December 20, 2017

homemade hot chocolate

On the 10th day of blogmas!
This week I tried out a recipe for hot chocolate that I found on Pinterest. It claims to be the world's best hot chocolate. I already had all of the ingredients and it was super simple to make on the stove. This batch made about 4 servings. It was good! A richer, cozier taste than the stuff in packets. 

1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup water
4 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla

1. In a saucepan, mix the dry ingredients.
2. Add the water and bring to a boil. Keep boiling for one minute.
3. Add the milk. Heat to you preference.
4. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Stir and serve.

December 18, 2017

what to binge watch over break

On the 9th day of blogmas!
Winter break is right around the corner! If you're lucky enough to have some time off, take advantage of lazy, snowed-in days and binge watch a new show. Personally, I will be in my pj's all day catching up on Riverdale and Grey's anatomy. Some shows to consider:

1. The Goldbergs
Murry, Beverly and teenage Barry and Erica. Then there's 11-year-old Adam, who's capturing their every moment on video. This quirky series, built from Adam's tapes, recreates family life in the pre-YouTube 1980's.

2. Gilmore Girls
Thirty-two year old single mom, Lorelai, lives with her teenage daughter Rory in the small town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, with crazy neighbors and many ups and downs.

3. This is Us 
Everyone has a family. And every family has a story. 'This Is Us' chronicles the Pearson family across the decades: from Jack and Rebecca as young parents in the 1980s to their 37-year-old kids Kevin, Kate, and Randall searching for love and fulfillment in the present day.

4. Parks and Rec
An ensemble comedy that follows Leslie Knope, a mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks and Recreation Department of Pawnee, Indiana, and her tireless efforts to make her quintessentially American town just a little bit more fun.

5. Riverdale
While navigating the troubled waters of sex, romance, school and family, teen Archie and his gang become entangled in a dark Riverdale mystery. Based on the characters of Archie Comics.

6.The Good Place
A smart, unique comedy about what makes a good person. The Good Place follows Eleanor, an ordinary woman who enters the afterlife and, thanks to some kind of error, is sent to the Good Place instead of the Bad Place, which is definitely where she belongs.

7. Jane the Virgin
After vowing to remain chaste until marriage, Jane learns she is pregnant due to a medical slip-up. As her meticulously planned life gets more like the telenovelas she loves, she faces a lot of complicated decisions about her future.


December 16, 2017

save your skin

On the 8th day of blogmas!
Don't let the winter air get the best of your skin. Some simple ideas to keep your skin soft and fresh all season long. Gotta be ready for those spring vacations :)

Take your showers warm, not hot. A hot shower might be nice but can really dry out your skin. Hot water can damage your skin's moisture barrier (especially your face). Don't forget to exfoliate once in a while to slosh off any dead skin and prep for lotion. It will absorb better!

Lotion up after a shower. Keep lotion on your bathroom counter so you can immediately slather it on after a shower. Since the shower can dry out skin, it is important to replenish the skin's moisture as soon as you step out.

Get a humidifier. Take advantage of a long night's sleep and use that time to restore your skin. Run a humidifier in the bedroom while you sleep to keep the air skin-friendly.

Keep hand lotion in the car. A little tube of hand lotion is a car essential during the winter. I feel like that's always when I realize I need lotion. When I'm leaving to go somewhere!

Overnight face treatments. Slather on some hydrating and restoring moisturizers before bed so they can soak in and treat your face all night long. Some products to consider: Drink Up Overnight MaskNight-A-Mins Renewal CreamRosehip OilUltra Repair Cream Intense HydrationMidnight Recovery Concentrate

Don't forget about lips! Keep up with a lip scrub (like this DIY) and good lip balm. For extremely dry lips always apply a heavy duty lip balm before bed. I've heard this is amazing and a holy grail for lots of people.

Drink water. An obvious one. Most people are not drinking the amount of water they should be drinking on a daily basis. It's important to hydrate from the inside out!

December 14, 2017

gift wrapping ideas

On the 7th day of blogmas!
This year I wanted to step up my gift wrapping game so I started looking for ideas on pinterest. I didn't have too many gifts to wrap this year so I was focused on finding some unique wrapping paper and adding a simple detail. I found this cute white and gold wrapping paper at Target. For the ties, I used a simple twine string. I added some branches that broke off from some extra garland. I added some gift tags that I found at Target's "after Christmas sale" last year. They are so pretty and simple! Unfortunately I forgot to put them on the gifts before I took the picture.

These are some cute ideas I found on pinterest during my research. I also discovered that minted has some really cute wrapping paper and accessories!


December 12, 2017

life lately

On the 6th day of blogmas!


December 10, 2017

on my radar: christmas edition

On the 5th day of blogmas!
No surprise, the month is flying by quickly. I wish I had the whole month of December off from work. It's hard to enjoy the season and really get in the spirit when the work week is slowly killing me. Really gotta take advantage of every minute of the weekends! I've got my eye on a few things to share for this special edition of 'on my radar'.

Lifetime/Hallmark movies • I have been recording these movies like crazy. They are so cheesy but kind of homey and comforting at the same time. I have a few set up for next weekend. I can't wait to start watching all the movies I have stocked up on the DVR. They are perfect for weeknights!

