Holiday Gift Guide


We're just two weeks away from Christmas, and the panic is starting to set in: I'm behind on my shopping. Being that I've been a procrastinator nearly my entire life, this doesn't come as a complete surprise. After years of waiting until the last two weeks to get all of my holiday shopping done, I've become a bit of an expert when it comes to last-minute research, creativity, and pulling random memories when someone unknowingly dropped a clue as to what they might want for Christmas. And since I know these skills will come in handy, I'm worrying less about myself and more about all of you. Okay, yes ... and I'm procrastinating even further. But what better way to delay my shopping than taking the time to create a gift guide for all of the people in your lives? 

And on that note, here are some gift ideas for the: 

10 Holiday Traditions to Get You in the Spirit


December 1st just happened to fall on a Friday this year, and if that isn't a sign that this holiday season is going to be a great one, I don't know what is.

For those of you who have read my previous holiday posts (childhood memories and favorite films), you know just how much this time of year means to me. As a little girl, Christmastime was pure magic ... and now, as an adult, I still love everything about it: the smell of the fraser fir trees, the music and movies, decorating, shopping, baking, parties, and best of all, the way everyone comes together

A Month in the Life


We're somehow already at the tail-end of October, and yet I'm just now starting to really sink into the holiday season. Over the past few days, I've purchased everything I need for my Halloween costumes, I baked my first holiday-themed dessert of the season, and the weather finally dropped (into the 60s - yay, Florida!) I swear, people are suddenly happier, nicer ... and more patient on the roads. Can you tell I love this time of year?

After a summer-long hiatus, I thought the gorgeous, endorphin-boosting weather and upcoming holiday frills would be the perfect time to bring back "A Month in the Life." Without further adieu, here are a few things I'm loving and looking forward to this month. :)

The '70s Called; They Want Their Clothes Back

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Striped sweaters, bell bottoms, corduroy, hats ... did I step into a time machine earlier this month? Either way, I'm not complaining. '70s fashion is one of my favorites

Five-Minute Garbanzo Bean "Salad"


A few months ago, I had one of those crazy weeks where cooking a decent meal is pretty much out of the question (I was basically living off of apples and peanut butter). And while apples and peanut butter are a delicious and classic combo, it got old quick and wasn't doing much to fill me or keep me focused. After reaching a point of desperation for something more nutritious, I decided to go on a scavenger hunt through my fridge and pantry to see what I could gather

11 Days in Ireland


It's been a year since we were in Ireland, and I still think about it all. the. time. I don't know if it's the fact that there's live music everywhere you go, a pub on practically every street corner serving the best pint of Guinness you've ever tasted, the gorgeous landscape, the country's enchanting history, or the fact that the Irish are some of the friendliest, happiest, most fun people I've ever come across in my life, but case in point: I fell in love with this country. So much so, in fact, that I got sentimental while boarding my plane to leave

Makeup Products and Tips My Sister Swears By


My sister, Gabbi, is constantly receiving compliments on her flawless skin and radiant makeup. A couple weekends ago, while at a hotel in Miami for my birthday weekend, my friends were literally lining up to have her apply highlighter, bronzer, eyeshadow and more onto their faces. She isn't a professional, but she studies makeup tutorials like there's no tomorrow and has transformed her desk into a vanity resembling a Sephora boutique store. Her skills when it comes to brushes and palettes are made evident in the photos above and below - she always looks either natural, healthy and glowy, or glam without looking overdone. After weeks of hounding her to spill some of her secrets, she finally agreed to take time out of her YouTube tutorial watching and makeup applying to share some of her favorite products and application tips with me

Mother Knows Best: 10 Lessons My Mom Taught Me About Life, Love, Health and Happiness


It amazes me how much the saying "mother knows best" rings true in my life. Granted, my mom isn't always right (although I'm sure she'd beg to differ), but I'd say she is about 98% of the time. Another thing that amazes me? How much I love this woman. We drive each other nuts from time to time, and we've certainly had our fair share of fights, but the connection I have with my mom is something that I can't ever find the words to explain
- it's something that can only be felt. It's the connection I have with her that makes me believe in something bigger than ourselves. It keeps me motivated during the toughest times, and grateful during the darkest times. With each passing day, I grow more and more sentimental just thinking about how wonderful she is, and how lucky I am to have her in my life at all, let alone as my mom (seriously, what did I do in my past life to deserve this honor?!)

