Christmas Gift Guide 2016: Beauty Edition

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, but now that Thanksgiving is officially over and November is coming to a close, its time to start thinking about gift ideas. Last year, I made a Christmas gift guide for her, for him, and for the kids. You can check those out here! This edition however, is for the beauty lover in your life – whether that be your mom, friend, or significant other 🙂 My guide features the hottest gifts in beauty this year. Whatever you choose, I am sure your recipient will love!

  1. The first gift I recommend for a makeup lover is actually something I have been wanting myself! This Laura Mercier highlighter looks absolutely stunning! The shade I really want is Devotion, but there are a variety of shades that should work for every skin tone. The face illuminator retails for $44 and is available at Sephora and the Laura Mercier website.



2) Next up is this Fresh Sugar Lip set! I have their lipstick in Petal and I absolutely love it. Gorgeous color and smells amazing! Pick up this holiday set at Sephora for $50.)


3) The Tarteist Pro Amazonian Clay palette is one of the latest additions to Tarte’s eyeshadow collection. This palette features a stunning array of mattes, along with 4 shimmers. This is available at Sephora and Ulta – retails for $54.


4) Red beautyblender!! A cult favorite, the beauty blender sponge, is one of the best tools for applying makeup. I love to use mine for foundation, blush, concealer and so much more! This red color is perfect for the holiday season. Sold at Sephora for $20.


5) Next up on my list of gift picks is customizable! Buy your friend, girlfriend, or practically any makeup lover an empty palette and a gift card that he/she can use to purchase the eyeshadow shades of their choosing. If you want to make it a little more personal, fill half the palette with shades you enjoy, and let the recipient pick the rest. Brands such as MAC, Makeup Forever, Buxom, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and theBalm all offer customizable palette options.


6) Second to last is a face mask! Who doesn’t enjoy a little bit of at home pampering 😉 The GLAMGLOW facemask is on my Christmas list for sure. They actually sell a smaller set of single use masks as well, so now you don’t have to spend $69 on the full pot! Check out the $22 set at Sephora, link above.


7) This last gift idea is something I have heard great things about! The Smashbox Master Class Palette: Lighting Theory just recently went on sale at Sephora, and I thought I would mention it. This palette contains everything: from color correctors, to blushes, to bronzers, to eyeshadows! It retails for $45 (was $65) at Sephora.



I hope you found this holiday gift guide helpful! As I was finishing this post up I also wanted to mention that the Sephora Favorites kits are always great gift guide options as well – especially for someone who may be a bit more picky with their makeup. Those sets range from $25+ typically, and you can find them online or in store at Sephora.

Let me know what gift idea is your favorite! What are you giving your friends this year, and what’s on your holiday wishlist?

Love, Mariel


Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored, and all ideas are my own. 









The Chewiest Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever!

Hi everyone!

This is the first recipe post I have ever shared, so today I will be showcasing one of my favorite cookies! These chocolate chip cookies are some of the thickest, fattest and satisfying I have ever tried. I recommend this recipe if you are in the need of something easy to fill a cookie craving; its also a great way to get rid of leftover Halloween chocolate 🙂 The cookies have just the right amount of chocolate, a perfect balance of gooey cookie and cocoa without being too overpowering.

So here it is! My chocolate chip cookie recipe:

Adapted from: OMG Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies! Pure Nirvana!

Makes: about 2 dozen medium sized cookies


  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon pure maple syrup (cold)
  • 2½ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon grinded sea salt
  • Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – as many or as few as you want; Hershey’s chocolate bars (optional)

Directions (almost identical to original recipe, linked above)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 (or the setting closest to that – my oven is weird so I set it to setting 4 – up to 345).
  2. Melt butter in the microwave, but not all the way. I set my microwave to 30 seconds.
  3. Let butter cool for 2 min, then add it to mixing bowl with brown sugar and beat on low speed until blended.
  4. Add in the maple syrup, beat on low speed. Then, add in 2 eggs and beat again. This whole process should take only about 1 min (with standard stand mixer).
  5. Add flour, cornstarch and sea salt. Beat on low speed until it forms a ball.
  6. Stir chocolate chips in with spatula. You can use however many you would like, I ended up using 3/4 of a standard Nestle bag. At this point, I also chose to chop up a Hershey’s bar (great use for leftover Halloween candy) and fold it into the batter as well to make chocolate chunks.
  7.  Spoon cookie dough onto your baking sheet, pre-lined with parchment paper. I made fairly large dough balls (about 1-2 inches tall).
  8. Bake until lightly brown on bottom, but not too squishy on the inside. Keep checking on your cookies because it is easy to burn them or undercook the insides. I had mine in the oven for about 15 min.
  9. Let cool and transfer to cooling rack or paper plate.
  10. Enjoy!

this picture doesn’t even showcase their true thickness!! try this recipe and you won’t be disappointed

And there you have it – the chewiest chocolate chip cookies! If you try out this recipe, leave me a comment below or tag me in the picture on Instagram (@marielelena_).

Love, Mariel

Fall Hometown Hunt

Hi everyone!!

To start things off I wanted to announce that this is the month I first created my blog last year  – so happy anniversary to us 🙂 Thank you for all your support, love, and comments this past year. Here’s to another great one!!

I will be sharing my favorite spots in my hometown, which is located right outside of Boston. The events and places included in this post can either be found in Boston or the surrounding areas.

First up on the list is:

1. Honey Pot Hill Orchards – It is a bit of drive out there, but the outdoor maze, hayrides and apple cider donuts are worth it.

2.  Boston Public Market – Join in on the fun at this year-round indoors farmer’s market        located on Hanover Street. There are so many vendors to choose from, so you can enjoy anything from delicious homemade ice cream to fresh fruits and veggies.

3. Bagel’s Best – In the center of Needham MA, Bagel’s Best offers a variety of bagels, pastries and drinks. My order consists of a chocolate chip bagel and hot chocolate, complete with a secluded seat in the back of the cafe that overlooks the town.

4.  Trident Bookseller’s and Cafe – While I haven’t visited this spot myself, its on my bucket list. This independent bookstore on Newbury Street is packed with novels and all-day breakfast foods! Every book and brunch lover’s dream 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this post – maybe it will give you some ideas if you are ever in the Boston area. If you would like more information on events in your area, check out Eventbrite. You can view their sell tickets page here.

Love, Mariel

“Beauty Wishlist” Part 2 (ISO*)

Hi friends!

I posted my “beauty wishlist” a few months ago (click here), and I thought it would be fun to add a second installment. Just to update you, I have purchased almost every item on my previous wishlist at this point. This time however, I want to ask for your help in finding these items. Many of the products on this wishlist are not found at Sephora. So if you own any of these items, (preferably new condition), live in the US, and are willing to sell at a reasonable price, leave me a comment down below and I may contact you. Also, if you are in search of a certain beauty product as well, share in the comments section too.

Without further ado… my beauty wishlist.

  1. Juvia’s Place The Nubian Eyeshadow Palette
  2. Too Faced Romantic Eye
  3. Too Faced Love Flush Blush Wardrobe
  4. KVD Saint & Esperanza Palettes
  5. BH Cosmetics x Shaaanxo
  6. Allegory Story Primavera Lip Gloss
  7. Manny MUA X MG
  8. Tarte x Grav3yard Girl palette
  9. Urban Decay The Vegan Palette

*ISO = in search of

Spread the love in the comments section below, and don’t forget to share the products on your beauty wishlist 🙂

Love, Mariel

Vanity Tour

The idea for this post came from a company called MakeSpace, an on-demand self-storage service that picks up, stores, and delivers all the items you need. I’m sharing my vanity and organization system with you. I will link my organizers and drawers below if you are interested in checking them out.

My makeup display consists of three acrylic containers, which are filled with various makeup products. Eyeshadow palettes are my weakness – I have way more than I will ever need. This palette box is from Amazon and fits all my palettes at the moment. It comes with a bunch of glass dividers that are used to line the box. Keep in mind that the more you put in, the less room you have for larger palettes. I only have  3 or 4 of the dividers in at the moment.

vanity 3

To the right of the palette organizer, I have two acrylic makeup organizers. Each organizer has about 3 drawers and a top display to contain more products. These organizers are also from Amazon. I like these drawers because decent sized products can lay inside, while larger or more decorative items can sit on top.

vanity 1

overview of acrylic containers

vanity 5

top display of second organizer

vanity 6

inside of first drawer

The last section of my vanity is the area for my brushes. I keep all my makeup brushes in a customized mug I purchased from Etsy. I’m not sure if this exact style is available anymore, but I will link the seller/shop below.

vanity 2

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed taking a peek at my vanity 🙂

Love, Mariel

Palette Organizer:

Acrylic Set #1:

Acrylic Set #2:

Brush Cup:

Links are non-affiliate, and all opinions are my own. 

