The Perfect Hostess Gift

Lots of people are travelling this week for the holiday.  If you are visiting friends or family – make sure you bring a little hostess gift to show your appreciation.

I stopped by to the C Wonder boutique in Soho yesterday and loved just about everything in there.  They have bright bold home accessories (and clothing, bags, shoes etc) at a very good price point.  I think these monogrammed decorative plates make a great hostess gift!

I also love their selection of stationery, which comes wrapped in a pretty bow with a little charm.

A pen and paper set makes a good gift because it really isn’t something you would think to buy for youself… I really do love just about anything from Iomoi.

best hostest gift

Jonathan Adler is another great place to start.  I am lucky enough to have easy access to his boutique, but they have a great selection online… these coasters are one of my favorites – they are even cuter in person!

The easiest and most fail proof gift is anything edible.  My favorite is this gourmet chocolate covered popcorn by funky chunky – it is delish and comes in a pretty glass jar that is perfect for giving.

What is the best hostess gift you have ever received? What is your favorite gift to give?


Fashion Friday: Fourth of July!

I always hate when the Fourth of July falls in the middle of the week….especially on a Wednesday.  I plan to start celebrating our country’s independence this weekend and I can’t wait to break out my stars and stripes!

Happy Friday and Happy Fourth of July!

style theories blog

Victoria Bechham Denim Red Striped Sweatshirt // Fendi Striped Mules // Red White & Blue Striped Weekender // Hey, Sailor! Mac Lipstick // Gorjana Star Studs // Stars Long Sleeve Pullover // Yves Saint Laurent Star Printed Tribtoo Pump // Current/Elliot The Stiletto White Star Jeans // Classic Stars Cashmere & Silk Scarf 

What are your Independence Day plans?


Homemade Blueberry Lemonade

While reading The Glossy Life this morning, I came across this lovely recipe for homemade blueberry lemonade and now I can’t wait to concoct this treat for my Memorial Day festivities this weekend.

Ingredients

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

2 cups lemon juice (at least 12 fresh lemons)

zest of one lemon

one cup fresh blueberries

Combine the water and sugar in a pan over high heat. Bring the mixture to a strong boil, stirring on occasion. Once the sugar has dissolved, continue to boil for an additional two minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in lemon juice and lemon zest. This is the syrup that will serve as the base of your lemonade. Let sit for at least a half hour.

While the syrup is cooling, you’re going to want to reduce your blueberries down on the stove. Place a cup of blueberries in a pan with one cup of water, one cup of sugar and the juice of half a lemon. Bring the mixture to a boil, reducing the heat once the sugar has melted and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes.

Once the mixture has reduced down and is a deep shade of purple, pour it through a fine mesh strainer and into a bowl. The end result is a sweet fruity syrup that you’ll use to flavor your lemonade base.

The proportions for mixing up the lemonade remain the same whether you’re making a single glass or a bottle (like I did). Fill your bottle (or again, your glass) a third of the way with the lemon syrup. Add water and ice until full. Stir in several spoonfuls of the blueberry syrup–the more you add, the deeper the color and stronger the flavor. Serve cold with a lemon slice at a BBQ this weekend–the perfect welcome to the long-awaited summer days!

memorial day beverage

Recipe and images are courtesy of The Glossy Life.


Happy Cinco de Mayo!

If you’re not celebrating the Kentucky Derby today, then you are most definitely celebrating Cinco de Mayo!

The Perfect Margarita

1.5 oz Tequila

2 tsp 100% Pure Agave Nectar

1 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (approx 1/2 lime)

Lime to garnish

Ice

Salt (optional)

Mix everything together, swirl or stir to dissolve Agave nectar, add enough ice to fill your glass, then shake and serve. Garnish with a lime wheel or wedge and salt the rim of your glass.
The Perfect Virgin Margarita
1 cup of limeade
2 tsp of 100% Pure Agave Nectar
1/4 cup of Lime flavored italian soda
Lime to garnish
Ice
Salt (Optional)
Same directions as above… Mix everything together, swirl or stir to dissolve Agave nectar, add enough ice to fill your glass, then shake and serve. Garnish with a lime wheel or wedge and salt the rim of your glass.
Make sure to pair these delicious cocktails with a delicious dessert.  My mouth has literally been watering since I saw these margarita cupcakes!
I’m not much of cook, so I will most likely buy these from my local bakery, but if you are feeling inspired, then click here for the recipe!
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Kentucky Derby!

Is everyone else just as excited as I am about the Kentucky Derby this weekend? When I was young, I used to go to the Derby with my family and I was always completely enamored by the beautiful red roses overflowing everywhere and all of the sophisticated ladies in their elaborate hats.  Though I haven’t been to the actual Derby in years, I still enjoy a toast to the most exciting two minutes of sports complete with mint juleps and my finest headwear.

For those of you hosting a Derby party at home.  Please try my absolute favorite Mint Julep recipe!


Classic Mint Julep

1 scant ounce of minted simple syrup (see below for details)

2 cups of crushed ice

2 ounces of Kentucky bourbon

Fresh mint for garnish

Minted Simple Syrup

1 cup of water

1 cup of sugar

1 bunch of mint

In heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together water and sugar until sugar dissolves. Increase heat slightly, then simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take pan off heat, add mint leaves, and steep 15 minutes. Strain, then refrigerate syrup until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

Add the minted simple syrup to a silver mint julep cup, then add 1 cup of crushed ice, bourbon and a splash of water.  Add enough of the remaining ice to almost fill the cup.  Stir well and garnish with mint sprigs.  Recipe courtesy of Epicurious.

Make sure to serve your mint juleps in lovely silver cups!

carven dress, mui mui shoes,

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Coral Kentucky Derby Hat // Valextra Isis Gioiello Clutch // Carven Lace and Silk Organza Dress // Mui Mui Pink Bow shoes


Decorating for Easter

Easter is just around the corner and in my family, that means huge meals and lots of flowers, candy and decorations. As you know, I really love any excuse to decorate my home and Easter is no exception.  Here is a glimpse into my Easter decor inspiration!

easter tablescape

  

  

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Whitehaven // Centsational Girl // Martha Stewart x 3 // Pinterest x 2


Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Typically, I wouldn’t dream of hitting up McDonald’s.  I personally do not like the taste of fast food, nor do I like the idea of eating food from a fast food restaurant. However, once a year, I feel an overwhelming urge to swing by McD’s for one of their Shamrock Shakes.  I am a milk shake fanatic and when you add mint to the mix, it’s sometimes just too hard to resist.  This year, I fought the urge, but also found a great compromise.  This do it yourself Shamrock Shake recipe is 10 x better than anything purchased at the drive-thru and its so much more fun to make at home.  Plus, you can enjoy this shake all year round!

Emerald mint milkshake recipe  ♣ Makes 3 servings

Ingredients:

 ♣ 1 pint (2 cups) vanilla ice cream or yogurt (I prefer Batch ice-cream because of its simple ingredients!)

 ♣ 1 cup milk

 ♣ 1/2 teaspoon Pure Peppermint Extract

 ♣ 1/4 teaspoon Green Food Color

 ♣ Whipped cream, mint leaves and green sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

1.) Place ice cream, milk, peppermint extract and green food color in blender; cover. Blend on high speed until smooth.

2.)Pour into glasses. Top with whipped cream, mint leaves and sprinkles, if desired. Serve immediately.

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Source: She Knows