My Christmas Wish List

Good morning, my friends! Hope you enjoyed your weekend. The countdown to Christmas is ON! I can't believe it's just around the corner. We leave for California to be with my family this Saturday. Can't wait to be there celebrating with our entire extended family this year. So fun!!

This is the week to order your last minute gifts, because standard shipping cut off dates are fast approaching. I thought I'd share a bunch of things on my wish list. Clearly I won't be getting all of these things (there's quite a few! ha!) but my mom always asks me to send a her a list to give to grandparents and such, so here are some things on it. Then I want to hear from YOU below...

DETAILS: cookbook stand & slow cooker cookbook / marble traveler Swell bottle/ lolia bubble bathblack beanie / bassu oil & bassu conditioning hair mask (I use both of these products every time I wash my!) / cnd vinylux field fox / doodle doormat  travel marc jacobs perfume (on sale!) /  kate spade planner / adaptive moisturizing collection of serum, night cream, day cream and eye cream & body scrub and body butter set / long skinny work out pants 

Our family has a few traditions when it comes to gifts. When we were young (this just stopped about 4-5 years ago), my parents would get us each an ornament that went with something from the year (so if I did ballet that year, maybe a ballerina!), and on Christmas Eve we'd get to open new pajamas. This was so fun and I always looked forward to what new PJ's I'd get to wear that night! My mom still does the Christmas PJ tradition, even for our spouses now, so that will be really fun this year. I loved these PJ's above, so these are what I requested ;)

Also on my list are a few hair care products. I'm running low on my Bassu oil, which helps protect hair from heat, locks in moisture and does a bunch of other amazing things. It smells so great, too! I always ask for a new planner, and this year I love this floral cover! I've been needed a cookbook stand for years, so when I found this one with the initial at the top, I thought it was so cute. That slow cooker cookbook by Martha Stewart could serve me reallyyyy well this winter, considering our freezing temps. A warm meal and a yummy smelling house are always delightful! Since I always have nail polish on my nails, I love the CND Vinylux collection because they're quick drying and they last for a long time. This lavender / gray color is right up my alley. Also on my list is this little travel perfume. It's my favorite scent and since I travel teaching workshops and travel home often to visit family, they're the perfect size to throw into my makeup bag.

What is on YOUR wish list? Maybe I'll get a few more ideas.... ;) (I hope my husband is reading!)

This this concludes my gift guides this year, incase you missed any of the past guides, I'll link to them right here:

Past Gift Guides:
Personalized Gifts
For the Hostess
For the Home
For Him
For Her
Stocking Stuffers

Just a note to those who were thinking of buying something from Beautycounter (safe and toxin-free makeup and skin care that I use and now sell!), their cut off date for arrival before Christmas is Wednesday, the 13th. Be sure to scoop something up for your loved ones...or you. I'm not above sticking something in my own stocking ;) 

Enjoy your day and be sure to come back tomorrow as I'm sharing our Christmas home tour!

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Friday Finds: Stocking Stuffers for Him & Her

Friday Finds this week is a gift guide for fun and inexpensive stocking stuffers! Everything is under $50, except for two things. Anddd everything can fit into a stocking really easily! 

Stockings have always been my favorite part of Christmas morning. My mom is a really great gift giver. Sometimes our "best" gift was inside our stockings. When I was younger I always got a pair of tickets to a ballet for a daddy-daughter date (aww!) Now I always find some fun beauty and hair care products in my stocking. 

Here are my ideas:

plaid check scarf (under $25) / charcoal mask & soap / winter jewels eye shadow palette (almost sold out!) / gray snowflake socks (on sale for $5) / red lip gloss and lip stick (discounted bundle) / Dylan's candy gummy candies / ball earrings / christmas tree bar of soap / beanie hat (under $20!) / necklace (major sale) / prayers for your husband magnolia story 

A few other ideas for the ladies: 

I LOVE filling my husband's stocking, I can't even imagine my joy behind filling future kids' stockings! Here are some guy stocking stuffer ideas:

Other great ideas are to fill them with experiences, like restaurant gift cards or fun things to do together! What do you stuff your stockings with?!

Past Gift Guides:
Personalized Gifts
For the Hostess
For the Home
For Him
For Her


Holiday Gift Wrap Inspiration

Last week I shared our gingham Christmas tree with you. Thanks for the sweet comments about it! We still love it. Today's all about gift wrap. My love language is gifts (no shame) and I get as much joy from giving as I do receiving! I LOVE making my gifts extra special by wrapping them really cute.

