Responsible (Christmas) Gift Ideas

As someone who is finally starting to pay back on student loans, I have begun thinking about how to be more responsible with my money. Sure, I have the basic expenses, but this time of year, spending can become excessive. Decorating, baking, and gifts add up quickly to an astronomical total.

Of course there is an expectation to give gifts to those close to us, for example my parents, siblings, boyfriend, and best friend. And my sisters boyfriend and brothers girlfriend are both awesome people and I want to include them as well. But how do you give awesome gifts, while still being responsible?

Here are some cute DIY gifts I’ve found on Pinterest that I’m loving. And the best part is, they are truly gifts that I would love to receive myself.

First: Hand painted coffee/tea mugs. I love the simplicity of these mugs from The white mugs with black writing will match anyone’s decor, however I like the idea of changing the black to a gold to make it more festive.

diy sharpie coffee mug

diy sharpie coffee mug

Second: This DIY Anthropology Hack Animal Jewelry Dish. I LOVE that you can use a plain plate, a decorated plate, a cheap plate from Good Will, you can pick the size, etc. AND you can pick whatever animal they like, and paint it all whatever color you want. It’s super easy, and very customizable.

DIY ring dish

DIY ring dish

I found the idea from a Buzzfeed article, but it seems simple enough to duplicate without instruction. Target or the Dollar Store are perfect spots to look for all different kinds of animals.

And last (that I’ve come across so far), is this adorable wine bottle, and 4 glass holder. My dad would have to help me with this one just a little bit, but it would be cute for a gift, include the wine! The post I saw this on is Home Talk, and I found the instructions there, but the picture said it’s from Down Home Inspirations.

Wine Bottle/Glass holder

Wine Bottle/Glass holder

Here’s the quick and dirty instructions:


  • 1 x 8 board (you’ll only need 7 1/2 inches, so the smallest you can find at your store)
  • saw (I used a miter saw, but a hand or jig saw could work if you have a steady hand)
  • drill
  • 5/8″ drill bit
  • 1 1/2″ drill bit
  • scroll saw or jig saw
  • Optional:
    drill press
    1 1/4″ drill bit
    Dremel tool

What do you guys think? Good ideas? Do you have any other suggestions? Things that look like you’d want, and they’re worth keeping around?

Fashion Trends I’m Loving

I tried to narrow these down to some fall-inspired outfit ideas. I own a few staple pieces, but browsing Pinterest gives me ideas for more seasonal pieces to purchase to expand my wardrobe possibilities.

The pictures below highlight some of my favorites that I’ve found, and each picture is linked to the pin on my board. Go to Pinterest and like them if you want!

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 6.31.04 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-23 at 6.33.13 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-23 at 6.17.35 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-23 at 6.17.53 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-23 at 6.18.34 PM

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 6.18.59 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-23 at 6.19.45 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-23 at 6.21.12 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-23 at 6.20.39 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-23 at 6.11.35 PM

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 6.21.57 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-23 at 6.22.11 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-23 at 6.23.45 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-23 at 6.15.35 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-23 at 6.22.41 PM

Books I Want to Read

I’ve been trying to read a lot more lately. At night, I pick up a book for a couple chapters as opposed to grabbing my iPad or phone and going on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. I’ve gone through most of the books I have on hand, and am looking for new ideas. Here’s what’s currently on my list.Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 10.53.12 AM

  • Rena’s Promise – It’s the true story of two sisters who were on the very first transport to Auschwitz. I love historical fiction, and historical non-fiction in story form. This book has gotten some great reviews. It may not be the most uplifting, but a good read nonetheless.
  • Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 10.52.56 AMA Stolen Life: A Memoir – Some have said that the book was a little confusing to read because of Jaycee’s 5th grade education level and stream-of-consciousness style of writing, however it seems extremely interesting. 

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 10.58.27 AM

  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption – Survival in WWII. Love personal accounts of stuff like this.
  • Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 11.01.24 AMThe Reason I Jump – After reading Room, by Emma Donoghue, I developed an interest for books about children, especially written from their perspective. The Reason I Jump is a look into the mind of an autistic boy, and is said to help people maybe understand Autism a little bit more. 
  • Waiting For Romeo Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 11.01.14 AM– I actually just bought this book on my Kindle app, and am planning on reading it this afternoon while I relax in the sunshine. It’s a typical teenage love story, but it seems like a good, quick read.
  • And most of all, my plan is to read all the books on this list, by the time I turn 30 (so, 3 1/2 more years…). 

What books do you recommend, and why?