Under $50 Gift Guide for Her
Shockingly I’m a pretty amateur blogger but hey atleast I’m working on it. We all have to have goals! So with that said this is the first college I have ever been able to put together (small victory, where is my champagne and confetti?). This is my first gift guide of the season with a woman’s gift guide with all gifts being under $50!! I’m so excited to share these finds with you all because I honestly love all of these items and if I don’t already own them (which I do own about half) I want to!!
1. Kendra Scott necklace https://rstyle.me/n/dc38yrce3n7 – So pretty and perfect for a personal gift. All you have to know is the month of the person’s birthday (and let’s be honest we can all just Facebook that) and then we have the perfect gift. I love how it’s so simple that anyone from all ages can wear it and rock it.
2. Passport holder https://rstyle.me/n/dc4cc2ce3n7 – My cousin gave me a passport holder two Christmases ago and I have to say it is one of my favorite gifts I have ever received. I love holders just like this that have pockets so when traveling you can put all of your necessary items in there like your tickets and baggage claim tags. It makes it so much easier to have them all in one place rather than having to search through your bag every time you need your ticket. It makes it so convenient that everything is all together in one tidy little space.
I had always wanted to try eyelash extensions and I finally decided to pull the trigger and get them done. I really wanted to focus on finding a place to go that was clean and reputable. I reached out to a friend of mine who is a hair stylist and she hooked me up with a great place. When getting anything done with beauty I always recommend reading a lot of reviews and then choose a business or doctor that comes highly recommended. I had my eye lashes done in January and have used the same establishment for my touch ups ever since. I will say that I love them although there are multiple cons to the process that I will discuss. To me the biggest pro is obviously that they just make your eyes look amazing. I feel that even when I don’t put makeup on it almost looks like I still have some on because my eyelashes are done so I really do like the way that they look.
Things I wish I Knew:
– You can not get them wet after they are first done. The place I go told me to not get them wet for 72 hours after the first application. Upon googling I see that most places recommend 24 hours. For me it was something that I wish I knew because the first time i went I planned on showering after my appointment. Although you can still shower you just have to make sure you are careful to not get them wet which is kind of a pain. It becomes more of an issue in summer or if you’re planning on going on vacation and swimming is going to be involved. Just something to think about.
-When you have eyelash extensions all of your eye makeup and makeup removers have to be oil free. This is another thing that I was unaware of and had to go out and buy all new makeup. People at Sephora and basically all make up stores are very informed and can give you oil free makeup easily it’s just something to think about and know before you have extensions and no makeup to put on.
-Another thing I find is that they do not last as long in the summer. I think its because of the constant sweating and humidity that takes place that loosens them quicker and causes them to fall out.
-Time commitment. I usually get my eyelashes done about once every three to four weeks. Some people do it every two weeks but either way is fine. When i get them done my appointment usually lasts around an hour and a half. During the appointment you simply just lay there with your eyes closed. At times I find it relaxing and then other times I find it extremely boring so it can go either way. To be honest I have even fallen asleep.
-Expensive. Eyelash extensions aren’t cheap. Most places have their prices online so I would check them out before hand. I usually pay $150 every four weeks so it adds up very quickly. Usually it is cheaper if you go every two weeks but at the same time you are then paying twice a month so it basically adds up to the same thing,
In the end I do love my eyelash extensions! Just some things to think about for anyone who is thinking of making the plunge!
My Top 10 Favorite Romantic Comedies
Pass the popcorn it’s time to break out the rom coms to celebrate V-Day! Whether you’re alone, with girlfriends, family or your boyfriend/ husband everyone loves a good romantic comedy (even if they act like they don’t)! These are my personal favorites that I’ve probably watched a million times each!
