Easy DIY Holiday Gifts

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Tight budget for the holidays this year? We’ve all been there! Today we’re sharing two of our favorite, inexpensive and easy DIYs that make wonderful gifts. Customizable and perfect for just about anyone on your list, these quick and easy projects are a fun way to finish off those last few gifts in an afternoon. Whether you’re crafting alone or with the family, we guarantee these projects will be something the whole crowd will enjoy and put a smile on the recipients’ faces!


DIY Glass Ornaments

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Glass Ornaments are easier than you would think and they make a great impression! A simple winter wonderland or festive classic colors, these are two of our favorite ornament designs and each take 10 minutes, tops! Perfect to make in bulk and distribute to everyone in the family or grab as a last minute add-on for a forgotten party.

What You’ll Need:

  • Glass Ornaments
  • Small trees
  • Fake snow
  • Super glue or hot glue
  • Paint pens
  • Festive paper confetti

Instructions:

For a winter wonderland, start by hot gluing or super gluing your Christmas tree to the bottom of your ornament (we used tweezers to guide it into place). Once this dries, create a paper cone and pour your fake snow into the ornament, as much or as little as desired.

For your festive paper confetti ornament, we started by writing a simple “Merry Christmas” on the outside. Once this dries, simply fill the ornament with your confetti and call it a day!


DIY Hand Decorated Mugs

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A hand decorated mug is a great gift for almost anyone in your life! Whether it’s for their morning coffee or tea, or even a yummy mug cake recipe, everyone can use a great mug. Designing or painting the mug gives the perfect touch of personalization to put a smile on anyone’s face.

What You’ll Need:

  • Plain Ceramic Mugs
  • Assorted Paint Pens
  • Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Painters Tape
 
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Instructions:

Either paint or draw your desired design on your mug. If case of mistakes, take a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol to remove any errors! Bake mugs at 250 F for 30 minutes to set your design. Add some hot cocoa goodies for the perfect gift!

Cinnamon Star Bread

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Do you need some food inspiration for that upcoming holiday party you volunteered to bake for? We’ve got the perfect recipe for you! This cinnamon star bread is festive, easy to make, and wow worthy. This bread recipe can either be an appetizer or dessert, and its filling is versatile! In lieu of cinnamon, use some gingerbread or apple pie spice. To make it more savory use jams, cheeses, or pesto! There are endless combinations we hope to inspire you to use for this star bread!


CINNAMON STAR BREAD


Ingredients:

For the Filling:

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon

For the Dough:

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • ¼ cup potato flour or ½ cup instant mashed potato flakes
  • ¼ cup nonfat dry milk
  • ¾-1 cup lukewarm water
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
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Directions:

Sift AP flour, potato flour, and dry milk through a strainer into a large mixing bowl (skip the sifting step in using instant mashed potatoes).  Add the rest of the dough ingredients into the bowl and mix and knead using a mixer, your hands, or a bread machine until soft and smooth. (We used a bread machine, which took about 50 minutes.)

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour until nearly doubled in size. Then, divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, shape each piece into a ball, and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the sugar and cinnamon (filling ingredients) in a small bowl.

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On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll 1 piece of dough into a 10 inch circle (it doesn’t have to perfect!). Brush a think coat of beaten egg on the surface and evenly sprinkle ⅓ of the cinnamon-sugar mixture, leaving ¼” of bare dough perimeter.

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Roll out a second circle, the same size as the first, and gently place on top of the filling covered circle. Brush with egg and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar as before. Repeat the layering process, leaving the top circle bare. Make sure to reserve some egg to brush over the star once it’s shaped.

Place a 2 ½”-3” round cookie cutter, can, or drinking glass in the center of the dough circle as a guide. Press lightly into the dough to make an imprint and remove it. Using a sharp knife or scissors, cut the circle into 16 equal strips from the outside of the dough to the imprint (be sure to cut through all layers!).

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Using 2 hands, pick up 2 adjacent dough strips and twist away from each other twice so the top side is facing up again. Repeat with remaining strips of dough so that you have 8 pairs of strips.

Pinch the pairs of strips together to create a star-like shape with 8 points. Transfer the star on the parchment paper to a baking sheet. Cover and let rise until puffy, about 45 minutes. While rising preheat the oven to 400℉.

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Brush the star with a thin coat of beaten egg and bake 12-15 minutes until it’s golden brown with dark cinnamon streaks (the center should register 200℉). Let cool for 10 minutes before serving! Dust lightly with powdered sugar if desired.


Notes & Tips:

The dry milk and potato flour/flakes ensure the dough retains moisture. If you do not have dry milk, you can replace the water with lukewarm regular milk. If you don’t have potato flakes, omit this ingredient and decrease the amount of water used to ¾ cups. Your star may be slightly paler in color.

This bread can be baked and frozen for up to 1 month. Once it’s cool, wrap it airtight and store in the coolest part of the freezer. When you want to serve, thaw at room temperature then heat in the oven at 350℉ for 15 minutes until warmed through!

Find a gluten free version here!

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Let us know how your star bread turned out and what flavor inspirations you used!

Recipe courtesy of King Arthur Flour

National Hot Chocolate Day: Chai Hot Chocolate

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Happy National Hot Chocolate Day! To celebrate we’ve decided to share this amazing Chai Hot Chocolate recipe from Now, Forager! Although this recipe takes a little time and finesse, don’t feel daunted! It is easy and definitely worth it! And be sure to read our personal notes and tips at the end to help ease some of your initial hesitations!


FROTHY CHAI HOT CHOCOLATE WITH MILK CHOCOLATE GANACHE

Total Time: 8+ hours (includes ganache cooling & firming time)

Makes: 2 (7 ounce) hot chocolates

 

FOR THE CHAI MILK CHOCOLATE GANACHE:

In a small saucepan bring ½ cup heavy cream, 6 cardamom pods (lightly crushed), ⅛ tsp. black peppercorns (lightly crushed), 6 whole cloves, 1 star anise, ¼ of a vanilla bean's seeds and scraped pod, a pinch of fleur de sel, and 2 tbsp. loose leaf Assam tea to a strong boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes.

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Meanwhile, melt 6 oz. of 38%-46% milk chocolate over a double boiler stirring occasionally. Set aside once melted.

Strain steeped cream into a clean bowl and discard spices. Measure amount of cream and transfer back into the saucepan. Add more heavy cream (about ¼ cup)until there is again ½ cup of total cream. Bring to a simmer and then pour over melted milk chocolate.

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Gently stir the hot cream into the chocolate with slow small circular motions in the center of the bowl. As it emulsifies, make your circles bigger and mix until the ganache is fully combined and smooth. Let the ganache cool at room temperature until firm (about 8 hours or overnight). To speed up the firming process, you can allow your room temperature ganache to firm up in the refrigerator.

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FOR THE FROTHY CHAI HOT CHOCOLATE:

Place the ganache into a high speed blender and set aside.

In a small saucepan bring ¾ cup whole milk and a pinch of fleur de sel to a boil. Pour over the ganache in the blender and let sit for 1 minute before placing on blender lid.

Blend on high for 15-20 seconds until frothy. Pour hot chocolate into a mug and add a star anise and light dusting of cinnamon for garnishes.

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NOTES & TIPS:

All of these spices can be found in the spice aisle of your grocery store. To help save on cost, most of these spices can be found for considerably less at local Asian grocery stores!

Fleur de sel can be substituted for any course sea salt, although it will not be as crunchy or flavorful. Fleur de sel can be ordered on Amazon if it’s not available at your grocery store.

Don’t skimp on the quality of your milk chocolate! The chocolate ganache is the star of the drink and you want its sweetness to be balanced! Cheap chocolates will make your hot chocolate overly sweet. We used Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips.

If you don’t have a heat resistant bowl to create a double boiler, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave 30 seconds at a time and mixing between each interval.

Any remaining ganache can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. This is especially great if you want to make this recipe last a few days!

For extra frothy chai hot chocolate, make each serving separately in the blender! (That is, place only ⅓ of the ganache and ¼ cup of the hot whole milk into the blender at a time.)


How to Choose Your Invitation Suite with Basic Invite

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Recently engaged or planning on hitting that milestone soon? We're so excited to share with you a step-by-step timeline and guide to selecting your wedding invitation suite with Basic Invite! Learn more about what sets their company apart from the rest, and what they see as up-and-coming trends for the 2018 season!

Who is Basic Invite?

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PI: How was Basic Invite started?

BI: Basic Invite was started after the owner was shopping for wedding invitations for his own wedding. It was during this process that he realized the options were very limited and were available as is - meaning no customization options. So, he decided he wanted to change that and began the online stationery design company now known as Basic Invite.

...we strive for perfection and always stay ahead of the trend curve. We are consistently adding new designs and updating our system to work as effectively and user-friendly as possible.

PI: What sets Basic Invite apart from the competition?

BI: We have quite a few features that set us about from our competition. Our range of color choices is one of our biggest draws. We offer 180 custom colors on every single design! Other companies allows color customization, but only offer certain colors on certain designs and just a handful of options per card. So, we pride ourselves on that.

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Currently, we are the only online stationery company that offers clear wedding invitations and save the dates. Our clear collection is new and wildly popular with brides. These are made from clear vinyl card stock and printed with bright white ink. We offer this line in both clear and frosted.

In addition to that, we strive for perfection and always stay ahead of the trend curve. We are consistently adding new designs and updating our system to work as effectively and user-friendly as possible.

PI: You offer so many different styles and designs, where does your creative team draw its inspiration from?

BI: We partner with freelance designers from all over the globe. So, we are always adding new design trends that may not even be trending in the US. Our designers are great at trend spotting and often use design trends happening in other creative areas as inspiration for their designs.

Some of our most unique and popular looks are our watercolor washes, geode and agate, and of course our plethora of floral designs.

Our most popular product is definitely our wedding invitations. That’s what Basic Invite is built on and what we are best known for.
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PI: Do you have any tips or suggestions on the etiquette a couple should follow in terms of wording on their invitations?

BI: Of course! In fact, we have an entire page dedicated to etiquette. To learn more click here. Etiquette has definitely taken a turn toward the less formal approach. With modern families and a vast variety of situations, proper etiquette isn’t as vital as it used to be. With that said, being clear with your information and correct in who you are addressing to is most important.

PI: What do you suggest as a timeline for sending Save the Date cards and the formal wedding invitation suite?

