Small Business Gift Guide

Small business make the world go round and this holiday season I’ve made it my mission to support small businesses whenever possible, especially when it comes to gift buying. I’ve had the pleasure of being introduced to some awesome small businesses over the past year and could think of nothing better than sharing these businesses as part of a holiday gift guide. Here are my favorites for gifting this season!

Silk Therapeutics Silk Renewing Peel

The Holy Grail of my skincare routine, I’ve been using this product weekly for almost a year and it has transformed my skin. Free of harsh chemicals, the Silk Renewing Peel from Silk Therapeutics uses pure liquid silk, glycolic and lactic acids to gently yet effectively exfoliating the outermost layer to reveal a brighter, more vibrant complexion.

The entire Silk Therapeutics product line is gentle enough that it’s safe for those going through cancer treatment and for every product that’s purchased, one is donated to oncology patients. For more details, check out my review of the Silk Renewing Peel.

silk therapeutics renewing peel

Courtesy of Silk Therapeutics

Purlisse Blue Lotus + Seaweed Treatment Mask

Harnessing the powers of Asian botanicals, Purlisse is a skincare line that I recently discovered. My favorite product in the line is the Blue Lotus + Seaweed Treatment Sheet Mask. Nourishing and fun to use, the mask comes in sheets that makes it perfect for awakening your skin during winter holiday travel.

McCrea’s Candies

If you’re a caramel lover like me or know someone who is, then look no further than caramels from McCrea’s Candies. The local Boston company makes to die for caramels in unique flavors like Black Lava Sea Salt and Single Malt Scotch, that are perfect for gifting! The only bad part about gifting McCrea’s caramels is that you won’t want to give them away so I highly recommend picking some up for yourself as well!

mccreas handmade caramels

Seacoast Sweets

If you’re looking for something chocolatey, scoop up some chocolate pattie treats from Seacoast Sweets. The peppermint, peanut butter, coconut, and s’mores patties will delight any palate. In addition to tasting good, Seacoast Sweets is also committed to doing good—one dollar for every dozen patties goes to an organization that empowers girls girls from low-income situations by providing them with the basic items and fees needed to participate in sports and physical activities.

seacoast sweets

Courtesy of Seacoast Sweets

JORD Wood Watches

If you’re shopping for a jewelry gift that stands out, JORD Wood Watches are my top pick. Available in a variety of men’s and women’s styles, these watches are made from woods like bamboo, walnut, and zebrawood, making each watch is unique. The watches can be dressed up or down and are different than the usual watches you see out there. I’ve found my JORD watch to be quite a conversation starter—nearly every time I wear mine, I get comments and questions from strangers.

fashionable wooden watches

Classic Holiday Line Boat Cruise

To me there’s nothing better than sharing in an experience and I’ve recently started gifting more experiences than tangible objects. My pick for an experience this year is a holiday boat cruise, specifically the holiday boat cruises with Classic Harbor Line. Setting sail around Boston Harbor, Classic Harbor Lines offers three festival holiday cruise tours.

I recently had the chance to take the Holiday Jazz Cruise with my fiancé and we had a wonderful time.  We listened to jazz and sipped warm boozy cocktails as the boat sailed around Boston Harbor for an hour and a half. If you’re looking for a good gift, this is the perfect New England experience for any New Englander!

boston holiday jazz cruise

Stocking Stuffers

The Wand by Pure Wine

If you’re gifting or drinking wine this season, pick up The Wand wine filter and enjoy wine without the side effects. This magical wand absorbs histamines and removes sulfates leaving you with wine that you can enjoy without the horrible hangover. Smartest. Invention. Ever.

the wand by purewine

Courtesy of PureWine


A small business based in New Jersey, PureLYFT is a great stocking stuffer for go-getters addicted to coffee and energy drinks. The all natural clean caffeine is a tasteless powder that’s easily mixed into any drink, including water or cocktails. Conveniently packaged in a tube, PureLYFT is perfect to have on hand for travel or any necessary caffeine boost without having to battle coffee lines.

purelyft clean energy

If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping this year, check out some of these small businesses for the special people on your list!

