Maybe you've been really good this year. Maybe you always get a major gift. Maybe you're just me and writing your dream wish list. Whatever the case may be, here are our suggestions for the ultimate luxurious gifts.
I know the title sounds condescending and like we're implying "old lady", but what we mean is gifts for your mother, aunt, neighbor, family friend, or grandmother. These vary a lot from the young teen and twenty-somethings that we think most of you fall into.
1. Lollia Hand Creme: (my mother's favorite!)
2. Spa/Manicure Giftcard
3.Coffee + Coffee Mug
4. Kate Spade Hand in Hand Bangle
5. Jo Malone Candle
6. Cashmere Socks: (don't laugh! Many people would love to get these!)
7. Photo Frame: (throw in a photo of you and your grandmother and you have a winner holiday gift.)
Now is the time to get a gift that will benefit the woman! Don't give your mom a cookbook, unless she specifically wants it. That implies: make me this truffle pan seared flank with haricot verts right now. Moms are constantly doing things for us, so now is the time to remember THEM!
Secret Santa exchanges are always a part of my holiday season. Whether you do it with a group of friends, sorority sisters, family members, or co-members of student government: you're bound to participate in one! Here are our $25 and under suggestions for secret santa!
Brow gel. Brow gel is something that has easily become a staple in my daily routine, full face of makeup or not. I love to have it. I feel more put together. But seriously why pay $15+ or a teeny tube when you can just use this:
My mom is the one who suggested this, so I can't take claim for the idea! It works really well. If color was your primary concern, than this isn't for you. If you just want to tame unruly brows, than this is your answer!
(note: none of the statements in this post are in anyway sponsored. We have not received any compensation for writing this post in any way.)
Small Business Saturday. It's a day that is focused on sharing the love to the people in our community who run their own small business. Here are some "smaller" brands we love! 1. Sloane Ranger
A darling brand, that is still brand new! It launched in 2011, and I picked up the most darling little coin purse (with the anchors!) and I love it. I see the quality in the way that the product is made, and I will definitely buy more! Check it out, these are a fun alternative the Vera Bradley coin purses and other bags.
A super cute jewelry website, they house fun and trendy statement pieces, and more traditional pieces like the monogrammed jewelry. This is a brand I don't own any of myself, but my mom has given some pieces as gifts, and they have been true crowded pleasers!
While this brand isn't so small anymore, it's still a great shop. Monograms galore! I asked for a few things from here for Christmas, and I hope santa is good to me ;). A great place to find anything and everything you could want monogrammed!
Another brand that is growing in popularity, with good reason! I have a headband or 2 from this line, and my sister has shorts that I may or may not borrow often. This line is all made in the USA, and has great quality to boot.
What are your favorite smaller brands? We love to add more to our repertoire! (we know we missed a few here!)
One side says that it will shrink the population that camps out to purchase their new TV. Will it create less turmoil in the morning? We don't know.
The other side makes us wonder: Why are we shopping for things we don't need after a day of thanks? And shouldn't we be spending Thanksgiving eve with our families? And what about the people working in those stores? Do they have to miss out on Thanksgiving because of these sales starting so early?
We wonder: what side are you on? Is "Grey Thursday" acceptable, or is "Black Friday" already too far?
Today is the day! The day we give thanks for everything and everyone we have. We (A+C) are thankful for so many things, but one of the things we are most thankful for is, well, our fabulous 119 readers! We never thought this little baby blog would turn into something we love as much as we do. We thank everyone who is (has) reading the blog, you're another reason we love it so much!
Road trips. If you're like us, your family is spread out everywhere. You might be like me and have to take a 4.5 hour road trip to your aunt and uncle's house. Confession: I despise road trips. with every ounce of my body. I have to learn to cope with them, because much of my family lives about 4.5 hours away, and by the time we fly, it would take longer than driving. So, here are things I wear when I'm stuck in the car. I also admit that I do not dress up for car rides, at all. Even if I know I'm going to get there and have to be ready right away, I don't care. I'll change. I have to be comfortable. Here are my comfy but put together looks.
Look #1: Yoga pants + fleece + moccasins. This is most likely what I'll be wearing, with a plain tee underneath. It's easy to change into and it's not a bad outfit!
Look #2: Leggings + big sweater + flats. Good look that is a step above the first look. Can translate easily into a quick Panera run with the cousins when you arrive.
Look #3: Jeans + thermal tee + loafers. The nicest look of the three, still comfy but a step above jeans or leggings.
-Do not wear boots in the car. Yes, I love my riding boots, but honestly they are uncomfortable to sit for hours and are not conducive to either driving either!
