Friday, December 19, 2014

17 Cool Things You Need to Click On Today

Baking some gluten-free/Paleo biscuits (from the wonderful new cookbook, Every Last Crumb); holiday party selfie in the hosts' gorgeous bathroom (and, if you're interested, the gold dress--which has become one of my very favorites--is under $100!); my son--who LOVES having his photo taken--is literally saying "Cheese" here; behind-the-scenes of a big beauty shoot for Brides

This week was a really weird one for me. Here's why: For the last few days, I have had {drumroll}...PINK EYE. Yeah, totally gross, I know. I have no idea how I got it, but it is not comfy and it is certainly not cute.

Because of the big P, I was only in the office one day this week, which meant there was a lot of sitting around at home doing nothing, which was SO. FRUSTRATING. If I had to be stuck at home, I at least wanted to be productive, doing one of the million things I had to do--wrapping presents, cleaning out our guest room, addressing holiday cards. But I couldn't really do any of that because I was afraid of somehow transmitting my eye plague. So this week was really just one big UGH. (Have you ever had pink eye? It's just the worst, right?)

The one thing I did do a lot of this week (besides keeping Purell in business), was spending time on the Internet. Here's a few of the fun things I found. Enjoy!

This great sweater had me at "metallic braid."

• Fresh always has the prettiest, most amazing holiday gifts. I'm giving two people in my life (trying to stay vague, here...!) this one and this one.

Beauty editors know their beauty products! Here's the five products one Glamour beauty editor wants for Christmas. (Plus, don't miss the shoutout to this post of mine from earlier this week!)

My friend Dana wrote this hilarious piece about holiday disappointment. I've probably read it at least ten times now. Love.

• I've mentioned before how much I adore NextIssue. And I love them even more now that they're featuring me in their year-end roundup, talking about my top four favorite magazine beauty stories of the year. 

• Have you listened to the final Serial yet? I thought it was really great, but I am SO SAD that it's over. I need more! Luckily, this Serial subreddit has been providing my fix. Warning: If you start reading, you will fall down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories, crazy details, etc.

If you're going to be traveling next week, here's some great tips for eating healthy on the go.

• So many of these holiday hacks are actually completely genius.

• I have become unnaturally obsessed with the leather chair in this photo.

• I'm going to try making kale chips for the first time this weekend. Definitely following these six tips for making sure they turn out flawless.

• An amazing hairstylist who gives free haircuts to the homeless.

• I am SO a sloth mom.

And in case you missed it, this week I...

• Revealed the gifts that are on my own holiday wish list. (That sweater! Those sneakers!)

• Delved into the drama that ensues when your kid wants the year's hot holiday toy.

• Provided a peek into what I do all day at my day job as a beauty editor.

• Shared 15 gorgeous, glittery gold gifts.

• Gave a shoutout to this hilarious video, which has fast become my favorite thing. (My daughter loves it now, too!)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gift Guide: What's On MY Holiday Wish List

my holiday list
These are a few of my favorite (and most coveted!) things.

I've done a few gift guides so far this year (here and here), but I thought it would be fun to do one made up of the actual items that I personally, actually asked for this year. I always feel a little weird coming up with a holiday list, but my parents (and brothers and husband) always want one, so here it is. These are a few of the ideas I gave them. Hopefully it will inspire you if you've still got a few last-minute gifts to buy. I would be thrilled to received any one of these things.

1. J.Crew Merino Wool Tippi Sweater: I own two of these sweaters already (grey and sky blue) and they are THE BEST THINGS EVER. They have become true staples in my wardrobe, and here's why: The cut is super flattering, the three-quarter-length sleeves means you can wear them practically year round, and they go with everything. I wear them constantly with jeans; they also look really cute with skirts. I have my eye on the basic black and the pretty pink. But, really, I'd be thrilled with any color.

2. Sony DSC-QX100 Smartphone Attachable Lens Style Camera: I have wanted this forever. It's a lens attachment that lets you take DSLR-quality photos with your PHONE. I own a great DSLR camera, but it's very heavy and bulky, so I find myself just shooting with my phone when I'm out and about. It would be game-changing to be able to take amazing photos--with something I can just pop in my purse.

3. "You Can't Spin With Us" tank: Cute! The perfect motivation to get me to SoulCycle or Wheelhaus a little more regularly.

4. Paleo cookbooks: Since I am on a Paleo diet now, I'm always looking for new, good cookbooks. I've heard amazing things about Nom Nom Paleo, so that's top of my list. (If you're looking for other great Paleo cookbooks, try Against All GrainMeals Made Simple, or Every Last Crumb. I own all three and all are fantastic.)

5. Nike In Season TR-4 sneakers: These are SLIP-ON SNEAKERS. For those days when you're too lazy to tie (me, everyday), they're the thing. And they're super cute, too! 

