Snow fall

 Sweater jacket: Athleta  Skirt: Piperlime  Boots: Sperry for Jcrew


DIY: Canvas Word Art

This Christmas, I wanted to make more DIY gifts to make items more meaningful and keep my budget reasonable.  One idea I came across was the perfect gift for my best friend.  I found this wall art inspiration on Jess Lively's blog.  She repurposed an old canvas painting to display a cute phrase in trendy font.  I took this idea and ran with it, especially because the words chosen are my best friend's wedding song!

What you need: A canvas in the size of your choice (I found mine on sale at Michael's), paint brushes (I already had on hand), and acrylic paint in your preferred colors.  I chose a deep teal and a light moss green.  I also got a slightly off-white color to fix edges and mistakes.

Find your font choice, I used "Tall, Dark, and Handsome" which I downloaded for free online.  Print out the words/letters you want, cut, and trace onto the canvas.  Then, just fill in the letters (or, paint all around the letters if you want a background color) with the acrylic paint.

I love how the canvas turned out! My friend loved it too :)


Holiday Party

Sequin top: Jcrew  White blouse: Banana Republic  Necklace: Forever 21  Pants: Jcrew


Merry Christmas

Wishing you the most perfect holiday season, the brightest Christmas, and the happiest New Year!


There Are No Rules at Tea

The best way to kick off the holiday season?  Afternoon tea with the girls, of course.

The menu: Raspberry champagne and our choice of teas, miniature sandwiches, dreamy cranberry orange and cinnamon raisin scones, and many desserts (gingerbread, blueberry buckle bread, chocolate-dipped cheesecake...)


Home Again

SLR is coming home!

S arrived last night in time for dinner and wine, and L will be on her way tonight.  We can't wait to celebrate the holidays together! There is a ton on the schedule- afternoon teas and dinner parties, gift swaps and cookie making, and definitely plenty of Christmas tunes and gift wrapping (L is the most amazing gift wrapper).

Can't wait to have you home L!


Christmas Playlist 2012

Are you counting down the days to Christmas?  I can't believe it's less than a week away!  Here's our Christmas Playlist on Grooveshark to help you celebrate my favorite holiday! 


Gift Guide: CIY (Cook It Yourself)

For those of us on tight budgets, but still looking for meaningful and useful gifts for our loved ones, how about giving them a homemade something? DIY crafty items are great, but who doesn't love to get special food/beverages this time of year? Here are SLR's favorite CIY (cook it yourself) gifts for this time of year...

Granola:  It is good for a long time, so you can gift it without worrying whether it will be consumed before going bad.  Plus, it is a wholesome and healthy way to start the day this time of year- we all know that there are plenty of sweets and treats to derail anyone's attempt to be healthy around the holidays... at least you can start your day off right!

Bitters:  Everyone loves a good cocktail (well, excluding L that is. weirdo.).  The key to a good cocktail? Bitters! They provide extra depth of flavor to any drink.  Making your own bitters is a fantastic way to create a unique blend of spices and flavors to mix the perfect drink.  Do you know a favorite drink of your gift receiver? Craft the bitters to make a slightly more interesting twist on the drink.

Fig Compote:  This compote is made of dried figs (available almost anywhere, any time of the year), and provides a deep, sophisticated flavor to put on toast, serve with pork, or (my favorite) spread on crostini along side a stinky aged cheese.  Besides, anything "fig" just sounds impressive.

Vanilla Extract:  A homemade specialty that only gets better with age.  It hardly takes any effort on your part- mix the ingredients together and let them age together.  The smell is intoxicating, and the end product can elevate almost anything it is used in (I'm dreaming of homemade vanilla gelato).

Fancy Candy:  These salted maple walnut and vanilla bean chocolate cups make me hungry every time I look at them.  Besides, they are made with real food ingredients- no chemically altered syrups or miscellaneous powders.  They make for a jaw-dropping gift, sure to impress any chocolate lover on your gift list.

Body Scrub:  Not an item to eat, but it is made of all natural ingredients, so it is technically safe enough if you really wanted to.  The salt exfoliates while the oil moisturizes.  It smells amazing too, full of citrus zest and almond oil.

Infused Vodka:  Another simple gift with a big wow-factor.  Add some fruits/herbs/spices to vodka, jar it up in a cute mason jar, and give it to the hostess of your next holiday party for extra-festive cocktails. I'm envisioning a pomegranate drink- pomegranate infused vodka, simple syrup, some spiced bitters (see above), topped off with some bubbly.


Gift Guide: Your Sweet 13-year-old Cousin

Surprise... the gift guide has been extended! We received a few gift guidance requests, so will be continuing on with some fun gift ideas here and there through the week.  Today's gift guide is focused on the new teenager, still in middle school but who wants to start receiving some more "grown up" gifts.

I remember at age 13 I was all about getting new decor pieces to decorate my room how I wanted.  I also loved getting fresh new clothes to wear to school.  Here are some of SLR's favorite ideas:

Operation Beautiful: A wonderful set of books based on one woman's mission to spread positive thinking and healthy body image talk by putting sticky notes with messages anywhere someone might find it.  The newest book will be released Dec 27th, and is filled with notes people have left for others.  A great book with a wonderful, positive outlook that is perfect for a young girl transitioning into teenagedom.
Funky Sheets:  A non-permanent way for her to spice up her room decor.
Bath and Body Works Set: What 13-year old girl wouldn't love a set of smelly bath items? Just make sure to choose a sent you can stand, because you will be smelling it a lot.

Manicure Outing: Schedule a manicure, just you and her, and give her a certificate on Christmas telling her when it will be.  Have lunch, get your nails done, read magazines- she will feel like a princess getting some special one-on-one time, and will feel mature and special having a manicure.
Lava Lamp: Again, an easy and funky decor piece she can put in her room to instantly up the cool factor.  I got one when I was 13, and adored it for more years than I should have...
Sparkly Shoes: All girls love shoes! These ones from Target are especially cute- the sparkle is just the right touch.

A New Dress: At 13, clothes start to become a welcomed and cool gift.  How about a new dress for her to pair with a waist belt, leggings, and her new sparkly shoes to wear back to school in January?

Hair Clip: This is the age where hair/makeup/general grooming become super important and fun.  Hair accessories are so fun to receive, and easy on the budget to buy.  You can even fill a small box (or stocking) with clips, headbands, new brushes, etc. for a whole "hair care kit." She will love it.


Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers!

In our family, stockings have always been an important and fun part of the Christmas tradition.  What's more exciting than a sock filled with tons of tiny presents? Here are some SLR favorite stocking stuffers.
Nijna-Bread Men Cookie Cutters:  Cookie cutters can so easily be taken for granted- they are forgotten until the moment they are needed most.  Gift these fun action packed cookie shapes to keep your loved ones lighthearted in their cookie making endeavors.

Goodbye Mr. Puffy! Eye Treatment: This Queen Bee favorite is great for anyone who occasionally loses the time and misses out on key sleeping hours, resulting in inevitable puffy eyes.  So, just about everyone.  Plus, it looks and smells like a spa treatment, and feels completely luxurious to use at home on a leisurely Sunday morning.
Monogrammed Crystal Wine Stopper: Always a necessity.  Especially when you are home alone and want a glass of wine without the night turning into one of those nights... these pretty stoppers are the perfect way to save some wine for tomorrow night too.

Makeup Brush Set: There is no feeling like using a clean, fresh makeup brush for the first time.  Any makeup wearer would adore a classic set like the one above.  Or, check out your nearest Sephora to mix and match your own brush set!

Gum: The quintessential stocking stuffer.

Stocking-Sized Liquor: It might be just the thing you need to get through all of the holiday gatherings with your sanity.

Coasters: For the aforementioned liquor.

Hand Warmers: Keep those fingertips warm on the coldest of days with these vintage looking warmers.

She & Him Christmas Album: For chic, easy to listen to Christmas tunes for rocking out all Christmas day.

Matchbox Car: Because they never stop being fun.

Gift Guide: Your sort-of-girlfriend