Month: January 2023
Valentine’s Day Gifts for Him
Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Her
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner so below are some Valentine’s Day gifts for the women in your life. There’s something for everyone; all of these would make a great gift for a romantic partner but if you also give your friends or daughter gifts for Valentine’s Day there are a few ideas for that too.
Chocolate Bar Set Bath Set Diamond Bracelet Bubble Bath Roses Robe
Outfit Under $100
I love fashion and style, and I’m a strong believer that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to achieve whatever look you are going for. I’ve been putting together these Outfits Under $100 for years now to show that you can put together an entire outfit on a budget. To be completely honest, this has become very challenging with inflation but I really want to keep doing it. These tend to be more basic outfits but you can always style them up more with things you already have. The outfit below is under $100 based on the sale prices at the time of publishing this blog post.
Winter Reading List
Now that I have shared my favorite books from last year, it’s time to get started on my TBR for this year. To be completely honest, I’ve had more time recently to read so I’ve actually finished 3/4 of the books on my Winter TBR list. For the three that I have finished I’ll include a little review of them.
This is one of the books I have already finished. I thought the plot was really interesting but the characters fell a little flat for me. I don’t think the author created bad characters, but for me they were unrelatable and I felt the author could have made them more complex.
The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
This is the one I have not read yet. I bought it solely based on it taking place in Vermont.
Murder for Christmas by Francis Duncan
I feel pretty indifferent about this book. I read it the week of Christmas. I ultimately just wanted a festive book to read and it delivered on that front. Despite the murder, it was a very cozy and festive read. I personally don’t love books that have a lot of characters in it and this one did. Despite being a murder mystery it felt kind of slow and boring.
The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis
This was the most captivating book I’ve read in a while. The storyline was beautifully written. I do think the author heavily relied on stereotypes for her characters, especially for Laura Lyons. It’s also stated in the book that women cannot be happy and fulfilled outside work and I can attest that is not true. I’m someone who is incredibly fortunate that I don’t have to work. I still set goals and accomplish them, I still find happiness, and I am still fulfilled despite bringing everything to the table except for an income. I personally believe that if you only find happiness, growth, and fulfillment from a job then you need to make some changes in your life.
Must-Have Winter Boots
Winter is finally here in Colorado and I could not be more happy about it. I’m a cold weather girl, and I love dressing for the cold weather. Below are my must-have winter boots. I think it’s great to have one of each type in at least one color. For me, each one has a different purpose in my wardrobe.
Rain Boots Rain boots are incredibly useful where I live for early and late winter (when we get that slushy type of snow). I love that these ones have great grip. Rain boots are just made of rubber so they’re not always the warmest option but this particular brand tends to suction to my calves which traps the heat. You could also wear some extra thick warm socks with them for added warmth. I recommend sizing up if you plan on wearing thick socks with them.
Riding Boot Riding boots are a classic and will never go completely out of style. I love them because they look good with most of my winter wardrobe.
Chelsea Boot Chelsea boots are another classic that will never go completely out of style. For me, the chelsea boot functions the same in my wardrobe as the riding boot. It looks good with most of my winter wardrobe. The determining factor of wearing a riding boot or chelsea boot with an outfit comes down to the type of pants I’m wearing with it.
Cold Weather Boot We do get snow where I live so having a proper shoe for that is necessary. I love this one because it’s warm and extremely comfortable. I can be on my feet all day in this boot and still be comfortable. I also love the grip on this boot. We recently had a cold front with a few days being below 0 degrees and I wore these boots out in ice and well below freezing temperatures. I felt safe walking in them and they were warm enough.
Over-The-Knee Boot I know over-the-knee boots are not currently “on trend” but they will never go completely out of style. I love an over-the-knee boot to wear with dresses and skirts during the winter so I can still cover my legs for the most part and be warm.
Healthy Recipes to Kick Off 2023
I’m not a fan of diets or a supporter of diet culture HOWEVER I totally understand that some people are looking for healthy recipes this time of year for a reset after the holiday season. Healthy means something different to everyone. Below are some of my favorite recipes that are healthy to me.
Zucchini Tomato Italian Sausage Soup
I’m so happy 2022 is finally over! Last year was one of the hardest years of my life and I’m thrilled to bring in a new year. While 2022 was a hard year for me, it was full of beautiful moments. I also found a lot of escape through things I love and enjoy. Below are my favorites of 2022.
I typically don’t like books with a lot of characters but the author did a phenomenal job at slowly introducing them so it didn’t feel like an overwhelming amount of characters. Despite how many characters there were, I feel like the reader really got to know each one. I also loved the premise of this book. This book was a perfect balance of darker subject matters that were touched on with empathy and wisdom but also really funny and heartwarming. My only complaint is that it really takes a while to get super interesting. The last chapters are what really make this book good.
This was the perfect Summer read. It was light and I loved the main characters. I loved the author’s focus on the complexities of family female relationships through three generations. I also just love books that take place in Italy because it brings me right back.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
This book was captivating and beautifully written. I’m still amazed that the author was able to touch on so many deep subject matters without glossing over them but not focusing too much on them, and perfectly incorporating them into the plot. I don’t want to give spoilers away, but seeing how the characters had to navigate the press and live their lives according to how they felt safe doing so but not how they wanted to was incredibly eye opening for me.
