It is impossible to not start shopping for warmer weather even with snow still on the ground. My mind is already going towards how to improve my garden game to what sandals I want to live in.
After writing my Best Buys of 2020 post, I of course started to think of what is on my current wish list. This year I really want to try for quality over quantity. I also have a deal with myself right now that until I clean out my closet and kitchen, no new things! Sometimes you have to be reminded of what you have before you start thinking about the things you need next. But to motivate me, I have these things awaiting me in all my carts.
Assessing what I bought and what I actually used is actually a really good way to understand how better to spend money each year. Keep in mind that in this space we are talking about the non-essentials, so any fun things we can buy are always a blessing. There were certainly many buys that I wish I could take back since they did not have longevity or I did not use/wear how I thought I would (hello cocktail dresses), but there were a few things that I would consider my best buys. This is always helpful since I can try to avoid spending Amy more money on those things I could have done without!
I had posted a few of the recipes I have planned for this week on my Instagram and it sounds like you all could use some ideas too. With my favorite cooking partner, my mom, finally here to visit we have a lot of catch up cooking to do. I love a cozy week with lots of new recipes with a sprinkling of the traditions we hold dear. Here are the recipes we have on the agenda:
Salami & Provolone Phyllo Dough Rolls: Give me all the melty cheese in dough
Cacio e Pepe Puffs: My Mom said you can make in advance and freeze!
Roasted Shrimp Cocktail: We bought the Trader Joe’s Sweet Chili sauce to dip to switch it up
Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Green Peppercorn Sauce: having a hard time find the peppercorns, so might just make it without!
Truffle Mash Potatoes: Truffle butter makes everything extra special
Ultimate Garlic Bread: Because that spicy sauce is going to need something to dip in it. Love the addition of lemon zest.
Mini Wedge Salad Platter: An elegant way to serve something with ranch all over it
Trader Joe’s Chocolate Croissants: Stock up and make them all break, they are the best. You can find in the frozen food section and the plain mini ones are also perfection.
Sour Cream Waffles: These are sacred in our family. Dreamy is an understatement and perfect with bacon and coffee
Dutch Baby with Apples & Cinnamon: I have never made one and excited to! Or at least watch my mom do it ha (recipe from Modern Comfort Food, not available online)
Christmas Tree Cake: We always make a birthday cake for Jesus for Christmas Eve and this one looks so cute! (image above)
Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies: I just love a soft sugar cookie. Lucky for me, my mom is a great baker and I am a good taste tester.
Would love to hear any recipes you are excited to try too. As far as I am concerned we will keep this up until break is over so I need more ideas!
It seems that everyone is wanting to think outside the box this year on gifting, which I love. And with so many small businesses trying to make the season extra brighter the options have gotten more exciting. I wanted to put a little list together that would have gifts for anyone on your list that you may not have seen yet. Hopefully this helps with the rest of that list you have going.
I was seriously on the fence on doing any gift guides this year. I know you are all inundated with so many ads and guides and it can be so noisy. Also, gifting feels different this year to me. Do you think so too? If I had to guess everyone will be more focused on the littles joys of cookie baking and tree trimming and snuggle holiday movie time than lots of gifts. It just feels more like another lesson coming from this year that it is the moments that matter, not the things.
But I did hear from some of you that you still love a few ideas, especially for teachers, helpers, and loved ones you may not be seeing this year. So here is a little list of gifts that support small shops and retailers, which I am really trying to look to first before going to a large retailer.
And if there are any lists you would like to see, please tell me and I will put it together because I love ya! Here are all the gift guides from years past if you need it.
Are you a Gywneth fan? Though I have certainly rolled my eyes over the years at some of her comments, her charm cannot be denied. I actually had a real life encounter with Mrs. Goop years ago in London. Her and Chris Martin were dining a table over from me and I tried to play it so cool (failed). She was gorgeous and glowing and I fell in love with her because she ordered pasta and drank her red wine with abandon. My dreams of talking to her died when I saw her speed off in her Prius, but in my head we we’re going to become best friends during a well timed bathroom break.
In my mind we sort of are friends. She is the gal I look to for great advice, wellness secrets, and clean beauty options that actually work. I have fallen for the whole Goop’d up world she is creating, should I be proud or worried? ha
The girl knows how to market as well. Since quarantine started a billion months ago, #selfcare was one of the most trending topics. And with good reason as we had more time to reflect on how we take care of ourselves and the products we use. I figure a few swap outs to cleaner items cannot hurt and luckily I tried some things that are incredibly effective.