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The Perfect Host/Hostess Gifts for the Holidays

Hey guys! I wanted to start off the holiday posts with a list of small gifts that would make the perfect gift for your holiday host or hostess! I like to keep a basket in my closet with small gifts so that when I get invited to things like a housewarming party, or a holiday I have something for the person who has so kindly shared their home with us. I don't think these gifts need to be extravagant, just a small token of your appreciation because typically they are providing food, drinks and a space to spend time with the people close to you. I try to find things that I know will get used and won't just sit in a closet. The best part of this list? All of these gifts are under $50!


#1 Hearth and Hand Wooden Vase 

This vase is so beautiful and simple, it could go with virtually anyone's decor. There is something to be said for a clean and classic vase, this is it but with a really cool twist. It's something that is sure to be used for fresh flowers all year! This would be perfect filled with seasonal flowers, it's sure to be appreciated.


#2 Acacia Wood Cheese Board + Tool Set

This adorable set would make a perfect gift for any occasion, it's so stunning that nobody would guess it's under $30! This is sure to get some use for anyone who loves to entertain! The fact that the tools all store nicely in the bottom is an added bonus.


#3 Capri Blue Fir + Firewood Candle

If you've ever smelled the Volcano candle that everyone knows and loves and wished they had a holiday version you're in luck. This fir and firewood candle smells like Christmas to me, it smells like sitting next to a warm campfire in an outing of pine trees. This is the perfect holiday gift and it doesn't hurt that the jar is beautiful too.


#4 Hearth + Hand Stoneware Scalloped Cake Stand

This is such a pretty addition to anyone's kitchen, especially if your host loves to bake. The white makes any dessert pop and it's perfect for displaying delicious thanksgiving pies. This is absolutely something that will get used for every occasion all year. It's so elegant nobody would ever guess how inexpensive it is!


#5 Cast Iron Trivet

Personally I think this would make a great gift for any occasion because I'm not sure about you but I can never have enough trivets, especially when I'm serving a big meal like Thanksgiving. This one also just happens to be decorative enough to be displayed as well. The cast iron makes this trivet super heavy duty too so it can hold up to even the heaviest pots and pans.


#6 Stoneware Serving Bowl Trio

The perfect gift for the host who loves to entertain. This cute little bowl trio is perfect for dips, salsa, or condiments at a summer bbq! It could also be used as prep bowls while cooking. This multipurpose gift is sure to see some use around any kitchen.


#7 Capri Blue Volcano Candle

Last but certainly not least is the hugely popular Capri Blue Volcano Candle. This candle is perfect for burning all year round and the jar itself is perfect for anyone's decor. It can even be repurposed after the candle is gone. I actually have mine holding cotton pads in my bathroom!




Let me know if you picked up any of these for gifts this year or if you're like me and have a gift basket always stocked and ready for whatever occasion comes your way!


My Favorite Fall Comfort Food


Hey guys, long time no talk! I've been revamping the blog a lot lately to include more lifestyle posts and to share things that I really love whether that be clothing, food, or fun things to do! I miss blogging but life has been changing a lot lately so I'm finally getting back into a routine, I apologize that it's been so long, I miss y'all!

To kick off my return to blogging I wanted to share my favorite fall comfort food with you! During fall, and quite frankly all year, I am a sucker for anything pumpkin. I'm not kidding you; candles, pumpkin bars, coffee, everything. I hoard that stuff during fall like it's nobody's business. So I figured I'd spread the love, if you're as obsessed as I am, you have to make this pasta! It looks beautiful which means it would be perfect for entertaining but it's simple and so delicious that it's also the perfect comfort food for a lazy night in and a Halloween movie marathon (Hocus Pocus anyone?)

homemade pumpkin pasta sauce

PUMPKIN PASTA

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Spaghetti or Alfredo Noodles 
  • 1 1/2 cups Pureed Pumpkin (plain do not use pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil 
  • 2 cups Milk or Heavy Cream 
  • 1/4 cup Shredded Parmesan 
  • 1 Tbsp. Parsley (you can use fresh, I use dried because it's always in my cupboard)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 clove Minced Garlic (I use already minced garlic in a jar so I use about 2 Tbsp. but I love garlic so you can cut back some if you don't want it to be too strong)
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1 cup Chicken or Vegetables Broth

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. 
  2. Add minced garlic and cook one minute until fragrant (don't let it brown)
  3. Add broth and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the milk or heavy cream, pumpkin, nutmeg, salt, and pepper and simmer for ten minutes. 
  5. Cook your pasta per the directions to al dente. 
  6. Mix your pasta with the sauce and cook for a minute. 
  7. Top with the parsley and parmesan cheese. 
That's it! It's seriously that simple. I'd love to know if you try this recipe and what you think!

Easy Errand Day Outfit

Okay y'all I need to take a second to gush over these shoes! I scored these a couple weeks ago at Marshall's and I've been waiting for a good day to bust them out. It's been so incredibly cold here in the Midwest lately and the day we decided to go out and shoot it was in the 40's! I will totally take that over the negative temps we've been having.


These shoes are literally all of my favorite things wrapped up into one. I've been hesitant to try out the mule trend from this fall but when I saw these I knew that I had to have them. They're navy blue, velvet, and they have a bow on them. Honestly, what could be better? Unfortunately I can't find them anywhere online but I've linked some other really cute options!

college blogger, lifestyle, iowa city, casual outfit, casual ootd, college style, iowa blogger, simple outfit, long cardigan

Recently I've been loving the long cardigans as well. I was always kind of nervous to try these out since I'm only 5'2 but I'm so glad I gave it a shot. They give even the simplest outfit a unique and put together look while also being super cozy! I snagged this one at Old Navy about a week ago and I've been pairing it with everything lately. 


These jeggings are also from Old Navy and y'all they are TO DIE FOR. They have an elastic waistband and they are seriously so chic while also being insanely comfortable. I have them in two washes now and I'm obsessed. I'll definitely be buying them in any color I can find. If there's one things you need for the rest of winter/spring, it's these jeggings. Trust me.


That's all I have for now! I'm working to create a lot of really great content for the blog this year. I got a new camera and I'm working really hard to upgrade the blog, my photos, and my content overall! I'd love to hear from you about what you think, what you love or what I could change to make things better for you guys! I'm also going to be launching a new series soon so keep an eye out! 




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