Happy Hour: Berry Gin Fizz

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The first time I tasted a gin fizz was a few years back at Eastern Standard, one of our favorite restaurants in Boston. I was a little hesitant at first after hearing one of the ingredients was a raw egg white, but I’m a firm believer in always trying something once! Needless to say, I became instantly hooked. Mixed with the gin and lemon juice, the otherwise unpleasant looking egg white becomes frothy and smooth like meringue and doesn’t taste like egg at all. It’s quite a fabulous looking cocktail and rather light and refreshing.

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Of course, I had to add my own twist and I dare say it’s one of the tastiest cocktails I’ve ever had. The addition of Chambord (a delicious black raspberry liqueur), a sprig of rosemary, and sprinkles of golden sugar and this classic becomes a festive treat for the holidays. Plus, it’s just the prettiest shade of purplish-pink, isn’t it?! Keep reading for the recipe!

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Berry Gin Fizz
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Ingredients
  1. 1 oz. gin
  2. 1 oz. Chambord
  3. 2 oz. cranberry raspberry juice
  4. 1 oz. simple syrup
  5. ½ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  6. 1 raw egg white
  7. 1 sprig rosemary
  8. gold sugar for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. 1. Place all wet ingredients in shaker with no ice and shake vigorously for about 15 seconds.
  2. 2. Add a handful of ice cubes to the shaker and shake again for another 15 seconds.
  3. 3. With a strainer on your cocktail shaker, pour into your cocktail glass, making sure to let the foam settle on the top.
  4. 4. Top with rosemary sprig and sprinkle with gold sugar!
Yours Truly http://www.yourstrulypaper.com/
 *Photography by Yours Truly | Vintage coupe cocktail glass was a flea market find | Gold Sugar from Michaels

Gift Wrapping: How to Tie a Perfect Bow

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It’s time to bust out the gift wrap, sparkly ribbons and tags, m’dears! Wrapping Christmas presents is an event around here… In addition to hot chocolate and a blazing fire, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra are always invited to the party. There’s really nothing that makes me feel more festive.

This year, I’m going with a classic combo: black, white and gold. And I’ve decided to ditch the pre-made bows, for good. Sure, they’re easy to stick on a gift and go, but if you have the time, why not tie a pretty satiny bow yourself? This one is the ‘basic bow’ and it’s super easy, I swear. Basically just like tying your shoes but with some careful attention to detail, and, you’ll get extra points for being the wrapping queen. Keep reading for step-by-step instructions!

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You’ll need: sharp scissors (gold ones, of course) and ribbon of your choice (I used a 1½” black satin ribbon)

Before you begin, measure your ribbon by wrapping it two and a half times around the box.

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1. Tighten your ribbon around the package. Loop the ribbon under and over to create a single tie.

2. Create a loop with the bottom piece of ribbon.

3. Without twisting, wrap the top piece of ribbon around your bottom loop.

4. With that same piece you just looped around, create another loop and tuck under and through the hole below your first loop. Just like tying a shoe!

5. Pull your loops tight and adjust according to how large you would like the loops to be.

6. Trim the edges of your ribbon to your liking: straight, angled or a v-shape like I’ve done here. Add something sparkly if you wish!

Happy wrapping! xo

*Photography by Yours Truly | Polka Dot gift wrap from Sugar Paper | Black and gold ribbon from Michaels

Bloom Bar: Simple Winter White Peonies

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I love a fabulously, overflowing and colorful arrangement, I do. But sometimes you just need simplicity. A few pretty blooms in a small vase, unfussy and still completely satisfying. Being so full and lush, Peonies can stand on their own and look oh-so-good doing it. I’ve been enjoying these pretties for the last few days and wanted to share some tips for how to make fresh cut Peonies last longer.

1. If you’re buying them from a flower market or grocery store, make sure to pick ones that have not yet bloomed and are completely closed up. It won’t take long for them to bloom!

2. Give them a fresh, 45 degree angle cut. During summer months, if you have them in your flower garden, cut them in the early morning while it’s still cool and immediately submerge the stem in cold water. Re-cut again inside before arranging in your vase.

3. Cut all leaves that will sit below the water line to avoid bacteria contaminating the water.

4. Make your own flower food. Per quart of water, add 2 tablespoons each of sugar and lemon juice. Changing the water and solution every day or two will help the flowers last longer.

5. Try to keep your blooms in a cool spot. Heat will make them bloom more quickly. You can also keep them in the fridge at night (if you have room!) to keep them fresher.

*Photo by Yours Truly

Holiday Gifting with Plum Pretty Sugar

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I adore Plum Pretty Sugar. Firstly, the gals over there are just THE sweetest. Secondly, I’m in love with pretty much everything on their site (floral heaven!). My absolute favorite though is my new Kimono Robe. Admittedly, it was an early Christmas gift that I probably shouldn’t have opened but I just couldn’t wait any longer—it was on my wish list for a while! (A big thank-you to my Aunt and Uncle, I love it!) Basically all of their goodies are bound to make any woman feel completely beautiful and beyond fabulous, making them the perfect gifts. Keep reading for gifting ideas from Plum Pretty Sugar!

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Holiday gifting ideas from Plum Pretty Sugar:

Pretties for that special lady in your life!
Sweet things for the littlest ones.
Something to make your gift exchange perfect.
A little bit of lovely for the mother-to-be.
Gifts under $150, $100, $75 and $50
A fab collab with One Love Organics!

Spend $250 and get a $25 gift certificate for a future purchase! Offer Valid December 16–22, 2013. Enter HOLIDAYGIFT at checkout.

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2013 Gift Guide: Sweet Treats for the Baker

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This may be my favorite gift guide yet. If you know me well, you know the kitchen is where my heart is at. I could spend a whole entire day shopping for just kitchen goods, no joke. Truth is, if you have a baker or food-lovin’ lady (or guy!) on your shopping list, there are endless possibilities. Here are some of my picks!

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1. KitchenAid Mixer (Boysenberry Purple) | 2. Pie Dish | 3. Personalized Copper Cookie Cutter Set | 4. Maple Syrup | 5. Bistro Canisters | 6. Latte Bowls (Plum) | 7. Tapered Rolling Pin | 8. Apron | 9. Knife Block | 10. Barr-Co. Hand Duo | 11. Dish Towels

Check out the rest of the 2013 gift guides: Stocking stuffers for the Ladies, Stocking Stuffers for the Gents

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