Christmas Gift Guide: Ladies Edition

    Hey Hey now!

    Thanksgiving has come and gone and it is time for Christmas!

    Now that I have a #salary, and am getting older I want to up my gift giving game, particularly for the extra special people in my life. I have put together a this gift guide to help myself, and hopefully you all to start thinking about what is out there. I don’t know about you, but I tend to over think gifts and therefore wait till the last minute, but I declare this year will be different!


    Check out the links below to help you start thinking about gifts for all the ladies in your life! When giving gifts to extra special people I think it’s fun to get one bigger gift and then 1-2 other smaller gifts (read: less expensive). Hopefully this list gives you a little bit of everything. Enjoy!

    This post contains affiliate links. Each product click gives me a small commission. Thank you for your support. 


    Lou Lou Boutique: My Picks for You


    I was recently offered the opportunity to work with lou lou boutique as an ambassador! They have a location in Charlottesville that I used to visit, and now that I’m in DC i’m glad that there is still a store so close to me.

    So here’s the deal..

    lou lou Boutiques was originated in Middleburg, Virginia in 2004 and has expanded to seven states with 29 locations. I’ve visited the Charlottesville, and DC stores, and I’m hoping to visit the store in Charleston!  lou lou is a small clothing, jewelry accessory store that is carries the cutest pieces at an affordable price. One of my favorite things is that they are always getting new pieces in stock so there is always something new to look at. I’ve been on a new jewelry kick lately, and lou lou has had some of the exact pieces I was looking for.

    My Ambassador Picks 

    Here are some of my favorite things available right now. If you want to shop online, make sure to use my discount code LYSSEONLIFE for 15% off your purchase! 

    lou lou scarf lou lou scarflou lou braclet lou lou earings lou lou earings lou lou earrings lou lou bracelet


























    Happy Shopping! 


    Don’t Flake On Yourself: An Update

    Last week a made a post about the importance of taking the promises you make to yourself seriously and actually following through. You can read the whole thing here!

    Today, I’m here to share my week two and week three updates, which includes some small changes I made to make it more successful.

    Week Two

    This week was so much better than the first, although, I am still deciding if it is because my schedule was just more conducive to following through with these personal promises, or because I actually put more effort into following through.

    I had 5 goals total and I was able to follow through on every single one of them. One thing I did do differently this week is that I told some of my friends what I was doing, in order to hold myself accountable. I sent them a screenshot of my goals in the note section of my phone, and then on Saturday they checked in with me to see how I did. Obviously my friends wouldn’t have been upset if I didn’t meet my goals, but for me, I know it can be easy to not follow through with something because I’m the only one who knows about it and will be affected by my decision.

    Week Three

    Uhhh this week was not good. Now, I’m thinking that my success last week was strictly based on my schedule and not my willpower to push through when I really didn’t want to. This week was the first week of school (I teach 1st grade if you’re new here) and I simply put all my time, attention, and energy into work. While maybe this is okay and at times it is important to prioritize it doesn’t mean I needed to make this an all or nothing situation. I could have kept some of my promises and not have just given up simply because I knew it was going to be a long week.

    With school back in session I need to create some new routines that allows me to prioritize work as well as the personal promises I have made for myself. So for this upcoming week, my goal is to gracefully balance both.


    Have you made any person promises to yourself? Let me know so I can hold you accountable!




    Don’t Flake on Yourself: Keeping Promises to the Most Important Person, You

    I’m writing this as I sit cozied up in a bus seat on my way to NYC. I just finished listening to the audiobook Girl, Wash yourgirl wash your face Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are so You can Become Who You Were Meant to Be. Despite my goal of reading more fiction, I found myself back with another non-fiction, self-help, inspiration read, and I’m not sorry about it.

