Valentines Day Gift Guide 2022

Love is in the air! Or maybe it’s the intoxicating combination that is my night serum, a bowl of Sixlets and the Christmas cookie candle I am polishing off? Anyone else a Sixlet fan while we’re on the subject? I feel like Sixlets are to candy as Hallmark movies are to cinema. They pass as a candy and I do enjoy the crunch, but there is hardly any substance.

But today I am not here to talk about candy-oh wait, YES I AM. I am here to talk about sweets, and candles and flowers and anything else cheesy or dipped in fakey chocolate. As previously mentioned time and time again, I am a real sucker for Valentines Day. Love the color palette, love the gifts, love the vibe, love it all. And now more than ever – what the world needs now is love, sweet love.

I have rounded up some of the best gift ideas for the lad, lady or wee-lass in your life! And here they are:

Le Maxi Macaron Rouge & Moi Kit

I got this kit for Christmas a couple of years ago and I have just loved it. Le Mini Macaron polishes are a one-step gel nail polish that require an LED lamp. In this particular kit, the lamp is a macaron -yes, a MACARON.

The manicures easily last 2 weeks and soak off without too much work with acetone. The brand has a decent range of colors and a shiny top coat which I have recently tried.

Shades: Rose Antique and Rose Dahlia

I recently tried this opaque white and was really impressed with the result. The below picture is after approximately 9 days of wear.

Sol de Janiero ’40 Black Amber Plum & Vanilla Woods Body Mist

All of the fragrance mists from Sol de Janeiro are wonderful in their own right. And this warm floral scent is absolutely perfect for Valentines Day. At some point I will likely own the whole lineup, including ’71 (the carmelized vanilla and macadamia one) because who doesn’t want to smell like a SNACK?

Heart Print Puffed Shoulder Sweatshirt and Pearl Embellished Pink Sweater

YOU GUYS. These sweaters are Charter Club from Macys. Am I 400 years old or has Charter Club stepped up their game? Because I find both of these tops to be quintessentially Valentines Day adorable. I need both and will pair them with a bow in my hair.

Name Stories Print

Wouldn’t it be so sweet to do a little collage of these with all your family member’s names? The above-pictured prints come in 16 color choices and the section at the very top is customizable. Here are a couple of others for reference:

The quality is un-matched and the site has over 4,000 names to choose from. Also, the print comes expertly packed between very sturdy cardboard so it arrives in pristine condition.

Customized Pint Glass from Well Told

A perfect gift for the drink-lover, be it beer, wine, coffee, whiskey or water – these beautifully etched items are unique and can be super personalized. Each item can be customized with any U.S city (seriously! even really small towns), college town, night sky, or topography. Of course I had to make a Portland map for my David. He loves this glass and always gets it out when we have company over so everyone can ooh and aah over his cool glass. Check out some of these other ideas!

Subscription Boxes

I have been really into watching subscription box reviews lately and feel that these would make such fun gift ideas! I have heard great things about the Jilly Box, the Margot Elena box and Universal Yums.

Some of you might know that I also subscribe to get Billie razor refill blades delivered every other month.

I love Billie’s products, their packaging and basically everything else they stand for. ALSO – have you seen their dry shampoo bottle? Ridiculously cute.

I have a referral link for Billie (anyone can get one!) which gives me $5 off if you are interested in signing up.

I also recently tried the Nudge oral care subscription, which came with:

  • Fluoride-free natural toothpaste
  • 2 sustainably sourced bamboo toothbrushes
  • 100% biodegradable floss
  • Alcohol-free and fresh concentrated mouthwash

These products are all-natural, sustainably sourced, use responsible packaging and are kid-friendly. I love having products I use all the time like razors, dry shampoo and oral care ship to me automatically. It is one less thing I have to worry about replenishing and makes life just a tad bit easier. These boxes are perfect gifts for the “act of service” love language type. I mean, what says “I love you” more than lifting a burden and providing great oral hygiene?!

Cuddle and Kind Dolls

These sweet, hand-knit dolls make me want to have 5 more babies. And not only because all of the stuffies are so cute – but because for each doll sold, Cuddle and Kind donates 10 meals to a kid in need. Hannah the Bunny would make such a precious Valentines gift for any little!

