Tied with a Bow

It's no surprise that one of my favorite parts of the gift giving process is wrapping. I avoid using gift bags at all costs and love the creativity that goes into wrapping each and every gift. I wrap almost all my gifts each year in the same paper because I'm super type A I love the cohesive look and this year I found a silver paper that has pink and red ribbon candy and a touch of glitter. It's slightly vintage but with a modern color scheme. I made gift tags embossed with a picture of a present and set on red glitter paper. Way too much curling ribbon is the finishing touch.

This season, and every season, my favorite gift wraps are graphic prints with a retro spin. I stay away from anything religious or Santa influenced, and go for iconic holiday patterns. Trees, ornaments, and plaid are some of my favorites when done in a striking color way. Of course, no present is complete without a huge bow and lots and lots of ribbon.

You're probably wondering how that leopard print snuck in there. Okay, so it's not a typical Christmas themed pattern, but how fabulous would that look with a big red bow?


Christmas Casual

While getting gussied up in cocktail dresses and fancy heels is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season, some occasions call for a more casual, but still festive, look. For all of the gift exchanges and cookie swaps you have on your calendar over the next week and a half, this comfy outfit is effortless yet still has a bit of holiday sparkle.

A black knit turtleneck and pants that are essentially glorified leggings are perfect for hiding that cookie or two that you didn't really need and an ivory ruffle wrap is a cozy way to stay warm. Try layering the wrap over your coat when you're outside to avoid uncomfortable bulkiness. A rhinestone necklace adds a bit of glamour and pops of red in the shoes and makeup are a nod to the Christmas spirit.

Another one of my favorite casual Christmas looks this season is a fair isle sweater layered over a chambray shirt or a vintage inspired Christmas shirt, a classier take on the tacky Christmas sweater. Of course, anytime I'm doing Christmas casual around the house, you're going to find me in a pair of pajamas


Stocking Stuffers

Who knew J.Crew Factory had so many great home items? From an adorably preppy striped ceramic tray to a glam leopard print corkscrew, there are tons of great gifting items that are at a perfect stocking stuffer price point.

And remember, with 13 days left until Christmas, it's officially time to crack down on those last few gifts you have left.


Easy Holiday Appetizer

The holiday party season isn't complete without a cookie exchange and this year I'm co-hosting an exchange with my friend Kelly, who lives right down the street. A low key night of wine, sweets, and friendly gossip is just what a girl needs among the constant flurry of cocktail parties. It can't all be about the cookies, however, and Kelly and I are also making a variety of savory small bites.

When pulling together a menu for a holiday party, it's always good to have a few recipes in your arsenal that are unbelievably easy to assemble. One of my go to simple recipes is Sun Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese on Baguette slices. Anytime you have goat cheese and bread, you know it's going to be a winner. Add in some sun dried tomatoes and these will disappear in no time. 

Sun Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Baguette

1 8 oz jar Mezetta sun dried tomatoes, diced
1 baguette, sliced
1 clove garlic, diced finely
Goat cheese

Toast baguette slices until lightly browned. Mix together sun dried tomatoes and garlic in small mixing bowl. Spread goat cheese on baguette slices. Top with tomato mixture. Enjoy!

On a similar culinary note, next time I have a few hours and I'm feeling ambitious, I'm thinking about trying out this recipe. How delish does sun dried tomato jam sound?

In case you're wondering, the holiday appetizer plate is from Crate and Barrel from last year. They don't have anything super similar this year, but they do have an array of appetizer plates. C.Wonder also has some great holiday appetizer plate options, like these gorgeous plates in gold leopard that you could use at holiday and year round. 

Thank you to Mezetta for sponsoring this post! Visit Mezetta here to enter a daily gift basket giveaway that includes everything you need to put together an amazing holiday spread.


Holiday Decorating

As I'm sure I've written on here many times before, my apartment is as colorful and girly as it gets. A traditional Christmas tree just doesn't seem fitting among bold prints and bright colors, so I've had to get a little creative with my holiday decor. Pink and green tinsel trees, glittery ornaments, shiny pinecone accents, festive DOF glasses, and a gold tray to pull it all together create a sparkly winter wonderland that's full of holiday spirit even without classic red and green.

