• books,  Christmas,  Top Ten Tuesday,  winter

    Top ten wintry reads

    This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt (from That Artsy Reader Girl) is all about wintry/cozy reads…so here are ten of my wintry reads for your perusal. All take place largely in winter or in cold climates (or involve a theme of winter or Christmas in some way). FYI: these are best enjoyed with a mug of hot cocoa, a fluffy blanket, and a pet to cuddle, if possible!

    Top ten wintry reads

    The Snow Child by Eowyn  Ivey / The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden / The Man From Beijing by Henning Mankell / Abandon by Blake Crouch / A Gift From Bob by James Bowen / The Blue Fox by Sjon / Hold The Dark by William Giraldi / House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy / Voices by Arnaldur Indridason / Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

  • Christmas,  gifts,  holidays

    Last minute Christmas gift ideas

    Last minute gifts for everyone on your list

    Behold, the joy of eleventh hour gifting! Whether you put off shopping or got a last minute invite, rushing to find a Christmas gift is no fun…which is where this guide comes in. Here are easy and affordable last minute ideas for friends near and far.

    Still got a few days left to shop? You might also check out my gifts guides for guys, book lovers, and beauty mavens, and my roundup of fave cozy gifts for practically anyone!

  • Christmas,  gifts,  holidays,  winter

    Cozy gifts for almost anyone

    When winter comes, all I want to be is cozy. My partner and I even have a nickname for this state, “maximum coze”. I’ll admit it might not roll off the tongue as well as “hygge”, the Nordic word for cozy contentment, but it describes how I feel on the first of December. I want cuddly blankets, scented candles, and something hot to drink. I get into major nesting mode as the seasons change and I love making my living space as warm and enjoyable as possible, since the darkness and cold outside really wreaks havoc on my mood.

    With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to create a little list of cozy gifts that you can give almost anyone on your list. They make a bleak winter day a little more cheerful, and many are just luxe upgrades of items you already use everyday, meaning they’re also practical. Some of these are also excellent gifts to keep on standby as last-minute gifts for a hostess or a gift exchange. And the best part? Each of these cozy gifts are under $50, so you won’t break the bank.


    Cozy gifts for almost anyone (and all under $50)


    (1) Mountain Madness Classic Bar Soap, $6 (mountainmadnesssoap.com) (2) Mr. Sprout Herb Kit, $18.99 (amazon.com) (3) Birchwood Brandy Jar Candle, $12.99 (target.com) (4) eReader cover, $29.90 (caseable.com) (5) Q&A A Day 5-Year Journal, $11.89 (amazon.com) (6) Plush Throw, $24.99 (shopko.com) (7) Night Sky Custom Star Map, from $29.99 (etsy.com) (8) Anthropologie Agate Coasters, $11.20 each (anthropologie.com)

    Need more gift ideas? Check out my picks for beauty junkies, book lovers, and guys, or shop last-minute gift ideas that don’t require a wait for shipping!

  • Christmas,  gifts,  holidays

    Gifts for guys under $50

    Disclaimer: this gift guide is based on what I would buy as gifts for guys I know—the things I know they would love and use on a regular basis. However, that’s not to say these are gifts only for guys—they’d work for plenty of girls, too!—and it’s definitely not all-inclusive; it’s just a small sample of things that I think would make great (and affordable gifts) for the guys in your life. Read on for more details and shopping info!

    Gifts for guy under $50

  • bath products,  Beauty,  Christmas,  cruelty-free,  eye makeup,  face care,  gifts,  green,  holidays,  Julep,  lip color,  nail polish,  Zoya

    Christmas 2018 cruelty-free beauty gift guide

    I promised a cruelty-free beauty gift guide, and here it is…my favorite beauty gift sets for Christmas 2018! I’ve sorted this gift guide into four categories: stocking stuffers, save ($10+), spend ($20+), and splurge ($30-$50). There’s a good mix of skin care, color cosmetics, and more. And most importantly: everything is easy to order online from Ulta or Sephora (the two major beauty retailers here in the U.S.), with the exception of the Essence and Julep boxes in the “splurge” section, which can be ordered through those brands’ websites. In other words, you won’t need to jump through multiple checkouts or even change out of your pajamas to order enough gifts to cover everyone on your list.

    Scroll through to see all my picks, and click on any of the pictures to view them full screen. Elbow-deep in Christmas shopping? You might also want to check out my bookish gift guide, gifts for guys under $50, cozy gifts for almost anyone, and last-minute gifts you can shop online or at the drugstore!