Couples Split Blanket

End the nightly tug-of-war for around $100! I found this product on Uncommon Goods (it’s like a bougie Sky Mall) and instantly knew I needed to talk about it. This is a blanket and sheet set that comes pre-split down the middle, but not all the way to the end. You can tuck in the bottom and each person has their own sheet and blanket, which is 4 inches wider there is plenty of room. I LOVE this idea!

Bar Fly Fragrance

It wouldn’t be a true Valentines gift guide if there wasn’t at least 2 fragrances right? Hat tip to my sister Amy (who always has the low-down on great fragrances) for introducing me to Bar Fly. This cologne is advertised as a unisex fragrance and I could not agree more. I think it tends to lean a but more masculine but personally I have always been a fan of heavy, masculine scents on women. This scent features notes of citrus-herb, jasmine, sandalwood, musk and Madagascar vanilla. I used to love walking by the Scotch & Soda store in Pioneer Place on my lunch breaks and the smell of Bar Fly would waft under my nose. It is such an alluring and lovely fragrance.

Plush Valentines Throw Blanket

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22 (sorry I had to) our 10-year-old is obsessed with blankets. Especially ones that are extra fuzzy and cozy. This $10 blanket from Target fits the bill perfectly and is adorned with pink hearts. What’s not to love?!

Yeti Rocks Rambler

I hate to include something so generically “manly”, but this little sucker is one of my husband’s favorite things. It keeps his whiskey cokes SO ice cold (as the name on the front would suggest) that the ice from his 6 o’clock cocktail is still intact the next morning. And it comes with a lid – which let’s be honest, shouldn’t all vessels meant to contain alcoholic beverages come with a lid?!

DW Home Coffee Cup Candles from TJ Maxx

Run! Don’t walk to TJ Maxx if you like these candles because I can only find them in-store. Are these not the cutest containers ever? I mean, the basic in me is just screaming. The only drawback are the scents – which sadly, are not my favorite but I am willing to overlook it for the rampant cuteness of the vessel. You could re-use as part of your decor and fill with conversation hearts! I MEAN.

And that is my list! What do YOU want for Valentines Day?

*Some of the items above were sent to me complimentary for review. All opinions are my own.

My 2021 Christmas List

The tradition lives on!

I have been posting these puppies since 2013 and looking back, they have all followed the same basic formula. A shoe, a jean, usually a bag, fragrance and/or beauty item. Maybe a lord of the rings phone case or STATEMENT NECKLACE (click here to see a few other doozies). Remember the statement necklace? Man, I loved ’em. I have even kept a few in hopes that one day they will make a comeback. I know it’s a long shot, but – bucket hats? Jnco jeans? What goes around comes back around in the world of fashion, amiright?!

This year’s theme is pretty paired down and includes some of the typical items we have all come to expect from yours truly. But there are also one or two fun things poking about – let’s get to it!

I discovered the Margot Elena Box on YouTube and instantly knew I’d love to try one after seeing all the amazing brands inside. You can expect to find items from Lollia, TokyoMilk and Library of Flowers in this box, with a combined price of up to $200. I feel like this would be such a fun thing to look forward to!

If you watch Mikayla Nogueira on TikTok, you understand why I want the Glow Recipe Niacinamide Drops. They supposedly make the skin truly glow and also provide treatment for dark spots, two things I am always after. Plus it doesn’t hurt that the packaging is adorably cute.

These corduroy overalls from Aerie are just so friggen’ cute. If you are an 80’s kid, you know the nostalgia of corduroy and the fact that they’re an overall makes these just irresistible to me.

The Clinique Happy Cookies & Kisses Perfume is just that – happiness in a bottle. If you know me well, you know that smells are, like, VERY important to me. I love a candle, a wax melt, perfume, body spray, you name it. This fragrance really does smell like cookies and therefore, I need to own it.

I want these Universal Thread Sneakers from Target simply to fill a gap in my wardrobe. With the roll-out of the wider leg, 90’s jean one also own a chunkier sneaker for accompaniment. I determined that I was not ready to fork over the $100+ for Air Force 1’s, and these fun sneakers from Target totally fit the bill.