While I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I switch over to a tree full of white lights and silver and gold ornaments with touches of magnolia leaves throughout, right now I'm absolutely loving coming home to this glittery jewel box.  (Plus, no real tree mess to clean up!)

Add some glitter and gold to your own holiday decor with some of my favorite items below!


Holiday Glitter

I have been an MIA blogger this past week! A busy few weeks finally caught up with me, but now I'm back on track. Though by back on track, I mean I just got in last night from a weekend in Texas and thought signing up for a barre class at 6 AM tomorrow seemed like a good idea. One of these days I'll make up for my sleep debt.

But back to more important things, like the fact I wore the most fabulous pair of glitter heels to a wedding on Saturday. I bought them last year so unfortunately the exact pair isn't available anymore, but luckily for you there are plenty of similar styles out there. These will seriously become your go to heel for every holiday party and any fancy occasion from November to February.


I love the look of the closed toe and chunky glitter on the Steve Madden pumps, but the Kate Spade sling back pumps are such a fun classic - plus they're on sale! The Old Navy flats are a great everyday pair to dress up any outfit.


Ready to Shop Black Friday?

Now that you've had plenty of time to pour over my first five gift guides and hopefully get some ideas for all your holiday shopping, it's time to take advantage of those Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to make sure you get the best deals.

It's always good to approach sales with a list so that you aren't inclined to buy everything just because it's 50% off. Plan ahead and figure out exactly which stores have the items you would buy anyway so that you can save a few dollars without going crazy.

Also, don't forget Small Business Saturday. Many small business can't afford to do the huge cuts that big retailers offer throughout the weekend, but it's important to support the unique goods and services that local shops bring to the landscape.


Now, which of my favorite stores are offering the best deals?

Anthropologie 25% off sidewide with code Holiday25; free shipping on Cyber Monday

Banana Republic 50% off one full priced item with code BRFIFTY; 40% off sitewide with code BRFORTY

Bloomingdales 50% off on a selection sitewide for Black Friday; 25% off a selection of full and sale priced items for Cyber Monday

Boden 30% off sitewide with free shipping and free returns

C.Wonder 40% off everything sitewide with free shipping over $100

Crate and Barrel 15% off sitewide with code SAVE15; free shipping over $49

Design Darling 20% off with code MANYTHANKS

Emerson Fry 20% off all full priced merchandise for Cyber Monday with code EFMONDAY14

Furbish Studio 20% off orders of $75 or more on Cyber Monday with code HOLLADAY

J.Crew 30% off full price styles, 40% off sale items with code HOLIDAY

J.Crew Factory 50% off everything and free shipping on orders over $50 with code THANKS

Kate Spade 30% off sitewide plus free shipping with code DEALME

Lilly Pulitzer Free gift with any purchase; additional free gift on orders over $75

Lo & Sons 30% off everything

Nordstrom up to 40% off select items

Plum Pretty Sugar spend $100, recieve 10% refund, spend $200, recieve 15% refund, spend $300, recieve 20% refund

Tuckernuck on Cyber Monday 15% off sitewide with code SHOP15; 20% off orders over $150 with code SHOP20; 25 % off orders over $500 with code SHOP25; 30 % off orders over $1,000 with code SHOP30

Waiting on Martha free shipping on Black Friday with code FREESHIP; 20% off orders of $200 or more on Cyber Monday with code CYBER20


Gift Guide #4: For the Homebody

Happy Thanksgiving!! Today's Gift Guide is all about creature comforts. The timing is ideal since you will hopefully be lounging about the house today before or after Thanksgiving dinner and thinking about all those things that would make an evening in just a bit more comfortable. Plus, this really is when you should start cracking down on making sure your gift list is complete (I'll have tips on shopping the post-Thanksgiving deals tomorrow!)

With a neutral, calming palette, all these gifts are perfect for a cozy day spent by the fire with a big mug of hot chocolate. Shades of gray, natural textures, and faux fur make for perfect gifts for the homebody who prefers a night in with a good book over a jam packed social schedule of holiday parties.

Check out all my Gift Guides here or on Pinterest! All the items in this gift guide can be shopped using the images below.