How To Give A Gift: Everyone Will Love

Simple Gifts for the Hard-To-Buy-Fors

To start off, here are a few of my favorite odds-and-ends that are simple, festive, & bright.

A cozy throw, a comical plate, a beautiful magazine, lovely glow-worthy skincare + nailart, etc., are simple and definitely no-brainers that many times are a hit among holiday gift-giving (girl-edition, at least.)  However, sometimes it’s definitely not so easy.  Especially when perhaps you don’t know someone that well, or maybe you don’t know their interests.  So I’ve organized some rules that I’ve come up over the years that are really helpful in giving a great gift, to everyone:

Rule 1 Okay, so maybe not everyone, but I’m talking in reference to things not many people don’t like.  Take a topic that is always a ‘win’, enter: food, health, useful home decor/tools (I’m staring at you never-been-used-bread-makers), your own favorite skincare products (Om Aroma & Co.), good spirits, etc.  It’s a simple rule when buying gifts; be thoughtful & unique, and always think to yourself would like the gift if you were the one being gifted.  When you start thinking about gifts that you would like yourself, you’re more likely to be on-point of what others might enjoy, too.  For instance: think of some of the go-to restaurants in your general area that you really love, like a bakery.  Do they ship their speciality items?  Same for local wines, a local brewery, etc.  I mean, how many people don’t like great food and good alcohol.  I can’t think of anyone I know…

Rule 2 Words that work magic together during the holidays: ‘One of a Kind.’   There is something so magical about giving something no one else has.  Yea, it sounds a bit conceited, but it’s really not.  Truthfully…it’s just plain awesome and, well, one-of-a-kind. It’s a no-fail. (p.s…have you ever heard of ‘Of-A-Kind‘? It’s pretty much equivalent to a hidden-rare-jeweled-crusted website of treasure.)

Rule 3 Get your hands dirty with creativity so you don’t overspend. Cheesiest remark ever? Yes, indeed.  However, good gifts aren’t always expensive gifts.  Why is it that so many feel this way?  To be honest, some of my most treasured gifts are well under 30 bucks. For instance, my Dad once bought me a gorgeous ceramic pitcher that has this adorable little lid you can place your teabags around as they steep.  And yes, I’ll probably be the old lady who hands down a tea pitcher as if it were a rare piece of jewelry. My point with this story, yet again: don’t overspend.

Rule 4 Go ‘local.’  I’ll never tire of this statement.  Rev-up your local economy + get an awesome gift for someone?  Pretty sweet gig if you ask moi.  Plus, it pretty much entangles everything we’ve gone over above.  Unique, one-of-a-kind, thoughtful, interesting, etc. There are so many talented people in your own community who spend their days creating something awesome, why not find em’ and know about em’? Oh, and obviously the best part: share them.  (p.s…here is one of my local favorites: My A La Mode)

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Rule 5  Think of ‘places’ they seem to be a lot, then go from there.  You want to get them something they will use everyday, or at least a lot. Are they in their office space (insert: a calming & inspirational print for their wall,  some low-matenience greenery- I think these guys are too fun, etc.), kitchen, living room space, outdoors.  When you think of the places they spend most of their time, chances are your gift will reflect a certain thoughtfulness a lot of people, often times, miss when gifting.  How many times did you get a gift that was totally not…you.  It’s these simple references that’ll help you get a little closer to the ‘them.’

So lovelies, hope this helps! If you like what you see, I may start a series leading up to Christmas of quick tips and tricks to give a great gift that comes from your heart, not your wallet. So feel free to leave comments and questions! xo, loves!

 

Continue reading “How To Give A Gift: Everyone Will Love”

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DIY With A (Re)Purpose: Gypsy Candle Holders

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If you’re anything like me, you have about one thousand (and two) empty once-upon-a-time candle holders. Just chillin’, hangin out around your house. Why? I don’t really know, maybe I’m a hoarder? All I knew is that I need to recycle half of them, and the other half I want to paint. So last night started out with Pukka Harmonise tea, which I’m really loving lately (however, let’s be honest, I moved on to beer right afterwards), lots of splattered paint, and jammin’ to Mazzy Star. P.s. that’s the best jaded radio station ever, I’m kind of addicted. Anyhow, this is what became of my collection, so far. I’m sure I’ll do about 1000 posts of ideas of how to paint them. It’s super easy, and I’m always wanting to add pretty colors to my apartment without calling (or spending) out for a tacky vibe. Also, my lighting last night was less than impressive, we’ll pretend it was amazing:

{I used: Martha Stewart Acrylic Crafts Paints via: Bubble Gum, Habanero, Metallic Gold + Martha Stewart Crafts Frost Glass Paint via: Ballet Slipper}

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 Directions: After your first base-coat dries, you want to continue with lighter paint and use swift, upwards, strokes. After the first round of the using the lighter paint around the base, you don’t want to let it completely dry. Only about half-dry. Wait until it’s a bit, well, ‘gooey’ still. That way, you can get more of a ‘swirling effect’ as you continue with your second-coat, continuing painting upwards. I played around with about a total of 3 to 4 ‘half-dried’ coats.  The colors then become more blended, and it gives the, as seen, ‘rustic-gypsy’ effect. For the ‘Bubble Gum’ candle holder, you can see I just put flecks of the ‘Habanero’ (aka red) by simply dotting where I wanted the color and used the same upwards technique. Easy & pretty cool.

I was clearly just playing around last night, so mine are pretty simple, but I was thinking how cool would black look swirled-in with all the light colors? Also, feel free to use a gloss for a more polished look- I chose the more rustic route, clearly. Here’s how I’m using mine:

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Foxes, Glitter, & Paradise: Home Inspiration

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I’m a big believer that a few, simple, changes can make a place feel like home vs. merely a place you live. So while I was scavenging today, I came across these lovelies that I think would make little changes, but a big difference. To be honest, I’m kind of obsessed with them all (not to mention the title, can I deem that the name of my future book?) Yes, yes indeed, because who wouldn’t want to read Foxes, Glitter, & Paradise? I’m on it. I wish I was kidding. Anyway, I also wanted to keep everything in a reasonable price range, so everything is below $100. Not to mention every piece would definitely add a little whimsical-worthy fun to your home.

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{via (top to bottom): Tobi Fairley + Rosa Pillow, Urban Outfitters + Magical Thinking Blanket, Urban Outfitters + Home Geo Wall Organizer, Leif + Pinch & Glazer Planter, My Favorite Cult-Worthy Candle: Woodwick + Vanilla Scent,  Leif + Party Teaspoons, Urbant Outfitters + Ola Liola Blue Fox Print}

What are your favorite ways to decorate? Also, I feel like a lot these would double as cool gift ideas, don’t you? Have a fox & glittered-inspired weekend, whatever that means. xoxo til’ next loves.

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Blushing Berries: DIY Beauty

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Speaking of keeping myself balanced with fun projects, I am always up for a good DIY project- especially when it involves homemade products for your skin. There is something really light and refreshing about not questioning whether you are applying some sort of heavy synthetic chemicals or disease-causing additives on your skin. Not to mention using fun, summer-inspired, ingredients that won’t cost you ten bucks for a tube of questionable goo. I’ve been playing around the idea of creating a natural, berry cheek & lip stain…and I think I finally got it down. It’s not a hard process and definitely fun for a lazy weekend ‘craft’. It’s my first time playing around with the idea, so if anyone tries this out and has some suggestions of their own spins and tricks, do let us in my dears! Simply leave me a comment below. Anyhow, cheers to pretty berry makeup for summer evenings out! xoxo.

you will need:

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{I clearly used cupcake holders (the plastic-ish kind) because they bend really well, especially after you are pouring blackberry juice (hopefully not) everywhere}

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In first mixing bowl, add about a tablespoon of your choice of facial oil (mine is a mix of organic almond, argan, ylang ylang, and vanilla bean by a local producer called Small Keys, which is amazingness) and about a teaspoon of shea butter- mix together. First step is to Mash the blackberries in your mixing bowl, making sure you really pay attention to separating the pulp from the berry’s juice. Next Pour your berry juice (remembering to separate pulp) into your mixing bowl of facial oil and shea butter. Mix the oils and berry juice together, this is probably the hardest part because you want the color broken into the oil as much as possible. Final step is to Heat your mixture. I used the stovetop on a med-high heat for about one minute, just make sure it never bubbles- you are just looking for the color to really become a part of the oils. Carefully pour your lovely new berry lip/cheek stain into your repurposed compact; stick in the freezer just a tad bit to hang out with your skinny girl vodka (of course), so it can set. I will admit, it’s best to store your berry stain in a compact that has a deeper setting. Often times, the natural oils will change consistency depending on varying temperatures. In this case, leftover eyeshadow compacts (think, baremineral’s eyeshadow) are usually best. I simply used my compact below because it was one of the only free spaces in my makeup drawer at the moment. Keep this in mind, and you’ll be good to go.

