TACO EMERGENCY.

Listen, tacos are awesome.  And admittedly, sometimes I forget tacos exist.  Just because they fall off my radar on occasion.  Like any craving, tacos then barrel back into my life like a very aggressive food-based ninja.  Don't be mad at me, tacos, it's not you...it's me.  Please never change. Print from Paperchat on Etsy

Anyway, I'm tired and talking crazy so I'm going to cut to the chase.  If you ever get punched in the face by needing a taco, there is a brilliant website to come to the rescue.  Taco Emergency can be found at www.taco911.me and will save the day.  Click 'Find the closest taco' and this site literally gives you your latitude and longitude stats (which is kinda cool in itself), along with the closest place for you to order and enjoy tacos.

AWESOME.

 

Funny Little Easter Bunny.

Easter has never been a massive holiday for my family but it has always been an adorable one.  When I was a kid, my parents would hide our always glorious Easter baskets and, while hunting, we were greeted by beautiful foil-wrapped mini chocolate eggs and carefully placed jelly beans all around the house up for grabs.  My surrogate grandparents a few houses down would wake up early and decorate a small tree along the walkway to our front door with bright eggs before we had risen, so we would think the Easter Bunny had been extra nice to us.  And when we had finished our treasure hunt around the house, they would show up like clockwork at our front door with warm cinnamon buns fresh out of the oven, letting my brother and I tell them how cool it was that the Easter Bunny had made such a big visit to our home. 1

That being said, my mom has, in the last couple years that I have been back in the States for Easter, hidden my Easter basket.  Last year, she REALLY got me.  The entire hunt seriously stressed me out.  In thinking she would be harder on me as an adult when it came to a good hiding place, I was obviously reading too much into it.  (It was next to the TV.)

There's something so delightful about Easter.  Yes, I know it's a celebration beyond a terrifying woodland creature hiding chocolate around the house.  But there are so many cute ways to welcome the springtime for this holiday and I wanted to share some of my favorites this year.

Though I won't be decorating any Easter eggs this year, it doesn't mean I wouldn't be totally happy to do so.  (Don't think it hasn't been brought up in my apartment.  There was a look of exasperation mixed with patience when I was distracted to the point of almost drooling over a metallic egg kit.)

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Check out this super sweet tutorial on how to make these golden confetti dipped eggs from Studio DIY.  They are the perfect blend of my stylish maturity and my childish obsession of all things sparkly.

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These cutie pie bastards are the brain child of Miss Renaissance who appears to also share an affinity for a bit of gold leaf (and the introduction of some baller Washi tape).  Check out how to create these beauties here.

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Oh Happy Day decided to speak directly to my obsessive compulsive crafty side with these place cards.  There is glitter.  There is chocolate.  There are freaking lovely colors.  Find out how she made them here.

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Rounding out this series of Cutie McCuteness is Heart Made UK with these sweetie pie center pieces.  Augh, I want them to exist forever.  All over my house.  Sort it out, Easter Bunny.  (See the tutorial for these bad boys here.)

Now I have to figure out what I'm making for dessert for Easter Sunday.  And emotionally prepare myself to dive face first into a chocolate bunny/Peeps situation.

A Spoonful of Sugar.

This skull spoon really needs no introduction or explanation.  It's awesome.  And I want one...or six...

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Created by Hundred Million, these spoons are available on Kickstarter for a sweet £11 (only £8 if you are in the UK).  Learn about the entire project from design to testing to final product (and they even have a space to admit all their challenges).  But remember, this won't stick around forever (seriously, I think there is only something like a week left to support the team and get your spoon), so get in there you little weirdo.  I love you.

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(All images c/o Hundred Million)

Etsy Monday: Urban Cheesecraft. And A Giveaway.

CHEESE, GLORIOUS CHEESE.  With my parents sending me fresh tomatoes from their garden almost every weekend, I've been on a pretty heavy Caprese salad kick for the last month or so.  When I came across Urban Cheesecraft on Etsy, I was crazy excited.  DIY cheese-making kits for those of us who may not have the biggest or cleverly equipped kitchens is one of the most brilliant ideas I've seen.  And the folks over at Urban Cheesecraft make producing your own cheese as easy as it is fun.  

