Thursday Top Ten

Hi, friends! Happy Thursday! I’ve decided I’m going to start a new weekly post, “Thursday Top Ten.” I’ve noticed that I will randomly find items and links throughout the week that don’t necessarily “fit” into other blog posts, but are still things I want to share! Hoping these will be quick and easy blog posts to work your way through, while still adding inspiration and fun!

(Please know this post contains affiliate links which means when you click or make a purchase from one of my links, the price will be the same, yet the retailer sends me a very small commission. Thank you for supporting my blog!)

Target Striped Shirt

Thanks to my friend Katie from Life With a Dash of Whimsy, I picked up this shirt from Target this past weekend and am OBSESSED. The quality is actually really good for such an affordable price. I foresee this being a spring staple in my closet. P.S..This photo doesn’t do the shirt justice…it’s a true cornflower blue stripe and SO pretty!!!!

 

Colorful Spatulas

Spatulas are one item I can never have enough of in the kitchen, especially while baking! These bright colors are perfect for Spring, and would look so pretty in our new kitchen!

 
 

Scalloped Light Fixture

I can’t even tell y’all how in love I am with this light fixture. Whimsical, yet classic. I’m scheming to find a place for this in our home!

 
 

Brady Brunch Reunion

Did anyone else grow up watching The Brady Bunch? I loved this show! While the exterior of the home was a real home, the interiors seen in the show were filmed on a set. However, when the house that was used for exterior shots went for sale recently, it was purchased by HGTV and each room is going to be restored as close as possible to the way it would have been during the 1970s show. I cannot wait to follow along with this!

New Favorite Foundation

I recently switched from my Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation to this product and I have loved it! It covers exactly what I want, without looking too cake-y. It’s a light coverage, but buildable enough to cover any imperfections I want hidden. Plus, the ingredients are safer than conventional beauty products and not filled with potentially toxic ingredients.

 
 

Downton Abbey Movie Sneak Peek

I was enthralled with this show when it was on air, and cannot wait to see the movie that is slated to come out later this year! Click on the link above to see some snapshots of what’s to come!

 
 

Greek Key Needlepoint Pillow

Earlier this year, I realized I really didn’t have many hobbies (seriously!) and remembered how much I love to needlepoint. It’s a great task to do at night while watching TV, but still creates something beautiful in the process. It also gives my eyes a break from endless screen-time. This canvas above would be so pretty when finished and turned into a little throw pillow!

 
 

Blue & White Picture Frame

I’ve never met a blue and white piece I didn’t like, and this is no exception! I particularly love the gold accents around the rim.

 

Stylish Mixer

While I already own (and LOVE) a KitchenAid mixer, I love love love this style. The powder blue is so pretty, but I’m most enamored with the hobnail bowl. Because I didn’t know what our kitchen would look like when I registered for our mixer, I originally chose a white KitchenAid so it would be neutral enough. Now that our new kitchen is going to be all white, I would love to add this on the counters for a pop of color, while still staying somewhat neutral.

 
 

Cutest Tennis Shoes!

After finally rejoining the gym, I’ve realized my white tennis shoes have seen better days. While I love the look of white shoes, realistically, they are hard to keep looking pristine when genuinely using them to exercise. These blue tennis shoes have certainly swayed my love of all-white! This blue is so pretty and just the right pop of color.

 

I hope y’all have a great rest of your week! Would love to know if you like the idea of these quick round-ups, too!

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

 
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Pink Striped Lake Pajamas / Sunglasses / Quilted Ballet Flats / Sun Hat / Lipstick / “Paris in Bloom” Book

Pink Flower Earrings / Le Creuset Heart Cocette / Scalloped Earrings / Packing Cubes / Sugarfina Gummies

Rifle Paper Corkcicle / Embroidered Mules / Crystal Roller / RMS Beauty Oil / Velvet Blazer / Louie Sherry Chocolates / “Vintage Roses” Book

It’s hard to believe Valentine’s Day is just in one week!!! I’ve gone through ups and downs surrounding my feelings with Valentine’s Day, but I’m definitely on the high side of it right now! I vividly remember meticulously picking out my Valentine’s cards in elementary school, and decorating my cardboard shoebox “mailbox” to exchange cards within our classroom…always a high experience for me! On the flip side, I remember a time when I thought Valentine’s Day was super overrated (just being honest!) and could have done without it. Now, I’m back to the other end of the spectrum. I’ve come to the conclusion that I love Valentine’s Day. A full day focused on spreading love to everyone? I’m so grateful for truly the most wonderful husband, friends, and community, and I love any chance I have to celebrate them. Plus…pink. And flowers. All I need to say about that :)

Anyway, my husband and I don’t normally do anything super special on Valentine’s Day (probably because of the fact that I get annoyed having to pay extra, or choose from a prix fixe menu, at a restaurant I normally love!) Instead, we usually celebrate in with a home-cooked meal, and we’ll celebrate the holiday itself at a restaurant later in the week. We don’t normally exchange gifts, and this year our focus is on our kitchen and home renovations…so we certainly won’t be exchanging any major gifts. But, a girl can dream…right? I rounded up some of favorite pink, feminine, and all around lovely gifts I could find from around the internet!

Pink Striped Lake Pajamas: I’m well aware it’s absurd to pay this much for a price of pajamas. But y’all…these are literally the softest pair of pajamas I’ve ever had AND they make me feel like a million bucks when I wear them. When I break it down to cost per wear (which I’m all about!) the price comes down to pennies a day, compared to a different set that I’ll usually only wear once. I have these right now in this beautiful hydrangea color, but I have seriously been dreaming of this girly, feminine pair especially made for Valentine’s! (P.S…If you are between sizes, I would recommend sizing up!)