A pair of huggie earrings such as these have also made the list, due to their rampant cuteness. I find the huggie style to be both super flattering, but also comfortable. Which essentially, defines my style as a whole.

The Madewell Transport Rucksack has been on my list for YEARS now. I think it started when I saw Home Alone 2 for the first time and watched Kevin McAllister run around New York City with his dad’s classy backpack.

Note the leather touches

And lastly, but certainly not least – this vintage-style keychain from Amazon. It’s adorable, and fun, and makes me feel like I live in a little flat on Rue Cler!

And that about does it folks! What is on YOUR list this year?

A Fall Update

Holy November!

I feel like such a BWG when I say it, but how is it November really? I feel like adulthood and parenting most notably makes you realize just how fast time is flying by. All of the sudden Clara is using full sentences and walking up the stairs without touching the railing. And E is already getting invited to boy-girl parties and shopping in the juniors section. And so, “Sunrise, Sunset” plays on a constant loop inside my brain and I cry silent tears as I make the hard decision to stop using Dreft on Clara’s clothes and realize E can almost start borrowing my clothes.

I MUST digress.

TBH honest this fall has been pretty darn tough. I have recently taken on a new role at work, a bit of a promotion really, and man is it pushing my limits. After roughly 15 yrs in the work force I think I have finally realized my strengths as a steadfast implementer. The big thinker, I am not not. But once I have a directive or goal – I am darn good at making it all happen. And I am getting better at streamlining processes along the way. The problem sometimes is that us “think outside the box”, make it happen people are not a dime a dozen. So others end up relying on us too much, they come to expect our hustle and ability to figure it out, and that can be tough to uphold day in and day out. I am still trying to find the balance, the rhythm and most importantly – the strength to speak up when things are out of control to maintain my poise, my stamina. OK work talk over.

While it has been a tough past few months, of course there have been joys.

We will start with pumpkin patches.

Yes, patches. I feel like one patch is sufficient each fall. You walk around in the mud, pet a goat, pay $9 for a couple donuts. But since Clara came along, it’s like BRING ON the patches. The girl just loves ’em. She really just loves pumpkins you guys. And she doesn’t even care that we don’t buy the pumpkins, she just likes being around them.

She also LIVES for Halloween. We have been talking about it all year. And she had costumes chosen for us all.

How could I NOT be Daisy Duck for this tot? But the best part was the organization of E’s candy, as evidenced here:

Oh, and I finally got around to hanging up my Dorothy M. Davis (my grandma) original oil painting. What a beaut!

Other notable highlights include Clara’s first Blazers game of the season, some great wagon rides, walks, couch-time and some corduroy overalls (for me).

Stay tuned for a few updated beauty favorites next week! Happy fall everyone :).

Happenings!

I went to a charity event that my work was a sponsor for and had the rare opportunity to dress up in Portland, Oregon! For once, wearing something nicer than jeans in public felt acceptable! I didn’t take a good picture of how I did my hair for this event, but I used the following tutorial and it worked like a charm!

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You can kinda see my hair better here:

meThe event had an Arabian Nights theme (basically if I had Princess Jasmine pants I WOULD have worn them) and there was a hookah bar!

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And alas, I had to give little Henry back to his mom and dad. It was a bittersweet day because I was sad not to see his little tiny wagging body at the door everyday, but happy to see him reunited with his humans. The last day I had him, I took him for a nice long walk and wore a heck of an outfit:

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I found these hilarious illustrations on Instagram the other day from @ohdeer. Just SO perfectly applicable and user-friendly.

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And my personal favorite…

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And lastly, my eyelash game has been on point! As have my car selfies apparently…

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And also. I’ve been havin alot of days on the couch lookin’ like Kermit the Frog:

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And walking down to get the mail like dis:

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Big Patagonia coat, jammy shorts and veiny feet in ballet flats

And lastly….anyone else love Phoebe Snow? My LORD do I love her voice! Nan and I share a real love for Poetry Man.

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The Cutest Weekend

Hello all you red and pink Starbursts!

Last week, two very awesome things happened to me.

  1. I became an aunt
  2. I became a chi-sitter

The high dose of cuteness was simply too much for me to handle. Here I was, driving down the highway on a sunny Saturday, Henry cozied up in a coil in his carseat (yes, he has a carseat), on the way to see my baby nephew who I had not been introduced to. On top of that, my parents finally moved into their new house and I was going to be their very first house-guest. My cheeks LITerally hurt from smiling and this time – no Redbulls were consumed. Just me, Henry, an awesomely entertaining book on tape and a couple fun-sized Snickers.

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Loved this book!

I arrived in Kennewick and went straight over to the new digs. Nan and Gare are going to be so happy there, but right now moving-mode has made them both cray. I totally get it.

We promptly went over to Megan and Ben’s and wouldn’t you know it, Big Gare was holding Tate in the little chair by the window. He looked so tiny wrapped in my Dad’s embrace and yep – I started to cry.

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Tate is very small. I don’t know what I was expecting – like an 8 pound BB is big? His head is pretty much totally round and he has a little bit of blonde hair. He has all ten fingers and ten toes and his skin gets red when he cries. He loves to wave his hands around and most of the time, they are right next to his mouth or on either side of his head. His legs get all stiff when you change his diaper and he has that gross belly button clip thingy so you have to fold the diaper down a little. I could talk about this tiny little human forever, I guess.

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Megan only had one or two long-sleeved newborn onesies, so Nan and I ran to Fred Meyer to get more. I happened upon a couple a 40% off the lowest marked price racks and tried on a couple skirts (go fig!) to no avail. We bought a bunch more newborn things, a bottle of white wine and a bag of Pirate’s Booty. The we hit up Kennewick’s wide array of fine dining establishments for take-out. We got KFC for Nan and Ben and Bruchi’s for Meg and I. YUM.

That night, Nan and I opened up a bottle a’Hogue and I slipped into these awesome jammies.

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The next day I woke up, drank coffee and ate cereal with measuring spoons (again, not everything has been moved to the new house). I threw Henry’s chewie around for a while and then he curled up in a sunny spot. Then we went for a little walk!

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My mom and I brought Megan a Starbucks and she happily drank it while Nan and I gave Tate a bath.

Basically he screamed his little head off and Megan was yelling at us because we got his little belly button wet and apparently you aren’t supposed to. So, we scooped him out after about 15 seconds (no joke) and I got to lay with him while he calmed down and my heart was bursting with all the love and joyness.

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A couple hours later, I had to drive back to Portland. I got stuck in traffic right after Hood River and my book on tape ended so I went ahead and scream-sang Sister Act 2 until my voice was hoarse. Henry slept through it all 🙂

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The Hawks lost to the Packers that day but the warmth of Henry’s little body laying by my side made everything okay.

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Oh, and here is Tate today!

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The Weekend & a Haul

Ello Poppets!

Why I am talking in pirate, I do not know.

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I do however, know how to rock Kelly Kapowski hair, as evidenced above.

So last weekend I bought some sh*t and per usual, I thought I’d share!

Let me also congratulate the Huz on taking the CFA no.3 – it is no easy feat these GD tests and I for one, am glad it’s over! Saturday night we popped a little champs and I gussied up REAL NICE.

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I decided to put on falsies because I’m so fancy (you already know).

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The next day we wandered around Mississippi and HOW have I not been on that street before!? I wore polka dot shorts and my new shoes from target!

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And thennnn I went shopping. For BEAUTY PRODUCTS.

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I decided to finally try the Fake Bake Flawless after much deliberation. I determined that for the price ($26) and the fact that it’s a high-end product, I ought to give ‘er a go.

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I went into Mac with the intention of being a good girl and just looking. A new collection came out so I just felt like swatchin’ up my arm. And then I realized I need more Fixed+ and the girl convinced me I needed Warm Soul. So I broke down.

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This color doesn’t look like much but it is beeeautiful on the cheeks and I can’t wait to smother this all over when I have a bit of tan happening.

And lastly, I went to Ulta. Where I decided it was ludacris I didn’t own the Real Techniques Sculpting Brush. And thennnn they were Buy One Get One 50% Off, so I also got a little shading brush.

