Food & Drink

Food & Drink
Food & Drink




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Gift Guide: For The Lover of Plaid

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The holiday season and plaid go hand in hand. It's the only time of the year where I really lean into this festive print.

1. Plaid Scarf ($25)
A classic scarf with a trendy update is a perfect way to accessorize a neutral coat this winter.

2. Plaid Initial Blanket ($29)
Light a fire, get the hot cider simmering and snuggle up with a cozy, personalized blanket with a plaid initial.

3.  Plaid Crossbody Bag ($69.30 + 30% off)
When you want to wear the plaid trend in a subtle way, a bag is a great way to do that.

4. Plaid Belt ($49.50 + 30% off)
Paired with dark wash jeans and a crisp white shirt, this belt would be perfect. Add in some brown riding boots or flats, and you've got yourself an outfit.

5. Plaid Coaster Set ($39.50 + 30% off)
Give as a gift or save it for your own entertaining needs. These gold-rimmed plaid coasters make a pretty addition to any coffee table this holiday season.

6. Watch ($55)
Timex's timeless classic but with a plaid strap.

7. Plaid Mug ($6.36/mug)
Enjoy your favorite tea, coffee, or hot chocolate from a pretty plaid mug. Don't forget the whipped cream and sprinkles!

8. Plaid Button Earrings ($6)
Plaid earrings will add a festive touch to a red dress, sweater, or top on Christmas Day.

9. Scalloped Block Heels ($248)
There are some shoes that are just so pretty you can't imagine wearing them. These scalloped plaid heels are that shoe. They look like they belong on display on a shelf.

Happy December ~ Letter From The Editor

It's the most wonderful time of the year. Depends on who you are talking to. This year I have vowed not to fall behind on Christmas shopping, prepping, etc. I'm already ahead of the game. I ordered our Christmas cards last night, which is two weeks earlier than I ordered them last year. Yay, me!

As I put together my personal calendar for December, I am also putting together the editorial calendar for Pieces of a Mom. December is a very busy month in the blogosphere. Between gift guides, sponsored content, and organic posts, December can be daunting for most bloggers. I am going to make every attempt to bring you great content without overachieving and stressing out.

This month on the blog, you can expect to see a few more gift guides. If there's a particular theme you'd like to see, please let me know (send an email to I never know whether the gift guides are helpful or just clutter on the blog, so I'd love to give you want you want to see.

This time of year is made for parties and entertaining. I'll be posting a few cocktail recipes and entertaining ideas and short cuts to save you time, money, and effort this holiday season. We could all use a little help anywhere we can get it!

And after Christmas, we'll be taking a few days off to enjoy the holidays with family and friends. In the meantime, enjoy these popular stories from November.

It's party season, and that means you'll find yourself hopping from house to house. Don't show up empty handed! Check out my hostess gift ideas for inexpensive but meaningful gifts to give.

On a budget? I've got the solution and a bunch of gifts under $25 for everyone on your list.

Long gone are the days where I had what seemed like an endless amount of time to do my makeup. My 5-minute face is the way I roll these days.

One of winter's hottest colors is oxblood. Not sure what the color is or how to wear it? Here are my suggestions for the best ways to try the oxblood trend.

Last month we enjoyed a family vacation at South Seas Island Resort in Captiva, Florida. If you are planning a family getaway and are looking for a great place to take the fam, check out SSIR and my 7 reasons to visit.


Hats are the best way to trap your body heat. A pompom beanie that is both cute and functional is a must for December.

'Tis the season for festive clothes. But if you're anything like me, the closest I get to festive is a toned down plaid. But I do love a good red shoe once in a while. This red pointed toe ballet flat is fun and festive...and only $20!!!

Speaking of plaid. It definitely isn't for everyone, but it wouldn't be the holiday season without it. But If you want to jump on the plaid bandwagon in a subtle way, this plaid scarf is for you.