Disclosure: I received some of these items for free over the past year, but all opinions are my own.

Back Them Apps Up: Switching iPhones without the genius bar

How to Switch iPhones

Yesterday I had time after work to do nothing so naturally I ended up running around and didn’t get home until after 8pm.  One of those things was deciding to finally cash in my upgrade at Verizon and leave the Dark Ages of the iPhone4.  I was resisting it for a while, namely because I’m too lazy to transfer the data from one phone to the computer and back to another phone…and also because Siri sounds like a bitch.  But today I did it…the jury is still out on Siri.
I ended up with this pretty young thang–a white and gold iPhone 5s.  
I got a decent deal on it, as Verizon was running a Mother’s Day special where you get a free tablet for every smartphone purchase.  I’m calling it my Thankfully I’m Not a Mother’s Day gift.  Not that I don’t like kids, I’m just not ready for them yet.  So yeah, I also have a tablet now too–what do I do with that?!
In addition to the fancy phone and tablet I don’t need, I got suckered into buying a new case; screen protector; and extra charger for another $50, which was actually a deal when the case and screen protectors would have cost that alone.

The sales manager at the store assured me that the data transfer would be easy to do.  I believed him…and then invited him over for cookies and beer while he did all the dirty work for me.  However bribing employees is frowned upon, so he drew me an idiot-proof diagram to assist me in my quest and sent me along my merry way.
I got as far as Step 2 before breaking down and calling Verizon for a Tech Coach to guide me through the process.  My Tech Coach was awesome and walked me through the harrowing process of removing all of my selfies; emojis; and apps from one phone to the other via the MacBook Air that I barely know how to use.
This may have included a smartphone rendering of “Back Them Apps Up” (copyright 2014), a modern take on Juvenile’s classy song.
“Girl you looks good won’t you back them apps up!”
In the end, I did it! I successfully transferred my life from one device to the next without losing anything and shook my azz in the process.

spring style–boat shoes, camo, and stripes, oh my!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Happy Freaking Spring!  After the horrible winter this year, I’m welcoming the nicer weather.
This weekend is beautiful here in Boston and yesterday I felt inspired to make the most out of the nice day.  I made plans to meet up with a girlfriend for lunch and beers outside at my favorite spot, Parish Cafe.  I also decided that yesterday was the day to break in my new Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes that I finally bit the bullet on.  You can’t live in New England and not own boat shoes!  Never mind the fact that I’m not a boater…YET.  If you build it, they will come, right?  Get thee some boat shoes, become a boater. I see no flaw in this logic.  In fact I could probably write this purchase off on my taxes next year as self-entrepreneurial business development.
I also wore my three favorite things because they made me happy–ripped jeggings, stripes, and camouflage. I threw a leopard print scarf in my bag for good measure because nothing says pattern mixing like every pattern you’ve ever owned vomiting on your body.  I didn’t need to use it, which is probably good because that would have been overkill but I wouldn’t have cared because I was so damn happy about the weather!
For real though, to me it was the perfect outfit. Pieces that made me happy put on in layers. Ripped jeans, a light weight cotton shirt, and a jacket.  My feet get cold easily and although I saw plenty of people in sandals, my piggers would have froze and my Sperrys were the perfect shoe for a Spring day.
If I didn’t just blog about this I might have been tempted to wear this again today…but I won’t because that’s just weird. 

march obsessions

It’s officially Spring and almost the end of March already–woohoo!  Bring on the warm weather!  In celebration of the melting of treacherous black ice that has caused me to fall on my ass on more than one occasion this winter, I’ve complied a list of the things that have been getting me through these past few weeks.  As you can probably tell, this winter has been rough for me.  It’s the little things in life that keep me sane, and happy, but mostly sane.
My secret to be happy are looking good and feeling good, as illustrated by the fancypants picture below.
march obsessions
Awesome Blazer:  I attended a blogger shopping event at the Loft in February with Elissa from Style Wire and Georgina from Notes on Lifestyle by Georgina where I picked up this adorable blazer.  It’s a dark heather grey with a black and white striped liner.  It’s cotton and so comfy, which is important for someone like me who spends her downtime wrapped in a Snuggie.  A blazer like this is the perfect way to look adorable but feel like you’re in pajamas and is my total cheat to looking put together.

Chiffon Blouse: I love blouses that can go from day to night, are long enough to wear with leggings, but sexy enough to wear on a date.  Enter this perfect chiffon blouse that I picked up from H&M last week.  I got it in white because rose isn’t a good color on me.  I’ve already worn it twice in the past week.

Body Butter: The end of winter did horrible things to my skin so I switched from my regular moisturizer to this almond body butter from The Body Shop.  Even though the winter is over, I’m still slathering this yummy stuff on from head to toe–ok not toes, as I quickly learned that walking on wood floor with body buttered feet is a dangerous idea!

Sparkling Water: Ever since the Blog and Tweet Boston Steakapalooza at DelFrisco’s where we were offered either still or sparkling water, I’ve been on a sparkling water kick.  I forgot how much I love fizzy water and I’ve been stocking up my fridge anytime I’m out with a friend who has a car.  It’s just too much work to carry bottles of water 6 blocks home from Trader Joe’s.

Athleta Yoga Pants: In case you haven’t noticed from my recent posts, I’ve become quite the yogi.  I joined a new yoga studio and have been going to classes between 3 and 5 times a week.  Accordingly, I’ve been outfitting myself with yoga clothes.  After a brief love affair with the Lululemon Wunderunder crops, I found the Althleta Chaturunga capris that I like even better (gasp!) and they come in fun colors!  I picked up these blue bad boys several weeks ago and their Catalina green cousin last weekend.

Do you have any March Obsessions that have been getting you through the last few weeks of winter?

things i shouldn’t admit on the internet

Lately I’ve felt uninspired to post.  I do the whole go to work, pretend to go to the gym, grab drinks with friends, and spend too many weekends on the couch wasting time on the internet thing.  Life is routine, but not boring, but still seemingly not interesting enough to write about.  As such, I thought of none other than a post about things that I probably shouldn’t admit on the internet.

I’m horrible at laundry.
I have a coin operated washer and dryer, little time despite the aforementioned time wasted on the couch surfing the internet, and I’m too cheap to pay for a Laundry Service. I have about 85 pairs of underwear, no joke, so I usually wait until I’m down to 30 pairs before deciding to do laundry.  When I finally get around to doing laundry, I leave it in a pile on my chair for weeks until I’m looking for something I washed a month ago.  Enter Downy Winkle Release.  It makes clothes fresh in a snap and eliminates the need for ironing.  Aside from mascara, it’s probably my favorite product.  
My favorite shoes are from Payless.
These shoes took off this year and were deemed as “The Most Comfortable Flat Ever” by cheap people everywhere.  They’re also the smelliest shoes ever, but that part isn’t as well advertised.
I will never do this workout. 
But I will pin the crap out of it so that people think I will…or in case one day I miraculously find 4 minutes to jump around like an idiot in the privacy of my own home.  Which will probably be tomorrow because now I just admitted that I’m a lazy bum who can’t devote 4 minutes to cardio.  I will also never look like this, but most people won’t so I’m ok with that one.

I dislike cats.
Sorry cat lovers.  I’ll still be entertained by gifs and pathetic cats wearing sweaters, but as pets, they’re just not for me.  I realize this is Internet Taboo 101 because “zomg! squee! cats!” but it’s not like I’m signing up to kick a kitten or anything.  Chill out.
I own a Snuggie.
Not just any Snuggie, it’s a Real Tree camouflage Snuggie.  It wasn’t a gift either.  I bought this puppy myself, because I wanted it…and I think it’s awesome.
My friends think I need help.
If you’ve read this post in its entirety, you’re probably one of them.