Chic Stocking Stuffers Under $50

The holidays are coming up fast and I know I’m scrambling to get all my gifts together! With bills and getting an apartment with my boyfriend my gift budget is pretty tight and I’ve always been the person to shy away from a gift card and get an actual present for someone!

These are some really affordable presents that any fashion-loving girl you know would enjoy – and they won’t break your bank!

Screen Shot 2017-12-06 at 8.42.18 PM

Burts Bees Gift Set (I want this for myself) // Cozy Kitten Socks // Stay Golden Journal // Cable Knit Throw (linked similar) // Floral iPhone Case // Pink Quote Mug (I love this one as well!)  //  Rose Gold Compact Mirror // Girl Boss Make-Up Pouch // GiGi Hadid Highlighter // Jeweled Statement Earrings // Red Velvet Bow (under $3)

All these things would make the perfect gifts and stocking stuffers for the girly girl in your life! Happy shopping!

-Jess

Advertisements

Gifts for the Men in your life

It’s that time of year again to shop for the men in your life who mostly reply to the question “What do you want for christmas?” with an “I don’t know”.

Every year I have trouble shopping for everyone but when it comes to fathers, brothers, and significant others I tend to struggle! My dad never wants anything and my boyfriend doesn’t want anything except for music gear!

Here’s a small list of safe items for the modern day guy!

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 5.09.05 PM

1. Laptop Case: Everyone needs a laptop case! It’s perfect for the guy on the go who needs to carry his laptop around from place to place while still keeping it safe! MacBooks definitely aren’t cheap so a case would be worth it! You could also have it monogrammed for an extra personal touch!

2. Sweater /Hoodie: I know personally my boyfriend or dad wouldn’t want clothes for christmas and would be disappointed but I know a ton of people who love getting a warm casual sweater or a sports related hoodie so they can rep their favorite team! The best part is you can find decent quality sweater for a super cheap price – the one I linked is only $35 and comes in 3 different colors!

3. iPhone Case: I think everyone (including girlfriends and moms) needs a good case! I’m all about a nice looking case and I love that this one has room for some cards! I hate how people add the stick on card holder on the back because they tend to look cheap and tacky and ruin your case but you can’t go wrong with a built in one!

4. A nice cologne: Every guy has a signature scent and it’s comforting to smell it and just know that this person is around you. My boyfriend has the Burberry Brit cologne and I love the smell of it! I also like a good Armani cologne! If you aren’t ready to buy a full bottle either if you aren’t sure they’ll like it – a sample would be a great idea added on with another gift!

5. Wireless Headphones: This pair is super affordable and is on sale for $17! I know they probably aren’t the best but they’re a good start for someone just trying to get into the idea of headphones without a cord! I’ve been shopping for a pair for myself since getting the iPhone 8 and I’m leaning towards Beats or EarPods for myself but would not be opposed to giving them as a gift either!

6. Sneakers: A casual pair of shoes is always a must! Especially if your guy is always wearing work shoes or dress shoes! It’s a really simple and thoughtful gift! A nice pair of sneakers always goes a long way because people are usually always on their feet!

7. Sunglasses: A nice pair of sunglasses is always a good thing to have and invest in! You practically use them all year round! I find myself needing them all summer long and all winter long – especially when the leaves fall are completely off the trees! I’m totally looking into a new pair of prescription sunglasses myself and think they’d also make a great gift if someone also has poor eyesight!

8. Baseball Cap: These are all fairly cheap and come in a variety of colors and styles! I really like college ones or Vineyard Vines ones as well – but a good Polo cap is a classic!

9. Watch: I love watches on guys! My favorite happens to be super pricey and honestly downright unrealistic – no normal person can afford an Audemars Piguet! However, there are a lot of affordable brands out there that offer great looking watches at an affordable price – Timex, Daniel Wellington, etc!

Hopefully this guide somewhat helps and hopefully at least one thing is useful to you!

XOXO, JESS

 

 

Stocking Stuffers & Small Gifts

Thanksgiving and all the holiday sales that comes with it is finally coming to an end. Most people believe Christmas starts the minute Thanksgiving dinner is finished. If you were wise, you would have started holiday shopping on Black Friday when all the sales were occurring. But if you are like me, you are a procrastinator!

Here are a few small gift ideas and stocking stuffers that are easy on your wallet while still being super cute and fun!

Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 11.02.26 AM

Gold Ring // Blue Infinity Scarf (I have this purple too!) // Cable Knit Mittens // Pom Pom Hat (Linked similar) // Aviators // Cat Mug // Marble Print Ear Buds // Puppy Slippers // iPhone Case

 

Happy Shopping!

