Stocking Stuffers: His and Hers

Christmas Countdown: 19 Days

^ WOW.

Wrapping paper

I finished most of my shopping last night (bless up, Amazon), but there are still a few things I need to go to the mall/other stores for this week. And undoubtedly, there will be something that slips through the cracks and sends me to the mall in a frenzy 3 days before Christmas. But overall, I think I’m doing pretty well!

One of my favorite things to shop for are stocking stuffers. I like being able to get smaller items that are personal and can be more practical too.

If you’re still looking for something to slip in your loved ones’ stocking or even a small gift for friends/co-workers that won’t break the bank, check out my top 5 Stocking Stuffers Under $25 for Him and Her!

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Carry On Cocktail Kit: Perfect for the guy on the go! Whether its for work or pleasure, this fun little kit is guaranteed to give any flight a little holiday buzz.

Kiehl’s Beard Oil: Beard? Hot. Getting beard burn trying to kiss your man? Not so much. Snag your favorite bearded man some of this oil to keep his facial hair soft and aromatic. Bonus points: This product also works its way into the skin underneath and acts as a gentle exfoliant!

Urban Outfitters Candle: Carl loves a good candle, especially as it gets chilly in the evenings. We curl up in bed, light candles and read/work/watch movies. His current favorite is a tobacco-like aroma, but will take anything deep and musky.

Lightning Cable: This is a great practical gift for the techie guy in your life to charge his 500 devices anywhere! And really, can you ever have too many phone chargers around?

ASOS Beanie: I think that a simple black beanie is among the staples every guy should own in his wardrobe!

Now onto the ladies!

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Hello Advent

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And just like that, the last month of 2017 is upon us!

It’s also the first weekend of Advent, which I am so excited about. Advent is one of, if not my absolute favorite, season of the Church. I actually didn’t know that much about Advent until about two years ago, and since learning more about what it means for us as Christians, I look forward to it all year.

 There is so much joy in the season, but I think oftentimes we forget that it’s also a season of penance. While we are focusing on the joy and happiness that is the baby Jesus entering our world, we are also called to examine ourselves and evaluate where we are in our faith. Are our hearts prepared for this coming of Christ and His next coming? Are we living out our lives in a way that reflects our love of the Gospel and our faith first? Are we allowing others to see Christ in us and do we seek Him in them? Or are we like the women in the readings a few weeks ago, who are unprepared for what is to come?

I know I for one am falling short in a lot of these areas and I regularly find myself unprepared to encounter Christ. But I love that Advent provides an opportunity to take stock of and work to change these things before the joy of Christmas and also a new year. It’s almost like an opportunity to set goals and “resolutions” for your faith for the next year.

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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
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    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
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 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