Thursday, December 31, 2015

Book Club: December 2015

Hello My Fellow Clubbies!!

I cannot believe that the year is wrapping up already! This year has gone by way too fast! I have to say that this book club journey has been an exceptionally fun one. I really enjoy this part of the month! It really does help me get enough reading done throughout the month even when school is beyond crazy. I would really like to hear your feedback on what you all think or if you have any books to recommend! Happy New Year! Here's to a fun, full of reading 2016!

Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Do I even have to say it? So FUNNY!! Just as I expected. It was great because it felt like Amy was talking just to me and we are now best friends. I really liked learning about her life from her point of view. Go read this. Its quick and easy and fun to read. 

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
This is a great story! I am so glad I got to read it. Its the perfect story to get you ready for Christmas. It is really is an easy read, but go pick it up!

What was your favorite book this year?
XOXO

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Year, New Planner

Hello Loves!!

As the new year rolls in, I was in the hunt for a planner. Now don't get me wrong I LOVE my Erin Condren planner from this past year. We went through a lot together and I cannot justify spending that much money for the upcoming year..... Broke college student life :(. Since that is the problem I have decided to go on the hunt a new planner!!


My sister wanted me to get a Kate Spade agenda. I love those agenda! They are so cute and fantastically useful because they can be refilled. The only problem is that I like carrying them in my purse and they can be a little clunky. Maybe another year I will get those. Other ones that I used to have are the Lilly Pulitzer. The problem I found with that one is that the small one that fits in my purse is just not big enough to write in. 

As I was perusing BuzzFeed (which I do way too much) I stumbled upon a company, MochiThings,  that focuses on planners. I fell in love with the simplicity of the planners and the conciseness of them. Even though they aren't tiny they are the perfect length and size to fit in my purse and also actually be able to use! 

Simple Journal Planner

My only problem was that there were so many different options to choose from that it made it even more difficult to choose from. I am so happy that I got to stumble upon this company. I am excited to test out this new planner. Hopefully, it will work out for me, if not I'm off to find new planner for 2017. Until then I impatiently wait for 2016 to come.

What planner are you using?
XOXO

Monday, December 28, 2015

Adult Life Skills

Hello Loves,

Twenties are an important time to learn about ourselves, develop ourselves, and gain skills to use for the rest of our lives. It feels like a whirlwind of a decade where every year everything completely changes. It's crazy to think that in our 20s we graduate college, get a job, start a career, move to a new place (or back home), get in a relationship that might actually end in marriage. Our friends get engaged and married, some even start having kids! Everything changes so fast that if you don't slow down and enjoy it you might totally miss it. That being said there should be somethings we get down by the time we hit the big 3-0!



Keeping a calendar of your commitments// As we get older our brains get more crowded with things we need-- or want-- to remember!! Do yourself and those you made plans with a favor and start keeping a calendar that you actually look at regularly! I am personally a huge planner person so everything must be written down!

Timely gift-giving// Not a week later, certainly not a month later. Its hard to find that perfect gift so start that search earlier!! Show up to that party, housewarming, or whatever other gathering with your gift in hand.

Wrapping said gifts// Wrap that gift up. Throw a bow on it. Add a card. If you are wrapping impaired check out stores that offer complimentary gift wrapping or check out Pinterest and start practicing!

Making dinner reservations// Don't wait until that same day to make a reservation, all the good times will be gone. Keep an eye on approaching dates (check out the calendar) and sort everything out early. That way there will be no scrambling in the last minute.

Sending Thank You cards// No, texts and emails do not qualify. Crack open a set of blank thank you cards and a variety of stamps and send out cards. This is majorly adult.

Handling your health care// Prescriptions, doctor appointments, reimbursements. It can be a confusing, crazy system, but you are in charge now!! Scheduling your meetings and taking care of your finances means you have arrived to adulthood.

Remembering people's names// There is nothing nicer than someone remembering your name after meeting you once. It is truly impressive and a skill to cultivate. Try repeating their name back to them casually in the conversation, or remember it with a funny story. 

Tipping properly// Many different services require (or encourage) tips of different types. Its so important to get that down properly. Feeling confused as to who to tip what? Check out this list! Or see what Business Insider says

Saying "no"// No should be a statement. There should be no discussions, if, ands, or buts. It is important to be able to say no without feeling bad about it. You need to be able to take away the shoulds to focus on what really matters.

Taking care of your clothes// Iron the clothes that needs to be ironed. Dry clean the clothes that calls for it. Hang your clothes properly. It might take a little longer but it is completely worth it!

Being on time consistently// By this point in life you should know if you have a bad case  of the chronic tardiness (like me). This is not your crutch! Learn what it takes for you to be on time and practice it.

Having business cards in your wallet// Network, network, network!!! You never know who you will meet! Most of your opportunities will come from who you met.

