Daily Dose of Design: 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Top 15's of 2015

 photo Best of 2015 15_zpsmtuvn3jg.jpg

2015 has been SUCH a whirlwind of a year and one of the best yet! 2016, I have extremely high expectations for you! Over the year, there's been tons of amazing... well, everything! Songs, events, music, the list is never ending.

Here's my top 15 everything of 2015:

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015: A Year in Review

 photo Blogging Year in Review_zpsexw2otb1.jpg

As 2015 is quickly coming to a close, so is my first year of being a blogger. It's so crazy to me to think that a year ago to the very moment I was beginning to gather my ideas and thoughts and thinking, "I really want to start a blog". It all stemmed from a few things: wanting something new in my life that was important to me, missing being super active on Tumblr, and even seeing some blogging friends (from my big Tumblr days) upgrading to blogs like these. I start looking around at other blogs and trying to work my way into the blogging world and as 2015 rolled around, I found myself brainstorming blog names and trying to make all of the big decisions that up and coming bloggers have to make.

In New York, we had a ridiculously cold and snowy winter so in the first two weeks of January that blog planning was in full swing for me, I had an endless number of snow days that I sat in front of the fire place with my laptop, fuzzy socks and hot chocolate for hours on end doing everything I could to get ready for my anticipated launch day - January 12th. Thanks to my mom's help, I had come up with my blog's name and then came all of the hard parts that took much more than I ever expected (I seriously LOL at myself looking back at how naive I was about all of this!)

Once I made my first ever banner, picked one of Blogger's free themes and made some sidebar titles, I put up my semi-customized theme that I had spent days working on, on January 11th and then on January 12th, I posted Daily Dose of Design's very first blog post! It was just an introduction post, but I was so proud to have had it up and running.

The next thing I asked myself was - where's all my views? I mean, I just posted an introduction post so why aren't random people finding my blog, reading my post and welcoming me?! It's kind of hard to believe just how naive I was...

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

7 Tips for Hosting an Awesome NYE Party

 photo Hosting a NYE Party Tips_zps7dcv8wsr.jpg

Being 21 for New Years Eve is a lot more fun because now I actually have the option to go out legally. Hosting NYE parties can be super stressful when in reality they should be fun and luxurious. Whether you go out and buy decorations or use what you have and no matter what kinds of food you make, having an enjoyable time with friends, family and loved ones to ring in a brand new year is what it's all about!

Don't let winter weather, space or budget issues or post-Christmas exhaustion keep you from having the best NYE ever. I have your back when it comes to the best party ideas - food, drinks, decor and entertainment for the entire night.

Here's the 7 best tips for hosting a New Years Eve party:

Monday, December 28, 2015

Must Haves for NYE

 photo NYE Style_zpsmcsjzmej.jpg

New Years Eve is right around the corner!! I'm not one who loves change so this isn't my favorite holiday but I do love dressing up, a reason to pop the champs and looking forward to all that is to come in a whole new 365 days of adventures. Along with the post-Christmas sales this is the perfect time for shopping for some great outfits for your NYE this year. Whether you're staying in or going out, dressing cute and with tons of sparkles is a must. I still haven't decided what I'm doing for New Years but I imagine it won't be anything too crazy! P.S. if you're one of the millions planning on venturing out to NYC this New Years Eve, good luck because it's going to be one of the most hectic years in a long time!
I would much rather watch from my comfy couch and in my cute outfit of course:

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

 photo Christmas 2015_zpswynnv1of.jpg

Merry Christmas!!! I hope everyone is having a wonderful, beautiful and peaceful Christmas holiday! I cannot express how thankful I am for every single person who reads my blog and who has stuck by me for the past 11 months - almost a year in! Here's to reflecting on an incredible year and looking forward to many more. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday with family, friends and loved ones and celebrating all of the wonderful blessings in our lives. Thank you to everyone who makes Daily Dose of Design possible - now go enjoy your Christmas dinners and desserts!



Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Best Personalized Christmas Gifts

 photo 5 personalized gifts_zpseojn0qyy.jpg

Can you believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve?! I can't and I still have so much to do! Shopping can become difficult and crazily enough, the people you're closest to can often be the hardest to shop for. Today I'm sharing an awesome guest post from Regina from Ties n Cuffs. She has picked some of the best gifts that are customized and perfect for anyone left on your (what feels like never ending) list!

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE monogrammed everything. From monogrammed clothes to jewelry to decals and everything else, if it's monogrammed then it's perfect for me! Customizing something - especially a gift - really shows the extra effort that's gone into a gift.

5 Customized Christmas Gifts to finish off your shopping:

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Gift Guide: Last Minute Gift Ideas

 photo Last Minute Gift Guide Ideas_zpsbkjnnhih.jpg

Whether you've procrastinated your way to December 22nd, forgot something on your list or unexpectedly have to purchase a gift, you're still in luck! There are still tons of great things you can get that everyone will love and in time for Christmas. There's also things you can have on hand and ready to go if you need an extra little something like lipstick, an eye shadow palette, fuzzy socks, gift cards; things like that.

I'm extremely guilty of being such a procrastinator especially when it comes to Christmas shopping! You would think for someone who shops as much as I do that I would have all my shopping done in a matter of days but on top of it all, I'm very picky too especially when gift buying. Even on Black Friday and Cyber Monday I didn't finish nearly enough gifts as I should have! Luckily for you, I put the pro in procrastination so I put together the best last minute gifts you could buy in the next few days:

P.S. make sure you check out my list of favorite sales and stores that are guaranteeing Christmas delivery - still this late in the game!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Travel in Style with Vera Bradley: Essential Carry-On Items

 photo Vera Bradley Duffel_zpsyzcjslip.jpg

Traveling during this time of year is always harder than the rest of the year - between packed airports, security and the anxiety of getting everyone to your destination in one piece without losing anyone or any luggage is rough. I'm also so paranoid when it comes to forgetting things on trips. The second I leave my house I always second guess whether I remembered everything or not and most of the time I end up forgetting something anyway. Then worrying about the airport losing your luggage is another story all together! Needless to say, the time leading up to your vacation can be really stressful. But making sure you have all of your essentials and more will help so much in relieving that pre-vacation stress. I created a list last year of every travel necessity I could possibly need and throughout the year it's helped me to not forget anything - or so I like to think until I realize that my tweezers are missing or I forgot earphones.

Not only is it important to have your essentials with you but traveling in style is important too, thanks to Vera Bradley that has become the easiest part!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

16 Amazing Holiday Desserts

 photo Christmas Desserts_zpsg1afwbex.jpg

There is no better time than Christmas time and along with the holidays comes the amazing foods that we know and love! Each year, similarly to Thanksgiving there are tons of holiday sweets that my family and I make over and over again. I also love to try making new things that can become something I love to make for each year to come.

Here's some of the most exciting and fun desserts you can make in no time this Christmas:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Ultimate New York City Travel Guide

 photo NYC_zpsusdjg2zi.jpg

As a New Yorker who lives 30 minutes from NYC, it's my go-to spot and where I go every chance I get! Whether it's to go to a favorite spot of mine or to try something new and different, there's always more to do in the Big Apple than you could ever imagine. There's such a different feel to the city during different times of the year and always never ending action. If you're planning a trip to NYC, you can definitely plan on having a great time. There really is never a dull or quiet moment, which is likely why New York is known as the city that never sleeps. But with as many things to do that NYC has to offer, who would ever want to sleep?

No matter how many times you visit, you'll notice something different every time and that's the beauty of the city! For as many times as I've been to all five boroughs, I still tend to act like a tourist in my own city.

If you're planning a trip, here's some of my favorite things to do, places to eat, stay at and ways to navigate the city:

Monday, December 14, 2015

Gift Guide: for the Blogger

 photo Holiday Gift Guide - for bloggers_zpsmlngdben.jpg

* This post may contain affiliate links.

This is my first holiday season as a blogger and when I was making my Christmas list this year, it amazed me how many things were on my list that would benefit my blog. I think that all bloggers would agree that our blogs are like our babies and for a lot of us, our businesses. When I was creating my gift guide series this year, a guide for bloggers was at the top of my list. I never thought that a notebook set or nice set of pens would be on my Christmas list, but hey, stranger things have happened!

Whether you're a blogger, have a friend who is a blogger, or are a family member or friend of a blogger, here is a list of the best gifts to get them. I can speak from experience in saying that I would be overjoyed receiving any and ALL of these products:

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Best Last Minute Study Hacks

 photo Luvo Learn_zpsghho5wtu.jpg

It's mid December and the Fall semester is coming to a close finally!! The only thing standing in our way are tests. Every semester, I always wait until the very last minute to start studying for finals. No matter how much I tell myself I should or will try and study harder, it never happens. I've always been this way and it's such a bad habit to get into, but over the years I've learned to deal with my procrastination and still be able to pass my tests.

Tips for last minute studying:

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

6 Mid Week Motivational Tips

 photo Tips to Stay Motivated_zps2ctmogyt.jpg

The only day that's harder than Monday morning is a Wednesday morning. I tend to wake up on Wednesday thinking we're WAY closer to Friday than it really is and that can really make for a rough hump day. Whether you're working, at school or even blogging and doing freelance work (like I've been lately) it probably seems like there aren't enough hours in each day and that you're itching for the weekend.