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BI: At 6+ months, order your save the dates. Send them out 4+ months prior to the big day. For wedding invitations, we suggest starting to shop for designs and order samples at about 8+ months. Finally, placing your order at 4+ months and sending them at about 3+ months. That’s based on a one-year engagement, so if you’re planning a quicker walk down the aisle we would suggest getting right down to business and sending save the dates no longer than three months prior and invites shortly thereafter.

PI: What is your most popular or favorite product?

BI: Our most popular product is definitely our wedding invitations. That’s what Basic Invite is built on and what we are best known for. Personally, I love our personal and business stationery. It’s completely customizable just like our other products and it’s just too cute! Foil is always essential too!

The Selection Process

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When a couple gets engaged, a long list of to do’s automatically comes along with it. Guest lists, venues, menus… the list goes on eventually making its way to wedding invitations. That’s where Basic Invite comes into play. Being an online stationery design company, couples often start “window shopping” for inspiration and inquiring about the process before they are actually ready to order. With that said, they do have an average timeline laid out for couples to help them stay on track with the process and help ensure their wedding invitations are perfection.

Brides-to-be tend to start looking for their save the dates right away. More so out of excitement than necessity as a date isn’t always set immediately. And that’s something Basic Invite encourages because the sooner you get started with design ideas and the better couples familiarize themselves with the website, the smoother the process will go.

Now, to break it down! Based on a one-year timeline, below is a checklist of what the experts at Basic Invite have found works best.

8+ months: Choose your colors and order a custom sample

  • Basic Invite offers 180 colors and all of their designs are completely customizable, so picking your colors is a great place to start! That way you aren’t overwhelmed when the time comes to place your order.
  • Order a custom sample. This way couples have a chance to experience the entire ordering process from start to finish. And seeing the product first hand will help ensure that the couple knows that the products are as high-quality as they imagine them to be. Also, who doesn’t love a good sample?!

6+ months: Order your save the dates.

  • This will leave plenty of time to design, order, and receive your save the dates and enough time to get them into their envelopes, addressed, and sent out without feeling rushed.

4+ months: Send your save the dates and order your wedding invitations

  • By this time you have your save the dates ready to go and it's time to move on to the main course. Here is a couple’s chance to really choose the wedding suite of their dreams. Sticking with the same design as your save the date is a common theme, but with over 800 wedding invitation designs, choosing a fresh look is never a bad idea! Try channeling your wedding day aesthetic to give your guests a peek into your wedding style and start the excitement early!

3+ months: Send out your invitations and order your wedding day stationery

  • Basic Invite always suggests utilizing their address printing services. This way you don’t have to hand address hundreds of envelopes yourself and also will make for a clean crisp look right off the bat.
  • Wedding day stationery includes programs, menus, wedding guestbooks, and thank you notes.

A couple of extra tips:

  • A rule of thumb is to send out thank you notes about two weeks post-wedding. That way your memories are fresh in your mind and will make your thank you's that much more personal. Wedding guests will expect appreciation and will love receiving custom thank you cards.
  • If a couple is planning a shorter engagement, adjust the timeline accordingly. Skipping save the dates and going straight to the wedding invitations is one suggestion. Or including your save the dates within a wedding suite is another.

2018 Trends

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Before any of you newly engaged couples head over to Basic Invite, let’s talk 2018 wedding invite trends!

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Watercolor Washes

In the 2017 season we saw watercolor washes flood the design gates and so far we aren’t anticipating any changes there. Watercolor wedding invitations are such a sweet and romantic choice and you can make them work for almost any wedding style and definitely during any season of the year.

 
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Rose Gold Foil

Of course the classic gold and silver foil options are timeless trends, but we are seeing a rise in rose gold foil for the upcoming wedding season. Rose gold is trending in general and brides are going to go crazy over this come the new year. Foil is available in flat or raised and adds a chic touch to any invitation.

 
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Geode and Agate

Modern and artsy. Think art deco, rich gemstone color schemes, and marble patterns. One of Basic Invite's personal favorite upcoming trends! This is a great choice for the modern bride or a couple who likes an edgier yet dreamy look.

 
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All Inclusive

Wedding suites are great when you house them in one of Basic Invite's pocket envelopes because it keeps each piece stacked nicely in place and makes for a clean and organized look for your guests. But next year, Basic Invite is predicting that all inclusive seal-and-send wedding invitations will be the new pocket envelopes. These will be so nice because of their all-in-one convenience. Guests will love having to only keep track of a single wedding invitation with all of the vital details enclosed rather than holding onto multiple pieces that may get lost along the way. Stay tuned for more!

 

This post was sponsored by Basic Invite. Interested in your own sponsored post? Email us at editorial@parsimonyvintage.com for more information.

2018 Pantone Color of the Year Inspiration Board

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Did you hear the news?! Pantone has officially named Ultra Violet as the 2018 color of the year. The color is described as “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade” that “communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.” However you want to describe it, we’re having all the feels! We can already see the beautiful Ultra Violet weddings that will fill 2018 and wanted to help grow your vision with our 2018 Pantone Color of the Year inspiration board.

Meet Kristen of Charleston Candle Co.

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Have you ever had such a passion for something that you feel inclined to start a business to honor it? Meet Kristen, owner of Charleston Candle Co. We caught up with Kristen to hear all about her love for Charleston, what led to her decision to create a candle line to honor her city, and her number one tip for anyone thinking of starting their own business. Be sure to check out her shop and follow her on Instagram!


