Friday, December 28, 2018

December Favorites + Christmas and Moving Updates

Outfit Details: Dress: Tahari, purchased at Ross,  Heels: Marc Fisher 

I hope you all had a marvelous Christmas with family and friends. I can't believe Christmas has already come and gone. And really, where did December go?! Between moving into a new place right before Christmas and then the holidays, this month seemed to fly by so fast! I know so many of you were also busy traveling to see family, finishing up finals or marking off your never ending to-do lists getting ready for the holidays. Christmas is the one time of year I truly look forward to all year long, and yet it seems to fly by so fast that I almost miss it!

Looking back on the week, my most peaceful and restful time this holiday was when we sat down for Christmas Eve mass and I was able to just be present and enjoy listening to the gospel. Our priest reminded us in his homily that although we enjoy the Christmas season really during Advent (the four weeks before Christmas day), the church actually celebrates Christmas up until January 13th! Now that things have settled down a little after the holiday, I want to remind myself that we can continue to celebrate for a few more weeks, and I plan to do that through resting and reflecting on what an exciting year 2018 has been. As we approach a new year and new season of life, I hope you all enjoy some peace and rest in 2019. 

Tree: Walmart, flocked tree no longer available, Tree Skirt: Amazon,  all garland and ornaments purchased from At Home 

On to our move... we are still in the process of unpacking boxes, and yet slowly our new place is starting to feel like home. A friendly tip for people moving in the winter - make putting up your Christmas decorations a priority! We almost didn't put the Christmas tree up this year (because there are so many more important and less gigantic things to unbox than an eight foot tall, flocked Christmas tree), however it truly made our place feel more homey and familiar our first two weeks in. I plan to do a living/dining/kitchen tour on the blog in January once it's all done. I'm definitely no expert at interior design (most of our pieces were purchased at Costco) however I'm surprisingly pleased with how well most of our things are working in this new space. 

I've made a goal for myself in 2019 to put together a list at the end of each month of favorites things both myself and all of you have enjoyed on Instagram and the blog. Since I didn't blog much this month, this time around it will be mostly my favorite items, however from here on out I'll feature your most shopped items and blog posts. Let's see if I can keep this up!

December Favorites: 

Favorite Ulta Find: This mascara has completely changed the way my lashes look. For awhile I swore my lashes were getting shorter and weaker, however now I'm realizing I was using the wrong mascara. I switched over to Stila's Huge Extreme this month and OMG! They almost give the appearance of having eyelash extensions! Sale alert: You can actually purchase this mascara with Stila's black liquid eyeliner in a set for only $10.50 right now! It's in smaller packaging but a greater starter set if you want to try them both before paying full price. I personally use Stila's liquid eyeliner and love it. I'm usually finishing up my second cup of coffee by the time I put my makeup on in and I'm usually a tad bit over-caffeinated, but this eyeliner is super easy to use and apply a straight line or cat eye.

Favorite Work Wear Item: Sweater dresses are just sooo easy to wear, and I love a little simplicity in the morning, don't you?! I found the cutest sweater dress at a local shop in Des Moines, however I also received this turtleneck sweater dress for Christmas and I can't wait to wear it. It's buttery soft and surprisingly slimming, which makes me feel so less guilty for all the Christmas cookies I consumed this month! 

Favorite New Recipe: I haven't really done a lot of home-cooking this month because of the holidays, but this soup recipe got me right back into the swing of things. Its a tomato soup with tortellini, spinach, and a little Italian sausage that's not too terribly unhealthy! I'm making this along with some mini grilled cheese sandwiches tonight for the Iowa State game, and I know Nate and his friends will devour it. I saved the recipe on my Pinterest board, but i'll put the direct link here if you don't have Pinterest. 

Favorite Moving Hack: Between Nate and I's places, we had quite a bit of furniture to move. These moving bands were so helpful in carrying down heavy pieces. I admit I don't have any real upper body strength, and yet I was able to help carry down a few furniture pieces easily with the help of these

Favorite Affordable Staple Sweater: I shared this sweater on Instagram a while ago, and you all loooooved it. It's under $20, has a very flattering v-neckline, has a loose fit, comes in six colors and has great reviews. It's one of those sweaters that I always think I have in my closet and then realize I definitely don't, hence me trying to find the perfect loose v-neck sweater only to spend a fortune on one at some random boutique. This one is such a good price, and you can bet on the quality given it's carried by this retailer. 

What are all of your favorite items you purchased or received this December? Have a great day and thanks so much for reading.