Christmas Gift Guide: Shop Small Edition

Can you believe Thanksgiving week is upon us?! I swear, it feels like it’ll be New Year’s Eve in about five minutes these days.

I’m at that point of trying to juggle Thanksgiving dinner prep with Christmas shopping list prep in anticipation of the famed Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday trifecta.

One of my favorite things about living in Temecula is the amount of small businesses in our area- which is why I was so excited to see my favorite businesses and city hall with stickers promoting Small Business Saturday this weekend!

I feel like SBS is often left out when considering holiday shopping, so I wanted to take the opportunity to use my first gift guide of the season to highlight just a handful of the amazing small businesses this area has to offer!

  1. Hollyhocks Boutique
    Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 12.32.36 AM
    This is one of my absolute fave shops in the area! There are so many fun gift ideas, from purse accessories to Pinterest-worthy home decor, kids and more! They also carry popular brands like The Giving Keys, Grace And Lace, etc. I will definitely be picking up some stocking stuffers this weekend from Hollyhocks!

2. Faithful Scents
FaithfulScents
 via Faithful Scents Instagram

I am a huge fan of candles- they’re honestly one of my favorite gifts to give and receive. That being said, I love that these candles are so unique and stand in contrast to the usual Bath & Body Works candles that people give out. The scents are so unique and the packaging is so beautifully simple.

3. Savage Sips

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 12.42.09 AMvia Savage Sips Instagram

For all the coffee/wine drinkers on your Christmas list! I think these cups are so sassy and fun- a great way to show off your personality in the office or on the go. You can also get apparel with the same sayings, but I’m all about the drinkware. I also am just obsessed with the fact that the owner styles her Instagram pics in the cutest way!

4. Coffee Shops

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 Again for coffee fans- you can never go wrong with a gift card (or even some cool merch) from one of the many fantastical local coffee shops in town. My personal favorites are Bean Coffee (for someone who loves classic drinks and spending time in the cutest shop), The Press Espresso (for the adventurous and serious coffee connoisseurs) and East Coffee (their mugs are so cute!).

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Blogger Brunch with The Local Bazaar

I’m so excited to share today’s post with you guys! I attended my first blogger event yesterday in San Diego. It was a Blogger Brunch hosted by The Local Bazaar and There San Diego to celebrate and share the amazing vendors that will be featured at The Local Holiday Bazaar.

Being that this was my first event, I really didn’t know what to expect, but I had the best time! There was a gorgeous table spread of delicious San Diego local restaurants/bakeries like Mendocino Farms, Nomad Donuts and Naked Cake Farm. Everything looked and tasted incredible. I met so many bloggers- some that I followed already as well as new friends. It blows my mind how much creativity how many different styles there were.

I also tried Oh Juice! for the first time and loved it! I had never heard of the brand before but I will definitely be a return customer. I had the Autumn Sun juice and it was so good. At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d like it because of the ginger. I tend to find it to be to overpowering when it’s added to juice, but this one had just enough apple in it that it was perfect- definitely recommend! They are currently located in Carlsbad as well as in assorted farmer’s markets and they will be opening a new Encinitas location soon!

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The Cross, Not the Easy Thing

Jesus isn’t calling us to do the easy thing. He is calling us to the Cross.

      1 of 1 Doodles

 Talk about a mid-week wake up call! I opened my daily e-mail from Blessed Is She (which you are majorly missing out on if you don’t subscribe to!) with the readings for the day and devotion and was hit with this reminder. It came at the best time, as God tends to do and made me immediately think of this Psalm as well. 

  The Christian life, if lived the way it’s meant to be, is not easy. The Christian life calls us to be painfully uncomfortable at times. It calls us to do something that the world regularly shies away from- to be totally and utterly selfless and humble, and to love in authentic way. To know that our life is not just all about us and what we want, but about what His plans for us are. (Which are almost always wayyyyy better than we could have ever thought of). There’s nothing more humbling than surrendering our lives and decisions to God when we get overwhelmed and don’t know what to do.

  But the idea of authentic love and faith that we see in the Gospel is the part that calls us out the most. It calls us to put the good of the others in our life before all- namely, to love those most closely to us so much that we have those hard conversations with them because we desire Heaven as the ultimate good for them. It also asks us to put God before them. This was something I struggled with until I took a class in Christian Marriage and did Engaged Encounter with my husband and realized how much sense it makes. I can’t love fully and authentically if my love and life are not completely grounded in Christ first because He is the only example of perfect love. What better way to learn how to love better and more fully than from the one who does it better than anyone?

So how do we find the strength to live this life we are all called to? I think prayer. Making prayer such an important part of your day that it becomes embedded in everything you do. Prayer in the morning, offering up our day and struggles throughout it, making the sacrifice of time and company to pray the Rosary, read our Scriptures and go to Mass. It’s making these things a priority that empowers us to unshakable and unstoppable faith.

 To wrap up a rambling post, these readings left me feeling called to do better. To ask myself every day how I am embracing my cross and how well I am loving. To be striving for holiness everyday and know that I can only attain it in love and consistent prayer life. Because even though the Christian life is a hard one at times, it also brings the most perfect joy.

xo,
 M

Friday Favorites + Life Update

Happy happy Friday! I don’t know about you guys but I am beyond ready for the weekend. I’m planning to spend my chilly weekend afternoon/evenings curled up with a steaming mug of tea to finish Grey’s Anatomy with Carl (we are SO close!).

Today I’m starting a new series- Friday Favorites! It won’t be on a regular schedule, but I thought it would be a fun way once in awhile to a few life updates, photos, etc. along with some of my recent favorites!

My Halloween look this year! I was pleasantly surprised at how the whole thing turned out. I saw this headband at SPIRIT and I fell in love with it instantly and knew I had to use it!

Pumpkin patch fun! Whoever came up with the idea to put a pumpkin patch on a winery is one of my new heroes.


It’s not fall without cozy sweaters and clocking in hours at my favorite local coffee shops. Read on for my obsession with this nail color!

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Fall Beauty Faves

Fall is one of the best times of the year, and one of the reasons I love it so much is the trends! All the dark, glam shades are the best.
It’s also a signal of changing things up beauty-wise. I tend to be more experimental with my colors and go for more drama and reach for different products. Today, I’m sharing a few of my favorites lately!

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

  Primer is beyond essential, no matter what time of the year. It helps smooth out skin and creates a great canvas for makeup. Texture-wise, it’s a very non-oily formula and feels more lightweight than the other heavier primers in my makeup box, but still does its job while feeling hydrating. It’s also paraben-free!

Covergirl Outlast Foundation

This is my current fave foundation! I’ve tried a handful of different brands and formulas- especially since my summer color is fading-  and this one is by far my favorite. I think that just in general Covergirl is one of the best drugstore foundations- I’ve never come across one I didn’t love. The color matches my skin really well (my shade is Soft Honey) and it stays on for hours. It’s a 3 in one combo-  the foundation with added concealer, primer and SPF! It doesn’t feel cakey and is very blendable with medium coverage.

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