Friday, November 28, 2014

Holiday Decorating Ideas (DIY Room Decor & More!) [Video]

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving! After the food coma subsides, it is time to begin putting up the Christmas decorations. Recently, I have been working hard on several decorations to make my home a bit more cheerful and festive. My favorite aspect of Christmas is the time leading up to this joyous holiday.   Everyone is in a good mood and there are colorful lights up on all the streets. Today I have uploaded a holiday decorating video. You can click here to watch my video now! I hope you enjoy it and get some inspiration. 

Which is your favorite decoration? 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

What I'm Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are enjoying a feast amongst family and/or friends on this joyous occasion. In honor of this holiday, I want to share some things that I am thankful for this year. 

Nature: As pictured above, I am thankful for all the beauty in nature. I've drawn so much inspiration from beautiful flowers and the changes in colors of leaves over the year. Nature speaks to my artistic side and brings my creative side out. I am fortunate to live in sunny California and enjoy nature on a regular basis. 


I chose a cheesy photo of my dad, wearing my homemade pumpkin spice latte face mask. I forced him to try it out a few weeks ago. I am so fortunate to be close to both of my parents. Over the past six months, I have lost three family members. This time of year makes me appreciate the family that is still alive and in my life. I am luckily I have two happily married parents and extended family that lives close by. 


I appreciate my worldly experiences more than anything else. In the past year, I have been fortunate enough to do some traveling. The photo (pictured above) is from my trip to Costa Rica last May. I even did a vlog from my trip! I have also taken a couple trips back to my college town & headed to Las Vegas over the summer. I'm headed back to Vegas next month! Traveling is hands down the best way to spend your money, at least I think so. 


I am incredibly grateful to have my boyfriend, Joe, in my life. We have been together for nearly two and half years. I cannot imagine my life without him. Through the ups and downs, he has supported me. I love him and look forward to our future together. The photo above was taken on our most recent trip to our college town. 


Finally, I had to include the most recent addition to my little family. My adopted cat Izzie is new furry buddy. She is so sweet and gentle. And she never sheds! She is truly the cleanest cat I've here owned. I am so glad I spotted her in the animal center on that hot day in late September. 

These are just a few of the things I am thankful for. 

What are you thankful for this year?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Turkey Cookies: How To

As per tradition in my household, I had to make turkey cookies this Thanksgiving We have been making these cookies since I was five years old. There is no baking required, as you may have guessed from the picture above. They are incredibly easy and great for children. I hope you try them out. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Frosting
Mini Peanut Butter Cups
Mini Chocolate Chips
Candy Corn
Red Hots (Red Hard Cinnamon Candies)

1) Frost cookie
2) Place an unwrapped mini peanut butter cup on top (in the center)
3) Spread a small amount of frosting on the exposed side of the peanut butter cup
4) Place two mini chocolate chips on the peanut butter cup to represent the eyes
5) Place a red hot (the gobbler) below the peanut butter and one chocolate chip on either side (the feet)
6) Place candy corn along the top edge of the cookie to create feathers 
7) Enjoy!

Step #2

Step #5

What are your Thanksgiving traditions?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ipsy Glam Bag | November 2014

I was pleasantly surprised with this month's Ipsy Glam Bag. I often find myself tossing the little samples into my backup stash, as I tend to receive a lot of the same types of products--body lotion, mascara, perfume. This month I received samples I have actually been using over the past couple weeks. Without further ado, let's get into my November Ipsy Glam Bag:

Be a Bombshell Cosmetics Eye Base in Submissive: I was immediately drawn to the color, as it is perfect for the current holiday season. I rarely find eyeshadow bases in my subscription services so I was delighted with this one. It is highly pigmented and long-lasting, just as it was intended to be. I foresee getting a lot of use out of this product.
Elizabeth Mott You're So FINE Eyeliner in Glitteratti: Although I have not had an occasion to wear this yet, I am greatly looking forward to using this eyeliner. The product has an ultra-fine tip, which will work great for me. The color itself is black with silver specks. I suspect I will use this eyeliner for my New Year's Eve look. 
Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Volume Shine Hairspray: As a whole, I enjoy Marc Anthony products. I have not given this product a whirl yet (I am hooked on every hairspray Bumble & Bumble comes out with). I intend to bring this hairspray along on my Vegas trip next month. I have a feeling it will work well for me. 
Tarte Maracuja Oil: Hands down I was most excited to receive this product. I have wanted to try this Tarte oil for ages but could never justify purchasing it. I was thrilled to find it in this month's glam bag. This oil has high doses of vitamin C thus it gives you brighter skin. I have been getting into skincare, specifically anti-aging products. This product is ideal for me, as it promotes hydration and even-toned skin. I highly recommend this product if you haven't tried it yet!
Wet n Wild MegaSlicks Balm Stain in Lady and the Vamp: The catchy name just adds to the already amazing properties of this lip product. I adore the color, as it gives you that wine stained lip. It is fairly moisturizing and sets nicely on the lips for long wear. I am so glad Ipsy provided us with a full-sized product! I am thoroughly enjoying this balm stain and I am contemplating picking more up at CVS. 

