The Occasionette

  • We love love.

    Sure, Valentine's Day is a fake holiday, invented by the gift industry to persuade you into buying cards, gifts, chocolates, flowers and dinner in the cold, gross depths of winter. But think about it - if you do Valentine's Day right, isn't that kind of wonderful? 
  • Writing Holiday Cards as Self Care

    Holiday card writing doesn't have to be another chore on your list of joyless tasks to complete this holiday season! You can make card writing a little more meaningful by making it uncomplicated this year. We're all tired of the same photo cards in boring cookie-cutter online templates sent to us from the internet via an uploaded excel file. Here's how to make this tradition less stressful and more meaningful. 
  • Be a Superguest this Holiday Season!

    Most of us will be a guest at a Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving or some other festive holiday soiree at some point in the next few weeks. The good news is you have the easy part! Your friends or family are doing all of the things (and there are many!) involved in hosting this get-together. You get to just show up, eat, drink and be merry, right? No! I mean, you can, but we’re grown ups, so let’s put just a tiny bit of effort into being a gracious guest (which will help secure you an invite to the next gathering!)
  • Easy Halloween Ideas for Everyone!

    Easy Halloween Ideas for Everyone!
    Over the years, I've figured out some tips and tricks to making Halloween fun, even for people like me who aren't really Halloween people. 
    Here are my tips for a happy, pumpkin-spice free Halloween:
    Stock up on your Halloween essentials early! You know Halloween is coming, it definitely happens every year. So do yourself a solid and pick up your huge bags of ridiculously small candy bars as soon as possible! Or just suck it up and be proud to be the house giving out nickels (your call).
    Make sure to sort those assorted bags of miniature candy into "candy I really like" and "candy I feel meh about" before the kids start coming around so that you don't get stuck with a pumpkin head full of Mounds bars at the end of the night. No one needs that.

     

     You don't have to stick to pumpkins to decorate! It may be decorative gourd season, but beautiful, seasonal faux floral stems will still look pretty through November. Choose faux florals in a limited color palette (think warm fall tones) with lots of different textures for the most interesting arrangements. 

    Reward the kids with the creative, homemade costumes! Can we all agree that the Elsas and Annas get one pack of Skittles, but the awesome walking bubble gum machine or an old school television set that you know this kid made from things in their house and spent a few hours on gets three Milky Way bars?

    Our neighborhood gets a good number of trick or treaters, so I like to keep dinner simple because I'm just jumping up and down to wrestle my dog at the front door every few minutes. My favorite dinner on Halloween is chili, because it's one of those magical dishes that the longer you ignore it while you're cooking, the more delicious it is.

    My favorite homemade chili recipe calls for a tiny bit of cocoa powder, which means it pairs well with kit-kat bars. 

    I have this rule that chili must be accompanied by freshly baked cornbread. You can find my top secret, super artisan, closely held family recipe for cornbread here.

    If you have a dog, and your dog still doesn't understand what on earth is happening on Halloween, despite your best efforts to explain it to the dog every year, make sure you at least make an awesome costume for the pup. That way every time she starts barking at the kids at the door, you'll at least have the pleasure of looking over and laughing because she's dressed like a hot dog.