The Best Holiday Gift Guide Roundup- 2016 2

2016 Holiday Gift Guide Roundup // Being Leanna

Happy Cyber Monday!

I am a sucker for a great holiday gift guide. But, I am horrible at creating my own. Everything I can come up with has already been done so today, i’m sharing my favorite gift guides from my favorite bloggers! Definitely check them out and let me know in the comments what you’re wanting most this holiday season in the comments!

2016 Holiday Gift Guide Roundup

I Heart Organizing // 2016 Blogger Gift Guide

The ultimate one stop shop for gifts this year. Jen and her friends have rounded up all the best stuff this season from fashion to hosting gifts, items for guys and babies and everyone else on your list! The embedded e-magazine has all clickable links to make things even easier! 

How Sweet Eats // Stocking Stuffers & Beauty Lovers

Stocking stuffers are my favorite part about opening presents on Christmas. I could go the rest of my life without presents as long as I got a stocking. They are always so much fun! And Jessica has rounded up some amazing stocking stuffers that i’d love to get. I’m also loving her beauty gift guide this year. It’s the perfect combination of high and low end products where you’re sure to find something for everyone. When in doubt. Buy a beauty blender. They’re to die for.

Life With A View // Female Traveler Gift Guide

Jeannie hits the nail on the head with her gift ideas for the traveler in your life. I know i’d love all of these items. She included a set of lenses for your phone camera which would be great for anyone on your list, not just the traveler. I have a set and i’m in love with them. Plus, that scratch off map is always a cute idea. 

Helene In Between // Girl On The Go Gift Guide & Gift Guide for Coffee Lovers

I’ll say it once and i’ll say it a million times, Helene is one of my favorite bloggers. Her voice is so unique and relate-able. She always has amazing content and pictures and her gift guides are no exception. The first one I linked has so many fantastic ideas that I wouldn’t mind getting all of them. Especially the foil pressed city maps. I want all of them. Speaking of wanting all of them, Helene’s coffee lovers gift guide is fantastic. As a blogger and a coffee drinker I feel its my duty to collect as many coffee mugs as possible and Helene shares some amazing ones. 

Young House Love // Gift Guides for Guys, Gals & Kids

First of all, if you don’t follow John and Sherry’s blog you’re missing out. Second, their gift guide this year is amazing. They’ve included something for everyone and a lot of the items they picked are super inexpensive! Perfect if you’re on a budget, or if you just don’t want to break the bank this holiday season. If for some reason you can’t find something you like in their gift guide, you’ll at least get a giggle out of their commentary when listing the items. Also, you should check out their podcast if you don’t already. It’s great. 

The Drifter Collective // 7 Travel Gifts to Buy Your Wandering Friend

As someone who loves travel I can vouch and say that i’d love any of these gifts. Especially the travel wash bag. It is such a handy idea for anyone that travels, camps or just has a lot of “hand wash” items in their wardrobe. 

Table For Two // Gift Guide For Him

We all struggle to find the right gift for that guy in our lives. Luckily for us Table For Two shared the BEST ideas for any guy in your life. From the Dollar Shave Cub to the new Go Pro and everything in between. Some of those gifts i’d even love for myself!

 

And that’s it! Everyone and their mother is posting a holiday gift guide so be sure to keep scouring the internet but this group has been my favorites so far this year. Let me know in the comments below your favorite gifts, gift guides or just what you’re lusting over this holiday season!

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10 Things I’m Thankful For – 2 Year Blogiversary! 15

10 Things I'm Thankful For // Being Leanna

Happy Blogiversary to Being Leanna! And Happy pre-Thanksgiving everyone! 

Wow, I can hardly believe its been two years since I started this little online journal of mine (it’s official on the 26th). You guys have been through all of my ups and downs these past couple years and i’m not sure where i’d be without you all. I’ve made some great friends through blogging and i’m so grateful for those relationships. Here’s my first post (so embarrassing!) and my 1 year Blogiversary post.

In keeping with the grateful theme i’m sharing 5 things that i’m thankful for as my blog turns 2! 

10 Things I’m Thankful for This Thanksgiving

// Friends and family

As always my little tribe of people are amazing. Not all of my friends really understand how much work goes into blogging but they all respect what I do as a hobby and that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside even if they don’t read it. Shout out to those that are reading this :-]

// PicMonkey

I use PicMonkey for almost every single picture that you all have seen on here the past 2 years. I love it. The editing features are so easy to use and there are so many design options! I personally pay for the Royale membership but you can certainly do without. My favorite part is how easily it works with Google Drive and I can open PicMonkey right from there. Easy Peasy.

// Blog friends

Since I’ve started blogging I’ve made so many connections with people. There are a few that I’ve become pretty close with and talk to regularly and it makes me so happy. 

// Snow boots

I have to wait for a bus at work and it gets pretty snowy up here in NY. Unfortunately, I’ve already needed to use them and they were fantastic! Nothing beats a cozy boot on a frigid day. I picked them up at the Bass outlet a few weeks ago and i’m obsessed. I like them better than the OG Bean Boot. 

// Blog Courses

I’m always trying to better my blog (as i’m sure all of you are, too!) and i’ve been trying to do as much as I can to make it great. I signed up for one of Helene’s courses FOREVER ago and only recently made a point to give it the ole college try and i’m loving it. Let me know what your favorite blog courses are!

// Amazon Prime

I’m about a bazillion years behind on the bandwagon but i’m hooked. I got the free 30 day trial recently (for some sneaky Christmas shopping) and it’s been great. The yearly price tag had me skeptical but I’m already hooked and I totally think the service is worth the money. Are you guys prime people? 

// My health

I mean, i’m healthy and that’s all I can really ask for. No colds so far this season. Minimal migraines all year and nothing else going on. I am forever thankful for my health. Now, if only I could take it a step further and get back into a workout routine.

// My money management skills

I have been able to treat myself to not just one but two vacations this year while still saving up for a house.I went to 5 European countries and Texas all while sticking to my budget. I even got to go on a long weekend trip to New Hampshire to be in one of my best friends’ wedding. Luckily for me I worked at a credit union for years and learned some great ways to budget my money. Everyone needs money management as a skill.

// Curling wands

I’ve been curling my hair lately and getting so many compliments. I used to be horrible at curling my hair until I got a wand. It’s so much easier to use and it works just as well as a curling iron. Plus, it makes my fine hair look like there’s a bit more volume to it which alone makes them worthwhile. Currently, I’ve got a NuMe brand wand but i’m looking for a new one. Suggestions would be fantastic.

// Notebooks

I am never without a notebook. I write down lists all day everyday and idk what i’d do without a notepad by my side. The notes app on my phone is my least used app, I hate it. Why? No idea. I think I just like physically writing my thoughts out. Plus, it’s satisfying to cross something off of a to-do list, is it not? I’ve been sitting on a coupon for Rifle Paper Co and i’m dying to use it for some holiday stationary. 

Now tell me, what are you all thankful for this Thanksgiving? 

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ColourPop First Impressions & Review 6

ColourPop First Impressions & Review // Being Leanna

Hello Friends!

I’ve been hearing about ColourPop cosmetics for a long time and had never tried anything out, until now! The temptation became too much and I had to dive in. ColourPop prices are incredibly affordable and I had been hearing so many good things from all the bloggers and YouTubers I watch so, I did some research,found some colors I wanted and placed an order. 

I grabbed 7 items in total: 3 lip colors, a highlight, a contour and two eyeshadows. I’ve had these for about a month now and was trying to think of an original idea for a post and came up with basically zilch. So, to try and be a bit unique instead of just reviewing these products i’m letting you know my first impression and my 3 week impression so you can see how some of my opinions changed drastically. You can’t always fall in love with something on the first try. So today i’m letting you know if it’s worth it to spend your hard earned moolah on ColourPop. 

ColourPop First Impressions & Review // Being Leanna

Ultra Matte Lip- Tulle

First impression: Love the application and texture. The formula is not too wet where it feels runny and not too thick where it’s hard to apply evenly. Very impressed for the $6 price tag. The color however? Wow, not for me.  The website description was “Not the douchey kind but a dusty mauve burgundy” and that sounded perfect. The teeny tiny swatch picture looked pretty good too so I took the dive. Didn’t work out. Too dark for my comfort but, i’ll keep it in case I decide to go really vampy one day. It’s a beautiful color just not for super fair skinned people. 

After 3 weeks: I can honestly say I’ve given it the ole college try but, I have yet to wear this out of the house. I’m still loving the formula but the color is not at all for me. This was my main reservation about buying from ColourPop. I don’t like buying makeup without trying it out first and so far I was 0-1. 

Worth it? The formula- heck yes, the color? heck no. 