Homemade cinnamon rolls • After many blah attempts at making homemade cinnamon rolls, I think I finally found some success with a recipe. I did a test run this weekend, and I'm actually really happy with how they taste! I'll be making these for Christmas morning.

Cookies + Brunch get-together • Next weekend I'll be getting together with my cousins for a little brunch + cookie baking. Sounds like it's going to be super cute and festive. Can't wait for some good food and good company :)

Christmas break reunions • Truly the most wonderful time of the year because all of my friends will be back in town for Christmas. I only see some of them a few times a year so it's a big deal when we can all get together and catch up.

Real Christmas movies • I take Christmas movie traditions very seriously. The really good, classic, Christmas spirit type of movies that I have to watch every year. They make the season real. I like to line those up starting in the second half of December to perfectly lead up to Christmas Eve. Can't wait to start next weekend!

2018 resolutions/goals • Time to start thinking about what changes I'll be making next year! I'm pretty good at new years resolutions and have been able to gradually make a lot of healthy lifestyle changes over the last few years. Excited to see how far I can take it!

A Christmas Story: Live • I haven't seen much promotion for this event but happened to scroll across in on my instagram ads a few days ago. I love watching the live shows put on by networks. I watch this movie every year and can't wait to see this show! Sunday December 17 at 7pm on fox!

December 8, 2017

winter lip scrub

On the 4th day of blogmas!

With all the red/berry holiday lip colors, you need a good lip scrub! Lipstick sits best on smooth, hydrated lips. So keep this lip scrub on the shelf all season long! For general maintenance 1-2 times a week is enough. Follow up with your favorite lip balm (I like aquaphor!). Use day-of if you're planning on wearing a lip color later.

1/2 tsp agave
1 tsp olive oil
2-3 tsp brown sugar
2-3 drops vanilla extract

In a small bowl, mix agave and olive oil. Add 2 tsp brown sugar until well combined, then add vanilla. If necessary, gradually add more brown sugar until desired consistency. Place in a small air tight jar. Enjoy smooth lips all winter long!

December 6, 2017

new christmas music

On the 3rd day of blogmas!
Here's my round up of the new Christmas music released this season!

Gwen Stefani - You Make It Feel Like Christmas Album
98 Degrees - Let It Snow Album
Josh Groban - Noel (Deluxe Edition) Album
Lindsey Sterling - Warmer In The Winter Album
Pentatonix - A Pentatonix Christmas Deluxe Album
Kelly Clarkson - Christmas Eve
Mariah Carey - The Star
Various Artists - WOW Christmas 2017 Album
Nick Jonas & Shania Twain - Say All You Want For Christmas
Hanson - Finally It's Christmas
Fantasia - Christmas After Midnight
DNCE - Christmas Without You
Various Artist (Jimmy Fallon, Paul McCartney, etc) - Holidays Rule Vol. 2 Album
Echosmith - An Echosmith Christmas Album
Reba McEntire - My Kind of Christmas Album
Demi Lovato - I'll Be Home For Christmas
Norah Jones - It's Not Christmas 'Till You Come Home
SIA - Everyday Is Christmas
The Piano Guys - Christmas Together Album
Sam Smith - River
Luke Bryan - O Holy Night
Miley Cyrus - Sleigh Ride
Miley Cyrus - Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree


December 4, 2017

holiday bucket list

On the 2nd day of blogmas!
I love filling up my calendar with festive things. I gotta make the most of the season! These are some season staples to add to your December. Enjoy!

1. Bake Christmas cookies
2. Watch classic Christmas movies
3. Shopping day at the mall
4. Go ice skating
5. Craft club with friends to make decorations
6. Make homemade hot chocolate
7. Put up a mini tree
8. Get creative with gift wrapping
9. Watch cheesy Hallmark/Lifetime Christmas movies
10. Put money in the red Salvation Army buckets
11. Wear Christmas pajamas
12. Drive through Christmas lights
13. Donate to a toy drive
14. Make a family recipe
15. Go to a Christmas / cookie exchange party
16. Take a snowy or festive picture for instagram
17. Try a new holiday drink
18. Find a way to pay-it-forward
19. Make a Christmas playlist
20. Be brave and wear red lipstick

December 2, 2017

gift guide for her

on the first day of blogmas!

Happy blogmas! In addition to this list of gift ideas (either for someone else or ideas for yourself), I wanted to share my favorite tip when it comes to giving gifts to others. The hardest part about gift giving is that when you really need a good idea for someone your mind goes blank. To ease the stress, I like to keep a running note in my phone all year long. That way whenever I think of something or they mention something, I immediately add it to the list under their name. When birthdays and Christmas roll around, I've got a handful of ideas. Don't forget to check out previous gift guides for more ideas! (2016, 2015, 2014)

3. Aerie Plush Jogger - $20 (on sale!)
7. Aerie Downtown Sweatshirt - $30 (on sale!)
(a single stick in 'amethyst' is another great option!)
(these jack rogers boots are another great option!)
20. Earring Organizer - $19

Stay tuned for the rest of the 12 Days of Blogmas!
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