Christmas Friyay

I can't believe it's the weekend before Christmas. We are flying up to Massachusetts to spend the holiday with my family and I am so excited, I cannot sit still. I have spent every holiday in Western MA, even after we moved to Florida, and I feel so blessed to bring my husband along this year. I hope it's a White Christmas. My fingers are crossed in every way possible. 

These next few days are some of my favorite of the whole year, filled with so many wonderful traditions and loved ones. We are kicking it off with hopefully an uneventful flight and a trip across MA to visit my cousin for his birthday and see all the lights at Faneuil Hall in Boston, and some cannolis. Then, I can't believe it, but then it's Christmas! If anyone else is traveling I hope you have a safe journey and a fantastic adventure. 

This last week was amazing as well, and here are some of the things that I enjoyed, which I hope will bring a smile and some entertainment to any airport waiting / car riding / couch snuggling in your itinerary. 

The music at the Candlelight Processional is beautiful. Here's a video of some of the singing.

Aren't the new Ferragamo bags beautiful? If I win the lottery despite the fact that I did not buy a ticket then it's the mint green one for me. 

I saw Star Wars on Monday. That is all I am going to say about it. Other than that there was a trailer for the Avengers Infinity War and it looks amazing (as opposed to this one).

I've been reading in to all natural cosmetics lately, and am intriguing by the RMS offerings. I listened to an interview with her on the Fat Mascara podcast and really enjoyed it. 

Happy Friday everyone!

Last Minute Christmas Gifts

I can't believe Christmas is less than a week away! It's crunch time people. Now is the time where we quickly stop into a store and do the 360 degree scan to see what we can quickly grab for the last couple of people on our lists. The trick to this is to find gifts that still seem personal and special. Since this can often be time consuming, and the reason we are in the store doing the grab and dash is because we already have no spare time, I have compiled this list of gifts that can be bought on the fly but still feel special. 

1. Ornaments - I think a pretty ornament is something that makes everyone smile, and it's easy to quickly grab one out of the bin that feels unique to the person you are gifting it too. This year I saw some good ones at Crate and Barrel and Pier 1. 

2. Cozy bathrobe - A nice white waffle robe is always wonderful to receive. You can just grab one off the shelf at almost any store (Macy's, Nordstrom, likely TJ Maxx) and the gift will think how did you know I secretly wanted a new robe? 

3. Flannel PJ's - I know it's been said a million times in the blogosphere but I'll say it again. Pajamas are awesome. Everyone wants new pajamas. And, they are in giant piles by the door of J.Crew Factory and Marshalls. 

4. Scarf - I nice thick plaid scarf feels special somehow. Every time I gift or get one I think yes! I wanted a new scarf! (even if I didn't before I opened it) And, they are in a giant pile by the store door. Double win. 

5. Spa gift card for a massage - I think this is especially good for moms and people sitting at a desk all day. The person will think that you wanted them to be pampered and feel special (even if you secretly got one for everyone on your list).

6. Top Shelf Liquor or Wine - Anyone who enjoys the occasional cocktail or glass of wine with dinner feels spoiled by a nice bottle. You can even stop on the way to their house!

7. Gourmet Coffee Beans - They sell some at the Nordstrom cafe, and Starbucks, and you can find some in the Fresh Market type grocery store. Like #6 the person you got it for feels like its a decadent personal gift, even if you bought in bulk for everyone...

8. Mani Pedi gift card - Even if someone knows you ran into the salon and got a bunch of gift cards they are still going to love getting a pedicure for Christmas. 



9. Netflix Subscription - You can gift this one and buy it after the fact! If someone in your life who is impossible to buy for doesn't have Netflix this is a great, easy gift. They'll actually use it all year, and hopefully think of you. 


Packing Tips for Traveling Over the Holidays

1. Ditch all the full sized hair tools. My blowdryer, curling iron, and brush take up almost half my carry-on. I started using the hotel blowdryer and packing a travel sized Amika Polished Perfection Straightening Brush and it has saved so much space. 

2. Bring slippers - Homes and hotels are always chilly over the holidays, you won't ever regret bringing cozy slippers. 

3. Bring extra wrapping paper - Whenever I travel at least one of my wrapped gifts gets all messed up and needs to be re-wrapped. If you are driving or checking a bag having an extra roll won't take up much space and will allow you to fix all your presents.  

4. Put beauty products like moisturizer and face wash in the free sample jars, or a clean contacts case so you don't have to bring the whole bottle. I also save up my free samples and bring those. 

5.  You will regret not bringing extra socks

6. Bring a bathing suit - someone is staying at a hotel with an indoor pool and wants everyone to stop by. 

7. My parents have used this duffel bag for almost 20 years and have been able to transport all of their presents in it every year. 

8. Finally, don't stress, Target is now in all 50 states.

I hope this helps ease off some of your holiday stress! Safe travels everyone! xAllie

Ballet Style Dress

I spotted this dress at Anthropologie when I was leaving the store and knew I had to try it on. I loved the unique neckline and that it reminds me of something a ballet dancer would wear. 

I loved it in the dressing room so it went home with me as my outfit to wear to Thanksgiving and some work Christmas parties. Not only does the red color make it festive for the holidays, but it can be accessorized to be more or less dressy. Plus, it has a bow and twirls! I can never say no to a dress that twirls. 

I have worn the dress twice so far, and can't wait to wear it again! The double neckline is a special and flattering detail, and the gray part didn't move or slip at all when I wore it. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a new dress for the holidays or after, especially since it's now on sale!

Friday Funday - December

I can't believe it's already Friday and Christmas is in a week and a half. This is the part of the season where I start savoring every second, and cramming my schedule with baking and and Christmas music and movies and good cheer. 

I'm almost done all of my Christmas shopping which feels excellent, now I have to figure out how I'm going to fit it all into a suitcase. Luckily I have a week to avoid that particular problem and will instead browse online for last minute Christmas finds, get sucked into excellent articles, and share the best of what I find with all of you!  

1. I was browsing through the Lilly Pulitzer store looking for something for my mom and spotted their new velour pieces. I saw them a few weeks ago online and figured they'd be fine, but the velour is so soft and plush! They are the ultimately cozy piece, I'm trying to talk myself out of picking some up, but we'll see...

2. I've been looking for a notebook to write down all of my All That Glitters ideas when they pop into my head throughout the day and I really love this one. It's spiral which means that it will stay open on my desk, and I love the saying "The World was Hers for the Reading". Plus it has a pocket which is nice for the inevitable sticky notes I will accumulate. 

3. I finally finished writing our holiday cards. We got them from Minted and I highly recommend checking the site out. The cards are high quality and the envelopes come pre addressed which I love! We also used them for our wedding save the dates and thank you notes, and the quality of all the products has been superb. Plus, for Christmas cards they have a whole section for newlyweds which I love :)

4. I found this recipe for a Holiday White Russian and it looks so delicious!

5. I love this video of Carly making cake pops with her mom. I'm so excited to try and make them for the next event we go to! 

Review of the Amika Polished Perfection Straightening Brush

I recently received the Amika Polished Perfection Straightening Brush and I love it. Here is a picture of my hair before and after and it only took 4 minutes! - I timed it. 

 My hair before I brushed it with the Amika brush

My hair before I brushed it with the Amika brush

 This is my hair after the Amika, 4 days later

This is my hair after the Amika, 4 days later

Overall, the brush makes my hair smoother and shinier without reducing volume in less time than any hot tool I have ever used. I have a lot of hair, and have been searching for a product that will make it look polished with minimal effort for years. The Amika brush does just that, and at a price tag that's a lot lower than most hair tools out there. Further, I've used it after I dried my hair with a blow dryer, and after letting my hair air dry, and it delivers amazing results either way. Simply put, it's a game changer. It makes my hair look smooth and polished with almost no effort. 

If you are in the market for a new hot tool, get this one! I highly recommend it. 

