Concrete jungle where dreams are made of!?

Next Friday, I am traveling to New York City for New Years Eve and the Winter Classic. It was my brother and my Christmas present from our parents, combined with a birthday gift for me, as my birthday is on January 2nd, aka the morning after we fly back home to Western New York.

I am absolutely no stranger to the city. I’ve been there more times than I can count, and it’s one of my favorite places to be. I have only been in NYC once during the holiday season; it was two years ago on the first weekend of December. However, I have never been to NYC for New Years!

So, what I am asking you on this fine Tuesday is this: What do you recommend I do on my trip to New York City?

I am open to any and every suggestion you throw my way. I can’t wait to hear from you. xoxo.

Santa! I know him!! | Holiday 2017

I mean, is it really pre-Christmas week without an Elf reference?

But for real. We are exactly one week away from Christmas!

I always feel like the week leading up to Christmas is always the craziest. There are always last minute presents that have to be wrapped, baking to be done, and the work week feels like a complete drag. Houses need to be cleaned, organized, and set up to host what feels like a million people [at least with my family], and meals need to be prepared. Christmas music is played, snow is [hopefully] falling, and then you blink and. . bam, it’s Christmas morning. And then you blink once more and. . bam, it’s all over with.

I will fully admit that this year, I went a little too crazy when it comes to Christmas. Part of me feels as if it is because I was able to take on Christmas at my own pace. Years prior, working retail, I was in Christmas mode starting from mid-October when the holiday décor would start to be set up and sales would be set. By the time Christmas actually got here, I was basically over it, as I had been hearing “Holly Jolly Christmas” in my ear, on repeat, for over two months and, quite frankly, was ready to slam my head against a wall. Not so holly jolly, am I right?

This year, though, my excitement has been at an all time high. I didn’t hit my full Christmas mode until Black Friday when all of my shopping was completely done and it was time to wrap all these gifts while sipping on my Peppermint Mocha latte, listening to the holiday tunes I actually enjoyed hearing over and over. I had time to watch Christmas movies cozied on the couch at night, as my hours at work didn’t extend past, at the latest, 5:00pm. The added bonus of working a “real job” that pays “real money” helped too, as for the first time in forever, I feel as if everyone is getting the gifts they actually deserve or want, not just the ones that I could barely afford.

I have been staring at my abundantly large stack of Christmas gifts under “my” tree for what seems like forever and I have been waiting for decades to hand these gifts out. My parents, especially my mom, is no amateur when it comes to Christmas decorating so between our tree in the living room filled with gifts, our tree in the dining room filled with my gifts [*ahem* I went a little too crazy], and then on the flip side, Jon and my tree at the apartment filled with gifts, there’s enough holiday cheer to keep you on edge waiting for the big day to come.

With that being said, I hope everyone has a smooth sailing, stress-free, pre-Christmas week.

Keep on spreading the joy and love. xoxo.

 

Things I’m currently obsessed with | December edition

Let’s address the elephant in the room right away – it has been a loooong time since I’ve done one of these posts. Not so much because I’ve run out of favorite things to talk about, but because I quite literally have forgotten to come back around to this post lately.

  1. Bath and Body candles. I feel like this is the time of year when almost everyone talks about BBW candles. It seems as if every other week they’re on sale and more and more coupons come out as the weeks push closer to Christmas. Do I have a spending problem when it comes to candles? Yes. In our apartment, we have more candles than we know what to do with but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t smell like maple pecan waffles every day of the year. Most recently when BBW had their $8 candle sale, I stocked up not only for myself, but for gifts for others for Christmas. These candles smell great, they last forever, and they are literally never full price. You can’t beat it.
  2. Almond Breeze vanilla almond milk. There truthfully is nothing that I hate more thank milk. Skim, 1%, 2%, whole, you name it – I hate it. I’ve always been one to try to explore my options when it comes to a “breakfast beverage” other than coffee or orange juice [yes, I have a breakfast beverage category]. Most recently, I got my hands on some almond breeze almond milk and I cannot stop drinking it. It is refreshing, tastes great, and goes amazing with a bowl of cereal or handfuls of cookies that I don’t need to be eating.
  3. Apple Watch. My boyfriend and I gave each other our Christmas/birthday gifts early – the Apple Watches we purchased for each other on Black Friday. Before this, I used a Fitbit [which I loved and would recommend to anyone], but there is something about the Apple Watch that I have fallen absolutely in love with. The customizable features, the step tracking, the sleek look, I am head over heels. I will say this, though – if I didn’t get killer deal on Black Friday, I probably would have never bought it and stuck with my Fitbit, however, I am super glad I made the switch and if you’ve got the cash, don’t hold back.
  4. Will and Grace. I’m going to lay this on the table right now – I absolutely hated the new “revival” season of Will and Grace. However, I am on my second spin of watching the reruns of the old series on Hulu and I can quite honestly say that there is not much that makes me laugh as hard as this show does. Currently, I am on the episode [again] where Karen’s husband Stan dies and they spread his ashes overboard on their yacht. The scene where Karen gets pushed overboard by Stan’s mistress is one that makes me laugh so hard that the snort comes out and totally embarrasses everyone in the room. I don’t know what I ever did living a life without access to this show, but I am so happy this exists now.
  5. Christmas. Could you tell? Only 80% of my blog is dedicated to this holiday, especially recently. It’s not so much the holiday itself, but it’s the entire atmosphere surrounding this holiday. People seem cheerier, there is a greater sense of lightness and happiness spreading around. I love buying people gifts and seeing their faces light up when they open them. I love wrapping gifts, decorating, baking cookies – you name it, I love it. Plus, it’s hard to believe that we are only 11 days away. How is this even possible?

