Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays {2014 Woodsy-Inspired Christmas Decorations} || Runway Chef The Runway Chef halls are finally decked! We’ve tied, trimmed, accessorized, greenery-ized, glitzed, and glammed up just about everything we can in the apartment and I couldn’t be happier with the cozy outcome. We decided to go for a woodsy, simplistic theme, using many things we had on hand or found outdoors. Bonus- it made our decorations super affordable! I hope you enjoy these pictures and I’d love to know in the comments if you have decorated your home for the holidays, and, if so, do you have a theme (what is it?) or a favorite decoration.

Happy weekend!

Home for the Holidays {2014 Woodsy-Inspired Christmas Decorations} || Runway Chef {Mercury containers and an old copper pot filled with greens + Christmas cookie cutters hung from red ribbon}

Home for the Holidays {2014 Woodsy-Inspired Christmas Decorations} || Runway Chef Home for the Holidays {2014 Woodsy-Inspired Christmas Decorations} || Runway Chef {Our homemade Advent calendar (with only a few stars/days left) and Frenchie treat jar (both last seen here)}

Home for the Holidays {2014 Woodsy-Inspired Christmas Decorations} || Runway Chef {Our entryway table- Santa Claus, the mini tree where we’ve been transferring our Advent stars to, and a box filled with greens, oranges, & wine corks (‘cuz we’re classy like that!)}

Home for the Holidays {2014 Woodsy-Inspired Christmas Decorations} || Runway Chef Home for the Holidays {2014 Woodsy-Inspired Christmas Decorations} || Runway Chef Home for the Holidays {2014 Woodsy-Inspired Christmas Decorations} || Runway Chef Home for the Holidays {2014 Woodsy-Inspired Christmas Decorations} || Runway Chef {Manger + globe = Joy to the World (Get it??! Get it?!)}

Home for the Holidays {2014 Woodsy-Inspired Christmas Decorations} || Runway Chef {My golden owl dressed up with a few greens}

Home for the Holidays {2014 Woodsy-Inspired Christmas Decorations} || Runway Chef {Our rustic, woodsy-themed Christmas tree}

Home for the Holidays {2014 Woodsy-Inspired Christmas Decorations} || Runway Chef {Tip: For an affordable, easy tree skirt, use a cheap blanket scarf}

Home for the Holidays {2014 Woodsy-Inspired Christmas Decorations} || Runway Chef {We couldn’t find a tree topper we liked so Mr. RC made this rustic star one out of twigs and twine}

Home for the Holidays {2014 Woodsy-Inspired Christmas Decorations} || Runway Chef {Record player, Christmas book, and a mini metallic tree

Home for the Holidays {2014 Woodsy-Inspired Christmas Decorations} || Runway Chef {Coffee table centerpiece- a piece of birch bark, various sized mercury glass containers with red and green candles, and a few sprigs of greenery}

Home for the Holidays {2014 Woodsy-Inspired Christmas Decorations} || Runway Chef {The shape of a deer head cut from gold wrapping paper & attached to a wooden board painted black, a display of mini nutcrackers & greenery, silver stars hung above the couch, and Christmas themed pillows (white furry ones are old ones from Target, the blue velvet & Merry Christmas one are from H&M)}

Home for the Holidays {2014 Woodsy-Inspired Christmas Decorations} || Runway Chef

5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips

5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips || Runway Chef One of my favorite things about the holidays is how everything gets elevated to the next level, making even the most ordinary things feel special. One area that is especially fun to glam up is holiday beauty. Whether it’s for a Christmas party, the annual family photo, or a quick change from work to a festive get-together, here are a few effortless ways to elevate your holiday glow. Bonus: I’ve included a few links to beauty-themed gifts at the end of the post.

5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips {Glam Hair} || Runway Chef 5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips {Glam Hair} || Runway Chef Glam up your hair // If you don’t have time to throw you hair into a fancy up-do, simply add a bit of glam to your hair using a jeweled hair pin (lots of good options here), or, if you don’t have a hair pin, use a fancy vintage pin. Carefully secure it with a bobby pin and you’re good to go. 

5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips {Glitter Nails} || Runway Chef 5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips {Glitter Nails} || Runway Chef Boost your mani // Add on a coat of glitter nail polish. Not only will it quickly make you look party ready, but the glitter will also help distract from any small chips in your base coat color. If you’re really short on time, just give one or two nails a coat for an accent nail.

5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips {Red Lips} || Runway Chef 5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips {Red Lips} || Runway Chef Power up your pout // If you don’t have time to do a complete face of makeup, make sure you pump up your pout. Red is a no-fail classic this time of year (see tips on how to find the perfect shade of red), but to make sure the color stays you’ll want to triple up on your products. First, line your lips with a nude pencil. Next, apply a thin coat of chapstick or vaseline. Follow that with a couple of applications of your favorite red lipstick (I’m loving this one right now), and finish the look with a red lipgloss.

5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips || Runway Chef Add a little holiday shimmer // Another way to quickly take your face from everyday makeup to party-ready makeup is to add on highlighter. Dab it on your cheekbones, in the corners of your eyes, under your nose, and under your lips. Just don’t go overboard or you’ll look shiny instead of sparkly.

5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips || Runway Chef 5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips || Runway Chef Putting on the spritz // No holiday outfit is complete without a spritz or two of your favorite fragrance. Or, use the holidays as a time to be bold and try a new scent. Current one that I’m loving: Elizabeth Arden Untold (which, by the way, also makes a great gift!).

Bonus tip: While you’re wrapping presents, make sure you save any scraps of tissue paper. They work perfectly as blotting paper.

Gifts for Beauty Babes

Happy Hour

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {Making gingerbread cookies}

Well, it worked. I got some snow after I ranted on and on about not having any last week. Sadly, it was barely here long enough for me to step outside and enjoy it. But it did motivate me back into more festive spirits. Of course, baking cookies, enjoying more of the Christmas lights in our neighborhood, and listening to carols by our tree didn’t hurt, either. Also, can we talk about the fact that Christmas Eve is one week from today?! Holy red santa claus! I am so not ready! If you’re still gift searching (like me, per usual), don’t forget to check out my gift guides, Hostess Gift Ideas, Grab Bag/ Secret Santa Gifts, an easy DIY gift, and the Rugged Retro Men’s Gift Guide, for more ideas.

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {Brown paper packages tied up with string}

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {Birch bark for Christmas decorating…full decoration reveal coming Friday}

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {An early Christmas present (seen in the Grab & Gift Gift Guide) that I’ll be especially thankful to have on next week’s 11 hour drive}

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {These scentsicles (c/o) have been filling our whole apartment with one of my favorite scents of the season}

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {via

Date Pinwheel Cookies

Date Pinwheel Cookies || Runway Chef I wanted to write something totally profound and mind blowing to entice you into making these cookies, but the only thing that keeps coming to my mind is, wait for it, it’s totally epic…. “Roll Out”….as in the Ludacris song, not as in “rolling out the dough”. I think it came into my head as I was rolling out the dough for these pinwheel cookies, and it hasn’t left my head since. That was 2 days ago. Also, it should be noted that the only lyrics in my head are “Roll out! Roll out! Roll out!” because I don’t actually know any of the lyrics to the song, nor can I rap. So besides those two little words, the only thing that’s stuck in a blog post that has now been written and rewritten 4 times is that I love these cookies….like a lot….a lot, a lot, a lot. But I bet you already figured that out, because weird, I only put things I love on here (funny concept, I know). Like many of the recipes I share, these date pinwheel cookies are a recipe that my family has been making for years. And for all those years they’ve stayed firmly planted at the top of my list of favorite Christmas cookies, right between Russian Tea Cakes and Rum Balls. With a buttery dough that becomes crunchy while it bakes and a filling that is sticky sweet, it’s hard not to put these at the top of a favorites list. Go on. I dare you. 

Date Pinwheel Cookies || Runway Chef Date Pinwheel Cookies || Runway Chef Date Pinwheel Cookies || Runway Chef Date Pinwheel Cookies || Runway Chef Date Pinwheel Cookies || Runway Chef

Date Pinwheel Cookies
Yields 36
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
FILLING
  1. 1 pound dates, pitted and chopped
  2. 1/2 cup water
  3. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
DOUGH
  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  6. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/2 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Start by making the filling. Combine the dates, water, and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the nuts, and set aside to cool (you can put the mixture in the fridge to speed up the cooling).
  2. To make the dough, cream the butter and sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer, on medium speed.
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.
  4. In a separate smaller bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Then mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and keep mixing on medium speed until everything is well-combined and the dough is smooth.
  5. Divide the dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap, then allow the dough to refrigerate for about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the dough from the fridge. On a floured surface roll one half of the dough out into a rough rectangular shape that is about 1/4 inch thick. Spread half of the date mixture over the entire surface of the dough, then roll up, lengthwise, like a jelly roll. Set aside and repeat the process with the other half of the dough. Wrap both dough logs in plastic wrap and allow them to chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 30 minutes.
  7. When you are ready to bake the cookies, turn the oven on to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat (I prefer the parchment paper for these as the filling can get a bit sticky).
  8. Remove the cookie logs from the fridge and, using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/4 inch slices. Place the slices about an inch apart on the cookie sheet, then bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the dough turns golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cookie rack.
  9. Store the cookies in an airtight container.
Notes
  1. I used Medjool dates to make these but I recommend using whatever is cheapest as you'll be chopping them up and cooking them down.
  2. These cookies taste best within the first two days of baking so I usually like to only slice of a few at a time and keep the rest of the dough tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge until I'm ready to use it. The uncooked dough will last about 2 weeks in the fridge and about 1 month in the freezer, as long as it is well wrapped in plastic wrap.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
 

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Party in Sequins + Velvet

Party in Sequins + Velvet || Runway Chef I know it’s pretty cliche, sequins and velvet for the holidays (I never….), but I couldn’t help myself. I scored this skirt on major sale (we’re talking less than $10) last year and anytime something super festive (hi holidays!) rolls around, it just begs to be worn. Since I’m becoming all grown up and shiz, all sequins all the time doesn’t cut it the way it did when I was 5 (well, except maybe if I’m visiting Vegas…) so I decided to slightly simmer down the sequins with a festive touch of velvet (a vintage blazer that was my Mom’s), the classic white shirt (did you catch Thursday’s 3×3 post on 9 ways to wear this closet staple?), and my favorite blue booties

What’s your go-to holiday look? I’ve included a few festive pieces at the end of this post if you’re still looking for something.

Party in Sequins + Velvet || Runway Chef Party in Sequins + Velvet || Runway Chef Party in Sequins + Velvet || Runway Chef Vintage Blazer (similar) // H&M Blouse // Joe Fresh Skirt (similar) // Kushyfoot Tights c/o // Report Signature Booties // Chanel Bag // Forever 21 Sunnies // Old Navy Earrings // Etienne Aigner Bracelet c/o // Elizabeth Arden “Red Door” Lipstick c/o

Festive Frocks & Party Pieces