Friday, November 29, 2019

10 Great Hostess Gifts for the Holidays on Sale

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Good morning! Did you have a nice holiday? I ate way too much pumpkin pie. I need to detox a week or two before I start eating for the Christmas holiday. 

Over the next few weeks I will be going to a lot of parties so I am in search of hostess gifts. Here are 10 that I think would be great to give to friends and family.

Juice Glasses
A set of Jovie juice glasses 30% off at Anthropologie

Buy one get one 50% off.

My favorite Target candles are on sale By one get one 50% off

A set of cute mugs and some hot chocolate or tea

throw is a great idea as well to keep the hostess warm after the party. 

Stag Collection  Pottery Barn

Any of the pieces from the stage collection are great additions to your bar or a friends. 

Super Simple

Give a copy of your favorite cookbook

Appetizer Plates

A set of Appetizer plates for them to use later in the season. 

Marble Cheese Tray

marble cheese tray,  a selection of cheese, bottle of wine and some chocolates. 

Here are a few more things you might like to give. 


Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Spa Gift Basket Ideas

This post contains affiliate links. 

Good morning! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and it is sure to be a busy day today getting ready for family and friends and prepping the big meal.  You might need some of the things I placed in the spa gift basket to relax and refresh your spirit.

Take a basket, stuff it with tissue and add your favorite spa treats, a candle, bubble bathsoap setmitsa mug for tea, some chocolates and whatever else you think the recipient would like and voila, the perfect relaxing spa at home.

There are so many gift baskets that you can make and they make the perfect, personalized gift for family and friends. 

You could also make a hot chocolate gift basket

Hot Chocolate Basket

Bakers Gift Basket
Have a great day! Remember that Thanksgiving it about family, friends and togetherness. Enjoy it all. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Thanks & Gratitude

Good morning! The "big day" is just two days away for those of us in the US. I have been inundated with pre-black Friday sales and recipes these last few days and that is not a bad thing but I have been feeling as if the true spirt of the holiday is missing. 

Today I wanted to take a moment and reflect on a few things that I am thankful and grateful for.

 I am thankful that I am healthy when so many are not. 

I am grateful that I come from a loving family and although we sometimes have our differences we are excited to be with one another this week. 

I am thankful that I have the love and friendship of a few good friends who support me and love me even when I am not that loveable. 

I am grateful for my yoga teacher and all that she has taught me this year not only physically but lessons for life which I use every day.  I am grateful for the community that she has created of diverse men and women that come together and feel just like family. 

I am thankful for my dogs, the joy and happiness they bring to my life is immeasurable. 

I am thankful that my mother and my sisters are my best friends. 

I am thankful for my husband who has been by my side for the best and the worst times of my life and when I have lost hope he never has. 

I am thankful that I live in this country where were are free to vote, voice our opinion, have running water, electricity, and the ability to be whatever we want to be. 

I am grateful that I am loved.

I am thankful and grateful for all those who visit my blog and share in the comments their knowledge, finds, recipes and more. And I am so grateful for the friends I have made through blogging. 

I could go on and on because there are so many things in my life that I am grateful and thankful for but I will leave it here. I hope that you to take a minute or two over the next few days to do the same. 

That said, I know that the holidays are sometimes difficult for some people who are estranged from 
their families or have difficult relationships with them. Enjoy your friends and the people you love who are like who are like family.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Daily Finds The Loft 40% off

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Good evening! I found some great things at the Loft today, most are 40% off. If you don't feel like braving the store shop online.  

Monday, November 25, 2019

White Cake with Cranberry Jam Filling White Buttercream and Sugared Cranberries

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Good morning! How was your weekend? Are you getting ready for Thanksgiving? I am and I cannot wait to sit down with my family and eat some of my favorite foods. This year in addition to pumpkin pie I am making a white cake with cranberry jam and white buttercream, I think it will be a great addition to the dessert table. 


Recipe Here

Candied Cranberries

8 oz. fresh cranberries
11/2 cups water
11/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup superfine sugar

Place water and sugar in a pan over medium heat. Cook mixture until sugar is dissolved and then take off the heat. Let cool for a little then add the cranberries. Refrigerate overnight, stir a few times to coat the berries. Then drain cranberries in a colander. Place the cranberries in a bowl, add the  superfine sugar and coat the cranberries with sugar. 

Cranberry Jam
11/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
zest of one lemon
1 Tablespoon of butter

Place the cranberries, water, salt and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook stirring frequently until berries have burst, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest, butter and vanilla. Cool to room temperature. 

Buttercream Frosting

11/2 cups of butter at room temperature( 3 sticks)
41/2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 Tablespoons heavy cream
11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment whip butter for 7-8 minutes, until nearly white and light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl frequently. 

Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream, mix on low until everything is mixed in and then increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy. 

To assemble the cake, place first layer on a cake plate, add a layer of the cranberry jam, then add second layer of cake, then layer of jam and finally another layer of cake. Frost with a thin layer of frosting, place in refrigerator for 20 minutes, then front or decorate the cake with remaining frosting, decorate with candied berries. Enjoy. 

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving recipe? Please share if you do.