-Wear layers. I'm chronically cold, but my sister is the exact opposite. If you run into this problem, wear a tee under your fleece or sweater.
-Do your hair decently the morning of or night before. It's a lot easier to fix when you arrive at your destination.
Do you have to go on road trips a lot? Do you struggle? Let us know!
Thanksgiving is this week. The official start of the holiday season. As much as we love the holidays, there are always a few rules to follow, especially on Thanksgiving!
1. Try everything. If your aunt Dianne makes her "new sweet potato casserole" that she is so obsessed with, try it, even if you don't like sweet potatoes. It will brighten the cook's day!
2. Do the dishes. The younger members of the family always help with the dishes. It's really sweet and appropriate to to offer to help out, your grandparents will be impressed!
3. Engage in conversations. I know you're so sick of being asked what you want to major in or if you have a boyfriend, but it's the way your family shows interest in your life. It's time to suck it up.
4. Talk to those who you don't see. I know you never see great aunt Beth, and you might care to socialize with your cousins, but go out of your way a few times to chat it up with her. She will appreciate more than you know.
5. Express thanks. To everyone. The hosts, your parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents! That's the meaning of the holiday!!
For those of us who are a bit more casual on turkey day, here are some ideas. My (C) family has an unspoken rule: no need to be formal, but no jeans allowed! Here are my looks that don't involve jeans, but are more casual.
Look #1: Velvet pants with big sweater. I am obsessed with velvet jeans for the holidays. This is a fun take on colored bottoms but so cozy and the sweater allows room for when we eat a little bit too much ;)
Look #2: Plaid button down with cords and riding boots. A classic fall look, always appropriate!
Look #3: Cobalt jeans with grey sweater and silver loafers. Fun and trendy, this is another great look if you want to be more trendy.
Happy almost Thanksgiving! This weekend, you're probably trying to figure out what you're going to wear next Thursday. Here are some ideas for those of you who will be dressing up more formally.
Look #1: I saw this skirt in J.Crew last week, and I am completely obsessed with it. It screams holiday! Put on a black silk blouse and pair it with black pumps and fun earrings, you're bound to be the best dressed.
Look #2: Dress with pumps and fun necklace. (aside: those pumps looked brown in the polyvore set, note that the intention was for brown.) Fun dressed, statement necklace and you'll be trendy and classic at the same time.
Look #3: Navy dress pants, chunky sweater and nude pumps. For those of you who will be in the cold, this is always a no fail look!
With this upcoming holiday focusing on "giving thanks," we think it's essential to share some love and give other people something to be thankful for on this holiday, that most of us take for granted. It's hard to imagine how many people there are who have nowhere to go, no way to feed their family, or no house to have family over. Both of us are involved with volunteer work, and think it is essential in keeping ourselves down to earth and well rounded. Plus, it makes us feel great and valuable as people. On this holiday, we have a few ways to "spread the thanks."
1. Use foodpantries.org. This site is a master list of food pantries throughout the whole US. Use this to find a place where you can volunteer or donate food to, if you don't already have a place you know of!
2. Find a Turkey Trot. These little foot races are pretty common throughout the US. Frequently, one brings a turkey to participate in the race which is then donated to a family.
3. Volunteer. This doesn't have to be at a traditional food pantry or place where people are served. Many churches host events like this throughout cities, and many youth groups organize an effort. Check it out.
4. Volunteer somewhere else. A children's shelter/safe place. The sad reality is that many kids will be without their families on Thanksgiving. What a valuable thing to do on Thanksgiving morning!
5. Get your family and friends involved. We often do something as a family, either a turkey trot or volunteer as a family around this time. It's a great way to bond and give back.
Do you do anything special for Thanksgiving beyond the norm?
Thursday: Call up a close friend who is out of town just to say how much you love them. Friday: Invite a friend who does a lot for you for coffee, and treat them. Saturday: Surprise a friend with their favorite baked good at their house/dorm room, just leave it there! Sunday: Send a card to a friend who means a lot. Monday: Do something nice for a friend, whether it be to help her with her homework or showing support at an event she is involved in. Tuesday: Send a few "good morning" texts out! Wednesday: Compliment a friend on something you know he or she is self conscious about (i.e a presentation or her hair.) Thursday: Invite a friend over who may not have somewhere to go on this Thanksgiving.
Honestly. We all have skirts. (except for me, because I don't find them flattering on my shape!) We think that skirting the rules (thanks Kate!) is fun. Check out how we skirt the rules!
Look #1: Green and blue. The simple lines make this daring combo doable. Add the classic black pumps and a fun statement necklace (black or neutral) and you have a fun luncheon look! (or office if you're in a more liberally dressed environment.)