PI: We love that you find inspiration for your scents from Charleston landmarks! What drew you to the city and the idea of creating scents based off of its landmarks?

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KS: I moved to Charleston in 2013 after my husband and I got married – he was still attending school which was the practical reason for living here, but we both knew we wanted to stay in Charleston.  There is so much history here and always something to do.  I love how each part of Charleston has its own unique identity.

PI: Have you ever thought about starting another candle collection inspired by another city?

KS: I have briefly thought about collections based on other cities, but I’m not sure I could really do another city justice since I have such a passion for Charleston.  We are definitely working on more collections that aren’t necessarily Charleston-specific, but will still be southern inspired.

PI: What’s your favorite scent?

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KS: My favorite scent overall is “The Gold Bug” candle from our Fall Collection.  It has such a unique and pretty scent that I really could have burning all year long.  From our signature scents, it’s hard to pick a favorite – but I really love “Sweetgrass Basket” and “Sunday Brunch Mimosa”.  They both have fresh, vibrant smells that always remind me of being downtown on the weekend.

PI: What made you want to venture into the candle business?

KS: I started making candles for fun, but when I thought of pairing candle scents to different places and ideas from Charleston, I thought others might love a fun reminder of their time here too.  Candles are one of those things that you can never have too many of – and always provide a relaxing and calming presence to any space.  I love that our candles go a step further and help our customers relive special memories from Charleston.

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PI:  What tips do you have for someone looking to start their own business?

KS: So many people have amazing ideas for a new product or service, but in an “Etsy World” it’s easy to get lost among the thousands of other new businesses that are always popping up.  What makes your product or idea special?  Figure out your motivation behind what you’re selling, because that is what customers are going to buy into before they commit to purchasing a product or service from you.


GIVEAWAY!

We’re so excited to share one of Kristen’s deliciously scented Christmas candles. Head over to Instagram for your chance to win!

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Want your company to be featured on Parsimony? Email us at editorial@parsimonyvintage.com for more information!

DIY Holiday Home Decor

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Looking to add a festive pop to your walls? Us too! We love a good, free DIY project to add to the holiday cheer. A beautiful coloring page may not sounds like it would make a huge difference, but add some pops of color, throw it in a frame, and flank it with some framed wrapping paper and you have yourself  some beautiful decor on a budget! One of the best parts of creating your own decor is that you can easily pick whatever colors match your theme best. Coloring has proven to be beneficial to your health at any age, and the holiday madness is the perfect time to take a step back and do something for yourself.

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Be sure to download the PDF version of our coloring page and tag us in your posts, we would love to see how your creations turn out!

Winter Wedding Inspiration Board

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There are endless ways to capture winter and the holidays on your big day. To help you get inspired for your winter wedding, we’ve come up with a variety of winter themed wedding details! This season is all about greenery, dark red accents, and whimsical decor. So, if your wedding is Christmas themed, play up the green and red color palette. If it’s a winter wonderland theme, add more lights and faux snow elements! There is no shortage of winter elements to brighten your special day!



Winter Bucket List

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Need some fun holiday activity inspiration?! We’ve got you covered! Our Winter Holiday Bucket List has 50 winter and holiday themed activities for you and your loved ones to enjoy this season! And download our printable PDF to check off each one as you go!


  • Go ice skating
  • Go sledding
  • Build a snowman
  • Make and decorate cookies
  • Build a gingerbread house
  • Drink hot cocoa in front of a fire
  • Put up decorations around the house
  • Make a fancy winter cocktail
  • Take a drive to look at Christmas lights
  • Wrap gifts
  • Send a holiday card
  • Do random acts of kindness
  • Buy a matching scarf, mittens, & hat set
  • Wear pj’s all day
  • Kiss someone under the mistletoe
  • Donate old toys
  • Watch holiday movies
  • Read a good book
  • Light scented candles
  • Go skiing/snowboarding
  • Go snowshoeing
  • Set goals for the New Year
  • Make a handmade gift
  • Splurge on a party outfit
  • Make s'mores
  • Make a wreath
  • Build a blanket fort
  • Make paper snowflakes
  • Have a snowball fight
  • Drink eggnog
  • Eat a candy cane
  • Start a new tradition
  • Make a bird feeder
  • Make a snow angel
  • Play a board game
  • Have a coffee date with a friend
  • Make peppermint bark
  • Make an ornament
  • Make a popcorn garland
  • Have an ugly sweater party
  • Plant bulbs indoors for the spring
  • Rock a red lip
  • Create a holiday playlist
  • Attend a tree lighting
  • Participate in a Secret Santa
  • See a play or musical
  • Learn to knit a scarf
  • Call an old friend
  • Catch snowflakes on your tongue
  • Have a winter photoshoot

Honeymoon Hotspot: New Orleans, LA

Image Source: City Profile

Image Source: City Profile

The wedding dress may be hung up, but the excitement is just beginning - it’s time for your honeymoon! It’s easy to break the budget by planning a trip to a tropical island somewhere, but many people fail to realize the amount of incredible potential honeymoon adventures right here in the states. New Orleans, Louisiana is a great option for newlyweds looking to immerse themselves in a whole new cultural experience, all while basking in the new, romantic glory of marriage!

