Christmas Gift Guide

Make sure this year that your gifts have a personal touch to each one of them!

I'm a little...ok a lot obsessed with Christmas. I believe it's the most magical time of the year filled with such wonder that even the sky chimes in and brings some extra ambiance. However, the hardest part of Christmas is trying to find out what gifts to buy for people. 

The best gifts are those that people can tell you spent time on, that you remembered their favorite of something or thought that this items can help their lives in someway. Who doesn't want to be that reminder for their friends and family that they've been thinking about them and looking for a present that "looks like them." For me, that's personally one of may favorite things, when someone gives me a present and says "I saw it and it looked like you so I had to buy it!" 

Here are a few of my favorite things...to buy for friends and family.

An Adult Onesie. To start off your gift exchange, bring a fun element of surprise by putting a fun adult size onesie in there. I find onesies such fun whimsical addition to a cold winter night. They really do keep you warm, but also keep you in good spirits. How can you not be laughing when wearing a onesie. Even the thought of someone angry in a onesie makes me laugh. 

Wonder Woman the movie on dvd or blue ray! I love this movie so much, I feel like it has a wonderful message to it, and it's directed by a woman. We need more female directors, show some love! 

A coffee grinder. Give the gift of happiness, aka fresh coffee. They will think of you each morning and be so grateful during those times that they accidentally purchase the whole been coffee as opposed to the ground coffee bags.

A bathtub caddy. After a long day working hard, pampering yourself shouldn't feel complicated. Give your loved one the peace of mind that you've already got it covered. I will say I would probably put some bath bombs with the caddy so they can start off the "bathtub caddy experience" on the right foot. Also, if they don't know you're getting them a caddy, they may not realize what to do with it, lol.

A Sleep Mask. When you're on a long flight all you want to do is sleep at some point during the flight, but that's the exact time that someone around you wants to read. A sleep mask feels a little funny to put on until you're sleeping soundly and then you're so grateful to have that mask! Perfect for the person who's always on a plane to somewhere.

A Figurine. If you have any friends or family in your life that are a little nerdy, this is so perfect! I personally have a few pop figurines on my bookshelf and I feel like it adds so much character, see what I did there, to the bookshelf. You could pick something from their favorite video game, comic book character, tv show, you name it! You could also take this another way and purchase a jewelry item that they can wear that reminds them of their favorite ____. I've seen so many delicate looking necklaces or bracelets that have a W for wonder woman. 

Two Tickets to Something. This could be a concert, show, event, cooking class, you name it. Something that they can look forward to that you will be doing together. On Christmas day they will be receiving so many items why not give them the gift of an experience that you'll share together. 

A Subscription to a monthly box. There are so many monthly options out there from food, to nerdy things, to makeup, to clothing. Have your Christmas present last all year by purchasing a monthly subscription for someone. That way they feel the Christmas spirit all year and they also think of you every time they open a box. This is great for the loved one who is far away!

The best presents I've ever gotten have been ones that I could tell thought went into. It's hard when life goes so fast, but what can you do this year to add something a little more personalized to your gifts?

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Visiting A German Christmas Market

A German Market Downtown Denver, who knew! What a great way to spend a December night!

Christmas markets bring out the Christmas spirit in all of us. Walking around a fairy light filled market, drinking a hot beverage and listening to the holiday songs is such a wonderful way to spend a December evening. One of my goals this moth was to visit the German Christmas Village that's in downtown Denver, called the Christkindl Market. 

The market is built specifically for the Holiday season. Open every day from November 17th through December 23rd. It's located on 16th street which is a pedestrian walkway; save yourself the headache and don't try to turn down the street when you're making your way to the market. There is a 16th street shuttle you can use that only drives up and down the street, so you don't have to worry too much about your parking. You can street park on an adjacent street, or you can park in a nearby parking garage. If you're staying in downtown, walking may even be the best way to get to the market. You'll have the opportunity to see all the lights on the trees and those ice skating near the clocktower. I personally suggest going to the market at night although it opens at 11am. I feel like the Holiday spirit is much more alive during that time, and the lights sparkle even brighter! 

The market has pastries, bratwurst, candied nuts, hot apple cider, and many other food options, but I still ate before so I could focus on the hot cholcolate and mulled wine. I had never tried the very highly anticipated mulled wine before, but it did not disappoint! It was so good. I could definitely see how this wine can be dangerous, it's that good. When you purchase the wine you also get a cute mug to commemorate your visit. 

Have you ever tried Mulled Wine? The German Market is definitely the place to try it!

The above picture is from inside the tent that has the wine, they do only take cash so be sure to bring some with you. Outside there are booths all around selling so many different types of holiday items. There was one booth that had homemade hats and scarves, one that had small figurines, but my favorites are always the ones that have food. The only down side is that all of the places that had food were cash only and I always forget that fact until I'm already there. Boo the atm fee, but it was worth it! 

 Do you have a Christmas Market in your area? I've been obsessed with looking around at all of the Christmas Market posts I've been seeing. Good friends, and good times had by all! Now I just need to go to a Christmas Tree farm and snag some garland to hang around the house! I'm a little behind on that, but it's a work in progress! 

Our group may have stayed all the way through until closing time. It was just so perfect out we couldn't bring ourselves to leave. The below pictures is the exact same place as the first but at the end of the night vs. the beginning. Thank God for warm beverages around this time of year!

German Market Downtown Denver! - AVintageJoy
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My Cold Weather Essentials

My Cold Weather Essentials - AVintageJoy

Having cold weather or winter essentials is a must around this time of year. The past few days the temperature has dropped significantly! It went from like 70 degrees to 31 degrees. My winter nature kicked into full gear and it makes me so happy. I've pulled out all of my home winter essentials and think you should too. It honestly doesn't matter what the weather is like where you live, it's that time of year, embrace it!! 

1// A cozy blanket over the couch. I have to have a cozy blanket near me, if I'm going to be sitting on the couch for a long period of time. Even if it's hot outside I need to have a blanket on the couch. It adds such an element of a cozy home. 

2// A go to candle to light every night. In general I love for my home to have a scent, but when it's cold outside it's even more important. I never did this back in the day, but since I've been more consistent with lighting my candles it's so nice to walk into a room and it smell like cookies, or autumn, or buttercream. It's the easiest way to add another layer of comfort to your home. 

3// All of the Lotion. It gets so cold in the winter that I end up keeping a small lotion in my purse for the moment in the coffee shop that you realize your skin is dry. I think part of it is genetics: I remember in the winter my dad's hands would always get so dry. He works outside with his hands so he would always have such rough hands in the Ohio winters. But the other part is truly just this time of year and the havoc it tries to put on our skin. Bonus: Make sure you're also putting a little bit of a heavier moisturizer on too. Protect your face! 

4// Lip balm/ exfoliate your lips. Every morning when you're finishing up your makeup don't forget to exfoliate your lips. It's something that many women tend to forget, but it really does help your lips stay healthy this time of year. Add a simple lip balm or lip primer before applying your lipstick to ensure your lips stay moisturized throughout the day!

5// When the weather changes or goes back and forth from 70 degree weather to 31 degrees everyone around gets sick. I am a firm believer and advocate for Airborne/Emergency. Especially the gummy version, I'll take the other kinds if I have to but I would so much rather trick myself into thinking the gummy ones are candy.

6// A flavored creamer. It's such a small luxury to give yourself but it's so rewarding. I really love hazelnut around this time of year. I tried to do the pepermint creamer thing, but hazelnut is still the winner in my book. 

7// Nail polish. My nails are pretty strong, but when it's so cold out they can't help but become breakable. Protect your nails by keeping at least a coat of clear on them. My favorite colors for fall or winter are dark red or plum. I love the darker colors this time of year. Plus by having your nail painted you look that much more put together. 

8// Fairy lights! I love having lights up around my living room windows. It's different house to house, but I suggest buying all white lights. This way if you like them you can keep them up, and if you don't want them all year, at least they'll blend in as much as possible with the blinds or curtains. 

9// A Holiday movie to watch. Spread the Christmas cheer and invite friends over for a movie night! There are so many great ones out there, and so many horrible ones too. All equally as fun to watch around this time of year. Need some ideas of movie to watch? A few of my favorites are: White Christmas, The Holiday, Elf, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas

What are your tips and tricks for the cold weather months?

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December Goals (10 in 30)

December Goals - AVintageJoy

It's that time!! I'm so ready for this season. All of the downtown trees have lights on them, people are wearing their boots and beanies, and the coffee is always hot! December goals are one of my favorite set of goals to make each year because everything is cozy and I get to spend time looking for presents for those I love. Also, I have an entire month of remembering who's birthday it is and the reason for the season! 

1// Buy cozy socks!! I really want to get the ones that have the grip on the bottom.

2// Go to the local German Village. Every year there’s a small village that they put up that apparently has wonderful mulled wine and I want to try it!

3// Purchase all of my presents at least a week before Christmas. This year more than the others this is an important one, because some of them I need to ship and I don’t want to be waiting in a huge line to do so.

4// Set myself a Christmas Present Budget and stick with it. Another plus to purchasing my present beforehand is that I’ll have the time to sit and think through what to get each person, creating a more personal gift and saving money!

5// Start thinking about apartments. I’m not 100% sure if I’m going to release where I’m at or if I need to start looking for another place to live once my lease is up. I want to start creating a game plan for either scenario

6// See the Nutcracker, or another show. It’s such a fun holiday thing to do, and a great reason to have a fun night out.

7// Try two Pinterest baking recipes. I really love pinning all of the beautiful creations on Pinterest but I rarely ever try them out. There’s no better time than the holidays to try a few!

8// Break in my new leather jacket. I recently purchased a brown moto jacket and I love it! However, it still feels like I just bought it. I need to wear it in so that it feels like my jacket.

9// Watch at least fifteen Christmas Movies! It doesn't matter if it's a classic, made for tv, or Netflix Christmas movie, I want to watch it! Some are so worth it, and some just make me laugh. Do you have a "must watch" Christmas movie? Mine is definitely White Christmas! 

10// Enjoy this month! I get to spend time with my family and show them around my new city during the most magical time of the year! 

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A Weekend In Los Angeles

A Weekend in LA Los Angeles - AVintageJoy

Sometimes you don't have a week to spend in a place. Working full-time you have to pick and choose when you want to use your PTO, but you also want to escape every now and then and enjoy a quick weekend in a new place. This is going to be a more "stream of conscious" post about how my weekend was and what I did.

One of my goals from November was to "Take a Day Trip", now while this wasn't within driving distance. I'm counting that as one of my goals met! 

This is how I spend my weekend in LA...

In-N-Out Burger.jpg

Night One:

In order to ensure I have the most time possible in a place I always take a night flight after work, that way I wake up the next day in the place I want to visit and I'm ready to go! So, I took a night flight out of Denver to LAX. Didn't check a bag, because why would you! So expensive. 

Went directly to In-N-Out got a burger and fries, however I just realized I never got a milkshake. I'm disappointed in myself. We then went back to my fiends house, because why would I waste money on a hotel room when I'm going to visit my friend anyway! We could spend that money on food!! #priorities 

Day One:

Slept in, it was glorious! Got up and actually spent time on my makeup. We then braved the downtown LA parking and went to Grade Central Market where I first got a coffee and then we walked around wishing I had a desire to cook that day. Whenever I'm in those type of places I always want to get all of the handmade pasta and cook something, but I really would rather just eat everything in the market. 

After exploring for a while we decided that we should probably eat something, so we ate at Eggslut. The breakfast sandwich was actually pretty good. It was so much fun to watch them make the burgers and cook the bacon! 

We found the bench that Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone sat in during the montage in LA LA LAND, so of course we took a picture!! I posted it on my Instagram if you haven't seen it already. 

Then it was off to The Last Bookstore. The best part of that bookstore is the upstairs. When you go up if you turn left you end up in a place where there are little shops that you can purchase art from, but if you turn right you end up in the best kind of book labyrinth. I couldn't help but wonder how they got all the books to stay like that! 

Game night at a new friends house was the closer to the day. I can proudly say that I won the game!! Even though I'm not entirely sure if we played correctly. Then we got ice-cream because what is a hang out night without dessert?! Sad that's what it is.

Day Two:

This was definitely the favorite of the days for me because one of my dreams became a reality!!! I wrote a post about it here but I got to walk around the WB Studio Lot which was a literal dream come true!! I have never felt more like a Gilmore. I also got to see where they filmed so many iconic movies, where Mary Jane kissed Spiderman, where Rachel finally gave into the Phoebe run, and got to danced around on the Ellen stage. 

