Friday, December 19, 2014

TGIF: Thank Goodness I Found Christmas Nostalgia





The excitement is really starting to settle in since Christmas is less than a week away. It brings back memories of favorite childhood movies, old Coca Cola commercials with Santa (did you know that is why he wears red? Coca Cola branding!) and brightly colored C9 bulbs. What is your favorite Christmas nostalgia? We are taking it all in...the countdown has begun!

-Laurie & Alison

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Red Earth Exchange Tour


I wanted to share a few photos from the Red Earth event this past weekend. I am so thankful to my lovely friends and family who came to make the morning a great success! I also want to tell you what my favorite pieces are after I got to look at/wear things for an extended period of time. 

And! Thanks so much to the lovely ladies of Red Earth that joined us! All the best in your new adventures!!







So some of my favorite pieces are below. I bought the lite link and the bone bracelet (and love them!) and hope to own the Synth necklace below (bottom right). 






Really, you can’t go wrong with their products. They are very wearable and the products aren’t styled in a way that makes them look better than they really are. You are getting what you pay for. Be sure to sign up for their email list so you can get the latest Red Earth news right to your inbox!

-Alison 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Cranberry Orange Doughnuts



As you all know, I hosted a Red Earth event this past weekend...and with that came some yummy breakfast food.

Backstory: My mom bought me a Babycakes Cake Pop maker last year for Christmas. It has taken me almost a year to use it. It is probably good that it took me this long because it is so easy to use and so fun! I'm going to be making so many doughnut holes in the coming days!

So, because I own this little gem, I thought I should take a stab at cake doughnuts. So good! So Easy! So Fast! With the Babycakes Cake Pop maker anyway. I am in the market for a doughnut pan for a full-size version too. They are called cake doughnuts for a reason. Making them is not much different than making a cake. Lauren of Lauren's Latest came up with the doughnut recipe. And it is so good! The glaze I chose to create for this little morsel is cranberry rosemary.

There is something about rosemary in sweet dishes. I'm really into it in the winter months.

Cranberry Rosemary Glaze:

1 cup cranberries
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 small sprigs of rosemary
Plus:
1 sprig of fresh, finely chopped rosemary
2-3 cups powdered sugar
Water (enough to make a paste-type glaze)

Place the first four ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir frequently while bringing to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and cook 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool 20-30 minutes. Once cooled press the cranberry mixture through a wire mesh strainer into a bowl. You will have more than enough cranberry sauce for your glaze.

To make the glaze mix 2-3 tablespoons of the cranberry sauce, chopped rosemary, powdered sugar and water (just enough for a good consistency). Make the glaze as strong as you would like by adding more or less cranberry sauce.

I decided to drizzle my doughnut holes and not use as much glaze to limit some of my sugar intake. The doughnuts are quite flavorful and don't need much extra.

-Alison

Friday, December 12, 2014

Gift Guides for Ladies & Gents




Men: watch | suspenders | map | pillow case | scarf | vest

We are loving organic lines and natural colors for ladies and gents this Christmas. The ladies' clutch is one of our favorites! The design is inspired by an ancient form of Arabic script from southern Iraq. Once used to decorate tiles in Islamic architecture, the pattern is now handwoven in silk for these bags. Worldly items are memorable, timeless and unique gifts for guys or girls. Pick something unique and fun this year to gift that your loved ones won't forget. 
-Laurie & Alison

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Big Box Buys




When Christmas time rolls around, the big box stores have it figured out. To them, Christmas started in October, so when December hits, they are pros at the gift game. It is great to find a cute gift at Target for anyone at a good price. They have really stepped up their home decor and clothing areas lately by bringing in brand name designers and with the Threshold collection. (This is not a sponsored post, I just love Target). Most Christmases, the guys on my list tend to get something from Best Buy. Ikea has great little useful items that look modern but won't break the bank. 
I said in an earlier gift guide post that I was committing to supporting local and small this year for Christmas...which is a little harder to do when you are looking at a big box store for the gift someone asked for. Really, does anyone tell you they would love a handmade leather wallet that supports African artisans? That would be awesome, but most people go for things like a Go Pro, which just supports Go Pro. I realize it is hard to 100% support artisans or small businesses for those on your list who want specific things. However, you can still support your local community by putting the money into your economy. Sales may not entirely matter overall to Ann Taylor whether I buy online or in one of the Nashville locations but if me walking in the store and buying a gift there helps to keep that Nashville location here, giving jobs to those who need it, then that is what I will do. 

-Laurie & Alison

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Red Earth Exchange Tour



This Saturday I am hosting a relaxed shopping event that I am really pumped about. We have told you about Red Earth before...but remember the gifts that give back guide we did? This online company is all about that. And because they are online there isn't a great way for people to physically see the lovely creations they create. The Exchange Tour is a way for people across the country to see their products from the comfort of a friend's home. I will be welcoming two lovely Red Earth representatives into our home this weekend that will bring Red Earth to me and a few of my Knoxville friends.

If you are in town this Saturday morning from 9:30-11:30am swing by my house for some breakfast and a warm drink.

-Alison



Etsy Gifts for Everyone!






In the spirit of support, we have created a gift guide from some of our favorite Etsy items. Support artisans in their passions, dreams and crafts. This is the best way for small business to grow and your best opportunity to help someone turn their small business into a larger one. We live in a country that prides itself on the American dream and Etsy is the perfect place to bring that to life. There are talented craftsmen and artists in this online community that create beautiful handcrafted works. We think that makes a gift given that much more special knowing that some extra love was put into its creation. 
-Laurie & Alison 
 

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