Sunglasses: I have a pair very similar to these Tory Burch sunglasses that I get asked about all the time. Mine are Tory Burch from a few years ago, but these have a very similar shape and style. Sunglasses are an item I splurge on, as I know I’ll wear them daily. These are a great Valentine’s gift for the upcoming spring season!

Quilted Ballet Flats: I have finally hit the age where the clothes I’ve been wearing for years and years are starting to show their age. (Cue sad tears!) First things I need to replace? My ballet flats that I wear daily. I love Tory Burch flats, and especially love the feminine quilted detailing on these. Order through Nordstrom for free shipping and returns. I’m often between sizes, so I would order both and keep the size that fits best (returning the one that doesn’t fit!)

Sun Hat: I own this hat in the navy and LOVE it. However, after a few too many dips in the ocean, I need to buy a new one for this summer. (Side note…please, please, please cover up your skin and use SPF when you’re out in the sun!) This hat is great because it’s packable and won’t lose it’s shape being smooshed in your bag!

Lipstick: I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again….this is THE best lipstick you’ll ever own. Did you know most lipsticks contain trace amounts of lead? Yuck! Beautycounter tests for heavy metals in their products, so you know you are wearing safer beauty. (I mean just think about it…you essentially eat your lipstick by the end of the day!) This particular shade of lipstick “Little Black Dress” is a staple in my closet, and lasts all day! Highly recommend. (And if you’re curious about why I became a Beautycounter consultant, you can read all about that here!)

“Paris in Bloom” book: I randomly found this wandering the aisles at Homegoods (is that anyone else’s favorite past time?!) and immediately threw it in my cart. This book is incredibly beautiful, and reminds me of my trip to Paris last summer with my mom! I get the travel bug every time I open this :)

Pink Flower Earrings: So cute for Valentine’s Day, and on sale!

Le Creuset Heart Cocette: Would be perfect for your home-cooked meal on Valentine’s Day! Currently on sale (did you know that Nordstrom price matches?!)

Scalloped Earrings: So cute for the trend-lover in your life, but also budget conscious! I’ve never tried these, so I don’t know the quality, but I love the style!

Packing Cubes: This is an item that has continuously been on my list but I haven’t quite bit the bullet. I travel frequently, and get super frustrated when my suitcase is disorganized. I know that these would sooth my mind and make traveling that much more fun!

Sugarfina Gummies: I have a secret obsession with Sugarfina! My sweet wedding planner gifted me some in a little care package, and I’ve been hooked since! Such a fun treat for a special event or holiday!

Rifle Paper Corkcicle: I own this exact Corkcicle, but in the tumbler (sadly, no longer available) and I cannot tell you the amount of joy it brings me! It’s the little things, right?! The Rifle Paper print is just so pretty, and the Corkcicle keeps my hot tea piping hot at my desk :)

Embroidered Mules: Y’all…I think this might be the deal of the century! I’ve been wanting a pair of mules, but since they’re more of a “trendy” item this season, I didn’t want to spend too much money on them. Enter these beautiful, feminine pair from Amazon! I ordered them earlier this week and they should be in soon! I’ll report back, but I’m just so excited about this find!

Crystal Roller: These facial rollers have been floating around the Instagram/blog world and I haven’t yet made the purchase, but this one is a great price, plus free shipping at Nordstrom! Apparently, these help your oils/moisturizers soak in more, and serve to de-puff your eyes and face. I know I definitely could use that, especially in the mornings :) Use with the RMS Facial Oil and you’ve got the perfect beauty gift!

RMS Beauty Oil: I have to admit, I was very confused by the oil trend. But y’all…this stuff is AMAZING! I received a sample of this at an event a few weeks ago and have been hooked on it since! I use my Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel first, followed by a teeny bit of Beautycounter Cleansing Balm as a moisturizer, and 5 drops of this beauty oil and I wake up to my skin seriously glowing. I genuinely look forward to putting this on before bed! RMS is also a safer beauty product, so I feel comfortable using this on my skin knowing it’s not filled with known toxic chemicals (it’s scored a 1 on the EWG app….the best score there can be!)

Velvet Blazer: I just keep pairing together this precious blazer with these embroidered mules! Classic, timeless, feminine style! I am seriously dreaming of this blazer in my closet.

Louie Sherry Chocolates: I’ve never tried these chocolates, but they seem to be all the rage right now! Made from fine Belgian chocolate and packaged in an iconic keepsake tin box (designed in 1919 as a welcome aboard gift for steamship passengers.) This would be such a luxurious, thoughtful gift!

“Vintage Roses” Book: Ever since our trip to Avignon, France this summer, where our hotel courtyard was filled with gorgeous David Austin Roses, I have been entranced in the romanticism and classic beauty of roses! I would love to get my hands on this book and gain some inspiration for our landscaping (and just daydream about our time in France!)

Do y’all celebrate Valentine’s Day? Anything you have in mind for a gift this year? Would love to know your plans!

Have a wonderful day!

Christine

Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale Picks

Twice a year (usually!) Lilly Pulitzer throws an amazing “After Party Sale” on their website. Usually, Lilly Pulitzer is almost never on sale, so these sales are a great time to stock up on some pieces at amazing sale prices.

This year the sale runs from Monday, January 7 until Tuesday, January 8. All items ship free, but are final sale. Make sure to shop quickly, because items sell out quickly! I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites and linked them below!

I’ll share what I bought (and own!) below!

(Please know this post contains affiliate links which means when you click or make a purchase from one of my links, the retailer sends me a small commission. Thank you for supporting my blog!)

