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!

Party Clothes Can Be So B(L)inding

Sparkling!

We tend to lean toward the “more is more and less is a bore” mentality (Thanks, Iris!). At a recent art museum gala, here’s an outfit that fit the theme and became unexpectedly versatile:

{Not Me}

A Rainbow Sequin Bomber Jacket paired with black pants and a back t-shirt. So easy! So simple! So fancy that people stopped me all night asking about it. I loaned it to a friend who wore it to The Emmy’s and she looked SO COOL. After, she donned it in a play called “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind.” A fitting jacket for a fitting title. For $36, this is probably the best find on Amazon.

I loved the way Sarah (above) paired it with a black-and-white striped shirt, that I ended up GIVING HER THE JACKET and then buying another one for me, just in time to get sparkly for the Spooky Symphony.

{I am not good at taking selfies…or brushing my hair, apparently…}
A similar striped shirt via Amazon.

I don’t remember where I purchased my Beetlejuice-inspired striped shirt, but here are some similar blouses on Amazon. To complete the outfit, of course you should consider some eye-blindingly bright (but sensible) shoes:

What are some of your go-to party clothes trends? And are you able to transfer them to daily wear after? Because that’s a win-win in our book! Pair the sequin bomber with jeans and you’re still the star of the show!

{This post contains Amazon links where, as an Amazon Associate, we may earn from qualifying purchases.}

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

{As an Amazon Associate, we may earn from qualifying purchases.}

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