Uncategorized

Stocking stuffers for everyone on your list.

We’re in full gift guide mode over here! Today I wanted to cover something just as important as any gift under your tree: STOCKINGS! I’m personally such a fan of stockings..they might be my favorite part of Christmas morning honestly. I love all the little things you can stick in and how you can get creative with them. They’re just fun right?!

This guide should be really helpful because I’m covering everyone on your list – from your boy to your best friend to your parents and your in-laws– and their stockings. I usually end up grabbing a few gift cards too since they make the perfect gift or stocking stuffer (especially for that person on your list that you forgot, oops!)

OK now to the list of stocking stuffers for everyone on that list!

The moms, mother-in laws, sisters and girlfriends.

I am a huge fan right now of Design Lab Lord & Taylor‘s sunglasses. They are really well made and usually hover around the $25.00 mark making them the perfect stocking stuffer for the trendy women in your life. I ordered the Faith 52mm on Cyber Monday for $15.00 and I can’t wait for them to arrive – the perfect sunglasses for our vacation in January.

Earrings. Need I say more? Currently I am obsessed with White Fox Collective and their designs. Every time I wear a pair of theirs, I get so many compliments! Do yourself a favor and order a few for each of the girls on your stocking stuffer or even gift list this year… and a pair for yourself while you’re at it!

Custom and initial necklaces are a huge love of mine right now. If anyone wanted to get me a B rose gold disc necklace, I’ll send you my address right now! There are some really beautiful ones you can find on Etsy right now or take a peak at Alex & Ani.

These were on my gift guide last year and again this year because they really are the best!! Reading socks. They are so comfy and an absolute must have! They are extremely soft and luxurious and honestly, if I could describe them in one sentence, wearing them makes me feel like I am still cocooned up in bed. Take about #AllTheFeels

When it comes to phone cases, I have been super committed to Ideal Of Sweden. I use their cases on my personal cell phone and my corporate cell phone. They have the most stunning designs, are incredibly sleek and best of all – they have a magnet built into the casing. This is great for me because I use a magnetic clip in my car to go hands free and I don’t need to apply a chunky adhesive to my phone back to do so.

The dads, brothers, boyfriends and husbands.

If the man in our life is in need of a new wallet, this is the time! I love the sleek design of the Calvin Klein wallets and the price point is really reasonable as well!

Smart watches are all the rave lately and for good reason. Personally, I prefer the ones that can be switched for a smart watch face to a regular watch face look on a nice band. I get really annoyed at formal events when I see a man wearing a dapper suit and rocking a FitBit… it just kills the look for me. Fossil has a really nice one and so does Michael Kors. Armani has a hybrid smart watch that pairs with your iPhone or Android and all the data is available on their app only, which means the watch looks and acts like a regular analog watch at all times.

Socks remind me of vegetables – as a kid those two things were the worst but now, at 30 years old I will take as much of those two things as I can get! Men somehow always need more socks. These Nike no-show socks are super lightweight, have the perfect stretch and are surprisingly soft!

Reusable water bottles are always welcomed and needed by my man! It seems every few months they go missing at the gym, get lost in the dishwasher or work travels. Both Nike and Under Armour have great ones that are sturdy and under $15.00.

Over here in Canada, we easily associate the holiday season with snow storms which makes for the need to have a good pair of gloves. Columbia’s Birch Wood gloves are the perfect stocking stuffer!! Plus, they are fleece lined and touchscreen friendly. Now, he has no excuse to not shovel the driveway for you this winter. I’d consider this a win win gift for you both.

The beauty lover.

For those of us left who are not into lash extensions, Sephora has the perfect gift set and it’s only $34.00. Lashstash includes 5 deluxe mascaras selected from their bestsellers. The set also comes with a voucher you can bring into Sephora and redeem for a full size version of your favorite one! This kit is a limited edition so act quick because they sell out fast! There was a 10 pack I wanted to link but it has already sold out from when I saw it last week!

Another great find at Sephora right now is another limited edition Sweet Treats Agave Lip Care Set by Bite Beauty. A trio of agave treats for healthy and beautiful lips that comes in to shades and includes a balm. mask and scrub. This perfect little stocking stuffer is $15.00!! Again, if you want to get this for me just let me know and I’ll send you my address.

Face masks are a winter essential for all of us! Grab your girls the Cup O’ Coffee face and body mask From Lush and she won’t be disappointed! Since you’re already there, you may as well grab a few extra and take advantage of their black pot program – for every 5 empties you bring back, you’ll receive a free mask! Farmacy also has really great sheet masks if that is more her style.

Another winter essential for all beauty lover – lip scrubs! I use a lip scrub usually every other day just to keep my lips hydrated and feeling good. There are homemade scrubs you can make if you want to take the DIY route or MAC has a really great one, Lush‘s bubble gum is a favorite of mine (as with everything they do, amazing!) as well as Bite Beauty.

OK, I think that should cover all the stockings! Let me know if you need options for anyone else and I’m happy to give more ideas. What are you hoping makes an appearance in your stocking this year? Was there something in your stocking one year that really stands out? I would love to hear about it!

Don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.

Food & Drink · Uncategorized

My big fat Greek Christmas.