Exercising self-control// This one can be difficult. While it is very fun to impulsively buy things or go out with friends and have that "one more drink" it can usually end up backfiring. Learn what behaviors you need to rein in a little and practice controlling those.

Keeping, and sticking to To-do lists// As a big to-do list fan, I find this one incredible important!! It is so necessary to get things done and it can help you be more productive.

Staying on budget// There are countless of finance apps out there. Find the one that works best for you, download it, and stick to it!! Budgeting is an incredibly important skill!!

Paying bills on time// This one is super important!! You actually have to pay extra money every time you pay late! This is important to add to your budget and planner.

Following through// Made plans? Offered your help? Don't be a flake! Follow through. Add it to your planner. Make sure not to overcommit yourself (say no) so you can be present and follow through.

Paying taxes on time// Taxes are difficult to navigate. But an amateur must start somewhere. Learn the basic terminology, make a schedule, and seek the necessary help before April 15.

Planning your financial future// Whether it is paying down student loans, setting up a retirement plan (401(k) anyone?), or just securing long term budgets for a wedding or buying a house. It is imperative that you are in charge of your finances. 

Taking care of small home projects// I'm not talking about intense home fixing projects, but hanging shelves or installing curtain rods should be totally manageable. Not only knowing how to do it but also knowing what tools to use!

Sticking to exercise that works for you// Exercise is so important. Not just for your body and health but for your mind. By now you have probably tried a wide variety of exercises to know which work for you and which you will never do.

Having the basics in your kitchen// Grocery shopping is the bane of my existence, but having a refrigerator filled with fruits and veggies and other basic foods in your pantry will ensure you actually have food to eat and you don't have to spend extra money on takeaway.

Basic culinary techniques// Knowing the basics around the kitchen is so important. This is not just for impressing guests or friend but for making delicious meals that you want to eat as well. So go practice and learn those basic techniques.

Impressing with signature dishes// Knowing a handful of dishes that work well in social gatherings, that are easy to make and versatile for different situations will come in handy! They don't have to be anything fancy, just reliably delicious. 

Be ready for last minute drop-in guests// Guest bedroom or not you should have all the necessary fixings to welcome a guest and make them feel comfortable in your home. Along with this is keeping your house relatively clean and presentable at all times. 

What do you have mastered?
XOXO

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas to all

Hello loves!!

Merry Christmas

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
~ Luke 2:11 ~

Merry Christmas!! I hope you all take a moment to reflect the meaning of the season and think about all the things that your heart is thankful for. Through the grace of G-d you can do anything. Jesus came to save the Earth. He was born to die and pay the ultimate price for our sins. 


Have a blessed Christmas Season,
XOXO

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Noche Buena

Hello Loves!!

Noche Buena is the best time of the year. I completely enjoy the crazy family getting together, having dinner, and going to church before Santa gets here. We have our traditional Christmas dinner then hang out as our large, hispanic family does before midnight mass. Midnight mass is my favorite part of Christmas. It is the most wonderful mass of the entire year. Something about it being at midnight makes it more exciting.


Traditionally, we have Lechon. My dad starts cooking for a whole week before Christmas Dinner. Lechon with all the sides (except rice and beans because we do not eat that). This year we are having a turkey. It is a long story and while I normally look forward to having the lechon I'm very excited for the turkey. My dad has already been cooking for a while, along with all his cooking we have not stopped playing Christmas music since winter break began!! I cannot wait for everyone to come over to celebrate Christmas.


I have already wrapped up all my presents and put them under the tree. Its always so fun to see how the amount of gifts under the tree seem to multiple as the days go by. My mom is already upset that we got her so many gifts (she's modest like that). I'm so excited to see all their faces.

What do you do for Christmas?
XOXO

Monday, December 21, 2015

Hot Cocoa

Hello Loves!

As I wrote in my Christmas Bucket List I wanted to make homemade hot chocolate. Hot chocolate is the best part of the holidays and winter. Even though it doesn't get very cold here, we have to pretend and make ourselves hot chocolate! I like peppermint hot chocolate to further push the Christmas feeling.


Ingredients:
- Milk
- Cocoa powder
- Chocolate
- Candy Cane or peppermint sticks (optional)
- Mini marshmallow (optional)
- Coffee (if you prefer it being mocha)



Steps:

one// warm the milk. you can do this in the microwave or on the stovetop. If you are going to make a lot you might want to do it on the stovetop
two// add the chocolate to the milk. Keep warming the milk and stirring the mixture until the chocolate melts completely. Add more chocolate to make it more chocolate-y
three// add the cocoa powder to make the hot chocolate more velvety and darker. If you add too much chocolate you will need to add sugar so be careful. (Here is where you would add the coffee for mocha)
four// serve the hot chocolate and put a candy cane to stir it instead of a spoon! This will add the peppermint flavor to the hot chocolate!


