Photo courtesy of Tony Putnam & photo styling courtesy of Katie Bond + Beth Wischnia at Brit + Co. You should definitely check out their gift guides! They are so beautifully detailed. 

It's the most wonderful time of the yeeaaaaar! (If you sang that in your head, props to you.)

I've been wanting to do a gift guide all year long, but decided to wait until Christmas. This specific gift guide is themed for the girl boss in your life! That may be you, that may be your girlfriend, that may be your beloved colleague. Regardless, when gifting something to a girl boss, you have to think out of the box, am I right?

The girl boss prioritizes her work and wants gifts that will make her life easier for her. The girl boss is a smart consumer that likes to support businesses with a good cause. She wants her style and her approach to life to be thought-through, but as the same time, she wants to stay true to herself.

The products listed on this gift guide will make work easier for the girl boss and allow her to enjoy her time off this holiday season! Instead of just making a last-minute trip to your local department store to buy her some chocolates and perfume, wow her with out-of-the-box gifts she'll cherish forever. The girl boss is unique and deserves unique gifts.

Happy holidays from Pink Chanel Suit, and I hope you enjoy this gift guide!

2016 has been an incredibly busy year for me. I usually get through this thanks to the notes app on my phone and non-stop to-do lists. But now, it's almost 2017! I decided I needed a planner.

Erin Condren will take your planning to a whole new level with their LifePlanner. You can customize it with your name, design, size, colors, and much more! If you're not passionate about your stationary, how can you expect to be passionate about your work?

Thanks to Erin Condren, I actually feel excited to get down to business. See for yourself:

I've already received so many compliments! Everyone thinks it's so cool how both my planner and phone has my name on it. The actual inside of the planner is a must for any boss babe. It's so detailed, so you'll be able to manage your time perfectly.

The funny thing is...I thought I was so busy until I actually put it down on paper. Now I haven so much more time on my hands for both work and play. Yaaaaay! #blessed

If you're interested in getting some gear from Erin Condren to amp up your professional career, be sure to use my referral link to get $10 off your order! 

Bras can be a complicated subject. We want to believe they're all the same...but that's far from the truth. That's where Upbra comes in! If your chest is on the bigger size like me, you need good support. And if you're the opposite, you want an extra push every now and then! It doesn't matter what your bra size is, Upbra will give you the support and the look you so desperately crave.

You know when you're wearing a bra and you think, "If only there was a way for me to push my boobs closer together. Or make them further apart. Or make them higher. Or arrange the straps to fit my outfit." Well...with Upbra, you can do all of that. It's the magical bra that works with every outfit. You can wear a halter top, an off-the-shoulder top, or even a one shoulder top! My absolute favorite part is the hidden strap underneath your chest that allows you to push your girls closer together, which comes in handy! Take that, gravity.

With the coupon code WB-10P-19, you can get 10% off your Upbra order just in time for those holiday orders!

Is it really the holiday season without Lush? Whether it be their iconic bath bombs, their to-die-for face masks or their feel-good shower gels, Lush is the perfect gift for anyone: whether that be your boo, your boss, your best friend or...yourself.

If someone gets me a Lush product for Christmas, I know their feelings for me are real. Just stating the facts here.

You all know I love Lush because of how natural and aesthetically pleasing their products are, but that admiration for the company amplifies during the holidays. They have so many irresistible gift packages that are already wrapped and put together so you don't have to do the work!

Just look at how freakin adorable:

Inside of Merry & Bright: 

Bubbly Shower Gel: 
Citrusy-champagne scents. Mmmm.

Ocean Salt Face & Body Scrub:
Get down and dirty with this body scrub with sea salt, avocado butter, and coconut oil. Sounds like heaven!

Baked Alaska Soap:
Feeling bummed out about winter? The scent of grapefruit and myrtle will brighten up your dull days.

And in the Secret Garden box: (Also, can we talk about how ADORABLE this wrapping paper is?)

Ro's Argan Body Conditioner:
Argan oil and rose team up to make your skin mega soft.

Serendipity Soap:
French lavender and chamomile come together to make your nights cozy and sleepy. Perfect for those long days!

Igloo Soap:
With the sweet aroma of rose and lemon, you can't go wrong.

Rub Rub Rub Body Scrub:
Sea salt and citrus make lovely couple. They'll make your skin bright and clean!

Rose Jam Shower Gel:
This one is one of my favorites! Rose, vanilla and argan oil will take your shower to the next level in no time.

Charity Pot Hand & Body Lotion:
Considering this product supports grassroots charities, you really can't go wrong.

I is that time of year where you cozy up by the fire with a warm cup of tea and a good book right? Eternal Youth should be that book! It's a coming-of-age collection of poetry about subjects any girl boss will relate to: love, depression, feminism, capitalism, transcendentalism, and a whole bunch of other isms!

It's available on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Eternal Youth by Maria Elena

Eternal Youth

by Maria Elena

Giveaway ends December 02, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

You can also enter my Goodreads giveaway to win a copy!

When it comes to subscription boxes, it's always hit or miss. After all, they're such a big trend nowadays! My favorite subscription box has to be hands down Hauliday Box. As a big fan of every season and holiday, it's so great to see the team at Hauliday Box share that enthusiasm. They hand-pick seasonal items for each box, from DVDS, to candles, to decor, to self-care items.

If you love being festive as much as I do, you'll love Hauliday Box. Below you will see a peek inside their Halloween box. Instead of just throwing in random items, they really think each and every item through. I love it how they support small businesses from local shops and Etsy! That's what makes this box special - it feels so cozy and homey because every product is really made from the heart.

A photo posted by MARIA ELENA (@pinkchanelsuit) on

How To Create The Ultimate Cheese Platter With Kaukauna® Cheese

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #InspireWithCheese #CollectiveBias

Cheese platters and I...yeah, we go way back. The moment I get to a party or get-together, I instantly think, "Where's the closest cheese platter?" And then once my eyes finally meet with that beautiful plate of cheese and carbs, well, the rest is history.

When it comes to get-togethers, cheese platters tend to be pretty small and basic. They're not even an appetizer, they're BEFORE the appetizer. However, considering it's one of the first things your guests will put in their mouths, it has to make a lasting impression on them. You might think most people will overlook something as trivial as a cheese platter, but hey, that's not always the case!

Sometimes there's people like me who look forward to, a lot. Considering I don't eat meat, cheese and dessert is what I get to be excited about! 

If you're hosting a holiday party this season, it's time to rethink your cheese platter. This year, give your guests something to talk about. Instead of just plopping cheese and crackers on a plate, inspire them with cheese!

1. Start with your favorite cheese.

The whole point of a cheese platter is the cheese, right? You want to make sure to get a cheese all your guests will enjoy. For me, that's Kaukauna® Port Wine Cheese Balls. I've been eating Kaukauna® Cheese religiously for years now and always love bringing it to holiday gatherings! Considering it's a spreadable cheese with almonds, it has that festive ambiance we all crave around this time of year.

If you're not feeling the port wine flavor, no need to worry! Kaukauna® Cheese Balls come in Sharp Cheddar, Smoky Bacon, Pepper Jack, Bacon JalapeƱo, Asiago, and Sriracha. You can also try out their Logs or Spreadable Cheese Cups! There is literally something for everyone. 

2. Add a variety of crackers or breads. 

Gotta love those carbs! To make it affordable and convenient, I buy a cracker variety pack. You'll get onion crackers, wheat crackers, water crackers, cracked pepper crackers and everything in between! Considering Kaukauna® Cheese is spreadable, it'll taste delicious paired up with anything. You name it!

3. Add fruit and nuts.

Typically, the fruit and nuts are there to compliment the cheese and so you can clean your palate between bites. Grapes compliment the port wine flavor so beautifully, I highly recommend!

4. Add jams, sauces, and spreads.

I had to add pesto and a spicy chili sauce to my cheese board for a burst of flavor! I wanted the board to look aesthetically pleasing, so I only plated three crackers each. You can continue to refill the platter throughout the night if necessary. 

5. Get cheesin'! 

Grab a spreading knife and get cheesin'! Enjoy your Kaukauna® Cheese while you mingle with your guests as Christmas music lightly plays in the background. And once they all leave, you can cozy up with a fleece blanket and have all the cheese to yourself.

When I find myself craving Kaukauna® Cheese, I always go to Ralphs, however, you can find it at any Kroger banner store. It's located in the cheese section right by the deli!

And because it is that special time of year where everyone loves to spread joy, Kaukauna® Cheese will be hosting an AMAZING giveaway! You can enter below to win 1 of 2 $500 Visa gift cards, 1 of 20 $200 Visa gift cards, or 1 of 500 Kaukauna® Cheese boards. The chances of you winning something are pretty high, so I definitely recommend entering. Break a leg! In the meantime, check out creative ways to use Kaukauna® Cheese for the holidays here.

#InspireWithCheese Sweepstakes

Taylor Swift's All Time Favorite Cookie Recipe: Chai Tea Cookies With Eggnog Frosting!

About two years ago, Taylor Swift caught the attention of the baking world when she posted this delicious looking photo on Instagram of her chai tea eggnog cookies.  Naturally, we all freaked out. Tay Tay, give us the recipe ASAP!

Aaaaaand, she did. She posted the recipe on her Tumblr and thank the laaaawd she did because these cookies are TO DIE FOR. In her own words, "bakers gotta bake bake bake bake bake!"

These chai tea eggnog cookies are perfect for the holiday season. And the best part is you get to say, "Oh, I got the recipe from Taylor Swift. No big deal."

Other than an awesome playlist filled with some T-Swift tunes, 
here's what you'll need:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 chai tea packet
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon eggnog

The directions are on Taylor's Tumblr, but can be kind of confusing.  Seventeen Magazine simplified them for us! Yaaaaaaas! 

Here are the directions, courtesy of Seventeen.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with butter or cooking spray.
2. Using a mixer, beat the butter in a large bowl on medium for about 1 minute. Add the vegetable oil, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, egg and vanilla, beating on medium speed until each ingredient is completely incorporated.
3. This is where Tay's personalization comes in! Cut one chai tea packet open and empty the crushed tea leaves into the batter.
4. Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt using mixer set on low.
5. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour or freeze for 15 minutes so it's easier to handle.
6. Now you're ready to bake! Dollop 1 tablespoon of cookie dough onto the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Press the dough evenly with your fingers or palm to 1/4-inch thickness.
7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before eating.
8. Taylor personalized her sugar cookies with her homemade eggnog icing! Just mix your powdered sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and eggnog to create the icing. Then spoon it over your cookies once they've cooled.
9. As a final touch, Taylor sprinkled some cinnamon on top of the cookies.

This is how queen Taylor's cookies came out:

Did you try out her recipe? If so, what do you think?

My Book 'Eternal Youth' Is Out!

My poetry book, Eternal Youth, is finally out! I am so happy I got the opportunity to 'eternalize' my youth with words. 

It's available now on:
and much more!

You can also follow along with me on Goodreads and Instagram for updates. 

Thank you for all your support.


Maria Elena