Wednesday, December 28, 2016

New Years Eve Outfit Inspiration














similar shirts and leggings linked at the bottom of the post!

One of my favorite things about the end of the year is seeing all of the sparkly, sequin-y, and shiny outfits for New Year's Eve! I bought these leather leggings for part of a halloween costume in October, but I have found myself loving them for real life too! They're so flattering, and I linked a very similar (and inexpensive) pair down below! I would highly recommend trying out a pair, they're so fun! I'm not sure exactly what I'm doing for NYE yet, but it will probably involve this outfit!

If you're looking for a more dressy outfit option, this dress I instagrammed yesterday is on MAJOR sale! I love mine, (and basically all things velvet currently) and it would be perfect for any other function or event you have this winter! 




How are planning on ringing in the new year? I would love to know in the comments below! 



Scroll through above to see similar items in my outfit, including a similar pair of beaded tassel earrings for less than $9! 

Thanks for reading, and have a happy new year! 
I'll see you in 2017





Monday, December 26, 2016

December Favorites






Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great Christmas yesterday! Mine was very low-key and relaxing which is just how I wanted it! My family did a different type of Christmas dinner this year where we each picked our favorite foods and had a potluck of a bunch of different dishes! It was such a good idea, and turned out really well! When else do you get to have enchilada casserole, spinach dip, and stuffed mushrooms in the same meal!? 

December was such a good month for me, so here's a recap of my favorite things:

FOOD FAVS// 3 Words: chocolate rice cakes! Sounds weird as a favorite, but I have been killing the Quaker Chocolate rice cakes, and love putting peanut butter on top. (There was a point where I was eating these everyday either for breakfast or dessert!) Also, if you know me, you know that I love all things coffee. My friend Sydney got me and my roommate Jillian hooked on these K-cups! They're so much cheaper than most brands, and the taste of the actual coffee is so bold. I've had dreams of waking up and making myself a cup of that coffee in a Christmas mug with peppermint mocha creamer this month because I'm that obsessed...

BOOK FAVS// This month I read this book, which I have had forever and never got a chance to actually reading; story of my life! It was a cute book, but I'm 90% sure it is geared towards middle schoolers haha....it wasn't necessarily a favorite, I just thought I would include it because I'm always interested to know what other people are reading! It would be a good read if you're looking for a quick, easy read! Also, this isn't reading material, but my mom got this coloring book, and there is something so relaxing about coloring, especially when the pictures are fashion related!

MUSIC FAVS// 90% of the music I listened to this month was Christmas music (duh), but I did want to admit that the other 10% of the time, I have also been switching between "I don't wanna live forever" by Zayn and T Swift and "In the Name of Love" by Martin Garrix. I also have been loving "Caroline" but I'm not proud of that... (shoutout to Riley for that one)

BLOG FAVS// I just discovered Erin and Daisy and their blog "Sand Sun & Messy Buns". Their blog is unique because they're a mother/daughter duo, so you get two perspectives when you read! I've loved watching their makeup tutorials as well! (this one was the first one I watched!)

Thanks for reading this recap of my month of December! I was also able to complete 8 out of my 10 things to do over Christmas Break so far, so I'm pretty proud of that accomplishment! I am so thankful for everything I have, and I am planning on taking time to reflect on my year over the next couple of days! What were your favorites of the month? I would love to know!






Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Homemade Dark Hot Chocolate Recipe (Dairy and Gluten Free!) + Giveaway winner











When I was home from school last Christmas, my mom would whip up this homemade hot cocoa  and I fell in love! It's not too sweet, though you could certainly add sweetener to it to fit your mood. I like this recipe because it's semi healthy, and uses ingredients we already have in our kitchen! No need to go buy heavy cream to have good hot cocoa! 

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Milk (I used almond milk this time, but I prefer coconut milk for this recipe)
2 Tablespoons Hershey's "special dark" cocoa powder
4 Tablespoons Hershey's "special dark" syrup
Peppermint Oil
optional: Vanilla Extract 

Instructions:
Mix heated milk to cocoa powder and stir. Slowly mix in syrup and stir. Add in peppermint oil to taste. (A little goes a LONG way! I would recommend starting with just two drops!) The vanilla extract is optional, but again, I would just use a splash. 

This recipe is pretty dark, so feel free to adapt it with milk chocolate or add sugar if you don't like dark chocolate.

I topped my cocoa with whipped cream, but if you're keeping it dairy free you can just stick to marshmallows! And I had to finish it off with crushed candy cane bits and a whole candy cane to stir in! 

This dark hot chocolate + a christmas movie (see my Christmas Netflix suggestions here) = a perfect night in my world! 


Also, thank you so much to everyone that entered my one-month blog giveaway celebration! 

I used randompicker.com to generate a winner, and the winner is Joy Henderson! 
I had so much fun doing this giveaway, and plan to do another one when my Facebook page gets 100 likes! Please invite your friends/ anyone you think would enjoy my blog's content to check out my blog and like my Facebook! I would really appreciate it!

Thanks so much for reading! 





Monday, December 19, 2016

5 Pairs of Sneakers You Need

1//2//3//4//5

Athleisure (aka wearing athletic clothes in a normal setting) is so trendy right now, and I have been OBSESSED with sneakers lately! They add such a fun, sporty look to any outfit, and are so easy to throw on with leggings and some type of cute jacket. I can't get enough of them! All of these sneakers are on my wish list at the moment (I asked for #5 for Christmas!) 

Also: my one month blog giveaway ends TONIGHT, so be sure to comment on this instagram to enter! (and make sure you've followed my instagram AND liked my Facebook page, or your entry won't qualify!)

Thanks for reading!

Ariana




Wednesday, December 14, 2016

GIVEAWAY: Box of Christmas Cheer






Happy Wednesday! As of this Friday, my blog is 1 month old! Whoooo! I'm honestly proud of myself for keeping up with my twice a week uploading schedule through schoolwork and finals! I cannot thank all of you enough for all of the kind words I've received about my posts so far, it really means so much to me! You should know by now that I love anything to do with Christmas, especially giving gifts! To celebrate one month, and thank you for taking time to read and support me in this journey, I'm giving away this gift box full of Christmas goodies! 

This box, can we talk about how cute the box is, contains a christmas mug, fuzzy socks, a journal with one of my favorite verses on it, a "get it girl" wooden sign, a gold and white makeup pouch, candy, and a christmas card from me!

TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:
1. Follow me on Instagram 
3. Comment on my Instagram post telling me what you love most about Christmas & tag 2 friends!
Optional bonus entries: 
-Re-pin my giveaway pin on Pinterest
-Share my giveaway post on Facebook

*Giveaway will end Monday, December 19 and winner will be announced on my blog Wednesday, December 21*

I will be using a random generator to choose the winner

Also, be sure to subscribe by email to be notified every time I post! 
(enter email on "Never miss a post" bar on right side of blog)

Thanks again for all of your support over the last month!
Ariana

Monday, December 12, 2016

10 Things to Do This Christmas Break







Shirt not available on Target anymore, similar here// gold Christmas tree// initial mug//

My first semester of Sophomore year is over! I am so excited to finally be finished with exams and jump into all things Christmas! Here are 10 festive activities to do over the next couple of weeks to make your break extra jolly ;)

1. WRAPPING PARTY// As you can see from the pictures above, I live for a good Christmas gift wrapping party! My roommate and I stopped by Hobby Lobby the other day to pick up wrapping paper, ribbon, gift tags, etc and spent the afternoon wrapping gifts we have purchased so far! It's so fun to wrap gifts together, and it really gets me in the Christmas spirit! Also, turning on good Christmas music is a must, and lets you turn your wrapping party into a rapping party, am i right?? 
(Does anyone else know all 3 raps in "Drummer Boy" by Justin Bieber or is it just me?)

2. MOVIE NIGHT// This is kind of a given, but if you go the whole month of December without binge-watching Christmas movies, you're doing it wrong... I love the cheesy love Christmas movies on Netflix (I think I've seen every one...) and my favorites include: Christmas With the Kranks, A Christmas Kiss, 12 Dates of Christmas, Christmas Crush, and Christmas in the City.

3. ICE SKATING// This is actually something I'm hoping to do this year, because it looks like so much fun! Many cities have outdoor ice rinks this time of year, and they're usually fairly inexpensive!

4. BAKING NIGHT// The only thing better than decorating Christmas cookies is eating them, so why not have both in one night? Inviting friends over, and telling everyone to bring a different type of frosting or sprinkles is such an easy and fun night in!

5. READ CHRISTMAS BOOKS// No school = plenty of time to read books you actually want to read! I read this book last Christmas, and it's a very light-hearted, easy read. I'm looking for a good book right now, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know!

6. LOOK AT LIGHTS// My family used to love driving to different neighborhoods to look at the lights when my little sister and I were younger, and it used to be one of my favorite things about Christmas time! We also like going to Lights at the Zoo and local parks to see their lights too!

7. CHRISTMAS PERFORMANCES// Every year, one of the things I look forward to the most is the annual Christmas performance at my church! Ours was this past weekend, and it was SO good! I also love going to see the Nutcracker, and any other different Christmas performances near me.

8. HOST A POTLUCK DINNER// This is perfect idea to be able to catch up with all of your friends that are home from different schools! Everyone can bring a different item so you can all catch up on the past semester and eat good food!

9. GO SHOPPING FOR GIFTS// Honestly, my perfect day during Christmas break in spent in the mall. Most people hate the mall during Christmas time, but nothing is better to me than picking out gifts for my friends and family with a good cup of coffee in tow!

10. RELAX// Having "me time" is so refreshing when you have no stress of schoolwork to bother you! Taking time to be with myself and just relax is something that is long overdue!

Do you have any December traditions? I would love to know!
Thanks for reading!

Ariana

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Gifts that Give Back!

Happy first week of December! I normally post on Mondays and Wednesdays, but I wanted to go ahead and put together this gift guide for today because we are right in the midst of Christmas shopping! We all go through the struggle during this time of year of not having ANY gift ideas for our friends and family.  All of the products you see above make excellent Christmas gifts, and the best part is that they all give back! That's right, all of these companies give back to their respective projects and charities! 

1. TOMS SUNGLASSES// When I saw these sunglasses, I instantly fell in love! We all remember the Toms brand from years ago, but they have really stepped up their game recently! They have so many cute styles of sunglasses, and I love how each Toms product helps out a different cause. 
*YOUR PURCHASE: Gives a pair of glasses to someone in need;  "One for One" campaign*

2. TOMS BOOTIES// These two-toned booties are also from the Toms brand. (I told you they were stepping up their game!) Their bootie selection in huge! Side note: Toms also sells coffee mugs now, and that campaign supports a clean water project for people in need!
*YOUR PURCHASE: Gives a pair of shoes to a child in need*

3. SUDARA PAJAMA PANTS// This is a brand I am particularly passionate about because every Sudara product is made by an escaped human trafficking victim in India, so you are literally investing in these women/children who are trying to create new lives for themselves. How cool is that!? Besides pajama pants, the brand also has loungewear for the whole family, as well as jewelry and purses. I love this simple gold cuff! Side note: I actually wrote a 10 page research paper on Human Trafficking for a class last fall, complete with a video about it if you're interested in learning more. 
*YOUR PURCHASE: Employs ex-human trafficking victims of India*

4. DEBORAH LIPPMANN GEL POLISH// This particular shade (Cranberry Kiss) of Deborah Lippmann's gel collection is part of the RED nonprofit organization that works to help end AIDS/HIV in Africa. Not to mention the color is perfect for Christmas! (2/3 of the world's AIDS/HIV victims live in Africa).
*YOUR PURCHASE// Supports the distribution of AIDS/HIV medication to victims in Africa*

5. PURPOSE JEWELRY EARRINGS// This is another brand that employs former human trafficking victims! The cool thing about this brand is that it specifically helps victims in India AND Orange County, California! This brand has so much cute jewelry to choose from, and it's super affordable!
*YOUR PURCHASE: Employs ex-human trafficking victims of India and California*

6. WARBY PARKER EYE GLASSES// I recently did the free "At home try on" program with Warby Parker and plan on asking for these exact glasses for Christmas! I didn't know this before, but Warby Parker also does a "one for one" campaign by partnering with VisionSpring non-profit! Even more reason for Santa to bring me these glasses this year!
*YOUR PURCHASE: Gives a pair of eye glasses to someone in need*  

How cool is it to be able to give back to someone in need, while also giving to your friends and family this Christmas season?? It truly puts meaning behind the "reason for the season" cliche! 

I hope you enjoyed this (lengthy!) post, as I worked really hard researching all of these brands to find items I personally liked and felt good about supporting!

Thanks for reading!
Ariana

Also, you can shop these products by clicking the names in the list above, or the images below!

Monday, December 5, 2016

November Favorites




Did anyone else feel like November FLEW by!? Hopefully December will slow down because it's my favorite month of the year by far! Though this one is going up a little bit late, I am hoping to do these "favorites" posts at the end of every month as a way to re-cap what I was obsessed with during that  month! These favorites posts will usually be more focused on random products, to serve as a break from my more fashion-based posts! 

FOOD FAVS// This month I discovered my new go-to order at Starbucks: the Chestnut Praline Latte. SO good! I can't believe I waited this long to try it, but it never really appealed to me before... It's seriously Christmas in a cup! (I order mine non-fat with only 3 pumps of syrup so it's less sweet).
I also became obsessed with the Apple Cranberry flavor of La Croix. If you've never heard of La Croix, you're missing out big time! It's just naturally-flavored sparkling water, but they have really cool, unique flavors! My roommate and I are obsessed with trying a new flavor every time we go to the grocery, but our all-time favorite is the lime flavor!

MUSIC FAVS// This is kind of general, but I discovered Spotify's "This is:" playlists this month! They created these for so many different artists, and they just consists of that specific artist's most popular songs! My favorites are the "This is: Jack Johnson" and "This is: Justin Bieber" playlists. (I discovered 2 or 3 old songs/remixes Justin Bieber was featured in that I had never heard!!) Also, every November 1st I allow myself to break out the Under The Mistletoe album! (There's also just something about listening to the physical CD that is so much more satisfying than streaming it...) Does anyone feel that way?

BOOK FAVS// This month has been hectic with schoolwork and preparing for finals, so I haven't had much time to read any books for pleasure. I did finish this book this month (I actually started it this summer and forgot I hadn't finished it!) It was such an inspiring and funny read! I plan to do a post all about books I've read lately, once I'm able to read more frequently, so stay tuned for that for more details it!
BLOG FAVS// Each month, I want to highlight a new blog I've discovered or a particular blog post I enjoyed reading. This month, I'm talking about Hannah Shares. Hannah is one of my friends, and was actually the one to encourage me to jumpstart my blog this month! Her blog is so well written and relatable! I seriously love reading everything she posts about her life!

Also: I normally post on Mondays and Wednesdays, but I will be posting THREE times this week! Be sure to check back tomorrow for a super exciting Christmas gift post!

I hope you enjoyed this list of my November favorites, and as always,
Thanks for reading!

Ariana

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Tote That Will Save Your Life











Hey there! I would like you to meet my favorite bag that I own right now!! The story behind this bag is actually kind of funny...

My mom had been wanting this exact tote for a while, and she was the one that first showed it to me. This summer, I saw a couple of similar bags in other stores, but never got around to actually buying one. Later in the summer, I came across this giveaway for the bag on Pinterest, and entered it. (I enter blog giveaways all of the time, so I didn't think much of it!) I received an email weeks later from Courtney, the girl behind Minimalista.co, telling me I won the bag and the matching clutch (seen here). I was so excited and my mom told me that I should give her the bag and not keep it for myself... HA. 

On to the bag... I like this bag because you can seriously fit SO much in it. I love using it to put my computer and books in to go study, and I've also used it as an overnight bag before. I was kind of kidding with the title of this post, but also kind of not kidding... This tote has come close to saving my life because it's perfect to throw everything into when you're running late! (And if you know me, you know that's all the time...)

If you're not familiar with the Madewell brand, it is amazing! I've owned a couple pairs of their jeans before, and they are the best jeans I've ever owned! I really wanted to review this Madewell Transport Tote because the quality of everything I've owned from Madewell is incomparable, and I can't keep something this good to myself...
(Also, I don't know anyone who wouldn't want this tote as a Christmas gift...)



Shop my outfit by clicking the products above!
Do you have a go-to bag that you swear by? I'd love to know!

Thanks for reading!

-Ariana