Monday, November 13, 2017

Seeing Stars

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! I was in Boston for the Annual General Meeting of the International Dark-Sky Association. I volunteer a few hours a day with them and was helping to update their social media accounts during the conference and also moderating a panel for them. You all know that I have a love affair with the night sky, so it's a cause that means a lot to me. Since I love it so much, I take any opportunity I can get to wear stars on my clothes or something space themed. Here are some of the things that are currently on my wishlist:

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thanksgiving Wine Pairing

Thanksgiving is a pretty big holiday for my family. We always get a huge turkey that is no exaggeration around 50 pounds. My mom cooks dinner and I'm usually in charge of the appetizers, dessert, and choosing the wines.

Pairing wines with your Thanksgiving dinner can be a tricky task. Turkey is poultry, but there are also lots of rich and heavy sides. Before I get into anything too specific it's important to know that there is no "right" or "wrong" when it comes to pairing wine with your Thanksgiving dinner. This is really more of a loose guideline for you to help you get started so that you don't get overwhelmed and find yourself in the middle of the store and completely lost. Just keep these things in mind and maybe ask an expert at the liquor store what specific wines they recommend that go along with your taste and the kind of wine you're looking to serve.

First and foremost, it's important that you consider your guests and their taste. You don't want to only have red wine if you know you have a guest who only likes white, or only serve dry wines if you know that you have guests who prefer sweeter wines. Personally, I like to give guests a couple of options rather than choose for them what they want, so I find a good strategy to be to set out one red and one white and then let people choose which they would prefer.

Champagne is always a bright and festive choice for any occasion. There's a certain je ne sais quoi when you pop the cork on a bottle of sparkling wine that makes it the perfect pairing for any celebration. Prosecco or a great sparkling wine from America can be a more budget-friendly option to serve that's still very cheerful and just as tasty. If I was only putting out one wine for guests, this would be what I would serve.

When you think of pairing red wine with food, you typically think of pairing it with red meat and hearty dishes. But, when it comes to finding a red to go with your Thanksgiving dinner you're going to want to pick a lighter red wine. My go-to is a pinot noir. This is the classic choice, and admittedly not very adventurous; but the classics are the classics for a reason. Pinot noir is softer on your palate than other kinds of red wines like cabernet sauvignon; the lighter body pairs well with poultry making it the perfect choice. If you want to be a bit more creative try a slightly chilled Beaujolais or a plummy and peppery zinfandel.

As far as white wine goes, think of pairing something with a little acidity to cut through all the richness of the traditional Thanksgiving feast. I wouldn't go with any white wines that are too sweet, save that for dessert. Mind you, I'm not a fan of sweet wines at all, I find them undrinkable but if you are a fan or have a guest that's a sweet wine drinker, go for it! An oaked chardonnay that has a little more body is a great and time-honored choice. Two other good options are a dry riesling or a light and crisp sauvignon blanc.

Personally, I'm not a huge rosé drinker but I know it's trendy right now and a lot of you are probably into it so I tried to do a little research for you. This can be a good option because rosés have an easier time standing up to all the flavors in a traditional Thanksgiving meal than a white wine and they're lighter bodied than a red wine. I recommend going with a dry rosé for the same reason I would go with a dry white instead of sweet. A drier selection offers more versatility when it comes to food pairing than a sweeter wine. 

Whatever wine you end up going with, I wish you all a wonderful holiday and I'm sure it will be fantastic! Let me know how your pair wines with your Thanksgiving dinner down in the comments!

Monday, November 6, 2017

A November Afternoon

Happy Monday! November afternoons are one of my favorites, with the warm sun and the chill in the air. I openly hate summer. It's hot, it's uncomfortable, I hate shorts because I hate my legs, I always feel like I need to shower because I'm sweating. I can't ever find a bathing suit that fits and I'm not crazy about the beach. I'm miserable when I'm hot, so I am exceedingly happy when I can finally have on a coat or a sweater in October and November. This weekend was probably the first time I was able to do that this season, so I was thrilled! 

I have had these Kendra Scott earrings on repeat, and I'm not even sorry about it. I love any kind of statement earrings, but I also have a really tough time finding a pair because my ears are super sensitive so most pairs are either insanely expensive or end up giving my ears a crazy rash. I never have an issue with Kendra Scott earrings so I snagged this pair when I first saw them. They give me a very Edie Sedgewick vibe. I don't think I have ever mentioned it on here before, but she's one of those people I am super fascinated by and look to for fashion inspiration. Also, just an FYI the top I'm wearing here is currently on sale for under $35 and the coat is also on sale! 

What I'm Wearing: 

Shirt: Loft (Only a couple sizes left but similar here and here.) | Coat: Eliza J c/o | Pants: Old Navy | Earrings: Kendra Scott | Booties: Nine West (Similar

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Your Complete Guide To Giving Hostess Gifts

Now that Halloween is over, we are fast approaching the holidays. With this time of year comes lots of social gatherings and parties. This year, I have teamed up with Karen Thomas, known professionally as the CT Etiquette Expert to bring you a complete guide to hostess gifts including advice from her and some specific gift ideas from me. Karen is a certified etiquette educator and has been speaking professionally on the topic for 16 years. She is also an expert segment provider for tv and radio, and a best selling author. Without further adieu, let's dive right into her tips:

Going to a party or holiday gathering at the home of a family member or friend can be great fun, but don’t forget the hostess gift. Putting thought into this endeavor can often be a painstaking decision. However, with a little thought and creativity, you can be the hit of the holidays!

While the usual standbys are perfectly acceptable such as a plant, flowers (always in a vase), a bottle of wine or photo frame, here are few suggestions to get the creative juices flowing. Think about the host/hostess and these simple clues before selecting a fabulous gift...what home décor do they enjoy (country, loves specific animal, is an artist, etc…) Another idea to keep in mind,  do they enjoy cooking/baking, meditation, outside activities, etc... Keeping these things in the back of your mind while choosing a hostess gift can make it quite easy. And, if you don’t know them quite as well as you’d like, these choices are often a hit as well:

        - Food item to serve at a later date – Cutting board, assorted cheeses, gourmet jam
        - Decorative or unique set of martini, wine, or drinking glasses
        - Champagne and an ice bucket
        - Pasta strainer/bowl filled with gourmet items
        - Gourmet tea or coffees with mugs

One thing to never attempt is re-gifting. While by etiquette standards it is certainly acceptable, too often people are caught off guard by not remembering who gifted what, and end up with an epic re-gifting nightmare!

And remember, if you don’t feel overly confident with your choice - It’s OK – gift giving is a thoughtful idea and should be received graciously by the host or hostess.  Happy Holidays!

You can learn more about Karen on her website here.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Fall Scenes Across Massachusetts

If you have a deep love and appreciation for autumn, then a visit to New England during this time of year should be on your list of things to experience. Leaf peepers come from all over to experience the fall that we do here. This annual explosion of color is accompanied by charming architecture, sprawling landscapes, and rich history. If you're wondering why the autumn foliage here is much more colorful than other places, it's because only certain varieties of trees produce such spectacular color and they need the right soil and weather which just happens to be right here.

There are many suggested scenic foliage drives that you can take through all of the New England states. Although, one of my favorites is right in my own backyard, through The Berkshires. On any day I love to visit The Berkshires; the gilded age mansions, culture, history, and scenery have me heading there any chance I get. However, in the fall the scenic byways are even more breathtaking. There are plenty of museums, farm-to-table restaurants, and antique shops along the way. If you have never been, I highly recommend it especially at this time of year.

Do you have a favorite place to visit during the fall? Let me know down in the comments!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A Sophisticated Halloween Look

Our leaves have finally started to peak around here! After the reports that it would be one of the best years for foliage in a long time, I was starting to get nervous when a lot of the leaves weren't changing. Apparently, the heat delayed things, but it has absolutely been worth the wait! I hope you were able to catch some of it over on my Instagram stories from the weekend. If not, I'm working on a post with some scenes across Massachusetts over the last couple of weeks for you. 

Halloween, the one time of year that you can take fashion inspiration from Elvira and Morticia Addams and it's 100% socially acceptable. It can be hard to find an elegant and sophisticated Halloween look that isn't boarding on a costume. I had been waiting to whip out these shoes, which I'm actually in love with, and when I saw this top on Nordstrom I knew it would make a perfect look. A friend of mine told me I looked like the Queen of Halloween in this outfit, and it was probably the greatest compliment I've ever gotten. 

Do you like to dress for the Halloween season on a daily basis in addition to costumes? What are you going to be for Halloween? Let me know down in the comments! 

What I'm Wearing: 

Top: Vince Camuto | Pants: Nine West (Similar) | Earrings: Kendra Scott | Flats: Charlotte Olympia (Similar, SimilarSimilar, Similar)  

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Creepy Cocktails For Your Halloween Gathering

Any excuse to serve cocktails in a skeleton glass and I'm in; so I'm always dreaming up different creepy cocktails for Halloween. This year I put together a shot and a martini that are really easy to make. As always, please feel free to adjust to your personal taste. 

Monster Mash Martini 

Ingredients (Makes Two):
3 oz vodka 
2 oz Midori
3 oz sour mix
Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and measure vodka, Midori, sour mix, and lemon juice over the top. 

Shake, shake, shake, and then strain into a martini glass. Enjoy responsibly! 

Poison Apple Shots

This shot is a little rift on a martini that I made a few years ago. I used a black vodka in this cocktail which gave the drink it's black color. There is no food coloring involved, the vodka is made black with some kind of herb but this doesn't impact the taste at all. I like to have this vodka on hand, just because I think it's fun. But if you don't have any, or you can't find it feel free to just use regular vodka and add some food coloring to make it black! 

Ingredients (Makes Two): 
1 oz black vodka (chilled)
1 oz sour apple pucker (chilled)
Splash of sour mix
Splash of lemon juice (optional)

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and measure vodka and sour apple pucker into the shaker. Add a healthy splash of sour mix and if you want a more tart drink, add a splash of lemon juice. If you want it to lean more toward the sweet side you can skip this. 

Shake vigorously and strain into large shot glasses. If it's a tiny shot glass that only holds an ounce it's not going to hold these because you have added the sour mix and lemon juice. If you don't have a large shotglass just serve it in a rocks glass! 

Please drink responsibly. 

I have to give a special shout-out to Dana from Seersucker Sass for going completely out of her way and running to her Target to get this tray and mailing it to me since mine didn't carry it and they wouldn't ship it. I always say the best part of blogging is the people that I have had the pleasure of meeting and Dana is a prime example of that. 

You can find more Halloween cocktails here

In This Post: 

Serving Tray: Target | Skeleton Hand Shot Glasses: Oriental Trading Co. 

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