Monday, November 19, 2018

CNC Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide

I know bloggers do all sorts of gift guides this time of year – and, who knows, maybe I’ll have one more this season – but I decided to condense my recommendations into one “ultimate” gift guide, so you can take full advantage of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals that are coming up. You guys know I’m all about saving money when I can! Speaking of which, have you heard about Honey? Katy Widrick recently told me about it, and it’s my new favorite frugality app. Once you activate it, it instantly tells you the bests deals on the products you are shopping for and even pulls up coupon codes! It’s pretty awesome!

Anyway, this gift guide is intended for the people on your holiday list who are just plain hard to shop for. You know the people I am talking about, right? They either have everything they want or need, or just nothing specific comes to mind when you’re shopping for them. This round-up runs the gamut of interests, so, hopefully, there’s something for everyone on your holiday list!

Beautycounter holiday gift sets – I’m putting this gift first because TODAY (Tuesday) is Beautycounter’s Black Friday, and they’re offering 15% off on just about everything on their website. The holiday collection, in particular, is amazing, and there is truly something for EVERYONE – even including the men in your life! Make sure you check out all of the different sets, but here are my top favorites:

  • Instant Awakening Trio($89) –  I already gifted this to myself and used it over the weekend for date night! 😉 It’s perfect for dull tired winter skin! I already love the best selling Overnight Resurfacing Peel and the Illuminating Cream is becoming a quick favorite as well. Can we also talk about how awesome the Eye Revive Cooling Masks are?! They really do plump up tired eyes. This set is definitely a must to gift to yourself – perfect for holiday season get-togethers!
  • Transforming Lip Duo($30) – The perfect color on everyone! It’s a transforming lip tint that creates a custom color on everyone. I had no idea that transforming lipsticks were such a thing, but I guess Dior has one that is very popular? I am seriously in love with this set. I am not a huge lipstick person, so this is the perfect amount of color and shine. This is a great gift for just about anyone on your life!
  • First Light Highlighter Palette($49) – Highlighters are THE thing right now, and this set will not disappoint! It’s 3 gorgeous highlighters in one. I had never worn highlighter until recently and love the glow it gives! If you have daughters, nieces, sisters, or even yourself that are into makeup, they will love this set and will know exactly how to use it!
  • Mini Lip Gloss Vault($89) – I love the Beautycounter lip glosses, so naturally I love this set of 10 mini glosses. I think just about everyone can pull off all of these colors, and you can never have too many lip glosses. Plus, you could always split up the set a gift as stock stuffers! 🙂
  • Counterman Travel Set($78) – Men care about their skin and health too! I love the smell of this line and would totally use it myself! The set includes a travel kit with a daily exfoliating cleanser, smoothing shaving cream, cooling aftershave tonic, and an oil free face lotion. This set sold out in one day last year, so don’t wait to buy it. Mal is definitely getting one of these under the Christmas tree this year!

Chatbooks – You guys might remember be professing my love for Chatbooks on CNC in the past, and I’m even more in love with them after receiving this hardcover book of our family’s 2017 memories at the beginning of 2018. Chatbooks has an option to load all of your Instagram photos right into their system, so it took me maybe 15 minutes to make the entire book. I just went through selected the photos I wanted, picked a cover, and it was done. Easy as that!

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I have no affiliation with Chatbooks – I just really love their products – but I do get credit if you end up signing up. And you can get $10 OFF your first photo book order using this link! Chatbooks has ALL SORTS of awesome holiday gift ideas – starting at just $10!

Dog DNA Test by Embark – There’s nothing better than discovering your roots – and that goes for fur babies, too. This test reveals a dog’s genetic age and info as well as breed breakdown from just a small sample of slobber. Incredible!

 

Brooks Ugly Sweater Sneakers (aka Levitate 2) – These sneakers are everything! I honestly don’t think a sneaker has ever made me so happy, and I know just about any runner or walker on your shopping list will LOVE these!

Air fryer – I professed my love for our new air fryer just last week (full review here), but it would make an awesome gift for the foodie or health nut in your life!

Snowball maker – Every kid (big and old) needs one of these snowball makers! 🙂 Quinn has been asking for one since he saw it!

Fitness and athleisure apparel – The new year is just around the corner, and if there’s someone on your list who wants to get healthier in 2019, some new apparel or sneakers is the perfect gift.

Some top picks:

Wine – I mean, who doesn’t like wine? 🙂 Ok, some people like it more than others (myself included), but wine is such a nice gift to receive. Here are 3 options that I especially love. Winc is such an awesome (and fun!) gift. Mal and I have actually given it to a number of family and friends over the years. Winc uses an online taste profile/survey to help the recipient select bottles that they may like. Then, the bottles are shipped right to your front door. If, for any reason, you don’t like any of the bottles you received, you can exchange them for something new – no questions asked! And when your friends and family use this link, they will earn a complimentary $20 of Winc wine! If you’re shopping for someone who is more health-conscious, the “Clean” wine from Thrive Market is really great (my review) as well as FitVine Wine, which has an awesome selection of lower calorie wine. You can save 10% at FitVine with code carrotsncake10!

