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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

NOTD: New Year's Eve Glitter


New Years is probably the only time of year I love chunky, glittery nail polishes. Russian Navy by OPI is such a beautiful color on its own, being an almost black dark purple with the tiniest rose gold specks - it only needs two coats! Cherry Bomb by Chine Glaze is such an old nail polish that I have in my collection, but it still works. There's monochromatic glitter along with rose gold shimmer as a clear top coat. It's beautiful.


If you don't want to go all out, this would be great as an accent nail for more subtle look. I'm not doing anything extravagant for NYE, but just hanging out with some friends. Maybe one day I'll go to some VIP party and dress up - it looks like so much fun! What are you plans for NYE?


Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Addicting Honey Chex Mix

Gah. I have no words for this guilty and addicting snack. I eat it every year, and whenever my mom and I make a batch it's gone only a day or two!

It requires simple ingredients, and is pretty easy to make. This would absolutely be perfect for New Year's Eve in a pretty bowl at a party, orrrrrr next to my laptop while I re-watch One Tree Hill in bed. I'd say they're both pretty good options.








Ingredients:
1 box of chex cereal (I used crispix)
2 cups mini pretzels
1 cup unsalted nuts
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 honey
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
10 T of butter (1 stick + 2 T)

Directions:
- In a large microwavable bowl, mix together cereal, pretzels, and nuts.
- On medium heat in a large sauce pan, combine butter, sugar, and honey - do not stir. Boil for 5 minutes and then remove from heat. Add vanilla and now stir.
-Pour liquid over cereal mixture and stir until evenly coated. (Be careful it is VERY hot!)
-Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes and then stir. Microwave for 1 more minute and stir. Pour the mix onto a cookie sheet and let cool. While it is almost done cooling break into small pieces and enjoy!

Aren't these adorable as a gift?

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! My mom told me she got the recipe from an old co-worker years ago, and we've been making it ever since. Let me know if you try this out!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

I cannot even believe it is the 12th day of blogmas and Christmas Eve! Here in Michigan, it's hard to even tell because it's all cold, wet, and rainy outside. Bleh. It's supposedly going to snow tonight, but I'd love nothing more than a white Christmas. Even though I feel like the Christmas spirit was more evident when I was younger - a white Christmas would be like a flashback to when I was 9. 
I definitely have to give props to bloggers who post good quality content every. single. day. Even just doing it for twelve days was so much fun because I'm on winter break and had plenty of time, but it's definitely a commitment. I hope to make blogmas an annual tradition! 
I'll be taking a little break from blogging, but I'll be back before you know it :) No matter what holiday you celebrate, I hope you are able to enjoy it with your friends and family! 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Sephora Goodies

Merry Christmas Eve Eve! It's crazy to me that I only have one more day of blogmas...the twelve days have really flew by. Today, I finally finished all of my holiday shopping (better late than never) and I couldn't resist going to Sephora. I haven't purchased anything from there in ages, and I thought I'd treat myself to a couple of items. 

I totally forgot to get the free Makeup Forever birthday gift last month so I finally got it today! It comes with a mini mascara and lipstick I'm excited to try out. Then, I purchased a dark plum Sephora lip liner in Plum because I just LOVE the look of dark vampy lips - plus it's waterproof! And since I'm planning on wear a darker lip, I definitely needed a new lip balm. I've gone through multiple Rosebud Salves and this is probably my favorite lip moisturizer of all time. Lastly, I got the First Aid Cleanser for free for 100 beauty insider points since I've heard too many great things about it. I've been looking for gentle, fragrance free skincare products and there are many benefits to this.

In the new year I plan on going on a "no buy", which means I won't be buying any new products for awhile. Thankfully two of these products were free! What's your favorite dark lip color?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Giving Back


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There are so many ways to give back to the community, no matter how small or large. Even saying please or thank you, and asking how someone's day is can make someone smile. Especially during the holiday season, it's extra important to remind ourselves of the goodness of this time of year. We can all can get stuck in the thoughts of me me me, and not looking at what we already have.  So here are plenty of ideas to give back with your friends or family - maybe you'll find something that can extend past the holidays to the rest of the year! All of these ideas can work for kids to adults and from small families to businesses! 
  1. Volunteer at a local food pantry
  2. Help out a neighbor
  3. Clean out your closet and donate unwanted clothes
  4. Donate toys for Toys for Tots
  5. Bring food to a local fire station
  6. Instead of presents, ask people to bring food to donate instead
Last week, my mom and I went to Kids' Foot Basket, a local organization that makes sack lunches/dinners for kids. As a part of her work, we made sandwiches, and it was so much fun. That's probably my favorite place to volunteer and I hope to go there in the future. I hope this has helped!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

(Really) Last Minute Gift Ideas!

