How I Make the Perfect Cup of Hot Chocolate (Blogmas Day 11)

Hey everyone! Happy Tuesday, I hope you’re all doing well. I’ll be honest life has been super busy lately and I’ve been quite tired. Waking up at 5:30 every morning has been an adjustment but come with lots of perks as well. For today’s Blogmas, we’re going through the exact ingredients you need to make a bomb cup of hot cocoa! Hot chocolate is one of my favorite beverages since as you guys know, I can’t control myself around sweets. I usually only drink it during the holidays, so it’s definitely something special.

IMG_2910.jpeg

So to kick it off here are the few ingredients you’ll need:

• Trader Joe’s Organic Hot Cocoa mix
• Mini marshmallows
• Whipped cream
• Mini gingerbread men
• Candy canes (normal size or minis)
Optional: Candy canes & cinnamon

One of the easiest ways to make hot chocolate is to buy packages of the mix. It’s definitely not the healthiest, but the quickest! Not to mention, I recently found this organic mix from Trader Joe’s and it’s some of the best I’ve ever tasted. Sometimes the mix packets can end up too watered down or not flavorful. However, this is my new favorite product and tastes absolutely amazing and so sweet! Pour this in a cup and add hot water to start off.

IMG_2915.jpeg

Once you have your full cup of hot chocolate in your favorite mug, take your whipped cream and pile that stuff on top! This is Christmas people, don’t hold back! Plus, the more whipped cream, the prettier the cup. Next, take your mini marshmallows and add a few to the whipped cream. These will add much more texture and look great in photos! Now for a little twist I decided to add in this year: top with a mini gingerbread man. Who doesn’t love some cookies with hot cocoa or tea??

IMG_2909.jpeg

Another couple things I will add to my hot chocolate every year is a candy cane or cinnamon. Unfortunately, I had no candy canes available to me while taking these photos, but they add the perfect amount of peppermint to any cup. If you have mini candy canes, toss those right into the hot chocolate and let them sit. If you have a normal sized one, let it sit beautifully out the side of the cup. The minty taste will always remind you of the Christmas season and is so refreshing! Cinnamon of course is the perfect touch to any holiday beverage, even cider!

I love adding all these Christmasy ingredients to my hot chocolate, especially when I’m sitting down for a movie in front of the fireplace. We don’t get snowy nights here in California, but it’s fun to imagine that we do! What do you guys top your hot chocolate with?? Let me know down in the comments! xx

signature.png

Yo, check me out! Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Tumblr | Facebook

Advertisements

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.

IMG_2834.jpeg

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!

IMG_2837-1.jpeg

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

signature.png

Hey babe, follow me here! Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Tumblr | Facebook

The Christmas Tag! (Blogmas Day 5)

What’s up everyone?? It’s Blogmas Day 5! I thought today would be a good opportunity to put up a more simple post. As well as something that’s more interactive and that you all can participate in if you like! I searched Christmas tags online and stumbled upon a ton of results! I didn’t know The Christmas Tag was at thing in this little blogger world but I’m so happy it is! The tag consists of tons of fun questions around the theme of Christmas and I encourage anyone and everyone to participate if you have a blog or Instagram (it could make a great caption to a holiday photo). However, I will also be tagging some of my favorite bloggers to participate in this tag specifically. These questions are from a blog called Makeup Savvy. So let’s kick it off!


1. What is your favorite Christmas Movie?

This is a bit of a difficult one because I love a good Christmas movie marathon at night. However, I’ll have to say “It’s a Wonderful Life” is my absolutely favorite movie. My family and I have a tradition of watching it every year on Christmas Eve night and it’s something I still want to do when I have a family of my own. It’s a black and white film from 1947 that follows a boy from childhood to adulthood. He of course falls in love but also finds himself in some messy business situations. Eventually he wishes he never existed in the first place around Christmastime, so an angel grants his wish. I won’t spoil the end for you, you’ll have to watch it yourselves but I highly recommend this American classic!

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

When I was a kid, my parents allowed my sister and I to open one present on Christmas Eve in anticipation for Christmas morning. It was always something fun like a video game that would keep us busy since we were so excited for the coming morning. Although we are both adults now and receive very different gifts, the tradition has stayed alive.