1. Sweet Home Alabama
Warms my heart so much and always love Reese Witherspoon who plays a woman who comes from a small town in Alabama but has now made it big in NYC as a fashion designer. Her handsome, millionaire boyfriend has just proposed and her life is great but the only wrinkle is before she can get married she must travel back home to get divorced from her first love. My personal absolute favorite movie that reminds you that you can always go home and sometimes love is right where you left it!
2. The Proposal
Who ever says they don’t love Betty White is lying and her role is adorable in this movie! Pairing that in with a hilarious male stripping scene plus some Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock and its easy to see how this movie is such a winner. The premise its that Ryan Reynolds is Sandra Bullock’s assistant and she needs to get married before she is deported back to Canada. They go to Alaska to visit his family and it rolls from there. It really is so funny and cracks me up everytime.
3. The Holiday
This one is perfect for winter and especially the holiday season. Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet essentially switch places while they both struggle with love. One of my favorite quotes of all times is in the beginning when Kate Winslet talks about being in love with someone who essentially has no interest. We all know we have all been there at one point in our lives and I just love how she plays the role so convincingly.
4. Crazy, Stupid, Love
A movie full of surprises Steve Carell is always someone that makes me laugh. His dry sense of humor is one of my favorites and he uses it so well in his roll playing a man getting divorced after years and years of being a married, devoted dad. Ryan Gosling comes in to “help him” get back into the dating scene and the movie steam rolls from there. All Star cast with some great twist and turns!
5. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Will never forget the classic fashion moment at the end of this movie wen Kate Hudson shows up to a party in that infamous yellow dress. I think it would look better on a blonde but if I thought I could pull that dress off I would look for a similar one in an instant. A great comedy of two people who are trying to win bets and come across each other along the way.
6. 27. Dresses
Taking the term “always a bridesmaid” further than ever, Kaatherine Heigel plays “Jane” a girl that has been a bridesmaid in 27 different weddings while secretly being in love with her boss. A news paper written ends up being fascinated by her story and she opens up to him and explains her bridesmaid ways. My favorite scene has to be when she has a fashion show showing all the different dresses she wore to each wedding (lots of themes).
7. 13 Going on 30
Jennifer Gardner plays a young girl who wishes she could be older and skip her young awkward years and her wish is granted! She is now 30 with a high powered job and everything she thought she wanted but unfortunately she realizes that she has turned into a person that she doesn’t want to be. It’s a wonderful movie about coming of age, appreciating what you have and realizing that sometimes what you think you want is not what’s best for you.
8. Made of Honor
This one seems to be on TV all the time and every time it is I really can’t stop myself from watching! The premise is Patrick Dempsey plays a ladies man who has always had one female best friend who has been there for him through everything! She now gets engaged and asks him to be her made of honor which really is so sweet until he realizes that he feels she should be marrying him instead. Such a cute film and really makes you think about the friends and close relationships you have in your life.
9. Something’s Gotta Give
Jack Nicholson is one of my all time favorite actors and he doesn’t disappoint in this glorious film. He plays an oder man who dates young girl after young girl and the movie starts with him dating Diane Keaton’s daughter. It really is such a romantic movie and taught me that no matter what age you are love can always be right around the corner or right under your nose.
10. The Wedding Planner
Old school J.Lo and I love how young Matthew McConaughey looks! So many sweet and funny moments in this one and it always amazes me that the one guy who seems so dorky in the movie now is one of the stars of Grey’s Anatomy (Justin Cahmbers aka Dr. Karev). J.Lo plays a wedding planner who “never weds, just plans” until she meets one of her clients who is set to marry a woman he has been with for years.A must see for any hopeless romantic.
