Gift Guide Round Up

image via Camille Styles

image via Camille Styles

One of my favorite parts of the blog world is when gift guides hit the interweb. I can kill some serious time scouring through gift guide posts, opening new tabs left and right, perusing the products bloggers are promoting. 

I used to think gift guides were more of just an excuse for a post and didn't really produce good curated content. These days there are some seriously good guides out there. Listed below are some of my favorite guides this season.

*BONUS* The perfect playlist to listen to during your holiday online shopping!

The Everygirl's Budget Friendly Gift Guide  (something for everyone on your list)

Cup of Jo's Gift Guides that includes ideas for people such as "Your Little Brother Who Throws Your Kids Way Up in the Air and Makes a Mean Grilled Cheese" (she is continually adding new guides).

LC's Gift Guide for the Fitness Buff.

Gaby's Ultimate Kitchie Gift Guide, salt cellar and spiralizer please! 

The Gilmore Girls Beauty Gift Guide, duh.

Amazon's Gift Guide for the party planners.

The Gift Subscription Gift Guide (Kathleen gifted me Try the World last year, and I loved it)!

100 Gifts under $25 Guide. Perfect for Dirty Santa parties, friends, neighbors etc!

Happy gifting!


Bites of My Life

The post-holiday slump starts now:( I hate how fast holidays come and go. Thankful that Christmas is around the corner, but to think I have to wait a whole year until dressing, pumpkin pie and creamed corn again, it's just plain sad. 

The Tucker Thanksgiving was top notch this year. The whole fam plus some, hours in the kitchen, multiple food babies, leftovers up to our ears; shopping, walking, drinking, eating, board games, football games, golf games, etc. I wish it didn't have to end! 

-Rice cake, almond butter, pumpkin puree and cinnamon for a quickie seasonal breakfast.
-Cranberry moscow mules to start the festivities!
-I am a traditionalist when it comes to Thanksgiving dishes, but I risked it for the biscuit and updated our pies with homemade crust and the addition of cranberries to our apple pie!
-Cause the apps before the feast are just as important.
-Not to toot our own horn, but nobody does Thanksgiving better than my family of foodies. 
-The classic pie sampler plate to really send the Thanksgiving food baby into it's 3rd trimester. Cran Apple, Pumpkin and Pecan with homemade whipped cream!
-Sister squad. 
-A very happy #manksgiving! Congrats to Courtney and Hunter!
-Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, took a day out of my life. Kathleen and I spent a solid 6+ hours on the couch marathoning all the episodes. I can't help but love it because it's Gilmore and all, but I was also a little ehh about it. It seemed a little silly and like they were trying to hard at parts. Give me your thoughts!


Bites of My Life

It's the countdown to the big day. My favorite holiday is just 3 days away! I'm getting anxious and can't wait much longer. I can't wait for family to get into town, to make pies on pies on pies, to drown myself in dressing and creamed corn and spend the rest of the weekend with a massive food baby. This truly is the best time of the year.

I skipped ahead a bit and let myself start listening to Christmas music last Friday! It's all apart of the season in my mind. And last night I had a taste of Thanksgiving with my 2nd annual Friendsgiving. You can see bites from the night down below, and read about the 1st annual here

-Shared my tips last week on how I stay hydrated during the winter.
-My favorite salad in the city, is the grilled shrimp salad from Republic! Second location now open in Chisholm Creek!
-Loved have Madison & Peyton, formerly from Identical Ideals, soon to be from The Honeypot, here guest posting last week. Make sure to read their Book Club and Season for Senses posts!
-If you are in OKC, go try out the Provision Kitchen hot bar at lunch. It's so good and fueled mom and I all day while we started in on our Thanksgiving grocery shopping.
-Another spot you need to try is Goro Ramen + Izakaya (meaning Japanese pub). Their steamed buns and spicy miso ramen are phenom. 
-I posted about it last week, but I can't get enough. I had the other half of my Burrata, Prosciutto, Arugula Trader Joe's flatbread and it's too good. Make sure to add some maldon salt and thinly sliced apples on top!
-We last minute needed another dessert on our Friendsgiving table, so instead of pie, I made my Pecan Pie Bars, a delicious recipe from the TAB archives. 
-One of my contributions to Friendsgiving was the dressing. I love that this is a chance to venture out from our classic recipes a bit and try something new. I used this Barre3 recipe and LOVED it. I used their recipe for cranberry sauce too!
-Friendsgiving is starting to rival the real deal!