How to Fuel Your Online Shopping Addiction

Let’s just get it out there: I love shopping. I especially enjoy shopping when I can purchase items online from the comfort of my home, with the simple click of a button. Online shops are some of my favorite places to browse. Having a blog myself, I think it is important to help other people achieve their dreams whenever possible. Not to mention, most independent online shops have unique products, amazing quality, and a great attention to detail. I find many online boutiques through Etsy, Instagram and Facebook. Due to my immense fondness of self-run shops, I thought I would share my favorite ones with you today! This post is not sponsored, I just absolutely adore these shops and hope you will too! Disclaimer: I do not own any of these pictures, all rights reserved to the shop owners.

1. Made With Love Jewelry – Massachusetts-based jewelry store with an affinity for unique necklaces, earrings, bracelets and so much more! This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about this shop in my blog, and most likely won’t be the last. Many Disney themed designs, all created by owner, Shana Cohen.

                                                 shop post 62. eff.Y.bee – A jewelry company based in New York that inspires and empowers women to “follow their bliss.” Many boho necklace, bracelet, and ring styles, as well as sorority design options.

shop post 2

3.  Aritzia – This boutique is a more well known, as it has locations across the U.S and Canada. I just recently learned of Aritzia however, and I must say that I love their site! Aritzia has it all: from sweaters, to pants, to basics, and everything in between. I’m in love.

shop post 5

Enter a caption

4. Ivory Ella – Connecticut based; Offers preppy, adorable, and affordable elephant-themed clothing and accessories, plus a portion of proceeds goes to the Save the Elephants Organization.

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5. Planning Roses – After purchasing my own Lilly Pulitzer planner, I have become obsessed with all things planning/decorating related! It’s actually my new obsession, but I’m totally okay with that. The shop, Planning Roses, offers a wide variety of stylish stickers – perfect for embellishing a notebook, planner or journal. These nail polish stickers are my absolute favorites – I’ve never seen anything like them!

shop post 4

I hope I’m not the only one addicted to online shopping! What are your favorite online boutiques?

Love, Mariel

P.S. Don’t forget to follow my Instagram @marielelena_ 😉

Kate Spade Surprise Sale Picks

Hi everyone!!

As you may or may not know, Kate Spade is holding a massive surprise sale right now for its email followers! I get email notifications from the brand and I am huge fan of Kate Spade products, so I figured you would enjoy hearing the news as well. I believe the sale ends tonight at 11:59 p.m. PT. I love deals so much, and the items in this sale are up to 75% off!  I created a list of my favorite items below. I hope you enjoy and have fun shopping 🙂

  1. Hello Sunshine Phone Case – $20
  2. 2016 Agendamultiple sizes/patterns $25-30
  3. Grant Street Grainy Vinyl Neda Wallet – $59
  4. Kennywood Harmony Baby Bag – $139
  5. Primrose Hill Medium Harmony Bow Bag – $159
  6. Grand Street Calico Bag – $129
  7. Elsie Street Exotic Small Meriwether Bag – $159
  8. Sawyer Street Colorblock Maxi Bagmultiple sizes $99-149

To find my picks and so many more deals, head over to!

Love, Mariel

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored, nor am I receiving any sort of compensation for providing  links to these items. 














Desk Decor

Hi everyone!!
Today I thought I would share my desk’s layout to give you ideas on how to organize your own work space. I was inspired to share my desk by my good friend Brooke; you can view her designer desk over at I would totally recommend checking her blog out if you haven’t done so already. Hopefully my desk decor will give you some ideas on how to style your own working area.

desk decordesk decor 1desk decor 2

My desk has a mint/teal green and gold theme with a few light pink accents. I like to display cute packaging from brands such as Too FacedUrban Decay, and Benefit that fit my color theme as well. I also included one of my favorite Topshop nail polishes, as well as a beautifully packaged perfume bottle. If you move over to the right side of my desk I have a few books stacked up. My current favorites are Sally’s Baking AddictionLove Tanya, and the Lauren Conrad Beauty book. On top of the stack of books is an inexpensive glittery sign I purchased from Icing (go figure!!). Lastly, on the far right I added a decorative binder, my copies of People Style Watch and Seventeen. To top things off, I have my mint green Instax camera complete with a few Polaroids of my friends. My teal Kate Spade journal lays at the front of my desk, full of tons of new blog post ideas! My journal sits next to my teal headphones and my laptop computer – covered in stickers 🙂

Let me know if this post gave you any ideas on how you style your desk, and please share and follow me to be notified of my next blog post. And if you can see them, leave me a comment sharing what laptop sticker of mine is your favorite. It’s too hard to choose.




