gift guide

your budget-friendly holiday gift guide

“sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways, it can change someone else’s life forever.”–margaret cho

seattle fashion blogger, budget friendly style, holiday gift guide

disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. if you choose to shop items shared in this post, i may earn a small commission. as per usual, all opinions are my own!

can you believe christmas is less than one month away? if you’re anything like me (are you, are you?), you have yet to begin holiday shopping. (cue increased stress levels.) however, fear not—we have just under four weeks to check off everything on our holiday lists.

while i enjoy visiting the mall (on occasion) and like popping into local boutiques, shopping online has become far too appealing. (i typically shop when i should be responding to emails or feel overly stressed. that’s okay though, right?)

seattle fashion blogger, budget friendly style, holiday gift guide

seattle fashion blogger, budget friendly style, holiday gift guide

your budget-friendly holiday gift guide

today, i’ve put together a gift guide with items for anyone and everyone on your shopping list. even better, all items are priced under $50. while giving is a lovely, admirable theme during the holidays, depleting your bank account isn’t necessary.

ready? set? let’s shop!

for the host and hostess:


for the kiddos (0–4):


for the beauty maven:


for pet owners:


your budget-friendly holiday gift guide

your budget-friendly holiday gift guide

photos by karya schanilec photography

blazer: topshop, t-shirt and jeans: zara, mules and purse: forever 21

for the tech guru:


for the fashionista:


have you started your holiday shopping? if so, did you take advantage of black friday and cyber monday sales? i always tell myself, “i’ll start shopping early” and have yet to do so. are there any other gift guides you’d like to see?

in the meantime, i’ll be over here last minute shopping and paying for rush delivery as per usual. #somethingsneverchange

valentine’s day shopping at pacific place

valentine’s day is tomorrow!

if you’re anything like me, you may
(or may not) have left your valentine’s
day shopping to the last minute.

if you’re from the seattle area, you

can pick up something fun and festive
for everyone on your shopping list at
pacific place. (stores include, but are not
limited to: ann taylor, francesca’s,
papyrus, something silver, the art of shaving,
the handmade showroom,
tiffany & co., trophy cupcakes, and more!)
if you aren’t from seattle, fortunately,
many of these items, or similar items, can
be found online.
i have a handful of people
on my shopping list this year–my parents,
younger brother, boyfriend, a coworker, and
several girlfriends. prior to my shopping
trip, i wasn’t certain about what i wanted to buy. i
knew cards and cupcakes were essential, but
otherwise, i hoped a bit of window shopping
would provide inspiration. i should have
known better 🙂

disclosure: i recently collaborated (in a sponsored capacity) with pacific place on
instagram. this post is not sponsored–i simply wanted to share these beautiful photos and
many of the goodies i picked up on my valentine’s day shopping trip.

i first visited papyrus for cards,

gift bags, and any other “essential” goodies that
caught my eye. many of you already know this, but
we have an elderly dachshund in our family.
anything and everything dachshund is seemingly
essential, so when i saw the above dachshund jewelry
tray, i knew it was coming home with me!
i also picked up adorable (and high quality) cards
for everyone on my list.

^^^ i brought home the crescent moon necklace,
shown above, for myself–valentine’s day, treat yo’ self? ^^^

next, i stopped into something silver.

i love the look of delicately-layered necklaces,
and was hoping to add one (or two) to my
collection. my mom also enjoys wearing dainty, yet
classic jewelry items. the variety of sterling
silver pieces at something silver kept my hands
and eyes busy–i had to try on everything!next on my agenda was visiting
the handmade showroom. there were beautiful
art pieces, home decor, jewelry, cold-weather
accessories, and more. i wanted to buy it all,
and i appreciate any opportunity to
support local, independent artists and small business
owners. if you’re local to or visiting seattle, you
must stop by the handmade showroom.
they have gifts for everyone (pets included).
^^^ i loved this beautifully painted washington
state mug! ^^^
^^^ unfortunately, i wasn’t able to bring any of
these ‘silver + salt’ hermiker rings home with me, but i
am determined to go back–or if anyone wants to buy
a valentine’s treat for me, i won’t oblige 😉 ^^^

moms, aunts, sisters, girlfriends, female
coworkers–they’re easy to shop for! give us all the
jewelry, chocolate, and pink goodies, please. men are
somewhat more difficult. fortunately, i was able
to pop into j.crew for festive socks and the art of shaving
for hair and skincare products. i realize men
aren’t nearly as excited about skincare as their female
counterpart, but the delicious-smelling products
at the art of shaving sold me!

