Packing List: Christmas in Philly

So excited to be leaving for Philly in a few days to celebrate Christmas with Eric and our families. Because our schedules are crazy and Eric and I are working on Christmas, we’re celebrating a little earlier this year. I ordered food from the yummiest market in Philadelphia, DiBruno Bros! They have the best cheese deli ever! I am obsessed with cheese and they let me try a bunch of samples before I commit to a whole chunk. Check them out if you’re ever in the city. I packed up all of my outfits for the weekend, all with a little holiday flare. Check them out!photo-dec-19-12-01-33-pm

Day 1: Day Look: I will be working until really late the night before so my roll out of bed outfit is this amazingly comfy, yet stylish chunky sweater from Target, leather leggings from Target and a black blouse from Forever 21. Paired with my matte black Hunter boots, which I have been living in all season so far! I’ll put my hair up in a sock bun and look put together even though I’ll only have about 4 hours of sleep. Yuck! Eric will let me sleep in the car though 🙂

Night look: I’m going to change into this Anthropologie white blouse with a red cami underneath for a pop of color and throw on my BCBG grey booties. I’m also going to wear the amazing necklace I got in this season’s FabFitFun box. We’re finally getting to Pizzeria Vetri for dinner and hopefully getting to the Orchestra to see Home Alone… LIVE! Yes, John Williams’ Home Alone music being performed live with the movie. Doesn’t that just sound like a wonderful Christmas time?photo-dec-19-12-05-32-pm

Bonus: Christmas Jammies!: I found these festive PJ bottoms at Target (I always buy more than I should there, love it so much!) that I just had to have for the weekend. This “ill” sweatshirt is Eric’s and I think it’s so cool. Have to have some Philly flare when trying to stay cozy in the city. And don’t forget the Ugg moccasin slippers, too! photo-dec-19-12-27-27-pm

Day 2: Day Look: My absolute favorite jeans are these Citizen of Humanity jeans I splurged on as a birthday present to myself in October. They fit perfect! And it’s tough for that to happen when you’re almost 6 ft tall. I’m pairing it with this sweater I got at Nordstrom’s Black Friday. It’s actually Roxy which I haven’t worn since high school, but it’s such a cute knit and color. Great find!

Night Look: Changing my sweater to a Temple tee and a J Crew chambray shirt. We’re going to go see some Owl basketball hopefully kick some Yale butt! Hope to get over to Alla Spina before or after the game. Such a great spot for drinks and inventive Italian food.photo-dec-19-12-13-07-pm

Day 3: Day Look: Our Christmas celebration day! During the day I’ll be wearing this festive Anthro sweater with little sliver sparkles on the edges and red Pilcro jeans.

Night Look: I’ll be changing into this J Crew silver shiny skirt paired with this Target plaid shirt, finished with a J Crew statement necklace to add some shimmer. I’m also wearing some black Mary Janes that I bought forever ago from DSW. The heel is a little thicker which makes them so comfortable. We’ll be spending the night in our Airbnb apartment enjoying our delicious meal together.photo-dec-19-12-20-18-pm

Day 4: Going home (nooo!): For a comfy ride home I’ll wear my favorite jeans, the Target sweater and a red blouse. I’ll have to go from the car to work that night, too. All on Christmas Eve. I hate working Christmas but at least I’ll have had three days in the lovely city of Philadelphia with my family and Eric.photo-dec-19-12-24-07-pm

Do you have any Christmas traditions you do with your family? I’d love to hear about them! 

Happy Christmas!

xoxo, Erika

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Molasses Christmas Crinkle Cookies

It’s terribly cold today! What better way to stay away than baking inside? I had some leftover molasses from Thanksgiving and wanted to find another way to use it. I came across these old-fashion, traditional Christmas cookies that are so moist and gives you all the flavors of the holidays. 

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First, beat one egg in your mixing bowl well after preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Then add in your sugar and oil. Whisk that up

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until it’s blended really well. Then add in your molasses, baking soda and spices and whisk that all together really well. Now grab a wooden spoon because it’s time to mix in the flour. This recipe

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calls for white, all-purpose flour but I actually used whole wheat. The conversion ratio is using 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour for every 1 cup of white flour. It worked really well if you want to try it. Here is what your batter should look like at every stage:

Now it’s time to get your hands dirty! First mix together a cinnamon and sugar mixture (you should have more sugar than cinnamon). Then spread it around on a flat surface because you’re going to roll the dough in this. I put my sugar cinnamon mix on a large plate so I didn’t dirty my countertops even more than I already had. Grab a tablespoon measuring stick and measure out your cookie balls. Next, roll the dough around in your hand to make cookie balls (insert Schweddy Balls SNL joke here). The dough should be thick enough so this will be easy to do. Then roll the ball around in the cinnamon and sugar and place the ball on your baking sheet. Repeat this until you’ve filled your baking sheet. Here’s the progress:


Now it’s time to bake! 13 minutes I found for mine was perfect! As you can see below I put mine slightly too close together. I had a big pan and wanted to fit them all on ones sheet instead of doing two batches. Silly me! They taste great though and are just a little misshapen.

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There you have it! The perfect classic Christmas cookie that sure is a people pleaser. Do you have a favorite Christmas baking recipe? Let me know! I’d love to hear about your holiday baking traditions! 

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Happy holidays!
xoxo, Erika 

Ingredients:
•1 large egg
•⅔ cup oil
•1 cup sugar
•⅓ cup unsulphered molasses
•1½ tsp cinnamon
•1½ tsp ground ginger
•½ tsp nutmeg
•½ tsp Kosher salt
•2 tsp baking soda
•2¼ cups all-purpose flour
•sugar and cinnamon for rolling

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat egg in a large mixing bowl, then whisk in oil & sugar.
3. Add the molasses, spices, salt and baking soda, mix well.
4. Now, add the flour and mix well. It will make a stiff dough.
5. Sprinkle a large surface with sugar and a little cinnamon
6. Roll 1 tablespoon size scoops of the dough into balls and coat in the cinnamon sugar.
7. Place on ungreased baking sheet, approximately 3″ apart.
8. Bake 12-13 minutes, until golden brown and crinkled on top.
9. Cool and serve.

DIY: Scandinavian winter shadow village

I absolutely love the look and simplicity of Norwegian and Swedish (i.e. IKEA which is all over our condo) winter decor. This lovely winter light display is a wonderful edition to your mantel or, if you’re like me, your fireplace. It’s easy to make and I’ve provided the stencil printout for you in Step 1 of this post.

Heres what you’ll need:

  • Scissors
  • White card stock (2 sheets)
  • Tape (scotch or masking)
  • Utility or X-Acto knife
  • Pencil
  • Slat of wood (16 inches long, less than an inch tall when laid flat)
  • 2 flameless tea light candles
  • 1 sheet printer paper

Step 1: Print your stencil – the tracings of the village should fit on to one sheet of printer paper. There are three pieces of the village but one you will repeat.

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This is your printable!

Step 2: Cut out the pieces – cut the outline of the village pieces and use your utility knife to get all the windows and doors. Any place you see a dot in the middle (underneath The bird house doesn’t have a dot but cut that out too) means you’ll have to cut out with your knife rather than the scissors.

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Step 3: Trace – use the cutouts from the printer paper and traces them onto your card stock. Trace the village piece that has only one house and a lot of mountain twice. This will be your background.

Step 4: Cut out your pieces – repeat basically what you did to Cut out your tracer. The part with the pencil showing will be flipped over so you can’t see it.