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One hour and a gallon of milk is all you need (and a pot and sieve, of course) to create your own beautiful cheeses.  I ordered their Ricotta & Mozzarella kit and while it took me circling the kit in slight fear that I might not be able to follow simple instructions, I spent this weekend in the kitchen showing the cheese gods who's boss!  Crumbly goats cheese, paneer, queso blanco, mozzarella, ricotta...you can learn how to make it all.  Try one kit at a time or go for the deluxe kit that includes everything!  

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This isn't a quick kitchen experiment either...kits make up to ten batches and when you're making 1.5 pounds of ricotta and two massive rounds of mozzarella a hit, that's a hella lot of cheese.  No complaints.  

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The kind folks at Urban Cheesecraft are giving one lucky Thrill of the Chaise reader their own Mozzarella & Ricotta kit!  Simply click here to enter and have fun!

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(All images c/o Urban Cheesecraft)

Love Notes and Valentine.

My adoration of a hand-written note should be quite obvious if you read Thrill of the Chaise.  There is something so special about a moment being spent taking a pen to paper to really let someone know you're thinking of them.  No matter how deep the sentiment or how swift the thought ('You're great' goes a long way), a love note is a love note.  And in celebration of her spirited and passionate grandmother, Valentine, the beautiful Sarah Crawford has created a space that fosters these lovely moments in everyday life.  As Sarah says, 'style takes heart'. This is Sarah. If you want to talk about how beautiful she is, I've got time and plenty to say.

Not just a space for showcasing beautiful design, which also just so happens to be BEAUTIFULLY designed itself, Sarah's blog Valentine features daily love notes for the things striking her fancy at any given moment.  From love notes to Nantucket to Justin Timberlake to tassels to her beautiful mother and even to some of her favorite jewelry and their designer (helloooo, Doloris Pentunia), Sarah is an expert at finding the beauty in daily life and making sure it shines.

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And today is a special day.  Not just because I am so excited to share Sarah's new, amazing project (which, let it be said, is so perfectly Sarah...read: can't help but put a smile on your face) but also because I am sharing it on my gorgeous parents' 44th wedding anniversary.  A total testament to what love really should be, my parents are an incredible pair who have spent their lives showing my brother and I, as well as everyone who knows them, what life should really be all about.  As they start some pretty brilliant new adventures in this next phase of their life together, which is just another reason they are so amazing, I asked Sarah if she would help me celebrate them today.

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Sarah has known my parents for just about ever so she knows first hand how special they are...and boy oh boy, does she have a way with words to let them know.  So here is her Valentine to them:

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Head over to Valentine to check out Sarah and her husband driving off into the sunset at their wedding in my Dad's 1955 Thunderbird (one of the most stunning moments this world will probably ever see), as well as all her love notes.  If you're feeling funny, sentimental, in love or just want a bit of inspiration (in design or just your mood), you'll be in love with Valentine.  Just like I am.

(Images c/o Valentine and little old me)

Etsy Monday: Amanda Catherine Designs.

Happy Monday, everyone.  You ready for an overload of adorable?  Yeah, I bet you are.  But let me make a little bit of a point first.  I don't know if it's my recent move into my 30s, a whole lot of change in my life generally or the time of year but soul searching seems to be the name of the game at the moment.  There seems to be an overwhelming need to find answers or be inspired or be overly philosophical about life and what it all means.  Studying the every day, losing sleep wondering if you're doing enough in your life, giving a lot of time to the 'what ifs'.  Anyone?  Just me? Well, turns out there is something in the simplicity of it all.  The deep messages you are looking for may not be all that deep in reality.  And yes, this is a direct introduction to a beautiful Etsy shop, Amanda Catherine Designs.  Pencils and prints...simple, familiar, sweet items that give simple, familiar, sweet words a home.  Be smart.  Be kind.  Be silly.  You'll be fine.

