How to add an artistic touch to your holiday gift giving

Sharing details on how to add an artistic touch your holiday gift giving without breaking the bank.

I can’t hide it: I love adding an artistic touches when it comes to holiday gift giving. Recently, I went on a shopping spree to add some whimsical Kate Spade magic to my holiday gifting. These are inexpensive ways to add timeless touches to your gift giving this holiday season. I hope you find them useful.

Holiday cards

There is nothing more magical than receiving a hand written card from a loved one. When our words are put to pen and paper, it has a sort of magic to it wouldn’t you say? I purchased these cards to give out and I can’t wait for my friends and family to receive them!

Wrapping paper 

When it comes to the holidays, I pride myself in wrapping my gifts with lots of love. Plus I could not resist these beautiful wrapping paper designs. They are absolutely charming!

iPhone cases 

We are so connected with our phones, we might as well make sure they are protected (and look great too). I came across these gorgeous phone cases that even have some inspired looks from everyone’s favorite muse Audrey Hepburn!

Luggage tags 

Adding an artistic touch to gift giving is easy with a little customization! Nothing makes people happier than knowing they are going away. If you have a friend who travels a lot, surprise them with a custom luggage tag! It’s a gift they will be eager to use right away.

Whimsical mugs 

As a enthusiastic mug collector, I can say that you can never go wrong with a mug as a gift for Christmas. It’s the perfect gift for your favorite coffee or tea drinker.

Need some more holiday gift ideas? Check out my post about why pajamas make the best gift for the holidays! Be sure to check out my Instagram page for daily holiday inspiration!




Why you need to add retinol to your skin care routine

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A special thank you Olay for sponsoring this informative post!

Giving you details about retinol and how to easily incorporate it to your skin routine. 

There is one word that remain super important in our mid-twenties: skincare. Yep, here’s the reality: we are certainly NOT teenagers anymore. In order to keep our skin looking youthful, we have to drink lots of water, cut down on sweets and change how we care for our skin. Today, I am addressing why you need to add retinol to your skin routine. Don’t worry if you don’t know what it is because I am going to go over that with you in this post xo.

What is retinol?

Derived from Vitamin A, retinol is a powerful ingredient that reduces that appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and age spots. These are the benefits:

  • firm skin
  • Smooth appearance
  • Even-toned skin

Here’s the tea

A lot of women have stopped using retinol in the past. Why? Because there have been some retinol products that caused skin irritations, was too expensive or they did not see results. Needless to say, I have been wanting to use retinol to help my skin out without these repercussions.

The challenge

In the past 4 weeks, I have been incorporating retinol into my skin routine with Olay’s Retinol 24 products. They generously sent me over their serum, moisturizer and eye cream for me to try and is I could incorporate retinol into my routine without irritating my skin, see results and not break the bank. These are the problems I have with my skin:

  • dryness
  • Oily and very sensitive
  • Rosacea prone

The favorite product 

Olay Retinol 24 Night Serum

By far my favorite piece from the collection. The serum feels so silky on your skin. Additionally, this night serum didn’t clog my pores despite my oily skin. One of my concerns is that the serum was going to add extra oils to my skin overnight. Thankfully, I was able to get up every morning without any excess oil. 

It feels so luxurious knowing that this serum is working it’s magic while I sleep! In the past 4 weeks, I have noticed a dramatic difference in my smile and forehead lines. I would also recommend using this serum with a jade roller. It distributes the formula so well and feel so soothing after a long day of work! 

The bottom line: retinol is essential to younger looking skin. The night serum is a wonderful addition to my night skin routine, is offered at a great price point and most important WORKS without any irritation. Despite my sensitive/oily skin, Olay’s Retinol24 has allowed me to effortlessly add retinol to my skin routine with minimal effort. I especially love how moisturized my skin looks in the past few weeks. I now understand the importance of having retinol in my skin routine and I am not turning back!

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So this is mid 20s.. 🤔 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #ad Your skin starts to change which means you have to make some changes to your skincare routine. It can feel overwhelming right ladies? I'm honored to be partnering with @Olay to show their new Retinol 24 line! I have always read about the importance of retinol in skincare but have always struggled with adding it to my skincare routine. Anyone else? 🤷🏻‍♀️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Be sure to check out my "Skincare" highlight to view how Olay helped me from a skin-mergency by giving me a chance to test out their products. I am looking forward to sharing with you all my honest feedback about the products plus provide additional insight on retinol. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Have you ever tried retinol before? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #olay #retinol24

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Have you ever struggled with adding retinol to your skin routine before? Let’s chat about it! Leave me a comment or feel free to send me a DM on Instagram! Be sure to check out my previous beauty related posts on my blog too.




When Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall makes you an exclusive insider

Sharing details on Westfield Garden State Plaza Influencer Insider program! 

The single most exciting things about being an influencer is networking. Having the chance to connect with fellow bloggers has given me the opportunity to grow and learn so much about this industry. Last year, I went to Westfield Garden State Plaza mall to an influencer event as a guest with my dear friend Karen from Paris and a Latte. This year, I had the honor to return to Westfield’s Influencer Event as an Influencer Insider. Today, I am sharing details about this exclusive program.

What does this mean? 

As an insider, I get a chance to attend exclusive events at Westfield Garden State Plaza mall. What this means is that I get to keep YOU posted on mall events along with details on fashion and makeup trends thanks to stores like Neiman Marcus!

The location


The event was held at Westfield suite also known as “The Suite” just outside of Tiffany’s at the mall. Garden State Plaza mall offers a valet service. When Karen and I arrived, I was able to have my car parked for me. This is a service that you can actually purchase for yourself if you are interested!

The snacks


When Karen and I arrived, we were greeted with some tasty treats and drinks as we waited for the event to start. It was during this time that we both had the change to re-connect with some old friends and connect with new ones!

The fashion


Bryan from Neiman Marcus paid us a visit by giving us an exclusive look at Burberry’s latest collection. Each style is created to have timeless elements for the modern woman mixing both classic and street style.

The makeup

Makeup guru Joshua Reid also gave us a makeup demonstration with some of NARS latest palettes and holiday pieces.

Seeing old friends and making new ones

By far the highlight of the night was re-connecting with some old friends. One of the girls there had just quit her job last year to pursue her career as a full time influencer. It was incredible to see how far she has come since then. Additionally, I got to connect with some girls that I have spoken to online and finally had the chance to meet in person!

Visit Garden State Plaza

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Things I love ❤️: ✔️Making lists ✔️Crossing things off my list ✔️Women supporting women ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 3 years ago, I started as a passion project. I had just graduated with my bachelor’s degree in business management from @wpunj but found myself feeling lost with what I wanted to do with my career. Since then, my blog has grown to be not only a side hustle but also an opportunity to connect with some amazing women who show up and share their brilliance. It felt so wonderful to connect with some old friends and make new ones last week at @gsplaza exclusive Suite with a select group of local influencers, announcing the inaugural Westfield Influencer Insider program! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Don’t forget @gsplaza for all of your shopping needs. I love that the mall has fast fashion stores, luxury brands and so much more. Also, If you join their rewards program, you earn $10 just for signing up! #gsplaza ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Xo Cristina

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If you are someone who loves to do their shopping in-stores, I highly recommend checking out Garden State Plaza. They have the best variety of stores, plenty of places to eat and a movie theater that you can walk right up to! My boyfriend and I love going to Garden State Plaza for dates nights and you will too! If you shop there often, be sure join their rewards program, you earn $10 just for signing up! Be sure to check out my blog for quarterly updates on these exclusive events. Be the first to know by signing up for email updates (and don’t worry, I only send them out on a bi-weekly basis).

Btw, if you are looking for some fall inspiration, be sure to check out last week’s post about my favorite fall accessory: my lack of color dupe hat!

Photos by Meaghan Tull Photography 





The lack of color dupe I can’t get enough of

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This week I’m grateful for: My health, music, my friends & family and chunky monkey Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. 🍦❤️💏👯‍♀️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I pride myself in beating honest on this platform and if I’m being honest, this beginning of this week sucked. My pride and ego has been taking a beating along with having my closest friends grieving. I don’t think we should ever feel ashamed to share our stories because it’s through our stories and experiences that we are able to CONNECT with one another. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So if you are having a sh*tty week, I’m sending you a virtual hug. I hope you’re not suffering and if you are, please consider getting professional help. Take it from me, it’s worth trying. So tell me Friend, what are you grateful for RIGHT NOW? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Xo Cristina

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Sharing details on the hat that I can’t help but wear with everything!

You gotta love when fall comes around. It’s a great time to whip out your favorite scarfs, boots and puffer jackets. This week, I wanted to share with you all the lack of color dupe hat that I simply can’t get enough of. It’s a hat that is sturdy, goes well with everything and is at a great price point.

The price point

I LOVE that this hat was under $50. Yes, you read that right. Under $50. Lack of Color hats are all range right now with bloggers and influencers but their starting price point is between $100-200!

The variety

This hat recently got re-stocked in a variety of colors to chose from. The color I am wearing is NEUTRAL.

The style

The flat wide rim is ultimately why this hat is loved so much. Under the hat is an adjustable strap to help you find the perfect fit! I even styled this hat with one of my summer dresses in my blog post about how to transition from summer to fall.


My recommendation is to stay away from rainy or snowy weather with your wool hat. Wool hats can’t be washed. Long term, these conditions can ruin them.

Over time you may find that your wool hat may lose it’s shape. I like to use this spray to help stiffen the rim of my wool hats back to its original state! Simply steam the rim of your hat on a flat surface. Once your hat is steamed and shaped flat, spray Stiffen Up by The Laundress and let your hat dry. You hat will be good as new! A special thanks to the fabulous Danielle Gervino for this lifesaving tip!

Now that you understand my love for this lack of color dupe, I hope you get a chance to add it to your wardrobe too! Have an amazing week my loves.


Boots: Nordstrom // Hat: Urban Outfitters 



How to wear animal prints with classic style

Sharing details on how to wear animal prints with classic style (and are petite friendly).

When it comes to fall, it’s hard not to think of animal print. If you are someone who struggles with styling, animal prints can seem overwhelming. That is why I am sharing my tips on how to wear animal prints with classic style. These tips are easy to style and don’t have to be expensive!

Utilized white and black with your animal prints

When it comes to animal prints, I like to style them with white or black. For this look, I went with a black turtle neck, a wine colored corduroy skirt and ankle boots.


Accessorize with animal print 

When in doubt – accessorize! Animal print is a great way to add some texture to your look. My bow hair tie is a charming addition to my look. It will be a piece that you will be sure to use time and time again. I also added a square scarf to add an extra touch of leopard print to my look. I also have some other looks that I styled with leopard print here.



Top: Nordstrom // Skirt: H&M; also here // Bow hair tie: J.Crew // Scarf: J.Crew // Earrings: Kate Spade


Apple picking in NJ (& other fall activity ideas)

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Sharing details on where to go apple picking in NJ + a fall bucket list for you to enjoy!

If you live on the east coast, fall is a great time to enjoy being outside. It’s a great time to whip out your fall wardrobe (fall fashion ideas here) and take part in fall festivities. As a native on New Jersey, I love the opportunity to visit local farms for apple and pumpkin picking. So today, I wanted to share where to go apple picking in NJ + a fall bucket list for you to use to plan your fall activities.

Being the garden state, New Jersey has a lot of farms that you can pick apples as well as pumpkins! I go over my favorite places to go pumpkin picking here.

Here are some of my favorite places to go apple picking in NJ:

Melick’s Town Farm
Alstede Farms
Tranquillity Farms
Holland Ridge Farms
Wightman Farms
Springdale Farm market
Terhune Orchards
Abmas Farm

As a special bonus to you, I created a fun fall bucket list for you to refer back to. Feel free to save it to your phone or Pin it to Pinterest so that you can it readily available!

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Fall fashion: how to transition from summer to autumn


Inspiring a fall fashion look by winterizing a summer dress to wear in the fall. 

It truly is a bittersweet time of year. It’s hard to say goodbye to summer. However, if you live on the east coast it’s not entirely bad – especially when you have the trees changing to lovely yellows, orange and reds. So today, I am sharing some fall fashion inspiration on how to transition from summer to autumn. I chose to winterize a summer dress to fit the season a little bit better. Here is now I did it:

Whip out a fun belt

Belts help elevate any look in a fun, effortless way! I added a belt to my summer dress to add some extra edge to my look. If you are petite, belts should be your best friend! They are a fantastic way to highlight your petite frame when a piece you have on it a little to baggy.

Add a wool hat

When you are transitioning from summer to fall, take advantage of using your wool hats! They look great with pretty much anything. I love this wide rim wool hat so much because it has a stiff rim (plus it’s under $50). It’s a great dupe to a Lack of Color hat (and is half the price).

Step in time with boots

You know how we pretty much live in our sandals in the summer? Well when fall comes, I live in my boots. I recently discovered BLONDO – a brand sold at Nordstrom that makes waterproof boots. Not only are these bad boys cute but they are practical too! Nothing says fall fashion like boots am I right?


Dress: OLD // Hat: Urban Outfitters // Boots: Nordstrom // Belt: OLD; similar here

P.S. be sure to check out my favorite fall fashion trends that are petite friendly here! I hope you find them useful.