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

Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 11.26.06 PM.png

Tea Bag Shaped Tea Infuser: $5.95

Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 11.27.50 PM.png

Cable Bite: $6.00

Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 11.43.43 PM.png

Mini Double Chocolate Cocoa: $6.95

Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 11.45.15 PM.png

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

Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 11.47.29 PM.png

Satin Bow-Tied Hair Tie Set: $9.60

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 12.01.06 AM.png

Dash Red Mini Waffle Maker: $9.99

Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 11.50.37 PM.png

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

Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 11.54.24 PM.png

George & Viv Gifting Bar Soap: $10

Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 11.56.56 PM.png

$15 and Under

Acrylic 3×3 Block Picture Frame: $11.95

Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 11.58.11 PM.png

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

Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 11.59.15 PM.png

Keep Cool Face Mask Set: $12

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 12.02.46 AM.png

Make + Model Butter Socks: $12

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 12.04.56 AM.png

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

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 12.06.27 AM.png

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

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 12.07.31 AM.png

Let It Snow Layered Cookie Mix: $12.95

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 12.08.44 AM.png

Acrylic Watch Hat: $12.99

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 12.10.37 AM.png

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

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 12.12.54 AM.png

L’Occitane Shea Butter Ornament Set: $14

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 12.13.55 AM.png

Monogram Lidded Jewelry Box: $14

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 12.15.40 AM.png

$20 and Under

HoMedics Essential Oils: $14.99-$19.99

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 12.20.25 AM.png

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

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 12.22.23 AM.png

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

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 12.21.40 AM.png

Hat and Scarf: $18.99

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 12.23.50 AM.png

Coziest Throw- Space Dyed: $19

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 12.25.39 AM.png

Fleece Block Checked Large Blanket: $19.90

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 12.27.16 AM.png

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

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 12.41.31 AM.png

Sheet Mask Set: $7.90

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 12.42.38 AM.png

The Mindfulness Coloring Book: $9.23


Boscia Black Charcoal Blotting Linens: $10

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 12.38.21 AM.png

Capri Blue Mini Zodiac Candle: $14

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 12.44.21 AM.png

Philosophy: Comfy, Cozy, Clean: $15

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 12.48.56 AM.png

$30 and Under

Mindfulness Cards: $16.95

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 12.50.50 AM

Lavender eye pillow: $16.99

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 12.52.16 AM.png

LALICIOUS Sugar Kiss Mini Sparkle & Shine Set: $19.00

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 12.53.26 AM.png

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur: $19.99

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 12.54.25 AM.png

Mila 2018-2019 Planner + Pen Set: $24

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 12.56.29 AM.png

Mer-Sea & Co. Sugar Scrub: $30

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 12.57.46 AM.png


$50 and Under

You are Amazing Care Package: $32


My Bucket List Fill In Journal: $34.99

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 1.00.37 AM.png

Your Tea Antioxidant Tea: $35


Philosophy’s Guide to Warm and Cozy: $39

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 1.02.43 AM.png

USB Essential Oil Diffuser: $40

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 1.03.30 AM.png

Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Face Mask: $49

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 1.05.13 AM.png

Slip Silk Lashes Eye Mask: $50

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 1.06.03 AM.png

Over $50

Amped Fleece Printed Throw Blanket: $59

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 1.08.34 AM

Franklin Desk Riser: $39-$59

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 1.09.52 AM.png

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

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 1.11.10 AM.png

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





Go For It Pendant Necklace: $3.90

pendant 2.jpg

Faux Fur Earmuffs: $6.90

ear muffs.jpg

I Woke up Like This graphic Travel Mug: $7.90

i did not wake up like this

Ribbed Knit Gloves: $9.90

ribbed gloves.jpg

PLAY! By Sephora: Beauty Schooled: $10

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.03.10 PM.png

Plaid Flannel Oblong Scarf: $14.90

scarf 1.jpg

Leith Crystal Wraparound Necklace: $14.90

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.05.47 PM.png

Perfect Selfie Ring Light + Lens: $15

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.07.33 PM.png

Philosophy Comfy, Cozy, Clean: $15

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.08.41 PM.png


$25 and Under


Serefina Bow Tie Bracelet: $15.20

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.10.09 PM.png

Sephora Collection Experiential Masks Set: $18

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.12.53 PM.png

Mario Badescu Mini Must Have Winter Edition Set: $20

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.14.14 PM.png

Jupiter Candle: $24

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.15.37 PM.png

Chenille Hat & Scarf Set: $24.90

scarf 2.jpg

Philosophy Warm Caramel Apple Cider Set: $25

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.19.22 PM.png

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

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.21.08 PM.png

Bite Four Little Bites Amuse Bouche Lipstick Set: $25

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.22.06 PM.png

Tarte Here Today, Gone to Maui: $25

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.23.55 PM.png

Weekends & Chocolate Holiday Bath Truffle Set: $25

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.31.39 PM.png

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

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.33.27 PM.png


$35 and Under

Smashbox Cover Shot Eye Palette & Brush Duo: $26.50

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.35.14 PM.png

Vineyard Vines Classic Twill Baseball Hat: $28

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.36.33 PM.png

Benefit Cosmetics Goodie Goodie Gorgeous Gift Set: $29

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.37.34 PM.png
Eva NYC Mini Flat Iron: $30

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.38.40 PM.png

Pixi 5th Edition Ultimate Beauty Kit: $32

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.40.11 PM.png

Out From Under Haiden Cozy Sweater: $34
Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.41.22 PM.png

Cozy Chunky Knit Beanie: $34

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.42.56 PM.png

Nubby Blanket Scarf: $34

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.44.46 PM

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

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 11.46.39 PM.png


Happy holiday shopping!!