Have a wonderful Monday and a great week.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Deck the Halls Scandinavian Style

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tree Image 

Good Saturday morning to you! Although I already have my trees decorated I love looking at Christmas magazines, and Pinterest boards for inspiration all season long, just in case I want to add a little something else to the house or completely change my decor next year. 


More and more I love the simplicity, minimalism and beauty of Nordic and Scandinavian Christmas decor.

I found a few things to add a little or a lot of Nordic style to your Christmas decor. 

Ideal Home

Knomes bring good luck, they guard your home and they add a whimsical touch.

Image My Scandinavian Home

Real candles on the Christmas tree.  

To get the look and not the danger of real candles, these candle tree lights.

Garland with clips  to hang your christmas cards or holiday photos. 

White House Lights

Mini-wood houses for the table or the tree. 

Chunky Knit Throw to keep you toasty and warm. 

An Advent Calendar to count down to the big day!

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend. 

Friday, November 22, 2019

A Gift Basket for the Baker in Your Life

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Good morning! I typically post my favorites from the week but this week has been incredibly busy and I did not have time to put the post together. Instead I thought I would share another gift basket I made recently that is perfect for the baker in your life. 

This basket is filled with things I use all the time when baking and some fun finds as well. I started with a vintage spatterware strainer and a round white tray, then I added a bag of cocoa powdervanilla extractalmond extract and peppermint (extracts and cocoa from Amazon). A package of whimsical napkinssnowmen measuring spoons(Pier 1), spatula and cookie cutter set(from TJMaxx), and my new favorite rolling pin and last but not least a set of tea towels and a trivet from Target.

I think this basket is perfect, I loved how it turned out and I cannot wait to give it to my sister who loves to bake as much as I do. 

You can use a basket, a strainer, a bowl, then wooden spoons, measuring cups and spoons, and a variety of baking sprinkles, extracts, and even cake mixes from the store. Look at Target and the Dollar tree for little filler things in addition to all of your big pieces. 

Have a great weekend. I will be back next week with my Friday Favorites post. 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Hot Chocolate Gift Basket

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Good morning! As I mentioned yesterday I am already baking, wrapping gifts, and making homemade treats for the holidays. One of the things I love to make for family and friends are gift baskets. A beautiful basket is unique, easy to make and a great option for the "hard to buy for" people in your life. 

You simply choose a theme, get a basket, and find items to fill it up. Then nestle the items in the basket, wrap with cellophane, tie on a bow and voila, a fabulous gift. 

A few days ago I made this hot cocoa themed basket for a friend and I think it turned out pretty well. I filled it with hot cocoa, a small cocoa pota cute mug, some disposable cups in case she wants to make some to share, napkins, homemade cookies in a cellophane bag, marshmallows, and a sign. I got the hot cocoa, the pot, the cups, mug and napkins at TJmaxx and Marshalls but you can find the same sorts of things on Amazon, at your local grocery store, even your local Walgreens or anywhere else that you shop. 

I also made a spa basket and a baking basket which I will share with you in a few days.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Homemade Cranberry Liqueur

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Good morning! I hope that your week is starting out well. Mine has been great. I have been wrapping Christmas gifts, have baked a few treats for Thanksgiving, and made some cranberry cordial. This cranberry cordial perfect for Thanksgiving, holiday parties, Christmas brunch, not to mention giving as a hostess gift or in a gift basket. 

The good news is that the cordial is easy to make and delicious. I will be serving it with champagne for Christmas brunch, like a Kir Royale and putting it in several gift baskets for those people in my life who "have everything" but love homemade treats. 

Cranberry Cordial 
Recipe from New England Today


6 cups inexpensive Merlot or Shiraz
5 cups granulated sugar
1 bag fresh or frozen cranberries
3 cups brandy


In a large non-reactive pot bring wine, sugar and cranberries to a simmer. Cook until the cranberries start to pop. Then turn off the stove, remove from heat and let the cranberries cool in the pan. After the cranberries cool to room temperature, pour the cranberry wine mixture into a pitcher, let steep for 2-4 days. 

After 2-4 days, strain the mixture in a fine mesh sieve and stir in the brandy.  Pour into decorative bottles to share or to keep to enjoy. Cordial lasts 6 months. 

The original recipe discard the cranberries but I used mine in a chutney for the holidays. 

Do you make any homemade gifts, cordials or liqueur? If you have a favorite recipe please share. 

Have a great day!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Dress Up with Finds from J. Crew 35% Off

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Black Skirt

Good morning! Have you noticed all of the Pre-Black Friday sales? I guess it is a great time to shop early and beat the rush. Today at J. Crew "fancy dress" clothes are 35% off, so if you are looking for something special you might want to visit their site. Here are a few things that I like. 

Black & White
Polka Dot Dress

Black Dress
Plaid Shirt

Red Skirt with Bow
Here are a few more things. If you don't find anything at J.Crew you can also shop the sales at J.Crew FactoryAnn Taylor(up to 40% off 3 items), Anthropologie 40% off sale items, Pier 1Pottery Barn , Wiliams SonomaTalbots 30% off all tops, and Old Navy 40% off everything, to name just a few places.