Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking Back at 2015

2015 went by in the blink of an eye! One of the most major things that happened this year was my cross-country move from California back home to Florida! It was a big decision that Greg and I thought about long and hard, but one that we are both ultimately very happy with, especially since we were able to spend time with both of our families during the holidays!

I read something a while back that really stuck with me: "travel somewhere new every year."  I was fortunate enough to travel to several new places this year including San Francisco, Seattle, Big Bear & Palm Springs! I had such an amazing time experiencing new places and also created more fun-filled memories in a familiar vacation spot with my family this summer in the Florida Keys!

Last year, I acknowledged it had been my slowest blogging year and vowed to make my blog a bigger priority again in 2015. I am so proud that I not only tripled my blog posts, but also made some new friends in the blogging community, and had the opportunity to collaborate with some amazing brands and companies including Warby Parker, Eva for Loverly, CaseApp,, Oasap, Choies and Farfetch!

It's been a very rewarding year full of change and I can't wait to see what 2016 will bring! I always love looking back and reflecting on old posts - see some of my favorite shots from this year below!
{see past years: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011}

So excited to celebrate with my best girlfriends tonight!
Wishing you all a wonderful & safe New Year! Cheers!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Ode to Black & White

You can never go wrong with black & white (and a little grey). Whenever I find myself standing in front of my closest feeling uninspired with "nothing" to wear, I default to a black & white look. They are fool-proof and always chic. Below is a roundup of some of my favorite neutral outfits.

"She always wears black but she has the most colorful mind."

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Every year for Christmas, my mom and I bake a ton of cookies to give as gifts. We arrange a few different kinds of treats on a festive plate and wrap with cellofane & pretty ribbon - perfect to give to friends, coworkers, our hair salon, or as hostess gifts. This year we made pumpkin roll, white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, sugar cookies, a twist on these oatmeal cookies with pecans & cranberries, and my personal favorite: chocolate and peanut butter cookies. They are pretty much a Reese's (my all-time fave candy!) in cookie form - truly to-die-for! Although they are fairly easy to bake, grab a helper because there are a lot of steps to make these delicious cookies! We usually double the recipe but below is the single version which yields 32 cookies.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl beat butter and the 1/4 cup peanut butter with an electric mixer on high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugars; beat until combined. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl part way to make sure all ingredients are fully combined. Shape into 32 (1 1/4-inch) balls; set aside.
For the peanut butter filling, in a medium bowl combine powdered sugar and the 1/2 cup peanut butter until smooth. Shape into 32 (3/4-inch) balls.
For each cookie, slightly flatten a chocolate ball and top with a peanut butter ball. Shape chocolate ball completely around the filling and roll into a ball. Place each cookie 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Lightly flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in additional granulated sugar.
Bake for about 8 minutes or just until set and slightly cracked. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Style Resolutions

With the new year approaching, it's a great time to make resolutions, not only the standard "eat healthier" and "floss more," but aspirations for personal style. When Farfetch approached me to participate in the competition they are hosting for new year fashion resolutions, I thought it would be fun to come up with my own style goals for 2016.

1. Invest in a quality leather jacket that will only get better with age.

2. I've always been a heels girl (I'm 5'2 so I love a good 4 inch heel!), but I'm missing that sexy red heel in my collection.

3. Step up my workout gear and add something other than black cropped leggings to the rotation.

4. Find a pair of flats that are so cute they will make me want to ditch my heels for a day.

5. I love the look of a little lace peeking out of a basic t-shirt but I need something to wear with backless shirts.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Fave Drug Store Beauty Buys Vol. 3

Essie Nail Polish
I've been rotating between these three shades this winter: "bordeaux" is the perfect deep red, "stylenomics" is a dark green that's almost black, and you can never go wrong with a little sparkle during the holidays so "summit of style" is a must.

Maybelline "Burgundy Blush" Lipstick
I've shared this vampy lipstick before on MC2 but I just can't get enough! It's such a statement so I ususally keep the rest of my makeup simple with a subtle cat eye and full lashes.

Pantene Anti-Humidity Hairspray
When I first moved back to Florida I forgot how much the humidity affected my hair - after curling it, my hair would fall flat right when I stepped outside! I finally found a hairspray that combats the humidity and keeps my waves intact.  

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15
My skin gets so dry in the cooler months and this Aveeno lotion really helps keep my skin soft and moisturized. I love that it has SPF too so it serves as an all-in-one daily lotion!

Check out my other favorite drug store beauty buys here & here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Last weekend Greg & I went to Universal and Islands of Adventure in Orlando to check out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I've never read the books but we recently watched all of the movies and thought it would be fun to spend a day riding roller coasters and drinking butter beer! We had such a great time wandering through Daigon Alley and taking the Hogwarts Express back and forth to Hogsmeade. See some of my favroite iphone shots from our trip below.