Christmas For Him!

Hey guys! So today I’m letting Dan take the reins for the Christmas for Him guide. Let me know how you think he did in the comments below! Let’s jump in. 

Are you having a hard time shopping for the man (or men) in your life? An astounding number of women spin their wheels endlessly around the holidays trying to find the right gift to buy their husband, brother, or even father. As a member of the male species, I find this to be extremely puzzling as we are pretty easy creatures to please. In this post, I dish out some tips on what you might want to add to your shopping cart for the men on your holiday list.

Experiences:

When it comes to experiences, men generally can be pretty easy to buy for. While women crave elegant and intimate experiences such as musical theater shows coming to town, couples cooking classes, winery tours, and yoga/spa sessions, guys can be more easily satisfied. The manliness inside of our bones is super content with any experience where we either get a thrill, a beer, or a little of both. Check out below where I highlight some of the hot experience gifts to buy for the lucky dudes in your life.

1.       A Day On The Range:  This experience would fall into the thrills category that I mentioned above. Men are competitive beasts and also tend to have a natural knack for the thrill that comes with weapons. To take advantage of this characteristic, you can put together a day where you take the man in your life out to the range and shoot. You can turn it into a contest between the two of you to see who is a better shot, or if shooting shotgun, who can hit the most clays. Is he not really into real guns? No matter, you can substitute in a day shooting archery bows (which is really super fun if you’ve never tried it) or even play some open paintball at a local course. Either way, this man will appreciate you spending time with him being active and engaging in an area where some women generally like to avoid. And if the man is a family member, it is a perfect way to get away from all the technology of the world and bond for a while.

2.    Comedy Night: Has your father, brother, or significant other ever cracked a joke during dinner that got on your nerves? The answer is most likely yes. Men love humor and all the silly dad jokes you see on the internet on a daily basis stem from this very passion. We may not always be funny, but it is the effort that counts. Do and quick search online of comedy clubs in your area and see who is on the schedule to perform in the beginning of the year. You can turn this into a night out on the town with dinner, drinks, and a show where you will both laugh so hard, it hurts.

3.      Skydiving: What’s manlier than jumping out of plane from 10,000 feet in the air with nothing but a parachute and a pair of goggles (well hopefully he’s wearing clothes too)? The answer is nothing and skydiving is the thrill that most men truly crave deep down inside, but are too anxious to mention or they need a woman’s motivation to complete. Do a quick Google search and see where you can have this experience nearby. Usually they have some pretty good Groupons on these experiences as well. And, if you live in a hip city, they now have these indoor skydiving places where you get the sensation of jumping out of a plane without actually doing it. They are super cool, you can check out if there are locations near you at this link: https://www.iflyworld.com/find-a-tunnel/

Material Gifts:

If experience gifts aren’t the right fit, there are still plenty of material gifts that guys love to receive that you can add to your list as well. See below for the material gift suggestions for guys.

Kegerator: Best Buy $499.99 / Wireless iPhone Apple Ear Buds: Apple $159 / New Sneakers: Nike $100 / Cigar Box: Bed, Bath & Beyond $73.99 / Watch: Fossil $125 / Watch Box: Amazon $37.99 / Poker Set: Target $24.99 / Projector TV: Amazon $99.99 / Sound system for TV: Walmart $198 / Grill: Lowe’s $229.99

xx Alicia & Dan

Christmas For The Small Business Supporter

Another gift guide and this time with a giveaway! For this third Christmas guide I wanted to share some of my favorite small businesses with you. I have had questions on why I love small business so much and my short answer is because I was fully engulfed in that community in college. I helped start a small business and worked with local small businesses in Potsdam, NY everyday! Small business truly means a lot to me and I want to share that with you guys! 

So here are some of my gift suggestions from small businesses that I have purchased from, experienced, and love. These are the small businesses that you can choose from for a chance at a $50 gift card. Check out my Instagram post to know how to enter: here!

VeztonGirl Tribe/ Simple & Sentimental/ Charlotte Candle Company/ Daniel’s Custom Gifts/ Teals Prairie & Co./ MikayLove/ Cotton & Clay Co./ 704/ Worthy Figures/ Crowned Sparrow Craft Co. / Skillpop/ Hadley Designs

These are just a handful of small businesses I love and I’m always trying to feature new ones I find. Remember to check out the giveaway on my Instagram page, it’ll be open until the 12th of December!

