Gift Guide: For the Boys

I hope everyone had their fair share of celebration and reflection this past weekend. I know I spent some much needed time with family, doing nothing at all, which felt very special. But as we move out of one holiday and in to another, let’s take a week off and enjoy the lighter side of things to come – gift giving!

I wasn’t going to do guides this year as they are a dime a dozen these days, but they are probably my very favorite thing to put together each year so I just had to get in on the fun.

Today, we kick off with the guys. A few toys, a few more practical pieces and a whole lot of manliness.

1. Logitech Universal Home Remote
2. Crescent Odd Job Multi Tool
3. Braun Digital Stainless Steel Watch
4. Pizza Boss Circular Saw
5. HyperJuice External Battery
6. Crosley Tech Turntable
7. The Zombie Survival Guide
8. Atari Console
9. Misfit Shine Activity Tracker
10. Wallace & Barnes Donegal Wool Sweater 
11. Forage Necktie
12. Vinted “Roger” Computer Case
13. Danner Mountain Trail Left Bank
14. Keds Royal Plus High Wash Twill Sneaks

Impressing The Guests: Thanksgiving Sides

When it comes to Thanksgiving, I’m an extreme traditionalist. I like my meal to be generally the same from year to year, at least when it comes to what I consider the “staples.” For me, a turkey is great, however as I was a vegetarian for most of my life and still now do not eat that much meat I tend to gravitate towards the sides to carry most of my meal.

So today’s Impressing the Guests focuses on just that, Thanksgiving sides. Some of the traditional variety and some that have taken on a slightly more modern take from their longstanding counterparts to win your guests over.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts: You really can’t go wrong with a roasted sprout. Never did I used to be a fan of this oddly shaped vegetable, but as I learned how I liked to eat it I have become a big fan. And if you still have finicky guests, throw a little bacon on top and they’ll be raving for more.

Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce: Never a huge fan of straight cranberry sauce (especially the canned variety) I’m loving the idea of adding in handfuls of pomegranates and perhaps the juice of a few clementines. Yum!

Ricotta Mashed Potatoes: If mashed potatoes were an acceptable meal, I would eat them everyday. I love all varieties of potato, but mashed hold a special place in my heart. Add a little butter, maybe a handful of chives and a scoop of cream or cheese and I’m in heart attack heaven. But for one day, allow yourself to indulge and treat your guests to a smooth and creamy spoonful of these ricotta mashed variety.

Candied Yams: On a normal day I prefer my yams with a little brown sugar and dash of salt and pepper. But on Thanksgiving, let’s take it to the next level and make this normally healthy dish into a dessert-like treat. Just don’t look at the calorie count!

Green Bean Quinoa Casserole: Now, don’t tell my husband but I’m not a huge fan of the traditional green bean casserole. Canned beans, creamy soup and fried onions. Let’s indulge in the mash and yams and lighten things up for a bean dish that is simple and rich in protein.

Warm Dinner Rolls: A meal at our house wouldn’t be complete without a basketful of warm yeasty dinner rolls. Jon’s mom has perfected a recipe that we’ve slowly been trying to replicate, with little luck. This version takes a little over an hour for a pan full of fluffy perfection.

So are you hungry yet? What are some staples you always want at your own Thanksgiving meal?

Cruella

coat: H&M | sweater: ASOS | scarf: c/o Banana Republicpants: Gap | boots: MIA 

Thanks for all of your sweet comments last week. Sometimes the ebb and flow of the day to day tends to catch up with me – as I’m sure we can all relate.

This weekend was filled with an abundance of elbow grease, manual labor and mess as we used this weekend as our one major weekend to pack up before we move so we could take full advantage of the next as a holiday to spend as much time as possible with friends and family.

We snuck out early one morning to grab some sustenance before our long day and found this spot that felt very appropriate. Light in the front, black in the back – much like the sweater I had on. Which I must say has become a new favorite, it’s so sleek and looks much more luxe than it’s pocket-friendly price point.

Paired with a faux fur scarf (you know I love a good snood-like winter weather accessory) and a pop of cobalt, I was cozy and comfy without having to resort to going outside in my pj’s.

What are some of those pieces in your closet that you always find yourself reaching for?

Oh, and because we can’t ever take this sport too seriously, here’s an outtake for ya. My signature “CHEEEEESE” pose.

Connect the Dots

photo credit: James Nord | Highlighted Life

To put it mildly, this year has been a crazy one. When I begin to think things are calming down, something else begins bubbling up. It has certainly kept me on my toes, but as Jon heads off to his new job and we pack up one apartment and ready another, we are eager to get settled in and stay a while.

I say that now, but who knows when we’ll veer off our well worn path again.

Bundling Up

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

This weekend will be spent packing up, helping out and pulling out all of my winter woolens. This week was unexpectedly cold and I found myself fully unprepared for a white blanket of fluffy snow and a brisk chill – as I’m sure most of the NYC area was after all that Sandy brought us.

So while I’m pulling out my warm and fuzzies, let’s not forget about those who are still without power, heat and their homes.I was walking home from work last night totally in awe of PILES of debris, building after building with dry wall ripped off the walls and businesses boarded up. While we are so lucky to have weathered the storm (both of them) we can’t give up our efforts to help those that are still struggling.

If you’re still looking for ways to help, Heal Hoboken and Save Our Shores (also here) are two separate efforts started by people simply looking to help. I am so proud of my tiny community for coming together to rebuild and for my dear coworker + friend for spending her nights after work (very late nights!) and long weekends selflessly helping those hurting in her beloved Staten Island. Please consider supporting – every little bit is a little bit more people will now have!