Gilmore Girls Lorelai.jpg

We spent so many hours there!! 

After we got back, we got ready and went to west hollywood where we hung out at a Star Wars theme bar. At the Scum and Villainy Cantina the photographer shot first because we took so many pictures. 

Day Three (The Final Day):

Griffith Observatory - AVintageJoy

Brunch was the main item on the menu for the morning. 

The main thing that I was so glad that we did that day, but it was painful at the time, was Griffith's Observatory. It ended up being so worth it in the end but during the painful time of driving around in helpless search for a parking spot I almost gave up!! M, thank you for making me stay and keep going!! We ended up finding a spot and making it just in time for it to get dark, bye golden hour, but it was still beautiful! 

I didn't realize how large it was, in the pictures you always only see one section of it, but it's beautiful from every angle. It was also another location from LA LA LAND, but such lie when they pulled right up to the Observatory!! All lies!! 

From there we drove to the airport and I went home. It was a great weekend filled with laughter, friends old and new, and exploring! 

Have you been to LA before? What was your favorite thing you did during your trip?

Also, trying to take a picture outside of a popular observatory, nearly impossible to do without others in the shot...queue random guy on my right. 

Griffith Observatory - AVintageJoy
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The Most Exciting Thing I've Done All Year

Lorelai's House - AVintageJoy

If you've been around here for a little while you know of my deep love for Gilmore Girls!! There are so many things about that show that are amazing!! I've written posts about what I've learned and how to plan your own viewing party. But I had the opportunity to walk around the set!! It looked a little different since the show has been off the air for a while, but never the less it was so much fun!! I want to write about my adventure in LA, but this was definitely my favorite place I go to visit during the trip!! 

Do you have a show or a movie that has become apart of your life? If so, what is it?

Luke's Diner - AVintageJoy
Miss Pattys - AVintageJoy
Rory's Study Tree - AVintageJoy

I've felt like a Gilmore quite a few times in my life, but being in Stars Hollow took it to another level. I hung out at Rory's study tree, waited for Miss. Patty to teach me a dance lesson, and for Luke's to open up so I could enjoy my coffee inside. So much fun!!

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November Goals (10 in 30)

November Goals - AVintageJoy

It's sweater weather!!! And boots weather and a real fall. I'm clearly excited to explore this season. I also can't wait to wear my new hunter boots this month! I do need to get the socks though so I don't get cold, hmm. Anyways, here are my other goals for this month...

1// Find a really good eye shadow primer. I've seen great reviews on the Urban Decay one, but I'm not sold on it yet. Anyone use that one before?

2// Not get sick. There have been so many bugs going around at work. I've always stood by Airborne and I'm sticking to it now. The gummies are actually really good. They make me feel like I'm eating candy, it's a win win! 

3// Figure out how to connect everything property on my new phone. Praise!! I got a new phone, I really needed it. The breaking point with my old IPhone 5 (no, you didn't hear that wrong) was when it decided to delete 5 thousand + pictures. Loving the new phone, but now I need to make sure I know how to use all of the fun new functions.

4// Learn how to correctly apply contour. I'm not even sure if that's how you properly say that sentence, but it's something that I've been wanting to learn how to do. Defiantly will be watching youtube for that one.

5// Set up autopay on as many things as I can. This month I paid my rent one day late and it caused a huge expense. The late fee was crazy! I don't want to pay that again. Autopay will help me so much!

6// Take a day trip to somewhere new. There are so many great towns within only an hour or so, I want to visit at least on of them this month. 

7// Finish reading "You Are A Badass" I started it last month but didn't get to finish it yet.

8// Donate a bag of clothes to GoodWill. I've been wanting to get more organized and a great way for me to do that is to reduce the amount of clothes that are all over the place. I love having options and am honestly very blessed to be able to say that, but it's too much! For every one thing I bring in, I want to give away two.

9// Enjoy the season!! I'm excited that I get to go home this month for a few days. I'm debating on a Disney day, depending on my budget, but I really want to enjoy this time of year. This year in general has gone by so fast, I want to make sure I'm making memories and trying new things in these last two months.

10// Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I would also love to have a Friendsgiving if that is a possibility. We'll see. 

What are your goals this month?

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