Friday Finds: My Favorite Gifts This Year To Give (and Get!)

Leopard print turtleneck, Skirt (similar here and here), Tights, Boots (similar here and here), Miles' outfit, Miles' hat
I thought there would be no better photo for today's post than a pic from our outing the other day to visit Santa. :) Today's Friday Finds features many of my favorite gift ideas along with some items I have on my own list that I am hoping to receive. There is a wide variety of ideas and suggestions in this post, and many of these things I have talked about or featured in recent posts/videos. Maybe you will find that last gift you are looking for or forward something to a family member as a suggestion of what you would like to receive! Ha!

1. I don't wear a ton of jewelry, but I like pieces that are simple or have meaning. This pendant necklace would be a great gift and especially for a new mom, she can choose her child's initial to wear.

2. For the health nut or someone that wants to make better eating choices for the new year, this peptide powder might be an interesting gift. I have heard so many great things about these peptides and it's so easy to add to any drink since it has virtually no flavor.

3. If someone in your life travels often, perhaps splurge and get them a new piece of luggage or luggage set. I have had my eye on this brand foreverrrr and love the marble print as well as the rose gold color.

4. Body products whether they are scrubs, oils, shower gels or lotions are great things to give to encourage a friend to take time and pamper herself. I have heard nothing but rave reviews about this brand and the two products that I would gift would be the melt and the scrub.

5. Rarely do we buy certain fun home decor items for ourselves, so these trays are so whimsical and cute. They would look great on a coffee table, a desk or even displayed on a bookshelf like I did here with my silver tray on the top of my bookcase.

6. A tech lover that wants her devices to still look chic? This charges your smartphone and is a vase as well! No more ugly cords ruining your gorgeous nightstand. LOL

7. Give the gift of moisturized lips to anyone and everyone in your life! Ha! This lip moisturizer is one that I use, Stan uses and all my friends that I have gifted it to absolutely swear by it as well. 

8. I showed this dog bed on my insta-stories recently and received more DMs about it than any beauty product I have posted lately! Clearly all of you love your pets and want to spoil them with cozy things as well. Elmo has not left this bed since it arrived and frankly it looks sooo much more chic in my living room than any other dog bed has before.

9. For the glam gal in your life (or for yourself perhaps), these sneakers are perfect! I actually have these on my Christmas list and would even love them in pink too.

10. Gift this keyboard cover to a co-worker to make their laptop more exciting! I have it and always get asked about it when I'm out working in a coffee shop or restaurant.

11. You can not get anymore Instagram goals than this chunky blanket that is all over social media. As someone that has one I absolutely LOVE it! Use it to cozy up on the couch or simply as a fabulous piece of decor, it's a great gift.

And now for some fun stocking stuffer ideas, scroll through the widgets below:


My Mom's Current Evening Skincare Routine

My mom just updated all of us on the masks and exfoliators she is currently using to help give her skin a glow, and she is back today with her current evening skincare routine. Stay tuned for next week when she will be doing her final updated skincare post talking about her morning routine. While I give my mom soooo many products to try, she is just as picky as me so the ones she features on my blog are often her tried and true. And many have been featured before in previous posts, but that speaks to how effective they are for her which is why they are still in her routine. For this update, there are a few new additions which she instantly fell in love with and was excited to share her thoughts. Here is her current evening routine in her own words:

1. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water - I typically use a cleansing oil to remove my eye makeup, but I ran out so I decided to use this cleansing water Maree gave me as an alternative. I was shocked at how easily it removes my mascara and eye makeup. I soak a cotton pad, hold it over closed eyes for a few seconds and gentle wipe away any product. 

2. Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel - This cleanser has been a favorite of mine for years since it doesn't foam and gives a gentle exfoliation.  It does remove my makeup and leaves my skin so smooth. I ran out of my favorite cleansing oil a week before Maree wanted me to write this post but I still wanted to mention it because I continue to buy it again and again because it works wonders on my skin. 

3. Mila Moursi pH Balancing Toner - Again, this is another product I love and have used for quite a while. I use it at night as well as in the morning, spritzing it directly onto my face and wiping it away with a cotton pad. It really helps to keep my skin balanced and hydrated. 

4. Retrouve Revitalizing Eye Concentrate - A little goes a lonnnnnng way with this eye cream which is why I am still using it after many months. It was too rich for Maree but perfect for my dry eye area. It is especially a favorite during the winter and really helps to hydrate, smooth and firm the skin. 

