Tuesday, December 30, 2014

BEST OF 2014: Posts, Bloggers, and More



Christmas is over and that only means one thing: the countdown to the new year officially begins! 2015 is now a few days away, and I guess now is about the right time for me to reflect on this past year. As a blogger, 2014 was crazy for me mostly because it was my first full year of blogging, and so learning to balance it with school (and now work) was pretty interesting for me. 

So without further ado, let's get right on to my favorites of this year, and I'll talk about everything to my favorite posts, bloggers, and more. Let's get started!

MOST POPULAR LIVIN' AND LOVIN' POSTS OF 2014
This is solely based on which posts have the most pageviews. I'll post my personal favorites after this list. 


1. DIY Denim Shorts from Dad Jeans
This post was by far the most popular post on the blog this year. I posted this back in May, so people were probably just trying to find an easy way to create some cute cut-offs while upcycling old jeans. I kinda free-handed the shorts because I was making them on a whim and didn't want to make it complicated for girls acting like me--spontaneous and cheap--because I didn't have a lot of the materials other tutorials were asking for. 

2. Struggles of a Christian Blogger
This was a post that I definitely did not expect to get as popular as it did! I wrote it in response to a conversation that I had with my friend Jordan who blogs over at what is now Odyssean Trail, and this post started a long string of conversations on the blog post and I got a wide range of opinions on Christians and faith-based posts from both Christian and non-Christians alike, whether they write about their faith openly or not on the blog. It was such an amazing thing to see, and it is also one of my favorite posts for that reason. 

3. So You Want to Start a Blog? 
I was surprised that this post did as well as it did (especially on Pinterest) because there are so many posts about starting blogs out there. I tried to make this post different by talking about non-technical aspects (what platform to use, social media, followers, etc) and talking more about the person themselves and the vision they see for their blog. Because honestly, I think it's more important to have a mission and clear idea for your blog before you think about anything technical. 

4. Spontaneous Adventures
This post was really just a recap of a random night I had with some friends where we drove around everywhere--even to Disneyland's Downtown Disney and ate a whole bunch of different foods while we were at it. The first image was a quote that I created through Canva, and people definitely seemed to enjoy it. It remains one of my top-pinned pins to date on Pinterest.

5. Gamer Girlfriend Problems
This one makes me laugh. I wrote this post after my boyfriend, Darell, bugged me to write a post about being the girlfriend of a gamer. He still bugs me to write about it and wants me to start a whole series about this on the blog! Haha. This post got great responses as well, and I enjoyed reading what everyone had to say about the men in their life and gaming. Maybe I will turn this into a series in the near future. We'll see. 

KRISELLE'S FAVORITE LIVIN' AND LOVIN' POSTS

To The People Getting Engaged and the People Who Hate It
I wrote this post back in January in the midst of frustration, a lot of posts circulating the internet (aka Facebook) about couples getting married young and how it is a negative thing, and many people I knew getting married/engaged. It has always been interesting to me going to a public school where teachers pretty much discourage getting married young then going to a private Christian school where people won't stop talking about "MRS" degrees and finding "the one God has for you" in college. I've experienced an interesting mix of both sides of the story. 

Two Ways to Wear: Tribal Print Crop Top
I had so much fun shooting these outfits! One of my favorite outfit posts to date. I'm aiming to do more fun outfit posts like this with the boyfriend in the coming year!


The Love Story
This is probably my favorite post that I've ever written. Ever. It's basically the story of how my boyfriend & I came to be in a novel format. It's a little wordy but worth the read, if I do say so myself. I wrote it in celebration of our 4 year anniversary just over 6 months ago. We're headin' up on 5 in 2015!

I'm Hungry For: Korean BBQ
Korean BBQ is such a unique dining experience and usually has some really tasty and flavorful meats for you (Don't worry, there are veggies too!). I really enjoyed this post because it's one of my favorite types of food and since coming to college I had introduced so many people to it, so I figured it would make sense to talk about it on the blog. 

To Love in the Right Love Language
I enjoyed writing this post because this year has been a year of growing pains, especially in my relationship. One of the growing pains we've experienced is learning to love each other in our love language, and although we're not perfect, we're improving quite a bit. This post offers tips for you to be able to show love to everyone in your life in the ways that they will notice & appreciate.


Snow White Inspired Makeup Look
For Halloween I tried out a couple different looks, but my original plan was to be a Disney princess, and this year was Snow White. I was able to whip up a quick and easy way to mimic Disney's first princess for those of us who cannot afford the whole costume. I had so much fun with it, and I loved how it turned out!

