Beautiful Life and Style

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Gift Guide for the Bar and Home

Continuing this week with more gift guides! Today I’m featuring gifts for bar and home- perfect for the hosts and foodies in your life!

Gifts for the Bar and Home
1. As you may know, I LOVE astrology trinkets- these constellation note cards would make lovely birthday or thankyou notes!
2. The best candles are ones that last even once the wax is gone as beautiful jars you can use around the house.
3. I saw this cocktail book in a store on Charles Street- would make a perfect gift for anyone who is looking to shake up their drink repertoire (pun intended)! The book focuses on infusing each drink with seasonal flavors such as fresh ginger and summer plums.
4. While the summer season seems AGES away (seriously Boston? 21 degrees this morning??) this herb kit would make for a lovely gift- a promise of warm weather to come!
5. If you are gifting someone a bottle of wine, its always a nice touch to include a bottle opener or topper- and how festive is this gold bow???
6. For the foodie who has EVERYTHING- Fruit Chipotle Hawaiian Black Sea Salt. Who knew such things even existed!
7. Bitters. You either have them or you don’t. But most likely you never have them when you are looking to use them. This set has a great assortment of flavors
8. I once was at a party and one of the guests brought three dozen oysters as a gift for the host- weren’t they the best ever!?
9. Call me traditional, but sometimes the best gifts aren’t the fun novelty items but the treasures that you will have forever. While you probably would never go to a store and buy yourself a silver bowl- how pretty would one look say, by the front door so you can toss your keys in it, in the kitchen filled with lemons and limes, on a bookshelf filled with matchbooks, etc. And every time you notice it you think of it as the special gift it is!
Click the photos for links!

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Easter Recap

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend! I am exhausted today after hosting my first real dinner party in my apartment yesterday! It was really fun to pull out the fancy tablecloth and set a proper table, and of course to spend the day cooking! And then eating!

Easter is one of my favorite holidays, mostly because it signifies the true start of Spring. So I really wanted to celebrate that! I tried to keep things fairly simple, but of course ended up going a little overboard. The table was a theme of blues, pinks and greens. I folded the napkins into cute rabbit ears and used hard-boiled eggs as placecards- then used napkin rings to prevent them from rolling off the plate. The result was whimsical but elegant:


For the food, I probably bit off a little too much to try to cook AND serve in my tiny kitchen. I went with a nontraditional choice of Brisket over an Easter Ham- but it ended up being a huge success. And everyone LOVED the chocolate Mouse- with freshly made whipped cream and raspberries.

The Menu

White Lillet Cocktails

Frisee, Radicchio and Fennel Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Braised Brisket with Bourbon Peach Glaze

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Mustard Mashed Potatoes

Chocolate Mousse

As you can imagine we were STUFFED by the end but it was all so worth it and the festivities lasted late into the night. Once everyone had gone I had a little time to unwind- finishing up the wine and tidying up the kitchen. I’m not gonna lie that the triumphant feeling at the end of the night is very addictive- I can’t wait until my next excuse to plan a party.



Happy Birthday to Me

yes! Even though its a freezing cold Monday morning, I’m sore from my run yesterday, and we have a big client printing at work…. NOTHING can bring me down because TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY. I’m so excited to find out what the big 2-7 has in store. I’d like to imagine I magically start living like Marie Antoinette. Lounging in a palace… calling on servants for my every need… playing dress-up with my wardrobe full of couture dresses and shoes… and eating endless amounts of cake (while magically keeping off the weight)

Marie Antoinette Birthday

Well, at least I can have the cake. And not just any cake- breakfast today is the very special chocolate sour cream cake of my youth with layers of raspberry jam and chocolate frosting. I’ve already cut you a slice 🙂

Chocolate Birthday Cake



A Valentine’s Table

I know I sound like a broken record saying this, but I”m sorry I have been so horrible about posting! I don’t know what my problem is- I’ve been so busy! Its a good thing I suppose, but I feel like I blinked and this week is Valentine’s Day! I mean, weren’t we talking about New Years Resolutions just last week???? I’m going to blame the snow.

While there are a lot of mixed emotions about this holiday, I’m going to say that I find it incredibly FUN to have a day devoted to eating candy, wearing pink, and feeling loved. I’d been toying around with the idea of having a little Valentine’s Brunch this weekend- but it seems like most everyone I know is going to be out of town for President’s Weekend. Oh well. That doesn’t mean I couldn’t think about some great ways to set the table:

Valentine's Table Valentine's Table2 Valentine's Table3 Valentine's Table4 Valentine's Table5

There are soooo many variations on the Valentine’s theme- but I really find myself drawn to the place settings that aren’t an overload of red. I’m sure you’ve seen a few examples that are overly cheesy or too red and severe. I think by mixing in an unexpected color like gold or purple or blue it freshens up the theme in a way that isn’t too literal. Here’s a quick interpretation:

Valentine's Day Table
So what are you doing to celebrate the holiday? Avoiding it completely or jumping right into a chocolate fountain with your love?
Inspiration via: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5