holiday movie night (with the best living room update ever)

we are big, big TV watchers in this house. we were a little more intense about it before arlo, but we’ve always made a big deal about having a dope viewing situation and i’ve always preferred watching movies at home to the theatre because i never have my seat kicked the entire time at home. so, we do not own small TVs, which is nice when you’re watching big blockbusters… but it’s always been a huge aesthetic problem. until now! not too long ago, samsung released the frame, the TV for every design obsessed person in the universe. have you heard of it?! (it’s one of oprah’s favorite things this year so you know its good) it’s designed to look like a framed piece of art on your wall, replacing that big black rectangle that we’re all sadly used to. when i saw this TV i literally dreamt about it. i know that sounds so shallow and materialistic but i can’t help what i dream about OK!? i am so excited to be partnering with samsung, because they did that thing where you dream something and they made it real (there should be a saying for that!)

our house doesn’t have an entryway, and it’s open concept — so when you walk in you just see the living room wall with the TV right there. and it was the biggest eye sore ever, you may even have noticed you’ve never seen the opposite side of my living room? that’s why. so when i saw the frame, i knew it was the answer to this massive problem.

and gid has totally geeked out on the TV for his own reasons, his boy reasons. it’s 4K HDR Pro, which makes for a super rich color and contrast. it comes with it’s no gap wall-mount, so it hangs flush to the wall like a real picture. i just kept walking by to see it from the side the day it was installed and could not believe it. AND the invisible connection connects to the one connect box, which eliminates all of the cables and clutter, and now our cabinet is FINALLY just cluttered with my own pretty objects. you can also customize it with different bezel frames in wood, white or metal –- they just easily snap on to the existing frame. we decided to get an oak wood bezel to match even better, and i can’t wait. can you tell i could not be more excited about it?

i think it’s been v well established by now that i do not shy away from going all out on the holidays, so i was inspired to do a holiday movie night. i made it super chill, i stocked up on a bunch of pre-made holiday cookies, movie theatre popcorn, caramel corn and eggnog. you know i’m all about shortcuts, don’t worry about buying all your snacks, as long as you put them in on pretty platters — no one will care!

if you’re not set on what movie to watch, a fun idea is to have everyone vote when they get there. my favorites are die hard, scrooged, love actually and home alone.

you may have noticed this is different art than before! there’s a gallery of 100 pieces, and an art store you can purchase additional art from, or you can also upload your own photographs (shrine to arlo?). and you can do all of the art control from the app on your phone as well, which i love. the other amazing thing the frame does is allows you to view the art in any lighting, it has a brightness sensor which automatically adjusts the color and brightness to the ambient light in the room. so rad.

i really truly love this TV so much i am already wanting to switch out our bedroom TV for one too. if you are also so sick of looking at a big black rectangle on your wall that you may or may not be going crazy — check out the frame for sure. and ps, it’s $200 off the 55” and 65” sizes, in-store and online 12/10 through 12/30 and if you purchase by 12/9, you can also get 50% a bezel with the purchase of the frame.

THIS POST IS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SAMSUNG
ALL OPINIONS ARE 100% MY OWN

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DIY 10 second brushstroke luggage tags

with arlo’s first trip coming up in a few weeks, i went a little nuts and got us all matching suitcases and then decided we needed matching luggage tags as well. (and i am feeling too lazy to make these cute ones again), and i’m planning to someday switch to my married name so i didn’t want to commit to my current one and blah blah blah anyway, i decided to just quickly spruce up some inexpensive ones instead! 

i saw sarah use these luggage tags for a DIY recently and was v inspired. but instead of doing a dope project like that, i spent 10 seconds making these ones!

materials

plain leather luggage tags (wish these came in white but i settled for black)
a foam paint brush
white leather paint

directions

make sure your tags are clean and lint free.
lay them out on a work surface and pour paint onto a palette, dip your brush and do a quick, loose stroke across — that’s it! (you can practice on scrap paper before you do it on your tags) add more strokes until you’re happy with it, and let fully dry before painting the backside.

they’re like, almost too easy. they would also make super cute holiday gifts or stocking stuffers!

