Black Friday & Cyber Monday Gift Guide

‘Tis the Season! It’s Black Friday time! I did five roundups of gift ideas for your viewing (and shopping) pleasure. :) The first 2 are for the hardcore beauty lovers, one is the best sets of both makeup and skincare from a variety of Black Friday specials ranging from Ulta to Sephora and others. The second is for small gift-giving ideas, ranging at prices points from $20 to no more than $75. The other three gift guides are fashion, home, and pet-related, where I picked up items not only I’d grab for myself, but would love to give to someone else even more. Several items, mostly from the beauty boards are of limited edition (holiday collection/item) so don’t miss your chance to score big, as there’s so many deals to be had with these items I’ve listed! Lots of sales I’ve listed are from Nordstrom, Shopbop, Bed Bath & Beyond, and others along with Sephora & Ulta and even Amazon. If you’re interested in one of the products mentioned in my gift guides, hover over the number with the mouse to click-through. Happy shopping and happy loads and loads of turkey and love.


1. Marc Jacobs Beauty Waterproof Eyeliner & Volumizing Mascara - Fall Runway Edition, $49

2. IT Brushes Your Glam Must-Haves 5 Pc Brush Set + Exclusive Clutch, $125/30% off at Ulta

3. NYX Professional Makeup Sugar Trip 24 Days Of Beauty Advent Calendar, $30

4. Lancôme Definicils Mascara Collection Holiday Set, $35

5. Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Gift Set, $76

6. Mario Badescu Spritz. Mist. Glow. Set, $12

7. Sephora Favorites Lashstash, $48

8. OUAI Swing Both OUAIs Kit, $48

9. Urban Decay Naked Cherry Vault, $100

10. LANEIGE Sleep & Glow Set, $39/$52 value

11. Ole Henriksen Glow Brightly™ - Radiance-Boosting Super Set, $49

12. First Aid Beauty Skin Summit, $48/$112 value


1. Diptyque Black Friday Candle Limited Edition, $75

2. Lime Crime Diamond Dew Liquid Eyeshadow, $20

3. Philosophy Fresh Cream Warm Cashmere Eau de Toilette Mini, $18

4. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Pink Grapefruit, $18/$42 value

5. boscia Luminizing Black Charcoal Mask, $20

6. Bobbi Brown Snow Glow Mini Highlighting Powder, $25

7. Jin Soon Encore Collection, $42

8. Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray Mini Ornament, $15

9. Givenchy Prisme Libre Loose Powder - Limited Edition, $60

10. NARS Heartbreaker Blush Palette, $42

11. Stila One Step Correct, $23


1. Crosley Radio Cruiser Deluxe Turntable, $70

2. Nordstrom at Home Kennebunk Bliss Plush Throw, $40

3. CALPAK Ambeur 20-Inch Rolling Spinner Carry-On, $135

4. Mikasa® Swirl 16-Piece Dinnerware Set in Blue, $80/$150

5. Nordstrom 5-Piece Stainless Steel Bar Tool Set, $69

6. KitchenAid® Artisan® 5 qt. Stand Mixer, $280/$380


  1. Comme des Garçons PLAY x Converse Chuck Taylor® Hidden Heart High Top Sneaker, $135

2. AKIRA Teddy Hug Midi Jacket, $40

3. Topshop Sela Crossbody Bag, $48

4. DL1961 Farrow Jeans, $199

5. Gucci Double-G Buckle Calfskin Belt, $350

6. kate spade one in a million initial pendant necklace, $35

7. Shopbop Escapade Sunglasses, $59


  1. Lanyar Dog Reindeer Holiday Pet Clothes Sweater for Dogs Puppy Kitten Cats, Classic Red, $15

2. Christmas Dog Bone Ornament - Set of Three, $8

3. Petist Professional Pet Nail Grinder, Electric Pet Nail Trimmer, Clippers, File with 3 Different Gen, $26

4. West Elm Found My Animal Adjustable Dog Leash, $54

5. Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Puzzle Plush Squeaking Toys Dogs, $16

6. Chuckit! Dog Ball Launcher, $9.45

7. Christmas Dog - German Shepherd Naughty List Shirt, $20




How to Create the Best Holiday Gift Basket for your Dog

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.


I've had MaQ for five years and it was the month of December when we first met. That day still feels like it was yesterday. Every holiday season I can't help but go overboard on getting him gifts. My reasons are, there's always an occasion to spoil my dog and I'm just really grateful for him and love him to bits! We have been through a lot together and he has taught me so much along the way. He's not just a pet, or a friend - he's family. Which is why I couldn't resist buying these treats during a recent trip to Walmart. And I wanted to share some other fun gift ideas along with the treats to make the perfect stocking/gift basket for your dog! I'll even be showing you how to wrap it up into one gift! And believe me when I say this, it is completely painless and easy! (The way present wrapping should be intended! Ha ha!)


