Luxurious kitchen and dining gifts are among my favorite to give and receive. For this installment, I've gathered cool sets and accessories for those who love to get funky in the kitchen, all under $80!
I love a good gadget. Our phones and tablets are our constant companions - at least mine are - so they might as well be properly accessorized, yes? There's nothing more boring than a dull grey power strip --- why not seek out one with a bit more personality? I love to mix cheeky, brightly colored accoutrements (rubberized, hot pink iPod boombox, anyone?) with chicly detailed items like rose gold embellished headphones and Vachetta leather envelope cases. Take a bite of this Tech Candy.
Boticca BlissfulCASE $30 | iHome iP4 iPod/FM Stereo Boombox $100 | Harlex Leather iPad Envelope Clutch $167 | Frends Rose Gold Ella B Earbuds $50 | Kikkerland Super Power Strip $20 | Smartphone Projector $27 | Phunkeetree iPhone Charger $20 | ban.do Back Me Up Charger $30 | Jonathan Adler Universal Phone Dock $48
Whether yo man is a sports bro, a DIY dandy, a rocker, a fine fella or a man's man, I've got you covered with gifts $85 and under!
There are standard gifts that most children always love to open (think Lego, Barbie) but I like to hunt around for more unique gifts for the littles in my life. I've gone a little too out there in the past (clip on unicorn horn for my 3 year old niece -- she was underwhelmed) but I'm confident in this year's list. Bonus: All items are $50 or less!
Warning: This list contains gifts adults will want to play with. I may or may not have had a long, intense session with Simon recently.
I'm a big fan of Small Business Saturday! While I do very little Black Friday shopping, I always hit up my favorite local shops on SBS to pump dollars back into the community. I'm proud to say I do this as a regular practice all year long, but I definitely make a special push in December. This holiday season, make a personal pledge (if you haven't already) to buy the majority of your gifts at a locally owned store. From Mom & Pop restaurants to your favorite indie boutiques, you'll be giving twice when you purchase goods, gift cards or services from a local business -- once to the recipient and once to the business owner.
* Be sure to use #ShopSmall on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help spread the word!
I adore Thanksgiving and abide by long-held family traditions. The morning is strictly reserved for a light buffet breakfast (fruit, cheese, crackers) while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I high-kick my legs with The Rockettes and giggle at the (sometimes terribly) obvious lip-synching.
My Thanksgiving meal specialties include the most kick@$$ and most definitely not low-fat mashed potatoes (I mix in an embarrassing amount of full fat cream cheese for extra creaminess) and a super simple yet yummy homemade cranberry sauce - so much better than canned, believe me. Find my tried and true recipe on Instagram and make it your own.
But (and this is a BIG but) the best part about Thanksgiving is that post-meal nap, the buzz of football playing in the background. I'm not typically great at napping but I make it part of the day's plans. While I don't want to look like a slob on Thanksgiving, I absolutely plan my holiday ensemble to accommodate comfy snoozing. Glorified pajama pants are the key. Paired with booties, a comfy sweater and some glittering, statement earrings, you'll be holiday ready but primed for a well-deserved (I'm assuming, here) catnap. These sweet floral print pajama pants by Maison Scotch feature slimming tuxedo stripes on the sides. Keyooote!
This year, my family will be missing our sweet Nan Nan but we'll make sure she's part of our celebration with fond and funny memories of holidays past.
Best wishes to you and your family for a healthy, happy and most delicious Thanksgiving Day!
Every year, my husband and I exchange Moleskine notebooks for Foxmas (our pet name for the holidays). While we're both tech junkies and rely heavily on our iPhones and iPads, we both still love the feeling of putting pen to paper and cherish these beautiful books. We archive them once filled, so they've become a defacto diary-slash-scrapbook of our personal and professional lives. Now, our 6 year old son has taken a shine to them and is following in our footsteps.
Over the years, Moleskine has added niche notebooks for every interest. From wine, beer, food and travel journals, limited edition StarWars, Hello Kitty and Simpson theme books, to a rainbow of cover colors, sizes and paper options, these elegant notebooks make a great gift for everyone on your list - one that's truly appreciated and never goes unused.
Shop the vast array of Moleskine notebooks and get working on chipping away at your gift list.
Every Monday from now until Christmas Day, I'll be posting kick@$$ gift guides to help you along.
Stay tuned for awesome ideas, all under $100!
Sponsored by DeKuyper, the 2014 Bartender Challenge is a really fun cocktail competition happening in Indiana now. Make like Brian Flanagan (Tom Cruise in Cocktail, duh) and mix up a unique libation, using your assigned DeKuyper flavor, issued upon entry. Don't forget to give your new, signature drink a creative name...
Sign up for the 2014 Bartender Challenge by clicking here. Good Luck!
While you're waiting to see the winning cocktail, here's a little inspo for your next brunch:
DeKuyper Bloody Sunrise
1.5 parts Hornitos Plata Tequila
1 parts DeKuyper® Blood Orange Liqueur
1 part Fresh orange juice (not from concentrate)
2 dashes Grenadine
Pour the tequila, DeKuyper® Blood Orange Liqueur and Orange Juice into a highball glass filled with ice and stir. Splash in grenadine and watch it trickle down through the drink. Add the garnish and serve.
