This post has been moved. Please find it now on my new baby and kid focused blog, Hazel & Ollie. There I'll be sharing all kinds of inspiration from nursery decor, kids fashion, maternity and new born shoots and more!
I love a good cocktail as much as the next girl, but with baby on the way, it definitely throws a hitch in creating and sampling different booze combinations. So I enlisted the help of one of my friends, Alex Potts, head chef at local gourmet pizzeria, The Pizza Co. You can bet with his sense of taste that this spiced caramel apple cider recipe is delish (I tried it sans alcohol, yum!). Definitely a comfort cocktail, and it also lends itself to being made in large batches, which is perfect for holiday entertaining! I also got another chance to use my lovely West Elm products again, my Shanna Murray collab coasters, which I LOVE, and gold woodgrain plate to serve up the cocktail garnish. Check out how I styled these pieces for the Thanksgiving table HERE.In our house one of our favorite holiday traditions is our annual Festivus party. What the heck is Festivus? If you're aren't sure, I suggest you look it up! It helps us keep it flexible, so we can have it before Christmas, or even after the New Year. It's an all around great time to get together with friends and celebrate. This year, with our little girl on the way we decided to bump up the festivities a bit, and are instead hosting a Friendsgiving celebration. Either way I will be serving this delicious warm cocktail to our guests, I hope they'll love it! This first part of the recipe is optional, but Alex says that it definitely adds more depth to the flavor of the cocktail. He blended his own pumpkin pie spices at home using the following:
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg (Alex says this is a lot of nutmeg, so hold back to your taste preference).
Combine all the spices and store in an airtight container or baggie until ready for use. Steep two teaspoons of the spice combination per one quart of Louisburg Apple Cider (or you are welcome to try another brand), for about 8 hours for the full depth flavor Alex mentioned**. This sounds like a long time, but just throw it in the crock pot and let your house fill up with delicous smells. Don't forget to stir occasionally. After 8 hours strain out the spices with a metal sieve lined with cheese cloth. When you're ready to serve bring the cider to a simmer, you want it nice and hot.
**Alternatively if you want to take the shorter route you can bring your cider and spices directly to a simmer for 5 minutes. Then strain as indicated above.
Serve your cocktail in a mug with a cinnamon stick for stirring. Here's the rest of the ingredients you'll need to combine (this is per cocktail):
4-5 oz of the spiced cider
1/2 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
1 oz Brandy
Optionally you can add a dollop of whip cream on top and sprinkle some of your spices as a final touch.
Serve and enjoy! Now you have a delicious, warm cocktail to help you celebrate the holiday season with friends. Cheers to holiday traditions!
Also don't forget, if you love the coasters and plates, pop on over to West Elm and West Elm Market for their 20% off Tabletop sale. Hurry, lots of styles are being snatched up fast so don't miss your chance to buy something lovely for your holiday table!
xo ~Emily (and Alex)
A big thank you again to West Elm for sponsoring this post. All ideas and opinions expressed here are my own (and my collaborator Alex Potts).
I'm so excited today to be sharing a post with some Thanksgiving tabletop inspiration, which I partnered with West Elm to create. Their Gather Around the Table campaign is all about sharing holiday traditions and inspiring ideas. I've always been a huge fan of West Elms products, we have many in our home already. Of course I said yes to the chance to style a table around some of their pieces, and share a little bit about how our family celebrates the holidays.
In a few weeks we're hosting Thanksgiving dinner. Each year we rotate between our house, my parents house, and my husbands parents house. I love that we can celebrate together with both our families instead of trying to split up our day with two separate dinners. Like many of the pieces in our home, our dining room table is a hand me down, or I guess you could even call it an heirloom. It was originally given to my great grandmother as a gift from my great grandfather. Then it went to my grandmother, and as a kid I can remember celebrating many a Thanksgiving dinner around it. I love having this piece in our home, and being able to gather around the table for one of my favorite holidays.
Although I love this heirloom piece, I wanted to bring something fresh and modern to my decor plan for this years celebration. When I first began searching for items in the West Elm Market, these wood coasters, one of their collaborations with illustrator Shanna Murray, were the first to catch my eye. They really started the inspiration for the whole table, a touch of rustic, with a modern, whimsical feel to them. Plus their sweet sayings are perfect for the holidays, and celebrating with family and friends.
In keeping with the wood theme I next landed on these white salad plates with a gold stylized wood grain pattern, another collaboration between West Elm and event and decor design guru David Stark. I absolutely love that they have such a modern feel, but because of their wood grain tie in effortlessly with more rustic pieces, like the coasters and wood chargers that I already had on hand.
I settled on a a color palette of mixed blues, with bright hits of orange. For the centerpiece itself both white and orange pumpkins were nestled amongst textural arrangements in wooden boxes. I LOVE stripes and already had the navy and white runner. Because mixed metallics are so on trend right now, for my last piece from West Elm I chose their Metallic Print Glassware Set, but in silver rather than gold. Each glass has a different geometric design, including polka dot (my current favorite pattern). I add the glasses to the centerpiece as vases, filled with beautiful blue thistles. However I'm sure you'll be seeing them pop up in the some of my future cocktail posts, they're just so fun!
A few of the other details to complete each place setting included gold flatware borrowed from my friends at Ultrapom Event Rentals, accented with orangey maple leaves, and tied with navy and white striped ribbon to match the runner. Place cards were simple pieces of navy cardstock with silver hand lettering. I tried to echo the style of the coasters by adding little starbursts to each card.
I really enjoyed styling our heirloom table in a fresh fun way, and I can't wait to use these pieces at our Thanksgiving celebration in just a few short weeks as we create new memories with our families!
Stephanie and Jeff's fall wedding was one of the last few of our year, after a crazy, whirlwind season. Stephanie wanted to keep things beautiful and romantic, with gorgeous blooms like peonies, garden roses, and ranunculus. We added in some black centered anemones and scabiosa flowers and pods for a graphic pop. One of my favorite pieces we designed for their event were the wreaths for the front doors at their ceremony. So lush and beautiful, I'd love to make wreaths for every wedding we work on! A huge thank you to Steph and Jeff for letting us be part of your beautiful, classic, fall event, we loved working with you! Also thanks to Devine Studios for capturing these beautiful images!