IMG_2512.jpeg

3. Do you have a favorite Christmas memory?

I think I create new favorite memories every year. We host Christmas at our home so we always have lots of family around on Christmas Day. I think I simply love spending time with my family every year that I don’t get to see too often. Yeah yeah, call me corny!

4. Favorite festive food?

I want to do a post on this soon, but Trader Joe’s offers their peppermint Joe Joe cookies in a holiday version. By that I mean dipped in chocolate with peppermint chunks on top. If you’re unfamiliar with Joe Joe cookies, they’re basically Trader Joes’ “healthy” version of an Oreo. But let’s be real, it’s probably just as bad for you, LOL! I’d say these are more of a snack or dessert but you guys know I literally cannot go a day without chocolate…I acknowledge it’s a problem. My mom and I will also do some baking for the holidays. One of my faves is a peanut butter cookie with a Hershey’s kiss in the middle. They’re to die for and make the house smell like a bakery!

5. Favourite Christmas gift?

The best Christmas gift I was every given was from my parents last year, actually! They had planned for all of us to go to London and Paris in the summer of 2018. I’ve written all about that trip and what an amazing time I had (minus my bedridden days in Paris). Traveling will always be the best gift. Especially as I’ve gotten older, experiences have becomes so valuable to me. I’ve mentioned this so many times before but London feels like a second home to me and I’ll always want to go back.

6. Favourite Christmas scent?

Again, I’ve got to hand it to Trader Joe’s! Recently my coworker has been burning the most amazing candle from there. It’s a pine tree scent that would make you believe there was a large pine tree right in the middle of our office. It’s the most Christmasy scent I’ve ever smelled and I’ve been wanting to stock up for my room at home. Most times candles give me a headache but this one hasn’t done that at all! I’d definitely recommend this if you’re sensitive to scents but still want to get into the holiday mood!

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

I kind of answered this in the first question but I love my family’s tradition of getting all snuggled up on the couch and popping in a Blu-Ray of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” (Did anyone get my YouTube reference? Anyone?) Anyways, it will always be one of my favorite films of all time and with the lights from our tree, it makes the perfect Christmas evening.

8. What tops your tree?

Honestly, some years nothing at all! Sometimes we will tie a big bow around the top but our tree is 7 or 8 feet tall so there’s not much room for a topper.

IMG_2502.jpeg

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?

As a kid, there is no way I could ever complain about what I received for Christmas. My parents, I mean Santa, always pulled through and got me the most thoughtful gifts. I was never disappointed and this is a feeling I hope to give to my own kids some day. I’ll always hope they feel loved and surprised every Christmas morning like I was.

10. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?

Hmm, I think for me just the overall happy vibe that comes with Christmas. People get time off from work, students come home and are finished with finals, and it’s a great time to give back. Everyone always seems just a little bit happier. I know I’m definitely in a better mood when it starts to get a little bit chilly and rain starts falling (even though I don’t have the best wardrobe for cold weather). It’s also the end of one year and the start of something completely fresh and new. It’s so rejuvenating knowing a new year is coming with so many new possibilities. What better way to kick this off than with the Christmas season??

My nominations. I’d like to nominate the following bloggers in no particular order to participate in this tag!
Don’t Give a Jam
Absolutely Olivia
Blog About A Latte
Lattes Darling
Mack Marie
Just Hannah Here
Chanelle Hayley
With Love, Caroline
Kristen Shane
Kittyp0p

signature.png

I’m over here, babe! Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Tumblr | Facebook

3 Quick & Easy Breakfasts for College Students & Workaholics! (Video)

Good morning everyone! I finally have another video up on YouTube. It’s taken me so long to edit this one even though it’s only a few minutes long, LOL. Life just gets crazy, ya know?? Check out my three simple breakfast recipes for when you’re in a rush in the morning. Life can get so hectic at school or if you’re working, so these three simple meals will definitely get your morning going. It’s always a good idea to start your day with something healthy in order to have a productive afternoon so I hope you all find these recipes helpful!