last, but not least: chocolate.
or more accurately, chocolate cupcakes!
valentine’s day isn’t complete without a few tasty
treats, and trophy cupcakes are fresh and
delicious. i brought home a box of four
to share with my family, and we devoured them.
a special thank you to pacific place for
meeting all of my shopping needs this year, despite
 my utter procrastination. need to
pick up any last minute goodies?
be sure to stop be!

your holiday gift guide from bartell drugs

the holidays are upon us, and it
is never too early to begin the somewhat daunting
task of finding those ‘perfect’ gifts.
who are you shopping for this year? your mom,
dad, brother, or sister? spouse? friend?
extended family member? regardless of who is on your
holiday gift list, this gift basket (and all of the
festive, tasty, and adorable goodies inside)
is seemingly perfect for anyone!
instead of scouring department stores
or the local grocer, my mom and i visited
bartell drugs. we were eager to find something
special for my aunt and uncle, our gracious
thanksgiving hosts. fortunately, we live
just over a mile from bartell drugs and were
able to forgo the crowds and black friday chaos
to complete our holiday shopping.
before our shopping trip, my mom and
i planned to curate a unique (and fun) gift basket
for my aunt and uncle, while also stocking up
on miscellaneous goodies for a neighborhood gift
exchange, secret santa games at work, and of
course, a few delicious treats for our pantry.
who can say ‘no’ to dark chocolate?
disclosure: a special thank you to bartell drugs for providing me with a gift
card used to purchase the items in this post. as per usual, all opinions are my own!
we may have been slightly over-zealous
when putting this basket together (it was heavy),
but we couldn’t help ourselves! bartell drugs, a
local, family-owned company, carries a variety of
washington-based brands, including food,
beverages, beauty, and personal-care items.
in our basket, we included:
biscoffee shortbread cookies (espresso coffee)
hallmark ‘thank you’ cards
joes chocolates (in midnight coconut)
market spice tea (in cinnamon orange)
maury island farms jam (in strawberry rhubarb)
northpole throw blanket (in white)
snowman spatula
torch illumination candle (in blood orange)
uncle woody’s popcorn (caramel corn)
as we walked up and down the (not-so-
crowded, and well-stocked) aisles, we pointed to
different goodies and said ‘oh, yes, this!’ and ‘oh, they
would love that.’ a few additional chocolate bars may or
may not have ended up in our cart, too.
when planning your holiday shopping, don’t forget
about your local bartell drugs. in addition to
carrying an assortment of home goods,
pharmacy products, and other locally sourced items,
bartell drugs is passionate about giving
back to our community. during the holiday season
(and throughout the year), they support and
contribute to our community at large by
partnering with organizations such as food lifeline,
school tools, teddy bear patrol, seattle’s
union gospel mission, and more!
have you started your holiday shopping?
i have to admit, while i enjoy shopping for myself,
shopping for others is far more fun!

my top cyber monday picks

we celebrated thanksgiving, enjoyed far
too much pie (and later braved the gym crowds),
hunted for the best black friday deals, and now,
cyber monday is here! grab a cup of coffee
and cozy blanket, as i share my 25-favorite
fall and winter items, perfect to gift
or purchase if you want to treat yo’ self.