Here's our wrapping paper scheme:

Yep, straight from Hearth & Hand collection by Magnolia for Target. (Not sponsored, just loved it!) Since we have touches of red on the tree, I wanted to pull that into the wrapping paper as well. The house wrapping paper has my heart big time, guys. I wanted to wrap every single present in it, but I stopped myself ;) Instead, I used some coordinating papers like the red, the left over gold trees from last year and then some gift bags with the fun patterned tissue paper.

I couldn't help myself, so I found some more pretty inspiration for wrapping holiday gifts this year:

Christmas Tree free printable wrapping paper: love the trees, but also love the simple twine with greenery tied in! The jingle bells are such a sweet touch.

All metallic wrapping paper: this is so fun and festive. You know I love mixing metallics, so this is a favorite look for me.

Tie each gift with their initial: such a sweet personal touch! I also LOVE the striped ribbon.

Go colorful with neon string and add a jingle bell or ornament for extra personality!

I couldn't close this post without shouting out one of my very favorite local Michigan artists who makes GORGEOUS wrapping paper. Carleigh Courey Design has some of my favorite papers ever!! I wrapped a few of our gifts in her paper after these pictures were taken, sadly. But you have to check her out! Here are some faves:

Hope this inspires you a little and you enjoy wrapping as much as I do!

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DIY Easy Winter Lip Scrub

Is it just me, or every year around the start of winter, are you just SO dry?! My skin is soaking up lotion like no other. I apply it in the morning and at night usually, but I feel like I'm putting lotion on every hour these days ;) A few weeks ago my lips started getting dry with the change in weather, so I made up a SUPER simple lip scrub recipe, perfect for these winter months!

Grab a teaspoon of coconut oil (warm it up so it's more liquid than hard), get a teaspoon of sugar and mix the two together in a small bowl. You could also add an essential oil like peppermint or something nice, too!

Make sure your lips are clean, then massage some of the mixture on your lips for about a minute. Wash it off with warm water. Your lips will be soft and exfoliated! You can do this every night before bed or as often as you'd like. (Ignore the weird look of my hand-- the mirror distorted it ha!)

I thought I'd also share what products I use to keep my lips and skin hydrated this time of year:

As you may know, I'm on the Beautycounter team, so I love their lip products. The lipstick / lip sheers are so, so hydrating. With as much as I wear lipstick, I needed something moisturizing and safe for my skin! These totally fit the bill and come in really pretty shades. I have Currant for fall and winter. I love the lip gloss just as much. I have the peony color, but I'm almost out so can't wait to try a new shade soon. My mom has Dahlia and loves it.  Both of these have a very subtle vanilla fragrance, scented with natural ingredients. The gloss is my favorite gloss I've ever used because it's not sticky at all. It's so smooth, smells great and lasts for hours.

I also use this lip conditioner right before bed every night to keep my lips hydrated and soft. It's been a great replacement to vaseline. 

One of my favorite lotions is from Trader Joe's. It's the coconut oil body butter and it's divine. Smells incredible, is super hydrating and makes my skin feel so soft. I also use straight up coconut oil if my skin is extremely dry.

For my face, I am lovinggg this brightening + vitamin C oil. Vitamin C is SO good for your skin, as it helps with collagen production and has antioxidants in it. The second thing I'm absolutely loving is the Countermatch collection sleeping recovery cream. This mix of "hyaluronic acid, plum oil, and tara gum creates a protective layer to help shield skin from moisture loss, replenishing hydration and revitalizing skin while you sleep". I've been using it for a week now and my skin is already less dry. HOORAY!

Alright, ladies, let me know what YOU use to battle this dry season. I'd love to learn! 

Happy Tuesday!

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December Goals

Hope you enjoyed your weekend! Saturday was beautiful and sunny here and probably 45 degrees (that's warm!) so we took Lincoln to the dog park and on a long walk, which was really fun. He gets so tired out and sleeps for a while after those adventures, so we had time to clean the house. Later on Saturday night we brought a meal to our friends' family who's fighting for his life in the ICU. I brought my favorite flank steak taco crock pot recipe and it was a hit! Sunday we went to church in the morning, swung by the dog store to get Lincoln a new leash (he broke his last one ha!) and then had breakfast at Field & Fire in which I enjoyed the best waffle I've ever had. Maple glaze and candied pecans. Yes, please! I came home and made the dough for the below cookie recipe, then Sunday evenings we work in the youth group at our church. Phew!

