TGIF – Holiday Gift Guide Edition

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Merry Christmas!  Welcome to the special Holiday Gift Guide.  Here you’ll find gifts on my list and affordable things I’ve found for friends, family, and the men in your life!

For the BFF:

  • This is the greatest decanter for a bar cart.  Fun, fresh, and gold!  A perfect combination.
  • My friend once got me a jewelry dish for my bedside, and I use it daily.  This fun, zebra dish is a great gift for the glam girl.
  • For your fitness friend, this hot pink waterbottle keeps drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12!  Perfect for a girl on the go.
  • To add some sparkle to your gal’s couch, these Mi Casa Su Casa and Namastay in Bed pillows are perfect! I can think of so many friends that would love these.
  • For all those tea and coffee drinkers out there, this is the cutest, monogrammed mug.  Buy one for all your roommates and no one will forget which cup is theirs!
  • A shoutout to my medical school friends – these chromosome pillows are the cutest, quirkiest gift ever!

For Mom and Dad:

For the Men in your Life:

      • These Carry on Cocktail Kits – in varieties such as an Old Fashioned or Moscow Mule– are a fun stocking stuffer for a guy who travels a lot.  All they need is some spirits and they’re set!
      • Boyfriend approved – these travel jeans come in four different fits and TONS of different colors.  Dan has several pairs and they look great after washing, fit well, and are his go-to pants.
      • For the IPA lover in your life, this beer making kit will allow them to make their own 6-pack in their kitchen!  This is a must if your man loves his beer!
      • I got Dan this classic, leather banded watch for our anniversary, and it’s timeless.  It goes with almost everything and is can be dressed up or down!
      • My brother would love this Kershaw Chive Knife for every day tasks from cutting open boxes to crafty projects.
      • Instead of digging around for your phone charger, this weighted, 9 foot long iPhone charger is perfect for their nightstand.  And it’s stylish!
      • If you want to splurge – these new wireless Beats in-ear headphones are great for a runner or gym rat!

Things on My List:

Comment below with any of your gifts this year!  Spread on the inspiration and have a festive and cheerful holiday season!

xo, Maddy

TGIF

A delicious burrata, blistered tomato, and basil crostini I made for date-night-in the other night!

A delicious burrata, blistered tomato, and basil crostini I made for date-night-in the other night!

Thank God It’s Friday. You’re almost to happy hour, so sit back, pretend you’re working, and have a spreadsheet open somewhere. Enjoy these links inspiring me this week from around the web!

If Your Piggy Bank Is Full:

  • Don’t know what to get your significant other for Christmas?  Here’s a starter pack of winter sweaters that any guy would love.
  • For those trying to build up their bar cart, like us, these festive shot glasses and awesome decanter are at the top of my list!
  • Because you can never have enough over the knee black boots.
  • I’m in the market for a cute, plaid shirt for my Christmas party outfit!  If anyone has recommendations, let me know!
  • I bought this red, pleated skirt for holiday parties, and it’s so versatile!  I might be sporting it on 4th of July or Valentine’s Day.  So many options!

Weekend Eats:

Link Love:

Enjoy your weekend! xo, Maddy

TGIF

The new fall wreath I made! Crafting challenge - complete.

The new fall wreath I made! Crafting challenge – complete.

Hi friends! Welcome to this (kinda late) TGIF!  I missed last week because a friend from college visited Toledo!  We made delicious cocktails, goat cheese and prosciutto crostinis, and amazing garlic basil chicken with tomato butter sauce.  It was a HUGE success and I got to show off Toledo a bit – it’s a great place to live!

Enjoy these links from around the web:

If Your Piggy Bank is Full:

      • Fall = cardigan season.  I’m digging this longer, cozy, go-with-everything cardigan.  And for under $40? Steal!
      • All my fav bloggers have been raving about A Cozy Kitchen’s new cookbook: The Year of Cozy.  After following her for years, I can’t wait to buy this and try her seasonal recipes and CRAFTS! (^^see above wreath).
      • So, after almost cutting my finger off this week, I decided I need a few new, non-plastic, cutting boards.  After some Amazon perusing, this bamboo cutting board caught my eye.  Non-skid pads!
      • Just got this campfire soy candle and I can’t WAIT for my apartment to smell like subtle fall bonfires all season long.

Weekend Eats:

Link Love:

And for the grand finale, a Will Smith, Jaden Smith, and Alfonzo Ribeira (Carlton) reunion.  And as always, GO BLUE!

xo, Maddy

TGIF

My new MUMS planted in the blue pots I painted last week!

My new MUMS planted in the blue pots I painted last week!

Thank God It’s Friday. You’re almost to happy hour, so sit back, pretend you’re working, and have a spreadsheet open somewhere. Enjoy these links inspiring me this week from around the web!

I’m on my way to Columbia, MO to visit my little brother at Mizzou for Parent’s Weekend!  Even though it’s an iffy game (vs. UConn) and I’m skeptical about girls wearing dresses to a tailgate as a Michigan alum, I’m beyond excited to see him!

If Your Piggy Bank is Full:

  • After finding this blog about “inspiralizing” – or turning veggies, potatoes, you name it into noodles – I’m jumping at the chance to get my own Paderno inspiralizer with Ali’s Inspiralized cookbook.  Comfort food turned healthy!
  • I told myself I would never do this, but I’m [  this  ] close to buying my own donut pan so I can rival Timmy Horton’s – with a little less guilt and a little more of my own coffee.
  • FALL CLOTHES!  I want this plaid scarf for so many reasons.  Comfortable, cozy, goes with everything…
  • Just bought these brown booties for the fall and I LUURRVEE them.  Check out Sole Society website!  When I visited, I got 20% off, which made these shoes THAT much easier to buy.
  • My mom claims that adult coloring books are the new hot thing for stress-relieving.  I’d go with this ocean animal print version.  Maybe I’ll send it to her as an early…Thanksgiving present?

Weekend Eats:

Link Love:

  • Because I’m a huge fan of thriller novels, this list of 9 page-turners has been bookmarked for some fall reading ideas.
  • While some of these daily habits of highly creative people are a bit overzealous (Yes, Gwyneth, I’d love to sit and eat a croissant every morning, but we all can’t do that.), a lot of them are inspiring.  I love Diane von Furstenberg’s note on “being selfless”.
  • I’m like the whole Disney-classic-to-live-action movement that’s been going on.  The Jungle Book trailer was just released and it looks like one of the best ones yet!
  • NEW FAV BLOG ALERT: Tutti Dolci – for when your cheat day consists of sweet treats and awesome food pictures.  She’s inspiring!

PS: I’m blogging from a plane – which really is the highlight of my morning thus far.

xo, Maddy

 

TGIF

The beautiful spread at my friend's Iberian Peninsula Winetasting last weekend!

The beautiful spread at my friend’s Iberian Peninsula Wine Tasting last weekend!

Thank God It’s Friday. You’re almost to happy hour, so sit back, pretend you’re working, and have a spreadsheet open somewhere. Enjoy these links inspiring me this week from around the web!

PS: Football is back, and I’ve decided to play in not one, not two, but THREE fantasy teams this year.  Goodbye productivity.  GO TEAMS!

PPS: OH MY GOSH SCANDAL SEASON 5 PREVIEW.  I cannot simply wait.

If Your Piggy Bank is Full:

  • If I had an endless shoe allowance, these casual, over the knee suede boots would be the first things on my list.
  • I want literally everything in this gym-to-streets outfit.  This girl can rock some Nike’s.
  • Because they’re endorsed by Kerry Washington (my idol) and because there are those nights I can’t bring myself to wash my face, I’m totally ordering these Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes ASAP.
  • Ladies, have you ever realized how important a product is when it’s GONE!?  I’ve been using this Laura Mercier Foundation Primer and ran out.  And I can’t get my hands on it soon enough.  It’s a complete game changer!
  • Because I don’t have a full set of measuring cups (shocking, I know) I might splurge and spend $23 to get this Kitchenmade 6 Piece Set.  They’re the best in the business and are so classic!

Weekend Eats:

  • MORE ZUCCHINI.  I can’t get enough of it.  I have three in my fridge and these crispy zucchini tacos have my name on them
  • On an autumn note (I CAN’T WAIT FOR FALL!), I’ll be sure to make some slow cooker apple butter when we visit the apple orchard soon.
  • And since we’re talking about apples.  How about an apple + oatmeal + SMOOTHIE BOWL.  It’s hip, it’s cool, everyone is doing it.
  • MUSHROOMS.  My dinner buddy doesn’t like mushrooms.  Or nuts.  So I’ll have to food-lust after this mushroom penne with walnut pesto.  Or make it when it’s a me + Netflix + the dog kinda night.
  • I was going to make a giant list of football recipes for you all.  And I still might.  But definitely not by Sunday.  So here’s 175 football recipes, created by How Sweet It Is.  You seriously can’t go wrong with anything she cooks.

Link Love:

  • Some Michigan students invented an app that can virtually walk you home at night.  This is a game changer for my lovely ladies out there.
  • Since stay-in-and-watch-a-movie season is upon us, here’s a site that helps you find the best movies on the web.  No more deciding between Scream 4 and Inspector Gadget.
  • The woman behind Ambitious Kitchen wrote a great piece reflecting on her past 4 years blogging, living in her 20’s and navigating the hard stuff.  She was the first blog I followed and is an inspiration every day!
  • I liked this list of 11 everyday items under $25.  I have a lot of them, and the bedrisers and step stool would be super helpful…
  • Your weekly small-space-no-weight workout brought to you by Pumps and Iron (PS, she is a great blog to follow!).  I’ve been struggling to find time to workout with school and work, and this will definitely be added to my repertoire.

xo, Maddy

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TGIF

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Dark Chocolate S’mores Pie that will definitely be on rotation this fall!

Thank God It’s Friday.  You’re almost to happy hour, so sit back, pretend you’re working, and have a spreadsheet open somewhere.  Enjoy these links inspiring me this week from around the web!

