Because Therapy's Expensive
News flash: Kids are on Christmas break starting next week. You know they are excited, but you might be panicking a little bit thinking about what you are going to do with them all day. For like 10 days. The best part about this break is taking advantage of the opportunity to slow down. Once the hubub of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day has passed, there is no rush for anything. Lazy mornings, a second cup of coffee, PJs all day. But, when you get bored with that, we've got some great ways to spend family time together over Christmas Break.
1. Take in a holiday concert or show. No matter where you live, there is a church, school, community theater, dance group that has a concert or performance of some sort. Sometimes even for free.
2. Go caroling. OK, maybe it's hokey but getting a group of friends with or without kids to go caroling around the neighborhood is the best way to spread Christmas cheer. (Remember Elf?) Some spiked cocoa for the adults will loosen them up just enough to belt out their best rendition of Rudolph.
3. Check out the holiday lights. Traffic around the neighborhoods that have the best lights tends to slow down a bit after Christmas. Don't forget to check out public spaces and office buildings for some amazing light displays.
4. Read. Read all those books collecting dust on your nightstand. And choose a book to read as a family and spend time each day taking turns reading aloud. Check out our favorite books here.
5. Cook a big breakfast. Get the whole family involved in preparing a breakfast feast. Eggs, french toast, fruit, biscuits, oh, and maybe a mimosa or two for you.
6. Plant tulips. Winter is the perfect time to plant tulip bulbs and then enjoy a nice surprise in your garden come spring.
7. Enjoy a Netflix movie marathon. Star Wars, Harry Potter, Hunger Games. Pick a series, pop some popcorn and snuggle in for a cozy family night on the couch.
8. Go ice skating. Most cities have a local mall with an ice skating rink, or a skating center with open ice hours. You'll fall, you'll feel ridiculous, but you'll also laugh and for a few minutes feel like a kid again.
9. Go to a sporting event. Speaking of ice arenas, check out a local hockey game or basketball game. Even during the holiday break, most college teams still have games on the schedule.
10. Purge & organize. I know, I saw that eye roll. Just pick a room, or a closet, or your pantry. Start small. It'll feel SO GOOD once it's done!
11. Do a puzzle. Our family LOVES puzzles, and it's pretty normal to have one going at all times. And to sit down at it and still be there 3 hours later.
12. Do an art project. If you haven't seen Shauna's dot paintings, they are super easy for pretty much any age. After all, it's art, there are no rules.
Take a breath. Enjoy your family. Remember that memorable doesn't have to be expensive. And have another mimosa!
We're always on the hunt for new and inventive cocktails, especially for the holiday season when there is so much entertaining to do. Simplicity is the key so you spend less time shaking and mixing, and more time drinking and mingling. We also figure there is no need to reinvent the wheel and so consulted two of our favorite spirit brands, Tito's Vodka and Firestone & Robertson Distilling (makers of TX Blended Whiskey) for their recommendations on holiday bevvies.
Tito's Cranberry Mule--A festive take on a good ol' standby.
Tito's Pecan White Russian--Vodka infused with toasted pecans adds a warm, smoky flavor
Tito's Harvest Punch--Bubbly and spicy. Perfect for a crowd.
F&R Edelweiss--The addition of St. Germaine adds a slight floral note
Mix ingredients in a shaker, shake with ice and strain into a glass. Garnish with mint leaves and cranberries.
TX Toddy--The perfect remedy for those winter colds. But, don't wait until you have one to imbibe. We like English Breakfast for the tea.
F&R Pumpkin Espresso Martini--Dessert and coffee all in one glass.
Mix ingredients in a shaker, shake with ice and strain into a glass. Sprinkle ground nutmeg on top to finish.
Lastly, Kalen wanted to share a beverage that is a holiday tradition for many, wassail. This recipe came from my family and I distinctly remember walking in to my grandparents' house on Christmas Day to a house filled with the scent of apples and spice. It is a non-alcoholic drink, but we've recently discovered that it tastes pretty amazing with a shot of TX Whiskey.
