December 2014 Favorites

Happy New Year!  It’s hard to believe that December is almost over and tomorrow is the start of a new year.  It’s been a wonderfully festive month and you’ll notice that many of my favorites are holiday themed.  I share some of my favorite things from the past month with you in this post, ranging from accessories and beauty items to multi-media picks and food.

Clothes & Accessories

OJ_TBBB_12-31-2014_07✻ Too Much Fun Dress in Scarlet Birds – I target=”_blank”>hauled this dress from Modcloth earlier this month, which I picked out because I thought it looked particularly festive and would be a nice option to wear to holiday outings.  It’s also extremely comfortable which is a nice bonus!  I enjoyed wearing it paired with a black cardigan and flats several times over the past few weeks.

✻ Jetsetter Mini Convertible Backpack – Another item from that haul, I’ve had my eye on the Jetsetter bags from Henri Bendel for ages, but the original size is a bit too big for my current needs.  You can imagine my excitement when they introduced the mini!  I’ve enjoyed wearing this bag so much over the past month that I actually brought it out to Utah with me for our winter visit.  I will post a Bag Buzz soon featuring this beauty.

✻ Planners – My planners are a year round favorite for me, but I find them extra useful during the busy holiday season.  I use my Erin Condren Life Planner specifically for my posting schedule and planning blog posts and videos.  My Mulberry Pocket Book is my primary agenda where I keep my daily to-do’s and monthly calendars.  I use the DIYfish Life Mapping System for my inserts.  I will post a detailed update on both planners soon.




✻ Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation – I have a new all-time favorite foundation in my life and this is it!  I decided to try it out a couple of months ago after seeing so many rave reviews and I must agree that it is amazing.  It provides effective medium coverage with a lovely natural finish and has great lasting power.

✻ bareMinerals bareSkin Perfecting Veil – This finishing powder is absolutely lovely!  It offers light coverage with a featherweight finish that is the most natural of all the powders I have tried to date.  I like using my Sigma F25 Tapered Face Brush to apply it.

✻ Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil – My new favorite brow pencil!  The unique wedge shape makes it super easy to fill in the brows without need for precision.  The Soft Brunette shade is the perfect taupey-brown for me.

✻ Make Up For Ever Brow Seal Transparent Eyebrow Gel – I’m always on the lookout for a good gel to help keep my unruly brows in place without being too crunchy.  I really like the unique brush of this one which is longer and angled on one side for easy combing and setting of the brows.

✻ Berry Lips – I received the Smashbox Be Legendary Longwear Lip Lacquer in the pretty Bordeaux shade in my December PopSugar Must Have Box.  At first I thought it was too dark for my preferences, but it’s actually the perfect berry stain shade for me when I just dab a bit on with my finger.  It lives up to its long-wearing promise as well.  Another berry lip favorite for me this past month is the Rouge Dior Baume in Coquette #660.  It’s a bit more of a pinkish berry shade but also very festive.  I like popping a bit of the CO Bigelow Ginger Mentha Lip Shine Shimmer (sadly no longer available) on top of each for a tough of gold sparkle.


I’ve enjoyed curling my hair more since my most recent haircut.  My favorite tool to use is the Remington T-Studio Ceramic Pearl Curling Wand which is a 1″ tapered style wand.  I like to spritz the Tresemmé Heat Tamer Spray on my hair first to protect it from heat damage.  I wrap large chunks (2″ or so) of hair around the wand for about 6 seconds to curl, brush through once cool, then finish with Oribe Superfine Hairspray for an all day hold.

Home Goods

OJ_TBBB_12-31-2014_04December wouldn’t be complete without my favorite holiday home scent!  I love ‘Tis the Season by Bath & Body Works, which is described as “a festive medley of bright red apples, cinnamon, cloves and deep green pine notes.”  It’s the perfect combination of bright and cheery holiday scents to me!  I love burning the 3-Wick candle in our family room.  It makes the whole first level of our house smell delicious!



The Kill Order by James Dashner – I didn’t make enough time to read this past month, but I did manage to finish The Kill Order, a prequel in the Maze Runner series.  It wasn’t really my cup of tea, but I am glad I finished it.

