Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Monogrammed Gifts Under $50!


Happy Holiday's!

I'm sharing a quick read today on my favorite monogram picks that are and additional 25% off in your cart! These make the perfect gifts for that " hard to buy someone", white elephant gift or stocking stuffer's!







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Monday, November 26, 2018

The Cyber Monday Sales You Need To Be Shopping



I know- the sales are a bit redundant BUT I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't share all the sales and items you might be missing. Even this morning I've been finding so many good deals...better than Black Friday! I'm sharing a few favorites below- including some items I've bought!


Joyfolie: Some of you may not know about this brand but it's one of my favorites! Their website is offering 40% off but I also found them on Gilt on sale! I purchased the kitty slippers for Lilly since we all know she's kitty obsessed! ( They also have women sizes)


Gigipip: Gigipip is a new brand for me. I discovered them through a favorite blogger of mine- Liz Marie Galvan- if you don't follow her...you should. This is a small business and I love supporting small business! They aren't linked through Liketoknowit but I had to share them with you! Their hats are incredible. They are offering 15% off $50, 20% off $75 and so on.

Jcrew: They are offering 60% off all sale items and 50% off all purchases! I know I shared a few things from Black Friday but I'm updating my list! This sale is too good!


J. Crew Factory: 60% off SITEWIDE!  I found so many goodies on this site- including a winter coat for Lilly thats less than $70!


Anthropologie : Anthro is still offering 30% off site wide plus free shipping on orders over $100! I bought a couple of things from the sale- I was bummed because a few things I wanted had already sold out! So, I'm linking a few more faves!


Abercrombie : Some of you may know this but I LOVE Abercrombie's jeans. I rediscovered my love for them after seeing Liz posting about them. I've recommended them several times and everyone falls in love with them. Their site is offering 50% off of EVERYTHING!


Target: 15% off everything site wide plus BOGO 60% off on all clothes, shoes and accessories! I've linked my previous try on haul, my favorite furry mules that I bought and Lillys favorite outfits! I'm stocking up on some cute new jackets and the free people dupe booties-plus Christmas decor!


Goodnight Macaroon : I love buying sweaters and boots from here! My favorite cardigan is on sale as well as my favorite OTK boots! They are also offering BOGO on select items!


Madewell: 25% off sitewide! The overalls won me over! I've been waiting for them to go on sale- I love madewell for their demin and tops!



Urban Outfitters: I love Urban Outfitters! I bought some super cute tie up sandles for a steal from there- plus their house department is AMAZING and reasonable! The more you spend the more you save- $10 off $50, $25 off $100 and so on...



American Eagle : I recently started shopping this brand again after once again... Liz posted about it. I love their basics and flannels- the entire store is 40% off plus 50% off all sweaters!


Other sales to look at:

Serena and Lilly : 25% off site wide!
Old Navy: 50% off entire site!
H&M : 30% off site wide!
Shopbop: additonal 30% off sale!


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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Holiday Gift Guides


Is it just me or do you all love gift guides as much as I do? I love getting the holiday issues of magazines and scrolling through the pages of gifts categorized to perfection. Often, I find so many cool gift ideas and feel as if I can knock out my Christmas shopping right then and there!

The best part about this gift guide... majority of these items are on sale! I also had a little help with the "For Him" guide... honestly, I never know what to buy Chris until he tells me something- these are all tried and true gifts- man approved! Children and women are so much easier to shop for- I found so many cute gift ideas for the little's... you'll be sure to love them all!

Happy shopping friends!


For Her
My favorite gifts have been: Hunter boots- I can't live without them! Lilly and I will always have a pair on hand! Hands down- best rain boots. French Market Tote: you already know how much I use mine... I used this style while traveling and LOVED it! Recipe tin: I know it seems simple but I love mine- I actually have two.. one for gardening (to keep my seeds and notes in) the other for recipes. It comes with cute cards to keep everything organized. Tory Burch Clara Mules: This is on my Christmas list... I LOVE them!



For Him
Chris' favorite gifts: Nespresso ( he really bought that for me) best decision ever to switch from a keurig to a Nespresso- the quality of coffee is produces is A+!  Wireless headphones: Chris loves his- he wears them on the lawnmower, working in the garage or when he wants to avoid listening to me. Harcore Carnivore Seasoning: A grill masters must have. Chris makes the best steaks- no one else can compare and this is his secret ingredient. This is a must have! Milwaukee tool set- this is everything a guy needs- if he says he wants tools... he wants this. Instant read thermometer- a life saver when cooking meat! The smoker: By far Chris' favorite gift- if you're looking for something better than the green egg- look no further. Chris' wishlist item: Pizza oven!


