Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas!


CHRISTMAS IS NINE DAYS AWAY. Yes, you read that right. It’s rapidly rushing towards us with no signs of slowing down, and I have about 33.7% of my shopping done and NOTHING gift wrapped. Yes, I know the true meaning of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but I also love the spirit of giving surrounding the holiday.

If you’re like me, and Christmas snuck up on you this year, I’m here to save the day. Below are 20 gift ideas on Amazon that should suit many of the people in your life. I grouped them into categories to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Thank goodness for Prime 2-day shipping, am I right? Happy Shopping!

For Someone Who Needs to Relax…


1. Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candle, Eucalyptus Spearmint

2. Toms Women’s Slipper Loafers

3. Dr. Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution

4. Spa & Resort Terry Velour Bathrobe


For the Fashionista…


5. Burberry Scarf

6. Zicac Women’s Fur Collar Batwing Cape

7. Sam EdelmanWomen’s Petty Ankle Boot

8. Fossil Jacqueline Stainless Steel Watch


For the Wannabe Chef…


9. Adjustable Bib Apron

10. Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

11. KitchenAid 6-Qt. Professional 600 Series Mixer

12. Cook it in Cast Iron


For the Beauty Lover…


13. Tarte Limited Edition Tarteist Toolbox Brush Set

14. Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

15. Pink Chevron Cosmetic Bag

16. The Original Beauty Blender


For the Jetsetter…


17. Eccolo Faux Leather Passport Case

18. Jessica Simpson Jewel Plaid Hardside Spinner Suitcase

19. Beats Studio Wireless Over-Ear Headphone

20. Eccolo World Traveler Style Journal 


There you have it! 20 gift ideas at a variety of price points that will hopefully cover some of your shopping list! Regardless, remember it’s the thought that counts! Merry early Christmas!

Retro Siggy

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on these links or make a purchase using these links, I may receive a small percentage of the profit at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Hoots of a Night Al!

Continue Reading

EngLANGd: Part 1


Hey y’all! Happy 2015!  The end of 2014 was quite a whirlwind for us…between the end of November and the end of December, we only spent 10 out of 43 nights in our own bed. Crazy. The start of our adventures was November when we traveled to England! We were there for almost two weeks, and it was such a memorable experience! It was my first time out of the country and both of our first times to Europe, so we were ready to explore together!

As you can see below, I was overly excited about everything…the 10-hour flight, my new passport, and British pounds! A bit ridiculous, I know. 🙂

0To try and get on England time, Louis and I barely slept at all the night before our flight and tried to sleep on the flight over. Even with the aid of Melatonin, I think I got a combined two hours total, so I knew we were off to an interesting start. After finally arriving at Heathrow, we went on a crazy drive through London and wound up at The Table, a quaint cafe in the center of town. We feasted on delicious Belgian waffles, and I enjoyed a yummy pot of Earl Gray for a much needed caffeine boost.


After brunch, we strolled over to the Tate Modern, which was, um…interesting? To be fair, perhaps I just didn’t get it? If you’re into “art” that looks like literal piles of poop or elementary school craft projects, this is the place for you. There were a couple of neat things, but mostly it was just weird, depressing, or confusing. To each their own, I suppose. I’ll just leave off with the note that I’m happy it was free.

2We snapped a quick picture overlooking the Thames, St. Paul’s, and the Millennium Bridge before heading to Paddington Station through some crazy London traffic.


At this point in the day we completed the planes, trains, and automobiles trifecta and boarded a train out of Paddington. We spent about two hours on the train traveling to a small town outside of London. By the time we arrived, we had been traveling for about 24 hours, so we were ready to crash in our comfy hotel room. We grabbed some dinner at a local free house before heading back to unpack and unwind. Unbeknownst to us, our hotel was a few HUNDRED years old (New by Europe’s standards, I suppose?), which meant we were greeted with radiators, slanting windowsills, and no lift (elevator, for you Americans). After hauling our bags up three flights of stairs and taking a hot shower, exhaustion overcame us and we tucked in for a night of sleep.


The next day was uneventful aside from attempting to adjust to the new time zone. The highlight of the day was dinner when we went to Zizzi Ristorante, an 1800s church turned Italian restaurant.


The food was okay, but the atmosphere was unbeatable. I must admit, it did feel a little blasphemous to see a pizza oven operating on the church’s altar. However, we enjoyed the ambience and each other’s company as always.


The following days, Louis had some things to do for work, so I was left to explore the town on my own. My favorite discovery was an adorable cafe, The Boston Tea Party. It was a quaint tea room, with a delicious menu and the cutest atmosphere. I enjoyed their Scotch pancakes and bacon more than once during our short trip! It was the perfect place to sit and pass some time with a pot of tea.


My favorite part of the town was definitely the architecture. As you can see from the photos below, every turn presented another scenic view. I’m convinced the top left picture is a wing of Hogwarts. The precious church is something I spotted from the local art museum. See that beauty on the bottom left? That is their LIBRARY. What?! Crazy. The bottom right is just your average government building. Seriously, I felt like I was on a movie set.


My days mostly consisted of strolling around and exploring while Louis worked. There were several fun, little shops, but my favorite purchase was the new edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I mean, how could I go to England and NOT buy a copy of Harry Potter?


The evenings were my favorite parts of the day because Louis was done working. One night, we ate dinner at a local restaurant called The Tavern. We both enjoyed steaks and the hip feeling of the establishment. It was definitely one of my favorite meals while we were there.


Several days into the trip, we finally enjoyed our first pints! Granted, Louis got a pint of Pepsi, and I had a pint of water, but we were in a pub! Does that count? 🙂 We also had our first fish and chips (and peas which we never consumed…yuck). First of MANY, might I add. It was so fun strolling around town and having date nights with Louis in another country. I just kept saying, “I can’t believe we’re in England just walking around by ourselves!” Obviously, I still don’t feel like an adult most of the time. 🙂


While the town we were staying in was cute and welcoming, I’ll admit, it didn’t have a huge amount of entertainment to offer. We were more than okay with that because we got to go see some movies we had been highly anticipating! The Imitation Game for Louis and Mockingjay: Part 1 for me! I’m sure you’re thinking we’re crazy for going all the way to England and spending two nights seeing movies, but hey, get over it. Side note: movie snacks are not as satisfying in England as they are here. That slush Louis was drinking tasted just like medicine. Barf.


The first part of our trip was definitely fun, but there was much more to see and do in London! Don’t worry, in my next recap, we hop back on the train and travel back to London Tooooooown.


**I’m sorry if you think my recap title of “EngLANGd” is atrocious, I just couldn’t pass it up.

Continue Reading