Gentle Reminders

World is Your Oyster Print

Favorite Things

Clever Words Print

Bar Cart Print

Amanda does a beautiful job at taking just a few words to bring out a smile.  From her 'gentle reminders' to reminding us that a good, strong drink is totally acceptable (thanks, Amanda!), her work is delicate and somehow powerful.  What I love about her prints and her pencils is that one little look in the morning or a glance amidst a busy day can bring a reminder that is the perfect little nod to just keep being you.  In fact, I DO like pretty things and clever words.  Wearing sequins to breakfast is the s**t.  And if pancakes DON'T make you happy, shut up and get out.  You can see Amanda's entire Etsy shop here.  Nothing like getting a friend, or even yourself, one of these sweet little reminders.  Le sigh.

Wear Sequins to Breakfast

Happy Pancakes Print

Wandering Mind Print

Old Fashioneds Print

(All images c/o Amanda Catherine Designs)

Etsy Monday: More Than Porcelain.

Don't we all want to be 'reloved'?  Well, Berlin-born and Athens-based Monika from More Than Porcelain does just that.  She takes vintage (and sometimes new) pottery and creates something new and unique.  From sweet and delicate, she uses her love of surrealism, Victorian art and graffiti to give these pieces a personality ten times larger than it could have been before.  With Monika's help, her items begin to tell stories all their own.

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So I know that I very recently wrote about how I have to stop collecting skull artifacts but, dammit, what choice do I have now?!  It helps that Monika's interests are the same as mine (Victorian faces, skulls, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, Hitchcock) but how these details give already beautiful artifacts such life in such an unexpected way is imperfect perfection.  I want an entire wall in my apartment dedicated to these plates.  And a whole cupboard dedicated to these teacups.  Oh, and also, I want to throw tea parties on the regular.

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Want some of this beauty for your very own?  Thrill of the Chaise readers can get 15% off their orders on Etsy with the code '15OFF'!  Go buy great things!  You can check out everything from at More Than Porcelain here and check out an amazing interview with Monika here.

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(All images c/o More Than Porcelain)

Welcome To My Haunted House.

It's not actually haunted.  Well, at least not from what I can tell.  But I recently moved into a lovely, new apartment and I've been on a decorating kick...and have recently had to stop myself from buying all things 'skull'.  It may or may not be obvious that I have a little bit of an obsession with the slightly more macabre, especially when it comes to decor.  Though my living room is actually swallowed up in bright pink, I still made sure there was room for a very well-placed skull in there, which I picked up on my somewhat recent travels to Mexico.

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My bedroom is going a slightly darker route (almost anything would be darker than a bright pink living room, fair point) and though I have had to try to put myself on a 'skull decor ban', as it will surely start to look a bit silly and not as cool at a certain point, it hasn't kept me from looking.

Marble Cheeseboard

Spoon

Tea Plate

Pillow Cover

Decanter & Glasses

Society6 Print

I am in love with this badass Tumblr, Spooky Home.  Now, these may not be the spookiest images at Spooky Home but they are spooky done very well.  Understated spooky.  That's me.  With elements of very spooky.  Yeah.  I like that.

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(Images from all over the damn place.  Click on the products to go to the original site.  Except for Spooky Home...just go to Spooky Home.)

Grand Giveaways: Cocosheaven & Lenny Mud.

Let me preface this with saying that I would never write about anything that I didn't feel was properly amazing.  But when I got the very kind gift of a Cocosheaven canvas tote bag in the mail last week, I was floored.  What I thought I was already a stunning item was even more beautiful in person.  GOODNESS ME.

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And in agreement was our gorgeous winner, Jen Allanson of Don't Cry Shop Girl, who was beyond adorable and gave us a shout out on Instagram with the picture below.  The very kind JK from Cocosheaven sent us these orange ombre beauties, which are proving to be the perfect summer tote!  See the entire collection at Cocosheaven here.

