New Years is my least favorite holiday of all time. I would rather celebrate anything other than New Year's Eve. I chalk it up to never having plans and feeling too pressured to have fun -- it just isn't my ideal night.

However, last year I had a great New Years in with some friends and it changed my perspective. If I could have a night in with my friends, in comfortable clothes, eating junk food and watching TV I'm set.

I think a night in on New Year's Eve is perfection and you could have a ton of fun, without spending hundreds of dollars at a restaurant, being in a crowded bar with people you don't know, and no uncomfortable clothes needed. I would rather spend my final moments of 2018 surrounded by friends and comfortable space than anywhere else.

However, you can definitely spruce up your night and make it festive and fancy.



Fashion & Beauty

It's no secret that I love to remain comfortable so on a New Year's night in, that is essential. Throw on a fun, festive graphic tee with leggings and then add so much SPARKLE. Wear your sparkly, fancy rings and big earrings to really make it feel like New Year's. Channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw in a big fur coat, pearls, and pajamas.

I'll be wearing my 'I'll Be There in a Prosecco' Shirt I grabbed from Target last year, my white faux fur J.Crew coat and a rose gold Kate Spade pearl necklace.



In the beauty department, don't skimp on the glitter. Just because you'll be sitting on the couch doesn't mean you shouldn't look your NYE best! Go heavy on the glitter eyeshadow, the Champagne Pop highlighter (because what other highlighter are you wearing on NYE?) and a red lip!

Treat Bar

Set up a little area with food, drinks, and snacks to make it feel a little more like a party; plus, you can adorn it with New Years Eve props and decorations. I imagine black and gold confetti, 2019 balloons and photo props, and pretty champagne flutes. Throw in some Sugarfina Champagne Bears and other alcohol candy for extra cuteness and sweetness. 

All the Champagne

Champagne is my favorite part of life. I love to drink it, I love how fancy it makes me feel and I love how gorgeous it is. It is by far my favorite part of New Year's Eve. I love champagne accessories and decor; everything from jewelry to phone cases to makeup bags. Nowadays, everyone is jumping on the champagne train so I'm very happy about that because there is so much more available.



Don't forget a few card games, a TV to watch the ball drop, and delicious food and desserts!



I hope you all have a safe, beautiful and lovely night ringing in 2019!

xoxo
B




Wow, we are on the final week of 2018 and I can't believe how fast the year flew. A lot of things changed this year, I grew a lot and changed a lot; my life changed a lot and I just feel like a totally different person.

2018 was a good year; I really advanced my writing career and the blog grew a ton and I scored some awesome partnerships. I realized what I want in my friendships and I learned how to be a better friend. I got into a real, healthy relationship and I'm so so happy with my guy.

I'll go into further detail about my 2018 goals and what I accomplished as well as my 2019 goals next week.

Today, I'm still on Christmas vacation and it's been such a glorious reset and recharge. I'm so happy to have this time to just be off the grid from work and have my days to myself. I wish it could be like this all the time! LOL

My weekend will be lowkey, hanging out with my boyfriend and getting ready for a quiet New Year's Eve!

For now, and for the last time in 2018, let's get into the links I loved!


Links I Love




I also picked up this sweatshirt and these rings from Target. From Etsy, I got this adorable little "Champagne Please" bell. I also purchased a few luxury items from eBay which I'll be showing in an upcoming video. I'll give you a hint: two Louis Vuitton items and a Chanel jewelry piece! 

Have a great last weekend of 2018!
xoxo
B
I'm so happy that in 2018, the love of books is still on the uptick. I feel like everyone is obsessed with reading the next great book and the media eats it all up. They say print is dead but that does not apply to books!

I've loved reading since I was a youngster and I'm happy that I've kept up with it well into my twenties. This year, I read a lot but probably not as much as I would like. I think I definitely read more in 2017 and I think that's because 2018 was the year of podcasts.

I canceled my Audible subscription for a few months to focus on my podcast obsession and I sometimes get lazy with my print/ebooks.

However, there were still a few stand out contenders this year, all which have full reviews on the blog.

book review-favorite books-books of 2018


The Wife Between Us

When thinking about what my favorite book of the year is, I try to use shock and intrigue as a deciding factor. No book shocked me more than The Wife Between Us. It was thrilling, suspenseful, and truly unlike anything I've ever read. It doesn't seem like the domestic thriller genre is going anywhere anytime soon, so while it's still hot, please go read The Wife Between Us. *I could've sworn that I wrote a full review on this but I didn't!

When's Happy Hour

This has quickly become one of my favorite career books of all time so it's no surprise that I would include it in my favorite books of the year. When I found out that Betches was writing a career book, I put the date in my calendar and when I couldn't wait anymore, I emailed the publisher for an advanced copy to review. It was the perfect, light but informative career book and if you read anything I recommend, make it this.

The Breakdown

A story about a woman that thinks she's having a mental breakdown after seeing a woman in a car, who turned up murdered the next morning -- sign me up! This was the first book I read in 2018 and one that has stayed with me the entire year. Read the full review here but this was a wild ride, so wild I kind of want to read/listen to it again.

