Low-Stress Holidays: The Art of the Gift Basket

2017-12-01_13-04-42via ApartmentTherapy.com – Growing up, I remember the time leading up to Christmas being weeks that my mother had the makings of her annual gift baskets strewn throughout our infrequently used formal dining room. Baskets or buckets, Carrs crackers, pepper jellies, candied pecans were a few of the items. Oh, and rolls and rolls of cellophane and ribbon. Our dining room became her own little elf workshop where she carefully put together anywhere from 10-50 gifts for the people in her life – co-workers, teachers, neighbors, and distant relatives who might unexpectedly drop by for a holiday visit.

While I personally couldn’t stand the look of cellophane and curled ribbons (I know, what 10-year-old isn’t into curled ribbons?), I did appreciate the attention she put into making the perfect gift basket. It is, in fact, an art.

If you’ve turned your nose up at gift baskets in the past, I’m with you. They can be tacky, impersonal, and sometimes just full of, how shall I say, crap. But knowing how much time and effort my mother put into creating the perfect assortment, it might just be the way to go this holiday season – especially if you’re gifting to the masses.

Follow these simple guidelines for the best gift basket:

  1. Pick a theme. Having a game plan helps guide you in all your purchases. Think themes like A Cozy Night At Home, Family Game Night, Gifts for Hosting, or End-of-Semester Teacher Survival Kit to get you on the right track.
  2. Start with a good container. Pick something that can easily be reused or repurposed. And by all means, don’t just go for a brown basket! (See our favorite picks below.)

 

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Benjamin Moore Reveals Its 2018 Color of the Year

e_coy_german_cover_48374_11aw_small“The whole thing is about being a detective,” says Benjamin Moore director of strategic design intelligence Ellen O’Neill as she spreads her case files (a stack of newspaper clippings, tear sheets, and various ephemera bound with a velvet ribbon) across a table at New York mainstay the Odeon. Each year O’Neill and her team of private eyes travel the globe on a top-secret investigation: to distill the ideas and imagery from design fairs, art exhibitions, and cultural happenings into a single color that sums up the contemporary zeitgeist. Considering they have more than 3,500 hues to choose from, it’s no simple feat.

Sometimes the case is difficult to crack (last year’s elusive Shadow required some cross-examination and 2016’s Simply White caused somewhat of a stir). But the 2018 verdict—like so much else of the present moment—was unapologetically strong-willed. It transformed the National Mall into a sea of color at the Women’s March in January, it starred in hit TV shows from the eerie Twin Peaks to the somehow eerier The Handmaid’s Tale. It stomped down practically every runway in February and stampeded onto the streets come September. It clad the glowing interior of a concert hall in Stockholm’s Royal College of Music. And it curved around the corners of Eero Saarinen’s elliptical newly restored TWA lounge. There was no doubt about it: O’Neill (and just about everyone else) was seeing red. Well, Caliente, to be exact—a warm, enveloping hue that’s easy to love.

Keep reading at Architectural Digest

First Night® Morris County celebrates its 25th anniversary – bigger and better than ever!

2016-12-21_10-31-52December 31, 2016 marks the 25th Anniversary of New Jersey’s biggest and brightest First Night, a New Year’s Eve family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration of the arts – with nearly 200 artists, over 85 events in 26+ venues – representing dance, theatre, music, world cultures, visual arts and children’s events.

For the last quarter century, Morris Arts has served as First Night Morris’ artistic programmer, securing topflight talents who attract thousands of people from throughout the state and beyond.  More than half of the program features new artists (or artists returning after several years), many of whom have performed at top venues (the White House, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Ringling Brothers, Madison Square Garden), won international recognition, performed on national radio/TV, in major films and/or collaborated with superstars of performing arts.

On that night, for a remarkably affordable price ($17.50-$25!), one can experience everything from Broadway stars to a comedy dog circus!

Three visual arts exhibits (displaying over 300 artworks) and two sets of fireworks top off that magical evening known as First Night® Morris County. To check out the full lineup of artists, visit: www.firstnightmorris.com.

Bake-off

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Ok, maybe your like me and refuse to participate in the great family holiday cookie battle. But if you love baking, the folks at Sweet Home have done the testing for you to make the best cookies ever this year. They’ve spent 200 hours researching and tested 20 types of essential cookie-related items to find the best gear to make holiday baking fun and stress-free.

From stand mixers to parchment paper, they’ve got the best of the best.

Check it out here >>>

Marco Bicego + Braunschweiger

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Luxury designer Marco Bicego is making a personal appearance in the Morristown Location of Brauschwieger Jewelers on December 9th from 5-8pm.

An evening of everything Marco Bicego, the Italian jewelry desinger who creates beautiful 18ky gold art will be making an appearance here inMorristown.  He will be signing pieces you own and bringing his one of a kind collection. Cocktails and light artisanal Italian hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Marco’s collection carries jewelry for every occasion, a night on the town, a day of work or play or and the perfect piece to celebrate a momentous occation.  It is one of our favorite desinger lines and we are so excited for his visit.

Gobble, Gobble

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Eat your dessert first! The fabled feast may be a big part of the Thanksgiving holiday, but for little pilgrims with a sweet tooth, dessert is the main attraction. While anything sweet will make tots happy, some Turkey Day-themed treats are even more exciting. Check out the following collection of Thanksgiving-themed treats that will inspire your own epic dessert table.

Check out more at PopSugar >>>