12.18.2014

CHRISTMAS COOKIES TO TRY


One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is bake treats with my mom and sister. We usually try to make a least one batch every year and its a tradition that we have kept over the years. I always have my eye out for good recipes to try but there is always my Nana's sugar cookie recipe. Here are a few holiday recipes that I have on my list…




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12.17.2014

BEAUTY FINDS: DECEMBER


I hope you are enjoying these beauty posts--I'm sure enjoying writing them. I have a good one for you today filled with lots of new products I have been trying out. With my new job I feel so fortunate that I have access to so many new and different products. What I have found, after trying everything out, is that different products work differently for everyone. What may be my favorite moisturizer may cause someone else to break out, or an eye shadow that looks great on someone else may not look that great on me. That's why you have to just try everything out for yourself. One of my favorite tips is that Sephora (shameless plug ;-) will make a sample of nearly anything in the store for free. So before you invest in that cream, primer, foundation or lipstick, try it out at home.

Here's a few products that I am loving right now...



These eyeshadow palettes sell like hotcakes and there is a reason why. They are super wearable and extremely pigmented. The 3rd iteration of the Naked franchise focuses on rose gold shades but there are some wonderful browns in there as well. I have found this to be a great go-to palette for everyday. 



I'm always on the hunt for my next favorite lipstick. I have a hard time finding anything better than Bite but I really am enjoying this Smashbox product. I plan on really testing it out during the holidays--between all of the eating and drinking I'll be able to tell if this is a keeper. In the meantime, Kat Von D's Everlasting Liquid Lipstick is my go-to product when I know I'll be socializing while eating and drinking. 


Just one more of the eyeshadow because its so pretty.


No. 3 Josie Maran Aragan Oil

Prior to working at Sephora, I used this product every night. I'm happy to introduce it back into my routine. I love how soft it makes my skin feel. It definitely helps keep my skin moisturized and glowing all winter long.


No. 4 Marc Jacobs Enamored Nail Lacquer

A while back I got my nails done for free at the Marc Jacobs store during an event. I was shocked that my nails stayed perfect for 5 days. Even though the price point is a little higher than the typical drugstore find, it is completely worth the gel-like effect (without damaging the nails) I'm completely sold.


No. 5 Sunday Riley Start Over Eye Cream

I'll admit that I hadn't heard of this brand before a few weeks ago. After doing a little research, it looks like Sunday Riley is a favorite of many people. I have dark circles under my eyes and am always looking for a great eye cream that will reduce the appearance my circles and the fine lines that have been popping up as of late. Upon applying you can immediately feel the cooling sensation and my eyes immediately look more awake. Not sure if it is affecting the wrinkles but I will keep up this routine to see if there is a dramatic difference in my fine lines.


No. 6 Marc Jacobs Highliner 

I have really been into smudgy eyeliner recently. It's a good balance between eyeshadow and liner. I like to apply a thicker line then blend upwards on the edges to create a smoky-effect.

These Marc Jacobs liners glide on so smooth and stay put all day long. They come in tons of fun colors like this silver or a pretty navy with a little metallic. They are the perfect compliment to a bold holiday lip.


That's it for now but check in next month for more beauty finds. 

12.16.2014

GIFT GUIDE: MANLY MEN


This gift guide is for all of the men in your life (I'm sure you have plenty of them) Give him things that he may not buy himself but secretly wants. For example, he didn't know that he needed "Cabin spray" but loves that his room smells like the forrest. Perhaps, he never thought of buying a pocket square with scottie dogs on it but when he wears it, he thinks of you. See how "essential" all of these things are ;-)



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12.15.2014

YES YOU CAN MAKE: CIDER CINNAMON-SPICED WHISKEY COCKTAIL


I am so excited to share this recipe with you today. It involves whiskey, cinnamon, apples and a splash of plaid (naturally). It is the perfect cocktail to cozy up next to your tree with. Best of all, it only requires three ingredients.

Ingredients:
Whiskey (I used American Honey which has a touch of sweetness for an extra-decadent treat)
Cinnamon Sticks
Unfiltered Apple Cider (splurge on the high-quality kind, it makes the drink)

Step No. 1

Pour whiskey in a jar with a few cinnamon sticks. Set in the fridge for a few hours.


This could make a fun present too.


Step No. 2

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice pour two parts cider with one part cinnamon-infused whiskey.



Shake and pour over ice.


Garnish with a cinnamon stick.


Enjoy fireside (or candleside) with friends.


This lovely glass is from Anthropologie.

12.11.2014

GIFT GUIDE FOR GLAM GIRLS (ALL UNDER $50!)


I can't believe that I haven't shared a gift guide yet this holiday season. The horror!! Well never fear I have a great one for you today. I love all of these metallic presents for all of the important ladies in your life. Those monogrammed clutches are even on sale right now (score!)



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12.10.2014

IDEAS SPROUTED


Let me take a second to blow your mind...Minority Report that pre-crazy-couch-jumping-Tom-Cruise movie that featured swiping technology and futuristic advertisements that recognized you, that movie came out 12 years ago. It really seems like yesterday. What is even crazier is that technology has evolved to match and surpass the futuristic technology shown in the movie.

I was lucky enough to partner with HP on their new computer launch of the HP Sprout. This computer (the very one I am typing this post on now) feels like something straight out of the future. It features a huge touchscreen display that is awesome for editing photos (and watching movies from my bed, shhhhhh)

Perhaps the most exciting part of the computer is the Sprout program and touch mat. The computer comes with a touch mat that responds to touch and gestures. You can even place objects onto the pad and it will scan them into your computer. It is perfect for creative projects.


When I got the computer my head was spinning with all the possible projects. I narrowed it down to just a few to share with you. As you probably know, I went to Sonoma over Thanksgiving. I decided to put together a few scrapbook pages from my trip. The best part is that you aren't limited to only photos when telling the story of your trip. I picked up leaves, moss-covered sticks and kept a few corks. I was able to scan them in and add them to my collage. I think that it really makes the pages come to life.

It was pretty easy putting the project together...

Launch the program (side note: touching the screen takes a little getting used to but when you do, you will find yourself trying to do the same with your other computers, which is especially awkward at work)


Lay the object on the mat and push the camera button. (note: my camera and the display weren't getting along so there is a crazy rainbow glow, sorry!)


Wait for the computer to scan and then remove your object. Your scan is left behind on the mat. It seriously is like magic.


Once you scan everything in, you can arrange the scrapbook page. I couldn't stop scanning. Everything from succulents to nail polish bottles was added to my Sprout library. Then you can resize the objects, multiply and rotate them with your fingers.


Here are the finished products. I love the textures that I scanned in for the background. For the second one, I even used a pillow from my couch to give it a cozy feel. I love how these turned out. They definitely capture the trip and bring back wonderful memories from our time spent in wine country.



Stay tuned for next week for a fun design project with the Sprout!!

This post is sponsored by HP. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible. 

12.08.2014

FLEA MARKET FINDING


I haven't been to the Alameda flea market in a few months but I resumed my usual routine this weekend. I love waking up early on a Sunday to sort through objects from another time. I will tell you that it is SO hard to set my alarm clock for 7am on a Sunday. But showing up before the crowds and having accomplished so much by 10am is a very satisfying feeling. I always leave inspired (and exhausted from all the walking) I hope these pictures inspire you too...