Simmer apple cider and spices in large saucepan for 3 hours. Add juices and cook until warmed through. To serve, pour in to punch bowl and add sliced oranges. Serve warm.
When it comes to stocking stuffers, there's no better place than Target. I admit to having a weakness for their Dollar Spot (Bullseye Playground) when hunting for cute, inexpensive things for college care packages. Yesterday, I found the most adorable Ugly Christmas Sweater Kit that I just had to get. (Apparently not available online, look for it next time you go.) So, finding stocking stuffers for under $10 was a piece of cake, especially with the easy filtering tools on the Target website. Seriously fun stuff for everyone in your family.
Stuff to make you pretty
Cool gadgety stuff
Fun and games stuff
Fun girly stuff
Happy Turkey Hangover Day! Happy Leftover Day! And most importantly, Happy Black Friday! We hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving with family and friends and are ready to find some time to chill out and relax a bit from the madness, and maybe do a little online shopping. Well, start your search engines, friends. We've compiled a list of the best online deals out there on the web AND solicited our favorite millenial women (Kalen's daughters) to put together our Friday Finds Gift Guide. Happy Shopping!
Best of Black Friday Sales
Macy's — 20% off Black Friday Sale with code BLKFRI & Free Shipping at $49. Valid 11/21-11/24.
Saks Fifth Avenue — Earn a $75 gift card with a $15+ purchase with code THANKFUL. Valid 11/22-11/23.
Urban Outfitters — Guy one get one 50% off the entire site. Valid 11/21-11/23.
Nordstrom — Up to 60% through Cyber Monday. Valid 11/22-11/26.
Topshop — Up to 50% off select items for Black Friday & Cyber Monday. Valid 11/21-11/27.
J. Crew — Take 40% off your entire purchase. Valid 11/19-11/26
Madewell — Enjoy 25% off your purchase with code DEALWITHIT. Valid 11/20 – 11/25.
Tory Burch — Up to 60% off sale styles + 30% on off purchases of $250+ with code THANKS. Valid 11/19 - 11/27.
Ann Taylor —50% off everything with code CYBER2018. Valid 11/25- 11/28.
These are just a handful of all the amazing deals out there, you really shouldn't pay full price for anything.
Now, as we mentioned, we know those millenials can be a tough crowd to shop for. And yes, a gift card is an easy alternative, but trust me when I tell you that they think highly of thoughtful gifts. Coats, bags and accessories are always a safe option because you don't have to worry too much about things not fitting. Our guest gift finders put this list together from Nordstrom.
1. Topshop Chunky Roll Neck Sweater. Cozy, festive, and can easily pair with distressed denim or a pleated skirt.
2. Franz Drop Earrings. Tortoise shell printed earrings add just the right texture and pattern to any solid colored outfit.
3. Tory Burch McGraw Crossbody Bag. You know how much we love color and this bag is the perfect size for all your essentials.
4. Blank NYC Suede Moto Jacket. A great alternative to the traditional black leather moto, although who would have ever guessed a moto jacket to be considered traditional.
5. Danielle Nicole Elia Belt Bag. Back in my day, this was a fanny pack. When you have crap to carry and can't be bothered with a purse, this cute belt bag is your best friend.
6. BB Dakota Elementary Plaid Coat. A blanket you can wear? yes please.
7. Marc Fisher LTD Sono Pointy Toe Mule. As stated perfectly by Sheridan, "Black leather mule, a staple in life."
8. Topshop Bodika Check Coat. Another great coat to get you in to the plaid trend. This time in a bold blue and red.
9. Cult Gaia Ark Earrings. Delicate gold and bamboo earrings add a natural texture to any outfit.
Need more gift ideas? Check out our Gifts for Her and Gifts for Him posts. Also, check out our Amazon Page for all of Shauna's favorite things.
We had some amazing entries for our pie contest. Check out our podcast link below for the amusing play-by-play of our pie tasting and try out the recipes yourself. Clockwise from top left; Chocolate Pecan Pie, Peanut Butter Pie, Grandma's Peach Custard Pie, Buttermilk Pie, Classic Chocolate Cream Pie.
Chocolate Pecan Pie
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup corn syrup
1 tbsp butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. Combine sugar with cocoa in a bowl. Add eggs, corn syrup, butter and vanilla; stir until well blended. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust. Top with chopped pecans
3. Bake for 60 minutes or until set. Transfer from oven to wire rack; cool completely. Garnish with whipped topping before serving.
Peanut Butter Pie
¾ c sugar
5 Tbsp flour
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ c milk
½ tsp vanilla
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 Tbsp butter
½ c peanut butter
9” pie shell, baked as directed
Redi Whip or Cool Whip
Peanut Butter Crumbles
½ c. powdered sugar
¼ c. peanut butter
Combine sugar, flour, and salt in large saucepan. Mix with wooden spoon. Blend in milk, vanilla and egg yolks. Add butter and cook over medium heat until thick. Stir constantly. Remove from heat and mix in peanut butter. Cool mixture completely in ice water bath. Pour in to baked pie shell. Top with Redi-whip or Cool Whip and Peanut Butter Crumbles.
For Peanut Butter Crumbles, combine sugar and peanut butter in bowl and using a mixer, combine until crumbles form. Sprinkle on top of whipped topping.
Grandma's Peach Custard Pie
If you have a tried & true crust recipe, use it. I am a lazy cheat so I use Pillsbury pre-made pie crust
5 or 6 peaches (or 2 15oz cans/3 cups diced if you can't find nice fresh ones - rinse and drain canned ones & don't mix with sugar)
PREP: Preheat oven to 375°
Peel & slice 5-6 peaches, toss slices with 2 TBSP sugar and set aside to macerate.
MIX UNTIL SMOOTH:
3 whole large eggs
3 TBSP all purpose flour
1 TBSP softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
Stir in peaches - pour mixture into piecrust
Bake at 375 on middle rack for 30 minutes; check to make sure crust edges aren't getting burnt. If so, cover edges only with aluminum foil. Bake an additional 20-25 minutes until top is nicely browned.
Let cool - then chill in fridge for 1 hour to set the custard before serving.
¼ c flour
1 3/8 c sugar
½ tsp salt
½ c melted butter, cooled
3 eggs slightly beaten
½ c buttermilk
1 ½ tsp vanilla
½ c pecans (optional)
9-inch deep dish pie crust
Preheat oven to 350. Combine eggs and butter. Add flour, salt, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla. Stir until well combined. Stir in crushed pecans or sprinkle on to top of pie.
Pour in to deep dish pie pan and place pan on a cookie sheet to catch any overflow. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, covering pie after 15 minutes with foil to keep from getting too brown. Center of pie will be a bit giggly.
Classic Chocolate Cream Pie
9-inch baked pastry shell or crumb crust, cooled
5 sections Hershey’s unsweetened chocolate baking bar (1/2 oz each), broken in pieces
3 c milk, divided
1 1/3 c sugar
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp salt
3 eggs yolk
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
Whipped topping (optional)
Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at Shauna Glenn Design
We recruited the one and only male in our office to compile this week's Friday Finds. His direction was to pick a store, pick 9 things you'd want as a gift, and write something quippy. After a few edits for "visual presentation" purposes (really? A bed pillow?) Mike's picks, complete with commentary and selling features, are ready for publication. Everything available at West Elm.
1. Petrified Wood Coasters--Drink rings on tables are not sexy. Coasters are rarely referred to as such. However, these petrified wood coasters are both sexy and masculine. They make me want to pour a drink just to use them.
