The Days with No Name: Living in the Moment and Adventures at Tiffany’s

The Days with No Name: Living in the Moment and Adventures at Tiffany’s

The days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve may be the strangest that the year has to offer.   It’s a no man’s land in a sense: there’s no sense of time or urgency in these days. Wednesdays slip into Thursdays and Thursdays slip into Saturdays without anyone realizing or even batting an eyelash over where Friday disappeared to.  I might be weird and it may shock some considering my love of Christmas, but these are my favorite days of the year. There’s something refreshing about losing the stress culture society’s gotten us to buy into over the years: anything is possible in these days.

This year, I’m spending these days doing things I love to do.  I’m writing blog posts, I’m taking photos, I’m spending time with loved ones.  And so far, these days have been wonderful. Wednesday, I spent the day watching Marvelous Mrs. Maisel with my mom before eating at an all you can eat sushi restaurant nearby for dinner.  There was nothing extravagant about the day, but that’s what made it so wonderful– there was no stress, no pressure, no worries.

Thursday, I went into New York City with my mom to go to Blue Box Cafe at Tiffany’s.

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My mom and I at Blue Box Cafe

 I have wanted to go here since they opened and so, a month ago, I frantically got on my computer exactly at 9 AM to make a reservation and I will admit, those minutes were some of the most stressful of my life as I watched reservations be booked out for the day in only five minutes.  But, it was all worth it. I don’t think there’s a better way to deserve my love for Tiffany’s than by providing my favorite monologue from all of Breakfast at Tiffany’s:

“The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? …Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it. Nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then — then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name!”

There is nothing like Tiffany’s and no better time to enjoy it than this strange little holiday season.  After Tiffany’s, my mom and I continued to enjoy the city, browsing through Bergdorf’s and Bendel’s, before making it to New York’s craziest spot: the Christmas tree.  Even with all the crowds and the pushing and shoving, I can’t help but marvel at it. It’s spectacular.

Looking forward from here, my plans aren’t so clear.  I’ll meet some friends here and there, work on my blog and internship applications, and just enjoy these moments.  The thing about these days is that they are very finite: I know the second the clock strikes midnight and rings in 2019 that it is all over.  The dates will become clear again, everyone will be back to work– I’ll have only a week left at home before I return to school again and a new semester will begin.  In these days, it’s like the whole world is Cinderella at the ball, but reality will strike again. For now, I plan to appreciate these days as much as I can and take joy in whatever life gives to me.

 

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It’s the Most Wonderful {and Busiest} Time of the Year

It’s the Most Wonderful {and Busiest} Time of the Year

The holiday season is most certainly one of the busiest.  There is so much to get swept up in: there’s finals, shopping, holiday parties, and the list goes on and on.  I often find myself wishing for more hours in the day, but during the Christmas season, I find this feeling is even more prevalent in my life– I want to go see all the Christmas decorations, spend time with my family making cookies, go to every holiday party I can, spend nights in with hot chocolate and Christmas movies, and still manage my regular day-to-day life.  It seems there is never enough time to do everything at the holidays. So, this season, I’m trying to make the most of the time that I have and be thankful for it. Today, I’m sharing what I’m most looking forward to in the rest of the holiday season.

What I’m looking forward to:

  1. Cookie making.  I am so excited to be home and able to participate in my yearly tradition of baking Christmas cookies with my mom.  I’ve written about how much this tradition means to me in the past, but I can’t reiterate enough how important this tradition is to me.  It’s a time for my mom and I to be together, but also connects us to our loved ones who have passed on. It keeps them in the season with us.
  2. Seeing all the New York Christmas decorations.  While I spend the majority of my time in Washington, D.C., I always say that my heart is in New York and that is especially true during Christmas.  There is nowhere in the world where Christmas magic can be felt more than New York. I have wanted to go see the window decorations and the Rockefeller Center tree again for a couple years now, but have never made it into the city on time, but I’m definitely making that a priority this year.
  3. Christmas Eve dinner.  If you’re an Italian-American, you will understand this one.  There is no holiday that has as good of food as Christmas Eve, in my personal opinion.  Every year, we go out to our favorite restaurant for their buffet that includes the Italian fishes, pastas, and zeppole for dessert.  I also love Christmas Eve dinner because it is a really relaxed time for my family, where we just are able to enjoy being together without any stress.
  4. Spending time with friends and family.  Going to school in a different city than I grew up in is absolutely amazing– I love the independence I have gotten from this experience.  However, I definitely miss home, my friends, and my family when I’m away. I love Christmas because everyone is home, at least for a little while, and it is a great time to catch up with everyone.

