Thursday, December 25, 2014

Blogger Secret Santa

Merry Christmas!

I love being a part of gift exchanges! Who doesn't love giving and receiving gifts, right? This year I joined in on Maiedae's Gift Exchange and Jersey Girl Texan Heart's Blogger Gift Exchange.
I'm one of those people that likes to find the absolute perfect gift for someone, but I have to admit that it was hard to find that perfect something for Abby of Face The Mountain because I've never met her. We exchanged gifts through Maiedae's Gift Exchange, and tried to glean as much as I could about her from the questionnaire we all answered and her Instagram account.

I got Abby a fox mug (she loves hiking), an eos lip balm (it's cold out there), red lipstick (her favorite color is red), and a floral notepad (she loves writing).
For Monica's Blogger Gift Exchange, I got Simone of Fashion Runs the World. I've met her a few times now in the city at a few blogger brunches, so I had an idea of what I should get for her. She's a fierce fashionista who loves the color pink and reviewing beauty products, so I got her a very soft pink scarf, an eos lip balm, and a three-pack of NYX butter glosses. 
These are almost all of the gifts that I was given through either gift exchanges or friends. From Abby I got a monogrammed mug, a candle (which smells so amazing!), and A Christmas Carol. From Diane of Style Context I got this adorable "Literature is my boyfriend" necklace, which is so true.

From my friend Brittany I got yummy treats (chocolate truffles and granola) and a clock journal from my friend Lauren. I got the iHome after playing Chinese Grab Bag with my coworkers. I originally had a $25 gift card to a movie theater, but it was "stolen" in the game. Have you played it before?

My blogger friend Naomi of Starry Eyes + Coffee Cups gave me this beautiful Tangled print by Alice Zhang that was on my December wishlist.

Thank you so much everyone for the wonderful gifts! I'm a lucky girl!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Ipsy Glam Bag {December 2014}

This Ipsy bag was by far one of my favorites! I love the items I got and I know I'll get a lot of use out of them. I'm not a fan of the bag itself, but I think it's a nice touch that everyone was divided into a specific and awesome category. I'm an Inspiring Original, but there's also Fearless Heroine, Talented Being, Creative Genius, and Brave Soul. 

What I got:
 Nourishing Organics' Renewing Eye Cream (available in January)
 Bumble and bumble's Repair Blow Dry Serum (full $14, sample $5)
 tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara (full $20, sample $5)
 NYX's Butter Lip Balm in Parfait (full $4)
 CAILYN's Just Mineral Eye Polish in Orchid (full $15)

This bag is worth $29 plus whatever the eye cream is worth!
MINI REVIEWS

Nourishing Organics' Renewing Eye Cream

Eye creams are hard to do reviews on because they probably take a few days or weeks to start working, so just based on my first impression this seems like a nice eye cream. It has a subtle scent, it's 100% natural, and it sinks into the skin easily and doesn't feel greasy after. 

Bumble and bumble's Repair Blow Dry Serum

This serum smells so good! I don't blow dry my hair, but I would use it after straightening or curling my hair. I used it after showering on damp hair and I noticed that my hair was smoother and less frizzy the next day. It seems like a multi-use item and not something you just have to use before blow drying. I would recommend this. 

tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara

The thin, short bristles remind me of one of my favorite mascaras: Sephora's Full Action mascara. Though Sephora mascara bristles are in a spiral staircase shape whereas the tarte one is your stand bristle shape. The mascara is that perfect medium where it's not too dry and not too wet, so it easily coats your lashes and makes them look fuller without clumping. I'd say this thickens more than lengths, which I prefer. I would recommend this. 

NYX's Butter Lip Balm in Parfait

I LOVE this lip balm! I'm always excited to get lip balm, but I really like this one because it's from NYX, it has a light wash of color that can be layered to make the color stronger, and it's moisturizing. And it smells amazing -- sweet and delicious. I would definitely recommend this. 