When Life Gives You Lulu Lemons

I promise I'm not the queen of doom and gloom when it comes to my reading material. This was one of the few light-hearted books I read in 2018, and another one that I got early access too and was super thrilled about was 'When Life Gives You Lulu Lemons' It comes from the author of "The Devil Wears Prada" and is the third installment in the series. It was SO GOOD, so fun, so exciting and just a great read. 


What were your favorite books of 2018?
xoxo
B

I took two days off from the blog to focus on Christmas with my family and it was so nice. I hope you all had a beautiful few days with your families and loved ones. Now, I'm on vacation and taking these days before 2019 to relax and I'm so excited.

It's time I start wrapping up the year on the blog and I'll be talking about all my favorites from 2018. Today, we're kicking it off with my favorite beauty items of 2018. This was a year where beauty took a backseat and I stopped shopping at Sephora twice a week. I was much more mindful of what I was purchasing and the items I did pick up quickly became favorites. Here are just a few of them...

beauty-beauty blogger-beauty 2018 favorites-royallypink

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

I think this was a beauty item that will be in a lot of end of year round-ups because it made the biggest splash this year. It is definitely my most used beauty item of the year and I can't remember a night where I didn't slather this on my face and bask in its glory. This is a mask that can be worn as a mask or as a moisturizer, meaning you don't have to wash it off. I use it as my night cream and my skin feels so soothed and healthy afterward. When I have a heavy makeup day or just feel like my skin needs extra love, Jet Lag cures it all. It isn't too heavy where you feel like you're a greaseball afterward, and you can even wear it under your makeup -- that's the beauty of it; it's deeply hydrating but not heavy. It was definitely my favorite item of the entire year.

Neutrogena Hydroboost Cleansing Lotion

I love a good cleansing oil but sometimes they are too greasy and heavy; sometimes I want to use them as a cleanser and not a makeup remover. This year I discovered one of my favorite cleansers; the Neutrogena Hydroboost Cleansing Lotion. It's thinner than a cleansing oil but thicker than cleansing milk -- it's the perfect happy medium. I use it on its own or with my Clarisonic and it gets all the remanents of my makeup off. It's very gentle, has no scent and hydrating. If this sounds like something you need, I highly recommend picking the Hydroboost Cleansing Lotion up!

Slip Silk Scrunchies

I've fallen in love with $40 scrunchies and I think this is what rock bottom feels like. I thought I had found the perfect scrunchie in Invisibobble and while those are still awesome (and only $8) my Slip Scrunchies are just incredible. From the brand Slip, the Silk Pillowcase brand comes silk scrunchies that won't leave indents and won't damage or break your hair. They have big scrunchies which are the first ones I got and then the thin ones (which are my current favorite). They hold my thick, curly, unruly hair in place and look so adorable in the hair or on the wrist. I don't know if I will ever buy another type of scrunchie again.

Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk

This may be cheating as I only picked up these items within the past two months but my goodness, they are the best. I'm talking about the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Pillowtalk and Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillowtalk. They are the best pair in beauty, the most natural and gorgeous colors and incredible formulas. Wear them alone, wear them together -- the possibilities are endless. They both apply like a dream and are comfortable on the lips. There is a reason that the shade Pillowtalk is a cult classic -- you NEED THEM!

Below are a few other honorable mention items!




xoxo
B

Royal Round Up: Week 51

in , , by RoyallyPink, 12:50 AM
This is it! I'm officially on Christmas break and we're three days away from Christmas (two if you count Christmas Eve as the real celebration, which we Italians definitely do!)

I'm so excited to relax for the next few days, get some stuff done and just enjoy this time at home, with my family and friends. I'm ready to take 2019 by the horns and really just make it my year -- but more on that later!

I'm excited to start putting together my 2018 favorites which will be all of next week's posts and really excited to map out my 2019 goals! I say it every year but I want to take Royally Pink to the next level and I think 2018 was a great year for the blog ... so 2019 is going to be even better.

I'm going to attempt to revamp the newsletter so go sign up and await the first email ;) We may even see the return of my podcast which I attempted in late 2017... I have BIG PLANS.

For now, let's get into my favorites of the week!


Links I Loved

Here's What You Missed on Royally Pink

What I Bought This Week

Have a great weekend everyone! 
xoxo
B
I am the resident baker in my family and am in charge of desserts for pretty much every holiday. I love baking so much and I definitely get that from my aunt. When I was little and would have sleepovers at her house, we would always bake something. From brownies to cookies and cakes, to her special nut tarts, I always loved baking when I was there.

As I grew older and learned the powers of Pinterest, the world of baking only grew. Now, I try to make something different every holiday and try to make things as festive as possible. It's fun for me to do but also I like to try to make things nice for my family.

My mom yells at me every holiday to take it easy, not go so crazy and just try to make things a little easier on myself. I tend to stress myself out with baking; one Christmas, I baked so much I made myself sick (and threw up for days because of the sugar overload). Two Christmas' ago, I baked so much I passed out on my couch halfway through because it was so exhausting.