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Step 5: Tape – now you have all your pieces it’s time to tape them to your wood. Tape the picee with the church and the piece with the animals to the front of the wood, covering the from part of the slat. Next take the two hill pieces and tape them the same way on the other side of the wood. Make sure you stagger them so they can be seen well and will make for a good shawdow effect. It should look like something like this:

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Step 6: Let there be light! – place your candles on top of the wood between the two walls of paper. Make sure the lights are hidden behind the tallest part of the village.

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All done! Now just find a spot in your home to display your winter village to give your place a touch of Scandinavian charm. Sit back with some hot coco and enjoy the fruits of your craftiness! Happy decorating everyone!

 

8 Fool-Proof Gifts for Him

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year (Summer is pretty huge too and no snow – YAY!). I LOVE giving gifts. Seeing the look on the person’s face after they open is the absolute best. But sometimes it’s hard to find the perfect thing for someone. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over… but don’t think you’re too late! Stores are going to be having sales from now until the new year. Sometimes buying for your guy, your brother, your dad or whoever is that special man in your life – is hard! These eight gifts are great options even for the pickiest of dudes. Most of these I have bought for my boyfriend and they were big hits! Hope this helps with your holiday shopping!

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My guy I stay warm with in New England winters

  1. Daniel Wellington watch ($229)– I absolutely love Daniel Wellington watches (for women, too!). They are elegant, classic and they go with almost anything. The face is larger and more minimalist than the usual watch which adds so much style, effortlessly. This will be your guy’s new go-to watch and he’ll think of you every time he puts it on!img_2339
  2. Google Chromecast ($35) – This is now a  staple in our house. Streaming content from different apps to the TV is so great! You don’t have to watch it on the smaller iPad or iPhone screen, or struggle to hear the sound. This is major key when Netflix and chilling this winter – and let’s face it… when it’s cold and snowing in the next coming months, there’s not much else you would rather be doing. And the price tag cannot be beat!img_2341
  3. Personalized Credit Card Bottle Opener ($1.85 + $10 for monogramming) – Eric and I are beer lovers and we ran into the “Dang it! I don’t have a bottle opener!” situation on the beach multiple times, at a friend’s home or you’re too lazy to get off the couch to get one. Whatever the situation is, this will make sure your guy is always hooked up as long as he has his wallet. Eric and my brother get a lot of comments on theirs and always asks where to get them. I got them engraved at Things Remembered in the mall but the credit card opener itself on Amazon. With or without the monogram, it’s so handy!img_2342
  4. Ice Sphere Mold ($11) – One of my guy’s hobbies is whiskey and these ice cubes melt perfectly in his glass, slowly so it doesn’t water-down the taste. These are a great stocking stuffer and they impress guests when you give them a drink with one of these.img_2343
  5. Tech-friendly gloves ($49.50) – When it’s cold you need gloves… you might also need to text/use navigation/look at my blog 😉 so this winter accessory is an absolute must for anyone who doesn’t have them. You can get them at most stores now, but I love J. Crew’s.img_2344
  6. Leather Tech Tacos ($25) – Eric and I travel a lot so these are so useful when packing up electronics. They won’t get tangled and the leather design is manly and classy. Another great stocking stuffer.img_2345
  7. Where Chefs Eat ($15.50) – Eric and I are total foodies so this book was interesting to read to see where chefs we appreciate like to go when in certain cities. Eric and I find ourselves in NYC, Boston, Philly and San Francisco often so this is a great reference when we want to find a cool new spot for dinner. Anyone who loves to travel and food will appreciate this one.img_2346
  8. L.L. Bean slippers ($69) – These slippers are so comfy and warm, and because they are L.L. Bean they have a lifetime warranty! Eric lives in these during the winter months and with the rubber bottoms you can even walk outside to get the mail with no worries. These are pretty manly too as far as slippers go and I love that they’re called “wicked good” – because they are! 🙂img_2347

I hope that helps you all with your holiday-shopping search for the perfect present. Did you buy your guy the perfect present last year that isn’t on the list? Tell me about it! 

Happy Holidays!

xoxo, Erika

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