The Only Christmas Candle You’ll Ever Need! (Blogmas Day 10)

Hello everyone! Happy Monday!! The start to a new week, so let’s make it a good one! Starting a new week is always a bit difficult for me, so I hope this post makes your day just a bit better! Firstly, I’d like to thank you guys for all the positive feedback on Blogmas this year. You guys seem to be enjoying the posts so far and that makes me SO happy!! So let’s get started with today’s post. Yesterday I did a whole Christmas grocery haul specifically from Trader Joe’s. I’m going to bounce off that today and introduce you guys to the best candle I’ve ever owned.

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I’d like to mention that I’m someone who has a really hard time with candles. I absolutely adore the vibe they give. They’re so calming and the flickering of the fire is always beautiful. However, I tend to get headaches pretty easily when they’re lit, which has been a huge bummer. I get headaches pretty easily in general, but it’s always guaranteed if a candle is lit. I’ve found that soy candles tend to not have this effect, but it’s still risky. Recently though, I was introduced to this Cedar Balsam candle from Trader Joe’s from my wonderful coworkers. We’ve been burning it since before Thanksgiving because we all love it so much. It hasn’t given me a headache and I can finally enjoy the scent of Christmas!

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The best way I can describe this candle is: Christmas in a little tin. At first, I thought it smelled exactly like a pine tree. Which has been so nice because I grew up with a fake tree my whole life. Our tree always looks beautiful and full but our house never really smells like a fresh tree. With this candle though, you 100% get that holiday vibe. Even though the scent is technically Cedar Balsam, it still reminds me of a lovely pine tree.

They had a couple large barrels of this same candle at the store, so I stocked up! Just in case they ever decide to discontinue it. Apparently, they also have a gingerbread scented candle that is even more popular! Let me know if you guys have ever heard of that candle or can vouch for how amazing it is. These candles are about $4 each, which I think is a really amazing price for a candle considering the amount of wax inside the tin. Of course, being the designer I am, I have to bring up the packaging. What else would you expect from me?? Firstly, I LOVE that it comes in an adorable silver tin. It just feels so Christmasy and appropriate for the holidays. I also love the simplicity, color, and fonts used on the label. Sometimes, it’s nice not to have the expected red or green patterns.

I hope you guys enjoyed this short little post about this awesome candle! It really is one of the best and you don’t have to deal with the crowds that are usually in places like Bath and Body Works. Let me know in the comments if you know about this candle or if you’ve tried it. See you all soon!! xx

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Trader Joe’s Christmas Haul! (Blogmas Day 9)

So it’s not an unknown fact that I’m literally obsessed with anything sweet, namely chocolate. If I could eat dessert after every meal and keep thin with clear skin, I would gladly partake. However, that is definitely not practical. For the holidays though, I do tend to splurge and let myself enjoy all the Christmas goodies. Trader Joe’s, which is a healthy grocery store here in the states, always comes out with amazing holiday themed snacks. Around Halloween they always have pumpkin or apple spice options and during Christmas of course they have tons of peppermint, hot chocolate, and toffee items. You basically can’t control yourself and I’m kind of okay with that. For today’s post, I have a huge Trader Joe’s haul for your guys with some of the best Christmas treats they have to offer, or some of my favorites at least!

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Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s

We’re going to start of strong with some of my absolute favorites. Most people around here know what Joe-Joe cookies are (a “healthy” alternative to Oreo cookies). During Christmas though, the store releases a peppermint version, which taste exactly like thin mints from the Girl Scouts. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up eating the whole box. Especially dipped in some almond or rice milk, you might end up in trouble.

Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe-Joe’s

Another twist on these classic cookies are the dark chocolate versions. Basically completely covered in dark chocolate and sprinkled with peppermint chunks. These are much more filling but probably one of the most delicious treats you’ll ever have. One or two will definitely satisfy you, which is good because they are quite high in calories. I’d recommend sharing these with friends or family because they’re simply way too tempting!

Peppermint Pretzel Slims

These are a great little snack if you want something sweet but also a little light. Their normal slim pretzels are covered in creamy white chocolate and again covered in peppermint pieces. These would be great snacks during a Christmas party, come to think of it! I really enjoyed all of these products during my college days. It was always so fun to shop around Trader Joe’s and have some desserts waiting for me after a long day in class.

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Mini Gingerbread Men

I had actually forgot these existed when I saw them in the store! These little gingerbread men are too cute and again would be great at a Christmas party or at a family get together. The kids are bound to love them, as well as the adults because they taste so freaking good! The backs are dipped in white fudge icing and umm…who doesn’t love that?? They come in quite a big box so you’d probably only need one or two depending on the size of your party. For the little ones, these are great to leave by the fireplace for Santa 😉

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Hot Chocolate, Marshmallows, and Whipped Cream

Okay, this is a little sneak peak of a post I’m planning but I couldn’t leave Trader Joe’s without the necessary components to make the perfect cup of hot cocoa. I’m the queen of hot chocolate around the holidays, and there’s nothing better than a big cup on a cold night while watching Christmas movies. Trader Joe’s offered an organic hot chocolate option. There are individual packets in the box that you simply add water to. There’s so many other ways to make hot chocolate, but this is the much easier option if you’re making multiple cups for your family. Of course, topped with some whipped cream (either in a can like this or homemade), with some mini marshmallows, you can’t go wrong!

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Peppermint Bark Popcorn

This is another great option for the kiddos. Not only because of the cute packaging, but because of the actual product. Popcorn covered in chocolate with peppermint pieces! Luckily it comes in a small bag because honestly I would be all over these! In college and even at work, popcorn is the perfect snack to hold you over before lunch or dinner. Why not make it a little more festive with white chocolate and peppermint?? Sounds like a good deal to me!

Ginger Bread Spice Granola

Alright so here’s a (somewhat) healthy option for you guys! We have to at least attempt to keep a good diet around the holidays…right? Granola mixed in with candied ginger and pecans is the perfect topping for açaí bowls or coconut yogurt. I’ve been eating less açaí bowls since summer passed, but it’s still one of my favorite breakfast options. This granola is the perfect blend of summer and winter and I’m here for it! Not to mention, the packaging is gorgeous and so perfect for the holidays.

I hope you guys enjoyed this grocery haul! It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted one, but I hope it helps with your shopping list this Christmas! I’d definitely recommend any of these items, they would work great for a gift basket or as a snack before Christmas dinner. Let me know which one of these products you’d be dying to try! Talk to you all soon! xx

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Christmas Post Ideas for New Bloggers (Blogmas Day 8)

Hey guys! How are you all? I’m so sorry Blogmas Day 8 is going up so late, but I’ve fallen a bit behind with scheduling and my day was extremely busy and spent in San Diego. While it was such a fun Saturday, this post is going to be a bit short. However, I think it will be very helpful for any new bloggers out there or for anyone that needs some extra ideas. Christmas is a very busy time for everyone and sometimes you need some fresh ideas or inspiration from others. Especially when it comes to Blogmas, sometimes thinking of post ideas can get difficult. I know for me, it helps to research! So for this post, I wanted to give a quick list of Blogmas post ideas. Feel free to try out any of these ideas for your own blog. They are posts I’ve created myself or ones I’m wanting to create soon. Let me know if this is helpful or if there’s any that should be added to the list!

1. Gifts for bloggers
2. Family traditions/storytime
3. Family Christmas cookie recipe
4. Trader Joe’s Christmas haul
5. Day in my life in December
6. Christmas wishlist
7. Year in reflection
8. Round up of bloggers/posts you’ve loved this year
9. Blogmas post ideas
10. Stocking fillers
11. Favorite christmas candles
12. How to make the perfect hot chocolate
13. Holiday bucket list
14. Goals for next year
15. Christmas eve night routine
16. Visit a christmas tree farm
17. Gift guide for the beauty lover
18. Favorite christmas films
19. Best places to shop online for gifts
20. How your city/country celebrates Christmas
21. Christmas blogger tag (look up questions on google)
22. Holiday OOTD
23. Best appetizers for christmas day (if you’re cooking)
24. Christmas makeup look
25. Christmas party playlist

Extras: Downloadable Christmas wallpapers for phones/laptops. Lastly, for my designers out there: best Christmas fonts available on Google Fonts 

I hope this little post was helpful to you guys! I definitely didn’t want to miss a day of Blogmas so I hope you don’t mind that it was brief. I know lists like this are so helpful to me and my blog around Christmastime. Feel free to leave any extra ideas below and leave a link to your blog if you’re participating in the challenge this year! Talk to you all tomorrow for Blogmas Day 9! xx

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Future Goals for 2019 (Blogmas Day 7)

Hello everyone! It’s Friday!! Hope you are all doing well and are ready for the weekend. I know it’s a much needed break for me. For Blogmas Day 7, I wanted to keep it fairly simple and write down some future goals I have for the coming year. I find this very helpful to look back on a year from now and see what things I accomplished or what I added to the list. Let me know if you guys are planning any of the same things for the coming year or anything new I should add! Let’s get to it.

  1. Travel: I’m sure this is something that’s on everyone’s list for the new year. As you can tell from my multiple travel posts on the blog, I adore exploring new countries or cities. There’s something about traveling that just makes me feel so happy and like I’m doing something right. I’d love to go back to Europe sometime within the next year. Although this may be wishful thinking, I can still dream, right?
  2. Apartment hunting: This is definitely something that’s going to be a big part of my life in the coming year. Although looking for a new place comes with lots of complications, it’s something I’m really looking forward to. I want to make a little home for myself and take this big leap. I loved having my own space in my past apartment when I was in school, and I think my next apartment will be even more exciting!
  3. Make more videos: Creating content for YouTube becomes more fun with each upload. Editing is coming easier, which has given me more creative possibilities. I want to make videos that I’m genuinely interested in and grow a collection that I’m proud of. I would love to post consistently once a week or even more if possible!
  4. Continue my health journey: 2018 was a major shift in my health. I reached goals I didn’t think I’d ever get to and my lifestyle is going in a more positive direction every day. Once I quit soccer when I was younger, I struggled to keep fit (which is a whole other story) but I’m starting too feel more like me again. Instead of seeing fitness as a task I have to check off a list, it’s simply becoming part of my life. My health takes top priority now and I’m seeing the results. I plan on taking this mindset into 2019 and reaching my end goal by summer.
  5. Seeking other avenues in my education: Grad school has always been in the back of my mind. Since graduating and taking a break from my studies to work and pursue a career, part of me can’t help but to wonder how much further I could go. Going to grad school would be a huge decision but I’d like to at least give myself the option by researching. 2019 will tell which path life will take me. That’s a bit terrifying but also exciting!

I hope you guys enjoyed this little list! What exciting things do you have planned for 2019?? I’d love to know down in the comments! Happy one week of Blogmas! xx

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Christmas at Santa’s Village by the Sea (Blogmas Day 3)

Christmas at Santa’s Village by the Sea (Blogmas Day 3)

Happy Blogmas Day 3 everyone!!! We’re still going strong! I’m actually really excited about today’s post. Not only because a lot more work went into it, but because this event is sure to get you in the Christmas mood! Living in south Orange County, my city puts on an event every year on December 1st. The city is often referred to as the “Spanish Village by the Sea” but to transform it for Christmas, this event was called “Santa’s Village by the Sea.” Great marketing in my opinion! The shops along downtown are all open with some sales and decorated with Christmas lights. Some of my favorite shops even offered Christmas cookies, champagne, and charcuterie. Everything was so lit up and beautiful. It was also quite the chilly night so us Californians got a little taste of what a cold December night is like, LOL.

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I bundled up in one of my favorite holiday sweaters with some boots and a beanie from Topshop. Downtown was way more busy than I expected but it was awesome seeing so many people out celebrating. Lots of shops had little kiosks that lined the streets. Hot chocolate and coffee was of course being sold (and you know your girl couldn’t pass that up.) If you were in the mood for a snack, kettle corn and cotton candy was also being sold. This event was a great opportunity for small business to sell their jewelry or homemade goods as well. It’s always fun to support a local business! One shop even had a small skate ramp for the kids (you can see that in the video) and was probably one of the cutest things I’ve ever set my eyes on.

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It was honestly so fun just walking around, taking in all the sights and shopping around some of my favorite clothing stores. It really did feel like a winter wonderland (minus the snow of course because we’re still in California people!) This would be the perfect date for you and your special someone if you’re ever in the area next year. What would make this event even more special would be a small ice skating rink or fake snow! So without me rambling on about this awesome event, check out the video below to watch all the fun, Christmasy things that went on! Talk to you all tomorrow xx

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All About My Hair! (Products, Styling, & How I Keep It Long & Healthy)

Hey everyone! Hope you had a fantastic weekend. It’s Sunday and almost time to start a new work week. I know sometime it’s hard to face Monday, but I have a new video out that I think you guys will love! You all have been leaving me a lot of comments on Instagram about my hair, and I so appreciate it. I honestly don’t think too much about my hair but I figured since there were some questions about it, I would let you in on some tips and tricks. Check out the video below, drop a like (if you liked) and subscribe if this is the first you’re seeing of my videos!

In the video, I let you guys know what type of hair I have as well as what I ask for when I go into the salon. I’m pretty particular about the tone of my hair, as I always like it on the cooler side. I’ve also found a few holy grail products that I’ve been using for years, so I left a full list of the products I mentioned in the description of this video. So in case you want to try them out for yourselves, it’ll be easy to search! Let me know what you thought of this video down in the comments or if you have any other questions. I’ll be reading through and answering all of them! xx

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Explaining Where I’ve Been & Thoughts for November

Hello everyone! Wow I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I’ve put up a blog post. I can’t remember the last time I’ve waited that long, honestly. I don’t have a specific plan or structure for this blog post, but I thought back to one of my recent Instagram posts. I asked you guys how you stay motivated and positive when it comes to blogging. I got some great advice from one of my followers to simply be honest, especially when you’re feeling unmotivated because a lot of people can relate to it. Well, that’s what I’m going to do tonight. Just be real with you guys.

Ever since I started my full time job as a graphic designer, I’ve set aside most of my time on weekends for this blog, Instagram, and my various social media. I mostly did this because it’s been the perfect creative outlet for me and I genuinely enjoy creating whatever I want or expressing whatever I’m feeling. The other part of me felt an obligation to continue it and treat it like a second job. Because let’s be real we’d all love for our passions to become profitable, however this should never be your sole motivation. Unexpectedly, the past couple weeks have thrown me for some loops. Not in a bad way, and not in a good way. Just learning opportunities that I didn’t see coming. They’ve definitely been taking time out of my weekends though that are usually dedicated to blogging. I wish I could go into detail for you guys, but recently I’ve been realizing what I want regarding relationships and just people in general. Sometimes life just shoves things in your face or makes you jump through hoops, which in the end confirm what exactly you need and what you don’t. Does that make sense? Maybe not, but I hope you understand the point.

Another thing that I’ve been thinking about nearly everyday (along with every other Californian) is the recent shooting in Thousand Oaks and the multiple fires tearing through the state. It’s been a whirlwind of emotions especially the past week. Both the shooting and the fires have hit very close to my heart. It gives you such a different perspective when disasters affect your personal friends or family. Of course I’m always devastated when anything happens in our country but it really hits you in a different way. Here’s to hoping Malibu, Thousand Oaks, Paradise, and so many more cities will recover from these tragedies and rebuild to create even stronger communities than before.

A few posts ago, I wrote a list of things I wanted to do during this fall season (you can find that here if you like). While I’ve done a few things on this list, I’m not quite finished yet. I did end up carving a pumpkin at my work’s mini Halloween party and I most definitely ate too many Kit Kats (but what’s new, LOL). I didn’t have an actual Halloween costume this year, which is so out of the norm for me because I ALWAYS have a costume in mind. This year was very chill for me, which I was slightly sad about but there will always be plenty more Halloweens to celebrate! Next year is going to be full of spooks and Halloween makeup looks for you guys, I promise!

So without this post being too long winded, I’ve kind of fell off the blogging bandwagon but honestly sitting down to write this post has gotten me more motivated. Being honest and real with you guys is all I ever want to be. I have some new posts in mind as well as planning out some posts for Blogmas! I haven’t decided if I want to do Blogmas again this year. I posted everyday last Christmas from December 1st to December 25th and it helped my blog grow SO MUCH, not to mention it was very fun! I also loved seeing what other bloggers were posting everyday for the new festive season. With my job I’d have to schedule posts extremely far in advance, but I want to make it work! Let me know if you guys have any specific Blogmas posts, whether that’s some family recipes, how I decorate, movies to watch, Christmas OOTD’s, etc.

Alright that’s about it. I know my explanation was a bit vague but I hope you all understand! I’m feeling re-energized, so more posts to come. Talk to you soon! xx

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