Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas Crafting

17 Dec
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My mom is far and away the most creative person I know. Long before Pinterest and DIY became cool, she had my siblings and I making Christmas ornaments and entering craft fairs. She’s the reason I thought to artfully strew our ugly brass dining room chandelier with evergreen clippings, berries, and pine cones sourced from anywhere I saw anything worth gathering. And she’s definitely the reason I was outside freezing my behind off yesterday, making “ice lanterns” with bits of greens and berries for our party this Saturday! She taught me to think creatively and find beauty everywhere.
 
I think that’s why I have such a strong association with crafting around the holidays. We were always making something together as a family like decor for the house, gifts for friends and family, or just decorating paper gingerbread men for the Advent calender. Two of my favorite childhood projects involved painting reclaimed bricks to look like cute little row houses which I sold as door stops and garden décor. The other was a painted clay pot angel for Christmas. I made dozens to give as gifts. To me, it’s just not Christmas unless there is crafting.
 

// Photos: clockwise from top left — One of my ice lanterns / our evergreen chandelier / our second-ever gingerbread house / the anniversary bouquet that was re-purposed for some of the previously mentioned Christmas projects (see the berries and greens?!)

Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for Co-Workers (female edition)

11 Dec
gift guide for co-workers by marriedwithstyle

When I shop for co-workers, I try to imagine the everyday indulgences that would brighten the dreariest of Mondays. So I love to gift elevated versions of basic office supplies, like a pretty “To Do List” note pad, an illustrated calender, or beautiful file folders. Things they see every day.  In the past I’ve gifted cute lunch bags along with gift cards to favorite local restaurants. Another time I gave my favorite hand cream and a gift certificate for a lunchtime manicure near our office. I like to keep it simple and practical and love “paired” gifts like this, for something a little different.

If you work in advertising (or anywhere that celebrates happy hour!) a gorgeous decanter and a pair of double old-fashioned glasses is as Mad Men as it gets. Add a bottle of Scotch and you’ve made someone’s Christmas! As a beauty product lover, I love to gift small makeup bags filled with “office touch-up essentials,” like powder, mascara and lip gloss. And for those networking events, I love a pretty little metallic business card holder. Hope some of these ideas inspire you to spoil your office mates with something indulgent this year!

Engagement Anniversary

4 Dec

20131206-164824.jpgThree years ago today Brian proposed to me in Central Park. (Recap w/ photos here, plus my side, and his.)  It was one of the happiest moments of my entire life and since it coincides with the start of the Christmas season, we love to celebrate it each year. Brian brought home a beautiful Christmassy bouquet and my favorite peppermint stick ice cream, I tried out two new recipes I thought he’d love, and we strung up the lights on our tree. It was perfect. I can’t wait to finally decorate our tree this weekend.

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Mouthwatering. Prosciutto-wrapped stuffed chicken with shallot sauce. For Brian, I omitted the goat cheese from the original recipe instead stuffing with sauteed mushrooms, spinach, cherry tomatoes, basil and thyme. He practically licked his plate clean. I made mine with just the goat cheese and could not stop muttering, “ohmygod” throughout the whole meal. Sometime I’ll try a combinations of the two; I bet it would be delicious. Recipe coming shortly.

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Near-perfection. We’ve been exhaustively researching recipes for a soft gingersnap cookie to add to our Christmas cookie repertoire but I saved this promising one for today. When you can’t stop from eating fragrant hunks of raw dough you’ve found a keeper. The only changes I made were swapping the margarine for unsalted butter (for a less “flat” cookie), not flattening them at all before baking, and undercooking them just slightly so they had slightly crispy bottoms but softy, chewy insides. Next time I’ll add a bit more nutmeg and some fresh grated ginger for more kick. We agreed they were totally delicious as is, but we want to achieve the perfect soft ginger cookie and we’re just not there yet!