Look #2: Simple lines and colors, but the navy heart keeps it interesting. Brown riding boots and a fun cuff keep this a sweet look.
Look #3: This look features a conservative cuts, but fun colors. Similarly to look #1, it's fun. To avoid distracting from the lines of the blouse, throw on fun gold studs and a pair of gold flats.
6:30 AM. Alarm clock is beeping. No more sweet dreams. 5 more minutes don't exist. Wake up, sleepyheads! We admit and agree: morning are rough, especially when you've stayed up late studying or partying the previous night. Here are our 5 ways to make mornings more efficient.
I admit, I have a recent interior design obsession: The vanity. There is nothing more sophisticated to me than a lovely vanity in one's bedroom or bathroom. Naturally, vanities are impractical for the college student, and many of those living in an apartment. It's impractical for me, a student who needs her desk to be functional for academic work and not beauty work!
In a perfect world, I'd have a little arrangement like this in my bedroom. In my real world, I have a desk filled with pens and paperclips, not vintage perfume bottles and candles!
Layering is a staple in most of our fall wardrobes. From class to errands to getting coffee, we never know how cold it's going to be outside, in the car, and at our destination. So, obviously we layer. The idea of this post is to go by horizontal row. you can peel off one by one, starting with the far right. Pair with a jeans/boots combo.
Look #1: The button down/cardigan/vest look. It's easy to pull off your vest in class, and still look perfect. Such a great fall basic.
Look #2: The button down/blazer/scarf look. This can be dressed up easily by swapping out the jeans for cords and muting down the blazer. We love the pop of pink. Also easy to take off the scarf and blazer.
Look #3: The tee/cardigan/coat look. Probably more fit for winter winter, when it's freezing. Great for running around.
Babysitting. We were all babysat at one point. Many of us probably still babysit. I mean who could blame us? Babysitting is a way to make good money fairly easily. (for the most part!) Here are our tips on how to be the "one and only babysitter." (my qualifications: a babysitter for a family for 5-6 years who cancel their plans if I am unavailable.)
1. Become CPR certified. Remember those days when "babysitting class" was all the rage? We're a little bit beyond that, but it's a major plus to the parents knowing you're CPR certified.
2. Get down on the kids level. If parents see you not wanting to pick up their three year old, your chances of being hired are slim to none. If little Jimmy has a new Thomas the Tank Engine toy, you better act like it's the coolest thing in the world!
3. Clean up. The rule: the house should never be messier than when the parents left. If the kids go to bed, put the dishes in the dishwasher and pick up any left out toys.
4. Bring something for the kids to do. Depending on the age, this can be really easy or more challenging. Of course, this does not apply to babies! For little kids (2-3), I bring a favorite children's book. For 5+ I bring a fun "project" or "craft." Anything from pipe cleaners to picture frames they can color. (make sure you bring the proper supplies.)
5. Do not sit the kids in front of the TV. One of the family's that I babysit for only allows the kids to watch one TV show while I'm there, which helps you keep the kids playing.
6. Show interest in the family's life. Ask when the kids' birthdays are, ask about their Thanksgiving plans, ask what sports they play. Anything.
7. Come well informed. Be sure to ask questions like: what time is bed time or is Janie allergic to anything? It's important to know these facts! Also, make sure you know where bandaids are and what acceptable snacks are.
Today is the day. The day that the US has been talking about for years. If you're of age, cast that vote. Make it a well informed one, however. Whether you're voting for a donkey or an elephant, remember to respect everyone else's views. We don't get political on the blog, but we wanted to remind everyone to vote today, (as if you could forget!)
We both love Starbucks. We both spend a lot of time at Starbucks. People tend to score low in the manners department here. (with the exception of a lovely gentleman who moved tables for me so I had an outlet.) In fact, I'm writing this in Starbucks now, live writing what I see, as a matter of fact.
1. Please do not talk about personal matters of business. I'm listening to two college girls talking about who "got with" who on Halloween. no thanks.
2. Only take up the room that you need. At many Starbucks', space is at a premium. I currently see a business man taking up 6 spots by himself.
3. Throw away your cups/napkins. In the time that I have been sitting here, I've seen a barista pick up 3 cups.
4. Thank the barista. I cannot imagine how stressful it is to listen to hundreds of people order a grande no fat no whip double shot with two pumps of vanilla...
5. Respect others' space. Avoid sitting right on top of someone and infringing on their tables if you can avoid it.
6. Don't go in there just to use the restroom or sit outside for free wifi. Yes, I've seen a few adults do just this today. You wouldn't go into a Mexican restaurant, sit down, eat the tortilla chips and leave, would you?