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Lilly Maxi Skirt:

I bought this during the sale and am SO excited! I have two trips to the Caribbean coming up this spring, and I will definitely be packing this! This is such a classic Lilly skirt, that seems so “Jackie O” style to me. I’m in love and cannot wait for this to get in!

 

Blue UPF Popover:

I bought this during the last sale and cannot tell you how much use I have gotten out of it! The detailing around the collar is just so pretty, plus, it has built in UPF, perfect for a fair-skinned girl like me! I reach to this at least once a week in my closet. I always feel put together (even while dressing casually) with this popover on. Highly recommend!

Navy Rorey Dress:

If I were to recommend you buying one thing during this sale, it would be this dress! Such a classic, feminine, versatile style! I’ve dressed this up and down for multiple events, and love it more every time I wear it! I got a small, put probably could have worn an extra small as the material does have some stretch to it. Plus, it has pockets! Highly recommend!

Gwyneth Shift Dress:

So I didn’t buy this dress, but it’s really tempting me!!! Look at how pretty the detailing on the back is here! I think this dress would be so versatile; from work, to church, to running errands around town…it’s just SO pretty! Plus, it’s classic “Lilly” style dress, which I just can never get enough of! (I think I’ve convinced myself I need it, haha!)

There are always SO many great deals in this sale, and word on the street is that more styles are going to be added tomorrow! If that’s the case, I’ll probably add more of my favorites to my Facebook page (you can follow me here!).

Make sure to let me know what you grabbed during the sale!

Reflections on 2018

(Side note: I started this post before 2019. I had been reflecting these past few weeks, and hadn’t gotten around to posting this. So, some of the text below is from pre-Christmas, but I want to leave that in to give the authentic truth of how I felt while writing this. Hopefully you can just breeze through that part about Christmas :) )

As I’m writing this, it’s two weeks before Christmas, and I’m sitting here thinking to myself, “Where has the time gone?” I’m getting ready to work on setting my goals for 2019, but it would be remiss of me to plow ahead to the next year without accurately reflecting on the past.

In general, I find I tend to be more of a private person. But, I don’t want you to come to my blog thinking my life is always rainbows and butterflies. Amidst gift guides and Christmas shopping, there are triumphs and trials in my life. More often than not, I just don’t choose to display them all. Looking for fun gifts and compiling outfits is a creative outlet for me, and frankly, sometimes it’s just more fun that way. But I want it to be clear, my life, just like anyone else’s, is full of ups and downs. While this blog may forecast the “highs” of my life, please don’t think that this is real life. Social media and the blogging world are amazing…I’ve met some truly wonderful friends and been able to flex my creative muscles. However, it can also be a dark place for comparison.

 With that being said, let’s look through the highs and lows of 2018.

Highs:

 

Family Time

 I spent some absolutely amazing quality time with my family this year. I was able to take a trip in early summer to New York with my Dad & Grandma to visit their childhood homes. I honestly think this is a trip I will cherish for the rest of my life. I am so beyond thankful I had the chance to spend time walking through my Dad’s childhood with him. I celebrated milestone birthdays with family members, exciting engagements, and loving on my cousin at two of her bridal showers. I got to have a weekend sleepover with my Mamaw and celebrated my birthday with family at home. To top it off, I spent two weeks with my mom traveling through Europe. Because we live apart now, it’s not often I get one-on-one time with her. Spending that time with just her was so good for my soul, and I’m so thankful we had the opportunity to share those special memories together. I have so much to be thankful for with my family, and I never want to forget that.

 

Travel

 Like I mentioned above, I spent a major part of 2018 spending some amazing quality time with my family. Because we live apart, much of that family time was spent traveling. In 2018 I traveled to Exumas, Bahamas, numerous trips home to Virginia and our river house, Raleigh for a weekend with my forever high school friends, Chapel Hill for the Making Things Happen conference, New York and New Jersey, plenty of trips to watch the Tigers play in Clemson, played tourist in our own city of Charleston, and the ultimate European vacation in France, Italy, and Monaco with my mom.

 

Moving

 My husband and I moved to a new (to us!) house! We bought the ultimate fixer upper and are so excited to have more room. We moved from an 850 square foot house (see more on that below), and we both finally feel like we have room to breathe. Our new house is a very traditional, brick Colonial (which, surprisingly, is a harder to find house style down here!) and reminds me of home in Virginia. It really is my dream style house. She’s a diamond in the rough, but I know will shine bright once we polish her! Honestly, after a year of questioning where we should live, this house is a blessing from God. I could so clearly see His hand throughout the buying and selling process, and I’m so thankful for that. We have a ton of work to do to make her our own, but we are just beyond thankful.

 

Job

 I took a new job in 2018 that I’m loving. For privacy reasons, I won’t share exactly what it is, but I am very thankful for it. It’s not glamorous by any means, but I’m slowly learning that my identity does not rest in my job title. My job gives me the ability to provide income for our family, save for the future, and put money towards our renovations…. things that are all so valuable. So, if you might feel like you’re in a rut with work right now or not working at a high-end, glamorous job (and maybeeee comparing yourself to others on social media!) please know that you are more than your job title. Being back in a routine has also been wonderful for me, yet I’m thankful for a little flexibility within my role. I also became a Beautycounter consultant (you can learn more about that decision here!), which I have loved! The group of girls I work with are honestly phenomenal. They are so intelligent, kind, and supportive! I love being able to share about safer beauty products (something I’ve always been genuinely interested in!) and getting to contribute extra spending money to our family.

