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Gift Guide: Candles

I always get asked about my favorite candles so today I wanted to round up my go-tos because they would make AMAZING gifts for the holidays.  I’m a bit of a candle fanatic – my entire house is literally full of them!  I love wandering into boutiques and seeing pretty candles on display just waiting to go home with me!  I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy a beautiful candle, so if you’re stumped on what to give your mom, sister, girlfriend, or coworker – any of the below candles will surely wow them! If I had to choose my all time favorite candle it would be Diptyque Vanille.  This is THE chicest scent out there.  It has just the right amount of vanilla with a slightly masculine tobacco undertone.  HEAVENLY!  I want to bathe in this scent. Right up there, with Diptyque Vanille is Diptyque Baies – which is a great scent for the summer or anyone who lives in a warmer climate.  It’s very refreshing and sort of zingy/citrusy!  Other Diptyque candles I have on repeat are 34 and La Madeleine.  34 is a really strong scent that I would burn at a party and La Madeleine is a sweeter scent – similar to Vanille, but more subtle and great for someone who has a million Diptyque candles but wants something a little different since it comes in this cool jar.  You also can’t go wrong with any of their holiday candles and mini candle sets! Moving on from Diptyque, I love Byredo everything.  Their Bohemia and Bibliotheque scents are to die for.  Both scents are sexy – and make you want to curl up on your couch with a fire burning, your honey and a good book.  Another sexy scent that has a nice amount of earthiness to it is the Goop 02 Shiso candle which has palo santo in it. Le Labo also makes incredible candles – and I especially love that you can personalize them with a small note at the bottom.  If you pop into their store they type it right there for you!  I have Santal 26 in my kitchen, and I gave Derek Palo Santo 14 for our anniversary.  It’s perfect for the man in your life! Jo Malone candles are heavenly – and their packaging and boxes are stunning so you don’t even need to wrap them.  I’ve had their Blackberry and Bay scent forever!  If you want to up your candle giving game even more… order the Cire Trudon x Giambattista Valli Positano candle.  I bought it for one of my girlfriends who is impossible to shop for and she LOVED it. Other scents that I love and make great gifts are this Voluspa candle and Commodity candle in Oolong.  You can’t go wrong with either and they’re both pretty reasonable! When it comes to holiday candles, my favorites are the; Ralph Lauren signature holiday candle, Nest holiday classic candle, and Molton Brown Russian Leather.  Don’t forget to be checking my Instastories for daily Christmas giveaways – I gave 25 Goop candles away the first day!
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Gift Guide: Coffee Table Books

One of my absolute favorite gifts to receive is a coffee table book.  I’ve got quite the collection going and nothing makes me happier than being able to add to it every so often!  The genres I’m drawn to are; fashion, decor, and cooking.  I love stacking fashion books on my vanity and in my closet/office area.  I place all of my decor books around my living room and then put my cookbooks on display in the kitchen. There’s nothing better than being able to sit out on my back patio with a cup of tea on a sunny day to flip through them – ahhh bliss!  I get so much inspiration and gather tons of ideas from each and every one!  I wanted to share stand outs from my collection that would make the perfect gift for someone special. Coffee Table Books Fashion Books Chanel three book setChristian LouboutinTom FordChanel: Collections and CreationsYves Saint Laurent Decor Books The BohemiansBeautiful: All American Decorating and Timeless StyleAllegra HicksThe Big Book of ChicSmall Space StyleVogue Living: Houses, Gardens, PeopleBeauty At Home: Aerin LauderMy Floral Affair: Rachel AshwellSurf Shack Cookbooks Nathan Turner’s I Love CaliforniaSweet Laurel BakeryMagnolia TableCook BeautifulIna Garten: Barefoot Contessa (all of her books are amazing)It’s All EasyMatcha book Miscellaneous Books Speed, Style, and Beauty: Cars from the Ralph Lauren CollectionWhole BeautyIn the Spirit of St. BarthsHumans of New YorkThe New York Times: 36 Hours USA
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Venice, CA

Meaningful Gifts

When it comes to buying gifts, there are several factors I look for.  One factor that’s become increasingly important is if it’s meaningful.  I want a gift that is beautiful and unique – but that also has a special message behind it. I love that L’Occitane not only makes stunning products and gift sets, but that they also give back in a really big way. You may remember I had the opportunity to fly to Provence with the L’Occitane team two summers ago!   I was able to visit their factory, lavender fields, farms, shops, and even chat one on one with the founder; Olivier Baussan.  He is one of the most hard working, kind and down to earth entrepreneurs I’ve ever met, and he has built an absolutely incredible company that people all over the world adore.  Each L’Occitane product is sourced with the finest ingredients from local farms and they support the artisans – particularly female artisans. Meaningful GiftsIt’s become a tradition to give my mom something from L’Occitane’s lavender collection every year because she is obsessed with lavender!  This year we opened gifts early since she was visiting me in LA for Thanksgiving :)  This pretty lavender gift set could not have been more perfect because it has one of everything she loves; the bubble bath, lavender sachet, hand cream, hand wash, body soap, and body lotion.  It comes in a bright red, festive box and is insanely reasonable at under $75. My mom gave me the L’Occitane Blooming Rose Treasures giftbox which smells absolutely heavenly.  The body milk and little eau de toilette were my favorite pieces from the collection!  I love that there’s literally no wrapping required with these gift sets because the box is just so festive itself! Shop more of my favorite pieces from L’Occitane below – like the Immortelle Divine collection (one of my fave moisturizers), the Shea Butter trio, and the Almond cleanse and exfoliate duo.  And how perfect is this as a stocker stuffer?!
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Venice, CA

Apple Pies For Fall

Thanksgiving isn’t complete without an apple pie for dessert am I right?!!!!  How cute are these pie making accessories and apron all from the Martha Stewart collection created for Macy’s?!  I was in h-e-a-v-e-n when they arrived.  This will be darling for Christmas baking as well. And such a great activity to do with family and loved ones :)  It took me a while to figure out how to peel the apples, but once I did, this apple peeler made it seamless – and fast. The Martha Stewart Collection for Macy’s has so many quality pieces – from baking supplies, to dishes, barware, bedding, towels and more.  I have my eye on this bar set for my new bar cart! I loved how the recipe for the pies was at the bottom of the pie dish – talk about easy peasy.  This pie dish and these festive dish towels would make such a nice hostess present if you’re heading somewhere for the holidays or have a Secret Santa party to attend!  Shop everything I used for my apple pie making below! Apple Pie RecipePie Ingredients:2 tbsp unsalted butter 1/2 tsp ground spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, clove) 3 lbs Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and cut into wedges 1 tsp grated lemon zest and juice pinch of salt 1/2 cup sugar 3 tbsp flour 2 tbsp heavy cream Dough Ingredients:2 3/4 cup flour 1 tsp sugar 4 tbsp vegetable shortening chilled 1 tsp salt 12 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled, diced 6 to 10 tbsp chilled water Instructions:Combine the flour, salt and sugar for the dough in a food processor.  Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (for 8 seconds.)  With the machine running, slowly add the water, and pulse until the dough holds together (no longer than 30 seconds.)  Add more water if it’s crumbly.  Divide dough into 2 balls and chill for 1 hour.  Then roll out dough to to be 12 inches and 1/8 inch thick and fit over the pie plate. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine apples, sugar, lemon, spices, flour, and and salt.  Pour onto the pie plate with dough.  Dot with butter.  Roll second disc of dough and lay over. Cut vents into top crust. Trim edges and seal with finger.  Chill for 30 minutes. Remove pie from fridge and brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.  Place on a baking sheet to catch any juices that may overflow.  Bake until golden – about 45 or 60 minutes.  Cool for 1 hour before serving and enjoy!
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