ColourPop First Impressions & Review // Being Leanna

Ultra Matte Lip- Solow

First impression: Same great texture and application as Tulle and a 100% better color for me. Love Love Love. I wore this out of the house immediately after applying it and was pleasantly happy with the staying power.

After 3 weeks: Still rocking this all the time. The matte formula doesn’t dry out my lips too much and I only have to reapply once a day which is great. I’m incredibly impressed with this especially because it’s only $6. This redeemed the matte lip products for me so i’ll definitely be purchasing some more. I’ve got my eyes on a few of their holiday sets. 

Worth it? Heck yes. 

ColourPop First Impressions & Review // Being Leanna

Lippie Stix- Lumière

First Impression: Holy Canoli do I love this color. And the texture, and the packaging, and the ease of application (no mirror necessary!), and that all of their products are scentless. Love everything. 

After 3 weeks: Still love this and wear it the most often out of the 3 lip products I purchased. The creamy consistency is fantastic but, it doesn’t ever seem to set which would be fine if I never ate or drank anything. It comes off all over on my mugs and cups. For $5 though that doesn’t really bother me. ColourPop has this same color in a lip pencil that I definitely want to grab to test out that formula. Have you guys tried their lip pencils?

Worth it? Heck yes. 

ColourPop First Impressions & Review // Being Leanna

Sculpting Stix- Dove & Venice

First impression: These are going to be funnnnnn. Ohhhh, they are fun. Oh wow, this highlighter seems to not do much. This contour though is fantastic. The consistency in these sculpting stix are great, creamy without being too soft. Plus, they blended out incredibly well. Dove is the perfect contour shade for my fair skin. It’s a darker color but it’s not too brown, it’s got more of a grey undertone which helps to create a shadow instead of looking dirty. 

After 3 weeks: Venice I could do without. I like the consistency but the color is just not a highlight for me. It does look lovely under my eyes as a bit of a brightener but in no way is it a highlight. Dove, the contour shade, is incredible. I’ve used this every day in place of my normal bronzer and i’m obsessed. My contour is far from being on fleek (do the kids still use that term?) but it’s getting exponentially better. For $5 you can’t beat these. Plus, the sculpting stix can be bought in 12 different shades so you’re bound to find one that works for you. 

Worth it? Dove- heck yes. Venice- Heck no. 

ColourPop First Impressions & Review // Being Leanna

Eye Shadow- Muse

First impression: Looks like a penny, feels like a cloud. I’ve heard from practically everyone that tries ColourPop that the texture of their shadows is unique and it definitely is. The texture is incredibly lightweight and almost spongy like a mixture between a cream and a regular shadow. I really wanted to test out the longevity of this by itself so I didn’t use any primer and applied this all over my lid. It looks fantastic.

After 3 weeks: I’m liking it but i’m not in love with it. I love a metallic lid in the fall/winter especially this universally flattering copper color but the formula isn’t really my favorite. It looks nice for a couple hours and then disappears completely. I’ve been using Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray primer on my lids and that’s really helped to make this last longer but still not forever. I’ve honestly found that applying this with my fingers works the best but, i’m not convinced this is worth the $5. 

Worth it? Heck no, I want a shadow that lasts all day. 

ColourPop First Impressions & Review // Being Leanna

Eye Shadow- Bill

First Impression: Stupid name, great color. Bill is a sort of purple-y grey and I love it on my eyes. I’ve got green eyes and purple really looks great with them but I’m not a fan of BAM IN YOUR FACE purple eye shadow so this is great. Even if you don’t have green eyes this shade is great. It’s like an amped up neutral. Plus, the texture is so cool.

After 3 weeks: I wear this every day that I don’t wear Muse. I find that the matte shadow lasts way better than the metallic and sometimes I even use this as a base for  Muse. The staying power for the matte shade was so dramatically different from the metallic shade that i’ll be buying some more for sure. Let me know your favorites in the comments below!

Worth it? Heck yes. 

Overall Thoughts:

Depending on what you get I think the price points are definitely worth the trade off for not getting to try things out in person first. If you don’t like a color you’re only out about $6 which isn’t the end of the world. Plus, you can always give away the products you’ll never use. I’d say to do your research before buying for sure though. The swatch pictures on the ColourPop website aren’t that great so do some Googling or Pinterest searching for swatches of the colors you’re interested in. They’ll help greatly. 

Question of the day: How do you feel about ColourPop? 