Voila! Berries- beauty’s best friend. xoxo, loves.

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White Spaces Lovely Places

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In a couple weeks I’m moving…for something like the ninth time in three years. While some, indeed, cringe at this fact, I absolutely adore change. In fact, I crave it when it comes to getting to decorate a new space to call home. I walk around with billowy dreams full of pinteresting anything and everything- offering up my fondest, nonchalant, words to the person realizing I’ve been staring at a computer screen non-stop for three hours. “But Pinterest is inspiring me, I’m being inspired“, I will most definitely recite in my most serious tone. My ‘look’ completed with red-lined eyes that compliments the red hair wiring around my face. Ignoring their ignorance for my craft they’ve clearly overlooked, I will continue on- pretending I’ve won some sort of major title for my gift of interior-design. Promoted by Domino Magazine, undoubtedly.

This has already been going on for days, and one usually needs a broom to knock me off my cloud. Any kind of broom will do. “Oh, it’s an addiction for the creative’, I’ll casually tell myself in denial. Perhaps you’ll join me? We can be in denial of Pinterest’s addiction together, it’ll be lovely. In no particular order, here are some of my favorites that I wholeheartedly intend on trying to re-create in small ways, very soon…

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 {photo courtesy/via Refinery29, The Design Files Daily, Home Magazine, My Paradissi, Apartment Therapy, Maple&Shade, Domino Magazine, The Secret is to Dream, and of course, Pinterest}

Feelin’ inspired yet? Oh, and just as a p.s. Maple + Shade and My Parradissi, are two amazing interior design blogs (Hannah Maple, of ‘Maple + Shade’, is out of Kentucky and she has done some amazing work)! So if you’re movin’ in the near future and need a couple of styling tips for your new home, they’re definitely my picks! xoxo loves.

Monday Morning Madness: ‘Pretty Simple ways to’ get ‘glow-worthy’ in your recipes.

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Hello loves, I hope your weekend was all that you dreamed it would be. If not, there is plenty of time for wine tonight. Today, I was just hoping to share a few tips to get glowing for summer, and not to mention, healthier. Summertime is definitely full of flavor. From barbecues to seasoning, it’s easy to stick to tried-and-true recipes and habits. However, sometimes it’s nice to get out there and try some new ideas and shake things up a bit. Plus, I promise if you give these three ‘swaps’ a chance, you might be pleasantly surprised at how versatile they become around your kitchen, and how often you’ll be using them. And no, you don’t have to only use these for everything, I have definitely learned not to be a preacher, but ‘here and there’ can make a pretty big difference to your summertime glow, and your health.

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1. Nutritional yeast has a bit of a ‘cult-following’ by many vegans, and it’s kind of no secret as to why. Besides the name itself being less-than-‘yum’, it is actually one of the best kept secrets in the glow-worthy department of eating for health. The first time I heard of the stuff, I was a bit hesitant, I mean- it sounded more like a bread-starter than a delicious good-for-you cheesy treat. However, I went to my health food store and grabbed some, hoping all it’s glam and gossip would deliver the promises I had read all about. I started mixing and baking and tasting…and sure enough- the stuff can be absolutely delicious, with the flavor consistent with cheese. I am most fond of its’ power when it comes to Macaroni and Cheese, and Strawberry Cheesecakes. The above picture was from just the other night, it’s quick and easy and can be subbed for any cheesy-dish. I like to play around and add things like bell pepper and garlic, for extra health benefits and taste.

Why it’s Glow-Worthy: It is chock-full of good-for-you protein, so it has all the essential amino acids your body needs to be its’ healthiest. Also, one of the best reasons to add some to your recipes, is its’ high content of vitamins; especially B-complex vitamins for extra energy, most notedly B-12. Just a little bit, goes a long way! It is ironically very low in fat and sodium, yet when added to different recipes takes on the flavor of richer dishes. So go ahead and eat your Macaroni and Cheese, it’s really good for you! 😉

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Dulse is an amazing substitute for regular table salt, I’m kind of addicted. However, the best part is that it’s super low in sodium, yet brings a salty flavor we all want. I’m also a big fan of simply adding half pink himalayan salt, and the other half subbed for dulse. I have been finding it adds a good balance, mostly because dulse can have a certain taste that many have to grow used to- yet it is very subtle. What is it, you ask? It is actually a sea vegetable and is used in a lot of asian dishes, so it does have a certain undertone in its’ flavor. It is actually quite versatile in the different recipes you can create with it. I for one, think this recipe would make for a great use of dulse vs salt. And, of course, my above ‘Sweet and Salty Mash’, which is essentially just lots of dulse and garlic, complimented by the sweetness of the sweet potatoes. It’s really good for a summertime side-dish.

Why it’s Glow-Worthy: It is full of beautifying minerals that regular salt just doesn’t add up to (although I’m talking sea salt here vs pink himalayan salt, that I’m also a big fan of), plus the big difference is it’s low-sodium. Dulse also is great for under-eye darkness and can help eliminate puffiness. Which is mostly caused by our over-consumption of salt, which then leads to water retention/a load of problems. When we consume dulse it helps balance the electrolytes in our body, and therefore help to keep us less bloated. It is also a great form of B-vitamins.

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This is a new ‘to do’, with me. I have talked about my bread obsession here, but this is actually such a simple way to add an extra punch of vitamins and minerals to the norm’ ‘sandwiches’ we (or at least I) tend to grab for during the summertime months. It’s something I’m still playing around with and trying to swap a lot more, but with the farmer’s markets getting more dense with an array of fresh, green, leafy veggies, it’s kind of a no-brainer to keep it a routine. As you can see above, all you have to do is cut along the stem to make it easier for wrapping, and voila. I made the above wrap the other day and it was absolutely delicious. I have been thinking of ways to make it a little tastier and I came up with this: in a bowl just throw some apple cider vinegar, pinkhima’ salt, garlic, and dill- then toss the leaves around and let them stay in for at least an hour or so. So now, you have infused them with a little extra spice & flavor- and they are still full of all their goodness. Cooking them, to me, still kind of defeats the purpose of why they are so good for us. However, if you want to give them a light blanche, to make them a little more tender, I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad.

Why it’ Glow-Worthy: Well ironically, they literally brighten our skin’s tone. No joke. Only one cup provides us with up to 70% of our daily vitamin C. It also has a very high content of chlorophyll which helps to create a cleansing effect to our blood, and overall gives us better circulation which =’s a healthy glow. I suppose you can judge a vegetable by its’ denseness, and kind of put together how much ‘good stuff’ it is brimming with. Collards are definitely super dense- to me- even more so than cult-standing kale. It is also very high in body (and skin)-loving vitamin A, B vitamins, and E. While also providing a serious amount of calcium and iron, which many of us girls need a lot of in our early 20s-30s. Plus, it’s super absorbable when in the form of collard leafs.

So, with nothing else to really say, get glowing my dears with these three simple swaps. Kind of crazy all the good the littlest changes can create. Oh, and a mantra for your Monday, because it’s so true. 😉 xoxo.

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Pretty Simple: Ways To Sparkle For Mother’s Day.

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Happy weekend to all, hope it’s a fabulous Saturday, filled with leisure and love. I’m just hanging out with my lovely dogs {what’s new} and perhaps going to see a local band later from my roots, gotta’ love NC and the twangy, soulful, bluegrass. Anyhow, as I have taken up the love of all things nail-art inspired (most noted from my obsession with Lana Del Rey– girl is amazing!/as is her nails), I have found through lots of trial and error, one, marvelous line that I absolutely adore. Sonia Kashuk’s line of nail polish is the simplest nail polish I have ever used. And I’m sort of becoming a nail polish whore. How is it simple, you ask? It’s perfect if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time for a thick, gloppy, mess to dry. Plus, her colors are wonderful and the names are too cute {don’t act like you don’t buy nail polish just for the name), and they’re not going to cost you 2-lattes worth of mu-lah. I think it’s enough to rejoice for, darlings! Well, I do hope your Mother’s Day is whimsical- and if not- here’s a little sparkle to brighten your weekend.

Continue reading “Pretty Simple: Ways To Sparkle For Mother’s Day.”