6. Cookie dough scoop: Because I want my cookies to be pretty and uniform, dammit! (This would be a great stocking stuffer for a friend who likes to bake, BTW. One of those things that no one really buys, but anyone could use.)

7. Core Plus Reformer: I mean, I would DIE to own a real Pilates reformer, but I don't have the space (or the funds!) for that. So I'm intrigued by this little gadget, which is designed to mimic the stretching and strengthening moves that you do on the studio apparatus.

8. Rag & Bone Classic Newbury Boots in Brown: I splurged on the black Rag & Bone Newbury boots about a month ago and they have fast become my very favorite shoe. They are impossibly cool (I get compliments every time I wear them) and they are actually comfy (the heel is nice and thick, so they're easy to walk in). I wear mine with jeans and with dresses (I even wore them with this dress to a fancy holiday party!). Yes, they are expensive, but I'm getting so much use out of them, so I justify them that way. I'd love the brown pair for those outfits when black just doesn't work.

9. Gold serving pieces: I highlighted these in this post already, but I just love them so much. So pretty for entertaining (or for every day if you're fancier than me!).

10. Peloton bike: Okay, so this one definitely falls into the "maybe-if-we-win-the-lottery-and-also-if-we-suddenly-have-space-for-a-gym" category, but if money wasn't a factor, I'd so want one of these. Have you heard of these things? They are exercise bikes with an attached screen that lets you stream live Spin classes! So instead of pedaling away watching House Hunters, you're part of a real live exercise your own home. Too. Cool.

11. Gift cards: I love a good gift card and told my family that I'd be psyched to get one to PiperlimeAnthropologie, Zappos, Amazon, or Shopbop since I frequent all of them so much anyway.

Tell me: Are any of these things on your list (to give or to get), too?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Saga of Buying a Snow Glow Elsa Doll

Snow Glow Elsa
Have you guys heard of Snow Glow Elsa? If you don't have a daughter between the ages of three and nine, I'm guessing the answer is no. But if you do have a little girl, the answer is probably more along the lines of: "YES!! Why? Do you know where to get one??"

You see, Snow Glow Elsa is the hot holiday toy for girls this year. So how is it different than one of the (million) other Elsa dolls? It says a bunch of different Frozen-related phrases (in both English and Spanish, no less), sings the Idina Menzel version of "Let It Go," and does it all in a sparkly, light-up dress. Girls want it and they want it bad.

Trouble is, it's selling out everywhere and is becoming basically impossible to find. 

I got a peek at SG Elsa at a holiday toy preview earlier this fall, so I knew it was going to be hot--and I knew my daughter would ask for one. So, a few weeks ago, we bought two in Target--one for one of the little girls in our adopt-a-family and one for my daughter. After we got them home though, we realized that one seemed to be broken. (Most likely just dead batteries, but no way to tell without opening it and who wants that kind of disappointment on Christmas morning?!) So we wrapped up the working one to donate, and put the broken one aside thinking I'd take it to Target at some point and exchange it.

Of course I totally forgot to actually go and exchange it.

Fast forward to this week. I walked into Target, finally returned the broken Elsa, and headed over to the toy section to pick up a new one. Of course...there were none. There were regular Elsas. There were Annas. But not a SINGLE Snow Glow. I grabbed one of the red-and-khaki-clad employees and asked if they had any in the back. I believe her response was, "HAHAHAHAHAH!" So that would be no.

I pulled out my phone and searched online.,,, and every actual Target, Walmart, and Toys R Us store remotely close to us was sold out. I started to panic.

My mom still tells the story of a Christmas back in the '80s when Cabbage Patch Kids first came out and every kid wanted one. They were sold out everywhere, and this was (way!) before anything like eBay. Then, apparently there was a suburban rumor that a Toys R Us in the area was getting a shipment. So one night, she waited in line outside with a million other desperate moms and dads, screaming: "I just need one with brown hair!! ONE WITH BROWN HAIR!!" 

And that Christmas, brown-haired Erica Lynne became mine.

Standing in Target this week, I had a sickening feeling that Snow Glow Elsa was about to become my Cabbage Patch Kid. This was about to become something that I would be telling my kids about twenty years later. 

So I did what any desperate mom would do. I called my mom. My parents started canvasing the D.C.-area Targets immediately. Meanwhile, I ran back to the customer service desk and asked frantically whether the broken Elsa was still there. It was. So I bought it back. The cashier looked at me like I was insane. But whatever. I figured it would be my safety Elsa just in case we couldn't find a working one.

An hour later, when I was in the car heading home, my dad emailed. He had found (and bought) one in Maryland. Crisis averted. Mom and dad to the rescue again. Cabbage Patch, revisited.