Since there's only three days until Christmas, I thought it'd be a perfect time to share some quick and easy holiday presents! December is always incredibly busy with baking, decor, and catching up with family and friends. Sometimes it can be hard to think of personal but affordable gifts for everyone. For this gift idea, I love just getting the free boxes from clothing stores like American Eagle, and filling them with the presents - it's so much easier to wrap if all of the presents are in one spot.
Choose 2 - 5 as a gift:
- scarf
- favorite candy
- mini nail polish set
- colorful pens
- fuzzy socks
- a magazine or book
-fabric hair ties
- small necklace/earrings 
- flannel shirt
- chocolate truffles
- picture frame + personal picture 
-bobble waterbottle
- cute stationary
-wallet
- soft gloves
- sunglasses
- graphic t-shirt (pretty affordable at Target!)
- school spirit apparel/bumper sticker for their school
- toys for their pet
- candle
- body butter
- makeup bag
- ring tray + rings
- comfy pajama top/pants
I absolutely LOVE the Secret Santa gift my friend gave me. It includes sticky notes, pens, dark chocolate, earrings, and an adorable scarf!
Some of my favorite stores that would be absoutely perfect to find all of these gifts are Target, Home Goods, TJ Maxx, and Nordstrom Rack! Just personalize the gift to fit your price range. 
I'm so sad blogmas is almost over....but that means Christmas is SO close. I hope this posts gave you some new ideas to give to your family/ friends! Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Music Loves

What's a better way to get into the spirit than listening to some ah-mazing Christmas music? My local radio station always plays Christmas music literally the say after thanksgiving, but I like to wait until December. I love baking molasses cookies or decorating the house to some of these classic songs:

Glee Cast - Last Christmas

I really miss Cory Monteith, he's so talented in one of my favorite classic songs. 

Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas is You

Of course, I have to mention the queen of Christmas music! I'm pretty sure EVERYONE has heard this song.


Michael Buble - It's Beginning to Looks a Lot Like Christmas

Michael Buble's voice is heavenly. My mom also really likes this song too haha


Sam Smith - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

I haven't talked much about Sam Smith on the blog yet, but at the moment he is my current favorite artist. His personality and just the truth in his voice always astounds me. I cannot wait for his next album - I'm so happy he did a cover of this song!


Pentatonix - Little Drummer Boy

I have not one, but two songs by Pentatonix on this list. Every single one of them is so talented, and I'm so jealous of my two friends who got to see them live last year!


Pentatonix - Mary, Did You Know?

Breathtaking. That's the only way to describe this song. The video itself is beautiful, but I like to listen to this one with my eyes closed and headphones on.

I'm pretty Christmas music will stop playing very soon, so I'll be having all of these on repeat for the rest of the week! What are some of your favorite songs for this time of year?

Happy blogmas day 8! 

Baked Sweet Potato Chips

My favorite fall vegetable is....a SWEET POTATO. 
Haha has anyone else seen that vine with Michelle Obama? Anyway, sweet potatoes are definitely one of my favorite foods. I love to just pop them in the microwave for a couple of minutes and top them with cinnamon, or if I have more time, I'll make these delicious (and healthy) sweet potato chips! For today's blogmas #7, here's a simple, but delicious recipe that would be a perfect little snack for the holidays.





Depending if you want a more sweet or savory flavor, you can tailor the spices to what you prefer! On the sweeter side, cinnamon and brown sugar would be yummy, or on the savory side, some rosemary and sea salt would be lovely. I ended up just using some olive oil, sea salt, and mrs.dash!
Ingredients:
-2 medium sweet potatoes, washed
-oil (I recommend olive or coconut)
-sea salt
-spices 
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit Slice the potato very thinly, so they bake faster. If you prefer a thicker slice, just bake them for loner. I used an old mandolin to get them paper thin.
2. Place them on a baking sheet and toss them with your hands in olive oil. Use just enough oil to coat them evenly. Then, spread them out (one potato per baking sheet), and sprinkle on your desired seasonings.
3. Bake for 12 minutes (for really thin slices), or until desired crispiness. Let them cool for a couple minutes before serving because they will be very hot. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Outfit // Sparkle and Stripes








Happy blogmas day #6 as part of the 12 days of blogmas! I absolutely love doing these outfit posts -especially today's because it'd be perfect for a dressier but still comfy look for a holiday party. I added the hat because I love the contrast of red and green for Christmas, but it's a more subtle color. Last summer I bought this sweater dress at Topshop on clearence, and I'm glad I did. It's soft, but can be easily added to with a statement necklace like this. The necklace isn't heavy at all, and it gives a nice, classy sparkle. I received this as a graduation gift and I'm obsessed. 

Dress: Topshop {similar}
Peacoat: Michael Kors(Costco) - {similar}
Necklace: See Song Designs
Boots: Ralph Lauren
Hat: Nordstrom Rack - {similar Sale 30%!}

My family doesn't dress up too much for Christmas, so I'm probably going to wear this for dinner! What are some of you favorite statement necklaces or holiday outfit staples? ps. Thank to sarah for the pictures!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Christmas Tag


1.What are your favorite Christmas movies?
I always watch Home Alone, Home Alone 2,  and a Grandpa for Christmas every year! They always put a smile on my face. I have a whole post about them here.

2. What is your favorite Christmas song?
I absolutely  love playing Silent Night on the piano.

3. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
No...maybe I'll finally learn this year? :)

4. Have you ever had a white Christmas?
Yes, most years here in Michigan there's snow on the ground, but one year there was no snow, everyone was pretty upset haha. 

5. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Usually we either bake molasses cookies or noel nut balls and wrap presents. Sometimes we're at my relatives and we just all hang out!

6. Do you have any Christmas Day traditions?
Well no one is allowed to open presents until my parents have had their coffee. Then we will see go a see a movie and buy popcorn, and come home and eat a nice dinner.

7. Is your tree real or fake?
Fake. (and it's pre-lit hehe)

8. What tops your Christmas tree?
An angel!

9. Are you a present wrapping pro or a bang it together and go person?
I love wrapping all of my presents, but I'm definitely no "pro"...you probably don't want to see my gift wrapping skills. It always takes me FOREVER to wrap everything.

10. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas morning!

11. What is your favorite Christmas food or drink?
Mhmm my mom makes a delicious sweet and salty chex mix that can be made in the microwave. It's so addicting, and I used to put it by the fireplace when I was younger.

12. What do you enjoy most about Christmas?
I just love that for a couple weeks until Christmas, everyone is so joyful and excited. It's a nice time to spend with family, eat yummy food, and celebrate Jesus's bday!!

Christmas is always will be my favorite holiday. There's nothing like the atmosphere and joy of celebrating with friends and family. The pretty twinkly lights, delicious food, movies, music, and love. Christmas isn't a holiday, it's a way of life for a about a month. And it's also a time to celebrate Jesus's birthday - he's da man.

Of course, if you would like to do this tag, I tag all of you - it was so adorable and fun!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Chocolate Almond Spice Cookies

As you know, I love watching youtube daily - including my sorta new favorite Niomi Smart! She recently posted this video on how to make almond spice cookies, and I immediately wanted to try them out. I've always been a traditional Christmas baker, making the same buttery, sugary cookies ever year, but I thought why not experiment with a new recipe? 





I found the dough to be a little dry, and I should've added some water/milk! Otherwise, they weren't too sweet and tasted pretty good. Although I do have to say they weren't my dad's favorite - I think I'll keep this recipe for myself and not the holiday time. Having dark chocolate and sea salt together is the perfect combination of sweet and salty will always be my favorite. Yum.

Get the full recipe here!
Let me know if you try out this healthy but delicious recipe! What are some of your favorite cookies?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Outfit // Polka Dot Layers

TGIW (thank goodness it's winter break). I have so much more time to spend with friends during break, and I'm loving it. Today, I hung out with one of my good friends Sarah, who has been in past fashion posts before as model/photographer! We went to a little park that I cannot wait for it to snow when the river's frozen. 


Jacket: Columbia
Sweater: Kohl's
Jeans: thrifted
Boots: DSW 
Necklace: Francesca's {similar}

Check out the lovely Sarah here and here! Next week I'll be showing you the pictures she took of me the same day. Happy Monday! (as happy as they can be...)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Movies!

During this time of year, I can't think of anything better than making some homemade popcorn and watching Christmas movies with my mom. It's become my favorite tradition, and the only time I appreciate cheesy endings.



The Last Holiday

Queen Latifah is hilarious in this movie. I absolutely love her style and personality, and she is so lovable. It's definitely a movie to watch with your family, and it just has that laid back, heart warming feeling that I adore.

Home Alone 2

Of course, Kevin gets separated from his family again during Christmas, and having it happen in NYC is perfect. It's one of my dreams to go there with all of the beautiful lights, and Kevin will always be the wittiest kid!

A Grandpa For Christmas

Obviously I have to mention at least one Hallmark movie! These always seem to be on TV, but this is one my mom and I thoroughly enjoy every year. A little girl must stay with her grandpa whom she dislikes, and they both spend time with each other and bond through music. I love getting attached to characters.  

Little Women

A little fun fact about me is that Christian Bale is my favorite actor EVER. I could watch his movies all day long, including this one. It's based on the classic book by Louisa May Alcott, and follows the March sisters as they grow up during the Civil war. They all have their own quirky personalities, and Sigourney Weaver plays the best mom.

The Santa Clause

I definitely consider this a classic, as I still have it on VCR! Tim Allen plays a father who accidentally becomes Santa, while trying to bond with his little son as well. Such a cute movie perfect for children (or adults like me!).

Home Alone

The first of a series is always a classic. My favorite part of course is when he sets up all of the little traps in his house to catch the bad guys. Gotta love it.

Some of the next Christmas movies I want to see are Miracle on 34th Street and A Christmas Story! What are some of your favorites?

Love,
Stephanie

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