Tag Archives: lifestyle blog

Give the Gift of Wine

There really isn’t anything more special than a DIY’d gift. But let’s be honest, it can be hard to find classy, adult DIY options. Enter the Craft A Brew Wine Kit. Yep, you can make your own wine – what’s more adult and classy than that?! As someone who will never say no to a glass of wine, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make my own!

CAB1

The kits (which retail for $60 USD) make five bottles of wine so you’re getting a pretty good price per bottle! So, the economics of it check out. Now I’ll share some overall takeaways I have from the process itself:

  • This is not a solo project – but I think part of the fun of it is sharing the experience with someone else!
  • It was really cool to see the science behind wine making! Because you are turning juice into wine it’s going to go through a lot of chemical changes so don’t be alarmed if it looks a little weird or things are moving around.
  • After phase one you have to get the wine out of the jug and into a pan to add some more components to get your wine to the finish line. I gotta be honest, this step wasn’t fun for me. It was a little frustrating but ultimately we (my boyfriend was so kind and acted as my wine making assistant) figured it out!
  • Be sure to read the instruction manual in its entirety before starting the process. I was super excited to get to making my wine and I think if I would have read through every step it would have been beneficial.

CAB2In the end, the wine tasted pretty good but for me it was just cool to know that I made it! I loved checking in on my wine every day to see how things were changing with it.

CAB2

The whole process takes a month so if you start soon you’ll have wine ready to go for Mother’s Day to celebrate all of the special ladies in your life and National Wine Day to celebrate well…your special love of wine. I also think it would be so fun to buy the kit and go through the wine making process with your mom or girlfriends! Here are some more of our favorite wine-centric items to mix in with your gift or girls night:

PS – thanks to Craft A Brew for sending me the pinot grigio wine making kit. All opinions are my own!

Gift Guide: $100 and Under

Next up in our gift guide series – our favorite gifts for $100 and under – and this time, we didn’t forget about the guys! Below, check out round ups of the perfect presents for her AND him.

For her:

For him:

 

Gift Guide: $50 and Under

Still stuck on what to get those last few people on your list? Our next gift guide is sure to give you some inspiration and keep you under budget. Check out of favorite gift picks that are $50 and under:

If you’re a last minute shopper, don’t worry! We’ll be squeezing in a few more gift guides before the holidays are here so stay tuned!

Gift Guide: $25 and Under

Now that I’ve finally accepted that it is, in fact, December (didn’t it kind of sneak up on us out of nowhere?!) – I can finally officially start my gift shopping. Even if you are on a budget, you can still check everyone off your list and show all of your friends and family just how special they are to you with these gifts that are $25 and under!

Cyber Monday Sale Roundup

Okay, I don’t want to be dramatic but coming back to work after being off for a full week is the HARDEST THING EVER. Thankfully, I woke up to lots of emails about amazing sales to help me get up on the right side of the bed. I’m four cups of coffee into this day and rounding up the sales you should shop now (there’s a lot of them).

Clothing and Accessories

Shopbop: Today is the last day to Buy More, Save More! Get up to 25% off your entire order with code GOBIG16.

Nordstrom: Extra 20% off select sale items – check out everything that is included here!

J. Crew: You have about 10 hours left to take advantage of J. Crew’s best sale ever…40% off your entire purchase. Use code MONDAY.

J. Crew Factory: 60. %. Off. Everything. WHAT! Plus, (yes, there’s more) an additional 40% off clearance and free shipping! Use code HAPPYSALE!

Loft: Code CYBERMONDAY gets you 50% off everything AND $15 sweaters.

Ann Taylor: 50% off everything + free shipping with code CYBER50!

Tory Burch: Use code THANKS to receive 30% off and shop the Cyber Monday exclusive Mini Bag.

Kate Spade: Enjoy 30% off of your order when you use code WIRED.

Urban Outfitters: $50 off orders of $150 OR $15 off orders of $75. Discount is automatically applied at checkout!

Anthropologie: Use code STACKS for a bunch of different offers – 30% off sale items, 20% off full priced items + free shipping on orders of $150 or more with code. Phew!

Beauty

Sephora: Shop spring first! Get the most anticipated items that won’t be out until spring, today!

Ulta: $10 off qualifying purchases of $50 or more and lots and lots of other deals that can be found here!

Bumble & Bumble: This really NEVER happens. 20% off site-wide. YAS! Oh, and free shipping on orders of $40 or more. No code required.

Glossier: The best (and only) sale of the year. Use code  stock up on these amazing products while they are in stock and 20% off (discount is automatically applied at checkout)!

Home

Framebridge: 20% off all black frame styles (this is one of my new favorite companies, they make framing your pictures so easy and affordable)! Use code BLACK20.