1. Milk-Bone Flavor Snacks

Milk-Bone Flavor Snacks feature the same teeth cleaning and vitamin-enriched goodness of Milk-Bone Original biscuits in five delicious flavors your dog will love. Your dog always does so much to show you their unconditional love. Return that expression of love by treating them with a yummy Milk-Bone biscuit. For dogs of all sizes. 

2. Pup-Peroni

Sharing these tasty treats is a great way to provide contagious joy for both dogs & dog parents. With more real beef* and a mouthwatering aroma it's no wonder dogs simply can't resist Pup-Peroni Original Beef Flavor dog snacks. Don't forget to take a package along so you can treat your pup wherever you pal around! *Than the leading soft and chewy dog snack competitor 

3. Any Christmas-Themed Stuffed Animal

One of MaQ's favorite toys are stuffed animals, so much so, we created a game called the "Identification Game" where he can literally I.D. over twenty stuffed animals he owns. That's how smart my boy is! I went with a Christmas tree and a reindeer to build upon his vocabulary. Though I somehow believe he already knows what these words mean after five years together, ha ha! 


4. A Fresh New Dish

It's always a good idea to replace your dog's dish/bowl after a while, right? What better time than now to get a fresh new one? I like this one because it's not made out of metal, and the color is super cute! I also can appreciate that it is a larger size as MaQ is a pretty big guy and does eat a lot! 

5. It's the Little Things

On top of stuffed animals, MaQ is also obsessed with balls, like most German Shepherds. Of course, I had to add a couple of (red & green color-coordinated with the holiday season, naturally) them into the gift basket. Lastly, a super cute Naughty/Nice red bone toy and red & green play rope for the finishing touches. 


I assembled these gifts in one basket! I used the same plastic wrap that is used for flower bouquets and such, starting with the bowl and adding the treats and toys after. Once everything was inside, I tied a red satin ribbon around the top to close it and also make it look festive and adorable. What do you guys think of my gift basket idea? What kind of items would you put in your gift basket for your pooch? You can find Pup-Peroni Original Beef Flavor Dog Treats (25 oz.) and the Milk-Bone Flavor Snacks at your local Walmart in the pet treat aisle. For more info go here






Cranberry Asian Pear Christmas Sangria

This post is sponsored by Villeroy & Boch.


Happy Friday, everyone! I've been fighting a cold all week. Just when I thought I was in the clear, it got worse. But I'm on the mend and am definitely trying to catch up on work and am so ready to relax this weekend. It's supposed to snow tomorrow in the city and you know I'll definitely be taking advantage of that for a photo shoot! (Bearing in mind I'll more than likely freeze my booty off ha ha!) I know my pup will be over the moon about the snow. But what to drink afterward? I'd suggest either a warm Hot Toddy OR perhaps something a bit more festive and fruity without burning your tongue off? I've partnered with Villeroy & Boch to share my cranberry Asian pear Christmas Sangria recipe! It's so delicious and easy to make, you're not going to want to miss out on this amazing concoction. Continue reading for the recipe, it'll be a weekend hit!


Cranberry Asian Pear Christmas Sangria

photo + recipe by © Suzanne Spiegoski

photo + recipe by © Suzanne Spiegoski

Serves 4


1 cinnamon stick

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

1 cup fresh cranberries, divided

1 pear, sliced

zest from one orange

1/4 cup brandy

1 bottle white or red wine

sparkling water


In a small saucepan, over high heat, combine water, sugar, cinnamon stick and 1/2 C. of the cranberries. Once boiling, reduce to low heat and simmer for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the cranberries have begun to pop a bit. Remove pan from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a clear glass pitcher, combine the Brandy, pear, remaining cranberries, orange zest and the cooled sugar mixer including the cinnamon sticks with the wine. Refrigerate and allow the flavors to come together for 12 and up to 24 hours.

When serving, spoon some fruit into a glass, pour the sangria over the fruit and top with a splash of sparkling water.


Try topping the glass off with a sugared cranberry. Just rinse some cranberries under water. Let them sit for second, then dip them individually into granulated sugar.

There's not much to this recipe. You'll need cranberries, an Asian pear, an orange, brandy, white wine, a couple of cinnamon sticks and sparkling water. Oh, and sugar for garnish. You don't have to but I found the added touch of sparkle on the cranberry polished the overall look right up. First, In a small saucepan, over high heat, combine water, sugar, cinnamon stick and 1/2 C. of the cranberries. Once boiling, reduce to low heat and simmer for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the cranberries have begun to pop a bit. Remove pan from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. 


