Tag Archives: christmas

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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A Simple Christmas.

I am about to get real with you. Moving twice in six months left me craving simplicity. I am excited for Christmas. But you know what? underthetreeMy bare Christmas tree is just as beautiful as it was when I went the whole nine yards in San Francisco. The fact is, taking the ornaments out and adding the burlap bow which cascaded down, was just not happening. I have back problems so the bending down just did not seem fun at this point. And then I realized that I really like the simplicity of a naked tree.christmasdecorationsI kept it really simple, even with wrapping. Because my usual thing is making a beautiful package that takes so long that I don’t want to wrap and I rush on Christmas Eve. Yeah, not fun. So I thought if I kept that simple this year that maybe I would wrap all my presents before the 24th.christmaswrappingHow do you think my idea is going? I have three gifts wrapped and many to go. But at least all my shopping is done–officially as of last night. So simple is the word the key word for me this year. Otherwise, I just would not get through everything I need to because of the amount of change that has happened in such a short amount of time. But I am pretty sure that Mary kept it pretty simple when she placed Jesus in the manger. So there’s that. Which also reminds me of the nativity scene I made in preschool out of toilet paper rolls.christmasdecorationsdeskI added this winter scene to my desk. It goes with all the white, keeps it clean and simple. I can dig it–a simple Christmas.shereadstruthchristmasI also set these prints on the windowsill–no mess, no fuss. They came with the Advent Study I am doing with SheReadsTruth (It’s amazing). They also keep me centered on the reason for the season. My street is so decorated and is so lovely at night. And the city goes all out. So I haven’t felt the need to go crazy in my little, tiny apartment. Maybe it is all the moving. And maybe I decorated in SF because in the 50 degree weather, I needed to be reminded that it was actually winter. Although Christmas in San Francisco is fabulous.
122Linking up with LisaKatie, Annie, and Cait.

I am keeping it simple this year with Christmas. What about you?




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Vlogging Again?! Yeah, I know.

I never thought I would be vlogging again. Then I ate my words.

I know, I know. How am I here again when only last month I proclaimed that I was only vlogging because I was challenged? Maybe challenged is not strong enough a word. Someone else chose the word harassed. Then you guys apparently loved it (unless you were lying but I choose to believe the best). Still, I probably would not have done it if not for two things.

First, Amanda challenged me this time. So I challenged her back. If you can’t handle the fire and all that jazz. Secondly, in making my first vlog, I found this…I honestly don’t know what to call it. I felt like I was a pirate coming upon buried treasure. And I knew I had to share it with the world because I think it is the moment when I peaked. It was all downhill after this one beautiful moment. You’ll have to watch and see it. You can’t miss it; don’t worry. 

I’m still not a vlogger though, guys. I am a blogger, a writer. Although all of a sudden I remember that I was on Speech Team when in high school (how cool was I?). I guess I am a good public speaker but I just prefer writing. When I am writing my soul sings. When I am vlogging, I worry about my how my hair looks. Just kidding. This vlog was actually filmed on early on Thanksgiving morn so I could get you better lighting to see my face which was oddly puffy that day. So you get to see my puffy face very clearly. But don’t forget that buried treasure I spoke of earlier. Because that surpasses everything else. 


 I am linking up with Faith, Bex, Sarah, and Elizabeth. I guess thanks? (Faith was the one who originally harassed me but I love her anyway.)

So seriously. Talk to me. How amazing was that clip? I don’t want to give anything away. And also, be real. Do you really enjoy this enough for me to do it once a month? Because remember what it requires.



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Santa’s List for Friends and Family | $100 or Less.

I am hoping that some of my friends and family aren’t reading today because they will actually be getting some of these items. No, but seriously. 

Also, I am legally bound to tell you that affiliate links are used when you hover on the image. All that means is that the retailer gives me a tiny commission if you do buy by hovering over the image and clicking. It does not affect you or the prices of the items. I promise. Complete transparency here, yo.

Okay, first: Capri Blue Volcano. This candle is my Oprah gift. It was on my gift lists last year as well because you get a candle, you get a candle, and you get a candle. Well, I think Anthro has finally listened to me. They now have a room spray and a diffuser. (Can you imagine, those of you who know the amazing Volcano smell, if you used the spray on your sheets?)

Classic cookie cutters are great not only for kids but the cook in your life. They are so fun to use when wrapping the present to add something extra. Just tie the the cookie cutter with the bow. It’s such a cute add on. 

I love this mug. I might give it to all my relatives. Because we love each other. But…Coffee may be necessary first.

This blanket is fabulous and cozy–just how I like my life.

My brother, who lives on the West Coast, is getting these beer glasses. I am positive he does not read the blog but you can choose any state.

How amazing is the sleep mask? I fell in love with it when I found for my stocking stuffer list.

 I always struggle with what to get my dad. These gloves will work with his love of all things apple and touchscreen.

This necklace and these earrings are perfect for the ladies in my life–both friends and family. Combine it with this and perfection:giftsI love this book so much and I want everyone in my life to read it.

Also love this and this for girlfriends (but wait for a sale)!

Hopefully if you are reading this, you aren’t a friend or a family member because these are real gifts. 

I’m linking up at Cheer’s Y’all, A. Liz Adventures, A Southern Style, and Miss DixieMy_Favorite_Things_Linkup_2014

What are you getting friends and family? Is there someone who is especially difficult to buy for?

Merry, Merry,

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A Gift for Your Girlfriends | $8 at the most!

giftsI am fortunate that I have a lot of ladies in my life who mean the world to me. They pray for me, cry with me, and most importantly, laugh with me. I wish I could give them all the most luxurious gifts in the world, but I don’t think these friends would appreciate if I took out loans just for their Christmas presents. What I’ve realized is that it is the little things–a handwritten note and something clever and this is exactly that: something clever. 

gifts2 This past weekend, in a whirlwind, I met three blogging friends who are now real life friends. We each brought three “of our favorite things” with a $5 minimum. I immediately thought of Essie polish which is $8 but you could honestly use any polish. I found some glittery string and gift tags and wrote “For your mistletoes” on those gift tags to add a personal touch. And voilà! They were a huge hit. gifts3

Here is the truth. It is the simple things. Treating a friend to Starbucks and toasting with your red cups. Listening while she tells you something important. Laughing over inside jokes. Sending a funny text message in the middle of the day. Writing letters across the country. The way I see it, God has put some incredible women in my life. They have mentored me and made me laugh in the middle of the tears of sorrow. They are my sisters. They get me. This is a rare thing–a rare thing in this crazy world. Losing my papa makes me realize that our stories are so intertwined with others, that I want to love well in this life now. People are what matters. It is so simple and yet it so true. At the end of the day, that’s it. So feel free to steal my ideas and bless the gals in your life. Clever, cute, and sassy–just like my friends–what more do you want in a gift?

Here are the girls I met up with this weekend in KY. How did I get to KY you ask? I still have no idea. It was completely insane and I spent the majority of the weekend in the car but it was worth it. It was so very worth it.IMG_9161

Faith | Bex | Me | Sarah
What gifts do you give your friends? Anything clever? Cute? Let’s share the wisdom, ladies.




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