The 10 Best Christmas Movies

I love watching Christmas movies throughout December. The past couple of days I have browsed Hulu every day (we don't have cable, we use Hulu streaming) for holiday flicks and wished that the selection was somehow simultaneously move curated and more extensive. I realized that what I really wanted was a list of all the best Christmas movies I could make my way through without having to remember what movies are out there. So, I decided to make a list of the best Christmas movies* and share with all of you to help bring some joy to your Christmastime. 

*according to me and my family, a very reputable and esteemed source ;) 

1. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

2. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

3. A Christmas Carol - my favorites are the one with George C. Scott, the animated one with Jim Carrey, and the Muppet one (oddly excellent)

4. Home Alone 1 & 2

5. White Christmas

6. National Lampoon Christmas Vacation

7. The Grinch

8. A Christmas Story

9. Star Wars (somehow this has turned into a Christmas story - I've seen so many all day marathons and Yoda ornaments) 

10. It’s A Wonderful Life


whats your favorite? Please share! I’m always looking for new holiday movies! 

The Beauty Lover Gift Guide

This is my favorite gift guide. I love giving and receiving beauty products, and I am so excited to share my favorite with you. I put together all the products that I LOVE and that I think everyone on your list will love too. I really think anything on this list would put a huge smile on someone's face. 

Nars Laguna Bronzer - I love this product for an all over glow or a slight contour. You can't see the shimmer once it's on your face and it's flattering on lots of skin tones.

Glossier Cloud Paints - I love Glossier cloud paint. They offer a subtle wash of color that really brightens your face, and it's so easy to mix them together and or with highlighter to make a custom color.

Chloe Perfume - This scent smells like roses but isn't too heavy. Perfume also feels like a luxurious gift but is under $100 (depending on the size of course).

Glossier Galaxy Greens mask - This mask is the only one that I feel like works every time. It just brightens my skin and helps with emerging blemishes without irritating. It's a great stocking stuffer too!

Fresh Sugar Lip in Petal - These lip colors are great because the color is very flattering but they also moisturize like no other lip product I've ever found. They come in a wide variety of finishes too, but petal is my favorite one. 

Amika polishing brush - This brush is amazing! I'm going to post a review of it soon. It actually smooths out my hair in less than 10 minutes without taking away all of the volume. Pure magic.

Nars lipgloss in Chelsea Girls - This is just a very pretty peach pink color. Nars products are fun and seen as more of a splurge than other lip products, which I think makes it a great gift.

Charlotte Tillbury lip products - The packaging on Charlotte Tillbury products is just so glamorous. I think that alone makes it an extra special beauty product to open on Christmas. Both Pillow Talk lip liner and Bitch Perfect lipstick are beautiful on almost any skin tone too.

OPI nail polish - Nail polish makes a perfect stocking stuffer in my opinion. OPI color is great because the brush is wide, the color goes on smooth, and it doesn't instantly chip. 

Dior Rosy Glow blush - Somehow this blush adapts to one's skin tone making it a perfect beauty product to gift because it's flattering on everyone. Plus, the fact that it's Dior means it's something that people are less likely to buy for themselves (I'm pretty big on gifting things people wouldn't buy for themselves, haha). 


Lilly Pulitzer Sweater

The weather finally cooled off here in South Florida and I am all about it. On Sunday we went to roam around Palm Beach for the day and it was so lovely outside. We sat at the Breakers for hours sipping coffee and reading in the sunshine, and I was chilly in a sweater and boots. 

similar sweater / jeans / similar bag / similar boots 

Aren't the Christmas decorations at The Breakers gorgeous? If you are within driving distance of the hotel I strongly recommend stopping by. My husband and I love sitting by courtyard for breakfast or lunch, or sometimes the Seafood Bar which is wicked cool! The whole counter is an aquarium; next time we go I'll take pictures. 

This sweater is great for southern winters since it is lightweight. I also love my Frye boots, I've had them a few years and they look brand new. I got mine off of Amazon for a steal, and am excited to pull them out year after year. I used to get a new pair of boots every season, but ever since buying these I haven't purchased or even seriously looked for a new pair. You know that's a good purchase! As time goes by I've started buying more quality pieces and less fast fashion; my clothes fit better and look nicer, and I don't go through them as quickly. Plus, when you think about it, 7 $8 things cost as much as one $50 item that you really like and take care of. 

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! xAllie

Friday Funday Christmas Style

I can't believe another week of the Christmas season is already over. I had wanted to be done with all of my Christmas shopping by the weekend after Thanksgiving and that did not happen. We did finish decorating our apartment though, which you can see in yesterday's post, and it's so wonderful to come home on put on the tree and some Christmas music. I love this time of year. 

1. I will be making these peanut blossom cookies this weekend and they are super easy and always a crowd pleaser. My cousin loves them so much they are his favorite birthday present every year. The trick into have all of Hershey kisses unwrapped before the cookies come out of the oven so that you can put them on the cookie immediately. That way they melt a little bit and don't fall off as easily. 

2. If you haven't already seen the Pentatonix Christmas special on NBC I suggest checking it out. They are such talented singers it's truly remarkable to watch them perform, and the segment put us even more in the holiday spirit. 

3. I am obsessed with J.Crew's tartan offerings. These shoes are amazing and I LOVE the sneaker version and this vest is amazing, I wished I wore somewhere colder so I could justify buying it!

4. I really enjoyed reading this article about the growth of Glossier. The company's growth is truly remarkable and I'm very excited to see what they come out with next. 

5. I went into Claire's yesterday to look for gifts for my sister-in-law and they have the cutest Christmas earrings and also really cute makeup pouches. If you are looking for stocking stuffers for anyone under 16 I would definitely check it out! Plus it's super nostalgic to wander around Claire's; I spent so many hours there as a kid. 

6. The Sephora Beauty Insider holiday coupon is back for up to $25 off your purchase. I highly recommend getting the Bobbi Brown eye opening mascara or the Amika polishing brush (the travel version is only $35!)


Our Christmas Decorations

We finished decorating our apartment and I am so excited to share how it came out. I love decorating for the holidays, and these year is extra special since it is our first married Christmas. We decided to go all out (as much as we could in an apartment with limited storage) and get a real tree, and I made a lot of our decorations. It's so wonderful to come home and sit by the tree and smell a Christmas scented candle. I love this time of year!

I made a lot of the ornaments from the Alicia Paulson ornament kits. We used a table cloth for the tree skirt, and I bought this tree topper at Target. It's genius because it clips on the tree branch so you don't have to worry about trimming the top or the branch being crooked. 

I made this sleigh scene with my cricut. It took a while to glue it all together, but I love all the detail, especially the presents in the back of the sleigh. 

I used this pattern from the Purl Bee to make this wreath out of felt a few years ago. It has held up beautifully, and I love hanging it up every year. It is one of my favorite things I have ever made.

Was anyone else's family really into "ceramics" in the 90's? My aunt made just about everything her studio had to offer, and I called dibs when she was cleaning out her cellar recently.

We decided to get a classic table runner that I can decorate differently every year. This year I decided to fill our glass candle holders with fake snow, and add on these candle trees and scattered the runner with tiny ornaments from Target. 

I also made this with my cricut. If anyone else wants to make it, I suggest doing as much as possible in one sitting. I made it over a couple of days and had a really hard time remembering which piece went where.

I love elegant Christmas decorations, but I really love ones that sing and dance! I not so secretly want to be one of those person's who's house is so overloaded with Christmas decorations you can barely move.

I just finished this snow buddy family and I am so pleased! I think the baby is the cutest thing I've ever made. I bought the pattern off of Purl Bee ages ago, and finally had the time to make them this year. They knitted up way faster than I anticipated, so now I have time to crochet the Rudolph kit and I am so excited. 

Do you have any decorations you love putting out year after year? Please tell! I love seeing everyone's festive homes!