Gift Guide: Coffee Table Books

Gift Guide - coffeetablebooks

I love a good coffee table book, but rarely pick one up for myself. There’s something about them that feels so indulgent, which is why they make a really wonderful gift. Here are six, gorgeous picks for a few of the people in your life.

1. The DIY genius – Happy Handmade Home
2. The jet-setter – Places to Go, People to See
3. The floral enthusiast – The Flower Recipe
4. The fashionista – Tory Burch in Color
5. The art lover – Homegrown
6. The social media guru - Humans of New York

I have number 6 at home, and it is really wonderful. Which coffee table book do you have your eye on? I can tell Santa if you’d like.


Thanksgiving Sides and Desserts

carrots 008

I’m sure your family has a long list of favorite Thanksgiving sides and desserts. At our house, it has always been green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, Brookville corn and pie (apple in my case).

Over the years, I’ve learned that at each of these family gatherings every cook has a signature dish or two. At the in-laws, Angie always brings appetizers, and Jamie makes rolls. Growing up, my aunt made corn and green bean casserole each year. My mom spent 8 hours, slowly layering Jell-O in various rainbow shades, because everyone requested it. And I, the person who loves to cook now, was responsible for the relish tray (black olives and celery sticks with pimento cheese). Consequently, I now have no signature dish.

I’m sure some of you are stuck in this exact spot. All of the side dishes are taken, and you’re left in no man’s land.

Well, fear not. I’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite dishes that would be perfect as a Thanksgiving side. They’re crowd-pleasers, but unusual enough that you should be able to avoid stepping on Great-Aunt Edna’s toes. No one wants that.


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We finally had new family photos taken. Megan knocked it out of the park again.

I swear for about a month if anyone asked what we’d been up to lately, I’d respond with “The Royals.” And, we went to only one game. Here are the husband and I enjoying one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced – and I’m not even much a sports fan. It was that awesome.

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Fast Food: Taco Night

tacos Taco nights are kind of a big deal at our house. They take minimal effort and have impressive results.

I’ve pulled recipes for our favorite version, but you can switch it up to match the tastebuds of your family.

These recipes are pretty enough to serve to guests, and the whole thing takes about 30 minutes to put together. I won’t let anyone know how easy it if you won’t. tomatoes The Components:

Whole wheat tortillas (store-bought)
Black beans (recipe below)
Toasted corn (recipe below)
Guacamole (recipe below)
Salsa (store-bought)
Turkey (recipe below)
Grape tomatoes, sliced and sprinkled with sea salt and cracked black pepper
Feta (store-bought)

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1. The after of Dr. Client Client’s house is perfect. That master bedroom has me green with envy – like chartreuse colored. Amber Interiors kills it once again.

2. This drink from The Kitchy Kitchen sounds like the perfect winter anecdote.

3. With the holidays right around the corner, I’m growing more obsessed with beautifully styled bar carts every day. Julie Blanner is contributing to my addiction.

4. These idioms from around the world via Cup of Jo are awesome. I’m thinking of integrating “Not my circus. Not my monkeys” into every day conversation.

5. We’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, and if my table looks even half as cute as these styled by Emily Henderson, I’ll be set.

6. Carrot cake bread with a side of cream cheese icing – this recipe from Smitten Kitchen is the stuff of real genius.


Game Changer: Romesco Sauce


Have you ever had romesco sauce? I hadn’t until this week.

It’s one of those things I’ve heard about for several years and always meant to make, but never got around to it. I found this great recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, Simply Recipes and had to try it out. The resulting sauce was smoky with hints of garlic and tang – so good.

Romesco sauce is a game-changer. It elevates basic dishes. Served over baked chicken thighs, with fish or tossed in pasta, it is addictively good. I have a feeling it would also make a killer dip.

Aside from sounding fancy, it’s ridiculously easy to put together. Sauté almonds and torn bread in olive oil. Add garlic. Then, in a food processor, mix together canned crushed tomatoes, smoked paprika, red wine vinegar and roasted red pepper. When it’s smooth and combined, spread it on a sheet pan and bake it for about 10 minutes. Once cooled, the leftovers can be frozen and used another time.


Sweaters: 6 Adorable Ways to Stay Warm

I don’t know what is happening in your town, but it is finally sweater weather here. Below, I’ve rounded up six, adorable ways to stay warm this winter.


Links to all the sweaters: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

Which are your favorites?

P.S. Does anyone else have that song by The Neighbourhood permanently on repeat in your head any time you even think the word sweater? Me neither.


Guilty Pleasure: Taylor Swift

Whenever I see Taylor Swift, I’m struck by how grown-up and poised she seems all of a sudden. I feel like a proud aunt, which sounds a little crazy I know.

Her new album, 1989, is filled with smart, fun, catchy pop music. I can’t get enough. Bad Blood, Out of the Woods and Blank Space are just a few favorites. This lady is so talented.

Here she is, looking so adult that I want to pinch her cheeks and reminiscence about how I used to braid her hair….No one else?

Pick up her CD old school style like me or download it on iTunes. You won’t be disappointed.