really wasn’t planning on doing a Black Friday deals post, but when I began perusing online and was so taken by aaaalll the goodies you could get this year, I couldn’t resist! I love using this day/weekend to stock up on items like quality sheets, designer jeans, and cashmere steals- like this fab Vince sweater. Here are my must visit sites:

Nordstrom: Tons of deal on top brands like Vince, Tory Burch, Rebecca Minkoff, North Face, and more!

West Elm: Use the code “STOCKUP”  through Monday 12/1 for tiered savings. Spend $100+ save 10%, spend $250+ save 15%, spend $500+ save 20%, and spend $1000+ save 25%

J.Crew: 30% off everything, in stores and online, with code “HOLIDAY” through Monday 12/1

Alice + Olivia: 25% off everything on the site through Monday

Eberjey: 20% off your entire purchase with code “CYBER2013”

Madewell: 25% off your entire order with code “FEAST25” through Monday

Macy’s: 20-50% off, love their site for bedding, kitchen appliances, and those big investment household items

Shopbop: Use the code “BIGEVENT13” for tiered savings through Monday. Spend $250+ save 15%, spend $500+ save 20%, spend $1000+ save 25%.

Happy shopping!

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I’m currently sipping on hot coffee while my mom preps pumpkin pies. Heaven! I hope you all are in a similar situation or at least on your way there. I couldn’t be more excited to spend the next few days celebrating and eating with family and friends. Today we have our family Thanksgiving up in the country, tomorrow we’ll be heading back into the city to celebrate Brandon’s birthday at this spot I’ve been dying to try, and Saturday I’ll be cooking up a storm in preparation for a Friendsgiving that evening. AND, if I can swing it, I’ll be picking up and decorating our Christmas tree on Sunday. The holidays are officially in full force! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, and thanks as always for supporting my little space of the internet. Cheers! xoxo

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Not to jump the gun on the post Thanksgiving holiday season, but I couldn’t help sharing a recipe of mine that was featured in this month’s issue of Ladies’ Home Journal! A traditional cheesecake gets a fun twist with the addition of peppermint, a luscious sour cream topping, and a chocolate graham cracker crust. I love the festive pink hue of the cheesecake; it’s perfect for a holiday spread of any kind. I’ve outlined the recipe below, and be sure to check out the full holiday feature from the magazine- the recipes are amazing! I’ve got my eye on the gingerbread caramel sauce, butterscotch bourbon apple cider, and chocolate cinnamon rolls. Naturally, everything filled with sugar!

Peppermint and Vanilla Cream Cheesecake
Work: 20 min  total: 4 hr 30 min


  • 25 chocolate graham crackers
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, melted


  • 3 8-oz pkgs cream cheese
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1⁄4 cup crushed peppermint candy, plus more for garnish
  • Red food coloring
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1⁄4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1. For the crust: Crush graham crackers into fine crumbs in a food processor. Mix the crumbs with the sugar, salt and melted butter. Press the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom and all the way up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Chill in freezer for 15 min.

2. For the cheesecake: Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and mix to combine. Beat in the peppermint and vanilla extracts and carefully fold in the crushed peppermint candy. Stir in 2 or 3 drops red food coloring until filling is a light-pink color. Pour filling into the crust; smooth top with a spatula and refrigerate cheesecake until firm, 2 1⁄2 to 3 hr.

3. Mix together the sour cream and confectioners’ sugar and spread mixture evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Chill one additional hour; serve with extra crushed peppermint on top. SERVES 16

Photo by Jennifer Causey

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I’m not even sure these donuts need an introduction. I mean…seriously. I kind of killed it on that drizzle, don’t you think? All bragging aside, these guys are such beauties. Imagine a pumpkin donut met a pumpkin coffee cake, and they fall hard for each other and then decided to bathe in brown butter drizzle. Yep, that’s exactly what happened here. They’re the perfect thing to serve on Thanksgiving morning when you’re hunkered down in the kitchen and don’t want to eat too much pre-feast, but need something to nibble on. I have been working hard to not eat much sugar these days- unless it’s really really worth it- and I can tell, these guys are totally worth it. Enjoy!


Pumpkin Coffee Cake Donuts with Brown Butter Glaze adapted from Shutterbean
Makes 6
For the donuts:

  • 1 cup all- purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the streusel:

  • 2 T granulated sugar
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1/4 salt
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 3 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the glaze:

  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3-4 teaspoons milk

Heat oven to 325°. Coat doughnut pan with non-stick cooking spray (I love using TJ’s coconut oil). In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. In a small bowl, whisk pumpkin, sugar, egg, oil and vanilla until smooth. Add wet mixture to flour mixture; whisk until blended & smooth.

Make the streusel: Mix together all dry ingredients for the streusel. Pour over the butter and stir well to combine. Mixture should be dry and crumbly.

Spoon batter into a large Ziploc bag. Cut of the corner and squeeze batter into prepared doughnut pan about 2/3 full. Sprinkle the tops of the donuts generously with the streusel. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until doughnuts spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in pan on rack 5 minutes, then carefully turn out directly onto rack to cool.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, until browned. Pour browned butter into a bowl with confectioner’s sugar. Stir in vanilla and milk until frosting reaches a smooth, glazey consistency. Place frosting in a Ziploc bag, cut a very small tip, and drizzle back and forth across the donuts.

Despite not being much of a shopper, I’m really into gift giving. I get so much pleasure out of finding the perfect gift for friends or loved ones, and especially love giving a gift when it’s least expected. But during the holidays? That all goes out the window. You see, I’m good at scouring boutiques and small online shops, not the internet at large. But all my holiday shopping must get done online, because I simply refuse to deal with store crowds. Bloomingdales at this time of year? Kill me now.

So when I found out Rank & Style was creating customized top ten gift guides for all the loved ones in your life, I literally jumped for joy. As a refresher, Rank & Style, utilizing their unique algorithm and ranking system, creates objective Top Ten lists for the best fashion and beauty products out there. They completely simplify the shopping experience. So that perfect cashmere sweater I was on the hunt for to buy my mom? Found! Some cozy pajamas I wanted to send to a bestie who’s expecting? Done and done.


The lists cover every gal pal on your list, from the party hopping girl to the friend that’s in need of a serious dose of TLC this season (this girl!). I’m sporting two of the gorgeous items on their jewelry list, “Ten Gifts for the Bold and Beautiful.” I certainly feel bold and beautiful wearing these Loren Hope baubles! I tend to keep go for neutral classics during the holiday season, so I love dressing things up with some statement jewels.


Outside of holiday shopping, I recently used their lists to track down the best black leggings for my budget and find a new natural face serum for my daily skin routine. Naturally it was One Love, but I still loved being able to review all the other best ones on the market without doing a ton of research. Such a help and time saver!  Head over to Rank & Style to check out all of the lists, and be sure to sign up for their newsletter to gain first hand access to all their gift guides this season. Lastly, a few other blogger buddies are sharing their list picks for Rank & Style today, too: Sequins & Stripes, Breakfast at Toast, Peanut Butter Fingers, Design Darling, and A Little Dash of Darling. Happy shopping!

Ps: See those donuts? Those would be pumpkin coffee cake donuts with brown butter glaze- recipe coming tomorrow!

Outfit: Earrings, Bracelet, Sweater (old), jeans

This post is brought to you in partnership with Rank & Style. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!