5. Tatcha Luminous Overnight Memory Serum Concentrate - Maree introduced me to Tatcha a few years ago and I fell in love with the entire line. This is  my 2nd or 3rd jar of this concentrate because my face feels so much firmer when using regularly. I like to press it into my skin before my other serums or moisturizers, and it instantly absorbs making my skin look plump and hydrated.

6. Kate Somerville Mega-C Dual Radiance Serum - Maree told me I need vitamin c in my skincare routine so she gave me this serum to try. LOL I wasn't sure at first what results I would see, but after a month of applying it nightly my skin looked much brighter, more even-toned and a few of my pesky dark spots were beginning to fade. 

7. Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Gel - I don't use this exfoliating gel nightly but love it 1-2x/week. It really helps to retexturize my skin and leave it exceptionally smooth. On the mornings after I use this, I notice that my foundation applies flawlessly. 

8. ReVive Moisturizing Renewal Cream Supreme - This was another product Maree had been using but felt I would see better results and she was right. This is a rich cream that is designed to help renew and retexturize, which is exactly what I see when I use this. It's gives a very gentle exfoliation and never irritates my skin, but I find that my skin became exceptionally glowy and radiant when I began incorporating this into my routine. 

9. Zelens Z Firm Face and Neck Cream - I love that this cream is great for both the face and neck. Even though I typically apply all my serums and moisturizers down to my decollete, the firming effects of this has really made a difference. I can especially see the change in my jawline and down the front of my neck, things definitely appear more supple and taut.

Read all of my mom's past beauty posts here.

Shop my mom's evening routine here:


What's In My Everyday Makeup Drawers

Today's post is a peek at what's in my everyday makeup drawers. Enjoy and don't forget to subscribe!

(swatches of colors here)


My Holiday Traditions + Gift Ideas for the Loungewear Lover

My Outfit: Sweater - Express (similar here) | Leggings - Express | Slippers - J.Crew | Beanie - J.Crew

Miles' Outfit: Onesie - Burt's Bees | Beanie - Amazon

Home decor: Pillow | Tree | Tan Throw | Beige Throw | Basket | Stockings | Stocking holders (similar here) | Mug

I always love being comfortable at home, but years ago that meant oversized sweats that never matched and frankly looked awful. I finally decided last year to throw them out in an effort to revamp my pajama and loungewear collection. I LOVE being put together and well dressed when I leave the house, so I wasn't sure why I didn't extend that to what I wear at home. Once I began buying matching pjs or cute loungewear pieces, I actually felt so much better. In fact one of my readers left me a funny comment on one of my instagrams saying that when she is wearing matching pjs, she feels she has her life together. LOL And that is exactly it! My love of nice pajamas has now extended to cozy loungewear pieces as well and now I feel like one big Hallmark movie ad sometimes. Ha! And oddly enough whenever I post loungewear or activewear pieces on my blog/Instagram, they are some of my most popular posts and many of you have told me you picked up tons of my recommendations to spruce up your own loungewear attire. So I thought I would share a new set I picked up on sale in the pictures above, as well as round up a TON of great recommendations for gift ideas for the cozy loungewear lovers in your life and maybe a few things for yourself *wink*. 

And since there is no better time of the year than the holidays to take cozy to the extreme, we took these pics in front of our Christmas tree. And yes I even tried to have Miles match with me. I'm already trying to think of what our family holiday traditions will be with him, since I had so many great ones with my parents when I was younger. They weren't anything exceptionally different than what many families did, but I still adored them and have the best memories. Some of my favorites were:

  • Decorating the tree while playing this specific Christmas music that my mom would save for during that time. To be honest, I have no idea what it was (I should ask her) but there was this one song that represented Santa flying through the sky and it would play faster and faster until the crescendo of him "landing on the house". It was absolute joy for me and I still remember listening to that song and the excitement I felt.
  • I had this bell that I cut out of construction paper and then we would cut out red and green strips of paper to make a paper chain that I would connect to the bell. I would rip off a link each day leading up to Christmas and I couldn't wait to run into the kitchen each morning and rip it off! LOL 
  • We also had an advent calendar (mine simply had chocolate but I would love a nice Diptyque one at my current age HA!), and in addition to ripping off a ring each morning, I would open a door. Again, pure excitement every. single. day.
  • There are so many pre-made gingerbread kits out these days, but when I was a kid my mom would make her own gingerbread for the house that we would put together. She even had a pattern cut out of cardboard that she kept and reused each year. My attention span would only last a short amount of time with decorating it, so my mom always had to finish it alone but I still adored that activity.
  • We would attend mass on Christmas Eve and then come back to the house and my parents would let me open a gift that evening. That was always a big hit with me! LOL
  • Driving around and seeing all the Christmas lights was a must have and one that was always a favorite. 
I can't wait to begin our own traditions with Miles even if they are ones that everyone enjoys as well - it will feel special simply because we can do it all together. However I would love some recommendations of any fun traditions you do with your families since there are really creative ones I have heard about over the years that may be fun to try. Leave me a comment below or send me an email!

Shop all the widgets below for gift ideas for the loungewear lovers in your life (including yourself!).

Shop cozy slippers:

Shop cute pajama options for the winter:

Shop robes:

Shop chic loungewear options:

Shop more loungewear pieces I am loving:

Shop cute accessories and home decor pieces:


The Coziest Winter Accessories + My Best Boot Purchase of the Season

Turtleneck - Club Monaco (on sale!) | Jeans - Topshop | Scarf - Free People | Beanie - Urban Outfitters (sold out but similar here for only $10! and here) | Boots - Sam Edelman | Bag - Chloe

I hope everyone had a great weekend! (I'm always hesitant to say "Happy Monday" since many times it's not so fun LOL) As it has been for my most of my recovery, my weekend was a bit up and down. I have been getting my strength back and most of my digestive issues are gone, but my body will still hit a wall from a fatigue standpoint if I do too much. So part of the weekend I was up and feeling quite productive and then my body decided to put the brakes on and I spent the other part of the past two days in bed or on the couch with body aches and chills. C-section recovery can be a sneaky lil' bugger - just when I think I'm recovered, it decides to remind me to take it down a notch. 

But for the part of the weekend that I was feeling good, I wore this outfit that I absolutely love! I was excited that these Topshop jeans I wore pre-pregnancy were finally fitting so I have been wearing them non-stop in celebration. :) I didn't feel like putting much thought into my outfit so I threw on a black turtleneck (I have been buying this style for 5 years now - I love them!) and my big chunky camel scarf. Though I'm not a matchy-matchy type gal, I thought my new tan boots would look great with the scarf and the chunky beanie was the perfect final touch. I think what makes all 3 accessories look even better is that they aren't the exact same color - there is a bit of variation so it all works cohesively together. I've said before that if you are looking for a pair of classic, chic and comfortable ankle boots, these are it! They aren't too tight at the ankle so my jeans can easily be tucked in, but they aren't super loose so they still look perfect with dresses (see them styled here).  Much like these ankle boots (see them styled this year here and here) from last year that won the award for best boot purchase (the fictitious award I give in my head LOL), these are this year's winner! 

If you need to add some cozy accessories to your closet this winter, I rounded up a ton in the widget below!

Shop more winter accessories:


Miles' Birth Story

I'm so excited to finally share Miles' birth story with everyone. Hope you enjoy!!!

Outfit details for picture #1: Pajamas (similar here) | Beanie (similar here) | Miles' beanie | Miles' blanket | Glider | Wall decals

Outfit details for picture #2: Stroller | Sweater | Jeans | Boots | Hat (similar here)

Outfit details for picture #3: Sweater (similar here) | Jeans | Hat | Miles' outfit | Miles' hat | Boots


4 Vitamin C Serums I Would Recommend

Obviously vitamin C is recommended for a healthy diet, but it is also provides great benefits when used on the skin. Because it is an antioxidant, it can help minimize any free radical damage you experience while outside in the elements. It doesn't provide as strong of a protection as an SPF, but it is good to use during the day to help add that additional layer to minimize any damage that can occur from the sun, environment, etc. Another reason for vitamin c's popularity in skincare products is it's ability to help reduce dark spots. It may not get rid of those pesky spots completely, but it can definitely help to fade them and make the skin look more even toned. Some other benefits of vitamin c in skincare is that it can help boost collagen and overall make the skin look brighter, firmer and more healthy looking. Here are 4 vitamin c serums that I enjoy and would recommend.

1. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum - This is the serum out of all 4 that I have been using the longest. I first discovered it years ago long before I was blogging and bought it on a whim. I didn't even know how beneficial vitamin c was for the skin, but it was recommended by a beauty consultant at Sephora and the price point fit my budget. Fast forward years later and I STILL love it. It is lightweight, absorbs instantly and initially makes my skin feel plump and hydrated. It does help to brighten my skin slightly but not as strongly as the other 3, but I keep going back to it because it consistently makes my skin look healthy, hydrated, fresh and never makes it break out. I will continue to repurchase it and  always have a bottle on hand. 

2. Avon Anew Vitamin C Serum - Avon skincare products have consistently surprised me with their performance every time I try one. This Vitamin C Serum was no exception. However initially I was unsure I would like it because the texture is a bit sticky and if I use too much it can stay tacky on my skin and my foundation will not apply properly. Because of that, I put it aside for a few months until I decided to give it a second try. This time I used the smallest amount and found that did the trick! I began using this at the end of my pregnancy and really noticed a difference in how even toned my skin looked and it stayed healthy and glowing. Since my skin got very dry and dull during pregnancy, this was a great addition to help give it a boost. However compared to the next two, the results were very subtle.

3. Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum - While Sunday Riley Good Genes is probably the one serum in my collection that instantly makes a difference in how radiant and fresh my skin looks, this C.E.O. serum is definitely rivaling it. I do find after I apply it my skin instantly looks brighter, but after using it consistently for months I did notice a significant fading of dark spots, and my skin was exceptionally luminous. As with most Sunday Riley products I try, I am always amazed at how they deliver on results in such a noticeable way. While many lines can show small changes over time, Sunday Riley's products for the most part always seem to impress me with more drastic results. 

4. Skinceuticals C E Ferulic Serum - I saved the best for last in terms of results and performance. I have heard for yearsssss that Skinceuticals is THE brand to try for skincare and yet surprisingly I have never used any of their products before this past year. And after incorporating a few of them into my routine, I now see the light! I get the hype! I am here for party! The C E Ferulic Serum in particular has been recommended to me for years by many of you because of how great it works on the skin. In addition to the brightening effects, it helps to fade dark spots, even out the skin tone, and overall improve the look, feel and texture of my skin. My face feels plump, hydrated, radiant and healthy when using - it basically tackles almost any concern I have. The texture is a tad tacky but I still prefer using it in the morning underneath my moisturizer and makeup. It's quite pricey so I try to use it sparingly but it will definitely be something that I will repurchase again and again.
*pr samples included

I would love to hear any other vitamin c serum recommendations you have! Leave me a comment below or send me an email with your favorites. :)

Shop other vitamin c products:


When Your Coat IS the Outfit

 Coat - Asos (also love this coat from the same brand) | Turtleneck - Club Monaco | Leggings - Spanx | Boots - Topshop (similar here, here, here and here) | Sunglasses - Quay

Though I have kept up with blogging here and there since bringing Miles home, I am finally beginning to have consistent full days where my pain is manageable and I have enough energy to get through the day without a big nap. Recovery has been so much tougher and painful than I anticipated and sadly I will have a good day followed by some pretty horrible days and that has been the pattern for the past month. But just this week things began to really take a turn for the better and I was able to get through almost an entire day without major pain or extreme discomfort. I don't have all my energy back, but my doctor has encouraged me to go on a brisk walk each day or at least every other day to help. Today I did just that with Miles and it was nice to feel slightly active and even get my heart rate up a bit. I will be sharing Miles' birth story in the next few days so be sure you are subscribed to my YouTube channel so you will know when the video goes live!

Now that I am really getting my energy back, I have enjoyed getting back to taking pictures regularly and am excited to share some great outfit ideas over the next few weeks. I've said before that when I lived in NYC, coats were a necessity and often the only thing people saw on me for months at a time. As a result I constantly looked for statement coats that could act as my entire outfit. I found this one on Asos and immediately loved the faux fur collar and belted waist. I wore it with a basic black turtleneck and my favorite faux leather leggings to make the coat the main focus. But when deciding on shoes, I felt that my leopard boots were a great addition and love that they go with the coat but aren't matchy matchy. If you are looking for a new coat for the season with faux fur accents, I rounded up a few more styles in the widget below.

Shop more statement coats:

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