Holidays

2018 Holiday Beauty Wishlist

by Jamie Sanford on November 17, 2018

This post contains affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links.

2018 has flown by (and yet also dragged somehow), and the holiday season is upon us. I was recently asked to provide some gift ideas, and of course, it triggered the idea to get on my own holiday wishlist posts for the blog.

First up, beauty items! (All of the links are in the widget at the bottom.)

I’ve got some products in here that are tried and true.

  • The Peter Thomas Roth retinol serum is a favorite, it goes on under moisturizer before bed.
  • Alien by Thierry Mugler is a top 5 fragrance for me, one that I don’t wear nearly enough as my husband is not the biggest fan. (This is a real struggle, because I mostly do beauty things for me and not anyone else, but I also don’t want him to smell me and think “eww.”) It smells delicious though.
  • MAC Haute and Naughty mascara is one that I haven’t used in a while, and actually miss—the two options for applicators is genius!
  • Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium is another top 5 fragrance, and no one in my household objects to it, so it’s a winner all around.
  • Kiehl’s Creme de Corps, a classic choice. It’s effective, the scent is mild and unmistakably Kiehl’s, and I will continue to restock it.
The rest of the products are things I haven’t tried yet but would love to.
  • Lancome Advanced Genifique serum. I actually did try a sample of this and it was wonderful. It’s quite expensive though, which has always stopped me from being able to press the purchase button.
  • Dior Beauty Lip Balm. Just look at that pink color! I can feel my hydrated lips already.
  • Dior Forever foundation. Just another foundation to try with high expectations that will hopefully deliver.
  • Tom Ford Creme Color for Eye. (The color Spice is my favorite.) I’ve seen YouTubers put one of these and nothing else on their eyelids and look amazing, so I expect that paying $46 for a single cream eyeshadow will do the same. Seriously though, I haven’t purchased one of these because I can generally buy a whole eyeshadow palette for around the same price.
  • La Mer Body Cream and Lip Balm. I only found out recently that Sephora won’t give you a La Mer sample. I think they used to, so I’m guessing that they were giving out too many? I really wish that La Mer would invest in creating tiny samples for purchase, because I would love to try their products, but the price of admission is so high that it isn’t likely. If I put the cream on and it changes my life, I might be more willing to splurge in the future.  The Lip Balm is $60, and I am curious as to what is in there that makes it worth $60.
  • Charlotte Tilbury, The Rock Chick Look Set. A tiny bit of savings from buying the items individually, you get all of the pieces for $230. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about Charlotte Tilbury products, and there’s no way I am not going to choose the one that will give me black eyeliner and dark shadow for a smoky eye, paired with a nude lip option. I’m into it.

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Holiday Shopping | Christmas Tree

by Jamie Sanford on December 1, 2017

I will be traveling this year and so won’t be putting my tree up. However, I look forward to the day when I will have a house and will definitely be having multiple trees in my home. I don’t know what “Christmas decor overkill” means.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking these links.

Let’s start shopping with trees.


The variety of trees is remarkable. I am not a person who needs a real tree, I think that’s why pine-scented candles exist.


One of my greatest dreams is an upside-down Christmas tree. They sell them with bases that come out of the top, but I want to actually mount a tree to the ceiling so there’s empty space under the tree. I think it would make an amazing centerpiece over a dining table.


I have a collection of ornaments starting from when I was born. Those “baby’s first Christmas” ornaments are quite fragile now, and so I hang them inside the tree a bit so they do not get knocked to the floor. I have traditional decorative ornaments in gold, as we ended up with a slight gold theme after my husband Will suggested that we supplement the white lights already in the tree with extra gold ones. I also have some Hallmark pop culture ornaments that were gifts, as well as ones purchased in our travels. I absolutely have too many ornaments for my current tree, which is another reason why I need a house so that I can have multiple trees.


Lights! My main tree right now is pre-lit, but as mentioned above, we haven’t been able to leave it at that. Once Will suggested adding more lights, we have gone a bit crazy. We have the white lights that came with the tree, and we add regular tree lights in gold, and then we add a few more that have ball-shaped bulbs, some with beautiful texture. This adds dimension to the tree that I did not expect, but I love it and will never go back.


Tree toppers! Since my tree is not the sturdiest, we have utilized a simple ornament-style topper for years, like the Christopher Radko one above. Once I get a more substantial tree that can manage a more robust topper, I will likely struggle to pick one that I like. Now that I’ve seen it, I am definitely obsessed with the peacock.

That’s all for me on Christmas tree shopping and decoration. Tweet me with your favorite Christmas tree traditions.

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Thanksgiving 2017

by Jamie Sanford on November 23, 2017

Here we go again, with the time flying by more quickly than any of us would like. The holidays have officially arrived.

It seems like the right time to revisit my gratitude practice and how it is going. I will admit to not often enough focusing on it, but I still benefit from the foundation of gratitude that I built for myself. I am, in general, extremely grateful for all of the things I have received from the universe as well as the things I have that I’ve worked hard to have or achieve.

For anyone who needs help, let’s start with really low-level, basic gratitude stuff. Starting to look at your life a little bit differently will lead you on a different path.

  • You are alive and breathing and reading a blog post. You can breathe, and see. How many people have you already outlived?
  • You have a computer or other device with which to read this blog post. Your privilege is starting to show. Do you see where this is going?

Let’s level up a bit. Here are some of my own gratitude list items.

  • According to survey data, 40% of Americans would be in financial crisis if they suddenly were presented with a bill of $400 or more. I am not in that 40%. Will and I have worked hard to do all of the important adult financial stuff that you are “supposed” to do, and the reason that we can do that is because we make enough money to do so. So many people are not in this scenario.
  • I have a home that is filled with the things I love and the human I love the most in the world.
  • My health, for the most part, is quite good, despite all of my efforts to ruin it. (Hello, upcoming goals.)
  • I have made it to adult life with some of the most amazing friendships intact, with people I’ve known for 20 or more years. What they add to my life is immeasurable.
  • I laugh every day. Multiple times.

I could go in and make this list longer, but that isn’t what this is about. For me, it is being present in the gratitude and having that contribute greatly to my happiness.

I do believe that for many people, happiness is a choice. (Click the link for much more on this topic.) If you focus on things you are unhappy about, you’ll be unhappy about everything. If you focus on the good stuff, you’ll realize just how much good stuff there is, and hopefully you can pair that with recognizing your own luck/privilege/good fortune/whatever you want to call it.

Take an extra moment today to create your own mental gratitude list. Good luck!

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Merry Christmas

by Jamie Sanford on December 25, 2016

The obvious choice for a holiday video is this famously hilarious one from Saturday Night Live.

Save

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2015 Home Wishlist

by Jamie Sanford on December 7, 2015

Holiday wishlist time! I update my Amazon Wishlist all year long, I think myself very useful for giving everyone at least 50 ideas of things I would like to receive. I am perfectly aware that not everyone wants to buy me a $2000 lens, but that’s why it is a wishlist.

Let’s focus on what is on my home wishlist for 2015.

Swanky bedding! We use quilts and not comforters – I find them so comforting now.

Fornasetti everything, at all times!

I’m pretty into Jonathan Adler stuff too.

Just mermaid things. I currently do not own a home where I can mount the weathervane but I never knew how much I wanted one until right now.

Christmas decor! We are totally minimal on decor this year because we are traveling, but I WILL have a black Christmas tree at some point. I also have a big ambition to mount a tree to the ceiling, upside down. It will happen!

What is on your home wishlist for the holidays? Share in the comments!

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