Jess

Traif Restaurant Review

traif.jpg

Y’all, this weekend was wild! Let me just get started by saying fleet week is 100% my favorite week of the year. I have quite the affinity for sailors. I met this amazing guy Josh this weekend and it was his first time in New York for the week/weekend and I got to show him around all my favorite places and y’all it was so fun and he’s such a sweetheart!


We started off by meeting in Bryant Park, from there we went to Magnolia and got cupcakes and then went to The Met. Honestly, bless his heart for putting up with me because we kept getting lost in the subways due to weekend construction.

So for dinner, he wanted to go out to Peter Luger’s in Brooklyn which is the most well known steak place in New York however, the line was extremely long and at this point we were just too hungry to wait but we would have been living our best lives if we went.
After deciding not to wait, we wandered around and yelped until we found Traif. I was just going to order an entree but Josh suggested we do the chefs tasting which is $55 per person and you get 8 small entrees (2 of your choosing but the steak costs extra) and 2 desserts. If you’re interested you can also do the $35 wine tasting if you’re open to trying new drinks! I happen to be picky so I ended up getting wine by the glass which ranged anywhere from $9-15 a glass. He happened to get scotch and whiskey which could go anywhere from $15-20 – he mentioned that the section was really nice.

I managed to only record my meal on snapchat because I didn’t want to disturb everyone with the flash of my camera so here’s a few of my favorite snaps of the meal!

So we were so excited when our meal came. I’m the pickiest eater in the world and I’ve never been so excited for a dinner. I loved the suspense and the surprise and at the end I could not help but give my best to the chef! The food was beautiful and so flavorful. I loved the fact that there were so many asian inspired aspects!

Dinner

*I’m going to try and list what we had but please note that Traif does not have a current menu posted anywhere so this is all from memory and taste and from the menus they have posted ALSO note I tried to keep everything in order*

  1. Pea Soup in shooters – This soup was simple and so amazing. It was smooth and creamy and rich in flavor.
  2. Tuna Tartar – I usually don’t eat tuna but I loved this dish! It was bigeye tuna, tempura Japanese eggplant, and kecap manis.
  3. Asparagus Salad – I personally did not love this but I appreciated how well the flavors mixed together. It had green asparagus, pistachios, shaved radish-celery-carrot, yogurt, tarragon, citrus vin.
  4. Cucumber Salad – This was amazing however the mint was super overpowering in the dish.
  5. Parisienne Gnocchi – I loved this but I think the heat was a little too much. It included cherry tomatoes, yellow squash, spicy saffron ‘vodka sauce’.
  6. Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps – I loved this and the fish sauce was to die for. My only dislike was the fact that the fish was full of bones. These were simple lettuce wraps with fish, fish sauce, and bib lettuce.
  7. Buttermilk-Fried ‘Polet Rouge’ Heritage Chicken – These were amazing and to die for. At this point I was super full but I had to keep eating! hushpuppies, honey, red eye aioli
  8. Steak with a gravy and potato puree – This was by far the best dish and it was amazing. It was the best way to end the meal. It was filling and savory and the perfect portion size.

Dessert

  1. Key Lime Pie – Classic key lime pie,
  2. Bacon Doughnuts – Totally more like doughnut holes but they were a super fun twist on a doughnut.

Overall 

This place was amazing. The atmosphere was lovely, the pricing was pretty decent for the experience and location and quality of food. I highly recommend going here with a group of friends or on a date. The staff is so friendly and they’re so accommodating. I loved how great they were at suggesting wines and other various things.

The people in the restaurant itself were so sweet. We sat near a couple and all we kept trying to do was share our entrees with each other! I highly recommend this restaurant and I’m so glad it’s one of my new favorite places!

jess

My Workout Routine

I totally got this quote from google and I’m obsessed with it! This quote totally embodies my life and who I am and not only that, but it reminds me that it’s okay to not always be on the top of your game and to have some off days! Life truly is all about finding a healthy balance!

balance

To start off; I am absolutely in no way, shape, or form a fitness expert. I know a lot of people go to the gym for many reasons but my personal reason is to get toned so I focus on areas that I want to look better!

I also want to note that working out is amazing and it is helpful, but dieting is also key! Everything in moderation is the best for you and choosing the healthier options when you can  really makes a noticeable difference. Working out and dieting go hand in hand and they work together! I’m also saying that you don’t need to give up eating or starve yourself, but definitely watch what you eat and try to go for the healthier option but remember that cheat days and cheat meals are acceptable!  


 I personally know what works for me and after a bunch of messing around with workouts, I’ve found one that’s suitable for me! My workout takes me anywhere from 1-1.5 hours depending on my level of intensity and if I want to add-on extras! Here’s my base workout!  As a side note, I try to go 2-3 times a week if I can.