Stay Warm
Enjoy!
XOXO

Friday, December 18, 2015

Decking The Halls

Hello Loves!!

The countdown for Christmas is now in the single digits!!! Can you believe it is so close? That means its crunch time for Christmas Parties! Christmas parties are my favorite way to spend the holiday, be it a traditional Noche Buena celebration, an ugly sweater party, or just a holiday celebration there is a lot of planning that goes into making your party a success. Now that you have your hostess tips in your back pocket, lets get decorating!

This one is definitely a personal favorite! Nothing makes it feel more like the holidays than the smell of Christmas all through the house! This is my favorite way of setting the mood.

Wreaths
Decorating the door and stair banister with wreaths and pine garlands is a simple way to add to the feel of Christmas for any party. The wreath with a big red bow is such a welcome sight during the holidays. All your guests will be so impressed with the decorations.

Centerpieces
easy christmas ideas 15
These are my favorite centerpieces! They are also so easy to make and they look so sophisticated. You put mistletoe and water in a bowl then put a tea candle floating on top. They are perfect for any party. They add to the Christmas mood.

For a white Christmas you can hang snowflakes all over the house. These fun and easy DIY snowflakes will add that perfect winter wonderland feel to your party.

christmas-light-decoration
I love twinkly lights! They just make the party even more perfect. Whether its for decorating outside the house or for inside the house for some extra mood lighting you can never go wrong with twinkly lights as decoration. 

Christmas Tree
December 6th. Behind today's door you'll find an inspirational picture of how you can decorate your living room this Christmas. Bring out the blankets, light the fireplace (or just a lot of candles), and gather your family and friends for a round of your favourite board game!:
Last but certainly not least is the Christmas tree! It is the focal point of all Christmas parties with all their trimming and decorations. I love decorating my Christmas tree and making new ornaments for it.

Happy Christmas
XOXO

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Gift Ideas for Her {Under $50}

Hello Loves!

Christmas is right around the corner which means its crunch time for shopping! Crunch time always makes it difficult to come up with ideas on the spot for friends and sisters. I know its really important for me to find the perfect gifts for everyone on my list and as the amazing procrastinator that I am means that I do need to come up with as many ideas as possible for my friends before going out on a last minute shopping spree!

Beanie ($7.9) | Lokai Bracelet ($18) | Rewirable Adaptor ($15)
Lululemon Leggings ($39) |  Candle ($28) | Brow Wiz ($21)
Monogram Cards ($vary) | Braided Knit Headwrap ($6.9) | Notepad ($22)

Happy Shopping!
XOXO

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Jammies

Hello Loves,

If you are confused by the name of this post you need to watch this video below! It is literally the cutest thing I have ever seen. This family has also made more videos and they are so funny! You need to watch them!
They are a favorite of mine which caused me to show it to my entire family only to inspire us to get matching family Jammies! This is literally my favorite way to get into the Christmas spirit. We get to celebrate in the most comfortable way ever and opening our presents on Christmas day is the cutest.

My friends and I are all huge lovers of Christmas. So as a sorority we decided to get matching Jammies for our holiday party. They were a huge hit! Cute pjs are my favorite things ever. Sleep is incredibly important so why not dress cute for it?




XOXO

Friday, December 11, 2015

Holiday Hostess Tips

Hello Loves,

Hosting family and friends for festive parties is one of my favorite things about the holiday season. But getting everything ready for your guests can cause a lot of stress. Here are some tips that I've collected (mostly by watching my mom) that will help make the holiday season more stress-free and fun!!


one// instead of having a full bar have a signature cocktail accented with a handful of red and white wines and a couple of beer choices.

two// light candles to set the mood and dim the lights for a cozy feeling. Make sure to put the candles out of the way so no one will bump into them

three// send thank you notes! Handwritten notes are a nice way of thanking people for coming to your party and a bit unexpected these days.

four// create comfy places for your guests to sit and be sure to have plenty of extra seating. Creating clusters of seating areas will help promote conversations

five// plan and prepare with enough time. Aim for having your house prepared for guests to arrive 30 minutes before they are invited to arrive in order to have a little time for yourself to kick back and relax

six// plan out a room flow so that it is easy to move around the room and enjoy everyone's company

seven// enjoy your party! It may not be perfect but it will be fun if you let go and enjoy yourself. 

eight// say hi to your guests, don't stay buried in tiny party details

Are you excited to throw holiday parties?
XOXO

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas Tree Tradition

Hello Loves,

Tradition in Argentina dictates that we get our Christmas tree and trim it on December 8th. December 8th is Holy Mary's day. So we go to church and set up our tree. We do not buy live trees for a variety of reasons so we need to put up the artificial tree. Since my mom loves the smell of live wintergreens we do get the William-Sonoma Wintergreen spray!




