Saturday, December 24, 2016

Holiday Baking

Hope everyone out there reading this is enjoying Christmastime! I cannot believe that it is already Christmas Eve!! I wanted to make one last Christmas post of the year and share two festive treats that I made this year!

The first treats I made are these pretty little linzer cookies.
I love linzer cookies, mostly just because they just look so cute and festive, them being tasty is just a bonus. I was really excited to make these too because I just got this cookie cutter set from World Market over Thanksgiving break. Linzer cookies are an Austrian cookie that originated from the linzertorte, which is a type of pie that usually has a crust that is made with ground nuts and then filled with jam. Linzer cookies are just the dough cut into cookie shapes and some jam sandwiched between them. I hate myself for using this comparison but they kind of remind of like fancy Pop-Tarts (literally 1000x better though). 

I used this recipe here and they were delicious. If you're looking for a recipe with American measurements I was going to use this one but we didn't have enough butter in the house (lol).

After I made the cookies I was debating over whether I wanted to make something chocolate orange or something that looked like Christmas puddings. I ended up making chocolate orange truffles and then decorating them to be Christmas puddings!
Are these not just the cutest things you ever did see?! Let me tell you guys these are so good and so super simple. Chocolate recipes make tend to make me nervous just because chocolate can be so fickle to work with, but these were super simple and they turned out fab! I used this recipe here and then just decorated them to look like little Christmas puddings. If you're an American and you're wondering where to get chocolate oranges and/or Digestives, either World Market, or I find most grocery stores carry chocolate oranges this time of year and check the international aisle for Digestives. Which, you could also easily substitute graham crackers for Digestives. In case you're wondering I used a dark chocolate orange for these and it is so good.
Hope you enjoyed this little post! I wish I had gotten it up sooner but as with everything life just took over!

If I don't talk to you all before Christmas, hope everyone out there has a Merry Christmas and enjoys spending time with their friends and family!

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Friday, December 23, 2016

// Life Update //

Hey guys! Long time no talk (except not that long by my standards). I am finally on winter break!! I know I had said I was going to do the Christmas link-up, which I lasted for about a week (barely) and then life just got out of hand. Last week was insane, between the running around all week and the very little sleep I got, it should not be a surprise that I woke up Monday morning feeling a little under the weather. 
The majority of the week was spent finishing up school and taking finals, as I might've mentioned 2,000 times it was finals week, and of the 4 days of exams I had 5 finals, aka I had a final everyday and two on Wednesday, on top of that I also had a paper I had to write. There were also multiple nights where I just could not sleep because I was so wound up and stressed out that I only got about 2-3 hours of sleep. Which somehow Thursday, I managed to take my final, final (lol), clean the apartment, pack, and drive 4 hours home on about two and a half hours of sleep....
Instead of resting and catching up on sleep on Friday, some friends and I went to a concert in DC! Which this whole concert was up in the air all week due to ticket complications but we somehow made it there! Who did we see, you ask? Martin Garrix, random I know, I am typically not a huge EDM person but I do enjoy some Martin Garrix. Which let me tell you this concert was insane. For some reason this venue doesn't have the headliner go on until way late (aka Martin Garrix came on at 1am) and we had to stand through 4 hours of opening acts, FOUR HOURS. We had gotten there early so we some good spots, that we managed to keep until Martin Garrix came on the crowd got way pushier. It was still fun though, I can't say I am just dying to do something like that again, but I wouldn't not do it. I don't necessarily think I will go to that venue in DC again though.

Saturday was spent resting, we slept in late, and then went to Bob Evans at a little before 5 for a late brunch, early dinner, thing... haha.

Sunday, I celebrated my mom's birthday with the family. We went to the Kennedy Center to see the Messiah and then had dinner at Le Diplomat in DC. Which I highly recommend that restaurant, it's a really nice French restaurant in town and the food and atmosphere are both great! I had the beef bourguignon and I highly recommend it, not only was it the perfect meal for a cold winter day but the beef was so tender I could cut it with my fork. Also I highly recommend their house red wine, I am usually not a red wine drinker but this one had a lot of depth of flavor and it wasn't super heavy.