 

Faith

 Honestly, in a hard, hard year, my faith has been the one thing I can depend upon. I am so thankful I have a loving God and can rest in the fact that ultimately, He is in control of my life. We officially joined our church (honestly, one of our biggest blessings in Charleston), and I started attending a women’s bible study. We have continued to dive deeper into volunteering and getting involved at our church, which has made all the difference in really feeling at home, and given us the chance to deepen our faith.

 

Lows:

 

Distance

 Let me be very clear, living 6+ hours away from home is hard. It tests me more often than not. Sometimes I feel literal pain having to drive away from Virginia. While I did have some absolutely amazing times spent with my family, it never gets easier living away from them. Having grown up with an extremely close family, I miss them daily. While I often showcase the happy side of living in Charleston (it really is beautiful, and I am thankful to live here), I miss Virginia quite often. Thankfully (and what I truly feel like is an answer to many, many prayers) I finally have started to feel at home in Charleston and in our new house, and more than anything, I know this is where God has called us to be right now.

 

Home

 Because of being on the road so much while traveling to see friends and family (which were great and amazing times!), we really neglected our own sense of home. It’s so easy to say “yes!” to always wanting to spend time with extended family (all good things, right?!)…..but we learned the hard way that in the end we were putting our marriage and our home on the backburner. It’s hard to make a new city feel like home when you’re gone more than half of the year. In addition, our previous house we lived in for most of 2018 was 850 square feet. Yes, you read that right. My apartment in college was bigger than our first house! Our old house had SO many positives: in a great, walkable neighborhood, so much 1940s character, and it was easy to clean in less than 30 minutes haha! However, the size really affected me. I oftentimes would feel like I was suffocating just because there really wasn’t enough space. We limited what we brought in to the house (which was a great learning lesson about needs v. wants!) but ultimately, the space was just too tight for us. I realize this is not truly a “problem” as so many face so much worse, but this is just a true experience I struggled with this past year!

 

Pathway

 I hinted on this above, but I don’t think anyone really mentions how hard the first few years out of college can be, especially in a world of rampant social media. Your whole world has been uprooted, and everyone is just trying to make it through… I would be lying if I didn’t say that I would compare my (non-existent) career path with the likes of others. I struggled a lot this year with just really figuring out what I wanted in life, what my skill sets were, and where I could see myself down the road. However, I am thankful that God opened up my current job opportunity (see above) and I’m learning that my identity & worth does not rest in my job title or career path.

 I’ve never really done a “personal” post like this, but I wanted to be truthful as I start devoting more time to this little corner of the internet! I always love reading posts like these on other people’s blogs (it always helps me feel a little less alone when I realize someone else feels the same way!) so I hope y’all enjoy it! Wishing each and every one of you many blessings in 2019!! I feel so hopeful going into this new year, and I know that God is sustaining me. I hope and pray you feel the same way.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Stay tuned over the next few days as I share my “word of the year” for 2019!

J. Crew Sale

I don’t know about y’all, but J. Crew has been a staple in my closet since early high school. Fun story, I can remember being SO upset when I was in middle school and couldn’t fit in to their smallest shorts, a 00. (Those were the days…and we have clearly made it past that stage!) I loved the brand, but couldn’t quite fit in their clothing.

Still, I poured over their catalogues and waited for the day I could wear their clothing! Well, as soon as I could wear adult sizes, I shopped in J. Crew and haven’t looked back.

For a few years, J. Crew went a little out there, and I struggled to find things I loved. Well, I’m so glad to say that I feel like J. Crew is back and I couldn’t be happier about it. The classic, preppy styles with a modern twist are my go-tos, and lately I would be hard-pressed to find something I don’t like in the store.

When I hopped on to J. Crew today and saw the amazing sale going on (40% off using the code TUESDAY), I just had to round up some of my favorites! My selections are a little all over the place, but there are just SO many great options on sale right now…I have to share!

(Please know this post contains affiliate links which means when you click or make a purchase from one of my links, the retailer sends me a small commission. Thank you for supporting my blog!)

While all the above are such great options, I wanted to highlight a few of my favorites:

  • Blue sweater: This blue color is a favorite of mine and looks great on anyone. The pom poms on the front add such a fun detail that I can’t get enough of, and adds just enough twist so it’s not just another basic cable-knit sweater.

  • “Charleston” tee: This would be the cutest tee for running errands around town on the weekend with some jeans and these gold mules! Stylish, but comfortable. I love that it has “The Charleston” on it. Perfect for some city pride! All you Charleston friends…take note of this cutie!

  • Black lace top: I’m asking Santa for this exact top this year! It’s so feminine, and works great year round. I used to steer away from black, but now I think it’s so chic and classic! Absolutely love this top online, and crossing my fingers it finds its way under my tree!

  • Navy bow dress: Navy, a feminine cut, AND a bow?! All of my favorites in one! This is a perfect year-round, classic dress (especially with the more mild temperatures here in Charleston!) This dress is high up my wish-list!

  • Pinch kit: I personally don’t have one of these, but they are so popular. Coming in a little over $10, this is a perfect gift to snag for your gift closet (am I the only one who has one of those?!) or to stuff in a stocking.

  • Coola sunblock: If you’re looking to switch to safer personal care products, sun block is a great place to start (since you’re hoping to cover every part of your skin..your largest organ!) Unfortunately, safer sunscreen does tend to come with a larger price tag (but, it’s so worth it in the long run!) This is a great time to stock up on Coola sunscreen (I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen it go on sale!) in preparation for summer time. I know I’m going to grab a few bottles!

  • Bow earrings: I have this exact pair and LOVE them! I get compliments on them every single time I wear them. For under $20 with the sale right now, these are a great price for a gift exchange or stocking stuffer!

