With the holiday season right around the corner, I can imagine that many of you have already started your Christmas shopping (or your close to finishing it!). I myself am pretty close to being finished; I’m just waiting for one or two more packages to come in the mail. Although I don’t have any stockings to fill this year, I can imagine some of you may have names to cross off your list. These are some of my favorite small, inexpensive gift ideas, as I’ve tried many of them myself and know them to be successful. I hope this list gives you some ideas!


“Don’t Fuck Up The Table” Coasters | $16

When I saw these table coasters on Amazon, the first person I thought of was my mother. I’m sure you all had someone immediately come to mind as well :). Not only are these hilarious, unique, and thoughtful, they’re also extremely practical for daily use! I decided not to get them this year because I already bought my mom a few other things, but they’re definitely going to be a contender for Mother’s Day. For only $16, four high-quality coasters with a resounding message isn’t a bad stocking stuffer idea!

Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0748FR8XM/ref=ox_sc_saved_image_3?smid=A2X5V0RFCKUXE0&psc=1


Soft Silicone Phone Case | $12

Of all the places to find high-quality essentials for very cheap, Amazon is (obviously) my go-to place. This phone case is soft and rubbery on the outside, but lined with a hard shell to keep your phone extra safe. As someone who drops her phone quite frequently, this is definitely something I need in my life, and I’m sure many of you would love it too! I think practical gifts are always a win-win, and it’s especially hard to go wrong with a sleek phone case. Especially one that’s under $15 with four and a half stars!

Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TL74L3W/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_5?smid=A19M45FZHM6T2U&psc=1


Cat Pens | $6

I usually don’t buy pens online, but these adorable cat pens were so cute, I couldn’t pass them up. I was pleasantly surprised by how pigmented, smooth, and high-quality they felt, and for only $6, it’s all the better. If you have a cat-lover in your life (like I do), this is the perfect small gift for him or her. Just like the table coasters, these pens are also a practical gift that are guaranteed to be put to use. I’m looking forward to buying these again in the future for both myself and others.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AXCRBYC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s03?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Juno & Co. Velvet Beauty Sponges | $20

As someone who wears makeup almost daily, I can tell you firsthand that these are the nicest makeup sponges I’ve ever tried. They work great both dry and dampened, and give my high-coverage foundation an amazing, airbrushed appearance on my skin. Additionally, because they are not spongy or porous, they don’t suck up the product and therefore waste it. I’ve been using these sponges for months now, if not close for a year, and I love having them in my collection! I promise the makeup lover in your life will adore these too.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HXQ9CPZ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Abundance and Prosperity Crystals | $29

If you know someone who’s really into natural healing, green magic, or simply just beautiful decor, a set of crystals is a wonderful gift idea. Crystals can obviously be used for meditation or holistic purposes, but they also make for lovely decorations around the house. As someone who has been collecting crystals for years (and I’ve bought this particular bundle myself), I can testify that they are a beautiful, timeless gift. Even better, you’re supporting an independent artist by purchasing from this seller.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0793F7V13/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Mesh Produce Bags | $14

This is actually a gift I bought for my mom for Mother’s Day, but I think it would also make an excellent Christmas present (especially for a parent or a zero-waste friend). These mesh produce bags are designed to be used in place of plastic produce bags at the grocery store, so you can feel better about your impact on the environment. Like many other suggestions on this list, mesh produce bags are an extremely practical gift that are guaranteed to be put to good use.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005E2QRPG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

*Warning: if you’re one of my family members/ a person I’m likely to buy a gift for, don’t read this article unless you want to spoil your surprise!!*

My favorite thing about Christmastime, like many people, is spending time with the people I love most and basking in those warm fuzzy feelings. However, I also love giving gifts to people. Maybe it’s because I love to plan things, or maybe it’s just because I love to make people happy, but either way, I look forward to buying gifts for people every year! This is my gift guide for everybody on your list, even people you don’t like but you feel obliged to shop for. How fun!

Without any delay, let’s get into it.


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For The Cute Couple in Your Life / Your Parents: Matching Pajamas

$30-60 │Brand: Any, but I suggest Land’s End or LL Bean if you want to be really fancy

This gift could potentially land on the pricey side, depending on where you shop from, but it’s adorable nonetheless. When I was putting together ideas for my own gift-giving list, I was seriously considering giving my mom and stepfather a pair of matching flannel pajamas. It’s personal, generous, suits their we’re-a-team nature, and above all, is just absolutely adorable. It’s a great way to remind that couple not only of each other, but also of you! 