For me, winter break is just beginning and I could not be more excited for the break. But as a blogger, work is never finished and that's the best part about it no matter how busy you are. I wouldn't change it for the world, so the only way to get through a mid-week slump is to regain your inspiration you feel on a Friday! 

6 Tips to Stay Motivated on a Wednesday:

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Gift Guide: for the Hostess + Link-It To Me Link Party #31

 photo Holiday Gift Guide for the hostess headline_zpsi73hfhhz.jpg

It's time for another gift guide! With Christmas only a few short weeks away, the holiday parties are in full swing. Whether you are the host or are heading to a family or friends house this holiday season, hostess gifts are always a plus. From wine glasses to cheese platters and everything in between, showing your host appreciation for the party they've put together is a must!

The best Hostess Gifts for this season:

Monday, December 7, 2015

Ways to Style a White T-Shirt

 photo Styling White T-Shirts_zpsp2nx38th.jpg

Since a white t-shirt is one of my favorite things that everyone should have in their closets, this guest post by Ron from The Adair Group is a must read! No matter what time of year, white tanks and shirts are a must have in all closets. Whether you're layering in the winter or putting together a casual but cute look for the warmer months, you can never have too many white tees!

Here are Ron's favorite ways to style white t-shirts all year round:

Friday, December 4, 2015

Rustic Souls

 photo Rustic Souls necklace_zpsxxflgbru.jpg

Whether you're looking for a new piece of jewelry for yourself or any important girl in your life, you can likely find it on Rustic Souls! All Rustic Souls pieces are 100% handmade and have a bohemian flair to them which I love. The best part about this jewelry is that since each piece is handmade, every piece is one of a kind in its own way. Jewelry and accessories are my favorite things to buy so teaming up with Rustic Souls wasn't even a question for me!

I also love to support a good cause - and with Rustic Souls, you can. The owner of Rustic Souls is an incredible survivor of both Lupus and Fibromyalgia, so she donates a portion of EVERY sale from the Survivor Line to both the Lupus Foundation of American and the National Fibromyalgia Association in hopes of more research, more solutions and a cure for these diseases.
Whether you're looking for something gold, brass, leather, silver or more - shop Rustic Souls on their website or Etsy shop.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide: For Mom

 photo Holiday Gift Guide For Your Mom_zpsjhoi6zn7.jpg

Now that we're in December, I'm starting to get Christmas gifts delivered and it's making me so excited to wrap them and cross things off of my list! For my next gift guide, I'm talking all things mom! For some reason, shopping for my mom is always a struggle. There's always a few things that she says she likes or wants, but other than that I'm usually very picky when I pick things out for her. Trying to come up with things throughout the year helps, but not enough.

This year I made sure I had plenty of ideas - so many so that I now have some ideas for things like Mother's Day, her birthday and even next Christmas too! While it wasn't easy and I'm no where near done shopping for her, I've been using this gift guide to get a head start and it's also given me some ideas to branch off on too. If you're on the same struggle bus, then this gift guide is for you!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hello December: Monthly Goals + Link-it To Me Link Party #30

 photo e460acc6-431d-499b-a16e-2228a9198c97_zpsd7ivkzlo.jpg

The best month of the year is here and I couldn't be any more excited! Christmas and the holiday season is my favorite time of year - from decorating, to the weather, to the holiday food - I can never get enough! This is my last week of classes this semester which is an even bigger and better reason to be excited. Decorating the house has officially begun too, everything lit up looks so pretty!

Speaking of decorating, you probably saw this print on my Instagram last night, but if not here it is:

Monday, November 30, 2015

Cyber Monday: Deals, Steals and Tips to Shop

 photo Cyber Monday_zpsyui1njkg.jpg

Happy Cyber Monday! I hope everyone had an absolutely wonderful holiday weekend : ) The deals just keep on rolling in and I cannot stop shopping! Black Friday deals were all really great but honestly today's Cyber Monday sales I've been seeing have topped Black Friday all together. I do a lot of my shopping online - especially when stores offer free shipping. As I scroll through my endless amounts of emails this morning, I'm realizing how many stores are having deals; some of which I would have never expected!

Cyber Monday has always been a great time to buy electronics and things like that but now you can get everything in major sale or as a lot of stores call them, "doorbusters". I have my laptop and credit cards with me and ready to go all day - this is going to get dangerous and quickly too!

