Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in Pictures

Hello, lovelies! 

Well, I have some explaining to do... it's been forever since my last post. My computer got a nasty virus, and my dad has been working on it for what seems like forever... but who knows if my lil Thinkpad will make it out alive.

Along with that, I've been busy with Christmas activities, and I do have to say that this was one of the best Christmases I've ever had! 

Here's a little peek into my life the past week:

Some holiday baking...


And eating...

Holiday pictures...

And finally, Santa came...

And BOY was he good! I was a happy girl...

I hope every one of you had a fabulous Christmas/holiday/whatever you celebrated! 
I hope to be back to blogging regularly, as soon as my computer is fixed.

Love to all,

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Six Ways...

Paint your nails red.
(I'm wearing I'm not Really a Waitress by O.P.I.)

Make your own hot chocolate.
Add puffy marshmallows, a candy cane, and drink it in front of the tree.

Elf Yourself.
(Or your mom... or your brother... or even your cat).
Then send it to everyone you know.

Curl up under a blanket and watch a Christmas movie.
My favorites: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Home Alone, and Elf.

Cut out a paper snowflake.
Hang it in a window, on your tree, at your desk.
Easy directions found here.

Listen to Michael Buble's Christmas on repeat.
(Or there's always the Michael Buble Holiday Station on Pandora)
Cry joyful tears.

For those of you who have exams, good luck!
I've got one on Tuesday, and another on Thursday - and then I'm done! Christmas break can't get here fast enough.

Love, Cait

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Guide: Stuffing the Stockings.

Santa's Guide to Stocking Stuffers

1. Lip Balm
Ladies love soft lips! There's something so wonderfully fun about a pot of lip balm.
(Did I mention I have a slight chapstick obsession?)

2. Hair Ties
 I am always losing my hair ties, even though I try to constantly keep one on my wrist. I love these Bop Basics hair ties because they're unusual and they look so pretty in your hair, but drugstores carry hair ties in fun colors and patterns.

3. Cute Undies
Hanky Pankies are my favorite type of underwear. They're a little expensive ($18 for one pair), but completely worth it. They're extremely comfortable and I love, love the lace. If these are too much of a splurge, check out Victoria's Secret's "The Lacie" panty. It's a line similar to Hanky Panky, but much cheaper at 3 for $30.

4. False Eyelashes
{Pictured: MAC 36 Lash}
While MAC lashes are top of the line, I usually opt for a much cheaper version. I personally love Ardell Fashion Lashes that you can find in any drugstore. These are perfect for any dressy occasion: formals, cocktails, New Year's Parties, etc.
5. Lip Gloss
{Pictured: MAC Mini Gloss Kit}
You can never go wrong with lip gloss!
My favorite colors are light pinks with a lot of shine. I never want it to look like I have color caked on my lips. This MAC kit contains three different shades of their popular gloss.

6.Cold Weather Gear
If you're on a budget, Target has a great collection of scarves, ear muffs, and mittens. Look for pretty patterns and bright colors, such as reds and pinks. And don't forget - fuzzy socks fall into this category, too!

7. Nail Polish
I absolutely love this Sephora polish for the sparkles and the gold color - perfect for New Years! Other high-end brands I love are Essie and OPI, but you can't go wrong with Sally Hansen, either.
My picks for this winter are reds, grey, and muted purple. Oh and sparkles, lots of sparkles.

8. Keychain ID Wallet
These are perfect for attaching your keys to, and they hold a picture ID, debit card, and cash.
9. Patterned Tights
I can never have enough tights. Nude hose, black tights, patterned knee-highs, I love them all. Department stores carry a wide selection of tights, as well as J Crew.

A tip:

The problem with stocking stuffers is they can get expensive quickly.
If you're on a budget, opt for sample packs instead of buying full products. This also allows you to experiment with products that you're not certain she'll like.
For example, this one-time-use packet of Macademia Deep Conditioner:


Mini-bottles and packets can usually be found in the travel section of drug or makeup stores.

And finally, if you're completely out of ideas... the one thing we all love to find in our stockings?
(For me, that means anything with peanut butter, chocolate, or cookie dough in the mix).

Love to all!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Break

It looks like I have a lot of catching up to do! From reading your blogs, it sounds like so many of you had wonderful Thanksgivings and I'm enjoying reading about them :)

My Thanksgiving break was pretty close to perfect!

On Thursday, my mom cooked a honey-glazed ham, we made two pumpkin pies, and I got to work on these little turkeys I found on pinterest...

On Thanksgiving day, we traveled to Winston Salem to my aunt's house. She has a beautiful 1930s style farm house out in the country with acres of land. It was so good to see grandparents, my aunt and uncle, and cousins. After stuffing ourselves with food (and FIVE different kinds of dessert), my brother and I tried to ward off the food coma by walking around and taking pictures.

 On Black Friday, my friend and I decided to venture out to the mall. I was in search of Christmas presents for family members, but I didn't have much luck. Instead, I found these beautiful mason jars from Sur la Table

For those of you who know me, you probably already know I'm obsessed with cups. I've been looking for pretty mason jars for forever, so I was so excited to find these Quattro Stagioni jars for only $10. There are so many great things you can do with mason jars! Stuff them with Christmas mints and tie a pretty bow around them, or enjoy them filled with apple cider.

Yesterday and today were spent decorating for Christmas. The tree is finally up!

And my grandmother brought over ornaments for my brother and me this morning. Every year, she buys us an ornament in a series. For years, she's bought my brother guitar ornaments (he loves the guitar), and for me, she buys ornaments from the Madame Alexander series.

The Yuletide Shopper is this year's Madame Alexander ornament. Isn't she precious?

I have so much to be thankful for, I often take advantage of the blessings God has given me. I have a wonderful, loving family, a roof over my head, amazing friends, and more than enough to eat. I have the opportunity to study at one of the best universities, I have books to liven my imagination, blankets to keep me warm. Most of all, I have a God who loves me (and us ALL)! I hope you all took a moment to think about your blessings!

Oh, and one more thing.
I'm especially thankful for this crock pot of chili that's cookin' for dinner tonight... ;)

I'm about to go dig in!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone... And let the Christmas countdown commence.

Love, Cait

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How To: Decorative Pie Crust

My mom and I have been in the kitchen all day today, cookin' up a Thanksgiving storm.
Although I'm not much of a cook, I do love to bake...
And in the South, nothing says Thanksgiving quite like pumpkin pie. 

The actual pumpkin pie is made with Libby's canned pumpkin - I just followed the directions on the can.
(My mom makes it every year and it tastes like it's made from scratch!)
The crust was a little trickier, but I had the help of...

....Pillsbury refrigerated pie dough! (I didn't have time to make my own).
This dough was really easy to work with, and one package was enough for one pie and all the leaves.

Roll out one crust into a glass pie pan, and use the other for the decorative crust.
Start by spreading out the second crust on wax paper.
With a sharp knife, trace 26 leaf shapes into the dough.

 Use the tip of a knife to sketch veins into the leaves. 
Be careful - don't press too hard!

Before you apply the leaves to the actual pie crust, brush some water onto the edge of the pie. This will make it easier for the leaves to stick to the dough.
Then, begin to apply the leaves to the edge of the pie crust, with each new leaf overlapping the one behind it.

The leaves will be slightly hanging off the edge of the pan.
Keep going until the circle is completed!

You can refrigerate the pie crust until you're ready to pour in the pumpkin pie mix.
Right before you're ready to bake the pie, brush milk onto the leaves and sprinkle with a little sugar.
Before putting the pie in the oven, cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil - this will keep the leaves from burning!

While the pie is baking, you can be working on the decorative leaves to place on top of the pie.
I looked up some ideas online, and then free-handed (or free-knifed?) a variety of leaves into the leftover pie dough.

Brush these leaves with milk and sprinkle with sugar to get a "shiny" look once baked.
Put your leaves in the oven for around 12 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

When the leaves turn a golden-brown, they're done!
I let mine cool for five minutes before applying them to the surface of the pie.

Too bad I have to wait until tomorrow to dig in!

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving! :)
I hope everyone is getting to spend some quality time with family!
Love, Cait

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Style Crush: Olivia Palermo

Olivia Palermo has flawless style.

Ever since The City, I've had my eye on her... 
she's always classy and oh-so-chic, and we can all learn something from her wardrobe staples.

Olivia is known for her cat eye sunnies.
 She's often spotted out and about by the paparazzi, and she never fails to have them on.
They're extremely easy to incorporate into your winter outfit this season, because they go with anything!
And don't be scared to try out this trend - cat eye sunnies look good on a wide range of facial structures.

Faux fur is one of this season's hottest items, and Olivia is way ahead of the trend.
In this picture, she pairs a black fur vest over a blazer and black turtleneck.
Go bold with a vest like the Michael Kors one pictured above.
If you're looking for something less expensive, raid the junior's section of any department store (like this jacket or this vest, each for $58).
And don't just stick with vests and jackets... faux fur can be found on boots, scarves, and gloves as well!

{Earrings, Skirt}

It's all in the details, and Olivia is the master of gorgeous, feminine details.
Sequins, diamonds, bows, lace... almost every outfit of hers incorporates these.
I'm loving this outfit Olivia wore to an after-party, especially this Zac Posen blouse...

Isn't the lace just gorgeeeeous?

Finally, Olivia always has a beautiful bag.
I mean, she does have a Birkin... one of the most elusive and glamorous handbags in the world.
These Hermes bags have a selling point between $9,000 and $150,000.
Not to mention her other handsome companion, her boyfriend Johannes Huebl. 
 Now, that is what I call arm candy.

Too bad arm candy like that can't be bought in stores!

Check out Olivia's website for personal style tips and pictures of her daily outfits.
Who's your style crush this week?
Happy Friday, everyone!

Love, Cait