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ColourPop First Impressions & Review // Being Leanna


12 Reasons You Need To Visit Houston 18

12 Reasons You Need To Visit Houston, TX // Being LeannaHey ya’ll!!!

Let me just start by saying how happy I was when I went to Texas and me using the word “ya’ll” didn’t get me strange looks anymore. It was great, but certainly not the best part about my week long exploration of the lone star state.

 

I’ve got your top 12 reasons to head to the 4th largest city in the United States. I’ll be sharing the list today and might do another Houston centered post to let ya’ll know where we stayed, how we got around and all of the logistics so leave me a comment if you’re interested in that!

12 Reasons You Need To Visit Houston, Texas:

 

12 Reasons You Need To Visit Houston, TX // Being Leanna

// NRG Stadium

I went to my very first NFL game while in Houston and it was such a blast. I’m not a Texans fan, nor a Tennessee fan (that’s who they were playing that week) but I had such a good time I could have fooled anyone there. The stadium is huge and beautiful and features a retractable roof!

12 Reasons You Need To Visit Houston, TX // Being Leanna

The fans were incredible, everyone was cheering the whole time, and the Texans had the best music play whenever they did something great. Down with the Sickness by Disturbed. My inner punk teenager came out that day and I was not mad about it. Even if you aren’t an NFL fan you’ll get caught up in the rush of the excitement. The Texans won that day and the joy on the tram (it stops right at the stadium!) was palpable. So, if you find yourself in Houston you must go to NRG Stadium. They even host the worlds largest rodeo there and mark your calendars because they’ll be home to the 2017 Superbowl! 

12 Reasons You Need To Visit Houston, TX // Being Leanna

// Food & Drink

The food everywhere in Texas was amazing but I had some killer fish tacos as this place called Bodegas Taco shop. Not sure if it’s well known or not but we stumbled across this in a hangry haze after hitting up a museum and were not disappointed. They have every kind of taco/nacho/burrito you can imagine and this place was packed. Plus the margaritas were off the chain. Yes, I just said “off the chain”, deal with it. :-] Another place we had great food? MKT Bar. It’s part of a hip grocery store but it was great! 

We also went to the oldest bar in Houston- La Carafe and had some very tasty beers. If it wasn’t so dim inside i’d have taken some pictures. This was the perfect after dinner spot to lounge and relax. Be warned, it’s cash only but checking out the fabulous antique register is well worth having to pay in cash. 

10 Reasons To Visit Houston, TX // Being Leanna

// Museums

Go to the MFAH (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston) and take a wander. They have something for everyone in this gigantic museum. Plus, there are always cool installations going on. You could easily spend a whole day just stopping in and out of all the museums nearby. 

12 Reasons You Need To Visit Houston, TX // Being Leanna

// Theaters

This is something I didn’t get a chance to do but I hear the theater district is amazing. It is the second largest in the country by seat space, obviously second to NYC. But, for anyone who can’t ever get to NYC this is so much closer! 

12 Reasons You Need To Visit Houston, TX // Being Leanna

// Discovery Green

As soon as we got to Houston we headed up to Discovery Green. This park had everything, green space, food, a pond, a jungle gym, a stage, even a tiny putting green! You’d never know that this was in the center of a huge city, it is so peaceful and lovely. 

12 Reasons You Need To Visit Houston, TX // Being Leanna

// Medical Campus

Houston has the largest medical center in the world. So, whether you need the best care possible, or your considering a career in medicine, Houston is the  place to go. Plus, the buildings are beautiful. 

12 Reasons You Need To Visit Houston, TX // Being Leanna

// Johnson Space Center

I can’t decide if I had more fun here than at the football game. It’s a pretty close tie. Needless to say, you need to go to the space center when you’re in Houston. You could easily spend and entire day here so come prepared. (Side note: who the heck would think that thing above would fly? That’s why I don’t work for NASA) There is a lot to see and do so make sure you get everything checked off before you leave. I highly suggest getting there as early as possible and getting on the first tram tour of the day. It’ll be cooler you won’t have to wait in line.

12 Reasons You Need To Visit Houston, TX // Being Leanna

When you’re done you’ll be able to brag to all your friends and family that you got to visit the actual Mission Control. My inner nerd was having the time of her life. 

