Let’s Dream Big, Fight Hard, and Win.

Dream Big, Fight Hard, and Win with Elizabeth Warren

Alright friends, now that primary season is officially upon us, let’s talk about presidential candidates (positive and constructive comments only, please). My friends and I talk a lot about this in person, but politics shouldn’t be something talked about in hushed circles since the policies of our elected officials affect ALL of us.

As you may know, I spent nearly ten years working for the federal government here in DC. My degrees are in economics and international diplomacy, and politics is part of my soul. I’ve been following each candidate closely and evaluating them based on their policies and vision for the future, and I’m all in for Elizabeth Warren

Here’s why: She’s empathetic and compassionate, and she truly understands how much people are struggling right now. She has big plans for fixing our broken economy and our democracy – including investing in public education, creating universal child care, expanding access to healthcare, pursuing anti-corruption reforms, and transitioning our economy to clean and renewable energy. She knows her stuff, knows HOW to get it done, and has a plan to pay for everything, including making the top 1% of the 1% put some of their resources back into the system. She’s the only candidate currently running that actually makes me feel HOPEFUL about the future when I listen to her talk. Gabby from Design Mom wrote a post with a whole list of reasons why she’s supporting Elizabeth Warren, and I agree with all of them!

Did you watch the democratic primary debate last night? I thought Elizabeth Warren’s performance was masterful. I’ve seen critiques that Warren was too angry, but to me she was prepared, effective, and assertive. I would honestly LOVE to have a president who is angry on our behalf at the way middle class families are getting squeezed by billionaires and huge corporations. And she’s been saying the same things for years – here’s a video from 10 years ago with Warren talking to voters about some of these exact same issues.

So what about you? Are you liking any candidates in particular? And yes, don’t worry, I’m planning to vote for whichever candidate gets the Democratic nomination. I like plenty of things about the other candidates, minus Bloomberg. Super Tuesday is coming up on March 3, and most state primaries will take place between now and April (text VOTER to 26797 to check your registration and get local election info!). It’s definitely time to start doing research and choosing your preferred candidates – from presidential candidates all the way down to state and local government candidates. You can find your local ballot over at Ballotpedia!

Holiday Cocktail Recipes

Christmas and New Year’s Eve are just around the corner, and I’m thinking about cocktails as we put the finishing touches on our holiday menu. I thought I would quickly share a few favorite holiday cocktail recipes in case you’re in the same situation! We’ve got a few punch recipes, some wine-based cocktail recipes, a couple coffee cocktails, and more. Enjoy!

Holiday Cocktail Recipe Ideas

Punch Recipes

Okay, let’s start with the punches – the large batch cocktails that will keep everyone happy throughout the night. Our Spiced Winter Punch is one of our favorite recipes and can be made with vodka, rum, gin, or whiskey, you can go traditional with a Hot Rum Punch, or mix things up with a tequila-based (!!) Yuletide Punch. If you’re feeling extra theatrical, you can light the Charles Dickens Punch on fire before drinking (please be extra careful). Fish House punch is just a rather strange name for a Caribbean rum punch, while Allspice Punch is warm and spicy.

Spiced Winter Punch Holiday Cocktail Recipe

Spiced Winter Punch

Allspice Punch Cocktail RecipeCharles Dickens Punch Recipe by Liquorary

Allspice Punch // Charles Dickens Punch

Traditional Hot Rum Punch

Rum Punch Holiday Cocktail RecipeYuletide Punch Holiday Cocktail Recipe

Fish House Punch // Yuletide Punch

Wine Cocktails

If you’re not super into spirits, try a mulled wine for the holidays! We love a good Swedish Glögg, which is basically a bottle of wine thrown together with whatever spirits and spices you might already have on hand. We made ours with brandy and white port, but you could easily go with rum, whiskey, or just about anything else. Same goes for the Mulled Winter Sangria, which can be served warm or over ice!

Swedish Mulled Wine Glogg Recipe / Hygge Cocktail Ideas

Traditional Swedish Glögg

Mulled Winter Sangria Recipe / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Mulled Winter Sangria

Warm Coffee Cocktails

Warm cocktails are perfect for cold winter nights, and couldn’t we all use the extra energy from a bit of black coffee?? Our Spiced Irish Coffee and Scotch Coffee recipes are basically just variations on a theme, but we added cardamom and rosewater to the Irish coffee while the vanilla bean Scotch coffee has a smokey warmth that I really love this time of year. 