Alright,  I should start by saying that I am in fact, not Greek. I should also admit that I am not hosting Christmas this year. However, while I have you here, I want to share my Greek style meatballs with you which are perfect for those Greek or not Greek and those hosting Christmas and those not hosting Christmas! Basically, I just love these meatballs and I want you to also!

I have talked about meatballs before here and although I am the biggest fan of them, my boyfriend – not so much. That being said, I constantly try and come up with new meatball recipes that he will eat and love as much as I do. Lamb isn’t a meat that I cook with often so I really wasn’t too sure on how this was going to come together but luckily for everyone involved, it was a huge hit! We tried these with ground lamb because it is leaner than ground beef and around the holiday season, I’ll do what I can to keep healthy in between stuffing my face with holiday cookies! They look sophisticated and elevated but really, they take close to 45 minutes from start to finish.

lamb meatballs.jpg

If you are looking for that perfect dish to serve this holiday season or you’re invited to a potluck and bored of the traditional options, read on!

I would love to hear if you make these and how they turn out. Also, let me know if you have any good meatball recipes I can test out at my house and turn my boyfriend to the dark side!

lamb meatballs 2

Here is what you will need:

♥ 1 container (about 9oz) of frozen chopped spinach

3/4lb ground lamb

2 teaspoons of Italian speasoning

2 teaspoons of onion powder

1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese

1 roll of Pillsbury classic pizza crust

1/3 cup of tzatziki sauce

lamb meatballs 3

Here is what you will need to do:

♥ Preheat the oven to 400F and spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Thaw the frozen spinach in the microwave as direction on the box (about 3-4 minutes should do the trick). Drain well, squeeze dry with paper towels.

In a large bowl, mix together the ground lamb, Italian seasoning, onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Add the spinach and feta cheese, mix with either a spoon on your hands until well combined.

On a lightly floured surface, unroll the pizza dough. Cutting in half crosswise, press and roll each each to about a 10×8 rectangle. Using a 2inch round cutter, cut 18 rounds from each dough rectangle. Press 1 dough round into the bottom and up one of the sides of each muffin cup. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the lamb mixture into each cup.

Bake for 12-15 minute or until the crust is a golden brown and the lamb is no longer pink. If you have a meat thermometer, it should reach 160F. Allow the pan to cool for about 5 minutes before topping each cup with 1/2 teaspoon of tzatziki sauce. Serve warm.

Don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.

Decor · Food & Drink · Uncategorized

The best hostess gifts to give – to make sure you’re always invited back.

Happy Holiday Month!!

If you’re calender’s are looking anything like mine does right now for December, I am amazed. I am amazed that you found a few minutes in the holiday chaos to join me in my little corner of the internet.

With this being a very busy holiday season, I wanted to talk about something important… hostess gifts! Do you always bring one or do you feel your presence is enough? I think they are great and I always bring one to a party and it warms my heart when people bring them to ours. If the answer to “Can I bring something” is the expected “no”, that does not mean you should go empty handed! Ever! Take a couple minutes and come out with a thoughtful and even inexpensive hostess gift to bring! Or, read below for some great options!

You can never, and I mean never, go wrong with bringing wine! Or really, just any type of alcohol in general. However, I was getting pretty tired and rather embarrassed of tossing my wine bottle into a gift bag and away I go. So, I started doing some research and I came across Furoshiki – which is basically the art of fabric gift wrapping. Naturally, I got right into the car and headed over to Marhsalls to load up on some tea towels to use this holiday season. It’s the perfect gift combination – wine and a tea towel. I think it turned out pretty awesome and I’m really proud of myself! I’ll never purchase another wine bottle gift bag again. It just gives a little extra oompf to a simple hostess gift. Plus, less waste in our landfills!wine wrapping 2

wine wrapping 3

The holidays for me just have a certain smell. Do you know what I mean? It’s a very distinct smell and it just floods my brain with childhood memories and give me all the feels which is why I really love holiday simmering pots. These are the easiest gifts to put together and everyone loves them. I like to do a mixture of orange slices, fresh cranberries, fresh rosemary, cinnamon sticks, fresh cloves, lemon, lime and pear slices. You can swap out the pear for apple if you’d like but because I am allergic I use pear. Toss everything into jar and cover with water before sealing it tightly. Attach a cute little tag and you’re all set.

simmer jars.jpg

A few years ago I really wanted to do something special and totally personalized for a few of my closest girlfriends and their families. I wanted something that would be loved, shown off and something they would keep for a very long time. It was a complete success and I just love seeing their boards used at their parties and sitting on their countertops. These do need to be done in advance so it’s not something you can put together the day of a party obviously, but something you should look into right away to make sure you get them on time. You could also package these with some cute cheese knives, some cured meats, nuts etc. I cannot remember the company I used when I did these but I know an amazing wood burner, Tanya from Burned Out By Tanya that I would totally recommend you get in touch with. You can click here to see some of her work and reach out.

cutting board

 

I know the I labeled this post three hostess gifts but, when in doubt don’t over holiday baking! Bonus points for adorable packaging. While you’re at it, don’t forget about the fluffy four legged family members whose house you are going to also. These are not just for Thanksgiving but can be made any time of year. I make them every holiday season and Winston and I drop them off to the furry friends in our neighborhood on our walk. Lastly, if you’re in a pinch for time – flowers! Flowers are always a good idea!O Oh, and lavender plants!

What is your go-to hostess gift? What has been the best hostess gift you have ever received?

Don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.