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Christmas Countdown: Gift Guide For Everyone!

If you are anything like me (Sydney), you just realized that you have less than 2 WEEKS until Christmas and you still have tons of gifts to buy! Where did 2017 go?! Of course, I’ve had months to shop and prepare, but instead I’m ordering last minute and rush shipping everything. I’ll be using our 2017 gift guide to knock a couple of things off my list (slash I’ve already ordered a few of these things for myself – Merry Christmas to me!). It’s broken out by category to make it easy to shop – For Him, For Her, For Baby, For Toddler, For Kids, and Stocking Stuffers Under $25. 

Click here to view the gift guide.

Though you couldn’t go wrong with any of the items on these lists, I’ve highlighted a couple of my favorite items I will be buying this next week!


For Him

The Nest Learning Thermostat is one of my favorite things we have in our house. You can change and monitor the temperature on your phone through the Nest app. So, if you are out-of-town, you can turn the air down and save energy and then when you are headed home, you can set it to the perfect temperature. My husband and I always battle about the temp (I always think it’s too cold and he always thinks it’s too hot) so this also a good way you can change it without the other person noticing… I’m joking… kind of. We love our Nest thermostat and it is a great gift that any man would love!

Give the Gift of Good Skin with Dermalogica

I have shared about my love for Dermalogica on Instagram before – I use a variety of their products every morning and evening, and I love how clean and moisturized they make my face. I am definitely a true brand loyalist! I wanted to convert Sydney, so I asked her to try two of their limited edition holiday gift sets – the AGE smart Daily Defenders and the AGE smart Lip Smoothing Duo – to see what she thought. Spoiler alert: she loved them. More details below!


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Now that Thanksgiving is over, I am ready to start thinking about buying everyone on my list their Christmas gifts. I have been listening to Christmas music since the day after Halloween, and even though I’ve been itching to decorate the tree, I’ve held back and waited until Thanksgiving was over. Now all that’s left to do is trim the tree and stock up on the gifts.

I am obsessed with finding new skincare products and sharing them with my girlfriends and my mom for Christmas. Every year I gather up my favorite products and share them with the ladies in my life! I especially love finding new products that help reduce wrinkles and makes me look younger, so I was so excited to try Dermalogica’s AGE smart Daily Defenders and AGE smart Lip Smoothing Duo after hearing Ailee speak so highly of their other products.

Our Family Beach Photos

I have always loved beach family photos – the lapping blue, reflective water, the dreamy sun setting in the background, the white sand, the wind tousled hair. We have never had the opportunity to have a beach session, so when we booked our trip to the Hilton Sandestin, I started searching for a photographer immediately. I could not be more excited about finding Lauren Folk of Folk House Creative Co., because y’all, she is not only super talented, but a dream to work with. She seriously captured our small little family perfectly, and I will truly print and treasure these photos forever. I am so grateful for Lauren! If you are traveling to the Destin area, I cannot recommend her enough.

There is so much joy in these photos. Sweet Emi was very much ready for bed, but Lauren somehow managed to appear less tired than she really was! That babe was asleep less than ten minutes after we wrapped them up, but Lauren (and Isla) had her grinning with their smart posing and silly faces (well, Isla’s!). Without further adieu, a narrowed down, but still expansive, selection of favorites from our session.

Getting Started with Smile Direct Club

Well, this smile journey story has a strange start, but stick with me for a minute!

In 2009, I interning in France, and during this time, my friend, Andrew and I, went on a little vacation to Nice. We bought some snacks for the beach, and the vegetarian that I am, I grabbed some carrots. As I’m sitting on the pebbled beach, I bite into a carrot and ‘pop’! I managed to unglue one of the sides of my permanent bottom retainers. The bar was still attached to the other side, but it now protruded slightly into my mouth, under my tongue. It wasn’t painful, but it was very bothersome. I thought many times about going to an orthodontist in Paris to have it fixed, but my French was very conversational and I couldn’t wrap my head around calling and booking an appointment, so alas, I never did. When I returned at the end of August, the day I got home, I went in to get it fixed. At my orthodontist’s office, he told me that my smile looked great, and since I had been out of braces for over ten years, he would just take off the permanent retainer. Worst. Idea. Ever! 

Fast forward to 2011, my wisdom teeth all start coming in, and since I am a huge chicken when it comes to needles, I endure the pain of them all breaking through my gums and crowding my mouth. Cue teeth moving. 

So now, in 2017, I have buckled bottom teeth that drive me absolutely crazy! I cannot stand seeing how crooked they have become, but Sasha thinks it isn’t a big deal, and the $5,000 we would pay for Invisalign has always seemed too much to fix this problem. Enter Smile Direct Club. Smile Direct Club offers affordable teeth straightening aligners at a price that is 60% less than competitors. 

2016 Gift Guide for the Pet Lover

Happy Friday, everyone! Amanda is back with the last gift guide of the year – one for Pet Lovers. I absolutely love the other two guides she curated, for the Outdoorsman and for the Fashion Forward Male. I hope you enjoy this one and make sure to check out all of the others we’ve posted!