I thought I'd share some December goals with you, since I apparently totally forgot about the month of November! ;) We'll just skip right to this month's goals:

- It's always my goal not to have to do much shopping in December, so I can throw parties and enjoy the season instead of scrambling. I'm happy to report I have almost all my shopping d.o.n.e. Just have to pick out my dad something, but we'll do that when we're in California, so we don't have to travel with the gift. If you're looking for gift ideas, check out my gift guides! 
- Bake these delicious homemade sugar cookies to serve at my upcoming gatherings! My grandma gave me a ton of her old cookie cutters last year, which is so special because I grew up going to her house to bake this very recipe a few days before Christmas. It was a highlight of the season! I'm excited to do it with her again this year, since we'll be home in CA for Christmas. I made the dough yesterday, so I'll be doing the cut outs this week!
- Celebrate my husband's father's birthday, who passed away in January of 2016. We will always have a milkshake in honor of him and reflect on the ways he shaped McCann and loved him well. 
- Host a My Favorite Things party. This is happening this Thursday! I'll be sure to report back with how it went and give you all the details
- Host my friends' adoption party for her little girl! This has been 2 years in the making and we are so excited to celebrate her adoption! 
- Have our neighbors in our building over for cookies and coffee / wine. We haven't ever had our neighbors over into our home since living year for 18 months, so we are changing that! Our goal is to get to know our sweet neighbors while we are still here.
- When we get to California, we are taking a little road trip to Southern California to go to Disneyland, because my husband has never been before. (Not even Disney World!) While we're down there we're going to get to see one of my best friends who's pregnant with a little girl. I can't wait to see her, since we haven't seen each other since our wedding!
PS. If you have Disney tips around the holidays, let me hear 'em!
- While home visiting family, I also want to go out to a tea brunch with my mama at our favorite place, which is also where my CA bridal shower was. 
- My grandma asked me to make the floral centerpieces for Christmas day dinner, so I'm excited to do that. Typically CA Whole Foods has peonies at Christmas! #tooexcited
- Knock off some Christmas movies from our holiday bucket list. We've already watched The Grinch. On the list: The Holiday, Elf (we usually watch this with my parents), A Christmas Story (marathon on Christmas Day), White Christmas -- can you believe I've never seen this?! --, Miracle on 34th Street, and alllll the mushy Hallmark movies. That last one is only on MY list, not my husbands ;)
- Also while in California, I want to visit my client (and cousin!) who's kitchen remodel just finished up. I can't wait to show you pictures when we're back from our trip!
- Spend time with those we love. Presence over Presents. Who's with me?!
- Truly never loose sight of the real meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate this time of year.  "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." -- Luke 2:11
What are some of your December goals?

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Gift Guide: For Him

One of my favorite gift guides is here today-- the guide for the men! It's my favorite, because my husband helps me put this together and simultaneously, I get my shopping done for him ;) All of these gift ideas are McCann-approved (yes, that's my husband's name, for those of you who are new around here. Michaela + McCann...we know, it's ridiculous. But we can't change our names!! So we try to embrace it!)

There's a bunch of ideas, from gifts that help you stay warm (like those slippers!), to everyday practical gifts (like boxers and a belt), to little things that make life more enjoyable (like the coffee accessories), there's something for everyone. 

watch / slippers / slim jeans (40% off at checkout!) / phone case with pocket for wallet essentials / joggers / swell coffee mug / cologne / reversible belt (40% off) / whiskey glasses / v60 coffee making starter kit / chemex / gloves 

