Holiday Gift Guide AND Giveaway!

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I am planning to do a revamp of my blog at the beginning of the new year! I want to include giveaways, favorites lists, and more! To kick things off a bit early, I wanted to create a Holiday Gift Guide! Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday! My wish list is quite long, but so is my gift list! I wanted to share some of my favorite things including great gift ideas for your loved ones! The best part of it all is that I am hosting a giveaway featuring some of the items from this post!

You can enter by going to my Instagram account, following me, liking the Holiday Giveaway post, and tagging a friend! I will pick a winner on December 6th, and I will send you 7 of my favorite gifts this holiday season (p.s. everything pictured above)!

P.S. Since you were so nice and visited my blog, if you comment on this post, you will also be entered to win!





I have always thought Kate Spade gift items were “cute,” but as of late, I have a completely different appreciation for all things Kate Spade. The notebooks are perfect for your sister’s office, the tumblers are perfect for your friend that always has a coffee in hand, and the stationary is perfect for your mom or mother-in-law. I will be giving away the striped ‘live it’ notebook you see above!


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I have been obsessed with this bag for so long. It is the first thing on my wish-list this year…in every color. Guys, listen up! Rebecca Minkoff handbags are always a safe gift for the woman in your life, whether that’s a sister, girlfriend, mother, or mother-in-law. You’re welcome.




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I’m obsessed with Ashley Brooke Designs! Her mugs are everything! There is a phrase for everyone! My personal favorites are ‘I Woke Up Like This’, ‘Everyday I’m Hustling’, and ‘Hello Sunshine’! The mugs are perfect for your favorite tea or coffee lover and the tumblers are great for the office!






Heartbreak Coffee is the brainchild of two lovely ladies from Long Beach, CA. They are opening their first coffee shop early next year, but have been conquering the coffee world for the past year via Instagram! Their beautiful vision along with their great tasting brews, make their coffee beans the PERFECT stocking stuffer for the coffee fiend in your life! One of their special roasts will be featured in the giveaway!






Are there cuter tote bags in existence? No Way Jose! This tote bag is the perfect hostess gift! Better yet, fill it with your favorite rose for a personal touch! Enter the giveaway for a chance to win this tote!






Do you love crumpets like I love crumpets? The strawberry jam and fig jam from M. Greenwood Jams are the best toppings for toast, crumpets, or an empty spoon! Even better, the mother and daughter duo are local artisans in Los Angeles. Not only are you supporting a wonderful small business, you are getting the freshest, most delicious jams filled with seasonal ingredients! Enter my giveaway for a chance to win a jar of their jam!






Julie Ann Art has a card for every occasion: Birthdays, Christmas, Congratulations, anything you can think of! The one thing they have in common? They are all hilarious, some, even a bit cheeky! You will have a chance to win some Christmas cards in my giveaway!






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Nixon watches are my go-to gift for the boyfriend. It’s not from Target, and it’s not a Rolex, but just right! The one pictured above is my favorite of all that I have given him, but they have gold, silver, matte black, and much more!







For whatever weather you’re in, this is the best flannel for your dad, uncle, grandpa, boyfriend, best guy friend, anyone! Pendleton flannels are amazing! They come in so many different colors and will last FOREVER!






For the voracious reader in your life, The Tipping Point is an amazing book! My dad read through it in days, and I am about to pass it on to the boyfriend very soon. In addition, the author, Malcolm Gladwell, is a brilliant man who has written several other amazing books. My suggestion? Buy a copy of each of his books and use them as stocking stuffers!






If you know one thing about me, you know I love food. If you know two things about me, you know I love food, but hate jerky. That is, until now. Three Jerks Jerky is filet mignon beef jerky. That’s right, jerky fit for a king! It is my boyfriend’s favorite! I will be giving away 2 flavors!





Forever21 has some awesome stocking stuffers for anyone and everyone on your list! Among them is the gentlemen’s ice tray. Win it in my giveaway!





Grand Central Market Favorites – Part I

I have vague memories of visiting Grand Central Market as a young girl. My most recent visits couldn’t have been more different. Now, it has become a marketplace of old and new, which I hope they stick with because I would hate nothing more than to see some of my childhood favorites leave. Since there are way too many places to try at GCM, I wanted to share my current favorites!

First and foremost, any day that begins with G&B Coffee’s Iced Almond-Macadamia Milk Latte, is a good day. I have had many caffeinated beverages from here, but had never tried the coveted Iced Latte until The New York Times named it The Best Iced Latte in America. Obviously, with that title, it had a lot to live up to. I have been coffee obsessed for a few years now, but I have only recently begun to appreciate the craftsmanship behind my morning cup of joe. From the roasting process to the milk options, there is so much that goes into crafting the perfect latte, espresso, mocha, cappuccino, or whatever elixir you prefer for your daily pick-me-up. For someone that doesn’t care for almonds or macadamia nuts, I loved this latte. It was almost too sweet for my liking (key word being almost). It was extremely refreshing and the most drinkable caffeinated beverage I have had in awhile. This is my current favorite at G&B, but I feel like the more I try there, the harder it will be to choose one of their menu items as my favorite.
I can’t wait to try their Espresso Milkshake, especially since it is made with McConnell’s ice cream, a recent addition to Grand Central Market that I have yet to taste.