In honor of Mother's Day, I wanted to share some of the most valuable lessons my mom taught me throughout my childhood and teenage years, and the lessons she continues to teach me now in my twenties. I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating the most important woman in your life - whoever she may be.

A Month in the Life


What I'm excited about this month: a Love Actually cast reunion, bikini season must-haves, two milestone birthdays and and more. 

May got off to a weird start this year - I was in my first (and hopefully last) car accident recently, and spent the first week of the month resting and recuperating - but the next few weeks are full of celebrations: my sister's 21st birthday (which I swear I'm more excited about than she is), my 25th birthday, Mother's Day, and the official start of what I like to call "bikini season," among other things. I'm feeling a whole lot of love and excitement, and I hope this post helps you feel some, too. :)

Here are some of the things I'm loving and looking forward to this month.

Birthday Drinks "Around the World"at Disney's Epcot 

Gabbi (my sister) is turning 21 on Saturday, and let me tell you - I might be more excited about this than I was for my own 21st four years ago. She and I are really close, and the closer she's gotten to turning 21, the more irritable she gets when we're anywhere that serves alcohol (for the record, she knows and admits this, and who can blame her? 20 was a rough age). All that being said, we're counting down the minutes until the big day, where we'll be "drinking around the world"

A Month in the Life


What I'm loving this month: Big Little Lies soundtrack, a handbag to make heads turn, #girlboss-es and more. 

Spring is in full swing here in Florida, and although I'm not thrilled about the noticeable rise in temperature, there's been a nice lingering breeze that reminds me we're still months away from the sauna that is a Florida summer. Whether you plan to spend the majority of your time outdoors or indoors, there's plenty to do in April.

Here are some of the things I'm loving and looking forward to this month. 

Before the Nasty Woman, there was the Nasty Gal

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I was introduced to NastyGal early in my college years, and although the fashion line's daring pieces aren't for everyone, the true-life story behind the brand's founder and CEO, Sophia Amoruso, is sure to make people from all walks of life cheer (note: I'm referring to her initial climb to the top ... this excludes her current financial battle). Unfamiliar with her former rags to riches story? Pick up her memoir, #GIRLBOSS, and join me in watching the premier of the Netflix series adaptation

Four Days in Boston


I had been wanting to visit Boston for years, and since my cousin Natasha - who has been at Boston University for the past year and a half - is graduating and leaving the city this May, I knew I didn't want to waste anymore time before visiting and having her as my guide. 
My sister and I flew up to meet her at the beginning of the month, and we couldn't have asked for a better person to show us around this beautiful city and introduce us to some of the best food in the area


A Month in the Life


What I'm most excited about this month: childhood stories come to life, spring trends, St. Patrick's Day and more. 

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I'm still finding it difficult to wrap my mind around the fact that it's already March. People always say that time goes by faster as you get older, and unfortunately, they aren't kidding. I mean, wasn't Halloween just yesterday?

Ever since I was a kid, I've always been a bit anxious about time - how fast it goes by, whether or not I'm making the most of it ... you get the picture. Growing up, my family always made sure we had something to look forward to every month, whether it was a vacation, a holiday, or even a new movie we couldn't wait to see. That helped my time-related anxiety a lot, and after going through a bit of a rut last year, I decided to revisit that strategy by getting some things on my calendar to get me excited for the time ahead. While we should always make it a point to live in the present, there's a ton of research proving that making plans and giving yourself things to look forward to makes you happier, and, in turn, healthier (basically, having a good time is literally what the doctor ordered).

That being said, I decided to create this series that shares some of the things I'm looking the most forward to every month. I hope it gives you some ideas and that you feel welcome to share the things you're most excited about, too! 

DIY "Galentine's" Day Mugs


If you know me, you know that I pretty much live for the holidays - and yes, that includes "silly" ones like Valentine's Day. I'm not in a romantic relationship, but that's never stopped me from participating in the festivities, eating more chocolate and candy in a sitting than is ever appropriate, throwing back a bottle of two buck chuck, or giving a little something sweet to the people who hold a piece of my heart