Author Archives: pepperedthought
For me, gifts for kids aren’t hard – being a kid at heart helps. But what I have a hard time with is all the gender-specific gifts out there. When I am looking online or in store aisles, I get majorly bummed with the segregation and really, all the pink. That is just my opinion (pink is one of my least favorite colors), and I like to give all the kids in my life some options. Here are some things I have been thinking about for the ankle-biters in my life:
♠ The Explorers Kit by Merry Thought. This kit is extraordinary. And when I think back to when I was an introverted little nature loving kid, I would have lost my damn mind if someone I loved gifted this to me. Jars to put specimens in! Magnifying glass and a plant/bird/bug guide with a field notes journal? I want to make one as a gift, then one just for me.
♠ Make your own puppets. The above photo is from an amazing tutorial to create some puppets as gifts. Or a papier mache-headed puppet, like MerMag’s here. Alternatively, you could create a little bag of notions and felt for the kids to create their own puppets.
♠ For kids who are practicing their letters, enjoy Harry Potter, or like writing stories themselves, these Harry Potter stamps are the perfect gift. Include some envelopes and stationery (via Owl Post, of course), tied up with some string.
♠ Holiday soundtracks. Of course, Charlie Brown Christmas tops the list, because the lyrics are sung by the characters, classical music, dancy tunes…all good in kids’ eyes. But I didn’t forget some songs for Hanukkah, and music while study the Seven Principles for Kwanzaa.
♠ Slippers. Martha Stewart has the perfect felt slippers, inspired by moccasins, for little feet to slip in and out. My idea is to sew a charm or toy on the top, characteristic of that child. For my niece, it would probably be a tiny bowl of mac n cheese.
See another gift guide: Cup of Jo has TONS of gift guides, but for this post, her Chubby baby and Toddler one is perfect and very gender-friendly.
We’re finally getting into it. I can say now that there have been consecutive days where I have had to put a sweater on, so I’d say late autumn has finally blown into town. Now we can start getting into the warm drinks!
Thank you, Jen Altman. Thank you Design Sponge. cocktails that call for clove and ginger are #1 have-to-trys in my book.
Hot Buttered Bourbon
- 4T. butter (softened)
- 1/2 t. honey
- 1/4 t. cloves
- 1/4 t. ginger
- 1/2 t. cinnamon
- 2 c. orange juice
- 1 T. sugar
- 3/4 c. bourbon
1. Heat the orange juice over medium heat and whisk in the sugar until it dissolves completely. Let warm on low heat.
2. Meanwhile, mix the butter, honey, cloves, ginger and cinnamon until thoroughly combined.
3. When the orange juice comes to a low simmer, whisk in the butter until it’s melted into the orange juice. Whisk in bourbon. Serve immediately with cinnamon sticks — use the sticks to mix the drink if the butter begins to separate from the juice and bourbon.
I had a lot of fun sipping this while giving in and putting up my Xmas decorations before Thanksgiving. I had a photo shoot for a family’s holiday cards, so of course they needed props! Anyway, that’s my reason for taking out stuff early.
I mainly titled this link wrap up because of this article on cashmere. Not only does it tell you a little backstory about true cashmere (and the goats that go with it), but how to care for your cashmere (I’m all for throwing out the Woolite!)
So, here we go!
Always dress for selfies.
♠ I have been staring at this list of Lessons from our Grandparents about Living Stylishly for a week now, and not only has it inspired me to take a damn vacation, it inspires me to just…live a little.
♠ This season, look for your own anagnorisis, with The George Bailey Technique via the Art of Manliness.
♠ Disaronno and Moschino have teamed up to make a new #1 on my bar cart supply list.
80 years ago today, the amendment was ratified to repeal the prohibition of alcohol in the United States. Water, grain alcohol, mash/juniper berries/potatoes/etc…it really seems like a lot of work to make your own “bathtub gin.” Although not usually made in a bathtub, bootleg spirits are about as American as apple pie, as is the idea of personal freedoms. Sidenote, did you know that many modern cocktails were designed to mask the taste of homemade alcohol?
Zelda declares her favorite skill.
One of my favorite drinking holidays, Repeal Day’s website tells you the basic idea behind its celebration: “There are no outfits to buy, costumes to rent, rivers to dye green. Simply celebrate the day by stopping by your local bar, tavern, saloon, winery, distillery, or brewhouse and having a drink. Pick up a six-pack on your way home from work. Split a bottle of wine with a loved one. Buy a shot for a stranger. Just do it because you can.”
You can celebrate – just like Jack! – with some ideas here:
♠ Art of Manliness (of course I bring them up whenever possible) has a great article about classic holiday cocktails, I personally recommend Buttered Bourbon anytime it’s chilly out.
♠ The Bourbon Babe has a few posts about ways to celebrate with, yes, bourbon.
Cheers to Repeal!
Gifts are hard when they are forced. I love giving people presents spur of the moment, or I see something that just screams their name, or it will make them laugh. When it gets to be this time of year, I absolutely blank on something to give even my best of friends. And as I read more about the cost of mass produced material things – not only monetarily, but environmentally – it gets me sad to think that a gift I give is dispensable and holds no meaning.
So i have some ideas for you (and me) regarding thoughtful, from-the-heart gifts. Simple, useful, beautiful – I’m really striving to hit at least one (if not all) of these marks for my gift-giving checklist. Here goes my first little idea batch:
A necklace of the month club is a great way to give a close friend or loved one jewelry, even if you aren’t sure of their style. Midwinter’s collections are stunning, so it was my first choice as a NotM. I also want to have some sort of tangible gift to give the recipient to acknowledge the gift is coming in the mail, so I think I will make a little pasta necklace and attach a card, letting them know what’s on the way. My second favorite Necklace of the Month would have to be Tiny Hands’. Any jewelry line that features s’mores, corn dog earrings and a waffle necklace featured on Parks & Rec is immediately on my Nice list.
One more note, with Midwinter: If you know someone who is a diamond in the rough, these rough-cut diamond earrings are so choice.
For gentlemen, jewelry is a lot more iffy. There’s always tie tacks and cufflinks, but how often do you see the guys in your life wear those? For something that might be worn as an everyday item, think about this ring from Kathryn Riechert.
Simple yes, but something very special.
See another gift guide: Design Mom has started some very thoughtful pinboards for all sorts of gifts, so check those out, too. If you have kids, she has a great one for things kids can make.
December is probably the month when you need a calendar tucked everywhere. On the wall, on your office desk, in your purse, stapled to your forehead…just to remember all the parties, and white elephant shopping, and cookie dates (That’s a thing, right? Who wants to have a cookie date with me?). So, here’s the new batch of calendars, not guaranteed to make you on time to your appointments, but to remind you in a festive and fabulous way!
I am hoping the few regulars like Terrain and Alma Loveland will wow us yet again!