This year, I've made a vow to take it easy in that I'm not going to make any crazy concoctions. I'm keeping it simple.

I think it's important to note that I bake for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (Christmas Eve is the big holiday in Italian families) and my family are not huge dessert people. Everyone is usually so full from dinner, they take a few bites of one or two things and I'm leftover with tons of sweets. Those are two other reasons I'm keeping it simple this year.

Here's what I'm planning...

Gingerbread Cookies

royally pink-christmas baking-gingerbreadcookies
Last year's gingerbread cookies

It's not Christmas without them, right? Over the years I've really grown to love the taste of gingerbread so I'm excited. This will probably be the most time consuming and difficult to make because I have to roll the dough out and cut the cookies just right. However, I'm not making the dough from scratch (do you think I'm crazy?) so that's a good thing.

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Credit
I wanted to make cupcakes and I wasn't sure how to do peppermint chocolate cupcakes so I just went with gingerbread mix. I have some cream cheese frosting and I'll look for some Christmas sprinkles to top them off with. Fun fact: cupcakes are my all time favorite dessert. 

Chocolate Covered Oreos

This will another time-consuming dessert but oh, it's so worth it. I made them last year and everyone was so impressed but it's so easy. All you need is a package of Oreos and melting chocolate; add some sprinkles or a white chocolate drizzle on top and you have a festive, delicious, no-bake dessert. I may switch it up this year and get some peppermint Oreos if I can find them! 

royallypink-sugar cookies-christmas baking
Last year's sugar cookies

I am planning on making cookies but just some pull and bake ones; I have the classic Pillsbury Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies and new for this year, Pillsbury Ready to Bake Hot Cocoa Cookies


What are you making for Christmas this year?
xoxo
B


When I think of Christmas, I think of glitz, glamour, glitter and red lipstick. Even though I don't get too dressed up for the holidays, mostly because I'm at home, I still want my makeup to look appropriate and beautiful.

There is something so beautiful about Christmas makeup... it just makes me feel so good.

These are my favorite products to use for a beautiful, holiday look and my favorite ways to achieve a beautiful, yet natural glamorous look for the holiday season.

royally pink-christmas beauty look- christmas makeup


Light Base

If I'm in my house, I try not to use too heavy of a foundation. I like a light, breathable base that's easy to wear and good for layering product on top. My favorite foundation for this has been the Laura Geller Filter First Foundation, Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation or the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation. They're all super lightweight but have medium coverage so it gives the finish you are looking for.

Eyeshadow

I'm not one for colorful eyeshadows and on Christmas, it's not any different. I love my neutrals but I do try to add a little bit of glitter to the look. I love gold eyeshadow on Christmas and my favorite palettes right now are definitely from Anastasia Beverly Hills; the Soft Glam palette is my current go-to and it has the most gorgeous gold, glitter shadows. I've also really been into my Colourpop shadows in Weenie and Lala; they add the most gorgeous shine to any look and I'm obsessed.

Highlighter

I go HEAVY on highlighter during the winter. I want to sparkle like a Christmas tree. I go for more icy tones during the Christmas season or something champagne colored, like Becca's Champagne or Prosecco Pop and Royal Glow. I also love Laura Geller's Diamond Dust or Gilded Honey. I don't feel complete without highlighter and I think it brings an entire look together. 

Lips

You didn't know I was a model? LOL This is me
in a shoot for Laura Geller, wearing Fifth Ave Ruby

When I want a lip look to last and look really polished, lip liner is my answer. I've been trying to use lip liner more and more because it really does make a huge difference. I like to line and fill in my lips with the liner that matches my lipstick color and then apply the lipstick on top of it. For Christmas, I tend to focus on red lips as one does and I love my Kylie Lip Kit in Kristen. It isn't a true red but more of a brown berry and I think it's a great alternative for those who want something red but not a true, bright red. It comes with the matching lip liner so you're all set in that department. I also really love my Laura Geller lipstick in Fifth Ave Ruby - this is a true, red lipstick that makes your teeth look white and has a very creamy, luxurious formula. Pair this lipstick with the Laura Geller Ruby lip liner *or any red lip liner* and you'll be good to go.

In addition to these steps, obviously, I do concealer, powder, blush, and mascara. Depending on my mood, I'll see about bronzer and eyeliner! 

What are your must-have products for the holiday season?
xoxo
B

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know how much I love to stay indoors and how much I love the hygge lifestyle. Hygge is the Danish word to acknowledge the feeling or moment of cozy, charming and special. It could be alone or with friends, at home or out but either way, it is meant to be described as a warming, cozy feeling.

I've always been someone who loved being cozy and content at home so it's nice to have a word to describe it.

I did a post at the beginning of the year with the products you need for the perfect hygge experience but now I want to go into more detail on what to do to really relax and become one with hygge. I thought the week before Christmas and a few days before the winter solstice was the perfect time to discuss.

Some things to note before we get into the nitty-gritty; you can have hygge alone or with a small group of friends. I also think it's important to have the right temperature in the area where you are having a hygge night. My ideal temperature is warm but not overly hot because you want to be able to breathe and not sweat under blankets.

Also, if you're planning on having a winter hygge night at home, I highly recommend setting yourself up by your Christmas tree. There is nothing more beautiful and comforting than laying on the couch while your Christmas tree lights twinkle as you're watching a Christmas movie. There is nothing that makes me happier.

*Bonus points if it's snowing or raining!

Now onto the real stuff...



Comfort

Hygge to me means being comfortable. That means your clothes, your environment and the company you are keeping. When I'm having a winter hygge night, I'm in baggy sweatpants and a big, comfortable sweatshirt. Then, I make sure I'm in a comfortable space whether that is on my couch or in my bed. I make sure I have tons of layers in pillows and blankets; I cozy up underneath everything and find that spot that makes me sink into the bed or couch, and I just feel like I'm on a cloud.

Food & Drinks




I don't think food is completely necessary for a hygge night but something that is warm, inviting, and comforting can only be an added bonus. Drinks, on the other hand, are completely necessary! For winter, I really prefer hot chocolate or a caffeine-free winter flavored tea. It just warms your entire body and adds to the experience.

Lights & Scents 



Candles instantly make any room cozier so I always have them burning; especially during the winter, a Christmas candle completely envelopes a room and makes it better. I also love the flickering light and warmth a candle gives off. No hygge night is complete without a candle. If candles aren't your thing, an oil diffuser gives off the same effect plus it has some calming benefits.

Self-Care

If you want to go the extra mile, slap on a face mask, take a bubble bath and read a book. Self-care goes great with hygge!

What is your ideal winter hygge night?
xoxo
B
I can't believe Christmas is in 12 days! I'm starting to get really excited but also very sad because my favorite time of year is almost over. All my gifts are bought (just have one more person to buy for) and I need to start wrapping them.

I took off starting on December 20th so I'm looking forward to an extra long, relaxing Christmas vacation filled with movies, baking and rest.

I feel like not much has been happening, just counting down the days till Christmas, shopping and spending every night sitting by the Christmas tree with a Christmas movie.

Before I ramble any more, here's what I've been loving this week:



Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink

Navigating the happiest time of year at work can be difficult; there are tons of different people (whether you work in a small or large office) and everyone celebrates different things. You're close with certain people and not with others... there is a lot of ups and downs when the holidays come around.

Do you get your boss a gift? Your coworkers? What about vendors? How do you accept gifts but not give them? What is the holiday party etiquette? How do you manage to get everything done with high holiday stress in the air?

There are SO MANY QUESTIONS and while I don't have all the answers, I have some; from personal experience and from a pro at Linkedin who shared some stats with me!

Credit

Holiday Gifting


My first year at my job I did get my boss a small Christmas gift but after that, I didn't. I felt that she wasn't that type of person and it was kind of unspoken between us. Gifting your boss can be confusing because what is appropriate? Do you expect something back? It's a gray area.

According to Linkedin, 91% of professionals think that holiday gifting at work is appropriate and 33% have planned to gift their superiors. However, 45% of professionals do not gift to co-workers. I think that it's up to you and what you feel comfortable with and what the culture is like at the company.

You may have a company that gifting is expected or one that it's against policy. You know your company and peers best so think about it and feel out the vibe.

My company does a Secret Santa and truthfully, I don't participate-- not for any particular reason but it kind of slips my mind. I think that's a good way to give a coworker a gift without feeling the need to go overboard.

As for vendors, I've received holiday gifts from vendors in the past but I don't gift them. When we see them throughout the year, I do give them products (I work for a beauty brand) so I see that as gifting just not during the holidays. I also think that most people do not gift vendors but they gift the company (we always are getting food and baked goods delivered to the office from a variety of people we work with).

The Holiday Party

It is SO IMPORTANT to go to the holiday party! If you're in a bigger company, it's a fabulous place to network and connect with people that you don't normally see. According to Linkedin, 28% of people learned about a new opportunity at the company while 26% have talked with an executive they don't normally get to speak with. 

My company is small, so small that the CEO and President know me by name and I have been in their company solo, multiple times. If you work at a smaller company like that, it's still important to go, socialize, and show your face. It's also nice to see people outside of work in a more relaxed setting and get to know everyone on a more personal level. 

As for holiday party etiquette, keep your dress code professional; a nice, tasteful dress or a pair of slacks, a sparkly shirt and heels are safe. Do up the hair and makeup if you want some extra flair but keep it tasteful -- you are still at work.

In the past few years, I have grown a strong dislike for drinking. I have a few glasses of wine when I'm out at dinner but really don't go out drinking anymore nor do I enjoy getting drunk. That being said, if you are someone who loves to drink, please do not get drunk at office holiday parties. I know some companies have that type of culture but I see it as being unprofessional and no one wants to say something out of line at work, or do something truly out of line. No one wants to be the talk of the office the next day. Just drink responsibly. 

Time Off

Most companies will give you Christmas Day and New Year's Day off; some better companies might even give you Christmas and New Years Eve. Others will give you the entire week between Christmas and New Years off... 

Either way, you need to take time off during the holidays. 73% of professionals say they would prefer extra time off than a holiday gift. It's important to spend time with your family and also enjoy the holiday season. 

For my holiday time off, I save up a bunch of PTO (paid time off) days throughout the year and use them for a few days before Christmas until after New Years. This year, I'm off from December 20th-January 2nd so it's a really nice break and it'll be a good rest and recharge.

If you have the extra days to use, I highly recommend taking extra time off during Christmas week. You will enjoy the holidays so much more!

In terms of sick days, winter is the sick time of year. If you are sick, STAY HOME. No one wants your germs and you need your rest. Being sick at work is not fun for anyone and you will not be doing your best work so use the sick day, your office can survive without you!


Do you have any other burning career questions? Let me know!! 


xoxo
B
Karin Slaughter has been one of my favorite authors for a few years now, ever since I read "Pretty Girls". That book really messed with my head and remains one of the most twisted books I ever read.

Last year I read 'The Good Daughter" and it further proved that Karin Slaughter's mind is a scary place, in the best way possible.

When I heard she was coming out with another book, "Pieces of Her", I knew it was going to be a good one and I was so excited.

This was one of the first audiobooks I listened to after taking a massive few month breaks and it sucked me right back in.



"Pieces of Her" follows the story of Andrea and her mother, Laura. Andrea thinks she knows her mother but when they are both involved in a mass shooting, everything changes in an instant. In that one moment, Andrea's perception of her mother is forever altered.

Laura and the secrets she has harbored for decades are revealed and nothing will ever be the same.

We are taken through the journey of Andrea finding out the truth about her mother and learning more about why Laura did the things she did.

The book was a little confusing to follow at first because of the constant back and forth, and I will admit that hearing the flashbacks were a bit boring at times but once you realize what's happening and the story that is involved, it's mind-blowing.

'Pieces of Her' was not as gruesome or disturbing as Slaughter's other books but it was very interesting to see unfold. This wasn't really a domestic thriller novel like the other books but it was really about the relationship between mother and daughter and how a person's history will always come back to haunt them. It kept me on the edge of my seat and I was always looking forward to the next chapter to find out what really went down. The twists and turns were not scarce and were jaw-dropping at moments.

This was definitely one of my favorite books I've read this year and I highly recommend it!

xoxo
B
There is rarely a time when I get super dressed up for a holiday party. If I'm going to a holiday event, it's most likely a casual one, like a small girls night or an ugly sweater party. I love the more casual parties because I love to be comfortable, and it just means the entire party is more lowkey and enjoyable. You aren't worrying about your dress or your spanx or hurting in heels -- it makes the night more fun!

Below are a few key pieces that I think will work great for a casual Christmas party!

royally pink-what to wear for christmas-christmas casual


Easy and Festive








Ugly Christmas Sweaters




Cozy Sweaters




Jewelry




What are some of your favorite pieces for a casual Christmas?
xoxo
B

When I saw that Essie was releasing a new line of glitter polishes, I was enthralled. The photos Essie posted on their Instagram were gorgeous and the polish looked like it really popped. I would be lying if I said it wasn't some of the most gorgeous polishes I've ever seen.

I had a few colors I wanted to try, including the one I'm going to talk about today: Stay Up Slate.

When I picked this up I was expecting it to be just a regular nail polish with a glitter finish. I don't think I was expecting exactly what I got.

essie-stay up slate-manicure monday-royally pink
These were the only two nails that looked presentable for a photo by the time
I remembered to take one. Also, my ring is from C&C Luxury

This nail polish was so incredibly goopy, hard to apply and almost impossible to dry. When I applied it, I couldn't get it smooth and it was just piles of nail polish on my nail. Eventually, I did get it to work but it took a lot of practice and a steady hand.

I used my Essie Gel Setter top coat to set the polish and it didn't work; it actually made it worse and spread the nail polish further out. Once the polish was on, it was ok but my nails felt heavy and it chipped easily.

My nails did look really pretty though and I loved the glitter effect, it just wasn't an ideal application and truthfully my nails chipped within a few hours and it just wasn't practical.

I don't love posting negative reviews but I just had to share my experience because I don't remember the last time I really disliked a new nail polish. I was so excited about this new formula and was going to get more than one color but I don't think that's going to happen.

I'm going to try Stay Up Slate again eventually but for now, I'm getting in the Christmas spirit with red nail polishes!

Let me know if you have tried the new Essie Concrete Glitters and if you had a similar experience!
xoxo
B
This post is coming at you very late... Friday night at 11:41 to be exact. I totally spaced out last night after work and forgot to write a post, mostly because I was hanging Christmas lights and watching 'Christmas in Evergreen' on the Hallmark Channel. It was a very good Hallmark Christmas movie.

I always protested against Hallmark Christmas movies but last year I got slightly into them... this year I'm watching them a little more.