Arc Trainer (30 minutes)

I start off on the arc trainer which I really enjoy, I immediately start off with an incline of 20 and a resistance of 35. Every 10 minutes I increase the resistance by +5 and end at a resistance of 45! I end up burning about 300 calories and I usually get to a mile in distance!

Here’s a fun workout idea that has different intervals and intensities which I may try out for myself!

Abs (30-45 minutes)

Crunches (80)

Russian Twists (50)

Side Crunches (80 – Left)

Russian Twists (50)

Side Crunches (80 – Right)

Russian Twists (50)

Side Weights (30 Left)

Russian Twists (50)

Side Weights (30 Right)

Plank (1 Minute)

Here’s a link with helpful form and workout tips and routines!

Butt (15-20 Minutes)

Leg Lifts (2 sets, 25 reps each leg)

( I keep my leg straight for these and just bring it up or down, eventually I would love to add ankle weights once I’m comfortable with these)

Sumo Squats (3 sets, 30 reps)


This is my standard workout routine and I’m always switching it up and changing it around, but right now I’m finally happy with it! I also used to run on the treadmill which did wonders for my butt except it started to really bother my ankles so I haven’t been doing it so much! A tip when running is no matter what, sprint the last 5th of every mile (or more if you can)! That really helps get your booty in shape! 

rupi.jpg
Buy Rupi’s poem book here.

JUST REMEMBER THAT GETTING YOUR BODY TO WHERE AND HOW YOU WANT IT TO BE TAKES TIME AND LEARNING SELF LOVE! It’s taken me so long to love my body (even though I’m still not 100% confident in it) regardless of how big my love handles look or how bloated I feel. I’m learning to be kinder to myself and that’s the most important thing there is. I honestly notice on different days my body looks different and that’s okay. It’s all about how I feel about myself and I’ve come to terms with it and now I can only do my best to keep up with the goals I’ve set for myself!

jess

Eating my way through Los Angeles

eating

I recently have taken a quick mini trip to Los Angeles and let me say, the food here is pretty amazing! I have spent a good sum of money on eating at various restaurants and locations and it’s all worth it! The food is amazing and I’ve come to appreciate all the styles of cooking. LA may actually have something on New York’s food game!

I’ve eaten at quite a few places but here are some of my favorite snaps of the food I’ve eaten and  loved!

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Brick + Mortar, Santa Monica

This was the first meal I ate in California and it was absolutely amazing! I went with my friend and his roommate and let me tell you, I’m all about cheese and this melted brie was absolutely spectacular! I loved the fact that you got bread and apples for dipping! I was super impressed by this meal! I also ended up getting a hummus plate and the hummus was made very well and the vegetables were amazing too (I personally loved how they were coated in vinegar and oil prior to being served)! I also had the pita with it and they gave it to me fully inflated and it was a shock to see a pita the size of a small pillow however it was still really amazing and I loved it!

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a5 preset

Gjusta, Venice 

This place was super cute and the food amazing! This place was jam packed when we got here! I started off with the Bialy egg sandwich and I personally wasn’t the biggest fan! It was good but it wasn’t amazing! However, the flavors were really bold and different and to someone with a broader taste palette, I think this would be the perfect breakfast sandwich!

I haven’t yet had any other pastries besides the biscuit with jam but let me tell you, that was the best biscuit I’ve ever had! It wasn’t dry at all and it was amazing. The biscuit comes with jam and butter and that combination is just so sweet and amazing and I was in heaven eating it! I haven’t thought about another breakfast since! After typing up this post I’m definitely going to grab 2!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Erewhon

This isn’t a restaurant but it’s actually an organic and natural grocery store! After grabbing breakfast at Gjusta and walking around Abbott Kinney Blvd I was super thirsty and my friend recommended that we go get juice because apparently the juicy craze in LA is so real! The cold pressed juice I had was some type of orange/strawberry mix with a hunt of ginger and it was amazing! The only thing was it was a pretty hefty price at $9 with a $1.50 bottle deposit fee but it was well worth it!

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

Gelateria Uli, Downtown

I love ice cream and I love sweets and the ice cream here was amazing! Everything is hand-made that day and the quality is astonishing! The workers here are so nice and the best part is that they pretty much let you sample whatever you want! They’re always experimenting with flavors and that’s really cool and fun! I love how the menu is always changing! If you go, be sure to grab a freshly made waffle cone!

ECIR5841Processed with VSCO with a5 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

Ingo’s Tasty Diner, Santa Monica

I’m a brunch enthusiast and let me tell you, the brunch here was amazing! The food was all really fairly priced and the portion sizes were all great! My friend and I split the skillet of hash browns and they were absolutely amazing! They were super crispy on the outside and the fact that they came with sour cream was awesome! I loved the flavor it added! I also got pancakes with fruit and bacon! I loved how thin these pancakes were, they were almost crepe style and they were delicious! The fruit also was really good too and I loved how fresh it was!