✻ Holiday Movies – I did make time to watch some of my favorite Christmastime movies with Don, including my all-time favorite, White Christmas.  It is our tradition to watch this the weekend after Thanksgiving every year.  It really gets me in holiday mood and kicks off the season on such a festive note!  My second favorite holiday movie this year is Arthur Christmas.  My MIL introduced me to this treasure last year and I was instantly hooked.  It is the cutest feel-good animated movie!

✻ Pentatonix – I like to search for new holiday music every year, which is how I was introduced to this amazing acapella group.  I listened to their holiday album, That’s Christmas To Me, on repeat in my car all month long.  They’re actually YouTubers as well, and their channel, PTXOfficial, is definitely worth a look (and a listen!) if you’re in the mood for amazing vocal talent.

Tasty Treats

OJ_TBBB_12-31-2014_06‘Tis the season for cookies!  I love baking any old time but especially for my loved ones during the holidays.  I give most of what I bake away but always keep a tin for me and Don to enjoy as well.  I’ve shared three out of the four recipes I made this year online already, including the  target=”_blank”>Cream Cheese Spritz, target=”_blank”>Peanut Butter Surprise, and target=”_blank”>Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I’m still tweaking the Oatmeal Raisin recipe, but it’s close and I hope to share it next year.

If you’d like to hear more about my November favorites, check out this video:

It’s giveaway time! I wanted to share the awesomeness that is Erin Condren products with you.  The December Favorites Giveaway will run until Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 6 PM CT.  The giveaway is open internationally. All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter. FIVE winners will receive a $200 electronic gift card to  You can enter by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below (check out this blog post for more information on entering Rafflecopter giveaways).  I’ll announce the winners on THIS blog post and contact them directly through email, as always. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sometimes Rafflecopter experiences technical difficulties. If you can’t enter for some reason, try again later and it will probably work.

I would love to hear about some of your December favorites if you care to share.  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.  Wishing you all the best for the new year!


* Post contains affiliate links. The Sigma brush shown was sent to me for consideration. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *


34 thoughts on “December 2014 Favorites”

  1. I recently re-discovered drugstore foundation too. I think I might give that one a try next. Thanks for the awesome post! I’m going to look into these other products.

  2. Great selection! I’ve been loving Mineral Veil by Bare Minerals for years, such a great finishing powder! Arthur Christmas is SUCH a cute film! I saw it for the first time last year and absolutely fell in love with it! It’s so funny and the elves crack me up! A must watch every Christmas now! I’ve been curling my hair more over the holidays but I can’t seem to keep any volume in at the roots, it’s driving me mad!

    Happy New Year to you, Don & Winnie! All the best for 2015!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland

  3. Hi Jen,
    I just wanted to say, Happy New Year to you and your family. And I wanted to thank you for all you do. Just recently, I have been in planner mood, so I checked out a couple of your videos and found them to be so helpful in making some choices. I went with Inkwell based on something I saw from one of your fans but took in consideration advice and feedback you provided on similar planners. Looks like a start up. I got a good vibe. Anyhoo, I remember discovering you about this time of year. Was it 2 years ago? Or, longer? It was before this blog. And I remember having time and I watched video after video and learned so much. Over the years I have learned even more from you on a number of different topics. So, it’s been fun. Glad that you keep on coming up with stuff. Enjoy yourself and catch you in the New Year!!!

    1. Inkwell makes great planners. I might review one this year. So happy to hear my content is helpful to you! Thanks for your support 🙂

      1. It just shipped. Crazy excited. That was fast. Been getting into Midori lately. Waiting for those items to arrive as well. It’s a while before you find the right journal/planners. Have to sample a lot of them. I hope these work. Hope you are enjoying yourself. Looking forward to your new entries.

  4. Just sharing that thanks to your tips, I was able to buy my wife a nice surprise with a new Life Planner. She’s an avid follower and having sat with her to watch a number of the videos reviewing the various planners, I figured she’d be surprised to find a personalized one under the tree. Unfortunately the shipping did not work out in my favor, so she got it late, but it made her all the more surprised when the box arrived.
    So apart from entering the giveaway, I wanted to just say thanks for all the tips and tricks you provide, and inspiration for getting my wife something she really wanted but probably wouldn’t have bought on her own.

  5. Hi Jen, I really enjoyed discovering Pentatonix this Christmas season as well! They are awesome. The Fresh Balsam candle at Bath and Body Works was my favorite this year. Put me in a hot tub with a Christmas tree scented candle any time of year and I am a happy camper 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  6. Ohh! I can’t wait to see your updated planners!

