Winter Tag 2017 & Ginger's Linkup #12



Myself and several of my blogger friends are teaming up to do a Winter Tag where we answer 15 Winter/Holiday related questions. I love this idea, because it allows my wonderful readers to learn a little bit more about me! I hope you all are having a fabulous holiday season and not stressing out too much about gift buying! I'll admit, things are getting a little hairy over here! I've got way too much to do and not enough time to do it all, but I WILL get it all done! Oh, a mention about the above topiary dog...I found this gem at Big Lots and added the bow! By now, you all know how much I love dogs, so this was the perfect addition to my holiday decor!

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#1 What is your favorite holiday tradition?

One of my favorite holiday traditions from childhood was spending the holidays with my Grandparents. More specifically, every Christmas Eve, my family and my Mother's sister's family all went to my Mother's parent's house, and we exchanged gifts with my Grandparents. One thing I remember is that my Grandmother always made fruit cake cookies, and they always had their tree set up in their front living room. I loved that some years they had those big bulbed blue lights on a silver tree. On Christmas Day, we had dinner at our house, and both sets of my Grandparents came, along with aunts, uncles and cousins. As an adult, one thing that I love doing every year is putting out a musical Santa Claus that belonged to my Mother and now belongs to me. I remember her putting it out my entire childhood, and it's just something special that I keep doing now that she's no longer with us.




#2 What is your favorite go to winter lippies?

I completely love seeing everyone else wearing so many great red lip colors during the winter. If you're a redhead, like me, you know the struggle...red lips just don't look that great on most of us. I'm a huge fan of Chanel Rouge Double Intensité, Ultra Wear Lip Colour in Tender Beige for the colder months.  It provides a nice, intense color, and it's a great color for us redheads who need a more neutral lip. Also, it is super long-wearing. During the warmer months, I wear the same product in Darling Pink.




#3 What is your favorite winter scent (candles, perfume, etc.)?

My absolute favorite Christmas/winter scent is Thymes Fraiser Fir Candle, and Fraiser Fir Soaps. A lot of companies try to make a scent that smells like a real Christmas tree, but Thymes hits the mark every time. My house always smells so wonderful and, well, Christmasy! Since I found this scent, I've never bought another for the holidays. Before and after the holidays, I love to use a Candle Warmer and my favorite Sugared Vanilla or Thankful Harvest wax melts.




#4 What is your go-to winter fashion trend?

Oh my goodness, that's an easy question! Winter, for me, is all about beanie hats, scarves, faux fur and boots! My absolute favorite beanie hats have pom poms on top (LOL...I know!!)! I just think pom poms are so cute, and I love the way beanie hats frame my long hair around my face.








My favorite winter boots come in several categories! Of course, we all need a great pair of riding boots, a great pair of snow and rain boots, a great pair of super warm boots, and a great pair of short boots! For super cold weather with snow, my absolute favorite boots are Sorel! They are super comfortable, so, so warm and waterproof. For rainy days, of course, nothing beats a classic pair of Hunter Rain Boots. For riding boots, Frye boots and Born boots are wonderful, and Coach makes super cute short boots and riding boots. For a cute, super warm and comfy boot, Uggs are the best! I'm not really sure how many pairs of Uggs I have, but it's a lot! From tall to short, I love all of my Uggs.

As for winter scarves...I LOVE THEM ALL! Infinity scarves, wool scarves, and my all time favorite,  cashmere scarves. The great thing about cashmere is that it's light weight, but super warm, and I find myself wearing them on the coldest days.

I have to admit, I used to think faux fur was tacky. Honestly, it hasn't always been made as well as it is now.  I have found that over the last several years, I have come to really love faux fur. It all started with the purchase of a Rachel Zoe faux fur vest. I've been hooked ever since.

#5 What is your all time favorite holiday movie?

As a child, I always loved Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. We watched those every year without fail. I'll admit, I MIGHT still watch them! I also love A Christmas Carol and Home Alone! Christmas movies  are always great to get the holiday vibe going.

#6 What is your all time favorite holiday tune?

Wow! This is a hard one! I really love holiday music, so I can't narrow it down to just one. I love Jingle Bells, O Holy Night, Deck the Halls, White ChristmasThe Christmas Song and Joy to the World, just to name a few. As I child, I remember listening to the old Christmas songs on my Grandparent's record player.


#7 Do you prefer to travel or stay home for the holidays?

As a child, we always stayed home for Christmas. It was like home was where Christmas was supposed to be. Now, we may travel to our vacation home for Christmas, but it's always spent with family and my pups. If my family can't travel, for some reason, we stay home.

#8 What is your favorite winter skin care must have?

Oh, I have several winter skin care must haves! My skin is extremely dry, and the winter seems to make it even worse. Winter facial skin requires a great skin care routine to keep it smooth and not flakey. For times when my skin is super dry, I love La Mer The Moisturizing Cream. While it's quite pricey, it is a fabulous moisturizer. I also love to use RoC Hexinol Multi Correxion 5 in 1 Restoring Night Cream at night, while I sleep. I works wonders on my skin. Then, I exfoliate with RoC Daily Resurfacing Disks to keep my skin smooth and not flakey. I absolutely cannot live without Beeswax Lip Balm by Burt's Bees to keep my lips smooth and soft.  For all over body moisturizer, I love a great Coconut Oil. Honestly, it doesn't even have to be a special kind...I buy mine at the grocery store! It's truly one of the best moisturizers for your skin. To add a bit of scent, I use L'Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil, which I use year round. 



#9 What is your favorite winter hair care product?

I don't really change my hair care routine up during the winter months. My hair is always dry, so I have to work really hard to keep it looking great. I alway use L'Oréal Paris Hair Expert Extraordinary Oil Shampoo and L'Oreal Paris Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Conditioner, which keep my curly, dry hair feeling soft and smooth. I've tried multiple high end shampoos and conditioners, and I love these more! It's all in the oil. For styling products, I use Redken Frizz Dismiss Instant DeflatePureology Smooth Perfection Intense Smoothing Cream and a very tiny drop of Pureology Smooth Perfection Shaping Control Gel to tame and straighten my super curly hair. These same products work great when I style my hair curly, as well. I find that Pureology Smooth Perfection Shaping Control Gel, in a very tiny drop, locks out the moisture and helps keep my hair from frizzing.




#10 What is your favorite winter activity?

Hands down, ice skating is my favorite winter activity! I absolutely love it! I never ice skated in my life until two years ago. My husband and I were in New York City in December, and I just had to try ice skating at Bryant Park. After Googling how to properly ice skate (yes...that's right), I'm proud to say, that I got the knack of it very quickly, and I have never fallen! Amazing, right? Since that was so much fun, I had to get my own pair of ice skates, and I go skating every winter now!


I also really love playing in the snow...with my puppies!



And spending time with my Honey, but that's a favorite year round!




#11 What is your favorite must have winter beauty product?

I know that I've already mentioned this as a winter skin care must have, but as simplistic as it is...I really can't live without Beeswax Lip Balm by Burt's Bees!! I don't like a real strong smell in any type of lip balm, and even most of the scented Burt's Bees lip balms are a mild scent. Honey is my absolute favorite! Without it, my lips would be a mess!

#12 Do you love or hate the snow?

Ummm...DUH, I absolutely love the snow! Even the prospect of snow excites me like I'm still a child.  Perhaps it's from living in Florida my entire life, but anytime I can get a dose of snow, I'm all for it. It snows at our vacation home in North Georgia, and even a few flurries get me super excited and wanting more! It snowed there in January of this year, and again this past week. Unfortunately, I wasn't there to enjoy it this past week! 



#13 What is one item on your wish list this year?

Well, let me start this by saying that I pretty much buy things I want throughout the year, unless it's just something I don't get around to picking up or ordering. So, my family HATES Christmas shopping for me! I did tell my husband that I would love to have a selfie stick. I know that's a really small item, but it sounds like a lot of fun!

#14 What is your favorite holiday treat?

Oh my goodness, I'm not sure I can name just one favorite holiday treat! Not being able to pick just one of something seems to be a trend for me! I love chocolate chip cookies with nuts, haystacks and rum balls, just to name a few!

#15 Do you finish your holiday shopping before December or are you a last minute shopper?

Ummm...is shopping in December considered to be "last minute?" If that's the criteria, I must be at least a partially last minute shopper. I probably get started shopping at the end of October/beginning of November, but I never finish it all before December. In fact, I'm still not done! I try to do as much shopping as I can online, but invariably, I end up running from store to store to get those last few little things.

NOW I NOMINATE THESE FABULOUS BLOGGERS TO TAKE ON THE WINTER TAG!







I hope you guys enjoyed my post! Let me know what you think, and please check out these other great bloggers over the next day or so to learn a little bit about them too! Now, it's time to link up! Due to the length of this post, I will feature this past week's favorites along with this next week's favorites all at the same time in next Monday's post.




I hope you all have a great week and get lots of holiday prep done! I know I'll be working on that myself!

XOXO,

Julie

How to Style White Denim Three Ways for the Winter & Ginger's Blog Linkup #11


I wore this super casual and comfy outfit the other day, and I'm really embracing the white denim and boot look for this Fall/Winter. In years past, I've tried to avoid wearing white in the winter, but I just love my white jeans too much! Plus, it seems to be a little more acceptable at this point. When you're from the South, certain notions are ingrained in your head from an early age, and the no white after Labor Day is a big one! This vest, I LOVE, it's on sale for a great price and comes in at least two colors. Mine is a dark, olive green color, which is so versatile.  I paired it with a chambray shirt that I bought at Old Navy (who, by the way is having 50% off favorite winter items) several years ago. I have linked the exact vest below, along with a selection of similar jeans, tops and boots.  I'll tell you that these boots, which you've probably seen in other posts, have been a go-to for several years now. They have a rubber bottom, so they are so comfortable for walking even long distances, and the color is compatible with almost everything. Who else has a favorite pair of boots that you wear more than any others?

So, the day that I wore this, after I got home from the office, I got the idea to see how different outerwear would pair with these white jeans and boots. I'm really the type of person that starts off most days (when nothing important is going on) with a base of jeans and a tee, and I build my outfit from there. Many times, I just throw on a simple cashmere sweater or turtleneck and go. I almost always wear a tee under my sweaters and button up shirts. It just helps keep me warmer.


Next, I tried on my favorite olive green parka with faux fur on the hood that I bought at Loft several years ago. I've only worn this jacket a handful of times, but if you're like me, you buy so many jackets, it's difficult to cycle through them all very frequently. I just might love outerwear as much as I love shoes! Well, not quite as much! I love this jacket because it is warm and it allows you to cinch it around the waste to provide a more fitted look. If you're short and small framed like me, loose, baggy clothing just swallows you whole, so I love anything that is adjustable. The jacket I'm wearing is an extra small, but to be honest, it still seems a little large. I think it's probably just the style.  I love the faux fur on the hoodie. It just gives the jacket a little extra pizzaz. I have linked several similar  parkas below which are very affordable. The light blue parka also comes in olive and is actually from Loft. It has a cinched waste just like mine. Although, I  have to admit, I really love it in the light blue color too. 



I almost forgot to mention, Macy's has a great sale going on right now through 12/11/17 for  40% off Puffers, Peacoats & more & save an extra 30% with promo code: FRIEND. Don't miss out, because they have a super cute Michael Kors parka that's normally $300, on sale for $189.99, and it comes in multiple colors! Photo below!





Finally, I tried on a silvery blue light weight poncho that I threw on over the white tee that I was wearing under my chambray shirt. For this outfit, I removed the chambray shirt altogether. I really like this poncho (who am I kidding, I love most ponchos)! It's not too heavy, and it doesn't constrict the movement of my arms. I got this particular poncho at a little, local shop in North Georgia, so I couldn't link the exact poncho. However, I've linked similar ponchos for you below that are very affordable.



I think the most important thing to note about styling white jeans in the Fall/Winter is that they look best with darker tops and shoes. That keeps them from looking too stark white and summery. While I have multiple different brands of white jeans, I often return to my tried and true pairs from Target that  are basically jeggings. I've found that for my height, they just work best. I'm only 5'1", and even my Levis are too long. Although, I did recently cut a pair off all by myself and fringe them on the bottom. I must say that I'm not a seamstress at all, so I have a bit of anxiety cutting them myself. I'll have to wear those in a post, at some point.  

I hope you all enjoyed my post! Please feel free to leave me a comment with your thoughts! I love to hear from you. Now, it's time to link up! As you all know, each week I pick my two favorite posts from the prior week's link up to feature. My favorites from last week are:


Nistha from Fashio Nistha, whose post discussed Winter layering in Summer clothes.


AND 

Rosemary from Distinctly Southern Style, whose post discussed the comfy outfit she wore for Black Friday shopping.


Give these two wonderful ladies some love by checking out their great blogs! Now, let's get this linkup party started!

An InLinkz Link-up

Happy Monday, and I hope you all have a great week!

XOXO,


Julie




Dry Hands Love Parodi & Ginger's Linkup #10


I was gifted this product by Parodi, but, as always, all opinions are my own.

I don't know about you ladies, but during the cold months, especially, my hands get so dry, and I'm always looking for good products to provide some relief. Unfortunately, I also have allergies to soaps, especially ones that contain an antibacterial. The combination of the cold weather and the soap allergy causes the tops of my hands to have a ton of tiny cracks in them, which is very painful. If any of you suffer from this problem, you know that some lotions burn and do more harm than good! 

My Thoughts on Green Tea & Enzyme Powder Wash by Wishtrend & Ginger's Linkup #8



Okay ladies, let's talk about facial washes! How difficult is it to find one you love; one that is for all skin types? I know! It's SO difficult! I typically find that facial washes either leave my skin too dry or make it oily, which is super strange, because my skin is very dry. Worse yet, some cause dreaded pimples to appear! That is NOT okay! I typically just end up falling back to basic soap or gentle facial wipes. I know, I know...soap is terrible for your face. 

My Love of Casual Style & Ginger's Blog Linkup #7


DENIM JACKET: Old Calvin Klein (Similar: HereHere and Here) // TEE: Target-exact Here and Plus size Here // SCARF: Shoe Station (Similar: Here and Here) // BELT: Lauren Ralph Lauren (Similar: HereHere and Here) WHITE JEANS: Old Target (Similar: HereHere, and Here) // CONVERSE: HereHere and Here .