It's the last day of 2021 and I'm spending it the way God intended... on my couch, watching Harry Potter, reading, reflecting, and eating bread. I am planning on going to a friend's house tonight, for a casual NYE but I'm also planning to be in bed by 12:30 as per tradition.

One thing about me that is consistent year after year is the fact that I am obsessed with the stuff. Each year, I never learn my lesson and I continue to impulse shop and make unnecessary purchases... that I believe all enrich my life until they don't.

End of 2021 Giveaway!

in , , by RoyallyPink, 3:30 AM

 It's time for another giveaway! I have lots of fun beauty and lifestyle products waiting to be given to one of you. The prize includes items from LUSH, Bath & Body Works, Too Faced and even a little Stoney Clover Lane! 

Last year was the year where I got even more involved in reading and this year, is when it became my safe haven. I used reading as a coping mechanism for my anxiety and depression; I used it as a way to turn off the television and put my phone down;

I cannot believe we are only a few days away from 2022. It feels like this year has completely flown by; where does the time go? It feels like each passing year gets faster and faster. 

 I know it's not the last week of the year but I have no idea how I messed up my calendar. Anyways... Merry Christmas Eve! I hope you all are having a safe, happy, and healthy holiday. I know a lot of people have Covid/have family members who have Covid and are spending Christmas alone so I feel for you.

So we have finally come... the end of my Christmas romance journey. I did read a few other Christmas books that I won't be reviewing because they weren't my favorite, so you might see them in a Books I Didn't Like Round-Up in January, but for now, let's talk about the last book I read that I loved! 

Just as I did for Thanksgiving, I figured I'd talk a little bit about what to wear to Christmas this year. As Omicron continues to run rampant, especially here in New York, your Christmas plans might've changed but that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice fashion.

My style has been sort of changing recently, and I think that's because of the people I'm following on TikTok and Instagram, and who I kind of want to grow into. My style at the moment is comfort mixed with preppy, grand millennial and a little bit of LoveShackFancy chicness. It sounds like it's all over the place but I feel like I have a grip on it. 

For Christmas Eve, I think I'll be a little more dressed up while for the Day, I'll rely on the comfort and laid back. All these looks fall into either of those categories.



*Also, a lot of the items are from LOFT because I've been a little obsessed and they have the cutest clothes right now. 

A Little Chic, a Little Casual

Festive Dressy

Winter Comfort

Ultra Dressy

Festive and Casual

There's nothing like leaving your Christmas shopping for the last minute, right? I usually am in this boat but this year, thankfully, I got most of my shopping done by the 2nd week of December. It's also good because of all the shipping delays... I'd be lying if I said a few of my packages haven't been lost in the mail. 

That being said, I wanted to round up a few last-minute gift ideas in case you were stumped, forgot someone or had an unexpected addition to Christmas dinner.

As I've gotten older, I've learned to appreciate the more practical gifts; there's nothing like getting a candle, a gift card, a mug, socks, or something that you can use every single day. To me, those make the perfect last-minute gifts. Those are definitely a few solid ideas! 



At this point in the game, instead of ordering something online, I recommend going in-store or try to shop small at the small businesses in your neighborhood; they might be able to offer something special and unique. 

If you need to pick up something last minute, here are a few ideas:

  • A gift certificate to a spa, get their nails or hair done, or to their favorite restaurant 
  • A gift card to a major retailer, or Starbucks/Dunkins
  • Baked goodies or a baking kit that gives them everything they need to put something delicious together
  • A 3, 6, or 12-month gift certificate to a subscription service they might enjoy, like Book of the Month, Fab Fit Fun, or any of those niche boxes that deliver wine, fruit, or anything edible! 

However, if you do have time to order something, I recommend looking at Amazon or Target as a one-stop shop - I always forget about Amazon when I'm Christmas shopping, or really giving any gift because there's a treasure trove, obviously. *To be honest, aside from the basic necessities, I don't do a ton of Amazon shopping. I usually just buy books, pens, batteries, printer ink, and kitchen gadgets there but there's some solid stuff to be found! 