Another PSA about Christmas movies? Freeform SUCKS this year. They lost the rights to play a lot of the Christmas movies, including The Polar Express, ELF, and all the Claymation movies. AMC is where it is at this year -- I'm currently watching "Rudolph's Shiny New Year" and I'm so content. If you're looking for your favorite Christmas movies, definitely turn on AMC.

It's December 7th yet it feels like Christmas is tomorrow. I want to stop time and really enjoy every little moment of the season before it goes away. I'm having a bit of trouble doing that but I need to work on being more present. I need to get myself in the true Christmas spirit! Is anyone else feeling less than cheerful this year?

A few nights sitting by my Christmas tree and watching Christmas movies (or The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel which I watched tonight) will do the trick I hope.



Links I Loved





I never really talked about everything I got on Black Friday/Cyber Monday so I may do an updated post on this next week. Let me know if you're interested!


Have a great weekend everyone!
xoxo
B

I've been reading Create & Cultivate for some time now and I've listened to the founder, Jaclyn Johnson, on a bunch of podcasts. I love what Create & Cultivate is and I love the story of how Jaclyn founded it.

If you don't know what Create & Cultivate is, it's a website and conference series that helps women create and cultivate the lives and careers they want. It has incredible advice and puts on some amazing conferences with powerful, badass ladies as keynote speakers. It's everything you could want out of an empowering, women-focused website.

When I heard that Jaclyn Johnson was writing a book about her experience being an entrepreneur, I wrote down the date in my calendar. I was completely ecstatic and could not wait to get my hands on it. I ordered it the day it came out *I was in Flordia on a delayed flight home and literally, nothing was keeping me sane like the arrival of this book*  and I recently finished it.




WorkParty is all about how Jaclyn got knocked down and stood back up to create the company and career of her dreams. She offers advice to other women looking to break out of their shell and come to terms with what they want to do with their life.

One of the things I loved most about this book is that Jaclyn really highlights what to do to get to where you need to be. It's not all fluffy self help words -- it's an actual guideline. I really appreciate that in a career book.  She talked about negotiating, what to do when you fail, and how to navigate sexism in the workplace.

It was also super empowering and made me feel like a boss ass bitch. It wasn't the type of book that made me feel overwhelmed or bad about myself -- it made me feel like I will get to where I need to be when I'm meant to be there.

With every career book I read, I'm more and more impressed and WorkParty definitely set high expectations for every other career book I read in the future!

Basically, I highly recommend -- it's a must-read and a must-not-skip!

PS: If you want even more WorkParty fun, Jaclyn started a podcast by the same name and it's SO GOOD. 

xoxo
B


Aside from my dad I've never bought a guy a Christmas gift. As much as I hate being single, it was always glorious this time of year when I didn't have that extra stubborn gift to buy. I think buying men gifts is one of life's least pleasurable things. As easy as it might be because there are only so many things you can get a guy, there are only so many things you can get a guy until it becomes generic.

I feel like it's very difficult to get a guy something unique and memorable, that you can't easily get someone else. Like I could probably get the same thing for a boyfriend that I would get for my uncles, my grandpa, and my cousins. It wouldn't even matter!

That's why I've always appreciated the gift guide for men every year and now I can finally write my own -- because I actually have a guy to buy a gift for. *I don't want to go into too much detail but I've been seeing someone since June so...*

I know what I'm getting him because he told me a few things he wanted (I'm a BIG believer in getting someone something they actually want AND then maybe a little something you think they might like). I love picking things out for someone, especially my mom and sister but with someone new, I think it's good to get an idea of the type of things they like!

Below are a few of my picks for the guys this year!

gift guide for men-gift guide-royally pink


Clothes & Shoes




Accessories




Fun, Kitchy Items






What is in your gift guide for men?
xoxo
B
I loved writing this post for the Fall so I wanted to recreate it for Christmas and winter. I love Fall and all the Fall holidays but nothing beats Christmas in my mind. The entire season is filled with magic and pure joy -- I am at my happiest during the Christmas season and I make sure that joy is spread throughout my home.

I always like to reiterate that I live with my mom and sister so my mom does dictate a lot of the decorating in terms of where things go and how the tree gets decorated, but it is a joint effort because she knows how much I love Christmas and love decorating (she also just has a better eye than I do!)

My mom does put me in charge of the extra pieces of decor to really bring the house together, and I always make sure my room is in the Christmas spirit.


royallypink-christmas decor

This is how I prep my bedroom and the house for Christmas (and winter too).


*I start decorating for Christmas on Black Friday to give me ample time to enjoy the season.

Candles

royallypink-christmas decor

Candles are a big part of Christmas and winter for me, just as they were for fall. Right before Thanksgiving, I stock up on Christmas scents so I'm ready as soon as Thanksgiving is over. A candle sets the mood and can really brighten up a room, bringing the season to love. I love Evil Queen candles and she has some great Christmas scents but I also burn a lot of Bath and Body Works! My favorites scents for Christmas are Twisted Peppermint, Marshmallow Fireside, Winter Candy Apple, and Vanilla Bean Noel (I'm writing this after BBW $8 candle day so everything is sold out online!)