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did you brave the mall on black friday?

i went briefly (or as brief as one can be
when sandwiched amongst 1289819031
fellow shoppers) and then came home to finish
my shopping online. who can turn down
free shipping while shopping from
the comfort of your couch?!

happy cyber monday, everyone!
i found this forbes article, predicting how much
consumers (on average) will spend on cyber
monday, particularly intriguing.
which deals/retailers are you most excited
to shop?

practicing self-care during the holiday season

 ‘nourishing yourself in a way that helps you
blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable,
and you are worth the effort.’
— deborah day
 the holiday season is an incredibly busy
time (this is not news to anyone!).
working full-time, dedicating time to friends
and family, attending various holiday
parties and gatherings — this girl is busy.
i am sure the same is true for you, too!
with numerous work and personal functions
taking place this time of year, stress can be prominent.
however, taking time for yourself, while
allowing time for your body to decompress,
is important for your physical and emotional wellness.

disclosure: l’occitane usa gracioulsy gifted me the advent calendars pictured in this post.
as per usual, all opinions are my own!
one of my favorite ways to decompress?
skin and body care!
i greatly enjoy applying face masks,
rubbing on delicious-smelling body creams,
lip scrubs, and other oils, lotions, etc.
the act of applying these, and the spa-like scent,
elicits a calm-like feeling. light a candle, grab a
new book and cup of tea, and you are ready
for a stress-free evening.
l’occitane graciously gifted me two
advent calendars in preparation for the holidays.
both are filled with tiny (and adorable) skincare
goodies to sample throughout the month of december.
a few of the goodies you can find inside?
almond shower oil
almond supple skin oil
almond delicious hand cream
cherry blossom shimmery body lotion
divine cream
divine youth oil
shea butter hand cream
 shea butter lip balm
 and more!


black friday is upon us!
l’occitane is offering 30% off gift sets,
discounted advent calendars, and a free 17-piece
gift set with some purchases (exclusions
may apply). if you are looking for the perfect
gift for your holiday hostess, beloved family
member, or a treat for yourself, be sure to
visit l’occitane (in store and online).may your holiday season be enjoyable
and relaxing!

your (last minute) mother’s day gift guide

  ‘mother’s hold their children’s hands 
for a short while, but their hearts forever.’

the weekend could not come soon enough!
i am eager to relax, catch up on sleep, enjoy more tacos
(it is still acceptable to celebrate cinco de mayo, right?)
and, of course, to spoil my mom on her special day.
i may or may not need to finish up my mother’s day 
shopping, as this week month has gotten away from me.
if you’re like me, you may (unfortunately) have 
procrastinated in picking out the perfect gift for mom. however, 
i have rounded up a few last minute gift ideas that are 
budget-friendly and sure to make mom feel loved. after all, 
mother’s day is her day!
for the fashionista:
1. alex and ani ‘i love you mom’ expandable wire bracelet
 my mom and i are avid collectors of alex and ani
bracelets. worn individually or layered with other
pieces, these bracelets are a fun, meaningful way to
to commemorate travel, life’s adventures and celebrate those 
we are closest with.
2. ellen degeneres ‘langston’ ballet flat
these ‘love’ striped flats are perfect for spring. mom can 
style them with her white denim, floral dresses or 
favorite pencil skirt for a chic, polished look.
3. ‘love love’ code charm necklace
this unique necklace is only legible when the wearer
gives it a spin! it is 14k-gold plated and will have
mom thinking of you every time she wears it.
for her everyday use:
4. charlotte tilbury ‘instant glow’ palette
this all-in-one palette instantly adds radiance 
to mom’s skin. the palette includes an eye brightener, 
eye enhance and smoke, face bronzer, cheek swish, 
cheek pop and face highlighter 
5. scalloped faux leather tote
a large bag is imperative during the work week.
mine is typically packed with my wallet, book, water bottle,
cosmetic bag and lunch for commuting to and from work.
this adorable scalloped tote is large enough
to store mom’s essentials.
6. glint metallic lightweight wrap
this lightweight, blush wrap (with a 1″ fringe)
is trendy yet practical for layering up on those
chilly spring days. the metallic sheen adds a bit of glam
and can be worn over a denim jacket or with
all mom’s favorite sweaters and dresses!
for the beauty lover:
7. give your mom a brighter smile with a customized teeth 
whitening kit from smile brilliant
i began using smile brilliant’s teeth whitening trays 
before the holidays. past whitening systems have been
harsh and increased the sensitivity of my teeth.
smile brilliant is different! each kit includes whitening and
desensitizing gel. you can see my full review, including before
and after photos here. smile brilliant is graciously
offering $25 off your kit with the code ‘diaryofthisgirl25.’
8. philosophy’s ‘amazing grace’ gift set
i received my first amazing grace perfume as a gift 
earlier this year. the scent is fresh, feminine and 
will seemingly appeal to a variety of wearers (as giving
perfume can often feel risky). 
for the fit mom:
9. fitbit ‘flex 2’ wireless activity and sleep wristband
does your mom enjoy keeping active?
utilizing a fitbit is an excellent way to track daily 
steps, active minutes, water intake, sleep and more! this sleek, 
modern wristband can be worn to the office or at the gym.
10. brooks ‘ghost 9’ running shoes
it is no secret that i love brooks running shoes!
i have now gone through a few pairs and greatly
appreciate the support they offer my (aching) feet after
a run. the ‘ghost 9’ is available in a variety
of colors, depending on your mom’s preference. keep
mom comfortable stride after stride.
11. bose ‘soundsport’ in-ear bluetooth headphones
i have to admit, i was initially skeptical of 
wireless, bluetooth headphones. what can i say, i
am a creature of habit. however, i received wireless
headphones as a christmas gift, and i will never go back!
they’re incredibly convenient when on a walk, 
at the gym or to simply wear while doing chores at home.
the sound quality is far better than that of other
headphones i have used in the past.
have you finished your mother’s day shopping?
how do you typically celebrate?
a very happy mother’s day to my mom as well
as the other mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers
godmothers and dog mothers! 

