pretty things no. 29

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Happy Saturday! This week, I wanted to collect all things for a cozy winter weekend at home. I’ve always dreamt of spending Christmas at a cozy cabin with lots of books and a fully stocked kitchen. Luckily, we’re able to recreate much of that at home, so that’s my goal this month. Grab the essentials, pick up a cozy book, and choose which holiday film you’re going to watch!

The first order of importance is to keep your feet warm with a pair of cozy socks or slippers. Ugg makes the cutest cozy slippers and I particularly love this shearling pair.

I know we’re all familiar with dry brushing at this point, but did you know that you can actually dry brush your face (with a softer bristle of course)? Before you get settled in for the night, exfoliate your face and then follow that up with a calming mask like the Aesop Chamomile Concentrate Masque.

Once your face is clean and soft, put on a pair of cashmere pajamas for the most luxurious vibe of all time. This set is great for lounging at home, but it’s also a really nice option for long haul flights. You’ll be cozy and comfy, but still look chic and pulled together.

Next step, boil some water in your kettle then brew a pot of your favorite tea in this chic little teapot. That way, you can carry it up to your bed or the couch and have it nearby for easy refills.

Finally, you’re going to need the coziest blanket ever, so check out this ribbed blanket from Barefoot Dreams. I promise, with this formula, you’re not going to want to leave your spot until it’s time for bed ☺️.

healthy plane snacks for your upcoming holiday travel

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With the holidays right around the corner, I know a lot of you are heading to the airport for flights home and are probably anticipating a ton of sweets and amazing holiday food when you arrive. Flying can be really hard on your body in so many ways, so it’s important to eat healthy when you’re on the plane. Your skin is already getting dehydrated and your immune system is really vulnerable, so it’s best to be mindful of what you’re eating mid-flight.

Here are a couple of easy ideas for healthy plane snacks that are TSA friendly!

avocado on rice crisps
Pack a sealed container with seeded crackers (I love the brand Mary’s Gone Crackers) and sliced avocado as a super healthy, savory snack.

fab four smoothie
Kelly Leveque had the best idea for an easy drink to take with you on the road. Fill a shaker bottle with two tablespoons of chia seeds and a packet of collagen powder. Once you get through security at the airport, order an unsweetened iced green tea from Starbucks and mix it all together!

bare apple chips
I love these apple chips for a travel snack because they’re sweet and chewy and a little bit crunchy.

dang coconut chips
Another good sweet snack that comes in nice little portions. There are a variety of flavors, but I just like the classic toasted coconut.

fresh fruit
This one is so easy, plus the clean up is simple. My favorite fruits to take on planes are bananas, apples, pears, and grapes because they’re not at all messy and they’re super filling.

roasted chickpeas
This is one of my favorite snacks whether I’m traveling or at home and it has so much protein. I pour a can of drained chickpeas on a baking sheet and bake at 400 for about 20 minutes until they’re slightly crunchy. You can add all sorts of seasoning too! I like doing a simple salt and pepper or adding in a little paprika or Old Bay.

veggies + hummus
Fill up a little Tupperware container with sliced carrots and celery, maybe even some pita chips, and homemade hummus or you can pick up some at the airport if you forget!

popcorn
This is a wonderful plane snack because it feels indulgent, but it can be super easy. You can make a bag at home and bring it along but it’s probably easier to buy a bag in the terminal. I suggest Skinny Pop, Boom Chicka Pop, or Budda Bowl.

nut butter packets
Bring along some individual packets of peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower butter to eat by itself or spread onto fruit.

protein truffles
Make your own protein truffles to bring along as dessert. I recommend these, but there are so many variations to try out.

a super simple, cozy gift idea

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I wanted to quickly check in with you guys today with a really easy, fun gift giving formula. I’ve found over the years that it’s really fun to put together little themed kits as gifts and that it makes the gift ideation process a lot quicker and easier. Plus, people love receiving these ‘kits’ because they’re getting a bunch of smaller items to open.

This past weekend, my friend and I did our gift exchange and we have a ton in common and very similar taste, so she really wasn’t difficult to shop for, but because we have such similar taste, it was kind of hard to narrow down all the options that would’ve worked.