FAVORITE VLOGGERS/YOUTUBERS 2014


Shaaanxo
Shannon is a New Zealand Youtuber that I discovered through a collaboration she did with itsjudytime (I'll talk about her right below). I love her accent and the style of her videos. I don't really know how to explain it, but I love the way she talks about and reviews products and does tutorials. Maybe her accent contributes to that. Haha. Either way, she's one of my favorite Youtubers and I got the chance to meet her at BeautyConLA earlier this year! (forgive the terrible camera quality)

itsjudytime
I started following Judy this time last year because one of my cousins said to check out the Filipino Youtuber with millions of subscribers. So I did. So her being Filipino contributes to why I like following her, but when it comes to her actual content, she's just very detailed in her reviews and I like the lighting and setup of where she films her videos. Completely style wise, I would like my videos to look like hers one day. We also have similar skin types so her reviews directly relate to me and help me in buying makeup haha.

CoffeeBreakwithDani
Dani is loud, funny, talkative, and honest. I LOVE HER! She does whatever she wants on her channel and I love it. She also talks about brands that not as many bloggers talk about, so she's also helped me discover some new makeup brands as well. She's not as well known as the other two beauty vloggers I've mentioned, but she's still amazing and I think she should be more popular!

Megan Batoon
Megan is a dancer who makes punny Youtube videos. She's just so awkward I love it! She posts some choreography videos and I love them because they always have a story behind them, and she posts lots of other random videos, with many of them including puns, which if you know me are my love language. Hahahaha.

The Fung Bros
The Fung Brothers are the only non-female, non beauty vloggers that made the list! I love these guys so much because they talk about Asian American culture and issues in a way that is funny, but still straight to the point without being offensive (in my opinion). They also try out all different types of food (Asian and non Asian) and they try to show you the real, authentic stuff too. Whether you're Asian or not, if you like or are interested in Asian culture or just like food, then the Fung Brothers are for you!


FAVORITE BLOGS & BLOGGERS 2014

Into Mind
If you are looking for a blog all about minimalism and minimalism fashion, this fashion blog is for you. To this day, this blog is still one of if not my favorite fashion blog. I discovered this blog sometime last year, but this year Anuschka (the blogger behind it) has branched out into talking not only about minimalist fashion, but the minimalist lifestyle in general. It has inspired me to potentially try out minimalism for myself in the coming year or so.


Chriselle - The Chriselle Factor
I first discovered Chriselle through Michelle Phan probably 4 or 5 years ago. Other than that she's a fashion stylist, the fact that we even shared the same name made me want to follow her. An Asian girl with my name was making it big in the fashion industry? Heck yeah that's someone I want to follow! 

I have always viewed her style as chic, no matter what she's wearing, and her style is the type of style I want to emulate for myself as well. She's definitely one of my biggest fashion icons, and I was so lucky to have had the chance to meet her and talk with her in person myself! I found out that day that I'm the only other Chriselle/Kriselle she's met in person, and I found out a few weeks later that Express was her first job/first step into the fashion industry and that's where I'm currently working as well! She is seriously such an inspiration and I love not only her blog, but who she is as a person.

Gina Alyse
Gina is a creative, and I love how her blog is a good balance of creativity, faith, and lifestyle. There's just something about the way she integrates everything that attracts me to her blog. The fact that she also openly shares her faith on her blog was a plus for me too. 

Southern Belle in Training
How much more can I talk about this girl?! Haha I recently talked about her and she's also been featured on the blog last year as well. I think I'll just let those posts speak for themselves. If you haven't read about me raving about Annaliese, then you need to get reading!

Harper Honey
Harper is honest and quirky. Those two words describe her best. She's brutally honest about the things she cares about (and we care about most of the same things, like Asian American issues, yay!) but yet she's also cute and quirky about her hobbies. She calls herself a geek and is into things like Monster High and cosplaying every now and then and other things like that. She's a cool girl and her blog reflects all of the above. 

Angry Asian Man
I discovered Angry Asian Man through ISAtv, a Youtube channel that I'm subscribed to. Earlier this year, after meeting some people who were just as passionate about issues in the Asian American community as I am, I began to intentionally seek out outlets where Asian Americans are featured. Angry Asian Man was one of the first of many blogs and sites and Youtubers that I found this year. 

Angry Asian Man Phil Yu writes articles that highlights different things happening with Asian Americans around the country and sometimes the world as well. As the title of the blog suggests, many of the posts talk about different issues in the Asian American community regarding representation and discrimination. However don't worry, Yu also writes about positives in the community as well, whether it's about the new upcoming ABC sitcom "Fresh of the Boat," or other accomplishments or justices. He'll also occasionally have some humorous features as well, like featuring a keychain Sriracha bottle

This blog talks about a lot of positive and negative things in the Asian American (also including South Asian Indians as well) community and Phil Yu isn't afraid to talk about them. I enjoy reading his blog and knowing what's happening in my community. 

A Lovely Allure
Michelle could probably make me buy all the products she features (if I had the money) with just her photos alone. She has some of the most appealing photos, and I like her voice when she writes, making her one of my favorite beauty bloggers. 

Beautzy Blog
The woman behind Beautzy Blog is a local Southern California blogger, which is one of the reasons why I like to follow her. She's another blog that has high quality and many times up-close photos of the products she tries out. I also like how detailed and honest she is about everything she uses. 

