Tag Archives: holiday

Deals of the Day

29 Dec

Finally made it out of the snow(!) and to the store for a little shopping today. Did some damage at Ulta…didn’t even know we had one around here! Usually I always go to Sephora…which is still my favorite. I liked Ulta, but Sephora has my heart ;) Anyways, the most important finds are the kitchen finds. Obviously! Especially when you find this really cute mojito glass that tells you exactly how to make the perfect Mojito:

From World Market


Or this adorable bowl…you really can’t beat 89¢!

Also from World Market

And Starbucks was having an awesome sale on their Christmas merchandise as well…not sure this mug is Christmas, but it was a serious deal for $3.99!

If you have a World Market nearby…its totally worth the trip! All of their Christmas merchandise is 50-75% off. *Shameless plug, since my dad works for World Market’s corporate division* haha :)


20. Get Into The Christmas Spirit

20 Dec

Well, with only 5 days until Christmas morning, hopefully we’re all in the “Christmas Spirit” already. But if you’re not, don’t fret…sometimes its difficult if you’re still working or in school this week. Being busy seriously throws a crimp into the excitement of Christmas, but it doesn’t have to! How about trying one of these things each day leading up to Christmas Day:

1. Make a Gingerbread House – This is a simple way to get excited for the upcoming holiday. If you want to make it more fun, why not have a decorating competition where you make gingerbread houses as an individual or as a team, and then have someone judge them?












2. Watch a Christmas movie every night leading up to Christmas Day – This is never a bad idea…hey, I started watching Christmas movies back in November! :)












3. Bake Cookies – Cut out sugar cookie dough with cookie cutters, bake, and then frost and decorate them…this tradition has been in my family forever!










4. Ride Around to Look at Christmas Lights – This is usually a lot of fun…its always neat to see the creative ways that people decorate for Christmas. Some houses even do lights coordinated with music!



5. Christmas Exhibits/Events – Busch Gardens now does “ChristmasTown“, there are all kinds of Christmas decoration exhibits at museums and such, live nativity scenes, Christmas concerts etc…the list goes on :)









19. Favorite Christmas Music

19 Dec


Now I love Christmas music, don’t get me wrong! However, when you start to listen to Christmas music in the middle of November….yeah, you get a little burned out from it. Lesson not learned! But I still have my favorites that I like to listen to…some are traditional and some are modern takes on classic Christmas songs.

Trans Siberian Orchestra – I generally love all of TSO’s music, but these are few of my absolute favorites:

  • Mad Russian’s Christmas
  • Wizards in Winter
  • Christmas Canon Rock (All-time favorite…haha)
  • Carol of the Bells
  • The Lost Christmas Eve

Brad Paisley: Christmas – If you love Brad’s music, you’ll love this album.

  • Penguin, James Penguin
  • Away in a Manger
  • Born on Christmas Day

Kenny Chesney: All I Want For Christmas Is A Real Good Tan – Umm, its Kenny. Enough said ;)

  • All I Want For Christmas Is a Real Good Tan
  • The Angel At The Top Of My Tree
  • I’ll Be Home For Christmas


  • Christmas Lights
  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

And some more:

  • Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms
  • My Only Wish This Year – Britney Spears (Who knew she sang Christmas music?!)
  • Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives
  • The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
  • All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

I clearly have an eclectic (?) taste in music…haha. I listen to pretty much anything and everything…I just love music. If you haven’t heard all of these songs, go check them out on iTunes or Amazon. It’ll definitely get you in the Christmas spirit, if you’re not already ;)



18: Favorite Christmas Movies

18 Dec

1. Christmas Vacation – This is my family’s favorite Christmas movie…and sadly we all know it well enough to quote every line from the movie. “Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?”














2. Home Alone 1 & 2 – These two have always been classic Christmas movies to me…I grew up watching them and it always puts me in the holiday spirit when I watch them now :)













3. Love, Actually – This is just an all-around great movie. So much drama and laughs,  and so much love. And then throw Christmas into the mix, and it equals perfection!














4. I’ll Be Home for Christmas – Well, for starters, JTT is in it…that’s enough of a reason to love this movie. But its a really cute and festive movie and always makes me think of Christmases at home.













5. Jack Frost – I know, I know…this movie is kinda sad. But its a really touching movie and it reminds you to not take life for granted!













6. Elf – Will Ferrell is hilarious and awkward, as usual. Enough said.













7. The Santa Clause (1, 2 & 3!) – All three of these are great movies, even though I still think the first was the best of all! It makes you hope that there really is a Santa Clause out there ;)












There are many, many more Christmas movies out there that I love…but I had to stop before this post keeps going on and on! I also enjoy watching ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas during the holidays for the Christmas movies, and the Lifetime channel has a few good Christmas movies!


