December 18, 2014


boden tee, similar here and here
pom-pom beanie via tjmaxx, c/o (similar here)
leopard bag via tjmaxx, c/o (similar here)
fur mittens via tjmaxx, c/o (similar here)

Somehow it's only 8 days until Christmas, and it's time for those last minute gifts! I shared a few of my favorite last minute gift picks under $30 yesterday, but if you're feeling the crunch and nervous to order online so last minute, T.J.Maxx, HomeGoods, and Marshalls are great places to stop by and find some amazing gifts.

A few weeks ago I had the chance to speak with Julie Kenney, a celebrity gifting expert, and she shared some great gift ideas and tips! She said that when she's gifting to the stars, she always stops by one or more of these three stores because they have great choices for super affordable prices. And I couldn't agree any more -- I always stumble upon the best finds at these stores! They have choices for the whole family, including designer clothing, sporting goods, educational toys, pet items, food and kitchen items -- there's something for literally everyone!

My favorite ideas from Julie were stocking stuffers, since those are always the hardest for me. She suggested vintage games (she mentioned Jack's as a fun idea for my 4 year old, which I'm totally going to buy!) and vintage card games, personalized stationary, or mini chalkboards and chalk. Unique and fun ideas, right? I mean I have to have something fun to go along with the socks and underwear that always show up in the stockings!

So run over to your local T.J.Maxx, HomeGoods, and Marshalls, and finish up that holiday shopping!

Also, don't forget to check back tomorrow for one last quick Handmade Holiday DIY project!

December 17, 2014


Gifts Under $30

1. j.crew graphic tee / 2. urban decay eyeshadow palette / 3. forever 21 glitter polish / 4. old navy pom-pom beanie
5. asos tortoise sunglasses / 6. forever 21 makeup bag / 7. j.crew scarf
8. target bow flats / 9. j.crew iphone case / 10. forever 21 statement necklace / 11. old navy blouse 
12. anthropologie notebook / forever 21 gold bar necklace / 14. forever 21 bath mousse 
15. gorjana midi ring / 16. gorjana open midi ring

For many stores, today is the last day to order online and guarantee delivery by Christmas, so it's time to snatch up those last few gifts! I stopped by a few stores the other day and it was a mad house, so save yourself a headache and a lot of time by finishing up any holiday shopping online. I've rounded up a few of my favorites, all under $30, and any of which I would love to receive (in fact, my friend Kayla gave me that urban decay eyeshadow palette for our Friendsmas yesterday and I'm obsessed with it). Plus, many of these make great stocking stuffers if you're still looking for ideas! 

But hurry and order so you don't get killed with expedited shipping costs!

And if you're in need of more gift ideas, don't forget to check out my other gift guides below!

December 16, 2014


Am I the only one who gets concerned about what I look like on Christmas morning? Maybe it's because I have 20 years of photographic proof that Christmas morning can look really scary, or because I want to be able to enjoy the magical morning rather than being concerned about avoiding the camera. But whatever the reason, Christmas morning is filled with photographs and I personally would rather not look like a hot mess in every photo. You too? Well here's a few tips to help us both look good on Christmas morning!

1. Wear Pretty Pajamas. You might sleep in an oversized free t-shirt, but leave that in your closet when you head down to open your stocking. Pretty pajamas will look good in photos and make you feel good so you'll look happier in photos and won't spend the entire morning avoiding the camera. I shared some of my favorites here, but you could also throw on a pair of leggings, some festive socks, and an oversized sweater for a cozy Christmas look.

2. Put On Some Makeup. I don't know about you, but I don't wake up looking all that great. And although the authenticity of jumping out of bed and running straight down to the tree is fun and all, I'd rather spend an extra 3 minutes helping myself look a little more awake and alive. I'm not suggesting you put on a full face of makeup, but a little blush, mascara, and lipgloss can go a long way in making you look flushed, alert, and happy rather than you just stepped out of a coffin.

3. Think About Your Hair. Janssen sent me a photo yesterday of a Christmas morning when I was 9 or 10 and all three sisters had the worlds worst bed-head. Definitely authentic, and semi-cute on a 9-year-old, but as a grown woman it's better you take a moment to help yourself out so you don't look like a hot mess. French braid it the night before and then leave it loose and messy as-is in the morning, or pull it down and let the braid-induced curls show. I'm thinking I might try this fun braid this year.

4. Open Your Windows. There is nothing more flattering than natural light, so open up all your windows and let that bright light shine through so your pictures are clear and pretty! It makes a world of difference!

5. SMILE! Christmas is my favorite day of the year, and I want that to show through in photos. If you do nothing else, smile as you open those gifts so even all those candid photos show you happy and beautiful!

 Now go check out Janssen and Landen's tips for looking good on Christmas morning!

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