My next Christmas shopping guide will be on Monday so look out for that as well. Good luck for those of you that enter and I’ll see you next time! 

xx Alicia

Christmas For Her: The Make-Up Lover!

Welcome back! We are on guide number two of ten and I have to give you guys a big thank you on the support of the first one. You guys are awesome and I got so many awesome messages.  Get ready because today is packed FULL, I went big for you guys.

Today’s guide is all things make-up for a full face- start to finish. I have both drugstore and pricier items that check all the boxes for a full face. I wanted to ensure I provided options for you guys when it came to gift giving and everything within this guide I have tested and enjoy using! Whether you are buying one makeup item or making a cute gift basket full of items, this guide should make it easy for you. 

Wet n Wild Lip Scrub $3.99 / Jeffree Star Lip Scrub $12 / Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer $32 / Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer $39 / Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser $5.30 / Too Faced Born This Way Foundation $39 / Milani 2 in 1 Foundation $7.19 / Tarte Shape Tape Concealer $27 / Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer $9.99 / Makeup Revolution Conceal and Define Concealer $7 / Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder $38 / Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder $5.69 / Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer $14.95 / Benefit Hoola Bronzer $30 / NARS Blush $30 / Milani Baked Blush $7.99 / Milani Rose Powder Blush $8.99 / Morphe x Bretman Rock Highlighting Pallet $29 / Too Faced Love Light Highlighter $30 / Maybelline Master Chrome Highlighter $7.94 / COL-LAB Pro Eyeshadow Pallet $14.99 / Jaclyn Hill x Morphe Eyeshadow Pallett $38  Items not pictured, but recommended: NARS Climax Mascara $24 / L’Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara $9.99 / Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray $32 / Kat Von D Liquid Lips $20 / L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Liquid Lip $9.99

I’ve thrown a lot at ya, but I warned you! Those mentioned but not pictured are items I truly love and just couldn’t fit into the guide visually. I wanted to make sure for those looking to gift for the makeup lover, that you had options. Think I delivered? Let me know and look out for my third shopping guide on Saturday! 

xx Alicia

BLACK FRIDAY/CYBER MONDAY: HOME GOODS

Happy hump day! You have made it to my last shopping guide for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Today I am finishing off the series with my shopping guide for Home Goods. I’ll be focusing on two businesses that have great products and sales going on. I have included simple home additions to fun, statement pieces. 

I have used and continue to buy items from Wayfair and Overstock. Wayfair has items up to 80% off and Overstock has items up to 70% off. Some other great places with sales on home items are Hobby Lobby and At Home. Hobby Lobby is 40% off and At Home is 60%. So without further to do- here is my last roundup for you guys!

Items listed from left to right:

  • Overstock: Becky Cameron Premium Ultra Soft 2 Piece Printed Duvet Cover Set 
    • Starting at $14.99
  • Overstock: Silver Orchid Grant Glam Gold Consle Table
    • $139.99
  • Hobby Lobby: Transaparent Chair
    • $69.99
  • Hobby Lobby: Brown Shelf Unit with Fabric- Lined Baskets 
    • 48.99
  • Hobby Lobby: Marble Top Nesting Table Set 
    • $104.98
  • Wayfair: Carle Adjustable Height Swivel Bar Stool
    • $54.14
  • Wayfair: Wellington Bristle Dartboard Cabinet
    • $72.99
  • At Home: Set of 3 Flocked Trees w/ Burlap Bases
    • $29.99
  • At Home: 5 peice LED Candle Set 
    • $14.99

I hope you guys have an amazing Thanksgiving surrounded by the ones you love. I am so grateful to be able to have this blog and build this community with you guys. I appreciate you guys stopping by and I hope you liked this series. Look out for some content on my Holiday Decor haul and some gift guides. Let me know what else you guys would like to see in the comments! 

xx Alicia

Current Skincare & Makeup

Current Skincare & Makeup

Happy hump day everyone! We’re halfway there and today I’m coming at you with some recent favorites that I’m using in my skincare and makeup routine. I have a good mix of products that range in price in my arsenal, but if I can find a good drugstore product I’m all about it! I should start by saying that I did not used to take care of my skin.