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how to make perfect scrambled eggs

this is a post very close to my heart. i am an egg person and always have been, i like them prepared all the ways, on top of all the things, i will never say no to any egg ever. my friend shoshana is a pro and has always made my all time favorite scrambled eggs, so i asked her to share her tricks. and i am so excited to now share them with you!

i’ve teamed up with made in cookware, if you haven’t heard of them — you should, right now! they make premium cookware that is affordable and so nice to use, and you know i’m a sucker for pretty packaging, they’ve got it. it’s the only hip line of cookware i’ve seen, so obviously i love it. sometimes you forget there are other options besides the big box and department stores for buying cookware, but made in is higher quality for a lower price than a lot of what i’ve used and owned in the past.

so do you love that creamy soft scrambled egg like i do? this method is a no-fail way to achieve it. it’s sooo good on top of toast. it’s also a nice change of pace from your typical holiday recipes right now, i don’t know about you, but in our family — the breakfast on christmas morning is just as important as the dinner. we also have a big hearty meal before doing presents, and i’m totally making these eggs for the family this year.

the perfect scrambled eggs

you’ll need :

a nonstick pan, we’re using this one
fresh eggs
european butter
spatula
kosher SALT AND cracked PEPPER
fresh chives are optional

tips :

always use a nonstick pan for scrambled eggs. shoshana recommends actually designating one nonstick just to eggs. (i also do this!) and the made in nonstick has the cutest little touches, like on the bottom of the pan it has tips for the perfect omelette. and ps, sho’s method is very similar to a french style omelette until the end.

use high quality european butter for that special, rich enhanced flavor. this is not a low-cal method for cooking the eggs, butter is a big component!

DIRECTIONS:

start by heating up your pan over low heat while you beat your eggs in a bowl. beat longer than you think, the objective is not to get foamy (you’re not trying to whip air into them), but rather to whisk them into a homogeneous mixture. you can test this by lifting up your whisk and seeing how it falls back into the bowl. if it’s still clumping, keep whisking.

meanwhile, add the butter to the warm pan (the pan should be warm, not hot!). the butter should melt evenly over the low heat like in the photo below. you don’t want any bubbling or sizzling. the amount of butter you use is up to you, but like i said, don’t worry about using too much — butter is your friend with this recipe. we used a decent chunk!

now add the eggs to your pan. this process is a low and slow one — keep the heat low and just keep slowing stirring with your spatula. over a few minutes, they’ll start to form curds.

once the curds start forming, keep stirring and just break them all up, and to keep the texture even. here’s where sho adds … wait for it … more butter! add another 1/2 a tablespoon or so to add even more creaminess.

just keep stirring, and keep breaking up any large curds with your spatula.

season with salt and pepper, and add any fresh chives if you want to at this point. (sho doesn’t like other herbs because she thinks it takes away from the purity of the taste) serve immediately!

would love to know if you try this out! or if you have your own secrets. i’ve decided my new made in non stick pan will officially be my designated egg pan and i’m very excited about it.

made in cookware is super affordable and would make the perfect holiday gifts for any cook in your life (or aspiring cook, because we all know how inspiring some new cookware is for getting you into the kitchen).

this post is in partnership with made in cookware.
all opinions are 100% my own.

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DIY pickling kit gift box

ok, i’ve got the easiest holiday gift idea for you ever! if you were thinking how cute it would be to make homemade pickles or jam for all your neighbors, but realize you don’t have that kind of time — this is the next best thing. and perhaps way more fun for them.

instead, make them a DIY kit to do it themselves! i’ve teamed up with NEWELL BRANDS, MAKERS OF BALL® FRESH PRESERVING PRODUCTS again, to create this simple cute little kit perfect for holiday gifting. 

is anyone else obsessed with bread and butter pickles? i love them so much, i feel like they’re good on ANY and EVERY sandwich. i eat them with grilled cheese, hot dogs, egg salad… maybe the egg salad sounds gross but i swear it’s good. well, i like it.

also this time, we did a secret santa so i sent the kit off to marisa of food In jars! and i received the sweetest gift box in return…

pickling mix (makes at least 1 pint sharing jar)

2 medium cucumbers, sliced thin
1/2 small yellow onion, sliced thin
3 tbsp.  ball® salt for pickling and preserving
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1-1/2 tbsp ball® bread and butter pickle mix
4 oz mini jar
16 oz sharing jar
printable labels

01. mix together ingredients in your mini jar. (these mini jars are 75% smaller than the standard ball® regular mouth pint jar, but has the same style)

02. print labels on 8.5 x 11″ cardstock paper, cut out and punch a hole in the corner with a hole puncher. for this recipe i added the pickling mix right on the printable labels.

03. use a piece of bakers twine to wrap labels around the jars, knot tightly.

and as for what i got in return for secret santa, heather from whipperberry made this adorable holiday survival kit with homemade sugar scrub, a fizz shower bomb and my favorite part is the cute little matches, she attached a strip to strike the matches on. so cute!!

THIS POST IS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH NEWELL BRANDS,
MAKERS OF BALL® FRESH PRESERVING PRODUCTS.

ALL OPINIONS ARE 100% MY OWN

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babys first holiday

it’s funny how this time last year i was pregnant and soooo excited (i was still first trimester and just popping, so it was all still so new exciting), we were daydreaming about how this time next year we’d be doing all the same things but with a baby in tow. and now it’s here!

i think you may know this already, but even though i’m jew-ish, we are a total christmas family. i loooove christmas everything, we always get a tree and i play christmas music the whole month of december and watch the christmas movies and basically just drink the christmas kool-aid. so i’m so excited for arlo’s first christmas, even though he won’t actually know what’s going on whatsoever, it’s special for us lol. so i teamed up with shutterfly to create all sorts of things to commemorate!

while in theory, i would have loved to have had a photographer come to our house and shoot some pretty photos of us, i decided to do our first holiday cards as a family with an easy selfie (appropriate given arlos love of selfies). i love that shutterfly gives me the option to design and print my own cards, but they have lots of really cute design options to choose from if you want to select a pre-built template too. we sat on the floor and used a selfie stick and it’s super casual and we love it. i quickly whipped up the design and i think they turned out great, they feel so personal and so us. i got square cards, and they also now have return addressed envelopes so i have one less thing to worry about when addressing all the holiday cards this year. (you can even have them do all the recipient addresses for you as well)

besides just the holiday cards, i went a little nuts customizing (aka arlo-izing) all sorts of holiday products for my family this year. one of my favorite items they have is the custom gift wrap, i actually considered using photos of arlo but realized that would be a little overkill. instead, i used some patterns i’ve designed and it’s sooo fun to have my own personal gift wrap. wrapping this year will be so exciting! they also have a free art library you can use if you aren’t a designer yourself.

and their glass ornaments are my faaaavorite. i’ve actually ordered these in the past as well and i love them so much. they have an option of three shapes and the glass makes them look so fancy versus just sticking a photo into an ornament frame slot. i also decided they will make the perfect tags for gifts, a keepsake and gift identifier all in one. so basically two presents in one!

last year we ordered an ornament of arlo in the womb, and this year we made them from baby pictures, so it’s been great to have these little time capsules when we pull out our ornaments every year. it already feels like our own special holiday tradition.

i also whipped up a photo book of all my favorite arlo photos, and an easel calendar. the design of this one is so good! i’ve decided i’m going to keep the easel calendar for myself because i love it so much. sorry grandparents.

it’s really easy when your baby is super cute and every photo you take is good, but pro tip, i keep a “best of” album on my phone (which i literally contribute to daily), so whenever i need to, i can quickly access all my favorite photos of him. doing both the book and the calendar were a total breeze because of arlo’s keen modeling abilities but also shutterfly is super easy to use.

shutterfly is the perfect place for family gifts once you have a baby, because duh, all the grandparents care about is arlo. there really couldn’t be a more meaningful type of holiday gift for them, and the ease of making everything is so crucial during the holiday shopping craze. anyone shopping for grandparent gifts should probably look no further.

this post is in partnership with shutterfly.
all opinions are 100% my own.