16. Things To Do On A Snowday

16 Dec

Snow days are fun, right? Well…not when you drive 50 minutes to class to take a 45 minute exam, and then sit in traffic for 2 hours. BUT that’s another story for another day :) Ideally, snow days should be filled with movies, fun, hot chocolate, and playing in the snow…here are some suggestions:

1. Watch Christmas movies – Isn’t is great when it snows so close to Christmas? I LOVE it :)







2. Make Hot Chocolate or Coffee – Add a candy cane or some holiday marshmallows for a festive drink!







3. Play Games









4. Play in the Snow…after all, that’s the most fun!



















Now that I’m home and not parked on the highway any more(!), I plan to play in the snow and curl up on the couch with a fire in the fireplace and watch some Christmas movies ;)


15. What to Wear on Christmas Day

15 Dec

I think its important to be comfortable on Christmas Day…after all, you might be traveling to your family’s house, hanging out and enjoying the company of family and friends, or maybe even outside playing football with the guys (+10 if they’re your hot neighbors! haha). Here are a few outfit ideas that you can layer, depending on the temperature. Around home, the weather is SO unpredictable, but it looks like we’re in the middle of a cold streak and a big chance of snow…which is not a bad thing right before Christmas ;)

1. Casual Chic







L to R: Forever 21 Lace Yoke Tunic, $22.80; 7 For All Mankind Gwenevere Skinny Stretch Jeans, $169; Madden Girl Raleigh Bootie, $49.95

2. Comfortable & Cute







L to R: Forever 21 Crochet Sweater Top with Belt, $22.90; Forever 21 Fitted Ribbed Tee, $5.99; Charlotte Russe Everyday Skinny Destructed Jeans, $34.50; Bandolino Jess Boots, $100.99 (On Sale @ Macy’s!)

3. Christmas Classy







L to R: BCBG Max Azria Tunic Sweater Dress, $188.00; BCBG Max Azria Macaulay Leggings, $69.00 (On sale at 6pm.com!); BCBGeneration Malina Ankle Boot, $79.99 (On sale at Dillards!)

By the way, you might have to find some other shoes if you’re going to play football with the guys…totally worth it ;) haha


14. Holiday Fitness: Spinning

14 Dec

I love Spinning. Well, I’m biased…I teach Spin, so naturally I love it. But it really is a great workout, and I think everyone should try it! :) Its such a good cardio workout, but it also is great for cross-training, building endurance, and strengthening your legs! To top it off, its typically taught in a high-energy atmosphere and its so easy to get into the workout “groove” in a Spin class. Here’s a Christmas playlist that I made for a 30-minute holiday Spin sesh:

1. Santa Baby (Pussycat Dolls) – 3:01 Warm-up

2. Wizards in Winter (Trans Siberian Orchestra) – 3:06 Seated Flat/Sprint

a. 0:31, 1:16, 2:11

3. Jingle Bell Rock (Bobby Helms) – 2:10 Standing Climb

4. Queen of the Winter Night (Trans Siberian Orchestra) – 3:12 Standing Climb/Run with Resistance

a. 0:28, 1:24, 2:40

5. My Only Wish This Year (Britney Spears) – 4:17 Standing Climb/Jumps on a Hill

a. 0:53, 2:11, 3:10

6. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree (Miley Cyrus) – 2:23 Seated Flat/Sprint

a. 0:50, 1:40

7. Wish Liszt (Trans Siberian Orchestra) – 3:42 Seated Climb/Sprint

a. 0:47, 1:52, 2:30, 3:04 (Standing Climb)

8. Mad Russian’s Christmas (Trans Siberian Orchestra) – 4:43

a. Climb 0:00-1:14

b. Sprint 1:14-1:38

c. Standing Climb 1:38-2:21

d. Sprint 2:21-2:58

e. Standing Climb 2:58-3:38

f. Sprint 3:38-3:52

g. Standing Climb 3:52-4:12

h. Sprint 4:12-4:38

9. The Angel at the Top of My Tree (Kenny Chesney) – 3:27 Cooldown

10. Let It Snow (Point of Grace) – 4:11 Cooldown

Remember to have fun…and don’t forget to stretch it out after your workout!


10. Some Christmas Fun

10 Dec

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper! It makes presents look so pretty under the tree.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Both. The “big” tree, which is 10ft, is artificial and pre-lit (thank goodness! ha) and occasionally we get a real tree to put elsewhere in the house…real trees smell SO good!

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the weekend right after Thanksgiving

4. When do you take the tree down? New Years Day or the day after

5. Do you like eggnog? Not at all

6. Favorite gift received as a child? A “talking” doll house

7. Hardest person to buy for? Boyfriend or Mom

8. Easiest person to buy for? Dad

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, of course.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Once, when I was young, I got a pair of earrings from a family member…….and my ears weren’t pierced.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? This is difficult…I like so many. I guess Home Alone 2.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Whenever I get the chance…its usually mid-December. Yikes!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No…

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? No idea…I guess just trying all of the cookies that I bake over the holidays.

16. Lights on the tree (colored or clear)? Clear

17. Favorite Christmas song? Carol of the Bells, Trans Siberian Orchestra-style…

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay around home…luckily all of my huge family lives nearby!

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer’s? Maybe…

20. Angel, star or ribbon on top of tree? Ribbon

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning…we’ve never done the Christmas Eve gift thing

22. Favorite children’s Christmas song? O Christmas Tree?

23. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Overcrowded stores!

24. Favorite ornament theme or color? Blue, White, Silver

25. Turkey or ham on Christmas day? Either

26. What do you want for Christmas this year? I have a short list…see earlier post re “My Wish List”

27. Does anyone in your family dress up as Santa? No

28. Age you discovered who Santa was? I was really young…all the fun was spoiled for me!

29. Eggnog, hot chocolate, or apple cider? Cider

30. Traditional colors (red and green) or other colors? Traditional + gold or silver

31. Do you have any Christmas decorations on your roof? No…

32. How does Santa get into your house? Chimney or magic key? Chimney

33. Do you prefer gifts or gift cards? Gifts, if people know what to buy for me! If not, gift cards to Starbucks or Barnes and Noble are totally legit ;)

34. Favorite children’s Christmas Cartoon? Frosty the Snowman



9. Gifts for Pets

9 Dec




Am I the only person who has two very spoiled dogs? Doubt it. It seems like getting Christmas gifts for your pets is right up in line with getting Christmas gifts for your mother…absolutely necessary. My Lab tends to immediately tear up any toy he gets for Christmas, and my Chihuahua tends to never play with a new toy she gets…and then my Lab chews the toy to shreds. However, its the thought that counts right? :)


1. Puffer Vest for Small Dogs, $19.99 — Comes in Green or Purple







2. Stocking with 8-Pack of Holiday Toys for Dogs, $9.99







3. Santa Coat for Cats, $12.99 … Honestly, its more funny than anything. They have these for dogs too!







4. 11-pack Mini Cat Toys Stocking, $4.99







5. Chaise Lounge Bed, $79.99 … How cute…and how spoiled…







6. Stainless Steel Food and Water Bowl with Stand, $23.99







7. Starbucks vs. Dunkin Donuts

7 Dec

I love coffee. Who else is with me on that?! You could say I’m a Starbucks “addict.” Yes, I have a Gold Card…and you can usually find me there 5 out of 7 days a week, at least during the academic year. haha. I justify it because I go sit in Starbucks for hours at a time to get work done and study…using the free wifi, so I don’t feel so bad spending $2 or $3 on a drink. That said, I rarely ever buy the more expensive drinks (any espresso drinks). I don’t like to spend $5 on a latte…just doesn’t seem right. However, there are a few really good holiday-themed drinks that you might can justify spending a little extra $$$ on. Even if its just ONCE ;)

Now, even though I’m a Starbucks girl, I will go to Dunkin Donuts from time to time. I don’t think that Dunkin’s coffee is quite as good, but that’s just my opinion! Its really not much cheaper than Starbucks, but its a nice change every once in a while…and Dunkin also has a few holiday-themed drinks!




Here are a few of Starbucks and Dunkin’s holiday drinks, made “light”, of course. They are seriously dangerous to your diet if you don’t ask for “light”!

1. Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte (Grande) – Cal: 270, Made with Nonfat Milk and No Whipped Cream






2. Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Coffee (Medium) – Cal: 160, Add a little Nonfat Milk for Added Protein






3. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (Grande) – Cal: 260, With Nonfat Milk and No Whipped Cream






4. Dunkin Donuts Gingerbread Coffee (Medium) – Cal: 170, Ask for Nonfat Milk for Added Protein






5. Starbucks Gingerbread Latte (Grande) – Cal: 200, With Nonfat Milk and No Whipped Cream







These are just a few of the many options you can order at Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. I’m not going to make a  judgment call on which is better…I think its all about personal preference! Nutritionally speaking, both can be pretty good for you and both can be REALLY bad for you. Be wary of specialty drinks like these, and always ask for Nonfat and No Whip if you’re counting calories and fat grams! If you want to treat yourself without going on calorie overload, be sure to stick with the smallest size! :)