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Bulgogi Hut, Koreatown 

I’ve never had Korean Barbecue and it was actually amazing! This was an ABC style menu and it was all you can eat! They start off by bringing you a bunch of sides which are all super interesting and yummy! I loved the different textures! You order three different meets at a time and you cook them yourself! The food was amazing and the seasoning was super sweet and I loved it! Definitely would recommend going on an empty stomach!

Other Places I went 

Sockerbit: This was a swedish candy store and you pay by the pound and the candy is all really amazing! I only got sour candy but it was still really good! I had one type of candy that was actually sour opposed to the sour/sweetness of American Candy.

See’s Candy: I stopped in here after grabbing breakfast at Ingo’s and the candy was amazing! I found these butterscotch lollipops that I’ve had before and they were amazing! I ended up getting a few chocolates and he actually ended up giving them to me for free! The chocolate is super rich and very flavorful and it’s a must! They have a New York location as well!

Night + Market Song: The food here was authentic Thai so I wasn’t used to it and my dish actually ended up being a little too spicy for my liking so I hardly ate it and ended up picking at the food! It was really good however and I think if I hadn’t have been eating all day I probably would have attempted to eat more!

Volcano Tea House: I had my first bubble tea here and it was really good! The boba’s werent my favorite however it was still really fun to experience the craze of bubble tea!

jess

Packing Tips

packing post

So a few of y’all may know that I’m going to Los Angeles in 2 weeks for a trip to see my friend Austin – he lives more in Santa Barbara so that’s mostly where I’ll be! I’ll also be having a layover in Dallas and I’ll finally get to meet my gal Jas – all the feels, I’m honestly so pumped!

Alright, so I’m a horrible packer and I like to pack everything that I think I may wear but I really only end up wearing a few things on rotation so in the end I end up way over packing! I’m trying to manage to fit all my stuff into a carry on but I may end up having to check my bag because the amount of stuff I’m packing is getting pretty ridiculous. So here are a few tips that I have!

▼ Maximize your carry on(s) ▼

I’m almost positive I’m going to end up checking my bag because the standard carry on I have is a little too small seeing how it exactly fits the carry on sizing limits. But I know for a fact I’m bringing my North Face Backpack which is easy to carry and it’s fairly roomy! I highly recommend a backpack opposed to a large tote or duffel bag because it frees up both hands. If you really feel the need, bringing a cross body would also help – you would be able to keep important things at easy reach and still be hands free!

A good tip when packing your carry on’s is to have things you may need in case your luggage gets lost. I’ll be carrying my Mac, chargers, my makeup bag, jewelry, etc. I’m definitely also bringing a bag of essentials and a change of clothes that are weather appropriate!

▼ Packing Cubes + Other Storage Bags

Holy crap I love these! I love how easily they help to store clothes and keep things organized! I know whenever I go somewhere my suitcase always becomes a jumbled mess with everything packed loosely! I think these are so handy and Target right now has some really cute ones here and here! Not only are they handy for travel but it also helps you maximize space and cut down on clutter! I also love these bags for travel!

So the suitcase I’m most likely bring is this one from Swiss Gear which I absolutely adore! When I purchased mine it not only came with a wet bag (which I’m storing all my bathing suits in) but it came with a garment bag and another miscellaneous bag which I’ll most likely end up storing all my tank tops and basics in! I love the fact that this suitcase has so many places to store items in and I love the fact that it allows you to compartmentalize things!

Stick to a color palette ▼

Like stated, I’m an overpacker and I tend to pack everything and anything I think I may wear. This trip I’m sticking to a color palette to help maximize all my outfits! My logic is that if I stick to a color palette, almost everything I pack should be interchangeable and should match most everything else! The palette I’m sticking with is white, cream, baby pink, black, and pale green! I’m hoping if I do this, then I won’t need to pack as many clothing items because they’ll all be able to mix and match with ease!

Also, packing staples is a must! Right now I have 5 different black bottoms packed which shouldn’t be the case! Cutting back on these would not only save space, but would probably make my suitcase quite a bit lighter! Only try to pack one of everything that you will need! In the end I would like to bring only 2 different black bottoms!

Shoes is also a really hard one for me because I have so many and I love them all so much! Right now I pretty much have my shoe situation figured out and I’m only trying to bring one of each color – i.e. nude heels, black wedges, black heels, etc. Shoes are super heavy and take up a lot of room and I’m really trying to make space in my suitcase! Also, knowing me I’ll probably only wear 1-2 pairs the whole time I’m there!

So far these are the tips I’m trying to follow! Hopefully everything goes smoothly but I still have a little less than 2 weeks to get everything all situated!

jess