In a clear glass pitcher, combine the brandy, pear, remaining cranberries, orange zest and the cooled sugar mixer including the cinnamon sticks with the wine. Refrigerate between 12-24 hours, depending on how patient you are... but the longer you wait the more you'll allow the flavors to come together. I'd even recommend adding a dash of vanilla into the mix, if you like your sangria more on the sweeter side. 


The glassware set is everything needed to toast to health and happiness this holiday season, not just for this weekend. The Ovid White Wine set is so chic (it is also available for Red Wine and Champagne) whether your choice of drink is red, white or bubbly, these dishwasher safe Ovid crystal glasses will ensure that it is enjoyed in style. It also makes a great gift for any wine/champagne enthusiast and/or foodie. Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to shop the glassware down below and don't forget to leave a comment with your thoughts about today's holiday sangria recipe! Have a fantastic weekend. :)







Holiday Gifting with Babbleboxx


Happy Tuesday, guys! I hope you're all getting well prepped for Thanksgiving Day! With all the to-do lists, last minute running around and even traveling (for those that are), we all can relate to how crazy this week can get. So, let's take a breather and catch up with one amazing event I went to last week. I had the pleasure of attending Babbleboxx's "Holiday Preview" Event where multiple brands came together at the luxurious 404 NYC event space hosting pop-up shops filled with holiday inspiration and gift-giving ideas for the upcoming season. It was a lovely evening with tasty bites and bubbly, along with running into old friends and networking with new ones and in today's post, I'm sharing my top five favorites brands that I think would make for the coolest and trendiest gifts this year. Ranging from beauty products to tea and even DNA kits, and with Black Friday right around the corner, this list will certainly come in handy. Don't miss out, come check out these awesome gift ideas for everyone you know, and/or even for yourself!

What better gift you can give (or get!) than the chance to understand what makes someone who they are? With 23andMe, you can share your genetic information with your family members to get an even clearer picture of who you are and where you come from. How cool is that? They offer two Personal Genetic Services: 1) their Ancestry Service and 2) their Health + Ancestry Service. How do they work? Provide your saliva sample from home. Mail it back to their lab in the same kit it came in- the postage is even prepaid. In 6-8 weeks, they will send you an email to let you know your reports are ready in your online account. I'm even considering doing an entire blog post on this, as there is a huge debate that I may be part Ukrainian. I'm half-Korean and half-Polish, but from further travels and studies, it is possible this may be the case. I can't wait to share my results - so stay tuned! 

Algenist, the first ever vegan, plant-based collagen formulation with the highest concentration of active collagen helps condition the skin to visibility improve resiliency and bounce. With 13,000 beads of Microalgae Oil in every bottle hydrates, nourishes and restores skin's radiance. Plant collagen is a new innovative technology created by binding together corn, soy and wheat protein fibers resulting in vegan amino acids that structurally mimic collagen that allows for a functional equivalent to animal-derived collagen. Even just sampling this collagen serum at the event showed significantly smoother and cleaner skin after one try! I'm so happy I was introduced to this skincare brand; I'll definitely be trying more of their products! If shopping at Algenist use promo code: LOVECOLLAGEN to receive a FREE Sample of GENIUS Liquid Collagen ($16 value) with orders $75+. Enter code at check out. Excludes gift cards. Valid 11/4-12/31/17.

Okay, one gift that can never go wrong if done the right way, and yes this isn't exactly some ground-breaking, creative present idea, but for both men and women, or a gift to yourself, perfume is always a win in my book! At the event, I went with La Vie est Belle by Lancôme, its floral accents of iris, orange blossom, and vanilla bean put me in such a delightful mood. To me, fragrance makes and is part of an entire look and represents you. And at Perfumania, they will help find your next fragrance obsession among the hundreds of designer brands! Indulge in a fragrant experience curated by fragrance experts at any of their 150+ retail locations. Or visit them online where you can get your fragrance fix at any time, day or night. Perfumania, it’s your one-stop shop for all of your fragrance essentials.

For many women, obtaining thicker-looking eyelashes and fuller, bolder-looking brows are definitely on their wish lists this holiday season. Let me introduce you to Grande Cosmetics: their GrandeLASH-MD Serum and GrandeBROW Serum are revolutionary lash and brow enhancing serums that promote these desired features. These are perfect stocking stuffers for any holiday beauty lover. 

Tea Forte 2017 Limited Edition Holiday Collection – Warming Joy is a collection of festive teas beautifully presented and exciting to receive. Comforting holiday tea blends are festively donned to celebrate the spirit and joy of the season and are a great collection for the tea connoisseurs we know of. Holiday tea blends include Raspberry Ganache, Rum Raisin Biscotti, Spiced Ginger Plum, Winter Chai, and Ginger Snap (not available in the Petite Tea Tree.) The perfect holiday gift for any tea fanatic! And how adorable is the packaging?!






Try the World - Michelin Curated Holiday Box

Interested in having gourmet ingredients from countries around the world delivered straight to your door?  Try the World does just that, and right now they’re featuring their special Michelin Curated Box!  Please Note: Try the World sent me their Michelin box in exchange for my honest Try the World Review.

Try the World  - Michelin Curated Holiday Box

Try the World - Michelin Curated Holiday Box


Try the World is an international food delivery service that sends out subscription boxes with food from different countries. It's definitely going to save you the trouble and time at many grocery stores pondering over what to get let alone if it's even in English. Most well known for their mint 'Signature Box', the Signature Box is country-specific (for example, last month's Italy Box), and comes with 7-8 gourmet-quality food items. They also offer a less expensive, non-country-specific snack box and pantry box, and an online store to let you restock on the goodies you've tried and now love. 

Every once in a while though, Try the World offers a specialty box. And this special edition I received is completely curated by Michelin – the food-curating, gourmet-loving company that keeps chefs all over the world competing for excellence. This holiday box includes 8 items: Mexican hot chocolate disks, Israeli date spread, South African salted toffee, French spice cake mix, British lemon curd, Taiwan pineapple cakes, Italian truffle sauce, and Canadian Maple shortbread cookies.  Today I'll be sharing with you my ideas on what to make with each item. 


What I loved about this particular hot chocolate is that it did not come in powder but rather, more like cookies! Perfectly designed for easy melting and incorporating the chocolate into other chocolates or sweets. Great pairings with this is of course, milk, but given I'm such a coffee fanatic lately, I'd also try making a mocha. Imagine the richness of a chocolate frosting/icing when using this!


The sweetness of the date would go wonderfully in a batch of traditional cinnamon rolls. I don't know about you folks, but given this time of the year when the weather starts to get colder, I love to hunker down and enjoy a rich snack/dessert. Besides cinnamon rolls, cookies or any kind of bread/cake would also be splendid with the Israeli date spread. The smell is intoxicating just by itself!


The South African toffee is simply delicious on its own, but even dropping a couple of them in a hot cocoa and letting them melt with their oooey-gooey wonderfulness would also be pretty amazing. And if you're a fan of Christmas brittle/bark, these little cuties will definitely help achieve the most awesome snack/dessert. 


The French spice cake mix would be lovely in bite-size form, such as mini-cakes or muffins! And a lil' date spread on top? A match made in heaven. The spices would also complement with pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon very well. Can anyone smell fall bread in the kitchen? Thanksgiving is right around the corner and this flour mix is the perfect starter for any meal, big or small!


What can I say about lemon curd? We get along like peas and carrots. I normally don't eat a lot of fish during the winter time, but it's so healthy to eat it once a week and I try to keep that a weekly habit. I'd use this curd in an easy-peasy white fish recipe I bake in the oven. It's fresh and light, and wonderful all year round. Let me know if you'd like a recipe up on the blog! Also, if you really want a challenge in cooking, try make some lemon soufflés with this curd. ;)


Are you a fan of banana pudding? Why not put a twist on those boring vanilla wafers and mix it up with mini pineapple cakes?! They're small in size and are packed with a full-crunch. The citrusy aftertaste will leave your tongue tingling and full of delight. Of course, if you're impatient like me, you'll quickly devour them before using it for any recipe. And how cute is the packaging of their box? Tropical and festive, I simply loved these mini cakes. 


I'm not going to lie. When I saw this in the box, I squealed with excitement. There's no artificial flavor, it's the real deal! Yes, there's actual truffle inside! I'd fold this into an alfredo or any other kind of pasta your foodie heart can dream of. I mean, tell me someone who doesn't like Italian truffle! Oh so good, yum!


I could eat these straight from the box. (Looking pretty cozy paired with the hot chocolate...) But these cookies can be crumbled onto a pie or cake as part of the topping. It'll bring an added flavor with its texture. And Canadian Maple?! I would even experiment this with pancakes or french toast, talk about a dreamy holiday breakfast.  

Interested in trying this holiday box out for yourself? Start your journey with a FREE BOX when you subscribe! The Michelin curated holiday box is perfect for any food lover and such a lovely gift to give to someone who appreciates trying new things. Cheers to new experiences in your kitchen! You can also get $10 off a pantry box using promo code, 'EARLYADOPTER'.