'/> Sharing My Joy: December 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Recipe: Holiday Chex Mix, 2 Ways

Merry Christmas to everyone! Hope you are spending today with family and friends, wrapping, baking, and of course eating and drinking! I mixed up these Holiday Chex Mixes to have on hand to snack on and they turned out so well! They are great to have around on Christmas, New Years or really anytime :)

Dry mix:

3 cups Rice Chex
3 cups Wheat Chex
2 cups Cheez-Its (optional for the sweet version)
2 cups pretzels
2 cups Bugles

Original Version

6 Tb butter
2 Tb Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt

Sweet Brown Sugar Cinnamon Version

6 Tb butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tb cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
sprinkle of nutmeg
Holiday sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. In large bowl combine all snack ingredients.
2. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat, whisking frequently. You can either choose to just melt the butter in a few minutes, or leave it longer and let it brown (I like this way!)
3. Remove butter from heat and pour into a small bowl. Add sugar and spices of your choice. Pour mixture over cereal mix and combine well.
4. Spread onto cookie sheet and place in the oven for about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Let cool before diving in!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Recipe: Poinsettia Cocktail

I first had this festive cocktail at the Walnut Room, one of my favorite places to go over the holidays. Once Marshall Field's and now Macy's, not much has changed about the restaurant and the gorgeous tree. It's a fun tradition for my family to try to visit every year. This cocktail is pretty simple but I've seen some different variations using different ingredients. Below is my favorite. It's a great cocktail to celebrate with on Christmas Eve. Cheers!

(one cocktail)

1 oz orange liqueur (Cointreau, Grand Mainer, Triple Sec)
2 oz cranberry juice
3 oz dry sparkling wine

1. Pour liqueur and cranberry juice into a chilled champagne flute.
2. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with lemon or orange peel.

(Walnut Room)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Beauty Finds

Holiday Beauty Finds

Holiday Beauty Finds 

When the holidays roll around, it's always fun to add a little extra sparkle to an otherwise basic beauty routine. A classic red and a little bit of glitter is a perfect way to be festive!

Deborah Lippmann in Glitter and Be Gay - fun to layer over red, green or a dark shade
Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl - easy to apply and a gorgeous shade of red
Benefit High Beam Highlighter - this adds the prettiest pale shimmer to cheekbones
OPI Polish in Big Apple Red - the perfect classic red
Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pop Eye Stick in Au Revoir - a shimmery eye stick is a great way to add sparkle

Monday, December 15, 2014

Recipe: Ricotta and Pesto Spread with Homemade Tomato Jam

Need an appetizer to bring to a holiday party or serve on Christmas? This one is super tasty and festive! Savory jams have been popular recently - onion jam, bacon jam, and tomato jam. They're super easy to make! This recipe is inspired by an appetizer I had recently at Nordstrom's restaurant, Ruscello. I made the tomato jam, and then just layered the ingredients - so good!

For the tomato jam:

1 1/2 lb roma tomatoes (about 6)
1 cup sugar
2 Tb lemon juice
1 jalepeno, seeds removed and finely chopped (optional)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt

Combine all in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Simmer for about 1 hour or until thickened. Pour into mason jars and chill in refrigerator.

For the spread:

Layer ricotta, pesto (I used store bought) and jam in mason jar or low serving bowl. It is best when all ingredients are chilled. Serve with crostini or crackers.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Under $30

Gift Guide: Under $30

There always seem to be a couple of people to buy for when the holidays come around - whether it's a friend, hostess, coworker or boss - and it can be a challenge to find a great gift when you're not sure what to look for. Here are a couple of ideas all under $30 that can work in a pinch!

Trish McEvoy Candle - you can't go wrong with a candle, they are always enjoyed
Essie Mini Nail Polish Set - fun for a female coworker or friend
 Wine Aerator - these are a great addition to the kitchen, and really work
Moscow Mule Copper Mugs - enjoy the cocktail of the year in these popular mugs
Vosges Exotic Truffles - ugh these. are. so. good.
Wax Seal Kit - a fun throwback
Marble and Wood Cheese Board - beautiful, and under $20!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: For Him

Men's Gift Guide

Up next are a couple of ideas for the guys in your life - they're tough to buy for, right? Here are a couple of ideas that I think are classic and useful!

Leather Strap Watch - leather straps have made a comeback!
Messenger Bag - a cool laptop bag makes a great gift
Portable Bluetooth Speakers - great sound and easy to bring anywhere
City Cocktail Glasses - a fun way to serve their favorite drink
Suede Slippers - warm and cozy, cool enough to wear out to run errands
Clubmaster Sunglasses  - a total classic
Tech Hoodie - for those outdoor workouts or just weekend lounging

Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: For Her

Gift Guide: For Her

This wouldn't be a blog without a holiday gift guide, am I right? I am loving the holiday season and am looking forward to doing some shopping for friends and family. Here are a couple of things that I happen to really love, and that I think any woman of any age would enjoy :)

Capri Blue Candle - amazing scent, beautiful seasonal jar
Sephora Favorites Lashstash - a great way to try several brands of mascara, so fun!
Fairisle Slipper Booties - love a good low slip on slipper bootie
Plaid Scarf - obviously my obsession this season 
Kindle Paperwhite - lightweight, easy to read screen
Leopard Clutch - gorgeous calf hair clutch that goes with everything
Gumdrop Necklace - every girl needs a little sparkle :)
Wine Glasses - modern and edgy, love these glasses
Faux Fur Throw - so cozy and soft, I adore the one I own
Geode Coasters - a cool, natural touch to any home 
Wayfarer Sunglasses - classic, year round shades
Pajama Set - super soft, comfy and cute

Monday, December 1, 2014

Best Cyber Monday Sales


I hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend! Mine was filled with lots of family time, good food, relaxing...and for the first time in several years, NOT braving the stores on Black Friday. Let me tell you, I enjoyed avoiding the insane crowds. I've got my eye on several Cyber Monday sales today - and some are better than the offers on Friday! Here are a couple of Cyber Monday sales that I will definitely be checking out today, from the comfort of my couch:

Piperlime - 30% off site wide, use code CYBERSALE
Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic - 40% off, use code CYBER
J.Crew - 30% off full price items, use code MONDAY
Kate Spade - 30% off entire site, use code CYBER30

West Elm - up to 25% off everything, use code SUPERDUPERSALE
Sur La Table - selection of deals
Pottery Barn - 20% off throws and 15% off robes and slippers, free shipping with code FREESHIP
Crate and Barrel - 15% off everything with code SAVE15, no minimum for free shipping

NARS - 20% off, use code TAKE20
Tarte Cosmetics - Discounts on tons of items
First Aid Beauty - 30% off, use code CYBERMONDAY
Murad - 25% off, no code necessary

Koss - 40% almost everything (love the Fit Clips) with code CM40
Target - great deals on cameras, TV's and more
Jawbone - Mini Jambox and UP24 activity tracker are both $99