Irish Coffee Recipe / Liquorary x Bushmills

Spiced Irish Coffee

Scotch Coffee Cocktail Recipe

Vanilla Bean Scotch Coffee


If you’re looking for crowd-pleasing small batch cocktail recipes to make over the holidays, these two vanilla-bean smashes – the Pear Vanilla Bean Bourbon Smash and Orange Vanilla Bean Scotch Smash – are my absolute favorites. Even if you don’t think you like Scotch or Bourbon, you’ll love these drinks. Promise!

Bourbon Pear Vanilla Bean Cocktail Recipe

Pear Vanilla Bean Bourbon Smash

Orange Vanilla Bean Scotch Smash Recipe

Orange Vanilla Bean Scotch Smash

Happy holidays everyone!

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphed Stationery Inspiration

A bit of dark and moody stationery inspiration is kind of perfect for winter, don’t you think? Embrace the coziness of shorter winter days and the sparkle of the holiday season with some romantic black, white, and gold calligraphed stationery inspiration from Kristin at Lustre Theory – featuring the gorgeous calligraphy of Seniman Calligraphy and dreamy handmade paper from Fringe & Rose. You’ll find a few of my favorite things in this inspirational suite, from beautiful gold wax to a moody floral envelope liner and shimmery gold ink on black envelopes. So pretty!

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

From KristinI wanted to create stationery inspiration that was dark and whimsical but still had romantic tones to it. Almost gothic in style. The styling of this suite was very important to give it those mysterious moody vibes. I used black linen fabric for the background but chose an off white cheese cloth to add texture and help the black paper pieces stand out more.

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

The cotton rag paper is handmade by Fringe and Rose. I chose this particular paper because of its loose uneven edges and textured surface. The wax seals are messier than you might normally see, with drops and dribbles. I just let the wax burn right off the stick and drip directly onto the paper and ribbon, creating those black flecks you see in the gold.

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

If you look close enough you’ll see the script text on the cotton paper pieces is a quote from “The Tell-Tale Heart” By Edgar Allan Poe – because, details!

“It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture –a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees –very gradually –I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.”
The Tell-Tale Heart – By Edgar Allan Poe

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

Thanks Kristin!


Stationery Design: Lustre Theory

Handmade Paper: Fringe & Rose

Envelopes: Cards & Pockets

Calligraphy: Seniman Calligraphy

Ribbon: Silk & Willow



Photo Credits: Lustre Theory

2019 Gift Guide: Organizations to Support on Giving Tuesday and Beyond

In honor of Giving Tuesday, I wanted to share a few organizations that could use your support this holiday season and beyond. I decided to focus on seven organizations that I personally support; but there are a million amazing organizations working in a variety of sectors, so if you have a favorite cause or organization – feel free to mention them in the comments below! These days, I’m personally very much focused on organizations working to protect and reform our democratic systems (and they’re mostly non-partisan!), as well as organizations seeking to help asylum seekers impacted by the Trump administration’s disastrous immigration policies. Maybe you’re already familiar with these organizations, but if not I’m thrilled to help introduce you to a few organizations doing amazing work around the country. Every little bit helps!

2019 Gift Guide: Organizations to Support on Giving Tuesday and Beyond


Run for Something

Run for Something has the fantastic mission of supporting young, progressive candidates running for state and local office. Run for Something aims to lower the barriers to entry for these candidates by helping them with seed money, organization building, and the training they need to be successful. They want to permanently improve and expand the definition of “politician” – making it something honorable again, and not just something for rich old white dudes or slimeballs – and bring it back to public service. They just launched in January 2017 and have already recruited more than 45,000 candidates across all 50 states. Yes to more young people in public office!

Fair Fight Action

Fair Fight (founded by Stacey Abrams) promotes fair elections in key states around the country, encourages voter participation in elections, and educates voters about elections and their voting rights. Fair Fight brings awareness to the public on election reform, advocates for election reform at all levels, and engages in targeted voter registration and other voter outreach programs and communications. Fair Fight is particularly focused on countering voter suppression – particularly young voters and voters of color – and they’re doing some really important work in many 2020 swing states.