For The Hard-to-Shop-For Person: A Breakfast Sandwich Maker

$25 │Brand: Proctor Silex 

This could also be a great gift for the person in your life who loves gadgets and kitchen appliances. If I wasn’t shopping for other people, I would totally pick this goodie up for myself! I think it’s a unique gift, but it also doubles as being extremely practical and guaranteed to be put to use. Make breakfast fun again for your loved one by gifting them this super-nifty breakfast sandwich maker. You can also buy a model with two compartments, if you want to make two sandwiches instead of one! 

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Proctor-Silex-25479-Breakfast-Sandwich/dp/B073R9JSG9/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=RPVBA2J7Q1GZP9S1SAJH


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For Your Estranged Family Members: A Handwritten Holiday Card

$5-10 │Brand: Any

Speaking from personal experience, there are a few people in my life who I’d really prefer to avoid seeing in person this holiday season. However, to avoid being an outwardly rude, my solution is to send a holiday card with a personalized note. It doesn’t have to be super warm and fuzzy, just a quick “Wishing you a happy holiday season!” will get the job done. My mom and I picked up these adorable dog-themed Christmas cards with a blank inside, so I’m looking forward to writing some messages and sending them out. In my opinion, it’s the best way to be cordial without overstepping your personal boundaries. 


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For Your Best Friend: A Bluetooth Shower Speaker

$30 │Brand: ban.do

I can’t think of a single person who wouldn’t love this shower speaker. It’s beautifully designed, it’s practical, and it’s bound to stick with your recipient instead of immediately being forgotten about. I actually ordered one for myself, because I think it’s such a cute idea! As of right now, this model appears to be out of stock, but you can find very similar designs on Amazon and Google. Additionally, if you have Fab Fit Fun, you might end up getting one in your winter box.

Link: https://fabfitfun.com/product/ban-bluetooth-shower-speaker/


For Your Studious Friend: An Adorable 2020 Planner

$25 │Brand: Orange Circle Studio

You may remember me boasting about my own 2020 planner towards the beginning of the semester; this is the same exact one but with a different cover design. I love this design because it has both a weekly planner and a monthly calendar that goes through 2020, depending on what format you prefer. It also has some fun extras included, such as a budget planner, a notepad, and a collection of stickers at the back of the book as well. I’m loving the quality and the presentation of this journal for myself, and I know the person I’m buying this for will love it as well! 

Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07P7RNYXM/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1


For Your Friend with a Calming Presence: A Set of 4 Candles

$16 │Brand: HITHYS

I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who didn’t like candles. These candles in particular are so beautiful in both packaging and quality, I think anyone would be happy with this on Christmas morning. This set of four candles are made of all-natural soy, and includes the scents lavender, rose, gardenia, and lilac. Additionally, after you finish the candles, you can re-use the tins for other purposes, such as holding jewelry or makeup. It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving. 

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Lavender-Essential-Aromatherapy-Relaxation-Meditation/dp/B07D34NZZB/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=JY8TSVEMRTP9JXZC6N7Z


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For The Makeup Lover: These Donut Eyeshadow Palettes

$7 Each │Brand: Revolution Beauty

Revolution Beauty is one of my favorite makeup brands that puts out affordable yet high-quality content. These little donut eyeshadow palettes in particular are some of my favorite goodies, and they’ll make for great stocking stuffers as well! There are five different donuts, if I’m correct, and each palette has a distinctly different color theme. I’ve gotten a great use out of these so far, and I love that they’re so inexpensive and easy to find. You can pick them up at some Ulta locations yourself, or order them online from the revolution beauty website.

Link: https://www.ulta.com/donut-eyeshadow-palette?productId=pimprod2004570


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For Anyone: These Amazing Slippers

$16 │Snoozies

This is definitely more of a silly gift, but I absolutely love these slippers and I wish I had someone on my personal list to give them to (I was going to give them to Eli, but I ended up picking something else). Nothing says “Have a happy holiday” like a pair of fuzzy slippers with an inspiring message on them! These slippers have a five-star rating on Amazon, with many praising the comfort, warmth, and overall good quality. Additionally, they’re machine washable! You can get them yourself by clicking the link below. 

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Snoozies-Classic-Applique-Slipper-X-Large/dp/B07F98YJSH/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=Z81N2CKETSQJ520QHDAT


And Lastly, For Your Dog: A Treat-Dispensing Puzzle Toy

$15│Outward Hound

I make a point of buying my dog a Christmas gift every year, because it’s so goddamn adorable to watch him rip open the packaging with his mouth and get excited. Puzzle toys are a great gift to give any dog, especially if you leave him or her alone for most of the day and worry about your pet getting bored. My dog loves puzzle toys- his favorite right now is a puzzle ball that you can hide treats in- and I’m sure he would love this one as well.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Nina-Ottosson-Outward-Hound-Puzzle/dp/B0719Q89XH/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=VD8ZF98N0DTMN1PHR8Z8

Since getting my first debit card at the age seventeen, online shopping has played a pretty large role in my life as a consumer. I absolutely love fashion, and I love the freedom the internet gives me to explore worldwide fashion even more. That’s not to say I don’t love a good mall trip, but when you spend 75% of your time at school, well, sometimes it’s just easier to get things delivered to you.

Image result for online shopping

That being said, with the pros does come the cons. Besides the obvious things, like developing a shopping addiction, there can also be dangers in the actual sites themselves. It’s important to be weary of where you do your shopping, because trust me, the internet is crawling with scams! If you’re unfamiliar with this, I suggest checking out my article about the fraudulent company “Berrylook”. I’ll include the link to that article at the bottom of the page. That pretty much brings me to my first tip: always make sure the sites you’re buying from are reliable. Cross-examine the website for any questionable details, spelling errors, excessive sales, blatant lies, etc. Even websites that look reliable can still be cleverly-designed scams, so it’s also a good idea to research the company on google and read reviews about their items. Trustpilot is one of my personal favorite sources for making sure a company is the real deal.

It’s also a really good idea to familiarize yourself with the size chart before you purchase clothes from a website, especially if it’s an overseas company. A size small in China is probably going to be very different from a size small in the UK, because different countries have completely different standards for what a “small” even is. I myself have purchased clothes before that were clearly designed for a tiny Asian woman, even if the tag says “medium”. I have my personal measurements written down in my notes, and before I purchase any new articles of clothing, I always review the sizes to see what correlates best with my measurements. If you just go in blindly and guess, you’re a lot more likely to end up with something that doesn’t fit, and even worse, might be a pain in the ass to return.

This brings me on to my next tip: familiarize yourself with the online return policy, just in case a situation does arise in which you do need to send your item back. In most cases, companies will include a shipping label for you to use, but not always. If you’re not down for paying for your own shipping, that’s definitely something you should decide before you place your order and then decide you don’t like it. I will admit, I myself am much more likely to just give something away if I don’t like it, rather than sending it back to the company and going through that whole hassle. Is this attributed to laziness? Absolutely. Will I change the way I do things? Probably not.

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Last but certainly not least, check reviews from other customers before you make a purchase, especially for shoes and clothing! There have been so many times I’ve gone to purchase a new item, but looked at reviews beforehand and discovered the product was poorly made, uncomfortable, etc. Photos can be deceiving, so even if something looks beautiful in the picture, you might be getting something extremely different. I love when customers post pictures of themselves wearing the products, so I can see firsthand what the item might look like on me. If the item looks cheap or poorly made, well, I’m probably not going to go ahead with that order and waste my hard-earned money.

Yes, there are a lot of crappy brands out there, but there’s also a ton of good ones! I personally love to get vintage-style dresses from Grace Karin and GownTown, and I have consistently been happy with the quality of my purchases. I also love to get my Mary Jane heels from a brand called Chase & Chloe, because they’re extremely comfortable and come in a variety of different colors. All of these brands are available on Amazon, so I highly recommend you check them out!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings below in the comments. What are your favorite online shops? What was your worst online shopping experience? Let me know!

Pictures: https://knowtechie.com/find-cash-back-programs-online-shopping-sites/

BerryLook: A Brilliant Scam: https://diplomatsdigest.wordpress.com/2019/03/13/berrylook-a-brilliant-scam/

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The first day of spring is coming up, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m a total nature girl, which makes sense, seeing how I have a spring birthday. Flowers, rain clouds, and seedlings hold a special place in my heart, and I’m grateful to experience these gifts in lovely, little New England.