For the little's
Lilly's favorite gifts: Farm Kitchen: Lilly loves her farm kitchen- Santa brought it before she was two and she's played with it ever since! Star Apron: Every time I'm baking something in the kitchen- Lilly grabs her apron and stool in order to help me. It's the cutest- on sale at Pottery Barn! Hunter Boots: We bought Lilly cheap rain boots from target 2 years ago... they lasted all of 2 months so we splurged on the Hunters and it's the best decision. You can't beat the quality of Hunters. (PS she's getting another pair from Santa this year- on sale for 20% off!) Lilly's wishlist item: Barbie large animal vet not shown and the beach cruiser with the basket.





Stocking Stuffers

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Thursday, November 22, 2018

All the SALES, SALES, SALES!


You guys! I can't believe we are in the holidays! This is my favorite time of year and my favorite time to find deals! I'll keep this post short and sweet because at this point- no one has time to read this post- it's all about catching the deals while in stock! I've also included my picks from each sale below so you can easily shop my favorites!

 Cyber deals happening NOW!

(you can access the stores directly below)

J. Crew: Offering 40% off all items: Using code :TOGETHER



Tory Burch: Offering 30% off all orders over 250.00 plus up to 60% off sale! Use Code: THANKS




Mango: 30% off EVERYTHING using the code: BLACK18




Madewell: 25% off your entire order using code: DEALWITHIT



Old Navy: 50% off your entire order


Topshop: Up to 50% off certain items


Magnolia Market: Spend $75 get $15 off: Code thanks15, spend $150 get $50 off: Code: Thanks50, Spend $300 get $100 off: Code: Thanks100


Joss and Main: 25% off site wide and free shipping. Use code: EXTRA25



H&M: Starting 11/23 at midnight 30% off everything. 


Nordstrom: Select items up to 60% off.


Anthropologie: 30% off everything - early access on Thanksgiving for anthro members- you can easily sign up. Discount will be applied to checkout.


Zara: 30% off entire collection starting at 8pm EST 11/22


Asos: 20% off everything

Hunter Boots: 20% off select lines- discount shown in pricing





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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Nature Inspired Thanksgiving Tablescape



I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week! It seems like we were just beaming into September and now the holidays are officially here. I know most of us are frantically running here and there getting last minute preparations for the holiday hosting. If you didn't catch my previous post- I have you covered for your must have Thanksgiving recipes!




This year we're hosting the holiday and I've been prepping and planning for the last few weeks. You might not know this about me but I can be a bit of a perfectionist and I can't seem to settle for ordinary... I always have to add a little "extra'. I decided to get a head start of the table setting- I knew I wanted to incorporate greenery, fall textures and bring in the elements from outside. I love being able to forage from outside- especially this time of year. The most practical fact about this table setting is most of it was at no cost- all you have to do is go outside...


Here are a couple of plants you might consider using:
- golden rod
-millet
-pampas grass feather
-moss
-dried/brown hydrangea
-feather reed grass
-magnolia leaves/seed pods
-olive branches
-oak/maple branches/acorns
-cabbage/kale plants



You can also add in flowers- I purchased a few Amaranthus stems from Whole foods and placed those in a planter to make a center piece. I love being able to use what I already have and create something new every time. You can really get creative if you just incorporate what you already have. 


After creating my center piece- I used the other plants to make somewhat of a table runner and placed the candle sticks in between to dress it up a bit. I've had a ton of questions about these candlesticks that I found at my jr league thrift shop- but I've linked some similar ones to this post. I skipped the place cards for this setting and used pumpkins and magnolia leaves in place. 


I hope this post has helped to inspire any of you who are feeling a bit overwhelmed with hosting the holidays this year. If you make the nature inspired tablescape- tag me in your photos! I would love to see what you create for your guest! 

Happy Holidays!

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Four Must Have Recipes For The Holidays


Every year, Chris and I typically end up hosting one of the major holidays we celebrate. This year we're hosting Thanksgiving at our home. We love to host and consider ourselves the "best cooks" in the family ... well Chris is A+ rated and I follow somewhere behind but still ranked the second highest to my own standards. I love to get an idea for new recipes each year but there are several that I stay true to and have always been a holiday favorite.


I stumbled upon a green bean casserole recipe several years ago in the Joanna Gaines Magazine... I love Jojo and honestly I think she can do no wrong. Chris typically hates casseroles because they tend to be full of hodgepodge and processed canned soups but no, not this one. I took Joanna's recipe and tweaked it to my own and it's definitely a crowd pleaser!


Green Bean Casserole (homemade version)
You'll need:
-2 lb green beans, trimmed
-1/2 cup unsalted butter
-8oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
-1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbs minced garlic (6 cloves)
- 1 tsp Salt
-1 tsp granulated onion
-1 tsp black pepper
-1/2 cup - all purpose flour
-2 cups heavy cream
-2 cups sliced onion

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large pot cook green bean in salted boiling water for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse and transfer to bowl.

2. In a Large saucepan melt 1/4 cup of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the next 6 ingredients (through black pepper). Cook about 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/4 cup flour until combined. Reduce heat to medium. Add cream all at once and whisk until smooth. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add beans - and gently coat.  Spoon mixture into 3-qt rectangular baking dish.

3. In a small bowl combine sliced onions and remaining 1/4 cup of flour and toss to coat. In a large skillet melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter over medium/high heat. Add onion mixture and cook until onions are browned- stirring occasionally.  Arrange onions over bean mixture and bake, uncovered for 35 minutes. Enjoy!

My next recipe is a sweeter favorite of mine. It reminds me so much of my childhood and looking forward to this dish during family get together and the holidays. Honestly, everyone's favorite dish includes marshmallows...


Sweet Potato Casserole

What you'll need:

- 6 large sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted ( optional)
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
-1 sleeve crushed cinnamon graham crackers
-1 10 oz pkg of tiny marshmallows
-1/2 cup brown sugar

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Peel and quarter sweet potatoes. In a large pot cook potatoes, covered in lightly salted boiling water for 25-30 minutes or until tender; drain.

2. return potatoes to the warm pot. Add cream and half of the butter. Mash together until smooth and stir in pecans, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until combined. Spoon into a 3qt baking dish. In a bowl melt the remaining butter - stir in crushed graham crackers. Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture- top with marshmallows and brown sugar.

3. Bake, uncovered for 10 minutes or until heated through and marshmallows brown.



( I'm interrupting this post to link all of my table and serving decor- my chargers are Hearth and Hand but no longer available online. My napkins are vintage and the florals were foraged from our property) You can shop my exact  blue and white dinner plates here


This one is a special recipe - it's completely contributed by Chris! He was actually pretty excited about prepping the duck for this blog post and really went above and beyond to make this recipe happen for the blog. To be honest- Chris cooks  A LOT... I typically make specialty items and bake but, Chris can whip together an excellent recipe in no time and it's always delicious!



Chris' Holiday Duck

What you'll need:

-1 whole duck
- Baby Yukon gold potatoes ( usually purchased within a sack)
-1 sweet onion sliced
- 1 lemon sliced
- 6 cloves of garlic
- olive oil/ salt and pepper
- 1 orange slice


The Brine:
( The duck will need to rest in the brine for 24-48 hours- the longer the better. The brining process brings the flavor and keeps the meat moist throughout the cooking process- do not skip!)
-1/4 cup of course pink Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp peppercorn
-1 tbsp of Italian seasoning
-1 bay leaf
-3 tbsp brown sugar
-2 crushed garlic cloves
-2 quarts of water

1. Add all ingredients to a sauce pan and bring to a boil until salt and sugar fully dissolves. Allow brine to cool.
2. Add brine to the duck in a Tupperware making sure the duck is fully submerged.
3. Set in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.

Compound Butter:
-1 stick of unsalted butter
-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
-2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp of fresh thyme
-1 tsp of fresh oregano
-fresh ground pepper and salt
-1 tsp of paprika
-1 tsp of orange zest

1. Add herbs to a food processor and pulse to chop- once pulsed add butter to combine.

2. Remove the duck from the brine and pat dry - allow to air dry for 2 hours.

3. Prick the duck skin but make sure not to penetrate the meat to allow the fat to render. Take compound butter and cover the outside of the duck.

4. Cover the bottom of the roasting pan with the cut baby potatoes, onions and crushed garlic. Season with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Place a sliced onion and a slice of orange into the cavity of the duck. Place the duck on top of the potatoes and place into the oven at 250 degrees- once the duck reaches an internal temp of 130 degrees- pull the duck out of the oven and increase the oven temp to 450 degrees.

6. Place the duck back into the oven and to brown. Once the skin appears brown and crisp- pull the duck from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Once rested- carve and enjoy!


I saved the best for last... No Thanksgiving meal is complete without dessert!


This year I'm choosing a new favorite of mine and it's not super traditional but your guest will greatly appreciate this tart more than the store bought pumpkin pie you thought about bringing.