    In one of the early chapters of the book, the author, Rachel Hollins, brings up an idea that has really stuck with me. Don’t flake on yourself. If your tell yourself you are going to do something, then do it. Even if something else comes up and you have to do it at midnight, do it. Can you imagine a friend who constantly made plans with you but always cancelled because they wanted to watch one more episode of Netflix. Now think about how often you do that with yourself. If you wouldn’t repeatedly do that to your friend, then don’t do it to yourself. Don’t flake on yourself. 

    With this idea of self-discipline floating through my head, and the start of the new school year approaching, I’m thinking about how I can incorporate some new habits, or promises to myself that I will not flake on. I have been working on these goals for only one week now and let me tell you…it’s hard. Life comes at you fast and there is only so much time in the day. But I’m going to follow up this post, with a week two update, so stay tuned!

    Week One

    In the first week I promised myself that I would workout 4 times a week. Seems manageable right? Well I didn’t want to go Monday or Tuesday, but I pumped myself up and used some good self-talk and went. I felt so good when I was done, way better than the typical post workout high, because I knew I almost didn’t go in the first place. Wednesday I had to work late, but I knew this and could have planned around it. Same for Thursday. On Friday, I chose hanging out with a friend instead of working on (which was the right choice). The weekend? Welp, I went to NY this weekend. So I worked out twice. I flaked on myself and didn’t keep my personal promise.

    I had other promises to. Praying every day, having quiet time with the Lord, adhering to a morning and nighttime routine. And guess what, I flaked on myself more often than not yet. Even with the goal in mind, I still flaked on myself.

    I did flake, but I did learn something. In order to do hard things aka keep personal promises you have to 1) be selfish with your time, or 2) use your time more wisely. For this specific promise of working out, I could have/should have woken up at 6am to make one of the early classes in the morning. Or maybe I should have not worried about making it to a CrossFit class and instead just gone for a run at home instead. In order to not flake, I need to be flexible, creative, and release my grip on the ideal plan.  

    This is hard work. I want to be a person who follows through for other people and myself. As I go into week two of this self- discipline mindset I want to what I can improve on.

    lysse on life


    Potato Stack Nation: A Quick and Tasty Side Dish

    potato stacks

    A few weeks ago I was looking for recipes for a dinner party I was planning. After some googling, and some time browsing cookbooks that my roommates own, as well as cookbooks I browsed through in the aisle of Walmart. I found this potato stack recipe from Joanna Gaines Cookbook.  I made a few changes (aka I didn’t add the cheese because ew) (I know I know) but it was so good and so easy!

    Potato Stack Recipe 

    1. Pre-heat the oven to 375
    2. Find a cupcake sheet, or a pan (like a pyrex) and some toothpicks
    3. Slice 3-4 medium sized potatoes as thin as possible (you decide if you want to peel or not, I didn’t)
    4. In a pan, start heating 2 tablespoons of butter and 3 garlic cloves minced. Wait until it starts to smell magical then add:
      • 1/3 cup heavy cream
      • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
      • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
      • 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper
    5. After 2-3 minutes take off the heat and go back to the potatoes.
    6. If you are using a cupcake sheet stack layers of the thinly sliced potatoes in the individual cups of the pan. If you are using a normal pan, stack the potatoes into little towers and stick a toothpick through the middle of each of them.
    7. Carefully pour, or spoon the cream mixture over the potatoes and sprinkle a pinch of salt on top of each tower.
    8. Stick in the oven for 30 minutes and cook until tender. When you you take them out if you really feel it is necessary you can sprinkle cheese on top, if not chop up some fresh chives and call it a day!


    Simple enough huh?! Let me know if you make this potato stack recipe and send me a picture, I’d love to see!


    If you’re interested in some other recipes see: HERE

    lysse on life


    Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: Everything Under $100

    So the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale…lets chat. If your instagram feed looks anything like mine, you are VERY aware of the fact that it is going on and that there are “so many great deals”.  Well to be honest, I don’t think the deals are that impressive, nor do I think you should feel pressured to buy something just because things are a little discounted.

    That being said, there are some items I am interested in purchasing at this time. Specifically one of the winter coats,  potentially the Blank NYC dress (scroll below to find), and some shoes I can wear to work. Based on my closet, these are pieces that would contribute to my wardrobe. If you’re interested in shopping the sale, but don’t want to be eating PB & J this month, I advise you really think about the holes in your wardrobe and truly only buy what you need. If you’re interested in how I have paired down my closet, you can check this posts out: Closet Clean Out: 7 Questions to Help you Declutter.

    Clothes Under $100

    Activewear Under $100

    Shoes Under $100

    As you clicked through the items you may see that some of the items are sold out. Word around town is that Nordstrom is pretty good about restocking items, so bookmark it, put a reminder in your phone, and check back later to see if it is back in stock.
    Happy shopping, or happy saving your money!
    *This post contains affiliate links* 
    lysse on life


    Monthly Purchases: Summer Dresses

    Summer Dresses

    The next round of “Monthly Purchases” is featuring dresses! In a dream world, I would strictly wear dresses…and maybe yoga pants. One, because finding multiple pairs of pants that I like is tough, and two, the effort it takes to put together a good outfit everyday….woo no thank you.

    Unfortunately, I live in Washington D.C where we have this thing called snow! So, I’m going to enjoy dress season while I can. Below is a round up of dresses I’ve had my eye on, in a range of prices!

    I have really been loving the midi dress length lately, so you’ll see a lot of that here. Also, if had to pick three words to describe my style, “classic” would definitely be one of them, and what says classic more than wrap dresses?!
    What is your favorite style of dresses?
    Happy Shopping!
    lysse on life


    Lysse On Life: Weekly Favorites

    Lysse On Life

    Before posting on social media, I have been asking myself the question “Is this beneficial?” Am I providing something to my readers/viewers, or am I just babbling about nothing. So I am starting this series to have a place where I can share things I think could be of service of to you all, either through a laugh, or a new podcast to try out, or a make-up product to buy.


    Podcasts {Finds}

    My favorite episodes of How I Built This

    Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

    Rent the Runway


    Crate & Barrel


    Health & Beauty {Finds}

    Wet and Wild Photo Finish Foundation

    Before two weeks ago, I did not wear foundation. Just powder with blush on top. My little sister, a makeup fanatic, was appalled by this fact and ordered me to buy this Wet and Wild foundation. It was only $5 so I went for it. Y’ALL!! It’s great! It doesn’t looked to heavy or cakey, it matches my skin tone pretty well, and it has been holding up great under the heat and humidity of the summer. Obviously I can’t compare it to anything else, but it is doing the job for me and I’m pumped about it!

    Pure Encapsulations

    Vitamins are important y’all, but I can’t say I’m the best at taking them regularly. Pure Encapsulations has been making it a little easier for me with their individually packaged vitamins for each day. I can throw it in my bag and take them on the go.

    Essential Oils

    My mom has gotten pretty into the essential oil thing lately, so last time I was home I gave it a try. I’m #clumsy and recently scratched my shin, so my mom had my put Lavender oil on it each night. In no time the scrap healed and fell off. I have continued to use it on my scar. Secondly, I have been diffusing lavender and frankincense to help me fall asleep. Based on my little sleep quality app, my sleep quality has increased by like 8%!! Lastly, I have been using the oil Panaway on my sour muscles. It smells similar to tiger ball. I won’t say it’s magic, but I have enjoyed the benefits so far.

    Jesus {Music}

    I’ve been jamming out to Reckless Love originally by Cory Asbury. I made a instagram post about it this week. Like all Jesus music, there are 15 million covers. Some of my favorite are by Bethel Music and Passion.

    Fashion {Finds}

    I have made a personal goal of trying to look more put together on a daily basis. This consists of wearing jewelry, laying my edges down, and wearing a little but of makeup. With this goal I quickly realized that I don’t own a lot of jewelry that I like, especially earrings. I’m currently loving all the simple and dainty pieces from Madewell. Don’t forget if you’re a student or a teacher you get a 15% of discount!

    I’m Hungry {Finds}

    Nespresso Ice Coffee 

    I love my Nespresso in general. I can brew espresso, make lattes, drip coffee, and basically do the whole shebang with this one machine. This summer they came out with a limited edition of ice coffee pods. I hate trying to make ice coffee at home because it always ends up too watery or not the right temperature, but these pods changed the game. The pods brew room temperature coffee, I add 4-5 ice cups, and a splash of milk and it’s amazing. Basically fools proof!


    A Guide to Jean Shopping | Monthly Purchase

    Okay! Round two of my monthly purchases series features: JEANS! Here is my jean shopping guide.

    Last post was all about Spring Jackets. So if you missed that one and are interested what this monthly purchases thing is all about, you should start there!

    Alright! So jeans are an important piece of clothing in anyones closet, and there are so many options out there. First let’s start with all the jeans styles I think are necessary. Now, not everyone is going to like every style on their body, like I personally think most boyfriend jeans make me look for a rectangle, but TRY THINGS ON, that’s the only way you’ll find out what works for you and what you like!

    1. Your favorite blue jeans that fit you like a glove: Invest in these
    2. Skinny black jeans: My go to Saturday outfit
    3. Flare jeans: My new fav
    4. Lose hem jeans: Kind of trendy right now, but I like them
    5. Distressed/holy blue jeans: Buy them distressed or distress them yourself
    6. Skinny white jeans: Gotta get summmmaa ready!

    Linked below are some of my favorite picks right now! Ranging in price from $40-$130.

    When shopping for jeans fit is everything. Always remember that getting your jeans altered is an option. Clothes are not made to fit you perfectly, but to fit a wide variety of people. Alterations are where you make things perfect. For jeans, this is especially relevant when thinking about length and how the waist fits.

    As you shop, pay attention to what looks good on your body. High rise? Inseam #? Where the pant hits your ankle? Make note of what aspects flatter your body the most.

    Lastly, if you find the perfect pair of jeans, BUY TWO!

    fitness, Lifestyle

    The Power of She: Athleta, Community, and Crossfit

    I love the feeling of buying new workout clothes right when you are getting back to working out, or just setting new goals. So this campaign with Athleta came just in time as two weeks ago I signed up for Crossfit! I’ve known that I’ve wanted to do it for a while now, but was waiting for my schedule to open up and for my finances to get right 🙂

    I did CrossFit for a hot minute the summer I graduated high school and after being a competitive athlete in high school and college I knew it was the only thing that would make me feel the way competitive sports do.

    athleta power of she

    I’m almost done with the intro classes, and I’m excited to get get fully integrated into the classes. In college we did a fair amount of lifting so I have some experience coming in, but never the less there are still things to learn. Especially with lifts like the snatch, which we didn’t really do.

    When it comes to sports, it’s so fun to try new things and see some of those newbie gains that come from it. Sort of like when I played ice hockey for one season and every practice I saw so much improvement which was incredibly satisfying. In addition, I was also looking for an athletic community. Something that has potential to go past the gym, which is something CrossFit touts a lot.

    athleta power of she


    I’m looking forward to working toward my goals in Athleta’s apparel and I feel good knowing that they are a company with values that align with mine (focused on sustainability, empowering women, and paying attention to the quality and performance of their products). Not to mention they offer so many CUTE styles, colors and prints. Of course I had to go with the stripes this time (it’s a fashion preference I have no intention of getting rid of) but their floral prints are also of my favorites right now.

    athleta power of she

    athleta power of she

    athleta power of she

    athleta power of she

    Do you have any fitness goals lined up? What are you doing to reach them? And lastly, what will you be wearing while you do it?

    Thank you to Athleta for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.