With that being said, the direction my pinup style is going in this spring is actually quite ironic. I’ve been interested in the metal scene lately, especially bands like Opeth, Ghost, and In Flames. I still love pinup clothing, makeup, and hairstyles, but Spring 2019 is going to bring a bit of a gothic twist. In case you didn’t know, I recently had my hair dyed teal, which is adding up pretty nicely with my -ever-evolving a e s t h e t i c.

spring moodboard

Most of the clothes in this moodboard are actually items I found on Amazon that I’m planning on purchasing for myself, as soon as I have a bit of disposable income saved up. While I do love wearing all colors, I think that black will be the best color to complement my hair and the overall lewk I’m going for. I have quite a few black t-shirts of my favorite bands, and I think they’ll look super cute with heels and a pencil skirt. Speaking of heels, I absolutely LOVE those little platform heels with the bows on top. Aren’t they fantastic?

In regards to music, like I said, I’ve been really into Ghost, Opeth, Rush, and In Flames lately. This musical influence is really evident in both my clothing and personal idealisms- witchcraft, LaVeyan satanism, nature, and metal. I love taking these darker elements of my personality and combining it with my pinup aesthetic- I think it really makes for a unique twist of femininity with a metal smokiness. It certainly makes me feel very empowered and strong, while still remaining girly.

It might seem like a lot of changes to what I currently have going on, but I’ve been attached to green witchcraft, dark arts, and even gothic style since high school! I did have a “goth phase” in 2016, and this new direction is more or less just the new-and-improved version of that. My bumper bangs and bright red lips aren’t going anywhere!

If you have any band suggestions, clothing shops, or book suggestions for me, let me know! I’m always looking for new pursuits, in both fashion and arts. My spring lookbook is coming up April 1st, so you’ll get to see my newest fashion pieces and outfits very soon.

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Whenever people find out that I buy most of my vintage clothes on Amazon, the general reaction is shock. I totally get that- after all, most of us turn to Amazon for electronics, home decor, and books, but not so much closet pieces. I do enjoy stores such as Modcloth and Unique Vintage, but the reality is, I don’t have the disposable income to support buying all my clothes on those websites.

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That’s more or less the biggest reason I buy clothes on Amazon. Reproduced vintage clothes are going to be a little pricey wherever you shop, but some of the least expensive brands out there are available on Amazon. Grace Karin, Belle Poque, Gowntown, and Dresstells are all within the $20-$40 range, and the quality is actually pretty nice. Meanwhile, an average reproduced vintage dress on Modcloth can cost anywhere between $80-$200. The dresses are beautiful, but when you only make $11 an hour, it’s not really possible to consistently shop there for clothes.

I do want to acknowledge the fact that although Amazon offers cheaper vintage-style clothes, they are often not as ethically sourced as those that are based in the UK, like Modcloth and Unique Vintage. Whenever possible, I like the clothes I order to be ethically sourced and produced using environmentally friendly, but it’s not always that easy. I like brands like Grace Karin and Belle Poque because the garments are made of high-quality cotton, and thus, they’ve lasted a long time. I’ve been wearing the same dresses for more than a year now, washed them more times than I can count, and still, I haven’t lost a button or had to throw out a dress. They definitely are not cheaply-sewn, throw-away dresses destined for a landfill.

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Another reason I usually don’t shop for higher-priced vintage clothes is because of the shipping/ordering process. It can be tricky to translate EU sizing into US sizing, especially if the chart claims that sizes aren’t perfectly aligned in the first place. To order a dress that’s already $80, and then pay $20 for shipping, and then wait 8-14 days for the package to arrive, is just way too risky for me, especially since there’s a chance the garment won’t even fit. With the brands I already know, I’m confident in my ability to consistently choose the right size. It saves me a lot of time, and it certainly saves me a lot of money.

I’m the first to admit I can always do better. Of course it’s better to always choose the better-sourced item, but it’s usually not the most cost-effective. In five years, I see myself working a higher-paying full-time job, and using my privilege to afford some better vintage clothes. In the meantime, though, I’m satisfied with what I’m doing so far. I believe we should all strive for the best option available, but we also need to take our personal situations into consideration.

If you know of any vintage reproduction shops based in the US, let me know! I’m always looking for new places to pick up a good deal. What are your favorite pieces you’ve picked up over the years?

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