She Should Run

She Should Run is a nonpartisan nonprofit promoting leadership and encouraging women from all walks of life to run for office by providing training and other assistance for female candidates. Women are underrepresented at all levels in the 500,000+ elected offices across the United States. She Should Run is committed to getting at least 250,000 women to run for local, state, and federal offices by 2030! 



Resistbot is a free service that helps you contact your elected officials or local newspaper via email, text message, fax, or postal letter – it makes engaging with our elected officials SO EASY! Because the goal of Resistbot is to deliver your correspondence to elected officials, their activities technically fall under the IRS definition of lobbying – and they need our donations to keep the service running! 


Represent Us

Represent Us is a grassroots organization bringing together conservatives, progressives, and everyone in between to pass powerful anti-corruption laws that stop political bribery, end secret money, and fix our broken elections by passing anti-corruption measures at the state and local level. So important!




Al Otro Lado

Al Otro Lado provides legal and medical assistance to asylum seekers, migrants, and deportees, including cross-border support for families separated under the family separation policy and families currently impacted by the Remain in Mexico policy program. Your donations to Al Otro Lado go directly to serving indigent deportees, migrants, and refugees in Tijuana and Los Angeles!



Aldea – The People’s Justice Center provides pro-bono or discounted legal services for members of the immigrant community, including unaccompanied minors and minor immigrant children. They’re active throughout the United States, but focus largely on families and children detained at the Berks Detention Center. You can also donate via Facebook.

In addition to Al Otro Lado and Aldea PJC, you can also donate to Las Americas, an immigrant advocacy organization based in El Paso, or donate to support families impacted by the ICE raids in Mississippi earlier this year right here.

2019 Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for Kids

Our next gift guide is all about the kiddos! I have two girls, age 5 and 7, so this guide is mostly geared towards kids in the 5-9 year old range – but if you have kids in that age range I’ve got a lot of great ideas for you! If you’re looking for gift ideas for younger kids, check out my gift guides from previous years to see our favorite toys for those ages! (Hint: Magnatiles is pretty much always the answer.)

2019 Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for Kids 5-8 Years Old

1. I’m kind of obsessed with this wood castle set. It’s completely modular, so your kids can build any castle that comes to mind. I can totally see my kids creating a castle filled with their favorite figurines!

2. This might be pretty specific to my kids, but they play with these Lightfury and Toothless figurines for hours – so I thought I’d include them! I try not to have a million dolls and figurines in the house, but these seem to inspire a lot of imaginative play so they get my stamp of approval.

3. If dragons aren’t your kids’ thing, my kids are also super into all things horses and Spirit. This walking Spirit is at the top of their Christmas list, but they love any horse figurine like this or this with long hair that they can comb and braid.

4. This star projector would be so beautiful as a bedroom nightlight.

5. We discovered these Peaceable Kingdom board games at our local game shop, Labyrinth, over the summer – and we already have three of them! The games are cooperative, meaning everyone wins together and there are no losers (especially tiny younger siblings) with hurt feelings. Feed the Woozle is probably our favorite so far, but we also love Gnomes at Night and this Fairy Game! We also really love this bug building game from Lakeshore Learning.

6. My kids scooter all over the neighborhood – this one folds flat and has light up wheels

7. Thank goodness for beautiful wood toys. I love the colors in this Montessori counting toy for younger kids, and this minimalist wood counting toy for kids above first grade.

8. This shapes puzzle set is perfect for visually-oriented kids! Let them build something entirely from their imagination or work on their problem-solving skills by trying to build the designs shown on the cards. Would make a fantastic travel toy, too!

9. I’m thrilled that Polly Pocket is making a comeback! We have a couple sets already and my girls love them – and they’re small enough to be fun stocking stuffers, too! This unicorn set is on my list.

10. My kids are absolutely obsessed with temporary tattoos – especially metallic tattoos! This Melissa & Doug temporary tattoo book would also be a wonderful stocking stuffer.

11. Bracelets with secret messages! So fun!

12. We took the kids to the International Spy Museum a few weeks ago, and they’ve been obsessed with all things secret and sleuthy ever since! I feel like we’d get a lot of mileage out of this Super Sleuth kit – but an invisible ink pen also makes a wonderful stocking stuffer!

13. Give me all the STEM kits! This Snap Circuits kit looks like so much fun, and there’s also a Magic Rocks kit and a build-your-own Robot Spider kit