A few stand outs from the gift guide:
Like I said, I had my husband help me with this guide, and he loves this watch. I liked another one better that I linked to below, but it is the GUYS gift guide, so I put his favorite on the board. He said this square shape is different and masculine :)
These North Face gloves are on his Christmas wish list to use as driving gloves. Here in the arctic tundra of Michigan, the steering wheel is reallll cold in the morning!
This YSL brand is the cologne I got McCann on our wedding day. It's still my favorite man-scent! 
If your guy is in the market for a new belt, kill two birds with one stone and get this black and brown reversible belt. It's under the tree for my hubby! ;)
As you might know, my husband is a coffee fanatic. Like, we don't have a coffee maker-- instead, he makes pour overs or french presses every morning. I don't drink coffee, so I'm not sure about this, but he says it tastes way better! All I know is our apartment smells glorious in the morning, so I'm okay with it :) Anyways, this is the chemex he uses for pour overs if he's making a few cups and this is the v60 he uses if he's only making one cup.
We're BIG fans of the S'well water bottles around here. I got him the water bottle version last year for Christmas and he takes it to work each day (finally got him drinking more water!), but look at this new design! It's made to make drinking coffee and warm drinks easier. It stays hot for 12 hours and cold for 24. It's really amazing!! I love this new thermos design. 
Finally, my husband has both these joggers and these jeans and he literally lives in both of them. When the jeans come off, he's in the joggers immediately. so he made me put them both on the gift guide!
A few other things that couldn't fit in the guide:

Last year, I got McCann these chukka boots and they were and still are a huge hit. He loves them. They have an ugg insert  sole with the fuzzy, warm ugg fur, so they keep him nice and toasty!

This 3/4 zip Patagonia jacket looks so nice and warm! My husband's Christmas list became a lot longer after doing this guide with me ;) It comes in lots of colors and is under $100. This is a great gift for husbands, boyfriends, brothers and dads. 
I thought this bottle opener with your state on the top was so cool. If your guy has a man-cave, this might be the perfect gift! 
Most of these items are on major sale below. I got my brother that flannel plaid shirt from J.Crew Factory two years ago and he still wears it and loves it.

Now when it comes to dad's, I feel like they're a little harder. My own dad never has anything he really wants, so I usually try to gift him an experience, like a gift card to a nice restaurant, so he and my mom can enjoy a date together. I've gotten him Sperry's in the past, which was a huge hit! One year I got him a wine flight tasting, which was fun and interactive. I try to be creative here! I thought if your dad is into Fixer Upper, he might like Chip's new book, Capital Gaines.

PS. I always, always put a pair of socks and boxers in my husband's stocking! Is there anything fun you always include?! This year I got this pair of boxers! I'll be sharing a gift guide on stocking stuffers next week, so stay tuned.
Hope this helps get a lot of your shopping done for the guys in your life!
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Our 2017 Gingham Christmas Tree

Welcome to the little tour of our Christmas tree! We actually got our tree the weekend before Thanksgiving (I know, sue me!) because we're going to be in California for Christmas this year with my family and wanted to enjoy our own tree before leaving for a few weeks. I shared our Christmas tree inspiration with you a few weeks ago, so it's fun to see that come to life! 
This year our color scheme is black and white, red, with lots of gold and silver accents (don't be afraid to mix metallics!) I found this ribbon on etsy and am so impressed with the quality. I just love gingham, so it makes me so happy whenever I catch a glance of it!

We always start with a base of simple gold and silver ball ornaments that I found at Walmart last year. They were so cheap and plastic, but they look like real glass-- it was a great find! Then this year we layered with red ornaments I found in the Hearth & Hand collection for Target by Magnolia. I also found this cute red, wooden garland that says "merry christmas", so I placed that in the middle of the tree. It doesn't read as well in pictures as it does in person! The plaid pillow is found here. 

Then of, of course, we layer with our personal ornaments. We both have some ornaments from our childhoods (I have a TON back home but haven't brought them to Michigan yet), so we put some of those on and then each year, my husband and I have given each other ornaments as well. It's a sweet tradition that we'll also do with our kids when we have them!

Just a few favorite ornaments...

I even coordinated our wrapping paper with the tree this year...maybe taking it too far, but I can't help myself. I've got designer blood running through me! You may recognize this house paper from the Hearth & Hand collection as well. Clearly I scored some things when the collection came out! I couldn't pass it up...when something has houses on it or is in the shape of a house, I have no willpower. It must come home with me ;)

So I got the house paper, the red herringbone paper and then one other festive paper from my friend Carleigh Courey, which I'll show you soon! The gingham ribbon will make appearances on a few presents, just to tie everything together.

Side note: keeping a puppy out of a christmas tree is hard work!

I'm loving my new "gather" ornament from my friend Heidi of Feather & Birch! It's so cute and a great reminder to gather your loved ones and invite people into your home this season.

This was the ornament I gave McCann last year to represent our honeymoon in Hawaii!