Below is a roundup of my favorite finds that anyone would love to get! 


Happy shopping everyone! 
xoxo 
B

 Happy Friday! Happy one week until Christmas Eve! I hope you're all staying healthy and safe because it's feeling like March 2020 out here in NYC. Omicron is running rampant and it has hit my household. We were exposed but I got tested and should get the results tomorrow; I'm crossing my fingers for a negative because I'm fully vaxxed and I feel pretty good so we will see.

Either way, I'm staying home this weekend, going to read, create content and reflect on my goals for 2022. I think we will be ok for the actual Christmas holiday so that's a bright spot. It's just really disheartening to see the news again and feel like we're back where we started. Things were basically normal... and now a huge surge. 

It's really hard but truthfully, I think I'm tuning most of it out. It's like my mind and body are protecting me from getting to a bad place again because I don't think I can handle it. I'm going to do my part, stay safe, get boosted and wear a mask... that's all I can do, or any normal person can. 

In other news, the Stoney Clover Lane Princess Restock is tomorrow and I'm going to shop till I drop... actually, I'm not sure what I'm getting yet so as soon as I'm finished writing this blog post, I need to go examine the Plan Your Buy. 

Let's get into the post!


I don't know if a title has ever spoken to me as much as this title did. I first saw "A Magical New York Christmas" in the aisles of Target and took a picture of it to save for later because between the cover and the title, it was something that really sparked my interest.

When I read the summary, I knew it was going to be a book that I was going to devour during the Christmas season. I bought it on my Nook and immediately started reading... guys, this is an adorable, precious, wonderful Christmas story (that takes place in the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve). It was so wholesome and lovely, I cannot say enough good things about it!


 I love nothing more than a themed moment. I love when items fit with a specific moment or season in time and it brings me a lot of joy to have specific times during the year where I exclusively use some of those products. 

It helps that a lot of brands cater to this specific niche so I always have lots to choose from to satisfy my themed needs. One of my favorite themes is, of course, winter. I love all things winter; from peppermint to sugar plum to apres-ski to all things Christmas. 

Over the years, the industry that caters most to this niche is beauty. There are always so many beauty products that scream winter and this year, more than ever, I feel like there's a ton of winter-themed beauty products to put yourself in the spirit.

I mentioned last week that Olive & June is quickly becoming my go-to nail polish brand and one of those reasons is the adorable nail art stickers that they are very well known for. I started experimenting with them last year and even did a blog post about them fairly recently but today I wanted to talk about the Christmas and winter-themed stickers from the brand.

Last year, O&J released a few different sets of winter-themed stickers: Christmas, Hanukkah, and non-holiday winter. They sold out within seconds but I scored the Christmas and winter stickers... but, they got lost in the mail and Olive & June refunded me. But then, around March, the stickers showed up at my house and I was so excited and vowed to save them for this holiday season.

Well, right after Thanksgiving I couldn't wait to apply these stickers. I chose to use the Christmas stickers, on a red manicure and it was such a fun way to put myself in the Christmas spirit. I applied them the same way I've applied Olive & June stickers in the past... by letting my nails dry completely, using a tweezer to peel them off the film, and placing them on my freshly painted nail. Then, I top with the Olive & June Glossy Top Coat and we're all set! 


Are there 53 weeks in 2021? I think I miscounted the weeks at some point but either way, we're here and just two weeks away from Christmas. I am all in on Christmas and trying to drown out the noise of the world and my own anxieties to really be present. 

This weekend I'm going to sit around, watch Christmas movies, wrap some gifts, bake a little something, and then next week will head into Manhattan for a Stoney Clover Lane event and some Christmas sightseeing. 

I also want to spend time reflecting on the year, planning for next, and just focusing on myself. I did a lot of work this year and need to continue it. 

In other news, I spent Thursday morning watching "And Just Like That" and crying my eyes out. I won't be spoiling anything but if you heard rumors of what happened, it's definitely what you thought was going to happen. SJP and Michael Patrick King always said the 3rd movie would be this way so I'm not surprised but so sad. It was sad but I'm still excited for the rest of the series... I trust SJP with my life so I know she has something good planned.

I am just so glad to be back with Carrie Bradshaw! 

Let's dive into the post... 

 I'm back with another holiday book review and this one reads like a Hallmark movie... but even better! I received an arc of "The Holiday Swap" on Netgalley earlier this year but never cracked it open until I was looking through my books and realized I had it! 

This is definitely a hot book right now, especially because of the holiday season but mostly because it was a Book of the Month pick for December. Everyone is reading and loving "The Holiday Swap"... and right now its ebook is on sale for $5.99... I cannot recommend you going to scoop this up enough! 


It's really true what they say: what's old is new again. Y2K trends have been coming back around for a year or so at this point so it was only a matter of time until Uggs were on everyone's Christmas lists.

Let me be clear: I have never stopped wearing Uggs. I have been wearing Uggs since 2007 and there hasn't been a year since that they haven't been on my feet during the winter. I have gone through quite a few pairs and continue to ask for new pairs for my birthday or Christmas. 

Since Uggs have been 'out of style' I have had multiple pairs of slippers, a pair of moccasins, the classic boot, the Bailey button boot, and a furry boot. I could never give up these comfortable, easy-to-wear and style boots. They are just too practical! 

I'm very happy that everyone else is hopping on the Ugg train this winter because it just means more boots for everyone! Yes, Uggs are officially back thanks to Gen Z being obsessed with early aughts fashion, the Teflar collaboration (which I scored a bag that won't be here for another month) and because of a newer style, the mini boot.

 I decided to spend my birthday at Target, like any good 29-year-old woman. Before I ventured out to the happiest place on earth, I decided to look through the Target app and make a list. That's when I happened upon the most adorable Olive & June holiday manicure set. I knew I had to have it in my life so I added it to my list and crossed my fingers that it was in stock in my store.

Well, when I walked into Target on Tuesday morning, it was on the first display and was also the last one in the store...just my luck!

I am currently having a love affair with Olive & June. I'm waiting for a hefty Black Friday order from them and I know that I'm going to have to order more in the near future, especially after how much I'm loving this little set.

The set, currently still available online (and probably in-stores) at Target comes with four mini nail polishes, including the legendary Glossy Top Coat and a mini set of cozy lodge nail art stickers...which I ordered the full size of during Black Friday.

The nail polishes included in the set are two regular polishes: EC, which is the light cream, and Besties, which is the opaque green. It also comes with a glitter polish called Obvi and the topcoat, which is one of the best top coats I've ever used.

Friday is here again... the week after Thanksgiving is always a little bit of a struggle but it's also always broken up nicely by my birthday which was this past Tuesday. I turned 29 and had a great, calm, peaceful day. I felt good, not anxious like I have the past few years, and was able to just have the day to myself.

I slept in, woke up to a Tiffany & Co necklace and balloons from my mom and sister, and then went to Target. I didn't need anything at Target but I really just wanted to spend the day shopping and treating myself to some Christmas decor and snacks. Then, I treated myself some more to McDonald's, visited my grandpa, and then watched TV at home until everyone came home from work. We ordered pizza and sang happy birthday with a Milk Bar cake. It was pretty dam near perfect.

Over the weekend I celebrated at a karaoke bar with my friends and this weekend, I'll celebrate some more with my sorority sisters when we go for brunch on Sunday. 29 is pretty good so far.

I also can't believe it's December and we're already in our merry mood. The house has been decorated for Christmas for a bit but now I can fully enjoy it with Christmas movies and specials. 

Right now, I'm waiting for my soup and mozzarella sticks dinner to be delivered, watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and relaxing. I'm feeling slightly under the weather and just need to hang out. Tomorrow is my mom's birthday so we'll celebrate that and then like I said, Sunday is brunch. It's a jam-packed but celebratory weekend which is always fine by me.