Unfortunately after my crazy week last week I am left feeling a little under the weather this week. I woke up Monday feeling exhausted and with a sore throat and today (Wednesday) I am just congested, snotty, and achy. I have been trying still be productive this week though because Christmas is on Sunday (ahh!!), and have been helping finish up with Christmas decorations. I also baked some cookies, so keep your eyes peeled for a blog post on those!
I decided I needed a new show to watch this week while trying to rest up so I started watching Sherlock and why have I not watched this before?! Obviously I have heard people talk about it and obsess over it for years and I now understand the obsession, it is so good. It kind of reminds me of a television version of Nancy Drew, except British and a guy. The show is just very British too (obvi it is BBC), and it has so much dry humor which is great. It seems like girls have always obsessed over Benedict Cumberbatch and I never understood why until now. I can't say I have joined the obsession, but I at least understand it more. Sherlock Holmes is just such an intriguing character and Benedict Cumberbatch is just a really good actor. Basically you need to watch Sherlock if you haven't yet!
Last, my absolute favorite drink at Starbucks is the white peppermint mocha, but I never order it because it has a ridiculous amount of calories (a tall with skim milk and no whip is still 320 calories lol). Anyways I made my own at home and it was quite delicious, still not a health drink but it is Christmastime!

Whew! This was a long post! Thanks for sticking around if you read it all!

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Few Favorites

Finals week, the inevitable end of every semester. The week that is simultaneously dreaded and welcomed, the week that every student cannot wait for to be over. 

This coming week is that week for me and I have been more than ready for this week since about mid-October. Yes, I am dreading this week but I also just want it to start so that it can end. While I am sad to be closing the door on my last fall semester of college, I am also glad to be saying goodbye. 

I feel like I have been complaining so much about this semester on here, and even the end of the year and I apologize to anyone out there reading this, but you will no longer hear of this after this week! (woohoo!)

Anyways as a little study break I thought it would be fun to share a couple of favorites with you all! These will definitely be the little things that will be helping me get through this week.

Music
I have been devouring this EP on Spotify recently. In particularly I have been obsessing over "Absolute Smitten", it makes me want to dance and skip around it's so happy. I also really like "Life Lesson", it's twenty-two seconds of edgy bliss.

 My mom kind of surprised me with this pom pom blanket over Thanksgiving break and it is just the cutest thing I have ever laid eyes on.

I stumbled across some Terry's Chocolate Oranges last week at Kroger (for only $3.50!) and bought a dark chocolate one and have been obsessing over them ever since. First the dark chocolate itself is just so good, like it has really good flavor and it's so smooth and the combination of chocolate and orange is the delish.

I been exponentially loving my black Joni jeans for Topshop lately, not sure why, I just have.

I have also been loving this Insta account as well as her blog. If you appreciate good design, visually pleasing things, and Europe you probably will too.

I bought a gold spoon the other day at Target and I am way too excited about it.

Last (but not least) because it's finals week I just want to mention these highlighters because I have them and I kind of love them.

Finally because I do not want this post to just be about materialistic things I want to finish it off with this:

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
Psalm 73:26

I just wanted to add a little Bible verse as a reminder that my worth is not in things like finals or grades or even stuff. While many of these things seem trivial now, they ultimately don't matter in the end. While these things are all things that do make me happy, it's depleting happiness and that the Lord is the only source of everlasting joy. 

Thanks for reading all of my rambly thoughts!
xox,
Amanda

Friday, December 9, 2016

What's In My Bag - Christmas Edition

So I do enjoy watching a bit of "What's in my Bag" videos every now and again on YouTube, it is just really interesting to see what people carry around. I have never done one of these before and I am not going to lie, but I feel like I am revealing a little bit of my soul by showing what I carry in my bag (maybe a slight exaggeration). To be completely honest, what I carry in my bag doesn't fluctuate a whole lot with the seasons and it is really not that interesting. This is probably the most I will carry, sometimes I will literally just have my wallet, my phone, and my keys in my bag and maybe some lip balm. I am really not a high maintenance type of gal.
My current bag is a Rebecca Minkoff Mini 5-Zip cross body that I found years ago at Nordstrom Rack on major clearance, in this gorge cranberry color.
// wallet //
// phone //
// keys //
// lip balm //
// literally every Christmas I somehow always end up with stray candy canes in my bag //
// writing utensils //
// my current fave lip things (this Rimmel lipstick in 107, NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen, and Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid in Nude Thrill //
// hand sanitizer //
// kleenex //
// hand cream //

So yeah, these are the things that I carry around with me occasionally. Hope you enjoyed getting a peek into my purse!

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Gift Guide!

Hey guys! So the post on the agenda for today is a gift guide! I really love looking at gift guides, not necessarily for any reason in specific but just because. I scrounged around the Internet and threw together ten cute things that will hopefully give you some inspiration on things to give your loved ones this year!
one // Cute mugs are always a safe bet, and Anthropologie has the cutest ones!
two // three // I think a candle with a cute box of matches is just the most perfect gift and you cannot go wrong the the Volcano candle, it is literally the best. 
  four // Pom pom keychains are everywhere right now and this one with bunny ears is precious.
five // I have been obsessing over the double pom pom hats, I just think they are so cute!
six // The cutest mittens!
seven // Again, such a cute little eye mask!
eight // A nice pair of cute socks are another no fail gift and almost every store has some cute ones this year.
  nine // West Elm has some really adorable, cozy throws right now and they keep putting them on sale for amazing prices!
ten // I know these adult coloring books were all the trends last year, but I still think they make a great gift!

Can you guys tell that I have really been into blush recently? Anyways if you are still stuck my go-tos for gifts are always mugs, cute socks, and journals and winter accessories are always appreciated during this time of year!

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Decorating for Christmas

So today's topic is a little more difficult for me right now as I am still stuck at school finishing up the semester. Nonetheless, it is a good thing my roommates and I are festive people so we do have a few decorations up around our apartment that I am excited to share! I also a few cute little touches in my bedroom that I want to share too!
So we decided to go all out this year and we all the split the cost of a Christmas tree, haha. We figured why not? It is on the smaller side, which you can't tell from the picture, but it's a Christmas tree and it's fun!
































We also have a festive little Christmas village that we made in front of the TV.
As far as my bedroom goes, I hung a few little Christmas-y touches on my little memo board! Like this cute star ornament from World Market and a cute printable calendar that I found through this blog post.
I put the most adorable little "oh deer" sign on my bookshelf. I found this in the One Spot section at Target last year.
Last but not least I have the most adorable little mason jar snow globe on my desk that I made a couple years ago and it might just be my favorite Christmas decoration.

Hope you enjoyed a few of the little Christmas touches that are in our apartment! Maybe I will make another post when I go home holidays showing some cute holiday things at home!

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Christmas Traditions

Gah! I am already falling behind with these posts and it is only the third day! Let me tell you the end of the semester is the struggle and have I mentioned this semester has been killing me? lol

I love traditions, partially because I am a creature of habit but also there is just something so special about traditions and my family has a few traditions that I look forward to each Christmas season. Which our traditions tend to fluctuate with each passing season. I used to be way more into traditions but I have realized that traditions aren't as important as spending time with those that you love and celebrating the birth of Jesus. I still enjoy traditions though.

Helping Decorate the House
I always love decorating the house each year! I am probably the most festive one in the family, so I am either the one decorating or encouraging others to decorate. The mantel has been my biggest challenge in recent years, and I am always scouring Pinterest for ideas. Also, a lot of Christmas decorations are like 20 years old so I've been helping my mom get some newer and prettier decorations.

Holiday Baking
I love baking in general but there is just something so special about holiday baking. If my family has time me, my dad, and my brother will often make sugar cookies from scratch using an old family recipe. Otherwise, I enjoy still enjoy baking other festive treats! This year I am already planning on making some linzer cookies when I get home!

Christmas Mugs
Whenever the holidays roll around, we always replace our usual coffee mugs with Christmas ones! It really is not a huge tradition, but I love mugs and it just feels like Christmas drinking my coffee out of a Christmas mug!

Christmas Morning Waffles
Every year for as long as I can remember my parents have made these homemade sourdough waffles for breakfast, which again is another family recipe. These waffles just have the best flavor and texture and it just feels like Christmas with them.

Christmas Pajamas

I don't have a picture for this one. But again every year for as long as I can remember my brother and I each get one present on Christmas Eve and it is always pajamas. Which is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. It just would not feel like Christmas without a new pair of pajamas to sleep in!

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?
Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Monday, December 5, 2016

My Christmas List

So I thought I would do something fun amidst all of the craziness of finals, this might be a terrible idea as I am already falling behind, but I have high hopes that it will all work out! One of my favorite bloggers, Victoria Strader and her friend Sarah, are hosting a Christmas linkup and I thought it would be fun to join in! With all of the Vlogmas's that YouTubers are posting I have been wanting to do something fun on my blog and this linkup is the perfect opportunity!

