Hula on Ice Cocktail

Guys, do you know what I did this morning? I woke up before dawn and cooked B breakfast. Once he was off to work, I did my T25 workout of the day, followed by a half hour of yoga and then promptly put fluffy Christmas printed pajama pants on after my shower. I made coffee, started sifting through emails and immediately realized that the weather was bad. As in, loads of snow piling up when we weren’t expecting any really accumulation until tonight. Between today and Wednesday we’re expecting as much as two or three feet so I realized I needed to hoof it off to run some errands before potentially being snowed in for a good chunk of the week. (Don’t worry, I wore jeans when I left the house. Promise.) All of that to say, this Tiki twisted winter cocktail is just what the doctor ordered today! It’s a Hawaiian-inspired drink, designed with bringing a little something tropical to an otherwise cold and dreary day.

Hula on Ice Cocktail by @cydconverse

Shared by Celeste Noche and Mint & Mirth, this cocktail features summery notes of pineapple and coconut in juxtaposition with the spicy, darker flavors of good rum, chai, and Coco-Lada tea-based syrup. Best of all, it’s easy to prepare at home for one, two, or twenty, so it’s perfect for any fall or winter soirée! This is precisely the type of cocktail I like to sip and serve over the holidays. Something rich and complex, brightened up with a hit of unexpected sweetness. Yummy!

Hula on Ice Cocktail by @cydconverse Hula on Ice Cocktail by @cydconverse

Hula on Ice Cocktail by @cydconverse

Hula on Ice Cocktail by @cydconverse

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ oz Spiced rum
  • 2 oz Coco-Lada tea-based syrup
  • ¾ oz Fresh pineapple juice
  • 3 – 5 Fresh mint leaves
  • Ice
  • Crushed coconut and mint to rim the glass
  • Slice of pineapple for garnish

Use a pineapple slice to wet the rim of a chilled tumbler, then gently dip the rim in crushed coconut and mint. Next, shake all syrup, rum, mint, and juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and strain into glass. Garnish with a fresh slice of pineapple, and enjoy!

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[Cocktail by Mint & Mirth | Photos by Celeste Noche Photography | Glassware from Vintage Mingle.]

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The Gift Guide: Hostess Gifts

Ok, friends, it’s time! Early this week, I asked and you answered and I’m so grateful to those of you who chimed in here and via social media with your gift guide requests for this year. I am absolutely taking all of those into consideration as I plan upcoming posts so thank you! Today we’re kicking it off, as always, with fabulous hostess gifts. I like starting with hostess gifts each year, because with Thanksgiving just a couple of weeks away there is going to be no shortage of need for great hostess gifts in the coming weeks. Of course, you can never go wrong bringing a great bottle of wine or a pretty bouquet of flowers so keep that in mind. That said, these ideas hit a range of price points and feature a mix of traditional ideas and more unique hostess gifts, too. Whether it’s just a little something pretty for the friend who invited you over for holiday cocktails or something a bit more luxe for the hostess who has welcomed you for an extended holiday weekend, there’s a little something here for everyone.

The Gift Guide: Hostess Gifts from @cydconverse

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[1: Joy t-shirt | 2: Gemstone earrings | 3: Notebook | 4: Star ring | 5: Gold cocktail shaker | 6: Alarm clock | 7: Gold foil calendar | 8: Cream and sugar bowls | 9: Teapot | 10: Sparkle candle | 11: Leather tassel keyring | 12: Silver measuring spoons | 13: Caldrea hand soap | 14: Gold bottle opener | 15: Bedside carafe.]

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An Ode to Fall Baking

As promised, I wanted to share a few more images from the pretty harvest feast that we all loved earlier in the week. All of these photos were captured in the kitchen, before dinner, amidst a flurry of flour and garden fresh veggies. Looking at these images I was reminded why I love cooking and baking, especially this time of year. For me there’s usually music playing in the background and I undoubtedly end up with flour in my hair. Without fail. Every single time. But that process of chopping, mixing and kneading is so therapeutic for me and there’s nothing that makes a house feel more like home than something yummy baking in the oven. Big Sunday night dinners? Sign me up. An impromptu batch of cookies baked fresh on a Saturday afternoon? I’m down with that, too. B and I share this love of being in the kitchen, making a mess and getting our hands busy making something delicious. (Although there’s no baking in his kitchen repertoire, that domain is all mine.) I think that’s why these images speak to me. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to get busy and make something yummy this upcoming weekend!

An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse

An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse

Making Pie Crust

An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse

An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse

An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse

An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse

An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse

An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse

An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse

Salted Caramel Pears Salted Caramel Pears

Salted Caramel Pears

Fig and Cheese Plate Fig and Cheese Plate

Fig and Cheese Plate

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[Food + styling by Ann Whitaker | Photos by Britt Chudleigh.]

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DIY Falling Leaves Cake Topper

One of my favorite party tricks is to dress up a simple white layer cake and turn into something really schmancy by adding a fun cake topper or other embellishment to make it shine. It makes dessert look really grand, when in reality it doesn’t cost a ton of money or require much skill. And your guests? They automatically think you’re the next Martha Stewart when you bring out something sweet to pair with coffee after dinner, especially when it also looks like a million bucks. So that’s what we’re talking about here today!

DIY Falling Leaves Cake Topper by @cydconverse

This DIY falling leaves cake topper is a little something I dreamed up recently and it has just such an effect. It looks so pretty, but it’s basically just an upgraded version of a kindergarten construction paper craft. I love that.

DIY Falling Leaves Cake Topper by @cydconverse

The basics here are colorful card stock, scissors, Glue Dots (or hot glue) and floral wire. It’s honestly about that easy! Print, cut, glue, stick wires into cake. Done, done and done. This cake topper is perfect for Thanksgiving (at least in my world) or any fall celebration. A birthday. A dinner party. A brunch you’re hosting for your best lady friends. You really can’t go wrong.

DIY Falling Leaves Cake Topper by @cydconverse

Ready to get started? Pop over to Momtastic where I’m sharing the full tutorial!

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[Photos by Cyd Converse for Momtastic.]

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Style the Look: A Fall Harvest Feast

Not surprisingly, I’m not alone in my love for yesterday’s harvest feast. It’s just so gorgeous and at the end of the day it’s a surprisingly simple look to pull off on your own at home. Perhaps that’s why I love it so much? With that in mind, today I’m bringing you the goods so you can style the look on your own. These aren’t the same exact pieces, but they have the same overall vibe so you should absolutely first look to your own cabinets to see what you can use to recreate a similar look at your own harvest feast or Thanksgiving dinner. I always preach that you can’t go wrong with buying a set of simple white dinnerware because it’s perfect for weeknight dinners as well as for entertaining. Paired with inexpensive gold chargers, those basic white plates take on a whole new look! Stay tuned later in the week for even more from this harvest feast, because the photos are just too gorgeous and I can’t resist.

Style the Look: Harvest Feast from @cydconverse

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[Style the Look | 1: Gold chargers | 2: Glass tumblers | 3: Wood cutting boards | 4: Gold flatware | 5: Cheese knife set | 6: White dinnerware | 7: Gray linen napkins.]

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