This might seem like an obvious choice, but don’t dismiss it too quickly. Yes, Eggslut is trendy. Yes, Eggslut is popular. Yes, Eggslut is one of the only vendors at GCM that ALWAYS has a line. But yes, Eggslut is delicious. Let’s just focus on the last one, shall we? I love breakfast and I love delicious food, and Eggslut is the perfect marriage of both. Between their burger, egg salad, and The Slut (a coddled egg on top of a smooth potato puree, poached in a glass jar and served with a toast crostini), everything is delicious, but my forever and always obsession is the classic Bacon, Egg, and Cheese. Hardwood Smoked Bacon, a Medium Egg, Cheddar Cheese, and Chipotle Ketchup are all smooshed together in between a Portuguese Bun. A good breakfast sandwich is the key to my heart, and Eggslut is the best.

Last, but certainly not least, I am currently obsessed with the Calamari Tacos from Lupita’s Seafood. The lightly fried calamari served under fresh lettuce, salsa, and crema in a fresh tortilla is pure deliciousness! For around $5, you can fulfill your fish taco needs. The bright green Habanero Sauce on the counter goes really well with the taco, but be warned, it is VERY spicy. VERY spicy.

Remember, this is the first of many posts about Grand Central Market. I promised myself that on my next couple visits to GCM I will try food from vendors I haven’t sampled before, and I can’t wait! I might wait until The Oyster Gourmet officially opens until I go back, but I have a lot of bites on my wish-list including Horse Thief, Olio Pizzeria, Wexler’s Deli, and Tacos Tumbras a Tomas.

Outside Lands Day Three

Day 3 of Outside Lands can be summed up in two words: trucks and lands. We ate from so many food trucks and frequented Wine Lands, Beer Lands, Cheese Lands, and Choco Lands the entire day.

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There were so many food trucks to choose from, but we narrowed it down to Bacon Bacon, Del Popolo, Senor Sisig, The Rib Whip, and The Fabulous Frickle Brothers.

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Last year, Those Fabulous Frickle Brothers paired up with their festival neighbor, Bacon Bacon, to add their Fabulous Fried Pickles to Bacon Bacon’s Bacon Burger. It was a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, their location didn’t allow that to happen this year, but it inspired me to try something besides their amazing pickles. We went the dessert route and tried their Fabulous Fried Apples with a Vanilla Coconut sauce on top. The breading created a nice sweet and savory mashup with cinnamon and sugar sweet apples. I’m not a huge fan of coconut, but they added the perfect amount to the vanilla sauce on top.

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The Rib Whip was serving Pulled Pork BBQ Bowls and while there was a bit too much lettuce for my liking, the meat was cooked perfectly.

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The California Sisig Burrito, from Senor Sisig, has to be one of the best California burritos I have ever had. The french fries were crispy, not soggy, and the sour cream wasn’t overwhelming. They use pork shoulder as their main meat, and I must say that it is absolutely decadent. This award-winning truck has also been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

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Del Popolo had the longest line at Outside Lands for the duration of the festival. I mean, how can you not when you’re serving whole wood-fired Margherita Pizzas? The crust was cooked to a dark brown crisp with generous chunks of mozzarella to balance out the sauce. Their setup is pretty cool too; go to their website and take a look at more pictures of their truck, you’ll be glad you did.

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I have a soft spot for all things bacon, so I was definitely looking forward to what the Bacon Bacon truck had to offer. Their BBQ Pork Sandwich and Chocolate Covered Bacon definitely fulfilled my porky cravings.

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Now, onto the lands. Choco Lands was one of my favorite lands because I have a pretty big sweet tooth. In addition to Humphrey Slocombe’s special edition flavor, Kara’s Cupcakes, Sharona’s Chocolate Shop, and more were serving up delicious chocolate treats! Cheese Lands consisted of platters full of assorted cheeses and charcuterie from Long Meadow Ranch. Bacon Land was serving up $10 bacon flights.

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Wine Lands is an expansive tent full of different wineries and packed to the brim with people. I have had most of the options at previous tastings or events, so it was nice to see some familiar names including, Ghost Pines, Hess Collection, J.Lohr, Menage A Trois, and Roth Estate. The tent also featured Summer of Riesling which included a full crash course on different styles of Riesling and fun temporary tattoos.

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Beer Lands was more of an open area, in comparison to Wine Lands. Featuring over 30 different breweries, Beer Lands had something for everyone. Similar to Wine Lands, I have had many of these beers before, so I already knew what I was getting myself into. Overall, I think the lineup was a good one with selections from Ace Cider, Drake’s Brewing, Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Golden Road Brewing, Lost Coast Brewery, Magnolia Brewing Company, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., and Stone Brewing Co..

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Another addition to this year’s festival was the Gastro Magic stage. Each day, the stage featured different acclaimed chefs and gourmet restaurants, and paired them with a comedian or DJ to create a unique multi-sensory culinary experience. There were too many shows to see, so refer to the Gastro Magic page for a more specific description of each show.

As for the last day of music, we enjoyed Paolo Nutini, Jenny Lewis, Spoon, Ben Howard, The Flaming Lips, Ray LaMontagne, and The Killers. The Killers put on the best show of the day and the best show of the festival. I have never been a huge fan of theirs, but seeing them live definitely changed my mind.