College Beauty Buff
I live vicariously through Sammi's reviews of subscription boxes! College Beauty Buff features many more beauty-type posts, but I always get so jealous of all her subscription box reviews that I am too poor to subscribe to myself. So I always go to her blog to check out what different subscription services are giving out each month and sometimes they're also suggestions for products that I want to try out for myself. 

Because I Said So
This is one of my new favorite blogs! Allison (the girl behind the blog) has chosen to sponsor the blog for the next TWO MONTHS! Whoa! Haha as a result I've gotten around to reading through her blog and really liking what she writes about. She wants to be an event planner and is really girly and really sweet. She writes about things from her dog to her boyfriend to other random things she may come across. Go check her out! Why? Because I said so! (okay bad joke, but you get the point)

Girl Vs Globe
Sabina (the girl behind the blog) does a great job at feeding all of your wanderlustful (is that a word?) desires! She is truly a world traveler, having been all around Europe and visiting a few parts of Asia & Africa. I am jealous of her travels and I definitely hope to get to travel the way she does one day. Did I also mention she's still a student? It just goes to show that travel isn't impossible in college. I'll have to ask her how she (and her wallet) does it. 

Joojoo Azad Blog
Hoda perfectly blends fashion and social justice in her blog, which is why it's one of my favorites. She brings in both so effortlessly. Not to mention, she also talks about her Iranian/Persian culture a lot on the blog too, and I aspire to get to be able to talk about my Filipino culture as fluidly as she does. I HIGHLY recommend following her!


Raewyn - Be A Warrior Queen
Raewyn has turned into a real life blogger friend (and she's one of my "blog besties!") and I have loved meeting her and getting to know her over the past few months. She's a really happy person and is just really fun to hang around! As I've heard her say about her blog, she's not your typical lifestyle blogger with the monograms and the photos looking a certain way and all that, but I like her & her blog for that. She writes a lot about female empowerment (hence her blog name) and she's also recently started writing about her new pregnancy! I'm so excited for her in this new phase of life and if you like female empowerment and babies, then definitely check her out into the new year! 

Amanda - Feast Fashion Faves
I discovered Amanda's blog last year (I don't remember how) and followed it for a while and just stopped for no particular reason at all. I met her at a blogger event earlier this year and she became someone I admired from afar to a real life, blogger friend. I love her blog and the work she does in the fashion industry, and I hope that I can take my blog to the level she's taken hers to someday. She's one of the few female entrepreneurs that I have met and really admire. 

FAVORITE WEBSITES


The Flair Exchange
TFE gave out some goodies at the #bloggersunplugged event that I went to at Great Over Good back in September, and I have been in love with all of their products since. They sell party supplies--confetti, balloons, garlands--all the party supplies that you can think of! And everything looks so cute (see photo above). Shop them for all your party needs because I definitely will in the coming year. 


She Reads Truth 
It's on my sidebar & I've already written a post about them, what else can I say? She Reads Truth is an online, women's devotional I discovered a few months ago that I absolutely love. They do in-depth studies on the Bible, whether topical or by book. They have helped so much in helping me get back on track with spending more time with God. 

Audrey Magazine
I want to be a writer for a magazine when I grow up, and Audrey is one of the magazines that I follow that I want to write for someday. They're an Asian American lifestyle magazine. They feature Asians (including South Asians) doing big things in the world, they talk about issues we face as a community, and other lifestyle things like fashion, food, and beauty. I want to subscribe to their print edition but can't at the moment, but until then I just read through almost everything they post on Facebook and interact with their articles often. 

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So there you have it! Those are my favorites of 2014! I love reflecting on every year and I cannot wait for 2015! What have been your favorite things of 2014?
Chau for now

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Preview of Apartment Life: Living with a Kitchen


I've been on winter break for just about a week and a half now, and I was so blessed to have a couple friends let me stay at their apartment while one of them went home to North Carolina for winter break. I stayed close to school rather than moving back home because of work so I wouldn't have to commute so far. 

I've really enjoyed living here so far mainly for one reason: A KITCHEN! 

Living in the dorms have been fun because of the community and being on campus, but the thing that I've always wished that I've had was a kitchen, and most on-campus dorms only have kitchens for those with special health needs and can't eat what's in our dining hall. 

Because it'll be my senior year next year, I really want to slowly transition to post grad life, and that includes living in an apartment off campus. One of the main reasons: having a kitchen so I can cook!
I didn't grow up eating a ton of American food on a daily basis because my parents always insisted on feeding us Filipino food. I hated it growing up because I hated eating rice with everything but I'm so grateful for it now that I'm older. 

One of the biggest reasons for wanting my own kitchen is being able to eat Filipino food when I want! I can't do that now because most of my cooking consists of typical American breakfast foods, but as the break goes on (and when I eventually have my own apartment next year) I'm so excited to learn. 
I love having my own kitchen because I love grocery shopping and the idea of preparing my own food for me to eat. There is also that satisfaction of your food tasting good and knowing that you made it yourself. 

I've been pinning lots of easy (and cheap) recipes for me to learn so that I can try cooking some new things on a college student budget. I love experimenting with new foods. Send me some pins if you have any ideas for me to try!

Follow Kriselle Mendoza (Livin' and Lovin' Blog)'s board Let Me Eat on Pinterest.

Even though I'm only staying in this apartment until mid-January, I'm going to enjoy it while I can, especially the kitchen. It's making me excited for getting to do this for real next year! Until then, I'll experiment with what I can, and follow me on Pinterest if you want some ideas too!

Chau for now

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Color Swap with Wetherills Say I Do



Christmas is a great time for gift giving, and I had the awesome opportunity to participate in a kind of gift swap called The Color Swap, featuring a bunch of bloggers from The Peony Project (I've been mentioning them a lot lately!). The swap was hosted by Melissa of Two Miracles.

The Color Swap was a gift exchange where you had to buy your partner a collection of things that are their favorite color and things that they like, of course. I was paired with the lovely Madison of Wetherills Say I Do, and she's already posted what I got for her on her blog! You can check that out there. It's about time that I get to talk about and publicly thank her for what she's given me as well!

As you can see, my favorite color is orange, and she did a great job at getting me some cute stuff in that color. I would have to say that my favorite things are all the things she got me from Poppin. All of their office supplies are so sleek and I love how they color coordinate everything. That's a big deal for me. 


As a writer, I think it was very fitting that Madison had given me a notebook. I love notebooks even if I have no use for them. I will always find a use for notebooks. Any excuse for me to write things down or make lists is fine with me. 


Of course, a writer needs a writing utensil, right? I was given a neon orange Sharpie and I really like how the color looks on paper. I was a little nervous, but the color is easy on the eyes and is actually lighter than I thought, which I like. (And excuse my little typo where it says "family," haha.)


The two other products I was given included a pebble eraser and the soft mini tray. The eraser is simply too cute and perfect for me to even use it and the tray is perfect to hold random little pieces of clutter hanging around my desk. I like how both of them feel too. 


Orange recipe cards were the last thing I received in my package, and I couldn't be more happy with the timing of it too, especially since I'm living in an apartment over winter break and am planning on living in one in a few months as well. These will be perfect for me to record all of my mom's recipes for my favorite Filipino foods. I've already started asking her for help on that and these cards will be perfect for me to remember them. 

This was a great gift to receive right before Christmas! I could always use more things to help organize myself, and with each coming year I make a goal for myself to be more organized. I'm hoping that these will help with that, haha. Don't forget to visit Madison's page to see what I got for her as well!

Chau for now

Saturday, December 20, 2014

From New England to the South: Annaliese of Southern Belle in Training



This is the last of my sponsors posts for this month, I promise! Haha, but my last sponsor for the month was Annaliese of Southern Belle in Training. This isn't the first time she's been on the blog, and it probably won't be the last. Haha. 

She, along with Liv of Liv, Love, Laugh both held the "Dating" ad spots on the blog this month as a surprise prize from winning my birthday giveaway a couple months ago. 

Annaliese is someone I've been "friends" (I only use quotes because we've never met in person) with since summer 2013 when I first started this blog. She's seen my blog from its beginnings and I've watched her blog grow and evolve as well. 

Her blog has improved so much as a fashion and lifestyle blog and I'm honestly very impressed at how much her photos have improved specifically! I'm hoping to have more quality photos like that more consistently in the future. She has such a cute sense of style!

One of the first things that drew me to her and her blog when I first met her was her faith. See, I had just started blogging and wanted my faith to be apart of my blog, even if it wasn't the primary topic I talked about. She was already blogging and seemed to have successfully write a quality blog that incorporated her faith into it. Not only that, she herself just seemed like such a sweet and genuine person, and those kinds of people are the ones that I tend to like and be more likely to follow. I'm all for being real. I always talk about this when I talk about her but it's because her love for Jesus is so evident in her life. I love it.

She wants to go into radio (which I think is rad, especially because I've never met anyone aspiring for that) and she is also currently living in the South although she's originally from Maine (hence her blog name, haha). 

Annaliese is just the girl that would love to meet and genuinely be friends with anyone! She is such a sweetheart and I have loved getting to know her over the past couple of years. 

So check her out! She's a cool girl and you won't regret it! Here is the past couple of times she's been on the blog: 
Her previous sponsor spotlight with another blogger
Guest post: Maintaining your faith in college

Some posts I really like on her blog:
Perfect Sweater Dress
A New Season of Singleness (an oldie but a goodie, even if I myself am not single)

Facebook // Twitter // Instagram
Chau for now

Thursday, December 18, 2014

For the Love of Journalism & Theology: Liv of Liv, Love, Laugh


I love meeting and following bloggers who blog about things with substance, and Liv from Liv, Love, Laugh is one of them. Every time she writes, there is meaning to it. She's also an aspiring journalist like me, which is also something that makes me immediately like a person more [: haha. 

Liv is one of two bloggers who had my "Dating" ad spot for the past month, and it has been fun working with her. She was actually one of the winners of my recent giveaway celebrating my birthday, and as a surprise addition to the prizes, I offered Liv and Miss Alk ad space on the blog! 

Liv blogs over at Liv, Love, Laugh. The name is resemblant of the phrase, Live, Laugh, Love (to me at least), but I believe the name is meant to also describe her life and how she lives it. Those are my thoughts, not hers. Haha. I've been following Liv's blog for a year or so now, but I've only started getting to know her a little bit more this year. 

She is a journalism student living in New York. SO JEALOUS. I feel like if you're going to do journalism anywhere, you either need to be in the heart of LA or NY. Especially New York. Most major newspapers and other publications have HQ in NYC. 

Fun fact: we also have a mutual friend in real life! Liv & I have never met in person. We have only met online through blogging. But this past spring, I met a guy from her school that worked on the newspaper with her, and she later told me that she was on the same staff. I didn't know that at the time that I met him, so that was pretty cool. 

One thing I love about Liv is how she isn't afraid to talk about her faith. She talks about it on her blog and talks about unique things in regards to faith and religion. She goes to a Catholic university and her dream is to be a correspondent to the Vatican City, so it's safe to say that she is a proud Catholic. I like her perspectives and posts, like her tweet about how the eucharist is made: 
She's an awesome girl. She has a lot to say and isn't afraid to voice her opinions about it. I like her for that. I also love her love for journalism. A woman after my own heart. 

Check her out if you haven't already! Go stalk her. (It's okay, I won't tell her you did). 

Some cool posts by her: 
Giving Tuesday
100 Hours of Poverty

Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Chau for now

November + December Sponsor Spotlight: Peony Project Ladies

It's been a while since I've had a sponsor spotlight, but I just relaunched my sponsors page last month along with Adproval's new beta system allowing for coupon codes for ad spaces. If you are interested in purchasing an ad spot with me (they're relatively cheap!) use the code TISTHESEASON for 25% off any ad space worth more than $5 at checkout!

To celebrate, I recently had a few ladies from the Peony Project, a Christian blogger support group I'm in, sponsor me for the past month! Unfortunately, due to finals their sidebar ads are no longer on my sidebar and I didn't have this post up sooner, but better late than never, right? 

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This here is Susana from Hurray I'm a Mommy. As you can tell, she's a new mom exploring and enjoying motherhood. She writes a lot of personal posts about herself and thoughts she has on certain things. One that I really enjoyed was her post about surviving the holidays after a loss. No matter what time of year you lost a loved one, there are always those first few holidays that you spend without them, and it's hard. 
Other than talking about her personal thoughts, she shares some recipes, talks about owning a puppy vs. having a baby, and so many other fun types of posts that come with being a newlywed and a new mom. Show Susana some love and check her out!

Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram


Kenji is a very strong and beautiful woman of God and Rheumatoid Arthritis survivor and she blogs over at Kenji is Here! She has a french bulldog named Poopsy, loves karaoke, and is loud and loves people! She writes a lot of meaningful posts, whether it's about the tattoos she has or even just how grateful she is for being where she is in life. Kenji is very real and vulnerable on her blog, something that I really appreciate and look up to in other bloggers. She isn't afraid to talk about the positive and negative things going on in her life, but she always does it looking on the bright side, always finding the joy in every situation. I applaud her for that because many bloggers can't do that or just don't. If you want to follow along with someone who will talk to you as if you're right in front of them, definitely check out Kenji! She is a great girl. 

Twitter // Bloglovin' // Facebook





Norkor blogs at Voyageur Africaine, which translates to African Voyager in English from French. She is originally from Ghana and has been traveling the world since she was 6. She is currently in a gap year, and she's using that time to travel, of course. I love that she will bring her African culture into some of her posts and she definitely writes a lot about her faith in Christ. I especially love how bright and vivid her photos are in every post because I feel like they are able to allow the reader a peek into the beauty of her adventures. She will definitely leave you with a longing feeling of wanderlust!

Facebook // Instagram // Bloglovin'


Heather blogs over at Broken with Remedy, an inspirational lifestyle blog. She is an expectant mother writing about her pregnancy and encouraging others through her posts for teen girls or about prayer. She is still navigating through the blogging world but she's definitely enjoying the process! She definitely has a heart to serve and wants her blog to be an outlet for that. 

Facebook








Bijee is the woman behind The Reflections of a Good Woman, an inspirational blog that talks about relationships, friendships, and life in general. She works to reach out and help out everyone who may need the encouragement. Her blog very well reflects the name. Her posts are meant to motivate you to do something or change something in your life for the better, usually little by little. Some of them include: the blessing of breakfast and devotional time in the morning, or an honest post about telling people that they cannot dictate who her own daughter should become. Bijee does a great job at definitely working hard to motivate people to evaluate and reflect on themselves as people and even on a spiritual level at times. Her faith definitely shines through. 

Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest





So those are my sponsors for this month! It has been amazing being part of the Peony Project and getting to meet such a wide array of women who share the faith that I have. Sometimes it's hard to be a blogger that incorporates their faith into their work, so it was heaven sent for me to find this group and be part of it. 

If you are interested in being part of The Peony Project, there are directions on Betsy's (the founder) page about it! If you are interested in sponsoring Livin' and Lovin' Blog and want to be part of this community, get some more information here. I have a variety of options, from free swaps to a two-month long sponsorship where you get all the perks plus some customization to your experience so that you are getting the love you deserve! Don't forget to use the code TISTHESEASON at checkout to get 25% off any spot more than $5!

Stay tuned, because I'll be featuring my two top sponsors for the month very soon! [: 
Chau for now

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The ULTIMATE Christmas Guide Roundup: For Your Secret Santas/White Elephants


This is part 3 of my ULTIMATE Christmas Guide Roundup for this year! I did two others for girls & guys if you missed out on those. For the past couple of weeks I've been researching through tons of different blogs to see which ones had the best, unique, and variety of gift ideas for whoever you're shopping for. And today is all about your Secret Santas & White Elephant gift exchanges.

Whether you're shopping for your best friend whose name you secretly pulled out of a hat or you're shopping for potentially anyone, these gift ideas are sure to make shopping for your Secret Santas. (Note: Most of these are for women but there are a couple gender neutral gift guides in there! I also have a few ideas as well, saved for the end!). 

Like my other gift guides, I will categorize these, although to only 3 categories this time: Unisex, Female, My Ideas (because this is my blog & I'm special :). I hope these posts will help you pick out some cool (or funny/weird, depending on the group of people you're shopping for) gifts!

UNISEX

Girl in Betsey - All these gifts are pretty sleek--warm throw blankets, convertible chargers, a coffee maker, a chocolate basket, and a few more other ideas. And the great thing about these gifts are that you can get (most) of them expensive or cheaper, depending on what the spending minimum is for your gift exchanges. 

All the Joys - I love that Meagan features gender neutral gifts like Krystin from Girl in Betsy does, but they're different kinds of suggestions, a few being for people who are either older than 18 or 21--like mini liquor bottles, a bunch of lottery tickets (seriously, my cousin did this one year bought like $30 worth of scratchers and gave them with a ketchup bottle haha), or any kind of techie stuff for all ages, like portable speakers. She also suggests sports-themed things, which would be unisex if the group of people you're shopping for has both males and females as huge fans of sports (unfortunately my family wouldn't fall into this category--at least no one is a die-hard fan). 

FEMALE

The Preppy Scientist - Cute stationery, beauty products, and even a Scrabble-themed mug!

Books, Beauty, & Bars - Gift ideas for under $15 - feat. gifts like cute Anthropologie mugs and a "minimergency" kit!

Coming Up Roses - 15 gift ideas under $15 - feat. gifts like an inspirational quote print and a silicone ice ball maker... That one seems so interesting!

Girl in Betsey - Some classy stocking stuffers

OTHER IDEAS // TROLL/PRANK IDEAS

Anything for the kitchen or home - If you go to any home goods (or Home Goods, pun intended) store, you can easily get anything from pots and pans to lamps and display pieces for the home. Most of these are gender neutral unless there is a clear theme to it, like pink sparkly baking supplies or something... I don't know. Haha. These are also meant for people who have higher minimums for purchasing Secret Santa or White Elephant gifts (like my family.. my wallet is crying)

Those random books you find in stores like Urban Outfitters - You know the ones I'm talking about--the ones about your poop or awkward family photos or all about bacon. They're the hilarious (and sometimes informative) books that will have you distracted for hours in the store! These are perfect for trolling on your friends and family, unless that's their personality... then you're actually buying the perfect gift for them!

Gourmet Food Baskets - While my family wouldn't care for these too much, maybe the people you're shopping for would. If they are foodies always looking for new types of meat or cheese or any kind of food or if they just like to eat some good stuff, then these would be really yummy to give away. 

Practical Techie Gifts - Practical techie gifts are the most gender neutral gifts, I believe. These are things like portable chargers, speakers, devices (anything portable, really), or even some random things like fancy flashlights (some cousins trolled with this last year or the year before) or heating blankets (I got that one a few years back) or a body massager. These gifts can either make everyone want them or make everyone laugh at the loser I mean person who got stuck with them, haha. 

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This gift guide was definitely the shortest out of all the gift guides, but I hope these were helpful nonetheless! Please check out my other gift guides for guys & gals if you missed them! I just made shopping WAAY easier for you soooo.... You're welcome. (points if you get that reference)

Andddd THAT'S A WRAP! (pun intended hehe)

What have you gotten for Secret Santa/White Elephant gifts in the past?
Chau for now

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The ULTIMATE Christmas Gift Guide Roundup: For the Guys


Today brings me to part two of my massive lists of Christmas gift guides! Today it's time to give the men some love, because I feel like with gift guides they're mostly catered to girls. Besides, I have a boyfriend to shop for too so I'll be using these gift guides (& his eclectic tastes haha) to get him a good gift & speak his love language :] 

Unfortunately, the blog world has been taken over by females so most of these gift guides are written by females, which is still fine! But of course I'd want to hear it from a guy's perspective. I managed to find two sites that included gifts for gamers (because I'm so surprised none of these girls seem to have gamer (boy)friend(s) in their life!). If you know of any male bloggers with gift guides for men (or if you are one & have one) please leave a comment with a link below! 

I'll divide the gift guides into different sections, list the blog's name, & try to give mini descriptions so that you don't have to go through every gift guide to find what you're looking for (or you can if you want to, be my guest [:). 

I hope this makes gift shopping just a little bit easier for you by taking a whole bunch of potential gift ideas and putting them in one place! I considered creating my own gift guides, but as you'll see there are already a ton out there, so why add onto the thousands of gift guides when I could just share the best ones? 

Anyway, skim through the different categories and I hope you find something useful! Let me know if you do end up buying any of these items or use any of these gift guides for your own gift giving! 

GENERAL GIFT GUIDES

An Old Story - MAKE, THRIFT, BUY! I featured these in my last gift guide for girls, but Hannah features some great stuff to make for anyone in your life, really. This gift guide is perfect if you are on a budget!

Haute Mess Mag - Gift ideas under $50, $100, and $200

Royally Pink - Many of these ideas are pretty minimalist, so if that sounds like the man you're shopping for, then this is for you! 

The Kardia Blog - for the Manly Man (features some cool techie stuff too)

Flawlessly Flawed - This guide truly does have a variety of living and clothing accessories for the men in your life. From mugs to a gin kit to some Nikes to some boxers, I like the variety this guide gives. 

CLOTHING/ACCESSORIES

Michelle's Paige - Michelle features different types of hip-looking clothing, shoes, and accessories for men.

TECH

From My Vanity - Whether or not your man likes to cook/grill or run, there are a ton of really cool tech-y gifts & gadgets for men who love the latest in technology. 

PREPPY AND CLASSY MAN

Alicia Tenise - Like her last gift guide, this one for men is so classy and chic. Includes things like: a beard care kit, a cocktail maker kit, a flask, a bowtie, and some classy-looking headphones.

Ali Rose - Also definitely for the classy and more mature man (although she includes a cool Spiderman ornament!) This list features items like: Whiskey Stones, some crystal beer glasses from Tiffany's, and a skin care kit from The Art of Shaving. 

Sweet Tea & Sass - This is definitely for more preppy guys (also features gift guide for her) 

GAMER

Life Hacker - This blog features SO MANY things for gamers! From the games themselves, to clothes, to books, to music, and even splurge-worthy gifts, I'm pretty sure you can find something here. (some stuff featured is specifically for girls too, like some of the cosplay stuff!)

Man of Many - Specifically features games & gamer accessories. Darell definitely owns some of the stuff on this list already!

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So that's it for my gift guide for the guys! These gifts can be used for any man in your life, whether a boyfriend, a close friend, or a male family member. If you or anyone you know (preferably a male blogger, but if you're a girl that's okay too) has a gift guide for gamers specifically or other ones for men, link to them below! If you missed my gift guide for girls, check here.

Stay tuned for my gift guide for your Secret Santas/White Elephants!

Chau for now

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The ULTIMATE Christmas Gift Guide Roundup: For the Girls


Hey guys! So this week, to get into the Christmas spirit I'm doing my research and choosing my favorite gift guide posts by other bloggers so that Christmas shopping could be made just a little bit easier for you. Today's roundup is all about the girls or girlfriends in your life. 

I'll divide the gift guides into different sections, list the blog's name, & try to give mini descriptions so that you don't have to go through every gift guide to find what you're looking for (or you can if you want to, be my guest [:). 

I hope this makes gift shopping just a little bit easier for you by taking a whole bunch of potential gift ideas and putting them in one place! I considered creating my own gift guides, but as you'll see there are already a ton out there, so why add onto the thousands of gift guides when I could just share the best ones? 

Anyway, skim through the different categories and I hope you find something useful! Let me know if you do end up buying any of these items or use any of these gift guides for your own gift giving (or yourself, hehe)! 

GENERAL GIFT GUIDES
The Kardia Blog - For the Lovely Lady 

Label Twenty Nine - For the girl who keeps everything in her bag--gifts under $50

Sweet Tea & Sass - For the preppy girl! (guy gift guide included in the same post)

Stylish Classy & Sassy - Gift guide under $50

Mostly Morgan - Other than three of the items featured--including a terrarium, a scarf, and a necklace--(all cost less than $40 anyway), everything on this list is relatively cheap (under $15) if you're on a budget!

