How To Survive Christmas Shopping As A Poor College Student

This one is for you skipping-laundry-day-because-I-spent-all-my-money-on-Chipotle girl. Tis the season to be poor enough already because our student loan money is just about out. AS IF GIFT-BUYING ISN’T ALREADY STRESSFUL ENOUGH.

As a struggling, poor college student, I have been in your shoes and I somehow still pull through as a pretty decent gift giver.. if I do say so myself. So, as my gift to you all for this special holiday season, I’m going to give you my how-to give some decently nice gifts on a BUDGET (a serious budget).

Stretch that penny. Stretch it real good.

  1. Do Not Buy Gifts for all Your Friends (Only the ones you like a lot).

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This is a pretty obvious explanation. The less people you buy for, the less you spend.. which in turn is GOOD. Select just a few of your closest friends and  buy them one thing that they would enjoy. They aren’t relying on you to make this the best Christmas ever with your gift to them. Don’t overthink it. Cheap.. easy.. quick.. done.

Friend Gift Suggestions: Candles, A Single Clothing Item, A Cactus in a Cute Pot, A Liptstick or other Makeup Product

2. Pay Attention TO ALL SALES

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After working retail for a combined amount of 3 years, I can tell you this: there is alwaaaays some kind of sale.. and if you wait another few days there will probably be a better one. Christmas is the time for retailers to DRAG YOU IN by offering some deal that you can’t resist. Some of them are bullshit, but some of them are really great and can check quite a few things of your list. Grab the AD section of the paper from your parents house and go to town.

*Don’t be afraid to ask a store if they have any upcoming deals. The worst that can happen is they tell you “oh we don’t know what is to come” (lie) and you just move on*

3. Black Friday is too much work. Stick to Cyber Monday.

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If running through parking lots, lines and stores that are jam-packed with crazed deal-seekers all while being way too full of Thanksgiving dinner sounds unappealing to you……try Cyber Monday instead. You still get all the excitement of getting a deal without having to shove caffeine-kooky-Carol out of the way. Clothing sites usually do some pretty great things and almost every site gives free shipping *cheers*.

If you’re looking for the big buys.. head over to Amazon.

Also, don’t feel ashamed to maybe grab a few things for yourself.. it is Christmas after all.

4. Don’t Be Afraid of DIY

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It’s the age of Pinterest which has opened the door to handmade being acceptable as a gift and not “cheap”. There are THOUSANDS of how-to’s online for things like bath bombs, candles, ornaments (my DIY for this coming next week), scarves and just about everything else. Package whatever you make in a cute way and BOOM.. easy, cheap and thoughtful gifts.

5. Set Limits For How Much You Plan To Spend 

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Your parents, siblings and significant other are really the top priorities when it comes to gift buying.. so work on those first. None of these people want you going broke to buy them a gift, unless you have a lot of awful people in your life, so don’t stress about how much you’re spending. Get a decent gift and don’t go crazy.

When it comes to a relationship, it’s okay to get a little overboard (since I am always guilty of this). But, still respect (kinda) the price limit you set. It’s okay to discuss with each other how much you both want to spend before hand.. saves both of you from overspending or one person getting more.

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I hope this helps any of you sad, stressed college students out there.

As always, thanks for reading.

-Emily

 

 

 

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Easy Mini Pumpkin Pies

Hello everyone! I’m sorry for abandoning you for quite some time, but I am back with an honestly really delicious dessert recipe to make up for it. Thanksgiving is coming up next week, so I wanted to make sure I had this available for you guys.

Let’s be real… it’s not Thanksgiving unless you gain a few pounds. So, don’t be afraid of these potentially fattening little heaven machines. I promise your family (and yourself) will love them. But, be careful.. they’re really addicting.

*My one suggestion is to make these the NIGHT BEFORE. They need to set up before removing them.. which takes a little bit*

Here’s how to make your own ADORABLE mini pumpkin pies:

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Ingredients: (Makes about 20 Mini Pies)

  • 2 Packages of Pie Crust (the kind you lay out and bake)
  • Two 8-oz Cream Cheese Packages, softened
  • 1 cup of Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • One 16-oz Can Solid Packed Pumpkin
  • 1/2 Cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (if you don’t have this.. just double up on cinnamon)
  • Cool Whip or Canned Whip Cream (or fresh if you’re fancy)

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What You’ll Need:

  • Cupcake/Muffin Baking Tray
  • Hand Mixer
  • Big Bowl for mixing

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Roll out your pie dough and cut out small circles. You want these circles to cover the bottom up until half way to the top of each one. Do this for each and every hole until they’re all filled. Set aside.IMG_2941IMG_2942
  3. Beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time with mixing in between.
  4. Add in all the other ingredients. Mix until well combined. Beware: the smell will make you want to drink the batter.IMG_2943IMG_2944
  5. Fill in each of the dough cups. Fill it until the batter is almost to the top of the tin. It will cover the dough and that is FINE. They don’t grow very much in the over so don’t worry. IMG_2945
  6. Bake them at 350 degrees for 40-42 minutes. They will begin to puff and crack in the middle. Take out and test with a toothpick. It should come out MOSTLY clean.
  7. Let them sit to cool for about an hour and a half. Then refrigerate until needed (this also helps them set). You can serve them either cold or heated up.. both are delicious.
  8. Top with whipped topping of your choice and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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And that’s the finished product.

Perfect for each person to have their own pie and it’s JUST ENOUGH to satisfy your craving.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you plan to or do try it out please let me know in the comments!

Have a great Thanksgiving!!

-Emily

Fall Playlist

I hope everyone is having a good Wednesday! We are half way to the weekend.. so that’s always good news.

(Scroll to the bottom for my Fall playlist..)

Today, Tom and I decided to go for brunch at our absolute favorite place nearby called Ari’s Kitchen. It’s owned by a super nice Greek guy who makes you feel completely at home. We got WAY too much food (Ari even warned us that we were ordering too much) but we didn’t care. We got chicken and dumpling soup for our appetizer… followed by breakfast foods. Weird.. I know. I got the best pumpkin pancakes known to man and Tom got some biscuits and gravy. It was a fantastically filling event.

On our ride back we saw the most photo-worthy fall trees that I just had to get out to photograph. I can’t resist the bright red trees!

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After, we went to go package up some of the handmade shaving brushes that Tom sells. He does some amazing work.. check out his website http://www.manhandledwoodshop.com

Here’s one of his brushes he made…IMG952015101695183653

We did some super cute packaging to match the quality of his work. It’s manly, but still classic. Here is how it turned out.. kinda hard to see the full effect in a picture..

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The rest of the night will include resting and some American Horror Story! It’s nice to have an easy day now and then.


Here is my Fall Playlist for those of you looking for some new things to listen to:

  • If I Should Go Before You – City and Colour
  • Put A Flower In Your Pocket – The Arcs
  • I Won’t Lie – Go Radio
  • Killin The Vibe – Ducktails
  • Come Down – Sylvan Esso
  • Archie, Marry Me – Alvvays
  • Baby Blue – King Kruse
  • Leave You – Sir Sly
  • Prisoner – The Weeknd feat. Lana Del Rey
  • Ride – Twenty One Pilots
  • My Blood – Ellie Goulding
  • Goddess – Banks
  • Pink Matter – Frank Ocean

Thanks so much for reading and I hope you continue to have a great week!

-Emily

DIY Painted Polka Dot Pumpkin

A few days ago, Tom and I decided to go to a local pumpkin patch to grab a few of our own from the fields. It was a wonderful thing to do together and really brought us into the fall spirit. We picked about 6 total pumpkins and some mini pumpkins all for the low price of $15. When the friendly farmer lady told us the price we almost laughed cause we thought she was joking. Even Home Depot charges about $10 for an awful pumpkin.

My advice: always choose the pumpkin patch over large retailers.

The price made us super happy about the pumpkin adventure and we went back to my house to carve them up. We didn’t make any real design plans.. instead we grabbed some knives and cut into them hoping for the best. To the tune of Monster Mash on repeat, Tom chose a simple design: a very simple design. He went with your typical small-faced jack-o-lantern, but it was still adorable because everything he does is adorable to me. I went with a slightly more complex idea.. JACK SKELLINGTON (from Nightmare Before Christmas). I think both of ours turned out perfectly and they now sit proudly outside of my house. They might be rotted out by the time Halloween actually comes, but that’s okay.

It’s really the simple things that bring me so much joy.

Yesterday, I wanted to get a bit crafty with one of my leftover pumpkins. I had heard of “painting pumpkins” and thought it would be an awesome thing to try. I came up with a simple idea: gold paint with black dots. It is so adorable and perfect to add a little bit of flair to your average pumpkin display.

Just in time for pumpkin carving, follow my DIY below if you want to try something new and make your very own PAINTED pumpkin:


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What You’ll Need:

  • Pumpkin of your choice (any size will work)
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Acrylic Paint Brush
  • Cup of Water
  • Paper Plate
  • Old T-Shirt or Newspapers to work on top of

Directions:

  1. First, make sure your pumpkin is rinsed or wiped clean of any dirt (you will run into more if you actually pick it from the field). Working with a clean surface is very important or you will run into problems with the paint sticking. If your pumpkin has a super long stem, cut it shorter before you start. Here’s mine all cleaned up and stem trimmed:

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2. Pick the first color you want to be your “base coat”. I used metallic gold acrylic paint that I found at Michael’s. Squeeze some paint onto your paper plate and begin to paint a thin layer onto the surface of the pumpkin. After it’s evenly coated (it will look very transparent) let it dry for about 20-30 minutes. Here it is with one coat:

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3. If your pumpkin is dry to the touch, you’re ready to apply a second coat. This will probably be ALL YOU NEED. Repeat step 2 by applying an even layer all over the pumpkin. It should look opaque enough, but if it doesn’t you may need to wait another 20 minutes and apply one more coat. Here is how mine looked after the 2nd and final layer:

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4. After waiting 30 minutes for the color to dry.. it’s time to add the polka dots! I used metallic black for my dots, but any color would do the trick. This step takes a little bit of patience and artistic ability since it is KINDA difficult to freehand circles. I drew two different sized dots. Some about the size of a quarter and the others about the size of a nickel. I tried to do an even mix of both for a cool effect. If you use a dark color like black.. you will only need one coat of paint for the dots. Here it is in the beginning after just a few:

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Then I added even more:

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5. Wait for it to fully dry. Clean up all your paint and make sure you rinse the brush for future projects! Use to decorate an indoor area or put it outdoors to add to the jack-o-lanters! It adds a unique, handmade flair to your front step.

Here it is next to my carved pumpkin:

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Thanks for reading and I hope you all try this before the big day which is coming up very soon!

-Emily

Shows I’ve Been Loving On Netflix

When the weather gets cooler, my TV watching rate hits an all-time high. Fall is the perfect time for binge watching seasons and seasons of shows. Grab some friends, throw a viewing party, watch solo or even Netflix and chill.

Here are some shows I love on Netflx:


Mad Men

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Despite years of hearing it nominated for awards at various award shows, I only got around to watching it earlier this year for the first time. No one I knew personally had watched it, but since I am VERY obsessed with the 1950’s and 1960’s I figured I just had to give it a go. I am currently 6 out of 7 seasons into it (so please don’t spoil anything if you’ve already finished) but already this is one of the most well-written, beautifully executed shows i’ve seen. For those of you who don’t know the plot, it’s about a 1960’s NYC advertising agency and all the people who work at it.. mainly focusing on Donald Draper (Jon Hamm). If you guys are looking for a show to fill your down time.. start watching this one immediately. You will be instantly in love with the girl power that Joan and Peggy rule the office with.

Seasons: 7 – Ended in 2014

My Rating✮✮✮✮✮


2. The Office (U.S)

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I’ve been watching this show since it’s premier in 2005 and I can never.. ever.. get enough of it. There has never been a more perfect comedic treasure on television than The Office. The timing, the expressions, the characters: everything is perfect. If you have yet to watch an episode, drop whatever you’re doing and start with season one, episode one right away. Michael Scott (Steve Carell) is potentially the most quotable character in history and he will make you laugh so hard you cry. From his love of Chili’s Awesome Blossom to his constant “that’s what she said” jokes, he keeps you on the edge of your seat. The rest of the cast works flawlessly together to make you feel like you’re actually an employee of Dunder Mifflin.

Seasons: 9 – Ended in 2013

My Rating: ✮ 


3. American Horror Story

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I don’t claim this to be an extraordinarily written show, but it’s really good if you’re looking for a decent story line and a little bit of a spooky/creepy vibe. The 5th season, American Horror Story: Hotel, just premiered last week and it was possibly one of the most gruesome yet. If you’re unfamiliar with the show.. each season is a whole new story: Murder House, Asylum, Coven and Freak Show. I still hold true to thinking that season 1 & 2 are the best yet, but with Lady Gaga taking the place of Jessica Lange this time around.. who knows what kind of surprises are in store. It’s the perfect time of year to binge watch this one.

Seasons: 5 – Currently Airing

My Rating: ✮ 1/2


4. Portlandia

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This is one of those shows you have to be kind of smart and quick to catch the humor, otherwise you probably just think it’s stupid. It’s basically an exaggeration of all the Portand, Oregon stereotypes, portrayed by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. There’s a series of reoccurring characters that you grow to love. This is one of the few shows that can make me laugh out loud. It’s worth a binge watch.

Seasons: 5

My Rating: 


Fall Beauty Obsessions

I should probably just get it tattooed on me at this point.. I’m obsessed with Fall. I’m going to share with you all what I’ve been loving so far into this season. I didn’t get a chance to do a “september favorites” post.. so here is my kinda september favorites and kinda october favorites collection of stuff:

Essie Nail Polishes

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Until recently, I was a total ONLY O.P.I kinda girl. I really don’t have any reasoning behind that other than I thought they were the best and I liked how the color turnout was. But, I bought the purple polish in the shade ‘Bahama Mama’ back in September and really liked how it looked. Then, just a few days ago I purchased the coppery-gold shade ‘Leggy Legend’ and it is SO PERFECT for this time of year. It’s on my nails now and I’m very obsessed. Sorry for cheating on you O.P.I

PRICE: $8.50 each (I got mine at Ulta)


Midnight Romance by Ralph Lauren

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I’m very picky when it comes to fragrances. I rarely like any and I have to smell the entire perfume section at Sephora to figure out which one I like. This one really INTRIGUED me. It has a almost fruity, sultry scent and I am into it. I would suggest it, but everyone has super different opinions on fragrance.