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Don't forget that tomorrow is the last day to enter to win a mug of your choice from ceramic royalty, Lenny Mud!  Lionel Richtea, Mr. Tea, 'Is It Tea You're Looking For?'  Yeah, you know who I'm talking about.  Check out the Lenny Mud store and click here to enter our giveaway.  Cheers, you cutie faces!

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(Images c/o Cocosheaven, Jen Allanson and Lenny Mud)

Bling It On! With Hpnotiq: Win A Beauty Gift Certificate.

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Now, I know it's not just me that loves a great cocktail on a warm summer evening.  Fancy a 'Hpno-Rita'? Add 2oz. of Hpnotiq with about 1oz. of white tequila. Garnish with a dash of lime and/or pineapple.  Yum, job done.  But you gotta look fly while sippin' on this bad boy.

Hpnotiq GlamLouder Bling It On! Bottle Image

From now until July 28th 2013, Hpnotiq wants you to show them how you GLAM LOUDER with their Bling It On challenge to win fab prizes! During the remaining 2-week challenges you can submit photos in different categories to win - including the glammest makeup and overall look. Entries can be pictures you snap yourself or images you find online.  Here are the glamorous prizes that are still up for grabs: A $1,000 gift card to Sephora or Ulta, and a handbag of your choice valued at up to $1000.

For this round, they’re choosing 4 lucky winners to win a $1000 beauty gift certificate to Sephora or ULTA!!! If you’re one of the 4 winners, you’ll also be able to compete in the final round for a chance to win the grand prize trip for you and three friends to go shopping with a celebrity Los Angeles! Even better - the grand prize winner will star in a professional photo shoot for the chance to be in a real Hpnotiq Ad!  While I may be a bit bored of fashion darling Ms. Cara, I chose this for MY fav glam look...unusual but damn cool.  And blue liner is a nice little nod to the bevvie above.

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For this challenge Hpnotiq wants you to show them your very best head-turning, eye-catching makeup style!  And if you have any beauty tips...make sure to share them!  You can enter as many times as you want! Snap a pic of your own, or find a pic online. To enter visit http://9nl.it/irby/, visit Hpnotiq’s Facebook page or follow @Hpnotiq on twitter and tweet them your picture using the hashtag #GLAMLOUDER.

Full contest rules can be found here.

This post was sponsored by Hpnotiq.

Etsy Monday: Lenny Mud. And GIVEAWAY.

Well, hello, my little cabbages.  I know Etsy Monday has been missing for the past few weeks but we are back in FULL force!

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Now, if you don't know me too well, you may not know that I lived in London for almost 8 years.  While in London, along with a bit of practice, I learned to love a good cup of tea.  Admittedly, I have not yet mastered the art of brewing and properly making a cup that won't get me laughed at by my English peers but baby steps.  You may also not know that I have the best/worst taste in music ever.  And don't you start judging me.  I just admit to liking the things some people rock out to in secret.  Long story short, when I decided to move back to the States to go to school, my dear friend Beaver (yes) sent me a school supply package which included a nice supply of pencils and a mug to help with the brews I would be making for late night study sessions.  BUT it wasn't just ANY mug.  It was LIONEL RICHIE.  From Lenny Mud.  So...love affair commence.

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What's better to enjoy a lovely cup of tea with than a badass mug?  Exactly.  Lenny is the artist's studio cat...who is apparently as good at breaking ceramics as the artist is at making them.  I love this sense of humor.  It's obvious, it doesn't apologize for itself and it can't help but make you grin.

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Did you say GIVEAWAY?!  Heck yes.  One very lucky Thrill of the Chaise reader will win a Lenny Mud mug of their choice! To enter, simply click here.  The giveaway starts today and runs until the end of the day on July 17th.  Open to U.S. residents only.

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(All images c/o Lenny Mud)

Insta-Wedding-Gram.

Oh heyyyyyy!  Well, I am back and have very nearly recovered from one of the most memorable weekends (extended weekend...4 day extravaganza...whatever you like) of my life.  First of all, I'm in love with Vermont.  I wasn't so much in love with the 6.5 hours it took me to get there but if that is the route you take to pure gorgeousness and the nicest people in the world, game on.  Things did start getting very confusing when I realized I was so far north that I was picking up French-Canadian radio stations...  

