November 21, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
You asked and today I’m bringing it to you! I had so many requests for a gift guide focused on those hard to shop for inlaws. You know the ones. The ones who seemingly have everything and always defer to shopping for the kids and the grandkids when you try to figure out what they might like for themselves. My rule of thumb here is to treat them to a little luxury or two. Think a really fabulous set of luxe hand creams for her, an amazing new fragrance or over the top cozy slippers. For him, think an awesome set of pajamas, a foodie-centric subscription box if he loves to cook, or a handcrafted baseball for the sports aficionado. As always, I went for a range of price points as well as a mix of traditional gifts and more unique items – like a gorgeous trowel for the mother in-law who loves to garden. Be sure to let me know what you think! And share with me your favorite gifts for inlaws, I’d love to hear your ideas!
p.s. If you missed it, be sure to check out last week’s edition of The Gift Guide featuring fabulous hostess gifts!
[For Her | 1: Monogram jewelry box | 2: Kate Spade earrings | 3: Lotus table runner | 4: Personalized grandkid ornament | 5: Copper trowel | 6: Laura Mercier hand cream set | 7: Metallic latte mug | 8: Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt perfume | 9: Leather clutch | 10: Ted Baker slippers | For Him | 11: Pajamas | 12: Corkscrew and bottle opener | 13: Penny cufflinks with personalized year | 14: Personalized domino set | 15: Monogram cigar cutter | 16: Mantry subscription box | 17: Antler fire starter | 18: Aftershave | 19: Lemon Ball baseball | 20: Homemade Gin Kit.]
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November 20, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
One week from today I imagine most of us are going to be elbow deep in stuffing and dough in preparation for the big Thanksgiving feast! As of right now here in our neck of the woods, we’re far more than knee deep in snow so there’s that. The kids are now marking their third snow day in a row and we’re expecting upwards of another 2′ of snow before the storm ends tonight. In case there was any doubt, winter has arrived! For those of you who may also be snowed in where you are, take note – snow days make great craft days! So today I’m sharing a handful of my favorite Thanksgiving DIY ideas, all of which seem to be gilded, glittery or golden in some way or another. Typical, I know. Oh well. You can’t hate a lady for loving all that’s gold, right?
DIY Giving Thanks Golden Leaf Garland | These pretty golden leaves make a gorgeous Thanksgiving backdrop when strung into a garland, but alternately they’re also a lovely way to leave notes of thanks that you can display year after year. So sweet!
DIY Gold Leaf Pine Cone Garland | One of my favorite DIY projects to date, this garland is perfect for Thanksgiving right straight through winter, adding that little bit of sparkle to all your winter parties and holiday soirées!
DIY Gold Geo Napkin Rings | Would you believe me if I told you that these napkin rings are made from cardboard? Because they are! In my opinion that makes them even more beautiful.
DIY Gilded Glitter Pears | These fancy sparkly pears are deceivingly simple to craft and make a perfect centerpiece when grouped together in a pretty bowl. Or use them to dress up each place setting on your Thanksgiving table!
DIY Golden Cupcake Liner Flowers | These awesome cupcake liner flowers require all of three supplies to make and they can be used in so many ways! String them into a garland, use them as a pretty cake or pie topper, or use them scattered along a table as an unexpectedly chic centerpiece.
DIY Gilded Flatware | Get the look of expensive gold flatware at a fraction of the price using spray paint! Your holiday table will be looking jazzy and glam in no time.
November 19, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
With just a week to go until Thanksgiving, it’s time for a classic and traditional Thanksgiving color palette! At least it is in my world, because that’s just how my brain is hard wired. Do normal people think like this? Probably not. But I’m totally ok with that! Today we’re talking deep, rich autumnal shades of sweet potato, tomato and eggplant balanced with a bit of a neutral linen color to keep everything in check. Speaking of Thanksgiving, don’t you just love this table? I love this idea for a Thanksgiving centerpiece, making the most of harvest veggies and inexpensive white candlesticks. It’s so lovely! Of course, most of us won’t be dining al fresco on Thanksgiving, but it’s easy to take this inspiration inside. And, um, tiny little eggplants at each place setting? Shut up. That’s just adorable.
[Photos, from top: Love Me Do Photography via Green Wedding Shoes | Bring to Light Photography via Style Me Pretty Living | Joy the Baker.]
November 18, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
This Thanksgiving will mark more than a decade since I’ve sat down and eaten a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Most of you are probably aware that I’m a vegetarian and have been since my early 20s. I also eat vegan quite a bit and if I can ever kick my cheese addiction, I’d love to go full vegan eventually. All of this said, if you’re either a vegetarian or a vegan (or a pescetarian for that matter), you know that Thanksgiving is about more than just turkey! My mom actually takes the reigns and hosts Thanksgiving every year and she has a repertoire of vegetarian recipes that leave me wanting for nothing even while everyone else is fork deep in turkey. So today I’m sharing some awesome vegetarian Thanksgiving dishes, many of which also qualify as vegan and/or gluten-free. Even if you’re a meat-loving lady, it never hurts to bust out a side or two sans meat for those guests who might refrain for whatever reason, keeping in mind you won’t be sacrificing any flavor and might just find a new favorite dish!
Note: The white bean soup shown above calls for bacon, simply omit for a vegetarian dish that will still be mighty delicious! Also, while all vegetarian, many of these dishes could easily be made vegan with a simple omission or two. Sign me up to taste test a bite or two of each!
[1: Roasted fingerling potato salad (vegan, gluten-free) | 2: Cream cheese and chive biscuits | 3: Kale and mushroom stuffing (vegan) | 4: Spaghetti squash salad (gluten-free) | 5: Butternut squash risotto | 6: Croissant loaf | 7: Squash croquettes | 8: White bean soup (skip the bacon).]
November 17, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
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.
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!
- 1 ½ oz Spiced rum
- 2 oz Coco-Lada tea-based syrup
- ¾ oz Fresh pineapple juice
- 3 – 5 Fresh mint leaves
- 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!
[Cocktail by Mint & Mirth | Photos by Celeste Noche Photography | Glassware from Vintage Mingle.]