Ombre-Inspired Cocktail

Bottle Brush Cocktail

Remember earlier when we wrote about some of our friend’s favorite things and one of the was “Bottle Brush Trees”? Well, don’t mind me as they’ve become one of my favorite things now as well! Here’s the photo of Ricci’s stunning display:

Those ombre trees are just too wonderful. While you shop and / or decorate your own tableau, consider creating a custom cocktail to sip merrily. More below!

These are a few of our favorite things…

Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings…

With all the gift giving coming up, we thought it would be fun to gather with friends and celebrate our favorite things. Little treats and splurges that make our lives wonderful. Each guest was invited to bring ONE of their favorite items, priced under $20 and wrapped up nicely, to share in a gift exchange.

The more sparkle, the better?

We enjoyed crisp Belgian waffles with fresh fruit and flavored syrups. Hot tea with cold cream and pomegranate mimosas. And of course, each other’s company!

What would you bring?

Soaps, teas, facial oils, sparkling wine, incense, crystal balls, good books, cozy socks? Cream-colored ponies, warm mittens, lively houseplants, scented candles?

Here are some treats shared by our friends:

To Sip & Savor:

  • A big mug to savor your favorite tea, coffee, or as one guest likes to use hers for: CEREAL! {“You’ve never had cereal until you’ve eaten it out of a mug.” –Lori} These bubble mugs are from Polish Pottery, one of our friend Andrea’s go-to stores for gift giving. Check to see if you have a store local to you, or you can purchase online.
  • Roasted rosemary cashews, purchased from a local deli (although you could certainly make your favorite treat!) {Nancy brings these to any special gathering for an unexpected treat.}
  • Gourmet chocolate bars from ethical sources, like Askinosie Chocolate in Springfield, MO {I love that they pay fair wages and don’t exploit children. –Lyndsey}
  • Cocktail ingredients, including Luxardo cherries and Bittermilk No.3 Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour Cocktail Mix {All you need to add is some Jameson. –Miriam}
  • Favorite teas like Harney and Sons Tea – Hot Cinnamon Spice {I love this flavor so much I buy it in bulk! –Erica}
  • Gift cards to your favorite coffee shop {You gotta love coffee! –Missy}
  • And a Milk Frother to take your drinks to the extra level! {“They don’t seem like much, but they are the BEST things to have! –Christa}

For the Home

  • Iridescent Votive Candle Holders {I’m so obsessed with opal glass right now. –Stephanie}
  • Fairy Lights & battery operated tea lights {So your house can feel hygge all the time. –Stephanie}
  • Houseplants! {Specifically, a split philodendron} {“Can you have too many plants?” –Alex}
  • Bottle Brush Trees {“I’m obsessed! I have these for all seasons. –Ricci}
Ricci’s Christmas collection of Bottle Brush Trees

For pampering your pretty self

For the hostess with the mostess

So next question…what are some of your favorite non-thing things?

  • Reading by firelight
  • Late night dinner with friends
  • Sunny autumn walks
  • Skipping work to have tea (and mimosas) with friends
  • Breaking out the holiday decorations each year
  • Looking through old photos
  • A well-loved cookbook and making recipes from it
  • Doing something creative
  • Working on a jigsaw puzzle
  • A long hot bath
  • Going to the movies
  • The smell of brownies baking
  • Driving around looking at Christmas lights
  • Warm towels out of the dryer

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Three Cheers to the Paloma

Just when you think you’ve figured out your signature cocktail (gimlets for Stephanie, French 76 for Nicole), along comes a potent kick in the pants in the form of refreshment on a hot summer day…or mild Missouri spring…

OF COURSE we’re talking about a Paloma! This simple cocktail of blanco tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit soda packs a punch, is refreshing, AND pretty to look at.

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Indoor Picnic

The weather here in Southwest Missouri has been cold, drizzly, and not very spring-like. So for Easter Sunday this year, we decided to have a French-inspired indoor picnic. French wine, cheeses, a charcuterie board, home-made baguettes…the whole works.

Of course, we ate at the dining table, so rather than a picnic, I guess it was just French-inspired picnic-fare. C’est la vie. It. Was. Parfait.

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Everything is Better with CONFETTI

Our friend Whitney threw the most colorful and fun wedding celebration. The groomsmen had pompom boutonnieres, we tossed dried herbs and jingled bells as the new couple made their way to their chariot. The reception had vintage planters filled with colorful blooms, and giant confetti-filled balloons. Here are a few photos from the florists behind Queen City Blooms:

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Colorful boutonnieres by Queen City Blooms.

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The witty and beautiful bride!

Are you looking to add color and whimsy to your own life, wedding or not? Keep reading!

Mood Board: Winter is Going

Here in SWMO, the sun is starting to shine, the days are getting longer, the weather just a bit warmer. With the arrival of Spring, we are finally saying goodbye to winter. But I won’t lie. I love winter, and this one was particularly cozy. Full of family, nights by the fire, strong cocktails and hot baths, I’ll be taking some of the #hygge with me into Spring. Here are a few things coming along with me:

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That’s What She Said – Started revisiting The Office and it is so delightful. A decade ago I was smitten with Jim & Pam. Now I just want more Creed and Dwight. I rush home from a night out with friends because I want to spend it with my Dunder Mifflin friends.

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Old Books – Book Lovers’ Candle – I have a stack of well-loved library books, just waiting to be opened. And I tipsily went on a buying spree to get some old classic paperbacks that I’ll probably never get around to. Like Mrs Dalloway & Jamaica Inn. Light a candle, draw me a bath, and I’m set.

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Herbivore Botanicals – Dead Sea Bath Salts – Did someone mention bath? My body has been *hurting* lately, and my winter of flu prevention included eating and soaking in pounds of sea salt. I’ve been making my own bath salts and soaks (future post!), but I’m tempted to try this ylang ylang and vanilla soak. Ahhhhh. Light a few prayer candles and listen to some classical music, and you’ve got yourself a well spent evening.

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My avocado toast that I am currently addicted to would taste SO MUCH BETTER if it popped out of this Smeg , instead of my boring ol’ Cuisineart. (Just kidding, I love you, boring toaster. But…pale blue retro toaster!?)

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Did someone mention avocados?? And cozy socks? I’m wearing both right now!

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Are you ready for Spring or sad to see winter go?

{featured Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash}

Peaches, Pie, Guinness, Oh My!

Typically for St. Paddy’s day, one of us will make a dark chocolate Guinness cake with cream cheese icing, a tried and true recipe from one of our Domestic Goddesses, Nigella Lawson.

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image by Suzy Allman for The New York Times

This year, with Stephanie in charge of desserts, we opted for something a little different: Key Lime Pie. We grew up as Georgia Peaches, and according to the The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook, key lime pie on St. Paddy’s is a Savannah tradition.

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The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl Day & Griffith Day

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How many key limes does it take to make a key lime pie? At least a dozen!

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The final product, in all its creamy citrus glory!

The icing on the cake was the Freshly Made Whipped Cream. Oh my Irish blessings.

Do you have a St. Patrick’s culinary tradition? Ours is food truck pasties and dessert, lots of beer & Irish whiskey, all after enjoying our city’s famous St. Paddy Parade. And what do the revelers think about that?

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Success!

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More Back in the Day Love:

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Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love: More than 100 Recipes and Make-It-Yourself Projects to Create and Share

And Nigella Love:

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Feast: Food to Celebrate Life