Professional Lasagna Trio Pan – This is such a cool idea! When you have a family of varying appetites and/or diets, this pan will definitely come in handy!

LL Bean slippers – LL Bean makes THE BEST slippers. They’re so cozy and last forever. Mal has these ones, and I have this pair, but in the women’s version. I highly recommend both! I’ve had mine for a solid 5 years, and I wear them just about every day around the house!

Stocking Stuffers

Knork – Oh, yes. This is a fork + knife duo. The Knork allows you to both cut and spear food using only one utensil!

Glass straws – I know how harmful plastics can be, so I’m paying a lot more attention and reducing the amount I use, including the straws that I drink my morning iced coffee with. I found some glass straws on Amazon, and I really love them. I used to use metal straws back in the day, which are still a great option, but I was never quite sure if they were truly clean inside. With the glass straws, you can see if they’re clean! They’re made from Pyrex, so it would take a lot to break them – and they’re dishwasher-safe. They’d make a perfect stocking stuffer!

X5 Multi-Port USB Car Charger – Multi-port car charger? Sign me up! There’s never enough USB ports in the car – am I right?

CAULIPOWER Cauliflower-Based Baking Mix – This baking mix is definitely on my Christmas list. It’s vegan, non-GMO, wheat-free, low-calorie as well as an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber, which, of course, is much more nutritious that your typical making mixes. It’d make a fun stocking stuffer for sure!

Silicone Food Savers – Genius! I hope someone buys these for me for Christmas! Similarly, this Avocado Hugger looks perfect for leftover avocado!

P.S. If you haven’t been over to Oprah’s “Favorite Things” on Amazon yet, make sure you take a stop there for your holiday shopping – so many awesome ideas!

P.P.S. If you missed my TOY GIFT GUIDE, you can check it out here! 🙂



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Day By Day

I’m not really sure what day it is – I think Monday? I know it’s November but it feels like October. I don’t really remember October?! I know Thanksgiving is coming up REAL FAST. Nothing forces you to live in the moment like being a new parent. I can only look ahead maybe 1-2 hours because life is so unpredictable! I am slowly emerging from my nest, and it’s felt so good to go out and about!

My priorities each day: first and foremost, shower. I don’t feel alive without a shower and some make-up. Also: a walk or light workout, a tidy house, and snuggle with the babe. Second tier priorities are write a blog post or nap!

On Friday I met some girlfriends at Pippin Hill for lunch. We shared a cheese plate, deviled eggs, a salad, and some vino. It was great to be out and social.

Baby Wilson looked huge next to Little B!

I made a batch of The Best Granola Ever and snacked on it all week. I’m going to make more soon and create a blog recipe page for it. It’s not my recipe, so I’m going to tweak a few things to make it my own!

Breakfast of champions: cheese eggs, chocolate croissant, fruit, OJ, coffee. I wake up starving from a night of nursing!!

Mazen loves chocolate smoothies and has one nearly every school day for breakfast. We make them with peanut butter, frozen banana, chocolate Vega protein, and milk. Thomas often saves the leftovers in a giant jar for me, so when I need a quick breakfast after he leaves for work, I can sip away.

Another super fast option is cereal (pumpkin spice cheerios!) mixed with The Best Granola on top.

We got super cozy on the couch this weekend. I can’t believe how quickly the temps dropped to winter level. See above re: what month is it.

M played a “sleeping bag monster” game for a good hour Sunday morning!

If anyone has gotten a slight smile out of this guy, it’s Mazen! Mazen gets so excited when Birch is awake and alert.

Matt and Mazen made us a delicious quiche for dinner! Along with a pecan pie. The quiche (based on this recipe) had mushrooms, bacon, spinach, and goat cheese and was so good. The homemade crust is the best part.

I had it for dinner and lunch.

Lumi Juice is great when I don’t have time to make big salads. Gotta get those greens in!

I had a delicious Roots bowl that I ran to pick up while Auntie Sarah watched Birch for me – his first babysitter! He did great, and the bowl was worth the trip.

A friend brought us enchiladas for a meal train meal – delicious with avocado on top!

On Saturday we drove out to Bold Rock to see a friend in his band. We didn’t realize they were having a huge festival in honor of Virginia Cider Week.

I got a little anxious with so many people not so much about germs because I am super careful not to touch anything and wash or sanitize my hands frequently but just because I didn’t know where we would sit! But we found the Barrel Barn nearly empty and were able to relax there for a while. I use a nursing cover in public, and while it’s not as easy as being at home on the couch, it wasn’t too bad.

Thomas and I made spaghetti with meat sauce and salad on Sunday night. Mazen’s favorite!

Last but not least, I’ve gotten in a few good walks but we also went to the gym as a family and Thomas and I traded off walking the track with B while we each did a little cardio. I asked my doctor while I was still in the hospital if light cardio was ok before my 6 week appt and he said yes, especially because I had been active throughout my pregnancy, but listen to my body and keep it low-ish impact. So I did an easy 15 minutes on the stairmaster and it felt great to sweat again! My body is really craving some sweaty workouts, and I’m listening to it. We also bought a used treadmill on Craigslist over the weekend – more on that soon!

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