 

 

It’s a Wonderful Life: Finding Meaning for the Season

It’s a Wonderful Life: Finding Meaning for the Season

There is nothing I love more in this world than Christmas music… except, maybe Christmas cookies and decorations.  The entire season excites me so much and despite the shorter hours of daylight and the chillier temperatures, I can’t help but smile when I see a house decorated with lights or a wreath hanging on a door.  It’s a special time of year.

I’ll admit, all of that sounds superficial.  What difference does some twinkly lights make to our lives?  Well, I believe that all the beauty and decor that goes along with Christmas just helps to stand in for what the season really means: hope.

The holidays bring us together.  In my family, we have a tradition of baking Christmas cookies.  When I was a little girl, this would be a whole day activity with all my aunts and uncles. Today, the tradition has become just my mom and I as many of our relatives have passed away, but when we bake our family recipe of strufoli, it’s like they’re still with us.  I can hear my Aunt Loretta’s laughter in the kitchen and my Uncle Joey’s patient voice as he explains to me how you have to roll the dough. In those moments of baking, I feel so much hope that my family is still with me. My mom and I always grow closer after a day of baking, because I know she feels it too.  Our family is not lost from us, but within us. In those moments, I can’t help but feel hope that the world is a beautiful place, because my family is made of the most beautiful people and if they’re still with me in some way, life has to be spectacular.

This year, I’m trying to bring this feeling of hope I get from my family holiday traditions to everyone I know.  I’m hosting a Christmas party, I’m getting a group together to spend an afternoon decorating cookies, and I’m volunteering in my community.  Life is so stressful and hard most of the time– I want people to be able to take a moment to see it is still beautiful. I want people to feel hopeful and excited for the future.

When I look at Christmas decorations, I see so much beauty in this world.  I see people just trying to make the world a happier place, one light at a time.  When I participate in gift exchange, I feel so much care and affection. Someone took time to think of what would make me happy.  When I listen to a Christmas song, I smile because this is a season that brings people together and brings out the best in them.

This holiday season, let yourself be filled with hope that the world is still a happy and caring place.  Let yourself believe that the world is good and there’s so much more than your daily stress. That hope you feel inside when you do, that’s what Christmas is all about.  

It really is a wonderful life.

 

Gift Guide #3: Secret Santa Gifts for $20 and Under

Gift Guide #3: Secret Santa Gifts for $20 and Under

A Christmas tradition that never fails to stress everyone out is Secret Santa.  Maybe, you pulled the name of your best friend and have no idea how to get them a good enough gift in $20 or less or maybe, you pulled the name of someone you’ve never spoken two words too.  Have no fear, I’ve compiled a list of the best Secret Santa gifts for $20 or less so you can enjoy this holiday tradition, instead of stressing.

$10 and Under

Toysmith Mini Ping Pong Set: $5.62

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Tea Bag Shaped Tea Infuser: $5.95

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Cable Bite: $6.00

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Mini Double Chocolate Cocoa: $6.95

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Sugarfina x The Grinch Super Sour Hearts (or any Sugarfina candy makes for a great gift!): $8.50

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Satin Bow-Tied Hair Tie Set: $9.60

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Dash Red Mini Waffle Maker: $9.99

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Star Wars: May the Force Be With You Mug: $9.99

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George & Viv Gifting Bar Soap: $10

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$15 and Under

Acrylic 3×3 Block Picture Frame: $11.95

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Stamped & Cashed Dancing Queen Cuff: $12 but 15% off with my code PIXIEDUST until 12/20

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Keep Cool Face Mask Set: $12

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Make + Model Butter Socks: $12

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Oooh Yeah Men’s Luxury Combed Cotton Crew Socks Pizza Party Large Socks: $12

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Easy, Tiger, 12 oz Goil Foil Stackable Mug, “No”: $12

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Let It Snow Layered Cookie Mix: $12.95

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Acrylic Watch Hat: $12.99

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Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined: $13.46

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L’Occitane Shea Butter Ornament Set: $14

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Monogram Lidded Jewelry Box: $14

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$20 and Under

HoMedics Essential Oils: $14.99-$19.99

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Fredericks & Mae Paper Games: Dots & Boxes: $17.96

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Kate Spade New York What Do You Say Tumbler with Straw: $18

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Hat and Scarf: $18.99

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Coziest Throw- Space Dyed: $19

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Fleece Block Checked Large Blanket: $19.90

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Gift Guide #2: Self-Care Gifts

Gift Guide #2: Self-Care Gifts

We are all on our own personal journeys and that can sometimes make it hard to find gifts for others.  Maybe, you’re shopping for a friend whose selfless and is always running around for everyone else or maybe, you’re trying to find the perfect gift for your workaholic friend who is stressed out all the time.  No matter who you’re buying for or wherever they are on their personal journey, giving a gift that makes self-care easy is always a good idea. I’ve compiled my favorite self-care gifts for this season in this list so you don’t have to stress on a holiday gift hunt this season.

