That’s right, I celebrated a birthday earlier this month. While I don’t like to make a big scene about my birthday, I was really excited to be surrounded by cakes, balloons, and I even got sung to, twice! Lucky, lucky girl right here.
I usually spend my birthday with reflection heavy on the brain, but this year, I lounged by the pool and sipped on a peach + wine slushee (get the recipe here). And honestly, I got some pretty cool gifts! I know, I know, that’s not what birthdays are about, but I thought I’d share some of my favorites in case you’re looking to shop for someone on your list.
Laura Geller Summer Goddess Collection – I have gotten a few Laura Geller samples in my monthly Birchbox and continue to be impressed with the quality of this makeup. So, I was pretty amped to get this four-piece collection of full-size products! It comes with Spackle Tinted Make-Up Primer in Champagne (sheer soft gold), Baked Body Frosting Face & Body Glow in Tahitian Glow (mélange of swirled tan, cream and pearly pink), Dramalash Maximum Volumizing Mascara in Black, and Fifty Kisses Lip Locking Liquid Color in Beige Bite (rich nude).
So far, I’ve used the bronzer and the lip color – both I love. The bronzer is the perfect mix of color and highlighter, and even helps to cover redness. The lip color is good for every day, and stays on ALL day with a matte finish. I love it! You can purchase this collection at Ulta.
Q&A a Day 5-Year Journal – This was such a surprise gift, and kind of just what I needed without really knowing it! I’ve always had trouble keeping up with a diary, or a journal, but I’ve read so much recently about the benefits of doing so. This journal is good for five years, and provides a simple question for you to answer each day. This means you can keep a record of your years, but with less of a hassle – I love it! I started writing in it a week ago, and I’m excited to keep it going and then look back at my entries. You can get this journal on Amazon.
Rhinestone Trinket Box – Earlier this year, I met my mom and best friend in Vegas. For my birthday, my mom surprised me with a small, sparkly trinket box in the shape of a fortune cookie, which she bought in Vegas (this isn’t the exact one, but it’s really close). It’s gold, which goes with pretty much everything I own, not to mention that I love keeping my fortunes – especially if they have my lucky numbers on them.
Girl and Dragon Malbec – As a wine lover, any occasion for gifts brings an opportunity for wine. I will always drink wine, and if you’re ever in questions as to what to get me, it’s wine. I will never get enough and I’m always look to taste something new. So, I was pumped when I got a bottle of Girl and Dragon Malbec, which had a cool label (because of course), and later, I found out they’ve won loads of awards. I drank it with homemade vegetarian lo mein and it was scrumptious. You can purchase a bottle on their website.
“The Year of Voting Dangerously” by Maureen Dowd – I don’t often ask for books or buy books because I borrow so many from the library. But this book in particular, has been on my list, and isn’t available at the library. Here’s the description from Amazon: Trapped between two candidates with the highest recorded unfavorables, Americans are plunged into The Year of Voting Dangerously. In this perilous and shocking campaign season, The New York Times columnist traces the psychologies and pathologies in one of the nastiest and most significant battles of the sexes ever. Dowd has covered Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton since the ’90s. She was with the real estate mogul when he shyly approached his first Presidential rope line in 1999, and she won a Pulitzer prize that same year for her penetrating columns on the Clinton impeachment follies. Like her bestsellers, Bushworld and Are Men Necessary?, THE YEAR OF VOTING DANGEROUSLY will feature Dowd’s trademark cocktail of wry humor and acerbic analysis in dispatches from the political madhouse. If America is on the escalator to hell, then THE YEAR OF VOTING DANGEROUSLY is the perfect guide for this surreal, insane ride. …And now I can officially add it to my reading list!
Miss Spa facial masks – Much like wine, face masks are another thing I can’t get enough of. If you’re ever wondering what I’m up to, the chances are very likely that I’m sitting in my bed, watching trashy TV, with some sort of clay, sheet, or bee venom mask on my face in hopes I’ll wakeup with radiant skin. Don’t stop believin’! When I was gifted a STACK of Miss Spa facial masks of different varieties, I was excited to add them to my stash. You can get them on Amazon.
Perhaps these awesome gifts I got can serve up some ideas for someone in your life, or heck, maybe you just need to treat yoself. Cheers!
The holidays are here and that means one thing: DRINKS! Okay, so maybe it’s like that ALL year ’round, but let’s pretend like we’re not all functioning drunks, K? Delish.com has put together a list of wines that you’ll love, according to your zodiac sign.
And, I’m not sure what the information is based off, but mine is pretty spot-on. So, there’s that. I’ve beefed up the list with some wines you could try, and a few other fun wine trinkets for the wine lover on your list (wine not?).
ARIES (March 21-April 20) — Energetic, enthusiastic, and sometimes arrogant, the Aries is looking for something fresh and different. Best Wine: Orange Wine. Orange wines are trendy, and are a mix of red flavor with white fruit; call them the new rose. Try Pheasant’s Tears.
TAURUS (April 21-May21) — Down to Earth, practical, and generous, the Taurus needs a bold varietal. Best Wine: Barolo. Once known as Italy’s greatest wine, Barolo is fragrant and tannic. Try Rivata Barolo.
GEMINI (May 22-June 20) — Fast-thinking and intellectual, the Gemini needs a smart, efficient cocktail. Best Wine: Chenin Blanc. Chenin Blanc is light-bodied, that’s sweet and dry. Try Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc – Voigner 2014.
CANCER (June 22-July 22) — Romantic, creative, and kind, this is the sign of your favorite bitter blogger, and this sign needs a good blend. Best Wine: Zinfandel. Red zinfandel features a fruity welcome with a smoky finish. Try St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 2012.
LEO (July 23-August 22) — Optimistic, merry, and obsessed with being the center of attention, the Leo needs a drink that gets the party started. Best Wine: Champagne. Bubbles certified from the Champagne region of France. Try Veuve Cliquot Brut Yellow Label.
VIRGO (August 23-September 22) — Analytical, critical, and in love with perfection, Virgos need a sip of something structured and balanced. Best Wine: Pinot Noir. Pinot noir is medium-bodied, and often features flavors of black cherry and raspberry. Try Leese-Fitch Pinot Noir 2013.
LIBRA (September 23-October 22) — People-oriented, balanced, and peaceful, Libras wish for a cocktail that soothes the soul. Best Wine: Riesling. Dry and sweet. Try Rock View Riesling Columbia Valley.
SCORPIO (October 23-November 22) — Powerful, passionate, intense, and curious, a Scorpio needs a strong slugger. Best Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon. Balanced tannins, moderate acidity, and cedarwood flavor. Try Smith and Hook Cabernet Sauvignon 2013.C
SAGITTARIUS (November 23-December 22) — Freedom-lovers, well-educated, and philosophical, Sagittarius wishes for a drink that stands out from the crowd. Best Wine: Teran. Full to medium-bodied, tannic, and acidic. Try Terzolo Teran.
CAPRICORN (December 22-January 20) — Ambitious, driven, responsible, and dry, the Capricorn longs for a balancing nightcap. Best Wine: Bordeaux. Dry, medium-bodied and diverse. Try Chateau Villars 2012.
AQUARIUS (January 21-February 18) — Eccentric, quirky, and kin, an Aquarius needs a unique wine. Best Wine: Biodynamic Wine. Grown following biodynamic principles, these wines are said to be delicious. Try 2003 Movia Ribolla.
PISCES (February 19-March 22) — Emotional, sensitive, and dreamy, the Pisces wants a mood-boosting drink. Best Wine: Pétillant-Naturel wine. Mildly, naturally sparkling. Try Onward Wines 2014 Pet-Nat Suisun Valley.
Gift Guide for the Wine Lover in Your Life:
I know tomorrow is Christmas Eve, making today Christmas Eve-Eve, so this list of my “Holiday Favorites” is a liiiiiitle late.
But hey, Christmas came early this year, right?
Anyway, here’s a few things I love about the holiday season:
1. Holiday scents.
Of course I love buying holiday candles that make my home smell like pine and sugar cookies, but my favorite scent (which technically you could use all year) is Yankee Candle’s Mountain Lodge. It smells like a hot guy. No, seriously.
Okay, so Yankee describes it differently (“A luxurious retreat in front of a cozy hearth, warm with the aroma of cedar wood and sage.”), but I love melting this wax in my wax warmer when the nights get chilly.
Personally, I think sequins are necessary all year long. However, I know the rest of the world is willing to put up with them around the holidays. I mean, Christmas parties, New Year’s Eve gatherings, or hell, grocery shopping—slap on the sequins!
Peppermint mocha, peppermint tea, peppermint cookies—you name it, I love it! Check out some of my peppermint loves:
- Tonic Invigorating Body Scrub
- Philosophy Peppermint Bark Lip Gloss
- Peppermint Aromatherapy Shower Steamers
I’ve been really into painting my nails, and adding glitter and nail art whenever I can and the holiday season always brings out some awesome nail trends. I love this year’s Essie cube that features 4 colors from their winter collection.
Every Christmas, I splurge on some nice pajamas for myself. Otherwise I’d just be sleeping in whatever I could find. I’m lucky enough to get an awesome (!) holiday break from the office and I usually (always) spend lots of time (days) in my cozy pajamas. I’ve been eyeing these from Victoria’s Secret:
And these are pretty cute, too.
6. Dexter…and other addictive TV shows.
As I mentioned, I get a pretty SWEET winter break from work, and it has become a tradition that I watch one entire season of Dexter on DVD (I don’t have Showtime or Netflix) each year during the break. This year, I’ll be watching season 7 (no spoilers, please!).
Already seen Dex? What about The Hills, CSI: Las Vegas, Nurse Jackie, or Mary Tyler Moore (I have a wide variety in taste).
Sure, the holidays are fun, but they can be stressful, too. I like to take a few hot yoga classes during this time of year to keep me warm, and calm.