Poached- Pear Frangipane Tart

What you'll need:

PEARS
-3-4 firm pears (bartlett, anjou...)
-2 cups dry red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
-1/3 cup sugar
-1/2 vanilla bean, cut in half and scraped ( you can sub 1 tsp vanilla extract)
-1 orange- zest the peel and squeeze 1/3 cup orange juice
-2 cloves

PIE
-1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour ( extra for dusting)
-1/2  Pate Brisee ( pie crust- recipe below)
-1 cup whole blanched almonds ( I bought a bag of almonds already sliced and blanched)
-1/4 tsp kosher salt
-1 stick unsalted butter - room temp
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 large egg
-1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Pears- peel pears and transfer to a sauce pan. Add wine, sugar, vanilla, orange juice and zest, cloves and enough water to cover the pears. Place a sheet of parchment paper directly on top of the liquid - you may need to place a heat proof bowl on top to keep the pears submerged in the liquid. Bring to a simmer over high heat and then reduce to medium to low heat and simmer until pears are soft. ( 15 minutes) transfer to heat proof bowl and cover with the poaching liquid and let cool completely.

2. on a lightly floured sheet of parchment ( do not use anything other- it's easier to transfer the dough on parchment- I learned the hard way) roll out pie dough into a 13 inch  round about 1/8 inch thick. Fit into a 9 inch tart pan- trim and press the ends to match of to the pan. Lightly prick the bottom with a fork and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees - arrange your almonds on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown and fragrant- 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely. Transfer the almonds to a food processor add flour, salt and process until finely ground.

4. Beat your butter with sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy- about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla; beat until combined. Add almond mixture; beat until pale and fluffy- 2 minutes.

5. Increase your oven temp to 375 degrees. Line dough with parchment paper and fill with dried beans or rice to hold dough in place and bake for until edges are golden- 20-25 minutes. Remove the beans or rice and parchment paper and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

6. reduce oven temp to 350 degrees- place a foil lined baking sheet below the rack. Spread the crust with the almond mixture and smooth with a spatula. Working with 1 pear at a time- remove from poaching liquid and pat dry- slice in half length wise and remove the stem and core and then slice cross wise 1/8 inches thick- fan pear slices on pie ( or decorate how you choose) to cover the entire top of the pie.

7. Place tart pan directly on oven rack; bake until golden- puffed and just set. About 50 -60 minutes. ( if your crust is getting too dark- make a ring out of aluminum foil and place around the crust) Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely - at least 4 hours.

Pate Brissee ( Pie Crust)

You can obviously purchase ready made pie crust but there is something special about making your own. I preferred to make my own with this recipe because it's not a traditional pie and requires a more buttery taste. I could eat the crust alone- it's that good!

-2 -1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour.
-1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
-1 tbsp of sugar
-2 stick of cold butter- cut into small pieces ( I usually stick my butter in the freezer for a few minutes)
-7-8 tbsp of cold iced water

1. Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea size pieces remaining. Drizzle 5 tbsp of water over mixture. Pulse several times to combine. Add more water - 1 tbsp at a time, pulsing until mixture holds together when pinched.

2. Halve the dough. Shape into 2 disk ( this makes 2 pie crust but you'll only need 1 for the tart recipe) wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 1 day.

3. Take it out and make your tart!

I hope you find these recipes helpful during your holiday meals. I know that you and your loved ones will enjoy these just as much as we have!



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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Easy Stove Top Potpourri



The holidays are finally among us! I know most of us our prepping for Thanksgiving, some are still recovering from Halloween and well, some... already have their Christmas trees up (I'm not judging you).


Chris and I are prepping for Thanksgiving this year as we're hosting it in our home. I've already thought about what I'm making, who's washing dishes, the table setting and more. On top of all of this- you want your home to be decorated to the nines and everything to be as physically perfect as possible- including all of the heavenly seasonal aromas... I know a fried turkey smells delicious but grease in your house does not...and let me tell ya friends...it lingers on fabric. To avoid all of those smells in my home- I've started making stove top potpourri. Not only does it void the smell of unwanted scents- it will scent your entire home! I usually make a pot and simmer for a few hours and turn it off- I can do this for up to 3 or 4 days  AND it's not putting off toxic fumes ( which they say candles do?) All of the ingredients are probably already in your fridge or pantry- so, lets get started!


You'll need:
  Small/medium pot
3-4 stems of rosemary
1 tablespoon of cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon of vanilla ( I use a "splash")
1 cup of Cranberries
1/2 of an orange- sliced
1 apple - sliced

( You can also use pomegranate or grapefruit- I prefer the orange because it has a thicker scent
additional add in's: Pine sprig, hazelnut and peppermint extract)


Fill your pot with about 4 to 5 cups of water and bring to a boil

Once the water boils- toss your ingredients into the pot and bring to a high simmer. 




Let the mixture simmer for several hours/however long your prefer ( make sure you check the water levels- if it gets low- add more water)

You can keep the mixture in the pot for up to 3 to 4 days- just set on simmer and you're ready for the holidays!


Enjoy!
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