CAILYN's Just Mineral Eye Polish in Orchid 

I'm usually not into things that are too sparkly, but I really like this mineral eye shadow. It's a golden taupe metallic color that can be worn intensified if you pat the applicator on or more subtle if you blend it in, so you have a lot of options. Plus the nail polish bottle shape is really fun. I would recommend this. 

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Outfit: Burgundy & Floral

So I found out last Thursday at the office holiday party that two people from work read my blog (Hi, Marisa and Nick!). It shouldn't be, but it's always a little strange when you discover that someone who you know in real life reads what you write on the internet. When Marisa brought it up I was hugely flattered and slightly embarrassed, even though I know that's ridiculous and I shouldn't be because I love this here blog and I'm proud of it. Has this ever happened to you?

By the way, you should check out Marisa's website because she's a great writer and writes a lot about some of my favorite things: films, TV, and pop culture. 

My mom knit me this scarf and I love it because gigantic and keeps me warm!

P.S. -- I started labeling some outfits "office style" if you want to see what outfits I've worn to work.
Scarf: handmade by my mom | Cardigan: Old Navy | Tee: old
Skirt: Francesca's | Leggings: Target | Boots: Amazon

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Interview with Jess of Bookworms in Dresses

I'm so excited to share this fun interview with Jess of Bookworms in Dresses! Jess is a blogger friend who loves reading (and she read a lot!), sketching, all things kawaii, travel, photography, and is the first to admit that she's a cat lady.

Hop over to Jess' blog and say hello!

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Favorite Things

Anthropologie belt {similar} & Horrorstör by Grady Hendix}

 Kayly of My Open Sketchbook (she did a Books & Looks post) had a Christmas card swap this month! Not only did she send me a lovely card, she also sent this amazing Hermione bookmark that I am completely obsessed with! Thank you, Kayly!

 How awesome is this book pillow?! Answer: So awesome! I had to have the Alice Adventures in Wonderland one because I love the story and my mom's name is Alice. 

 That Elizabeth Mott adds just a touch of glitter to my eye makeup, and I was really excited to get that NYX butter lip balm in this month's Ipsy bag. I read Horrostör by Grady Hendix and loved it! I'm not usually into horror, but this wasn't super scary. It was just freaky enough to freak me out when I read it at night in bed. Have you read it?

A few fun links:

 How to bring the holidays to your blog!

 A fantastic article on beauty during World War II.

 I absolutely adore this post on loving fanfiction. I heart fanfiction too!

 This junk food wishlist is the best!

 Yum: This rosemary green tea milk!

 OMG these photo soaps are hilarious!

 I have definitely used post-it notes as bookmarks! Love this!

 Martie puts together the best gift guides!

 I would vote for Charlotte Steggz!

 Naomi creates the best minimalist art.

 Check out my sponsor spotlight on Bookworms in Dresses.

 I loved The College Prepster's answer to "Aren't you cold?" -- I also only take outfit pictures once a week for 20 to 30 minutes, so sometimes I'm really cold (in winter) and sometimes really hot (in summer), but it's really not that bad.

 The book Perdita by Hilary Scharper sounds super intriguing. Here's the premise:
On assignment to interview the oldest people on the planet, historian Garth Hellyer meets Marged Brice, a spirited woman who claims to be 134 years old. Upon their first meeting, Marged insists that she is ready to die, but the mysterious Perdita is keeping her alive. She entrusts Garth with her diary, which connects him to the early 1900s and to Perdita, a supernatural presence who gives the gift of love.
 Sponsor love:


 Swap friends: The Ashley Marie BlogIt's Emma Elise, The Noire MenagerieRuffled Paper, My Open Sketcbook, Starry Eyes + Coffee Cups, My Life as a Teacup & Novel Style.

 Fashion loves: fun tights, open gray cardigancozy slippers, cable knit sweater, sparkly necklace, pretty blouseplaid infinity scarf, novel clutch, and studded faux-leather weekender

Have a wonderful weekend!

I'm looking for Books & Looks submissions! Click below for more info!

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