An Old Story Blog - For the ultimate money saver--MAKE, THRIFT, & BUY! Hannah features a bunch of things that you could give to basically anyone in your life by making, thrifting, or buying something if absolutely necessary. I love these ideas!

Royally Pink - Some glamorous and luxurious gifts that really aren't too expensive, but they look like they are (well, the Kate Spade candle is actually pretty pricey for a candle but it's still really cute)!

Polished Perfectly - For the college student. This gift guide features a lot of preppy items, so if the person you're shopping for likes that kind of stuff then this is perfect!

Alicia Tenise - Honestly, many of these products are great for the home (and adorable too!) but there are a few fashion accessories and some makeup as well. This is one of my favorite gift guides!

Shell Chic'd - A nautical gift guide for the "nauti" girl. Haha I love puns!

MAKEUP // BEAUTY

A Lovely Commotion - general gift ideas for anyone who loves makeup! Featuring Michelle Phan's new book (I'll post a review on that soon), a Kate Spade iPhone case, a Kate Spade fragrance, and of course, makeup!

Daily Katy - Skincare

Royally Pink - Makeup Gift Sets (I want ALL of these!)

FASHION 

A Lovely Commotion - The Beach Bum

A Lovely Commotion - These aren't clothes, but they are all items related to fashion, whether it's a book on the history of the dress or some statement accessories. 

FOODIE

Butcher's Niche - This great gift guide includes a variety of cooking accessories, like appliances, an apron, and all around pretty things for the cook in your life!

A Savory Feast - This gift guide includes cool and unique cooking gifts for foodies, like a sushi maker, a donut pan, and a fondue pot! 

Strength and Sunshine - Another post of unique gift ideas, such as a tortilla bowl maker, a world cuisine spiralizer (that's a mouthful... no pun intended), and Soom Tahini, which is sesame butter! There are so many other cool gifts in this post as well!

*Many of these gifts are unisex too, so get them for the guys in your life as well!

TRAVEL

Mandy Living Life - These gift ideas include a combination of travel-friendly items and things that you can display in your home to show off your love for travel. If the person you're shopping for loves to travel, these are all very practical (and cute!). 

BOOKWORM

Kate the (Almost) Great - Accessories for bookworms! She makes a few good suggestions of specific things for each accessory she mentions (posters, mugs, e-readers, and other book-themed gifts). 

Polka Dotted Blue Jay - All book suggestions. These are all non-fiction/inspirational books, like Girl Boss, Yes, Please, Crazy Sexy Diet, and a couple more!

HOME // INTERIOR DESIGN

Butcher's Niche - Beautiful and simple home accessories

Open Spaces Blog - These are all rustic holiday-themed home accessories, so these gifts are best given before Christmas, unless the person you're giving them to loves the Christmas season so much and wouldn't mind getting it the day of or after. 

ETSY // ONLINE

Butcher's Niche - Most of these gifts aren't extravagant, but if you really know who you're shopping for they would make really cute and meaningful gifts (I love the big spoon, little spoon pillows!). 

Dirt to Daydreams - This guide includes different price points of some pretty pretty gifts--$25 & under, $50 & under, and splurge-worthy gifts!

Heavens to Betsy - Betsy recently opened an Etsy shop herself, so she teamed up with other Etsy shops to promote some of their stuff with some coupon codes! (I'd take advantage of that if I were you!)

Yearn Love Grow - Ashley talks about different shops she loves rather than items. A few of them are faith based, like She Reads Truth (I wrote about them recently!) and random ones for nerds and mommies and others. 

GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK

Dirt to Daydreams - List of companies that give back something to a certain community (brands include Krochet Kids (the founders are alumni of my school!) and the Giving Keys)

Many Sparrows - Kayla talks about her favorite products from companies that give back and why she recommends them as gifts! (coupon codes included!)

FITNESS

Strength and Sunshine - Some cool products to help aid in making your workouts better!

BLOGGER [*ahem (; ]

The Kardia Blog - Honestly, you could get most of the products on most of any of the wishlists I featured for a blogger, but if you want to get really blogging-specific, these are some great gifts to help aid in the creativity process :] 

MINIMALIST

Label Twenty Nine - All simplistic but chic items for the minimalist in your life (or for the person who is wants to try minimalism--perfect for the new year coming up!)

ARTIST

Label Twenty Nine - All artsy fartsy products :]

A Tiny Traveler - The girl who wrote this intended it to be a general gift guide I believe, but when I looked at it all I could think of was HIPSTER! I know they're not necessarily artists, but I think that the true hipsters are. All the fakes that are doing it for trend don't consider themselves artists. But that's just my opinion! So, anything on this list is sure to be well-received by the hip.

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I hope you were able to find something useful from this gift guide roundup! I worked really hard and did my research to provide some pretty but also some unique gift ideas. Tomorrow, I'll be talking about what to get the man in your life. Stay tuned! 

Chau for now