The best of Cyber Monday 2015:

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

 photo Happy Thanksgiving_zps9ghv2bri.jpg

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I hope everyone has the most wonderful holiday with your friends and family! And I am so grateful for all of my readers - whether this is the first post you've read or you've been following along with me since I began 11 short months ago, thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all of your kind comments and for the wonderful friendships I have made through blogging!

The house smells SO amazing and the ovens are overflowing with the most amazing smells - turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole - I can't wait to eat it all! This is officially the best time of year and as it kicks off the holiday season, it is by far one of my favorite holidays. I cannot wait to eat, watch the first Christmas movies of the season and kick off Black Friday too later tonight.

Enjoy your family time, eat tons of yummy food and most importantly enjoy what I hope is a peaceful and relaxing day! Once the dishes are done and you can't move, here's a list of some of the very best sales going on for Black Friday that I cannot wait to shop overnight tonight:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Magic Cookie Bars

Every year my favorite dessert to make for the holidays are Magic Cookie Bars. While this time of year is so exciting for SO many reasons, the magic cookie bars may take the cake (pun intended) for what I get most excited for! Food wise anyway, ha! I could make these every day and eat an entire tray every. single. day. There is no better dessert and I would make them all year round but they probably wouldn't taste as good (as my mom says)! ;)

My mom has made these during the holidays for as long as I can remember and I always loved to help make them when I was little, so now they're something I make probably 5 or 6 times throughout the next two months. For real, it's an obsession...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What I'm Loving + Link-it To Me Link Party #29

 photo e460acc6-431d-499b-a16e-2228a9198c97_zpsd7ivkzlo.jpg

Happy Thanksgiving week! This is always such a busy week for me and getting everything done is a serious struggle! Tomorrow I'll be baking for Thursday and I can't wait. Be sure to follow me on Instagram to follow along! : )

Since the holidays are upon us, I've been putting together tons of gift guides - find them with #dailydoseofgifts! Here's some things I'm loving and that are on my own wishlist so far:

Monday, November 23, 2015

The 9 Best Apps for Black Friday Shopping

 photo The Best Apps to help with Black Friday shopping_zpshurjiimj.jpg

Phones and tablets are good for so much more than Snapchatting and Instagramming... while that's all fun, it's also super beneficial (especially during this time of year) to download apps that help make shopping trips easier! Prime example: Black Friday!! Like I mentioned yesterday, there's a ton of things you can do to prepare for Black Friday and downloading some shopping apps is HUGE.

Whether you need to organize your shopping lists or find great deals, there are a ton of apps that you can get to make shopping even easier. I do the majority of my holiday shopping organizing through these apps and it's made such a difference! This year I've also noticed a ton of apps that help you to compare prices which is great for things like TV's and electronics. So sit back, relax and get ready to enjoy your shopping trip(s) this Black Friday. With these apps, even if you're running on an hour of sleep and a Venti Peppermint Mocha Latte, Black Friday shopping will feel like a breeze.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

7 Tips to Conquer Black Friday

 photo Tips to Conquer Black Friday_zps6kv9skwk.jpg

We are less than a week away from the BEST shopping day of the year! Seriously guys, I get so stupidly excited for Black Friday it's kind of crazy. I start getting ready for this mid October and I mean I go ALL out. While there are the awesome deals and crazy amounts of people, there's just something about being at the mall and shopping in the middle of the night! I love it and apparently so do millions of other people.

Friday, November 20, 2015

12 Heavenly + Irresistible Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas

 photo 12 Dessert Ideas for Thanksgiving_zpsdmifpoio.jpg

I have such a sweet tooth and even more so during the holidays. It's so hard to resist any kind of dessert but there's something about the holiday season that makes it all the more difficult to say no! Each year, there's certain desserts that we always make no matter what - chocolate chip cookies, magic cookie bars, apple crumb pie, etc. But I also love to find and try new recipes and new things to bake and what better place to go than Pinterest?!

There is nothing better than getting ready for Thanksgiving, lighting a candle and baking - here's some of my favorite, irresistible and indulgent desserts to bake for Thanksgiving for your friends and family to enjoy after the big meal!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thanksgiving Outfit Inspirations

 photo Thanksgiving Outfit Inspiration_zpsfaovl1nq.jpg
I must sound like a broken record by now, but I honestly cannot believe that Thanksgiving is a week from today!!! The holidays season is here friends!! Since I'm sure everyone is crazy thinking about Thanksgiving plans, different dishes to be made, decorating and cleaning the house for guests, etc I decided to handle the outfit situation! Whether you have a big fancy Thanksgiving with lots of family, a laid back dinner, Friendsgiving or anything else, it's still one of the funnest days to dress up and look cute for. Even if you aren't leaving the house, who doesn't want to take a few Thanksgiving selfies?!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Recent Happenings + Link-it To Me Link Party #28

 photo e460acc6-431d-499b-a16e-2228a9198c97_zpsd7ivkzlo.jpg

November and December are the absolute busiest months of the year - throw blogging into the mix and I truthfully don't know how we do it! As most of you already know, this is my first holiday season as a blogger and I'm loving every second of it. This is my favorite time of year despite the hectic daily schedules, but there is no better time! On top of getting to start decorating and wearing cozy sweaters and blanktet scarves, my sister's gymnastics season both for club and varsity starts in just a few short weeks and you will quickly learn that I'm the definition of a crazy gym sister! Prepare for many pictures ; )

Some more exciting things going on:

Monday, November 16, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

Picking out useful stocking stuffers is one of the hardest parts about holiday shopping! Stocking stuffers are meant to be little extra presents but I also think it's important that stockings be stuffed with things that are actually things they'll love/use and not just a waste of money. For small, "extra" gifts I think it's important to keep it festive and as inexpensive as you'd like. Here's what I'm loving as stocking stuffer ideas for this holiday season:

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for Your Friends

 photo holiday gift guide for your best friends_zpszxcen6e7.jpg

We are almost halfway through November (say WHAT?!) and you know what that means!!! This is by far the best time of year and starting to see all of the holiday commercials on TV is making me so excited to start my holiday shopping! I know I know, it isn't even Thanksgiving yet but every year it seems like the sales start earlier - I've been seeing sales and even know some people who started to shop mid October. Shopping for the holidays is often stressful but it shouldn't be which is one of the many benefits of shopping earlier rather than later. This way you can also see what you've bought and still need to buy. I always find gift guides super helpful each year, so being able to create my own is so very exciting:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

5 Tips to Manage Blogging Time Better

 photo 6 Ways to manage your time as a blogger_zpsillb91ks.jpg

Although I hope to one day be a full time blogger, I think I can speak for a majority of bloggers who are tackling a to-do list during the day when you suddenly stop and say,
"When can I just go home and blog?!"
There are tons of bloggers who get to work on their blogs all day long. Having a full time job with the title "blogger" is a dream come true to a lot of people, but until that actually happens... there is a fine line between getting things done for school or work versus the many things to do daily for your blog. Lets be honest, I would much rather do everything blogging related before any essay or work related thing ever, but it still has to get done.

Putting a couple hours of blogging in on a busy day can seem difficult but if you're anything like me, its totally necessary. I always find myself asking How am I going to do to get everything done today and still find time to write next Tuesday's post?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Bloomingdales Friends and Family + Link-it To Me Link Party #27

 photo bloomingdales friends and family_zpsrbp20q1w.jpg

Happy Tuesday!! I've been super busy this week focusing more and more on scheduling blog posts and social media alike. I cannot believe it, but I have my editorial calendar complete through the end of the year! While I know it'll change a bit over the next month, I'm so happy to have that done.

This week is also the Bloomingdales Friends and Family sale!! Here is what I'm loving from the sale:

Friday, November 6, 2015

An Early Start to Holiday Shopping with the Last Call Sale

 photo NM Last Call Sale - perfect for the holidays_zpsytdfzywp.jpg

TGIF!! I could not be happier that the weekend is here! I also couldn't be happier that there's some crazy awesome deals and sales going on! Veteran's Day sales are going to be coming up, but my mom forwarded me an email yesterday from Neiman Marcus Last Call and they are having THE BEST sale ever. There's 20-50% off of everything on the site and they have so many brands and amazing things to choose from.

I know, I know it's a liiiittle early for holiday shopping... but when you've already started listening to Christmas music nothing is too early! I've even been able to pick up gifts to start my holiday shopping with this sale which is super exciting. I always start holiday shopping early because I have a lot of people to buy for and also because I love to buy gifts! This is the busiest time of year for most of us, so getting a head start on holiday shopping for yourself and for everyone else in your life will cross one of many stressful tasks off your list! I have a bin in my closet that I put all gifts that I buy into over these holiday months and it really helps me to be a bit more organized when gift buying. I always write myself notes on my phone when I think of something that I want to buy someone and this helps to stay organized too. Buying gifts for the holidays can be stressful in trying to get everything in time and not forgetting anything all while staying in your budget. Plus, shopping early is an excuse to shop which I love, naturally!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Tips to Feel Refreshed and Motivated in the Morning

 photo Ways to wake up feeling refreshed and motivated_zpsnirbucb2.jpg

I've never really been either a morning or night person because I can usually go to bed fairly late and be able to wake up early. In fact, I've never really slept past 10 AM when most people I know say that they're able to sleep until one or two in the afternoon... To each their own, but this is crazy to me! Maybe its the Virgo in me talking, but if I don't get my day started early enough, I feel like my entire day has been wasted. That being said, it's also sometimes really hard to get up in the morning or be motivated at ALL to get out of bed! Especially on a rainy day or a cold winters morning. Having a super comfortable bed with a warm electric blanket doesn't seem to help either!
There are many mornings that I don't get out of bed until 10:30 and I always get so mad at myself! Especially being a blogger on top of school and work, there is always something to be doing. My little sister always says, "you can sleep when you're dead" which I find so funny for her to say yet it's so true.

The only morning it's pretty easy to get up for are Fridays and Saturdays - self explanatory. But for mornings that you do need to get up to get things done or just in general, it's important that you're able to feel motivated, well rested (fat chance of that happening, I know!) and refreshed. With a couple simple things that you can easily implement into your daily life and routines, I think I've found some simple ways to help get out of that warm cozy bed a bit easier!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November Goals + Link-it To Me Link Party #26

 photo e460acc6-431d-499b-a16e-2228a9198c97_zpsd7ivkzlo.jpg

Okay seriously, wasn't I just making my October goal list?! Where are the months going?! This year has flown by and I really can hardly believe we're in the BEST time of the year!! While I do love summer, there's really nothing better than being able to get your Red Cups at Starbucks (got my first one yesterday!), wearing cozy sweaters and scarves and getting excited about the holidays.

I have some pretty high goals set for myself for November, but I'm 100% dedicated to meeting all of them - especially since I didn't meet all of my October goals! Although I did see improvement which I'm still very happy about. Here's a recap of my October goals:

Monday, November 2, 2015

8 Tips for Curling Your Hair + Nume Curling Wands

 photo 1_zpsxxemr6b7.jpg

No matter what hair type you have, you've likely noticed how popular curling wands have become over the years. I love using a curling wand much more than using a curling iron - the curls come out better, more natural and it's much easier and quicker as well. For a long time, all I wanted to do was straighten my hair. My hair is naturally curly but they aren't the same curls you can achieve with a wand, which I do like because it gives me the option of having many different curled looks. Although as I've gotten older, I curl my hair way more than using my straightener mostly because I love when my hair looks full and how curls look good on all types of hair!

Curling your hair or achieving a certain look is often difficult especially if you aren't a seasoned hair curler. (is that even a word?) I'm 21 and it still takes me a few tries when I try a new style! But I will say, curling your own hair with a wand not only gives you more natural looking curls but also is so much quicker.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Bloody, Broken Glass Cupcakes

Happy Halloween!!! (insert cute emojis here ;)

This time of year brings the baker (I wish!) out of me - I looove to make fun, holiday themed cookies, cakes and all sorts of desserts. I originally made these glass shard cupcakes for the season finale of Pretty Little Liars when A's identity was revealed last summer. I loved Pretty Little Liars while it was on (if you loved it too, you'll love these 8 real life lessons we learned from PLL!) and I always made something fun and 'A'-related for a season premiere/finale. Now, I make these cupcakes for Halloween too! I will admit - these are VERY time consuming, tedious and take practice. The second time around was MUCH easier and even took a bit less time since I better knew what I was doing, and they get easier every time. That being said, they are very fun to make and you'll be amazed at how real they look!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

My All American: The Movie + A $25 Gift Card Giveaway and More!

 photo my_all_american_poster_zpsgbhscvoe.jpg

One of my favorite things to do is watch movies; whether in theaters with extra buttery popcorn and Reese's pieces or at home snuggled up with blankets and comfy clothes. Except for horror/gruesome genres, I pretty much will watch any movie that sounds like one I'd enjoy. I'm always watching trailers to movies to get an idea of what I want to see next and when I saw the trailer for the new movie My All American I knew I wanted to see it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What I'm Loving + Link-it To Me Link Party #25

 photo e460acc6-431d-499b-a16e-2228a9198c97_zpsd7ivkzlo.jpg

Happy Tuesday!! Fall is in full swing around here and I'm so excited that its Halloween week! And good luck to all the children who come trick or treating in my neighborhood because I cannot stop eating the candy haha!
Lately there's been trends I love and can't stop shopping for and I've found a lot of variations of each...

Monday, October 26, 2015

The New Kate Spade Home Collection

Kate Spade Home Collection

Are you sitting down? Breathe deep... Kate Spade now has a huge line of insanely gorgeous home furnishings - and I want ALL of it!

Kate Spade is one of my favorite designers ever so when I logged on to shop the Friends and Family sale a few days ago I was so excited to be able to shop the new home collection! There's always been so many adorable office accessories to buy from Kate Spade but now that there's furniture, bedding, lighting and more decor this is a whole different ball game guys!!

Friday, October 23, 2015

20 Places to Travel to in Your 20's

For as long as I can remember, I've always loved to travel and a few years ago I was told that is called wanderlust. I've loved that word ever since I heard it - you know when you just love a word? I LOVE that word! I've been very fortunate to have been able to travel to beautiful destinations and I have no plans of stopping. Since I recently turned 21, I've had plans to go to Las Vegas when the semester ends and somewhere tropical in the middle of winter like Aruba or Grand Turk. I have this weird hobby (brace yourselves people) of opening the Maps app on my iPhone and looking for new islands/places in the middle of no where and then googling them endlessly. I do this every day - probably when I should be doing... anything else basically! I love the idea of seeing new places and thinking about how many different places there are in the world to possibly visit gives me anxiety that I'm not in one of those places as we speak. I love to travel, see new places and experience new things.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Using a Link Party to Grow Your Blog + Link-It To Me Link Party #24

 photo e460acc6-431d-499b-a16e-2228a9198c97_zpsd7ivkzlo.jpg

Happy Tuesday! Recently, I've been reading a lot of articles and learning a lot in hopes of further growing my blog. In addition to this weeks link party, I wanted to share the success that I have with link parties. Not only are they fun to participate in, but it's such a great chance to meet new bloggers and find new blogs to connect with. On top of the social aspect, they can be real drivers of traffic to your blog.

Monday, October 19, 2015

10 Things to do Every Sunday for a Productive Week

For as long as I can remember, Sunday has always been considered the "Monday of the weekend" and Monday - forget it! Even though lazy Sundays are the best (especially in the Fall and winter when its cold outside) my perspective on Sundays has changed a LOT since I've gotten older and more specifically, since I started blogging. Sunday has taken on a whole new meaning to me now and instead of doing nothing on Sundays, I've found it's extremely beneficial to the upcoming week to not be lazy. I love blogging and love what I do so getting things done and working on Sundays isn't a hassle but more of an enjoyment. Working on my blog and in general gives me a sense of relaxation especially to know that its making me organized for the week.
Working hard is the key to success and this applies so much to being a blogger as well. With no work there's no progress and the only way to grow is working hard to meet your goals.

So, having a Sunday that is a nice combination of relaxing but also getting myself prepared and organized for the week is extremely important to me. By nature, I'm a planner. I plan everything and I make a plan to make plans. I have two planners that are filled to the rim and to get things done, I need to have it written down and scheduled into a to-do list. Call me crazy or call me a Virgo, but that's what I've found that works for me best.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fall Decor: DIY "Boo" Hanging Sign

This post contains affiliate links.

By this point I must sound like a broken record when I say how much I love summer, but I really do LOVE Fall too! The house is finally all decorated, I have a different scented candle lit every day and doing DIY projects for the holiday season from now through the end of December is probably my favorite thing to do ever. (sidenote: we found pumpkin flavored baking chips and made them in sugar cookies... TO DIE for!! I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin but these were so good and I'm pretty sure that's because it's Autumn and pumpkin season, obvi!) I try and do a couple new DIY decor pieces each year that way for all the years to come, the collection grows of decor to hang up. For Fall and Halloween, it's hard to find inspiration for projects that aren't repetitive but with this super simple "Boo" sign for a door either outside or inside, I found a project that isn't only fun to make but looks so good with other decor!

Making this BOO sign is so simple and pretty inexpensive too! Here's what you'll need:

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Recent Happenings + Link-it To Me Link Party #23

 photo e460acc6-431d-499b-a16e-2228a9198c97_zpsd7ivkzlo.jpg

Happy Tuesday and happy link up day! This past week has been very busy but an awesome one to say the least! Last week I shared my October goals and I'm happy to say that I'm off to a great start! Okay, so I still haven't created a media kit... BUT my social media numbers are increasing every day! That's a start, right?! It's getting super chilly and Fall-like in New York and I seriously couldn't be happier. This weekend it's only going to hit the high 50's so I cannot wait to wear a pretty sweater and scarf! And of course, boots which you probably saw a whole lot of in my most recent post!! I love summer more than anything, but I've said it before and I'll say it again - there is nothing better than fall clothes!

Here's some happenings from the past week:

Monday, October 12, 2015

Boots and Booties for Fall

 photo fall boots_zpskkbvwyfu.jpg

Besides cozy scarves and oversized sweaters, my favorite thing to wear during the Fall and winter are boots and booties! There's so many styles, colors and variations that you can never collect - I mean have ; ) enough pairs. This season, booties are so in style and I love them because they're easy to dress up or down and also are perfect to wear with a cute pair of jeans; they're different than regular boots and give outfits completely different looks. There's also tons of times that I have a dressy occasions but don't want to take my socks off (for real, it's a struggle every day!) so wearing booties that have a heel is a perfect dressy and classy alternative to a heel. This is also a really great time to buy boots and booties - especially with today being Columbus Day and a ton of great sales!

Here's my favorite boots that I've found for this season:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Influenster VoxBox Review: The HomeComing VoxBox

 photo DSCN5582_zpspkhmhh6i.jpg

This past July, I was introduced to Influenster and joining was one of the best things I've ever done - really!! Influenster is a social platform that allows you to read and write product reviews and rewards members' social impacts with gifts to review. Your social media influence determines what you will review and when by building up points. Ever since joining in July, I've both left reviews on products that I've tried and loved (or tried and hated) and also have read many other reviews on products that have helped determine whether I try something new or not. All members of Influenster are in the same boat, so you can expect to read honest reviews for sure! Influenster is seriously an amazing company and two months into product reviews and anxiously awaiting, I received my first VoxBox in the mail last week!!

When I found out that I was going to to be getting the Homecoming Voxbox I was SO excited and constantly checked my mailbox awaiting its arrival. Here's what I got:

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Goals for October + Link-it To Me Link Party #22

 photo e460acc6-431d-499b-a16e-2228a9198c97_zpsd7ivkzlo.jpg

Where in the world did September go?! Seriously this year is flying by - it's so crazy! At the beginning of another month, I decided to finally share my monthly blogging goals and this month I have some big ones that I'm trying super hard to accomplish. I've always seen bloggers creating goals for themselves each month and always have loved the idea of doing so. I even write some vague goals down in my planner each month but I'm starting to think that if I really think about said goals and even write them AND publish them, that I will likely have a better chance of achieving them every month. I think it's super important both for blogging and in general to set attainable goals for yourself that are a bit challenging too! As I always say, there's always things to do when it comes to your blog - I don't think there's ever any "finishing" point and truthfully, that is by far the best part of it all!

Here's my goals for October:

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Beauty Tips and Products that I love and live by

 photo DSCN5306_zpsyeatyx58.jpg

I began wearing makeup and really caring what I looked like every day when I was going into 7th grade - that's 10 years ago! Over these 10 years I've learned so many beauty and makeup tips and the way I wear makeup has changed SO much (thank god - no more glitter eye shadow) since then. I've learned that less is more and that the only way to find a look you love on yourself is by trial and error. Now, doing my makeup and finding new beauty tips, tricks and products is by far one of my favorite things to do! I love watching YouTube videos and reading blog posts by beauty gurus/bloggers and can honestly say that I've learned SO much from doing so over the years. Little story: the first time I was trying to achieve the perfect smokey eye, lets just say I looked like I got punched in the face! I then found a template from one of my favorite beauty Youtuber's and practiced it over and over and now it's one of my favorite looks on myself.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Recent Happenings + Link-it to Me Link Party #21

 photo e460acc6-431d-499b-a16e-2228a9198c97_zpsd7ivkzlo.jpg

Happy Tuesday! This week is off to a super rainy start and I'm hoping that leaves us with some nice refreshing cool, Fall air! I spent the majority of the day cleaning and organizing my closet, working on some mugs for Sip of Sass Designs and taking lots of blog post pictures for some upcoming posts. I've been focusing a lot of time on planning out my posts and if you aren't already doing so, I highly recommend it! It's helped so much in the long run and knowing that I have a set editorial calendar has made me much more organized. It's also been very helpful to try and jot ideas down when I think of a new idea for a post with as much detail as possible so that when I'm near the computer, I can start writing out the actual post. I feel like organizing blog work is never ending - but I've said it before and I'll say it again, I LOVE it! I don't go five minutes without thinking about something to do with my blog and that's just the way I like it : )

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Creating a Gallery Wall with Maria's Watercolor Designs

 photo resized DSCN5550_zpswvtpmfvv.jpg

As you probably already know, I'm a complete design junkie and can never stop decorating any given space. I recently re-arranged the furniture in my bedroom because I can never stop moving things around and also because I wanted to have room to create a gallery wall! I've always loved the way that gallery walls look and the many ways that you can arrange what you're hanging. For this post, I wanted to have my entire gallery wall finished and ready to photograph but the beauty of creating a gallery wall is that it never truly has to be finished (seems to be my motto doesn't it?) because you can always add to it and make it larger - space permitting of course. So of course, I found two more things I loved for my wall and just purchased them - this print which I found at Home Goods and this map print.