What are some things you’re obsessed with this month? xoxo.

Playlist | December 2017

Earlier this month, I posted my all time favorite Christmas playlist for you guys to bop to. But for those of you not really into Christmas music as much as I am, fear not! This month’s [real] playlist is for you!

Sure, there is a slight mix of some Christmas songs that slipped into this playlist, but come on. It is December! Also, can we all take a moment to appreciate the Halsey/G-Eazy duet because I have not stopped listening to it once since it came out, so naturally, it is the first song on this list! And thanks to my recent [today] purchase of tickets to the Macklemore/Kesha tour, they snuck their way onto this list too.

What are some songs you can’t get enough of this month?! xoxo.

DIY Christmas gifts. . kid approved! | Holiday 2017

I don’t know about you, but for me, Christmas shopping for kids is not as easy as people make it seem. Now, I’m not talking mini’s – they are extremely easy to shop for, I’m talking kids that are of the 7+ age group.

You’d think that working in a school I’d know a little about what is “hip” and what is not in the kid community, but to be completely honest, I see some things on the shelves or that students bring in and I am left puzzled and confused about not only what things are, but why they are even a thing in the first place.

With an over-abundance of kids in my extended family, I didn’t quite know which way to turn. However, after much debate, I eventually got there – a DIY gift filled with candy and other goodies that can be personalized to each kid’s specific likes and dislikes!

To create these presents, the things you will need fall on a list so short you might think to yourself, *wow, I’m not the most creative, but even I can do this!* . . no, seriously.

DIY Christmas Gift Jars 

Items Needed

  • Mason jars – any size!
  • Hershey kisses
  • Gift tags – preferably ones that you can string through a piece of ribbon or yarn, and can write on yourself
  • Ribbon/yarn
  • Small toys/goodies (e.g. nail polish, Chapstick, mini Lego sets, surprise bag sets for different characters. . My Little Pony, Despicable Me, Paw Patrol, etc. – the list really could go on and on and on)

What to Do

First and foremost, take a nice swig of coffee- it’ll really get you going and in the spirit to create!

Next, open the Mason jar and fill with Hershey kisses and little goodies. Then, simply close the filled Mason jar.

After the jar is filled and closed, take a gift tag and simply write the child’s name followed by “Merry Kiss-mas!”

String the tag with decorative ribbon or yarn and tie around the Mason jar.

Find your kiddo and give them this easy, cute gift! (Names crossed out to keep a secret until Christmas!)

What are some DIY gift projects that you absolutely swear by with each passing holiday season?! xoxo.

Quick + easy meal prep!

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely hate packing lunches for the week. I procrastinate doing it the night before and then find myself rushing through packing a lunch the following morning. Nine times out of ten, I barely remember what even made it into my lunch bag by the time my break rolls around, and then I am highly disappointed with my choices!

Behold – an easy, tasty and filling lunch prep!

It’s no secret that 1) I hate cooking and 2) I can’t really cook, so the thought of meal prepping was always somewhat of a turn-off to me, as I didn’t want to be stuck in front of a stove or an oven stressing out over whether or not I would succeed at making a delicious lunch. Most recently, however, I have been looking into easy prep, no-cook meal preps that anyone in the world could handle making, myself included.

Not only do I like the way this lunch tastes, but I love the bright colors included in each meal – a huge turn from a drab, boring peanut butter sandwich and whatnot.

So, if you’re looking for a change and looking to eliminate rushing through making a lunch at 5:30am before work, stick around a little longer and check out the “recipe” below. I promise you’ll be a fan!