  • Gold mules: It usually takes me a while to catch on to trends, and the mule trend has been huge this year! However, I’m finally caught on, and would love to try this preppy twist on a trend.

Is there anything y’all found during the sales that I missed? Or something you’re hoping makes its way under your Christmas tree?

Hoping y’all have a joyous and blessed Tuesday!

Gifts for the Guys

Is it just me, or are guys some of the hardest people to shop for? I mean, I can only buy my Dad/husband/brother so many little tech trinkets before it starts to get old, quick :) I’ve rounded up a few items below that either I’ve gifted to important men in my life, or think would be a great gift! If you have gifted something amazing to your man, leave me a comment below! I’m always looking for new ideas!

(Please know this post contains affiliate links which means when you click or make a purchase from one of my links, the retailer sends me a small commission. Thank you for supporting my blog!)

Quilted Jacket: I love the look of a classic, quilted coat on a gentleman. This one by Peter Millar at Nordstrom is a great price point, too, coming in right under $200. This is such a classic style coat that is a bit dressier than the ever popular Barbour coat (which is also a huge hit for the guys!) I think this would be such a great gift for the classic gentleman in your life.

Headphones: My husband got these last year and has been obsessed with them ever since. Perfect for the man in your life that loves music. Even better, these are on sale for 50% off at Target today! Hurry, hurry, if these are on your list!

Anchor Socks: I LOVE these as a gift or a little stocking stuffer. These would be perfect for my dad who loves being out on the boat.

Nest Thermostat: This seems to be all the rage this year! My dad owns two of these and is seriously obsessed with them, and I know this is high on my husband’s wish list for Christmas this year.

Tartan Umbrella: Perfect for the guy who has it all. Over the years, I’ve learned just how nice it is to have a decent looking umbrella. While a higher price point than other umbrellas, the design and style of this are a classic that I’m sure your guy would be using for years to come. The tartan umbrella is such a classic, sophisticated look that I just love!

Leather Dopp Kit: This is such a handsome travel bag for your guy that loves to travel! The gold foil monogrammed is embossed and adds such a classic touch. Again, one of those items with a higher price point, but will only get better with age.

Pants: These Vineyard Vine pants fit my husband perfectly (he is tall and skinny!) so we always stock up at Christmas, especially when there is a sale. After searching high and low for the perfect pant, these ones are the true winner (even my husband agrees!)

Good Dog Book: Such a great book that would be perfect for the dog-lover in your life, and then will look great as a coffee or side table book afterwards. A great book to spark a discussion about all the four legged friends in your life!

Slippers: These are the most handsome slippers. I love the leather exterior. Great for someone who has it all, or wouldn’t splurge on these normally. Trust me when I say these Ugg slippers seriously last forever and are worth their weight in gold to not have cold feet!

Shampoo: I finally got my husband to switch over his shampoo (the previous one he was using was FULL of fragrance) and some not so great ingredients. Toxic ingredients aren’t just limited to women’s makeup…personal care products like shampoo has just as many harmful ingredients! I’m glad to know my husband was on board for the switch. (If you want to read more about why I switched to safer products, you can read that post here.)

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner…less than 3 weeks from today!

When I was growing up, stockings were always one of my favorite things to open. My parents would fill it with small trinkets and gifts that were typically for every day use, along with some candy or sweets (our favorite usually being the caramel popcorn!) Our family exchanges funny cards, and I always look forward to seeing what my card will be!

As I’ve gotten older and now experienced Christmas with different sides of my family, I realize every family has their own unique traditions for stocking stuffers. For instance, my mom always includes a silly putty each year. When we were kids, we loved it. Now that we’ve gotten older, she re-uses the same silly putty (since we never even open the box,) but it’s just become a fun tradition. My husband’s family, on the other hand, uses stocking stuffers for more everyday focused items, like toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc… One is definitely not better than the other, it’s just a different approach in family traditions!

I’ve included below some items that are typical of what would be included in our stockings, but I realize that everyone’s stocking stuffer experience can be a little different.

A little tip I’ve found as I’ve gotten older and now buy stocking stuffers for other people…I keep my eyes out over the year for little trinkets and goodies that would be perfect for stockings. For instance, that cute little notepad at TJ Maxx that I absolutely can’t not buy??? Perfect stocking stuffer gift for my mom! By purchasing these little trinkets over time, it helps spread out the cost so I’m not buying all the stocking stuffers at once. Another tip if you plan to do this next year….remember where you hide the gifts you bought in July :)

Without further adieu, read below for some great stocking stuffer ideas! Many can still be ordered in time for Christmas delivery, and a few are even on Amazon prime!

(Please know this post contains affiliate links which means when you click or make a purchase from one of my links, the retailer sends me a small commission. Thank you for supporting my blog!)

 
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Socks: Socks are a stocking stuffer staple for us, and I love it! A fun pair of socks can brighten up any day! Plus, our puppy Millie loves to steal my socks and gnaw little holes in them, so it’s always nice to have a cute replacement pair :) These are from J. Crew and are 48% off today with code 48HOURS.

Lipstick: I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. This is hands down the best lipstick. Ultra moisturizing and with a subtle vanilla scent…it’s the perfect stocking stuffer! The color rose is a rosy pink that looks wonderful on many skin tones!

Bling Brush: Perfect for the jewelry lover in your life! My friend Chevis started this company and I have loved following along with her success! She used the bling brush to clean my engagement and wedding ring when I last saw her and I can’t even tell you how much it sparkled!!! Plus, think about all the grime and yuck that’s in your jewelry from not being cleaned…gross! Their natural solution was formulated to clean with care on diamonds, gemstones, pearls, and even costume jewelry and is proudly made in the USA. I’d also LOVE to try the Glitzy Glove for my David Yurman bracelets!

