The Gift Guide: Gifts for Guys

Hi, friends! I hope all of you who celebrate had an amazing Thanksgiving yesterday. I’m going to be taking the rest of the holiday weekend to spend time with family and get a jump start on more holiday projects that are currently in the works. Before all of that though, I did want to pop in today with this week’s edition of The Gift Guide. Today we’re talking gifts for guys! In all honesty, I basically fill this particular gift guide each year with things I know B would love, but I also try to work in a mix of items perfect for either the dapper gent or the rugged dude. I feel like most every guy appreciates a little bit of luxury, no matter what he’s into. Think a cool beard pack loaded up with things to help tame his facial mane or an awesome bluetooth speaker that will allow him to rock out at his desk with some serious style. With that said, these are my favorite gift ideas for men this year!

The Gift Guide: Gifts for Guys from @cydconverse

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p.s. If you missed them, be sure to check out my picks for fabulous hostess gifts and awesome gifts for inlaws!

[Gifts for Guys | 1: Cashmere scarf | 2: Beard pack | 3: Fine & dandy comb | 4: Wood chess set | 5: Water bottle | 6: Wall calendar | 7: Chillsner set | 8: Barr-Co. soap | 9: Vans sneakers | 10: Wood bluetooth speaker | 11: Noble bourbon maple syrup  | 12: Botot toothpaste | 13: Brass ruler | 14: The Curious Bartender book | 15: Brass pen.]

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Happy Thanksgiving

I’m popping in this evening to wish you all the very happiest of Thanksgiving celebrations tomorrow! For those of you not here in the States, I’m absolutely wishing you a beautiful day, too. B has been keeping me company in the kitchen this evening as I work on prepping pies for tomorrow’s feast. We’ll be making the rounds visiting family in the morning before making our way to my mom’s for dinner in the afternoon. Tomorrow evening we’re getting together with friends to munch on leftovers and play board games, which is basically my idea of the perfect night. I’ll be back before the weekend with the next edition of The Gift Guide, but in the meantime you can find loads of last minute Thanksgiving inspiration here on Pinterest and you can also check out my Thanksgiving menu guide, too. There’s a whole lot of yummy there! In the meantime, I’m sending loads of love your way. I’m so thankful share my days with all of you, and I wish you and the ones you love a beautiful holiday! xoxo

A Thankful Heart

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[Lettering by Bonjour Bliss.]

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The Ultimate Chocolate Martini Bar

This post was sponsored by Lindt. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that so
generously help The Sweetest Occasion keep the party rockin’!

The Ultimate Holiday Chocolate Martini Bar from @cydconverse

One of my favorite ways to host a party that’s easy and fuss-free is to pre-mix a big pitcher of a signature cocktail or to set up a self-serve bar for guests. It makes it easy for friends to grab a drink without requiring you to mix drinks all evening. Win-win! During the holidays, I like kicking that practice up a notch and really wowing friends and family with something elegant and special. Enter the ultimate holiday martini bar! Featuring delicious, decadent chocolate-inspired martinis, you can set up a little bar area with everything your guests need to mix their own yummy holiday martini while at the same time crowning yourself the master hostess this holiday season!

The Ultimate Chocolate Martini Bar from @cydconverse

Today I’m sharing three over-the-top delicious martini recipes with you so you can set up your own martini bar at an upcoming shindig this holiday season! From there you’ll have everything you need to entertain with serious style. I like setting everything up including liquor, mixers, garnishes, glasses, straws, ice, a cocktail shaker, jigger, and cocktail picks so guests can help themselves. After your bar is all set up, mix up one of each of your martinis to place on display to help inspire guests as they’re channeling their inner Tom Cruise a la Cocktails & Dreams.

The Ultimate Chocolate Martini Bar from @cydconverse

Next to each martini, place a little card showcasing the name of the drink. (I found these little tent cards in the holiday section at Target and they work perfectly for this!) On the inside or back of the card, list the ingredients so guests can get to mixing! People love hands-on activities at a party so starting the evening with everyone taking a turn at playing bartender is a really fun way to kick off the festivities! And that’s all there is to it, friends.

It’s one of those surprisingly simple party tricks that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, but is really easy for you to pull off. Now, go get your sip on and give these martini recipes a try! Infused with Lindt LINDOR truffles, they’re supremely tasty. You can thank me later.

The Ultimate Chocolate Martini Bar from @cydconverse

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Serves 2

  • 2oz Chocolate vodka
  • 1oz Coffee liqueur
  • 1oz Coffee or espresso
  • 1oz Creme de menthe
  • 3oz Lindt LINDOR Milk truffle cream (see below)
  • 1/2 cup Raw sugar (optional)
  • Lindt LINDOR Extra Dark truffles (for garnish)

Measure and add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until well chilled. Pour into martini glasses rimmed with raw sugar and serve. Using a small grater or zester, shave a bit of Lindt LINDOR Extra Dark truffles over the top of your prepared martini.

The Ultimate Holiday Chocolate Martini Bar from @cydconverse

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  • 5 Lindt LINDOR Milk truffles
  • 3/4 cup half and half or light cream

Place cream in a small saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once the cream is simmering, add unwrapped Lindt LINDOR Milk truffles to the saucepan and whisk regularly until melted and well combined. Allow cream to chill to room temperature before using.

The Snowball Martini by @cydconverse

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Serves 2

  • 3oz Vanilla vodka
  • 1oz White crème de cacao
  • 3oz Lindt LINDOR White truffle cream (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup Lindt LINDOR White truffles, shaved

Measure and add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until well chilled. Pour into martini glasses rimmed with Lindt LINDOR White truffle shavings and serve.

The Snowball Martini by @cydconverse

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  • 5 Lindt LINDOR White truffles
  • 3/4 cup half and half or light cream

Place cream in a small saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once the cream is simmering, add unwrapped Lindt LINDOR White truffles to the saucepan and whisk regularly until melted and well combined. Allow cream to chill to room temperature before using.

The Chocolate Raspberry Lindtini from @cydconverse

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Serves 2 (as found here)

  • 3 oz raspberry vodka
  • 2 oz white crème de cacao
  • Lindt LINDOR Milk , Extra Dark or Raspberry truffles
  • Fresh raspberries (optional)

Chill the vodka and crème de cacao. Chill two martini glasses. Put the vodka and crème de cacao into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and pour into the chilled martini glasses. Add a Lindt LINDOR truffle and a fresh raspberry to each glass as garnish.

The Chocolate Raspberry Lindtini from @cydconverse

Check out both LindtUSA.com and  Lindt Chocolate on Facebook for more decadent cocktail recipes.

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[Photos, recipes + styling by Cyd Converse.]

This post was sponsored by Lindt and was originally posted on Momtastic. Read more about our editorial policies

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24 Merry Days

Ok, friends. Get ready, because it’s almost time for 24 Merry Days! (Insert me dancing a jig here. It happens. A lot.) Honestly, this is one of my favorite posts to write each year. Long time readers will know that this year marks the third annual 24 Merry Days extravaganza. In a nutshell, it’s the ultimate Christmas countdown calendar that rolls out over 24 days, features 24 bloggers and showcases 24 absolutely mind-blowing giveaways. This year, 24 Merry Days is back and it’s even bigger, badder and cooler than ever before. The party kicks off on December 1 with an awesome prize that has me feeling jealous of the winner already. From there on out, you can visit the 24 Merry Days site each day to see which blogger is giving away which prize now through Christmas. While I can’t yet tell you what I’m giving away or who is giving away what on which day, I can tell you the prizes this year are killing me they’re so good. We’re talking insane prize packages and huge gift cards from the likes of Madsen CyclesLoeffler RandallSmegPublic BikeWest Elm and Drop. Shut the front door! And the back door. Shut all the doors.

24 Merry Days | 24 Days, 24 Bloggers, 24 Giveaways

I wish I could spill all the beans right now, but I’m sworn to secrecy so make sure to pop over to 24 Merry Days first thing Monday morning to see who is giving away what and then get yourself entered to win. (Because I really really want you guys to win something awesome for yourself this holiday season!) Huge thanks to Audrey of This Little Street who is the mastermind behind 24 Merry Days and who coordinates everything each year. Now, buckle your seat belts. It’s about to get good!

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[24 Merry Days site design + logo by Gloria Chen.]

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Salted Caramel White Russian

With Thanksgiving just a couple of days away and the holiday season taking on a life of it’s own, I wanted to whip up a special little cocktail so you can sip something really yummy this holiday weekend. So today we’re talking about this little gem, which I’ve dubbed the salted caramel white russian! It’s basically a classic white russian with a twist inspired by my love for all things salted caramel at the moment. As is my way, this is an easy one to whip up and it’s perfect for making just one or two or for a whole crowd. If we had a big enough house I would absolutely invite all of you over and serve you one of these. They’re just plain ‘ol yummy!

Salted White Caramel Russian by @cydconverse

  • 1-1/2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • 2 oz cream
  • 1 tablespoon caramel
  • Ice
  • Coarse ground sea salt (to garnish)

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, vodka, Kahlua, cream and 1/2 of the caramel. Shake well. Swirl the remaining caramel around the inside and rim of mason jar or cocktail glass. Fill with ice. Pour cocktail mixture over top. Garnish with sea salt. Yum, yum and yum.

Salted White Caramel Russian by @cydconverse

The key to making this drink shine is definitely the caramel swirled around the inside of the glass and along the rim. Make sure you go with a coarse sea salt and remember that just a little pinch will do. This isn’t a margarita, after all, you just want a little bit of that yummy salt flavor to balance out all the sweetness. And that’s it, friends! So easy and crazy delicious. (You can ask B’s sister. She’s my official cocktail taste tester and she loved this one!)

Salted White Caramel Russian by @cydconverse

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[Photos, recipe + styling by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]

Sources -
Cheers gold foil coasters from The Pink Orange
Gold foil twizzle sticks by Erika Firm of Analog Creative Co.

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