Also, the next fragrance I’m looking to buy is Elizabeth & James (aka Mary Kate + Ashley Olsen) Nirvana Black. It is suppper rich and almost manly.. just my kind of perfume.

PRICE (for Midnight Romance): $54.00 at Sephora


Skin Saviors

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I have the driest skin known to mankind. My hands get absolutely awful the second the weather changes (but really I have problems in the summer too). Absolutely no other lotion works for my hands other than Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Hand Cream. This stuff is AMAZING. It isn’t greasy and gross like lots of other lotions and it absorbs super quick. This is my second container of it. Also, I have to have my Body Shop Lip Butter because these lips crack super easy. It hydrates your lips all day and tastes good as a bonus.

PRICE: Gold Bond – Around $5.00 at any drugstore

Body Shop Lip Butter – $7.00


All The Naked Palettes (almost)

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The hype is true.. these are amazing. I’ve had the first Naked Palette for a super long time. I think I got it the Christmas after it came out. Since I sparingly use eyeshadows, all of my colors are still intact. I love each one separately and can’t pick a favorite. Here’s the simple way to identify them: Naked 1: Super Natural Tones 2. Smoky Eyes and Cool Tones 3. Pinky Tones

They are each around $54.00 which is kinda pricey compared to your average drugstore eyeshadows (obviously) but these are so worth it. I have yet to get the Naked Smoky palette because I rarely wear any super dark eye looks.


Lorac Pro, Naked Flushed and Dream BB

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I got the Lorac Pro before last Christmas and didn’t really get around to using it much until Summer. These shadows have such good color payoff and are all really gorgeous. I usually mix the shades from this with shades from the Naked Palettes. It’s definitely one of my favorites that I own.

The Naked Flushed palette was given to me by my good friend (I know she’s so nice) and I have really been liking it. I am usually terrified of blushes because I always feel like I over-do it.. but the pink shade in here is really subtle and natural. I’m a fan. It also has a bronzer and highlighter inside. It’s a super nice little package.

I use the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream very often (like everyday often) because it’s super light and the coverage is perfect for me. I have like exceptionally clear skin for how bad I am at taking care of it, so I don’t need a whole lot of coverage. It also acts as a moisturizer and sunscreen which I really appreciate.

PRICES:

Lorac Pro: $42.00 on their website

Naked Flushed: $32.00 at Sephora

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream: $6.29 at Target


Sunglasses

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These aren’t just any sunglasses.. They’re PRESCRIPTION sunglasses. When I found out about these cheap prescription sunglasses I was literally the happiest person ever. I have really bad vision (like so bad I can’t see anything but BLUR without my glasses on) and these allow me to finally see out of SUNGLASSES. I got them on Eyebuydirect.com. It’s one of those cheap glasses websites where you tell them your prescription and they make them for you. It’s a pretty great deal. They go with almost everything I wear too (I also have a different black pair).


Candles and More Candles

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I worked at Bath and Body Works.. I worked at White Barn.. and I can officially say that I know my candles. There is nothing that brings me more joy than getting new candles. I am especially in love with every single fall scented candle that exists pretty much. I picked up Sweater Weather and Leaves from White Barn a few weeks ago and I can’t stop burning them. Also I had to include one of my all-time favorite candles Woodwick Campfire Marshmallow.. this one lasts forever (even though mine is almost gone) and smells so good. It also crackles while it burns!

Try to go to Bath and Body Works or White Barn during a sale like 2 for $24. They happen all the time so just check in once in a while. Otherwise they’re $22.50 each for a 3-wick which is just ridiculous.

There is no such thing as too many candles. GO CRAZY.


Thanks for reading everyone and welcome new followers!

xoxo Emily

I Got My Haircut

Hello lovely followers! I hope you’re all having a great week so far. I’ve been very busy recently with some non-blog related personal stuff.. but I’m constantly thinking and working on my upcoming posts (there will be loads on things coming).

A few days ago, I got super fed up with my shoulder length, uneven layered pixie grow out style. I have never really liked having hair longer than my collar bone. I’ve always felt it was unflattering with my face and I just always want to chop it off (hence why I cut my hair off 3 times into a pixie cut).

This time, I wanted to cut it into a sort of Mod-inspired 1960’s style. I went for a blunt (just above) chin length bob. It evened out all of my layers, which will make it easier to grow out without wanting to run for scissors.

I absolutely love how it turned out. It’s so easy to style and makes me feel way cuter on the DAILY.

I’ll post more pictures below:

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