If this is the view from the parking lot of The Round Barn, you can only imagine what the rest of the place looked like...and I apologize I didn't think to actually get more shots of that.

From the first night fireside hang out to the rehearsal dinner at the lovely Pitcher Inn to the big day itself at The Round Barn, everything was thoughtful, fun and full of love.  I won't get all mushy about all the very special moments had over the weekend but I did want to share it all through my eyes (or phone, rather).

Welcome Bag in my room upon arrival, complete with beer, cheese, crackers and maple candies that are sure to send you on a 4-day sugar high.

'Guard dog' at The Round Barn who was very old and happy to get some of my attention...but also inexplicably soaking wet.

Page in a book about love that were in each of our rooms.  Also, story of my life.

Gifts for the Maids.

And an extra special gift for little miss Maid of Honor (moi).  A necklace by *** of dyed, vintage lace.

I slept with the bride the night before the wedding while the groom took my room.  And we were treated to coffee in bed by the very thoughtful mothers.

Best buddies getting ready (in the adorable robes the bride gifted to all of us).

Our bouquets of my favorite flowers, peonies.

The bride and all her maids.

My favorite dress in my closet now.

Progressively getting dressed...

At the reception (come on, would have been totally inappropriate for me to be Instagramming while at the ceremony...right?)

Beautiful Bride.

Bourbon Bacon Caramel Popcorn for afters.

Now after these images were all taken, we did an awful lot of dancing and drinking and then some more drinking at the 'after party'.  At said after party, I was approached by the groom and bride's brother to participate in something called a 'shot ski'.  Which sounded much more adorable before an actual ski with shot glasses attached to it was put in my face.  Needless to say, I smelled of whisky for 2 days straight and was woken up the morning after the wedding by the groom delivering two Advil to my face.  So no.  You don't get to see any of the pictures I attempted to capture there.  Nor the video in the van ride home that I took because I thought everyone was singing 'We Will Rock You' (they weren't, the radio was).  And I will tell you that, yes, eating wedding cake with my hands in the living room of the inn when we got back was equal parts totally awesome and totally gross.  All in all, a success.  Oh, and this happened at one point:

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A huge congrats to Allie and John!  Eat all the pasta Italy has to offer in my honor.  Many thanks.

c/o Hendrickson Photography

Goin' To The Chapel & My Best Friend's Gonna Get Married.

That's right...I leave today for Vermont to be by my oldest, dearest friend's side as she ties the knot this weekend!  I have been looking forward to being Allie's Maid of Honor my whole life (quite literally) and when it came down to it, asking me to be her Maid of Honor was actually a call by Allie to more or less remind me that she would not be asking me if I wanted the job but rather telling me I had it.  There was something about being legally bound by the best friend pact we buried in her front yard once that was quite quickly (and accidentally) mown up by her father.  In short, exactly how I wanted to be asked. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GARRV6XW5KE]

While you won't find me hosting any kind of 'roast' of the bride during my speech this weekend, I didn't want these videos I came across of us to go to waste.  And, in all fairness, the joke is just as much on me as it is on her.  Above is my first birthday party where little Allie would like to give me a smooch and I, first, haven't gotten the hang of that yet as you can hear my mother call out, but am also quite dazzled by her party hat.  And while the Wilson Phillips ending of Bridesmaids may have been nostalgic for many of us, it really did hit home with Allie and I (and my brother Tucker, who steals the show in this).  I also think it would be unfair if I didn't point out Allie's fashionable semi-crimped hair.  Werk it, gurl!

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While I didn't do a post on Allie's Bridal Shower, I did want to share a few pictures of the day...that led Pinterest to become my arch-enemy and I set out to make almost everything I could find on the website.  I was covered in spray adhesive and pink paper for a week.  Because that, ladies and gentlemen, is what love is.