Turkey Spinach Pinwheels Meal Prep

Ingredients 

  • 1 slice cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced turkey breast
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • 1 (8-inch) spinach tortilla
  • 6 baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup grapes
  • 5 cucumber slices

Directions:

  • Place cheese, turkey, and spinach in center of tortilla. Bring bottom edge of the tortilla tightly over the spinach, folding in the sides. Continue rolling until the top of the tortilla is reached. Cut in sixths.
  • Place wraps, carrots, grapes, and cucumber into meal prep containers.
  • Enjoy!

Since I am a beginner, I’d love to hear from you! Do you meal prep? If so, what are some meals you swear by! xoxo.

Really, another Target haul?!

Yes, you read correct. Another Target haul.

This post is to make up for my lack-of blog post yesterday due to me finishing all of my school work late last night and into this morning for the rest of my life! What better way to celebrate the forever-end of school than waking up at 5:30am to finish up final assignments and taking yourself to Target at 8am to celebrate?! [If you think I am totally psychotic. . your answer is correct].

Truth be told, my Christmas shopping was done on Black Friday. However, I woke up this morning exhilarated by the fact that, “holy shit, it’s almost Christmas!” and was way too excited and overjoyed that it is the holidays that I couldn’t even contain myself. Honestly, as lame as it sounds, I felt like I was jumping out of my own skin and had to be a part of the Christmas shopping madness, even though I was done. This annoying over-excitement could be due to either the fact that I was up at 5:30am, or the fact that I used my free Starbucks drink on a venti Carmel Brulee latte.

Anyways, I went to Target on a mission to find things for a DIY gift [SPOILER ALERT: find this on the blog next week!!]. Naturally, I got all that I needed and then some – what is it about Target that just sucks you in and makes you think that you need stuff that doesn’t even logically belong in your life?!

If you are interested to see in what the heck I bought during this caffeinated Target blackout, scroll right on down because the remainder of this post is for you!

Grocery

  • Christmas Rice Krispies
  • Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Instant Coffee
  • Almond Breeze Vanilla Almond Milk
  • Kraft Marshmallows
  • Hershey’s Kisses (Milk Chocolate/White Chocolate Hugs, White Chocolate Candy Cane, Holiday Milk Chocolate x2, Milk Chocolate Santa Hat, Holiday Dark Chocolate Mint)

Health-Beauty-Cosmetics 

  • Up & Up Makeup Remover Wipes
  • Wet ‘n Wild Lipsticks x2
  • Maybelline Fit Me Foundation
  • e.l.f. Translucent Powder

Home

  • 12-pack Quart Size Mason Jars *on my way to the checkout, I saw the box was on sale and replaced the jars in my cart with the box for a way cheaper price*

Seasonal

  • Gift Tag Set
  • Stocking x2
  • Gift Bows
  • Blank Write and Tie Gift Tags

Stationary-Office

  • PaperMate Colored Marker Pens

Toys-Sporting Goods

  • My Little Pony Surprise Gift Bag
  • Disney Aurora Tsum Tsum
  • Lego Friends Building Set
  • Lego Ninjago Building Set

I was going to end this post by asking if you’ve been to Target this holiday season, but I already know the answer is yes. So, what are some things you’ve gotten?! xoxo.

 

Things to Share Thursdays?! | Holiday 2017

 

Did I struggle with the title of this blog post? Abso-freaking-lutely. Trying to be creative with a fried brain results in struggling to no end on all levels of imagination. I promise, you’ll never see this title again! But, enough of the rant and onto the post!

With the end of the semester so close to being a reality, my procrastination daydreams have been reeling toward Christmas cookies [also thanks to our newest addition.. our Christmas tree!]. Does anyone else agree that Christmas cookies taste 100% different than just regular day cookies? Sure, in some instances they might be the same recipe, but I swear they just taste so much better on Christmas.

While there are some cookies in my family that are an absolute staple, there is always room for one or two other recipes to throw in. For us, some of our staples include (and are totally not limited to): chocolate chip, peanut butter kiss, cranberry white chocolate shortbread, hello dollies, pizzelles, and sugar cookie cutouts.

So, I am asking you, what are some of your favorite cookies to share on Christmas? I’d love to broaden my horizons this holiday season! xoxo.

Rockin’ around the Christmas tree. . literally | Holiday 2017

Let’s be real here, I have been playing Christmas music for quite some time now. I’d be lying straight to your face if I said that I wasn’t listening to the Glee Christmas album on repeat over and over and over again throughout my ride to work.

Keeping this in mind, it only makes sense to craft, in my opinion, the most perfect holiday playlist. With a mix of some classics, some can’t live withouts, and some new favorites, I have dipped into everything making for a jolly good time. So, buckle up, grab your egg nog, and listen by your Christmas tree or while wrapping presents.

What are some songs you can’t live without during the Christmas season?

xoxo.