the perfect gift for anyone on your list from ankit!

happy thursday, everyone! where has the week gone?!
my new job has kept me especially busy (i shared the details
of what i’m doing now here) – commuting downtown, learning as much as i can about
the finance industry, and studying for an upcoming exam
has left little time for blogging; when ankit reached out to me 
for a fun collaboration, however, i knew i had to say yes!
shop: mug // iphone case // headphones
returning to the corporate workplace has certainly 
been an adjustment. there are days when i have to remind myself to stand up,
stretch, and simply take a break from my computer screen.
i typically strive to go for a walk each day during lunch, not only as a means
of staying active (as i’m no longer spending my days chasing after
toddlers), but also to relieve stress. my walks are often 
accompanied by music and coffee – my new marble, noise-cancelling 
headphones are perfect when i’m in the city and on-the-go!
the ‘wonderlust’ mug seemingly holds just the right amount of coffee (or tea!)
and is kept on my desk.
sweater & tank: nordstrom (old), jeans: american eagle outfitters (exact here),
bracelets: alex and ani
as a girl with a ridiculous sweet tooth, i couldn’t resist 
this adorable donut iphone case! 
phone cases are essential for me. i tend to be a bit rough 
on my phone, and this case is both lightweight and protective.
and ankit might just be my new favorite online shop –
a marketplace with everything from art and jewelry trays to pillows 
and tech accessories; there is something for everyone.
i’m currently lusting after this water bottle these adorable pizza lights.
with the holiday’s fast approaching, ankit can help you cross items off 
your shopping list (with gifts that are unique and fun).
i know of a few things that my mom, girlfriends, and co-workers
would enjoy! you can also find ankit on instagramfacebook, and pinterest.
happy shopping!
**this is a sponsored post.
a very special thank you to ankit for 
providing me with the mug, phone case and 
headphones in this post. all opinions are my own!

holiday shopping with spring!

it’s hard to believe the holidays are just around the corner!
have you finished your shopping?
with the cold weather and seemingly never-ending seattle rain,
walking downtown or heading to the mall 
is the last thing on my mind (and finding parking? no, thank you!).
with the spring app, however, i can check off items on my holiday 
shopping list from the comfort of my apartment (while sipping
hot coco and wearing pajamas, too!). 
spring carries 800+ brands and receives new arrivals daily! 
many items are discounted and can be purchased directly from the designers
that make them. the variety of pieces are endless;
whether you’re shopping for a fashionista, tech-savvy family member, 
or a home decor-loving individual, spring has the gifts you need.
book // watch // boots
you can learn more about the mission behind spring here.
some of the brands they carry include:
everlane, frye, j brand, joie, ray ban, shinola,
kate spade new york, jo malone london, smashbox cosmetics, and more!
i had to pick a few of my favorites, of course! i sure
wouldn’t mind opening that gorgeous black and white bag – 
the size and shape are perfect for this teacher-on-the-go. the best part?
it’s under $100! there are many beautiful accessories from spring, too.
do you have the spring app? i’d love to know what you think.
and happy shopping, everyone!