*If candles aren't your thing, you can definitely diffuse some Christmas scented oils in an oil diffuser!

Lights

Nothing brightens up a room like a string of Christmas lights. If you are in a tiny space and don't have a lot of room for decor, a string or two of white (or multi-color) lights will change the entire look of a room. I always string up a pair of lights somewhere in my room, this year it's above my bed and it looks so cool and cozy.

Christmas Prints

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I discovered the world of Etsy digital prints when I started my gallery wall a few years ago. I only have four picture frames on the wall but I like to call it a gallery wall! Every season I change the photos on my wall to add extra flair and decor. Etsy is filled with tons of prints that you can buy for a few dollars and download and print yourself. It's so much easier and cheaper to do it this way and there is instant gratification which is always a plus in my book. 

Small Decor Pieces

royallypink-christmas decor

royallypink-christmas decor

Your decor pieces don't have to be large to make a statement. A stuffed animal here, a picture there, and hanging stockings make all the difference. I love going to the Target dollar section for this because the small wooden signs and little decor pieces are adorable, decent quality and so cheap! Another thing I love to do is take a Christmas bowl and put some candy canes in it -- it's colorful, simple, and a built-in treat! 

What are your favorite ways to decorate for Christmas/Winter?
xoxo
B

Today is my birthday so Happy Birthday to me! I'm 26 years old, closer to 30 than I am to 20 and that is a scary, horrible thought. My twenties have not been what I expected but 25 was better than most years!

During the past 365 days, I feel like I accomplished a lot while finding myself and finding more happiness. I got a promotion, published more writing, hooked some pretty cool brand deals, started dating someone, became more of myself while being less apologetic for who I am, and started making a plan for my life, in some way.

The past 6 years have been weird; graduating college, coming to terms with my anxiety, losing my dad, struggling in my career, getting over someone I loved -- it's been rough but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I finally feel like I know who I am, my personal life is flourishing, my writing is coming together and I actually feel like an adult. It's all about the baby steps! There are still so many things I want to do in my twenties and hopefully, I can knock a few off the bucket list in the next year.

Getting older is scary but I'm trying to enjoy my life and not dwell on the past. The future is bright and I'm ready for it.

That's my birthday speech... the rest of the week was filled with anticipation for my birthday (because I'm still a 5-year-old) and a little bit of anxiety. That's normally how the week after Thanksgiving goes for everyone!

Today I'll be celebrating my birthday by doing some shopping, buying some Christmas gifts, treating myself to Wendy's and then having my family over for dinner and cake tonight!

On a different note, I've gotten a lot of PR over the past few months and I've been stockpiling it for a giveaway. I figured what better way to celebrate my birthday than with a giveaway to all of YOU?!

I have two beauty prize packs up for grabs and you can enter to win below! You can enter to win one or both!

Prize Pack #1



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize Pack #2


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends 12/7 so enter now! Good luck and thank you for always reading 
xoxo
B
My other favorite month is coming to an end and that means two things:

1. Christmas is so soon
2. My birthday is tomorrow!

I love November more than October because of Thanksgiving, the start of the Christmas season and my birthday! I love that November is my birthday month and I really love that it's at the end of the month... I'm not sure why! 

This was a good month and I'm sad to see it go but I felt like I accomplished a lot and it just made me feel really good! I'm hoping December will be even better and then it's time for a full fresh start in 2019.

As much as I love the month of November, I didn't have too many favorites; just a few essentials I've been loving and 2 out of 3 are old favorites! 

*If you're curious about my beauty favorites, head to my beauty favorites post. Spoiler alert: It's mostly Charlotte Tilbury products! 

royally pink-monthly muse-monthlyfavorites


Kiss Instawave

I did a post on this years ago after Kiss sent it to me and I loved it so much. I always wanted luscious curls but couldn't figure out how to properly use a curling iron. When the Instawave came into my life it was a true game changer. I was able to get the most gorgeous curls with hardly any work or effort. Well, my mom, sister and I used that thing until last year when it broke so I literally went out and bought another one because I couldn't be without it. I've been using it obsessively lately (I feel like I always like curled hair better in the Fall and Winter) and I just had to mention it! It's a great Christmas gift for yourself or someone else so I highly recommend!

Tory Burch Gemini Link Tote

I talk about this bag from time to time but sometimes I forget about it. However, this month I rediscovered it in my collection and fell head over heels again! There is a reason I bought one for my mom last year and a reason it's a Tory Burch best seller and constantly recommended! This is the best-structured tote around, and it has great material for easy cleaning. It's lightweight and fits nicely on your shoulder, especially over a bulky winter coat. It's also under $200 so you can't really beat that. I have my eye on another color, maybe the burgundy, white or pink -- also, you can get it for under $140 right now on Nordstrom and a variety of other retailers. 