If you like bold, bright, and bohemian places, check out the Bywater neighborhood just outside of New Orleans. Jackson Square is a picturesque half-an-hour walk from the popular Maison de Macarty Hotel, which makes it a fantastic choice for newlywed couples looking for a bit of distance and alone time, while always having the option to explore.

For those who’d rather be right in the hustle and bustle of it all, the French Quarter is the perfect place to stay. Hotel Montelone is a luxurious (but low-cost!) option that’s central to the liveliest parts of the city. The best part? It’s home to the famous Carousel Bar & Lounge - a must-see for anyone visiting New Orleans.

Image Source: Go NOLA

Image Source: Go NOLA

Because of the fantastic streetcar system in New Orleans, we suggest that instead of renting a car, you explore the city on the historic St. Charles Avenue line, the oldest in the world! This is a win-win-win - it’s cheaper, it’s efficient, and it’s another exciting new adventure to cross off the NOLA bucket list with your sweetheart!

Walking and exploring is also a great option for getting around New Orleans since the streets are always lined with music, food, and art. Here, you’re never just going from point A to point B - every little step is another entirely new experience! Stroll down the Moon Walk to hear live musicians, take in the great Louisiana weather, and see the best view New Orleans has to offer.

Guided walking tours are also available and some of the most popular are food-centric, of course! A super in-demand option is the French Quarter Tasting Tour, an inexpensive sampling of the area’s most popular restaurants. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all of the food choices and restaurants at your fingertips, this is a great place to start. Spend a day together eating classic Creole and Cajun food at the oldest restaurants in town, such as Antoine’s and Tujague’s. Walk around hand-in-hand and get a taste of NOLA, all at once! This tour, as well as its other options (a day-long cooking class where you can make your very own Gumbo and a cocktail tour where you can sip on classic drinks) are all sought-after, so be sure to book in advance.

Image Source: Where Writers Win

Image Source: Where Writers Win

Bayona is another raved about restaurant in the heart of the French Quarter with a gorgeous courtyard. Its cell phone-free policy makes for a calming, romantic atmosphere: the perfect end to a busy day of exploring. After dinner, head to The Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta to enjoy a drink in an intimate music hall, or people-watch from your balcony as the night winds down.

Make sure to take the time to relax with one another, too. Wake up in the morning, grab a coffee at the iconic Cafe Du Monde, and get a romantic couple’s massage at Spa Atlantis to finally get past all that wedding stress!

New Orleans is clearly made up of more than just its incredible food. It’s the perfect go-to spot for a couple on a budget that still wants to experience something new and exciting. It’s the quintessential honeymoon spot for newlyweds looking for a romantic trip full of history, culture, and charm, and the Jambalaya definitely doesn’t hurt, either!

Meet Ashley of Kaktos Rose

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We were lucky enough to chat with Ashley Futris, one half of the sister-owned Kaktos Rose duo, about what it’s like to work with your sister, their Silobration experience, and more! Katie and Ashley started Kaktos Rose after seeing so many products that they loved and thinking “we can do that.” Starting with metal art and branching out into cake topper and beyond, Kaktos Rose was born. Be sure to check out their site, and Instagram account too!


PI: Where do you find your inspiration?

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AF: Oh man, we find it all over, I would especially while traveling!

PI: Living in Waco, how was it to be a part of the Silobration experience?

AF: It’s always so nice to meet people from all over the country and the world. We make great contacts for different retailers and most are happy to see that we are able to do custom! The silos have been a huge part of the growth of our business and the city itself!

PI: Did watching your mom start her own business ease the process of you starting Kaktos Rose?

AF: My Mom and Dad have always been go-getters, so we grew up that way. I guess you could say it eased it, but I’d use the word inspired it. Being a small business owner and entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. Takes an extra amount of grit!

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PI: How is it working together as sisters?

AF: It’s great. We both have different styles and different points of view and that actually works really well! You’d think it would make things more complicated but it just broadens our spectrum of customers we reach.

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PI: What’s your favorite item to make?

AF:The custom coordinates are my favorite. People request them for where they met each other, a special place in the hearts, first home, etc. I think it’s the best, thoughtful most unique gift!

I think that’s the most important thing to remember and success does not happen overnight

PI: What tips do you have for someone looking to start their own business?

AF: The time. Holidays don’t really exist, but there’s something so satisfying about building and creating something yourself and being successful. You aren’t always successful and I think that’s the most important thing to remember and success does not happen overnight. I know too many people that want to start their own business and think that it’s going to be instant success and every trade show you do is a win and that you have all this free time because you are your own boss, but that is not the case. You have to be ready to pour your entire being into it and get a little beat up along the way and realize it’s so very worth it!


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Totally in love with Kaktos Rose? Us too! Head over to our Instagram account for a chance to win this beautiful ornament!


Want your company to be featured on Parsimony? Email us at editorial@parsimonyvintage.com for more information!

Girls Night In Food Guide

Image Source: Inspired By This

Image Source: Inspired By This

You deserve a fun girls night in with your friends this weekend! To help your last minute planning be stress free, we’ve created a menu for the night! Complete with drinks, appetizer, dinner, and dessert, your friends will be begging you for the recipes! And each recipe takes thirty minutes or less!