holiday gift guide for her (part ii)

i shared the first part of my holiday gift guide, 
featuring seattle goods and services, here.
i have a few additional ideas for the women in your life;
happy shopping!
photos found here
you know i am completely addicted to false lashes! i apply 
drugstore brand lash-strips most days. i’ve come to feel naked 
without them (whoops!). the solution? 
a visit to noir lash lounge, located in bellevue.
schedule an appointment at their boutique before attending 
your holiday parties! you’re sure to look and feel glamorous
with a gorgeous set of lashes. to learn more about 
noir lash lounge, visit their website here.
are you familiar with mere basics? 
this local brand features luxurious layering pieces that are 100% cashmere! 
each item is incredibly soft with feminine details. 
the tanks, tops, and leggings are sleek and lightweight enough 
that they can be worn year-round. be sure to check out mere basics
when completing your holiday shopping here.
photo found here
is there a fashionista in your family?
look no further than lika love! the former mobile boutique 
has grown into two, full-line stores in the seattle area.
malika and her team will help you find the perfect 
gifted item – whether a holiday dress, cozy sweater,
comfortable jacket, or accessories to wear with all the above!
learn more about lika love and check out her lookbook here.
despite completing two holiday shopping gift guides, 
i have yet to start actually shopping! here’s to hoping
the sales continue, the shopping isn’t too tedious,
and i can find the perfect gift for everyone on my list.

holiday gift guide for her

thanksgiving is over, which means!? it’s time for 
anything and everything christmas! 
will and i started decorating our apartment yesterday.
as we live in a studio, we don’t have space for a christmas tree,
but you can bet i’ve hung ornaments and decor in every nook and cranny!
one of my favorite parts of the holiday season is shopping for 
friends and family. shopping can be stressful, but certainly doesn’t have to be!
i put together a few gift guides for the upcoming holiday season- 
this first one is dedicated to the women in your life;
all of the items or services are local to seattle, too!
jj caprices, founded by jennifer jedda, 
is an online-based bellevue boutique. each of jennifer’s pieces
are hand chosen from all over the world! they are gorgeous and unique, 
yet affordable. i’m lusting after all of the above items (especially 
the black and crystal drop filigree earrings, by lk designs).
best of all, a portion of the proceeds from each sale is 
donated to world vision to help women and girls in need.
you can learn more about local boutique, jj caprices here.
photo from here
do you have a fashion-lover in your family? 
or could a lucky lady in your life benefit from a closet makeover?
styled seattle is the answer!
with styled seattle, you can provide someone the opportunity to work
with a professional stylist. the stylist will examine
what is already in their closet and help recommend or fill in potential gaps.
visit styled seattle here to purchase a gift certificate.
photos from here
located on upper queen anne, bella fiore organic med spa
offers a holistic approach to skin care and treatment. bella fiore uses the latest
in organic skin care technologies to provide lasting, beautiful results. 
they also offer med spa facials, laser hair removal, and detox retreats. 
this year, treat your mom (or girlfriend, aunt or grandma!)
to the gift of happy skin at bella fiore. 
learn more about beauty packages and services here.
photos from here
the gift of good health? priceless!
for the health and wellness gals in your life, 
a subscription box or gift certificate to jujubeet is simply perfect.
organic and artisan juices, smoothies, and tasty treats
are just some of what is on jujubeet’s menu. i am anxious to try the ‘green limeade’
(spinach, parsley, kale, celery, cucumber, apple and lime!!). 
you can find a jujubeet location near you here!
happy shopping, and stay tuned for additional
gift guides coming soon!

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