Let me know down in the comments if you tried any of these or if you’ve had something similar! Honestly, I think the protein shake is my favorite, partly because it tastes like a chocolate shake and it’s VEGAN! I’ve only had vegan protein shakes and I love them so so much. I’m a sucker for sweets, even in the morning so it really curbs my sugar craving for the day. I always try to have it before or after I hit the gym as well to help out my muscles.

I also really love a rice cake with peanut butter and jelly. It’s a healthier alternative to a normal PB & J since you remove any carbs that come from bread. The egg dish is another recipe I normally have after the gym. Combined with spinach and salsa, it is extremely flavorful and packed with good things for your bod! Add half an avocado to this for some healthy fats and deliciousness!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel if you’re new and drop a like! I love finding new bloggers and YouTubers to connect with so don’t be shy! Talk to you all soon! xx

signature.png

Follow me over here too! Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Tumblr | Facebook

Best Ways to Save Money (Tips from a College Grad)

Hello my beautiful readers! How are you guys on this lovely Tuesday? I wanted to talk more about life after college and discuss a topic that will most likely be on your mind after you finish senior year: saving money. While my family has been extremely supportive and giving through my college years, I still feel an obligation to work hard and at least make an attempt to support myself as much as humanly possible. With that, I’ve put most of my focus on saving money. I have so many goals for the future, which includes moving to a new city and ultimately getting a new apartment. Through my efforts, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks to save a few bucks, which actually makes a big difference in the end.

Every summer during college, I worked at the same retail store and always had a bit of spending money that I earned myself. I have gone back to that job post grad while I searched for a position in my field or in social media (you can read more about my post graduate feelings and efforts here). Every paycheck I’ve gotten, 80 or 90% of my earnings have gone into my savings. I leave myself enough money to make it through two weeks before I get my next paycheck (I’m paid every two weeks). Since I’ve been doing this, my savings has grown exponentially. Every time I transfer money I think to myself: this amount could go towards a nice couch, or a T.V., or a bedside table. It’s very motivating to think this way and has constantly encouraged me to make this a habit. Which brings me to tip #1:

Always place at least 70 or 80% of your total paycheck into your savings account!

During my senior year, I realized how vital it was that I pay more attention to savings. With that, I spoke to my parents about making an arrangement with my bank. We spoke to a clerk about getting a certain amount transferred every month into my savings. I wasn’t making use of this helpful feature and I encourage any of you to take advantage of it. Even if you’re only in high school or just starting college! Begin transferring a small amount each month into your savings as soon as you possibly can. Even if it’s the tiniest amount, think how that will add up after years of accumulation! Especially if you’re too young to get a consistent paycheck, starting your savings in any way will be so extremely beneficial to you in the future. This is my tip #2:

Allow for a small amount of money to be transferred into your savings automatically every month or every two weeks. Begin as early as possible!

Many of us don’t realize just how much eating out costs. A meal can range from $8 to $15, depending on where you’re going. While $8 seems fairly cheap for a good meal, this can add up if you do it too often. For example if you do this once every day, that equals about $56 a week and $224 a month! That’s crazy guys! While I know most people probably don’t buy a meal everyday, it’s simply meant to put things in perspective. This also goes for smaller things like coffee or drinks. Of course we all need that caffeine or sugar kick once in a while, but making a frequent habit of this is not going to be appreciated by your bank account, fam! Which leads me to tip #3:

Try eating out less and cutting out small splurges like coffee or alcohol (your body will also thank you for this and can lead to healthier habits)!

Another very simple way to save some cash is by carpooling. This is a more obvious suggestion, but if you and a coworker live in the same city, try driving together some mornings. This will make your commute much quicker and save one of you gas. Maybe switch off some mornings or split the gas bill. I know I personally have to drive at least 20 minutes to work everyday and even longer when I start my new job, so carpooling would be something I’d be down to do! Tip #4:

Find a coworker or friend to carpool with if your schedules align. Saving gas or splitting the amount can be very beneficial in many ways!

I really hope you guys found some good tips in this post! I know after college finances become extra important, so I genuinely hope this helped at least one of you! I’ve been taking these things very seriously and I think my efforts are paying off. Leave any questions down below about anything post college related, I’d love to answer them or possibly make a whole post about them! Talk to you all very very soon! All my love.

signature.png

Check me out, bro! Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter

My Travel Journal: Brighton, England

Hello beauties! This will be the final post from my England travels! I’m very glad I split these up into separate cities, since I clearly have way too many photos to squeeze into one post! I’m excited to share my adventures with you from Brighton, England! Brighton is a little beach city, which is on the southern coast of England and about an hour south of London. We arrived in the city on a bright and sunny afternoon, perfect for walking around and exploring. I’m super happy with the photos, so without further ado: Brighton, England!

brighton2.JPG

brighton1.JPG

brighton4.JPG

brighton3.JPG

Facetune-7.jpg

We started off our day with a short train ride from London to Brighton. It was a very easy ride and we loved looking around the beautiful countryside of England. As I mentioned in my previous post about Windsor Castle, everything is so beautiful and green, which is so much of a contrast to California. My sister Skye read her Mini Book of Mindfulness while I watched the beautiful landscapes, which were oftentimes filled with goats and horses. Once we arrived, we were greeted by a colorful “Welcome to Brighton” sign and found directions to Brighton Pier, which was our main destination. I do have to say, I absolutely love the building with the Adventure Time art all over it. I have a very nerdy side and am such a fan of the show and the art style it exhibits. The colors and simple lines made this building one of the most unique things I’ve ever seen. We need more beautiful corners like this everywhere!

brighton5.JPG

brighton6.JPG

brighton7.JPG
We loved stopping by the fountain to listen to the water and these birds were just so happy! 

brighton18.JPG

Facetune.jpg

It was about a mile walk to the coast, which I didn’t mind because of all the lovely architecture around the city. I was simply obsessed with all the colorful buildings and detailed architecture. I have never seen anything quite like it, and I wish we did this more in the states. The whimsical and exciting nature of this city really fascinated me and wasn’t anything like I was expecting. It was much more of a city environment than a tiny beach town. Growing up in a small surf city in Orange County, I was expecting more beach bums and cute bohemian houses. However, it is much more bustling and exciting than that.

brighton9.JPG

Facetune-6.jpg

brighton8.JPG

brighton12.JPG

Facetune-1.jpg

brighton15.JPG

brighton10.JPG

When we finally made it to the beach, I was so excited to get onto the pier. I had seen videos and photos of it before, and I finally had my chance to look around! The first thing I noticed that was so different from my beaches at home were the rocks that covered the entire shore. Our beaches at home are usually full of fluffy (and sometimes scorching) sand all the way down to the water. With the lights stringing along the front of the pier, I imagine its simply gorgeous at night and a great date spot! So jealous of you Brighton couples! I also noticed a strange building (if that’s the correct term for it) in the distance that was built out into the water. It’s something I’ve seen before, but it was so fun seeing this mysterious structure for myself.

brighton13.JPG

Facetune-5.jpg
Of course, I was snapping away with my Nikon the entire day!

brighton16.JPG

brighton14.JPG

brighton17.JPG

Facetune-4.jpg
Looking through some photos on a little walking break

The pier is covered in arcade games, rides, and cute shop to buy food at. You could spend hours here, just playing games and having a great time. Bumper cars and a horror house included, my favorite! Another small detail I love about this pier is the detailing along the railings, and the fact that the buildings are all white! It gives such an old timey feel that I just adore. Brighton placed a large sign that said “Brighton Pier” at the very front, which is iconic but unfortunately when we were there, they were taking it down. Hopefully they just need to restore it and aren’t removing it for good! Luckily, they have a couple other signs that say “Brighton Pier” along the sides, as you can see in the photo above.

Facetune-3.jpg

I have to say one of my favorite parts of the day was getting a little ice cream cone and walking along the streets of Brighton, parallel to the sea. I think this is one of my favorite places in England, partly because the ocean reminds me so much of home. Simply hearing the seagulls, watching the waves, and feeling the sunshine brought me back to California and made me so happy. Unfortunately I will mention, we ate lunch at a small vegan shop somewhere in the city and I ended up with a horrible fever and stomach cramps, as I’ve talked a lot about in previous posts. This was a bummer, but I feel lucky I could still fully enjoy our day in Brighton! It truly was a quaint and magical place that I would definitely recommend visiting.

Let me know what you guys think of the photos and I’ll talk to you very soon! Love you all!

signature.png

Check me out here! Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter

My Travel Journal: Windsor Castle, England (With Bonus Location)

Hello loves! I started work again this week, which means most of my days have been swamped with me running around the store. I haven’t forgotten about my travel posts though, and I’ve been editing photos whenever I have the chance. On top of that, my computer’s storage is completely full so I haven’t been able to use my normal editing system (Bridge from the Adobe Creative Suite). Nevertheless, I’m still determined to get these posts up and share my travel with you all! Today’s post will be about our trip to Windsor Castle, which completely blew us away and was one of our favorite places to visit! So let’s get to the photos!

Facetune.jpg

Facetune-9.jpg

Facetune-4.jpg

The trip to Windsor was about an hour train ride from London. It was very quick and once we arrived, it was a short walk up to the castle. There were lots of cute shops, restaurants (Pizza Express was present of course), and touristy things to do. This town was very quaint and the people were very kind (shoutout to the barber who lets us use his WC when we couldn’t find another toilet).

We waited in line for a bit before starting our audio tours through the castle (probably the most touristy thing I’ve ever done, honestly). Also fun fact, if the flag is flying on a specific building, that means the Queen is home! And the flag was flying away that day! A photo of that is pictured below.

Facetune-10.jpg

IMG_8539_Facetune_21-06-2018-19-22-18.jpeg

Facetune-5.jpg
I went for a comfy OOTD that day, with a classic black flowy top, distressed denim, and my favorite Vans

Not only was the architecture of the outside of the castle stunning, but the land around it was just as beautiful! In California, we don’t have acres and acres of lush greenery. It’s simply too hot and we have so many droughts so a lot of our natural foliage is brown and basically dead. So witnessing miles of green brush and grass was just gorgeous.

One of the first rooms we entered held the Queen’s dollhouse. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Sage, what? Why would you go to a castle only to see a little dollhouse?” This was no ordinary dollhouse. This thing was enormous and incredibly detailed. It had running water and was it’s own little community. It was so impressive and creative! We weren’t allowed to take photos, otherwise you know I’d have plenty. We went from room to room listening to the history behind the architecture, decorations, and what kind of ceremonies are held in them. One of my favorite parts was the church. Since we were visiting right after the marriage of Meghan and Harry, I had just seen the inside of this church on T.V. It was so cool to stand where Meghan did on her wedding day and imagine just how she was feeling in that moment (filled with anxiety and excitement, I’m sure). I don’t believe we were allowed to photograph in here either (but I’ll photos if I find any).

Facetune-2.jpg

Facetune-1.jpg

My favorite part came at the end of our tour: ice cream made from the milk of the Queen’s cows! This little dessert was so delicious (and beautiful as well!) It was the perfect little treat after walking around the castle all day, and it made for some of my favorite pictures. The way this tent was designed was truly so adorable and I loved the pink walls!

Facetune-7.jpg

Facetune-8.jpg

Bonus Location with Photos!

Okay, so I had so many photos specifically from London, that I forgot to include one of my favorite spots in the previous post! I ended up meeting with a friend during our trip, which I’ll talk about in another post, but my family and I got the chance to explore Covent Garden. It was so beautiful and the shopping was phenomenal! I bought my first Jo Malone perfume, which is literally to die for and my new favorite beauty brand. There were street performers, flowers, and so much more! Here are some extra photos from our stop in Covent Garden!

IMG_8961.JPG

Facetune-11.jpg

Facetune-12.jpg

Facetune-14.jpg

Facetune-13.jpg

I hope you guys loved this My Travel Journal post! I’d definitely recommend both Windsor Castle and Covent Garden if you’re visiting England any time soon. They were both so lovely and made perfect memories for me and my family. Also shoutout to my mom and  dad for being so patient while my sister and I got our photos at all these locations, LOL. Talk to you guys soon!

signature.png

Hey, you! Let’s connect! Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter