My Favorite Holiday Centerpiece this Year

I love going home for the holidays, who doesn’t?? My momma always buys the best holiday gifts and decorations for my sister and me. This year, she really took the cake with a gorgeous electric glitter candle that everyone was raving about at Thanksgiving dinner!

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It’s battery-operated and garnished with a little pine needle wreath around the bottom, but the BEST part is the fact that super sparkly glitter lights up and swirls around inside the candle! It’s unbelievably beautiful! We would have bought a dozen more, but our store ran out! So check the Lowe’s near you and if they’re in stock, go grab a few, you won’t regret it. What a perfect holiday centerpiece or gift this year!

Candle GIF

The pictures don’t do it justice, so I took a silly GIF to show you how lovely the glittery swirl looks. :)

Buy this battery-operated glitter candle for $17 here!

Secret Santa Gift Ideas Under $20

Work places and friend groups are getting ready to do gift exchange programs as the holiday season approaches! Our staff is starting our Secret Santa hunt today, and we use the website Elfster to organize our Secret Santa. It’s an awesome way to anonymously choose gift givers and keep track of gift suggestions.

If you’re part of the office Secret Santa, I came up with 9 gifts that I personally would love to receive, and where you can find them!

Secret Santa Gifts

1) 7-Piece Critter Cookie Set (Crate & Barrel $16.95)

2) Clinique Happy Perfume Rollerball (Ulta $19)

3) Mobile Phone Bike Mount (Amazon $16.99)

4) Metal Photo Clip String Set (Urban Outfitters $14)

5) Hemp Hand Protector (The Body Shop $20)

6) Ghiradelli Peppermint Bark ($20)

7) Pier 1 Christmas Tree Ornament ($6.95)

8) iHome Mini Speaker (Best Buy $19.99)

9) Moscow Mule Copper Mug (Nordstrom $24.99)

What will you buy your Secret Santa??

These Altuzarra Booties are Everything.

Have you ever passed on a pair of shoes, and then couldn’t stop thinking about them for the rest of the day/week/month?? That was me this past September… I found these incredible fashion ankle booties from Target; they fit perfectly, and they were unbelievably hot, but for some reason (probably the $59.99 price tag), I put them back on the shelf and they’ve been haunting me ever since.

d5068aea35c388ff45ebec1b230079d1So while I started early Christmas shopping this weekend online, I decided to swing over to Target’s shoe department and see if they still had any available in my size, and GUESS WHAT! They not only had them, they were 50% OFF!!!

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So now I get these kick-ass booties for under 30 bucks, an extra 5% off with my Target RedCard, $2 cash back on Ebates, AND free shipping right to my house. Ah, I’m so satisfied. #ShoeGoodKarma

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The reason I love these ankle boots is because they’re SO different than anything else I’ve seen in stores this season. The pointy toe gives it a little bit of a witchy feel and I totally dig it (kinda Hocus Pocus-y, right?). The heel height is perfect for dressing up, but the laces dress it down just enough to make them appropriate for skinny jeans.

Boots

Buy these amazing Altuzarra ankle boots here! Kohl’s coat $100

12 Groceries that I Buy Every Sunday (and what I do with them!)

I love to grocery shop over the weekend. It prepares me to eat healthy throughout the week, and motivates me to [hopefully] cook some nice meals and save money by not going out. My favorite grocery store is Trader Joe’s, but honestly, I grab my canned goods from Target and Aldi and my produce from a farmer’s/produce market whenever possible.

I love a full fridge!

I love a full fridge!

Here’s my list of 12 goodies that I make sure to buy every trip to the grocery store. Hopefully it helps you next store trip!

Groceries that I Buy

What I do With My Groceries:
EGGS – I hard boil 1/2 of them for snacks, and use the rest to top my black beans burgers.
FRUIT - 1 piece of fruit for breakfast, 1 as a snack in between lunch and dinner.
SPINACH -  I sauté spinach and throw it in almost everything I make. It has no taste or texture, so it’s perfect to add in casseroles, sauces, and smoothies.
ALMOND MILK – For the cereal & as a base for smoothies.
GREENS - Greens are a side dish for every meal. Kale chips, roasted broccoli, etc.
CEREAL - Low-sugar, high-fiber cereal is an awesome late night snack.
FROZEN CHICKEN - I use frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot. Toss them in the morning, and dinner’s ready when I get home. This is my favorite recipe!
STEAMABLE VEGGIES - Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh ones (maybe even more so, since they’re frozen within hours of being picked), and a heck of a lot easier.
CANNED BEANS  - THESE amazing burgers!!!
ONIONS - Onions are add low-calorie flavor to everything.
TUNA - Combine tuna, avocado, and celery for a quick, easy lunch.
AVOCADOS - One -> tuna salad lunch; one -> top black bean burger.

Ridiculously Healthy Overnight Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

I LOVE steel cut oats! They’re super filling, high in fiber and protein, and very inexpensive to eat on a regular basis. This is a great graphic from Prevention.com showing why they’re better than rolled oats.

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Everybody loves pumpkin during chilly fall days, and any way I can incorporate pumpkin into breakfast is alright by me. I love this recipe from Around My Family Table because I wake up in the morning with my house smelling like pumpkin pie, and a healthy, hearty meal that I barely had to work for at all. :)

Whatcha Need:
1 cup of steel cut oats
3 1/2 cups of water
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup brown sugar or honey

Whatcha Do:
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook for 6 hours on low. Stir occasionally if possible. Top with brown sugar for taste.

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SISTER TIP: I add a couple spoonfuls of flax seed to the slow cooker, and topped the oatmeal with cranberries and walnuts to add even more nutrition. :)

100% Natural Holistic Conditioner Has 100% Changed My Hair

Ok, about two months ago, I decided I had had enough of tangly, knotted, damaged, dry hair. I have really fine hair, so I’m forced to wash my hair every day, and my hair felt overworked and dry! I started to research the ingredients in my store-bought Biolage conditioner online, and I was pretty disturbed/concerned with what I found. All of these chemicals were actually making my hair more damaged, more dry, and less clean.

When you think about it, shampoo cleans your hair, yes, but also completely strips your hair of natural oils that it needs to stay healthy and look beautiful. So, to counteract this damage, we ladies use conditioner, which literally puts back all of the moisture and oils that we just ripped away while shampooing. The whole process seemed a little twisted to me, and I decided to try out a more holistic approach (baby steps) and try out an all-natural conditioner. [PSST – keep reading for a promo code, too!]

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I shopped around online, and found Silk18 by Maple Holistics on Amazon. The reviews were absolutely stellar; nearly every reviewer had a positive experience with the conditioner and was more than pleasantly surprised with the results. I ordered, and although I absolutely fell in love with this product the first time I used it, I wanted to use it for a few more weeks before sharing it on the blog to make sure it was still working amazingly.

I’m here to tell you that IT IS! I LOVE this conditioner, I swear I may never use another. Here’s why:

  • It’s all natural: This is a given. There’s no ingredients that I can’t pronounce, and it makes me happy that I’m using at least one product on my body that I trust.
  • It smells INCREDIBLE: I was nervous about the smell, since there’s no added fragrances, but it smells so light, airy, and fresh, I love it!
  • It detangles my hair! Seriously!: I only use a dime-sized amount of this stuff, but I don’t even need any detangling product after my shower. It makes it silky soft and smooth.
  • It’s made in the USA & not tested on animals: Both of these are huge pluses for me. Sold.

As an added bonus, I reached out to the company to share my excitement about their product and let them know I was planning to blog about it, and they gave me a promo code for a whopping 30% off of the Amazon price for my readers! Just type in promo code MAPLEH30 at check out. That means you can order this stuff for only $9.29 plus free Prime shipping!

All Natural Conditioner

Let me know if you love this holistic approach to hair care as much as I do :)

How to: Grapefruit Cuticle Softener

DIY Grapefruit

Writing a post about grapefruit is ironic for me, because I loathe grapefruit. I’ve read all the articles about the amazing benefits of them and all the great things they do, like weight loss, clear your skin, punch  you with an insane amount of vitamins, and combat cancer, blah blah blah. But even while I read all these things, I keep thinking, there must be something I can do with a grapefruit that DOESN’T involve eating them!

Lo and behold, I was in the doctor’s office waiting room last week, and the show The Doctors (ironic, I know) came on the TV. They shared a lot of DIY beauty tips, but one that stuck in my head was an easy grapefruit cuticle softener that anyone can do at home!

My cuticles get crazy awful during the winter months, and while I usually soften them with lotion, this grapefruit method truly keeps them soft for longer and is an all-natural way to start off your at-home manicure!

Grapefruit Manicure

All you do is cut a grapefruit in half, pour a bit of extra virgin olive oil on top, and wiggle your fingers into the meaty part. Keep them there for 3-5 minutes and you will immediately see softened cuticles, exfoliated nails, and they smell delicious!

Will you do an at-home grapefruit manicure today??