I am not one that really believes in “New Years resolutions” however I am one that believes we can always find ways to improve ourselves. So rather than calling it a “resolution” I’d like to think of it more as just what I want to focus on this coming year to make myself a better, more adjusted version of myself. One of my strengths and ironicly a weakness is that I don’t often take enough time for myself. I enjoy being around other people and in doing so it often leads me to placing them before me. For 2018, my goal is to start tending to my personal needs as much as I am there for others ! There are so many things I should be doing or I would like to do but I push them aside for this that or the other. My time management chart is so one sided for others and needs to be brought back into balance. When people first meet me I think I come off as a very relaxed, chill person but the reality is I am very typically in a state of anxiousness. I used to be able to manage it much better but lately it’s been a struggle. I tend to be an over thinker which although can be okay at times, often leads to unneeded worry. I believe that by refocusing inward and working on skills/stress outlets I can be a much more focused and balanced person. Below are some skills I am going to incorporate into my day to day schedule that will help me to clear my mind as well as help me understand myself a bit more. My end goal is to help me to have a more relaxed mindset in which to handle life’s rollercoaster ride.
1. Read more,
Reading is always something I have enjoyed and since I have been blogging I have thought a lot about getting back into it. Reading and writing go hand in hand so reading more will naturally improve my writing. I seem to always prioritize everything else instead of taking the time to sit down and relax with a new book. It is a good way to escape from the pressures and thoughts racing thru your own mind. Instead reading brings you into the mind of someone else. It’s a portal into an alternate life that can expand your horizons in many different ways.
2. Finding a clear balance.
Since I started my blog I feel I am on my computer or phone ALL THE TIME! When I become passionate about something and become dedicated to success in a project it is so hard for me to not focus all of my time and energy into its growth and success. It’s a labor of love but it requires the need to find a balance . I so enjoy having found something I am passionate about however finding a healthy balance for disconnecting from work in order to live and enjoy the present moment is my goal. There needs to be clear boundaries between the Cyber world and the real world. My plan is to simply set up a strict time schedule to work on the blog and then set time to enjoy life with the people I love. When I dont have that balance I find myself getting distracted with thoughts and it always takes away from quality time spent with the people I love who truly deserve my full attention. I honestly believe by finding this balance I will be a happier and less stressed person and in turn that healthy balance should spill over into every part of my life.
I have been doing yoga for a little while now but unfortunately I can’t say I am truly committed to it yet. I want to incorporate yoga into my daily routine Because I always come out of my class feeling so much better both physically and mentally. My yoga instructor always talks about “our intentions” and making sure we bring in positivity and let go of the negativity. It is so easy when going through a rough time to focus on the negatives that are around us and get stuck in a rut. It is so easy to excessively worry while becoming more stressed and overwhelmed. It is that combination of emotions that lead people to believe that there is no way to get back on track. That emotional rollercoaster is very difficult to control unless you have a positive self healing outlet. I believe yoga can be one of those outlets for me. Because yoga provides the physical and mental relief of stress it allows me to often put everything into perspective. I often come out of the class realizing that everything I was so stressed and worried about really wasn’t that big of a deal at all.
4. Multiple forms of exercise
In combination with yoga, other forms of exercise is something I need to incorporate back into my life. Exercise is difficult to start but when I do I feel so much better ! I always have an excuse to put exercise aside and focus on other things. The fact is that exercise is an absolute homeopathic aid in both your physical health as well as your mental health. It is not all about trying to be skinnier and look better (although that is always an added benefit), exercising it about helping you clear your head and feel energized and happy to take on the day.
Obviously my deep love for clothes and accessories is how and why I started this blog. Fortunately but unfortunately my skill in finding bargains has helped me compile a rather large amount of stuff. It can get in disarray rather quickly. My goal is to start getting rid of clothes/accessories I no longer wear or use. My thought is if I haven’t worn it or used it in the last year I don’t need it. This is a great way to make room for new clothes but also will feel so much better to have a more organized environment. I know to some people this problem might sound pretentious and out of touch. I understand exactly why you might feel that way. I have worked hard for everything I have in my life. I understand the value of hard work and the rewards that come from it. I always donate things i no longer use to people in need. It gives me great pleasure helping others and I ask all of you who read this blog to look thru your own belongings and donate to people in need . Donating to people who appreciate it and actually use it is a gift within itself.
Getting back on thought I always feel so much better when things are organized and in their place. When there becomes so much clutter it is hard for everything to have a place. My plan is to declutter my living space so I can feel more relaxed and serene within my own space.
6 TAKE A BATH !
I honestly love baths! My stress truly melts away as I lay there. My favorite thing to do is get a good book, open a nice bottle of wine and lay in the bathtub with a little light music in the background. My problem is I never take the time to do it. In the past year I think I have taken a bath twice. When its something I know I love to do, how it relieves my stress and makes me feel 100% better! My question is why don’t I do it more?! The answer is because it takes time and I am always doing a million other things rather than taking the time to focus on something for me. My goal for 2018 is to enjoy a bath at least once a month ! Try it, I guarantee you will like it !
These are tips and ideas that I know will help me. Everyone has their own way to handle the stresses in life. If these are not for you then I encourage you to find your own ways to find balance and peace. Whether it be once a month or once a week we all have to start somewhere and something is always better than nothing.
The problem that we or at least I know I have is that we often feel guilty taking time for ourselves or we feel like we should be doing something else with our time. I am ready to start doing the things I enjoy and start focusing on things that I know help me relax.The truth is when you are stressed and unhappy it doesn’t help anyone else. The more you take time to focus on yourself and be the best you you can be that is when the people around you can love and appreciate you even more because you are happy with yourself. That is why I am truly striving to find that inner happiness and peace within myself and hope everyone can find it as well. Let’s make 2018 a great year for everyone !
My Party Planning Ideas
Haven’t planned my own house party in a while and am so exited that this year I will be hosting New Year’s Eve. Our original plan was to go away to celebrate but unfortunately I have to work the day before and the day after so we instead decided to just plan a nice night at home. I always love hosting and these are my tips and tricks that I have learned along the way!
1. Set a menu
The earlier the better on this one but to me food makes a party. I love making different appetizers and different things for everyone to try. Pinterest and different recipe books are always a good place to start. Another idea is to ask everyone to bring an appetizer or dessert. When everyone brings their own its nice because guests will all bring things they enjoy making a great variety. For this party I have planned appetizers ranging from sushi to guacamole. I always like to have a wide variety to make sure there is something everyone will love.
2. Signature drinks
People love cocktails and nothing makes a party more memorable than a drink that everyone loves. I look up recipes on Pinterest or just google different recipes based on what liquor you are interested in using. To add a cute touch I always name the cocktail after the event or the people involved in the event. Since this event is for New Years I plan on doing a champagne based cocktail to stay in the New Years theme.
What I plan on using: https://iowagirleats.com/2017/02/10/french-75-champagne-cocktails/
One thing that to me makes a party is continuing old traditions or starting new ones. Traditions are something everyone looks forward to although people love change there is nothing like feeling nostalgic and continuing a tradition for years. Also a great idea is adding spins on old traditions. For example my father is Danish and they have a tradition where they make rice pudding for dessert, everyone gets a bowl and then in the rice pudding there is one almond. Who ever gets the almond in their bowl then gets a present. Such a small thing but everyone gets so competitive and hopes they get the almond. For New Years my boyfriend is Italian so he wants to do it but put it in gelato. We are crazy but it is always fun to put a different twist on an old tradition.
Another idea we have is letting go of balloons outside at midnight for those who have passed. It is just a nice tradition that we know will make everyone feel together and happy to honor those we have lost. It is traditions like these that people remember and make everyone at the party feel connected.
4. Supply entertainment
This can literally be as simple as putting out cards but anything can really be entertaining. Play music, make people dance, bring a board game. Even though at times this can sound semi lame when everyone is around drinking and eating, getting competitive makes for a fun atmosphere. People love to play games and for parties it makes for a great ice breaker. Beside board games I like to google murder mystery ideas. Everyone gets a character and its so funny to watch everyone get into their character.
5. Make a dress code/ make a theme
I love getting dressed up and although not everyone likes to it makes it so entertaining to put a dress code on a party. It could vary from a pajama party to black tie but it really starts to party for everyone to feel like they are in a theme. Although setting a theme can feel corny it honestly makes it so easy on a host. you can incorporate the theme into everything including decor, food, drinks and games. People love getting into the theme and seeing the creativity of everything being incorporated.
top: and it’s on sale!!! https://www.bostonproper.com/p/multicolor-sequin-poncho/
Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide
Gifts for Women:
I believe I have purchased new Ugg slippers for myself every year for the past eight years. I get so much use out of them that every year I need a new pair, but that’s a good thing right? I so enjoy things that I wear constantly until they literally wear out. They are so comfortable and warm and keep me happy through the cold winter. Also a plus you can buy matching ones for the man in your life and the both of you can snuggle by a fire in your comfy Uggs. The perfect gift for anyone really.
Urban Decay….I have loved their eyeshadows forever and this palette is my favorite yet! Anything sparkly has me all over it and this palette sparkles and shines for days! Anyone who loves makeup will adore this palette. The colors range from dark to light and so many can be mixed and matched to give dramatic effects. I usually like o wear multiple eyeshadows at once and this palette is perfect for that! It also can work as a great stocking stuffer or be under the tree. Really a wonderful gift for any lady.
One of my favorite trends this season has been the pearl trend. As I have said in prior blog posts I love everything feminine and pearls scream this to me. I fell in love with these flats when I saw them on the Nordstrom website. I so enjoy the trend and love these shoes! Also a current trend is slip on shoes and this goes right along with that trend as well! Perfect gift for any fashionista.
I am seriously obsessed with all of these bracelets. I personally have wanted a bracelet that I could put Roman numerals on for forever and was so happy when I finally found this! I now have two of them and I wear them all the time. To me they are the perfect gift because they can be personalized with whatever you would like which makes such a sweet gift. Many websites I would find would only allow for initials or a couple letters. With Monica Vinader you can truly customize it to whatever you want. With the two that I have one has the Anniversary date of my boyfriend and I and the other my boyfriend engraved with a sweet note. Everyone loves a personal touch at Christmas and this is the perfect one!
Ugg gloves: https://www.bloomingdales.com/shop/product/ugg-shearling-sheepskin-cuffed-tech-gloves?ID=1783630&CategoryID=1005371#fn=ppp%3Dundefined%26sp%3D1%26rId%3D11%26spc%3D68%26spp%3D54%26pn%3D1%7C1
As I already mentioned I do love everything Ugg. In this warm weather it just keeps me so warm and comfortable. I purchased these gloves a couple of years back and still use them all the time. I love that they never go out of style and can be used for anything from brushing the snow off of your car to wearing them out to dinner on a cold night. Anything that keeps me warm in the harsh cold is a winner in my book and these do just that.
One of my favorite Personal blog posts is the one in which I am wearing a poncho. I just love the functionality of them. I find them so feminine and perfect for cold weather. Often times large jackets are cumbersome and not exactly the most fashionable. I love ponchos because they can keep you warm in a very fashionable way. Another bonus is that the ones I have linked are at a very reasonable price point! Sometimes ponchos can be majorly pricey because of all of the material being used. Also with this site you can get an additional 20% with the code “hansen20” at checkout.
When it gets cold, who doesn’t need a great scarf? Not only does it keeps me warm but also can make any outfit seem more fashionable. My boyfriend is a cold weather nut so we often vacation in cold places. When we first met I the thought of the cold was horrible but with the right clothing I actually love visiting some magical cold destinations. I often have to be crazy bundled up which makes it hard to wear a cute outfit and that is why I stock up on scarves. It really takes every outfit to another level. A big plus to these scarves is that if you go through the ones that I have linked you get an additional 20% off (just use code hansen20 at checkout)! The perfect gift or stocking stuffer for anyone!
My grandmother gave me my first candle from this brand and I have been in love with it ever since. I have the candle lit in my room constantly as well as one of the diffusers in my bathroom. The combination fills the rooms with an amazing aroma. What is also terrific about the scent, it is not too sweet. I love sweet things but I always like a more subdued candle in my room to just bring in a relaxing feel and that is what this candle does for me!
Pajamas at this time of year make it so nice to snuggle up and be completely warm and comfortable. To me pajamas are the type of thing that I never think to buy myself but I am always so happy when I receive them. It’s one of those things that often gets lost in the daily thoughts but become so joyful as you get home and crawl into a warm pair of pajamas. It is a great gift that you know will be put to use and those are always the kinds of gifts that I like to give.
Kendra Scott earrings: https://m.bloomingdales.com/shop/product/kendra-scott-filigree-elle-earrings?ID=2558475
I included this link but really any pair of Kendra Scott earrings would make for a great gift! In my opinion statement earrings bring a pop to any outfit I’m wearing. She uses so many bright colors and has so much detail in her work! She really does such an amazing job with her jewelry at an affordable price. Her necklaces and bracelets are amazing as well but can get a little pricier. I enjoy earrings at this time of year because since it is so cold I am usually all bundled up and the earrings work as my statement piece while everything else is covered.
Gifts for Men:
“All we want for Chrtistmas”
As I look on social media our fascination with the perfect picture is clear. When I started blogging I did it for my love for fashion. I always wanted to start one but didn’t have the confidence to for a while. I didn’t want to do it for the likes or the followers I wanted to do it because I simply love fashion and wanted to share all the things I love about it. After going back and forth with it for a while I finally found the confidence to no longer care what others would think about it and I started my blog. Now that I have been blogging for about three months about outfits and things I have been doing it actually has become very therapeutic for me. However, when I started this blog I realized that I always wanted to keep things “real”. It is fun and entertaining to stand with a $2,000 handbag in front of a beautifully decorated tree next to one of the most prestigious hotels in New York City. It is easy to look good while exploring other countries and being on vacation. While it’s easy to make outfits looks effortless on days like this there are some days when there is not.
As the holiday season is here videos surface all over social media of the young girl looking under the tree and being in shock and aw of finding an adorable puppy. It is truly every child’s dream and I will tell you that 17 years ago….I was that little girl. I woke up on Christmas morning and my mother was holding her coat over something under the tree. I remember her looking at my father who was holding the video camera (there weren’t iPhones then). She looked at my dad and simply said “ready?” to which he responded “yup.” She then removed her coat and my brother and I fell to our knees and crawled to the little shih-tzu puppy that was perfectly placed under the tree. That was our Jack. He was so small and perfect, he became my other brother. He was my childhood and was there for anything I have ever experienced. As many know dogs become more than part of the family, they are the family. They are the glue that no one is ever mad at, the one constant that no matter what they will always be there happy you are home with a wagging tale. In devastating news my family had to put our beloved Jack down yesterday. He lived an amazing 17 years where he was always spoiled and ate like a king (which was always his favorite thing). As I sit here basically numb I think of social media and where always our perfect picture are shown. We share the good and not always the bad but I wanted to make sure that that was not what I do here. With the magnificent ups also comes the downs and no ones life is a picture perfect scene at all times. I hope everyone takes this time to hold each other close because the truth is that Christmas isn’t about the gifts and perfect pictures. Its about feeling the magic and enjoying the love we have in the people around us. Gifts don’t bring us joy it’s truly the people we love. I wish love to everyone this Holliday season and although on the blog I will be focusing on outfits, gift guides and cocktail recipes I hope everyone thinks in their heart of the true meaning of Christmas this year and every year.
For this particular post I had written the post before the picture. It amazes me that my other dog insisted on being in the picture. He never had done that before. But it’s things like that that make my spirit bright.
All my love