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So Thrill of the Chaise may be quiet for the next few days but make sure to follow me over on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook because I'll be sure to be sharing as much as I can from this very special event!  And congrats to the happy couple!

A Beautiful Day.

Things have been all quiet on the Thrill of the Chaise front for a few days and I wanted to catch you up on the reason for the radio silence.  If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you may have caught on that I flew across the ocean this past week to celebrate the union of two of my favorite people in the world. 3

I wrote about Stu & John for the first time almost two years ago (goodness me!) when I helped John in planning a two-week proposal extravaganza, where he surprised Stu with a 'birthday trip' to NYC.  And it was a birthday trip to NYC but it was also a big plan to propose and also visit my family and I in Connecticut for a week to further help them celebrate.  It was quite the whirlwind and you can read the entire, lovely story here.  I wrote about Stu & John for the second time when I used their lovely story as the subject of a school project.  You can see the video I made, complete with my attempts at being at artist, here.

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This past week, my parents and I flew to England for their wedding...which could not have been more perfect.  The ceremony was heartfelt and personal.  The details, including Jessica Fletcher from Murder She Wrote encouraging us all to type the boys a note on her ancient typewriter, a candy bar to celebrate where the boys met (a club called The Candy Bar), and cake toppers complete with their two adorable Labrador's, were constant delights throughout the day.  Our Alice in Wonderland themed English tea was just about as precious as it got.  And it really is no surprise that we all danced into the wee hours of the morning.  So I wanted to share some of my favorite shots from the day.

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Wishing Stu & John a huge congrats on their union, a lifetime of love and happiness, and a freaking incredible two weeks in Thailand!

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Wantful: Possibly The Best Gift Ever.

I love giving gifts.  There is something I adore about the hunt for something personal and unusual for a person you care about.  From the smallest token gesture to a present to celebrate something huge, it really is about the thought you put in, not the money you spend.  It's about the gesture as much as it is about what you're giving.  But every now and then, even the best giver of gifts hits a creative block.  This holiday season, it hit me hard.  I've had almost everyone I love made into Bobby Dazzler dolls and it felt a bit like 'where the hell do I go from here?!'  And then, like a little holiday fairy with a great head of hair, Bri over at DesignLoveFest swooped in and saved the day, introducing me to Wantful! There is nothing worse than giving someone a gift they aren't crazy about.  And gift hunting should not be half-assed.  Gift cards are practical but impersonal.  Money is a cop-out.  (I will still accept money, don't take that the wrong way, people who want to give me money.)  And when it came to my brother and his lovely girlfriend, who would be spending her first Christmas among our holiday craziness which involves a lot of tequila and a lot of inappropriate Secret Santa behavior following said tequila, I wanted to do something special.  Wantful is an incredible website that gives you the ability to tailor-make a beautiful, personalized book of gifts for the recipient to choose from.  Let me take you through the steps and then give it a whirl yourself...it's ridiculously fun.

wantful

1. Sign-up for Wantful and begin to 'create a gift' for whoever you would like.  You'll create a profile of sorts that is based around the interests and personality of the person you are giving to, including what your relationship is to the person, what the gift is for, what their style is, where they would spend their free time, the kind of home they would love to live in, how organized they are, and so on.  This is all done very visually and is a joy to complete.  Remember, you can save all the various gifts you are creating so you can come back, revisit and edit until you're ready to order.

Wantful women's assortment

2. After completing the profile, you'll be given a huge selection of recommended gifts according to the profile you created.  All of these gifts are part of a beautifully curated collection items from artists and designers around the world.  They are unusual, practical, personal...everything you could want is here.  So what do you do now?  You go through them all, learn more about each item, and then choose 12 items that the recipient of your gift will be able to choose from.  Have fun with it!  It's brilliant!

Wantful men's assortment

3. Once you've chosen the curated collection of 12, it's time to personalize the book or 'catalog' that you'll be giving as the first part of this gift.  You'll choose cover artwork. add a note inside and get to see a preview of what the hard copy will look like.  (It's beautiful, by the way...I couldn't believe what a stunning presentation arrived in the mail!)  You have the option to send the book as an email but I think the physical book is such a treat.  Send it directly to the person or have it sent so you can hand over the book yourself.  You can even set a date in the future to have it sent!  The folks at Wantful have thought of EVERYTHING.

Wantful Gift Book

4. When you give your gift, the recipient will be able to browse the collection you personally curated for them and then can choose one of the items to have sent directly to them (shipping costs are already included in your price).  All they need to do is sign onto Wantful, enter the personalized code found in their book and pick them item they want sent to them.  If they can't make up their mind?  Gifts are available for individual purchase.  Amazing.

Inside Gift Book

5. When they choose their gift, you'll get an email letting you know what they picked and they can even send a little note along with it!  How cute!

Both my brother and his girlfriend were so excited about getting to see what kinds of things I had picked for them and then getting to choose their gifts.  It's such a beautifully personal gift that allows the ability to choose exactly the gift they want.  I honestly cannot say enough amazing things about Wantful.  It is as much fun to create as it is to receive.

Go! Have fun! Be Wantful!

(All images c/o Wantful)

Chiles En Nogada: My New Culinary Best Friend.

I've been a little lazy about writing the past few days but I like to think it's ok since the time I would usually spend writing, I am spending exploring, enjoying and relaxing.  ('Relax' is not generally a word in my vocabulary, though not for my want of trying.)  Anyway, point is, I'm not avoiding you.  So calm down. When I first arrived in San Miguel last year about this time, I didn't know what I was in for.  This city reveals itself to you slowly and it made no exception for me.  But all it takes, really, is a good drink and a great meal and I'll get on board with anything.  Seriously.  Write that down.  Needless to say, both were delivered on my first night in the form of a margarita and Chiles en Nogada.  And I was more than happy to repeat that moment in my life the other night, in the same restaurant, at the same table, with the same amount of excitement.

This dish celebrates the colors of the Mexican flag, the bold flavors of the country and is all around awesome.  Roasted poblano chiles are stuffed with ground pork and/or beef, cinnamon, garlic, onion, raisins and so forth.  They are then covered in an amazing creamy walnut sauce and finished with beautiful and crunchy pomegranate seeds.  WHAT?!  Yeah.  Badass.  I'll be sure to try it on my own when I get back home to the States but I will always get excited about a visit to El Pegaso on my visits here for what I now deem one of my favorite all-time meals.

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Chiles en Nogada (Recipe taken and modified from Our Life In Food)

For the chiles

4 poblano chiles

1/2 lb. ground pork an/or beef

1/4 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 Roma tomato, cored and chopped

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped

1/4 cup golden raisins

Salt and pepper, to taste

For the walnut sauce

1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup sour cream

4 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup milk

For serving

Pomegranate seeds

Chopped walnuts

Fresh chopped cilantro (if you like that sort of thing...which I don't...at all...but I promise not to stand in your way)

1. Roast the chiles under the broiler until blackened. Be careful. Be a good judge of this. And yeah, s**t is already getting real. Place the chiles in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let these bad boys steam for about 20 minutes.

2. While that magic happens, add your ground meat to a saute pan and cook until it is cooked through and just starting to brown.  Add the onions and cook until they have softened.  Stir in garlic, cinnamon, oregano, thyme and allspice. (You're doing great.) Add the tomato, apple and raisins.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. To make the sauce (I hope you're reading this ahead of time), place walnuts in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat, allow them to cool and then rub them to try to remove as much of their skin as possible.  Place the walnuts in a food processor with all the other mentioned sauce ingredients above and mix it all up until smooth.

4. Peel the skin from the chiles. Cut a lengthwise slit in each and remove the seeds.  Stuff each chile with the meat mixture.  Top the stuffed chiles with sauce, garnish with whatever you like from the list and serve!

Stay tuned for lots more from my visit to Mexico...but in the meantime, I'm off to SHOP.  Psssst, if you want to keep up with all my goings on, follow me over on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (@thrillofthechaise)!