Month: December 2022

Cocktail Books

A week ago, I went to happy hour with a friend. I usually order a glass of wine but decided to order a cocktail this time. The one specially priced for the occasion consisted of (if I remember correctly) vodka, cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and simple syrup. I requested that the mixologist dispense with the simple syrup. My friend followed suit; American-level sweets are too much for the both of us. The mixologist agreed but warned that the freshly-squeezed lime juice was potent. The color of the drink was a beautifully-subdued shade of pink. Its tartness was pleasing. As we sipped, the mixologist set to work on several concoctions for others. One drink called for a blackberry on a cocktail pick. Another, a blow-torched sprig of pine, the scent of which could only be described as the epitome of the season. I imagined myself behind the bar mixing and blow-touching to my heart’s content. Then, I came down to earth and rounded up some books that might be hepful to the home mixologist.

Works Sighted

Apéritif // I’m Just Here for the Drinks // Good Drinks // Spirits of Latin America

A Woman’s Drink // Cocktail Codex // Batch Cocktails // The Joy of Mixology

Spritz // Keto Happy Hour // Mezcal and Tequila Cocktails // Essential 3-Ingredient Cocktails

Return Address Labels

Writing out Christmas cards and mailing them in time to be delivered before December 25 is an annual tradition. I admit, the process is always rushed; I always seem to wait until the last minute to buy and/or write them. While this year was no exception, the process was sped up significantly due to my attempt at keeping the written text minimal (a card isn’t a book) and the use of return address labels (my husband’s idea).

Labels of this sort that are gifted by nonprofit organizations to encourage donations never measure up to my standards. Like every item I buy, it is imperative that I choose them, not the other way around. We ordered labels for our cards from Shutterfly this year. Peeling the stickers from the glossy release paper and affixing them to the upper left corner of neatly-addressed white envelopes was highly satisfying. For that reason and for the sake of saving time, I will never send Christmas cards without return address labels again.

Today, five days before Christmas, I dropped the last batch of cards in the mail, the timing quite possibly an improvement from years past. All the labels from our first order have been used, and I’m ready to buy more. I’m leaning towards Boldly Wrapped. I like that it explicitly identifies the sender with the word from.

I adopted the custom of placing the return address on the back of the envelope instead of on the front while living in London. But, when I attempted to continue the custom stateside, a postal worker mistook the return address for that of the recipient on one occasion. Thus, I reverted back to the traditional American way of placing the return address on the front of the envelope, making exceptions only for UK-bound mail. A return address label bearing the word from seems like a good idea either way.

Works Sighted

Picture of Love // Love out Loud // Big Letters Wedding

Dazzling Union // Chosen Filmstrip // Novel Photo Wedding

Simply Addressed // Threshold // Dashing Script

Boldly Wrapped // Modern Promise // Big Intro

Cookie Books

Every year around this time, just before winter break, I think of the grandest giving idea. Maybe I’ll bake cookies for them, I say to myself. Them, the people outside of my immediate family to whom I’d like to extend a small token of gratitude. But, every year the pressure of finishing up a course and finalizing the menu for Christmas dinner (amongst other things) takes precedence over baking, boxing, and distributing cookies. Miraculously, I’ve managed to keep the tradition of card-giving alive over the years. When the opportunity to bake finally presents itself, I’ll have one of these books at the ready.

Works Sighted

The Cookie Collection // 100 Cookies // Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

Paleo Baking at Home // The British Baking Book // BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts

Dorie’s Cookies // Biscuits and Cookies: A Global History // French Macarons for Beginners

2022 Gift Guide

It’s time to buy something thoughtful for everyone on my list. Here are my highlights of the 2022 gift-buying season.

For Her

wreath subscription // nightshirt // mani-pedi kit

digital paintbrush // foldable yoga mat // shower steamer // shower steamer tray // body oil // book // lip gloss

Masterclass subscription // candle // matches // instant camera

red wine glasses // book // red wine stain remover // knife rests // travel belt


For Him

tea and coffee alarm clock // eyeglass holder // book lamp // press vessel // point & shoot camera phone converter // table cornhole

gaming console // cashmere beanie // rapid beverage cooler // warming stone

digital photo frame // rain jacket // radio // dinner decision dice // magnetic bike lights

shaving kit // book // mini fireplace // flask flashlight // mechanical puzzle set // self-watering plant pots