Sunday, November 29, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide for the Broke College Student

While the holidays are by far my favorite part of the year, I always struggle with finding the perfect affordable gifts for my family and friends because I am a broke college student. My sister and boyfriend are the easiest to shop for because they both have very specific interests so I've had their gifts picked out since July (and let me tell you, they're great). As I was doing some shopping online to find gifts for the rest of the lovely people on my list I was having issues finding things that were unique, personal, and affordable, so I decided to compile a list of some of my favorite affordable gifts to help out my fellow college students with their holiday shopping!
Urban Outfitters
Picture Frame
Picture frames make great gifts for anybody on your holiday shopping list! Find a cool frame, print a photo of the two of you, and BAM you're done. I'm obsessed with these super cool glitter frames from Urban Outfitters.
Lush Cosmetics
Lush Cosmetics Gift Sets
These gift sets are super cute, and perfect for any lady (or guy) on your list. They come pre-wrapped (bonus) and Lush has several gift sets under $20! All Lush products are cruelty free and handmade which is another super cool bonus.
Paper Source
Coffee Mugs
Do you know someone who loves drinking warm beverages such as coffee and tea? Give them a mug they can use anytime they enjoy their warm cup of cozy! Also, mugs are every coffee lovers favorite form of self expression, so feel free to get creative.
Urban Outfitters
Initial Decor
Initial gifts are another way to give something personal. Anything with an initial makes a great gift for newlyweds! Urban Outfitters has a great selection of initial decor in all different styles!
Throw Pillows
There are two types of people in the world; those who embrace the throw pillow and those who do not. I am a proud supporter of the throw pillow because they're cute and functional- whats not to love?! These cat throw pillows are perfect for your quirky cat-loving friend AND they're only $20.
Charging Luggage Tag
This gift is both practical AND affordable. If you know a lady who loves to travel, this is the perfect gift to accompany her on her trips. After all, we all know how crucial a charged phone is at the airport.
Urban Outfitters
This post is written for college students and odds are, we all know at least one person who is completely clueless in the kitchen. A cookbook is a fantastic gift to help your friend venture into the world of cooking! (How funny is this cookbook from UO?!)
Paper Source
Holiday Lights Charging Cable
This charger is seriously the cutest thing! I don't think there is a person in the world who would't appreciate this charger as a gift. BONUS: its the perfect way to ensure that your friend/family member gets to enjoy the holidays all year long!
Harry's Winston Shaving Set
This shaving set is perfect for any guy in your life. The set includes one Winston razor handle, a bottle of foaming shave gel, three razor cartridges, and a razor cover. You can get this handy shaving set for only $25!
Paper Source
Pet Impression Ornament Kit
I don't think this one needs an explanation. Any pet owner you know will love receiving this as a gift!
Adult Coloring Books
I am TOTALLY 100% on board with the recent adult coloring book trend. Coloring is such a great stress reliever, and there are so many different themed books out there. I think this one is hilarious, and I'm currently contemplating buying one for myself.
Paper Source
Magnetic Photo Display System
This would make the perfect gift for anyone living or planning on living in a dorm. The set comes with magnetic stickers that you place on the wall and little round magnets to hang your photos/posters/etc.
Candles make great gifts for LITERALLY ANYBODY. Instead of buying a random scent, opt for a scent that you know will appeal to whomever you're shopping for. For instance, the coffee scented candle above would make a great gift for the coffee addict in your life.
Everyone needs a great pair of slippers to keep their feet warm during the cold winter months! There are so many fun styles to choose from which makes it super easy to find a pair for anyone on your list!
Urban Outfitters
Cookie Kit
This cookie kit would make a super fun gift for anyone who enjoys baking/eating cookies! This set comes with a mix, but you could easily make up your own DIY cookie kit! Just find the cookie cutters, make a dry mix, and print out the recipe!

Happy shopping!

xo. Brooke

Monday, November 9, 2015

Luna's Favorite Things

Today is Luna's (estimated) 1st birthday! I am beyond thankful to my amazing Aunt Donna and Uncle Mike for letting me have their sweet kitten this past January. Luna is by far the best and most adorable cat in the whole world and I love her more than anything (I am still unsure if these feelings are mutual). In honor of her first year of life, I decided to write a blog post about all of her favorite things as she can be difficult to please.

Foil Balls
Out of all the toys I've gotten her these foul balls have been her favorite by far. I think she has around 8 of them now. She loves hitting them around and playing catch with me at night before bed. 
Luna LOVES her nummies. Saturday was her first day on adult cat food (sad face), and she seems to have adjusted to the transition well. I got her Friskies Indoor Delights, but if your cat has a favorite food I'd love some suggestions on what to get her next time!
Luna loves being brushed. I brush her every night before we go to bed for about 10 minutes. I usually don't even need to move my hand because she just rubs her body against the brush on her own. I like this brush because it has a button on the back that will push all the hair off the brush when you push it. Daily brushing also helps with shedding! 
Buckle collars
Okay this one is more for me than Luna because she doesn't seem to like wearing collars. All of her previous collars have been break away and she ALWAYS finds a way to get them off. I got her this super cute Christmas collar at PetSmart that has an actual buckle, so it should be a bit more difficult for her to remove.
Cardboard scratching post 
Kainen (my boyfriend) got Luna this scratching post/play house as an early birthday present Saturday and she has been having a blast playing on/in it ever since. She's even chosen it over her rope scratching post that is right next to it. (Kudos to you, Kainen)
Sugar cookies
Okay, this is a weird one but Luna LOVES sugar cookies. My mom sent me some of those great pillsbury Halloween sugar cookies in a care package and Luna went crazy. Kainen broke off a piece and gave it to her and I don't think I . After that she was all up in my business anytime I ate one, and actually pulled a Lady & the Tramp move in me and snuck a bite as I was eating one. 

Time to go celebrate Luna's first birthday with some new toys, cuddles, and cookies!

xo. Brooke

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Hot Topic: Christmas Music Before Thanksgiving

This time each year people across America fall into a heated debate for nearly four weeks as to whether or not it is acceptable to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. There are three classifications of people this time of year: those who refuse to acknowledge the holiday season until a few days before Christmas when they do their gift buying (I like to call these people the "bah humbugs"), those who oppose any and all things Christmas until midnight on Thanksgiving, and those like myself who start listening to Christmas music on, or most likely before, November 1. My sister and I grew up listening to Christmas on the reg starting in early November, much to the dissatisfaction of our parents who are of the second previously listed variety of Christmas celebrators. Here are my 5 reasons why it is COMPLETELY okay to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving:

Stores start playing Christmas music on November 1
If November 1 is good enough for corporate America, it's good enough for me too. That is all.

Christmas music makes you feel warm and fuzzy
This is obviously the number one reason to listen to Christmas music at any and every time of the year. Christmas music has some kind of magical power that overcomes Christmas lovers with joy. I don't know how it does it, but it works. (It's also great study music)

I don't think this needs an explanation, but I'll give one anyways. It would be nearly impossible to learn all five parts of every single PTX Christmas song if I only started listening to them after Thanksgiving. I'm sure it could be done, but I have finals and other things to do in December. 

Planners start Christmas shopping early
If you're like me, you start making your Christmas shopping list in July. This means that I am in the "Christmas spirit" a little longer than many people, so of course I'm going to want to listen to Christmas music! I currently have a secret Pinterest board where I have been pinning all of my gifts I've planned to buy for my family and friends. Now I'm just waiting for Cyber Monday to order it all! (Cyber Monday is the new Black Friday, people.)

Pro-Christmas is not Anti-Thanksgiving
Every year the "bah humbugs" get mad at those of us already basking in the Christmas glory by saying, "it's not even Thanksgiving yet". We know, and guess what, WE LOVE THANKSGIVING TOO. Thanksgiving means that our Christmas celebration is FINALLY widely accepted, and we are finally able to unleash our inner Christmas elves.

As the song says "its the most wonderful time of the year", so how lame is it to cut that wonderful time down to a mere 4 weeks?!?!! Also, the Christmas season basically extends through the entire month of November anyways (thanks to the retail industry), so we might as well go along with it and embrace all the greatness that the holiday season has to offer! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going go continue listing to the Pentatonix album "That's Christmas to Me" while I drink my Starbs peppermint mocha.

Happy Holidays!

xo. Brooke