Holiday Treats

final 1Better than eggnog! Here’s the Gingerbread Milkshake by The Kitchn, that you can make for the whole family with just 4 indgrients.

Cover one gingerbread cookie with 1/2 cup milk. Blend. Add, 1 scoop vanilla ice cream (size up to you) and blend. Top with a little rum if you’re over 21. Blend again!
process 1process 3 process 4 process 5-1final 4Then, top off your luscious drink with a whipped cream, nutmeg & a little festive garnish – either a gingerbread person or a little gingerbread house. Have on hand for hot cocoa breaks, too! Both available at Williams-Sonoma.Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 11.20.52 PM Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 11.21.36 PMBest enjoyed with those you love most! Here’s to the holidays and all the sweet treats that how with them!

Plan diet for January!


images: Maxwell Ryan for The Kitchn

Giving & Framing Experiences

IMG_7586I recently read (and believe) that experiences we give people can often be more meaningful than tangible gifts. Often, these experiences make lasting impressions that continue to give the recipient joy as they recall the exquisite dinner, the watercolor or calligraphy class, the Saturdays spent at the museum or a trip they had always dreamed of.

I found this to be true for myself, as I finally got around to framing the receipts of some incredibly special dinners (albeit extravagant ones) at some world renown restaurants. Yes, the food was delicious and the wine divine….but it is in recalling these experiences and the circumstances that surrounded them that continue to bring a smile to my face.

French Laundry in Napa Valley on a work, turned pleasure trip with my husband. L’Arpege in Paris on my birthday, again with my husband. Dream trips. Wonderful memories.

For ideas of experiences that you might want to give someone special, check out this article, 10 Experience Gifts That Keep On Giving.IMG_7584 IMG_7583 IMG_7579IMG_7587Now, these framed memorabilia hang in my kitchen, as a reminder of meals and experiences that were extraordinary….even as I unload the dishwasher and make another batch of cookies for my kids. Because not every day feels extraordinary, we sometimes need reminders.

What’s one of your most memorable experiences?


Habitat – The Field Guide to Decorating by Lauren Liess

Liess HomeLike many others, I first became aware of Lauren Liess and her laid-back and accessible approach to design through her blog, Pure Style Home. I’ve enjoyed watching, over the years, as she has honed her relaxed aesthetic into homes for herself and others that are infused with natural elements and truly livable. Lots of people do “pretty” rooms and I certainly love a “pretty” room, but there is an aspect to Lauren’s work that invites the homeowner (or reader) in to grab a soft throw, put their feet up and get comfortable.

And, now that you’re comfortable…you’ll want to savor flipping through her “field guide to decorating”, Habitat!HABITAT-COVERDivided into 3 main parts: Fundamental Elements of Design, Intangible Elements of Design and a Room-by-Room Guide, this is a book that will appeal to the those just starting out and those who are looking for new ideas. Filled with inspirational photos, as well as resources and checklists, it truly is a Field Guide. But, I must say, the section that appealed the most to me was Part 2: The Intangible Elements of Design or Je Ne Sais Quoi. Topics such as authenticity, juxtaposition, comfort, luxury and charm are all discussed in a way that demystifies and encourages.Habitat_p021bHabitat_p097 Habitat-The-Field-Guide-to-Decorating-5 Habitat-The-Field-Guide-to-Decorating-6 outdoor-showerWhether you just love design and are always looking for the latest approach or if you are desiring a more livable, comfortable home for yourself, this is a book that will satisfy.

Definitely one to add to your library!