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Here are two amazing drink options, one alcoholic and one non-alcoholic, so everyone can enjoy!

Apple Cider Margarita (serves 2)

For the Salted Rim: in a shallow dish mix ⅛ tsp. of each ground cinnamon and ground ginger, and ½ tsp. coarse salt. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of each glass, and turn glass upside down into the salt mixture to coat. Fill glasses with ice.

For the Margarita: add 3 oz. tequila, 2 oz. fresh lime juice, and 3 oz. of apple cider to a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into the glasses. Top drinks with ginger beer (about 1.5 oz. each) and garnish with apple slices!

 

Sparkling Blood Orange Mocktail (serves 2)

In a medium bowl whisk 1 cup of blood orange juice, and ½ tsp. each of ginger powder and turmeric powder.

Add ice, half of the juice mixture, and ½ cup of club soda to each glass. Add sweetener (honey, maple syrup, agave) if desired.

Garnish with mint and rosemary leave, and an orange slice!


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Appetizer

These pear and prosciutto triangles with triple cream brie are the perfect appetizer. They are cheesy (yum!), sweet, savory, and finger food! (makes 9 triangles)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 425℉ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a non-stick surface, or the parchment paper, cut 1 sheet of thawed  puff pastry into 9 equal squares. Spread ½ tbsp. of fig jam in the center of each square, and place 1 slice of pear (cut to fit if needed) and 1 slice of prosciutto on top of the jam. Equally divide 3 oz. of Brie amongst the 9 squares, and carefully pull and fold one edge of each of the squares across to form triangles. Gently press the edges of the triangles together to seal.

Brush each triangle with the egg wash, from 1 egg, and evenly sprinkle 2 tbsp. of fresh pistachios and 2 tsp. of fresh thyme, if using, overtop. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly then drizzle with the honey. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Dinner

A light spaghetti dinner cures your carbohydrate cravings and helps you save room for dessert! This spaghetti with sun-dried tomatoes and pecorino romano is delicious and only takes 20 minutes! (serves 4) Pair it with a side caesar or caprese salad!

Instructions:

Boil a well salted pot of water. Cook 16 oz. of spaghetti slightly al dente. While the pasta cooks, start the rest of the dish. Make sure to reserve about ½ cup of the pasta water!

Place ½ cup of olive oil and 2 sliced garlic cloves in a cold skillet over low heat. Cook gently for about 5 minutes to infuse the oil with the garlic. Do not burn the garlic or your oil will taste bitter! Add 14 sliced sun-dried tomatoes to the pan with garlic and olive oil and evenly spread out tomatoes.

Add the cooked pasta to the skillet, along with a pinch of chili flakes, and toss to combine. Add the pasta water and increase the heat. Cook until the water is gone - about one minute. Stir in ½ cup of pecorino romano, and serve, topped with a bit more pecorino romano, black pepper, and julienned basil. Enjoy!


Dessert

Dessert is the best part of the night, and these mini cinnamon rolls will make you cry with happiness. They are cute, gooey, sweet, and only take ten minutes to make! (makes 16 mini rolls)

For the rolls: preheat the oven to 350℉. Lay out half of an 8 oz. tube of crescent roll dough (four triangles) and pinch the seams together. Flip over and repeat. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a ¼" thick square.

Brush with 1 tbsp. of melted butter and sprinkle with as much brown sugar and cinnamon as you desire. Roll into a log and cut into 8 pieces. Repeat with the other half of the dough, and place pieces into a greased non-stick mini muffin tin. Bake for about 8 minutes until the dough is slightly brown. Cool on a wire rack.

For the icing: whisk 1 tsp. maple syrup, 1 tbsp. milk, and ¾ cup powdered sugar in a bowl and drizzle over cooled mini cinnamon rolls!


#GivingTuesday

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Today is #GivingTuesday, a global movement on the Tuesday after Cyber Monday focused on giving charitable donations, your time, or gifts to your community. #GivingTuesday is an amazing way to kick-off the season of giving and get involved in something greater. To help you find the right foundation to give back to, we’ve devised a list of amazing organizations which could use your love!  And be sure to share the #GivingTuesday movement on your social media to raise awareness!

Be sure to check out #GivingTuesday's official website  to find organizations in need local to you! Small organizations are often overlooked and can always use the extra help!


ANIMAL ORGANIZATIONS


Wildlife Conservation Network

WCN’s mission is to protect endangered species and preserve their natural habitats by supporting entrepreneurial conservationists who pursue innovative strategies for people and wildlife to co-exist and thrive.

The Humane Society of the United States

HSUS is the leading animal advocacy organization, seeking a humane world for people and animals alike. They combat large-scale cruelties such as puppy mills, animal fighting, factory farming, seal slaughter, horse cruelty, captive hunts and the wildlife trade through education and training of local organizations globally.

World Wildlife Foundation

WWF aims to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature, by: conserving the world's biological diversity and ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable.

Ahisma House

Ahimsa House is dedicated to addressing the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty. We offer services and assistance to victims of domestic violence with pets and work to raise awareness of this connection in communities throughout the state.

ASPCA

The ASPCA provides effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.


ENVIRONMENTAL & NATURE ORGANIZATONS


The Nature Conservancy

TNC conserves the lands and waters on which all life depends. Their vision is a world where the diversity of life thrives, and people act to conserve nature for its own sake and its ability to fulfill our needs and enrich our lives.