2. Native Maps City Prints--Seeing that you can’t hang your GPS on a wall, these various city maps make great art! These artist-inspired maps were created based on the nostalgia of the neighborhoods which make up the city. Pick your town and pick a color combination. Have it framed. Hang it on your wall. You’re welcome.
3. Revolve LED Table Lamp--What happens when lighting and art meet, fall in love and have a baby? This lamp is created.
4. Geo Waffle Organic Cotton Robe--This robe exudes coolness. It’s a word. I checked. You’ll feel like you are in a Five-star hotel or a high-end spa. In reality, you’re still under your roof.
5. Gramovox Floating Record Player--Is it possible to have a crush on a record player? The wood grain adds a sleek design element, not to mention, this record player is standing on its head. Guaranteed to be a conversation piece.
6. Rewind Barrel Candles--Men need things that smell good. A partner. Cologne. Fresh baked cookies. Candles are also a great addition. These barrel candles have a masculine visual appeal and various scents that stay away from the feminine side.
7. Parsons Floor Mirror--The holidays are a time to reflect. Nothing says “reflect” like a good, long look at yourself. You will be taller, skinnier and happier staring into this uber-cool, bone inlay mirror. And, as a guy, you’ve just upped your design game when visitors come over.
8. Nickel & Wood Barware--If James Bond was an interior designer and not a spy, there’s a pretty good chance he would own this barware. The use of metal and wood kicks up the “cool factor” by a thousand! This barware says he has taste, class and a certain “je ne sais quoi.”
9. Marled Basketweave Throw--Every guy needs a great throw. The weather is getting cooler and it’s officially becoming “snuggle” season. Your +1 will definitely appreciate this.
Check out our Gifts For Her post for more great gift ideas.
This post contains affiliate links.
Last week we co-hosted an event with West Elm Fort Worth where we created some super fun table settings for the upcoming holidays. We even got the crowd in on the fun! Thanks to West Elm and their team for the gracious hospitality, and to Williams Sonoma for the yummy holiday treats! Y'all, both of them have the cutest tabletop stuff right now, we had the hardest time deciding what to use. Check out the party pics and links below to all the great product. Oh, and all Tabletop is now on sale at West Elm, 20% off.
Dapper Animal Salad Plates
Fishs Eddy Scalloped Dinner Plate
Gold Metal Charger
Gold Flatware Set
Luster Velvet Table Runner
Distressed Metallic Dots Napkins
Modern Brass Candleholder
Reactive Glaze Vases
Elegant Blush Table
Pop Art Salad Plates (extra 40% off!)
Reactive Glaze Dinner Plates
Rose Gold Flatware
Luster Velvet Border Napkin
Frayed Edge Placemats
Bormioli Rocco Stemware
Glass Ball Ornaments
Bottle Brush Trees
Holiday Tartan Table
Tartan Dinner Plates
Snowman Salad Plates
Snowman Appetizer Plates
Distressed Metallic Dot Napkins
Metallic Laced Placemats
Promenade Flatware Set
Felt Stocking (used as charger)
Felt Mistletoe (used as napkin ring)
Right now, it's Friends & Family Week at Williams-Sonoma too, save 20% through Thursday!
This post contains affiliate links
Stuffing? Dressing? Cornbread? Oyster? When it comes to the side dish that you serve with your Thanksgiving turkey, most people have very specific opinions as to not only what type is the best, but what it should be called. According to Southern Living, the only difference in dressing and stuffing is where you live. Kinda like "coke" or "soda", or "pop". So, down here in Texas, it's all about the dressing. With our cokes. Here in the office, we have two dressing camps; cornbread and sage. Deciphering the recipes with their vague measurements (how much IS a smidge, really?) to a point where we could share them and have them actually turn out OK was a bit of a challenge, but we managed. Hopefully. The third dressing type we've heard rumors of but no one has actually tried is an Oyster Dressing. Or Stuffing, considering it has it's roots in the northern states. We believe in fair play, so even though it's not SGD Kitchen tested, we've got one to share with you. T-2 weeks, y'all.