I was the girl during college going to bed with a full face and my contacts in and waking up in rough shape with my skin screaming. Once I kicked that habit, I loved how clear my skin was becoming and never went back. Now three years later I have rotated through quite a bit of product and what I’ll be sharing with you are my favorites that I have been testing and continuing to love for the last 3 months. Let me know what other favorites you want to see from me, now let’s dive in! 

Skincare Favorites

Pixi Glow Tonic: I have never used tonic until 7-8 months ago and it took some time to find one that worked well with my skin. This one is amazing for my combination skin. My skin does not get irritated as it did with other toners and my skin feels plump and clean with it. It’s cruelty and paraben-free. I also enjoy how a little goes a long way and the price tag! $15

Clinique Moisture Surge: I can’t knock what my mama got me into. I have a few moisturizers, but I tend to stray back to this one when my skin gets really dry. I have used this for years, but am now remembering how good it is which is why it’s back in my rotation of favorites. A little goes a long way with this as well. I always can feel the difference of my skin once I use it and how much more smooth my skin feels when I hydrate it with this product. They say the Hyaluronic Acid and Activated Aloe water help to plump the skin and make it feel dewy, which I do believe it does. For this product there’s no parabens, phthalates, or a fragrance. $39

L’Oreal Clay Mask: I swear my pores are smaller! When I use this mask, I always notice the texture on my face is not as prominent. I tend to use this when I treat myself to a bath or when I’m reading. It’s a 10-15 minute mask that also helps exfoliate your skin which is a big plus since I usually do it at night and need a good cleaning from a long day. $13

Elf Hydrating Bubble Mask: This is a newer favorite that I’m still messing with, but I have really enjoyed it! Hydration is definitely provided with this mask and it’s a quick mask as well. The bubbles develop quickly as it reacts to the water. I have started using this as it’s getting colder out and my skin is starting to get a bit more dry. I can feel the difference on my dry spots after almost immediately. $14

Makeup

Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer: This favorite comes from a YouTuber I found named Tati. She spoke about it extremely well and I was through my last two primers and tried this one. Boy, was she right! My pores are filled when using this, but it doesn’t feel heavy or greasy at all. My makeup has sit well on top of it and has worn well too. I’ve used this in both my dry and oily areas on my face! $39


Milani Blush: I don’t see myself buying a new blush for a while. This Milani blush is perfect to build with depending on what you’re going for. The color selection is beautiful and creamy. This is a favorite for the price and performance. What I love most is that this blush doesn’t bring out my texture even more when I’m using it. $9


Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer: Okay, this is not a must but it’s a big win in my makeup bag. I have traveled quite a bit lately and have needed my makeup to wear well. This has been an amazing addition in order to keep my eye shadow in place and more vivid. Using glitters or metallics have been my favorite with this as they look twice as good! If you have a big event coming up and need to ensure your shadow stays in place, I would try this out. $24

Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer: Last, but not least, is a favorite that a lot of people seem to agree with. I have a hard time with the color of bronzer sometimes, but this was a big win! Also, who can beat the smell of a tropical vacation that this has. Just like the blush, I don’t find that this enhances my texture and it blends so well. It’s easy to build, but to also veil in case you put too much on. This favorite will stay in my makeup bag for some time. $15


So, do you use and love some of these favorites? Let me know in the comments! I hope you enjoyed my round up and let me know if you try any of these out. As always, thanks for stopping by and I will see you guys next time! 

xx Alicia

Fall Book Review

Happy Monday! I’ve been M.I.A on social media this weekend due to Florence, I’m sorry. Charlotte was very lucky not to get completely hit, but there was still some damages and a lot of rain. In the time I had inside going stir-crazy, I was able to get some reading done. If you are anything like me and love a good book, here are my three suggestions going into the fall. These choices range in genre, but have kept me turning each page rigorously trying to see how each chapter would end and begin. Let me know if you end up reading any of these and tag me or use the hashtag #atabookreview.  Without further to do, here are my favorites going into fall!

1. Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave 

“Sunshine Mackenzie is living the dream, she’s a culinary star with millions of fans, a line of #1 bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor. And then she gets hacked. When Sunshine’s secrets are revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. She loses the husband, her show, the fans, and her apartment. She’s forced to return to the childhood home, and the estranged sister, she’s tried hard to forget. But what Sunshine does amid the ashes of her own destruction may well save her life. In a world where celebrity is a careful construct, Hello, Sunshine is a compelling, funny, and evocative novel about what it means to live an authentic life in an inauthentic age.”


This specific book felt slightly relatable in a way to my personal journey. I think we all at some point in our lives feel like an impostor which made me root for the main character. Without giving too much away, there are times in this book where you want to throw it across the room, but then you’ll quickly run and get it to continue reading to see what actually happens! This is my kind of book. It makes you hate and love Sunshine all at the same time, you find a little bit of yourself within her, and it has a big shocker as well. This is a 241 pager and I read it in just over a day with not one single regret.

2. Boy, 9, Missing by Nic Joseph

“In the tradition of Defending Jacob or Drowning Ruth, this is a suspenseful debut that explores the ramifications of revenge, justice, and the aftermath of a terrible night in the lives of two families.

It should have been just a quiet evening with friends. But Francis lost his brother that night in what was ruled a tragic accident. He’s tried to move on in the last twenty-three years, even though his father certainly hasn’t. Indeed, his father still blames the lone witness, Sam, the nine-year-old son of friends. Perhaps if Sam would have just said something, anything, about what happened that night, but Sam still seems unable-or unwilling-to utter a word about the accident…
And now, twenty-three years later, Sam’s own nine-year-old son has disappeared.”

Boy did this one keep me on my toes! This book threw me for a loop and I am completely okay with it. I am not one usually for some suspense, but this book has actually been the gateway to trying to read more books like it! Coming in at 324 pages, this novel pushed my emotions as any good read should. I cried, gasped, and became happy in many chapters within these pages. The way this is written as well hooks you. As you flip through each chapter and secrets unravel, you just want to know what happened to this poor nine year old boy. You start to make assumptions and with each one you make, you are met with the truth or another clue. This book will keep you engaged and wanting more once it’s done. 

3. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

“In this tale of a kidnapping gone wrong, Mia, the black-sheep daughter of prominent Chicago judge James Dennett, impulsively decides to go home with Colin, a young man she meets in a bar. The one-night stand quickly turns into a nightmare when Colin forces her into his car in the middle of the night, and Mia learns he’s been sent to abduct her for ransom. But just before the drop-off point, Colin, for reasons unknown, decides not to hand her over to the man who has hired him and instead takes her to a remote cabin in Minnesota. Back at home, Mia’s mother, Eve, cannot understand why James doesn’t seem to take the news of his daughter’s disappearance as seriously as she does. Gabe, the detective assigned to the case, wonders the same thing. The narrative unfolds in four different perspectives—from Mia, Eve, Gabe, and Colin, in alternating chapters—which are also structured as “before” and “after.” The organization can prove puzzling, but Kubica’s debut thriller builds suspense steadily and will have readers guessing what’s really going on until the final pages.”

This book was a wild card for me as I found it through Amazon’s suggestion based on one of my monthly free books I get. Well Amazon did not let me down as this 399 pager forced me to take breaks from reading. Each chapter is a different perspective that throws you into the story more and more. As you devour all the information of one chapter, you are met with new information the next that changes what you thought previously and it goes on like that until the very end. This book truly struck a cord with me about deception, love, and life. It will make you question everything you read by the end due to the shock it’ll cause from the last few chapters. Who knew an ugly fictional story about a kidnapping could make you have goosebumps…at least it did for me. 

With each book I suggested, there was a turning point that made me grateful to have them in paperback so that I may reread them all over again. I hope you find some time to decompress and pick up a book. Now that fall is here, some hot cider, an oversize sweater, and a comfy couch will be calling my name for more literature to be read and judged. Keep checking in for more suggestions every month or so and if you have any must-reads, comment down below! As always, thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you next time. 

xx Alicia