August is always all about Cape Cod for me. I've spent every summer of my life in East Sandwich, Massachusetts and while I don't get as much time as I used to, I still appreciate every single minute. I'm incredibly lucky to have grandparents who felt strongly about their progeny truly knowing and appreciating the beauty, wonder and peace of the Cape. My love of the family home stems from their love for me and my siblings and a charming place where we've shared so many great memories. I'm thrilled to continue this tradition with my boys and hope they'll know Cape Cod throughout their childhood and into adulthood. While every trip is different, there are a few constants I always look forward to: lobster, sandy feet, Four Seas ice cream, cheap sailor knot bracelets, gorgeous sunsets...
Since we no longer live in Massachusetts, I try to infuse daily life with reminders of Boston and the Cape so that our boys treat it as a second home, instead of just a place we visit every year. I'm confident we'll be Mass-holes again some day, but until then, we'll savor our yearly trips to our little slice of paradise.
We're in the thick of summer and I couldn't be happier! This year, the temps have not been off the charts and I'm loving it. Here's what I'm crushing on right this very instant:
* Caftans! If I could live in a flowing, colorful caftan year round, I totally would. They're so easy-breezy and very Palm Beach-y. I imagine my glamorous great grandmother gliding around the house in them in the 1960's... By my estimation, Theodora & Callum make the most stylish around.
* I'm totally digging the song Rude by MAGIC! The subject matter is kind of serious but the tune and reggae beat is so catchy and makes me want to drive a convertible with my wild hair blowing behind me. BTW -- MAGIC! is a Canadian band. That's right, a Canadian reggae band. *Thank the stars I don't drive a convertible -- my thick, curly hair would be one giant tangle!
* Fromage Blanc is a super creamy farmer's cheese that is too damn hard to find where I live. I found some at the beginning of the month, devoured the tubs immediately, and am now in mourning. Please, someone send some to me asap!
* Jerky. Like, some really delicious small batch beef jerky, made by a dear friend of mine. She and her husband have started their own business, Smoke & Honey, and everything I've tasted thus far has been out of this world! If you don't live in my neck of the woods (Northeast Indiana), you'll just have to wait until Smoke & Honey goes global. In the meantime, check 'em out...
At last, SPRING! The warmer temps and cheery sunshine have put a bounce in my step. So have these 5 things:
* I was so excited to flip my closet from Winter to Summer. The transformation is not yet complete but I'm thrilled to have my favorite dresses within reach again. Give it up for one piece dressing!
* The Skimm, a Monday through Friday morning email, keeps me in the know with bite sized news stories. I rarely watch broadcast television and don't spend as much time on Twitter as I used to so I'm thankful for the quick updates.
* I've recently started using Young Living essential oils, thanks to a knowledgeable friend. It's safe to say I'm hooked. I add a few drops of Lemon to my water in the morning, apply Purification to breakouts and inhale the most wonderfully intense Lavender in the evening during my bedtime ritual. I also add drops of all three to a spray bottle filled with water to mist around my house. I'm still learning about Young Living and can't wait to receive my next shipment of additional oils. Stay tuned for more on the subject - there are a TON of ways to use these potent and healing oils.
* At the beginning of the month, I cracked into my first bag of chia seeds and have started by making chia water: 1/2 cup lime juice, 10 cups water, 1/2 cup chia seeds. The texture is funky but I like it. I can't wait to try these powerful and nutritious seeds in other recipes. If you have any faves, send them my way!
* Proud Mumma Alert: My two little guys were asked to take part in some promotional photos and videos for The Good Ones, a super rad clothing company for boys. I adore the line for the thoughtful design details (pearlized snaps, reflective tape, cool patches, etc), awesome branding and fun, interactive website. Peep the newest video, Anything Ever, featuring lots of cute kiddos, including mine.
My little Packard Cubby turned 1 last week (!?!) so we threw a little 1980's slash Pacman themed party. Take a little peek:
The party was small and short...just like Packard.
My favorite part of Inside the Actor's Studio is when James Lipton asks his guests Bernard Pivot's famous 10 questions. It's fun to hear how the celebs answer. Some are authentic and funny, others seem like they're trying their best to be profound and deep. Regardless, the exercise is fun to do with a group of friends or with your significant other. While I'm sure no one gives a fig what my least favorite word is, that's never stopped me from sharing. Here we go:
1. What is your favorite word?
Tintinnabulation, a ringing of bells. I came across it in a trivia book when I was seven and it's been my favorite word ever since. It's fun to say and fun to spell.
2. What is your least favorite word?
3. What turns you on?
A great sense of humor. But an annoying laugh cancels that right out. I don't want to laugh with someone whose laugh annoys the shit out of me.
4. What turns you off?
5. What sound do you love?
The blades of a figure skate cutting through the ice. That's bliss. I'd like that to be my ringtone. #2 is the sound of the ocean. #3 is the sound of rain. Basically, I like water based sounds.
6. What sound do you hate?
A crying or screaming baby. And the music of Dave Matthews Band.
7. What is your favorite curse word?
Fuck. Or shit. Shit! I don't know. It's too hard to pick a favorite. I love them all -- except for one.
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Rock star. I'd love to be able to sing. I mean, I can sing, it just doesn't sound good. So I'd like to be able to sing well. If I could steal someone's voice, I'd go with Kate Earl or Emily Haines of Metric. I'd also like to be a kick ass drummer like Kim Schifino from Matt & Kim.
9. What profession would you not like to do?
Police Officer. I'm a real candy ass.
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
I always struggle with this question. Robert DeNiro gave my very favorite answer to this question. Since I can't beat DeNiro, I'll use his: If there is a God, he has a lot of explaining to do.
Check this ish out:
Keep it funky.