Etsy Must Buys

Hi everyone!!

Sorry for being inactive on here, I know I haven’t been posting a lot. Not to worry though, I have a long list of post ideas that should keep me occupied for quite some time 🙂

Today, I am going to be sharing some of my favorite items that are available on! I have over 340 favorites on my Etsy wish list, so I thought you would be interested to see what items I adore. There’s a ton to choose from, so I’m only going to be sharing a few of my top picks. Some of these items may be things I own, things I want, or things I bought as gifts for others. This post is not sponsored, I simply thought my followers would genuinely enjoy seeing what listings I’ve been loving. Maybe you’ll even get some gift ideas for a friend – or yourself!! To shop my picks, just hold your cursor over the photo to view a caption with the link for an easy purchase.

  1. I purchased this gorgeous crown ring as a present for my friend’s birthday! It’s absolutely stunning and is a perfect example of why I am in love with all the jewelry AOS DESIGN offers.

2. This next item is something I have been admiring for a few months. This makeup bag is so precious and has the trendiest print! Prepare to fall in love with this item and all the other makeup pouches, pillows, and posters over at Miss With-It on Etsy!

3.  I consider myself a major Gossip Girl fanatic, so naturally once I found these pencils I freaked out! Kudos to DottieRocks for bringing out my inner fangirl! I think I may just have to pick up a few of these pencils ASAP – xoxo Gossip Girl

4. While I’m definitely not getting married anytime soon, these magnets from CorkCountryCottage sure make me wish I was 🙂


There are so many more items I adore, but I don’t want this post to get too lengthy. Etsy is one of my favorite websites, and I check it on the daily. You can always find something new and exciting to purchase as well!

Hope you enjoyed! Comment below what item you love the most and share this post with your friends.




The Truth about New Years Resolutions

New Years Resolutions. Everyone makes them, and almost everyone ends up forgetting about them halfway through the year – if you can even get that far. New Years resolutions are usually a goal we tell ourselves we will work towards through the upcoming new year. But, why do we need the new year to motivate us? Why not just decide to eat healthy during any given month of the year. The funny thing is that most of us ditch our resolutions within the first few weeks and go back to our old habits. Kudos to you if you stick to your resolution and achieve your plan, but I find it very difficult to accomplish. In fact, I don’t know why I continue to make resolutions every year. Nevertheless, here I am explaining my resolutions to all of you.

I wanted to go through my New Years resolutions from last year and reflect on my progress. I searched through my phone and found them in an old notes document. Enjoy!!

  1. To eat healthier
  2. Stop taking myself so seriously, have some fun once in a while
  3. To not let other people’s opinions of me affect my choices

After looking at last year’s resolutions, I can say that I’ve really only made progress with #2 and #3. I tried eating healthier, but then I just lost the motivation whenever I saw something delicious and loaded with carbs 😉 The struggle is real. I’ll occasionally sit myself down and say, “Mariel, this week you are going to eat healthy and exercise.” Two days later I get busy and lazy, and couldn’t be bothered to make a healthy smoothie. Fortunately, I have been learning to live in the moment. I don’t think it has anything to do with my resolution though – I completely forgot this was  my resolution until I just looked it up. I think I did pretty well with resolution #3, and I genuinely feel more confident this year. Realizing that others’ opinions of me should not matter has helped me let loose and be myself (which also helps with resolution #2). I think part of the problem with New Years Resolutions is that people pick really big, unattainable goals to complete in the upcoming year. Once the new year starts and you realize you have a really large, stressful and time consuming goal to achieve, you just start to lose interest. So instead of picking a vague, impossible goal this year, I will be choosing an easier, yet still important goal to accomplish. This year, my resolution is to post more on my blog. I am going to try to create a post schedule to make like a little easier too!

Happy New Years!

I hope you enjoyed this post, it’s a little different and something new and fun I wanted to write about. Leave me a comment down below telling me your thoughts on New Years resolutions, and if you have a resolution this year feel free to share 🙂



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