Barefoot Dreams In The Wild Throw


I mentioned this blanket in my Gift Guide for the Homebody and said it has been on my wishlist for some time. Well, I finally purchased it this month and haven't looked back. It's so cozy and makes me feel so chic at the same time. It's definitely pricey which is why it's a good gift or an investment. One complaint I do have is that it sheds a lot and it's annoying to have little pieces of black all over my bed and carpet. This particular blanket has been hard to find lately but you can get it on Barefoot Dream's website.


Come back here tomorrow for my special birthday edition of the Royal Round Up and probably a surprise or two ;) 

xoxo
B
This was the first audiobook I had listened to in a few months and boy it was a good one! I had been eyeing this one for a while and it was a great introduction back into audiobooks and thriller novels.

Her Every Fear is written by Peter Swanson and was published in March 2018. The novel follows the journey of a British woman named Kate Priddy (pronounced 'pretty') who switches apartments via 'The Holiday' with her cousin who lives in Boston.

Kate backstory is pretty gruesome and she is constantly filled with anxiety and fear over every little thing, which is why she was determined to make this life switch.

What she finds when she enters Boston and her cousin Corbin's apartment, is a murder investigation and a whole lot of secrets.



We see the point of view of the story switch between Kate and her neighbor Alan Cherney, who becomes very interested in Kate and the murder of their other neighbor, Audrey Marshall.

Later on in the story, we get a glimpse of what is going on with Corbin across the pond and the secrets he has been hiding.

Throughout the story, we are hit with one revelation after another and the ending will truly have you on the edge of your seat. It was also quite sad and kind of upset me.

I can't say too much else without giving away the entire story but I promise you, this was a great book! It kept me on the edge of my seat and one that I so desperately wanted to know the ending too. I also had no idea how it was going to end -- I'm usually really good at figuring out the endings of novels but this threw me for a loop.

It was the type of book that made you think one thing and then pulled the rug out from under you. The characters were well developed, the plot was incredible, and even though I listened to it, I know it was well written!

If you're looking for a book that will entice you, and keep your attention but was also easy to read I highly recommend "Her Every Fear."

xoxo
B


I never got the hang of gift guides and usually only do 2-3 per year but I like rounding up my favorite items to give different people in your life. I also like categorizing these guides because everyone in your life has their 'thing'.

My thing is the homebody and hygge.

I have always been a homebody. I'm someone who likes to stay home, relax, watch TV and just be chill. It's not even that I want to be alone because I like staying in with friends as well. After 4 years of continuously going out Thursday-Saturday (sometimes even Wednesdays), I'm exhausted from the bar scene. I've accepted that this is who I am and I'm done apologizing for it. I'm 25 years old and too old to care what people say about me and my homebody habits!

Also, hygge has been such a huge trend in the past few years and it's a lifestyle I love to live by! I wrote a post about it earlier this year but it's still something I practice and believe it. Everyone should hygge once in a while.

These are the things that I would love to be gifted as a fellow homebody and someone who loves to be cozy, chic, and at peace.

gift guide-hygge-homebody-royally pink


Barefoot Dreams Blanket

This is every blogger's favorite blanket and with very good reason. It's so incredibly comfortable, soft, and embodies everything I have ever wanted out of a blanket. After drooling over this blanket for years I finally purchased it via QVC (thank you, easy payments!) and have fallen in love with it. It's super cozy and just unlike anything you've ever touched before. All of Barefoot Dreams products are chic and cozy so your homebody would love anything by the brand!



J.Crew Factory Marbled Joggers

I stumbled upon these pants by accident; I was looking for a new pair of sweatpants and these looked like a good pick so I scooped them up. Well, I had no idea what I was in for! These are the most comfortable, delicious pants I've ever worn in my life. They feel like a mix between fleece and silk -- it's such a unique material and just very, very soft. I want to buy them in other colors too but one thing to be aware of is that they shed! Whenever I wear them, black fuzz appears all over my bedroom carpet. It's strange and I thought it would get better after washing but no such luck!

Candle Set

A candle set is a safe gift for anyone really, but it's an essential part to be cozy at home. I stock up on candles throughout the year but Christmas and winter are really my favorite times to burn! I think picking up a candle or two for your homebody is a great idea but what would be even more special is splurging a little on a luxe candle set, one that you know they wouldn't pick up for themselves!



Monq

monq-hygge-gift guide-royally pink


Essential oils have become a huge part of the home and part of people's wellness routine. There is nothing I love more than cozying up in a blanket and diffusing some of my favorite essential oils to really set the mood. Now, we have personal essential oil diffusers which you can breathe in for an even better experience. Introducing Monq! These personal essential oil diffusers come in a variety of flavors that all use different oils to create a different feeling. I personally love the Zen and I think a nice gift set would be great for your homebody.

PS: Use code briana10 for 10% off your order -- it's good until 12/31 ;)

Salt Lamp

In the same realm of candles and Monq, a salt lamp creates a spa-like feeling in someone's home and also has some great health benefits. It's part decor, part health and wellness and all kinds of cozy!

When it comes to your hygge obsessed friend, any of these gifts will make them smile and then immediately want to hibernate!

What other gift guides would you want to see? Or let me know what hygge gifts you would want! 
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