$15 and Under

Tea Time Monogram Mug: $7.00

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Sheet Mask Set: $7.90

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The Mindfulness Coloring Book: $9.23

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Boscia Black Charcoal Blotting Linens: $10

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Capri Blue Mini Zodiac Candle: $14

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Philosophy: Comfy, Cozy, Clean: $15

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$30 and Under

Mindfulness Cards: $16.95

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Lavender eye pillow: $16.99

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LALICIOUS Sugar Kiss Mini Sparkle & Shine Set: $19.00

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Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur: $19.99

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Mila 2018-2019 Planner + Pen Set: $24

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Mer-Sea & Co. Sugar Scrub: $30

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$50 and Under

You are Amazing Care Package: $32

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My Bucket List Fill In Journal: $34.99

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Your Tea Antioxidant Tea: $35

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Philosophy’s Guide to Warm and Cozy: $39

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USB Essential Oil Diffuser: $40

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Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Face Mask: $49

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Slip Silk Lashes Eye Mask: $50

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Over $50

Amped Fleece Printed Throw Blanket: $59

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Franklin Desk Riser: $39-$59

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Paint the Town Set- GLAMGLOW: normally $89 but on sale for $69

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That’s all of my self-care gift finds for now.  I am constantly looking for the best self-care products so I may post an updated version of this a bit closer to Christmas.  Let me know in the comments what gift guide you’d like to see next!

Gift Guide #1: Gifts $35 and Under

Gift Guide #1: Gifts $35 and Under

The holidays are a joyous yet stressful time.  One major stressor of the season is getting all the presents you need for your friends and family.  Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be sharing my gift guides to make the season as easy as possible.  Today’s gift guide is to help you find gifts for under $35, so you can get the best possible gifts without breaking your bank.  All of these gifts are from Forever 21, Anthropologie, Nordstrom, Sephora, Urban Outfitters, and Vineyard Vines. I’ll be honest: I was really worried going into this gift guide, unsure if I would be able to find any good gifts in this price range, but I was pleasantly surprised to find so many amazing and affordable gifts.  I’m so excited to share thirty of these options with you today and make sure to let me know in the comments what gift guide you’d like to see next!

$15 and Under

Cross Pendant Chain Necklace: $3.90
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Go For It Pendant Necklace: $3.90

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Faux Fur Earmuffs: $6.90

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I Woke up Like This graphic Travel Mug: $7.90

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Ribbed Knit Gloves: $9.90

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PLAY! By Sephora: Beauty Schooled: $10

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Plaid Flannel Oblong Scarf: $14.90

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Leith Crystal Wraparound Necklace: $14.90

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Perfect Selfie Ring Light + Lens: $15

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Philosophy Comfy, Cozy, Clean: $15

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$25 and Under

 

Serefina Bow Tie Bracelet: $15.20

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Sephora Collection Experiential Masks Set: $18

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Mario Badescu Mini Must Have Winter Edition Set: $20

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Jupiter Candle: $24

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Chenille Hat & Scarf Set: $24.90

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Philosophy Warm Caramel Apple Cider Set: $25

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Illuminating Bright Eyes Gels + Silky Mask Beauty Sleep Set- Beauty Bio: $25

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Bite Four Little Bites Amuse Bouche Lipstick Set: $25

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Tarte Here Today, Gone to Maui: $25

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Weekends & Chocolate Holiday Bath Truffle Set: $25

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bh Cosmetics Crystal Quartz 12-Piece Brush Set: $25

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$35 and Under

Smashbox Cover Shot Eye Palette & Brush Duo: $26.50

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Vineyard Vines Classic Twill Baseball Hat: $28

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Benefit Cosmetics Goodie Goodie Gorgeous Gift Set: $29

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Eva NYC Mini Flat Iron: $30

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Pixi 5th Edition Ultimate Beauty Kit: $32

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Out From Under Haiden Cozy Sweater: $34
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Cozy Chunky Knit Beanie: $34

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Nubby Blanket Scarf: $34

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Lime Crime Best of Lip Reds Holiday Gift Set: $34

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Happy holiday shopping!!