Guest Post: Season for the Senses

Peyton and Madison are back for guest post round two! See yesterday's "book club" post here. Today brings some sense appeal featuring my favorite season-fall!  -Annie

We spent most of our childhood in Asheville, North Carolina, home to some of the most beautiful fall foliage due to its location among the Appalachian Mountains. Some of our fondest memories are of around this time of year.

Touch – We went for more of a "wear" theme here! Autumnal temperatures, thus dressing, is our favorite. A lovely coat and scarf combination is always welcome this time of year. If the weather isn't quite cool enough for a scarf, we are both big fans of hats. A wool fedora style being the favorite for this time of year, such.

See – No trip to Asheville is complete without a trip to the Biltmore Estate. We go almost every time we're in town. If not to see the house itself, to run the miles and miles of trails or visit the winery.

Taste – While the area is known for its microbreweries, the city was just featured in the Wall Street Journal as the next wine destination. Full article here. There is a wonderful wine bar located on the ground floor of the Battery Park Hotel downtown. Also on our list is Rhubarb, owned and operated by Chef Fleer formerly of Blackberry Farm in Tennessee.

Hear – We've been listening to the new Johnnyswim album on repeat for the last week or so. 

Smell – The most prominent smell of the season is probably pumpkin, but for us the fall smells outside top the pumpkin baking inside. The light this time of year shines a little differently and the leaves changing makes for a smell that can't really be described.

A season for the senses indeed.

Peyton + Madison

Guest Post: Book Club

Formerly known from their blog Identical Ideals, but soon relaunching as The Honeypot December 1st, I'm so excited to have Peyton and Madison guest blogging today! They are red head identical twins, currently studying at College of Charleston, the masterminds behind my blog design and two girls I get to call friends from the unique bond the blogsphere brings! You can follow Peyton here and Madison here. Today they are talking books, and tomorrow they will be back talking seasonal senses-stay tuned! 

Both of us spend a lot of time with our noses in a book. We've each included two book recommendations along with a short synopsis.

Peyton's selections...

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller (Peyton gifted me a copy of this book and I can't wait to dive in-Annie)

The byline of the book is "Non Religious Thoughts On Christian Spirituality." Donald Miller goes over various topics related to Christian spirituality that one may question and offers further explanation. It's one of the best books I've read this year. I highlighted many sections of the book as I was reading and this particular one stood out: "... I want my spirituality to rid me of hate, not give me reason for it."

Jackie As Editor by Greg Lawrence

Endless books, newspaper columns, and magazine articles have been written about Jacqueline Onassis's time as Mrs. Kennedy and more importantly as First Lady. It is often overlooked that after the death of Aristotle Onassis, she moved back to New York City and began a very successful career as a book editor. Jackie As Editor is written by Greg Lawrence, an author who wrote three books edited by Mrs. Onassis, and offers some charming anecdotes from other authors she worked with, as well as friends and acquaintances. I have read many books on Jacqueline Onassis and this is one of my favorites – it shows a more down-to-earth side of the former First Lady.

Madison's selections...

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

This book is devastating and moving – and certainly a book which I think anyone could find meaning in. In his memoir Dr. Kalanithi is tremendously humble and seeks to define what makes a life worth living. A must read not only for the content, but also for the eloquent manner in which he details the beautiful and difficult moments of his brilliant life.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

Also by Donald Miller – I'm currently reading a third book by him, so they're okay I guess (kidding) – this book is based on the process of writing the script for the film Blue Like Jazz. I would recommend reading Blue Like Jazz to better understand some of the references he makes to the book. Blue Like Jazz is full of observations of the world, whereas in A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller seeks to discover how we can all live good stories. At this point in my life, where I am on the verge of graduating from college and looking for a career path that I am passionate about and thinking about how to live out my purpose in life; I frequently reference the messages in this book when talking to Peyton about what I hope for. And with that, just a few of my favorite lines from the book:

"The most often repeated commandment in the Bible is 'Do not fear.' It's in there over two hundred times. That means a couple of things, if you think about it. It means we are going to be afraid, and it means we shouldn't let fear boss us around. Before I realized we were supposed to fight fear, I thought of fear as a subtle suggestion in our subconscious designed to keep us safe, or more important, keep us from getting humiliated. And I guess it serves that purpose. But fear isn't only a guide to keep us safe; it's also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life."

"A good storyteller doesn't just tell a better story, though. He invites other people into the story with him, giving them a better story too."

Peyton + Madison