Bracelet: Perfect for the blue and white lover in your life, and easy to slip into a stocking! Handmade by my friend Mimi herself right here in Charleston, South Carolina! These are perfect to dress up any outfit. I always get compliments when I wear mine!

Lip Conditioner: Some kind of lip balm is another stocking stuffer staple for us! This year, I’d love to switch to safer beauty products with this lip conditioner! I haven’t tried this myself (it’s next on my list!) but, I have heard some incredible things about it!

Hand Sanitizer Spray: Just the right size to keep in your handbag or desk drawer. This plant based hand sanitizer is paraben and phtalate free, has no added fragrance, and never tested on animals.

Sugarfina Box: I LOVE Sugarfina boxes. Like, seriously, love love love them. They’re such a fun treat to gift or receive! This box from Nordstrom ships free (always a plus!) and contains three flavors. I have tried and love the champagne bears, but that sugar cookie flavor looks amazing!!

Pom Beanie: The perfect accessory for a cold winter day! Nothing is worse than cold ears, and this will keep you nice and toasty! Plus, it’s 48% off today with code 48HOURS, making it only $20. You just can’t beat that price for a cute winter accessory!

Delicate Wash: Full disclosure, I’ve never actually tried this product but I’ve seen so many rave reviews about it. I have switched my harsh, chemical-filled laundry detergent to safer, but would love to have an option for my delicates. The ingredients in this are plant-derived, nontoxic, biodegradable, allergen-free, and made in the USA. Supposedly, the wash is highly concentrated, so you only need to use a little. I’d love to try this for myself!

Charcoal Mask & Bar: I can’t speak highly enough about these products! This is part of the Beautycounter Holiday collection, so you’re getting the charcoal mask and bar together in a package, as opposed to having to buy them both separately. The mask works great to detox your skin (hello, holiday eating!) and balances skin to keep it smooth and clear, minimize pores, and absorb excess oil. This set is ideal for oily and problematic skin, much like my acne-prone self!

Sleep Mask: This is definitely a splurge for an everyday item, but I’ve heard such amazing things about it! Made of 100% silk, and perfect for that person who has everything.

Starbucks Giftcard: Need I say more? We always include giftcards to each other in our stockings, and I JUMP when I get a stash of Starbucks cards! I know some people don’t care for giving gift cards, but I’ve always personally loved gifting (and receiving!) them! A giftcard gives someone the chance to splurge on something (that afternoon latte pick me up!) that you probably wouldn’t do without it.

Home Spray: This adds scent while removing odor. Made of essential oils.

Multicolored Washi Tape: I love anything Emily Ley makes, and this is no exception. Perfect for any friend or family member who likes organization. I use mine to cross of large chunks off time when I’ll be away (on vacation, etc…) so I know very clearly what my schedule looks like.

Invisibobble Hair Ties: I would love to personally try these! Having super fine hair, I always get marks from where my hair tie had been. Supposedly, these don’t leave any marks and keeps a strong hold in your ponytail (no more sliding!) Anyone I know who has these, loves them!

Peonies book: I’ve become more and more infatuated with peonies after finding out my great-grandmother used to grow them in her yard. I always loved them (they were our wedding flowers!) but now I feel an emotional connection to them! This would be a beautiful coffee table book.

Gloves: I definitely could use a new pair of gloves (and these are tech friendly!!) for this winter. These are cashmere (SO soft!!!) and 48% off today with code 48HOURS, making them just $30.

Initial Dish: I admit, I’m a hoarder of little trinket dishes. When I saw this cute initial one, I was in love! These are great to keep by your bed, kitchen sink, etc… to hold any jewelry. I also love to keep them in my guest room, too (I hate traveling and having no place to store my jewelry!)

Heart Makeup Cleansing Mat: These little gadgets are the best for cleaning your makeup brushes. I don’t own this exact one (I found mine from TJ Maxx) but it’s very similar style to this one. I’ve seen the big mat style ones floating around Instagram, but I like that this is a smaller size and doesn’t take up as much space when you’re not using it. This makes cleaning your brushes (which you should do about once a week at the minimum) SO MUCH easier. It’s seriously been a game changer for me!

I hope this kind of post is helpful for you as you anticipate pulling together the rest of your gifts and stocking stuffers for the holiday! If there are any gift guides you’d like to see, please let me know! Gift giving is one of my favorite things to do, so while working on these are a labor of love, they truly are so fun for me to work on! Wishing you a happy and wonderful Wednesday!

Holiday Gifts Under $100

Is anyone else trying to figure out how Thanksgiving has already come and gone?! I can’t believe that the holidays are officially here. We picked out our tree yesterday and are in the process of decorating our house, and my Christmas shopping is officially underway!

After browsing through Black Friday/Cyber Monday (except, does anyone really feel like it’s been a Cyber Week?!), I have found some seriously AMAZING steals. Most of the items below are under $100 (and are typically much more expensive!!!) So, definitely take the time now to stock up on some super cute items for yourself or for a gift!

I’ve linked all the items below the post, and have created a detailed post on each item when you scroll below the picture. Some of these items I own, but many are on my own personal wish list from Santa!

(Please know this post contains affiliate links which means when you click or make a purchase from one of my links, the retailer sends me a small commission. Thank you for supporting my blog!)

