I always encourage supporting local business, but as everyone knows, it's even more important this year after the havoc that COVID has wreaked on our communities. I know holiday shopping can get a little stressful at times, so I pulled together a list of my favorite Kentucky local gifts I'll be giving this year!
Upcycled, handmade leather journals, sketchbooks and bags. How cool, right?! I found this artist through a maker's market several years ago and have been in love since. I'm a big journal person, so getting a new sustainable, fairly made journal for all my writing is one of my favorite things! If you want to gift a friend a little journal time, or even a cute bag this year, definitely check out Luna's work.
New Star South - Versailles, KY
I've been a fan of Reagan's leather earrings for a long time, but she's been expanding lately and has added so many more things! Her shop now has leather, acrylic, and clay earrings, masks and accessories, and recently began selling flavored marshmallows! My favorite would have to be the bourbon ones, but the peppermint ones sound great as well. She even added the Versailles print above to her physical location in Green Street Gifts!
Local Coffees - Kentucky
There are too many great coffees in Kentucky to just name one - so I had to include a few! Manuscript coffee has a holiday coffee called "Gift of the Magi" that really gets you in the holiday spirit. I talk about Lincoln Road all of the time, and what gets you more in the spirit than savings!? You can get my discount code for this brand on the Promotions Page. Some of my other favorite coffees in Kentucky for gifting are Nate's Coffee and Manchester Coffee Co!
To Go Beers - Lexington, KY
Everyone needs a little happiness this year, and my favorite form of that is advent calendars! Opening little gifts is my literal favorite, so I don't have a SINGLE bad day in December when I get one of these. I've rounded up some of my favorite food based ones in case any of y'all are looking for one to get.
GRoup Order Calendars
A few calendars are small ones that come with multiple for a good price. These are great for kids or if you and your roommates all want to do a small simple one together
Calendar Bodies + Fillers
A lot of people prefer the make your own advent calendar routes. There are too many options to discuss, you can realistically find any design you want. But I wanted to include my 2 favorite options: Fill your own mini wine bottles, and fill your own K-cups
There are as many filler options as their are calendars, so I again won't even try to summarize them. But I came across this super cute option and wanted to include it for anyone doing their own calendars out there!
I admit it, I'm a subscription box addict. I love the idea of getting a little present in the mail every month (or two or three depending on how many I'm signed up for at the time). So while this may be a problem for me, I've realized my widespread knowledge of subscription boxes could actually help people. So while I'm off spending all my money on new boxes, here are my reviews of the ones I've actually tried so y'all can pick and choose a little better than me lol:
IndiBox: Local Beauty Box
LOCAL subscription box?! Y'all know I jumped on that train immediately. I was so excited to indulge in my favorite style of self care while supporting local businesses! And boy was it worth it. This box was absolutely awesome. So many little products tucked in, and I could not believe the great value of the salon gift! When you order you're asked a few questions to help personalize the box and I loved that little touch. I said I used a lot of Aveda, so my first box had some Aveda products in it. I also said I had a cat, so I got a cute little cat toy! Absolutely love how personal this box felt, and while my first box was a gift to try out, I've already subscribed myself so I can keep getting these fun boxes!!
Babaloo Jewelry is a Lexington-local jewerly artist, and she makes the most chic earrings! I've been buying her earrings forever, so of course when she came out with a subscription box, I jumped in immediately. Each box comes with a subscription-exclusive pair of earrings and an additional goodie (so far has been studs). Subscribers will also have future access to discounts and events. The box is $30, which is a great price given one of these nice pairs alone can run you about that! I can't wait to see this box grow, but even in its initial stages, I absolutely love this local box.
FabFitFun: Lifestyle Box
I LOVE this box, just not the price.😅 Don't get me wrong, you definitely get your moneys worth, it's just super hard for me to see $50 just gone every time this box renews. Though this one is quarterly rather than monthly, which definitely helps. But when you get past the price tag, this box is B O M B. You get some of the most chic and simultaneously useful items that you never even knew you needed. Plus you get an entire online community and database of amazing information regarding anything and everything you could really want to know about (the recipe videos are my fav obviously). So if you can get past the higher price tag, the this box is 10/10 my top recommendation.
Mint Mongoose: JEWELRY Box
This box is adorable and a pretty dang good value. For just $12, you get three pieces on matching jewelry: a necklace, a ring, and earrings. And its actually decent quality jewelry (no green lines from the rings woo!). Every three months, they add on a special gift too! As you can see above, my special gift was a cute gold hair pin. The most adorable part though? They include a little butterscotch candy in each package. Gets me every time. ❤
Sephora Play: Makeup Box
I honestly loved getting this box. I'm a big "try before you buy" person, so 5-6 new product samples every month was HEAVEN, and $10 is a GREAT price for that. Not to mention, you make some of that back with all the free stuff you get via the points you're earning on each box (I was stacked with Sephora points for awhile there). I stopped this box half a year ago and STILL have samples I haven't gotten through yet because I just got so dang many. I actually stopped my subscription because I realized I needed to work through some samples before I could get any more LOL. My only complaint is that I've heard some other brands have boxes for the same price but give you full sized products? IDK, I'm investigating and I'll let y'all know..... Overall, this is a bomb box that really gives you the chance to try SO MANY great brands and products.
The Birchbox is super similar to the Sephora box mentioned above. As the Sephora box is going away, this is a super good alternate if you liked that box. My only complaint here is I felt like my samples weren't quite as good as with Sephora. They were a little smaller, and it's also $15 instead of the $10 for Sephora. But as I enjoy trying new makeup products, when the Sephora Play goes away, I will probably switch to this box. So overall, an alright box if you want to test new products, but not near as good as the Sephora Play! subscription, and not really worth it if you're not genuinely looking for something to try out new potential makeups with.
Bootay Bag: Underwear Subscription
I hate to say it, but I can't recommend this subscription. I love the concept: 2 new underwear delivered right to your door each month for just $13. The problem is the product. I stayed with Bootay Bag through two product phases: the cute but not durable, and the durable but not cute. They can't really seem to find a happy medium, and that's what kills it for me. All of the cute lace in their underwear starts breaking after like the second wear, but all of the durable lace is super bulky and gross. They tried a couple non-lace pairs that were supposed to be more durable as well, and can't say those styles were any cuter. I would definitely jump back on board this train if Bootay Bag could just find a way to make quality underwear for their price! (And disclaimer: this was several months ago that I tried this, so they could have upped their quality by now. I will be checking them out again soon and will update y'all as soon as I do!)
As some of you may remember, I've worked with Smile Brilliant in the past. I got to check out their AWESOME teeth whitener (if you missed that post, you can find it here) and even got to give one away. Well WE'RE BACK! I loved the brand so much and y'all loved that giveaway so much that we decided to pair up again. This time, I'm dishing all the info about their new CariPRO electric toothbrush!
If y'all haven't noticed yet, I'm the freebie QUEEN. I grew up on the saying "if it's free it's for me" and I now swear by that statement LOL. I've signed up for every. single. possible. freebie website throughout my time on the internet, and I can tell you exactly what websites are worth it and which are duds. So if you're interested in ALLL the free stuff, here we go:
Influenster is my most faithful freebie site. While they aren't pumping out the freebies to you, you'll get a really solid product or two every few months if you stay active on their site (mostly makeup related products, some others though). Everything they send is full sized, and sometimes they'll even send themed boxes with several full sized products in them. They just want a little social interaction, mainly reviews in return for the products. In addition to free stuff, their site has REALLY helpful information. I refer to Influenster any time I need to find a new product for something specific. I'd give this site a 10/10 any day of the year and I consistently recommend it to all of my friends.
As a grad student and an avid foodie, I put my teeth through a LOT. Constant coffee and Coca-Cola + all the new foods and sauces I'm trying = Yellow teeth for dayssss. In (very sad) attempts to fix this, I've tried every teeth whitener out there over the years, but I've just never been able to find one that's worth the effort. Strips barely stay on your teeth, the make-your-own teeth molds are so bulky, and don't even get me started on the huge LED emitters that go with all of them(that aren't actually even strong enough to really be helping - ugh). I'd honestly begun to just give up on my dream of pretty teeth, until I found Smile Brilliant.
Welcome to my small corner of the internet! My name is Alex and if you know me (or have really seen me on any sort of social media), you learn pretty quickly that I LOVE food and LOVE sharing my love for food even more. Thus, the creation of this blog!