it was an investment in the time for sure but my baby and I have been through some times and traveled the world together). I am impressed with DryBar and their products as well. Again, for what you are getting, this is a good price. If you think I am joking, you have probably never had your hair blown out by a blow dryer that cost over a $100. I am not saying that to be a snot. I am saying that because I have very curly hair and that price point is a game changer. The other hair dryer I would consider is Harry Josh because I have heard good things everywhere I turn.

Usually, Sephora comes out with a mascara box, a lip box, their “faves for the year” box/the hot box, and an eyeliner box even. The lip box this year? Amazing colors and amazing brands.  I just felt for the price, even a girl who love her lippies like I do, would have plenty. And what a cute case.

Speaking of lips, I love Tarte’s LipSurgence. Basically, it feels like a lip balm and yet you have the color. The color isn’t as bold as a lipstick because it pulls from your own natural lip color so it’s automatically flattering. While lip gloss has it’s place, none of that stickiness is involved here. I bought one of these 18 months ago and use it on the daily almost and I just finished it. Love.

Merry Christmas, ya bodacious babes! (Get it…Like Home Alone?)



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Tids and Bits: The Christmas Edition

Yes, it’s another Christmas post. Maybe because I am up to my eyeballs in shipping and wrapping and writing Christmas cards and packing all the presents up for everyone at home and for the only time, all year, my apartment feels too small. Yes, I live in a studio and truly for the rest of the year, I’m content. But stuff is just exploding and no matter how organized I try to be, it just keeps exploding. I’m also positive that no matter how organized I try to be, I am going to forget something that I need to pack for Chicago. This is just a fact I’m trying to live with.

So I will probably be borrowing a car and doing last minute errands. I can’t really predict what they will be and it is annoying because all my shopping has been done for weeks but I know, know, know, I will forget something and it’s basically just the Nina Chaos Theory not to be confused with the Nina and Chelsea Road Trip Chaos Theory. Oh, boy, that’s just a post in and of itself. I’m not going to fight it.

So it got me thinking, of last minutes things everyone might be needing.

Screen shot 2013-12-15 at 5.04.14 PMLet’s talk about gifts for the host and/or hostess. I also think these are good last minute gifts for just about anyone on your list and they’re from stores nearly everyone has nearby.

  1. The Candle. Yep, I am recommending this again. It is amazing. It’s my Oprah gift forever and ever. I love you Capri Blue Volcano Candle. Muah. (I really don’t even need to go on but I will.)
  2. Flowers. Do you have a Trader Joes nearby? They always have beautiful and reasonably priced flowers. I prefer to create the arrangement myself because like I thinking showing up with a poinsettia in my arm. Plus, they are toxic for dogs and ain’t nobody got time to be responsible for somebody’s puppy chewing on a red flower and having to go to the emergency vet. Some pretty white flowers with red berries would be perfect. I’ve seen this on instagram more than once and it’s gorgeous. Whole Foods also has great flowers which is more expensive but again, I know the selection will be great.
  3. Polar Bear Measuring Cups. How cute.//Anthropologie
  4. Gourmet Vanilla. Here is the thing with wine. Everyone does it. Is it good wine? Who knows? Is it bad wine? Who knows? Everyone brings wine. Do you want to be like everyone? So unless you have an amazing wine that is akin to my amazing candle in that you are known for it and you love giving it, this is a great alternative. I personally proud of myself for thinking of this alternative. It’s something no one would buy themselves and that’s what hostess gifts should be. I think?// William & Sonoma but you could also go to Whole Foods as well.
  5. Gourmet Hot Chocolate. I swear I thought of the vanilla on my own and went to the William & Sonoma website which then reminded me of their Peppermint Bark hot Chocolate. //William & Sonoma.

Screen shot 2013-12-15 at 5.04.25 PMLet’s talk about music. There are some Christmas songs I hate. Confession: I hate the Beatle’s Christmas song. I love the Beatles but I hate that song. And I hate the Wham! Song. Hate. I like classic. I typed that and then I saw what was first on the list. Oops.

  1. All I Want for Christmas//Maria Carey
  2. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on Open Fire)//Nat King Cole
  3. Home//Michael Bublé
  4. Santa Claus is Coming to Town//Bruce Springsteen
  5. White Christmas//Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney
  6. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas//Judy Garland (my favorite)
  7. Carol of the Bells//Home Alone Soundtrack
  8. O Come All Ye Faithful//Casting Crowns (great version)
  9. Winter Wonderland//Jason Mraz
  10. I’ll be home for Christmas//Bing Crosby
  11. Hark! The Herald the Angels Sing//Jewel
  12. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree//She & Him
  13. Baby, it’s Cold Outside//Colbie Caillat & Gavin DeGraw
  14. It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas//Harry Connick Jr.
  15. Joy to the World//Sufjan Stevens

Screen shot 2013-12-15 at 6.01.51 PMI tried to put these in order of priority for me to watch but it gets a little bit dicey in the middle. And you will notice some absences. I don’t like The Christmas Story. There, I admitted it.

  1. It’s a Wonderful Life
  2. White Christmas
  3. Love Actually
  4. Elf
  5. Die Hard 1 (What? It is a Christmas movie.)
  6. Home Alone 2
  7. Miracle on 34th Street (the Dylan McDermott version, most definitely)
  8. Fred Claus
  9. Home Alone 1
  10. The Grinch

Wow. These lists were harder than they looked. Where’s my Christmas Cocktail? (Just realized this will post in the morning but I’m writing in the evening so it’s a fair question.)




P.S. Y’all (my friend, Heather would be so proud of me using this word; although maybe I’m not allowed because I’m a yankee?) Anyway, I would be honored, thrilled, elated if you would follow me on Blog Lovin’ (I FIGURED OUT HOW TO GET THAT BUTTON THE SIDE BAR THERE ALL BY MYSELF! That is crazy to me). Just give it a click.

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