Two Easy Holiday Up-Dos

When it comes to holiday beauty and hair routines, I’m always looking for something special and unique that won’t take a lot of time. After all, time is precious with so many cookies to bake and gifts to wrap this time of year! See below for two holiday hairstyles that only take a few minutes from start to finish!

  1. Twisted Ponytail Wrap 

Start with straight or curly hair. Make a low pony tail, leaving out the front quarter part of your hair on both sides. Take the front pieces of hair and cross them over each other and over the ponytail. Tie together under the ponytail with a clear rubber band. Ta-da!

2. Tucked Up Chignon 

Start with straight hair. Make a low pony tail, leaving out the front quarter part of your hair on both sides. Take front pieces and pull into a smaller ponytail, atop the first, and secure with a clear rubber band. Separate the first ponytail above the hair tie and pull the smaller ponytail through. If you have long hair you may want to tie another clear rubber band around the mid part of your pony tail. To finish, wrap and tuck your ponytail into the twist created just above your hair tie. Tuck in loose ends and secure with bobby pins if needed.


Green Velvet: Dressed Up and Down

I love the annual #dressedup and #dresseddown carolsandcocoa holiday style post! This year, I wanted to feature a dress that could be worn for almost any occasion – from running errands, to work, to a dinner date or even a holiday party. When I found this green velvet dress at Old Navy, I knew it would be perfect for this post.

To dress up this $34.99 (a steal!) dress, I paired it with over the knee suede boots, a black leather jacket and a statement necklace.

To dress down the look, I layered up with a comfy cardigan and black booties.

I think this dress would also look great with a jean jacket and plaid scarf or some patterned black tights and pumps for another dressed up look. What would you like to see on next year’s #dressedup and #dresseddown post? Comment below to let me know your ideas!



Holiday Décor: Under $25

I love redecorating my apartment each year for Christmas. I swap out peonies for poinsettias,  picture frames for nativity scenes and coffee table books for classic Christmas stories. There’s nothing quite like coming home at the end of long work day during the month of December. Plugging in the Christmas tree, lighting a pine scented candle and curling up on the couch to watch a Hallmark movie while enjoying the festive and cozy ambiance.

I’ve linked six of my favorite holiday home décor items below and with all items under $25, you can afford to stock up and really deck the halls this year!


Clockwise from top left: Wooden Star $9.99, Spoon Rest $4.99, Christmas Coasters $24, Cranberry Hurricane $15, Wall Hanging $3.99, Holiday Candle $20.

Gifts for Her: Under $50

This year I’ve put together a list of my top gift ideas for your besties, your sister, your mom…maybe even you (just drop a hint and forward this post to Santa)! All gifts on the list are $50 or under, meaning you can spread holiday cheer and give thoughtful gifts without going broke this season. These gifts are sure to be a hit with all the ladies on your list!


Clockwise from top left:

Metallic Faux-Leather Boots – Give your fashion-forward friend a pair of statement making booties that will help them shine all winter long. ($44.99)

Kendra Scott Elisa Necklace – Wear as an everyday necklace or layer with longer necklaces for a more dynamic look. With 27 colors to choose from, there’s a shade for everyone. ($50)

Floral Portable Charger – This portable cell phone and tablet charger is not only pretty, but it holds 3-4 hours of charge, perfect for the gal on the go. ($30)

Stripe Slippers – Stock up on these cozy and cute slippers for all the ladies in your life. At this great price, everyone deserves the gift of a cozy Christmas this year! ($29.95)

Voluspa Mini Tin Candle Set – Get five gifts for the price of one with this candle set from Voluspa. Gift all five candles to a friend, or break up the set for easy hostess and co-worker gifts to keep on hand. ($40)

Jo Malone Christmas Cracker – For a gift that is almost as fun to open as it is to use, three beauty goodies come hidden inside a traditional Christmas cracker. The travel sizes are perfect for out of town guests or frequent travelers. ($48)

Cuffed By Nano cuffs – These cute cuffs come in a variety of colors with many messages to choose from. My favorites are Good Vibes Only and Death Before Decaf. And for only $55, you can purchase a cuff with custom engraving. ($28)

S’well Water Bottle– Give this cute Palm Beach inspired water bottle to your #fitnessgoals bestie. ($35)

bareMinerlas Warm Me Up Kit – I’ve been using bareMinerals for years and always want to tell everyone how great it is. With their selection of gift sets – including this $12 bronzer kit – you can share the gift of glowing skin with your friends and family too! ($12)

Happy Shopping!

Pink Velvet Three Ways

Velvet continued to be a huge Fall trend this year (see my post from last year featuring black velvet and lace). What I loved most about velvet this season, were the vast selection of velvet pieces in unexpected and bold colors, especially my signature color, pink! Before even the first chilly Fall day, I was on the hunt for a pair of pink velvet boots and as the season continued, I found many more unique velvet pieces that I just couldn’t live without!

See below for three of my favorite looks from this season, all featuring pink velvet, of course! Which outfit are you most likely to wear? Comment and let me know!

New Phototastic Collage

Jacket: LOFT, similar here and here, Dress: LOFT, similar here, Bag: Chanel, Shoes: Steve Madden


Velvet Top: Old Navy, Skirt: ASOS, similar here, Clutch: Marc Jacobs, Scarf: Nordstrom, similar here, Bracelets: Bourbon and Bowties


Top: LOFT, Velvet Jeans: Old Navy, Earrings: similar here

2017 Christmas Playlist

Releasing the year’s carolsandcocoa Christmas playlist is one of my favorite days of the season! I spend a lot of time finding the latest and best releases and I listen to a lot of songs before deciding which ones will make the cut. From jazz to country and everything in between, this year’s playlist has it all! I’m especially loving the songs from Hanson and 98° – two boy bands of Christmases past that got back together to release new Christmas albums this year. I hope you enjoy the mix of holiday classics and new favorites as much as I do!


Follow me on Spotify (elmishler) to get access to the 2012-2017 Playlists!

carolsandcocoa turns 5!

Greetings carolsandcocoa readers! I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend. Though I was away from family this Thanksgiving, I enjoyed a day off to sleep in, cook and attend a SOULcycle Turkey Burn class…and of course I celebrated my favorite tradition of all – curling up on the couch after dinner and watching Elf! I can’t think of a better way to bring in the Christmas season.

This year marks five years of carolsandcocoa! When I started this little blog five years ago I certainly did not dream of all that it would become. I am so grateful to all the friends and family members that have helped me with photo shoots, DIY projects and so much more! And of course, I owe a huge THANK YOU to all my readers! I hope that carolsandcocoa has been able to bring a smile to your face and a little Christmas joy to you everyday!

Head over to @carolsandcocoa on Instagram to see a few of my favorite posts from throughout the years. Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram for your daily dose of holiday cheer and sign up for e-mail notifications so you never miss a blog post! Cheers to 5 years!