2014 Holiday Gift Guide For Her – $10 And Under

2014 Holiday Gift Guide For Her - $10 And Under

1. You might be inclined to store matches away, but these statement matches are worth leaving out for company to see.

2. I can’t go a day without lip moisturizer, and Burt’s Bees Lip Balms is my go-to for adding subtle color, while still being practical. (Free shipping on www.target.com)

3. These customizable love coupons are an adorable way to “give” on a budget.

4. I don’t know why, but things just taste better when sipped through a cute straw. Add one of these striped paper straws to a mason jar and you’ve got yourself a Pinterest perfect drink. (Free shipping on www.target.com)

5. It’s always fun adapting makeup and nail polish to go along with the seasons and Essie offers the perfect palette of red nail polish for the holidays. (Free shipping on www.nordstrom.com)

6. These fashionable (and often metallic) tattoos are popping up everywhere lately, and since I’d never get a real one, I’m all for this temporary option. (Free shipping today only on www.forever21.com)

7. Mercury votives are a truly elegant way to display candles, and these are no exception.

8. I use these Atom Art Bowls for everything. From jewelry storage, to food storage, they’re extremely versatile, and at $8 a bowl, they’re a total steal. (25% off with code: HOLIDAY25)

9. Anthropologie has the best selection of antique looking knobs. Not only would they add character to any drawer, but I love the idea of using them to display necklaces. (25% off with code: HOLIDAY25)

10. Monogrammed gifts feel instantly personal, and I can’t tell you how often I use the “J” version of this mug. I also love this limited edition version in gold. (25% off with code: HOLIDAY25)

11. I’m always writing notes and to-do lists, so having one of these cute pocket notebooks in my purse would really come in handy. (Free shipping on www.nordstrom.com)

12. A girl can never have too many hair ties and these are a much prettier alternative to your standard options. (Free shipping on www.nordstrom.com)

Dressed In White

Little White Dress I Adorned With Love

Dress: Revolve, Heels: Express, Purse: Brandy Melville (similar here), Bracelets: Madewell / Gorjana & Griffin, Lipstick: Laura Mercier Lip Color in “Shy”

Instead of spending Thanksgiving at home this year, my boyfriend and I decided to head east to spend a few days in Miami followed by a visit to New York. I wouldn’t call LA’s weather particularly brutal this time of year, but the warm, humid air in Miami has been so nice. We’ve both been saying how tropical it feels, which will be tough to say goodbye to when it comes time to leave for New York’s 30-degree temps. Because the nights are just as warm as the days here, I’ve been taking advantage of the ability to wear dresses while I can. I wore this white dress out to dinner our first night to a delicious Italian restaurant called Fratelli La Bufala. You’re practically asking for marinara stains with a decision like that, but between their heavenly focaccia bread and fresh pizzas, it was completely worth the risk. And I’m happy to report that I made it through sans any spills.

Little White Dress I Adorned With LoveLittle White Dress I Adorned With LoveLittle White Dress I Adorned With LoveLittle White Dress I Adorned With LoveLittle White Dress I Adorned With LoveLittle White Dress I Adorned With Love

To Have On Hand

Classic Button-Down Blouse I Adorned With Love

Blouse: Forever 21 (color no longer available, but other colors available here), Bralet: Eberjey, Jeans: Forever 21 (similar here and here), Purse: Old Navy, Heels: Express, Necklace: Tiffany & Co.

I spotted this top at Forever 21 the other day and immediately thought, “that’s so me.” And when I noticed that it was under $20, I pulled it off the rack and went straight to the register without even trying it on. Investing in a button-down blouse is always worthwhile, but with a price tag like this, I didn’t even have to question whether or not it was a smart investment. There are certain pieces that are just great to have on hand, whatever the occasion, and this is undoubtedly one of them. Whether you’re combining it with a nice skirt or pair of slacks for work, or wearing it with casual denim like I did here, it suits just about any occasion and feels timelessly classy.

Classic Button-Down Blouse I Adorned With LoveClassic Button-Down Blouse I Adorned With LoveClassic Button-Down Blouse I Adorned With Love

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The Pencil Skirt

Striped Pencil Skirt I Adorned With Love

Blouse: J.Crew (25% off with code: SHOPNOW), Skirt: Lovers + Friends (available here and here), Clutch: Dior, Heels: Similar here

I’ve always been intrigued by high-waisted pencil skirts. As a little girl, I used to dream of wearing them as part of a business suit to work because I thought they were so feminine and flattering. That dream quickly deteriorated as I entered corporate America and felt compelled to wear some variation of them every day. But I still love incorporating them into my wardrobe outside of work. Although they’re typically paired with more formal pieces, I’m amazed at how well they can take on a casual vibe with just a few small adjustments. I dressed this one up this time, but the striped pattern would fit just as well with a pair of sneakers and a casual tee tied over it.