I thoroughly enjoyed everything I received from Ipsy this month. They will need to keep up the momentum next month! 

What did you receive in your November Ipsy Glam Bag

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Recipe!

I am thrilled to share a recipe with you for one of my favorite foods! Pumpkin pie is my Thanksgiving must-have dessert. All year long I look forward to the aroma of pumpkin pie in the oven. The recipe I am sharing is from the Moosewood Cookbook (I cannot recommend this cookbook enough). For your convenience...

3 cups pumpkin puree
3/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp molasses
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 can evaporated milk

-Combine all ingredients in the order listed
-Pour into pie crust
-Bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes
-Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 40 minutes
-Allow to cool for at least two hours before serving

To watch my here!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dessert?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Chai Tea Latte Round Up

I have been a chai tea latte lover since my early college days. As a freshmen, I used to get my weekly iced soy chai with a friend on the way to our orientation course. The taste always reminded me of Christmas and the holiday season. Post college, I began to investigate the increasing number of options at Trader Joe's. I have come up with third mixes that I highly recommend you try out! 

Trader Joe's Salted Caramel Chai Tea Latte Mix

My favorite is the Salted Caramel mix. I think most people will find this delightful. I have to say that it can be sickeningly sick if you follow the directions on the container. I make mine with 10-12 fluid ounces of unsweetened vanilla almond milk. The almond milk gives the beverage a distinct creaminess that obviously does not happen with water. The mix itself is essentially sugar so I recommend using 1/2-2/3 scoop, as opposed to 1 scoop. Each scoop is 3 Tablespoons, so that is 1.5-2 Tablespoons. 

I heat my almond milk on the stove until it starts to bubble. Then I whisk in the chai tea latte mix. 

Pour your mixture into a mug and you have a dessert-like beverage. This is too sweet for me in the morning but makes a nice afternoon treat. 

My other favorite chai tea latte picks are the Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Latte Mix and the Trader Joe's Spicy Chai Tea Latte Mix. For the pumpkin spice, I recommend making it with milk (almond milk is my preference). I initially tried this with water and was disgusted with the results. As a pumpkin spice lover, I knew I would like this if I changed up the way I prepared it. The Spicy Chai is a great, more classic pick (in my opinion). I recently watched a YouTube video in which you combine almond milk, spicy chai tea latte mix, and chocolate hazelnut butter (aka Nutella). This sounds insanely amazing and I cannot wait to try it! 

Are you a chai tea latte fan? What is your favorite chai tea latte recipe?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Birchbox | November 2014

I was thrilled to see a festive Birchbox this month as I am tremendously excited for the holiday season! This month I received six samples, as one was a food item. Let's get into it, shall we?

Bain de Terre argan oil & passion flower COLOR THERAPY STYLING OIL: This is a lightweight blend of essential oils that nourishes hair and adds shine. I use a small amount, concentrating on the tips of my hair. My hair can easily become a greasy mess so I prefer to use oils on the ends of my hair (sparingly, I might add). This is a decent product, although honestly, I prefer the Josie Maran Argan Oil

Eslor Firming Collagen Day Cream: This cream is meant to be used on the face and neck to boost elasticity and diminish the appearance of wrinkles. I have used it as a hand cream and find it quite moisturizing. Personally, I would not use this on my face during the day as I usually make sure to use something with SPF protection. I do recommend this cream for nighttime use or for other areas on the body. 

Joie Folle de Joie eau de parfum: Another tiny perfume sample. I am never delighted to see these as  I have far too many and I rarely reach for them. The scent is nice. It is floral and clean, in my opinion. I can see using in more in the early spring. I am very much set on my fall/winter fragrance, as I wrote a post about my affinity for the Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black. 

Not Soap, Radio Joy Inducing Body Wash: I love the scent of this body wash. Although I once again feel it would be best suited for spring, I do plan to use up this body wash soon. It can double as a bubble bath and I fully intend to use it up in my next soak in the tub. The sample itself is decent in size and I may get two bathes out of it. 

theBalm cosmetics Cindy-Lou Manizer: I was overjoyed to see this highlighting product make an appearance in my November Birchbox. I love theBalm as a whole and have greatly enjoyed products from them in the past. It is rare I make a purchase from but my first product purchase was theBalm Put A Lid On It, which I still use. I have used the Mary Lou Manizer to death and received numerous compliments on it. I like the Cindy-Lou Manizer thus far. We will see after some time how it compares. 

Dang Toasted Coconut Chips: If there is one thing Birchbox always get right, it is the size of snack samples. I am always thrilled when I receive an edible treat in my box, as they are always a decent size and I often greatly enjoy them. This time was no different. I received these toasted coconut chips, which I am snacking on while writing this blog post. Once again, I find these better suited for a different season. These seem like a summer snack to me. They are delicious and not overly sweet; something I have come to appreciate. All in all, I recommend trying them! 

I have to say I did enjoy my Birchbox overall this month. Some samples could have been bigger (or different products...) but I did enjoy the highlighter from theBalm, the toasted coconut chips, and the body wash. 

What did you receive in your Birchbox?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sephora VIB Sale Haul

As you may have guessed, I stopped by the Sephora VIB Sale. I popped into my local Sephora on the last day of the sale and I picked up a few new products with the 20% discount. Bonus: I received a cute tote bag with my purchase!

Ole Henriksen Nurture Me Cleansing Cloths (Makeup Removing) ($8 for 10 cloths)

The first product is a item I saw near the check out. I have heard of the Ole Henriksen Cleansing Cloths and have seen the brightening ones on several YouTuber's channels. I chose to go with the Nurture Me Cleansing Cloths (for makeup removal). I personally was drawn to these as they supposedly remove waterproof makeup and I am always on the hunt for products that do just this. I tried out one of the cloths tonight to assist in removing my waterproof mascara. Honestly, I did not notice a huge difference between these and the Simple Cleansing Wipes. The only thing I liked better about the Ole Henriksen cloths is that they have a nice scent. The Ole Henriksen cloths are almost three times the price ($15 for 30 vs. $6 for 30 Simple cleansing wipes) and to me, the price tag isn't worth a nicer scent. 

Sephora Favorites Beauty Unmasked ($29)

My primary mission for this Sephora trip was to purchase this set. I initially was leaning towards the Glamglow set ($69) but was hesitant about the price tag. I did some research and landed on this cheaper set. I chose to go with the Beauty Unmasked value set, as it allows me to try out four different masks. I have heard good things about the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores. I put it to the test on Monday night and I can honestly say that this is my new favorite mask of all time. My pores seemed incredibly cleared out after using this mask (if that makes sense). Last night, I went for the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask and I thoroughly enjoyed this mask as well; I like that you can peel it off after it dries. I have tried the Glamglow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment once before so I am excited to have it in my life once again. I haven't heard anything about the Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask so I have no comment on this product. All in all, I am thrilled with this set. I think I'll be able to get four masks out of the Glamglow treatment and three or four masks out of the Peter Thomas Roth product. From the Origins and Boscia masks, I am estimating I will be able to use each of these products 10 times. Overall, I will come out with close to 30 masks, thus each mask will only cost me roughly $1. What a steal. 

Bite Beauty Mix N' Mingle Lip Mini in Violet/Palomino ($12)

I can never resist holiday items. This little beauty was on my list after I saw it on the Sephora website. I am always eager to try new Bite Beauty products, as all of their products are made with food grade ingredients. I am obsessed with their agave lip treatment but that's another story. This double-ended lipstick has a bright pink and a bright purple color. Although you don't get a ton of product, this item still packs a punch and gives me an opportunity to try out two lipsticks without the $26 price tag of one lip product. I highly recommend this as a stocking stuffer. 

The perfect gift for any gal. I purchased this sampler set as part of my best friend's birthday gift (we're going to Vegas for the big day next month!). I thought this would be perfect because she can test out the samples while in Vegas and select a rollerball upon our return. Then she will have the perfect scent in rollerball form over the holidays. I got this for my cousin last year and she loved it. 

Kate Somerville Exfolikate (100 point perk)

As per usual, I had to pick up something with my points while in Sephora. I chose a 100 point perk item on this particular trip. I have not tried it out yet but I will report back. 

That is it for my Sephora VIB Sale Haul! 

Did you pick up anything from the Sephora VIB Sale?

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