Remember when I talked about saving time and effort this holiday season? There's no better way to do that than with a cookie press. After years of wanting one, I finally bought one last year, and it had revolutionized my holiday baking. Seriously, treat yo self!


Are you following along on Snapchat? It's been my social media channel of choice lately where I post my day-to-day happenings. Scan the photo or add me: "piecesofamom".
Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest too!

May your holidays be merry and bright and filled with love and laughter. xx

Best Online Reads

The ten stories from around the web that I'm loving this week:

1. 50+ small but mighty ways to help out a loved one or stranger this holiday season via Food52.

2. A trick for winning at negotiations via The Science of Us.

3. Twenty-eight charities to donate to this holiday season via The Cut.

Gift Guide : My Wish List

Every year I put together a personal wish list since both my birthday and Christmas fall in December. While I am by no means making demands, I am making an effort to take the guess work out of gift giving. I admit that I can be picky and very specific about gifts. This wish list is my way of making the decision making process as painless as possible for Henry and the girls.

I've been drooling over the prints from this local photographer since I first discovered her on Instagram. If you like Gray Malin, you'll love Claudia Chloe. This print is at the top of my Christmas list. I may have to beat my family to it and buy it for myself for my birthday. ;-)

I love diptyque candles for their amazing smell but also for their simple design. Each candle is a neutral color (generally white or a similar shade thereof) and comes in a clear glass jar with a black and white label. I can place them anywhere in my house and know that they'll match the decor without clashing. I haven't had the "Mimosa" scent yet, so that the one on my list this year.

Because I despise winter, I have a tendency to refuse to buy a decent winter coat year after year. I know it's something that's worth the investment, but I'm too stubborn to admit that I need one. Plus, I can never find one that I totally love. Until now! My niece was wearing this one from J. Crew on Thanksgiving, and I thought it was gorgeous at first sight. Maybe Santa will bring it for me.

Cat lovers rejoice! The coffee table book that we've been waiting our whole lives for is finally here.

When my Fitbit Charge band broke last month, the company replaced my Fitbit with the Alta model. While it has taken some getting used to, there is one thing I am loving about it. I can finally swap out the bands to match my outfits. I love this camel-colored band for everyday wear. It's neutral enough that it will match almost any outfit I wear. If camel's not your color, don't despair. The bands are available in 18 different colors.

In the summer, I bought a knock off pair of these sunglasses at H&M. Honestly, I wasn't sure I'd like them and didn't want to spend the money if they weren't my thing. I was surprised by how much I loved them. They quickly became the sunglasses I reached for every time I left the house. Now, I'm ready to drop $160 for these sweet sunnies.

While making my rounds yesterday online for Cyber Monday, I came across these super cute ballet flats. I love to wear flats in the winter, but most styles just aren't appropriate for winter wear. This pair, however, couldn't be a better fit. They are wool (perfect!) and plaid.

Since I'm petite, I don't like to wear large pieces of statement jewelry on an every day basis. Delicate necklaces are much more me and mesh well with my overall style. This arrow one is on $12!! Buy it for a friend, and you'll still have money in the budget to take her out for drinks too!

Usually by this point in the year, I have my planner for the following year and have already started filling it with commitments. But not this year. So, it's going on my wish list. I love the gold confetti design of this planner. It's subtle yet eye catching. And it's only $10!!! Can't beat that.

A girl can dream, right?

And of course, always at the top of my wish list is a donation to JDRF in honor of Harper.

What's on your wish list this year? I'd love to know. Share in the comments below.

How To Organize Your Boots In The Winter

Every year when fall rolls around, one of the things I look forward to the most is swapping out my summer clothes and accessories for fall and winter ones. Cozy sweaters replace sleeveless tops. Jeans replace shorts and skirts. And boots replace sandals.

As excited as I am to haul out my fall and winter wardrobe and accessories, I always seem to struggle with boot storage. Do I keep them upright in my closet or let the shaft flap down? I don't want my boots to become damaged, scratched, or scuffed, but I don't have the creativity to devise a scheme for keeping them looking brand new.

Boots are notoriously awkward to organize and store. Due to their general size, they tend to take up a lot of closet space. I decided, in an effort to finally organize my growing collections of boots, to give the Boot Butler® a try.

The Boot Butler® is a hanging boot organizer that promises to organize your boots in less space and less time than whatever system your currently using (which, if you're anything like I am, was a pile of boots on the floor).

Get your boots off the floor, reclaim precious closet space, and get organized with Boot Butler®. Here's how it works. Boot Butler® hangs from any standard closet rod and is designed to hold all types of boots from over-the-knee to booties to heavy work boots.

Boot Butler® is designed to fit in the shaft of your boot to gently cradle them and prevent creases. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Boot Butler® was strong enough to hold my Hunter wellies, which are quite heavy.

I found the assembly to be quick and easy although when I pulled the pieces out of the box, I have to admit I was a bit overwhelmed. At first glance there are lots of components. Within minutes, every piece was assembled, and my Boot Butler® was hanging in my closet and holding five pairs of boots.

You can turn Boot Butler® around so that the boots either face in or out. Personally, I prefer them to face out, but it's totally up to you, and I think it's great to have options.

In the amount of space that a coat takes up, you can now store five pairs of boots using Boot Butler®. I love having easy access to my boots. I can see every pair directly in front of me. I'm not wasting time sifting through a pile on the floor of my closet.

My boots are an investment for me, and Boot Butler® is a way for me to protect my investment.

Need more proof that Boot Butler® is the ideal boot storage solution for you? Watch this quick video demonstration.

Boot Butler® retails for $69.99 and can be purchased at or directly from

Disclosure: I received a Boot Butler® system to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.

Menu Plan Monday :: 11.28.2016

I can't believe I'm even thinking about food after all I've consumed over the past 5 days. When you can say that, you know it was a good Thanksgiving! But now it's time to buckle down for the next few weeks until Christmas comes and the devouring everything-in-sight begins all over again. The next few weeks are going to be pretty darn healthy around here because we all know how over indulgent the holidays can be. And what fun would they be if we deprived ourselves??

Here's what's on our plates this week:

Gift Guide: Under $25

You may be on a budget but that doesn't mean you can't buy a great gift for a friend or family member. I've rounded up a a slew of gifts under $25 that will satisfy any lucky lady on your list.

I also love this large zipper pouch, weekend brunch pancake mix set, and this mug.

I Am Thankful

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Year after year it never disappoints. Thanksgiving is always a very slow, peaceful day filled with good food, family, and friends. From sipping hot apple cider while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to squeezing in that last bite of pumpkin pie just before midnight, Thanksgiving is a day meant to be savored from beginning to end. Today, I'll be reflecting on the many things for which I am grateful and remembering that not everyone is as fortunate as I.

Enjoy your day celebrating with those most near and dear to you, and don't forget to help yourself to a second heaping slice of pie!


Trend To Try: Oxblood

While oxblood conjures up images of pools of blood, it's hardly that gory. In fact, oxblood is the hottest color going right now. It's a deep, rich shade of red similar to burgundy but with hints of purple and dark brown. And with the holiday season around the corner, oxblood is a welcomed departure from traditional red.

Here are a few fabulous ways to wear this trend this winter.

Chocolate Turkey Cupcakes

I'm always on the lookout for Thanksgiving desserts that aren't pumpkin pie. When I saw these turkey cupcakes recently on Martha Stewart, I was thrilled to discover they aren't pumpkin-related and it's one that the kids can help make. Since the cupcakes featured on Martha Stewart's site looked a little in depth, especially when little hands are helping, I adapted it slightly. Plus, I wanted to include two of my favorite candies: Hershey's Kisses and Gimbals jelly beans!