Striped Pencil Skirt I Adorned With LoveStriped Pencil Skirt I Adorned With LoveStriped Pencil Skirt I Adorned With LoveStriped Pencil Skirt I Adorned With LoveStriped Pencil Skirt I Adorned With LoveStriped Pencil Skirt I Adorned With Love

Brisk Mornings

Camel coat I Adorned With Love

Coat: Forever 21, Tee: Bella Luxx c/o (sold out, but available in other colors), Jeans: Citizens of Humanity, Purse: Old Navy, Booties: Sam Edelman, Bracelets: Madewell / Gorjana & GriffinLipstick: Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon in “Aubergine – eggplant”

Having recently decided that my wardrobe could use a camel coat, I set out on a mission to find one. Plus, with an upcoming trip to New York, I wanted something substantial that would actually keep me warm. Knowing it would be a practical investment, I began my search with some higher-end retailers, but was disappointed with the selection. I quickly learned that in the fashion world, the end of October is considered “late in season” for coat shopping, so I began to accept that I might have to wait until next season to find what I was looking for. But as a last resource I decided to stop into Forever 21, and that’s when I spotted this one. I loved it more than the previous ones I had tried, and the same held true for the price tag. I was so excited with my find that I sent a photo to my mom from the dressing room. She immediately responded with a request that I pick up a second one for her, and she loves it just as much as I do. I wasn’t expecting to wear it before my trip, but I was able to make good use of it this weekend when visiting my boyfriend in San Francisco. The foggy mornings and brisk temperatures made it the perfect addition to layer over my lighter tee.

Bella Luxx V-Neck Tee I Adorned With LoveBella Luxx V-Neck Tee I Adorned With LoveBella Luxx V-Neck Tee I Adorned With LoveCamel coat I Adorned With LoveCamel coat I Adorned With LoveAutumn leaf I Adorned With LoveCamel coat I Adorned With Love

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Easy Cranberry & Apple Cake

Easy Cranberry & Apple Cake Recipe

Baking has always been one of my favorite hobbies, and there’s just something about this time of year that makes cozying up in the kitchen over delicious recipes that much more appealing. I have such fond memories of cooking with my mom while I was growing up, so when I was home for a brief visit last weekend, I suggested we combine forces in the kitchen for old times’ sake. She’s the true master, but I like to believe that some of her talent has rubbed off on me over the years. She suggested a recipe from Barefoot Contessa called, “Easy Cranberry & Apple Cake.” I naturally hopped on board the second I heard “cake.” Plus, I loved the idea of baking with cranberries and apples since they’re so fitting during the holiday season. The results were extremely tasty; so tasty, in fact, that I had a slice for breakfast with my cup of coffee the next morning. In my defense, it was Halloween morning, a day dedicated to indulging in all things sweet.

*This recipe is tart, but can be adapted using 3/4 of the cranberries (8 oz.), 1-1/2 apples, and extra white sugar in the fruit mixture.

Easy Cranberry & Apple Cake RecipeEasy Cranberry & Apple Cake RecipeEasy Cranberry & Apple Cake RecipeEasy Cranberry & Apple Cake RecipeEasy Cranberry & Apple Cake RecipeEasy Cranberry & Apple Cake Recipe

All Black With Pops Of Red

Casual wear: All black with pops of red

Leather Jacket: Trouve (similar here and here), Tank: StyleMint, Scarf: Aldo (similar here), Jeans: Citizens of Humanity, Purse: Old Navy, Shoes: Converse, Lipstick: Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon in “Aubergine – eggplant”, Nail Polish: Butter London in “Come To Bed Red”

Neutral colors tend to be my default palette, so come fall and winter, it’s easy for me to slip into a comfortable routine of blacks and greys since so many styles seem to shift in that direction anyway during this season. I could go on about my love for an all black ensemble, but it is fun to counter some of the dark with a pop of color once in a while. Sometimes it’s as subtle as the red outline on a pair of Converse, or the polish on my nails, but this time I brought both into the mix, topping it off with a deep red scarf and bold lip to go along.

IMG_0348Casual wear: All black with pops of redCasual wear: All black with pops of redWomen's classic Converse sneakers Casual wear: All black with pops of redBurgundy infinity scarfCasual wear: All black with pops of red

Holiday Wish List

Dear Santa Wish List

I know it’s Halloween, but it’s right around this time of year where I start creating my holiday wish list. I’d love to pretend it’s filled with practical things, like books or appliances, but truth be told, the majority of it is usually comprised of clothing. Because my wish lists tend to get lengthy, I’m making a conscious effort to take prices into consideration when sharing them with friends and family. I look for retailers who carry the styles I’m looking for, without breaking the bank. Sheinside is one in particular who recently won me over after I got my hands on this dress. The price tag seemed too good to be true, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that affordable didn’t mean a sacrifice in quality. Since their prices can’t be beat, I made them my first stop in my search to find some of the items on my list. And even though these picks aren’t exactly “necessities,” I like to think they’re still practical for the upcoming season. Added bonus: They’re all on sale!

