Season's Greetings

minimalist Christmas grey knit stockings hanging on branch
Image source: The Merry Thought

A huge thanks to all of you, dear readers, for the support and love you've shown this little corner of the blogosphere throughout this year. I'm unplugging for the next week or so to eat, drink, spend time with friends and family, and above all, relax; that being said, you can probably still catch me on Instagram. Wishing you a warm and wonderful holiday season!

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An Aspiring Minimalist's Christmas Wishlist

This might very well be the most boring blogger's wishlist you're going to see this season. The truth is, there isn't much in the way of material things I want for Christmas. The husband and I are most excited about enjoying a well-deserved vacation together, so instead of getting each other gifts this year we're doing a mini getaway to Harrison Hot Springs for New Year's Day. The items on this list are either consumables or things I'd use everyday.

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My Winter Essentials

As I touched on in my last post, even a minimalist with the best intentions can go astray amidst the excesses of the holiday season. The truth is despite the plethora of style guides at this time of year, you really only need a couple of staples to carry you through winter in warmth and style. Here are my essentials at this time of year, as well as a couple of alternatives and "inspired by" picks, if you need help sticking to a "Buy less, choose well" philosophy.

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Things I Bought That I Love: Uniqlo HEATTECH Camisole

Uniqlo HEATTECH nude camisole

Minimalism is a hard edict to follow when you're in a seasonal whirl of stressful deadlines, now-or-never sales, and dismal weather. It's bleak and dark outside. You know what isn't dark or bleak? The inside of a mall, where things are warm and glowy and sparkly and (if you're in an Anthropologie store with a scented candle burning) it smells divine. And you know what's a welcome distraction from work? Online shopping. That's probably how I found myself buying a cashmere sweater with bows down the back for Black Friday, which I'm now returning because: 1) the bows are so big and stick out so far in the back, when I tried it on I felt like a girly stegosaurus who wouldn't ever be able to lean back in a chair comfortably; and 2) when I thought long and hard about the contents of my closet, I decided my purchase was probably driven by emotion more than need. Instead, I could rely on the Uniqlo HEATTECH Camisole to get more mileage and warmth out of what I have already.

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3 Hydrating Skincare Finds Perfect For Winter

Hydrating skincare finds perfect for winter featuring: Estee Lauder Estee Lauder Vitality8 Night Radiant Overnight Creme/Mask, The Face Shop Mango Seed Cleansing Butter, Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask

This is going to sound awful coming from a beauty blogger, but I've pretty much given up on wearing makeup recently. It doesn't make any sense to do so between crazy work deadlines that have me chained to a computer Monday to Friday; an on-and-off cold that has me swiping Saje Immune across my forehead, sinuses, throat, and chest and blowing my nose; and barre classes after the office most weekdays, where I'd have to remove my makeup pre-workout or sweat it off. Instead I've just been relying on good skin and skincare habits to carry the day. The last time I did one of these skincare round-ups sharing tweaks to my regimen, it was all about my pre-wedding radiance-boosting game plan. This winter the products I'm adding to the mix are all about one thing: hydration, hydration, hydration. Oh, and did I mention hydration?

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Skincare Gift Sets To Get & Give

Holiday 2016 skincare gift sets from Philosophy and Fresh Beauty

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, if only because so many beauty companies put out dazzling holiday gift sets that combine their best products and excellent value in an oh so pretty box. At the same time, navigating your local Sephora or department store can become overwhelming for the same reason: Does a person really need a kit with 24 lipstick colours when she probably already has close to that at home, or an eyeshadow palette with 84 shades? Some makeup mavens will argue yes, but this aspiring minimalist says no. Instead, skincare gift sets like the ones I'm showing you today are where it's at. These lovelies arrived on my beauty desk from the PRs, just in time for the holidays.

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