2017 Holiday Gift Guide: For the After-Party Host



This gift guide was highly requested–– a ton of you guys asked me via Instagram messages to create an alcohol-themed gift guide. I don't drink that much anymore (I don't drink during the week at all unless it's a special occasion and I rarely drink on the weekends), but I still love a good bar cart and the accessories that come with it!

The one thing I actually really want from this list is the Clean Cocktails book. My friend's aunt is one of the authors, and I am always looking for new drink recipes–– especially healthier ones! I think it would make for a pretty unique gift. It could even be used as a coffee table book.

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3 Healther Versions of Your Fave Breakfasts

I want to start writing more about health and lifestyle on the blog, and I thought this would be a fun way to kick it off. I love eating breakfast, and I love sweets (chocolate chip pancakes are my weakness, as are fried breakfast potatoes). I am also trying to stay healthy and eat cleaner, which means that I'm trying to limit how much I eat these things. Lately, I've been having a banana for breakfast or skipping it entirely. I was making these recipes a ton before I started my job, and I should still be making them, even if I lose 10 minutes of sleep in the morning. Breakfast is so important! All take under ten minutes and would be perfect for before work or school, and all of them can be made with ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry! I have made all of the recipes below single serving, so if you want to make for a friend as well, double everything.

Note: This post has been sitting in my drafts waiting to be published for three months, and the one thing holding me back from publishing was the lack of images I had to put in the post. I really hate using images I found online instead of my own, but it's now dark when I wake up so breakfast photography isn't an option. It was either google images or waiting until spring to post this, so I chose the former over the latter. I will say that when I make these recipes, they don't look as good as the photos, but they still look pretty good and taste phenomenal!

HEALTHY FRENCH TOAST
Ingredients:
  • 2 pieces of Ezekiel bread (I recommend the 4:9 kind, but the cinnamon raisin makes a fun version too)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 small splash of vanilla
  • coconut oil cooking spray
  • agave, honey, or maple syrup (optional)

Directions: Beat egg, almond milk, vanilla, and cinnamon together. Dip both pieces of bread in the egg mixture to coat each side thoroughly and evenly. Heat a small spray of the coconut oil cooking spray in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Cook the bread until it's golden on each side and serve hot. I prefer eating mine with low-sugar syrup, but you could also eat it with agave or honey! 

HEALTHY PB&B TOAST

I wasn't lazy and actually took this photo! I ate the other slice I made before taking the photo because I was severely hangry.

Ingredients:
  • 2 Pieces of Ezekiel 4:9 bread or one Ezekiel English muffin 
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tablespoons of natural, no sugar added peanut butter 
  • cinnamon (optional)

Directions: This recipe is ideal for dorm rooms because you only need a toaster (if they allow you to have one). It's also pretty self-explanatory! Toast both pieces of bread to your liking, spread a tablespoon of peanut butter on each piece, and cut the banana into small circular slices. Place the banana slices on the bread and garnish with a dash of cinnamon if you'd like. Sometimes when I have a major sweet tooth, I will drizzle a very small amount of honey over the bananas.

HEALTHY PANCAKES
image via

Ingredients:
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 4 tablespoons almond milk
  • coconut oil spray
  • cinnamon or chocolate chips (optional)
  • agave, honey, or maple syrup (optional)

Directions: Blend banana, oats, and almond milk in a blender (I use a Nutribullet) until smooth. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and spray some coconut oil spray in it to prevent sticking. Pour the batter into the pan, making the size pancakes you desire. Cook until the pancakes start bubbling and are ready to flip, and then flip and cook for an additional minute on the other side. Serve with either cinnamon or a small sprinkle of chocolate chips, and drizzle your choice of sweetener over the top. If you want to double the batch, you can freeze the leftover pancakes to reheat in the future!

Ten Facts You Don't Know About Me

I feel like I am constantly uploading outfit photos and advice on here, but I'm never really sharing things about myself, such as my passions and goals. It's nice to show readers my favorite monthly clothing items and holiday gift guides, but I thought I would take a break from those and share more about myself. If you've been reading my blog since I started it three (almost four) years ago, you might know a lot about me already, but I have compiled a list of things you might not know!

  1. I used to hate reading, but I have forced myself to get back into it and now I love it. I don't have much time to read during the week so I have to remind myself to make time, but I read a ton when I am home and when I am traveling. It usually takes me less than a week to read a book cover to cover, and most of the time, I'll finish a book in two days because I get so drawn in. I am keeping a running list of what I have read the past few months and what I am currently reading here.
  2. Although I love NYC, I don't plan on living here more than three years total. I love living in different places and learning as much about a city as possible, so I am mentally giving myself a limit on how long I'll be here. Some places would love to live in the future are Boston (even though I have never been), Miami, somewhere in Texas, San Francisco/Bay Area, or honestly abroad. I've thought about teaching English in a foreign country or joining the Peace Corps. Of course, it seems to be a trend that nothing in my life happens the way I will envision it so I might be here until the day I die. I guess not knowing what will happen is the fun of it all!
  3. The one food I cannot resist is french fries. Put an entire basket of them in front of me and I will finish them. French fries are my biggest weakness, and I would eat them every single meal if I could. My second favorite food is a really good cheeseburger. I know, I am the image of perfect health.
  4. One of my goals for next year is to first run a 5k, then a 10k, and then a half-marathon. I feel like putting this in writing on the blog might actually hold me accountable because damn, I hate running. It's such a mental thing to me and my thoughts wander and it's just plain torture. I am physically capable of running 3 miles without stopping right now and that's about it. I need to train myself to be mentally capable of doing even longer distance because that's what is ultimately holding me back. Another hard thing about training towards this goal is that I hate running inside, but there's no way I am going to run along the East River during a New York winter. Running outside is just so much better because you're not constantly staring at the distance and time on the treadmill!
  5. Although I rarely watch sports because of how busy I am and how little cable I have, I absolutely love to. In high school, I would watch every single televised tennis tournament obsessively–– I lived and breathed tennis. I still love it but don't have as much time to watch it and play it anymore as I used to–– I did go to the US Open this year though. I also love watching college football (You'll find me rooting for UGA and Miami) and golf (the Masters gets me going).  Also, my favorite thing ever is the Summer Olympics–– I'm literally plastered in front of the TV for the entire duration of it. Olympic gymnastics gives me the chills.
  6. I don't consider myself to be super fashionable. I think I dress pretty average, actually. In fact, I am constantly looking at people around me and I obsess over what they wear and I wish I were as fashionable as them. I am constantly feeling underdressed and I sometimes am insecure about what I am wearing. Five years ago, I would have never guessed that I would be able to make a profit off of fashion blogging. To this day, it's still so weird to me that it's such a big part of my life.
  7. This kind of maybe goes with #6, but I rarely tell people I meet that I have a blog. They either weirdly find it through their Instagram explore page or it comes up months after I know them. Now that I have changed my Instagram handle to be my full name with the introduction of my rebrand, it's come up more often. Even though it's a huge part of my life, I like to keep a divide between it and my personal life. Things seem more controlled and make more sense to me when it's that way.
  8. I have never in my entire life been able to touch my toes, but I can put both feet behind my head. I would gladly give up that useless party trick to be able to touch my toes and feel the satisfying stretch. I have the tightest hips and hamstrings in the world and even did yoga lessons for years in high school to help that and my back. Nothing can correct it, and I have come to accept that these toes were not made for touching.
  9. I have absolutely no clue what my dream job would be. Is that weird? I have so many things I would want to potentially do–– I'd love to have my own non-profit charity, be a professional photographer, be a travel blogger that gets paid to go on vacation (to be honest this sounds like the winner right now), or even be a criminal defense attorney like my father. I've never been able to pinpoint one thing that I would want to do for the rest of my life because I like variety and constant change.
  10. If you ask me if I have seen [insert literally any movie title here], chances are I probably haven't. It seems like I am always the person in my friend group that hasn't seen a movie that literally the entire world has seen. Titanic? Never seen it. Superbad? Never seen it. Anchorman? Never seen it. 

So, did you guys like this type of post? I like getting feedback when I do new things. Also, feel free to tell me more about yourselves in the comments below. I love getting to know my readers!

November Favorites

Wow, I have managed to keep a blog series going for 2 months! At the end of last month, I posted my October favorites, and today, I want to share the things I have fallen in love with this month. There are so many interesting/lovely things I have come across, whether it be a new book or an insightful article. I also have a few new clothing favorites, and I want to share my long-time beauty favorites with you that I re-fell in love with this month.

Favorite book this month: The Woman in Cabin 10
I read this on the flight home for Thanksgiving and I really liked it because it was a thrilling, easy read and it was one of those novels you don't put down start to finish because you're so drawn in.

Favorite blog post this month: "First Job Advice," Carly the Prepster
Well, this post was not published this month, but it is one that I really wanted to share with you guys because all of Carly's points are so true. A ton of you guys have been asking me for first job advice, especially since I started my job at the beginning of October, and every time someone emails me to ask, I point them in the direction of this post. Carly has always given great advice on her blog, which is why it will always be one of my favorites that I check weekly. She is like a big sister! One of the biggest things from her post that I want to reiterate is that in your first job, nothing is beneath you. Do everything you can to show that you're there to work hard and prove yourself–– it shows you really appreciate the job you have. Also, find a work buddy. I found mine, and she's as obsessed with chocolate chip cookies and the TV show Riverdale as I am. It'll make your day that much better!

My current Spotify playlist: Fall 2017 (best when shuffled)

Favorite shoes/clothing purchases:




Favorite hair/beauty products: