MOSTLY LISA'S HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: GIFTS TO LOVE + GIVE FOR THE STOCKING

Friday, December 8, 2017
The time has finally arrived, you guys! The last installment of this year's Mostly Lisa Gift Guide series is here and I am beyond amazed at how quickly this week has flown by. I feel like this happens every year, and when this last day hits - everything goes full speed. I am so excited that I decided to do this again this year and I did not let any hesitation get in the way of creating content that I enjoy. All of this being said, I wanted to continue in the tradition of last year's final gift guide and focus on items that can easily fit into your stockings. You can easily check off everyone on your list with these ideas, they're that amazing. The best part of all of these? You will not have to feel rushed purchasing any of these or feel the hassle of going to a shopping mall, they are perfectly accessible by purchasing online! 



Once you have perused all the stocking stuffer ideas above, it's time to get ready to enter the fifth annual Mostly Lisa Gift Guide Giveaway! Can you believe it has been five years?! I have to say.. this giveaway even tops last year (which my absolutely favorite) and I think everyone is really going to love the brands that are included. I want to give a HUGE shout out to each brand that is participating this year, there are even more than last year, and make sure to check them out after you have entered. You will also find a few small gifts from me that are again, quintessentially #mostlylisaholiday! Read on for an in-depth description of all the gifts included in the giveaway, the rules and then make sure to enter through the Rafflecopter portal and tell all your friends + family to enter as well. Good luck to all of you, and thank you so much for participating! xoxo


a Rafflecopter giveaway





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Always,
Mostly Lisa

MOSTLY LISA'S HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: GIFTS TO LOVE FOR THE BEAUTY MAVEN

Thursday, December 7, 2017
I have to be honest with everyone... beauty and skincare has officially taken over my life. Whether it's foundation, primer, eyeshadow or even fragrance - I am a woman obsessed! Instead of clothes now, finding the best products for my skin have become a necessity when I go shopping. It's becoming a problem, but who wants it to stop? Not me! With so many lovely beauty brands out there, it's like Christmas morning when I stumble upon a new one I've never heard of before. It is my goal to incorporate all cruelty-free brands into my daily routine and I highly suggest that everyone does the same! 

From luxury to affordable, the products I found were for someone who is just starting out in makeup (the Love Contours All Palette from NYX Cosmetics + The Power Pair from Sigma Beauty) to the pros (the Blurring Primer from Becca Cosmetics + the Setting Powder from Cover FX.) I may be a little biased when it comes to some of these gift options, however, I put ideas that I think are really amazing and worth checking out. The best part of all of this? I really trust all of these brands and the products they make. Shop all the ideas below and let me know which products you use on a daily basis! 
1. The Power Pair
2. Sugar Plum Fairy Lip Scrub
3. Velvet Blurring Primer
4. Rose Face Mask
5. Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea
6. Perfect Setting Powder
7.  skin savior MULTI-TASKING WONDER BALM
8. Buttercup by Drybar
9. Flower Pots Powder Blush
10. Love Contours All Palette
11. Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara
12. WARM NEUTRALS VOLUME 2 EYESHADOW PALETTE
13. Moondrop Facial Oil
14. MON PARIS Eau de Parfum
15. Velvet Rose & Oud Dry Body Oil
16. 4-Pc. Fragrance Treasures Gift Set
17. color splash hydrating lipstick


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Always,
Mostly Lisa

MOSTLY LISA'S HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: GIFTS TO LOVE FOR KIDS

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

There are two kids in my life that mean the utmost to me - my nephews. For that reason, this gift guide always has a special importance to it as the gift ideas I put together can make or break it for their holiday season. Let me tell you, all a kid cares about ripping open on Christmas morning is something visual, mind-bending or where they can build it themselves..Clothes? HA! You'll end up filming your kid saying something similar to this, trust me. You want to give them something that will hold their interest for more than just a second, so pay attention to their wishlist they make to give to Santa.

Like finding a gift for the guys, you will want to make this gift unique. I find that when my nephews start liking something, they go all in and it is all they can talk about. So go with that! Both of my nephews enjoy Minecraft, so I am grabbing on and not letting go when it comes to my buying decisions for them. Whether the kids you are buying for are 18 months, 5 or 10, this guide will get you in the right mindset when it comes to focusing on what you are going to get them.

1. Star Wars Hero Droid R/C BB-8
2. ThinkGeek- Minecraft Color Changing Potion Bottle
3. OwlCrate Jr. Subscription Box
4. Wooden Dollhouse with Furniture - Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia
5. Dream Big Little One Print
6. Wooden light sign - Moon - Yellow
7. Textured crewneck pullover
8. babyGap | Disney Dalmatian ruffle bodysuit
9. Hanging Stars Decor - Stars and Moon - Galaxy Decoration
10. WOODEN MUSIC BOX: JOY
11. Girls' faux-fur kitty slippers
12. Waldorf Crown - Jackalope
13. The Little Boy Or Girl Who Lost Their Name


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Always,
Mostly Lisa

MOSTLY LISA'S HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: GIFTS TO LOVE FOR HIM

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Each year is the same old loaded question..'What the heck do men want for Christmas?' & 'Do they even know what a wishlist is?' And every year, I somehow manage to answer those questions and put together a Gift Guide by the scrape of my teeth. Whether it is a pair of socks, a shaving kit or something reliable, I usually have the same old, same old when it comes to ideas for those good 'ol dudes. However, for the FIRST time in the five years I have been doing this, I can successfully say I did not have to pull any teeth out to find gifts to love for him! That deserves a high five, right?! 

For this year, I was thinking more unique ideas that you would not normally get him every year. Go ahead and spoil him. He may say he already has everything, but I can bet you he wouldn't expect a bike for Christmas! What about a monthly subscription to a curated book club (make sure to click the link and sign up with my referral link!) or suede Doc Martens? Yeah, I didn't think so.... Shop all the ideas below! 



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Always,
Mostly Lisa

MOSTLY LISA'S HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: GIFTS TO LOVE FOR HER

Monday, December 4, 2017
The festivities have begun! The fifth annual Mostly Lisa Gift Guide series is underway and I am so excited to be coming back this year, especially because I was unsure if I would have any motivation to do a week long series again. My life now consists of going to work, doing a tiny of exercise, eating and then going to bed. It's crazy how much the last few months have turned everything around and life is solely focused on work. In the end, I realized I had to put in the time and effort to do this, it is the best series I do on this blog and I love spreading some happiness during what can be a difficult time of year for some people. So know this: I am doing this out of the love in my heart for each and every one of you that reads this blog and shares it with their friends. I am beyond grateful that I can actually do this every year, and to have the support of the people around me and people with whom I have never met before! That's what this season is all about, right?!

In the tradition of this Gift Guide series, on the first day I give to you a guide for the easiest person to shop for during this holiday season - women. I mean, why is it SO easy? I mean, I could probably go to each shopping website and find something to put on this list. Let's be honest, it is more than likely because I'm secretly also shopping for myself, however, I am trying to think outside of the box of my personal tastes and provide you all with a wide variety of gifts that the ladies in your life would enjoy. Whether she enjoys artwork, beauty, fashion, jewelry - this guide is just the ticket. See you tomorrow for the hardest person to shop for - men.
1. Zipper Pouch Pizazz Coin Purse
2. Flowering Monogram Pouch
3Well-Embellished Gloves
4.  VOLCASMIC™ Matte Glow Moisturizer
5. H&M Knit Sweater
6. Faux Fur Throw
7. Women's Crossbody Handbag - Who What Wear™ Blue
8. Kaden Mule
9. 2018 Inspirational Quote Calendar
10. Chambray Shut-Eye Sleep Mask
11. The Sherpa Slide Slipper
12. Feminist AF Denim Jacket
13. Pom Pom Earrings
14.  MEDIUM PYRAMID TREASURE CANDLE - DAYDREAM 
15. SARRA CUFF in APRICOT
16. Constellation Jewelry Gift Set
17AE Velvet Skinny Scarf
18Valentino: Themes and Variations Harcover

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Always,
Mostly Lisa

FASHION FRIDAY: VELVET REFLECTIONS

Friday, November 17, 2017
OUTFIT: Burnout Velvet Cropped Kimono (similar version here) | Bell-Sleeved Fringe Top (similar here) | Women's Skinny Crop Pants | Krya Faux Suede + Faux Leather Ballet Falts | Gold Moon Ring (similar here)
What does your reflection say about you? For me, it says that I have every right to be who I am and to love the person I have become. Do you know how long it has taken me to actually be able to say these words with confidence?! If you had asked me even a year ago if I liked who I was completely, inside and out, I would have laughed in your face and probably broken down ugly crying. While I am always on the verge of tears anytime someone compliments me on a part of myself, I can now actually accept the words that are given to me and not think they are lie. Progress people, progress! Most of my insecurities are still always looming in the back of my mind, however, I now know that I can work on improving what they are and not feel like a victim to them. My main insecurity is pretty obvious, weight issues, but I can now realize and understand that that is not the only part of me that is worthy of being accepted. I can fix that part when I chose to, and people care about me no matter what number is on the scale.

Again, this is serious progress for me mentally and I am hoping that every part of my self and my reflection continues to improve while I get older.While I am currently seeing all of this, I'm also seeing another important aspect of myself that I never had before. I have damn good fashion sense + style for someone who shops on a budget. This may not seem that important, but hello, I have a fashion blog and a fashion degree! We may all know that I have several people I look to for style and that have a major influence on the fashion industry, i.e; Ashley Graham, Nicolette Mason, Alex Michael May, etc., I have taken their inspiration and made it into something that is completely me. The latest trend I have incorporated into being my fashionable self? Velvet, baby! It is a MUST-HAVE for fall and winter, and I am thrilled that it has lasted for the past year or so. I have been wearing this velvet kimono from Torrid on rotation for the past month or so, as it is so comfortable and sophisticated at the same time. It is the perfect cardigan to dress up or down, and I am for sure going to be wearing it even into winter.

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Always,
Mostly Lisa

A FALL 2017 PLAYLIST

Monday, October 30, 2017
(Image via: Brian Stowell)
The leaves are at their peak, Halloween is tomorrow and I haven't made a music playlist in quite a long time. All these songs have been constantly playing in my head and I can't stop listening to them when they come on, whether it's through my radio or my computer. Some are brand new tunes, some have been around for decades, but they instantly make me love this season even more than I already do. Listen to A Fall 2017 Playlist here.

Let me know what songs are repeating for you!

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Always,
Mostly Lisa

SIX BEAUTY PRODUCTS FOR OCTOBER

Monday, October 16, 2017
The seasons have drastically changed, haven't they? We're now in the middle of fall gracing us with its beautiful colors, cooler weather and moody atmospheres. I for one thrive during this season, and I wish it was much, much longer than it actually is. While I truly enjoy changing up my wardrobe for September thru November, I am also obsessed with changing up my daily beauty routine. Doing so can mean something different for everyone - whether you like to lather up with moisturizers, adding deeper shades of eye shadows, lipsticks or nail polish, for others, it may also mean switching up your hair color! Whether those changes are small or big, these six beauty products for October will definitely leave you wanting more. What products can't you live without during fall?!
1. Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette  ($39): I may be a little biased, mostly because I now work for this fantastic company, but this new palette from Sigma Beauty is to die for! It's probably the best palette I have ever added into my beauty collection as the colors are extremely easy to blend, they're unique and perfect for a smooth transition from fall to winter. I have never had a palette make me so excited, especially with colors I would not normally wear. It's just so good.
2. Velvet Blurring Primer Perfecting Base ($38): Full disclosure, I received this product for testing purposes from Influenster last month. That being said, I have been using it every day since and I have noticed a drastic difference in the longevity of my foundation and concealer! It is extremely smooth to apply on and leaves my skin feeling fresh, which then helps my foundation glide onto my skin evenly. If you can get a sample of this, I would highly recommend giving it a shot!
3. maracuja C-brighter™ eye treatment ($38): This amazing eye treatment from tarte cosmetics deserves a shout out on this list because it works wonders! I have been battling a cold for the past three weeks and am slowly recovering from it, however, within those three weeks I had been sleeping horrendously. The bags under my eyes have been more pronounced but not anymore! I have been applying this to my under eyes every night for the past week and have drastically noticed a difference. You can feel the treatment working within seconds!
4. Lock-It Makeup Setting Mist ($26): My combo skin makes it super difficult to keep my makeup in its place throughout the day, I tend to perspire a lot during the day, and I was on the lookout for a good setting spray that would fix that problem. After hearing many good things about this Kat Von D. setting mist, I knew I would be in luck! It is mattifying, keeps everything in place, has a decent scent and is great for sensitive skin. 
5. Candy Eau de Parum ($120): Want to have a coworker tell you that you smell like candy? Then this is the perfume for you! This scent stays with you all day and isn't overwhelming, which will make it worth the price.
6. Blemish Control Blotting Paper ($6): I believe I've referenced these blotting papers before but they are so amazing that I had to talk about them again! The travel size packaging makes them easy to store when you're in a tight spot. One sheet is enough to pick up the sweat in your nose, upper cheekbone and forehead. It picks up the sweat, not the makeup!

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Always,
Mostly Lisa

MONDAY READS

Monday, July 24, 2017
(PHOTO VIA: Dom B.)
Wow, it has been so long. If you've read my previous post that I put up towards the end of May, you will know that I have been dealing with some pretty tough mental health issues. I would equate to everything that I was going through, like drowning - where you're trying to gasp for air but you keep getting sucked down deeper and deeper into the water. The harder you flail your arms, the harder it is for you to breathe. Then slowly your lungs fill with the water and you hit the bottom, maybe even rock bottom. Turn that water into clouds and clouds of negative thoughts, low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness. It's not a good combination. I did actually hit rock bottom a week or so ago and realized I needed to get help, so that is exactly what I did. We'll see what happens in the next month or so but I'm going to be taking everything day by day, and just going to live.

In the several weeks that I haven't posted, I've definitely come across some lovely things to read and so I thought I'd share them today! Enjoy.

  • ban.do x Starbucks: I am obsessed with ban.do and their quirky and cute paper goods, planners and other home goods, but finding out they collaborated with Starbucks has sent me over the edge. The only problem with this collection? It's only available in the Asia Pacific! Such.a.bummer. Luckily they're hosting another giveaway, so make sure to enter. 
  • Stranger Things 2: This is fairly new since it just debuted at Comic Con 2017, but I had to include it! Stranger Things is coming back, baby! What a trailer, I mean it just gets you sucked in by the moment the music starts playing in the background. I can't wait to see what they come up with in the new series. Can October get here already?
  • Paramore: On Friday, I'm finally getting to see Paramore perform live and I am so pumped to get my jam on. I haven't been able to stop listening to 'Fake Happy,' since it resonates so well with life right now. 
  • Wonder Woman: Obviously this movie was beyond kick ass! Have any of you seen it?! 
  • Sad Girls Club: Speaking of mental health, I recently came across this brand called Sad Girls Club and it's a great outlet to express and talk about everything you're feeling, without being judged. 
  • Elie Saab Fall 2017 Couture: Feeling the 'Game of Thrones' vibes in this collection and I don't even watch the show. Lovely gowns, adorned with gold metals and sequins. 
  • Ashley Graham: She's been KILLING it lately! Landing covers for Glamour, Harper's Bazaar UK, Elle France and even gracing the cover of her own book. What an inspiration.
  • Anthropologie: Because these shoes are giving me major fall vibes and I'm truly hoping they go on sale in the future.
  • Insta-Crush: Daniel Casson takes absolutely stunning and inspiration imagery of Great Britain. He captures things in such a beautiful light, and you really feel like you're almost in the picture. Highly recommend following.
  • Words of advice: I think we could all pay heed to these words right now.

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Always,
Mostly Lisa

MY STYLE FILE: A LIFE IN REFLECTION

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
I know, I know.. it's been a LONG time since I last blogged. A lot of different things have been happening in my life lately, so I have not had time to sit down and come up with anything interesting to say. With that though, this post is going to be a little different.I figured I'd actually take the time to do the sitting and writing and share with everyone what has been going on. Hopefully this will shed some light on why I've been absent.

First off, I FINALLY got a new job! It's still beyond crazy that I can actually say that now, the wait and the determination to find something outside of what I was doing was very arduous. To be honest, I was becoming extremely depressed and anxious that I was never going to be good enough for anything else besides the part-time position I was in. Don't get me wrong, what I was doing was absolutely amazing (being part of the social media team for the biggest Mall in America, WHAT?) and it was my first career job that I had out of college, but it had begun to drain me of my motivation, passion, and energy to keep going. After two years of learning about myself, what else I could picture myself doing in my future and having it culminate to something better, is nothing I take lightly. We all have our own path, whether we like it or not, and my path has steered me in directions that I haven't always necessarily enjoyed. Thankfully, this new course has led me into a full-time internship within the same company I was working at previously and it's been an absolute joy. It's given me new motivation in myself, and hopefully, what my future will look like after the internship is done.

All of this being said, the past two weeks have been emotionally draining for me. My depression has literally been kicking me in the ass, and I'm so upset that it's still rearing its ugly head - even when I should be happy with where I'm at right now. I know that depression doesn't just go away when something majorly positive happens, but I've been battling this since I was sixteen and I hate that it can still affect me when I least expect it. While I may be surprised that it's popped up lately, there are a few small things that have triggered me to be in a severely downcast mood. Family, friends, my feeling of self-worth being down in the gutter, my finances, and even the weather a little bit. They've all been this catalyst for the negativity to be clouding my brain. The self-worth aspect has been a major issue for me and will probably continue to do so- it's just a feeling of not being important to anyone, like if I disappeared that no one would care. I can have a whole group of people surround me and give me positivity + love in my life, but I still feel like I'm always being left out or forgotten. I'm not saying that I'm suicidal, I haven't tried anything for a very long time, but it's tough when you don't feel like you're being seen or heard. I hate that I'm saying this, but I ache and desperately need that sort of everyday validation or emotional connection. My thought process goes haywire when I don't receive that, but I think that is just a natural human emotion, if anything.

So, what can I do about it? There's the obvious answer - seeing a therapist - but I think that also opening this up for discussion could really be beneficial for myself and for others. Even typing this out has been a little therapeutic, which I definitely feel I (and others) should do so more often.
I won't let depression define or consume me. Hell, I can hide it very well in my day-to-day life and can surprise a lot of people when I disclaim that I'm suffering from it. After all these years, it's now gotten to the point that I can tell when a bout of negativity is going to flare up, but sometimes it is a guessing game. What or who is going to be the triggering point for it to start? Will it be myself and my inner thoughts, or an external source? I do go by the mantra though that it will eventually pass and I'll come out stronger on the other side. I just wish and hope that someday I'll constantly be able to be on that other side, stronger than ever.

If you're still with me on this long post, I appreciate it. I wouldn't normally write about something so personal on this blog, but I thought it'd be important to share this story with everyone. I know that some of the things I write about are a little superficial, there are so many other important things to talk about, but they are really what bring me joy and happiness. They spark my creativity and passion for something and you can't really deny anyone that.

If you are going through something similar - speak up! I'd love to hear about your strength and resilience going through such a tough mental illness. So I'll let this post sink in and will hopefully be start getting back into the swing of things soon. Enjoy this great outfit I put together with most items from Arc's Value Village (see my Instagram takeover I did two weekends ago) and a great top from Who What Wear x Target! See new posts next month.
Photos via Laura Posterick
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Always,
Mostly Lisa

MY STYLE FILE: A LITTLE STITCH HERE AND THERE

Friday, April 28, 2017
A chain stitch can go a long way.

No, really it can! Especially if you're not particularly good at sewing... Luckily there are expert craftsman out there that can sew to their hearts content and create beautiful works of art featuring embroidery with finite detail. Those featured details are just one part of why the embroidery trend is one of my favorites for spring 2017. If you followed any of the runway shows for this season, you may have seen quite a few designers tackling this trend head on - Gucci, Anna Sui, Jonathan Simkhai + Alexander Mcqueen to name a few! These heavily embellished garments offer so much inspiration and that's why I had to embrace and include it my own wardrobe.

I didn't have to look too far to find something to my liking and luckily came across this Honey Punch Embroidered Chiffon Kimono! Who knew PacSun carried something so chic? It's the perfect statement piece for any look - with embroidered flowers on the front and back, as well as a lightweight, flowy fit. It's exactly what I needed to jump start my collection! For this outfit, I decided to go for more of a 70's bohemian vibe and paired it with a flared denim from Target, block heel booties and a black high-low top from H&M. The kimono is such a great piece to complete any look, so I highly recommend getting one for yourself.

Also, let me know - what do you think of the embroidery trend?!
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Always,
Mostly Lisa

MY STYLE FILE: THAT RETRO FEELING

Thursday, April 13, 2017
If you follow me on Instagram, you have already seen a few glimpses of a shoot I did a week ago with E.L. Photography featuring this stunning ASOS Curve floral tea dress. You may also already be able to tell, but I'm a tiny bit obsessed with how all of this turned out. I keep looking through all the photos and can't believe that the person in the photographs, is me. I've never felt so beautiful before, like truly beautiful and glamorous, even before the flash went off. Being a vain person is not in my mentality, but I had to say, "hot damn, Lisa!" after I saw this whole retro look put together. Wearing this dress definitely makes me feel like I've stepped into another era, and with the backdrop of the Union Depot - it all turned out exactly how I imagined this My Style File to be.

There was also a need to have the best accessories with this retro-inspired dress, and I luckily didn't have to look very far. My lovely sister had just recently purchased my birthday present - which was a new Kate Spade handbag - that matched perfectly with a pair of Wayfarer sunglasses from Forever 21 + black block heels from Torrid! In the end, everything came together perfectly and this was just the perfect excuse to dress up. I can't wait to wear it again this spring and summer!
What's been one thing that's made you feel fabulous lately? A piece of jewelry? A haircut? Or what about like me - with a particular garment?
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Always,
Mostly Lisa