For My Valentine: Gift Guide

For My Valentine: Gift Guide

For My Valentine: Gift Guide by oykristen // 1. Anthropologie Painted Poppies iPhone 5C Case // 2. John Mark Comer's Loveology // 3. Anthropologie Origami Swan Necklace // 4. Kate Spade New York Secret Garden Stud // 5. Paper Source Awesome Gold Foil Card // 6. Terrain Made With Love Spoon // 7. Anthropologie Peony Pop Bathrobe // 8. Aerie Silky Chiffon Tank // 9. Aeri Silky Chiffon Boxer // 10. Nespresso Citiz Espresso Maker With Automatic Milk Frother //

Happy Valentines, Valentine.

Oh Valentines Day. Some years I think that this is such a silly holiday. But this year, I am thankful for a frivolous reason to celebrate, especially with the weather being so dreary. (I haven't complained enough about the weather, have I??) There's just something nice about all that fluffyness and flowers and the relentless red and pink. And I think it's especially fun to love on people around you - your grandmother, your nieces and nephews, your in-laws. It's a grand affection fest! So dip your toes in this ocean of loving potion and have some fun with it.

These are some fun gift ideas for that special someone. PS, that can be YOU! You're worth celebrating, my friend.

1. Anthropologie Painted Poppies iPhone 5C Case

Adorable, who wouldn't want their phone decked out in such whimsy?

2. John Mark Comer's Loveology

Great read. This is one Seattle pastor's take on the theology of love, sex, and marriage. Woo hoo, getting crazy!

3. Anthropologie Origami Swan Necklace

A bit pricey, but oh so unique. A worthy splurge, if I could :-)

4. Kate Spade New York Secret Garden Stud

Does Kate Spade ever get it wrong? These are the peppiest way to perk up the ears. A little sparkle thrown in for good measure.

5. Paper Source Awesome Gold Foil Card

All cards should be this awesome. And bright. And foiled.

6. Terrain Made With Love Spoon

This one makes me giggle. I would really like to whip this out on an unexpected day for a heaping of baking bliss.

7. Anthropologie Peony Pop Bathrobe

Oh, I'm lusting. I want this with a fiery passion. The photo doesn't do it justice. I took at peek at it in-store and it is just sooooo decadent and soft. Such a pretty way to lounge, yes?

8. & 9. Aerie Silky Chiffon Tank & Boxer

How adorable is this set? Again, I'm not one for a fancy night out on Valentines. Just a good movie and comfy, semi-frilly home clothes.

10. Nespresso Citiz Espresso Maker With Automatic Milk Frother

This is the big kahuna. If you've ever had a Nespresso espresso beverage, you've officially died and gone to Heaven. When we were in Paris this summer, the couple we stayed with (via airbnb) had one of these delicious contraptions. I made like, 2 espressos every day. And I've been craving it every since. If this were a Valentine gift, ooh baby... I don't know what I would do. Other than stay hopped up on lattes 24/7.

Ladies, just send your guy this link and (hopefully!) he will snag something good for your Valentine celebration this year.

Happy Gifting!

January Delights

January List...

January List... by oykristen // 1. Champion Women's Fit and Flare Tank // 2. Lacroix Pamplemousse Water // 3. Hale Groves Red Grapefruit // 4. Giada's Feel Good Food Cookbook  // 5. Neoprene Flashbulb Handweights  // 6. Vitamix Series 3 Professional Blender // 7. 2014 Paper Source Watercolor Art Calendar // 8. Korres Lip Butter in Quince // 9. Origins Plantscription Youth-Renewing Night Cream // 10. Paper Source Gratitude Journal //

A Jolly January.

It's a new year. Obviously, you know this. I have taken a little bit of time to reflect and think about what I want this year to be about. My bff Trish made a really point about resolutions. She said, "Year resolutions are too much pressure. I like to think about one goal for each quarter." So she makes mini goals for the Spring, Summer, Fall, etc. So smart! And certainly more manageable. That girl... she's a gem. 

So I've been focusing on wellness goals for the Spring (I know it's not quite spring yet, but humor me... I've gotta have some motivation to get through the winter up here!) When I say wellness, I do NOT mean just eating right, dieting or workout goals. I mean overall wellness; spirit AND body. What does that mean?


Making sure I take a few minutes every morning to pray, be thankful for another day of life and health, to read some scriptures or journal a little bit. It's annoying to wake up 15 minutes earlier than my eyes want to open, but I've found that it centers me for the entire day. And sometimes that 15 minutes turns into 45. It's rather peaceful. And it makes me more aware of others and their needs (hello, I write a BLOG, I don't need any extra incentive to be introspective. But I could certainly be less selfish.) This little journal (10. Paper Source Gratitude Journal) and calendar (7. 2014 Paper Source Watercolor Art Calendar) are a few great tools to get that reflective ball rolling!


Lets get real. My holiday was all-consuming. Literally. I vegged my heart out and worked out, um... very little. So I'd like to get back into the swing of balancing cardio and weights, along with some extra stretching. I never stretch anymore! Its ridiculous, because I know how good stretching is for the bod. When I watch TV, I'm taking half an episode to sprawl out on the floor and just stretch. There is just really no excuse. (Especially since I've been glued to House Hunters International and Property Brothers lately.) Oh HGTV. You slay me. I bought this fun workout top (1. Champion Women's Fit and Flare Tank) and have been using these nifty little weights (5. Neoprene Flashbulb Handweights) to slowly regain my strength and stamina. In an effort to imagine that I'm living in the tropics, I've been snacking on grapefruit everything lately, and treating myself to this sparkling water (2. Lacroix Pamplemousse Water) like it's going out of style. Yum. My dear friend and health guru got me this fabulous book (4. Giada's Feel Good Food Cookbook) for Christmas, and I've been trying out a few of the recipes. Who doesn't love Giada? She's such a babe. And a wonder in the kitchen. ANNND (drumroll please) I got this dreamy blender (6. Vitamix Series 3 Professional Blender) for Christmas and I am FREAKING OUT about all the wonderful eats that will come from such a powerful machine. Stay tuned for lots of yummy recipes to come.

Side note: It's winter. It's a real bear on the skin. I'm currently involved in a dysfunctional love/hate relationship with Origins (love the products, hate the prices), and since I am the whipped party, I shell out the cash for the promise of a brighter tomorrow (in this case, 9. Origins Plantscription Youth-Renewing Night Cream.) And to be honest, these products make my skin so soft and less, um caveman-like? I tend to turn sallow-yellow in the winter (thanks, Dad, for that Italian heritage. And thanks, Mom, for throwing in that Native American heritage, too.), so while my lovely sisters got the rosy-pink undertones in their skin, I unfortunately inherited the olive face which means than sans-tan, I am sporting a tricked-out yellow-fever kind of palette. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. Thankfully, a pretty pink-ish lip gloss (8. Korres Lip Butter in Quince) certainly helps the dismal situation. Am I being too chatty? I'm feeling deliciously girly today.

I hope your January continues in a jolly fashion. Don't let the cold get you down! Blast your heat and wear bright colors - the sunshine is in your future!

Noel: DIY Cigar Box Jewelry Box

The Inspiration.

Christmastime is so twinkly and magical. I was inspired by these West Elm's boxes, like this and this. I thought the mixture of gold, silver and charcoal colors would look really pretty on my dresser, so I began brainstorming. These boxes were clearly out of my price range, so I thought, "I will just make my own." My DIY desire was confirmed when I stumbled upon these cigar boxes (below) at a flea market in the neighborhood. They are super legit, solid wood with hinges and everything - the guy sold all three for $20, which I thought wasn't too bad. Then I began hunting for the perfect paper. I went over to my friends at the to-die-for Paper Source, where the ladies there helped me pick out these three styles: Gold on Cream Mums Fine Paper, Metallic Wash on Natural Fine Paper & Gold Linear Dots on Slate

Fine Paper. We were in business! This is such a great DIY for a Christmas gift or for yourself. And the gold-silver theme is very holiday-esque, but will blend beautifully year-round as well.

The Items You Need:

- Cigar box

- Paper - Any kind of sturdy paper will do - Perhaps even wrapping paper!

Mod Podge (I used the glossy because I already had some at the house, but matte would probably look really awesome)

- Scissors (the sharper, the better. You're about to get your trim on.)

- Xacto Knife or pocket knife

- Foam paint brush

- Newspaper

The Budget:

- 3 Cigar Boxes (varying sizes) - $20

- 3 sheets Fine Paper - Approx. $20


The Method:

If you are good at wrapping presents, you will be excellent at this. Because essentially, all you are doing is wrapping this box, very precisely, with the paper, and applying the glue as you go.

1. Go ahead and lay out the newspaper (this will be your workspace) and wrap the box in the paper, eyeing the separate sections. If you're into measuring, you could get out a tape measure and go to town (I am not that kind of gal.) Decide about how much paper you will need for each section. Make sure to leave a little extra around all the sides.

2. Once you have an idea of the measurements, begin cutting the paper very to fit the box. Do this as you go in sections. I started with the front of the box, measuring the necessary "cut out" of the front hinge, and carefully traced the area with my pocket knife (if you have an Xacto knife, it would be super easy to trim this area away, just watch your fingers!)

3. Once the box has been measured and the paper has been trimmed to fit around the hinges, you can begin wrapping the box and glueing, very carefully, all around the box. Apply the glue, and immediately smooth the paper across the chosen section of the box. Smoothing it is very important, so that you won't have any bubbles in the paper. The glue dries pretty fast, so once you apply a coat, make sure to immediately apply the paper.

4. Watch the corners, make necessary trims as you go (this is where the very pointy scissors will come in handy!) This process is more about "touch" and less about step-by-step instructions. Make sure to wipe excess glue from the box, you don't want it getting stuck in the hinges!

5. Once the box has been completely covered, set it aside for 24 hours to dry. Make sure to leave the box open, so that it won't glue shut!

6. After 24 hours, apply another all-over coat of the Mod Podge and then let it sit (open) for another 24 hours.

Voila! Your up-cycled cigar jewelry box is complete! Just fill with your favorite treasures and set in a special place.

Merry Christmas and happy DIY-ing!

DIY: Pretty Up Your Bathroom for $7

Easiest DIY Ever.

Want a weekend project? I've got the EASIEST ever DIY for you. Project "pretty-up-my-creepy-bathroom" has been enacted on all fronts since we moved in. NYC apartments just aren't the cleanest. Or remodeled. Or pretty. So little by little, my apartment is getting a facelift. The bathroom got voted first. Mostly because it's small and easiest to tackle and see semi-quick results!


Ok, here's the deal. My bathroom mirror is an old-school medicine cabinet that opens in 3 panels. Behind each mirrored panel is some of the oldest, skeeziest particle board ever. I tried scrubbing it when we moved in, but to no sparkling avail. The next best thing? Covering it up. I bought this Green & Gold Tile paper at Paper Source down the street for approx. $7. And that is all you will spend on this marvelous project. Seriously.

// Sorry for the spooky lighting. Bathroom lighting is always a tough one for me. //


1. I pulled out all the toiletries in the medicine cabinet and wiped everything down again. I removed the shelves and then I tucked the paper behind the mirror. Some excess paper hung outside the cabinet. It's all good.

2. & 3. I folded the paper back when it needed to be trimmed. Using my husband's favorite tool, I cut along the edge of the paper. You can also use an x-acto knife.

4. Using tape (it doesn't have to be any specific kind), I carefully taped the back of the paper to the edges of the inside cabinet.

5. Voila. Open the cabinet, prettiness abounds. Thank goodness. It's the little things that can make you feel better about the space you live in, am I right?

6. This post was NOT endorsed by Tom's. Ha but I do love him.

Let me know if you decide to give this a try! I will be doing some more work on our apartment this weekend and will have more projects to share. Have the happiest of happy weekends.