Shauna's Cornbread Dressing
1 bunch celery, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1 stick of butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp herbs de Provence
4 boxes Jiffy cornbread, prepared as directed on box.
½ loaf bread, cubed
6 eggs (3 hard boiled, 3 beaten)
1 carton chicken broth (32 oz)
Set oven to 350. In a large skillet, saute onions & celery over medium heat until soft. Add in salt, pepper and herbs de Provence. Set aside.
Hard boil 3 eggs. Drain and set aside to cool.
Spread bread cubes on baking sheet and toast in oven until golden brown.
In large bowl, crumble prepared cornbread and toasted bread. Add onion mixture and chopped hard boiled eggs. Mix well. Add chicken broth and 3 beaten eggs and stir to combine. Mixture should be very runny, like soup. Add more chicken broth if needed.
Pour mixture in to large baking dish and bake at 350 for one hour.
And when you have leftovers, which you will. Put the leftover dressing in a bowl, whisk in an egg or two and slap in to a waffle iron. Top with shredded turkey and a fried egg and some gravy and voila. Brunch is served.
Grandma Whitley's Sage Dressing
Turkey giblets and neck
1 ½ loaves French bread
2 eggs, beaten
3 stalks celery
1 white onion
½ stick butter
1 tbsp fresh parsley or 1 tsp dried parsley
¼ c fresh sage or 1 tbsp dried sage
½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
In a large saucepan, add turkey giblets and neck and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add more water if necessary. Set aside and reserve broth. In large skillet, saute onions and celery in butter until tender, about 10 minutes. Tear bread in to bite-sized pieces and place in to large bowl. Add onion mixture, beaten eggs, parsley, sage, salt and pepper to bowl. Mix well. Chop giblets in to small pieces and add to bowl. Stir to combine. Add broth to bowl and mix until just moistened. If mixture is too dry, add water. Bread pieces should not bounce back when pinched. Do not over mix. Transfer mixture in to buttered casserole dish, cover and bake at 325-350 for one hour. Remove lid during last 10 minutes to brown top.
Old Fashioned Oyster Stuffing
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup butter
6 cups dry bread crumbs
1 tbsp chopped parsley
3 cups chopped oysters
1 bay leaf
1 tsp poultry seasoning
2 eggs, beaten
1 ¾ c milk and oyster liquid
Cook celery and onion in butter until golden. Transfer to large bowl. Add bread crumbs and parsley, mix thoroughly. Add oysters, bay leaf, seasonings and eggs. Add enough liquid to moisten. Stuff in to 10-12 lb. turkey or bake in casserole dish at 325 for 1 hour. Remove bay leaf before serving.
Speaking of food. We are having a pie contest! Email us your favorite pie recipe for a chance to win $100! Winning recipe will be featured in an upcoming blog post.
OK, yes, we know. It's not even November. BUT! Our prior experiences tell us that some of the best holiday decor sells out early and we'd hate for you to miss out on these amazing pieces. It's so refreshing to see colorful decor that isn't red and green; like it was made for us! And because most of these don't scream CHRISTMAS, it's totally OK to put it out in your house now and enjoy it for the next 2 months. Seriously, don't delay. This stuff is so adorable it won't last long.
1. Merry & Bright Hook Pillows--Grandin Road
2. Red & White Snow Dot Napkins--World Market
3. Peacock Caravan Dessert Plates--World Market
4. Bundled Up Monogram Ornament--Anthropologie
5. Merry & Bright Stocking--Anthropologie
6. Felted Berry Garland--Anthropologie
7. Pom Bonanza Wreath--Anthropologie
8. Sugar Plum Glass Trees--Grandin Road
9. Patchwork Table Runner--World Market
This post contains affiliate links.