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budget friendly gift guide

Holiday 2017 Gift Guide: Under $50

For the last of the holiday gift guides I decided to remain budget friendly picking things that are under $50. I chose $50 as a budget because, well, things just get better when you spend a little bit more money. Sure, you can swing by and pick up a $8 ornament at Starbucks, but there’s just something about Chambong that is just more fun. Who doesn’t want to guzzle champagne faster than human life ever intended?

SHOP: Kristin Ess gift set, Who What Wear pumps, Glass wine bottle ornaments, The New York Times: 36 Hours USA & Canada, Blue Bottle Coffee blend box, Sugarfina Cheers! bento box, Williams Sonoma monogrammed cheese board, Williams Sonoma copper & marble cheese knives, Marble notebook, Chambong, BaubleBar earrings, Craft cocktail set, Demi salt & pepper shakers, Turntable Kitchen subscription, Diamond glasses, Extend Your Style Dry Shampoo Collection

Check out all the gift guides: Best Friends, Pets, Mom & Dad, Misters, Sisters


My 2017 Holiday Decor Guide

Okay so maybe it’s not as much of a guide as it is just pretty much all of the chic, beautiful holiday decor I could gather in one place. 

There’s a fine line between holiday decorating and looking like your entire house took advantage of a North Pole “everything must go so you bought it all” sale. I’m looking at you, Great Christmas Light Fight (or whatever that show is called). I think my design aesthetic is fairly easy to understand: less is more and quality is far more important than most things. It’s no surprise that all of my holiday decor is minimal but chic (and a little bit trendy). That’s not to say I don’t love all of parents 1970s/1980s decorations (including the horrifying light up Santa head), but at my own house it’s a little more…understated. I like the idea of mixing certain tones (particularly white and silver) with pops of red rather than flat-out going red and green all over. Sometimes it’s just too much.


My Holiday Wish List

First, let me just welcome you to the very beginning of what I’m going to call Holiday Overload. When planning out blog posts I realized that nearly all of them over the next few weeks will be holiday themed. I was conflicted about it but then I realized it’s many people’s favorite time of year (myself included) so I figured why not. There’s going to be everything from specially crafted gift guides (as if you need more of those in your life right now) to my favorite recipes, movies, and other fun things. At the end of the month as usual I will share my favorite albums and songs of 2017 just in time to kiss this unusually hellish year goodbye!

But where do we begin? 5 minutes into my family Thanksgiving dinner it started. The constant questioning “so what do you want for Christmas?” has been happening ever since. As a kid our Christmas lists were made before we even sat down for Thanksgiving dinner, put into the mailbox, and mailed off to Santa in the blink of an eye. As an adult it’s a bit harder and a much less fun. There’s still plenty of things I know I want, but there’s no Toys R Us Big Book for adult life so remembering what those things are is a little difficult. Finally after the 7,000 text message I decided to give it a go and pick a bunch of stuff that has caught my eye or that I can truly use in my life. Whether you’re looking for something to get me or just a gift in general here it is: My Christmas List.

ONE: Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes by Alison Roman, Never Us Futura by Douglas Thomas, and Simple Fare by Karen Mordechai TWO: William’s Sonoma Copper Wine Opener THREE: Zara Parka FOUR: Saxelby Cheese Grilled Cheese Kit FIVE: EP-33 Bluetooth Record Player SIX: Lightwell Candle SEVEN: Wusthof Knife Set EIGHT: The Beatles Christmas Records Collection NINE: Zara Leather Mini Skirt TEN: Rifle Paper Co Los Angeles print ELEVEN: Crate & Barrel Copper Wine Rack


Thanksgiving Hosting Extravaganza

I can’t believe that there is less than a week until Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year despite the mountain of stress I put on myself. Yes, I cook an entire Thanksgiving meal (turkey, mashed potatoes, and even pies) all by myself. Everyone else just gets to enjoy their morning watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, eating well thought out light snacks, and, well, watching me like I’m some kind of Food Network cooking show. Then there’s my dog who spends the entire afternoon tripping me in the kitchen when she gets tired of watching the post-parade airing of the dog show (okay fine, she’s just sleeping).


The Fall Shop

I  think technically there’s only so many weeks of fall left making this post relatively useless, but I’m not really bothering to pay attention to that. Arizona really only has about two real seasons anyway. Since there are still plenty of fall time left, I put together somewhat of a fall shop. It’s filled with things I really love right now and things that just are great to have. It’s like Oprah’s Favorite Things only I’m not Oprah, and this isn’t a special segment on GMA.


Must Have Halloween Decor

Growing up Halloween was a huge deal in my house. As a kid my sister and I would get free rein to decorate whatever we wanted. I still remember these incredibly 1980s felt, orange pumpkins with silly expressions we hung on all the windows (Oh wow I found them online: here). Most of our decorations ended up being those buckets from McDonald’s and the dress up chicken nuggets because they were fun. We never really carved pumpkins except for the day before Halloween (or even on Halloween) because of my parents policy on making messes. Pumpkin carving is by far one of the messiest activities for children and pumpkin guts are disgusting. As an adult it’s still really fun to decorate for Halloween. I still don’t really do much in the way of pumpkins. I’ll display them but carving just isn’t my thing. Not only is it messy, it’s also dangerous for a clumsy person such as myself. I love Target sells fake, designed pumpkins and pumpkin art for me to stick on them instead.



Oh My God, Pumpkin Everything

Any time a product comes out that claims to tase like, smell like, or anything remotely involving pumpkin spice odds are I’m going to try it. If that makes me “basic” so be it. To me there’s nothing I’d rather have from mid-September to mid-December than a good pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin pie, or pumpkin bread. There’s just something so comforting to me about it. It reminds me of chilly days spent relaxing or enjoying crisp fall nights. I’ve literally been waiting to make a pumpkin pie for the last three weeks, but the weather has been unseasonably warm and I definitely do not need to have pie just lying around.