Monthly Archives: December 2013

Last minute gift guide for the gents…

Here are some last minute gift ideas for the guys in your life…

Gift Guide for the Guys!

Gift Guide for the Guys!


1.  USB Mixtape from CB2.  This made me feel nostalgic.  I miss mixtapes.

2.  Sephora Fragrance Sampler.  This kit is a home run.  I buy a few of these every year because people are guaranteed to love them.  It comes with 14 samples of Sephora’s most popular men’s fragrances plus a travel bag.  The recipient can choose their favorite scent and then redeem the included certificate for a full-sized bottle.  Fragrance is such a personal choice, so it is nice for the giftee to be able to try a couple and choose which one they like best.

3.  Moustache Pub Beer Mugs.  These are awesome.  ‘Nuff said.

4.  Carbon Fiber Watch Case.  If the man in your life is a watch collector this makes a nice showpiece.  If a man is going to wear a gentleman’s watch he needs to store it like a gentleman as well.  3246543512 individual watch boxes strewn about the house is not a good look.

5.  The Art of Shaving Shaving Cream – Sandalwood.  I bought this for my husband a few years ago and he refuses to use anything else.  It has a nice oil that leaves his skin lightly scented and bump-free.

6.  Creed Millesime Imperial.  I bought this for my husband for the first time ten years ago.  I also wear it.  It smells like heaven.  I read an interview a few years back (I just scoured the internet and could not find the article, of course) where they asked Jay Z what the best gift he received was and he said, “Creed in the gold bottle”.  That alone should tell you something because you KNOW Jay Z gets some awesome gifts.  They sell this at Neiman Marcus but I just located it on for a great price.  The reviews seem to indicate that it is authentic so I am going to order a bottle and link to them as well.  That is a great deal!

7.  The Northface Chilkat II Boots.  These will keep his feet warm and insulated.  Warm + dry feet = happy man.


Not a sponsored post. Post contains my genuine recommendations and opinions.  Post contains affiliate links.

Last minute gift guide for the gals…

Christmas Gifts


Every year (except this one) I start my Christmas shopping in August. I try my best to be prepared. This year I totally fell off and in the upcoming week I have some shopping to do but I do have ideas as to what I plan to buy and I thought I should make some suggestions for you as well. Here are some items that I own or that I would love to own:

1. Sorel “Joan of Arc” Boot. These are not the most glamorous boots but let’s face it – it’s cold out and I’m sick of Uggs. I think these would actually look pretty cute with some jeans.

2. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier. Ree Drummond is amazing and her recipes are so easy to follow and delicious. I am going to post my own modification to one of her receipes later in the week that is a staple at Bannon Castle.

3. Tocca Florence Candle. This is my favorite candle of all time. The packaging is gorgeous and the scent is sublime. This makes a great hostess gift.

4. Ellen Tracy Coat. I personally own this coat. I searched for years for a dress coat like this and finally discovered it in September. I know it is a bit pricey but it’s worth it. People stop me in the street to compliment me on it constantly. Definite show stopper. I want to buy three more and lay them up in case anything every happens to the one I own.

5. ShopNestled Turquois Bib Statement Necklace. I love this necklace. It is from a small business on Etsy and the seller is amazing. The jewelry is very high quality. It’s not for everyone though. Some people will prefer the daintier and more personal custom necklaces from the Name Necklace Official website.

6. J.Crew Glitter Minaudière. Perfect for a glam girlfriend or all those New Year’s parties!

7. Crate and Barrell Oslo Candleholders. These are stunning in person and so heavy and well made.

8. Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette. The latest installment in Urban Decay’s popular line of eye shadow compacts. This would be a wonderful gift for a sister, friend or me.


Not a sponsored post. Post contains my genuine recommendations and opinions. Post contains affiliate links.

Audrina Chandelier

My Future’s So Bright…I Gotta Wear Shades!

My husband and I recently started an overhaul of our super ghetto kitchen.  As a little bit of a backstory…we bought our house four years ago and have made improvements in every room but this one.  The fact that everything else is updated makes it seem so much worse.  We procrastinated for a long time because there was so much to do and it felt overwhelming.  Now that the time has come to work on it, we are thinking of it in terms of bite-sized pieces and it is really helping.  One item that we recently checked off our list was to install new lighting above our kitchen table.  I saw the Audrina Chandelier at Pottery Barn a while ago and fell in love.  Over the Summer I got an email that it was on sale so I bought it.  At the time, my husband thought I was crazy because we were still in deep procrastination about the state of our kitchen but I figured we would need to swap out our old light eventually.

(I should confess that our old light was a white ceiling fan.  On the day we moved in Billy dropped and broke the globe for it.  For four years we have been living with a white ceiling fan with an exposed light bulb above our table.  Shudder.  I would post a picture but I would never take a picture of something so heinous – so I have none to share.)

Anyway, I digress, back to our fabulous new chandelier.  We hung it and it looked gorgeous.

Pottery Barn Audrina Chandelier -


The I spotted a similar chandelier online with shades and the wheels in my head started turning.  I scoured Pinterest and Google Images but I could not find a single image of the Audrina with shades.  Eventually I just bit the bullet and invested in some cute drum shades from Ballard Designs. I figured if they looked terrible I could always return them.  Well, THEY DONT!  They totally make the room look cozier and the chandelier looks much more finished.  Here are some pictures so you can see for yourself:

Pottery Barn Audrina Chandelier with Shades!

Pottery Barn Audrina Chandelier with shades. Pottery Barn Audrina Chandelier with Shades!  Love!

Pottery Barn Audrina Chandelier with Shades!

I am so pleased with how they turned out.  You can also catch a glimpse of the cornice box that I made for the sliders in my kitchen.  I will be posting a tutorial on that soon.


Allo, mon amour!

Hello everyone!  I am so glad that you have chosen to visit!

I purchased my domain name last week and have been aching to add a post but I have gotten SO SO SO caught up in blog building and aesthetics.  Even thought my mind is bursting with ideas, I have been waiting to put up content until ALG is “perfect”.  I have finally accepted the fact that it will never be 100 percent finished (since there is so much room for customization).

Sometimes it feels like I spend hours tweaking one little aspect (like my header…uggghhhhhh).  I am totally channeling Adam Sandler right now.