Let's get into the post! 




Pink Positivity of the Week

My birthday was definitely the highlight. I was really nervous I was going to be upset and anxious on the day because I usually am. I get sad if people forget it's my birthday and lately have been stressed about getting older. However, this year, I felt totally at peace and it was a wonderful day. It made me hopeful that the year ahead will be a good one. 

Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink

I also published my second reading guide, this time it's winter-themed! If you need a new holiday or winter-themed book, look no further! Click here to read for free! 

What I Bought This Week

Last week wasn't as bad as the previous week because I had already done most of my shopping, but I still managed to do a little damage. 


xoxo
B

I can't believe there are only 30 more days in 2021. The year truly flew by and I feel like it was just January! It's so strange how as you get older, time goes by more quickly. It feels so unfair and it makes me sad... but I'm still happy to say hello to December!

But before I dive into all the holiday cheer, we need to properly wrap up the month of November. I did too much shopping this month. I got a bonus at work so I wanted to treat myself, and then there were just so many good cyber week deals... I really shopped till I dropped so there's a ton of stuff that I fell in love with. 

I will definitely be taking a shopping break this month aside from the last few gifts I have to buy...and some Stoney Clover, of course. But now, let's get into everything I loved this month! 

Stoney Clover Scrunch Handbag

When we got word that Stoney Clover was releasing their first true handbag, I was ecstatic and I knew I had to have one. Well, I obviously purchased one and am truly obsessed. The Scrunch Handbag was included in the Seeing Stars collection and comes in three velvet colors. I chose the shade "Sunburst" which is, of course, pink, and I have been using it nonstop. The bag looks a little smaller than it does in photos, but it also fits a surprising amount of items. I think it's the perfect everyday bag because you can fit pretty much everything you need. 

I also love that it fits in the crook of your arm... it has the look of a shoulder bag but doesn't actually fit over your shoulder. You might also think that having a pink velvet bag is impractical but I love it! It goes with a surprising amount of looks and is just adorable. I definitely recommend picking one up if you feel like you need a new, smaller everyday bag... it's just too cute! 

Bombas Socks



This is not a new favorite but definitely one that I have been enjoying more than ever. I first discovered Bombas socks two Christmases ago (I think it was two...) and they are now the only socks I wear. They live up to the hype they have -- they are very comfortable and feel unlike anything else I've worn on my feet. They are tight and thick, hug your feet in all the right areas and just feel incredible on your feet! It's such a weird thing to be excited about -- socks, of all things! But I just refuse to wear anything else. I wear Bombas with my sneakers when I got to the gym, around the house, with boots, and even to sleep... yes, sometimes I wear socks to sleep! 

I have only ever worn the ankle socks but I just discovered they have no-show socks and calf socks! My aunt recently bought me the Disney calf sock pack for my birthday and they are so cute! They would be great with knee-high boots, or just to lounge in.

Yes, $12 for one pair of socks is expensive but I promise you, they are worth every cent. They also hold up incredibly well - I've had pairs for at least two years and they look brand new. You can't go wrong with an investment piece! 

LoveShackFancy



I definitely think I need to do an entire post just about my love of LoveShackFancy but boy oh boy did they sucker me in this month! I've been admiring the brand for a few years now and recently have fallen victim to the idea of spending money on their very expensive clothes. I treated myself to my first LSF dress over the summer and I was officially hooked. 

Their latest fall and winter collections and campaigns are so beautiful and aspirational, I can't get enough! It was then that I knew I needed something to wear during the cold weather... I decided that instead of buying a handbag or cardholder or another designer accessory with a bit of my bonus money, I would buy something LSF. 

I decided on this sweater and was able to score it for over $100 off. I am so excited to cozy up in it! It's neutral yet still has a bit of that LoveShack touch so it's wearable; it's also not as itchy as it looks, in fact, it's not itchy at all, it's very soft and cozy. When LSF started their Cyber Week sale, I decided that I needed something else too! I picked up this sweatshirt that I had been eyeing for months and it's so freaking soft! I wish I would've sized up but it still fits and is still so nice and cozy. 