Some festive throw pillows with the colors from our tree tie in perfectly. 

I might add a little wreath or greenery to the big wood sign there, but not sure yet. Maybe some mistletoe! :)
Have you put your tree up yet? I'd love to hear about it!
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Gift Guide: For Her + Cyber Monday Sales

Happy Monday! It's the biggest shopping day of the year (well, online at least!) so I'm sharing only my favorite Cyber Monday deals, along with a gift guide for Her; your friends, your sister, your mama, your cousin. I tried to pick gifts everyone would love! The gift guide is up first, then keep scrolling for the Cyber Monday Sales. I'll be updating these as I find out about more.

Oh, and almost everything in the gift guide is on major sale for Cyber Monday! If you want something act fast, the deals usually go quickly.

necklace / black tassel earrings / bow gloves / vase / mercury glass candle / tory burch sandals / One Pan Two Plates cookbook / blanket / 2018 planner / beautycounter lip stick / hot tools 1" curling iron / Aveda Shampoo & Conditioner / Aveda hair brush / marbled iphone case 

A few more things I wanted to point out that couldn't fit on the board...

This travel jewelry case (which can be personalized with a monogram) is such a beautiful and practical gift if the receiver loves to travel! Use code FRIENDS for 25% off + FREE shipping:

This sweet initial tartan mug is perfect for the coffee or tea drinker. Just put a giftcard to Starbucks or their favorite coffee shop in the mug and voila! Use code FREESHIP for fast, free shipping.

You could also pair the above gift with this fun holiday cookie cookbook for a kitchen theme (PS. I want this!!)

For the best smelling body wash, I adore this creamy citrus mimosa wash. It smells like oranges and lemons and totally wakes me up in the morning! My husband and parents love it, too.

These super warm gloves are on my wish list! I have raynauds disease (bad circulation to hands and feet), so I need a new pair of gloves that will keep my fingers extra warm. I like them in black, but they come in 3 colors.

A bunch of other ideas that I loved are below:

AERIE: All sweaters and sweatshirts $25. Undies 10 for $35. PJ pants $20. 

ANTHROPOLOGIE: 20% off full priced items + FREE shipping.

Last chance to get this cozy sweater on sale + shipped free:
BANANA REPUBLIC: 50% off everything, FREE shipping over $50.
I'll be honest, I don't find a lot here for myself, but this is my husband's favorite store. I'm linking to a few things he's recently bought and loves. He said these jeans "changed his life" so we got another pair in the darker wash. I also hot him this reversible belt for Christmas...shhh! ;)

BEAUTYCOUNTER: Countermatch discovery set, which houses our newest line of adaptive products, is only $48 (travel sizes of all products). New shampoo and conditioner holiday sets, too! Spend $175 and get a FREE rosemary citrus body oil. Spend $100 and get FREE shipping. 
A little about the Countermatch collection... "Countermatch Intense Moisture Serum delivers a concentrated boost of lasting hydration and antioxidant protection. Countermatch Eye Rescue Cream hydrates and oxygenates the delicate eye area, reducing the appearance of shadows and fatigue. Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion helps skin adapt to the ever-changing aggressors of modern life by adjusting hydration levels throughout the day. And by night, Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream creates a protective layer to shield skin from moisture loss and replenish hydration."

If you're looking to try a few products from BC, today's the day because of the $175 free gift threshold. My suggestion would be to try the Flawless in 5 collection. It has the foundation, concealer pen, blush, eyebrow pencil, mascara and lip gloss of your choice. It's only $148 ($194 value!) and then you could get the charcoal face mask (my favorite thing) to hit the $175 and get your free rosemary body oil (it's divine).

* If you need help choosing a color for foundation or anything, let me know. Happy to help!

J.CREW: 40% off + additional 10% off. FREE shipping. Until noon today!! Code: SHOPFAST
J.CREW FACTORY: 60% off everything + FREE shipping. Code: CYBER

LOFT: 50% off + FREE shipping. Some things are even more than 50% off! I got this sweater for $20! 
More faves:

MADEWELL: 25% off everything. Code: GOODMOOD

NORDSTROM: additional 20% off sale + FREE shipping & returns.

This gray cardi looks so cozy:
Both my mom and I have these boots and really love them! But these Uggs on sale are looking pretty good right about now.
More Cyber Monday Nordstrom sale finds:

Happy Shopping!!
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