Sugarlaws: Living Sweetly.

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the most gorgeous holiday tablescape

December 15th, 2014 · 1 Comment

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As you guys know, I love to entertain. 

Give me a free weekend with nothing on our agenda and I’ll figure out some excuse to have people over — sometimes with an hour or two of notice, sometimes with a month.  When I have the time, energy, and resources, there’s nothing I like more.

And I’ve learned something really important from many years of obsessive hostessing: your guests want to see you.  They’re not showing up to evaluate your home cooking or crafting as compared to Pinterest.  They want to hang out; they want to catch up.  They do not want you to be stuck in the kitchen whipping up homemade treats for them, all by yourself.

When we lived in New York, I learned this the hard way (sort of).  I invited a dozen or so friends over to our apartment, and just placed a tray of toasted baguette slices into our oven when the doorbell rang with the first guest.  Twenty minutes later, I had forgotten completely about those little toasts, and I was enjoying talking with a few friends when, suddenly, I smelled something… burning.

My homemade recipe was done-zo.  Or, more accurately, ha ha, it was toast.

And, you know what?  No one cared.

The party went on, I hung out with our friends, and the toasts were forgotten.  No one starved.

And from that, I learned my lesson.  The next time we invited friends over, I didn’t make everything from scratch.  I bought some beautiful items, laid them out in a pretty way, and everyone ooh-ed and aah-ed the same as they always did. 

I still love setting out the most beautiful dishes, and creating the prettiest table.  But lately — especially with a new baby, when my time is not just limited but essentially nonexistant — I’ve been embracing the beautiful things that are also easy

And on that note, let me introduce Shari’s Berries.  These beautiful little treats are stunningly gorgeous, and they’re literally the perfect thing to break out when you want to present a beautiful table with very minimal effort.

Also, they make chocolate-covered Oreos with Christmas decorations on them.  Are you sold yet?

I picked out some of my favorites for this post, but there are so many more beautiful options on their websites.  From handmade snowmen brownie pops to cake truffles in gift boxes with quirky little sayings, their website has everything you need to be the ultimate holiday hostess.

So sit back, relax, and don’t burn the toast. 

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Tags: food · holiday · sponsored

pop of holiday red!

December 10th, 2014 · No Comments

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Winter comes pretty late in Texas.  Most years, we’re still in shorts on Thanksgiving, and sometimes even on New Year’s.

But oh my gosh…. this New England-born girl loves her coats. 

The fact is, coats are a huge part of any outfit.  They’re an instant statement piece, and they go with everything!  I love how a bold coat can dress up a simple outfit and make you look extra-chic. 

And the best part about this one?  It’s under $100 from Lands’ End.  Yes, you heard me right.  (Another great part?  It comes in navy and black too, if you want something a little less statement-y!) A great coat doesn’t have to be a huge investment, it just has to be adorable. 

And this one?  Adorable.  Super stylish, but also totally functional!  Lands’ End uses PrimaLoft® insulation for colder temps, which means that their coats are super warm but also incredibly lightweight.  (And machine-washable, which this new mama always appreciates!) Does it get any better?

Check out more awesome outerwear on LandsEnd.comthis one and this one may be making their way into my closet too!

Lands’ End Quilted PrimaLoft Parka, Splendid leggings, Charlotte Russe boots, C. Wonder necklace, Kate Spade bag.

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Tags: sponsored · style

a few fun ideas for holiday hostess gifts

December 8th, 2014 · No Comments

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The holiday season means nonstop entertaining, every night and weekend.  The next few weeks pack a year of party-planning into a quick month, and they’re a wonderful time to catch up with your friends and family, and generally to savor the part of the year that brings out the social butterfly in all of us.

And with all those soirees, sometimes a present for your host or hostess isn’t the first thing on your mind.  We’d all like to give the “perfect” holiday gift — something sweet but not sentimental, thoughtful but not overboard. 

But do you know what 90% of guests show up with?  A bottle of wine. 

And, ok, sure.  There’s nothing wrong with a bottle of wine.  Year round, it’s a great hostess present: it’s something you know the host needs, and it’s hard to get it wrong.  A bottle of wine is a solid effort. 

Because, here’s the thing: especially during the holidays, it’s nice to spruce up your hostess gifts a little!  And it doesn’t take much more effort to show up with something kind of fun.  Something that isn’t what every other guest is bringing.  Something that acknowledges the effort that your host put into throwing a party during the craziest season of the year, and also celebrates their place in your life. 

My favorite pick?  A limited edition bottle of Kahlúa Peppermint Mocha.  This super delicious flavor only comes around once a year, so it’s the perfect festive holiday gift to bring along.  And for other fun holiday gifts, here are a few outside-the-box ideas for your favorite hostesses this season:

Flowers: There’s something so lovely about picking up a bouquet of flowers for your hostess.  Fresh flowers are the ultimate in little luxuries, and they’re the perfect gift for nearly anyone.  Especially around the holidays, think about incorporating winter accents like pine branches, holly greens, and juniper branches into your arrangements. 

Homemade Goodies: Homemade items take a little bit more work and prep time.  But is there anything more lovely than showing up at a party bearing something extra-special that you’ve worked hard on?  A simple recipe like Kahlúa sea salt brownies in a holiday tin shows that you put both time and thought into a perfect hostess gift.  (Quick tip: homemade items are better when the party is for fewer than a dozen people — no one expects you to play part-time caterer for their 50-person cocktail party!)

Candles: I love giving candles as a hostess gift.  They’re a little bit fancy and a little special, but they’re not perishable.  And they’re inevitably brought out on some special occasion — a romantic dinner or an extra-special night, and your guests will think of you again when they pull them out! 

A Monogrammed or Personalized Gift: There’s something so special about a personalized present.  Whether it’s monogrammed coffee mugs or cocktail napkins, a personalized hostess gift is one of the sweetest, most thoughtful things you can bring.  Want to take it up a notch?  Design a bottle of Kahlúa with your own custom label on YourGiftLabel.com and blow their minds!

For more entertaining ideas this holiday season, head over to KahluaHoliday.com for tips, recipes, and party-planning advice!  And remember: Enjoy the party and sip responsibly.  At holiday parties and all year round, don’t overindulge and never drink and drive!

Disclosure: I have been compensated for this post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Tags: sponsored