Friday, December 26, 2014

Lights, camera, Christmas!

It's hard to believe Christmas is over! Last year, I shared a picture of the tree (post here), and wanting to keep the tradition alive, here is this year's picture!

In the previous post, I mentioned cooking an Italian meal on Christmas Eve for my family, and I'm happy to say that it turned out to be a huge success! My mother was extremely satisfied, and did not shy away from getting seconds. Seeing loved ones enjoy my cooking is one of the best things ever. I hope you had a beautiful Christmas with your family, friends, pets, and loved ones. Now, onto the festivities for welcoming the new year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

This Holiday Season

2 more days until Christmas!

Because we've been in a drought this year, it was nice to have some rain the past few days. I stayed in, and was able to get all my gift wrapping done. In the process, I went crazy with the glue gun, and made all sorts of bows. This DIY bow I found online (here) was one of my rainy day projects. I thought it was a perfect stand-in for a tree topper. I'm not one for a flashy tree, so I liked how the ribbon is simple, yet different. I was going for that shabby & chic look, actually. Now that the tree is complete, the gifts are wrapped, and the house decked out in holiday mode, I'm set for Christmas! Though it's been chaotic and traffic has been inevitable everywhere, I'm really going to miss all the festivities when it passes. Everything is just brighter and livelier! Peppermint bark and sugar cookies won't taste the same during any other time of the year. It makes me only want to savor every seasonal bite, and cherish every fleeting moment this holiday season.

On Christmas Eve, I'm going to be spending a good chunk of the day in the kitchen, as I will be cooking up a storm for my family. I'm excited for how everything is going to come together, since it is the first time I'll be making a proper American meal for my family. Per my mom's request, I will be serving pasta with sausage, green bean and mushroom casserole, garlic bread, and mashed potatoes on the side. What can I say, my mom loves Italian food. As for the presents, we will be opening them when it hits midnight! I can't wait to see the look on my parents' faces when they open their gifts.

I hope this holiday season brings you lots of love and cheer! Sending the warmest wishes to you all and have an amazing NEW YEAR!

 More bows!

What are your plans for the holidays?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

What's on my nightstand?

I don't think I had a proper nightstand before, so it was a nice surprise coming home and seeing the new addition in my bedroom. Because I'm not used to having a table next to my bed, I initially had no idea what to put on it other than the lamp. I really wanted to make good use of the space and give it a fun & personal touch. The holiday season is such a good excuse for me to bring out the fairy lights. Adding to the festive feel are the the snowman plush and reindeer box. The book I have there is one of my favorites, and the paper cranes were given to me by a friend. Also on the nightstand are:

From left to right: 
Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
Bath & Body Works lotion in Sweet Pea
macaron box from Urban Outfitters
Nivea lip butter
gold bangles
hair tie
reindeer box from Michael's 
snowman plush 

In my drawer, I  have: 
fuzzy socks,
aloe body butter from The Body Shop
a pack of Kleenex 

Props to my dad for putting the pieces together! 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Snowman, sparkles, and gift tags

Remember the bath gels I got from philosophy from my previous post? Here they are, all wrapped and ready to go! Given the lack of wrapping materials I had at school, I'm very happy with how festive they look! I brought the snowman wrapping paper from home, and managed to find red tissue paper to wrap the last box. For ribbons, I used sparkly string/yarn. My favorite part is the gift tags, which I found online and they turned out to be mini DIY project. Because I printed them on thin white paper and were quite flimsy, I improvised and used cut-outs from a random paper tea box for the back. I think the black-and-white design looks lovely with the red wrapping papers, and is very versatile. The template comes with six gift tags, and they are designed by Jasmine Dowling. I wanted to share them with you, because I had a lot of fun putting them together, plus it's an affordable way to add an unique touch to your gifts. You can find the gift tags here
Happy wrapping!

Saturday, December 6, 2014


One of my favorite things about the holiday season is getting presents for my friends and family. It gets me excited just imagining their reactions when they receive them and open them on Christmas day. To me, gift-giving isn't about finding that "perfect gift" or something that's outrageously fancy or expensive. It's about the gesture, and the thought and care that's put into the presents. Guess you can tell I'm a sentimental person there haha. 
I had a lot of fun picking out these philosophy shampoo, shower gel, & bubble bath items because each scent reminded me of a different friend of mine. I purchased them around Thanksgiving when all the sales were happening so I got four bottles for $40, which was quite a steal because they retail at $17 a bottle. I loved their wide range of yummy & festive scents to choose from and the vibrant colors they come in are very fitting for the holidays!

almond glazed, for the friend who loves nuts 

sweet, candied apple, for the friend who embraces her fire side 

pink marshmallow buttercream, for the friend who adores pink and is the sweetest person ever

vanilla jasmine, for the friend who is classy and versatile, like vanilla