12 Reasons You Need To Visit Houston, TX // Being Leanna

// The Galleria

If you like shopping, this is the place for you. The Galleria is the largest shopping center in Texas and the fourth largest in the country. Also, I cheated and this picture was taken in the airport, not the mall but I had nothing else to show ya. With over 2.4 million square feet of space you’re sure to find something you like. The floor plan was a bit confusing to me but you better believe I found the stores I wanted. Oh, and in case you’re tired of shopping there is a full sized skating rink open all year round. No big deal. 

12 Reasons You Need To Visit Houston, TX // Being Leanna

// Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park

When you’re all set at the mall be sure to wander on over to see the water wall. Doesn’t sound impressive but that picture above will hopefully change your mind. It’s beautiful. And a quick walk over from the mall. We didn’t originally have plans to go here even though it was on my list because we were car-less so i’m so happy we made it. 

12 Reasons You Need To Visit Houston, TX // Being Leanna

// College/University

Did you know that Houston has over 40 different colleges and universities? Well, it does. So, if you’re in search for a college to attend in a great city you should head on over to Houston to check them out. Especially if you want to get into the medical field. 

12 Reasons You Need To Visit Houston, TX // Being Leanna

// Hermann Park 

Potentially my favorite of the parks in Houston. Hermann park is 445 acres of bliss. There is a golf course, Japanese gardens, a zoo, an outdoor amphitheater, a museum of science, a rose garden and even a planetarium. 

12 Reasons You Need To Visit Houston, TX // Being Leanna

 So much to see and do but the reflecting pool might be the best part. It’s like a mini Washington DC in the heart of Texas (clap clap clap clap). There is a huge hill leading up to the amphitheater and kids were having the time of their lives rolling down it. My friend and I watched the sunset over the treeline and just relaxed in the park. It felt like home. 

12 Reasons You Need To Visit Houston, TX // Being Leanna

// Street Art

Okay, I know I keep saying that everything was my favorite but I might have had the most fun wandering around looking at the street art. I wish we had had more time to explore. On our final day in Houston we rented a car to go to the Space Center so it was a lot easier to get around the city. I had one spot that as an Instagrammer/Blogger I needed to see but beyond that we just wandered. I might do a whole post on the street art just so I can show off all the pictures so i’ll just include this one. The one I had to have at the #biscuitpaintwall.

12 Reasons You Need To Visit Houston, TX // Being Leanna


Rep Your Team! Monday Night Football Style 5

Rep Your Team- MNF Fashion // Being Leanna

I love football. 

I grew up watching it every Sunday and it’s a tradition I keep up to this day. No, I can’t recite every rule or the stats of every player on my favorite team but, I can hold my own in a conversation. My favorite team is the New York Giants. Partially because i’m a New Yorker, partially because they were always on TV growing up and, partially because I wanted to root for a team nobody else in my family rooted for, ha!

Rep Your Team- MNF Fashion // Being Leanna

Hat ((Similar, mine’s autographed :] )// Jersey // Leggings // Boots

I love showing that I love my team through game day apparel and I am all about covering myself in Giants Blue now that the NFL has stepped up their women’s apparel game. I can guarantee that i’ve got some women’s stuff on my Christmas Wishlist this year. This is my go to outfit for game day. Comfy leggings, my big jersey and a hat so I don’t even have to bother with my hair. It’s the perfect look for a football Sunday (or Monday, or Thursday!).

Due to the NFL sucking previously the jersey i’m wearing is a men’s jersey. It’s comfortable, long and isn’t covered in rhinestones. I don’t know about you lady football lovers out there but I used to hate the NFL’s women’s apparel. The two women’s jerseys I owned were pretty yuck in my opinion. They were all: too short. Why do I need to be practically in a crop top? Too girly; My team wears dark blue, not a pastel blue. Too sparkly; one of the jerseys I had had glittery numbers, whyyy? I always thought that that’s what i’d be stuck with as a woman.

But not anymore! Thankfully the NFL has realized that women are normal fans that want normal apparel. Here’s my new favorite jersey (it fits boobs and isn’t cropped!), favorite hat, sweatshirt (cough cough parents), and sweatpants (their leggings are amazing too!). Thank goodness! I for one can’t wait until next season so I can rock all of my new ladies apparel. Who am I kidding, i’ll wear Giants gear all year round :-]

Rep Your Team- MNF Fashion // Being Leanna

Also, it’s Monday night, and that means Monday Night Football!!! Root for my Giants :-]

Question of the day: Are you an NFL fan? If so, who do you root for?

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