350

350 uses online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions to oppose new coal, oil, and gas projects; take money out of the companies that are heating up the planet; and build 100% clean energy solutions that work for all.

National Audubon Society

The NAS mission is to conserve of birds, other wildlife and healthy ecosystems by use of science, education and grassroots advocacy to advance conservation.

Ecotrust

Ecotrust inspires fresh thinking that creates economic opportunity, social equity, and environmental well-being. Their goal is to foster a natural model of development that creates more resilient communities, economies, and ecosystems here and around the world.

Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance’s mission is to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices, and consumer behavior.


HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS


Public Health Institute

PHI generates and promotes research, leadership and partnerships to build capacity for strong public health policy, programs, systems and practices.

Mental Health America

MHA promotes mental health, preventing mental and substance use conditions, and achieving victory over mental illnesses and addictions through advocacy, education, research and service.

Foundation for the National Institutes of Health

FNIH forges public-private partnerships and alliances to advance breakthrough biomedical discoveries that can change and improve the quality of people’s lives. Established by Congress to support the mission of the NIH, the FNIH raises funds, provides scientific expertise and administers research programs for a wide range of health challenges.

MAP International

MAP provides immediate humanitarian assistance and relief aid including medicines and health supplies to people left homeless and without access to basic services and serves all people, regardless of religion, gender, race, nationality or ethnic background.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)

RAINN is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization which carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.


HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATIONS


Nothing But Nets

Nothing But Nets is a global grassroots campaign created to raise awareness, funds, and voices to fight malaria and deliver nets to families in need, along with other crucial malaria interventions like diagnostics, treatment, and training of healthcare workers.

American Red Cross

The ARC provides relief to victims of disaster and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.

International Rescue Committee

IRC responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic well-being and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster.

American Refugee Committee

The ARC provides opportunities and expertise to refugees, displaced people, and host communities. It’s committed to the delivery of programs that ensure measurable quality and lasting impact for the people they serve.


SPORTS & PLAY ORGANIZATIONS


Special Olympics

The Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

US Soccer Foundation

By supporting the development of places to play, places to grow, and places to learn, USSF's goal is to ensure that children in underserved communities have easy and affordable access to quality soccer programs that support their physical and personal development.

Women's Sport Foundation

The WSF is dedicated to creating leaders by ensuring all girls access to sports.

Stride Adaptive Sports

SAS’s mission is to educate and empower individuals with special needs in life-changing sport and recreation programs to sustain healthy, active and fun lifestyles.

Peaceful Playgrounds Foundation

PPF’s mission is to help foundations and corporations who desired to donate physical activity programs to schools, churches, and other organizations across the country by providing supplies, support, training, and activity kits to organizations after natural disasters.


ART ORGANIZATIONS


Fractured Atlas

FA empowers artists, arts organizations, and other cultural sector stakeholders by eliminating practical barriers to artistic expression, so as to foster a more agile and resilient cultural ecosystem.

Americans for the Arts

AA’s mission is to serve, advance, and lead the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain, and support the arts in America.

Art in Action

Art in Action provides a high quality, comprehensive K–8 visual arts curriculum. Students learn about works of art from cultures around the world, how to look at art using art vocabulary and concepts, and how to express themselves by creating their own unique masterpiece.

ART WORKS Projects

AWP mission is to use design and the arts to raise awareness of and educate the public about significant human rights issues, and provides visual advocacy tools which produce action on human rights crises at the grassroots, media, and policy levels.

Music for Relief

Music for Relief’s mission is to respond to natural disasters as they occur to help survivors recover and rebuild, and to mitigate damage caused by natural disasters by reducing greenhouse gases and educating the public about climate change.


CHILDREN'S ORGANIZATIONS


St. Jude Chldren’s Research Hospital

SJCRH advances cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.

No Kid Hungry

NKH connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. The campaign also engages the public to make ending child hunger a national priority.

The NEA Foundation

NEAF advances student achievement by investing in public education that will prepare each of America's children to learn and thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Make-A-Wish Foundation

Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

Unicef

Unicef’s mission is to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs, and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential


HUNGER ORGANIZATIONS


Heifer International

HI links communities and helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty. Their animals provide partners with both food and reliable income, as agricultural products such as milk, eggs and honey can be traded or sold at market.

Feeding America

FA’s mission is to feed America's hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.

The Hunger Project

THP’s mission is to end hunger and poverty by pioneering sustainable, grassroots, women-centered strategies, and advocating for their widespread adoption in countries throughout the world.

Rise Against Hunger

RAH’s mission is to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-changing aid to the world's most vulnerable and creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources.

Action Against Hunger

AAH is a global humanitarian organization that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger. They save the lives of malnourished children; ensure families can access clean water, food, training, and health care; and enable entire communities to be free from hunger.


CLEAN WATER ORGANIZATIONS


Love Water

LW’s mission is to provide access to clean water in order to restore health and create opportunity in global communities.

Water Aid

WA’s mission is to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people by improving access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.

Citizens for Clean Water

CCW’s mission is to bring awareness about the importance of clean water to the world and advocate for change and educate the community on what we can all do to have clean water.

Clean Water for the World

CWW’s mission is to provide simple, adaptable water purification systems, at no charge to communities without access to potable water.

BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety & Clean Water

BUSFBSCW promotes safe, clean and responsible boating and to reduce accidents and fatalities, increase stewardship of our waterways and keeps boating a safe and enjoyable pastime.


EQUALITY ORGANIZATIONS


Invisible Girl Project

IGP raises global awareness concerning the loss of female lives in India, pursues justice for the lives lost, and assists Indian organizations in the rescue of and care for Indian girls.

Equal Justice Initiative

EJI provides legal representation to prisoners who may have been wrongly convicted of crimes, poor prisoners without effective representation, and others who may have been denied a fair trial.

Planned Parenthood

PP’s mission is to empower individuals to make independent, informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive lives. They provide information and health care, and promote public policies that make those services available to all.

Human Rights Campaign

HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBTQ people and realize a world that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

National Center for Equality & Innovation

NCEI offers unique crisis prevention and intervention to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, and questioning youth (LGBT+). They help those who may become or are currently homeless, as well as those experiencing life-threatening issues.They are committed to positive development through action, education, intervention, and creating safer and healthier living environments.


HOMELESSNESS & POVERTY ORGANIZATIONS


The Covenant House

TCH’s mission is to serve youth with absolute respect and unconditional love, to help suffering homeless kids, and to protect and safeguard all children in need.

Care

Care’s mission is to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice around the globe, especially for women and girls.

Habitat for Humanity

HH brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.

National Alliance to End Homelessness

NAEH’s mission is to end homelessness in the United States. They use research and data to find solutions to homelessness, work with federal and local partners to create a solid base of policy and resources that support those solutions, and then help communities implement them.

National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty

NLCHP is dedicated to ending and preventing homelessness.  It works to expand access to affordable housing, meet the immediate and long-term needs of those who are homeless or at risk, and strengthen the social safety-net through policy advocacy, public education, impact litigation, and advocacy training and support.


MILITARY & VETERANS' ORGANIZATIONS


American Legion

AL is committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.

Fisher House Foundation

FHF’s mission is to improve quality of life for members of the military, retirees, veterans, and their families, and builds comfort homes at military and VA medical centers and gifts them to the government.

Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund

IFHF’s mission is to support our military community, now specifically those who are suffering from traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions.

Wounded Warrior Project

WWP’s mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. Their vision is to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history.

Operation Help a Hero

OHH supports military units and families as they prepare for separation, while they endure the challenges of deployment, and as they transition back to the US.  Their projects uplift our military heroes and send a clear message of support to their entire family. Operation Help A Hero connects communities with service members and provides real opportunities to make a difference in the lives of those who serve our country.


Winter Holiday Signature Drinks

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Winter is the perfect time to cozy up with something sweet in your hand! This season, we’re all about those classic cranberry concoctions, but with some new twists. Whether you like it bubbly or warm, alcoholic or non, we have you covered with our tops picks for any winter gathering.


via The Blond Cook

via The Blond Cook

INGREDIENTS

  • Cranberry juice cocktail
  • Orange liqueur (triple sec)
  • Your favorite champagne
  • Optional: Fresh rosemary sprigs and fresh cranberries for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Fill champagne flutes ⅓ full with cranberry juice cocktail. Add a splash of orange liqueur. Fill remaining ⅔ of glass with champagne.
  2. Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs and fresh cranberries, if desired.
  3. Enjoy!
via Sweet and Savory by Shinee

via Sweet and Savory by Shinee

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 orange
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1 cup (240ml) orange juice
  • ½ cup (100gr) sugar
  • ½ cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 bottle (750ml) dry red wine

 

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Cut the orange in half, and then quarter one half. Push 2-3 cloves into the outer skin of quartered oranges. Peel a few strips of orange peel from the other half of the orange for garnish.
    2. In a large pot, combine orange juice, sugar, cinnamon sticks, orange quarters with cloves and cranberries.
    3. Turn the heat to medium high and slowly heat the mixture, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.
    4. Once sugar is dissolved completely, bring it to a boil and cook until it thickened and reduced by almost half, about 15-20 minutes.
    5. Reduce the heat to low and pour in wine.
    6. Simmer until wine is heated through. Don’t boil, or alcohol will evaporate.
    7. You can strain the wine and pour into a slow cooker to keep it warm. Garnish with orange peel and serve warm.
    via Life in the Lofthouse

    via Life in the Lofthouse

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 bottle Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider
    • 1 (2 liter) bottle Sprite or Sprite Zero
    • 2 cans frozen cranberry juice concentrate, thawed
    • fresh cranberries (optional, for garnish)
    • ice cubes

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. In a very large pitcher or large drink dispenser (that can hold up to 2 gallons) add the sparkling cider, sprite and cranberry juice concentrate. Gently stir well to combine.
    2. Serve drink in individual cups/glasses over ice and with fresh cranberries as a garnish, if desired.
    3. Enjoy!

    Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipe Inspiration

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    Every year you are stuck with way more Thanksgiving leftovers than wanted, and you can’t fathom eating another plate of turkey and mashed potatoes. We don’t blame you, so we helped you out of the boring leftover rut! We’ve found over twenty recipes to elevate your Thanksgiving leftovers to fun and tasty meals and snacks you’ll be excited to try!