Gift Guide: For Mom

If it's not obvious already, I love giving gifts. Admittedly, I'm pretty good at it too! Gift-giving is something I definitely pride myself on, because I always seem to find something for even the hardest people to shop for. In my own life, my mom is definitely one of those people. I have a really good grasp (usually) on what she likes, but she's the kind of person who will tell me over and over that she doesn't want anything, doesn't need anything, won't use x, y, or z. That's what makes things tricky!

 When it comes to shopping for my mom, your mom, and any and all of the mom's out there who give us the big gift of their love and pain old existence everyday, it's important to give them a present they'll get excited about! My mom loves to read, she loves to cook, she's crazy about yoga and pilates, and she loves to just chill around the house with me. So what's better than the hilarious Amy Schumer in biography form?! (She's one of my mom and my favorite's!) Or Chrissy Teigen's cookbook? A cashmere wrap and a candle for a lazy Sunday morning, a new pair of slippers or a yoga mat and matching tank... It's all below!

Amy Schumer book // Chrissy Teigen's cookbook, "Cravings" -- I've heard soo many good things!
plaid wine bags // rose bath oil // tortoiseshell catchall -- obsessed with this pretty little thing
gold strand necklace -- almost want it for myself! // "mom" necklace
yoga tank top -- my mom is a yoga/pilates fanatic and could never have enough tanks
s'well bottle -- the best out there! // ninja blender // fitbit


Happy Shopping! Check out my other gift guides here:




Holiday Cards + Custom Gift Tags

One of the things that I love most about Christmastime is that there are so, so many ways to get in the holiday spirit. Whether you're baking cookies, listening to Christmas music or just wearing something red and sparkly, you can engage in Christmastime and be festive nonetheless! One fun way to get in the holiday spirit is also by sending festive snail mail. I love flipping through all of the Christmas cards we get in the mail every year, but since I'm not home yet to see all of them, I wanted to still get in the holiday spirit and send out some of my own!

How cute are these holiday greeting cards from Jen Davis Designs?! I'm so in love with them!

Jen also has the cutest prints and custom gift tags in her shop, both perfect for the holidays. I had the "Wisconsin" and "Fran" prints custom done, and the gift tags will be perfect to wrap all the goodies from my gift guides.

How cute?! 


This Week's Top 10: Holiday Party Shoes

I'm mixing it up a little for This Week's Top 10! I think maybe for the holidays I'll do something fun and exciting each Friday just to change up your typical links post. Thoughts on that? 

Today I'm sharing the top 10 holiday shoes I've discovered while I've been holiday shopping. There's sooooo much good stuff out there, you guys. Ugh, I could seriously make five gift guides a day if I had the time.... and a lot less schoolwork :)

Happy shopping and happy weekend! I'm in Rhode Island celebrating my grandma's birthday and I'm so happy to be back in one of my favorite places in New England.


My Thanksgiving Salad Recipe

You guys... How is it December first?! This year has flown by like crazy. I'm excited that in just about two and a half weeks I'll be all done with exams and en route home for a month of winter break, my annual cookie exchange with friends, and lots of relaxation. For now, it's another weekend away from school for me! I'm leaving this evening for Long Island where I'll be staying at my aunt's house tonight before we make our way to Rhode Island for the weekend to celebrate my Gramma's birthday. I'm so excited to see my aunts, my grandma, and a few of my cousins on my dad's side of the family this weekend because we missed them at our Thanksgiving and I'm spending Christmas with my mom.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I made a delicious salad for our dinner that I really couldn't have enjoyed more! I am not always the biggest salad person, but this baby could've been a meal on it's own because I couldn't stop eating it! I shared the recipe on Snapchat (@ franacciardo) last Thursday as I was making it and it turned out so, so delicious. Like, I seriously want to make it all the time once I get home and I can cook again! I originally planned to follow a recipe, but when you get to Whole Foods the day before the holiday and they're all out of Brussels sprouts, ya just gotta improvise, ya know? 

Anyways, this salad is incredible easy, healthy, and delicious. Triple threat; win, win, win! I loved tossing together a bunch of random autumn ingredients and witnessing the magic happen. 

What you'll need...

1 large bunch of lacinato kale, chopped into bites
Butternut squash, cubed and cooked
Pumpkin seeds
Pomegranate seeds
Feta cheese crumbles
Dried cranberries

What to do...

I hoped up my kale into bite sized pieces and did the same with our squash. I only used about half the squash and that worked out to be enough, but I do love squash and wouldn't have minded using more!

Tip on cooking the squash: Once you've cut the squash into bites, toss in a pot with water and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce to a simmer and remove the squash once you feel that the bites are soft/tender/basically: cooked.

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl, using as much or as little of each as you'd like. Finally, drizzle on a little dressing and toss again. I really didn't use a ton of dressing because the cheese, pomegranate seeds, and squash all already have some moisture and I didn't want the garlic in the dressing to overpower any of the natural flavors.

Let me know if you try this salad or something similar, I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Gift Guide: Under $50

Another gift guide! I love coming up with the "Under $50" gift guide every year because I am always amazed at the fun things you can find at a great price. There really is no shortage of goodies and great gift ideas for under $50, so it's kind of exciting to see what you can find for such a deal.

Fur scarf // iPhone case // S'Well water bottle (I got this for Jack and he's in love with it)

**One thing I really wanted to add after I made the graphic is this necklace. It's gorgeous! I'm so sad it doesn't come in the letter "F", but I almost want to get it in the "A" because I love it so much. It's an incredible price and gorgeous for everyday wear. I don't know a girl who's style this wouldn't suit or who wouldn't want to wear this everyday. Definitely one of my top picks! I suggested it to my friend's boyfriend and I already know he ordered it for her...

But, I really love everything above... These gifts would be great for a best friend (that monogrammed tray or water bottle!), for your mom (the slippers  turtleneck  and fur scarf ) or a practical friend/aunt/cousin/sibling that would love a new phone case  a little zip case for cards and cash on the go, or a speaker to take traveling or to use in the shower.

Shop a ton more gifts under $50 below: