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December, 2011

  1. Private Party

    December 20, 2011 by SavvyInTheCity


     

    Last week I was invited to stop by an open house at the home of Dolma Pearl's founder, Ashley Logsdon.

    What's better than shopping for beautiful jewelry while sipping on a most divine glass of egg nog*? Nothing, really! If you are a fan of jewelry (especially of the pearl variety), check out Dolma. I went to shop for others… and ended up shopping a lot for myself (whoops!).

    I came home with this gorg bracelet (along with some fun earrings):


    Just awful iPhone photos. I'm sorry.
     

    While I'm happy with my purchases, I still have these Dolma items on my wishlist (more lovely photos "borrowed" from the Dolma website):


    "Alaska in white"
    necklace ($95)


    "Billy Goat in white" necklace ($99)


    "Marzipan" necklace ($135)


    "Cinnamon in Silver" bracelet ($55)

    *I'm told the secret to the egg nog was adding both dark rum and white chocolate liqueur. Yum! Thanks to Dolma vice president Shannon for sharing this recipe!


  2. Holiday Festive (Teddy Bear Crusade)

    December 5, 2011 by SavvyInTheCity

     

    Friday night I volunteered alongside some colleagues at the 7th annual Teddy Bear Crusade.

    The Teddy Bear Crusade is a charity event benefiting Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Party patrons bring a new teddy bear and a $50 donation in exchange for a night of dancing, drinks and hors d' oeuvres. Event proceeds — as well as the bears — go to the children served by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, a regional hospital system dedicated to researching and treating childhood cancers, blood disorders and other pediatric illnesses. (Read more and see photos from past TBC events here.)

    The attire for volunteers and attendees was "after 5 holiday festive chic." I immediately thought "sequins!" but wasn't sure I would be able to find something that was 1) affordable and 2) not screaming "LAS VEGAS!"

    Here's how I netted out:

    – Sequin top: San Souci (via Marshalls) – $20
    – Random silk/linen blend dress I bought at a consignment shop 3 years ago – $30
    – Simply Vera for Kohl's slightly edgy-looking platform heels – gift from the mother-in-law (nice, right?) – $50 (my guess)
    Medallion I bought at a thrift store in Carytown (Richmond, VA) and can't get enough of… $18

    ..If you're interested in wearing something similarly sparkly to your holiday party, here are a few other tops I found online (at a few different price points):


    Michael Kors Zebra top
    (pair with a mini skirt or pencil skirt, preferably form-fitting since the top is meant to be more loose) – $155 from Polyvore.


    Another Michael Kors zebra/sequin tunic top (this one from Dillard's) – $90. (Same deal: Wear with a relatively form-fitting mini or even over a dress.)


    Sequin top (with keyhole back closure) by Eyeshadow (found at Belk) – $20. Wear over one of the little black dresses you already own.

    A few fun options for shoes:


    Nine West "Probowl" booties – $49 (on sale).


    Simply Vera (Kohl's) peep-toe heels – $70.

    What are you wearing to your holiday party/parties?


  3. Getting Tipsy… on Ice Cream

    December 3, 2011 by SavvyInTheCity

     

    This week I have a guest post for y'all. Not only does our tenant pay to live in our basement apartment, but he also makes ice cream (often sharing it with us… score!) and writes blog posts, too! When I received a gratis copy of "Ice Cream Happy Hour" in the mail to review, I knew our friend Fokes was a better fit for the review than moi. Not to mention I knew I would get to taste the ice cream without the fuss of making it. Hehe. I mean, c'mon, the book's tagline is "50 boozy treats you spike, freeze and serve." What's not to love?

    Greetings!

    My name is Fokes, and I am a student (sort of, anyway. I’m between programs) who dwells in Katy’s basement. Much like the readers of this blog, I try to be as frugal as possible without sacrificing the occasional treat. And much like all sane people who are neither vegan nor lactose intolerant, I love ice cream.

    Since I own an ice cream maker, one of my favorite things to do is make up new ice cream flavors. I also enjoy forcing other people to eat my creations, which is why Katy knew to bring me “Ice Cream Happy Hour” to write about for her blog. The book is about making ice cream with booze, which is a novel way to streamline your budget. You can now combine two vices into one convenient and delicious bowl of guilt.

    The book offers 50 recipes for alcoholic ice creams, some of them as potent as 20 proof. Since alcohol has an exceptionally low freezing point, the premise behind the book’s recipes is similar to that of Jello shots: if you gelatinize the liquor before mixing it with the custard, it will set as the custard freezes. The results differ from recipe to recipe, but the texture is usually very close to a traditional ice cream.

    Now, since I usually make up my own flavors, my plan was to first make a couple of recipes from the book before moving on to my own inventions. That plan was shelved almost immediately, because I wanted to make an ice cream based on a limited edition beer called Life & Limb, a collaboration between Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head.

    I based my recipe loosely off of the recipe for Guinness Ice Cream, and I added chocolate covered almond pieces and chunks of dark chocolate. The result was pretty delicious, if a little bit icy.


     

    My next attempt was a flavor from the book called Maple with Bourbon, for which I purchased a bottle of Evan Williams 1783, which issurprisingly good bourbon for a very decent price.

    This time, I was committed to following the recipe exactly. This caused a bit of a problem, as the recipe included adding fresh lime juice, which immediately curdled the custard. :-/

    The level of separation was minimal, but it meant that I couldn’t strain the custard. It also threw off the texture of the final product. My personal opinion was that the flavor was distractingly sour, and that it would have been better with the lime omitted completely, but some other people were very enthusiastic about it. Woot.

    In my next installment, I will tell you about a pair of recipes from the book that improved Thanksgiving, tell you about my avocado sorbet misadventure, and take you step by step through the process of making my favorite of the alcoholic ice creams, the very, very potent Mint Julep Chocolate Chip.

    I had the pleasure of tasting all the aforementioned ice cream flavors. I think the Life & Limb (beer) ice cream may have been my favorite, as I could taste the flavor of the beer, yet the beer-y-ness was offset by the dark chocolate. I also loved that the ice cream included a tinge of salt (I'm a sucker for flavors like salted caramel). Re: the maple/bourbon, the lime flavor actually toned down over time in our freezer as the flavors meddled together (you know how a lasagna tastes better two days later?) and I enjoyed that batch also. The mint julep was tasty but so potent I feel it would be most appropriately served in a martini glass.

    Thanks, Fokes, for this great post!

    p.s. If you have any ice cream fantatic or boozy friends, this book would make an excellent Christmas gift (under $11 on Amazon, and free shipping if you're a member of Amazon Prime).