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holiday gift guide : for the entertainer

making these gift guides over the years is always a favorite for me, but it’s also v bad for me at the same time, because i end up wanting everything. literally everything! i guess that’s the idea but man it’s so hard to keep myself from adding it all to my cart. 

01. iridescent champagne flutes! they would be fun to pull out every time you’re celebrating.
02. fancy soap is one of those no-fail gifts always (and you can reuse the pretty bottles forever)
03. love the handles of this cheese knife set.
04. these color block cocktail napkins would look amazing displayed on their bar.
05. i love this confetti tumbler as a little vase so much.
06. these copper place card holders are the perfect hostess gift.
07. this set of candle holders is the easiest way to dress up any dull table.
08. i mean, this cheese grater. 
09. obsessed with the organic shape of this divided serving platter.
10. for the host who loves to throw parties, the dopest punchbowl!
11. these subtle tie dye napkins are so, so pretty.

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arlo : five months

arlo is such a big boy now. literally he is a huge giant baby, but he’s also so mature and different compared to his newborn days. he’s perfecting his giggling, right now we have to usually work pretty hard to get him into a true laughing fit, always having to come up with new bit after new bit — so i’m looking forward to when he laughs constantly and i don’t have to work so hard! (although sometimes i’ll just be talking to gid and he cracks up randomly, which is my fave) 

his big gummy smile is still so infectious, but i’ve noticed he definitely loves ladies these days. when we’re out to eat, he sets his sights on different women and gives them big flirty smiles and big flirty eyes, and i even saw him do it to a woman who wasn’t noticing him — so he kept it up for 10 minutes until she did.

he started solids this month, and has liked every single food we’ve given him! he is such a little piggy. he makes the most grossed out, cliche baby faces, but then is always ready for more. and within only a couple of days, he totally got it — he opens his mouth wide and chews. he is also getting to be fairly good in a high chair, so we’ve been taking him to restaurants and he can last a little bit sitting in one! (with his high chair toy to suck on) he has gotten way better at outings (and so have we), and he still pretty much hates the car and his car seat but it’s gotten better for sure and i’m hopeful it’ll continue to do so.

still no teeth, still so much teething and so much drool, but now that he’s able to grab teethers and suck on his toys, the teething is a little more bearable for both of us. he also loves sucking on his feet, as you can see!

i think he also has officially sat up! it’s lasted about 15-30 seconds, but he can pretty much do it before toppling over. i’m so excited for him. he really loves standing, so whenever he’s being cranky there’s a good chance i can just put him on his feet and he gets so excited.

and besides standing, he is obsessed with the cats. our favorite activity is to chase them around and pet them, he gets so pumped up to even be near them, but loves tugging on their fur and they have been so surprisingly patient with him. they even ask for pets from him lately. it’s all very cute.

still loves raffi, but i’m really trying to get him into other music (he seems to tolerate the beach boys), and he can turn the page when reading now. still loves bath time and we still haven’t moved him to the tub despite being v big for the sink these days.

we were supposed to take his first trip this month (just a couple of days in sonoma), but it ended up being cancelled due to a family emergency. i had prepped and packed for weeks and trained him to nap in his crib, so at least now i know we can hopefully handle the next trip, which will be a bigger deal than sonoma — we’re going to hawaii on his 6 month birthday with my in-laws!

he’s in the 98th percentile for height but has dropped down to only the 75% for weight, haha.

everyone still says constantly that he is the happiest, smiliest baby ever — and i could not agree more.

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