We’re both big readers and she had mentioned recently that she was in the market for a new winter blanket, so I decided to create a ‘cozy reading kit’. I ended up including a super soft, furry blanket, a Christmas mug (both found at HomeGoods), and one of my favorite books, “The Little Book of Hygge” which is appropriately all about being cozy. I also tossed in some Hershey’s kisses and a candy cane for good measure.

Another kit I’m working on is for my eight year old nephew who just recently got into Harry Potter, much to my excitement because I’ve been waiting his entire life for this moment. So, I’m going to make him a little kit with a copy of The Prisoner of Azkaban, some Harry Potter candy like chocolate frogs and Bertie Botts’ jelly beans (because what little boy doesn’t love that?), and a personalized Hogwarts admissions letter.

So yeah, if you still have some loved ones on your list and you’re unsure where to start when shopping, think about what you know about them and their taste and pick a theme to build off of! They’re gonna love it and it’ll be so much fun for you to put together.

festive dishes to take to your next holiday party

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Happy Friday, everyone! There won’t be a super long post today as I’m busy with several project on my plate today but I wanted to share a quick round up. I know everyone’s beginning to head to all sorts of holiday parties in the coming weeks and many of them are scenarios where you’re invited to bring a food dish along with you. With all the busy-ness of the season, no one wants the added stress of having to ideate complicated dish ideas, so here’s a round up of some ideas:

Winter Fruit Salad via Like Mother Like Daughter
Cranberry Brie Bites with Marcona Almonds via Big Red Kitchen
Warm Herb and Jam Goat Cheese Spread by Joy the Baker
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites by The Novice Chef
Cheese Gougères via The Kitchn
Spiced Pear and Pomegranate Crostini via Good Life Eats
Baked Brie Cheese Board via Camille Styles
Ginger Spiced Pecans via Food & Wine
Crescent Pizza Stockings via Pillsbury
Smoky Deviled Eggs via Food & Wine

Another super easy thing would be to take a bunch of fun holiday candy in glass bowls to share at the party because honestly, who doesn’t love candy? I went to HomeGoods recently and couldn’t help but notice that they had a ton of holiday candy options, so definitely check that out.

introducing the holiday challenge

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Happy holiday season! This past October, I managed to go all out for the entire month celebrating Halloween and really wanted to do the same for Christmas throughout December. So, I came up with a little holiday challenge and wanted to share it with you guys, too. Each Tuesday, I’ll give you two challenges to complete during the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Today, I’m sharing the first two of eight challenges:

  1. Read a Christmas themed book

  2. Buy a festive holiday candle

After you’ve secured your items, light your new candle and spend a day reading your book. You get extra points if you do so while drinking a mug of hot chocolate underneath a cozy blanket and extra extra points if you’re by the fire.

If you need ideas for which festive candle to buy, check out this post. Here are a few ideas for what you could read:

Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery
A baker celebrates the holidays in a Cornish coastal village with her boyfriend and faces challenges when her best friend arrives with a secret.

Winter Street
The owner of a Nantucket inn looks forward to getting his family together for Christmas, but all sorts of family drama emerges ‘before the mulled cider is gone’.

Seven Days of Us
The Birch family gathers for the holidays at their country estate and are quarantined due a medical epidemic, causing them to spend the next seven days together dealing with tensions and revelations.

A Nantucket Christmas
A woman celebrates the holidays on Nantucket, having to deal with her stepdaughter who is devoid of holiday spirit and wants to sabotage the celebrations.

A Christmas Carol
The classic Christmas tale follows Ebenezer Scrooge when ghosts appear to change his ways and teach him the value of joy.

The Polar Express
On Christmas Eve, a boy growing skeptical of Santa Claus boards a train to the North Pole.

Hercule Poirot's Christmas
A family holiday reunion is disrupted when the patriarch announces he will change his will and a murder occurs, so Hercule Poirot must come to investigate.

Hiddensee
This book imagines the backstory of the Nutcracker through the Black Forest of Bavaria and salons of Munich with lots of themes of German Romanticism such as mysery cults and a fascination with life and death.

Christmas in London
A love story set at Claridge’s starring a New York City baker and a cooking television producer.

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
Lily leaves a book of dares on a shelf in a bookstore and then communicates through the notebook to Dash who finds it.

Twelve Days of Dash & Lily
In this follow up, Dash & Lily spend the days leading up to Christmas exploring New York City to recapture the holiday magic after a tough year.