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And maybe the most exciting thing ever happened, but first a little background. My little sister Amy is getting married in September and I am bridesmaid. They have instructed us to get long, gray dresses and I thought I had found one from a gal at my work but it turns out that my mom cannot alter it so I was on the hunt again. I reallllly didn’t want to go the David’s Bridal route but was pretty sure that was my only option. Well folks, I found this little number hanging in the sale section at The Rack for $109 – my size – AND Monique Lhullier!

PLEASE NOTE: To anyone that thinks I walk this earth sporting a full face of makeup everyday, I encourage you to take a long gander at my mug below. Evidence, people. I do not.

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Anyweeeez that was my weekend! Til’ next time, I remain your humble, mascara-obsessed internet friend.

Kayaks, Sore Throats and Jersey Girls

yyyello!

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MAC St.Germain and Oversized Pearls for the WIN

How are all you BBs doing this week?

I’ve been singing in the car waaaay too hard lately. I accidentally took the following selfie when I was trying to capture a funny man in teensy biker shorts the other day:

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Mid Power-Ballad

Also, I had quite the weekend! My bestie Holly and her fiance Matt came into town, I developed a horrendous sore throat and lastly, I found it ridiculously easy (dare I say, scarily) to speak in a New Jersey accent.

It allll started on Friday night where we met up with the Dweedles (Dee and Dumb that is, hehe, jk) at Bamboo Sushi in NW 23rd. It was hilar that Holly suggested this place because we have taken many of our outta town friends there.

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Holly ordered saki which to me is ball sweat, but whatevs. The sushi is always solid and then you have the Salt & Straw option next door!

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The next day I picked up Holly, wet hair and all, from her hotel and we ventured out to the reason for their visit (other than me, amazing me), a kayak demo put on by Next Adventure in Sellwood park.

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Closed-mouth smile!

The day was absolutely GORG and I loved the fact that there was nothing I even remotely wanted to buy! I also learned that SUP stands for Stand Up Paddleboard, go fig, right!? Anyweeez, Matt hooked us up with awesome NRS t-shirts and other swag (such a celeb rn) and then we headed to my friend Aliese’s house for her daughter’s bday!

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It was a princess theme so obvi I died.

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Mini Elsa omgaosiedas9q23j9!*(&@

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More SWAG

The princess costumes of today are sooo legit compared to the ones they had when I was a kid. My mom made the most killer Rainbow Brite costume everrrr but my sister Megan got to wear it. I was always stuck being Mickey in Fantasia, which was basically a hole cut out of a royal blue plastic table cloth #klassy.

Later that night we all met up for pizza and beer (or wine if you’re me and hate beer) at Lucky Labrador in NW.

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I literally inhaled 3 pieces and 2 glasses of wine and felt just GRAND.

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Matching shirts, don’t currr

Then we went to this little bar down the road that served about 40234890723 different kinds of bottled beers in little chalice cups. Very hipster. And Portland. We sat outside and that was when Holly and I decided it was high time we practice our Jersey girl accents. So we did.

We made a rule that you couldn’t talk in a regular accent, it HAD to be Jersey. So everyone was just spittin’ out imaginary stories of “the shore”, deadbeat boyfriends, and classy joints. My stomach hasn’t hurt so hard from lauging before IN MY LIFE.

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Holly as a 18th century british man

It was then, that the dull sore throat I had been complaining about the last 4-ish days decided to rear her ugly head. We moved to Blue Moon, a bar down the road where I regretfully ordered a hot toddy to try and soothe my throat. It LITrally tasted like vom, but somehow I choked down 87% of it and then wisely moved to vodka+sevens. MY LIFE.

Then I dared Holly and Matt to switch shirts and they freaking did .

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The next day I slept in until 11 am and my body was like, “Awesome job Natalie! But I’m still tired.” So I slept more. And more. 5 pm and I was still in my jammies. My throat felt sooo bad, so I went to Zoom Care to make sure I didn’t have strep and thankfully I don’t.

So that’s where we’re at guys. Hit me up for all the Jersey flaves.