So today I am sharing my Christmas List, which in all honestly I am not even 100% on at the moment. It seems the older I get the harder it is to write my Christmas list.
1. This robe was the first thing on my list and I am obsessed with it. It just looks so snug and it has a hood with ears!
2. When I was out shopping with my mom over Thanksgiving Break and I stumbled across this watch and it is gorge. I've never had a nice watch either and I love the combination of rose gold and grey.
3. So I love funnel neck sweatshirts and rose gold and grey, so when I stumbled across this hoodie at Nordstrom Rack over break I was obsessed. Perfect for class in the winter.
4. I saw this book at Anthropologie back in the summer and it looks right up my alley.
5. I love Zoella and this little jar of her bath products looks the cutest.
6. Rose gold french press, I actually already know I am getting this because I stumbled across one at TJ Maxx so my mom told me to just pick one up.
7. For some reason I have been obsessed with the idea of blush sneakers and I kind of love these, but I am not 100% sure yet. I also recently found these that I think are kind of adorable too.

(BTW my Christmas list does not match on purpose, it just happened and it is actually really satisfying to look at).

As far as a few other miscellaneous I am dreading winter and have been eyeballing Uniqlo for warm inexpensive pieces, I also always love any Lush Christmas products, and have been considering a portable printer.

My ultimate Christmas gift would be to ditch this list and for my family to go to Europe for Christmas and go to like Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Obviously that is not happening, so I guess I have to settle on the things on this list. ;)
What's on your Christmas list? Or what would your ultimate Christmas gift be?
xox,
Amanda

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Peek Inside My Bedroom

I have been wanting to post pictures of my room for ages, but as I mentioned before this semester has just been crazy busy and I haven't found the time to do so. I just back to school from Thanksgiving break and haven't had a ton to do in these past few days, which is partially a miracle and partially procrastination. I decided to take advantage of the calm before the storm of finals and take pictures of my room! I know if I put it off until after finals it's just not going to happen, no better time than the present!

I am really happy with my room this year. My tastes and style have changed drastically over these past few years and while I typically have a more eclectic taste, somehow everything that I like just fit together really well. Recently I have been into a slightly minimalistic look, but also I love pops and color, as well as the whole Scandinavian and mid-century modern look, and I of course love anything and everything that is copper. I also have a couple little fun Christmas-y touches in my room right now too!








// bedding // pom pom blanket // throw pillow // London throw pillow // lamp // clock // floor lamp // cart // coasters // desk lamp // pencil mug // planner // headphones //

As you can probably see my room is just a mishmash of things, and most of it is just things that I have collected over time. I tried to link as much as I could! The things that I didn't link were things that I either cannot find anymore, I made, or they came from Home Goods or TJ Maxx. Also I am living in a university operated apartment, so things like the bed, dresser, and desk were provided for me by the school.

Hope you enjoyed getting a peek into my little space!
Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Friday, December 2, 2016

// Links //

//via//
I feel as though all I ever make are these "Links" posts but that is because I really enjoy them. It is fun finding cool links to share, and just updating y'all on a few of the going-ons in my life and things that I am enjoying.

One week down, twoish more to go! Let me tell you, coming back to school after having a week off has been the struggle. This semester has just been a bit much, and by the time Thanksgiving Break rolled around I was already burnt out. But all I have left is one more week of classes and then exams, so I can do it! While I am dreading these next couple of weeks I think I will also enjoy them, because the holidays are always fun and I have a lot of fun plans coming up! Also, my roommates and I decided to go all out this year and we all split the cost of a little Christmas tree to put in our apartment, which is fun and festive.


The Gilmore Girls revival came out just a week ago, and it was awesomely frustrating! If you have watched you might agree with these 39 questions that need to be answered.

A cool 360 video on the making of Bergdorf Goodman's holiday window displays, maybe actual dream job material.

Fun fact: I love Scandinavian decor and Scandinavian Christmas so I was all for this post of 10 Scandinavian Holiday Decorating Ideas.

In case you haven't noticed I am in love with Julia's style and this post of affordable holiday outfits is no exception.

If you have the $$$ to spend Topshop has some of the cutest dresses for the holidays right now! (like thisthis, this, this, and this! and in love with this just in general)

Speaking of holiday wear I've been kind of digging these metallic pleated skirts, not sure if I could ever pull one off though...

Have you heard? You can now watch Netflix offline!!

Last, since it is officially December here is my Christmas playlist.

Ohh, one last link that I literally just discovered lol. But I literally just found this Insta account and it is glorious.

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda