Thanksgiving Recap

For Thanksgiving Zander and I went up to Maine to his grandmother’s house. It was as beautiful as it always is! We had two friends come up from New York and we had a great time building fires to keep warm and eating way too much food! Zander’s grandmother got this new John Deer so everyone had some fun riding all over her property! Don’t worry, I had a turn too!

Maine House

The day after Thanksgiving the boys built a fire pit but we were all too wimpy to stay out in the cold for too long, haha!

Maine Fire Pit

They have an amazing fish house down by the water that we hung out in one night drinking mulled wine and hot cider, it was SO cold, the fire was barely warming the place up!

Fishhouse Session Pops

And as if Thanksgiving didn’t get us fat enough we decided to have a huge New England style feast a few days later! Homemade chowder, lobster rolls and salad, SO good!

Downeast Feast

Since we were flying out of Boston we decide to leave Maine early that morning to have a few hours in the city. We went to our favorite pizza spot and then watched the Patriots game before heading to the airport.

Boston

Full width photos by Zander, all others by me.

My Favorite Gift Ideas for the Home Office Employee

Home Office Employee Gift Guide

iPhone Handset Talking on your cell phone gets old fast so a handset is very useful especially when I am trying to multitask. 

Lap Desk Since I don’t always work from my desk having a lap desk is great, my laptop gets ridiculously hot.

Bronzing Lotion Working from home sometimes I don’t get enough sun. This lotion is amazing for a quick, natural glow.

Stickygrams I love using my Instagram photos to liven up my home office.

Neu Year Wall Calendar I discovered this huge wall calendar last year and already got my 2014 one ready to hang!

Flannel Slippers Let’s face it, most days I work in my pajamas and slippers!

Office Chair Everyone can use a nice comfy office chair.

Beverage Warmer This is seriously my favorite thing in my office, nice warm coffee or tea all day long!

Monogram Mug It’s nice to add a little personal touch to my desk

I also asked around Twitter and here are some more gifts that my work from home peeps would love to receive!

The Made In Mind Social Presents A Cozy Cabin Holiday Party

December Social Evite

The holidays are quickly approaching and Jasmine and I have a special Made In Mind December meetup planned! We are teaming up with A Little Happy for one big holiday party! What’s a better way to share some holiday cheer than with some amazing wine and creative minds? Our cozy cabin party will be held at Pearl Wine Co. on Thursday December 12th from 6-9 PM.

Pearl Wine Co. offers the largest wine selection in the City of New Orleans with over 600 different labels. “It is my hope that Pearl Wine Co. will be a place the community can call home.  I want to create an environment where people feel comfortable, relaxed and intrigued by wine” says the owner, Leora Pearl Madden.

Mrs. Vintage will be helping us bring our cozy cabin to life with some of her amazing vintage decor and Kaylynn Marie Photography will be joining us again to capture the fun! Along with your wine, you will be able to enjoy some bites from Zea Rotisserie & Grill!

And of course, we’ll have some door prizes and swag bags for the first 20 guests with goodies from Dry Bar BleuPassion LilieLoomed NOLARiseLipscape CosmeticsE. Sabrie Studio and Kismet Cosmetics!

We hope you can fit us in to your hectic holiday schedule for a night of networking, wine and some holiday fun!

FREE TO ATTEND – CLICK HERE TO RSVP

Want to partner with The Made In Mind Social for a future event? Find details here.

The Best Memories Are Handmade

Can you believe that it is December already?! I seriously can’t! The holiday season can be stressful when you start to think about all of the shopping that needs to be done but remember that it really is the thought that counts! The holidays are what you make of them and some of the best memories and gifts are handmade! The new design is available for download on WhimseyBox’s blog! Hope you enjoy December’s design for your devices!

The Best Memories Are Handmade by Ciera Design

WhimseyBox has a ton a great gifts and ideas, including DIY kits and other supplies to help make your holidays handmade! Whimseybox is the original subscription for DIY and craft lovers. Each month WhimseyBox sends subscribers a box full of craft projects along with a project idea. If you sign up through this link, you’ll get $5 off!

5 Tips For Getting Your Holiday Cards Ready

Hello! I’m Sylvia the designer from {via}vacious Designs. I’m so happy to be guest posting today and sharing my passion for stationery with you! It’s that time of the year when your mailbox is overflowing with beautiful, colorful holiday cards. I want to share some of my top tips for getting your own holiday cards ready to be sent to your loved ones.

5 Tips For Getting Your Holiday Cards Ready

1. Order and send your holiday cards early

By getting them done early, you can focus on the other fun holiday festivities you have planned. Did you move recently? Sending your cards early also helps those on your holiday card list recognize you have a new home address.  

2. Proof for grammatical errors

We all have oversights during this busy season, even stationery designers, so be sure to thoroughly look at your proof to ensure everything is correct. One of the most common typographical errors I see during the holidays happens while signing cards. When signing your holiday card, there is no need to put an apostrophe in your name. So for example, when signing our card this year we’ll use The Stremmings not The Stremming’s. The apostrophe shows ownership, which is not the case when signing your card (correct example: Santa’s cookies).

3. Be candid

If you want a photo card, but didn’t have time to get any family photos taken this year, don’t worry! Your photo(s) doesn’t have to be professionally taken. The candid photos from throughout the year are many times the best and show personality.

4. Use your time wisely

If you write a personal message, have a goal to do a certain amount a night. Tackling your holiday cards this way will keep you from being too overwhelmed with your long list of friends and family members. You will also be able to get the rest of your holiday chores done, too!

5. Be efficient

Holiday cards don’t have to be expensive! There are many discounts available during the holiday season as well as shops where you can buy the digital file and print as many as you need. If money is tight for gifts, opt for a photo card—a picture says a thousand words.

I hope these tips help make your holidays a little less stressful so you can focus more on being with your family! To put these tips to use, I’m offering 20% off to Ciera Design blog readers with the coupon code CIERADESIGN20 good through Dec. 31, 2013. Happy Holidays! Find {via}vacious Designs on Etsy and on Facebook.

DO YOU HAVE ANY EXTRA TIPS? SHARE THEM IN THE COMMENTS!

November In Review

Just stopping by to share some popular posts from the month in case you missed anything! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Popular-Posts-in-November

 

Popular Posts in November:

- Shine Bright Like A Diamond Moodboard
- The Made In Mind October Social Recap
- There Is Always Something To Be Thankful For Freebies
My Favorite Gift Ideas for the Wine Lover
- What I Wore // Striped Maxi Dress and Moto Jacket
Four Ways to Spark Your Creativity
The Font Feast Presents Gratin Dauphinois
My Favorite Gift Ideas for the Art Lover

 

Ciera Design Elsewhere in November:

- Meet the Blogger (me) over on Reverb’s blog!
- Stickygram is using a bunch of my photographs for their promo images, recognize any?
- Paint dipped pumpkins featured on Oh Happy Day and Sugar Lander
- May Your Holidays Be Merry & Bright Wallpaper on Brit + Co.

Thanks to everyone who shares my content, I really appreciate it!

 

Sponsor-Ciera-Design-and-Lifestyle-Blog-December

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales

May Your Holidays Be Merry and Bright Greeting Card

Just popping in to share some really great Black Friday sales with y’all! P.S. Grab this Merry & Bright card from my Etsy or Society 6 shop!

ASOS Save 30% off site wide Dec 2 – Dec 4 with code GIMMEMORE

Bon Look Save up to 50% off on select eyewear. Also enjoy free shipping. Nov 29 & Dec 2 only

Ciera Design 15% off with code STAYLOCAL15

Craftsy Class Sale up to 66% off from 11/29-12/2! With classes priced up to 66% off, now is a great time to get the classes you’ve been eyeing all year! Craftsy classes also make a great gift, so do some holiday shopping for the crafter in your life. No code needed.

French Connection Save 30% off your total purchase + free ground shipping on orders over $150 Nov 27 – Dec 2 with code W13COUPON

GAP - 40% off everything with code CYBER

Golden Tote everyone that orders a tote on Cyber Monday will receive an extra accessory or jewelry surprise item!

J.Crew - 30% off everything with code MONDAY

J.Crew Factory - 50% off everything with code GOSHOP

Kate Spade - 30% off entire site with code CYBER30

LOFT Save 50% off EVERYTHING Dec 1 – Dec 2 with code CYBER50

Madewell - 25% off your entire purchase with code FEAST25

ModCloth Save 20% off site wide. Dec 2

Moo 25% off all printed products & accessories

Moorea Seal free shipping on every order in the store. And if you find a few items that you just have to have, orders over $150 will receive free 3 day shipping!

Nordstrom Save 25%+ off on select brands Nov 27 (10AM PST) – Dec 1 (10PM PST)

Poppin Save 30% off all orders over $75 Dec 2 with code POPCM

Skillshare $10 off your first class + use code CYBER20 for $20 off purchases over $50 or CYBER10 for $10 off purchases over $25. Mary Kate McDevitt is offering 30% off her class “The Final Steps of Hand-Lettering: Adding Color, Texture, and Finishing Touches” with discount code THANKS.

Sole Society Save 33% off all jewelry, handbags and shoes (with new offers being presented everyday at 10am)  Nov 25 – Dec 2

Stickygram Get 25% off the entire StickyGram collection (magnets, phone cases and iPad covers) through December 2nd 

Target BOGO 60% off on apparel, shoes, and accessories Dec 2

Tiny Prints Black Friday Sitewide Sale – 30% Off Everything. Use code BF13.

TOMS Save $10 off any $50 purchase + free shipping  Nov 28 – Dec 2

Totally Rad Photography Editing Tools. 35% off everything with code BLACKFRIDAY2013

Urban Outfitters Save $15 off $75, $25 off $100 and $50 off $150 and enjoy free shipping Dec 2

Whimseybox Buy one get one free! 

WP Engine 4 Months of Free WordPress Hosting on pre-paid annual plans!

If promo codes are not listed here, just follow the links for the discount. Some affiliate links are used.

 

 

 

My Favorite Gift Ideas for the Art Lover

Better Homes and Gardens published their holiday gift guides last week, and guess what? I got to curate one! There are over 25 different guides curated by other bloggers and BHG editors, I was asked to curate one for Artists and Art Collectors! If you are buying for someone who creates art, supplies like charcoal, sketchbooks, and paints are always a great gift. If you are looking for someone who is more of a collector, art books, prints, decorative home items, or art-inspired clothing are great options. Here are some of my favorite items from the curated guide and you can head over to BHG.com to see all of my picks! I’ll be taking a blog break for the rest of the week since I’m heading to Maine tomorrow for Thanksgiving! Hope you all have a great week!

art lover gift round up

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 • See all of my gift guides here!

Pradman Jewelry Giveaway

I mentioned Pradman Jewelry in last week’s outfit post. I recently got this engraved monogram bracelet with a C on it from them and I just adore it because it goes with everything. I like how it looks layered with a watch or other bracelets too. They also have tons of beautiful gemstone jewelry that would be perfect for upcoming holiday parties! Their jewelry is designed with modern chic concept in mind and is all made with highest quality of semiprecious stones and precious metals.

Pradman Jewelry Monogram Engraved Bracelet 2

Pradman Jewelry Monogram Engraved Bracelet 1

Pradman Jewelry Monogram Engraved Bracelet 3

Striped Maxi Dress Golden Tote / French Terry Moto Jacket Golden Tote / Watch BCBG via Rue La La / Boots thrifted / Purse Free People / Bracelet c/o Pradman Jewels

So here comes the fun part, you have a shot to win any piece of jewelry from Pradman! And they were also nice enough to offer you guys 20% off your order! Just use coupon code “Ciera” for the discount! Enter below using Rafflecopter and good luck!! This giveaway is open through December 2. The winner’s name will be chosen randomly and announced soon after. Please note that your entry will be removed if you do not complete it correctly. Contestants must be 18 years of age or more. International contestants are welcome.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Next week is going to be light on blogging while I head up to Maine to celebrate Thanksgiving with Zander’s family!

I received bracelet as compensation for this post however all opinions are my own.

The Font Feast Presents Gratin Dauphinois

gratin dauphinois recipe

My family is really big on food traditions. We always have the same thing for dinner on St. Patty’s Day. We always have the same thing for breakfast on Christmas. And the Thanksgiving menu never changes. Without fail, we have mashed potatoes and gravy with our turkey, and they’re always delicious. BUT. These Gratin Dauphinois, which are really just scalloped potatoes with a fancy French name, are pretty irresistible, and would make an amazing addition to any Turkey Day menu. They’re actually a long-time family favorite, filled with butter and cheese and hints of garlic. If only I could talk my family into a potato upgrade…

For potatoes with such a fancy name, I needed a font with lots of oomph, and Baker Script is a perfect fit: rustic yet elegant, lovely and legible.

scalloped potatoes on plate

Gratin Dauphinois inspired by Baker Script

1 1/2 cups milk
3 lbs waxy potatoes, unpeeled (I like Yukon Gold or Klondike Red)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 heaping cups shredded cheese (whatever kind you want)

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium-low heat. While waiting for the milk to simmer, thinly slice the potatoes. We’re talking THIN slices, like 1/8″ thick. I use a mandolin for this and it’s a breeze. If you don’t have a mandolin, just slice them with a sharp kitchen knife. Lightly spray a 9×13″ pan with nonstick cooking spray. Scatter half of the potatoes evenly over the bottom of the pan. Drizzle half of the melted butter over the top (2 Tablespoons), and sprinkle on half of the salt, half of the pepper, and half of the garlic powder. Top with 1 heaping cup of shredded cheese. Repeat layers. When the milk has come to a simmer, pour it evenly over the top of the cheese layer. Bake for 40 minutes, or until deeply golden and bubbly. Allow to cool slightly before serving.