This book is written from the perspective of two characters whose stories are intertwined. It follows them through their lives, focusing on their time during WWII. One a blind French girl, the other a German boy who becomes a Nazi. The author did a great job conveying the traumas of war from very unique perspectives.
Skincare & Makeup
Morphe Setting Spray I find this setting spray to truly help my makeup last all day and it doesn’t feel as heavy as other setting sprays.
SkinCeuticals Hydrating Mask As someone who is a type 1 diabetic, I suffer from dry skin sometimes. The combinations of retinols and diabetes can make for VERY dry skin sometimes, and this hydrating mask has helped me so much over the last year.
Dior Lip Gloss 2022 was the year I fell in love with lip gloss again. I love that high gloss lips give the appearance of really making an effort but it’s such an easy lip product to apply and comfortable to wear.
EltaMD Moisturizing Lip Sunscreen Another lip product I loved in 2022 was the EltaMD Moisturizing Lip Sunscreen. It’s lighter in wight than most lip products with sunscreen and very hydrating.
DRMTLGY Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 46 I’ve been using a tinted sunscreen every day for years now but last year I searched for something that felt more hydrating. I love this one from DRMLGY because it looks beautiful under makeup and it’s hydrating.
La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water I loved using this thermal spring water to set my makeup. I don’t use it to make my makeup last longer but to blend my makeup into my skin and make it look more natural.
Chanel Classic Flap This is my DREAM handbag. I’ve always wanted a Chanel Medium Classic Flap with black caviar leather and silver hardware. My husband and I bought it from the Chanel store on Sloane Street while we were in London in September. It’s the ultimate handbag for me. I’ll probably never spend that amount of money on a handbag again. I cannot link one directly from Chanel but I did link a used one.
Ralph Lauren Men’s Sweatshirt On a typical day, I’m home all day in loungewear and my go-to sweatshirt is the men’s crewneck sweatshirt from Ralph Lauren. I specifically like the men’s ones because of the oversized fit on me and I swear they are better quality than the women’s.
Chiffon Maxi Dress I didn’t get the chance to wear this maxi dress much this year because I bought it at the end of Summer but I know I’ll be wearing it on repeat this upcoming Spring and Summer. It’s light weight so it’s perfect for hot days. It’s a rather shapeless dress but the way it falls over my body is incredibly flattering. The colorway I have is no longer available but they’re always coming out with knew colorways for it.
AE Jeans 2022 was the year I finally tried American Eagle Jeans and I’m now fully converted. They’re comfortable, flattering, inexpensive, always on sale, and they come in so many styles, colors, and sizes.
Tory Burch Crossbody I’m a fan of Tory Burch handbags. I think they’re great quality, a fair price, and well designed. The bag I bought earlier in 2022 is no longer available but the bag pictured and linked is the updated design of the one I have. I love it because it’s small but can hold a lot. It’s also casual and I can throw it on with anything when I’m running out the door.
Faux Shagreen Tray I’ve been using this tray on our bar and it’s the perfect tray to cluster our whiskey bottles. I also love the texture of the tray.
Kassatex Cane Embossed Collection I have several pieces from this collection now- the cotton jar, trash cans, the tumbler, and even the matching bedding. I love it because it’s neutral but because it has a pattern it’s not entirely boring. Also, the pattern reminds me of a Lady Dior handbag so I cannot resist it.
Julienne Y-Peeler I use julienne carrots a lot in cooking but I have a love hate relationship with store bought ones. The store bought ones are dry and often flavorless BUT I hate julienne cutting. This Y-Peeler really solved my dilemma and I use it frequently.
Dessert Cups I use these dessert cups almost every day for everything. I use them mostly for parfaits, ice cream, and chia seed pudding. You could even use them for individual appetizers.
Ginger Jar Since getting diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in July, I have a lot of medical supplies I need on a daily basis now. I use these jars for insulin related items. I love them because they’re obviously useful for me but they look nice too.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad This salad is so unique fresh tasting. It’s nutritionally dense and filling enough to be an entrée but it could make a great side salad to go with just about anything. It would pair particularly well with grilled chicken, falafel, seafood, or lamb.
Chia Seed Pudding Since getting diagnosed with T1D a lot of people have asked me what sort of dietary changes I’ve had to make. This biggest change in my diet has been to breakfast. My husband and I used to have green smoothies every morning for breakfast. Sounds healthy? It was, but unfortunately any amount of carbs in those smoothies would immediately turn into glucose and spike my blood sugar since it takes little to no effort to digest a smoothie. I’m not bashing on smoothies for breakfast. I still think they’re a healthy option for insulin producing people. However, I had to cut them out of my diet. Chia Seed Pudding is one of the few “sweet” breakfast options I have that won’t spike my blood sugar. I mastered the perfect ratio this year and I feel like there are endless flavor options for Chia Seed Pudding.
Buffalo Chicken Salad There was a week this year when my husband was out of town and I didn’t want to just cook for myself, so I made a large batch of this Buffalo Chicken Salad. I ate it almost every day that week and I’m still not bored with it. It’s healthy but doesn’t taste healthy because my mind is tricked into thinking that anything with buffalo sauce is not healthy.