We are going pretty light on Christmas gifts for Jane since she’s still little, but one tradition I’m really excited to start this year is her first stocking! Opening my stocking was one of my favorite parts of Christmas morning — we always got new socks, a toothbrush, and usually some fun little treats like hair clips and candy. I’ve rounded up 30 ideas for kids stocking stuffers, and they’re all under $10!

Since writing my cookbook, I’ve been asked a lot of the same questions about entertaining at each event I go to. One of the most common ones has been “what’s your favorite type of party to throw?” and my answer is always a brunch! Brunch to me always feels cozy and casual, and an easy way to get folks together to celebrate. I especially love it now that we have a toddler – we can have our party and our afternoon too. I have a handful of go-to menu items I always rely on for brunch like maple brown sugar bacon, cheddar chive hashbrowns, and a big hearty breakfast strata. If I’m hosting a bigger event – like a bridal or baby shower brunch – I always add quiche to the menu. read more

When I’m decorating for the holidays I usually have two goals in mind: 1) Make things look seasonal and festive, and 2) make things comfortable for holiday guests. The first one is easy – we put up our tree this past weekend and the twinkling Christmas lights and my collection of vintage ornaments are giving our living room some major holiday vibes. I also upped my décor game this year and added garland to our mantle, hung up some brightly colored stockings for the first time since we moved in, and have been tucking bottle brush trees and fairy lights all around our downstairs living spaces. read more

I pride myself on being a pretty savvy holiday shopper. I start making a list of gifts over the summer that I keep on my phone and often refer back to when I find sales or discounts, and I go down that list item by item during the big Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. This year I was actually a little late to the game with my gift-giving plans so I am still doing some shopping, and of course, looking for those good deals!I just signed up for an AAA membership for the first time this year (after my car broke down on the highway this summer I’ve been stressed about it happening again, but I have some peace of mind now that I’m a member – phew!). What I just learned though, is that AAA has way more than just roadside assistance, and that membership can get you lots of perks. This month, there are tons of special offers you can access through AAA Northeast for your holiday errands.  Here are a few ways you can save during the AAA 12 Days of Savings: read more

‘Tis the season as they say! The holiday entertaining season is in full swing, and I am so excited to be partnering with my friends at Wegmans Food Markets to share some of my favorite holiday-shortcuts to make hosting gatherings a little bit easier this time of year. Last week I got to visit the Wegmans store in Natick, MA and got a little tour from the executive chef to see all of the new goodies they have for the holidays. read more

I just sat down to write this post and had to do a double take when I realized it was the very last day of November. The holiday season is already flying by and it seems like it just started. This week I have lots of holiday updates to share in my download — I’m listing all of my festive upcoming book events (I really hope to see you there!), linking all of my gift guides for your holiday shopping, and sharing a great charity to consider supporting this season. Hope you have a very merry weekend — we’re getting our Christmas tree and I can’t wait! read more

The holidays take on a whole new meaning with kids; I love that there’s magic in the season from seeing Jane get excited about the lights and decorations. Now that she’s starting to understand the specialness of the holiday season a little bit more, I’m eager to start some new holiday traditions that she’ll remember. One tradition that I was thinking would be really fun to try with her this year is decorating gingerbread houses. She’s very into arts and crafts, and let’s be honest, she’s veryinto eating cookies and sweets. read more

Every year I round up my favorite books for holiday gift giving — they’re inexpensive, thoughtful, and easy to wrap! You can find one for just about everyone on your list (PS: Amazon is offering $5 off a $20 purchase of books for the rest of the month of November — get them while the deal is still going on!).

We’re in the thick of holiday season, and today we have one more holiday to celebrate: National Cake Day! My blogger buddy Melissa of Lulu the Baker alerted me to this delightful (definitely made-up) holiday, and we decided to celebrate with a little cake-swap! Today Melissa is sharing my favorite cake recipe from my cookbook over on her blog, and I’m getting my cake-consumption on over here with a Spiced Pear Bundt Cake (with homemade caramel sauce!!) from Melissa’s beautiful book: Scandinavian Gatherings. It’s hard to decide what is more lovely, this flavorful cake full of spices and bits of fruit, or her book which is packed with Scandinavian recipes, crafts, and traditions. I served this cake over the holiday weekend and it was hit — we ate it for breakfast, snacks, and dessert, and I know I’m going to be pulling it out again at Christmas. Get the full recipe below, and be sure to check out Scandinavian Gatherings! read more

I’m usually done with my Christmas shopping a few days after Thanksgiving because I love prepping the perfect gift for everyone in my family and plan so far ahead. This year has been a busy one though, and I’m a little bit behind on my shopping! Which is why I’m so grateful to partner with Garnet Hill this holiday season to find some of those gifts for the people still on my list. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite pieces from Garnet Hill to help you with your shopping too (and they’re having some great sales too – 40% off select cashmere on Cyber Monday, and 25% off and free shipping on almost everything else on their site through 11/27!). See my gift picks below: read more