West Elm: TONS of deals site-wide, up to 50% off!

CB2: 15% off your full-priced order + free shipping on orders of $29 or more. Use code SAVE15.

Pottery Barn: Again, TONS of deals site-wide with up to 50% off!

Crate & Barrel: 15% off full-priced purchases + free shipping (no minimum)! Use code SAVE15.

Alright, that’s all for now. If I get another surge of energy after coffee #5 I’ll be back to share more!

PS – Don’t forget to share your purchases with us in the comments below.

 

Black Friday Sale Roundup: Home

Been waiting for a good deal on that don’t NEED but really really want super soft blanket? Need to stock up on decorations to add a little more of the holiday spirit to your place? Well, you came to the right place. In addition to our other Black Friday Sale Roundups (for clothing and beauty) we’ve gathered up the best sales for home items as well:

Crate & Barrel: 15% off full-priced purchases with code SAVE15.

Pottery Barn: Lots of Black Friday deals to be found (save up to 50% off). I’ve personally got my eye on a faux fur throw (30% off)!

All of Williams Sonoma‘s Black Friday deals can be found here. Nespresso machines for 30% off, stemware sets starting at just $19.95, and up to 50% off William Sonoma cookware…I’d say there are some pretty good deals to scoop up.

CB2: Use code SAVE15 to receive 15% off of your full-priced purchase. CB2 is the perfect place to pick up unique items to add a little personality to your home – this pig bookend set is sure to start some convos next time you have guests over!

West Elm: Buy More, Save More! Receive up to 30% off of your purchase with code MOREISMORE. There are even some Black Friday Bonuses at 40% off!

And…don’t forget to check out the home sections at Nordstrom and Anthro!

Have you made any Black Friday purchases? Share them with us in the comments below!

Black Friday Sale Roundup: Beauty

Now that we’ve gotten a good number of the clothing-centric sales out of the way, it’s time to stock up on all of your favorite beauty products. These items rarely go on sale so there’s no better time to fill your cart up – AND there are so many things that could be perfect as stocking stuffers!

Sephora: Black Friday Beauty Sets – starting at just $10! Seriously guys, you can’t pass these up: Nest Perfume Trio for $12, Origins Cult Faves 4-pack for $18, and Drybar Dry Shampoo Duo for $30..just to name a few! Hurry before these all get scooped up!

Ulta: You can find all of Ulta’s Black Friday Beauty Busters here (BareMinerals and Tarte beauty kits for under $20, 20% off Clarisonic holiday sets…) but hurry they are selling out fast!

Glossier: This is their only sale of the year! 20% off everything + free shipping! Some of the products I’m a little (read: really) obsessed with include: boy brow, Generation G lip color, milk jelly cleanser, haloscope…okay let’s just say I’m obsessed with pretty much everything!

Happy shopping – stay tuned for more shopping guides throughout the day!

PS- Check out our Black Friday Sale Roundup for all things fashion that we posted earlier today!

Black Friday Sale Roundup

Black Friday is here! Wake up from that food coma and take advantage of the amazing deals retailers are offering. The best part – you can shop of all of these sales online and not even leave your couch!

J. Crew: You still have time to take advantage of the best sale EVER. Use code HOLIDAY to receive 40% off of your purchase. I spy with my little eye…lots of perfect items for gifting (be sure to check out the full gift guides for all the ladies and gents in your life for even more gifting inspo)!

Loft: 50% off everything. Yep, every. single. thing. It doesn’t get more amazing than that. Use code FRIYAY to take advantage of this awesome sale.

Loft Black Friiday

Anthropologie: Use code LETSGO to get 30% off your entire purchase. Quick side note – rounding all of these sales up for you all is really hard because they are SO AMAZING and now I want to buy EVERYTHING. Okay moving on…..if there was any store that could persuade me to wear a velvet jumpsuit, it would be Anthro.

Gap: TGIF50. Nope, I didn’t type that wrong, that is the code that will get you 50% off site wide at Gap. Personally, I’m a huge fan of their denim and lounging gear *insert thumbs up emoji here*. They’ve even developed “gift kits” – selecting a group of perfect together items so it really takes all of the work out of it for you!

Nordstrom: Through Sunday, receive an additional 20% off select sale items. Check everything out here because there is too much great stuff to just pick a few items to show you!

Nordstrom Black Friday

Shopbop: Buy More, Save More…use code GOBIG16 to save up to 25% off your purchase. This applies to ALL full-price and sale items so kind of impossible to pass up, right?

Banana Republic: 50% off five full priced items (NO exclusions!). Use code BRFIVE. Banana is really stepping up their game lately and you’re guaranteed to find some gifts for the super stylish folks in your life (check out the gift guides for her and him) and maybe a few pieces for your own holiday wardrobe, too!

The sales really are never ending today and we’re going to keep sharing them with you…after we have some coffee.

Stay tuned for posts throughout the day featuring more sales (beauty, home, tech…aka everything you’ll need to get all the names checked off that list of yours)!

 

Time to Get Bundled Up

Over the past couple of months, New York has offered up the most confusing weather I think I’ve ever experienced. I’ve gone from nights of layering up for bed praying my radiator turns on to cranking my AC the next day. This also entails switching up my wardrobe daily – kind of annoying. BUT…we’ve had about three days of chilly weather (the longest stretch so far!) so I think it might officially be time to bundle up! If you’re a longtime reader of the blog you know I’m extremely fond of the cold temps. Blame it on my Midwestern roots, but I can’t resist a good winter coat and think outfits are better when multiple layers are involved.

I can’t wait to share all of my favorite cold weather pieces over the next couple of weeks but let’s start with the pieces everyone will see the most – coats, hats, scarves, gloves..basically all of the best things about winter. Also, because I’m already in the holiday spirit of giving, all of the items below are ON SALE. Like..major sale (40% off at J. Crew for example. Yeah, I wasn’t lying!).

And okay – I know the holidays are all about spending time with friends and family, but why not also score a good deal on gifts for those friends and family members?! Check out the sale roundup below featuring all of the great deals you can get during the days leading up to the infamous Black Friday:

J. Crew: 40% off your purchase when you use code HOLIDAY.

Shopbop: Buy more, save more! Use code GOBIG16 to get up to 25% off.

Loft: Use code THANKS to receive 40% off site-wide.

Baublebar: 30% off on holiday collection and gift sets with code HOLIDAY30.

Tory Burch: The event of the season…use code THANKS to save 25% when you spend $250 or more.

Gap: 40% off EVERYTHING with code GIFTTIME.

Madewell: Use code THATSALE and you’ll get 25% off your entire purchase!

Nordstrom: Don’t wait until Black Friday to save…check out early savings offers (no code needed!)

Happy shopping!
XO
J

Week in Review: Fall is in Full Swing

Fall is in full swing, and that means miniature pumpkins and decorative Indian corn will magically make their way into your shopping cart. You’ll suddenly have an irresistible urge to visit an apple orchard and a pumpkin farm. Perhaps a vineyard, too – while you’re at it! A strange sensation pulls you in the direction of all things plaid and flannel and it becomes abundantly clear that you do not have enough cozy socks and blankets (and never will).

That said, cider season is officially upon us! If you’re like me, you skip the PSL and go straight for the good stuff.

If we were ‘real’ lifestyle bloggers, we’d whip up our own clever cider concoction and share just how rewarding it is to make your own from scratch. I must say, this Trader Joe’s version isn’t half bad! Apple-Cider-Season Disclaimer: These apples aren’t freshly picked from the orchard. They’re Trader Joe’s, too.

Fall-Foliage-OnlyInMN And with the crisp autumnal breezes comes a myriad of gorgeous natural colors. A unique mix of reds, greens, yellows, oranges and maroons. A striking blend of colors that are just too Instagrammable to resist. It’s peak fall foliage season in Minnesota right now (meaning, we have ALL of the colors), and I have plenty of ‘grams to prove it!

Including this one, featuring my recent encounter with a real-life emoji! Real-Life-Leaf-Emoji

Wayzata-Yacht-Club And this snap, that’s really just a tease because that body of water is about to FREEZE soon.

Fall-Foliage-MN-2 And this tunnel of trees at a scenic outdoor wedding venue. Ok, I lied. This is actually outside of the public library. Looks like a lavishly decorated aisle though, doesn’t it?

Taylors-Falls-MN-Fall This recent hike was an eyeopener, featuring trees with only a few fall leaves left : (

Wood-Watch-1When it comes to fall clothing and accessories, I gotta admit, I don’t overdose on plaid and flannel and oversized capes. They’re not for everyone. I do love a cozy cable knit sweater, a fleece-lined quarter-zip (like this Heathered Green Patagonia “Better Sweater” that’s become a weekend staple), and leather riding boots (like these Frye faves I’ve been wearing on the daily).

JORD-WatchAccessory-wise, stylish wood watches are seasonally appropriate and make quite the fashion statement. This Zebrawood and Dark Sandalwood combination caught my attention, and the best news is, the husband likes it, too! Check out woodwatches.com to explore the full collection of men’s and women’s watches. (Shown: Dover Series Zebrawood & Dark Sandalwood. c/o).

Wood-Watch-2 Doesn’t it make you wanna go all analog and take a hike? Reaching for your iPhone is not required to tell time. It was, however, required for this photo, HA! 

Like what you see? Enter to win a wood watch.

Until next time!
Marty