If Your Piggy Bank is Full:

  • Two of the best chef knives out there.  I’m in the market for one and these are tried and true.
  • Soup season is upon us! And this dino ladle would make any soup serving experience magical.  Dinosaurs make everything better.
  • A simple, glam phone case.  But the foodie in me secretly wants this ice cream sandwich one.
  • This navy and white gingham shirt would fit perfectly in my closet with other fall necessities.
  • A fantastic fall skirt that can be dressed up or down!

Weekend Eats:

  • Because I know everyone has plans for Labor Day whether it’s a pool party or a date with a good book, these margarita pitchers are a perfect end-of-summer drink.
  • Chocolate + raspberries + zucchini brownies.  Sounds weird.  Tastes awesome.  I’m dying to try to make these!
  • These “everything but the kitchen sink” chorizo and pineapple bowls would be a great dinner.  And great leftovers!
  • Wonton soup is my weakness when it comes to Chinese take-out.  Here’s an at-home version that looks delicious.
  • Mango pico de gallo tastes great with chips, on tacos (especially shrimp or fish!), or with chicken.  Give it a shot this weekend!

Link Love:

I hope everyone has a fabulous holiday weekend!  Enjoy the last days of summer.

xo, Maddy

 

TGIF

A heavenly cold brew and French crueler at Black Kite Coffee, my new favorite café.

A heavenly cold brew and French cruller at Black Kite Coffee, my new favorite café in Toledo.

Thank God It’s Friday.  You’re almost to happy hour, so sit back, pretend you’re working, and have a spreadsheet open somewhere.  Enjoy these links inspiring me this week from around the web!

If Your Piggy Bank is Full:

  • I’m loving these simple, minimalist planners.  You choose the start date, which is great for those who forget to buy one in January (like me).
  • Check out this review of the latest cookbooks to expand your palate and test the limits in the kitchen!  The scientist in me wants to take a peek at The Food Lab.
  • 10 autobiographies every woman should read.  From comedy with Mindy Kahling to career advice with Sheryl Sandberg, I’ve got my reading list set for a while.
  • Recently got this simple, black dress in the Nordy’s anniversary sale and I can’t rave about it enough.  It’s flattering, comfortable, can be dressed up or down, and is completely affordable.
  • It’s official.  My candle definitely smells like Abercrombie.  I’ve got my eye on this fresh, herb infused candle for only $10!  Mrs. Meyers’ products never fail.

Weekend Eats:

Link Love:

  • This Italian vacation makes me want to plan a trip to Europe ASAP.  This is definitely on my bucket list!  (Found on the blog belonging to my friend, Melissa.  She’s an inspiration of mine!)
  • Top freezer foods for last minute healthy meals.  Always a must when life gets hectic.
  • 10 lunch box ideas to get you to think beyond the sandwich.  I’m definitely adding the spring rolls into our rotation.
  • As a big fan of circuit and strength training, here’s a small-space, equipment-free workout – good for dorms, apartments, and your living room!
  • I recently downloaded this app for podcast listening while I’m on walks with Callie.  I used this guide of the 30 best podcasts right now to lead me in the right direction.  I’m loving Freakonomics and, of course, Football Today.  What podcasts do you all listen to?  I’d love some recommendations!

Enjoy your weekend!

xo, Maddy

TGIF

TGIF1

Sharing the basil I grew over the summer!

 

Thank God It’s Friday.  You’re almost to happy hour, so sit back, pretend you’re working, and have a spreadsheet open somewhere.  Enjoy these links inspiring me this week from around the web!

Sadly, school starts next week (for me at least).  I’m trying to soak up every bit of summer I can before my alarm rings at 6:15 AM on Monday – to start my new nannying job and my year of business classes!  I’ll definitely be poolside this weekend – you know where to find me.

If Your Piggy Bank is Full:

  • We bought my mom these Olivia Pope wine glasses for her birthday last week!  Now she’ll be as styling as the Scandal star with her red wine and popcorn this fall.
  • I’ve had my eye on these booties for a while.  They’d look bomb diggity with skinny jeans or a fall dress.
  • If you’re bored of your salt and pepper shakers, try these piggy ones!  Perfect for the kids table at Thanksgiving.
  • I used to despise rompers, but now I can’t get enough of them!  This simple, black one would look great with a blazer and black booties this fall.
  • Currently 50 pages into this book and I can’t put it down.  Perfect end-of-summer read!

Weekend Eats:

Link Love:

  • Definitely hoping to watch the summer blockbuster, MI4, this weekend.  But this preview of a Bradley Cooper + Chef Movie = something to look forward to.
  • If listening to music when working isn’t your thing, this website allows you to get creative with nature sounds, white noise, and coffee shop talk.  I’ve used it for years.
  • The science to the perfect BLT.  As a BLT expert, I’ve gotta say, I agree with everything she says!
  • Another school year begins, another attempt at becoming a morning person.  Maybe this advice can convince me to stick to it this year.
  • As someone who packs a lunch almost every day, these ideas are inspiring me for the new year!

Enjoy the weekend and thanks for visiting my new blog!  Trust me, recipes are coming.

xo, Maddy