Super Cool Talented Friend: Luke Weiss

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I’m incredibly fortunate to have so so many talented people in my life. One of these people is graduating tomorrow. Luke Weiss, the oldest of five is an incredibly talented graphic designer. oxI was lucky enough to get to spend the evening at his portfolio show last night checking out the students of room 2501’s work. There may be a little bias here (he is my cousin) but I’m pretty confident when I say that Luke is the leader of that pack. If you’re in the market for any design work, message him here to talk art and prices.

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All photos from Luke’s website.

Gift Guide: Friends

Here’s my take on gifts for friends that will actually get used rather than just sitting in a drawer somewhere.

Gift Guide- Friends

 

 

For the friend who loves to cook but hates dishes (aka anyone in college): Colander Serving Bowl

For the Sherlock obsessed reader: Sherlock/John Bookmarks

For the iPhone photographer ready to step it up: Photojojo iPhone lenses

For the paper lover: Flow Magazine subscription

For the traveler: RFID sleeves

For the open minded: Mind changing books

For the stylish (and purple obsessed): Amethyst necklace

For the fashionable business oriented: DIY leather folder

For the outdoor party enthusiast: Coolest cooler

For the friend who wants to be healthy but doesn’t have the time: Blue Apron meals

Recipe: Inspired Gin and Tonic

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My boyfriend and I were at a party a few years ago and met a girl who was really interested in our relationship. At one point in the interrogation conversation she asked us what we felt we had gotten out of the relationship and the other person. I gave a long winded and alcohol fuel answered about the beauty of music and how grateful I was to have had such a well rounded introduction to both music listening and music making. Satisfied with my answer I turned to Nick and he said “Well…I won’t drink cheap alcohol anymore.”

I wasn’t offended and I’m still not. I don’t indulge in many vices and when I do I make a point of trying to experience the best that I can. I’m proud of that.

While I was in Las Vegas a few weeks ago we ate at China Poblano, a restaurant in The Cosmopolitan. I had a Mexican styled Gin and Tonic and my mom had a Chinese styled one. They. are. incredible. I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to recreate the recipe and this is what I’ve got so far.

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Poblano Gin and Tonic

Needed:

Hendrick’s Gin

St. Germain liqueur

Orange or Lemon Simple Syrup (recipe below)

Cilantro, orange peel, and marigold (marigold optional)

Ice

Tonic Water

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To make:

Measure and pour one shot of Hendrick’s into your tumbler. Add a quarter to a half of a shot of St. Germain depending on how sweet you like your drinks. Add no more than half a shot of simple syrup to the drink to sweeten. Garnish with cilantro and orange peel (I like to add cuts to the inside of the orange slice to release more flavor). Add ice, top with tonic water, and serve.

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China Gin and Tonic:

Needed:

Saphire gin

Lemon simple syrup

Ginger, cucumber peel, lemon peel

Ice

Tonic Water

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To make:

Pour out one shot of Saphire into your tumbler. Add half a shot of lemon simple syrup. Place a slice of ginger, cucumber peel, and lemon peel in the glass. Top with ice and fill with tonic. Serve.

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End of the Year Picks

It’s officially time for the internet to be flooded with “Best of 2014” lists. I LOVE IT. Best of lists compile a year into 14 pictures that I can pretend I saw the first time they came around. It’s like a crash-course in the pop culture of the last year and is generally the closest I get to knowing trendy things since I still can’t figure out Twitter.

 

Here are some of my favorite “best of” lists so far:

Most Romantic Bits of 2014

Best Films of 2014

Obsessions of 2014 (according to Yahoo… may be from 2004…)

Things you forgot happened in 2014

and of course, the most earth shattering local newspaper headlines of 2014 (cannot make these up)

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Perfect Presents

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Apparently this is present week over here. I started a post about relationships since my boo came into town but he got here before I finished it and kinda ruined the sentimentality. Maybe another time.

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So presents. I get intense when it comes to giving gifts. Planning begins December 26th of the previous year. Talking to me or entering my workshop while I’m working on presents will set me into a flying tizzy. You would think we’re dealing with trade secrets or government intel but really I’m just into a well thought out and heartfelt surprise. And that comes all the way down to the packaging.

I’m serious about my wrapping. Each year I choose a color or a theme. Last year it was art deco, the year before I glued crazy eyes to every present. This year I’m going for a homemade/rustic approach. I know that wrapping presents isn’t particularly difficult but a little goes a long way. Beautiful and thoughtful wrapping elevates the entire experience of giving and receiving and I won’t give a gift without it.

Here’s what you need:

-Wrapping paper

-Scissors

-Tape

-A flat, clean surface

-Ribbon or twine

-Labels

-An add on (I normally use small ornaments to break up the monotony of bows crowding under our tree)

 

Here’s how to do it:

1. Measure out your paper.

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You want the paper to come up about ⅔ of the height of the side of the package.

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Cut the paper and center the gift. Flip your box over. Fold the paper up until it covers the bottom third of the present and tape.

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Crease the edges and fold the rest of the paper over the present so that it overlaps the already covered part. Fold the excess paper and tape.


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I like to leave a little overlap instead of bringing it all the way to the end. Because.

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Alright! Four sides down, two to go!

 

There are two basic ways to fold the sides of a present. This is option one.
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Place your present with the bottom up. Fold down the top flap and push it flat against the box. Crease the sides between your fingernails to make sharp edges.

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Fold the edges into the center and crease again. Fold the bottom up to the center and tape it into place. You don’t have to but I like to fold the paper over once before I tape it so that it appears to have a cleaner line.

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Cut the ribbon to four times the length of your box.

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Voilà! Wrap and tie the ribbon in a pretty knot. Add accoutrements as desired.

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Here is the second way to fold the edges. (No, I’m not giving someone a box of Target tissues. I just needed a box and it was hanging around.)

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Again, start with the side where the paper meets. Fold up and crease just like on the last one. (Shown backwards in this picture because sorry.)

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Tricky! Now this time you’re going to fold the top down to meet it.

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Crease the edges so they’re nice and sharp looking. You can see in this picture that my paper isn’t entirely even on the side. You can easily fix this by folding the excess paper up and out of sight.

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Repeat on the other side and then fold and tape together.

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Easy peasy and it looks great! Go have a Christmas cocktail and then wrap the rest of your goodies. 

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Gift Guide: Guys

None of the men in my life are crazy about bacon. They don’t live and die for Zelda or Mario. Lumberjacks they are not. If they’re grilling something it’s because my mom told them they couldn’t come back inside until it was done.

That means that roughly 95% of every gift guide meant for the guys in your life means entirely nothing to me. If your men-folk similarly have a penchant for not being into trendy man things, this guide has a few ideas for the real man who lives a life that doesn’t start and end with bacon. Bacon.

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1. watch ($198)

2. cheese kit ($25)

3. dog blueprint ($185)

4. stick and find buttons ($50 for 2)

5. DIY leather journal

6. slim wallet ($25)

7. Kanye card ($5)

8. DIY shave cream 

9. baseball cufflinks ($170)

10. DIY jumbo Jenga ($65)

Some of these things are way more expensive than I’m willing to pay. A blueprint of a dog for almost $200? Yikes. But I like to pretend that I’m pretty crafty so something like that I’m probably going to turn into a DIY because I like those better anyway. That wallet? I’m pretty sure I can make that too. If you want some help figuring out ways to DIY a gift that is above your budget, let me know. I’m happy to try to help.