Setting up the tree and decorating the house is my favorite part of the holidays! It is the perfect way of starting the final month of the year. Everything is just so festive and happy!!



When do you tree trim?
XOXO

Monday, December 7, 2015

Great Gift Ideas For Mom

Hello Loves,

Buying gifts is my favorite part of the holidays! I like getting ideas (or even shopping) on Black Friday and Cyber Monday! My mom is my favorite and most difficult person to shop for. She definitely deserves so much more than I can afford, so I try my best to get her something that I know she will love and use a lot.


daniel wellington watch







The Neighbors Have Better Stuff Doormat


Of course other activities that just include you two hanging out would make her day! Going to the museum or watching a play are always great ideas. I personally always get my mom clothes because I think she always needs clothes but she would prefer spending money on us instead of on her, so this is the perfect time to spoil her. 

What do you normally get your mom?
XOXO

Friday, December 4, 2015

Holiday Hostess Gift Ideas

Hello Loves!

The holidays always mean a lot of parties and get togethers. My mom used to always remind us not to forget to bring the hostess a gift. It is easy to forget how much effort is put into a party. I love hosting parties and enjoying the company. House gifts are probably some of my favorite gifts.

one// Sur La Table Copper Cake Server ($12.76): As an adorable gift idea you can attach your favorite cake recipe to this server.
two// Be Joyful- 3-Wick Candle ($22.50):  Candles are my guilty pleasure! They make the entire house so homey and warm
three// Monogrammed Apron ($29): personalized gifts are great and aprons are so useful to hostesses.
four// Oval Appetizer Plates ($8): Adorable plates to celebrate the holidays
five// All In Good Taste ($28): Chock-full of entertaining advice and inspiration
six// Striped Towels ($13.56): perfect gifts to bring to every hostess. It will lighten up the kitchens for the holidays.
seven// Minimergency ($16-18): for every foreseeable or unforeseeable emergency that may occur during a party or event
eight// CB2 Gold Playing Cards ($14.95): Buy a few sets of these as stocking stuffers or pair with a bottle of bubbly for a hostess gift
nine// H&M Paper Cups ($3.99 for 10): Have you ever seen cuter disposable cups?!
ten// Waffle Mix & Snowman Syrup ($12, $24): waffles are perfect for Christmas morning! They are literally in the cutest packages too.
eleven// "Naughty & Nice" Glasses ($28): Have you been naughty or nice this year? This is the perfect gift for a couple!
twelve// Wine Cork Box ($40): This is the cutest idea ever! It is such a cute idea for a hostess, throw in a wine bottle to be the first cork!
thirteen// Tassel Party Picks ($8): The perfect addition to your BFF's bar cart!!
fourteen// Copper Mugs ($30): A fun, rustic gift for any hostess or couple's bar cart. These mugs also come with free engraving which is a great plus.
fifteen// Lavender Foaming Bath ($36): Perfect for a relaxing post-party bath for all hostesses
sixteen// Upside Down Glass Carafe ($29): A great addition for all guest rooms to provide water for all guests. Free monogrammed included!
seventeen// Wine Bottle Candles ($30): A fun twist on wine bottles! Candles and wine are my two favorite things, this combines them!!
eighteen// H&M Velvet Cushion Cover ($18): Add a bit of luxury to your bedroom or couch with your lux-looking yet affordable pillow
nineteen// Stay Fancy Wine Glass ($16): It is a wine glass that reminds you how fancy you truly are. A fun, perfect gift for all!
twenty// Personalized Coasters (DIY): A great gift for all the crafting queens in the house. Great gifts are personal gifts, even better gifts are personal and handmade
twenty-one// H&M Oven Mitt ($10): Sure to make any chef smile!
twenty-two// "Champagne S'il Vous Plait" ($34): A chic little dish for decorating or serving, either way it is sure to please :)
twenty-three// Glycerine Soap ($15): Fun, bright soaps with striking graphics that are made by hand so each will be unique and personal
twenty-four// 'Let's Party' Favor Bags ($18): Use these at your holiday parties, or gift them with a few other entertaining essentials

What are your favorite hostess gifts?
XOXO

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmas Bucket List

Hello Loves!!

It is now officially Christmas time! Listening to Christmas music, seeing all the decoration, baking cookies, having Christmas themed candies, and enjoying the whole feel and happiness of the season. Although most people will start decorating right after Halloween completely circumventing Thanksgiving, we wait until December 8th to start putting up decorations.

When the Christmas season rolls around it brings this magic to the air, its a season to dream big, start fresh, charity, and hopefulness. There is so much to get done this season!


What's on your list?
XOXO