Antonio Melani x Nicola Bathieu Elizabeth Flats






I have never heard of Antonio Melani or Nicola Bathieu before, and I have never shopped at Dillard's before... but when all of these things came together for a beautiful, luxurious, feminine collection I could not resist. I saw a few people on Instagram and TikTok posting about the collection and when I saw these shoes, I knew I had to have them. They were sold out but came back in stock a few weeks later and I have never purchased anything so fast. 

They are the most beautiful, luxurious shoes I own... and I love that they're flat so I can wear them pretty much anytime and anywhere. The Mary Jane style is something I haven't worn a ton but these are very comfortable - the leather is like butter and the crystal laden strap doesn't hurt my feet. I have the taupe color and have been looking for any excuse to wear them. 

If you need a good pair of flats that are a little dressier than your average shoe, I highly recommend them!

What did you love in the month of November?
xoxo
B

For the past few years, I've been really into seasonal reading. I love exclusively reading holiday/Christmas/winter-themed books during the month of December and this year is no different. If anything, this year I have even more holiday books to read so for the next few weeks, that's what my book reviews will be focused on.

You can also find more winter/holiday books I recommend in my new Winter Reading Guide that I just published. 

The first-holiday book I read this year set the standard really high because it was truly outstanding. "Window Shopping" by Tessa Bailey was released a few weeks ago and I pre-ordered it because I knew a lot of people were raving about it... and the cover is just so cute!



Publisher's Summary

Two weeks before Christmas and all through Manhattan, shop windows are decorated in red and green satin. I'm standing alone in front of the famous Vivant department store when a charming man named Aiden asks my opinion of the d├ęcor.

It's a tragedy in tinsel, I say, unable to lie. He asks for a better idea with a twinkle in his eye. Did I know he owned the place? No. He put me on the spot. Now I'm working for that man, trying to ignore that he's hot. But as a down on her luck girl with a difficult past, I know an opportunity when I see one—and I have to make it last.

I'll put my heart and soul into dressing his holiday windows. I'll work without stopping. And when we lose the battle with temptation, I'll try and remember I'm just window shopping.

My Thoughts

This was a very hot book... it was extremely steamy and sexual, so buyer beware! However, the story was still really excellent as was the writing. This was the first Tessa Bailey novel I've ever read and it did not disappoint. I can see why everyone enjoys her books so much. 

I thought the plot was really fun and unique; the idea of ex-con, Stella, needing to find her way in life after being released from prison, paired with the beauty of New York at Christmas and an inappropriate romance is very interesting and stands out amongst all the Hallmark movie type of novels out there at this time of year. 

The setting was also extremely unique and added a bit of festive fun to the entire story; window dressing at Vivant, which I can only assume is supposed to be Saks, is something I have never read before but it's such an iconic moment in the holiday season it makes a lot of sense. It was really fun and different- better than a bakery, or a toy shop, or a bookstore-- I mean, I love those holiday tropes but the windows at a department store are so much better! 

The story dealt with some heavy stuff: familial problems, friendship problems, prison, crime... it was intense but I loved that because it felt realistic against the backdrop of a cheery, light romance. 

Aiden, the owner of Vivant, and Stella definitely moved fast through their lust and romance, which was a little hard to believe but I loved how they melded together at the most important times throughout the novel and how neither one truly pushed them away... it wasn't as dramatic as other books, nor was it as frustrating which I can really appreciate. 

I really enjoyed reading from both Stella and Aiden's perspectives; they were really great, well-thought-out characters who had their own quirks and personality. Aiden was specifically a fantastic book boyfriend; thoughtful, caring, nice, generous, and hot. It was perfect!

I cannot recommend "Window Shopping" by Tessa Bailey enough! It is a perfect Christmas novel to read this year, and it's a very easy, quick read. Plus, I think it's a great book to pull you out of a reading slump. 

xoxo
B

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