Sheinside Black Bodycon Split Leather Skirt

Black Leather Skirt - I own a few black leather mini skirts that I love, and I’m looking to expand my collection by adding one with some more length. A black pencil skirt will always be a classic, but the leather-like material gives it an edgy, modern touch. This one is exactly what I’m looking for.

Sheinside Blue Deep V Neck Short Sleeve Lace Dress

Holiday Dress – There’s no shortage of holiday parties and events this time of year, so having a great dress on hand is key. I generally opt for darker hues during the winter, but I love the idea of some unexpected color, like the royal blue shade on this lace dress. Plus, while metallic and sequined materials can be festive for New Years, there’s something about lace that feels a bit more sophisticated, while still adding that extra level of glam.

Sheinside Light Grey Long Sleeve Tribal Print Knit Cardigan

Tribal Print Cardigans - I’ve always had a thing for tribal print cardigans. Something about them just exudes cozy to me. The prints can be a bit loud, though, so I was glad to find this one that’s more muted. It cute enough for outside wear, but would be perfect for lounging around the house in.

Sheinside Sleeveless Faux Fur Vest

Fur Vest - I used to think fur vests were a bit over the top, but they won me over after I saw how great they could look when styled well. Plus, not only are they cute, but they’re ideal for adding an extra layer of warmth during fall and winter. I may have to go with both colors for this one.

Sheinside Beige Long Sleeve Pockets Loose Trench Coat

Loose Trench Coat - Since LA’s winters rarely require heavy coats, I love the idea of a lighter alternative, like these loose trench coats. They add a thin layer of coverage without feeling bulky, and look great over everything from jeans and leggings to dresses and skirts. This beige coat would be extremely versatile, but I also love these more colorful options.

Sheinside Black White Notch Stand Collar Long Sleeve Oversize Houndstooth Coat

Tweed Coat – While I don’t have much use for heavy coats in LA, I do have some upcoming trips planned that will require some. Most of my current coats are solid colors, like black, white and tan, but I love the way this tweed pattern mixes neutrals to create something even more dimensional.

 

 *first image via www.magic4walls.com

Simmering Fall Potpourri

Make your home smell like fall with this simmering fall potpourri recipe

I have few complaints when it comes to living in Southern California, with our beautiful beaches and great weather year-round. But one thing that we do miss out on is seasons. It’s this time of year where I find myself longing to live somewhere on the east coast – you know, somewhere where fall actually feels like fall. As much as I enjoy a pumpkin spiced latte (thank you, Starbucks), we lack those obvious signs that fall has arrived, like the colorful foliage and plunging temperatures. I can’t control the weather or the changing of the leaves, so I did my best to capture the smell of it. Buying scented candles is always an option, but their artificial nature usually disappoints. Baking fall recipes is another promising method for achieving that fall aroma, but that can require lots of hours in the kitchen. An easier alternative, and possibly my favorite, is to brew up some homemade stovetop potpourri. It gives the illusion that your kitchen is filled with delicious baked goods, leaving a cozy scent behind that carries on for hours. I made a holiday stovetop potpourri last December that I loved, so adapting one for fall was a no brainer.

Ingredients 

1 orange, sliced
2 cups apple cider
4 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Pumpkin pie spice
2 Tbsp Cloves
2 Tbsp Allspice
1 apple, sliced (optional)

Instructions

Slice the orange and place in pot with all other ingredients. Add apple cider and simmer over low heat. Add more liquid as needed.

Simmering fall potpourri ingredientsSimmering fall potpourri ingredientsApple cider for simmering fall potpourri recipe Simmering fall potpourriMake your home smell like fall with this simmering fall potpourri recipe

Fitting For Fall

Black Leather Mini Skirt  I Adorned With Love

Sweater: Express, Bralet: EberjeySkirt: H&M (similar herehere  and here), Boots: Express (similar here and here), Purse: Old Navy, Bracelets: Madewell, Nail Polish: Essie in “Mink Muffs”

You might associate a black mini skirt with something to be worn during warmer months, but I’m using mine even though the days have started to cool down. The leather-like material helps make this one perfect for fall, and it would work just as well in the winter simply by adding a pair of tights. I used to worry that black leather would come off too edgy for day wear, but a neutral sweater instantly softens the look. Top it off with ankle boots, and you’ve got a look that’s a good fit for the season.

Black Leather Mini Skirt  I Adorned With LoveBlack Leather Mini Skirt  I Adorned With LoveBlack Leather Mini Skirt  I Adorned With LoveCozy Tan Sweater I Adorned With LoveBlack Leather Mini Skirt  I Adorned With LoveLoose Sweater I Adorned With Love Black Leather Mini Skirt  I Adorned With LoveBlack Leather Mini Skirt  I Adorned With Love

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