This is Christmas once you're a mom, people. Merry Stress-Mas!

If you still need your own Snow Glow Elsa, hope is not lost. It turns out Amazon still has some (though most seem to be at jacked-up prices), and eBay has them (though, again, you'll pay for your procrastination). 

And of course, I'm now the proud owner of two Snow Glow Elsas. And the mute one's yours if you want it.

[UPDATE! Looks like Toys R Us just got them back in stock! Limit two per customer though, so put those get-rich-on-Ebay fantasies to bed, people.]

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Take A Peek Inside the New Issue of Brides!

The new issue of Brides magazine is out now! And as I did last month, I wanted to give you guys a quick sneak peek. I'm really proud of how it turned out, and so excited that so many of my favorite hair and makeup pros (Mark Townsend! Nick Barose! Daniel Martin! Andrew Sotomayor! Etc!) were able to contribute some of their amazing tips.

If you're a bride-to-be (or just really, really into looking at pretty white dresses), definitely pick up a copy!

Monday, December 15, 2014

15 Gorgeous (Gold!) Gifts for Her

gold gift ideas

I love anything gold. Doesn't have to be real gold (though that's nice!). Doesn't have to be expensive. But slap some metallic gold on pretty much anything, and bam!--I'm smitten.

I've been pinning some of my favorite gift ideas over the past few weeks, and recently noticed that nearly everything I had pinned was gold! So I figured it would be fun to share them with you, all compiled into one glittery gift guide.

(Best part: Only two of the items are over $100! (The hand jewelry holder and the candle are both around $125). The rest are all under $100 and most of them are actually under $50...)

I would GLADLY receive (or give!) any of these things--I get excited just looked at all the sparkly goodness in the photo. The necklace would be amazing with a solid colored dress or even a tee and jeans (can't believe it's under $50!), the mocs are the perfect marriage of comfy and cute (and under $100!), and the glasses, serving set, and bowl all make me want to throw a party stat. 

Links to everything above and below. (Plus some more gold favorites below!) Happy shopping!


Friday, December 12, 2014

This Mom Parody of Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" is Everything

If you're a mom, I'm willing to bet that you'll find this parody of Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" as amazing as I did. (Plus, it reminds me a lot of this post I did a few months back!) I relate to almost every single word--sad as that may be. Starbucks lattes, man.

Watch and love.

16 Cool Things You Need to Click On Today

Box o' ornaments; visiting Santa--and being utterly terrified; at dress rehearsal for this weekend's ballet recital; making (and nibbling) gingerbread houses

Friday is usually my day off, but not this week! Today I'm at a shoot working on a very cool project for Brides--can't wait to share more! (Follow me on Instagram for some fun updates from the set...)

And now, I NEED YOUR HELP. This weekend, I'm going to a holiday party, but still haven't decided what I'm wearing! It will either be this gold dress (fits amazingly well and is UNDER $100!--looks way more expensive though) or this black, embellished dress (also fits really well and the gold detailing is really cool). Bought both and love both, but I'm torn. Would love your opinion! Which one should I go with? Help!

In addition, we've got my daughter's dance recital (how cute does she look in her costume above?!), and I'm also going to be logging quite a bit of time in front of my computer considering my shopping is maaaaaybe half done. (Ok, that's being generous. I have so much left to do. #eek)

What are you up to this weekend? Whatever it is, enjoy these links as you count down to it. :)

• A woman in my office was wearing this sweater yesterday (with black leather pants!) and it looked SO. GOOD. Best part: It's 30 percent off right now with code GIVETHIS. Score.

• I made this gluten-free pasta dish last night (using the exact GF pasta imported from Italy that Felicia swears by--it's amazing, BTW). And people? It was TRANSCENDENT. Delicious. Heavenly. Super easy. I highly, highly recommend it. 

• I'm currently coveting gold flatware bad. I love this set--it's beautiful, classic, and a lot less expensive than others I've seen.

• This hater's guide to the Williams Sonoma catalog made me laugh.

• I'm way too lazy to do a standing desk, but this stealthy elliptical is super intriguing. Want!

• The 51 most beautifully written sentences in literature. (via Tia)

• A helpful guide to shooting a great photo of your kid (or your dog or cat) in front of the Christmas tree.

• Laptops, shmaptops. In the (near!) future, we'll all carry our personal computers...on USB drives.

• This outfit is everything. 

• Long, but excellent, piece on the real price of social media.

• How to recycle or donate your old running shoes.

• Paleo ginger snaps! Yum.

• Loved this chat with indie-magazine publishers about the future of print.

• Smoky eyes + bubble-gum lips: Reese looks so pretty here.

And in case you missed it...

• Stocking stuffers for kids...that don't require buying a ton of useless crap.

• Last Friday's links