 
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Pink Fleece Pullover / Dog Mug / Pearl Beaded Barrette / Scalloped Tortoise Hoop Earrings

Whiskey in a Teacup Book / Monogrammed Necklace / Hunter Rainboots / Lipstick

Sunglasses / Overnight Peel / Tortoise Clutch

Gold S’well Bottle / Ugg Slippers / Pink Card Case / Family Recipe Binder

Gold Penny Loafer / Eyeshadow Palette / Initial Mug / Pajamas

Pink Fleece Pullover: I probably need another pullover like I need a hole in my head, BUT this pullover is just too cute! I linked it to J.Crew (50% off using code CYBER), but Nordstrom also has it available here. This would be perfect for running errands around town or lounging around the house.

Dog Mug: This has been on my wish list pretty much since we got our puppy, Millie. Perfect for the obsessed dog owner like myself! If Santa is reading this, Millie looks like option #25! Use code GINGERBREAD20 for 20% off your order over $50.

Pearl Beaded Barrette: The most feminine, beautiful barrette! Hazen has some incredibly beautiful jewelry, but I love that this barrette can be used to dress a sweater up, or be worn with an elegant cocktail dress. So versatile and a beautiful hair accessory! Use code BLACKFRIDAY for free shipping.

Scalloped Tortoise Hoop Earrings: I hope Santa is reading this, because these are definitely on my list! Tortoise is such a classic staple, but it seems to be having an extra popular moment right now! The scallop design brings a youthful approach to a classic design! Use code GOWILD for 20% off site wide.

Whiskey in a Teacup Book: I purchased this book as soon as it came out and poured through the entire thing! I love to look through coffee table books, but this one genuinely has great advice and recipes! This is definitely a great purchase for yourself or as a gift.

Monogrammed Necklace: I’ve had one of these for years and just love it! It’s a beautiful closet accessory, although, I need to upgrade with my new married monogram! Kelly, the owner of Moon and Lola, is just the sweetest, and I love to support a small business! Get 30% off with code TGIBF.

Hunter Rainboots: Such a great price on a classic closet staple you’ll seriously wear for years to come! This bright color is a great accessory to brighten up a rainy day!

Lipstick: Now that I’ve used this lipstick, it will be hard pressed to try anything else! The Color Intense Lipstick (my favorite shade is Little Black Dress) stays on all day and has no known harmful chemicals.

Sunglasses: Tory Burch sunglasses for under $75!!!! These are very similar to the ones I own and love now from 3 years ago that I get asked about all the time.

Overnight Peel: If there’s one thing I recommend buying during the Beautycounter 15% off sale, it’s this overnight peel! I’ve used it for a few weeks and have already noticed a drastic reduction in my acne scars, smoother skin tone, and an overall glow. Highly recommend!

Tortoise Clutch: This is just the cutest accessory! See what I mean about tortoise having a moment?

Gold S’well Bottle: I brought my S’well bottle with me to Europe and it was such a lifesaver! It keeps your water (or other beverage) cold all day long. The gold is just so pretty, too!

Ugg Slippers: These will be the softest, most high quality slippers you own. You’ll own these for years and years and continue to love how soft they are. The bow detailing on this version is too cute!

Pink Card Case: I’ve recently been wanting to cut down on “stuff”. I feel like I’m constantly carrying more than I need to. This pink card case matches my current Tory Burch purse, and would be the perfect accessory to put my ID and cards in to cut down on some clutter in my wallet.

Family Recipe Binder: Another Santa wish for me! My mom has compiled a beautiful family recipe binder for me that I absolutely LOVE! However, it’s bursting at the seams! I love anything by Emily Ley and this is no exception. My type-A self especially loves the gold-leaf dividers! Save an extra 10% off already sale prices with the code CYBERMONDAY.

Gold Penny Loafers: These are such a great accessory! The gold is such a fun twist on a traditional shoe. I love the classic, preppy vibe these have, and the price is too good to pass up!

Eyeshadow Palette: The colors in this palette are just so beautiful! Buy now while the palette is 15% off, and save on shipping over $50.

Initial Mug: This reminds me so much of the beautiful cafes in Paris during our summer trip. I’m snagging one of these for a stocking stuffer (but act surprised, mom!)

Pajamas: I always used to wear large t-shirts for sleep, however, I’ve recently converted to matching pajama sets and I just feel so much more put together! The pretty floral print reminds me of an antique pajama set, but the cut makes them great for modern day! Plus, they’re blue and white, which is always a “yes” in my book!

How are y’all doing with Christmas shopping so far? Have you made a good dent or still have a lot to go? I’m feeling pretty good about where I am so far, but definitely still need to stock up on a few things for gifts!

Roll Neck Sweaters

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again…I hate the cold. I think it’s gotten even worse since I moved to Charleston…I think my blood has “thinned” out! Enter in thick, cozy sweaters.

I’ve always loved turtlenecks (I mean, I have said I get cold easily, right?!) but this year I’ve been particularly interested in the “roll neck” or “mock turtleneck” style. I posted a few Instagram videos the other day and had so many comments about my roll neck sweater, I figured I would compile a blog post on them!

 
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The roll neck sweater evokes such a classic, timeless style. The photo above is Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961. That’s 57 years ago, and her sweater could easily be as in style as it was then!

While the exact sweater I was wearing on Instagram is sold out, I’ve posted below some similar ones I’ve found that I love just as much! The closest style to the one I was wearing can be found here.

(Please know this post contains affiliate links which means when you click or make a purchase from one of my links, the retailer sends me a small commission. Thank you for supporting my blog!)

 

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Why I Switched to Safer

 
 

When I was in high school, I remember talking with a good family friend about all the (not so great) ingredients that are found in our foods today. Preservatives, dyes, you name it…things that I certainly didn’t want to knowingly be putting in my body. I began then looking for more organic ingredients to substitute in my diet, more whole foods to replace packaged snacks, you get the picture! However, I never even thought about the things I was putting on my skin.

Flash forward to college, and I slowly began learning more about the cosmetic industry. While my mom is an amazing hostess, a girly-girl she is not, so I really didn’t learn how to wear makeup products until college. Once I started learning more about makeup, I was hooked. It was like a whole new form of art for me. However, I also started learning about some not-so-great harmful chemicals hidden in my makeup routine. During those years, a good friend introduced me to Beautycounter. That’s when I learned about some staggering statistics about the current beauty industry in the United States.

Did you know the last time a law regulating the cosmetics industry was passed was in 1938?

That specific statistic knocked me off my feet! To comprehend this better, that means since my own grandparents were born, there have been no regulations regarding cosmetics in regards to our personal safety. Do you know how many ingredients have been added/created/introduced since? 80,000. That means 80,000 ingredients could have been added to personal care products (makeup, hair care, deodorant, etc…) with no regard to the short and long-term effects on health.

The United States has only banned 30 harmful ingredients, while the European Union has banned over 1,400. Canada, likewise, has banned over 600 ingredients with known harmful effects.

I think we all sadly know someone in our lives who has been touched by cancer. I sadly lost my Grandaddy to a rare form of cancer, which we now think was contributed to from environmental toxins. But, did you know that the rate of cancer has risen from 1 in 20, to now 1 in 8. I’m especially thankful that my future is in God’s hands through the good and the bad, and I’ll never know the health I may have in the future (including cancer.) BUT, if I can avoid ingredients and products that are known carcinogens (especially through a relatively easy thing like switching makeup products!) I want to do it.

 
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How do I know that Beautycounter contains safe ingredients?

Great question! Beautycounter bans over 1,500 harmful or potentially harmful ingredients from our products and is tested by a 3rd party to ensure this safety. See below for a short peek at our “never list.” You can read more about each ingredient here.

 
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So why did I decide to become a Beautycounter consultant?

Simply put, I believe everyone deserves the right to have access to both safer personal care products and the knowledge of what ingredients you are putting on your body.

I’m sure you feel the same way, but I love my family and friends fiercely. I want to do everything in my power to ensure that they’re in the best health.

And, let’s be honest…I love makeup. It’s a form of art to me! What I love even more? Knowing that the products I use with Beautycounter don’t contain any known harmful ingredients. Knowing that having a family is hopefully in our future soon, I want to do my best in keeping any known toxic ingredients out of my body.

In the wise words of Maya Angelou, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

What Beautycounter products should I start with?

I’m so excited that you’re interested in safer beauty!

I plan on writing a more detailed post about my favorite products later, but for now, my favorite things are the lipstick (stays on all day!), makeup remover, mattifying powder, and blush.

As I continue to run out of my existing products, I plan to switch more products to Beautycounter. First on my list to try is the eye palette, lip conditioner, and brightening facial oil.

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I’m intruigued! How do I shop it?

Beautycounter products are available through their online retail directly, strategic partnerships (you may have seen their collaboration last year with Target!), and also through consultants (like me!)

To be completely transparent, I never thought I’d fall into the category of a beauty consultant. But, Beautycounter is different in that our main goal for our company is education. Nope, not sales. Our mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone. Along the way of education, you’ll also get the chance to shop some amazing safe and effective beauty products.

If you’d like to shop our products, you can do so at directly at Beautycounter’s website. However, I’d love for you to shop with me as a consultant through my site here. You’ll be getting the same product, at the same price, and I’ll be making a very small commission off your order (which I would be very appreciative and thankful for!)

Also, I’d like to note that you don’t need to completely overhaul your beauty cabinet at one time. When I made the switch to using safer products, I would make the switch as I ran out of an older product I was using. For example, when I ran out of my old makeup remover wipes, I switched to using Beautycounter’s makeup remover. This method is a cost effective way to get safer beauty into your arsenal! There are still products I’m waiting to switch over until I finish up what I’m currently using. But, I feel so much safer knowing that I’m working my way towards switching my products to safer!

I’m not ready to switch to Beautycounter products. What else can I do to make sure I have safer beauty?

One thing I love about Beautycounter is our main mission is education. I’ve learned so much about personal care products along the way. Here are a few tips you can use (besides adding in safer products!)

  • Read the ingredients on your current products. Even better, check your current products with the EWG (Environmental Working Group) Healthy Living app. EWG is a non-profit organization that researches and ranks different products according to their toxicity levels. Learn more about the app here.

  • Avoid fragrance. Fragrance is considered a trade secret, so manufacturers don’t have to disclose what is within said ‘fragrance.’ Yep, that means your ‘fragrance’ could include hundreds of harmful chemicals like known carcinogens and hormone disruptions.

  • Take your shoes off in the house. Shoes often bring in traces of pesticides and yucky outside materials. Keep your home a safe spot!

 
 

With all that being said, I would just love for you to take a peek at Beautycounter! If you’re ready to get shopping, you can purchase products directly through my link here: www.beautycounter.com/christinewilson1. Even if you’re not quite sure of Beautycounter, I urge you to check your products with the EWG app.

For me, this is bigger than a makeup product. You should know what’s in your products, and know the health impacts of those ingredients. Moreover, you shouldn’t have to worry about carcinogens, hormone disruptors, and more lurking in your products. If this is one step towards potentially decreasing those toxic chemicals for myself and family and loved ones, I’m going to do it. I’d love for you to join me in the process.

If you have any questions about your current products, or how Beautcounter works, or any of our products, please reach out! This is an ongoing learning process for me, as well, but I’d love to share with you anything I’ve currently learned!

I’m looking forward to tackling safer beauty together!