    Thank you for sharing so much, Jen. You really are a great person and I always look forward to seeing your content (new and old!).

    I hope you and your family have a Happy New Year! 🙂

  7. Hey Jen,

    I just wanted to leave you a quick response to the giveaway question. I come here for your blog posts, I like the blog style and format, it’s easy on the eye, the layout is nice and simple and the posts are always nicely presented with photo’s . Your blog is easy to read and I enjoy it.

  8. Great favourites this month Jen! I’ve become a huge fan of drugstore foundations recently, in particular two by Rimmel – the Stay Matte Foundation and the Lasting Finish. Both do a great job keeping my oil-prone skin matte and they’re a steal, price-wise. I think I got them when they were 2 for £10 in Boots!

    I’m a huge bareMinerals junkie and I’ve got a few different kinds of the mineral veil, but I don’t think they have released the perfecting veil here yet. I need to keep a lookout for it!

    Happy New Year to you Jen, I hope 2015 has started well for you and yours xx

  9. Just last week I decided to pick up the Remington Wand Curler at Target. I had just invested about $100 on the Calista Tools Perfecter Pro Grip Heated 1.5″ Round Brush w/bag- it leaves my hair very smooth with lots of volume, but I also wanted a smaller curler for a more casual beachy wave kind of look and did not want to spend another $100 to buy the 1″ from Calista, I remember you talking about the Wand Curler in a previous video and I’m so glad I got it!
    Have you ever tried curling your hair closer to the roots for a longer curl, instead of just curling the ends. I love how it looks on me and although my hair is longer and thicker than yours- I bet that look would look Amazing on you, and your hair would look so much fuller, it might be a bit out of your comfort zone since you have a more classic kind of style (which I admire by the way) but it could be fun.

    Well Jen I wish you, your husband and the Adorable Winnie an Amazing and Blessed 2015!!!

    1. I don’t have a lot of skill when it comes to hair styling. I’m just happy when it turns out looking at least half decent 😉

      1. Thanks for responding you are so sweet.

        Believe me I’m not that skilled either and on top of that I’m impatient when it comes to hair styling.
        I just let my hair dry naturally (I only blow-dry if I’m in a hurry) apply 3-4 drops of Argan Oil to my hands and smooth my hair with it (to tame and protect), I divide my hair in top and bottom sections, grab smaller sections of hair starting with the bottom section, curl it with the wand about 1-3″ from the roots (depending on how much volume I want), do the same with the top section, when finish curling my hair I just run my fingers through it to loosen the curls and done (no styling products – just my preference). The hair style is not fussy and it’s casually messy so it’s perfect for us “non professional hair stylists”.

  10. Hi, I discovered recently the skin care anti-dark circle “Ideal resource Eye Illuminator ” by Darphin. I have a soft spot for this brand! 🙂
    Thanks for this lovely giveaway ♥

  11. Hi Jen! Happy Epiphany! I hope that you had a great Christmas and New Year! First of all, I wanted to say “Thank you” for all of the advice that you gave me over the holidays, I appreciate it so much! I had a lovely time spent with family and friends. You may have noticed that I have a website link included in my comment, and that’s because I recently created my first blog-website over the holidays. I also launched my own YouTube channel, because I’m at a certain point in my life, where university isn’t my thing anymore, and I just wanted to have a new hobby, and I thought of you, and other YouTubers, and your blog, and that helped me with some inspiration so thanks for always being honest and sweet. It would mean the absolute world to me if you would go and check out my blog, and maybe even post a little comment, even if it’s lovely criticism! Here’s my blog address for you:
    Take care and thanks for your advice and support, as always
    Katherine M.

  12. Hi Jen!

    Because of your interest in organizers and crafting, I wanted to let you know about some stamps and dies that have just been released today by My Favorite Things (, you can see them in use here:
    There’s also a young blogger I discovered who is making her own stickers for planners — for book club and things like that and 3×4 cards for scrapbooking Project Life you might be interested in checking out, her blog is She went to my daughter’s college (they didn’t know each other), and a big part of her life is her faith, but she’s also big on the Planner stuff.

    Best, Mary

    1. I don’t actually carry my planner with me outside of the house unless I’m traveling & then I generally pack it in my suitcase. I think it would be kind of a tight squeeze in the mini Jetsetter but I haven’t personally tried it.

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